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Longboat Key Real Estate Blog - REALTALKplus™

Roger Pettingell

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Wide range of pricing in single family homes

by Roger Pettingell

Home Showcase XXVIII - Good variety

Inventory is growing with something for most in price and home type

675 Mourning Dove Drive on Bird Key, Sarasota
Bird Key - 675 Mourning Dove Drive

Last week I discussed new listings that met the criteria set for the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury brand in my Home Showcase XXVII article. This week I highlight three communities and single-family home new listings that show the range of prices, from $779,000 to $6,795,000, and from Sarasota to Longboat Key. Our inventory is swelling to include a wide range of prices, locations and home types.

The paradise centrally located between downtown Sarasota and the beaches

There was a master plan when land fill was used to start the formation of Bird Key and the first home was built. Canals were formed so most homes on this 250 acres of island would have boating access to Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Arvida Corporation, developers of many area communities, purchased Bird Key and began its process of building over 500 homes on the island in 1959.

Automobile access to downtown Sarasota and the beaches was possible by traveling over the John Ringling Causeway and bridge, the second of three bridges that would span the two land masses. The most current bridge that is a landmark for Sarasota was built in 2003. The roads that wind through the community are named after popular Florida birds. Many of the original homes on Bird Key have been replaced with modern mansions. Others have been updated so today Bird Key remains an exclusive luxury neighborhood, complete with a park and yacht club.

Fabulous features abound throughout this designer residence. Ideally situated just three homes in from Sarasota Bay is the home for sale at 675 Mourning Dove Drive, on one of the widest waterways in Bird Key. Offering unobstructed access to the Gulf of Mexico, the avid boater will appreciate the 100’ of bay frontage on sailboat-deep waters, newer seawall and dock with shore power, plus a 16,000-pound lift. Built in 2006, this specially-designed estate of 4,000 SqFt will impress you at every turn, featuring custom, imported finishes inside and out and priced at $6,795,000.


Over 285 homes, most with Sarasota Bay boat access on Longboat Key

592 Ranger Lane in Country Club Shores on Longboat Key
Country Club Shores - 592 Ranger Lane

The same Arvida Corporation that developed Bird Key also was responsible for the beginning of over 285 homes in Country Club Shores. While Bird Key roads are name after birds, Country Club Shores roads are named for nautical and golf terms. Many of the original homes in in this community were constructed as single level, ranch style buildings in the 1960s through five phases of development. On the south end of Longboat Key, this community is popular for its proximity to St. Armands Circle and the Publix shopping center to the north. Across Gulf of Mexico Drive is the Links on Longboat, the very popular championship golf course of the Longboat Key Club. With the exception of Bogey Lane that runs parallel to Gulf of Mexico Drive, the neighborhood is unique in that canals were formed off each street so that nearly every home has boating access to Sarasota Bay.

Wonderful waterfront value! This charming three bedroom, pool home in Country Club Shores is primed and ready to enjoy, rent or renovate at 592 Ranger Lane. Just a stone’s throw away from Sarasota’s open bay, offering deep-water dock and beach access only a sunny bike ride away. Recent updates include a brand-new seawall in 2017, adding great value to this home listed at $895,000.


Privacy and large parcel of land in Hidden Forest near shopping and recreation

4646 Hidden Forest Drive, Hidden Forest community of Sarasota
Hidden Forest - 4646 Hidden Forest Drive

Hidden Forest is a quaint community with lush foliage and larger homes in Sarasota heading toward Interstate 75. Buyer interest increased in this area, first with the building of the Mall at University Town Center just three miles away and then the many shopping plazas that line University Parkway. Homes are close enough to enjoy the many benefits of this shopping mecca, but secluded to avoid the hustle and bustle. Nathan Benderson Park, now a world-class venue for rowing championships is near the mall, and Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium have plans to move most of its activities to this site. The very fine and public, Groves Golf Course, is also nearby.

The private residence at 4646 Hidden Forest Drive is perfectly situated on a one-acre parcel, surrounded by lush vegetation. Completely upgraded, inside and out, this beautiful, custom-built four-bedroom ranch home with nearly 3,500 SqFt of living space priced at $779,000 in Hidden Forest is immediately ready for the entire family to enjoy. It has a three-car attached garage and pool with a screen enclosure for relaxing or entertaining.

Please check my website often in October as I will be bringing on more new listings. Contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing of these properties or if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

 

Home Showcase XXVII - New luxury listings

by Roger Pettingell

Homes deserving the luxury brand

Good range of new quality listings as we approach peak season

Coldwell Banker Global Luxury logo

I presented a strategy for new listings in the fall season in REALTALK™ #182 and in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune over the weekend. Now that we are approaching the “shoulder” season in which we carry more listings on the market, we are kicking into high gear. That includes four listings in the past couple of weeks that qualify as Global Luxury listings. These high quality properties appear on the Global Luxury website based on their listing price and features.


Sixth-floor listing in the luxury community of L'Ambiance

L'Ambiance #C604
415 L'Ambiance Dr, #C604, Longboat Key

On this list are three residences and one home, the first of which is L’Ambiance on the southern end of Longboat Key behind the gates of the Longboat Club Resort. This community is on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, is close to St. Armands Circle and downtown Sarasota, and offers high-end amenities that are relished by privileged owners. There is a full concierge service and 24 hour security with manned guard gates. Many of the 190 residences here offer striking sunrise and sunset views at every turn.

That is the case in this sixth-floor residence at 415 L'Ambiance Dr, #C604. With its nearly 3,000 SF of interior, the 3BR Sabal floor plan offers beach-to-bay living. East and west-facing terraces overlook the Gulf of Mexico, Links on Longboat golf course at Longboat Key Club, Sarasota Bay and downtown, with stunning vistas that stretch on forever. You can take advantage of the community pool, Har-Tru tennis courts or become a member of the Longboat Key Club and expand a golf membership to two championship golf course, one of which is a short walk from the L’Ambiance lobby. Call us today for this listing at $2,395,000.


Open bay access with newer boat dock in San Remo Estates

1363 Tangier Way
1363 Tangier Way in San Remo Estates

A project started in the boom years of Sarasota with John Ringling and Owen Burns at the forefront, San Remo Estates began a significant growth spurt over 30 years later in the 1950s. The 50 acres of previously submerged land would see its first development and San Remo Estates grew into an exclusive location with many waterfront homes overlooking Sarasota Bay or the harbor with direct boating access to bay. The community is conveniently located on the mainland with access to Siesta Key over the North Bridge or Sarasota a short drive to the north.

Delight in the coveted location of this 3BR waterfront home at 1363 Tangier Way in San Remo on more than a quarter-acre of lush, manicured property. This home offers views that stretch out to Sarasota Bay and is listed at $2,395,000. Originally built during the land development boom in 1956, recent upgrades include newer brick pavers, air-conditioned garage, crown molding, stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, custom built-ins, master bath and hardwood flooring. it was updated with new seawall, deep-water dock and lift in 2014.


Spectacular beach and bay views at the Sanctuary on Longboat Key

535 Sanctuary Dr, #B705
535 Sanctuary Dr, #B705 on Longboat Key

Back to Longboat Key and the Sanctuary community, another set of residences behind the Longboat Key Club Resort gates with its own manned guard gates for additional security. This is a wonderful community on the sandy white beaches of the gulf with direct access to the Longboat Key Club and its fine membership amenities of fine food, golf, tennis and swimming. This community of 181 homes in five buildings has its own high-quality amenities including fitness center and clubhouse. Private elevators which you to your residence from the assigned under-building parking spaces provided below.

Enjoy spectacular sunset-to-sunrise views in this 7th-floor Sanctuary residence, offered furnished and ready for you to make it your own. The nearly 2,600 SF of this residence’s interior lives like a single-family home, with east and west-facing terraces. The open floor plan, with its living/dining room that flows to the eat-in kitchen is a wonderful entertaining space. The master and guest bedroom suites are adorned with beautiful hardwood flooring, as well as walls of glass that open to the west and east terraces. This residence at 535 Sanctuary Dr, #B705 is offered at $1,499,000.


Central location of Longboat Key, on the beach close to shopping at Veinte

Veinte 501
2675 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #501 at Veinte

Looking for it all, consider the Veinte community. With its direct beach access and Publix shopping within a short walk, residents here enjoy many fine amenities this community built in 1979 has to offer. Veinte is close to St. Armands Circle and downtown Sarasota, where you can find fine dining and boutique shopping. Comprised of 20 beach homes, Veinte owners appreciate the on-site management, Gulf-side swimming pool, updated tennis courts, pickleball, under-building parking and additional storage space.

Here is your opportunity to enjoy living here in this three-bedroom, direct beachfront getaway. A few steps from the pristine shores of the Gulf of Mexico, this 5th-floor penthouse residence at Veinte is a unique chance to enjoy a beach home in a central location. This home at 2675 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #501 is offered furnished for the value price of $1,250,000.


Wide range of price selection in more listings

Below I have included three other homes listed last week as part of 21 new listings that includes over $40 million of premium real estate. Consider the range of these luxury homes, starting at $549,000. Soon to be listed is a magnificent Bird Key home that will be available at $6.795 million. There will be something for everyone that would like to live in this special area of paradise. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
6941 Bayside Drive $995,000   Photo Slideshow
4646 Hidden Forest Drive $779,000 Video Photo Slideshow
4825 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #C503 $699,000   Photo Slideshow

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

Florida As-is and Repair Limit Contracts

by Roger Pettingell

Comparing two popular contract types

Alternatives to standard Florida home purchase and sale contracts

As-is contracts in REALTALK™ #30
REALTALK™ #30 - As-is contracts

You find a home that you want to make an offer on but notice that the seller will only accept As-Is contracts. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Or, the seller has a concept of using a repair limit. I discussed the As-is contract in my REALTALK™ #30 video and repair limit contracts last week in my REALTALK™ #181 video. These are contract tools that have advantages for the seller and the buyer.

The scenario in the as-is contract is that the seller feels the home shouldn’t require any repairs. If the seller is aware there may be required repairs that is noted on the disclosure form they may have made allowance for the repairs in the listing price. In the Longboat Key and Sarasota markets homes for sale may be a second home for a couple with their primary residence in the Midwest. In this situation they may want to sell the home as-is because they don’t want to deal with the repairs.

Lending institutions that are offering short sale or foreclosed homes for sale will often have the requirement that all offers have an As-is clause in the contract. They are not in the business of making home repairs. In any case the As-is requirement is usually noted in the realtor comments section of the listing.

Should the buyer hesitate to purchase a home As-is? To the contrary, they should accept it knowing they can decide later not to purchase the home if they find repairs they are not willing to fix themselves. A buyer will often schedule a home inspection soon after the contract is signed. This period of 10 to 15 days for the home inspection will determine if the repairs will be too costly. This can happen if the roof needs replacing, for instance.

The buyer may love the home they want to purchase. They may want to renegotiate the contract for a lower price that will cover the costs of a new home. This is where you have to check your emotions at the door. If the seller senses you are buying the home no matter what, they can hold strong on their initial contract price. If the home is a tear-down roof repairs are inconsequential. I have had home inspections in these situations for any number of reasons, maybe the buyer wants to have a good working knowledge of the utilities on the property. Some say an As-is contract offers more benefits to the buyer in that it is an easy contract to get out of before the inspection period ends.

The Midwest couple that hasn’t seen their southern home in months may want to exercise their right to place a repair limit in the contract. This is a protection from unforeseen repairs. The seller is basically stating that they are willing to make repairs up to the limit established in the contract.

Repair limit contracts
Repair limit contracts in REALTALK™ #181.

Repair limits are typically set up to one-and-a-half percent of the purchase price. The repair limit on a $500,000 home purchase contract will be set between zero and $7,500. The seller is obligated to repair a water heater that costs $500 since it is below the repair limit. However, there is no obligation for a roof replacement that is estimated to cost $30,000. This is where the fun begins.

The buyers are aware of the poor roof condition and know that it has to be repaired, if not replaced. If the roof had been leaking for a period of time there may also be a mold issue too. If the seller is unwilling to replace the roof, the buyer can walk away. The seller is going to have to fix the roof if he wants to continue listing the home, knowing the roof condition. It will certainly come up on the next inspection report, and the next one after that. The seller can issue a credit to the buyer at closing to cover the costs of a new roof. If I am representing the buyer I would also recommend a mold inspection.

We offer a pre-inspection when we list a home for sale. A certified inspector will come into the home for sale and note any conditions that will require repairs. This is a great time to be made aware of any unsatisfactory conditions. It is a great time to repair these problems before the home goes into contract. In a perfect world you would think all problems would be fixed. If all the repairs are made you may decide on an As-is contract or one with repair limits to protect yourself. Maybe the pool heater breaks in between the time of the first inspection and the inspection by the potential buyer.

We like to have a smooth process in all of our home sale transactions. As I discuss in REALTALK™ #181, I typically do not sell new homes. Older homes have a lot of appliances with limited life spans and at any time these can break down. You are not going to sell a home that does not have a working oven so it is fair to have it fixed for a smooth closing.

2675 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #501
Veinte community - 2675 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #501

Last week I listed a wonderful fifth-floor penthouse in the Veinte community on Longboat Key at 2675 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #501. This three-bedroom, three bath residence is in a great location on the Gulf beach and within walking distance to the Publix Shopping Plaza. St. Armands Circle and Sarasota is a short drive where the night life is fun and the cultural arts scene is world renown. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
2675 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #501 $1,250,000   Photo Slideshow

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

Ring in October and 2018-19 season

by Roger Pettingell

Changes as we approach peak season

Updated information on construction, quarterly figures and new listings

Peak Season listings in REALTALK™ #182
The strategy for new listings as we head into the "shoulder" season, discussed in REALTALK™ #182

After 35 years selling real estate on Longboat Key and Sarasota we have learned a thing or two about setting up for peak season which begins in October. At present the inventory is low but I have a good feeling that is about to change for the better. We have signed a number of listing contracts that will offer a good variety of single-family homes and residences. We will also have a good price range for buyers.

The housing market is faring well too. The Florida Realtors trade group released its second quarter figures for Manatee and Sarasota counties, reporting that median price of single-family homes rose 5.4 percent to $294,990 and residences rose 6.6 percent to $218,000. There are other significant trends for happy home owners. The Longboat Key budget is to pass its fiscal year budget today with no recommended increases in property taxes.

Longboat Club Road guard gate construction
First Phase for new Longboat resort hotel - A realignment of Longboat Club Road and new guard gate is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving

Inventory is also looking upward with the development of the Longboat Key residences that are currently underway. Your first drive from the south on Gulf of Mexico will have this progress in full view, new roadwork to reroute Longboat Club Road by the Chart House Restaurant and our office. This will pave the way for Ocean Properties and its 90 new residences with 250 hotel room complex. A short drive north and you will see the demolition of the old Colony Beach and Tennis Resort. In its place will be 78 condominiums and 166 hotel rooms operated by the prestigious St. Regis company. Travel to the mainland to Tamiami Trail and you will also see the ground broken for the redevelopment of the Quay area in downtown Sarasota, beginning with a new Ritz-Carlton building and 73 new residences that will be connected to the existing Ritz-Carlton by an overhead walking bridge.

A preview of some of the $40 Million in 21 new listings by Halloween

Here is a preview of homes that I have coming onto the market, some as early as next week. The first is a waterfront home with direct bay access in beautiful Cherokee Park on the south end of Sarasota, close to downtown at 1509 South Lodge Drive. This spacious 4BR/5BA home with 5,800 square feet of living space built in 2005 will list at $4,995,000.

1509 South Lodge Drive
1509 South Lodge Drive - $4,995,000

Another home with a lot of space and bedrooms will go on sale next week has 10,335 square feet of living space, with plenty of bedroom space for family and friends with 7 bedrooms and 8 bathroom. It is another newer built home in 2000 listing for $3,995,000 at 1744 Seminole Drive in the Sarasota community of McClellan Park. A home in San Remo Estates at 1363 Tangier Way is a 3 bedroom home with 3 full baths and 2,899 square feet of living space set for the market at $2,995,000.

I have three homes in different areas coming on the market in the $800,000 range. On Longboat Key in Country Club Shores, listing at $895,000 is a 3 bedroom and 3 bath home on the canal with 1,918 square feet of living space. Country Club Shores has always been a community with good valued homes. Returning to Sarasota, this single-family home at 76 Osprey Point Drive in the Oaks is a light and bright 3 bedroom home with 5 bedrooms and spacious 4,364 square feet that I featured in my REALTALK™ #180 video last week, a discussion of the Oaks Bayside. It will list as a good value home for $849,000. The third home in this price range is at 4646 Hidden Forest Drive, with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and 3,472 square feet of living space priced at $779,000.

415 L’Ambiance Dr, #C604
415 L’Ambiance Dr, #C604 - $2,395,000

If you like the maintenance-free lifestyle that a condominium presents, I have you covered there too. These three residences offer high quality living on the Gulf of Mexico sandy white beaches, where the amenities are many and the sunsets that will take your breath away. Built in 1992 L’Ambiance on the southern end of Longboat Key combine luxury with many amenities in a great location. The 2 bedroom, 3 Bath residence with 2,820 square feet, Gulf and Links on Longboat golf views in a Sabal floor plan at 415 L’Ambiance Dr, #C604, listing for $2,395,000. Just a short drive up Longboat Club Road is a residence with many of the similar amenities on the Gulf at 535 Sanctuary Drive, #B705. This 3 bedroom, 3 bath residence will list for $1,499,000. Near the heart of Longboat Key shopping with a Publix and CVS is the residence at 2675 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #501 in the Veinte community which will list for $1,250,000. On the beach, what more could you ask?

Check our website in the next weeks as these and other listings will return to the market. With any of these listings coming on the market soon, please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing this week before they go on the market.

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

Protecting your waterfront property and boat

by Roger Pettingell

Beauty and recreation on the waterfront

Boat lifts and davits, with special seawall information for home owners

Two sets of boat lifts at 1449 Hillview Drive
Two sets of lifts - This home for sale at 1449 Hillview Drive in Harbor Acres has two sets of boat lifts

We love great water views. The bay, Gulf and intracoastal provide great vistas from sunrise to sunset. The sound of the waves lapping up on the shore is a great way to relax. It can also be a great resource for recreation, boating, kayaking or a thrilling ride on a Jet Ski. When it is time to protect your precious belongings and views, you look to the experts.

And there are great companies here in Sarasota to protect your seawall, build docks that will last for years, and offer solutions to protect your watercraft with lifts or davits. If you are moving from a landlocked property to the waterfront we hope that you will find some of the information in this article to be useful.

Even moving from an area where you may not have had problems by leaving a boat in the water, there are some concerns here with salt, waves and creatures that can cause problems underneath. You can avoid the harmful effects by lifting your boat out of the elements. You can ask advice on which is better for your situation, either a lift or davit.

For personal use with your own dock you can choose a lift, typically for boats from 1,600 pounds to as high as 60,000 pounds. If you are lucky enough to have a boat over 30 tons you should consider professional storage. That is approaching super yacht size. You can determine the weight by consulting your manufacturing specs for dry weight, then adding the weight of full fuel and water capacity along with any gear storage. Your consultant can determine an additional margin of error, typically around 20 percent.

There are different types of boat lifts to consider. The common cradle lift allows you to pull the boat between a set of pilings, then raise the boat out of the water with motors on each side pulling the cradle up through a series of cables. With this type of lift you should consider other factors. The length and width of the boat will determine the distances between the pilings. The lift height will account for such considerations such as tide variations and extreme weather or wave conditions.

Long boat dock, lift and fish cleaning station
This boat dock, lift and fish cleaning station is ideal for anglers at this 6155 Manasota Key Road home

Cradle lifts can be designed for boat usage such as pontoon, pleasure craft, fishing boats or even sailboats. They can be used with motors that are remote and automatic for lift, but also by using the mechanical advantage in large wheel construction for smaller boats. A cover as a roof of the lift is also useful to keep the area above the waterline from being exposed to the elements. These canopies also help prevent damage from bird droppings.

There is another type of lift that is becoming popular for smaller boats up to pontoon size. Floating boat lifts can be an economical solution worth considering. The boat operator simply pulls up to the dock with a floating lift, then powers the boat up onto the floating dock. There may be a center to line up v-hull boats so the boat is evenly distributed on the float. To help start the boat on this guide there may a cutout section on the stern to help funnel the boat to the center and to provide an area for the lower unit. Then the propeller can be raised or trailered so that it is kept out of water. Personal Water Crafts (PWC) are popular docking uses of floating lifts.

Boat davits can be mounted on seawalls, docks or on pilings. Useful for PWCs and smaller power boats, davits are matched to its construction type by the weight and surrounding conditions. A davit that mounts to a seawall can lift more weight while dock mounted davits may be able to lift only 1,000 bls. An average Jet Ski, or PWC, is roughly 850 pounds.

Davits act like a crane that pivots the boat into its place. Some actually rotate 360 degrees for maximum usage. They also have other uses. A boat davit can be installed on a yacht or sailboat to hoist a small dinghy out of the water. A boat owner with a nonambulatory guest can have a davit rigged to safely board the guest. They can also be used to lift heavy objects such as batteries onto the boat.

Cost differences aside, most boat owners prefer lifts over davits. A davit used to hoist a boat out of water leaves the boat open to swaying in the wind. If used in tandem, davits can be used like lifts for more stability. Spreader bars can also be rigged on davits to make the boat more stable out of water. Some single davits are useful if they can swing the stern over land for easier engine and propeller maintenance. There is a lot to consider if choosing between a boat lift or davit. A reputable dealer can offer suggestions depending on your situation.

Marina and Moorings of the Longboat Key Club
Modern Seawall Techniques - Special guest Jim Smith of Custom Dock & Davit in Sarasota discusses seawalls in this REALTALK™ #179 episode

One thing to consider in your lift selection is your seawall. Seawalls protect the properties from soil erosion due to wave and storm surges. A typical seawall is made of a concrete base that is anchored to the property. A special machine drills a horizontal fastener that attaches to a tieback rod. A concrete cap protects the seawall from damage above. Last week I had a good conversation about seawalls with Jim Smith of Custom Dock & Davit of Sarasota as a special episode of REALTALK™.

Jim explained basic seawall design in our discussion. He was then able to compare construction designs of 50 years ago to modern techniques that have a 50 year limited lifetime warranty. Once the cap is removed, he demonstrated the new technology that involves driving an interlocking PVC corrugated panel into the seabed. Concrete or seashells fill the space for three layers of seawall protection. The cap and anchoring system is then restored.

We also discussed the differences in prices and construction restrictions by comparing Bird Key to Country Club Shores. He explained these restrictions may be changing within the Sarasota and Longboat Key jurisdictions as they prepare for predicted higher water levels. The information is excellent and is worth checking out at REALTALK™ #179. We can help with your dock, davit, lift and seawall plans. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

Arts and Quirky Annual Festival Schedule

by Roger Pettingell

Annual festivals for many occasions

Sarasota events that feature the arts and sports culture of the city

Sarasota Opera House
Many of the activities of the Sarasota Film Festival and other events will be held at the Sarasota Opera House.

Now that we are approaching peak tourism season and the snowbirds are planning their return, we can look at the upcoming festivals that will attract millions to the area. From the now defunct Ringling International Arts Festival (RIAF) in October to the Englewood Pioneer Days that recently concluded, the area has something for everyone as one festival ends and another begins. Many of these festivals center on the arts. In November last year the Ringling Museum startled the city by announcing plans to halt the RIAF after nine seasons.

Area venues will pick up the slack with a variety of Oktoberfest celebrations hosted locally by breweries that have sprung up in recent years. Mandeville Beer Garden pre-empts the slate with the first on September 29. Select from 11 German beers on tap from 11 AM to midnight. At 2 PM on that Saturday Calusa Brewing in Sarasota offers authentic Bavarian beers and cuisine. Monday, October 1, the Suncoast Oktoberfest has it all for German heritage complete with three German bands, chicken dance, stein hoisting and costume competitions, along with a good variety of beer and food. The fun starts at 11 AM in the Westfield Sarasota Square Mall. Get a true feeling of the Munich atmosphere October 6 at Mr. Beery’s in Sarasota. Save your costume and stein hoisting techniques for more prizes at this festival that starts at 3 PM and extends to midnight. October 27 the fun continues with the Oktoberfest at the British Open Pub in Venice, from 4 to 10 PM and at the two-day downtown Sarasota Oktoberfest starting at 10 AM each day.

The attention then shifts to pumpkin festivals, multi-day events to prepare us for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Many of these festivals have stood the test of time. The 30th Annual Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Fest is held over four consecutive weekends in October, beginning with the first on October 6 and 7. This family-friendly event has many activities for children and a live band starting at 4 PM each day. Extending over three weekends, the Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival offers similar activities for children and adults beginning at 10 AM each date. The festival is in its 27th year at the farm off County Road 675 in Sarasota, ten miles east of Interstate 75.

Lido Shores Umbrella House
Rudolph's Umbrella House in this 2015 renovation

We celebrate some of the best architects in the area in a series of fall keynote speeches, panel discussions and architectural tours. I do sell real estate, after all and the architecture in Sarasota is widely known. SarasotaMOD is a weekend tribute to great local architects such as Paul Rudolph and Tim Seibert. Held each fall, the sixth annual schedule has not been announced by the Sarasota Architectural Foundation. The prestigious Sarasota School of Architecture is attributed with many of the honorees and its mid-century modern architectural designs.

Over the next couple of months one- and multiple-day festivals fill the weekend schedules to celebrate religious themes and holidays. One of the biggest one-day festivals is Fright Night on St. Armands Circle, held every year on the night of Halloween. The highlight of this special evening has been the traditional dance to the song Thriller in the center circle, performed by Sarasota High School drama and theater students. We have been told this is to be their last year so make sure to catch it. It is a Thriller.

One of the biggest festival draws is the Sarasota Chalk Festival, moved five years ago from downtown Sarasota to the Airport Festival Grounds in Venice. Each year professional and amateur artists visit from around the world in competition to create masterpieces using chalk on pavement. The theme this year is Garden of Wonder, four days from November 9-12. Another big draw on those same days using a different medium is the Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition. Sand sculptors from around the nation assemble on the beach to create artwork, visible to the viewing public starting at 10 AM each day. The first Saturday each May, amateurs display their sand sculpting talents in competitions of several categories on the fine sands of Siesta Key beach. The 2019 festival will represent the 47th year of this event.

Marie Selby Lights in Bloom celebration
Lights in Bloom - A month-long annual event to ring in the new year at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

The Lights in Bloom celebration at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a collection of over one million holiday lights to transition us to the new year. This year from December 20 to January 6 special events will be held to enjoy the spirit of the season, and each night the local popular band SoulRCoaster will perform for its guests. There are plenty of holiday festivals and performances that brings us into the new year, catch our upcoming events schedule which lists over 600 events through June 23, 2019.

Advertised as Florida’s finest, the Wine and Food Festival January 24-28, 2019 features a series of classes, winemaking events, food demonstrations and wine tastings. The Forks and Corks Grand Tasting will be held January 27, 2019 in the main courtyard of the Ringling Museum. This popular event can be sold out so set your calendar for November 5 when tickets go on sale. We do love our wine festivals so set the dates of April 4-7, 2019 for the Florida Winefest & Auction. Over the years this benefit auction has funded 85 local children's charities with over $8.5 million.

The Sarasota Film Festival is the Sundance Film Festival of Florida. For a week and a half, April 5-14, 2019 films and special events attract film fans to see selected movies by local and international filmmakers. A huge kickoff film party begins all the activities, typically in the Sarasota Opera House setting. The red carpet parade can have stars made famous by their films portrayed during the festival. Over 200 films are selected with a morning through evening schedule at the Regal Hollywood 20 Theater in downtown Sarasota. In the past other events have been set on Lido Beach or the Ringling Museum.

The largest world whiskey festival in the United States, with over 250 whiskies from around the world, will take place April 10-13, 2019. Whiskey Obsession is a series of panel discussions, master classes, VIP tours, bartender academy on-site sales, cigar pairing and more in downtown Sarasota. A free Whiskey Rocks street party will take place on Main and Lemon the last night of the festival. A portion of the proceeds, in its seventh year, benefit the Child Protection Center of Sarasota.

The very serious, well almost serious, Shark Tooth Festival at the Venice Airport Festival Grounds, April 12-14, 2019 is a collection of vendors and entertainment to accentuate the popular shark teeth hunting activity in Venice. The Gator Creek Band is scheduled to play on Friday night. Venice Beach and the waters offshore contain a vast amount of small to large megalodon size teeth. A walk with a Florida snow shovel along the beach will generally reveal one or two shark teeth, but a conscious effort may uncover many more. A Florida snow shovel has a waist-high handle attached to a metal strainer, a popular item sold in local beach stores.

Classical concert students from around the world audition for a unique opportunity to learn from the elite masters in the annual Sarasota Music Festival, to be held June 3-22, 2019. While students match up with masters each day of the three-week period the public, the masters perform each Thursday in an Artist Showcase concert. Friday nights are highlighted with its Festival Concert series, typically classical masterworks compositions. Saturdays are devoted to full orchestration in the Saturday Symphony series, and may feature a visiting artist. The Rising Star students display their talents in Sunday matinee performances. Jeffrey Kahane is the festival music director. These concerts and lectures are held in the Sarasota Opera House and Holley Hall of the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center.

Powerboats make their way out to the Gulf of Mexico
The Grand Prix Festival is a popular July attraction.

While the classic musical students and visiting artists are packing to return to their homes, the Sarasota PowerBoat Grand Prix Festival boats and fans are pulling into Sarasota. This nationally televised race event on July 7, 2019 will be broadcast on CBS, with a rebroadcast on July 22. The AquaX and Powerboat qualifying races on Saturday with finals on Sunday are best seen off the Lido Beach shores in the Gulf of Mexico. Now in its 35th year, the festival features the Bob Rizi Memorial Golf Tournament, car show, boat and PWC fun run, comedy night at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, swimsuit contest, motorcycle charity ride and plenty of parties in downtown Sarasota and Centennial Park where the boats will be on display. The fireworks show on July 4 is one of the festival highlights.

For two weeks in August, Venice is alive with the Venice Cabaret Festival, short-run live performances in a black box theater. Local performers are on display with a series of plays and tributes to such notables as Frank Sinatra, sold-out performances in consecutive years by John Lariviere recreation of works from the Sinatra Songbook. The 2019 festival will be the seventh year of this series.

9-11 Flag Memorial
9-11 Memorial - Longboat Key remembers 9-11 with 2,977 flags lined the entire 11-mile length along Gulf of Mexico Drive, one flag for each victim. President George W. Bush stayed at the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort, Longboat Key, on September 10, 2001 and attended an event at Booker Elementary School in Sarasota when he was informed of the attack.

There are many arts, seafood and music weekend festivals in Sarasota throughout the year. Check our list of upcoming events to note which you might like to attend. There are also more somber events, including those tomorrow as a memorial to those who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. The Victims and Fallen Heroes Memorial Ceremony in Patriots Park, Venice, and the Tribute to Heroes Memorial Service on the Riverwalk Great Lawn, Bradenton, are two of them. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

Beachplace - September Community Showcase

by Roger Pettingell

Amenities in a great beach location

Showcasing three newer listings for the month of September at Beachplace

REALTALK™ #76, the Beachplace community spotlight
Beachplace video - I highlighted this Gulf-front community in my REALTALK™ #76 video.

It’s been a year since we visited Beachplace, the community on Longboat Key overlooking the Gulf of Mexico with 11 buildings on 31 acres. And since we have three newer listings there, we can discuss the residences and the 1,450 linear feet of beach frontage that stretches along the southern end of the island. It is our Community Showcase XXVI for September.

Arvida Corporation, which had much to do with many developments in the area, built the community over three years from 1979 to 1981. Since then Beachplace has evolved into one of the most socially active neighborhoods on Longboat Key.

It’s location makes Beachplace very attractive to owners, who have a short drive north or south for fine dining. A shopping plaza with a Publix, Chase Bank and CVS pharmacy are within a short bicycle ride. This year the Ringling College of Art and Design announced plans to build an 18,000 square-foot Arts, Cultural and Education center in the same plaza where a restaurant once stood. The initial plans have been introduced to include a courtyard and amphitheater to separate two buildings that will include classrooms, computer lab, black box theater and arts gallery.

REALTALK™ #76, the Beachplace community spotlight
Columbia Restaurant - This award-winning restaurant with its rich history is in the heart of St. Armands Circle.

Being on the southern end of Longboat Key has other advantages for its location. The world renowned St. Armands Circle is a short distance. This active area has fine dining and boutique shopping, some of which I covered in my REALTALKplus™ article on St. Armands Circle and in this interview with Diana Corrigan, association executive director, in REALTALK™ #58. The Sarasota Yacht Club and the Ringling Bridge is all that separates St. Armands Circle and downtown Sarasota. There you will find more fine dining and the heart of the cultural arts center of the city. Within blocks of each other you will find the opera, orchestra performances and live theaters.

McCurdy’s Comedy Club downtown has just celebrated 30 years of high-class comedy. The Black Diamond Burlesque had its eight anniversary show last night. Upcoming performances are scheduled to include Jon Lovitz, Dennis Blair, Jay Mohr and Gallagher. The waterfront Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, with its world-class entertainment is also downtown.

But you may not want to leave Beachplace with all of its amenities. Relax on the beach or take a swim in the Olympic size pool before relaxing the warm-water spa. A fitness center with state-of-the art equipment is available to residents and guests. You can also practice your tennis finesse on any of the three Har-Tru courts of Beachplace. The peaceful lake has a fountain in its center that adds to its beauty.

Beachplace is also attractive to owners who desire an income-producing residence, as rentals are handled through third-party companies or on-site management. The 24/7 manned guard gate is the second level of security as visitors also checked at the gates of the Longboat Key Club roadway. There are four floor plans of two and three bedroom designs, ranging from over 1,800 to nearly 1,200 square feet. Many residences have their own laundry facilities.

Membership in the Longboat Key Club is a priority of some Beachplace owners. The location is sandwiched between two of its championship golf courses, Links on Longboat and Harbourside Golf Course. Members also have access to four fine restaurants, spas, swimming pool, tennis courts and special events.

All in all, Beachplace is a wonderful piece of paradise on Longboat Key.


Rare three-bedroom corner residence in building 10

1065 Gulf of Mexico Dr., #105
Building 10 - 1065 Gulf of Mexico Dr., #105

Rarely available, this lovely three-bedroom, corner residence at 1065 Gulf of Mexico Dr., #105, Building 10, is move-in ready. This residence is stylishly staged with furniture available separately. It has freshly painted walls, neutral decor, oversized tile flooring and granite countertops. The light and bright interior offers walls of newer floor-to-ceiling glass sliders that enhance the bright atmosphere and open to a wraparound terrace. Conveniently walk down directly from this space to relish sprawling community grounds and peaceful walking trails of Beachplace, listed at an attractive price of $699,000.


Walk down to the beach from your terrace in building 7

1075 Gulf of Mexico Dr., #101
Building 7 - 1075 Gulf of Mexico Dr., #101

This charming getaway is just a few steps from the peaceful shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Light and open, this two-bedroom walk-down is waiting for you to make it your own. Charming sunny views adorn this building 7 residence at 1075 Gulf of Mexico Dr., #101. An ideal retreat for family vacations, waiting for you to rent, renovate or enjoy priced at $685,000.


New windows and sliders in top-floor building 6 residence

1095 Gulf of Mexico Dr., #602
Building 6 - 1095 Gulf of Mexico Dr., #602

Brand new windows and sliders throughout this residence at 1095 Gulf of Mexico Dr., #602. You will love the sunny views of the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota Bay, lush community grounds and tranquil pond waters. The glass sliders provide direct access to the extended terrace. Offering updates throughout the two-bedroom layout with 1,392 square feet of living space, you can move in and immediately enjoy this top-floor home priced at $679,000.


Check more of our Beachplace inventory to find your perfect home

I’ve been fortunate to have sold six residences in Beachplace in the last 12 months, accounting for over $6 million in residential sales. I have another pending that is scheduled to close next month. But the inventory is good for this great community on the beach that has 12 active listings in seven different buildings. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

Fun-filled events this holiday weekend

by Roger Pettingell

Ending the Summer Season in Style

Bashes, Festivals and Live Theater this Weekend from Englewood to Tampa

Bridge at Nathan Benderson Park
Reggae Pon di Lake Party and Music Festival - This party at Nathan Benderson Park on Sunday featuring MyKal Rose is a fun-filled event for the entire family

There are some people that like to spend their Labor Day holiday weekend relaxing at home with a barbecue for family and friends. There are others who like to explore the area and find fun events around the area. This article is for those people.

We can start with local festivals that may be of interest. The Reggae Pon di Lake Party and Music Festival is a pre-Labor Day party on Sunday at Nathan Benderson Park. Former lead singer for the Black Uhuru band, MyKal Rose, headlines this festival that starts at 2 PM. MyKal Rose will be joined by other local bands and DJs of the reggae genre until closing at 9 PM, including the popular band Jah Movement. There is a lot going on at the park during this party, something for the entire family. Rentals of pontoon pedal boats, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks will be available for this first-time event. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Chairs and blankets are welcome. Admission is $30, free admission for those under 12 if accompanied by an adult. There is a special VIP area in the tower and balcony to enjoy the music. For your $70 VIP ticket also enjoy Jamaican catered cuisine, official Pon Di Lake t-shirt with lanyard and sponsor swag bag. Advance tickets are available through the Osfest Music sponsor website.

The Beach Club on Siesta Key is celebrating the holiday on Sunday with beer pong, flip cup and corn hole Beerlympics tournaments. The Pre-Labor Day Beach Club Bash starting at 3 PM will feature live music from NoFilter and John DJ Xtreme until closing at 2 AM Monday. The tournaments will be displayed on their 180 degree projection screen. Winners will receive $100 for first, with $50 and $25 awards for second and third place finishes.

Rain forced the cancellation of the Woodstock Revival earlier this month with a notice of redo for this weekend to be celebrated with the downtown Farmer’s Market that will open at its regular hours from 7 AM to 1 PM. Paisley Craze will be the main retro band playing hits from the 60s on the main stage within three blocks of ceremonial area. Get involved by dressing as a hippie flower child for prizes in the single, couples and dog categories. Local celebrities will be announcing for the contest to start at 11 AM. Prizes in several categories will be awarded during the Vintage VW Show. The Farmers Market has plans for children with a rock climbing wall, photo booth, peace sign painting and water slide. The first 50 children under 16 with a bike accompanied by an adult will receive a free bicycle helmet from Friends of The Legacy Trail.

The 10th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival scheduled for Saturday and Sunday offers plenty of craft goods and plants for purchase. Free parking downtown will be available in the historic district of Venice. The festival will be open both days from 10 AM to 4 PM.

A little further south, the 62nd Annual Pioneer Days Festival in Englewood concludes its weeks of celebrations this weekend with many events Saturday through Monday. The cardboard boat race is a fun event for team participants and spectators on Saturday. The race was moved to its new location at Ann Dever Memorial Park. Registration is at 8:30 AM with the race start at 9 AM. Visit the Pioneer Days boat race website for registration and more information. The popular local band Kettle of Fish will take the Pioneer Park stage during the Shipwreck Dance Party on Saturday from 5 to 11 PM. The festivities continue on Sunday with the Diaper Derby, where babies will crawl to glory for trophies to the quickest baby in the area. The crawl takes place at the Lemon Bay Women’s Club, celebrating 100 years as an organization. On Monday, the 62nd Annual Pioneer Days parade will run its course down Dearborn Street of Englewood starting at 9 AM. The Festival and Car Show will be held in Pioneer Park all hours of the festival on Sunday and Monday. Prizes for the open class of cars will be awarded at 6 PM on Sunday before the Corvettes come into town on Monday, with cash awards at the 3 PM closing.

On Labor Day Monday, the Birdrock Taco Shack in Bradenton will throw its Labor Day Music, Food and Art Bash. Local musical talents Emily Roff and Paul Fournier will be on stage during this event that runs from noon to 5PM. Enjoy the favorites dishes of the Bash that includes lobster quesadillas, wood grilled skirt steak and its own guacamole while sipping on cold beer during this event celebrating its third year.

Sugar Ray at the Summer of Rum Festival in Tampa
Sugar Ray is set for the Summer of Rum Festival.

If you happen to be in Tampa Saturday and Sunday the Summer of Rum Festival featuring Sugar Ray will be going on both days in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Other bands include The Wailers, Ballyhoo!, UNRB, Tribal Style and includes DJs Fresh and Cardinal. Sample a different variety of rums or imbibe on popular summertime rum drinks during this festival that begins at noon on Saturday. Purchase single, two-day and VIP advance tickets of $85 for Saturday and $75 for Sunday through the Summer of Rum Festival website. Fireworks are planned after dark.

Interested in live theater instead? Gilbert & Sullivan Unplugged presents a modern twist to popular songs of the famous writing duo. The show runs through September 23 in the John C. Cabaret of the Florida Studio Theatre. Now through September 9 catch the one-woman solo performance, Becoming Dr. Ruth, in the Kiwanis Studio of the Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton. Actress Susan Greenhill portrays Dr. Ruth Westheimer who converses with the audience while packing her New York apartment following the death of her husband.

The biggest event of the year for the Sarasota Sailing Squadron on City Island was to take place this holiday weekend. Now in its 72nd year, the Labor Day Regatta was cancelled over the weekend due to an environmental advisory put out by Sarasota County. The same advisory forced the cancellation of the Great Scallop Search and Clam Jam scheduled for this past weekend.

a complete line-up of holiday events this weekend is on our upcoming events web page. There is plenty to do this holiday weekend, I hope you are able to make the best of it. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

Comparing online home buying programs

by Roger Pettingell

Comparing the Big Three to local agents

Offerpad, Knock and Opendoor may have their places in real estate sales

1449 Hillview Drive
Home For Sale in Harbor Acres - Are the new services the best choice in selling your home?

Considering selling your home by owner, either through a website or just by hanging a sign near the street? There are many obstacles to consider before you travel down this route, especially if you are serious about the sale of your home or residence. It seems lately there are new websites offering alternatives, claiming to save you thousands of dollars and with a quick sale.

Are these claims real? Let’s examine how websites such as Offerpad, Knock and Opendoor operate. They may be the Big Three of this new technology. We’ll see how others are getting into the game. RP Funding is bundling there services with a Listed.com agent and offer to pay your closing costs. I’m not knocking their services. But as in other transactions, shop around for the best terms and interest rates. You could find yourself saving a little at closing but end up paying thousands more in interest.

As for the Big Three, let’s start with the fair market value of your home. Although Zillow is not in this market of selling your home, they do have a process of evaluating your home value called their Zestimate. Zillow has received a lot of criticism and even lawsuits for their Zestimate pricing structure. The company based in Seattle may not have a clue what a home on Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key is worth. They base their estimates on an intelligent algorithm, pulling from comps, tax records and possibly price per square foot.

What they don’t do is walk into your home, look at upgrades made to the home and give value to the little things that current buyers are looking for on Longboat Key. In contrast, the Big Three provide their valuations similar to Zillow, and offer their bid on your home at a value much less than the current market. Offerpad and Opendoor will offer to purchase your home based on their estimate. Knock will place your home on the market for six to eight weeks and offer to purchase it at the end of that listing period. By undervaluing the price of the home all three are assured of a profit.

Maybe you think that your savings in the sale will present itself with the fact that you do not have to pay a commission. The Big Three each charge a commission but may call it something else. Opendoor calls it a service charge of 6.5 percent. Their buyer-centric platform is openly admitted by these companies.

1235 North Lake Shore Drive
Home-buying programs may not be the best choice for the luxury waterfront second-home market.

Consider the cost of repairs. In the process a qualified independent inspector will provide a list of expected repairs. A professional agent working on the seller’s behalf is certainly acquainted with this process and will negotiate which repairs the seller is willing to make or will recommend a credit, if necessary. It is part of the negotiations. The Big Three are very rigid on these costs. If you are in a situation that you can not make the repairs, a mandatory credit is issued at closing.

Other fees with these online companies have terms such as customer experience fees, closing costs, market risk fees and holding fees. Knock does have unique programs to trade-in or trade-up your home, but interest can be as high as 8 percent while living in the home waiting for the sale.

Another concern about the Big Three is that they don’t take all homes offered to them for purchase. Each has restrictions on what they will take based on price, age of the home, clear title provided, occupied or the community has age restrictions. They may not make an offer on a home that has significant damage, they want a quick turnaround.

Also, they do not sell in many areas of the country. Offerpad listed six cities on its website, two of which were in Florida. Through the Tampa link I found four homes for sale in Sarasota and no homes for sale on the barrier islands. Opendoor had 10 cities listed with Minneapolis and Houston coming soon. The Tampa link did not have any homes for sale in Manatee or Sarasota counties. Buyers on Knock go through a free pre-approval process before gaining access to its inventory. These are hit-and-miss strategies for buyers, especially since they may know they have free access to hundreds of homes in these areas through the Multiple Listing Service.

These services may have a future in some markets and for some home sellers. Sellers that need to move on quickly may want to use these services. Inexperienced sellers, owners that want little to do with the process or homeowners in default and facing foreclosure may be good candidates. This doesn’t sound like the seller of a waterfront luxury property in a second-home market. Those sellers want the experience of a professional real estate agent in the market they have their home.

You can use some of those same arguments to justify using a professional versus hanging a sign alongside the road as FSBO. Those sellers lose out on the exposure of the MLS, the negotiating experience to get the best price and the knowledge of the closing process so the sale is seamless. It reduces the stress in selling a home. We have seen it many times, one year with a sign out front before they visit our office.

225 Sands Point Rd. #6105
New listing - 225 Sands Point Rd. #6105

Last week I listed an Inn on the Beach community resort residence on Longboat Key at 225 Sands Point Rd, #6105. It is a unique furnished home behind the gates of the Longboat Key Club. This is an income-producing property, listed in the rental program there. The owner has 30 days of access per year and all the Longboat Key Club privileges while in residence. We discussed the property and announced in REALTALK™ #176 that the proceeds from the sale benefit the Southeastern Guide Dogs program in Palmetto. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
225 Sands Point Rd, #6105 $329,000 Video Photo Slideshow

 

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Boating in our slice of Paradise

by Roger Pettingell

Relax on the Gulf or bay open waters

Great opportunities for owning, renting, booking a charter or dinner cruise

Marina Jack in downtown Sarasota
Boating Services at Marina Jack - From super-yachts to boat rentals and dinner cruises, this marina is highly respected throughout the United States for its expert services to boaters and fine dining.

We love our water here in Sarasota. We can travel the intracoastal, Sarasota Bay and Gulf of Mexico to fish, explore or just enjoy the open water. You can own your boat or you can join a club to avoid the maintenance. Or you can take advantage of the many charter operations with captains that seem to know exactly where the fish are hitting. And last, but not least, you can book a dinner cruise out of Marina Jack. There are advantages to each.

Are you prepared to enjoy the open waters safely? Being confident on the rules of the road and the waterway channels of Sarasota can make the trip more enjoyable. Having the proper safety equipment onboard and knowing how to use each can save your life or pass a U.S. Coast Guard inspection with ease.

The Sarasota Power and Sail Squadron can help with an American Boating Class (ABC) that teaches the basics of boating safety. ABC certification is not required to operate a boat in Florida waters unless you were born after January 1, 1988 and operate a boat of 10 HP or more. No one under the age of 14 can legally operate a craft, and the Personal Water Craft owner can be charged by allowing an under-age boat driver. Certification is also required in several states so you may already have the proper training. Even though not required, consult your insurance agent for reduced premiums. The squadron also provides boat inspections for free. This is an inspection that is recognized by the state and the Coast Guard to certify that the boat has the proper safety equipment and EPA notifications.

So it is up to you to take advantages of these opportunities. If you are traveling from another state and consider yourself an experienced boater you are well ahead of the game. But Florida has its own laws to abide by. In addition to those above, there are laws to protect swimmers, divers and marine animals. Some of it is just common sense. Operating a boat inside an area marked for swimming doesn’t make much sense. Markers, such as those on Coquina Beach are there to warn swimmers of the danger imposed by swimming outside the markers and boaters to signal them there are swimmers on the beach.

Watch out for red flags with a diagonal white patch, these signify divers are in the area. There are laws to protect divers and three boating restrictions are important to remember. If operating on a river, through a channel or inlets you must maintain a distance of 100 feet from the dive flag. It may be flown from the boat or float that have divers in the water or may be tethered to the diver below. In open water you are required to keep a distance of 300 feet from the dive flag. The third requirement is that you slow down when approaching a dive flag.

Sailing is taught at an early age here in Sarasota
Educational Programs - Sailing lessons in Sarasota.

Save the manatees. These graceful behemoths of the seas are in the open waters of the area in summer months but head to inland waterways October through April. At these times they are in inland areas such as Crystal River in the north and make a magnificent sight when they gather by the hundreds in the warm waters near the Tampa Electric Big Bend Power Station. Their slow movements prevent them from escaping a fast moving power boat. So boaters must be aware of their presence, the most visible sign of a submerged manatee is a large swirl of water on the surface. They surface at regular intervals where the show is a wonderful display of nature but they can hold their breath for up to 20 minutes.

As manatee are protected by law, so are dolphins. They don’t migrate as manatees do and will play around your boat with a show of their own. They are either dining on small fish or entertaining you and your boat guests. Remember that it is illegal to harass or feed dolphins and manatees.

Many anglers visit Florida for its rich supply of game fish. Fishing licenses are easy to obtain through many outlets and department stores that sell tackle such as Walmart. The licenses are divided into saltwater or freshwater designations. Florida residents may qualify for a free license if you plan to fish from a shoreline or structure attached to the land such as a fishing pier. Your children under the age of 16, residents over 65 and active duty members of U.S. armed forces do not require a license. There are more exemptions for freshwater fishing, see the Florida Fish and Wildlife website for more information.

Consult current regulations on the type and size of fish, violation of these rules can be devastating. Invasive species such as lionfish or tilapia are exempt from most of these rules. You’re doing a good thing by catching these species of fish. Tarpon are very large saltwater fish but produce heavy fines if you are in possession of one. A tarpon must be released once caught and tarpon over 40 inches must remain in the water to be released. You may purchase a tag to catch and possess if you are going after an International Game Fish Association record. The state record is 243 pounds caught near Key West. Although larger tarpon have been witnessed, the official world record is one caught in 2003 off the coast of Africa at 286 pounds, nine ounces. A list of  saltwater fish and their regulations is available online at MyFWC.com.

Coquina South Boat Ramps, Bradenton Beach
The boat ramps at Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island have recently undergone a complete makeover with more parking spaces and additional boat launches.

There are many good marinas in the area from which to dock your boat. Super-sized yacht dockage is available at the Longboat Key Club Marina and Marina Jack in Sarasota. There are many boat owners who trailer their vessels so they can be more mobile and avoid dockage fees. Nearly every city in the area has a marina park with a public boat ramp. In the Sarasota area there are boat ramps in Centennial Park downtown, on City Island in Ken Thompson Park and Turtle Beach, south of Siesta Key. There are a number of boat launches on the Manatee River in Bradenton. In Manatee County there is the Kingfish Boat Ramp in Holmes Beach and Palma Sola Causeway Boat Ramp. The Coquina Beach South Boat Ramp was recently resurfaced with more parking and ramps.

Sailboating can be rewarding and relaxing. Still care should be exercised. Sarasota Bay has some very shallow open waters that can easily be seen on a nautical chart. Download a two-week free trial of the popular Navionics Boating SmartPhone app, available for Apple or Android phones. This app provides a wealth of information for boaters including depth charts. Boats with large drafts should be concerned when navigating Big Pass south of Lido Key or New Pass on the south end of Longboat Key. The Coast Guard has issued warnings for these two inlets and have announced in March they will no longer maintain the channel markers as the shoals shift with different storms. For access to the Gulf of Mexico by sailboat, the Longboat Pass between Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island at maker 85 is consistently deeper, but still may be shallow in areas with depths of 4.5 feet. The draw-bridge there is maintained 24 hours a day and accessed on VHF channel 9.

You may be familiar with the phrase, red-right returning. This refers to the red triangular markers that show the channels, they should be on your right. The green square markers that are even numbered should be on your left when returning from the open water. But what about the intracoastal that runs from New Jersey to the Mexican border? The marker numbers will be in increasing order and the red will be on the side of largest land mass, the continental United States. Intercoastal markers should also have a yellow symbol on the marker for easier navigation. Red will be on the right when returning from a large body of water to a smaller body of water such as a marina channel.

If you don’t own a boat and still want the pleasure of open water boating there a few options for you. We can start with Marina Jack in downtown Sarasota, one of the country’s best marinas. Not to mention they have outstanding dining, they have full service for boaters. From rentals to charters, these independent contractors are experienced in the ways of boating. Reserve a relaxing sunset on the water with a dinner cruise aboard the Marina Jack II. Cannons Marina on Longboat Key also provide rental boats. There are other marinas on Anna Maria Island, Sarasota and Bradenton that offer similar services.

Marina and Moorings of the Longboat Key Club
Serving Longboat Key - Considered a safe harbor from storms, the Marina and Moorings of the Longboat Key Club provides many services. This view is from a listing at Grand Bay, click on the image for details.

The Freedom Boat Club has an office at Marina Jack. Membership will get you access to a good supply of boats for pleasure or fishing. A basic boat safety class and on-water training is provided with an initial membership application. There are locations all over the United States, where members can reserve a boat at each location. A free sailing class for members is offered and each location has one sail boat on hand. Once a member, take advantage of their area locations in Nokomis, Venice, Gulf Gate Estates and Palmetto.

Enjoy the open waters in our little slice of paradise. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

 

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Roger Pettingell?

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  • Over 33 years as a top producing REALTOR® on Longboat Key and in Sarasota.

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  • Number 1 single Coldwell Banker agent in all of Florida for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
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  • Number 1 Realtor for all Sarasota in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
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  • Ranked among the top 250 agents in the country for 2014, 2016 and 2017 by REAL Trends as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

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About Roger Pettingell

Roger Pettingell of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is your Longboat Key, Florida Luxury Real Estate Specialist. Roger provides his real estate expertise to sellers, investors, developers, and buyers in the Sarasota area including Anna Maria, Bird Key, Bradenton Beach, Casey Key, Cortez, Grand Bay, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, Marina Bay, Osprey and Siesta Key. Search for homes, luxury homes, condominiums, investment property, development property, and vacant land and lots on the Longboat Key, Florida and the surrounding area.