Archives December, 2011


Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to welcome Kim and Patty Gilliland to the Siesta Key office.

Sarasota natives and longtime real estate professionals, Kim and Patty have become one of the most successful teams in Sarasota with over 1,000 closed transactions and even more satisfied clients.

A member of the Sarasota Association of Realtors (SAR) since 1976, Kim has earned many awards for his sales production and customer satisfaction, including “The Legend” award for over five consecutive years in the top three percent of agents in the United States. Kim is also a past president of SAR and has served regularly on many committees. Patty has been a Realtor alongside Kim for over 10 years. Among her many talents, Patty has an excellent eye for decorating and seeing the attributes or the potential in any property.

Southwest Florida Real Estate – Happier New Year

T’was the week before Christmas and the headlines were jolly.  In a single day last week, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune was a major chronicler of glad tidings for our market.  Just as it prepares for its busiest season of the year, Southwest Florida’s real estate market posted sharp gains in both the number of homes sold during November and the median price they fetched, the paper announced from its front page.

“Census sees a new influx into Florida,” proclaimed a second headline on the front page. “Florida is growing again,” the accompanying article said.   During the fifteen months between April 2010 and July 2011, 119,000 people moved to Florida from other U.S. states; a number surpassed only by Texas.

Not to be outdone, the front page of the newspaper’s business section announced that the U.S. economy will enter 2012 “on a roll,” with its job market in recovery, manufacturing and retail spending up, gas prices down, and the stock market posting impressive year-end gains. (more…)

Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to welcome Jamie Van Vliet to the Lakewood Ranch office.

A native Californian, Jamie grew up in the Midwest, where she met and married her husband, Chris, in 1991. While owning a commercial property management company and raising a family, they decided to move to San Diego, where they opened a real estate company focusing on luxury and coastal real estate. With a concentration on “above & beyond” customer service, Jamie and Chris negotiated and successfully closed residential transactions as high as $7 million.

After visiting family and friends in Florida in June 2011, Jamie and her family immediately fell in love with the Lakewood Ranch/Sarasota area and relocated in August 2011.

Jamie is a member of the National Association of Realtors and the Manatee Association of Realtors.

Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to welcome Maggie Mitchell to the Lakewood Ranch office.

Originally from San Jose, California, Maggie relocated to Lakewood Ranch in 1999, where she specializes in residential and equestrian properties. A graduate of the University of California-Davis with a bachelor’s degree in design, she brings an extensive, storied background with horses and the sport of polo.

Maggie has 20+ years of experience managing polo clubs throughout the nation, including Texas, Oklahoma, California, Massachusetts and Florida. Most recently, she served as the manager of the Sarasota Polo Club here in Lakewood Ranch, where she successfully marketed the polo season throughout the area and worked as the publisher of the Sarasota Polo Magazine for 10 years

A Foundation For Giving

Nothing raises our spirits more than seeing the last soldiers depart Iraq in time for the holidays.  The recurring image of tearful families being re-united with their loved ones underscores the magnitude of sacrifices each has made throughout the nine-year conflict.  To every soldier—and to his or her loved ones—we offer our solemn and heartfelt thanks and best wishes for your holiday reunion.

Regrettably, our returning heroes’ next big challenge will be to re-establish their footing in the midst of a tenacious recession noteworthy for persistent unemployment and growing human need. Amid deep corporate and government cuts in funding for community outreach, it now falls to charitable organizations to underwrite many of the programs that help rescue the less fortunate among us—including children, veterans and the homeless.

Helping bridge the funding gap is one of the primary reasons behind the MSC Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that was launched this past spring.   In spite of equally tough times for the real estate industry, many of our 550-plus agents have joined together to expand on their long-standing tradition of giving back to their communities. (more…)

Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to welcome Annie Bauer to the Main Street office.

A Sarasota-area resident since 1994, Annie holds a real estate license in Florida, Illinois and Ontario, Canada. She started her career in commercial leasing, sales and management with CB Richard Ellis in 2002. When she decided to make the leap to residential sales in 2005, she hit the ground running. Annie has been honored for her success by the Chicago Association of Realtors by winning consecutive awards for ‘Outstanding Sales Achievement’ in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The Chicago Tribune also recognized her as a ‘Top Producer’ in both 2007 and 2009 despite the worst market conditions in decades. Undeterred, highly energetic and extremely motivated, she was nominated and won an additional award in 2009 from @properties for ‘Outstanding Sales Achievement—Development Division’ for her sales of new construction and conversion projects.

In her career, Annie has worked with a broad range of clients, from first-time home buyers to investors, to sophisticated sellers and nationally recognized developers and asset managers.

Siesta Key Real Estate – Harbor Towers

Located along Midnight Pass Road on beautiful Siesta Key, seven-story Harbor Towers is the perfect place for those who enjoy the feeling of a grand hotel while having their boat at their door. Upon entrance to the community, a welcoming waterfall creates the ambiance of a luxurious tropical vacation enveloped by lush, meticulously kept landscaping. Both spacious and relaxing, the attractive lobby offers a quiet atmosphere and comfortable seating. (more…)

Saunders Luxury Sales Report for December 17, 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 December 17, 2011, the properties below sold for over $1 million.

Terri Healy of Michael Saunders & Company represented the buyer of a spectacular beach house on Manasota Key Road in Englewood.  The residence sold for $2,200,000 on December 1, 2011.  Re/Max represented the seller.

Donald Geike and Dana Cook Westmark, both of Michael Saunders & Company, represented the seller and Linda Driggs, also of Michael Saunders & Company, represented the buyer of an amazing residence in Oyster Bay Estates.  The home sold for $1,265,000 on December 7, 2011.

Mary Evelyn Guyton of Michael Saunders & Company represented the seller of a unique home on a private peninsula on Casey Key.  The residence sold for $1,705,000 on December 7, 2011.

Karen Greco and Kelly Turner of Michael Saunders & Company represented the seller and Karen Pflueger, also of Michael Saunders & Company, prepresented the buyer of a Siesta Key waterfront gem.  The home sold for $1,554,717 on December 9, 2011.

Terri Healy of Michael Saunders & Compnay represented the buyer of a Manasota Key gulf front residence.  The home with amazing views sold for $2,400,000 on December 15, 2011.  Nelda Thompson & Assoc. represented the seller.

Kathleen Callender of Michael Saunders & Company represented the buyer and Linda Thompson of Michael Saunders & Company represented the seller of a luxurious condominium in Grand Bay on Longboat Key.  The unit sold for $1,100,000 on December 15, 2011.


Venice Real Estate – Waterford

Pictured: 1763 Cartina Way

A prestigious, gated golf course community of 640 homes with welcoming neighbors, Waterford is located just moments from downtown Venice and beautiful area beaches. Waterford offers a variety of residential, deed restricted options, from homes of over 4,400 square feet to villas in the 1,300-square-foot range. It is composed of 10 smaller communities with individual homeowners associations, and a master homeowners association with architectural and property maintenance responsibility and oversight. The association fees are very reasonable. (more…)

Commercial Real Estate Sarasota: A Year End Update

If you’ve walked down Main Street, around St. Armands Circle or through any other major retail zone in Southwest Florida you’ve probably noticed far fewer vacant store fronts.  Not to mention many new stores, restaurants and boutiques that weren’t there this time last year—or even six months ago.  That’s because just as our local economy appears to be shedding its doldrums, commercial sales and leasing rates are holding at their lowest levels since before the real estate boom.   Consequently, forward-thinking businesses are seizing on today’s best buying and leasing opportunities as a guaranteed way to keep a lid on their operating costs.

Commercial markets from coast to coast have had precious little to be cheerful about over the past few years.  Our market is no exception, as sales remained relatively flat throughout 2011.   Still, as the year winds down, we are starting to notice a slight—but  encouraging—sea change in the economic fundamentals that drive the commercial real estate market. (more…)

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