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Longboat Key Real Estate Blog

Roger Pettingell


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Bay Isles and its Amenities

by Roger Pettingell

Security and beaches for Longboat Key

Deeded beach access granted to Bay Isles homeowners

REALTALK™ #53 talk about Bay Isles Beach Club
Bay Isles Beach Club - In REALTALK™ #53 we discuss beach access and club amenities.

I have an alert for Longboat Key home buyers! There is a secure neighborhood on the island with 24/7 manned guard gates, golf, tennis, swimming, a private Gulf of Mexico beach club and with a selection of single-family homes, maintenance free homes, villas, condominiums and townhouses on the market. With this much variety and amenities you may wonder how you may have overlooked this community.

Fact is, if you were looking to buy in places like the Harbor Section, Sabal Cove, Queens Harbour or Grand Bay you were looking at real estate that has deeded access to one of the most encompassing clubs on the island. Bay Isles on the southern end of Longboat Key is a neighborhood of communities behind a southern gate that serves communities such as the single-family homes in the Harbor Section or the townhouses and residences of Fairway Bay. The north gate near the Publix grocery provides access to the single-family homes in Sabal Cove, Weston Pointe, the maintenance-free homes in Queen’s Harbour and Coreys Landing, or the condominiums of Grand Bay.

Besides the security of this gated community, members of the Bay Isles Beach Club also have access to the private white sands of the Gulf located at 2111 Gulf of Mexico Drive. With your personal key card you open the gates to the beach with its outdoor pavilion, showers, restrooms, barbecue grills, picnic facilities and beach volleyball.

Also behind the north and south gates are the facilities of the Longboat Key Club, which expands your horizon with access to the moorings marina and Portofino Restaurant & Grill. Members of the Longboat Key Club can enjoy a challenging round of golf on the championship course at Harbourside Golf Course. This tree-lined course opened in 1982 and now consists of three nine-hole courses, the White Egret, Red Hawk and infamous Blue Heron.

Bay Isles Beach Club
Beach Access - Residents of Bay Isles have deeded access to the Bay Isles Beach Club.

All of these neighborhoods are near some of the finest shopping and dining that is available on Longboat Key, St. Armands Circle and Sarasota. Opera, orchestra, musicals, ballet and plays add to the thrill of living at Bay Isles. And no visit to Sarasota would be complete without a tour of the Ringling Museum of Art and the home of John and Mable Ringling, Ca’ d’Zan.

In the mid-70s Arvida Corporation, a developer that was responsible for a large portion of the southern end of Longboat, Bird and Lido keys, recognized the potential for this area of the island. In 1976 the company filed documents with the state of Florida under the chapter name, Bay Isles, realizing the market was in need of a secure neighborhood with amenities. What formed were the homes and residences that followed. Here is a look at some of the communities of the Bay Isles Beach Club.

Harbor Section: Take a right turn past the southern gate to navigate through the Harbor Section of Bay Isles. Each lavishly landscaped single-family home backs to a canal structure that leads to Sarasota and the Gulf of Mexico open waters. You can review the current set of CMAs and the inventory that is available in this section.

Fairway Bay: A community of 288 residences comprised of mid-rise buildings and townhouses in three separate associations. The community shares a pool, tennis courts, clubhouse and exercise room. Fairway Bay residences are access through the south gate along Harbourside Drive and is across the street from Harbourside Golf Course.

Emerald Pointe: Three homes of its total 16 have been sold this last year in the community of Emerald Pointe. Emerald Pointe is a pet-friendly community consisting of mostly two-story villas built around the year 2000 on Harbour Links Drive, easily accessible through the south gate. Properties also back up to the Harbourside Golf Course.

Marina Bay: Near Fairway Bay and Emerald Pointe is Marina Bay, 60 condominiums on Sarasota Bay in three buildings constructed in the early 1990s. Residents have access to a heated pool, spa, fitness facilities and tennis courts centrally located near the middle building. One small pet is welcome.

Weston Pointe: Weston Pointe, Winding Oaks, Bayou, Sabal Cove, Queen’s Harbour and Coreys Landing are mostly single-family homes located around a series of canals and lakes inside the north gate. Each single-family home owner in Weston Pointe has deeded rights to their own private boat slip on a canal that leads out to Sarasota Bay. This community is located within a short walk of the Publix and Amore By Andrea Restaurant, which serves some of the finest Italian cuisine on Longboat Key.

Winding Oaks: Continue up Harbourside Drive inside the north gate and you will find the community of Winding Oaks. Many of these single-family homes built on two small lakes were built in 1988 but have been updated for a more modern lifestyle.

Sabal Cove: Directly across the street Sabal Cove homes offer many of the luxuries that comes with a single-family home ownership. Harbourside Golf Course winds its way around the lake that backs up to the homes in Sabal Cove built in the early 90s. Some homes on the interior face a cul de sac, offering more privacy. The listing I have at 3340 Sabal Cove Lane faces the lake and greets you with manicured landscaping and a brick-pavered driveway.

Queen’s Harbour: Many of the homes built in Queen’s Harbour were constructed between 1995 and 2000 but have also been updated with modern technologies, appliances and building codes. Homeowners here can enjoy a good second home in the winter, as most of the exterior maintenance and landscaping is handled by the local association. Many of the homes in Queen’s Harbour have their own private dock on a canal that leads to Sarasota Bay.

Coreys Landing: Most of the exterior maintenance of homes in Coreys Landings is also the responsibility of the association. As with Queen’s Harbour some owners with homes on Mistletoe Lane have their own private boat dock on a canal that winds out to Sarasota Bay. Coreys Landing residents enjoy a community pool with spa and tennis courts.

3040 Grand Bay #215
Grand Bay #215 - Our new listing overlooks Harbourside Golf Course.

Grand Bay: Continue up the road to its end to find another set of 24/7 manned guard gates at the six-building community of Grand Bay, a masterful collection of residences that overlook Sarasota Bay. Grand Bay is the highlight of condominium living on the bay with many amenities starting with on-site management. The heated pool and spa, tennis courts, fitness center, clubhouse, path structure and picnic areas exist with the community that is wonderfully landscaped and well maintained. The 271 luxury condominiums were built between 1994 and 1999. The inventory is rich, check the history and pricing through our current CMAs.

I have my most current listing here at Grand Bay, a wonderful three bedroom, 3.5 bath Biscayne floor plan in building II at 3040 Grand Bay Blvd, #215. Enjoy a wrap-around terrace facing the Blue Heron nine of the Harbourside Golf Course and Sarasota Bay on the west side of the building. I also listed a stunning Beachplace residence atr 1115 Gulf of Mexico Dr, $503 that is offered furnished on the fifth floor. 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
3040 Grand Bay Blvd, #215 $829,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1115 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #503 $599,000   Photo Slideshow


3-dimensional floor plans

by Roger Pettingell

Newest evolution in home photography

Three dimensional walk-throughs are the new floor plans

213 N Washington Drive 3D home virtual tour
Technology update - We present this home at 213 N Washington Drive in Lido Key as our first 3D tour.

In the evolution of listing real estate on the Internet, the addition of photos started a technological revolution that replaced binders of photos to show a home to a client. Home buyers from any country that had Internet access had the ability to pull up any property, see the photos, and determine which homes would be suitable for first-hand review. Over the years there have been funny photos, sexy photos and exceptionally bad photos. I have always liked the photos of bathrooms where the photographer can be seen in every mirror. Professionally prepared photos sell homes.

Then slideshows and virtual tours guided a client through the home as the real estate listing agent wanted to present the home. There was little interaction other than pausing and starting the tour. Then video was useful to give a better sense that each home had life and a home tour was no longer a set of static images. There are some funny videos too. A friend sent me a video once that showed a videographer walking through a home, the housing appeared in the bottom of the frame. It reminded me of the commercial where the dog’s nose was shown searching the home for Beggin Strips. Bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon…I like bacon.

In our quest to present our homes for sale in the best light, we started using helicopters to get great aerial shots. Drone technology extended those visuals for even more dramatic effect. Drones can get into areas that a helicopter can’t. Their limitations are defined by FAA scrutiny so we know homes within five miles of the SRQ airport in Sarasota can’t be photographed with drone technology.

REALTALK™ #86 on May 5, 2016
Matterport System - I demonstrated this new technology in REALTALK™ #86

We recently started using three-dimensional floor plans where the home buyer drives the views and the walk-through of the home. The company we are using has its headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA, creators of the Matterport system. I provided a description of the process in REALTALK™ #86 and demonstrated our first home using this technology at 213 North Washington Drive near St. Armands Circle.

The photographer requires approximately one hour for every 1,000 square feet of floor space. In that time the camera is set up in one location to photograph a portion of the room by rotating the camera 360 degrees on a special tripod. The camera is stopped, then moved to a different small room or section of the same room in larger living spaces.

The operator remotely controls the camera so they are not seen in the resulting images. The camera records the floor, ceiling, walls and furniture. The images are stitched together to form two complete different tours of the home. The virtual floor plan that is created displays the home as you would see it on a paper floor plan. On homes with multiple floors you can select the floor you want to see in the lower right corner.

1372 Harbor Drive, Sarasota
Two views - This home at 1372 Harbor Drive in Sarasota can be seen in dollhouse or floor plan view.

You can really see the advantage of this system in dollhouse view. Select this view and you zoom into a point of origin. You are presented with a starting point where you can walk through the home at your own pace, stop and view the flooring in that room and even gaze at the architecture that is on the ceiling. A single click of the mouse in the direction you want to move takes you to the next point.

A dramatic demonstration of ceiling architecture is in the living room view of this home at 670 Mourning Dove Drive on Bird Key. While standing in the room, hold your mouse button down and scroll toward the ceiling. As with the virtual floor plan you can move to a different floor with one click. You can also walk up and down stairs to continue the tour at your own pace. The tour is very intuitive but there is a help system by clicking on the ? in the upper right corner.

What’s up next? Where is my virtual headset so I don’t need a mouse or touch pad?

Growing list of homes with 3D views

The Sanctuary - Community Spotlight

by Roger Pettingell

Amenity-rich Sanctuary beach residences

Community spotlight on the southern end of Longboat Key

The Sanctuary buildings
The Sanctuary - The Sanctuary five buildings were built in four phases, completed in early 1990s

Imagine this lifestyle. Playing golf on a championship course that is outside your front door, strolling on white sand with the sounds of waves curling up on the beach, having a fine dinner cooked by magnificent chefs at a nearby restaurant, then completing nearly every night gazing at a stunning sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. This is a life of an owner in the Sanctuary community on Longboat Key.

Throw in some great amenities and your life gets even better yet. Relax in the resort style heated swimming pool or keep up your stamina with a short course Olympic length lap pool of 25 meters in the center. You can stay active on two lighted Har-Tru tennis courts, half-mile jogging path and fitness center. When it’s time to relax, consider the wading pool, sauna, spa and clubhouse with social rooms. Owners have the opportunity to join the prestigious Longboat Key Club with two championship golf courses, marina, restaurants and tennis courts. Security is controlled with two 24/7 manned guard gates, one at the entrance to the Longboat Key Club and the second into the Sanctuary community.

The Sanctuary heated swimming pool
The Sanctuary heated pool - The resort style swimming pool has a 25-meter lap pool in the center

With all the amenities offered at the Sanctuary you may never want to leave the confines of the property that rests on 18 acres at the southern end of Longboat Key. It is close to fine dining and shopping in St. Armands Circle and the cultural diversities offered in the Sarasota arts center. The community is friendly to small pets and owners have the option to rent their residences.

The Sanctuary, built in four phases over three years beginning in 1989, offer condominiums in five buildings with six different floor plans ranging from 1,785 to 3,115 square feet. Depending on the building, there are five to seven floors with under-building parking for the residents that own one of 181 units. The Ascot, on the beachfront corners in Sanctuary II, III and IV offers the largest of the floor plans. The master suite has direct access to 800 square feet of open terrace for beach and sunset views.

The Dorchester floor plan in the center of the Sanctuary IV building has a wonderful layout with split bedroom plans and two terraces totaling 460 square feet, one facing east for the morning sun accessible from the guest bedroom and den, the other facing west from the master bedroom for glorious sunsets. The Dorchester has the second highest amount of floor space at 2,590 square feet.

Similar in size and layout is the third highest amount of floor space is the Carlyle at 2,580 square feet. The Carlyle also flows through the building at the center of Sanctuary II and III and next to the Dorchester in the larger Sanctuary IV building.

575 Sanctuary Dr, #A202
Residence for sale - My 3BR/2.5BA listing at 575 Sanctuary Dr, #A202 is selling for $899,000

The Brittany is next in size at 2,375 square feet under air and 725 square feet of wrap-around terrace space. These floor plans were constructed in the east-facing residences of the buildings in Sanctuary II, III and IV next to the Ascot floor plan.

My listing in the Sanctuary I building at 575 Sanctuary Dr, #A202, has an Essex floor plan of 1,823 square feet and overlooks the Islandside golf course of the Longboat Key Club. This magnificent residence offered furnished is visually stunning with walls of glass and mirrored walls in the living room, extending the outdoor scenery of lush landscaping. The master suite has his and her walk-in closets, whirlpool bath tub and separate shower.

The Monaco floor plan, opposite the Essex in Sanctuary I is 1,785 square feet with two bedrooms and a den that can be converted to a third bedroom. Sanctuary I has two of the five buildings mentioned earlier.

Consider purchasing in the Sanctuary, on the beach and with all of its amenities. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing here at the Sanctuary or if you have a property to sell or buy.

UIPM Modern Pentathlon

by Roger Pettingell

World class athletes from 28 countries

Final Modern Pentathlon qualifier for the 2016 Olympics

Equestrian events at the 2015 Modern Pentathlon
Equestrian jumping events at the 2015 Modern Pentathlon #1 last February in Sarasota

On Thursday Sarasota will once again become the center stage for competing world class athletes. On that day the 72 participants from 28 nations will open the ceremonies for the 2016 pentathlon World Cup Finals, four days of competition in fencing, swimming, horse riding, running and pistol shooting. This is their last stop before the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Greek Olympic games introduced the pentathlon in 708 BC and consisted of a series of running the length of the stadium, jumping, throwing a spear, throwing the discus and wrestling. The pentathlon resurfaced in the 1912 Olympics with its current series of five events. In that first year a young George S. Patton finished fifth. He later went on to become one of the most decorated generals in United States history while serving in both WWI and WWII. The governing body for the modern pentathlon is the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) with its headquarters in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

The festivities begin Thursday with the opening ceremony on the grounds of the Ringling Museum of Art. When the doors open at 5:30 expect a flurry of special guests and pentathletes among all the fanfare of an opening ceremony. Performances of the Players Flash Tappers along with the Manatee High School Choir and Band will highlight the musical extravaganza for the evening.

Fencing: The opening ceremony follows the early morning start of 8 a.m. that day at one of the two competition venues, the YMCA at Potter Park in Sarasota. The women compete in a round robin tournament in bouts of one-minute each where a single hit of the épée sword will determine the winner. If neither record a hit both actually are scored with a loss. The men compete with the same rules, beginning their tournament at 1 p.m. Thursday. The objective is to accumulate points from each competition, points are awarded based on a formula associated with each discipline.

The competition shifts to the second of the two venues, the 600-acre Nathan Benderson Park near the Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota. This community park is suited for these competitions and also features a 2,000 meter International Federation of Rowing Associations Congress Class A training center on its 400-acre lake. The 2017 World Rowing Championships will be held there in the early fall. But on this Saturday the women complete their final day of the pentathlon here starting at 12:30 p.m. with the final fencing bonus round.

The men have their final fencing bonus round at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Nathan Benderson Park, before they return to the YMCA at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday for the final fencing round, then back to NBP on Sunday for their final bonus round at 1 p.m.

Swimming: On Friday a 200 meter freestyle set of heats will begin for the women at 10 a.m. in the 50 meter outdoor competition pool at the YMCA Selby Aquatic Center. Swimmers who finish under 2:30 will receive the maximum of 1,000 points in these events. The men compete in swimming the following day at 10 a.m., their final is Sunday at 9 a.m.

Equestrian jumping: All other events take place at NBP, with the women on Friday at 2 p.m. who begin their completion in the equestrian jumping events. Athletes participate on horses selected at random by the judges. They each receive 20 minutes to learn their horses and can earn up to 1,200 points by jumping over 120 centimeter hurdles on a 350-450 meter course. The course also requires these horses and riders to jump over 12 obstacles with 15 jumps total. The men compete in the final equestrian jumping contest on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 2:45 p.m.

Running and shooting: The last competition in the pentathlon is a combination of running and laser pistol shooting. The athletes start with a 25 meter run, then compete in laser pistol shooting which consists of a series of four sequences of five targets each, with a run of 800 meters between each of the sequences. Athletes compete in a relay with teams of two or three and can accumulate up to 2,000 for the combined event. The women’s final combined run and shoot is at 4 p.m. on Saturday, completing their competition in the pentathlon. The men compete at 4 p.m. on Saturday, with their last competition on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

There are many other events that coincide with the pentathlon at both venues. The awards ceremony for the women takes place at 4:30 p.m. following their full day of competition on Friday, while the men have two awards ceremony with the first on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and the second on Sunday at 5 p.m. The Pentathlon Village at NBP is open from noon to 4 p.m. each day. It is included in the your ticket price to the competition and features exhibits and performances by the Garbage Men or Jazz Quintet. You can receive up to two free tickets by donating books at either venue. Donated books will go to the Ashton Elementary School and Booker Elementary School.

A free athlete welcome party will be held Saturday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Evie’s Tavern in Sarasota, in cooperation with Gold Coast Eagle Distributors. The closing ceremonies is to include the marching band and choir from Manatee High School A parade of flags and Cirque Sarasota will be held Sunday after all events have completed at 6:30 p.m. in NBP.

It was reported that the pentathlon event in Sarasota last February had a $5.7 million impact on the local economy, with over 13,500 guests attending. Sarasota continues to provide world class events in sports and the arts. The real estate market thrives. Last week we listed three new properties for sale, a wonderful Brid Key estate on the water and two residences on Longboat Key. 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
670 Mourning Dove Dr $2,999,000 Video Photo Slideshow
2016 Harbourside Dr, #334/335 $749,000 Video Photo Slideshow
3070 Grand Bay Blvd, #642 $659,500   Photo Slideshow


Home security systems

by Roger Pettingell

Alarm systems help protect your home

DIY to full-home monitoring services are available

Smart Home Design, REALTALK™ #42
REALTALK™ #42 - Smart home demonstration.

Many communities on Longboat Key are safe and secure with 24-hour manned guard gates. Neighborhoods such as Queens Harbor, Corey’s Landing, Grand Bay, Fairway Bay and Harbor Acres in Bay Isles are collectively protected with a north and south gate. Police protection here is top-notched and license plates are scanned entering or exiting the island. With the wealth that exists here homeowners feel more secure by adding another level of security through third-party monitoring systems.

With modern technology you can set up a system that monitors for fire, water intrusion, and any intruder that might be bold enough to test the barriers. These systems can also be tied to the lighting, entertainment and temperature control. Some of the smart home systems can easily be set up by an average homeowner while complex systems require the experience of professionals. I spoke with Mark Bolduc, president of Wicked Smart Homes, in REALTALK #42 while recording in a home he designed. The system he demonstrated was complex but made very easy to operate through a touchscreen tablet.

Some companies provide 24-hour monitoring for security. ADT has been in the security business for 140 years and has grown to be one the most reliable home monitoring companies in the country. Their theft protection guarantee will provide up to $500 toward the insurance deductible if the home was broken into while the alarm was set. They have grown to include fire and smoke detection, water detection and thermostat controls.

Frontpoint is a new company in the business of providing whole house security protection. Their claim is that their system is the only provider that is 100% cellular. The disadvantage for wired systems is that an intruder could potentially cut wires entering the home and disable the service. Copper phone lines and cable lines that connect to Wi-Fi are susceptible to signal disruption.

Their system has cloud storage of images, has a 100 decibel alarm and 24-hour power backup. The service is notified immediately if it senses that the equipment is destroyed with their crash and smash feature. Other systems rely on a 30-second delay to disarm the alarm and the bad guys know that.

SafeTouch Security out of Jacksonville has been spending a lot on radio and TV advertising. Their system also claims crash and smash protection, along with many of the features that the other top tier programs offer. Their $24.95 per month service plan is available to anyone who wants to pay three years in advance.

Cable and Internet providers have also entered the game. Comcast and Bright House both provide alarm systems with monthly service charges around $30. With Comcast’s XFINITY you can arm your system remotely over the phone and has battery back-up. It also detects water intrusion and smoke in the home. With XFINITY you can use your own equipment so that you can take it with you if you move. Options include lighting and temperature controls.

The Bright House managed system is similar. With the basic package you get two door and window sensors, one motion sensor, touchscreen modem and router. You must subscribe to their Internet service but a dedicated wireless network is secure for monitoring and control.

Ring doorbell
The Ring installs easily, reacts like a doorbell and homeowners can respond to visitors anywhere they have smartphone access.

There are systems that do not require a monthly monitoring fee. Of course, the homeowner is responsible for contacting the police or fire department in an emergency. Verizon has all but abandoned its monitoring service but instead offer the Canary for sale. For $199 the device will send HD video to your smartphone if it detects an unusual event. It claims it has the ability to learn so that it reduces false alarms. It sounds a 100 decibel alarm when activated. The camera is wide angle at 147 degree field of view and has night vision capability. Video is stored in the cloud with 12 hours for free.

Ring has a video doorbell that responds to visitors by motion activation. It also records to the cloud and is nice in that you can respond to the doorbell from anywhere with your smartphone. It connects through your home Wi-Fi. The cost is $199 and for an additional $30 you can purchase a Chime that plugs into a wall outlet with an audible sound when a visitor pushes the button on the front, a doorbell.

You can purchase wireless and wired home video cameras that record full video or only when motion is detected. They can be installed outside while some are mainly for indoor use. If they record to a DVR or tape, I recommend putting the recorder in a secure location. It would be too easy to steal the recording device and you would have nothing.

If your motive is to prosecute, consider placing one camera on the inside of your home. It is more difficult to pursue a burglary charge if you only have evidence of the intruder on the exterior of your home. Even then I would hope police would have enough to pursue the stolen goods.

Security systems aren’t at the top of everyone’s home buying checklist. Many buyers contact us for the spectacular sunset or sunrise views. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Pricing homes through CMAs

by Roger Pettingell

Using Comparative Market Analysis reports

History reports to 2008 in some Sarasota communities

3030 Grand Bay #384 Condo for sale
Pricing homes - Online pricing tools provide generic information. Setting a price for this new listing at Grand Bay #384 required more research.

We just posted all our Comparative Market Analysis reports for April representing home prices in 18 different communities. The CMAs help a property seller define the price of their home as compared to other homes on the market in their neighborhood. These reports are useful to the buyer because they can determine if the community they are looking is within their budget or if they are making an offer and it is a fair market value.

Our CMAs contain information in each report that is helpful for each community. They cover communities in Sarasota such as Harbor Acres. The Ritz-Carlton Tower Residences in downtown Sarasota and its Beach Residences on Lido Key are represented. On Longboat Key I provide information on the major condominium communities and housing communities such as Country Club Shores and three home communities behind the Bay Isles gated neighborhoods.

Each community CMA is structured differently but they all contain information on Active listings, Pending homes for sale and Sold homes. The solds include all those homes sold within the past year. There is an exception, I push out sold listings in Regent Place to two years because it is one of those communities with the fewest homes for sale on the market.

How you use these reports vary if you are the buyer or the seller. A seller may use the Active listings to gauge the number of residences that are currently for sale in their market. Homeowners looking to sell their property should be skeptical when using the Active listings to price their homes. Agents representing their client can ask any amount when pricing the property.

The Zestimate tool within Zillow might be a classic misuse of pricing. The data used to determine these estimates does not take into consideration any factors such as upgrades to the home. A Zestimate may also be inaccurate when pricing a residence at Grand Bay if your unit is a penthouse in comparison to a first-floor residence.

386 Bob White Drive on Bird Key home for sale
Sold price per square foot might vary by community so it is important to review this average figure on CMAs.

Instead, the more accurate way of pricing is to use the final sale price in the Sold listings. These prices more accurately reflect the true market value of the home. Even then a professional real estate agent will review each sale and determine which sold listings more accurately reflect a comparable price for the property you are selling. As in some communities, the number of parking spaces is important to buyers and can increase the value of a residence. I post the number of parking spaces in the CMAs for condominium communities. In single family home communities the number of parking spaces is less important. Instead, I will post fields that have historically had an influence on the price of homes in these neighborhoods.

Prices for Pending homes also reflect the asking price so like the Active listings do not reflect the true value of the home. By reviewing the Pending homes you can get a sense of the overall market because a high number of Pending sales might reveal how fast homes are moving in the market.

When you look at homes sold on these reports you can review the listing price in comparison to the sold price. I post this comparison on many of the CMAs. If there is a consistent differential in the listing price and sold price you may be able to factor that percentage in. This is a valuable resource for buyers. There may be times when a seller is highly motivated to sell their property and may already have priced it to sell in short time. These are easily spotted on the CMA.

The reports online can be used to start your research and view a history of the community you may be interested in as a buyer. In some communities I have monthly reports back to 2008, all available in PDF format. These reports are helpful to both buyers and sellers. Sellers already have a sense of what their home is worth when they contact me to list their homes.

Buyers can determine if properties in a community are priced outside of their budget and they can move on to isolate a neighborhood that fits their budget and needs. The price per square foot in a community such as Bird Key will be different than one in Country Club Shores. Waterfront homes in Harbor Acres are selling for premium pricing per square foot. On these reports I think it is important to review the sold price per square foot typically designated in the Sold Listings column as SP/SqFt.

The CMAs are found under the menu item CMA History on each website page. If you are unfamiliar with the Sarasota and Longboat Key areas, there is a map at the bottom of each page and you can click on the community you might want to begin your search. More budget conscious buyers might look on the bay side. In these residences the views are spectacular as the sun rises over Sarasota Bay. Premium properties on the Gulf side will present fantastic opportunities to view some of the world’s most stunning sunsets. Select your community on the map and the CMA reports open up for selection by month in the years I offer them. In 2014 I included Tangerine Bay on the south end of Longboat Key as my most recent CMA offering.

I discuss online pricing tools in REALTALK™ #18.

The comparables in these reports might be the first indication of price for your review. They are provided in a general format provided through information in the Multiple Listing Service. Once you feel comfortable with this knowledge, you can perform your own searches. Sellers can perform a search and get a more accurate price through my online tool at Buyers can view a map search under the For Buyers menu link, Home Search or by going to my website In the Communities menu, Homes for Sale will produce a map search for some of the communities in the CMAs. Advanced searches are available with each of these tools. I provide all this information for free.

When you are ready to sell your home or buy in the Sarasota and Longboat Key areas I would like the opportunity to speak with you about your needs. In that way I can find out what is most important to you and we can set some parameters for even more accurate sales comps or properties that meets your needs as a buyer. Check out my newest listing, a wonderful three-bedroom waterfront home on Bird Key with pool and deep-water dockage. 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
386 Bob White Drive $1,590,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Introducing our new Managing Broker

by Roger Pettingell

Changing of the Guard on Longboat Key

New managing broker brings experience to her position

Roger Pettingell with Bob Stanley, Sue Wolverton and Clark Toole, March 1
2015 Awards Ceremony - Bob Stanley (Second from left) stands next to me at the 2015 Coldwell Banker awards ceremony March 1. Also pictured is Sue Wolverton and Clark Toole of Coldwell Banker.

There was a changing of the guard last week, so to speak. Over the past decade our Coldwell Banker office on Longboat Key was led by Bob Stanley, managing broker. He announced his retirement in an office ceremony two weeks ago and stunned many agents in the office with his plans. We all relied on his guidance and friendship to grow as a broker selling real estate in Sarasota.

Over the years Bob has become a friend to me so I wish him the very best in his next endeavor. He and his wife operated a bed and breakfast in Bar Harbor, Maine over the years. He will join her to participate full-time in the family business. I am certain his passion won’t subside, just redirected.

A managing broker leads an office through education. He also protects the agency by building its brand and by ensuring that its agents adhere to state regulations. Bob did this with dignity, managing 50 agents here on Longboat Key. I have requested his counsel on many occasions and have had the greatest respect for his advice.

Ellen O'Day
Managing broker, Ellen O'Day

Bob introduced his successor, Ellen O’Day, on the day of his retirement announcement. Ellen has an impressive resume with her own set of successes in real estate and business. She moved to Sarasota four years ago and established herself quickly as a top tier agent for Coldwell Banker, and was named rookie of the year her initial year. In 2013 she was asked to lead an office in Punta Gorda, growing the office from nine agents to 55.

Before her move to Florida she was part owner of a resort in Pennsylvania, held ownership in five companies, and renovated homes throughout the state. Not bad for a young lady who grew up in Amherst, New York.

And now she will take over for a man who was well respected by anyone who met him. She told me in a video I recorded that she has big shoes to fill. She is confident of her potential on Longboat Key and with the Gulf of Mexico nearly outside her office window, you can tell she is pleased to be here.

One of my favorite communities on Sarasota Bay is Grand Bay. I have a new listing posted last week there. It is a beautiful, eighth-floor Cayman at Grand Bay with breathtaking views of Harbourside Moorings marina, golf course, Sarasota Bay, the Gulf and lush grounds of this community. 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
3030 Grand Bay Blvd, #384 $1,295,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Sarasota new community construction update

by Roger Pettingell

New communities in Sarasota move forward

Get in on the ground floor with new construction pricing

High end appliances in Azure on Palm
Azure on Palm - High end features and new construction pricing are attractive to buyers.

Our Azure on Palm new residence project is moving right along. This new project with Seaward Development is in a prime location at 711 South Palm Ave. Stop into the sales pavilion on-site for a virtual tour of the new residences that live like single-family homes. Best of all, it is downtown within walking distance to many fine restaurants, shopping and festivities of Sarasota. The gallery is open 7 days a week, call (941) 677-3278 for daily hours and more information.

Seaward Development completed construction of Park Residences. Live in luxury style on the Lido Key shores, some choice units still remain. There are four different floor plans and 18 residences within walking distance to the Gulf of Mexico, St. Armands Circle, South Lido Park and Ted Sperling kayak launch. Each unit is 2,458 square feet under air and the penthouses include a 2,250 square foot rooftop terrace.

Since my last report on new construction some communities have begun moving residents in, others are moving along and at least two new communities are requesting permits to build. And that is just in the area within the Downtown Community Redevelopment Authority (CRA), which is approximately one square mile in downtown Sarasota. Construction is brisk to fill the inventory void. Officially announced just last week was a new project, The Mark, with 157 residences at State Street and Pineapple Avenue. The most recent CRA report is available here.

The Vue is looming over the city skyline, on target for 255 hotel rooms when completed this fall as a Westin, and 141 residences when completed in the upcoming winter. The 18 story Jewel at 1301 Main Street is near completion. There are 19 residences and 6,900 square feet of commercial real estate in this new downtown Sarasota building. The “Q” at 1750 Ringling Boulevard has received a certificate of occupancy for 20 units of its planned 41 in seven buildings.

Majestic Bay and Aqua on Golden Gate Point
Completed in 2004, there is one residence for sale at Majestic Bay on the left. Aqua is nearing completion and has two active listings on Golden Gate Point.

Golden Gate Point falls outside of the CRA but is in the downtown area. The peninsula is in a great location overlooking the Ringling Bridge on the west side, and downtown by Marina Jack on the east side. There is plenty of new construction there including the recently completed ONE88 community with three of its eight residences remaining for sale. Just down the road from ONE88 is new construction, Aqua, with eight residences. Two remain unsold, a third-floor unit with 5,658 square feet under air and an 884 square foot terrace. A second residence on the second floor has 3,425 square feet of living space with three bedrooms and four baths.

Longboat Key also has its share of new construction. The Aria community at 2251 Gulf of Mexico Drive is nearing completion, and owners are anticipating their move-in this month. Built on five acres of the historic Villa am Meer property, the original 1935 home was restored as a highlight in this community on the Gulf of Mexico shores.

Further north at 4765 Gulf of Mexico Drive, the Infinity will be completed soon with 11 residences in four stories on the grounds of the former Holiday Inn Beach Resort. Each unit will be finished with smart home technology by Wicked Smart Homes.

Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you would like to arrange for an exclusive showing of these communities. I can provide a free evaluation of your home if you have one to sell. I have one new listing last week, a contemporary home at 213 North Washington Drive within a short walking distance to St. Armands Circle. Also completed is a three-dimensional walkthrough of this hidden gem. Explore the three stories of this home from your computer or smartphone as though you are walking through the home on tour.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
213 North Washington Dr $1,799,000 Video 3D Walkthrough


Sarasota sports

by Roger Pettingell

Baseball, and roller derby to water skiing

Upcoming events for the spectator sport enthusiast

McKechnie Filed in Bradenton
McKechnie Field - The Pittsburgh Pirates are wrapping up their Spring schedule. The Marauders will soon begin their schedule here.

With just three more home games remaining, Spring training for the Baltimore Orioles is winding down. One of the nice things about these games is that they are in smaller ballparks with the major leaguers participating. For the most part you are close to the action where you may not be when the regular season starts.

The team has been settled in Sarasota since 2009, a renovated Ed Smith Stadium in 2010 downtown and part of the 13-team Grapefruit League. This is your opportunity to see center fielder Adam Jones or starting pitcher Chris Tillman without leaving the area. It might also be a good bet that you can catch stars from your favorite major league team within an easy drive. Just to the north in Bradenton, the Pirates, are at the renovated McKechnie Field. There are still standing room only tickets left, but these games are typically sellouts.

And more good news recently was announced this month, the Atlanta Braves are looking at Sarasota to move their training from Lake Buena Vista. Their current contract is up in 2017. The plans are for a 7,500-seat stadium in south Sarasota on US 41. Other cities are in the running.

There are other professional sporting events coming up in Sarasota. Starting April 9 the USTA Pro Circuit will be in town for an eight day tennis tournament to be played at the Lakewood Ranch Athletic Center. Some of the top ranked players have accepted, including four from Argentina, to participate in the White Sands/Joey Gratton Sarasota Open.

Even the Bradentuckey Bombers of the women’s flat track roller derby league are considered professional athletes. Their next event is this Saturday at their facility, Astro Stake and Fun Center, at 3611 Third St, West in Bradenton.

The NCAA has its largest collegiate sand volleyball competition April 8-10, with 35 colleges participating in the Fiesta on Siesta Key. Now in its seventh year, D2, D3 and NAIA schools have been added to the tournament field this year. On that Saturday, USA Volleyball HP National team tryouts will be held on the beaches of Siesta Key.

A polo club event is a fun way to spend a weekend afternoon. The last match of the season will be held this Sunday at the grounds in Lakewood Ranch. Nine polo fields are maintained, the Sarasota Polo Club is one of the largest clubs in the country.

Ski-A-Rees water ski acrobats
The Ski-A-Rees give free shows on Sundays with their last show of the season May 1.

The Ski-A-Rees has been providing water ski shows since 1957. These free events with parking available at the Mote Marine Aquarium on City Island are an excellent display of local acrobatic talent. The last show of the season is May 1 but the 2016 Southern Regional Show Ski Tournament at the Ski-A-Rees stadium will begin June 16 and run through that Sunday. The tournament was last held here in 2011.

Over the Fourth of July weekend the 32nd Sarasota Power Boat Grand Prix race will be held with prime viewing on Lido Key beaches. The festival begins a week earlier with the Festival Golf Classic at Laurel Oak Country Club.

Nathan Benderson Park by the new Mall at University Town Center will be the site to some world class athletes in rowing and sculling, the first of which will be this Wednesday, Canoe Kayak Canada Assessment Regatta. In April the Florida Scholastic Rowing Association Sculling Championships and the 2016 U.S Olympic Team Trials will be held there. Looking to the future, the World Rowing Championship will be held in September of 2017 and will co-host with the University of Central Florida, National Collegiate Athletic Association's Rowing Championships in 2018.

Professional sports in Tampa include the Rays baseball team and the Buccaneers in the NFL. The State College of Florida participates in the Suncoast Conference of the Florida State College Activities Association. The Manatees have teams in tennis, baseball, softball and volleyball.

My new listing is a Beachplace penthouse on Longboat Key with wonderful views of the Gulf. This 2BR/2BA residence has an extended terrace that is only featured on top-floor properties in this community. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
1055 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #603 $899,000   Photo Slideshow


Sarasota's iconic bayfront statue

by Roger Pettingell

History behind the 'Unconditional Surrender'

Stories behind the photo and the famous Sarasota statue

Unconditional Surrender Statue Sarasota Florida
Unconditional Surrender - The statue has literally had its ups and downs over the years.

Sarasota’s famous statue has been the scene of an auto accident, replicated in other cities, its sculptor accused of copyright infringement and it was vandalized as an April Fool’s joke. Yet the sculpture named Unconditional Surrender at one of the busiest intersections in downtown Sarasota remains as an iconic fixture and reminder to the end of World War II. The 25-foot image is a 3D model of a photograph that appeared in Life magazine following Victory over Japan (V-J) Day in 1945. The photograph and the statue has history to it.

First, the story of the photograph of a sailor kissing a nurse leaning backward in New York city’s Times Square. It was shot on film by renowned photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt. Japan had just surrendered to the Allies in August of 1945, the announcement sparked a flurry of celebrations world-wide. A young sailor, George Mendonsa, was in Radio City Music Hall with his soon to be wife Rita when the news filtered into the theater. The couple soon joined others who were flowing into the street for a mass celebration when George grabbed a passing nurse for the kiss, she had just ended her shift at a local hospital.

Neither had been identified in the Life magazine cover photo. George is the most likely sailor to make his claim as one of the subjects in the picture. He seems to have the most convincing story with his memory of the day and his features that closely resemble the man in the photo. Even the Naval War College identified George as the one most likely to be the kisser in the photograph. Others have come forward as well, including Carl Muscarello and Glenn McDuffie, who also have similar certifications of authenticity.

Nurses and dental assistants have claimed to be the woman in the photo. Edith Shain had just finished her shift at Doctor’s Hospital in New York when she claims she went into the streets to celebrate. Greta Zimmer was working as a dental assistant when news broke out in the office on that day. She left the office on Lexington Avenue to join in on the excitement. Neither of the two could identify the sailor.

In this day of instant photographs and a camera at the disposal of most everyone with a phone, the incident would have been captured by many and instantly broadcast throughout the world. On that day there was another photographer, Victor Jorgensen, that captured the scene. Since he was serving in the Navy as a photographer his pictures would be in the public domain, while there were copyright issues with the photograph that appeared in Life.

That is the connection to the sculpture. While the city of Sarasota claimed the statue violated copyrights, the sculptor, Seward Johnson, claimed the statue was cast from a computer generated model of the photo in the public domain taken by the Navy photographer, Jorgensen. He satisfied Sarasota with his position and the statue was allowed to be exhibited.

But the Styrofoam temporary statue in 2005 didn’t remain in Sarasota for long after the bayfront celebration it was intended. It was moved to San Diego for a temporary exhibit there, and then moved to New York city where the original photograph was taken.

Soon after Seward established the Sculpture Foundation to create works of the statue in Styrofoam, aluminum and bronze. San Diego replaced the temporary one with a bronze version. Copies also have shown up in Hamilton, NJ, Pearl Harbor, France and Italy. In 2009 an aluminum copy was returned to Sarasota intended as another temporary display. It was then that $500,000 was offered as a donation by Sarasota resident Jack Curran to keep it at its location for 10 years. Jack was local, served as a signalman in the war, and offered the money in honor of his deceased wife.

Removed for repairs
The statue was taken down and removed for repairs following an automobile accident in 2012.

The statue was to remain in Sarasota, but it didn’t. In April of 2012 it was struck in an automobile accident and had to be taken down. The statue was on the ground following the accident while insurance companies decided its fate, and was shipped back to Seward’s studio in New Jersey for repairs.

April hasn’t been a good month to the statue. As a seemingly April Fool’s joke, vandals attached a pink substance to the bottom of the nurse’s raised shoe to resemble stuck bubble gum. However funny it was, officials treated the investigation as criminal mischief. The pranksters were not caught and public works cleaned the substance off the shoe to bring it back to its original condition.

Now thousands of visitors to the bayfront area have had pictures taken of themselves in front of the statue. Some are taken of couples kissing in the same pose as the original. Others are just content to stand stoically and have their pictures taken. It is iconic for the city of Sarasota.


Last week I posted three new listings. A residence in The Sanctuary has lush views of the golf course and lakes in Building 11. I am offering for sale a residence in Siesta Key that has two bedrooms and is direct Gulf-front. The third is a vacant lot, primed with utilities in the protected waters of Bikini Basin in Cape Coral.

Welcome to the first day of Spring. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
575 Sanctuary Dr, #A202 $899,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1617 Edith Esplanade $849,000 Video Photo Slideshow
8764 Midnight Pass Rd, #402A $549,000   Photo Slideshow


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  • Over 32 years as a top producing REALTOR® on Longboat Key and in Sarasota.
  • Number 1 single Coldwell Banker agent in all of Florida for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
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  • Number 1 Realtor for all Sarasota in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Coldwell Banker Society of Excellence award in 2013 and 2014
  • Ranked among the top 250 agents in the country for 2014 by REAL Trends as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

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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.