Archives August, 2011

Top 10 Facts About FHA Loans

An FHA loan is a loan insured against default by the Federal Housing Administration. In other words, the FHA guarantees that a lender won’t have to write off a loan if the borrower defaults—the FHA will pay. Because of this guarantee, lenders are willing to make large mortgage loans. In fact, it is the largest insurer of residential mortgages in the world, insuring tens of millions of properties since 1934 when it was created. Nevertheless, they are a great help to some borrowers.

FHA loans are more popular than ever and may be right for you, whether you are looking to buy your first home, next home, or refinance a home you already own. To help you along, here are the top 10 facts about FHA loans: (more…)

Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to welcome Vidar Sætre to the Siesta Key office.

Originally from Oslo, Norway, Vidar relocated to Siesta Key in 1993, where he began his real estate career with Exit Creative Realty. Schooled in Norway for business, construction and technical drawing, Vidar brings a diverse professional background to his career.

All-around knowledgeable in all forms of residential real estate, Vidar’s superior personal skills and proven market familiarity help lead his clients to the successful results they deserve.

Year-To-Date Snapshot: The Recovery Continues

Don’t be misled by the less-than-rosy national housing news.  All real estate is local; and here in Southwest Florida the local picture gets brighter by the month.  Sales are up, inventories are down and prices are being coaxed up as a result.  As the latest independent research from Trendgraphix points out, our market’s recovery has been gathering steam for the better part of a year now.  Below is the latest market snapshot for Sarasota County, comparing year-to-date pricing and inventory trends:

* In coming off a very active spring selling season, July 2011 sales were 18.7 lower than June; but 21% higher than July 2010.  July 2011 “pendings” were exactly on par with June; and nearly 30% higher than last July.

* Based on July’s rate of closed sales, there is now less than a 6-month supply of properties under $300,000.  A six month supply is the traditional dividing line between a buyer’s and seller’s market.  In higher price ranges, a 15 to 18-month supply tends to be the tipping point.


Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to welcome Annette Bentley to the Main Street office.

A Sarasota native, Annette has spent her life in southwest Florida enjoying the people and the climate. From these years of experience, she has developed extensive knowledge of the area, specializing in waterfront properties, residences west of the Trail, and North Sarasota communities.

Annette’s outgoing personality and passion to help people make her a natural success in the real estate profession. She brings a fresh approach to her marketing technique with the option of international exposure.

Palm Island, FL – Neighborhood Video

Also known as Don Pedro Island, this private tropical paradise is part of an extensive chain of barrier islands along the Gulf Coast. Accessible only by boat—or by daily car ferry—boating, fishing, diving and sailing are just a few of the numerous pastimes available to residents. Cars are permitted, but most people move around the island in golf carts.

Architecture styles on Palm Island are tropical-themed and pay homage to the time-honored styles of Key West and Grand Cayman. Immaculate estates are limited in number in order to preserve the pristine natural beauty of the island and the privacy of its residents.

Sarasota, Manatee & Charlotte Counties: July 2011 – Year Over Year Sales Comparison

Sales and inventory levels for July 2011 followed the exact same positive trends in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties.

• The total number of homes for sale is down significantly across all three counties—by 24.7% in Sarasota County, 28.5% in Manatee County; and by 22.8% in Charlotte County

• Following an exceptionally active spring selling season, the summer slowdown happened as usual in July. Closed sales between June and July dropped by 18.7% in Sarasota County, by 15.3% in Manatee County; and by 17.4% in Charlotte County.

• Compared with last July, however, closed sales were up across the board—by 21% in Sarasota County, 4.6% in Manatee County; and by 4.5% in Charlotte County.

• Pending sales saw the biggest year-over-year improvement in July. Pendings were up by 28.9% in Sarasota County, by 23.6% in Manatee County; and by 11% in Charlotte County. Pending sales are the market’s best indicator of closed sales to come 60 to 90 days out. Thus, these numbers reflect the continued strength of market’s recovery and buyer acceptance of today’s bottoming home prices.

The Neighborhood Report – Legends Bay

Find the perfect home for you in Legends Bay. Pictured: 5502 Inspiration Ter.

Beautifully situated on one of the last large parcels of undeveloped waterfront land in the new West Bradenton, Legends Bay at IMG Academies is far removed, but not far away. Legends Bay offers a wonderful lifestyle that is part natural beauty, part exceptional sporting opportunities. With over a mile of waterfront directly on Sarasota Bay, the community provides views over wetlands and mangroves, with abundant wild life and water birds and kayaking along the peaceful waterway. (more…)


Buy Now, While Supplies Last

At first blush, one would hardly expect to find a single Florida city—much less SIX of them—on Forbes’ new list of the Top 25 Recession-Proof Cities for Real Estate. After all, Florida was at the epicenter of the real estate downturn that helped drive our nation’s economy into one of it’s worst-ever recessions.

But there they were, all but dominating the 2011 list prepared by the real estate web site Five of the six—Sarasota-Bradenton, Punta Gorda, Ft. Myers, Destin and Pensacola—are on Florida’s West Coast. The sixth, Port St. Lucie, is on the state’s east coast. No other state placed more markets on the list.


Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to welcome John S. Smith to the St. Armands office.

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, John spent most of his life in the Midwest. After attending both Vanderbilt University and Indiana University, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1980.  Prior to his career in real estate, John held numerous executive-level positions in the relocation industry with Mayflower Transit and Allied Van Lines, where he worked with both corporate and individual clients.

Shortly after receiving his real estate license in Indiana, John made the decision to relocate to Sarasotaand join the Rooks-Morris Real Estate team. In January of 2009, Rooks-Morris was acquired by Prudential Palms Realty, and he became a sales associate for Prudential.

Since the relocation to Sarasota, John has become an active member of the community through organizations such as The Downtown Partnership, Habitat for Humanity and The Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. John has achieved GRI status and is also REO certified.

Saunders Luxury Sales report for August 20, 2011

Michael Saunders & Company is proud to announce several closings made possible through the professional representation of our agents, who work each day to fulfill the unique needs of homebuyers and sellers.  For the week ending August 20, 2011, the properties below sold for over $1 million.

Annette Ayers of Michael Saunders & Company represented the buyer and the seller of a Casey Key gulf-front home.  The residence sold for $1,960,000 on August 1, 2011.

Lenore Treiman of Michael Saunders & Company represented the buyer of a waterfront jewel in Sarasota.  The home sold for $2,675,000 on August 4, 2011.  Sotheby’s represented the seller.

Linda Dickinson of Michael Saunders & Company represented the seller of a bayfront home in Hidden Habor.  The waterfront residence sold for $2,500,000 on August 5, 2011.  Re/Max represented the buyer.

Annette Ayers and Katheren Ayers of Michael Saunders & Company represented the seller of a renovated Casey Key gulf-front home.  The luxurious residence sold for $1,950,000 on August 9, 2011.  Sandals Realty represented the buyer.

Stacy Hanan of Michael Saunders & Company represented the buyer of southwest corner unit in The Ritz Carlton Tower Residences.  The condominium sold for $1,405,000 on August 12, 2011.  Re/Max represented the seller.

Carol Stewart of Michael Saunders & Company represented the buyer of lovely home on Shore Lane in Boca Grande.  It sold for $2,675,000 on August 16, 2011.  Parsley Baldwin Realty represented the seller.

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