Informational Articles

American Pickers Visit Sarasota

By | June 10, 2011

Everyone’s favorite history buffs recently came to sunny Sarasota to pick the Big Cat Sanctuary and Ringling Bros. circus stuff from a collector who’s been collecting for 60 years!
 
Click Here To Watch The Full Episode of American Pickers on the History Channel:  American Pickers Visit Sarasota

(… in related news, see how this Booker High wrestler trains for matches: with his furry 400-pound friends :)

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20110218/ARTICLE/102181037

Read more »

AMERICAN STYLE MAGAZINE RATES TOP 25 SMALL CITIES FOR ART…

By | June 7, 2011

Lifestyle Magazine features contemporary art, artists, galleries and art festivals. In the May (Summer Issue) just released the top 25 small artistic cities were revealed.

Sarasota FL, having long been known as a cultural destination, has climbed from the 2010 No.11 position to the No.5 spot this year!

Just another “great” reason to call Sarasota, FL home.

For more information and to sign up for a “Free” American Style Newsletter visit:
American Style Magazine

Read more »

Rothenbach Park

By | June 3, 2011

Rothenbach Park (about 3 miles east of the interstate on Bee Ridge Road) is no dump… that is to say, it’s not a dump anymore :) Touted as one of Sarasota’s greenest parks, Rothenback Park sits on the site of what was once the Sarasota County Landfill, now capped and landscaped into gorgeous open vistas, bike paths under old-growth oak canopies, and family picnic and playground areas.

Like most of Sarasota’s parks, Rothenbach park is designed with both families and adults in mind. There are two great playgrounds for the kids, clean-and-green pavilions for lunchtime, and approximately five miles of paved recreational trails that meander through the oaks.

Park Map

Rothenbach Park was founded on the principle trash can be turned into treasure. All the materials used in the park are environmentally friendly and designed with nature in mind. The park is quiet, beautiful, and easy accessible by the public.

The park is also home to the Sarasota R/C squadron, a cadre of remote-controlled airplane enthusiasts. This squadron is a private club, but for the reasonable fee of just $75 a year, you can join the fun and games and fly to your heart’s content.

Oh, and make sure you keep an eye out for the Rothenbach Park deer while you’re here – they’re famous!

Read more »

June in Sarasota

By | May 30, 2011

 

Summer is a great time to get out and enjoy the beaches, cuisine and culture of Sarasota while the winter crowds have gone north. Here’s just a few of the activities happening in the area during the month of June:

Date Event or Activity Location Click Link for

More Information

June 1st Pickleball at Woodmere Park Venice Sarasota County Parks
June 2nd Sarasota Music Festival: Artist Showcase – Holley Hall Sarasota Sarasota Music Festival
June 3rd Live from Downtown: It’s Friday Night Sarasota Downtown Sarasota Alliance
June 3rd Music on Main Lakewood Ranch Main Street
June 3-4th Village of the Arts Art Walk Bradenton Village of the Arts
June 5th World Ocean Day @ Mote Marine Sarasota Mote Marine Aquarium
June 6th “Monster’s Ball” Monday Night Movies Sarasota Ringling Museum
June 8-12th Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein Sarasota Asolo Theater
June 9th Art After 5 Sarasota Ringling Museum
June 10-11th 10th Annual St. Armands Craft Festival and Sidewalk Sale Lido Key St. Armands Circle
June 11th Morton’s Annual Big Cheese Tasting Sarasota SRQ Magazine
June 16th Island Nights Venice City of Venice
June 18-19th 19th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival Venice Art Festival
June 18-30th Marilyn: Forever Blonde Sarasota Asolo Theater
June 19th Annual Recital: School of Russian Ballet Bradenton School of Russian Ballet
June 24th Girls Night Out – Women’s Resource Center Sarasota SRQ Magazine
June 25th – July 4th Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival Sarasota Suncoast Offshore
June 26th Grand Prix Festival Car Show – Main Street Lakewood Ranch Lakewood Ranch Suncoast Offshore
June 30th Grand Prix Festival Parade Of Boats – Main Street Sarasota Suncoast Offshore

 

Every Saturday morning throughout the year there are Farmer’s Markets in the downtown areas of Sarasota, Venice, and Bradenton and on Sundays in the Village on Siesta Key. These are great events to shop for local produce and goods. Some have live entertainment as well. For more details click on the location below: 

                                             Sarasota

                                             Venice

                                             Bradenton

                                             Siesta Key

 Call us when you are ready to make your move! To search for homes in the area go to Search for Sarasota Homes. We’re here to help you every step of the way…call us today!

Read more »

Nancy’s Bar-B-Q

By | May 27, 2011

Southern Comfort Foods…Southern Hospitality…Southern “Old Florida” Charm! Dine in…Take Out. Sweet Tea…Cold Beer and Bar-B-Q. “It’s a Sarasota thing”.

Sandwiches, Ribs, Chicken, Beef Brisket and Pork… slow cooked for hours allowing spices and smoke to permeate and tenderize the meat. In addition to Nancy’s time-tested dry rub, there are two sauces–sweat or spicy…you decide. I suggest you try both!

Side dishes include…but not limited to…Beans, of course, slaw, roasted mixed veggies or several other ‘creative’ choices. Dessert available…to put closer to your dining experience. Prices start at $5.50…

Bon Appetit!

Nancy’s Bar-B-Q
Downtown Sarasota
301 S. Pineapple (Corner of Pineapple @ Ringling)
Open Monday thru Saturday 11:30 AM
941/266.2271

Read more »

Housing Shortage on the Horizon?

By | May 23, 2011

Mike Castleman, founder and CEO of Metrostudy, which tracks real-time data of the country’s inventory of new homes, says a housing shortage is looming that will soon will create a huge surge in demand for new homes. As such, now is the time to buy, he says.

In the 41 cities Metrostudy covers, 78,000 houses are either vacant and for sale, or under construction that is less than a quarter of the new homes that fell in that category during the housing boom in 2006 and way below the level of a decade ago.

“If we had anything like normal levels of buying, those houses would sell in 2½ months,” says Castleman. “We’d see an incredible shortage. And that’s where we’re heading.”

The historic drop in new construction mixed with the decline in housing prices is laying the foundation for a dramatic recovery in residential real estate, Castleman told CNN. Castleman expects home owners soon will start returning, which will drive up prices in many markets later this year.

While demand remains low for new construction, he expects that to change. He foresees the recovery following a similar path as previous ones: A severe housing shortage will drive a big increase in demand.

“We’ll get a big surge in demand and the drywall companies will take a long time to ramp up, and it will take years to get new lots approved,” he predicts. “Buyers will show up looking for a house in a subdivision, and all the houses will be sold. The builders will tell them it will take six months to deliver a house.” But they’ll want the house so bad that they’ll “bid the prices up.”

Source: “Real Estate: It’s Time to Buy Again,” CNN (March 28, 2011)

Read more »

Florida Studio Theatre (FST)

By | May 19, 2011

“Exciting, Entertaining, Forever Contemporary Theatre” – Scene Magazine.

Currently in his 31st Season as FST Artistic Director, Richard Hopkins had a vision. In 1980, FST was a small, alternative touring theatre. Hopkins’ focus was on taking contemporary theatre to new audiences. Over the years, FST and the audience have evolved and expanded, growing even more fervent in the value of contemporary theatre.

Hopkins states “theatre must be affordable and accessible to as many people as possible”. He further believes there are three elements of excellent theatre… places, people and plays.

Sarasota is the cultural capital of Florida. FST is another one of Sarasota Treasures. Subscribe now for Summer Season 2011… 3 shows for $29.00.

“Cowgirls”
“Our Son’s Wedding”
“The Savannah Disputation”

For more information visit: www.floridastudiotheatre.org

Read more »

Real Estate Market Statistics for April

By | May 17, 2011

The Sarasota Board of Realtors reports that a total of 759 property sales were closed in the Sarasota real estate market in April 2011, continuing a strong spring surge that reached the 800 level in March. The recent sales rush has taken the market to the highest levels since the fall of 2005 when sales started to decline. Prices also maintained their highest levels of the year in April 2011 for both single family homes and condos, and the available property inventory dropped to 5,258, a big drop from last month’s level of 5,501, and less than a third of the available properties on the market during the 2004-2006 real estate boom.

Click here to view the complete report and statistical charts:

http://www.sarasotarealtors.com/files/monthlystatistics/SRJune2011stats110517124808.pdf

Read more »

Savor Sarasota is Back!

By | May 15, 2011

It’s that time of year again! The 6th Annual Savor Sarasota Week is back!

 If you are anything like my husband and I, you might find yourself going to the same restaurants every time you go out. As we learned about Savor Sarasota week 3 years ago, we have looked forward to it every year since.

If you are new to our beautiful area, or just looking to make your taste buds dance and delight in food that you wouldn’t normally try, then this will be your week of wonder.

For the past 6 years, restaurants across Sarasota, Longboat Key, Siesta Key and Venice have been showcasing their specialties for the weeklong event. Along with a great housing market, 2011 is bringing Savor Sarasota for 2 full weeks from June 1-June 14th!

Savor Sarasota allows residents and visitors alike to visit participating restaurants for really great deals. Most of the restaurants that are participating will do a 3 or 4 course menu for a very low set price of $25 or $35 per person.  If experiencing new wines and desserts is more your style, a lot of the restaurants that are participating have an option for that too, while still saving you money off of their normal menu prices.

For more information about the restaurants and menus that they will be offering visit: http://savorsarasota.com

Read more »

Relocating to Sarasota Series

By | May 11, 2011

When my husband and I relocated to Sarasota 4 years ago, we realized how difficult and tiring it can be to find all of the places that are so important, i.e. a great vet, a great doctor, the best schools, your favorite banker or pharmacist, your favorite restaurants, and of course, a real estate agent that will stick with you as your life and your needs change.

This series will cover all of those topics, but for this article, we will be discussing schools, specifically pre-schools. Luckily, since we have been living in Sarasota for 4 years, we have made quite a few friends, and gotten to know the area, so when we had our first child in December, we thought that it would be easy to hire someone to watch our precious child. We were wrong! We searched, interviewed and let all of our friends know that we were looking for someone, and we visited what seemed like every pre-school in Sarasota and Bradenton but we never felt good after leaving the pre-schools and the interviews, and we weren’t willing to settle when it came to our baby.

After more research, we stumbled upon Primrose School at Lakewood Ranch, and we set up an appointment to visit. While doing my research on Primrose, I discovered that the owners are a local couple, Mr. and Mrs. Frank, who have 3 children of their own. The Franks opened Primrose in 2005. The Franks decided to open Primrose because Mrs. Frank has an Education background, and had discovered Primrose themselves when they were living in Tampa and had their first child. While they were doing their own research into pre-schools, they were also having a hard time finding a safe environment for their child. They discovered Primrose, and the more that they learned, the more they wanted to be a part of what Primrose has to offer children and parents. When we asked Mr. Frank what he loves about owning a Primrose School, he said “what isn’t to love about it? I get to see all of the energy that the children offer and the positive environment that the school is providing the children.” When the Franks aren’t at Primrose, they are spending time with their 3 children, attending their sporting events, or just traveling around the state of Florida.

During our tour at Primrose, there were a few things that stood out to me. First, we felt really welcomed there, including my baby, whom I had never seen smile so much at so many people! Second, the environment really stands out; you can clearly see the activities that are carefully planned for all of the different age groups to help stimulate their development and social growth. Primrose was the only pre-school that we had found that had a curriculum for babies as young as 3 months. The thing that stood out the most to me was the staff. Everyone seemed so friendly and caring and professional! As Realtors, we often find ourselves asking clients, “could you see yourself living here,” well on our tour of Primrose, I was asking myself, “can I see us leaving our child here?” and the answer was a resounding yes! The school takes pride in its safety, cleanliness and the curriculum, particularly; they take pride in knowing that while everything looks great and clean, you are getting quality and depth to your child’s education. In our opinion, Primrose is the whole package. For more information about Primrose, visit http://www.primroselakewoodranch.com/

If you find yourself relocating to Sarasota, and need assistance in finding all of the things that we can’t live without, including your next home, let Jay and Danielle Ratwani guide you to all the best that the Florida Gulf Coast has to offer.

Read more »