Archives July, 2009

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Englewood’s Star Rises

Recently, Tripadvisor.com named Englewood, FL SECOND on a list of top emerging destinations in the U.S.  This is very exciting and positive news for our area as well as for the company! Please see the article below that recently ran in the Charlotte Sun Newspaper:

Englewood is second on a list of top emerging U.S. destinations, according to TripAdvisor.com.

It is No. 1 in terms of being the best, affordable neighborhood to retire to in the U.S., according to walletpop.com.

In less than a year Englewood has scored high on several quality-of-life indexes and the accolades are beginning to pay dividends.

“You can’t buy that kind of publicity and recognition — you can’t put a price on it. It’s beyond anyone’s budget,” said Becky Bovell, director of the Charlotte Harbor Visitor and Conventions Bureau.

Now Englewood will be featured in stories appearing in “Southern Boating Magazine” in August and again in October in “PassageMaker,” a magazine for trawler and ocean motor boats. (more…)

Survey Says: Consumers Believe in Homeownership

Here is a piece of encouraging news for everyone in our industry. It is comforting to know that consumers still believe in homeownership and recognize this as the ideal time to buy. With reduced home prices matched with low interest rates, we are experiencing a true recipe for real estate success. The big question now: Who is still sitting on the fence?”

Market In Review: The Wells Fargo View Sm

Despite the ups and downs in the economy, Americans still believe in the dream of homeownership. According to the June PULSE Top 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas Survey, 83 percent of consumers believe buying a home is a good financial decision.

Attitudes of respondents in their prime home purchasing years (ages 25 to 44) had not been adversely affected by the market in the past several years.

In fact, three-fourths of survey respondents said now is a good time to purchase a home because of home price declines. Low interest rates (see chart), tax benefits, and seller incentives also remain attractive for consumers looking to purchase their first home or move up from their current home.

HSH_MarketTrends

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The Neighborhood Report – Longboat Key

South Longboat Key Office

South Longboat Key Office

Longboat Key is a vibrant, picturesque island with 11 miles of exceptional beaches, beautiful neighborhoods, fine dining and world-class shopping. Boasting a casually elegant atmosphere, Longboat Key welcomes visitors from all over the world—many of whom fall in love with this desirable location on Florida’s southwest coast.

Michael Saunders & Company maintains three offices on Longboat Key that are strategically positioned to serve as a gateway to the exceptional properties of “the Key” and beyond. With a variety of condominiums and single-family homes, both on the beach and off, living on Longboat Key provides convenient access to St. Armands Key, Lido Key, Bird Key, downtown and beyond. Our knowledgeable agents assist visitors in buying and selling fine waterfront, island and mainland properties throughout this sought-after area.

How is the Longboat Key Market?

Longboat Key South Branch Manager Georgina Clamage finds the Longboat Key market to be strengthening with inventory down 13 percent from its highest point of this year. Pending sales for the second quarter in 2009 are up more than 38 percent, compared to the same quarter in 2006, and even higher when compared to the same quarter in 2007 and 2008. The average price of properties sold on Longboat Key during the quarter ending in June 2009 is $693,000. These sales represent both condominiums and single-family homes, and range in price from $125,000 to $3,330,000. (more…)

The Neighborhood Report – Bradenton

MS&C Bradenton Office

MS&C Bradenton Office

From the shore of Anna Maria Island and stretching eastward along the Manatee River, the Bradenton-Manatee area is a remarkable place highlighted by a host of art and historical attractions, as well as a coastline of sun-drenched beaches. From adorable Florida fishing cottages and stately southern houses to luxury condominiums, modest mid-century homes and island bungalows, this Gulf Coast destination boasts a great sampling of residential lifestyle options. As proven area experts, the agents of our Bradenton office specialize in helping homebuyers and sellers throughout the communities of Bradenton, Palmetto, Anna Maria Island, Parrish, Terra Ceia and Lakewood Ranch.

How’s the market in Bradenton?

Bradenton office branch manager Pam Ali has witnessed a very active market in her area. Additionally, our Bradenton agents have recently seen a significant increase in the number of buyers and sellers making inquiries via the Michael Saunders & Company website, michaelsaunders.com. Many of these are from out-of-town potential buyers who found our piece of paradise online. Within the last 14 days, the Bradenton office has received 20 pending transactions, which indicates a healthy amount of interest in Bradenton real estate. (more…)

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Another Huge Checkmark in the Plus Column

One can never say too much about the extraordinary array of lifestyle amenities that await newcomers to Southwest Florida once they opt to live here.  More often than not, however, these much-deserved kudos involve the region’s top-rated beaches, its limitless recreational opportunities; and, or course, its embarrassment of riches with respect to the visual, performing and culinary arts.

No less deserving of praise is the superb array of educational amenities—spread throughout the community—that enables students of all ages to take advantage of a broad range of unique learning opportunities that few Florida communities can equal.  For families with school-aged children, this is perhaps the single most important amenity to consider before deciding where to settle in the Sunshine State.  As well, for adults who view life as one continuous opportunity to absorb new ideas, discover new interests and develop new skills—Southwest Florida is one large laboratory of learning.

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The Neighborhood Report – Main Street

MS&C Main Street Office

MS&C Main Street Office

Sarasota’s downtown is a vibrant destination brimming with a wealth of fine restaurants, specialty shops and splendid cultural attractions. With lifestyle options varying from soaring penthouse residences to quaint cottage-style homes, the downtown area boasts the perfect opportunities for anyone seeking the vivacious pace of city life. Centrally located at 1801 Main Street, Michael Saunders & Company’s downtown office is perfectly sited to allow our Realtors the convenience to serve property buyers and sellers throughout Longboat Key, Lido Key, Bird Key, Siesta Key and anywhere in Sarasota quite easily. 

How is the Downtown Sarasota Market?

Gary Loughlin, branch manager of the Main Street office, finds the market to be improving in general with property pricing being the most important consideration for both buyers and sellers. As of July 17, the downtown Michael Saunders office has over 40 pending transactions, a number that already exceeds the total of July 2008. This month’s closings span the pricing spectrum and involve properties that have spent a variety of time on the market. Of course, some are very quick closings and others have been in the works for quite a while. (more…)

SNN Video – Michael Saunders Helping Newtown Teens

Michael Saunders is assisting with a teen volunteer program, “Brothers and Sisters Doing the Right Thing.”  This is a nonprofit organization that helps prepare kids for future jobs through tutoring and mentoring programs.  Check out the video clip below.

The Neighborhood Report – Venice

Venice Office

Venice Office

Known as both the City on the Gulf and the Sharks’ Tooth Capital of the WorldVenice is a meticulously planned city, with sweeping tree-lined boulevards leading to beaches, parks, greenways and residential areas. With three Venice locations—Venice Beach, Venice Island and Venice Mainland—Michael Saunders & Company provides the most knowledgeable area experts around for the best in real estate services.

How’s the Market in Venice?

Located just off Venice Island’s storied stretch of dining, shopping and entertainment venues on Venice Avenue, our Venice office at 110 Nokomis Avenue is stirring with activity from interested homebuyers. Branch Manager Kathy Wood has noticed stabilizing prices in some areas, leading to a significant decrease in property inventory. (more…)

Fighting Back Against Foreclosure

It will come as news to virtually no one that home foreclosures are among the most challenging and heartbreaking problems facing Sarasota County families as they struggle through one of the worst economic meltdowns in our nation’s history.  What largely began as a problem affecting investors and homeowners—who could no longer afford the sub-prime mortgages that were so freely and irresponsibly parceled out during the boom—has morphed into a much more all-encompassing crisis.  Today a lost job—or even a temporary layoff—can be the final straw that pushes responsible homeowners to the brink of having to surrender their homes.

Where homeowners threatened with foreclosure once had few options but to pack up, vacate the family home and relocate elsewhere, Sarasota County and the Community Alliance of Sarasota County are taking fresh steps to minimize such drastic and distressing outcomes.  If the threat of foreclosure is on the horizon by far the worst thing imperiled homeowners can do is throw-up their arms, throw in the towel and do nothing.  Doing so only complicates the problem when there are more positive and available options awaiting those who act quickly to pursue them.

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The Neighborhood Report – St. Armands Circle

St. Armands Office

St. Armands Office

As Sarasota’s hub of fine dining and world-class shopping, St. Armands Circle attracts local visitors and international travelers to its casually elegant island location. Set just a stroll from the marketplaces on the circle, our St. Armands site is the company’s flagship office and proudly specializes in serving homebuyers and sellers throughout Lido Key, St. Armands Key, Longboat Key, Bird Key and throughout the Sarasota area.

How is the Market on St. Armands?

Barbara Roberts, the longtime managing broker of the St. Armands office, is pleased to report a very active market—thanks to an abundance of interested folks stopping by while enjoying a day at the Circle. Barbara finds that most of those who inquire about our services and available homes are long-range buyers, not necessarily looking to purchase a home immediately. Their increased curiosity in the market is a good sign for future transactions. This past June has been a great success, as the office booked more than $40 million in open sales. In fact, the last time St. Armands has seen such a high figure was in 2005. (more…)

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