And the Oscar for Best Tax Climate Goes to….

OscarAfter Sunday night’s Academy Awards, America’s annual season of awards begins to wind down. Naturally, these award shows remind us of all the “best of” accolades that have been regularly bestowed on our region by a number of media organizations.

Topping the List
To wit, Southwest Florida perennially tops just about any list of America’s best places to live, work, play, vacation, start a business, buy a home or retire.  Our beaches are repeatedly ranked among the most beautiful in the world, our public schools among the highest-rated academically in all of Florida; and our colleges and universities among the best in their respective disciplines.

Meanwhile, our cultural scene is continually lauded for its depth, variety and bold creative choices; while the region’s emerging reputation as an unparalleled venue for certain prestigious sporting events has spread to such an extent that it has been tapped to host several high-profile international competitions in the weeks and months ahead.

Even as this column is being written, Siesta Key’s public beach has just been named the best beach in America on’s  2015 Travelers’ Choice Awards.  And the accolades just keep on coming. (more…)

The Definitive Guide to Today’s Affluent Buyer and Seller

Michael Saunders & Company’s affiliate specializing in luxury real estate and the international market, Luxury Portfolio, has released their 2015 white paper examining the emerging class of the global affluent. The study takes an in depth look at consumers in the top 10% in a dozen countries spanning North American, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Click on this link to learn the latest trends, facts, and figures effecting the luxury real estate market(more…)

Casey Key: Beachfront and Boating Bliss

Casey Key has recently found its way into the national spotlight.  The Today Show ,, and other news sources have reported that Rosie O’Donnell, who is going through a divorce, is selling her luxurious island home.

703 Casey Key Rd, Nokomis, FL 34275 – MLS A4113565, Michael Saunders & Company

As one of the gems of our Gulf Coast, Casey Key rests alongside Nokomis, fifteen miles south of Sarasota. A barrier island, it has long maintained something of off-the-radar status. Its secluded, understated way of life has appealed to many affluent, private individuals – including celebrities.

The landmark and historic Blackburn Point Bridge offers a glimpse into the island’s low key lifestyle.



Siesta Key: Top Homes on the Top Ranked Beach

Trip Advisor has awarded the very best in travel destinations for 2015, and Siesta Beach was named the number one beach in the United States!

Siesta Beach - Trip Advisor's Top Beach in the United States, 2015 Travelors' Choice Awards

Siesta Beach – Trip Advisor’s Top Beach in the United States, 2015 Travelors’ Choice Awards

To celebrate this achievement, we wanted to share a selection of spectacular Siesta Key homes for sale – all of which are only moments away from white sands, warm waters, and stunning sunsets. (more…)

Vote for Venice: America’s Happiest Seaside Town

HappiestTownsLogo_final2015-2The authority in all things coastal has named Venice, Florida a finalist for “Happiest Seaside Town” in America. Coastal Living has rounded up the top ten seaside destinations that make you smile and while this moniker comes as no surprise for locals and all of us at Michael Saunders & Company, we are thrilled to see it recognized!

To determine the finalists, Coastal Living started with places they designated as a dream town, and then studied their ranks on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, percentage of clear and sunny days, healthiness of beaches, commute times, walkability, crime ratings, standard of living and financial well-being of the locals, geographic diversity, and their editors’ assessment of each town’s “coastal vibe.”612-Barcelona-Ave---Sharky`s---N5901203_34

We encourage you to show your support of our happy hometown by voting on the Coastal Living website. (more…)

7 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Sarasota and Beyond

Couple Walking on Beach at Sunset

Valentine’s Day is this Saturday, February 14th, and love is certainly in the air on Florida’s Gulf Coast. With an amazing array of events and attractions to enjoy,  here are 7 of the best ways to celebrate this romantic occasion:

Beauty and the Beach
There’s something about the sound of the waves, the salty air and the feeling of sand beneath your feet that is just effortlessly romantic. So this Valentine’s Day, enjoy a long walk on one of the incredible beaches that line our coast. The perfect backdrop to spend your romantic day, you could even treat your valentine to a sunset picnic on the shore. (more…)

Appreciating Normalized Property Appreciation

Longboat Key

Longboat Key

A pair of news items captured our attention last week because they provide a good perspective on the current state of the real estate market in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.  One item came to us courtesy of the region’s REALTOR® association; and the other from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune’sInside Real Estate” blog.

Record Number of Sales
First, the newly-minted union of the Sarasota Association of REALTORS® and the Manatee Association of REALTORS®—now known as the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manateeis reporting that 2014 enjoyed a record number of sales in Sarasota County; and near-record sales in Manatee County.

To be exact, Sarasota County finished the year with a total of 11,550 closed transactions, topping its previous record of 11,482 sales—set in 2004.  Similarly with 7,976 sales officially closed last year, Manatee County came within just a few transactions of topping its annual record of 8,004—set in 2013. (more…)

10 Homes on 10 Different Waterways

When you think of the all the magnificent settings on the Gulf Coast, it follows that the Gulf of Mexico is our region’s central landmark…or should I say watermark? Be that as it may, from Bays to Canals, Rivers, and Bayous, many distinctive waterways sculpt our shores.

Here, we’ve compiled ten different homes on ten different bodies of water to illustrate the variety of waterfront living our coast offers.

Little Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico

 1416 Casey Key Rd, Casey Key
4 beds | 4 baths | 6,481 Sq. Ft.




Six Super Bowl Worthy Entertaining Spaces

It’s Super Bowl Sunday this weekend, and the biggest game of the year calls for the ultimate game day experience. In honor of this (almost) national holiday, we rounded up six mega media rooms in  Sarasota and Manatee homes for sale that score a touchdown when it comes to entertaining.

1726 Questar Lane

With a full sports bar, theater seating and a huge projector screen, this incredible media room is ideal for serious football fans who want the experience of a bar atmosphere without the crowds.

1726 Questar Ln - EZ0C9887 - A4110045_70

1726 Questar Lane



Why Did it Sell: A Thirst for Waterfront in Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda Isles

Punta Gorda Isles

A love of boating was behind the December sale of this $900,000 waterfront home in Punta Gorda, Florida.

Michael Saunders & Company Realtor®, Elizabeth Burr, with the Englewood office

Michael Saunders & Company Realtor®, Elizabeth Burr, with the Englewood office

“From their dock, it’s less than five minutes to open water,” explained Elizabeth Burr, Realtor with Michael Saunders & Company who brought the buyers.  “They are avid boaters like I am and were very interested in the deep waters of Punta Gorda.”

Full-time residents of upstate New York, Elizabeth’s customers were searching for a vacation home – the perfect place for a family of four (with two kids still in high school).  After selling one of their properties, and being aware that real estate prices in Florida would only continue to climb, they knew there wouldn’t be a better time to find their dream home.

Their brokerage, Baird & Warner, was a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and referred them directly to Michael Saunders & Company. During her interview, Elizabeth connected with her clients immediately and they started working together. (more…)

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