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Below are the top 10 most expensive homes and condos that have sold in Sarasota this year. Stay tuned for future updates because I plan to compare these sales with the top 10 most expensive sales in Naples and St. Petersburg/Clearwater.   1233 Hillview Drive Sold Price - $9,850,000 Bedrooms - 3  Bathrooms - 4/2 Square Feet - 4,874  Year Built - 1990 Days on Market - Private sale Neighborhood - Harbor Acres More details of 1233 Hillview Drive   891 Longboat Club Road Sold Price - $7,500,000 Bedrooms - 5  Bathrooms - 6 Square Feet - 5,974  Year Built - 1995 Days on Market - Private sale Neighborhood - Regent Court More details of 891 Longboat Club Road   8218 Sanderling Road Sold Price - $7,500,000 Bedrooms - 7 Bathrooms - 7/1 Square Feet - 10,624 Year Built - 1986 Days on Market - 118 Neighborhood - Sanderling Club More details of 8218 Sanderling Road   2016 Casey Key Road Sold Price - $6,725,000 Bedrooms - 6 Bathrooms - 7/2 Square Feet - 7,508 Year Built - 2010 Days on Market - 51 Neighborhood - Casey Key More details of 2016 Casey Key Road   7940 Sanderling Road Sold Price - $6,000,000 Bedrooms - 4  Bathrooms - 4/1 Square Feet - 5,106  Year Built - 2004 Days on Market - 88 Neighborhood - Sanderling Club More details of 7940 Sanderling Road   1238 Sharswood Lane Sold Price - $5,925,000 Bedrooms - 4  Bathrooms - 4/2 Square Feet - 5,010  Year Built - 2018 Days on Market - 1,114 Neighborhood - Spice Bay More details of 1238 Sharswood Lane   1307 Main Street 1701 Sold Price - $5,500,000 Bedrooms - 3  Bathrooms - 3/1 Square Feet - 4,197  Year Built - 2016 Days on Market - Private sale Condo - The Jewel   35 Watergate Drive Penthouse 18 Sold Price - $6,100,000 Bedrooms - 3  Bathrooms - 4/1 Square Feet - 5,275 Year Built - 2003 Days on Market - 239 Condo - Ritz Carlton More details of 35 Watergate Dr 1802   801 & 810 Casey Key Road Sold Price - $5,990,000 Bedrooms - 7  Bathrooms - 8/2 Square Feet - 6,861 Year Built - 2007 Days on Market - 110 Neighborhood - Casey Key More details of 801 & 810 Casey Key Road   641 Ranger Lane Sold Price - $5,695,000 Bedrooms - 4  Bathrooms - 4/1 Square Feet - 6,233 Year Built - 2007 Days on Market - 32 Neighborhood - Country Club Shores More details of 641 Ranger Lane           Photos courtesy of Michael Saunders and Company, Coldwell Banker, Premier Sothebys, RE/MAX Alliance Group, London Bay Realty. 
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Some would say living the Florida dream would be having a residence near the beach that you can stay at whenever you want. Others would argue the ultimate Florida dream is to own a place near the beach you can use AND rent to make some passive income. We work with a number of clients that have an expressed interest in finding property that has the potential to generate rental income. Whether it's used by seasonal tenants or for vacation guests, here are a few condo communities worth checking out if you want to invest on the Gulf to produce some serious spending money.      Siesta Key El Presidente: A gated condominium community situated near the south bridge entrance to the key, guests will love vacationing within El Presidente and owners will love the income potential. An ideal location to reach the mainland for everyday conveniences and far enough south to enjoy the direct beach frontage away from the public access points. El Presidente is a smaller, single building with lots of perks including a community pool and spa, club house and tennis courts. There is an on-site rental management company should you prefer the assistance of a property managers, plus owners are allotted 1 week rentals that can be rented 52 times a year. See properties available for sale within El Presidente.     Sarasota Surf and Racquet: A beautiful beach front community with lots to boast about. Sarasota Surf and Racquet is a gated condominium with perfectly manicured landscaping, har-tru tennis courts, fitness facility, community gathering room, 2 heated pools, grilling area, an on-site rental management team, and of course direct beach access. The location is superb to mingle and enjoy all the action in The Village or to jump onto the main land for life off the island. The rental program allows owners to lease their units for 1 week minimums all 52 weeks of the year. Read more about Sarasota Surf and Racquet and check back for new listings in this community.      Crescent Royale: A location hard to beat when you're considering a place to buy or stay on Siesta Key. While not on the beach, this charming condominium is directly across the street from the main public access point for Siesta Key Beach. Gated for added security, residents also have access to the community pool and fitness center, but the main draw is the easy access to the beach. A great location to enjoy all the food, shopping and fun in The Village while staying close to home. Owners have the option to add their condo to the onsite rental program where units can be rented for a 1 week minimum stay all 52 weeks of the year.  Read more about Crescent Royale and scope out all the new listings in this community.      Lido Lido Dorset: Built in the 1960's, the Lido Dorset maintains its retro charm and its prime location on Lido Key. Situated directly across the street from Lido Beach and just down the street from St. Armands Circle, this is a community well worth investing in. Amenities and features are minimal, with just the community pool, but vacation visitors will be more interested in the buildings accessibility to the beach and all prime shops and restaurants within walking distance at the circle. Lido Dorset allows 1 week rentals that can be utilized all 52 weeks of the year. Units for sale with Lido Dorset do not pop up frequently so check back with us to see if any have hit the market.   Longboat Key Casa Del Mar: Own a little place of your own on the highly coveted barrier island of Longboat Key in Casa Del Mar. A gulf front community where owners and tenants alike can enjoy the private beach stocked with umbrellas and lounge chairs, the community gulf front pool, tennis courts, basketball court, pickle ball and open deck area with BBQ grills and picnic tables for outdoor fun. No usage restriction with year round income potential through the weekly rental program handled by the site management team. See properties available for sale within Casa Del Mar.       Sand Cay: The beautifully maintained community of Sand Cay on Longboat Key is a perfect spot in paradise to claim as your own and utilize as a rental income generator. Enjoy being steps away from the beach as well as the plethora of amenities such as the community tennis courts, shuffleboard, heated pool, basketball, and barbecue area. Owners can take full advantage of the full time on-site manager and in-house rental program to maintain your weekly rental needs.See properties available for sale within Sand Cay.     For more information on these communities or other communities with rental income opportunities, contact us directly at 941.822.0708 or info@DWELLsarasota.com
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Even with the plethora of real estate information and advice on the web these days many buyers are still misinformed when it comes to the home buying process. When you tell someone that you are looking to buy a home there is no shortage of good and bad information given by your friends, family, co-workers, relatives, real estate TV shows and just about anybody else. There are too many arm chair quarterbacks out there when it comes to finding and buying a home. Be careful listening to these people because there is a pretty good chance that most of them don't have the experience or knowledge necessary to be giving advice. Just because I have eaten at 1,000's of restaurants in my life doesn't mean I know how to operate one.  Here are 8 myths about the home buying process that you might find interesting. 1. Hiring 2 Realtors to find a home won't result in a better experience You might think it is a wise idea to hire 2 agents to help you find a home but it usually isn't. This is especially true if both agents know about it. You might end up working with two disgruntled agents that give you a halfhearted effort.The reason for this is that we only get paid when we represent you in a closed sale. So, one of the agents ends up working without being compensated. It is better to hire just one good Realtor.  2.  Realtors are paid a salary and the commission is 'extra' Perhaps this will change in the future due to the real estate industry being targeted by disrupters but right now Realtors only get paid at the end of the transaction through a commission. This lights a tremendous fire under us to find the dream house for our buyers. That usually entails at least 20 trips back and forth to show buyers homes, finding out answers to the buyers’ questions, triangulating between the listing agent, homeowners association, county and city, researching public records, making phone calls to the mortgage lender and a 1,000 other little details that are involved with a transaction.  We must then spend the time explaining how all this works to the buyers, write offer after offer and cancelling or rearranging personal plans so that we can show the buyer a house so they don’t miss out. All of that is done without a paycheck the day the agent starts working with the buyer. If the buyer decides to purchase and purchase through that agent, and only if that transaction goes to closing will the agent get paid. How long the process takes from end to end is anyone’s guess, and could range from a couple of months to years, depending on the buyer.   3. Realtors are overpaid Really? Sure, like every other industry, there are Realtors making millions. But, let's talk about the average agent. According to an article from Salary.com - What Real Estate Agents Earn in Every State, as of January 2019, the average annual earnings for a real estate sales agent was $41,289. In Florida the 2017 mean annual wage was $57,520. That really isn't that much when the income is sporadic and risky. Risky in that a transaction (and the income from it) can fall apart at any moment for a myriad of reasons that are out of the Realtors control.  4. There is nothing wrong with calling listing agents to show us homes if our agent isn't available  Buyers tend to think, “We hate to bother them every time there is something we see of interest.” This approach can and will backfire on a buyer. A listing agent's job is to represent the seller. Buyers who ask them to show their listing put everyone in a precarious professional situation. Agents don’t like to step on other agents’ toes and do not want to be put in an awkward situation. While buyers can still use whatever agent they want to assist in writing an offer, the entire scenario can create a lot of bad feelings with the listing agent being put out after doing a lot of work meeting the buyers at the property and providing information and details, and so forth. If a buyer has an agent, they need to work through their agent for all showings. Agent communities are small worlds in that word will get out very quickly about the buyers calling every listing agent in certain areas to see homes on their own. Listing agents will grow suspicious and will surely want to know which agent the buyer is working with, whether they have been pre-approved and what their status is, as far as being able to buy a home. 5. A house 'passes' or 'fails' an inspection False. The purpose of a home inspection is to provide an overview of the home’s condition at the day/time the home was inspected, along with an assessment of each component in the home as to whether it is functioning in the manner which it was intended to do. An inspector does not state whether a home “passes” or “fails.” 6. Buyers can and should ask for every item found on an inspection report to be fixed, whether is it an actual repair or even cosmetic in nature Not so fast. Inspection are a negotiation point. Just because an inspector puts it on a report does not mean it is something that has to be requested to be addressed. An inspector needs to be thorough in their observations for the purpose of raising an awareness and informing the buyer about the property they are going to purchase. While a buyer should discuss with their agent what repairs — if any — should be addressed by the seller, this is another negotiation point in the transaction that could involve some back-and-forth, depending on what is being requested. It will likely be a compromise. If an item is a suggested improvement — such as adding gutters, this is something the seller will likely not do. The seller may prefer to reduce the price or offer a credit toward closing costs in lieu of them doing some or all of the repairs. 7. The lower I offer, the more the seller will come off their asking price Au contraire, my friend. In real estate, usually the lower the offer means the less the seller will counter — or in some cases — not at all. Unless it is truly justified, offering a significantly lower price for the sake of it can put the seller off. They may think the buyer is not serious and completely shut down. The buyer will then have to come back at another price to see if they can get the seller to restart negotiations. 8. The bank will send someone out to tell me if I am paying too much Not exactly. The lender doing your mortgage load will send out an appraiser to conduct a valuation of the property for the bank that will be providing the loan. The appraiser will not tell the buyer what to pay. An appraisal is subjective and defined as an art and not a science. Some appraisers are more conservative in their adjustments, and some are more generous, all while staying within lending guidelines. Depending on the contract, if an appraisal comes in at less than the price you are paying for the home, that does not obligate you to buy the house, but at the same time, that does not mean the seller must sell it to you at the appraised value This becomes a renegotiation point between the buyer and seller. Both parties could agree to split the difference, or the seller could come down in price but not want to offer other concessions that they had previously agreed to, such as paying for closing costs, a home warranty or doing repairs. If the market is really hot and the property is in high demand, then the buyer may have to pay out of pocket for the difference. Several of these myths came from this great article from Inman.com - 7 Myths Buyers Actually Believe
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Below is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal. You can see the original article by Candace Taylor here.  Baby boomers and retirees built large, elaborate dream homes across the Sunbelt—only to find that few people want to buy them. Large, high-end homes across the Sunbelt are sitting on the market, enduring deep price cuts to sell. That is a far different picture than 15 years ago, when retirees were rushing to build elaborate, five or six-bedroom houses in warm climates, fueled in part by the easy credit of the real estate boom. Many baby boomers poured millions into these spacious homes, planning to live out their golden years in houses with all the bells and whistles. Now, many boomers are discovering that these large, high-maintenance houses no longer fit their needs as they grow older, but younger people aren’t buying them. Tastes—and access to credit—have shifted dramatically since the early 2000s. These days, buyers of all ages eschew the large, ornate houses built in those years in favor of smaller, more-modern looking alternatives, and prefer walkable areas to living miles from retail. The problem is especially acute in areas with large clusters of retirees. In North Carolina’s Buncombe County, which draws retirees with its mild climate and Blue Ridge Mountain scenery, there are 34 homes priced over $2 million on the market, but only 16 sold in that price range in the past year, said Marilyn Wright, an agent at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in Asheville. The area around Scottsdale, Ariz., also popular with wealthy retirees, had 349 homes on the market at or above $3 million as of February 1—an all-time high, according to a Walt Danley Realty report. Homes built before 2012 are selling at steep discounts—sometimes almost 50, and many owners end up selling for less than they paid to build their homes, said Walt Danley’s Dub Dellis. Kiawah Island, a South Carolina beach community, currently has around 225 houses for sale, which amounts to a three- or four-year supply. Of those, the larger and more expensive homes are the hardest to sell, especially if they haven’t been renovated recently, according to local real-estate agent Pam Harrington. The problem is expected to worsen in the 2020s, as more baby boomers across the country advance into their 70s and 80s, the age group where people typically exit homeownership due to poor health or death, said Dowell Myers, co-author of a 2018 Fannie Mae report, “The Coming Exodus of Older Homeowners.” Boomers currently own 32 million homes and account for two out of five homeowners in the country. “You had this wave of homes built that now just don’t make sense for a lot of the people who bought them,” said Rick Palacios, Jr. of John Burns Real Estate Consulting. For their retirement in a suburb of Asheville, N.C., Ben and Valentina Bethell spent about $3.5 million in 2009 to build their dream home: a roughly 7,500-square-foot, European-style house with a commanding view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Bethells said they love the home but it now feels too big, especially since their adult son visits only about once a year. Plus, tasks like pulling garbage cans up the steep, 100-yard-long driveway have become onerous, said Mr. Bethell, 78. “It’s a lot to do.” The couple listed the home in 2015 for $4.495 million, and have since reduced the price to $3.995 million. When the house does sell, they plan to buy a newly constructed, smaller house nearby. After retiring 15 years ago, Robin and David Saltman moved from New Jersey to Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., where they spent more than a year custom-building their dream house with a pool on the ocean. Then in their 50s, the couple planned to stay in the three-story, five-bedroom house at least until their 80s. Instead, they sold the roughly 4,200-square-foot house last year. Though they had an elevator, “it was still running up and down the stairs a million times a day,” said Ms. Saltman, 70. They also wanted to be closer to town; the house was about a 20-minute drive from the nearest stores. While most high-end homes in the area sit on the market for at least a year, the Saltmans were able to sell their home—into which they’d invested about $1.75 million—in a few months for $2.1 million, with the help of their son Andrew, a real-estate agent. In its place they bought a newer, four-bedroom house on the Intracoastal Waterway. Though it is nearly 6,000 square feet, all the major living areas are on one floor, and it is located only five minutes from town. They paid $1.8 million for the new house, then spent “a couple hundred thousand” renovating it. Overall, “we were happy,” Ms. Saltman said. George and Diana Hambleton are selling their house on South Carolina’s Wadmalaw Island, about 20 minutes outside Charleston, only four years after they finished building it. An interior designer, Ms. Hambleton selected the materials for the roughly 4,200-square-foot house, including reclaimed barn wood and Wisconsin flagstone. But they are selling the approximately 3-acre property, which they loved for its creekfront location and mature oak trees, because they want “somewhere smaller where someone’s taking care of everything,” she said. The couple, who relocated there from New Jersey, will likely move into an apartment in Charleston. Mr. Hambleton is “a very young 89,” his wife said, and when they built the house, “he was only 82,” so the property’s upkeep “didn’t seem like that major a thing.” But when it comes to aging, she added, “I don’t know that you face these things until you have to.” After spending just under $3 million to build the home, they initially put it on the market for $2.99 million in 2016; the price is now $1.975 million. Ms. Hambleton, 74, said it would most likely sell for less than the cost of building it. “We will take a little bit of a hit,” she said. Ms. Hambleton said they are frequently asked why they built the house, only to sell it so shortly afterward. “The answer is, because we wanted to,” she said. “We’ve loved being here.” Selling Points Design trends have shifted radically in the past decade. That means a home with crown moldings, ornate details and Mediterranean or Tuscan-style architecture can be a hard sell, while properties with clean lines and open floor plans get snapped up. To help sell an older home in the current market, Florida real-estate agent Rose Sklar said it is crucial to make the property look as updated as possible. She recommended renovating the house before putting it on the market, especially the kitchen and bathrooms. If a renovation isn’t in the cards financially, there are other small steps that can make a big difference, she said: remove dated drapes and curtains, repaint the kitchen cabinets, and change out hardware and light fixtures for a more contemporary look. The replacements “don’t have to be expensive—just get something that’s ‘today,’” Ms. Sklar said. “Get rid of the datedness of the house.” Stage the house with rental furniture if possible, and remove all family photos and other personal items to help buyers envision themselves there. Finally: “If you have a pet, hide it,” she said. “Everybody’s allergic to everything.” Sarasota/Manatee County Luxury Homes & Condos The chart below shows single family homes in Sarasota/Manatee counties priced above $3 million that are for sale, sold and pended from March 2018 to May 2019. As of May 2019, there are 131 homes for sale above $3m with roughly 7 selling a month. The chart below shows months of inventory for single family homes priced above $3 million in Sarasota/Manatee counties. The big spike in October was due to 0 closings. Ignoring that month the months of inventory range from 10.8 to 47.5 with an average of 27 months. As of May 2019 the months of inventory is at 21.8.  The chart below shows condos in Sarasota/Manatee counties priced above $3 million that are for sale, sold and pended from March 2018 to May 2019. The chart below shows months of inventory for condos priced above $3 million in Sarasota/Manatee counties from March 2018 to May 2019. The months of inventory range from 7.3 to 33 with an average of 19 months. As of May 2019 the months of inventory is at 9.7.
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Sarasota, Florida ranks 20 in U.S. News and World Report of The 25 Most Desirable Places to Live in the U.S. in 2019. 20. Sarasota, Florida Best Places to Live 2019 Rank: 18 Metro Population: 768,381 Median Home Price: $237,260 Median Annual Salary: $42,680 A popular retirement destination with a median resident age over 51, Sarasota is seeing its population grow rapidly. It's no wonder, with year-round warm weather and beaches popular among tourists and residents alike.  Complete List of Top 25 Most Desirable Places to Live in the U.S. in 2019 25. Spokane, Washington 24. Salinas, California23. Port St. Lucie, Florida22. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina21. Anchorage, Alaska20. Sarasota, Florida 19. Winston-Salem, North Carolina18. New Orleans17. & 16. Santa Barbara, California and Asheville, North Carolina15. Pensacola, Florida14. Phoenix13. Nashville, Tennessee12. Fort Myers, Florida11. Los Angeles10. Denver9. Austin, Texas8. New York City7. Seattle6. Las Vegas5. San DiegoTie for 1st Place - Portland, Oregon - San Francisco - Colorado Springs - Honolulu This is an interesting list of the most desirable places in the United States. Nothing against the fine people of Ft. Myers, Florida but I don't know how that is a better place to live than Sarasota. Perhaps it is the lower average home price? Also, I don't see Naples, Florida on this list and that is a great place to live. How about Miami, Florida? I would rather live there than Port St. Lucie. Charlotte, North Carolina didn't make the list? Personally, I would rather live there than New Orleans.  Different strokes for different folks. ;-)    
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Article courtesy of Liane Jamason from our sister site DwellFL.com.   Any time there is a hot seller's real estate market, lots of "discount" real estate related marketing ploys pop up out of the woodwork.  Do you remember the days of those annoying commercials - "THANKS BuyOwner"? I do Today we have OfferPad, Zillow Instant Offers and OpenDoor - also known as iBuyers.  These companies are pulling out big bucks, advertising on billboards and in local TV commercials. What is OfferPad, Zillow (Instant Offers), OpenDoor (iBuyers)? These are companies that will give you an offer on your home in a very short period of time - usually within 24 hours.  Sounds great right?  They'll buy your home and you can close immediately.  No showings - pretty seamless. Again - not everything is as it seems. I recently appeared on Bay News 9 to talk about how these instant offers work.     When I first started hearing about Instant Offers or "iBuyers", I thought to myself - why would someone do this?  How does it work?  I wanted to know as a Realtor because in theory these companies could be competition for me - so I decided to try it myself, because I was about to sell my home. I went to OfferPad and put in a house I owned in St. Petersburg which was worth about $400,000 - based on area comparable sales.  It's a 3 bedroom 2 bath with a pool.  Here's the offer they sent me:     So, they offered me $80,000 UNDER what I could sell for if I sold it on my own or with a real estate agent.  To top that off, they also charge a 7 service fee, which includes a mover.  I don't know about you, but I can find a mover who'll move me for a whole lot less than $22,400.  My last mover cost me $700. Here's how they make money.  First, that 7 fee obviously - it's not a whole lot different than a real estate agent who charges a commission - except they are making it a package deal and throwing in a mover and saying you can stay in your home for 3 days post-closing (which is something any real estate agent can negotiate, by the way.)  But you have no representation in this scenario. I know that a lot of people do not know the 101 things a Realtor does in a real estate transaction but I assure you it is a lot and we are there for your protection.  In this scenario, when you sell your home to Offerpad (or any iBuyer), OfferPad is representing themselves as buyer/broker but no one is representing your best interests.  There's no one examining the contract or negotiating repairs on your behalf.  The kicker is this - that 7 is not counting the mandatory repair charges by their ‘preferred’ contractors that you have to use - I saw a seller once get an additional $30k+ tacked on, because they didn't know any better.  Had they had a Realtor representing them, the agent might've explained that in our area, we commonly use "as-is" contracts and repairs are limited to insurance related items typically. Secondly - the reason their offer is so low is because once the iBuyer buys the property, they'll resell it or flip it to an investor, thus turning a profit there. The only reason I can think that a consumer might use the Instant Offer service is if they have a new job somewhere out of state and have to move immediately, and don't want to deal with selling their home and are willing to fork over a hefty bit of profit for that convenience.  But they have to realize they are taking a very significant loss on what the home sells for - in my case I'd have lost over $80,000, just on the low offer price alone, before the 7 fee was tacked on. Now let's talk about OpenDoor - here's a screenshot of an OpenDoor offer above. The fine print in the image above states that there is a 10.5 service fee.  This is so much higher than what most Realtors charge in commission and the iBuyer is going to low ball you on the offer to top it off.  OpenDoor's fees vary by market but we are seeing between 7.5 and 10.5. My point is, when it comes to selling your home, do a little homework.  Pull up online reviews of local Tampa Bay realtors and see who is selling a lot at a high list-to-sell ratio.  You want the very best agent representing you in the sale of what is likely the largest financial asset you have.  Don't let just any agent do this for you.  You could walk away with more money in your pocket with proper representation than if you sell to an instant offer company.  Sure - you'll have to have some showings and listen to the advice of your agent - but isn't over $80K (or more depending on your home's value) worth it? In a hot buyer's real estate market you see other types of marketing ploys like "Your Home Sold Guaranteed or We'll Buy It."  Also not what it's cracked up to be.  This one is a major bait and switch. A savvy real estate agent can sell your home in 30 days or less when the condition is good and the price is right, and alleviate many of the hassles of selling for you.  We are currently in the highest real estate market I've seen in 13+ years, it's a great time to sell.
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There is no shortage of new construction master planned communities to choose from in the Sarasota/ Manatee area but sometimes you want to be ahead of the game and know what's "coming soon" before the general public is made aware when listings are added to the MLS then pushed out for all to see on the web. It wont be long before this gem of a community hits the MLS and we want you to know about it first Situated on roughly 200-acres between State Road 70 and University Parkway, Taylor Morrison is building another of its fabulous Esplanade resort communities. Introducing, The Heights, a gated enclave community west of Lakewood Ranch off Honore Avenue just on the outskirts of the UTC shopping/ dining hub.  The Heights is planned to offer its homeowners a stunning array of homes inspired by California Tuscan architecture with views overlooking the wooded wetlands, lush landscapes, and beautiful lake views of 255-acre Ward Lake. Taylor Morrison will bring its signature resort-style amenities into The Heights to ensure all residents live the best Florida lifestyle possible. The amenity center is planned to include a resort-style pool and spa, splash pad, cabana area, fitness center, lighted pickleball, bocce ball, basketball courts, dog park and an elevated Trail Park with walking trails, sitting areas overlooking Ward Lake, exercise stations, and open lawn areas for outdoor activities.  The Heights will be broken up into two neighborhoods; Esplanade at The Heights and Grandview at The Heights. All homes in both communities will offer well-designed floor plans featuring spacious living rooms, beautifully appointed designer kitchens, luxurious owner’s suites and flexible upgrade options throughout. Prices and community fees are still being determined and have not been announced yet. Other beloved Taylor Morrison communities in the area include: Esplanade at Lakewood Ranch, Bellacina by Casey Key, Esplanade by Siesta Key and more. The beauty of this community is its location. West of I-75 and perfectly positioned to be outside the bustle of University Parkway but close enough to reach the shop, restaurants and everyday conveniences at UTC. a 5 minute drive will get you to Whole Foods, Super Target, Nathan Benderson Park and the Mall. A 15 minute drive will get you to the heart of Downtown Sarasota to enjoy the arts, entertainment, incredible restaurants, shops and galleries plus a quick drive over the Ringling Bridge will get you to Lido Key to soak up the sun at the beach and St. Armands Circle. All the perks and benefits of this community are too many to list, so let us give you the run down and all updates as they become available.  Map Location of The Heights   Floor Plan Options in The Heights Farnese 2,100 Sq. Ft. | 2 Bedrooms | 2.5 Baths | 2 Garage | 1 Story The Farnese is a 2,100 sq. ft. single-family home filled with flexible space options. The foyer leads to separate den and dining rooms which may be open or closed with optional double doors. The great room is adjacent to a designer kitchen with its own breakfast nook and spacious counter top island. The Owner's Suite includes a bay window, dual sinks, corner shower, water closet and walk-in closet. Additional space options includes an expanded covered lanai and additional garage area. This floor plan offers 4 different exterior options. Piceno 1,856 Sq. Ft. | 2 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2 Garage | 1 Story This beautiful home with 1,856 square feet of living space features an open dining and family room for those who love entertaining. The kitchen has ample counter and cabinet space with two entry ways. The Owner's suite has his-and-hers walk-in closets attached to the Owner's bath. The study adds space for an office or flex room. Options include a bay window for the Owner's suite, a gourmet kitchen, outdoor living options, tandem garage.   Lazio  2,275 Sq. Ft. | 3 Bedrooms | 3 Baths | 2 Garage | 1 Story The Lazio is one of Taylor Morrison's most popular floor plans. This home has so much to offer with 2,275 sq. ft. of living space, 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, a study and two-car garage. Enter the home though the foyer which leads into a dining room and spacious great room. The designer kitchen with large island overlooks the gathering room which has a sliding door leading to a spacious lanai, perfect for outdoor living. The Owner's Suite includes dual sinks, large shower, water closet and large walk-in closet. Options on the Lazio include adding a bay window to the owner's suite, a gourmet kitchen, extended lanai with outdoor kitchen, and more     Ibis 1,533 Sq. Ft. | 2 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2 Garage | 1 Story The open floor plan of the Ibis twin villa offers 1,533 square feet of living space, and 2,081 total square feet including the two-car garage and covered screened lanai as well as the covered entry. An elegant owner's suite, private owner's bath, and walk-in closet are all located in the back of the home while the second bedroom with attached bathroom and the spacious study are at the front of the home. The designer kitchen is open to an expansive great room and dining room.    
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The DWELL Brokerage is growing In 2016 we opened our second Florida office in Downtown St. Petersburg and expanded our luxury real estate brand into the St. Pete/ Tampa Bay area. Since then, our St. Pete team proved this was a successful endeavor for DWELL and now we've added Liane Jamason to lead this office to new heights.  Liane Jamason, formerly of Smith & Associates Real Estate, will serve as broker of record at DWELL’s St. Pete office, which will be co-owned by her and our Sarasota DWELL owner/broker Marc Rasmussen. Liane is a leading St. Pete realtor who generated $24 million in sales volume in 2018. “Liane has been a valuable resource for over a decade when I needed assistance in the Pinellas and Hillsborough county real estate markets,” Rasmussen shared in a recent press release. “I have always admired her ingenuity, values, professionalism and commitment to her clients. It is exciting to be partnering up with her to provide our clients a better real estate experience as well as the opportunity to grow DWELL’s brand in those markets.” "Marc has built an incredible luxury brand in Sarasota with DWELL,” Jamason shared in the same press release. “For the last decade or so, Marc and I have been colleagues who consulted with one another on real estate technology and best practices in real estate. I'm thrilled that the opportunity to partner presented itself to bring the DWELL brand to St. Petersburg.” Welcome to the DWELL Real Estate family, Liane  DWELL’s St. Pete office is located at 360 Central Ave., Suite 800 in Downtown St. Pete.
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Sarasota ranks as one of the top places to live in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Florida city, according to a new list compiled by U.S. News & World Report. The publication ranked the 125 largest metropolitan areas and found that life’s good in Sarasota, placing the city at No. 18 overall and ahead of every other city in the Sunshine State. Austin was ranked at No. 1. U.S. News considered five main indexes (and graded them on a 10-point scale) in compiling the list: desirability, value, job market, quality of life and net migration. Sarasota earned a score of 7.0, with a quality of life score of 7.4 and a value score of 5.7. The publication cited Sarasota’s warm temperatures, “year-round, award-winning beaches and a thriving arts and cultural scene.” It also says Sarasota is struggling to keep up with infrastructure needs as the population grows. The area “offers a sizeable job market for those working in health care, small business and tourism.” U.S. News puts Sarasota at No. 3 in its list of best places to retire. The other Florida cities that made the list: Melbourne, No. 25; Fort Myers, No. 35; Pensacola, No. 37; Jacksonville, No. 42; Tampa, No. 56; Lakeland, No. 59; Orlando, No. 63; Port St. Lucie, No. 78; Daytona Beach, No. 99; and Miami, No. 113.   Original Article Published by: Sarasota Herald Tribune  
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  We often get asked the question from potential buyers, "What will my property taxes be if I buy this property?" Many Realtors will say that a good rule of thumb in estimating Sarasota property taxes is 1.0-1.5 of the value of the property.  Is this true? If you visit the Sarasota County Property Appraiser website regarding estimating Sarasota property taxes it states: While we would like to provide a tax estimate that is meaningful, future taxes cannot be calculated due to a multitude of variables, many of which will not be determined until Notices of Proposed Taxes and Proposed or Adopted Non-Ad Valorem Assessments form (TRIM Notice) are mailed in August. The best estimate of taxes available is the current amount reflected on the Tax Collector's website, http://www.sarasotataxcollector.com/. If you recently purchased a property or are in the process of purchasing a property, please note that all existing exemptions, caps and discounts that are on the property from the previous owner will be removed and the assessed value will be returned to market value. WHY ESTIMATING TAXES CAN BE DIFFICULT With the passage of Save Our Homes Amendment (3 assessment increase on homesteaded property) and more recently Amendment One (10 assessment cap on non-homesteaded property), the formula for estimating taxes has become much more complicated in recent years. Information that needs to be considered when estimating taxes since the passage of the amendments includes but is not limited to: Location of the property Taxable value of the property Taxing district millage rate to apply in the calculation What effect has the market had on the property? Whether owner(s) benefit from any exemptions and/or discounts and how these are applied Whether the owner(s) have or will be transferring any Save Our Homes cap value Various factors must be considered when estimating taxes, making the calculations different for each specific scenario. As stated above, future taxes cannot be calculated due to a multitude of variables, many of which will not be determined until Notices of Proposed Taxes and Proposed or Adopted Non-Ad Valorem Assessments form (TRIM Notice) are mailed in August. We encourage all property owners to read their TRIM Notice carefully and to contact us with any questions. Basically, Sarasota county is saying that it is difficult (and risky) for them to estimate taxes and that you should estimate based on the last year's taxes minus any exemptions the homeowner may have had.  Is 1.0-1.5 a Good Rule of Thumb? I decided to do a little test to see if this rule of thumb was still good. I downloaded a sample of sales that occurred in January and February of 2018 in Sarasota county. My sample size was 646 homesteaded and non-homesteaded properties with prices ranging from $107,000 to $4,250,000. I then compared these sales prices to their most recent tax bill. When you mash all of these properties together and average their tax liability in comparison to their sales price it came to: 1.13 So, given the variables above it does appear that 1.0-1.5 is still a good rule of thumb when estimating Sarasota county property taxes.  Just for kicks I broke it down even further by price range.    Sales Price       Avg Property Taxes/Sales Price          Average Property Taxes $100,000 - $199,999 1.27 $1,992 $200,000 - $299,999 1.14 $2,799 $300,000 - $399,999  1.10 $3,823 $400,000 - $499,999 1.08 $4,822 $500,000 - $599,999 1.15 $6,233 $600,000 - $699,999   1.02 $6,591 $700,000 - $799,999 1.05 $7,693 $800,000 - $899,999 1.25 $10,674 $900,000 - $999,999 1.12 $10,664 $1m - $2m 1.03 $14,089 $2m-$3m 1.08 $26,794 $3m-$4m 1.22 $41,872 $4m+ .92 $38,932   I hope you found the above information helpful. Remember, we are using these estimates as a "rule of thumb". Which is defined as "a broadly accurate guide or principle, based on experience or practice rather than theory." If you are looking to purchase please do your homework when estimating Sarasota property taxes.  If we can help you buy or sell a property please feel free to contact us.       

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