Gulf Coast Things to Do, Tips & More!

Florida Gulf Coast real estate reports, things to do, buyer and seller tips, home improvement trends and more!

Feb. 14, 2024

BeachWalk by Manasota Key

BeachWalk by Manasota Key Homes and Amenities, Englewood, FL

Amenities at the BeachWalk by Manasota Key are complete! They include a Resort Style pool, Capri Club (11,500 sq. foot Clubhouse), Fitness Center, Pickleball and Tennis courts along with a scenic boardwalk.  The Saltwater Pool features lap lanes, a heated spa and landscaped sundeck with chaises, tables, umbrellas and firepits. There are 10 Pickleball courts, 6 Bocce courts and 5 Tennis Courts.  The Clubhouse features card and activity rooms, a social lounge and cafe, an outdoor veranda and a state-of-the-art fitness center with 2 movement studios.

DiVosta Homes has planned more than 1,500 low-maintenance single family homes and attached villas from 1,400 to 3,000 square feet with up to 4 bedrooms and baths with 2 to 3 car garages.  Homes start from the $380,000s and are just 2 1/2 miles from the Gulf of Mexico beaches. The main entrance is at Englewood Road/State Road 776 and 26061 Seastone Drive.  Let us help you find your Piece of Florida Paradise! 

#flgulfcoasthomesforsale #beachwalkbymanasotakey #englewoodflhomesforsale #flgulfcoastbeaches


Sept. 22, 2022

Is Solar in Your Future?

Will Solar Panels be in your next home?

Here in the "Sunshine" State we are seeing more solar panels popping up. They have been used to heat pools for some time but now some new construction communities are going "All Green".  As more and more new or replacement roofs are being put on homes we are seeing an increase of the ones that are also including solar panels for the whole house.

Buying or Selling a Home with Solar Panels have issues that most of us wouldn't think of. 

1. Inspections - When buying a home with solar panels, you should have the system inspected to determine if it is functioning properly. It is recommended that you use an independent Solar company to do this. Anything that could have damaged the roof in the past should be looked at. Electrical connections and proper permits should be checked. For solar panels used to heat the pool, there is water running through the pipes on the roof back down to the pool equipment. You want to make sure that those pipes are not leaking.  

2. Ownership - Solar systems can be owned or leased. It is important for the Buyer to know which option the Seller used on their system.  You won't have to worry about lease issues if the system is owned. Most solar leases are for 20 years. If the lease is not paid off, both the Buyer and Seller will have to determine the best course on how to handle the lease at closing. Make sure that you know all of the fees due on the system and what the pay-off amount is. If a Buyer is using a mortgage to buy the home, the lender will also need to know about the lease arrangements and it may increase the Buyer's debt-to-income ratio when applying for the loan.

3. Leased?If a Solar System is leased you need to know the valuation of the lease. The same solar company that you use to inspect the system may be able to supply the information needed such as panel brand, age, inverter types, monitoring software, hardware and warranty. That data can provide the information for the valuation of the system which will also determine the value that it adds to the house.

4. ClosingThe Closing Attorney or Title company handling the sale should ensure that there is not a Uniform Commercial Code (UCC-1) financing statement or filing lien on the solar home property. Some solar companies file this type of lien in the land records to put third parties on notice as to their rights in the system. 

Looking to install Solar Panels? Go to to check on energy savings, potential tax incentives and price estimates. 

Posted in Home Improvement
Aug. 17, 2022

Information on the Deed of your Home

Information on the Deed to your Home

I've been hearing a lot of ads lately on hiring or paying someone to protect your house deed from being stolen and having it sold out from under you. There are also mail advertisements saying that you can send them $89 to send you a copy of your Deed. While that sounds scary, I was happy to read an article in our #florida newspaper recently saying that neither is necessary. For the county that we live in #manateecounty, you can get a copy of your Deed by contacting the County Clerk's Office by calling 941-741-4045 (for Manatee county) and stopping by their office to pick up a copy. They cost $1 per page and $2 for certification.
You can also visit their website at to download a free copy through their Public Records Hub. You can also sign-up for Property Fraud Alerts online which is also Free. The property fraud alerts notify you whenever a declaration, lease, mortgage or lien is recorded in the official records for the county. I was able to that pretty easily by following their online directions. You can probably do the same thing in any county of any state. While they state that this doesn't stop anyone from requesting (or tampering with?) your records, they say that at least you will be notified of the request and can look into it quickly.
Just thought that I'd pass this along in case it helps anyone. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!" 🙂
Aug. 19, 2021

Imagine Museum, St. Petersburg, FL

Imagine Museum, St. Petersburg, FL - Finally got to this cool museum in St. Pete today. Beautiful glass pieces from all over the world. Regular admission is $15 per person but residents from Sarasota and Manatee counties can get in for only $5 per person through 8/31/21! Find it at 1901 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL 33713

Posted in Things To Do
June 4, 2021

Anna Maria Island voted Top 10 "Most Charming Small Towns in Florida"

Anna Maria Island voted in Top 10 of "Most Charming Small Towns in Florida"!

Anna Maria Island is just west of the city of Bradenton on the Gulf of Mexico. There are actually 3 beach areas on the island, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach. A portion of Longboat Key is also in Manatee County while the southern most area of that beach/island is in Sarasota County. I prefer Anna Maria Island to all of the other nearby beach areas, maybe because you can't beat the 7 mile drive from one end to the other. On the northern most tip you find both the Rod & Reel Pier and the nearby Anna Maria City Pier. You'll find fishermen and women at both along with restaurants, shops & beaches. These areas still resemble "Old Florida" to me, casual dress, no parking meters (knock on wood) and great places to eat and drink. You can spend hours watching the pelicans and other water birds and may get a surprise sighting of a manatee as they swim along the shore. We spend our time on Coquina Beach on the island and I even learned to swim there as a kid. Coquina Beach is on the south end of Anna Maria Island just north of Longboat Key. It is known for it's Austalian pine trees which line the roads and give the beach great shaded areas to picnic, bbq and hang a hammock. There are Farmer's and Craft markets on the beach twice a week from November through July. Year-round you will find a full-service concession stand serving burgers, salads, seafood, great onion rings, ice cream and drinks. There are also showers, restrooms, changing stations and beach volley ball courts. Parking is free and lifeguards are on duty. There is a paved "sidewalk" near the beach under the shade which makes it a comfortable walk or bike-ride up and down the length of the beach. Birdlife is abundant with osprey, pelicans, seagulls, terns and more and you can also watch dolphins swim nearby. Across from the beach, on the bay side you will find Leffis Key Preserve with mangroves and 1,500 feet of boardwalks to view Sarasota Bay and it's own wildlife such as racoons, black-crowned night herons, crabs & manatees. There is a boat launch just south of Leffis Key and restaurants just north of Coquina on both sides of the street. The address for Coquina Beach is 2603 Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach and more information can be found at or by phone at 941-742-5923. Search for #floridahomesforsale in the area at

Posted in Things To Do
April 20, 2021

Find your Piece of Florida Paradise at Wellen Park in Venice, FL

Wellen Park - Master-Planned Communities in Venice, FL

Wellen Park is a master planned community with established neighborhoods such as Boca Royale in north Englewood along with Sarasota National, Gran Paradiso and Grand Palm in Venice. Their tagline is "Get the life you always imagined, right alongside the life you never expected".  The future for these communities plan to have it all.  You will currently find the Cool Today Park where the Atlanta Braves have their Spring Training along with concerts, movies, happy hour and fireworks.  There are 18 hole Golf Courses with clubhouses at Boca Royale and Sarasota National.  You'll find the Blue Heron Park and Bark Park at the West Villages with walking trails and shade structures with doggie drinking fountains and agility stations. Senator Bob Johnson's Landing in Venice has canoe and kayak launches, trails, fishing, grills and restrooms.  Downtown Wellen Park will be a walkable area with shops, dining, music, entertainment and more due to be completed during the last quarter of 2022.

Residential communities include Boca Royale in north Englewood with both established homes and new construction from condos in the $200,000s up to single family homes over $1,000,000. It is a gated community with a golf course and clubhouse along with a fitness center and tennis. 

West Villages has the neighborhoods of Grand Palm, Gran Paradiso, Islandwalk, Renaissance, Sarasota National, Tortuga and The Preserve at West Villages.  Tortuga with have single family homes from the $300,000s.  Island Walk has villas and single family homes between $300,000 - $600,000.  Renaissance has paired villas from the upper $200,000s as well as single family homes starting in the mid $300,000s.  Oasis has single family homes starting in the mid $300,000s.  Sarasota National in Venice has both established homes and new construction from condos in the $200,000s to coach homes, villas, patio homes and single family homes up to over $800,000.  Some homes come with golf memberships while others do not.  Gran Paradiso and Grand Palm also have established homes as well as new construction.  Grand Paradiso has coach homes, townhomes and villas from the mid $200,000s.  Grand Palm has paired villas and single family homes from the low $300,000s.

At this time they plan to have 22,000 homes in Wellen Park at it's completion and it's Downtown area will have a 80 acre activity lake, festival area, splash park, food truck park along with shopping and dining.  With "wellness" in mind, it will have 18 miles of nature and fitness trails with 25 more miles of trails planned in the future.  If an active lifestyle is what you are looking for, contact us at 941-725-9946 or 941-238-7714 to help you find your "Piece of Florida Paradise"! 


Feb. 28, 2021

Cortez Fishing Village near Anna Maria Island, FL

Cortez Fishing Village near Anna Maria Island, FL

We were trying to go to Anna Maria Island for lunch today but we got stuck in traffic for too long so I finally made a quick turn to get out of it and ended up at the Cortez Fishing Village just before the bridge over to the island. We've been there before but I forgot how quaint and interesting that area was. There are 2 restaurants there, the Swordfish Grill and the Cortez Kitchen, both on the water with outdoor dining along with inside dining (and live music) at the Swordfish Grill. You'll also find the Star Fish Company Market with fresh catches. There's a museum open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 - 4 that shows it's history and hosts events during the year. Take a visit next time your head to the beach! #annamariaisland #cortezfishingvillage #fishingannamariaisland #seafoodrestaurant


Posted in Things To Do
Feb. 25, 2021

St. Armands Circle Sarasota

St. Armands Circle Sarasota Outdoor Things To Do!

So many #OUTDOOR things to do in Sarasota, FL! "Winter" weather is at it's best in Sarasota and there are so many things to do out in the Great Outdoors. St. Armand's Circle in Sarasota is found just over the Ringling Bridge near downtown. There are over 100 shops and restaurants around the circle including the Columbia restaurant, Tommy Bahamas, the Daquiri Deck Raw Bar restaurant with outdoor seating and great drinks, Kilwins chocolate and ice cream, The Giving Tree Gallery, The Met Day Spa and Salon and much, much more. Events are found in the circle park area such as the Porsche in the Park event scheduled for May 1, 2021 the St. Armands Boat Show on June 5 and and the 20th annual St. Armands Craft Festival on June 12 & 13. Find homes and condos for sale in the area at Call John Gregory at 941-725-9946 or Leslie Gregory at 941-238-7714 with any questions or to schedule private showings of homes.

Posted in Things To Do
Dec. 16, 2020

Lifestyle Communities in Manatee County, FL

Lifestyle Communities in Manatee County FL

In case you are interested in active communities in southwest Florida, here is some information on communities in Manatee county (Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch areas) that have many amenities and several of them have lifestyle directors on staff.
River Strand at Heritage Harbour in Bradenton, FL - River Strand is an active golf course community with much more. Some homes come with golf memberships and others do not - the HOA fee will reflect if a golf membership is included. There is also a public course available at the Heritage Harbour community next to this one. You’ll find a Tuscan style restaurant here with both formal and casual dining. There is a 3,500 square foot health and fitness spa with a resort style pool and grill. There are also many other smaller pools and cabana facilities as well as tennis courts.
Tidewater Preserve on the Manatee River in Bradenton, FL -
This community is on 2 miles of the Manatee River with a nature trail and river walk along the mangroves. There are boat slips available along with a canoe & kayak launch and tennis courts. The Lodge Community Center is 5,012 sq. ft. with a fitness center, kitchen and playground. You'll find a resort style pool, gathering areas with a covered veranda & a trellised patio that overlooks the river.
Esplanade at Lakewood Ranch - Esplanade has many "lifestyle" amenities. It is east of I-75 about 30-40 minutes to the Anna Maria Island and Siesta Key beaches. The Lakewood Ranch area has its own "downtown" on Main Street with quaint shops, restaurants and bars, movie theaters and miniature golf. It is close to the University Town Mall at I-75 and University Parkway. There are also many additional stores and restaurants further west of the Mall on both sides of University Parkway. The Esplanade community is on 60 acres and will have 1,250 villas and single family homes. It has serene lakes and a full time lifestyle director on site which coordinates biking, bingo, book clubs, canasta and Texas Hold 'em tournaments. There is also a golf course with pro shop, tennis and a fitness club that includes a movement studio and massage room. There is a heated lagoon-style pool and spa with a resistance pool, bbq area, fire pits and pickle and bocce ball areas. The clubhouse also includes a craft room, billiard room, outdoor veranda, and a coffee & tea station in the kitchen. Outdoor activities include a canoe and kayak launch, a bark park (for dogs!) and walking trails.
Palma Sola Bay Club on the Palma Sola Bay in Bradenton - Palma Sola Bay Club is a condominium community near the Anna Maria beaches in Bradenton, Florida. The community will consist of 23 four-story, mid-rise buildings with nine residences in each, covered parking below the buildings, storage and elevators. The two and three bedroom units range from 1,657 to 1,857 square feet with prices starting in the $300,000s. Palma Sola Bay Club has a 20-foot by 20-foot wood platform walkway and deck overlooking the Palma Sola Bay waterfront. Residents will have a perfect location for fishing, viewing sunsets and wildlife watching. Palma Sola Bay Club has also added amenities such as bocce ball courts, grilling pavilions and an expanded pool deck with a fire pit.
University Park Golf & Country - Founded in 1991, the location and natural backdrop are unparalleled at University Park Country Club. Voted “Best of the Best” by Sarasota Magazine for 18 years running, the club features 27 holes of championship golf, 11 lighted Har-Tru tennis courts and a state-of-the-art Fitness Center. The Park Grille & Café is an award-winning dining and banquet destination. A flourishing semi-private membership and countless enthusiastic daily fee players have made University Park Country Club the #1 Golf Course in Southwest Florida!
Del Webb, Lakewood Ranch, FL - Del Webb is one of the few 55+ communities in the area that offers single family homes and paired villas. A lifestyle director is on-site planning activities held at the sales center after hours as well as off-site events. You will find fitness classes, arts & crafts, dancing, dinners, cards, tennis and day trips & cruise opportunities. Outdoor Amenities include a resort-style pool with lap lanes, spa, outdoor bar, bbq grills, 6 tennis courts, 4 bocce ball courts, 8 pickleball courts and an event lawn. Indoor amenities include a 21,000 s.f. clubhouse, state-of-the-art Fitness Center, group fitness studio, activity & gathering areas, a catering kitchen, Wi-Fi café, clubs and classes.
If you'd like me to send you listings in any of these areas let me know or to search for properties in the area visit our website at: .


Oct. 15, 2020

Best Places to Retire 2020

Best Places to Retire? 13 of the ‘Top 25’ Are in Fla.

U.S. News & World Report’s latest ranking of top retirement communities could have almost said, “Pick any town in Fla.” Seven Fla. metros are in the top 10: Sarasota (No. 1), Fort Myers (2), Port St. Lucie (3), Naples (4), Ocala (6), Miami (9) and Melbourne (10).

WASHINGTON – U.S. News & World Report unveiled its 2020-2021 Best Places to Live and Best Places to Retire in the United States. The new lists evaluate the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on affordability, job prospects and desirability.

In the “Best Places to Retire” category, Florida metro areas stood out with seven out of the top 10 slots and 13 of the top 25 slots.

“After a prolonged period of staying at home, people are taking a critical look at where they live, and many are looking to find a place they can feel happier, afford more or pursue new opportunities,” says Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News. “The Best Places rankings can help people examine the details they consider important in a larger community.”

This year, U.S. News increased the number of metropolitan areas evaluated for both sets of rankings from 125 to 150, to provide a broader and more accurate reflection of where Americans can live and retire.

Best places to retire

U.S. News & World Report’s announcement of top retirement destinations says it’s “dominated by Florida metro areas, largely due to affordable homes, low taxes and high ratings for happiness and desirability.”

An increase in Desirability and Job Market scores lifted Sarasota from No. 2 last year to No. 1 this year – but it overtook another Florida city, Fort Myers, which became No. 2. And while Port. St. Lucie’s Housing Affordability score decreased slightly, increases in Desirability, Job Market and Health Care scores helped it jump two places to No. 3.

Miami also saw a decrease in Housing Affordability, but it broke into the top 10 this year, jumping five places to No. 9 thanks to Desirability and Job Market score increases.

The top 25 places to retire also includes three Texas communities, and two places each in Michigan, North Carolina and Tennessee.

“Moving to a new place for retirement can reduce your cost of living and improve your quality of life,” says Emily Brandon, U.S. News senior editor for retirement. “The Best Places to Retire includes information about housing costs, access to quality hospitals and the strength of the job market, which can help you find a retirement spot that will meet your needs.”

The 2020-2021 Best Places to Retire were determined based on a methodology that factored in happiness, housing affordability, health care quality, retiree taxes, desirability and job market ratings. These measures were weighted based on a public survey of individuals across the U.S. who are nearing retirement age (ages 45-59) and those who are of retirement age (60 or older) to find out what matters most when considering where to retire. Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as U.S. News rankings of the Best Hospitals.

2020-2021 Best Places to Retire – Top 25

  1. Sarasota
  2. Fort Myers
  3. Port St. Lucie
  4. Naples
  5. Lancaster, Pa.
  6. Ocala
  7. Ann Arbor, Mich.
  8. Asheville, N.C.
  9. Miami
  10. Melbourne
  11. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
  12. Nashville, Tenn.
  13. Jacksonville
  14. Manchester, N.H.
  15. Daytona Beach
  16. Orlando
  17. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  18. Lakeland
  19. Chattanooga, Tenn.
  20. Tampa
  21. Grand Rapids, Mich.
  22. Houston, Texas
  23. Charlotte, N.C.
  24. San Antonio, Texas
  25. Pensacola

U.S. News & World Report is a global leader in quality rankings that empower people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives.

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