Featured Real Estate Article

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-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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The Big Fish Have Come Out To Feed

By | July 30, 2013

Last week, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune published a fantastic article about the state of our market and the challenges today’s buyers are facing.  Much of the data in this update is drawn from this article and you can read the entire text here.

The Big Fish Have Come Out To Feed

It’s no big secret that there are a lot of cash buyers out there right now – they’ve always been prevalent in our resort market, but what’s surprising is the overall number of sales going to cash buyers right now.  The Sarasota-Bradenton area is the #4 market in the entire country overall for cash buyers with 59% of all transactions going to contracts without financing contingencies (bested only by Cape Coral [70%], Miami [64%], and Las Vegas [62%).  That’s DOUBLE the U.S. average for cash transactions and it’s making it much harder for buyers who require a mortgage to purchase.

Our summer months tend to be much slower than our winter ones and there’s less competition for the best homes when it’s hot outside.  If you’re thinking about buying, DON’T WAIT until 2014 – you’ll be competing with a massive influx of seasonal buyers who will scoop up the cream of the crop before you even know it’s on the market.

10% Of All Transactions Go To Corporate Buyers

Right now, there are at least three major hedge funds investing unheard of amounts of dollars into our market; one company alone has pledged to spend $1 billion (that’s billion with a ‘b’) between Tampa and Ft. Myers.  These buyers accounted for 10% of all last month’s sales and they purchased almost entirely in the under-$200k range.  Their contracts call for fast closings, quick inspection decisions, and are typically full-price or above cash offers.

Traditional buyers can still get into the market with an aggressive agent and a little bit of patience.  We’ll use every tool at our disposal to make sure you’re able to take advantage of today’s incredible housing opportunities.

Interest Rates Are Going Up, Up, Up

You may have heard the news about today’s record-setting interest rates.  For the past few years, interest rates have hovered in the 3.5%-4% range on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages; rates have never been lower in U.S. history.  Over the past month or so, the Fed has hinted that they’re going to back off the quantitative easing that’s been keeping rates low and rates have jumped substantially as a result.  The chart at right (courtesy bankrate.com) graphs rates over the past six months – in the last 30 days alone, interest rates have gone up almost an entire percentage point.

That rate difference really impacts your monthly payment.  On a $150,000 purchase with 20% down, it would jump your monthly payment from $726.35 (principal and interest only) to $795.52 and cost you $24,900.74 over the life of the loan.

Interested In Buying or Selling?

When you hire Alex Krumm at Re/Max Alliance Group, you’ll get an award-winning expert agent ready to work for YOU!  I’m in the top 2% of active local agents for homes sold and I’m used to selling more homes for more money in less time.  Put the benefit of our area’s #1 brokerage to work and call today!

Alex Krumm, GRI, CDPE
Broker Associate, Re/Max Alliance Group
SAR Professional Development Committee
4-Year Winner, Five-Star Best In Customer Satisfaction – Sarasota Magazine
941-234-3597 Direct

Send Me An E-Mail Today!

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June Real Estate Statistics

By | July 24, 2013

Housing-InventoryThe inventory of available homes in the Sarasota market
fell to only 3,114 in June 2013 – the lowest level in longer
than a decade, and an 18 percent drop from last year at
this time. Declining inventory generally results in greater
competition for available homes and condos and subsequent
price escalation.

Members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® sold 883
properties in June 2013, a drop from the May 2013 figure
of 1,020 which represented an eight-year high, but up 2
percent over June of last year. The Sarasota real estate market
tallied 642 single family homes and 241 condominiums
in June 2013, compared to June 2012 totals of 603 single
family homes and 261 condos sold in June 2012.

To view the full press release click here

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May Sales in Sarasota Hit New 8 Year High

By | June 25, 2013

business graph in blueMembers of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® sold 1,020 properties in May 2013, the second consecutive month that sales have hit four figures since June  2005. In many respects, April and May were statistical mirror images of each other in terms of total sales, pending sales, steadily increasing median sales prices and declining inventory. There have now been only 11 months in SAR’s 90-year history that sales have topped 1,000, with the other nine occurring in 2004 and 2005.

The spring sales surge in the Sarasota real estate market hit 737 single family homes and 283 condominiums in May 2013. That compared to 591 single family homes and 263 condos sold in May 2012. Sales were 19.4 percent above last May, when there were only 854 total sales. In April 2013, closed sales were at 1,017.

Pending sales were also up in May 2013, with 1,157 combined pendings reported. In April 2013 there were 1,097 pendings reported, and last May there were 1,075 pendings. Pending sales have now topped 1,000 every month this year. This important statistic represents properties that went under contract during the month, and indicates sales in June and beyond could also be at near record high levels.

The high sales volume was accompanied by yet another increase in the median sales prices. The figure for single family homes was $220,000 – the highest level since August 2008 and up 18.8 percent over last May’s figure of $185,000. For condos, the median was $194,250, almost 8 percent higher than last May’s figure of $180,000. The condo figure has continued to fluctuate substantially over the past few months, dropping to a low point of $130,000 in January 2013 before recovering.

Click here for the full press release from the Sarasota Association of Realtors.

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Over 1,000 Sarasota Properties Sold in April

By | May 23, 2013

Members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® sold more than 1,000 properties in April 2013, the first time sales have hit four figures in a single month since June 2005.  There have only been ten months in SAR’s 90-year history that sales have topped 1,000, and the other nine occurred in 2004 and 2005.

business graph in blueThe spring sales surge in the Sarasota real estate market hit 714 single family homes and 303 condominiums in April 2013, for a total of 1,017 closings. That compared to 589 single family homes and 297 condos sold in April 2012, for a 14-percent increase over last year at this time. The all-time record of 1,223 sales was recorded in April 2004.

The high sales volume was augmented by an increase in the median sales prices. The figure for single family homes was $217,000 – the highest level since August 2008 and up 24 percent from last April’s figure of $175,000. For condos, the median was $185,000, slightly lower than last April’s figure of $191,000. The condo figure has continued to fluctuate substantially over the past few months, dropping to a low point of $130,000 in January 2013 before recovering.

Click here to view the full press release.

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