A Change of Seasons

PiggyBank_90598009In yet another slap in the face from the winter season that just wouldn’t quit, a spring snow storm tore across the U.S. on April 15th, just as taxpayers were racing to settle-up with Uncle Sam as the final moments of tax season ticked down.  Presumably, neither season will be recalled with unmitigated joy by those who experienced the harshest effects of each.   That is unless you live in Florida, where both seasons are among the gentlest of their type in the nation. 

Weather-wise, Southwest Florida enjoys an average high of 75 degrees between December and April.  The average low is 56 degrees and the average monthly precipitation is a scant 2.8 inches.  This adds up to precious few winter days that can’t be spent enjoying your favorite warm weather pastimes with virtually no threat of rain.

A Favorable Tax Climate
Although most people are aware that moving to Florida establishes a safe distance between you and the worst winter tricks Mother Nature has up her sleeve, what is less well known is that residents of Florida also enjoy an especially favorable tax climate. (more…)

The Single Best Source for Understanding the Luxury Real Estate Market

You'll see this Gulf-front Siesta Key home for sale featured on page 22.

You’ll see this Gulf-front Siesta Key home for sale featured on page 22.

Every year our affiliate Christie’s International Real Estate publishes a compendium of research and commentary into the world of Luxury Real Estate. Using their position as the world’s leading luxury residential network, combined with the collective knowledge of its 139 affiliated brokerages in 45 countries, Christie’s compiled this essential annual report.  Called “Luxury Defined”, it offers insights into the buying behaviors, preferences, and demographics of wealthy individuals buying remarkable homes.

We at Michael Saunders & Company are pleased to share their findings. Among its pages, you’ll learn:

  • Luxury property sales volumes exploded in 2013 fueled by the surge in sales from local buyers, millennial buyers, and overseas buyers.
  • Luxury home markets in urban centers have rebounded the strongest, although prized resort areas have begun to see effects of the luxury residential market’s recovery.
  • What it means that Sarasota is considered a “Jewel Box Market” (see page 17). (more…)
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23 About Me: Gone Fishin’ with Dennis Dahm

23LogoHe likes homemade biscuits, boating, and Boca Grande. The latest interviewee for our continuing blog series, 23 About Me, is the Director of Michael Saunders & Company’s Commercial Group, Dennis Dahm.  

With the company for over twenty years, read on to learn about his passion for being on the water, what instrument he could use some practice with, and “why good things come to those who bait”.

Choose one: country estate, city penthouse or beachfront living?
Beachfront living. I am a true water person…Scorpio.

What is your favorite ice cream?
All of the above! If I can only select one I would start with chocolate. (more…)

April Festivals: Dragons, Banjos, and Sharks, Oh My!

There’s something enchanting about the month of April. Perhaps it’s the beautiful weather, the blossoming flowers, or the scent of summer in the breeze.  Whatever the case may be, April is a busy month. Every weekend on the Gulf Coast is filled with events and celebrations of our sun-filled lifestyle. Here’s a list of this month’s festivals that are not to be missed!

Head to Englewood for a fast-paced weekend. Photo courtesy chsbgp.com

Head to Englewood for a fast-paced weekend. Photo courtesy chsbgp.com

Sarasota Film Festival: April 4 – 13
Now in its 16th year, the Sarasota Film Festival is the ultimate Sarasota experience for viewing independent films, partying all night long in cinematic style, or rubbing elbows with visiting celebrities. We offer some advice on what to see and do on this saundersblog article or visit the Sarasota Film Festival to learn more. (more…)

Spring Fever

Jacaranda_ss_63384415Everywhere you look, spring has sprung throughout Southwest Florida.  From the vibrantly-colored Royal Poinciana and Jacaranda Trees—to the intoxicating fragrance of orange blossoms on the breeze—Mother Nature always seems to save her best handiwork for the Sunshine State.

As everyone who lives in Florida full time knows, there are several other undeniable signs of spring far less rooted in nature.  Traffic thins, parking spaces become available when and where you need them; and fully-engorged car carriers are transporting their cargo back north.  Soon you will be able to slip back into your favorite restaurant without a reservation and be greeted like a long lost friend.

Our Most Active Home Selling Season
The conclusion of Southwest Florida’s busiest season, however, in no way spells a slowdown for home sales throughout the region.  Unlike tourism, our local housing market experiences no seasonal lull between the end of winter and beginning of summer.  In fact, just the opposite is true.  Spring is our most active home selling season of the year—and by a very sizeable margin. (more…)

Starlit Sarasota: The 2014 Sarasota Film Festival

Photo courtesy visitsarasotaarts.org

Photo courtesy VisitSarasotaArts.org

Every year since 1999, Sarasota has rolled out the palm tree-lined red carpet to welcome filmmakers, actors and movie industry aficionados to the Sarasota Film Festival. Now in its 16th year, the Festival kicked off last Friday, April 4, and runs through April 13. An electric celebration of the art of film making, you can expect an impressive lineup of more than 180 films, including features, documentaries, shorts and kid-friendly picks. (more…)

Seafood Ahoy: The 2014 De Soto Seafood Fest is This Weekend!

This Friday, April 4, marks the beginning of the 2014 De Soto Seafood Festival. A much anticipated and highly popular family attraction, the three-day event celebrates all things seafood – along with live music, craft vendors and exciting activities.

The Seafood Festival is a long-standing tradition that began in 1984 as the primary fundraiser for the Hernando de Soto Historical Society. Since then, it has become a beloved event – serving up delicious seafood to thousands of Manatee residents and visitors alike. (more…)

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11 Homes Equally Modern and Magnificent

For anyone attracted to clean lines and an unembellished aesthetic, the Gulf Coast has a clear history of embracing modern design. The Sarasota School of Architecture is a movement that began here in the 1950’s resulting in highly innovative modern homes within the Sarasota area.  

Today, the tradition lives on in a new breed of architects and practitioners who use clarity of form and simplicity of structure to form the ultimate sensory experience of space, material, and light.

These ten Sarasota homes for sale (and one for rent) demonstrate a range of contemporary designs illustrating a variety of different journeys, different spaces, and different ways of living.

413 S Blvd of Presidents, Lido Key413-S-Blvd-Of-Presidents---32---A3994759_32

(more…)

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Appreciating Home Prices

Homebuyer_112631996Like many potential buyers and sellers, if you find yourself puzzled by where home prices are going, you are not alone.  In addition to overall U.S. economic conditions, so many uniquely local variables influence home prices that even the most seasoned housing experts seldom agree on how much—or how little—prices are expected to rise over the next five years.

Heightened Demand
On one important indicator, however, there is agreement.  The ever-quickening economic recovery is leading to significant levels of job creation; and thus to a major resumption in new household formations that had largely been put on hold during the recession.  In other words, today’s high levels of housing demand are expected to continue.

With these newly-formed households and first-time home buyers having to compete with large investors and other buyers amid steep declines in housing inventories, home prices have generally risen across the country.   Moreover in popular resort and retirement-friendly destinations such as ours, international buyers and retiring Baby Boomers are exerting that much more upward pressure on prices.   The upper end of the market both here and around the world—excluding such large international hubs as New York City and London—have been the slowest to recover. (more…)

The MSC Foundation: Delivering Dreams

Photo courtesy boysandgirlsclubs.com

Photo courtesy boysandgirlsclubs.com

We believe the Gulf Coast is an exceptional place and are committed to improving the lives in the communities we serve. With every real estate transaction, many of our Michael Saunders & Company agents elect to make a contribution to the MSC Foundation. The MSC staff can also elect to give a percentage of their paycheck or a one-time donation. From those individual efforts, a collection of funds grow until all contributions add up to an impressive figure. In the last two years, nearly $100,000 has been raised.

Backed by an MSC Realtor, non-profit organizations within our region have the opportunity to request a grant. Twice a year the Foundation Board meets and – based on a wide range of criteria – determines which organizations will receive a grant and the amount.

To date, over 55 non-profits have benefited from the Foundation. Many of which have received multiple grants. Here is a look at two of those organizations – Foundation for Dreams, Inc. and Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota County. (more…)

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