A Mission of Caring

shutterstock_115303960Led by headline-grabbing improvements in each of its major sectors—including tourism, real estate, manufacturing and retail—2014 was nothing short of an exceptional year for the Southwest Florida economy.

The old saying “a rising tide lifts all boats” is often used to advance the notion that such marked improvements in the general economy will improve the lives of all who participate in it. While that is certainly true to a great extent, you only need to look beyond the headlines to see that pressing human need never takes a holiday.

Hunger, homelessness, lack of literacy, abuse, and veterans in need are among the serious challenges that persist even as the U.S. economy begins to flourish again.

Our part of Florida’s Gulf Coast is well known for having a huge philanthropic heart; and we at Michael Saunders & Company are proud to be a part of its longstanding tradition of giving back. At the local, grass roots level, the company is grateful for the involvement of its agents, leadership team and staff in giving generously to the MSC Foundation. We are also grateful to our buyers and sellers without whom the foundation’s mission of caring simply wouldn’t be possible. (more…)

The Best Christmas Experience You’ve Never Heard Of

What do you get when you combine Charles Dickens, classic carols, Victorian costumes, colorful characters, and Christmas – all set on the captivating Bayfront estate of a bygone era?

The setting for "A Victorian Christmas at the Crosley"

The setting for “A Victorian Christmas at the Crosley”

Nestled just north of the Ringling Museum of Art on Sarasota Bay rests one of the Gulf Coast’s most precious jewels – The Powel Crosley Estate. The Mediterranean Revival-style mansion in Manatee County was built in 1929 by Powel Crosley for his wife, Gwendolyn. (more…)

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MSC Globetrotting: From the UK to the Emirates

Our homes for sale may be firmly planted on the Gulf Coast, but that doesn’t mean they don’t lead a jet setter lifestyle.

In addition to a website that has had over 15 million page views in the last year alone, Michael Saunders & Company listings are featured in international journals and publications read by buyers across the globe.

Here is a sampling of some recent articles:

Ohana – 6633 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key: The Telegraph

6633 Gulf of Mexico - Telegraph


 

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Promoting REALTOR® Safety in 2015

Lockbox_80997277Nothing pleases us more than to see the economy of Southwest Florida cooking on all four burners again. From retail and manufacturing to tourism and home sales, 2014 has been an exceptional year for each of the region’s major economic drivers.  Moreover, we suspect the sizzle will only intensify as another season of bitter cold and snow—amid drastically lowering gas prices and rising consumer confidence—conspire to bring winter-weary visitors here again in record numbers.

Personal Safety and Security
As our busiest season for home buying approaches, the agents of Michael Saunders & Company look forward to helping you claim your place in the Florida sun; and thus dig out once and for all from winter’s nastier surprises.  That being said, events of the recent past have provided a sobering reminder that real estate agents everywhere must begin the New Year by rededicating themselves to matters of personal safety and security during the daily discharge of their duties.

REALTORS® typically earn their living working solo, often escorting people they’ve only just met through properties that are vacant or temporarily unoccupied—and frequently on a moment’s notice.  Unfortunately, such circumstances often set them up as targets for criminal activity. This past summer, for example, an agent in Arkansas was reported missing after showing a rural home to someone whom hindsight shows had no intention of buying.  Days later, after she was found murdered, her accused killer freely admitted that he seized on the opportunity to attack the woman because he had no doubt she would be alone.

As season approaches and our market continues to attract buyers from all over the world, we have made refresher safety training a number one priority for each of our more than 600 agents.  Please help us succeed in this important endeavor by doing your part. (more…)

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Sell Your Home

Sold Home For Sale Real Estate SignSure, it’s easy to maintain the status quo, but in doing so you could be missing out on the perfect opportunity to make a better life for your family. Here are 5 reasons why now may be the best time to sell your home:

Less Competition
When you compare October 2014 with October 2013, the number of homes for sale in Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte County drops over 7%. (Source: Trendgraphix) There are currently far less homes for consumers to choose from which means yours is more likely to be seen.

Strong Demand
Interest in Gulf Coast area homes for sale remains strong. Despite a reduction in new listings, the number of showings is at the same level it was this time last year. This is a good indication that if you sell now at the right price, you are going to have offers. (more…)

5 Divine Dining Rooms Perfect for Thanksgiving

The dining room sets the stage for one of the most important family feasts of the year – Thanksgiving dinner. In honor of this special occasion, we rounded up five delectable dining rooms in luxury homes for sale that would provide the perfect venue for turkey day celebrations.

Festive Form & Function
Magnificent architecture frames the formal dining room of 1459 Bay Point Drive, where a stunning tray ceiling, handsome wine display and custom, handmade dining table are sure to impress your guests. The full butler’s kitchen makes serving a breeze.

1459 Bay Point Drive

1459 Bay Point Drive

1459 Bay Point Dr - A3987520_28

1459 Bay Point Drive

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8 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays Florida-Style

ss_230370172We may not get snow but that doesn’t mean Florida can’t be festive.  Take it from a girl who grew up here, there are still plenty of holiday traditions even if your hot chocolate is more of a wanting experience than a warming one.

Swap Snowmen for Sandcastles
What’s white, soft, plentiful and found on the ground?  No matter your backdrop for the holidays – be it sand or snow – it’s your experiences that matter most.  And from family gatherings on the beach to island-hopping Santas, Floridians know how to make lasting memories.

Festivities, firetrucks, and Feliz Navidad from Useppa Island.

Festivities, firetrucks, and Feliz Navidad from Useppa Island.

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Promoting the Art of Luxury Living on Florida’s Gulf Coast

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On November 12th, after the last gavel had fallen and a final tally was taken, $853 million dollars of fine art had been sold in a single night at Christie’s Fine Art Auction House in Manhattan.

“The Hottest Two Weeks Ever in Art History”
For the fourth consecutive time since May 2013 the renowned 248-year-old auction house had set a new single-sale record for post-war and contemporary art.  Additionally, the sale set 11 new world records; with three works selling for over $50 million, 23 more for over $10 million and 69 for over $1 million.  Top honors for the highest priced sale went to the late artist Andy Warhol for his 1963 painting of Elvis Presley.  Triple Elvis, as the work is entitled, sold for nearly $82 million.  Move over Mona Lisa, “The King” is in the house.

When all was said and done, the Christie’s sale represented nearly half of the $2 billion in fine art sold at various auctions throughout New York in what the Wall Street Journal called “the hottest two weeks ever in art history.”  Moreover, a buyer from the sale expressed that the quality of the art on the Christie’s auction block was particularly “epic.”

“Epic,” as it turns out, is a good word to describe the next high-profile event in the world of fine art.  Less than two weeks from now, the focus of international art collectors will shift from New York to Miami Beach where Art Miami will officially kick-off that city’s 25th edition of Art Week.  (more…)

Featured Property: A Country Story in Myakka River Trail

800 N River Rd_N5900194_02This Venice home for sale conjures the feeling of classic southern charm. One look at its Old Florida style and you’ll swear you are hearing the sound of a distant banjo, tasting an ice cold lemonade, and feeling a country breeze against your skin. (more…)

Weekend Forecast: Sandy with a Chance of Chalk

With a weather outlook of sunny skies and temperatures in the 70’s, we’d take any excuse to be outside this weekend. Lucky for us, there are two exceptional outdoor art and culture to choose from: the Sarasota Chalk Festival and the Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sandsculpting Competition.

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