Archives November, 2009

Maryanne Casey’s Listing – 1230 Gulf Blvd

The Michael Saunders & Company video team is happy to showcase Maryann Casey’s listing at 1230 Gulf Blvd in Englewood, FL. This charming Beach Cottage is just steps from the white sandy beach of Manasota Key. Feel the Gulf breeze on the large lanai, ideal for entertaining or just relaxing.

View video of 1230 Gulf Blvd in Englewood, FL.

Ask Drayton – Compelling Reasons To Live In Sarasota

Drayton Saunders, President of Michael Saunders & Company, was asked what he feels are compelling reasons to live and or move to Sarasota, Florida. Drayton discribes not only the obvious reasons (the beach, the weather etc) but also the arts, the urban feel and the diversity within the community.

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The Neighborhood Report – Main Street Sarasota

Downtown Sarasota offers an abundance of exciting lifestyle options.

Downtown Sarasota offers an abundance of exciting lifestyle options.

The greater Sarasota area exudes an air of relaxed sophistication, complete with an abundance of recreational activities and a variety of breathtaking cultural attractions, all surrounded by picturesque natural beauty. The residential opportunities are just as diverse, from Gulf-front condominiums, golf course villas and beach houses to traditional single-family neighborhoods. And in today’s market, the choices available are both attractively priced and sure to please any taste. 

Gary Loughlin, branch manager of Michael Saunders & Company’s longstanding Main Street office, is pleased top report increasing sales activity throughout the area. New residential property sales in October were up 50 percent over sales in September and over 100 percent ahead of October of 2008. (more…)


Cooking up a Sale – Top 10 Do-it-Yourself Kitchen Updating Tips

Just a few simple touches can make any kitchen a showplace.

Just a few simple touches can make any kitchen a showplace.

The kitchen is known as the heart of the home. It is here where families convene, friends converse and memorable holiday cuisines are prepared. An attractive kitchen is also a reliable source for enhancing the overall value of your property. That’s why when selling your home, many potential buyers view the kitchen as the most important room in the house, and an area that may serve as a make-or-break factor in whether or not this is the place for them.

A major kitchen overhaul can be very costly, yet equally effective when placing your home on the market. While not everyone can afford the cost of a possible $75,000 full-scale remodel, there are simple, wallet-friendly steps you can take to spruce up the heart of your home with a surface renovation. Here are the top 10 do-it-yourself tips for updating your kitchen and making it sparkle: (more…)


Revitalized Bradenton Brims with Artistic Flair

Funky Utopia

Village of the Arts - Bradenton, FL / Nicole and Taylor DeMoss' FUNKY UTOPIA GALLERY

Revitalized Bradenton Brims with Artistic Flair

By Beth D’Addono of the Boston Globe

Welcome to Village of the Arts, a funky collection of more than 35 galleries, studios, cafes, and shops stretching between 9th Street and 16th Street West, and 9th and 14th Street West in what was once a rough section just south of downtown Bradenton, 50 miles south of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Formerly a place known for crack houses and prostitutes, Village of the Arts started as a grass-roots attempt to reclaim the neighborhood by a few brave artists in search of cheap real estate and a community. A decade later, what began as a social experiment has become a reason for locals and visitors to spend time away from Bradenton’s sandy beaches.

Bonni Brown was one of the first to stake a claim. The former New York clinical social worker opened a bakery cafe in September 1999. “We bought this place from a man arrested for shooting at crackheads. Got a great deal.’’ Today, the 100-year-old building houses Bonni Bakes, a friendly spot to have fresh mango lassi, a curried chicken salad sandwich, and a slice of red velvet cake. “We still get locals who’ve lived here all their lives and say, ‘When did all this happen?’ We’ve finally got some signs up, which will help a lot.’’

Brenda Smoak is the newest kid on the block. She opened Alchemy, a fair trade consignment shop representing 145 artists, in early October, leaving her gallery in Silver Springs, Md., behind. “I moved here because of this place – it felt like a community,’’ Smoak said.


Retirement Rocks


At first blush, being singled-out as one of America’s best places to retire might seem like a dubious distinction in a culture that celebrates youth and scorns aging.  Stereotyped to the max on TV shows like Seinfeld and The Golden Girls—and in films like Cocoon—the typical Florida retiree is usually depicted as a curmudgeonly old man or loopy old woman—or vice versa—who get their kicks tossing off salty one-liners at a dithering spouse, roommate or long-suffering offspring.

Now, just as they’ve redefined every phase of their lives, Baby Boomers have taken society’s idea of retirement and turned it on its ear.  Don’t expect Boomers to dodder quietly over to their porch rockers; for even in retirement, they’re completely re-ordering the way communities perceive their worth and cater to their needs.  They’re healthy, active, adventurous, and fit; and able to consume and contribute as much as ever.  Moreover, they are very demanding of where they live and expect in retirement the same sort of recreational, cultural and health-related amenities they’ve grown accustomed to over the years.

Nowadays, if your town is named one of America’s ten best places to retire it clearly has its act together and is poised for even greater prosperity down the road.  It takes much more than warm weather and clear skies to satisfy Boomers and the larger generations of retirees to follow.  For this reason we heartily congratulate Venice, Port Charlotte, Englewood and Punta Gorda for consistently receiving top recognition as four of America’s foremost places to retire and live well.

This year Port Charlotte was named best place to retire by Last year, Punta Gorda was named one of the healthiest places to retire by U.S. News & World Report. The year before Venice topped the U.S. News list. Meanwhile, with five natural beaches, world-class fishing, unusual boutiques, and ample golfing it is no surprise that nearby Englewood has been listed as the number two U.S. destination to visit in 2009 by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel community.


The Neighborhood Report – Longboat Key

Enjoy a tropical, laidback lifestyle on Longboat Key. Pictured: 612 Juan Anasco Dr.

Enjoy a tropical, laidback lifestyle on Longboat Key. Pictured: 612 Juan Anasco Dr.

Longboat Key is a unique barrier island located in both Sarasota and Manatee counties. There are 11 miles of exceptional beaches, beautiful neighborhoods, fine dining venues, and entertainment and shopping destinations among an active community of full- and part-time residents. The meandering bicycle and walking path makes this a special place to enjoy the outdoors.

The island combines the country club environment of the Longboat Key Club with a casual atmosphere that includes educational and recreational facilities for adults and children, tennis courts, beaches, boating, arts, shopping and dining. Longboat Key welcomes visitors from all over the world, many of whom fall in love with this desirable location on Florida’s southwest coast. The agents serving our South Longboat Key office are area experts who specialize in finding the perfect property for those who choose the key as their next home. (more…)

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