E. Scott Kuffer, Sarasota Realtor
When searching for Sarasota Real Estate you have many different communities and property types from which to choose. Sarasota is one of the early cities on the Gulf coast, dating back to when Spanish explorers recognized the area for its great climate and location on the Gulf, with a natural port and the abundant resources of Sarasota Bay.
As in most coastal towns, development began along the coast with some of the earliest communities being McClellan Park and Indian Beach among others. Many if not most of the homes along the bayfront have been updated or torn down and replaced by large elegant homes priced well into the millions.
Most downtown Sarasota real estate is luxury condominium properties in high rise buildings offering expansive views of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Residents are attracted by the vibrant downtown and the variety of great dining options as well as the renowned Sarasota Arts scene which includes the Symphony, Ballet, Orchestra, Performing Arts, etc. This is why Sarasota is called "The Cultural Coast".
The areas not dominated by high rises are mostly vintage homes from the early 1900's in Gillespie Park, Laurel Park, Burns Square and the Rosemary District. These areas have undergone a renaissance and homes have been restored with modern amenities but keeping the vintage look and appeal of the homes. Many artists, boutiques, restaurants, and professional offices have chosen these restored homes as their business locations.
When you hear the term "The Keys" you immediately think of Key West. But Sarasota is blessed with its own Keys, or barrier islands on the Gulf or Bay. Real Estate on Sarasota's Keys can be very expensive as these are some of the most desireable locations in all of Florida.
The most well known, Siesta Key is home to Siesta Key Beach, a consistent winner of Best Beaches awards for its soft white powdery sand. Siesta Village is a popular night spot with lots of restaurants and bars . There are many condominium properties on Siesta Key, but also lots of single family homes as well, some on canals or the Intracoastal waterway allowing boat owners to have their boat on their own dock.
Just over the bridge from downtown, Bird Key is located in Sarasota Bay and features elegant homes, many of which have waterfront access and views. It is also a very short drive to Lido Key and St. Armands Circle, an upscale shopping and dining destination. Several celebrities live on Bird Key but we respect their privacy!
Opened to auto traffic in 1926, Lido Key has a great beach and park and is also home to the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, a popular attraction for visitors. Mote also is involved in the research into Red Tide, an algae that occasionally occurs in the Gulf of Mexico.
Shared between Sarasota and Manatee County, Longboat Key is dominated by condominiums along the Gulf side with private homes on the Bay side. Many of these homes offer docks and water access.
The area known today as Sarasota first appeared on a sheepskin Spanish map from 1763 with the word Zarazote over present day Sarasota and Bradenton. Around 1883 to 1885, The Florida Mortgage And Investment Company Of Edinburgh bought 60,000 acres for development in what is now the City of Sarasota. Many Scottish people began to arrive in Sarasota in December 1885. The municipal government of Sarasota was established when it was incorporated as a town in 1902. Bertha Honoré Palmer was the region's largest landholder, rancher, and developer around the start of the twentieth century, where she purchased more than 90,000 acres (360 km2) of property. Many parts of the city are named after prominent early settlers including Gillespie, Owens, Whitaker, Edwards, Burns among others. Around 1911 the Ringling's chose Sarasota as their winter home and soon consolidated their circus empire to Sarasota. Ringling was also instumental in bringing Spring Training Baseball to Sarasota and soon many wealthy familes from up north were attracted to the beauty of Sarasota as well.
Sarasota has a humid subtropical climate closely bordering a tropical monsoon climate, with hot, humid summers, and warm, dry winters. There are distinct rainy and dry seasons, with the rainy season lasting from June to September, and the dry season from October to May. The most recent officially recorded freezes in Sarasota took place on January 18, 2018, when the temperature dropped to 30 °F (−1 °C) at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. However, Sarasota averages less than one frost annually.
Sarasota is famous for it's powdery white sand beaches, and Siesta Key Beach has won "Best Beach in USA" awards multiple times. Lido Beach on Lido Key is a great beach as well. On the south end of Siesta Key you will find Turtle Beach Park offering 2600' of white sand on the Gulf as well as a kayak and canoe launch on the intracoastal, playground, and camping facilities right on the beach.
Finding a Sarasota home that fits your taste, lifestyle, and budget is easy as there is a great variety of home types and styles to choose from. High rise modern condominiums, multi million dollar estates either on or off the water, restored vintage cottage and bungalow style homes, newer gated communities, and golfing communities. If you look east of I-75 you will find large equestrian properties in a more rural environment.
While Sarasota is know as "The Cultural Coast" for it's Arts, Music, and Performing Arts venues, it is also reknowned for it's excellent dining scene. The downtown area is home to many restaurants and cafes offering foods from all over the world. Popular locations include The Bijou Cafe, Caragiulos (Italian), C'est Le Vie (French) among many others. On St. Armand's Circle you will find the Columbia Restaurant. Opened in 1959 Columbia serves up authentic Cuban and Spanish recipes with both indoor and outdoor dining. If you're looking for the freshest Gulf fish and seafood, don't miss Walt's Fish Market where you can dine in the restaurant, or buy a wide selection of the freshest seafood and cook it yourself at home!
If you would like more information about Sarasota Real Estate, I am always available to answer any questions you may have so contact me today.
In a competetive Sarasota Real Estate market can I successfully buy a new Sarasota home from a builder? Yes you can but you need to know how! Here are some tips to help you buy a New Sarasota Home.
Let's face it- the Sarasota Real Estate market is a Seller's market and resale Sarasota homes are going under contract in a few days and usually for full list price or more. But buying a New Construction home from a builder may be a great option, but you need to know how. In the past a potential buyer would visit the community, tour the model homes, select a floorplan and then choose a homesite suitable for the floorplan. There would be multiple homesites to choose from at a variety of price points depending on size, view etc. And you could negotiate the price. Now the builders have adopted the practice of "releasing" a very limited number of homesites and pricing them with a "suggested price" and then offering them to buyers in a "highest and best price" auction. The builder then selects the best offer (always over the suggested price) and the winning bidder gets to buy a home on that homesite. Some builders are just building a limited number of homes on selected homesites and offering them as a package to the "highest and best offer". To compete in this market you need to follow these steps:
There are definitely advantages to buying a Sarasota New Construction home including locking in the purchase price upfront. The builders are raising the home prices every 30 to 60 days so you are already making a profit during the 9 months or so of construction. Other than making a deposit on the home, you are not paying for the home until completion and closing. You also get to choose the options and finishes that YOU want in the home. One buyer I am working with went under contract on a New Sarasota Home in June 2021 and the same model is now selling for $25,000 more
If you would like more information about buying a New Sarasota Home, I am always available to answer any questions you may have so contact me today.
Purchasing a foreclosure property is a great opportunity to own a home at an extremely affordable price. While many people successfully buy foreclosed homes and are happy with their decision, before making this large financial commitment, it’s a good idea to understand what you might be walking into—before you buy.
In many foreclosure situations, a home is left in poor condition. If the homeowner couldn’t keep up on their mortgage payments, there is a high probability they’ve neglected general upkeep and maintenance too. Common problems associated with foreclosed properties include:
When a Sarasota home is left empty for a prolonged period of time, unfortunately, vandals or squatters sometimes identify these homes and enter them illegally. Problems to consider include:
Even if no disrepair or vandalism is present and the home looks to be a good investment, it’s a smart financial strategy to tally up the general costs of any repairs and cleaning needed to see if these expenses outweigh any savings.
For instance, if a prolonged leaky roof created a serious mold situation or structural problems, you could be talking about thousands of dollars for the cleanup and repair alone. Any major repairs necessary to get the home up to living conditions may not be worth the investment, especially when you add in other minor repairs or desired cosmetic work.
In foreclosed homes, lenders sometimes won’t want to give a mortgage to borrowers looking to purchase what they deem as a risky property. They’ll look at appraisals and, if it falls below the purchase price, they may deny you a mortgage. You also might encounter problems with the bank (or lender) currently in possession of the house.
Always do your homework. Understanding the pitfalls associated with buying a foreclosed home will help you to make an educated decision. Hire a qualified inspector to carefully comb through the home and talk to neighbors about the house’s history. Once you gather solid information, you can better determine if purchasing a foreclosure is a smart investment.
Sarasota Real Estate Market Update for last 30 days.
Median List Price: $529,900
Median Sale Price: $359,900
Homes For Sale: 843
Homes Sold: 803
Days on Market: 103