Archives March, 2010

Neighborhood Video Collection – Lido Key

Just over the bridge from downtown Sarasota lie the gorgeous beaches and lush tropical features of Lido Key. Some say Lido affords the perfect place for a short stay or the place to live forever.

Lido Key is the beginning and end of many a visitor’s search for the perfect Sarasota lifestyle. The Key offers many beachfront condominiums with magnificent views of the beautiful beaches.

Eggs-travaganzas Galore – Top 10 Easter Weekend Events in the Sarasota Area

Find the Easter egg hunt near you.

Easter weekend offers a number of events for those who celebrate the holiday, as well as those who want to enjoy what marks the unofficial beginning of spring. Here on Florida’s Gulf Coast, there are a number of delectable surprises and plenty of fun for everyone in your family.

Whether you choose to hunt for eggs or step out to enjoy the beautiful weather, here are our top 10 events for fun this Easter weekend:

1.  Siesta Key Easter Party and Egg Hunt – This Saturday, April 3 from 9:00 am – noon, the Siesta Key Village Association will be hosting its annual Easter Party and Egg Hung at Beach Access #5 at the intersection of Ocean Blvd. and Beach Road. All children ages 1 to 6 are invited to register and participate. Registration is required for the Easter Egg hunt, and participation is limited to 100 children. $10 fee per child. Visit HERE for more information. (more…)

Ask Gloria – Are Real Estate Sales Happening in Lakewood Ranch?

In this Ask Gloria Video, Gloria Weed talks about the real estate sales in Lakewood Ranch.

If you have questions for Michael Saunders, email


To Buy, Or Not To Buy (with apologies to WM. Shakespeare)

With the nation’s housing market behaving most untraditionally over the past few years, many would-be buyers are understandably scratching their heads, wondering if the right time to buy is now.

From strictly a local market perspective, the answer to this frequently-asked question is an enthusiastic—if qualified—“yes.”  Having been among the first regions in the nation to experience the full brunt of the housing bubble—and its all-too-familiar aftermath—Southwest Florida is now ahead of the curve with respect to its recovery.  More than two years of aggressive price reductions have recently restored some semblance of local stability to our market; while nationally, sales took an unexpected dip this winter—largely attributed to weather that prevented buyers from leaving their current homes to shop for new ones.

In Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties, on the other hand, the weather stopped no buyers from making their appointed rounds.  Unit sales are up, pending sales are up dramatically, inventories have been reduced, and our market’s median price, no longer in freefall, is bobbing up and down marginally from month to month—traditionally a symptom of firming-up prices.

Thus, all indicators of a sustained recovery are evident throughout the region as we wrap up the first quarter of 2010.  Add two seriously attractive purchasing incentives to the mix—the first time home buyer tax credit and historically low interest rates—and you’ll understand why so many people feel it’s now or never if buying at rock bottom prices is priority one.


Neighborhood Video Collection – Siesta Key

Siesta Key is one of the area’s largest islands and is filled with a varied collection of neighborhoods, each with its own individual flavor. At one point, you’ll discover grand bayfront mansions. From mid-Siesta to the south end, you will find condominiums and villas interspersed among single family neighborhoods both on the bay side and gulf side.

Ask Darla – Will Home Sales Change Drastically When the Tax Credit Ends in April?

In this Ask Darla video, Darla Furst talks about whether or not home sales will change significantly when the tax credit ends in April.

If you have questions for Michael Saunders, email

Neighborhood Video Collection – Anna Maria

Anna Maria Island’s beautiful horizon is devoid of high-rise towers.  Fast-food chains and commercial franchises are absent, with only the Old Florida island feeling remaining. The quaint village ambiance is preserved in the real estate.


Friends In the Business

What a difference a year makes.  The mood of outright buoyancy at this year’s Annual Conference of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World was a far cry from last year’s melancholy.  To say the least, it was extremely heartening to hear so much optimism being expressed by the world’s leading brokers, who are finally seeing the early stages of recovery in their respective markets.  For those of us in attendance from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, such universal optimism made us feel that much more confident about the speed of our own recovery; as many of their recovering markets feed buyers into ours.

With Michael and Drayton leading the company’s contingent, we were several representatives strong at last week’s Leading RE conference, where time and again Michael Saunders & Company received kudos for helping establish a template for recovery that other markets could use.  Indeed, because Southwest Florida was hit early and hard by the nationwide housing crisis, its recovery has been a source of inspiration for many of the conference attendees.  Moreover, many of the strategies we used to help force our own recovery are now being used in markets across the U.S.   For example, the “Best Opportunities” section of—which was established two years ago to shine a well-deserved spotlight on our sellers’ most aggressively-priced listings—is now being implemented in at least 20 other markets.  At the same time we learned about best practices in other markets which, when applied here, could add fuel to our own recovery.

Therein lies the principal benefit of having so many hand-picked friends in the worldwide real estate business.  At the end of the day, the perspectives we share freely with one another at these important industry gatherings help all of us make the most out of these perilous economic times.


The Neighborhood Report – The Lake Club

The clubhouse at The Lake Club

The Lake Club is an exclusive Lakewood Ranch neighborhood for those seeking the finer things in life. Greeted by its own private vineyards and sounds of water fountains, you are lead to an unprecedented lifestyle of luxury, privacy and exclusivity within this master-planned neighborhood. Meticulous attention has been developed within the 1,500 acres to exceed the highest standards for construction, energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.

Market Activity – The Lake Club

At this time, there are 33 homes built and seven are under construction. Homebuyers have taken notice of the charms presented by The Lake Club. There are currently 15 active listings. In the past 30 days, two homes have sold and two homes have gone under contract. When complete, The Lake Club will include approximately 1,000 homes, all of which enhanced by the community’s well-manicured grounds.

Why Buyers Choose The Lake Club

A magnificent 16,000-square-foot, $10 million grand clubhouse is the crowning jewel of The Lake Club and provides residents a resort lifestyle all year around. A gorgeous tapestry of parks and interweaving picturesque lakes create the overall landscape design, layered with a rich canvas of Italian cypress, Medjool date palms, live oaks, and floral components such as bougainvillea and rose bushes. This stunning landscape blends in uniquely with the community’s cobblestone streets, stonework fountains, magnificent bridges and custom estate homes, which capture the elegance of European Old World charm.

Sarasota, Manatee & Charlotte Counties: Year Over Year Sales Comparison

In Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, sales and pending sales for the month of February continued to paint a picture of sustained recovery across all three areas.  The number of homes for sale declined by as much as 24% (in Sarasota County) versus last year, while sales were up by as much as 27.2% ( in Manatee County); and pendings up by as much as 57.3% in Charlotte County.

*Data courtesy of Trendgraphix

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