Florida Gulf Coast real estate reports, things to do, buyer and seller tips, home improvement trends and more!
You'll find a little piece of Old Florida at Snook Haven, just off I-75 at River Road in Venice. Don't be deterred by the dirt road that goes to it (just take it slow!) as you'll find a gem at the end. Snook Haven is on the Myakka River and you may see an alligator float by but you'll also find live bands, boat trips and kayak rentals. There is indoor and outdoor dining with a menu featuring bbq, seafood and more. There's also a bar and plenty of outside seating and entertainment. You can listen to banjo players on Thursdays and local bands most other days of the week. Logan River Tours offers boat trips beginning in November.
Travel through downtown Venice on the island and head south to find Sharkey's on the Pier. The pier recently went through renovations and is the only Gulf-front fishing pier in Sarasota county. While you fish, the kids can search for Shark's Teeth in the sand. Follow-up with a bite to eat, both inside and out or a cool drink at the Tiki bar. There's plenty of rest rooms with showers, a gift shop and ample parking.
On your way to or from Sharkey's, stop at the quaint downtown Venice area to shop for colorful Florida gifts, eat or grab a drink at the Daiquiri Deck. You can also find ice cream, a free concert at the Gazebo in the park and the Venice Theater nearby.
Just north of Venice on the water you'll find another quaint Old Florida restaurant - Pop's Sunset Grill. Have a bite and a drink at this indoor/outdoor restaurant and watch the boats go by … or rent one at the marina next door. They also have outdoor entertainment. Try their great seafood, three bean salad, gumbo, a burger and more! You can also attend the Drum Circle on Nokomis Beach every Wednesday and Saturday about 2 hours before sunset.
Just south of Venice is Englewood and the Manasota Key Beach. Find a beach on both the north and south ends of the Key. Stop for a drink and lunch or dinner at the Beach Road Bistro, the Waverly or the Sandbar. You can also find boat, kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals at Hooked on SUP's at Stump Pass Beach State Park in Englewood and explore Lemon Bay. You can also rent two-person fast catamarans or take a guided nature tour at Riding the Waves.
2020 will bring the first full Atlanta Brave's Spring Training season to the brand new Cool Today Park at the West Villages in North Port, bordering Venice. When baseball ends you'll find plenty of other events throughout the year.
If these weren't enough reasons to visit Venice there are also plenty of new and old communities in the area to look for homes and condos. Sarasota National Golf and County Club is a huge community surrounded by beautiful wetlands and preserves. You'll also find a resort-style pool with tiki bar, restaurant and spa treatment rooms. Other communities include the West Villages, Gran Paradiso, Stoneybrook at Venice and the Venice Golf and Country Club. Check our website for listings in Venice and the rest of the southwest Florida area and contact us with any questions or to schedule a private showing. We'll help you find and own your Piece of Florida Paradise!
We are proud to have not 1 but 2 of the Best Beach Towns to live in according to WalletHub! This 2019 list has Sarasota as #6 and Venice as #10. They were judged on affordability, weather, safety, economy, education, health and quality of life. Both cities have beaches on the Gulf of Mexico with homes and condos spanning inland to just east of I-75.
You will find the beaches of Longboat Key, Lido Key, Siesta Key and Casey Key near Sarasota. In Venice you will find the Venice Municipal Beach along with Caspersen Beach and Brohard Beach which also has a dog park. Homes, condos and townhouses in both areas run from under $100,000 to luxury homes over $1,000,000. Most homes will be no further than 30 minutes to the nearest beach and are surrounded with great restaurants, shops, music venues, theaters, malls, marinas and more. Search for homes in the area at www.FLGulfCoastHomesForSale.com. Feel free to call us at 941-725-9946 (John) or 941-238-7714 (Leslie) if you have any questions or would like to schedule a private showing. Let us help you find your Piece of Florida Paradise!
The "Mighty Oak" is a great analogy for the elegant Oaks community and The Oaks Club in Osprey, Florida. The vision began in 1910 when Bertha Honore Palmer, widow of the multimillionare Potter Palmer acquired 80,000 acres between Sarasota and Venice (now known as Osprey) and built her estate there on Little Sarasota Bay. In the early 1980's the area was developed into The Oaks community along with a 40,000 sq. ft. elegant clubhouse, 2 championship golf courses, 12 HAR-TRU tennis courts, 3 outstanding restaurants, pool and playground.
Homes in the community include condominiums, villas, townhouses and single family homes found in 3 gated communities with 2-6 bedrooms and baths from 1,600 to over 8,000 sq. ft. priced from the high $200's to over $4 million. Residents of the Oak Club community are required to join the club as Equity or Social members. In addition to golf and tennis, the Club has a very active Social calendar.
Contact us with any questions and to schedule a private showing!
When looking at everything around Lakewood Ranch, it's homes, retail, restaurants, schools, hospitals and more … you wouldn't believe that any of it could be 25 years old - it all still looks so fresh and new! But the first homes in the inaugural village of Summerfield were sold in 1995. Lakewood Ranch Boulevard is still the Ranch's most traveled road that passes by Summerfield with it's tree-lined canopy of Live Oaks. Age has actually improved the looks of these mature trees and the upkeep is impeccable. Building began in this area in Manatee County as the commissioners in that county were more responsive to the development and permitting east of I-75 than Sarasota County was at that time. In fact, residential building in the Sarasota County portion of Lakewood Ranch only began in the last few years.
Waterside Place is the newest Village in Lakewood Ranch. It's 5,000 plus homes will be built on a 30 acre peninsula that will be surrounded by a 360 acre lake. The Lakehouse Cove community will include 7 lakes with 20 miles of shoreline. Waterside Place will also include a mix of residential including apartments as well as commercial space, shops, restaurants, outdoor space and entertainment venues including the Players Centre for Performing Arts. The water aspects will be put to good use by having a marina with electric water taxis, kayaks and canoes. This will be the 3rd Town Center in Lakewood Ranch and expects to be open in 2020.
Lakewood Ranch has now grown to be the second fastest growing master-planned community in the UNITED STATES! It now has over 13,000 homes, condos and townhomes with over 30,000 residents and commercial sites employing over 14,000. Everything you need is found in the Ranch including schools, churches, grocery stores, fitness, a post office, sports facilities including a Polo Club and 8 golf courses, a hospital and other medical facilities. Even though Lakewood Ranch is used by the postal service as a "city", a plan to incorporate it into a city was defeated in 2011 when a debate on how it would provide services such as sanitation and law enforcement were raised. These services are now provided by the 2 counties.
If you are new to the area or haven't visited Lakewood Ranch yet, visit it's Music on Main fest on the first Friday of every month from 6 - 9 p.m. - but get there early to find parking. You can also visit Main Street at any other time for a meal, movie, shopping or a late night drink or dessert. If you'd like to explore living there, search for homes at www.FLGulfcoastHomesForSale.com to find your "Piece of Florida Paradise"!
'Tis the season that we all wait for! Six months of the best weather you can find with lower temps and humidity and LOTS of Sunshine! That's why you will find the Farmer's Markets opening up in almost every city in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. Yesterday, Dec. 5th, was the opening day for The Market at Lakewood Ranch. This is the second year for this market and features everything from food to crafts and events for the whole family ... and dogs are allowed! You will find it every Wednesday until April 24th from 3 - 7 p.m. at the Sarasota Polo Club - 8201 Polo Club Lane in Lakewood Ranch. Call 941-556-8300 for more info.
The Sarasota Farmer's Market is open all year round in downtown Sarasota. It runs from 7 a.m. until 1:00 every Saturday. Along with the fresh produce you will also find live plants, artisans, food and beverage vendors, music and more! While you are there visit the many stores and restaurants along Main Street. Call 941-225-9256 for more information or to become a vendor at the market.
Bradenton's Farmers Market runs from Oct. through May on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Bradenton. Chefs demo their recipes as farmers sell their produce. Find them at Old Main Street (12th St. W) between Manatee Ave. and Third Ave. West. More info can be found at www.RealizeBradenton.com
Move to the Beaches and you will find the Beach Market at Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island on both Wednesdays (Dec. 19 - May 22) and Sundays (Nov. - July) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There's not a better place to walk along the beachfront to find produce, arts & crafts, live music and food vendors. There's also plenty of parking at 2650 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach.
The Anna Maria Farmer's Market is found a little farther north on the Island from mid-Oct. to mid-May on Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is found near the City Pier Park on Pine Ave. and North Bay Blvd. Along with produce you will also find fresh herbs, juices, honey and more. Find more info at www.CityOfAnnaMaria.com.
On the famous beaches of Siesta Key you will find their Farmer's Market on Sundays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Their vendors include candle makers, pottery, jellies, art, olive oil, breads and more. Find them at 5104 Ocean Blvd.
South of Sarasota in Englewood you will find 2 Farmer's Markets. One is on downtown's Dearborn St. at 348 W. Dearborn. It is open on Thursdays year-round from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They market organic produce, pies, artisan cheeses, olives and more. Find more info at www.DearbornStreetMarket.com.
The Englewood Farmer's Market is found on the same days and times as the Dearborn St. Market from Oct. through May. It is found in the 300 block of Dearborn St. and vendors come from around the state. More information can be found at www.EnglewoodFarmersMarket.org.
You can visit these local Farmer's Markets 5 days a week so plan a visit to all over the next several months to see what they have to offer!
Even though I grew up without air conditioning in both Florida and Illinois, I now could not imagine life without it. Like any equipment, they need to be maintained and eventually replaced. Typical air conditioning systems last for 10 years in Florida. We were lucky to nurse ours along another 5 years but once the conditioning coil started "raining" inside the area underneath it instead of the condensation flowing properly outside, it was time for a new one. We were lucky that the original duct-work and vents could handle a new system but it is still a big expense. The average cost of installing a new a/c and heating unit is $3,000 - $7,000. We hit the mid-range at $5,500. As with any big expense, always get at least three quotes from reputable companies and ask about what the price includes and the warranty. All of our quotes included a 10 year manufacture's warranty and the company that we chose included a 2-year free annual service, while others were only for 1 year.
Residential units are usually available with 1.5 to 5 ton capacities which is measured by the amount of heat that they can remove from your home in one hour. Bigger is not always better. Too large of a unit will cycle on and off too often and waste energy. Too small of a unit will run constantly and not cool efficiently. A/C systems also have a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. As of January 2006, a minimum rating of 13 SEER is required and will increase the efficiency of older units by up to 30%. Your contractor should discuss the different ratings, pricing and which is best for your home.
Even when choosing to replace our unit with the same brand that we had for 15 years, we found that the size of the outside condensing units were now much larger than in the past and now are required to be bolted down to their pads according to the latest hurricane codes. Be sure to ask about this when getting quotes from each company to see if your current concrete pad is large enough for the new unit. If it's not, they may try to put down a pre-formed larger pad on top of your current pad on the day of the installation. We did not want that, for the looks alone so we had them pour the additional concrete needed adjacent to our current pad. We were not happy that they had to do that at the last minute and in the rain as opposed to measuring it and having it done prior to the installation so have this conversation with them before the installation is scheduled. We were also told that they would be installing a new thermostat inside of our home with the installation. Even though that sounded like a good idea, the thermostat that they installed was much smaller than the previous one that they took off, leaving holes and needed repainting and didn't have the same features that we had grown accustom to. So have that discussion with the salesperson also to make sure that you get what you want or replace it yourself.
Make sure that the company will also deal with the permitting for you. They should open a permit with your city or county, request the inspection once the unit is installed and the fees should be included in your installation contract. Having their work inspected is usually required and in your best interest. Our county inspector found that the area that they attached the new pipes to in the garage ceiling was not up to code so the installer had to come back and fix it to code and send a photo to the inspector for approval. As the home owner, make sure that the work is permitted and that the permit is closed in a timely manner. As Realtors, we often find that work was not permitted or the permit had expired and was never closed. That creates problems and additional fees when you try to sell your home and at that time, you may be the one responsible for taking care of it, not the contractor. The upside to all of this is that we have cool air when we need it the most AND our first electric bill after the new installation was $37 lower than the previous month!