on February 26, 2014
If children are our future, then the basic underpinning of a forward-thinking community is the depth of its commitment to maintaining superior public schools.
Benefits to our Children and Community
On Tuesday March 25th, the voters of Sarasota County are being asked to reaffirm the proactive approach to better schools they resoundingly opted for a dozen years ago. In 2002, voters in a landslide said “yes” to a 1-mill property tax assessment for supplemental public school funding. Today, Sarasota County is not only an “A” school district; but also one of only five of Florida’s 67 districts to earn a perfect grade in 2013.
In the upcoming referendum, county voters are being asked to approve a continuation of the 1-mill property tax assessment they first ratified in 2002; then overwhelming re-approved in both 2006 and 2010. (more…)
on March 4, 2014
For many, St. Armands Circle is the center of Sarasota.
I spoke with Kathleen Hurley, a Midwest native, who used to vacation on this barrier island on the coast of Sarasota as a young child. In her adult years, she came back to town and grew very confused when she discovered there was a bridge to the mainland…and a place called Sarasota.
“I remember walking hand in hand with my grandfather to get ice cream cones at Big Olaf,” Hurley shared. “We had a favorite spot for lobsters and celebrations, and Charlie’s Crab (now Crab & Fin) meant I got to personally choose my grandmother’s dress and accessories for the evening, which was one of our favorite things to do together, well that and endless gin rummy when it rained.” (more…)
on February 27, 2014
The 86th Oscars are just a few days away, and that means show stopping gowns, $55,000 dollar gift bags and a star studded red carpet. But behind all the glitz and glamour, it’s really about Hollywood’s finest coming together to honor their achievements in the film industry.
Here at Michael Saunders & Company, we are also thrilled to recognize the accomplishments of our outstanding agents, who in 2013 proved once again that they are the best in the business. At the very top of this list of remarkable Realtors:
2013 Company-Wide Top Producer – Maureen Horn
2013 Company-Wide Top Team – Ian Addy & Gail Wittig
2013 Top New Team – Linda Roe Dickinson & Kelly Quigley (more…)
on February 25, 2014
In January 2014, the MSC Foundation convened for a grant giving ceremony honoring twenty-seven local organizations whose dedication and hard work contribute to making the Gulf Coast a better community for those who live here.
At that time, we wanted to delve a little deeper and find out how the efforts of our Michael Saunders & Company agents and staff directly affect certain organizations and individuals. We took the opportunity to interview three grant recipients and Foundation contributors. Watch this video to learn more about the Foundation’s mission and how grant money positively impacts those at Just for Girls, the Charlotte Local Education Foundation, and Habitat for Humanity Sarasota.
Then, as we continue our organization spotlight each month, we’re featuring ITN Sarasota and The Players Inc. – who were also recipients at the January grant giving ceremony. (more…)
on February 21, 2014
It may be February but on the Gulf Coast it feels as though spring has arrived! The mild temperatures and blue skies seem to be begging us to step outdoors, take a deep breath, and climb a tree (well, maybe not the tree part).
Still, in honor of such beautiful weather, we thought it would be fun to share several Manatee, Charlotte and Sarasota homes for sale where Mother Nature is just a step (or a climb) away. (more…)
on February 14, 2014
It’s no coincidence that Venice, Florida shares its name with the legendary City of Canals. In the late 1800’s a prominent Gulf Coast pioneer, Frank Higel, suggested the name “Venice” because he was moved by the scenic bayous, creeks, and canals leading out to the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The name, Venice, was accepted by the state and with that moniker, numerous visionaries dreamed of forming an idyllic city inspired by its namesake.
Today, their designs for a signature city have left their mark. Venice, Florida is now a flourishing, picturesque destination – with clear illustrations of its Italian muse. And while it would be a stretch to compare the two cities in certain aspects, Venice, Florida has also had its own story; the lovely Gulf Coast locale embodies a unique character and charm balanced with the comfort and convenience of a Florida lifestyle.
Here are five examples of why Venice is like…Venice. (more…)
on February 12, 2014
One of the most eagerly-awaited trends in the region’s real estate market appears to finally be taking hold. For the past six months, the overall inventory of properties for sale throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties has risen steadily; providing a good measure of relief from the acute shortage that has stymied buyers for nearly two years.
A Rising Inventory
During the final six months of 2013, the combined inventory of residential properties across all price ranges grew considerably compared with the same six months of 2012. Including re-sales and new construction, it rose by 37% in Sarasota County and by 30% in Manatee County. Moreover, the trend continued into the New Year with January 2014’s inventory up 16.5% over last January.
This should come as a relief for both buyers and sellers. With each new month, recovering home prices are empowering more “underwater” sellers to list their properties—without the fear of having to bring additional funds to the table when the transaction closes.
Buyers should also cheer the news. Rising home values notwithstanding, the median price currently being paid for properties throughout the region is more in line with what it was ten years ago before the housing bubble sent prices soaring to unsustainable levels. So in addition to a broader array of choices, today’s buyers are still in line for tremendous values. (more…)
on February 7, 2014
When I first discovered Towles Court in Sarasota it was very much by accident. This lovely artist colony is kind of like Narnia – an enchanting destination that you wouldn’t even know existed unless you happened to stumble upon it. In fact, even once you know it’s there, it can be hard to replicate your journey and find it once more.
Towles Court is a surprising and delightful destination in Sarasota. All photography by Cliff Roles.
However, once you set eyes upon this historic enclave of bungalows and cottages you may become seduced by its bohemian charm, creativity, and imagination. (more…)
on February 7, 2014
All great stories of romance have one thing in common, and that is an unforgettable setting. From the breathtaking beauty of Tara Plantation in Gone with the Wind, to the graceful balcony beneath which Romeo professed his love for Juliet, iconic backdrops have inspired tales of romance for centuries.
Florida’s Gulf Coast, with its delicately swaying palms, soothing Bay breezes and sun swept beaches, could easily provide the romantic locale for such tales of passion. And with Valentine’s Day just one week away (in case you need reminding), we thought it the perfect time to take a look at a few Charlotte, Manatee and Sarasota homes for sale with settings to swoon over: (more…)
on January 30, 2014
Anna Maria Island is as easy-going as a woven hammock swaying gently in the tropical breeze. Many people are drawn to Sarasota, Manatee, or Charlotte County for our beaches and sunny blue skies, but only on Anna Maria Island do you truly get the sense that you are away from it all.
Endless white sand beaches mix with “old Florida” charm and quaint mom and pop shops. A day on the island will have you soaking in the sun, spending time with family, perhaps visiting an old fashioned ice cream shop, and “accidentally” leaving your cell phone at home. Anna Maria Island is where you go when you want the hectic world to disappear beyond the horizon and it’s just you and the rhythmic sound of the waves.
Geographically, you’ll find this seven mile barrier island on the coast of Manatee County in between the Gulf of Mexico and Anna Maria Sound. It is divided into three cities, Bradenton Beach in the south, Holmes Beach in the middle, and Anna Maria in the north. Each village has its own eclectic character.
Central to the island is a gulf-front landmark known as the Mainsail Beach Inn. The 12-unit vacation resort offers five exclusive residences for sale which provide the privileges of condo ownership with the benefit of hotel concierge services and the flexibility of an income producing rental program. (more…)