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…)

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…)

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

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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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Sparkling for Spring – Top 10 Tips for Spring Cleaning

Depositphotos_42756213_xsAlong with the blooming flowers, balmy afternoons and sweetly singing birds, the changing of seasons ushers in what many consider to be the perfect time to rid their homes of the winter blues. While admittedly, we don’t really have much of a case for the blues here on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Spring cleaning is a tradition that allows us to spruce things up and get a head start on summer. Here are the top 10 tips for tackling your spring cleaning:

1. Planning is everything – Cleaning your house thoroughly and adequately may take more time than you think. Decide if you would rather devote a full day or weekend to the task, or to spend an hour or so each day until it is done, then pick a time that suits your schedule. You don’t want to burn yourself out or give up before finishing your project.

2. Donations welcome – Letting go can be hard – but don’t hold on to items you no longer want or need. Plan a garage sale, sell them on eBay, offer them to friends or family members, or donate them to charity. Different charities will accept donations of nearly everything to be sold for fundraising or given to someone in need. (more…)

Off the Beaten Path: A Tea Party at The Sarasota Tea House

Tucked away amid a sprinkling of brightly colored cottage-like boutiques and cafes, you will find The Tea House. This treasure-trove of tea first appeared on the Sarasota scene in the fall of 2013, and has been filling dainty cups with an astounding variety of the fragrant beverage ever since.

A whimsical country garden setting – complete with hanging ceramic teapots, flashes of paradise pink hibiscus and a collection of vivid wrought iron furniture – immediately transports you away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.

photo 2 (more…)

Christie’s International Real Estate Delights in a Trip to Our Gulf Coast

Our worldwide luxury affiliate, Christie’s International Real Estate, paid a visit to Michael Saunders & Company this month.  Rick Moeser, Senior Vice President and Southeast Regional Manager, spent several days meeting with our agents and managers while also previewing some of our finest Manatee, Charlotte, and Sarasota homes for sale.

With over $100 billion in collective real estate sales worldwide, Christie’s draws upon their success as one of the world’s oldest art auction houses to market high end properties to the most discerning of clientele. As the representative for Christie’s southeast region, covering the Caribbean, Latin America, and other parts of Florida, Rick is able to use this marketing powerhouse to expose our region’s properties on a global level.

“The Gulf Coast stands out because of the variety you can find from Boca Grande to Bradenton,” Rick expressed. “And when compared to Palm Beach and Miami, the Sarasota area still demonstrates really good value.” (more…)

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