Archives February, 2011

Heritage Harbour, FL – Neighborhood Video

A master-planned resort community offers the perfect lifestyle for those who value comfort, convenience and amenities. The options for recreation are endless, but the responsibilities of everyday living are minimal. And one the finest in the area is East Manatee County’s Heritage Harbour, located in the heart of one Florida’s fastest growing areas, with easy access to Sarasota, Bradenton, Tampa and St Petersburg.

Three communities comprise Heritage Harbour’s 2,500 acres. River Strand, which borders the historic Manatee River, is famous for it upscale golf course living. Property owners in this gated community automatically become members of the Golf and Country Club, with its championship 27 hole course, elaborate clubhouse with pool, tennis courts, and restaurant. Here the homes range from newer, large models facing the fairways to convenient and well-priced golf villas that are ideal for a winter home.


Your New Best Friend

We hear it time and time again from our agents and their customers.  Were it not for the collaboration between two of our most important core services—MSC Mortgage and MSC Title—numerous property transactions might never have closed on time.  Or, for that matter, at all.  That’s why we were delighted last week to see these two teams of top-drawer professionals receive the local recognition they so richly deserve.

As reported in the Business Weekly section of last Monday’s Sarasota Herald-Tribune, these key divisions of Michael Saunders & Company have assumed their rightful place among the region’s top community lenders and title agencies.  According to the latest rankings compiled from records available courtesy of the Sarasota County Clerk of Courts, MSC Mortgage made more loans in the Sarasota market than any other locally-based community bank or mortgage broker.  Only the nation’s largest banks—including Wells-Fargo, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase—disbursed a greater volume of new loans in January.



At Ease – Tips for a Stress-Free Homebuying Experience

For many folks ready to take the homebuying plunge for the first time, thoughts of going through the process are often filled with stress and trepidation. After all, buying a home is most likely the largest, most significant financial decision they have ever made up to that point. Fortunately, the experience doesn’t have to be a period of sleepless nights and continuous worry. By taking the right steps, you may actually find the experience as much fun as it is rewarding.

From finding the perfect real estate agent to narrowing down your choice of homes, here are our top tips for a stress-free homebuying experience: (more…)

Bent Tree, FL – Neighborhood Video

With a legendary golf course as its centerpiece, the community of Bent Tree has long been one of Sarasota’s most desirable neighborhoods. Nature reigns supreme here, with tall pines and spreading oaks towering above as hawks and eagles soar in the peaceful blue sky.

Many golfers say the Bent Tree course reminds them of the best northern courses, with its trim fairways bordered by mature landscaping and pristine lakes. But unlike northern courses, Bent Tree’s beauty can be enjoyed year round. Champions have been made on this course. It’s where Nancy Lopez won her first LPGA trophy, and it continues to challenges golfers at all skill levels.

Sarasota, Manatee & Charlotte Counties: January ’11 – Year Over Year Sales Comparison

Our market area’s recovery continued to gather momentum in January, with sales in Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties well ahead of last January by varying degrees. Manatee County, with a 21.3% year-over-year increase, showed the greatest percentage gain.

The bigger story, however, was in pending sales which are the leading indicator of closed sales to come 30 to 60 days out. In Manatee and Sarasota Counties, pendings were at their highest level since April 2010 when buyers were scrambling to take last minute advantage of the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit.

Charlotte County pendings for January were at their highest level since March, 2004 when the real estate boom was just getting underway.


The Neighborhood Report – GreyHawk Landing

Located just north of Lakewood Ranch—off Highway 64—GreyHawk Landing is a guard-gated community that was developed to appreciate nature. It is common to see deer and other native animals peeking out from the wetlands and their native habitat. Approximately 53% of the community has been left unspoiled and natural with almost two miles of wilderness trails.

Market Activity – GreyHawk Landing

In the last 30 days, there have been four new listings, six pending sales and three closed sales in GreyHawk Landing. There are only 28 active listings out of approximately 800 homes. The prices range from $199,000 to $599,000. (more…)


Your Invitation To A Priceless Lifestyle Experience

712 N Casey Key Rd, Osprey, FL 34229

If you’ve ever wondered what luxury living at the water’s edge looks and feels like, then reserve March 4th and 5th on your calendars.  These are the back-to-back dates for the 2011 Masterworks Showcase:  A Tour of Luxury Homes (and lifestyle expo) presented by the Sarasota Orchestra Association, in conjunction with Michael Saunders & Company, Christie’s International Real Estate and Sarasota Magazine.

Your attendance at this outstanding two-day lifestyle event includes a tour of some of the most exclusive estate homes on Casey Key, in The Oaks, on Bird Key and St. Armands.  Proceeds benefit the orchestra’s youth programs.


Howdy, Neighbor – Top Tips for Finding the Perfect Neighborhood

Find the perfect community for you. Pictured: The entrance to The Oaks.

Whether buying or renting a home, it’s imperative to be selective about the neighborhood you may be moving into. Luckily, the Sarasota area has a number of distinct neighborhoods from which to choose. From elegant communities sited around neatly manicured golf courses to modest gated neighborhoods offering an assortment of activities and amenities, the Sarasota area is brimming with choices to please just about any taste. In fact, you can find out all about them HERE.

One of the biggest mistakes a new homebuyer can make is the failure to thoroughly investigate the neighborhood of their new residence. To help avoid this possible issue, here are our top tips for finding the perfect neighborhood: (more…)

The Neighborhood Report – Glenn Lakes and The Estates at Glenn Lakes

Find a range of residential options in Glenn Lakes & The Estates at Glenn Lakes. Pictured: 5122 44th W St.

Centrally located on the southwest side of Manatee County, Glenn Lakes & The Estates at Glenn Lakes encompass approximately 271 sprawling acres, which includes eight lakes. There are 371 one- and two-story homes in Glenn Lakes that were built starting in 1995. Glenn Lakes and The Estates at Glenn Lakes are deed restricted communities, which allows the residents to follow certain guidelines to help maintain the aesthetic atmosphere of the community. Many of the homes in the Estates at Glenn Lakes back up the Manatee County public golf course, awarding these homes some fabulous views. (more…)


Timing is Everything

There would be fewer real estate booms and busts if regions typically prone to these extremes—mainly within Florida and other Sunbelt states—weren’t so desirable as to periodically invite rampant, unsustainable property speculation. This happens to be the basic premise behind Brett Ahrends’ latest real estate column in the Wall Street Journal.

Entitled “Here Comes the Sunbelt” the article essentially blames Florida’s enviable winter weather for the up and down cycles that occasionally affect our state’s real estate markets. Ahrends then goes on to suggest that the exquisite timing of three horrific winters in a row—combined with the imminent retirement of the first of 77 million baby boomers—could be the perfect storm that ultimately revitalizes our local property market.


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