Archives March, 2011

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

A substantial increase in year-over-year sales (and pendings) was the major highlight of the market for properties in Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties last month. The other major highlight was the healthy decline in the inventory of homes for sale in both Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Charlotte County showed only a modest increase in inventory.

Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to welcome Charlene Griffith to the Lakewood Ranch office.


Charlene moved to Lakewood Ranch in 2002 from Kalamazoo, Michigan. After earning her Florida Real Estate License in 2003, she immediately went to work for one of the area’s best-known builder and developers. While specializing in new home sales, she earned the Certified Sales Professional designation (CSP), and was recognized by the Home Builders Association’s Million Dollar Circle award for over three consecutive years with sales in excess of $50 million.

Charlene recently received the Five-Star Real Estate Agent Best in Client Satisfaction

Award in both 2010 and 2011. She is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Manatee Association of Realtors (MAR), an Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) and a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE).

The Neighborhood Report – Venetia

Pictured: 5016 Bella Terra Drive.

A gorgeous, gated, deed restricted community in Venice, Venetia boasts a range of well-maintained properties enveloped by beautiful, lush landscaping. The location is ideal, just a short drive to Manasota and Venice beaches, and within walking distance to shops and restaurants.

Market Activity – Venetia

Venetia consists of four subdivisions with a varying number of residential options. Venetia Neighborhood Association has 375 single-family homes, Villa Vivaci has 66 maintenance-free villas near the Jacaranda entrance, Villa Paradiso has 42 maintenance-free villas near the Woodmere entrance, and Casa Di Amici has 160 maintenance-free condominium units. The master association, Venetia Community Association, oversees all the common areas and recreational facilities. (more…)


Greenfield Plantation, FL – Neighborhood Video

Newer homes set on one of the area’s finest public golf courses make Greenfield Plantation the perfect choice for those seeking an affordable golfing community. Located in the heart of fast growing East Manatee County, Greenfield Plantation is noted for its lakes and nature preserves. Yet its natural beauty is in close proximity to the everyday convenience of shopping, recreation, schools and business.

Four well-manicured communities make up Greenfield Plantation. The homes are only a few years old and are set on winding streets. Many of them offer lanais that look out on The Links golf course, with its picturesque landscaping that suggests the Low Country – willows, palms, ornamental grasses, and ponds that attract ducks and other wildlife.


Green Day – Top Things to do in Sarasota on St. Patrick’s Day

This Thursday, March 17 is the time to hit the town and celebrate the first green of spring—as well as the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. As throngs of people don green and observe the day with parades, good cheer, a hearty feast, and perhaps a pint of green beer, a touch of Irish will be in the air throughout the Sarasota area sure to please any fan of the bagpipe. (more…)


Go Ahead. Make an Offer

Amid the mixed signals emanating from our nation’s economic recovery it was heartening to learn that last month’s consumer confidence index—as measured by The Conference Board—is at a three-year high.  That speaks well for the upturn, as its the average consumer—and not the pundits—who spends each day on the front lines of the economy making key purchase decisions based on their returning sense of financial empowerment.  In February, consumers expressed their greatest optimism since early 2008.

This nationwide improvement in consumer sentiment is expressing itself quite forcefully within our own local housing market.   Consumers are generally experiencing better economic times in their home markets—and more confidence in their own financial futures—which has translated into a dramatic uptick in closed and pending sales in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties.  Are we not, after all, a melting pot of home buyers from all over the country—and therefore a reasonable reflection of their collective mood?


Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to welcome Maria Christenson to the Bradenton office.

Originally from Nicaragua, Maria relocated to Minnesota in 1978, where she attended Hamline University, married and lived in St. Paul, Minnesota, for the next eight years. Her husband’s job transfer later took them to St. Louis, Missouri, where they lived for nine years. Finally, a new transfer brought them to Bradenton, where they fell in love with the area and have made it their home for the past 15 years.

Having a husband who has worked the boating industry for 30 years has given her a strong knowledge of the waterfront market and boating waters throughout Florida’s Gulf Coast, an advantage she proudly passes on to her clients. To provide an added benefit, she has earned the Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) certification


The Neighborhood Report – Palm Island

Discover a laidback pace of life, where spectacular sunsets greet you each evening when you arrive by boat or car ferry to the stunning beauty of Palm Island. Located about nine miles south of Englewood and off the coast of Cape Haze, Palm Island—also known as Don Pedro Island—is made up for four interconnected islands accessible only by boat. Cars are permitted, but most people move around the island in golf carts.

Here, you can spend your vacation or a lifetime enjoying the beach, tennis, scuba diving or frequenting fabulous restaurants. Iguanas and fascinating birdlife are natives along the panoramic walking trails, while authentic island life is portrayed through yachts and traditional beach homes. (more…)

Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to welcome Roger Frechette to the MSC Mortgage.

Originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, Roger relocated to Orlando, Florida, immediately after serving in the U.S. Navy in 1986.

Roger began his career in the financial services industry and transitioned into the mortgage and real estate business in 1997.  Having spent over 14 successful years in the mortgage industry, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to every transaction. His extensive background working with banks, Realtors, builders and foreign national clients serves as a formidable resource to those he assists. He takes great pride in helping people and focuses on establishing great rapport and trust while providing financial solutions.

Roger has developed client sources from Realtors and builders, and has become very efficient in the purchase market. Through consistent hard work and dedication to his clients, he has earned numerous awards and recognition among his peers.

Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to welcome Derryle Berger to the Venice office.

Born in Tokyo, Japan and brought up in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Derryle relocated to Nokomis in 1998. With over 40 years of travel industry experience, having served as the owner/manager of a travel agency in St. Thomas, Derryle brings an advanced attention to detail and a desire to match her clients with the right destination to fit their needs. This background helped make her transition to the real estate industry a natural progression, involving comparable skills and high standards of customer service.

A specialist in properties throughout the Nokomis and Osprey areas, Derryle has earned his Graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI) designation to enhance the level of service she provides her clients.

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