From Contract to Closing, What Happens Next?

Inspectors_141345433After hours of browsing online, a month of Sundays spent touring open houses; and numerous appointments to preview your pared-down list of properties, you’ve made an offer and had it accepted.   Already pre-approved for a mortgage, and with a signed contract in hand, you breathe a deep sigh of relief as your mind flashes blissfully forward to the day when you finally take possession of your long-awaited dream home.

Waiting to Pop the Champagne
The key word here is “when.”  For even though a signed contract helps clear a path to move-in day, there is quite a bit more that must be done before the property is finally yours.  Think of it as halftime at the Super Bowl with your team in a comfortable lead.   Things definitely look good, but you still have another half to play before you can collect the trophy.  So keep the champagne on ice while you pursue all the steps necessary to assure a successful closing.  Your bottle of the bubbly will taste that much sweeter for the effort. (more…)

11 Ways to Spend Your Labor Day Weekend

In most places across the United States, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of a short-lived summer. Here on Florida’s Gulf Coast, it means there are just a few more weeks of balmy 90 degree temperatures before the climate cools to the luxurious 70′s. Nevertheless, we don’t need an excuse to fire up the grill, take a dip in the pool and enjoy a fabulous event or two – so we have rounded up 11 of the best ways to spend your Labor Day weekend in Sarasota and beyond:

Reel in the Catch of the Day
Florida’s Gulf Coast is renowned as a fisherman’s paradise. You’ll find a plethora of locations to cast your line on the Gulf, Bays and Intracoastal Waterway, filled with a variety of fish – from snook to snapper. This Labor Day weekend, consider picking a spot along the Venice Jetty, where you’ll often find some competition for the catch of the day in the form of playful dolphins. Be sure to obtain a fishing license before angling in the area – visit HERE to find out how.

fishing_boat_sunset

Local fishermen reel in the last catch on the Gulf.

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August New Homes Update

Record levels of buying have led to a persistent shortage of available properties in our lifestyle-rich region.  Thus the option to buy new is well worth considering—especially if you’ve ever pictured yourself living in a new home or condominium.

The New Homes & Condominium Division of Michael Saunders & Company represents a broad spectrum of the region’s newest and finest lifestyle communities, with housing options that truly run the gamut. Here is a sampling of the choices now available:

Infinity

infinity-balconyCoastal contemporary is also the design aesthetic at Infinity, the new luxury condominium that will occupy one of the last stretches of prime beachfront on Longboat Key.  Four of Infinity’s 11 residences are already under contract; with seven more available. Each offers a coastal lifestyle of extraordinary luxury, with large open floor plans, smart home technology; and floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize your views of the Gulf and bay. (more…)

5 Reasons Why MS&C Agents are Awesome

We are so used to go-go-going everyday that sometimes it can be wise to pause, take a deep breath, and recognize what makes a person exceptional.

At Michael Saunders & Company, we pride ourselves on having some of the finest real estate agents in the business. So, to our agents, in recognition of your tireless efforts on behalf of your customers and the community, here is a video from our latest All Company Meeting and five reasons why we love who you are and what you do!

1. A passionate desire to make a difference in the world you touch
From finding the perfect home for your customer to contributing to the MSC Foundation, there’s no denying your actions affect the lives of those in our community. (more…)

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How I Would Live My Life at Island Court Venice (and What I’d Eat)

DaleAnn Clancy Photography

DaleAnn Clancy Photography

I love the urban lifestyle. It’s all about convenience, spontaneity, partaking in cultural pleasures, delicious dinners, and being part of a live/work/play community.

Central to this vibrant way of life, a new development has broken ground and is poised to take advantage of one of the most beautiful walkable neighborhoods on the Gulf Coast, Venice Island.  Called Island Court Venice, this new construction project is perhaps the first of its kind to appear in Venice in over a decade. (more…)

Tax-Free Weekend: 6 Tips for Smart Shoppers

Students Running
With school almost back in session, this weekend marks the return of Florida’s tax-free holiday. From August 1-3, shoppers will save on school supplies, clothing and some electronics, and with the array of retail options throughout Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties, you’ll be top of the class in no time! Here’s what you need to know to make the most of this 72-hour shopping extravaganza:

Study in Style – This year, you won’t pay sales tax on clothing up to $100 per item. Get some fashionable inspiration before you shop and check out style blogs – some of my personal favorites are Lauren Conrad, The Londoner and Style Confessional. (more…)

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1 Boat and 4 Islands in 8 Hours: Part Three – Palm Island

DSC_2462Now onto part three of my Florida island hopping adventure.

The day began almost seven hours earlier at the Cape Haze Marina where I departed with my friends from the Freedom Boat Club on a quick voyage to Useppa Island (read the first blog here). Then, we trekked to Boca Grande for lunch before being “castaway” on Little Gasparilla Island (read the second blog here).

Now, we finish out the day exploring the canals, streets, and sands of Palm Island. (more…)

Retail Update

A rendering of The Mall at University Town Center - Sarasota, FL

A rendering of The Mall at University Town Center – Sarasota, FL

“Look at your shopping centers.  Are they going down?  Or coming back?”

With this simple query, Todd Mathes—the director of development for Benderson Development—prefaced his recent update on the retail market in Sarasota-Manatee before an audience of over 200 agents from Michael Saunders & Company.

Everyone already knew the answer, of course. For not only has the region’s explosion of new, high-quality retail been the subject of countless updates in the news media, but is also being observed closely by some of the biggest names in international luxury retailing and commercial development.

The Mall at University Town Center
Nearly all of this interest has something to do with the imminent debut of the Mall at University Town Center, Benderson Development’s latest contribution to Sarasota’s growing reputation as the best place to live, work, play—and now shop—in the State of Florida.  The mall, whose grand opening is on the calendar for October 16, is the only enclosed mall being built in the United States this year.  Moreover, its stores are being populated by some of the most sought-after names in luxury retailing and fine dining.  Indeed, The Wall Street Journal noted that Taubman Centers Inc., co-developer of the new mall, is doing “something that is rarely seen these days in the retail world: opening a new regional mall.”

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1 Boat and 4 Islands in 8 Hours: Part Two – Boca Grande to Little Gasparilla

DSC_2583_BocaGrande_Premier

Photos by Premier Photographic Events

In my last blog post, you read about the start of my island hopping adventure with the Freedom Boat Club. We began our day at the Cape Haze Marina and voyaged to a very enchanting Useppa Island. Now, we continue the journey on to two nearby barrier islands.

Beloved Boca Grande
Within fifteen minutes of our departure from Useppa, we were floating through the captivating canals of Boca Grande, the charming community on Gasparilla Island. (more…)

The Faces of the MSC Foundation’s Mid-year Grant Giving Ceremony

All images by InstudioEphoto.

The MSC Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Michael Saunders and Company, held its mid-year grant giving ceremony on Thursday, July 17th at the company’s Lakewood Ranch location. During a period of giving from January to June 2014, MSC agents and staff raised a total of $34,250 which was distributed among 33 local nonprofit organizations.

To help provide a glimpse into how deep these efforts reach, we have compiled some images and moments from Thursday’s ceremony (all images by InstudioEPhoto): (more…)

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