Featured Real Estate Article

February Real Estate Statistics for Sarasota

By | March 25, 2014

Red Upward Graph

Red Upward GraphThe Sarasota Association of Realtors most recent press release shows that property sales in Sarasota County for February 2014 maintained a very steady pace, and median sale prices for single family homes and condos also reflected market stability and integrity.

Single family prices have been remarkably even for the past 12 months, while condo prices have seen somewhat more volatility. February 2014 closed sales of 787 were down slightly (2.4 percent) from last February, when they were at 807, but up slightly from January 2014 (767).

The other notable market statistic was the recent marked decrease in short sales. Only 32 of the total 787 sales in February 2014 were short sales, compared to 98 in February 2013. Short sales have been trending lower since August 2013, and saw a significant drop off beginning in January 2014, when only 27 sales were short sales in the county. In June 2010, at the low point of the market, short sales accounted for almost 200 of the 933 total sales, and foreclosure sales represented another 207.

Foreclosures were still trending at about the same pace in February 2014, with 131 recorded. The lack of short sales may reflect the growing reluctance of mortgage lenders and banks to negotiate with delinquent property owners as the economy emerges from the great recession and the unemployment picture in Florida and across the nation improves.

To read the full press release visit http://www.sarasotarealtors.com/files/monthlystatistics/SRStatsFeb2014140320112035.pdf

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Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda

By | March 21, 2014

Lake MeredithLake of the Woods of Jacaranda is a cluster of residential communities in East Venice surrounding a 35-acre natural body of water, Lake Meredith. While the community located between Center  Road and U.S.  Route 41 was first developed in the late 1980s, most of the homes were built in the mid 1990’s.

Lake of the WoodsThe two entrances off Venice East Boulevard connect to Lake of the Woods Boulevard which winds through the community, in a large circle.  This boulevard, with street lights and lined with sidewalks, mature oaks and palm trees offers attractive views of lakes, ponds and Mediterranean-style homes.  Many of the homes are adjacent to the large nature preserve.  The proximity to undeveloped land brings lots of wildlife into the community.  It’s not unusual to see river otters, bobcats and foxes traveling through backyards, and osprey fishing in the ponds.  Wood stork, white ibis and sandhill cranes are also frequent visitors to these neighborhoods.

The community developed in stages with some of the earlier builders going bankrupt, but the community was eventually completed by Neal Communities which built the final set of homes.  There are currently about 875 homes in several different neighborhoods each operated by one of three homeowner associations, all of which operate under one master umbrella homeowner association.  Most of the homes are 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch-style homes with 2-car garages.  One neighborhood, Grassy Oaks II, has the added feature of maintenance-free yards for a modest additional HOA fee.Grassy Oaks

All of the interconnected neighborhoods share the use of tranquil Lake Meredith, nature trails, bike paths and a large playing field.  If you’re a biker or jogger, this community is next to a Sarasota County-owned paved pathway that wanders along three beautiful lakes.

The attractive community center includes tennis courts, a swimming pool and a large rec room for activities and social functions, including monthly coffee get-togethers, and themed parties such as Margaritaville, St. Patrick’s and Cinco de Mayo events.  Nearby amenities include five public golf courses within two miles.  The library is an easy bike ride away and all the restaurants and stores of south Venice and the Gulf beaches are close by.

While some of the homes in this attractive Venice Florida community sell in the $100’s, most of the homes sell between $200,000 and $400,000.  If you seek an appealing community in Venice Florida with an attractive environment, mature trees and HOA low fees, you should definitely consider Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda.

If you would like to know more about Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda homes or about other Venice or Osprey communities, I’d be happy to answer your questions at any time.

To learn more about Venice area golf, waterfront and other Venice Florida real estate offerings, including those in Nokomis, Osprey and Manasota Key, Contact Me for more information.  For an immediate response, call me today at (941) 724-3352.

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ANNA MARIA WEIGHS IN AS ONE OF FORBE’S “AMERICA’S PRETTIEST TOWNS”

By | February 4, 2014

Anna Maria City PierAnna Maria makes the Forbes’ top 15 list of “Prettiest Towns in America” for 2014. Read the quote from Forbes Magazine:

Just south of Tampa, Anna Maria is a Gulf Coast beach town that has managed to avoid the sort of overdevelopment that plagues similar areas nearby – so it retains a certain small-town coastal Florida charm. With a high proportion of residences being second homes or vacation homes, Anna Maria tends to be much quieter as well. The entire city is a protected bird sanctuary, and don’t be surprised if you happen to meet a manatee during your morning swim. “It’s an important sea turtle hatching ground, and for much of the year, there just aren’t that many people on it,” says Cochran. “What’s funny is that even though it’s at the bottom lip of Tampa Bay, nine people out of ten in Florida don’t even know where it is. European tourists have discovered it, but it seems like Floridians have been the last to find out.”

 

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2013 Real Estate Sales Up Double Over Last Year

By | January 22, 2014

business graph in blueSarasota County median sale prices for single family homes and condos in December 2013 were up double figures over last December as the real estate market ended the year on another high note. Single family home prices were at $189,950 in December, compared to $165,000 last year at this time for a 15.1 percent increase. Condos also saw a big rise, hitting $182,000 in December 2013 compared to $165,100 last year for a 10.2 percent increase.

The 12-month rolling median, which moderates monthly swings, for single family homes was $184,900 in December 2013, up nearly 20 percent from last year at this time ($155,000). For condos the rolling median was $164,900, up 10.1 percent over last year’s figure at this time ($150,000).

Total property sales in Sarasota County in December 2013 stood at 920, with 621 single family homes and 299 condominiums changing hands. This compares to 906 for last December.

December 2013 sales bested November’s 787 sales by 16.9 percent. For the full year 2013, Sarasota County had the second highest number of sales ever tracked in the MLS system at 11,184.

To view the full press release from the Sarasota Association of Realtors visit

http://www.sarasotarealtors.com/files/monthlystatistics/Dec2013Stats14012030603.pdf

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Lakewood Ranch Named One of Top Ten Best Selling Master Planned Communities in the US

By | January 14, 2014

Lakewood Ranch MapFor the third straight year, Lakewood Ranch has been recognized as one of the top 10 best-selling master-planned communities in the country.

The Ranch came in at No. 9 on surveys released this week by California-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting and Maryland-based RCLCO. It was the third-highest ranked Florida community on the lists, finishing behind No. 1 The Villages in Ocala and No. 4 Nocatee in Jacksonville.

Interest seems to be growing in the 17,500-acre Lakewood Ranch community in East Manatee. The community saw an 8 percent increase in year-over-year sales, with 618 new home sales in 2013, up from 573 in 2012, according to developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Inc. There were more than 31,000 visitors to Lakewood Ranch’s information centers and models in 2013.

Sales were boosted by the introduction of a new community this past September, Bridgewater by Lennar, and expansion at Taylor Morrison’s Esplanade Golf and Country Club, an “active adult community,” said Jimmy Stewart, vice president of sales for LWR Communities, in a media release.

In 2013, new homes comprised 58 percent of all home sales in Lakewood Ranch, Stewart said, and there are 295 single family homes and about 500 apartments in various stages of construction.

Bridgewater and Esplanade are seeking approval to add more than 500 additional single-family and multi-family units in their next phases.

Canadian homebuilder Mattamy Homes recently purchased 230 acres of undeveloped land from SMR for $17.1 million and plans to build 675 residences there, a mix of town homes and single-family residences.

Further east, Pulte Group is proposing a 1,500-home community called Del Webb at Lakewood Ranch, an age-restricted community that would be south of State Road 70 and east of Country Club East and the Ritz Carlton Golf Course. And Country Club East is adding more than 600 new homes.

Less than 2 percent of the existing 8,500 homes in Lakewood Ranch are for sale, creating a higher demand for new product, Stewart said.

“With the combination of the success of our commercial properties, our Main Street shopping area, the Premier Sports Campus, Sarasota Polo Club, and the Ancient Oak Gun Club, Lakewood Ranch is clearly the premier new-home destination on Florida’s West Coast,” said Rex Jensen, president and CEO of SMR. “The community continues to attract more visitors; once they’re here, they want to stay.”

Courtesy of the Bradenton Herald

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Links at Rosedale Continues to Grow

By | November 22, 2013

Rosedale EntranceThe Links, the newest phase of Rosedale Golf and Country Club, announced the recent approval of a second site plan featuring 221 home sites. Company officials report more than half of the 224 homesites in the original plat have already been sold or spoken for. The Links contains a total of 445 single-family home sites, many with premium water or preserve views. Builders have submitted 45 homes for permitting, some to be used as models and others for inventory or with sales pending. Rosedale Golf and Country Club was established in eastern Manatee County in 1993. The Links is situated on an adjacent 237-acre property and has been designed and built in keeping with the natural beauty and mature woodlands of the existing community.

 

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D R Horton Selling at Legends Bay

By | November 4, 2013

Legends Bay Sign

Legends Bay SignBuilder D.R. Horton’s Tampa/Sarasota Division resumed new home sales at Legends Bay in Bradenton with a new model opening in late December. D.R. Horton’s Premier and Estate series homes will range in size from 2,045 to 4,363 square feet. D.R. Horton is currently building its Bedford floorplan to be featured as the model in the community. The Bedford is a two-story, master-down home with 2,592 square feet, four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a loft.

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Sarasota Waterfront Communities

By | October 22, 2013

Sarasota Waterfront CommunitiesSarasota has long been known around the world for its award-winning beaches, crystal-clear gulf waters and a constant flow of boating, fishing and sailing activities on the waterfront The barrier islands of Bird Key, Longboat Key, Siesta Key, Lido Key and Casey Key are not only pristine areas, each with it’s own unique lifestyle attributes, they are also home to some of the most luxurious waterfront homes. Downtown Sarasota, itself, is also home to every imaginable housing style from modest townhomes and condos to elegant waterfront homes and estates.

AARP Magazine identified the Sarasota Florida area, known as “Florida’s SunCoast,” as #4 on its list of “Best Places to Reinvent Your Life.” Barbara Corcoran, a noted real estate expert, ranked Sarasota as the “Best Place to Buy a Home Right Now” on a recent Today Show video. The Natural Resources Defense Council placed Sarasota Florida at No. 4 on its list of Small “Smarter Cities” in recognition of the quality of its air and water as well as its environmental standards and programs like green building, green space and recycling. And not long ago, Money Magazine called Sarasota the “Ultimate Beach Town” with 35 miles of sun-kissed beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, over 200 sunny days a year and an average year-round temperature of 71°F.

The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and gorgeous sunsets over both the Gulf and Sarasota Bay just add to the appeal that Sarasota Florida waterfront communities offer.

As the Arts and Cultural Center of Southwestern Florida, Sarasota provides an almost unbelievable variety of arts and cultural venues including our own opera, ballet and symphony orchestras as well as the famous Ringling Museum or Art.

For the business owner or entrepreneur, Sarasota and Sarasota County offer a business climate that is as warm and friendly as our weather. From relocation and expansion assistance to workforce development and financial incentives, Sarasota County has earned rave reviews from the business community for fostering strategic alliances between the public and private sectors. The local Chamber of Commerce reports that a record number of companies have recently relocated or expanded in Sarasota County, adding hundreds of jobs and millions in capital investment to the local economy.

Some waterfront communities such as the SouthBay Yacht & Racquet Club have deep-water dockage.  Homes in other waterfront communities like Sorrento Shores are on navigable canals or directly on the Intercoastal waterway.  For those who enjoy both water sports and golf, there are even Sarasota waterfront communities which offer both including Longboat Key with its Longboat Key Club courses.

With all the charm of a southern town with the conveniences of a big city, the Sarasota waterfront communities offer every conceivable lifestyle option you could imagine or desire.

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Discover Osprey and Venice

By | September 9, 2013

Osprey Welcome Sign

Osprey Welcome SignIf you’ve visited Sarasota Florida, you already know what a vibrant and exciting place it is to be.  But, if you haven’t ventured beyond the southern edge of Sarasota, just a bit further down the Tamiami Trail (U.S. Route41), you’ve not been introduced to the Sarasota’s two smaller, quieter neighboring towns of Osprey and Venice.

Osprey, Florida lies just south of Sarasota in what’s referred to as “unincorporated” SarasotaCounty. Osprey is a community with both multi-million dollar homes facing directly on Sarasota Bay or on deep-water canals with no bridges between your dock and open waters. There are also more modest homes still on those deep-water canals.

Boating enthusiasts will love SorrentoShores, a community of just over 230 homes, built during the 1960’s and ’70’s; with many of them on navigable canals with a few directly on SarasotaBay.  Home styles range from villas and cottages to large executive mansions.  Home prices in Sorrento Shores vary widely from just under $200,000 to $3 million or more for the most luxurious waterfront homes.

Golfers, on the other hand, may find The Oaks, one of the most exclusive golf communities in the Sarasota – Osprey – Venice area, more appealing.  The Oaks covers about 1,000 acres on both sides of the Tamiami Trail.  Residents of The Oaks may join the exclusive Oaks Club with its championship 36-hole golf course, 12 tennis courts, oversized pool, and croquet at a stunning 41,000 sq.ft. Georgian clubhouse.  The Oaks is comprised of three distinct neighborhoods, Bayside with homes directly on Little Sarasota Bay, Clubside with estate size homes surrounding the golf course, and The Preserve with homes in a nature preservation setting. The Oaks also includes Meridian at The Oaks Preserve, a huge bayfront luxury condo development.

In Osprey, you’ll also find Oscar Scherer State  Park, a nature preserve where you’ll come face to face with thousands of species including bald eagles, bobcats, river otters and alligators.  At historic Spanish Point, you’ll find a group of original homesteads depicting the pioneer life as it was when the area was first settled.  There are shopping areas at Osprey Village, Blackburn Point Plaza and the Southbay Fashion Center, restaurants of all kinds from casual places serving grouper sandwiches and pizza to fine dining spots like the Spanish Pointe Marina and the Bimini Bar & Grill.

Downtown VeniceJourney a bit further south and you’ll be in Venice, a quaint city built originally in the Mediterranean style.  Veniceis home to several golf course communities with homes and condos in every price range and style. Sawgrass, Jacaranda West, Pelican Pointe, Venetian Golf and Country Club and Venice Golf & Country Club each have golf courses as well as homes and condos in various settings from those facing the Gulf of Mexico or the scenic Myakka River to those set next to the certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in the Venice Golf & Country Club community.

Venice includes “Venice Island,” a quaint downtown with wide sidewalks for strolling and window shopping.  In the historic district, surrounded by buildings in the Italian Renaissance style of the city’s original architecture, you’ll find a community theatre, fine dining and casual restaurants, boutique shops, a Saturday farmers market, and more.  In South Venice, you’ll find a shopping center, Manatee Community College’s South Campus, and the VeniceRegional MedicalCenter, a 312-bed facility with a comprehensive array of health care services .

Venice has 27 miles of walking and biking trails, 7 miles of beaches including Venice Beach, a “Certified Blue Wave Beach” and HumphrisPark (aka South JettyPark) with everything you need for a picnic, a chance to go fishing or snorkeling or just watching a sunset over the Gulf.   Veniceis known as the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World” for the millions-of-years-old shark’s teeth found on its beaches.

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Sarasota Real Estate Sales in July 2013

By | August 22, 2013

a-housing-graph

a-housing-graphThe Sarasota Board of Realtors just released the sales statistics for July.

The Sarasota real estate market continued an amazing streak in July, with members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® closing 911 sales during the month – a 30.3 percent increase over July 2012, and 3.2 percent higher than the June 2013 total. The first seven months of 2013 are still tracking to make the overall year one of the biggest in SAR’s history.

The other major news of the month was the major rebound in the median sale price for single family homes. The price went from $200,000 in June 2013 to $227,500 in July 2013, a 7.2 percent increase. For the 12-month rolling median price, the single family home figure was at $195,000, a 16 percent increase over last year at this time when the rolling median price was at $168,500. If current trend levels continue, this will be the biggest year-to-year increase for single family home prices in four years.

To view the full press release click here

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