Archives April, 2010


Planet Friendly – Top 10 Earth Day Tips

Beautiful, isn't it? Let's try to keep it that way. Photo courtesy of

This Thursday, April 22, marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the environment. While we should all be aware of our impact on our planet throughout the year, this is a special day to take a personal inventory about how our daily routines and activities affect the environment and resources around us.

It’s never too late to take some Earth Day action. Celebrate the occasion by resolving to make the most of earth-friendly awareness. Graced with such remarkable natural beauty, Florida’s Gulf Coast deserves our efforts of preservation and protection, no matter how small or significant they may be. Here are our top 10 tips to make Earth Day every day:

1.  Recycling – Although recycling is mandatory in Sarasota County for residents and businesses alike, it’s important to know the specifics on what to recycle and how to recycle it. Containers that are partially full of hazardous materials (household cleaners, motor oil, paints, pesticides) should not be thrown in the trash or poured down the drain. Here is a link to the list. (more…)


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

The red and green arrows are pointing in all the right directions; signaling a sustained recovery in progress throughout Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties. Inventories of available homes were down significantly in March thanks to sales and pending sales that are up by as much as 50% versus last March.

Ask Michael – What Should I Do If Buyers Are Not Coming To View My Property?

In this ask Michael video, Michael Saunders discusses what you should do if buyers are not coming to view your property.

If you have questions for Michael Saunders, email:


A Match Made in Paradise

30th Annual Florida International Air Show

As the brightly emblazoned planes soared, swooped, looped and otherwise thrilled tens of thousands of spectators with their gravity-defying stunts at the 30th Annual Florida International Air Show, we couldn’t help but marvel at how the show’s perennial host city—Punta Gorda—has also defied gravity.  Just six years after being brought to its knees by Hurricane Charley, Punta Gorda is soaring higher than ever before.

They call it an “international” air show for good reasons.  Not only do many of the pilots fly-in from outside the country; but as we craned our necks to marvel at their airborne acrobatics, we heard not a few of our fellow spectators marveling in different languages.  In addition to British, Scottish and Irish accents, we heard German, French, Italian and Spanish being spoken.  Moreover, in the sprawling parking fields adjacent to Charlotte County Airport were cars bearing license tags from virtually every state in the Union; and province of Canada.  On this gorgeous Saturday afternoon in April the world has quite literally descended on Punta Gorda.

And why shouldn’t it?  Historic and charming, Punta Gorda possesses every great reason to be in Florida rolled into a single Gulf Coast community.  Outstanding location.  Superb culture and cuisine.  Miles of navigable rivers, waterways and coastline.  World class fishing, boating and kayaking.  Challenging golf.

Its exquisite natural beauty and abundant lifestyle opportunities notwithstanding, there are even more satisfying reasons to live, work and play in Punta Gorda.  Once here, newcomers find themselves putting down roots in a community whose residents, business owners and government officials are not only united in rebuilding and revitalizing their city, but have joined together to co-author a distinctive master plan to encourage and manage growth while maintaining Punta Gorda’s unique small town appeal.

“TEAM Punta Gorda” was created in 2004 shortly after the scope of Charley’s devastation became evident.  Though many landmarks were damaged or destroyed, the storm’s wrath failed to undermine the community’s hometown feeling or sense of civic harmony, two factors that have continually landed Punta Gorda atop the national media’s short-list of the most livable small towns in America.



The Neighborhood Report – Silver Oak Estates

Enjoy a luxurious lifestyle within minutes to Siesta Key Beach at Silver Oak Estates.

Completed in 2007, Silver Oak Estates offers newer, custom homes nestled behind 24-hour guarded gates, just minutes from Siesta Key Beach. With 179 homes, the exclusive Estates section offers magnificent, totally custom designs ranging up to 7,000 square feet with three- to six-car garages, while the maintenance-free, single-family villas in the Vineyards of Silver Oak combine a carefree lifestyle with clubhouse, fitness center and lap pool in an intimate enclave of 72 homes. The third community is the maintenance-free, custom single-family homes of The Enclave.

Market Activity – Silver Oak Estates

Part of master-planned Palmer Ranch, Silver Oak Estates is lushly landscaped with beautiful lakes and preserves, all within proximity to miles of paved hiking and biking trails, including the 26-mile Legacy Trail. A recent sale at 8993 Wildlife closed for $680,000 for a lakefront estate built by John Cannon Homes with four bedrooms, a home theater and a European, state-of-the-art kitchen. Listed by Maripat and Bob Flood of Michael Saunders & Company’s Palmer Ranch office, the home was sold by Nicole Hammons-Dovgopolyi, also of the Palmer Ranch office. (more…)

Neighborhood Video Collection – Lakewood Ranch

Lakewood Ranch is a premier planned community, conveniently located close to both Sarasota and Bradenton. It’s known regionally for carefully preserving and highlighting the natural beauty of the area’s unique geographic qualities including its many lakes, wooded areas, and wetland preserves that can be enjoyed by its residents through miles of nature trails and bike paths.

Water Fun – Top 10 Beach and Bay Recreational Activities

See the sea up close with a snorkeling session. Photo courtesy of

Water. Sand. Sunshine. Fun. These are the very attributes that make our beachfront location a special destination for folks around the world. So, when graced with such a gorgeous year-round climate and proximity to beautiful tropical waters, an area resident would be remiss for not taking full advantage of the unlimited opportunities for recreation.

As our seasonal visitors slowly evaporate their way back north, take the time to enjoy the less-crowded beaches, waterways and water-based adventures available on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Here are our top 10 beach and bay activities:

1. Get off the Ground – Invigorate your senses and book a parasailing trip and soar up to 1,200’ in the air over the sparkling azure waters of Siesta Key. From your lofty perch, you will be able to take in the fabulous view of Siesta Key, Sarasota, Lido Key and Longboat Key. Click HERE for more information.

2. Catch of the Day – Explore the waters off our beautiful shores in your bid to catch the big one. Fishing boat rentals are available to be your vessel to the catch of the day. Click HERE for more information on renting a fishing boat. (more…)

Ask Darla – Describe Today’s Real Estate Market

In this Ask Darla video, Darla Furst discusses today’s real estate market.

If you have questions for Michael Saunders, email:

The Neighborhood Report – Cherokee Park

A number of elegant estates grace Cherokee Park. Pictured: 1758 Cherokee Drive.

An exclusive West of the Trail location, just south of downtown Sarasota along Sarasota Bay, makes Cherokee Park a remarkable community. One of the city’s oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods, wide, quiet streets and manicured sidewalks meander through lined with mature oak tress and tropical vegetation. Home styles vary, ranging from 1,800+/- square feet to over 8,000 square feet, but nearly every home has been impressively remodeled to preserve the special character of the lovely neighborhood.

Market Activity – Cherokee Park

For those who appreciate the convenience of downtown living, Cherokee Park is one of the most popular places to call home, so usually only a few properties are offered for sale at any point in time. A recent closing at 1725 Cherokee Drive sold for $1.8 million. This property was listed by Nora Johnson and Denise Mattmuller of Michael Saunders & Company’s Main Street office. David Haas, who is now with Michael Saunders & Company, was the selling agent for this listing. (more…)

Party Time

Image courtesy of

Look for balloons flying in neighborhoods all across the region this Sunday to signify one of the biggest open house parties Florida will ever see. To offer home buyers the convenience of touring dozens of different homes in a single timesaving weekend, the Florida Association of Realtors is hosting this weekend’s first-ever Florida Open House Weekend.

Tens of thousands of homes across the state are open for viewing this Sunday, April 11th with at least 175 of them listed locally by agents of Michael Saunders & Company.  Many of the homes are pictured here.  The rest can be previewed by visiting   All are open Sunday—from 1:00 until 4:00 p.m—and marked by blue balloons.

Anyone interested in purchasing a home in the near future—perhaps even before the first time home buyer tax credit expires—should not miss this opportunity to preview and compare many different properties on a single day.

With less than three weeks remaining to earn the tax credit, you will find yourself in something of a sprint to cross the finish line.  But getting in under the wire is still do-able if you place a home under contract by April 30th; and have cash or financing in place to meet the June 30th deadline for closing.  To learn if you qualify for the tax credit, visit


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