Saturday, March 4, 2017

Take Me Out to The Ball Game

  It’s that time of year when Sarasota sports fans turn to one of their favorite sports - Spring Training Baseball. The Sarasota Spring Training Baseball season fired up on February 26th and will run through March 30th this year. Teams like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, and the Philadelphia Phillies will be here competing against our home team, the Baltimore Orioles. You can view the entire season line up at http://m.mlb.com/orioles/tickets/spring .

  Thanks to our beautiful weather, spring training baseball has been a fixture in Sarasota for nearly a century. The annual tradition of hosting Major League teams in Sarasota began in the 1920’s when the owner of the New York Giants was persuaded by two good friends, Samuel Gumpertz and John Ringling to bring his team to play at a newly constructed baseball diamond in Payne Park. Over the years, the Indianapolis Indians, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago White Sox all played at Payne Park.

  In 1989, Sarasota made a significant investment in its sporting venues when the Ed Smith Stadium was built at 2700 12th Street at the corner of 12th and Tuttle in the northeastern part of Downtown Sarasota. And, since 2010, the Baltimore Orioles have called Sarasota their spring training home and more than 640,000 fans have enjoyed spring training games at the stadium. A major renovation to support the needs of the Orioles was completed in 2011.

  For a different Spring Training venue, you may also want to attend at Pittsburgh Pirates game at their spring training camp right next door in Bradenton.

  Ed Smith Stadium is a great place for baseball enthusiasts. Unlike some spring training camps, there's plenty of parking right at the stadium, concession stands, a team shop and, for those so inclined, there are 3 private suites that can be purchased. If you like to get "up close and personal" with the players, you'll love this stadium with its modest seating capacity of 7,428 plus standing-room-only space bringing the total capacity to 8,500. A fabric sun shade extends from the stadium's roof to nearly double the number of shaded seats. While tickets have been on sale since January, tickets can often be purchased on the day of the game.

  If you aren't a baseball aficionado, Sarasota offers several other ways to enjoy your favorite sport year round including the Sarasota Polo Club, the IMG Sports Academy and the Nathan Benderson Park among others. Nathan Benderson Park will host the 2017 World Rowing Championships. And, there are those 35 miles of beautiful beaches, hundreds of miles of nature trails for hiking or cycling. There are also venues for equestrian events, boat racing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing and, of course, watching gorgeous sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.

  If you aren't already here, and you're a fan of baseball or any sport, for that matter, now through early Spring would be a great time to come to Sarasota to identify and purchase a year-round or seasonal Sarasota Florida home or condo. There are plenty of homes for sale in virtually every price range on the Greater Sarasota real estate market.

  I would be delighted to firsat listen to your needs and wishes and then work tirelessly to find the home or condo in Downtown Sarasota, in one of our vintage Sarasota neighborhoods or in a country club community that perfectly fulfills your dreams and wishes. Please call me now at 941.266-2512. I'd be apopy to answer all your questions and help you plan your trip here.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Did You Know That Sarasota Has a Renowned Polo Club

  Many things make Sarasota, Florida one of the most attractive places to live in the United States. Not the least of these is the arts, cultural, shopping and dining amenities and a virtually year round flow of festivals and events.

  One of the truly unique but less popularly known assets of Sarasota is the presence of the Sarasota Polo Club. Polo is more commonly associated with the United Kingdom and South America, yet this exciting and entertaining sport enjoys a strong following in the United States. From its beginnings in a New York City in 1876, the popularity of the sport in the United States has grown continuously.

  The Sarasota Polo Club traces its roots back to 1922 when the Uihlein family, founders of the Schlitz Brewing Company, bought 28,000 acres in eastern Sarasota and Manatee County. Cowboys who were brought to the ranch started playing something roughly akin to the game of polo using just their rancing horses and sticks on a rough pasture. From those humble beginnings, the Sarasota Polo Club has grown from just two polo fields into a first-class polo club. Today, with 130 acres and 9 meticulously groomed polo fields, two stick and ball fields and a regulation size arena, the Sarasota Polo Club is now one of the largest polo clubs in the United States.

  The Sarasota Polo Club includes a member’s clubhouse, a full-size outdoor arena, a covered pavilion, a 3/4 of a mile exercise track, three 24-stall barns and a well-regarded veterinary clinic. During the polo season up to 600 horses are housed on the Polo Club grounds and in the 35 private ranches surrounding the polo fields.

  Everyone is invited to join the Sarasota Polo Club which offers training sessions, 4, 8 and 10 goal leagues. Practice games are offered 3 days/week. An arena polo program is also available. The club hosts U. S. Polo Association (USPA) tournaments from 4 to 12 goal tournaments during its season.

  Polo matches at the Club are open to the public, weather permitting, and are being held this season every Sunday afternoon at 1:00PM from January 8th through April 9th. Beginning this season, matches will also be held the last Friday of each month at 3:00PM. Gates open on Sundays at 10:00AM on Sundays and 2:00PM for Friday matches. Admission in $12.00 per person and children under 12 are free. Tickets may be purchased at the gate. Well-behaved dogs on leash are allowed on the grounds.

  So, once you’ve had your fill of playing and sun tanning on some of the finest beaches in America, introduce yourself and your family to something exciting,. Bring the family, your guests and a picnic basket to the Sarasota Polo Club the 2017 season. Attending a polo match can be a fun-filled afternoon with the kids enjoying pony rides and Clydesdale wagon rides. Tailgate parties, half-time entertainment and even a round of divot stomping will complete your afternoon.

  If Polo sounds like the sort of exciting sport you'd enjoy watching or maybe even participating in, call ne at 941-266-2512 and let me tell you even more about the joy of living and working or retiring here in Sarasota Florida. As a Sarasota Real Estate professional with many years of experience, I'd also enjoy showing you homes available in some of Sarasota's most appealing neighborhoods.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sarasota Real Estate Market Getting Ready For Snowbirds

  And the news is really good for snowbirds coming to the Sarasota Florida area and thinking about investing in a home or condo while they're here this winter season.

  The number of homes and condos available for purchase in Sarasota and Manatee County continued to increase during October. The number of properties for sale in October was up by 3.1% over September and up 17.5% over last year at this time when the market strongly favored sellers because there were relatively few properties for sale. With more properties on the market, the selection of properties available to prospective buyers gets wider and prices have a tendency to stabilize. This is a good omen.

  In Sarasota County the single-family home inventory increased by 15.7% to 2,787 while in Manatee County the inventory increased by 11.3% to 2,119. The inventory of condominiums and townhomes increased by 35.8% to 1,528 in Sarasota County and by 11.4% to 869 in Manatee County.

  The number of closed sales remained about the same in October as in October, 2015 in Sarasota County with a total of 868 closings. Closed sales actually dropped by 16.5% in Manatee County. The growing inventory of available properties along with the decrease in closed sales has been moving the local market closer and closer to a balanced state when factors favoring buyers and sellers are essentially equal.

  But, don't be lulled into believing that just because there are more properties for sale now, there's no need to get going. As more snowbirds arrive, Sarasota real estate volumes are starting to pick up. “While October "closed" sales were about the same or down, the number of "pending" sales contracts (those which will close in upcoming months) actually increased, reversing the trend we had seen for most of this year,” said Linda Formella, President of the Realtor Association of Sarasota & Manatee. To put it succinctly, on the sales side, things are definitely beginning to perk up after quiet spring and summer seasons and that increased inventory of available homes won't last forever.

  So, now would be a great time to contact me or visit my Sarasota Real estate website. I would be delighted to listen carefully to your requirements and then work diligently to help you find the single-family home, condo or townhome in the Sarasota area that meets your particular needs and wishes. Call me today at 941-266-2512 and let's work together to get you exactly the home or condo you're looking for in the price range you prefer in a location you'll love.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Another Sarasota Festival - This One For Music Lovers

  If a love of music is one of the things that will help you choose where to live or retire, Sarasota again demonstrated why you should consider investing in a home or condo here.

  One of Sarasota’s longest running music festivals, Giving Hunger the Blues was held on the grounds of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on the Sarasota waterfront for its 20th anniversary earlier this month. The show featured an impressive lineup of local musical artists including headliners in the fields of blues, funk, soul, rock, country, R&B, jazz and reggae. Like other popoular music festivals in the Sarasota area, this one included multiple events in a number of different venues leading up to the main event at the Van Wezel grounds.

  For those not familiar with this festival, the Giving Hunger the Blues festival was founded in 1966 by George Generoso and has since raised over $1.6 million to support of its mission of reliving hunger in the Sarasota area. All proceeds from this year’s festival benefitted the “Women’s Resource Center of Sarasota/Manatee County”, The Mayor’s “Feed the Hungry” program and the Generoso Foundation. Giving Hunger the Blues had gone into hiatus in 2013 but came back to life in 2015 and this year’s program was even bigger than last year. Peter Anderson, chairman of the festival said “I have always believed that Giving Hunger the Blues could and should expand. We have a huge and loyal music audience here, but even more importantly, we have a never ending need to feed, protect and nurture the children in our community. This year’s move to the grounds at Van Wezel gave us the opportunity we needed to expand the event.”

  For families, this festival, timed to mesh with Halloween, was a great opportunity for kids to trick or treat, get a free Giving Hunger the Blues T-shirt for bringing non-perishable food donations to the entry gate, enjoy food from some of the best Sarasota area restaurants and food vendors and an opportunity to spend time with their parents listening to great music across a wide spectrum of genres.

  Other popular Sarasota music festivals include the Sarasota Folk Music festival in March and SummerFest held in early July. But, there are festivals of one kind or another occurring virtually every month of the year. They range from the Sarasota Film Festival, the sand sculpturing competition and the annual sidewalk chalk art festival to the Shark's Tooth Festival, the Downtown Arts Festival and many more. There's always something fun to do see and do here in Sunny Sarasota Florida.

  If you are considering investing in a home in Sarasota, Florida, please call me at 941-266-2512. If you wish you may also visit my Sarasota real estate website to learn about Sarasota homes and condos in a wide variety of styles and locations in downtown Sarasota, in golf course and waterfront communities and on out Longboat, Lido, Bird and Siesta Key.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Very Attractive Sarasota Villa Home You've Waited For

  Here is that extremely attractive, completely updated villa home with golf course you’ve been looking for as your seasonal or permanent home on the warm and friendly Sarasota Florida Sun Coast. And, to make it even more attractive, it is in The Meadows subdivision, one of the most attractive Sarasota neighborhoods with three 18-hole golf courses, 2 pro shops and teaching facilities. The Meadows and Highlands courses are private. The Groves course is public. For non-golfers, there are biking and fitness trails throughout the community.

  With golf course views, this villa home has been updated with the best quality available. The appeal begins right away as you come into the pavered drive and up the walk that welcomes you into a gated courtyard entry to this stunning villa. Two large bedrooms, two full baths plus a den give this 1,878 sq ft home all the flexibility you might desire.

  Hardwood flooring continues from the foyer throughout the home while the two baths, the laundry and the spacious enclosed lanai are finished with attractive tile flooring. The new kitchen with an abundance of solid wood cabinetry for storage, and granite counter tops and recessed lighting make this an appealing home for entertaining friends and neighbors. Other features include crown molding, a full set of appliances including refrigerator, oven, range, microwave, dishwasher, disposal, washer and dryer and a beautiful wood-burning fireplace. French doors from the kitchen into the den add an attractive architectural detail. The master bedroom has a large walk-in closet plus an extra custom-built closet. A fountain outside the dining room window adds to an incredible sense of ambience.

  Both bathrooms have been updated and there are plantation shutters in the den, guest bedroom and the garage. Top of the line sun/privacy shades along the windows facing onto the lanai. The 2-car garage has very generous and handy loft-type storage in addition to cabinets and shelving. New fans and fixtures and the air conditioner is only 2 years old.

  Priced attractively at $329,900, this is a maintenance-free villa home you can move into and start enjoying the sunny and warm Sarasota lifestyle immediately. If you’d like to view this home or know more about other attractive villa and traditional homes with and without golf course views, call me at today at 941.266.2512 and mention MLS # A4155897. As a resident of The Meadows community myself, I can show you the best home and villa values in this unusually attractive Sarasota, Florida neighborhood.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Introducing Sarasota's Unique "Island Park"

  One of the perks of buying a home or condo in Sarasota or in one of the several attractive neighborhoods like The Meadows is how close you’ll be to one of Sarasota’s most casual, and at the same time, most inviting parks. Bayfront Park (also known as Island Park), is practically surrounded by water with a marina on its northern side, views of Sarasota Bay, directly west across the Bay, Bird and Lido Key and the John Ringling Bridge and Causeway and to the south smaller boats in a small harbor area with Siesta Key behind them. Turn around to view the Sarasota mainland skyline.

  The famous “Dolphin Fountain” is one of the more memorable features of the park and is a “must see” as is the “unconditional Surrender” kissing sailor statue nearby. At various times of the year, Bayfront Park is also home to a variety of arts and cultural events including the annual "Season of Sculpture" which draws sculptors from both locally and internationally

  The park has comfortable benches under old Florida Banyan trees and in the center, there’s a large area of lawn for those who wish catch a few rays, toss a Frisbee or just relax in the warm Sarasota sunshine,. Your children and grandchildren will love Bayfront Park for its playground and spray fountain wafting water into the air from playful animal statues. If you have dog, this is the perfect place to take it for a walk as the park is dog-friendly. Many bring their pets here for a waterfront stroll or even a bit of exercise playing in the water.

  Hungry? For seated dining , Marina Jack’s is located right at Bayfront Park. For more casual fare, O'Leary's offers burgers, sandwiches, and such plus a tiki bar where a range of tropical drinks, wine and beer is available as you listen to live music, sit at picnic tables and do a little people-watching of those walking, rollerblading or biking past on the half-mile long paved walkway encircling the park.

  Feeling ambitious or playful? The park has a canoe/kayak launch and paddleboats and wave runners can be rented at O’Leary’s. Or, enjoy a dolphin or manatee cruise from right in the park at Marina Jack’s on LeBarge which offers everything from morning dolphin and manatee watch and nature cruises to a tropical sunset cruise with a light fare menu, full bar and live entertainment.

  For more information on the many other attractions here in Sarasota Florida, visit my Sarasota real estate website. Or, if you wish, call me at 941-266-2512. I'f be happy to help you plan your move to the "Sunny Paradise" that is Sarasota Florida.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

An Attractive Sarasota Home in an Attractive Neighborhood

  Did you know you can have a beautiful 2 bedroom, 2 bath home in an attractive Sarasota neighborhood for well under $300,000?

  Well, you can and hedre is just one example.

  At 3380 Chelmsford Court # 8 is a beautiful 2 bed/2 bath villa home with den on a quiet tree-lined street in the Chelmsford Close neighborhood in The Meadows subdivision. A new tile roof was installed in 2015. This 1,513 square foot home built in 1991 with a 2 car garage sits comfortably in a maintenance-free community offering beautiful landscaping throughout.

  Your private courtyard entrance is has lovely plants and trees. Inside, there's a spacious foyer and outstanding features like a spacious living/dining great room. The eat-in kitchen has lots of cabinet space, dishwasher, disposal, microwave, oven, range and refrigerator and there's separate laundry room with washer, dryer and sink. \The open split floorplan has a private glass-enclosed lanai with gorgeous views of a lake and the 10th hole at the Meadows Golf & County Club golf course. The two bedrooms are of generous size.

This delightful place to call home seasonally or permanently is situated in a planned community which has a heated pool, walking and bicycle trials and extensive preserve areas. The Meadows Country Club offers a voluntary membership that includes three 18-hole golf courses, 17 Har-Tru tennis courts, a junior-olympic pool, fitness center, and restaurants. This carefree home and relaxing lifestyle can all be yours at the listed price of $270,000.

  The Meadows subdivision, one of Sarasota's most popular and sought-after communities, is ideally situated east of Downtown Sarasota, near Interstate I-75. The Meadows is a charming Sarasota golfing community offering a variety of lifestyle choices to fit the interests of young professionals, single families, and active retirees. The Meadows has three 18-hole golf courses, 2 pro shops and teaching facilities. There is also an experienced PGA staff to help you tune up your game. The Meadows and Highlands courses are private. The Groves course is public. For non-golfers, there are biking and fitness trails for those so inclined.

  This mature neighborhood, developed by the well-regarded builder, Taylor Woodrow Homes, in the 1980s and 90s, is comprised of single-family homes, condos, villas, townhomes and garden homes nestled on over 1,650 acres of oak hammocks, nature preserves, and scenic lakes. There are over 3,400 residences in The Meadows. Homes range in size like this villa home from just over 1,500 to over 5,500 square feet with an equally wide range of prices ranging from the mid $200's to $1.4 million for the largest, most elegant homes.

  If you would like to tour this particular home, please mention Listing A4152577. To see this and several others currently available in The Meadows, please call me at 941.266.2512. I would be pleased to introduce you to Sarasota and show you around my favorite Sarasota neighborhood. Well, I may be just a bit biased since I live here in The Meadows.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Siesta Beach Renovation Project Is Finally Complete -- and Amazing !!

  A grand opening celebration was held on February 20th commemorating completion of a $21 million makeover of one of America’s most recognized and awarded beaches, Siesta Public Beach on Siesta Key.

  In 2015, TripAdvisor.com ranked this Siesta Key beach as the “USA Traveler’s Choice for Best Beach.” What makes Siesta Public Beach so spectacular is that, unlike most beaches that consist of pulverized coral, Siesta Beach sand is over 99% quartz, a material so reflective of the sun’s rays that even on the hottest days, the sand feels cool and comfortable underfoot.

  When the property that is now Siesta Beach was originally purchased by Sarasota County in 1954, it was only 9 acres in size with just 1,200 feet of waterfront. Today, with help from Mother Nature and additional purchases over the years, the beach has grown to over 100 acres with wide expansive of that wonderful soft-as-silk sand.

  The makeover unveiled this month is the culmination of nearly a decade of planning consulting and financing followed by nearly two years of construction. Clearly, the pièce de résistance” of the project is the new elevated concession stand, to be known as the Siesta Sun Deck, which offers a stunning views from 20 feet above the beach. While the views are stunning all day, they are particularly stunning at sunset.

  Other elements of this huge project include completion of a 15-foot wide pedestrian esplanade running the length of the park and restoration of a historic pavilion. Add 140 more parking spaces, new tennis courts, a new playground structure that looks like a giant sand castle, 20 new picnic shelters, improved access plus installation of new landscaping with native plants that make the area much more attractive visually and you begin to understand the vast scope of this project. Additionally, a public safety facility has been added to the concessions building providing needed space for lifeguards and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

  Regardless of all these upgrades, many Sarasotans will still continue to come to Siesta Public Beach just to enjoy the sugary, soft white sand and the warm and clear waters of Sarasota Bay. Others, however, will now find Siesta Public Beach a much more welcoming place where families will play tennis or volleyball, hve a picnic or just watch their children or grandchildren romp on the new playground equipment. But, everyone, the young and not-so-young who come to Siesta Public Beach will surely enjoy one of Sarasota Florida’s most popular features; a sunny day at the beach that had already been ranked “The Top Beach in America” even before this project made it so much more impressive.

  Come visit Sarasota and Siesta Key and let me help you find that perfect home or condo on or close to this magnificent beach. Call me at 941.266.2512 today and let's get you started on the road to happiness here in sunny Sarasota Florida.