Archives January, 2011


Success By the Yard – Top 10 Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

Follow our tips of a fun and profitable yard sale.

If nothing else, the holiday season leaves us with new gadgets, decorations, toys and other materials to add on top of what already may be a cluttered home. To make some room, why not turn your old things into cash? This time of year is perfect for hosting your own yard sale here on Florida’s Gulf Coast, as seasonal residents are in town and the weather is pleasant enough to keep them strolling through without sweating. (more…)

Sylvia Zimmerman Joins the Longboat Key South Office of Michael Saunders & Company

Veteran Top-Producing Agent Specializes In Luxury Waterfront and Golf Course Communities

LONGBOAT KEY, Florida—(January 17, 2011)

Sylvia Zimmerman, who consistently ranks in the top percentile of Sarasota’s most successful real estate agents, has joined the Longboat Key South office of Michael Saunders & Company, it was announced today from the company’s headquarters in downtown Sarasota. A long time resident of Southwest Florida, Zimmerman, specializes in luxury waterfront and golf course communities throughout the Sarasota-Bradenton area.

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Sylvia to the company,” says founder and CEO Michael Saunders.  “With Sylvia’s extensive business background—combined with her real estate experience, intricate knowledge of the market area and proven ability to bring buyers and sellers together—she will now be able to take all the marketing and technology tools that will placed at her disposal to take her clients and customers to the highest level of service and satisfaction.”

Previously with Prudential Palms Realty, Zimmerman has been in the top 2% of that company’s worldwide roster of agents; and been the recipient of both its prestigious Chairman’s Circle Award and its Legends Award—which honors years of perseverance, expertise and consistency.  She is also a member of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing and has won Sarasota Magazine’s “Five Star Best in Client Satisfaction Award” for the past three consecutive years.

Sylvia Zimmerman can be reached directly by calling (941) 350-5022; or by email at  The Longboat Key South office of Michael Saunders & Company, managed by Georgina Clamage, is located at 440 Gulf of Mexico Drive.  The office can be reached by calling (941) 383-7591.

Burnt Store Marina, FL – Neighborhood Video

Legend has it that Burnt Store acquired its colorful name after an Indian attack on a trading post during Florida’s pioneer days. Now, over 150 years later, Burnt Store is famous for its unique, laid back life style. Boating is king here, and with the enormous estuary of Charlotte Harbor as their backyard, the residents enjoy a resort atmosphere that is the envy of yachtsmen the world over.

Burnt Store Marina is the area’s signature community – a gated 640 acre paradise that is home to the largest marina on Florida’s west coast. Just ten miles to the Gulf of Mexico, Burnt Store was chosen as one the top ten places to sail by Sail Magazine. The options are endless – day trips to barrier islands of Cayo Costa, Cabbage Key, and Useppa, or longer adventures down to the Dry Tortugas or even the Bahamas. The fishing is second to none, and every spring the area plays host to the annual Tarpon Tournament, one of the fishing world’s premiere events.

Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club, FL – Neighborhood Video

Once you move into Heritage Oaks Golf and Country Club, you’ll hardly be tempted to leave. A full complement of amenities await you. An 18 hole championship golf course with a signature 18th hole of a 385-yard par 4, 4 lighted tennis courts with special Har-Tru surfaces that provide a true bounce, 5 heated swimming pools, a fitness center and lively fitness program, popular daily, weekly and holiday social gatherings, a newly renovated clubhouse and dining facilities. It’s all surrounded by the pristine beauty of 50 acres of wetlands and natural preserve.

Living quarters are equally luxurious, just what you would expect from three time winner of the national Natural Builder of the Year, U.S. Homes. A variety of Heritage Oaks models are available to suit your preference: single family homes, golf villas, club homes, and veranda condominiums. Many of the homes have a nature preserve or golf course view.

Heritage Oaks is located in Sarasota, the crown jewel of Florida’s gulf coast. Powder sand beaches bask in the sun, and renowned dining, shopping, theaters and museums are close by. The I-75 corridor is just a few miles away, providing convenient access to Lakewood Ranch, Venice, North Port, Nokomis and Tampa.

Global Real Estate Arm Of Famed Christie’s Fine Art Auction House Is Re-branded as Christie’s International Real Estate

Michael Saunders & Company-Christie’s Exclusive Affiliate For Sarasota, Manatee And Charlotte Counties – To Offer Increased Global Visibility Due To Strengthened Ties Between Christie’s Fine Art Auction House And Its Real Estate Business.

SARASOTA, Florida – (January 11, 2011) – Southwest Florida’s luxury real estate market – already seeing an increase in sales due to corrected pricing and an improvement in overall economic conditions—got another shot in the arm today with the announcement from its international hubs in New York, London and Hong Kong that Christie’s, the world’s leading art business, has changed the name and look of its exclusive property brand to Christie’s International Real Estate. It was formerly known as Christie’s Great Estates.



The Neighborhood Report – Deer Creek

Discover a range of lifestyle options in Deer Creek. Pictured: 8142 Shadow Pine Way.

Deer Creek’s generous lots, lush landscaping, mature trees, impeccably groomed homes, and gently meandering streets continue to have strong appeal for home shoppers in Sarasota. New residents are also impressed with the low association fees and interesting and diverse pursuits of the Deer Creek social club.

Market Activity – Deer Creek

Desirability and demand for Deer Creek residency were demonstrated in the December sale of 8431 Cypress Hollow Drive. Janet Montgomery of the Palmer Ranch office of Michael Saunders & Company listed the property the morning of the caravan for agents. Sara Leight, also of Michael Saunders & Company, viewed the property and called a client to tell them about the house. By evening that day, it was under contract. The closing was just 35 days later.

Why Choose Deer Creek?

Located in Palmer Ranch, Deer Creek is convenient to Siesta Key Beach, shopping, movies, great restaurants, walking and biking trails, doctors, hospitals, excellent schools, and easy access to downtown Sarasota.

Outperforming the Market

With the books officially closed on 2010, the bottom line for the real estate market in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties is that it performed better—though only marginally so—than in 2009.  Unit sales in the tri-county region were up by 3% and dollar volume was up by .5%.  That’s why nothing makes us prouder of this company’s exceptional year-end results than to report that our agents significantly outperformed the market.

To wit, in one of the most challenging years ever for our market, the sales turned in by the agents of Michael Saunders & Company resulted in $1.432 billion in closed company sales, a 21% increase in dollar volume over 2009.



Buy in the Know – Top Tools for Homebuyers

Use these helpful tools to make your home buying experience rewarding.

With interest rates remaining low and home prices hovering just above rock bottom, 2011 poses an exceptional time for homebuyers to take advantage of the market. However, buying a home is more than just choosing the right property, it is a significant financial commitment that requires many intricate calculations and decisions before you even start hunting. Fortunately, many of these solutions can be found right here on (more…)

Sarasota, Manatee & Charlotte Counties: December ’10 – Year Over Year Sales Comparison

In December, Sarasota County’s real estate market edged closer to normality for the first time since the expiration of the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit.  While closed sales for December were even with last year, pending sales were up by 19.8%.  Months of available inventory based on closed sales now stands at 8.8, while for pending sales it stands at 7.9 months.  Between 6 to 7 months of inventory is considered a balanced market.

In Manatee County, December sales were up 8.1% over last year, while pending sales were up 43.4%. Months of available inventory based on closed sales now stands at 9.5; while for pending sales it stands at 8.2 months, the lowest levels since May.

In Charlotte County, December sales were down 7.3% versus 2009, while pending sales were up by 4.0%.  Months of available inventory based on closed sales now stands at 11.7; while for pending sales it stands at 10.8.

Source:  TRENDGRAPHIX, January 2011.


Burnt Store Isles, FL – Neighborhood Video

Florida’s West Coast has become famous for its year round boating, tennis and golf, set in an informal yet upscale lifestyle. Perhaps no other community showcases this way of life as perfectly as Burnt Store Isles, where the atmosphere is resort-like and the recreational amenities make it ideal for a second home or full time retirement residence.

Burnt Store Isles is a boater’s paradise. The majority of its homes are set of on wide, curving canals which lead to the hundreds of square miles that comprise historic Charlotte Harbor, or out to the Gulf of Mexico and the picturesque barrier islands of Cayo Costa, Useppa, and Cabbage Key. Fishing here is world class. Snook, pompano, and king mackerel abound, and every spring nearby Boca Grande hosts its famous Tarpon Tournament.

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