Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 71

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


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


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 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


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


Home Showcase XIX – The value of land

by Roger Pettingell

Vacant land or tear-down purchase

Buyers have some options with homes on high land values

Pettingell sets another Sarasota record
Congratulations from the Longboat Observer - The local paper had this advertisement on December 28, 2017

I hope your new year’s celebration was joyous and you were able to spend it with friends and relatives. We could see the fireworks from Bird Key and knew there were many celebrations around Sarasota with something for every member of the family. Happy new year! I have already set my goals for 2018 in luxury waterfront property sales and hope I can hurdle my $105 million record sales in 2017 for an individual agent in Sarasota.

Today I am going to focus my Home Showcase series on homes where the land value is more than the home on it. A wise investor can tear down the home and increase the property value for resale. I have also seen that the location of the home was more important so a buyer is content with living in the home. A third option is living in the home until the buyer has a financial comfort level to renovate in time. The three properties I selected today are in different stages of this process for my Home Showcase XIX article. Bargain hunters looking for a good value might be interested in these properties.

The value of a Gulf-front buildable lot on north Longboat Key

5809 Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key
Vacant lot at 5809 Gulf of Mexico Drive

The first home is a Gulf-front site ready to build upon! Buildable lots are wonderful because the cost of tearing down the structure has already been absorbed by the buyer. The property at 5809 Gulf of Mexico Drive on the northern end of Longboat Key is in a wonderful location to begin your dream. This quarter-acre property is steps to the beach. You can work from own plans, but this one includes existing plans for a designer, two-story beach home, ready for you to customize. The importance of this home is that you have your own beach to watch the brilliant sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico waters. It is listed at $1,195,000.

Home in Harbor Acres, close to everything in downtown Sarasota

1571 Hillview Drive in Harbor Acres
Choices - 1571 Hillview Drive

Located on an oversized, corner homesite in the exclusive community of Harbor Acres, this 5BR garden home is in a prime spot. Harbor Acres is a private gem, nestled just minutes from the bustling city lifestyle of downtown Sarasota, as well as pristine beaches at Siesta and Lido Keys. Welcoming you with lush tropical landscaping, pavered walkways, the 3,300+ SF open layout of this home can be a great home improvement project or wonderful space for new construction. This is a good value considering the average asking price in Harbor Acres is $2.08 million for a vacant lot. The only vacant lot sale in 2017 here was $2.65 million and the highest home sale in this community was $6 million. The home at 1571 Hillview Drive is listed at just under $1 million.

Recently updated home in Weston Pointe, with dock and lift

610 Weston Pointe Court on Longboat Key
Updated - 610 Weston Pointe Court

Fall in love with the ease of maintenance-free living in the rarely-available Weston Pointe community of Longboat Key. This lovely 3BR/3BA home has recently been updated, newly-furnished, and is now ready for you to enjoy. Recent renovations include two new air-conditioning systems, upgraded eat-in kitchen, freshly painted walls, and newer pergola on the open lanai. Weston Pointe residents adore this special neighborhood, featuring its own marina, with deeded access to private docks and lifts. This home at 610 Weston Pointe Court is specially priced at $999,000, a good value for its upgrades and community amenities.

The Weston Pointe home is a new listing last week. It is a good addition to my inventory for sale, adding to a good variety of homes, prices and locations. I also talked about a residence makeover project in the Beachplace community on Longboat Key, with before and after photos last week in my REALTALK™ #152 video. It shows what can be accomplished to increase the value with a little vision of what buyers are looking for. I discuss this topic also in REALTALK™ #50 when I talk about pricing waterfront property and REALTALK™ #54 in a discussion of tearing down a mansion for the value of the land. Have a good year in 2018. 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


Home Showcase XVIII - Residence Rentals

by Roger Pettingell

Rentals of Longboat Key residences

Wonderful opportunities for waterfront condominiums under $1 million

Fairway Bay #101
Fairway Bay - 1900 Harbourside Drive, #101

Last week in my REALTALK™ #151 video I discussed the opportunities for using your property on Longboat Key as a rental. I have four properties today that I am highlighting, and all of them have rental possibilities. They are all on the water, increasing their value and remarkably they are all listed under $1 million. Two of these residences for sale are on the Gulf of Mexico shoreline and two are on the Sarasota Bay side, a good mix of north, middle and south ends of Longboat Key. While some communities have one month and three month minimum rental restrictions, the two residences on the Gulf side in the Silver Sands and Sand Cay communities can be rented on a weekly basis, two of the least restrictive associations.

Fairway Bay residents appreciate wonderful amenities, including 24-hour manned guard gate, security, on-site management, clubhouse with library and social room, fitness, tennis, swimming pool and heated spa. Bike to deeded beach access at the private Bay Isles Beach Club. The spacious waterfront townhouse at 1900 Harbourside Dr, #101 offers a 3BR plus office interior with three terraces, peaceful views, its own deep-water dockage on Sarasota Bay and many community amenities. This property includes a two-car garage. Bike to enjoy deeded beach access at the Bay Isles Beach Club offered at $789,000.

Grand Bay is a secluded community with views overlooking Sarasota Bay

3080 Grand Bay Blvd, #515
3080 Grand Bay Blvd, #515, Longboat Key

The second featured listing is at Grand Bay, a socially-active community located behind the gates of Bay Isles. Residents enjoy the privilege of access to first-rate amenities including a wonderful clubhouse, game room, library, fitness center, four Har-Tru tennis courts, heated swimming pools and spa. This secluded neighborhood is centrally located just a short drive from the gorgeous grounds of Longboat Key Club's Harbourside and Islandside facilities, Harbourside Moorings Marina, St. Armands Circle and downtown Sarasota.

This charming Bimini residence in Building V at 3080 Grand Bay Blvd, #515 offers beautiful views of Sarasota Bay and downtown that stretch on forever. The south-facing, light and open two-bedroom layout features oversized tile flooring, a neutral décor ready for you to move right into and floor-to-ceiling walls of glass sliders that open to the impressive, extended wraparound terrace from every room. Deeded access to the private Bay Isles Beach Club and two premium, under-building parking spaces are also included for the asking price of $599,000. What a great value in this wonderful secluded community.

North end community of Silver Sands, great residences to enjoy or rent

5841 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #245
5841 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #245, Longboat Key

Silver Sands is situated on the north end shores of Longboat Key beaches. Residents enjoy delightful amenities including shuffleboard, a small putting green to perfect your stroke, heated swimming pool, Gulf-front hammocks and picnic areas. Residents also have the option to lease on a weekly basis all year long. Resort-style living at this two-bedroom Gulf-front retreat will be hard to ever leave. Ideal as a year-round getaway or rental property, this residence at 5841 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #245 listed at $479,000 is ready for you, equipped with a full-sized kitchen, offered turnkey furnished, with ceramic tile flooring throughout and screen-enclosed lanai that opens to the lush community grounds.

Many amenities offered in the Gulf beachfront community of Sand Cay

4725 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #207
4725 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #207, Longboat Key

Also toward the north end, Sand Cay is a quaint beachfront community offering delightful amenities including shuffleboard, tennis, heated swimming pool and a Gulf-front patio deck equipped with barbeque area. Deep sea fishing, boating, fine dining, full-service spa and golfing opportunities are also offered at the renowned Longboat Key Club, just minutes away. This community boasts excellent rental options with on-site rental program management and the option to lease on a weekly basis, all year long. A light and bright beach getaway, this second-floor, furnished Sand Cay residence at 4725 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #207 is the ideal vacation retreat, simply waiting for you to enjoy or rent.

We are thrilled to have broken our annual real estate sales record, wrapping up 2017 with $104.6 million in individual total sales volume throughout the year. The year-end total sets a record sales volume sold by any individual agent ever over a one-year period in Sarasota. Breaking the $100 million mark is extremely exciting for us, especially because it means an almost 25% increase over last year’s record! Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing of these properties or if you have a property to sell or buy.

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


Home Showcase III – Global Luxury homes

by Roger Pettingell

Local single-family homes featured

Two homes on Siesta Key and two homes in Sarasota highlighted

In the third installment of the Home Showcase we took a look at Coldwell Banker Global Luxury homes on Siesta Key and in Sarasota. The Global Luxury brand has been a successful campaign since it was launched in April. Homes that fit the criteria is based on the area of their location. Among other criteria, in order to meet the standards for Sarasota County the homes must have a listing price above $1.2 million.

Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

MTV premieres its next reality television show tonight at 10 PM based on the lives of young adults living on Siesta Key. Homeowners on Siesta Key enjoy beaches that are 99% quartz. The sand feels cool on the feet as the heat is reflected and not absorbed in the white sands. The beach is popular at sunset for its panoramic views of the sun as it drops into the Gulf of Mexico. The facilities and parking have been upgraded the last couple of years increasing its popularity. As a result the beach has been at the top of everyone’s list for best beaches. Tourism plays a major role in the economy. Boutique shopping, fine dining and an active nightlife appeal to vacationers.

Nearly two acres directly on the beach

636 Beach Road on Siesta Key
New reality show premieres tonight - National attention to Siesta Key may affect home values

The barrier island is primed for a resurgence in popularity and land value brought on by the anticipation of the MTV show. Last week we adjusted the price of a home for sale at 636 Beach Road on Siesta Key, appropriately named The Belle of the Beach. The home has 100 feet of beach frontage, four bedrooms, with 4.5 bathrooms in 4,163 square feet of living space. The home was built to the highest standards by McGuinness Construction and designed by the Tichenor Group. A gourmet kitchen overlooks the living and dining areas which makes an ideal space for entertaining. It is priced at $7 million.

Completely remodeled bayside Siesta Key home

5151 Jungle Plum Rd
Home in Hidden Harbor is a boater's paradise

The boater’s paradise home at 5151 Jungle Plum Road in Hidden Harbor is attractively priced at $2.995 million. Boat dockage consists of 150-feet of water frontage, multiple lifts, shore-power and water. Just a couple minutes to the Siesta Key beach, there is a custom main home and separate guest cottage. Pass through the French doors of the main-floor master suite for access to the pool deck. A spiral staircase leads to three bedrooms upstairs. Entertaining is made easy with the open pool deck, Tiki bar and outdoor dining areas. The guest cottage has two full bedrooms and kitchen. You can expect a manatee to swim by in the summer months or an occasional dolphin in the bay or intracoastal waters.

Sarasota, attractive in many ways

1654 Landings Boulevard
1654 Landings Boulevard, Sarasota

Sarasota has become a cultural arts city over the years with everything from ballet and contemporary dance to opera, pops and symphonies. A few hundred thousand visitors walk through the Ringling Museum of Art’s doors each year and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is active almost every night with internationally renowned performers. Sarasota has also been attractive for its wonderful homes built to high standards.

The home I have listed in the Landings in southern Sarasota, a short drive to Siesta Key meets the high standards of the Global Luxury brand. Walking into this home is like entering a palace with its double staircase that greets visitors. Owners of this home at 1654 Landing Boulevard will have confidence knowing that the wonderful views of the foliage in their back yard will not be developed as it sits on non-buildable conservatory land. It is a smart home with most conveniences or home entertainment accessed with the touch of a button. The master suite includes a fireplace, three closets and spa-inspired bathroom. The back yard is a combination of function and luxury. It is complete with a summer kitchen, swimming pool, raised spa and safety padding on each side to protect children. It is listed at $2.195 million.

The heritage of William Henry Whitaker

975 Whitakers Lane
975 Whitakers Lane in Sarasota

William Henry Whitaker was an early settler in Sarasota, arriving in the 1840s to build a log cabin and begin raising cattle on land that was once part of Hillsborough County. County lines were redrawn and this land became part of Manatee County, until 1921 when the land was annexed as part of Sarasota County. An enclave of homes, bayou and cemetery are named for the Whitaker family. The elder was a patriot to the confederate cause and earned his reputation in its support. The estate at 975 Whitakers Lane on Whitaker Bayou was built with quality workmanship in 2006. Look out through a generous amount of glass windows from any of the four guest bedrooms on the second level to view the swimming pool, spa and boat dock. The bayou opens up to Sarasota Bay for your boating pleasure. The master suite is on the first floor and features walk-in closets and a marble bath. Listed at $2.095 million, this home has more than 5,300 square feet of living space. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing of these homes or if you have a property to sell or buy.

The current process for home loans

by Roger Pettingell

Allow extra time for mortgage process

Home buyer considerations before the purchase offer is made

REALTALK™ #121 on mortgage challenges
Mortgage challenges - I compare cash with home loan offers last week in REALTALK™ #121.

I explain in my REALTALK™ #121 video last week why cash is preferable in making an offer on a house. There are a few reasons why that is true and I explain in summary why obtaining a home loan today is more challenging compared to the days where no-doc mortgages were prevalent in the years leading up to the housing bust in 2008. Since then legislation reformed the loan industry when it was enacted as the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010.

The consumer credit process for home loans needed a change to avoid another housing disaster like the one that was created where 8 million homes were foreclosed upon. Under this new legislation predatory practices were reduced. Banks have less options for preparing loans that put an undue stress on the home buyer. These loans were advertised in ways that seemed very attractive but eventually would be the cause of many foreclosures.

Two fundamental principles were altered that would challenge even those with good credit to obtain home loans. The first was an increase in the credit rating an applicant is now required to have in order to receive loan approval. Whether a financial institution uses the FICO score or another form of credit rating, the applicant’s perceived ability to repay the loan is a much bigger part of the process. The second is the documentation required for a loan today, as I outline in the steps below.

The first step is a prequalification, used as an initial indicator, and then the pre-approval process. Although the prequalification is a basic step to get an idea as to how much a lender is willing to loan you, it requires little documentation. It may mean nothing to the buyer if you submit a prequalification letter to the seller’s agent with an offer, so many people don’t bother with prequalification. The pre-approval process will have some meaning since you have gone through the beginning of the home loan process and are approved for the home loan amount. Possibly you have even locked in an interest rate with the bank. Since your ability to repay has been tested, you have a reasonable expectation to continue income, and your debt levels are low, the next stage of the process becomes easier.

Since pre-approval is typically before the offer is made, the next stage begins when the offer is accepted by the seller. The full application is made at that point. The documents needed for pre-approval will need to be updated, especially if they are older than 90 days.

The application is submitted to the processing department of the financial institution. If everyone has done their diligence this may be a smooth process. If steps are missed in the application, the processing department may require additional documents to proceed with the loan. If both Realtors have properly advised their seller and buyer of the property fair market value, an appraisal is only a necessary formality. A bank is not interested in providing a loan that is far higher than the property value. In that way the bank protects its investment and in a foreclosure can recover its money through the sale of the home. There may be other documentation required such as HOA rules and regulations.

Once a satisfactory commitment is achieved by processing, underwriting will look for any potential fraud and review the submitted documentation. They will also review the fair market value of the property from the appraisal before the loan is cleared to close and a closing date is set or confirmed.

Underwriting must also review the loan so that it complies with Federal rules. In order to be insured by the Federal Housing Administration the bank must demonstrate that loan meets minimum guidelines for down payment and the credit of the borrower is in good standing.

In 2016 the FHA refined its rules to make the process more transparent to the borrower. Banks are now required to disclose all costs associated with the loan within three days of the application. This extends the review and rescission period for the consumer. A governmental online resource site was created that simplifies the loan payment schedule and has a tool to compare rates from different institutions in your area. Within three days of closing the lending institution is required to confirm its original costs and terms so the consumer is not faced with this review at the closing, where the pressure to sign is increased.

New rules also place new calculations and procedures on how some debt affects the loan. Student loans and 30-day revolving credit accounts are verified for payments on time. The money received for a down payment is reviewed for its source and more documentation may be required.

With interest rates still hovering around four percent, depending upon the type of adjustable or fixed mortgage and the length of the term, loans are still attractive to those who can make higher percentages on their investment money. This may change however. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has hinted that the central bank may have three separate interest rate hikes this year.

The length of time for the loan application process to go through its steps has increased. Consider this at the time the purchase contract is signed. Don’t commit to a short closing process unless you are confident that the bank is prepared to complete their process on time. It may be frustrating to renegotiate a contract to extend the closing date. I discuss more about that in REALTALK™ #121. Good luck.

Last week I listed an elegant estate behind the secure gates of The Oaks Country Club in Osprey. The home is a delight for features and décor. 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
468 Walls Way, Osprey $1,995,000 Video Photo Slideshow


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


Current technology for real estate sales

by Roger Pettingell

Staying current and moving forward

Using technology to market homes and track closings

REALTALK #106, Sharpening the Sword
Sharpening the Sword - How I stay ahead of the curve in real estate technology, REALTALK™ #106.

Cyber Monday is a good day to review current technology that I use to market my listings and communicate with my clients. I also use technology to share information among the staff and to track the progress necessary for each client to close on their homes in the most efficient manner. With this technology we nurture new and potential clients so that their needs are also met. The technology in our office is a variety of software and hardware that is either “off the shelf” for realtors, or customized from leading vendors.

Most of my customers are home sellers. To start, each listing has its own website. The address is commonly associated with the physical address such as one listed last week at A community like the Players Club at 1445 Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat key will be promoted by its community and residence number, such as I like using this form of Internet promotion because I can put more information on the site that I may not be able to include in the MLS system or that which appears on and I can include more documents that are commonly requested by potential buyers. It also is a great format to communicate with the search engines. We can input details in the Internet syntax, or metatags, for search engine optimization. These websites are syndicated to over 40 Internet portals commonly associated with real estate sales.

I promote each home sale as a featured listing on this branded website, In order to stay current with the requirements of the Internet giants like we are switching to a responsive design on our site that should be ready for launch early in December. Currently, we are optimized for mobile devices that presents a different experience on SmartPhones. The new design will respond to each device and present the best experience for an end user searching for property to buy. Google has announced they will favor this type of technology in their search results.

Longboat Key Home Prices
Home sellers begin their pricing research on Longboat Key and Sarasota through this free website.

That is my branded site to promote the homes I am currently selling. I recognize that most potential buyers and sellers begin gathering information on home sales through Internet sites, long before they make their first call to an agent to represent them. is my website that is established for sellers to get an estimate of their property’s value, and list comparable homes in the area. With an email address, the seller will receive updates on their home if the value should increase or decrease. For buyers exploring the waters, so to speak, my website is a good way to research home prices. By entering an email address the buyer will receive updates on new properties that open up on the market. Both of these websites are free to use.

We are also fortunate that our information for each listing is updated through the Coldwell Banker systems. In October there were 8.1 million visitors to with 12.6 million listing views. A majority of worldwide visitors were from the United States and Canada, our prime market targets. We continually feed videos, photos and descriptions to the Coldwell Banker telephone connection. An 866.600.6008 number advertised in local newspapers such as the Sarasota Herald Tribune connects a code in our listings advertised on that page to information about that property. Those listings are pulled from another system that we actively update with high resolution images, property descriptions and open house dates. All these feeds spread the word. The intent is to get quality information and photos in front of many people in our target audience.

A new technology we started this year gives the buyer a view of the property in three dimensions. These 3D floor plans are digitized in a way that the potential buyer can walk through a home as a virtual presentation. You have a choice of doll house or floor plan view to begin your navigation through the home. The photographer takes a 360 degree image of each room that is stitched together with software so that you can walk through the home as though actually being there. What I like about this system is that a visitor can master the techniques in just a few minutes. The Matterport system can be seen in this Bird Key home at

Matterport 3D floor plans for this home at 670 Mourning Dove Drive on Bird Key
3 Dimensional Floor Plans - I recently introduced this new technology as a virtual tour, website visitors walk through the homes I list for sale.

Our office has internal systems to track phone calls and processes for the efficient closing of all home sales. We store documents in digital format and have the ability to have digital signatures on contracts to avoid the lengthy paper flow. This Docusign system permits us to have legally signed documents between buyers and sellers even though they are great distances apart. Our system for escrow deposits is more secure than many systems that I have been involved with. Our office tracks each closing for a smooth transaction, from the home inspection to the closing at the title or law firm office.

I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was a good one. I listed a secluded waterfront home last week in the Sleepy Lagoon community of Longboat Key. This elevated home has three bedrooms, is on a deep-water canal with boat dockage and 10,000-pound lift. The home at 712 Marbury Lane has a two-car garage has been completely remodeled. 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
712 Marbury Lane $729,000   Photo Slideshow


New construction off the beaten path in Sarasota

by Roger Pettingell

Spurt in Rosemary District revitalizes area

New constructions in downtown Sarasota are filling needs

Valencia in the Rosemary District of Sarasota, Florida
Valencia - There are plenty of good opportunities here in the Rosemary District of downtown Sarasota.

Drive off the beaten path of Sarasota’s Tamiami Trail, and you will find an explosion of new condominium construction, revitalizing the downtown area. The Rosemary District has been neglected for years but is now in the middle of a growth spurt that will turn around this area. Its boundaries begin at Fruitville Road on the south, extends northward to 10th Street, then to the trail on the west and Orange Avenue on the east. The location is ideal with its close proximity to downtown shopping and dining. Take in a performance at the The Players Theatre or the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. Its history is as long as Sarasota itself, platted with the city in 1885.

Drive up Cocoanut Avenue and the large new building Cityside on the right looms in your line of sight at Boulevard of the Arts. In two phases 489 apartments will be completed and ready for rental soon. To the left at the intersection is Valencia at Rosemary Place. These luxury townhouses are expected to be completed this winter, with the Pamplona floor plan sold out by Icon Residential. However, there are plenty of available residences as the construction project continues to the north. Ten units of the Almeria floor plan along May Lane are offered with 2,099 square feet of living space, complete with a deck and garage. The Cordoba is slightly smaller and also has a garage with each residence. As bookends at each end of May Lane where 10 units of the Almeria floor plans will be built are the Madrid on the west and the Barcelona on the east at the Cocoanut Avenue intersection. Icon has other construction projects in Tampa Bay, Orlando and Atlanta.

When completed in the summer of 2017 there will be 22 new residences that are selling in the range of $350,000 to $900,000 at Risdon on 5th. Six remain unsold in this gated community. Award-winning architects Michael Halflants and John Pichette are planning a rooftop swimming pool with great views of downtown Sarasota. Halflants and Pichette are also the involved architects for Vanguard Lofts at 1343 Fourth Street. One residence of the six remains unsold and is a 2BR/2BA with two-car garage. It is listed for $799,000 with expected completion of this community in March of 2017.

There will be 489 new apartments in the Rosemary District when all of Cityside is finished.

No discussion of new construction in Sarasota would be complete without mentioning The Vue at Gulfstream and Tamiami Trail. When completed in early 2017, there will be 141 residences in 18 stories that overlook the Sarasota skyline. Five properties are active in MLS as of this morning’s writing, which includes these two penthouses. Residence number 1802 is a three bedroom, three and one half bath property that includes three parking spaces listed at $3,399,000. Unit 1801 listed at $2,999,000 has four bedrooms, four and a half baths with two assigned parking spaces. Nearing completion, there is still time to purchase and add your finishing touches to the design.

If your wishes are to be on the barrier islands and want to move in soon, the Park Residences on Lido Key may be right for you. Three of the 18 residences here are still active listings. You are steps to the Gulf of Mexico white sand beach and bordered by 100 acres of nature preserve at Ted Sperling Park. All floor plans are sold with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The famed St. Armands Circle is close and Sarasota is a short drive away over the Ringling Bridge.

The newly completed Aria at Villa am Meer and the contemporary Infinity communities have sold all of their properties on Longboat Key. However, there are many Longboat Key residences for sale that have been updated with modern finishes and available.

Last week I listed two homes and two residences for sale on Longboat Key. The luxury home at 5080 Gulf of Mexico Drive has five bedrooms, five full baths and three half baths. It is complete with infinity-edge pool and boat dockage. The home for sale at 1011 Longboat Club Road is a golfer’s paradise on Longboat Key Club’s Islandside golf course and is only one of seven custom homes there within walking distance to the beach. A short distance is my new listing at L'Ambiance Dr, #D906, also on Islanside golf course and overlooks the newly renourished Gulf beach at this elegant community. I have also listed a rarely available three bedroom walk-down to the beach residence at Beachplace, with its many fine amenities. 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
5080 Gulf of Mexico Drive $6,990,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1011 Longboat Club Road $2,795,000 Video Photo Slideshow
415 L'Ambiance Dr, #D906 $2,600,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1055 Gulf of Mexico Dr. #106 $1,299,000   Photo Slideshow


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


Simple property searches

by Roger Pettingell

New property searches based on lifestyles

Find your dream home quicker with designed pages by area

Navigate to Property Listings, Lifestyles and the area
New searches - Navigate to Property Listings, Lifestyles and the area desired.

Searching for your dream home or residence in the area just got easier. Last week we launched a series of web pages that are designed for searches by an area of lifestyle. For the past couple of years you could perform a search by community such as Grand Bay or Bird Key. Now, let’s say you want to live on the beach of Longboat Key but haven’t decided on a community, or even if you have narrowed your search to a penthouse or single-family home. Under Property Listings at the top of the page, navigate to Lifestyle and select Gulf Beachfront. We have two pages of property searches for homes that are on the Longboat Key Club championship golf courses. Considering Bay Isles for its beach access? There is page devoted to all the communities with deeded access behind the manned gates of the Bay Isles Beach Club. Since Bay Isles has a large list with a wide price range, we’ve broken it down further and have selections to fit your budget. Here is a list of the lifestyle areas, with more in the plans.

The first is downtown Sarasota. New construction is apparent on almost every street increasing inventory in one of the most cultural cities in the country. Within walking distance you can see an opera, ballet, symphony orchestra or a world class event at the Van Wezel performing Arts Center. There are smaller venues for theater and comedy within the downtown district. Moor your boat at Marina Jack on Sarasota Bay or stroll over to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to explore the splendor of our plant-life. The Vue Sarasota dominates new construction in the area with 141 residences on 19 floors. New condominiums are also on Golden Gate Point and on the concentric streets that encircle Bayfront Drive. The Ritz-Carlton continues its excellence downtown with private residences. For value-driven buyers, consider getting in on the ground floor with new construction pricing. There is much to see and do in downtown, just waiting for your leap into luxury living.

Whether you are looking for a single family home or a high rise condominium, nothing is better than walking out to the white sands of Longboat Key on the Gulf of Mexico side and gazing at a spectacular sunset. Single family homes on the beach are clustered at the mid-mark and north end of the island. If maintenance-free living is your lifestyle choice, there is a vast selection of residences to choose from including properties at the ground level to luxurious penthouse suites. Many of these communities are close to fine dining, shopping and the diversity of cultural arts in Sarasota. Live with your toes in the sand in sunny Florida.

Bay Isles Beach Club
Bay Isles - There are many properties for sale behind the two manned gates of Bay Isles so we broke out pages further by price range.

Residents of Bay Isles on Longboat Key enjoy privacy and the security of 24-hour manned guard gates. They also receive the amenities of their communities and deeded access to the Bay Isles Beach Club. Outside the gates are the conveniences of grocery shopping, fine restaurants and services that complement their luxury lifestyle. There are several communities from which to live, from the maintenance-free living of single-family homes in Queens Harbour and Corey's Landing to the townhouses, homes and condominiums of Fairway Bay. Enjoy the luxury lifestyle of Grand Bay with six buildings of residences behind its own manned gates located on the Harbourside Golf Course and near the marina of the Longboat Key Club Moorings. Boat docks for yachts in the marina are sold on the Multiple Listing Service and they appear on the properties page that are for sale under $500,000. Homes in Bay Isles are highly desirable, including this home that was sold the day I listed it last week at 3541 Fair Oaks Lane in Queens Harbour.

Overlook Longboat Key Club's championship Harbourside Golf Course in a single family home or a high rise condominium. We have a good selection of homes in Queens Harbor and Corey's Landing to residences at Grand Bay and Fairway Bay. Owners of the properties here have deeded access to the Bay Isles Beach Club and the beach facilities on Longboat Key, Florida. Play three sets of nine courses at Harbourside outside your front door including the White Egret, Red Hawk and Blue Heron. Nearby on the course is the Longboat Key Club Moorings marina and the Portofino Restaurant and Grill.

The best of many worlds with the Gulf of Mexico white sands out your front door and the championship golf course Links on Longboat (formerly Islandside Golf Course) out your back door. Complement that lifestyle with the renowned St. Armands Circle nearby and membership in the Longboat Key Club for tennis, socializing and more fine dining. These properties on the beach are for sale as high rise condominiums at the Sanctuary, L'Ambiance, Longboat Key Towers, the Pierre or are available as single family homes. Add the many features of Longboat Key, Florida and the cultural arts center of Sarasota and you will never want to leave.

South Lido Key condominiums
Beachfront residences on south Lido Key

Enjoy the luxury lifestyle on the Gulf of Mexico in maintenance-free living with these residences for sale on the white sands of the beach. Close to world renowned St. Armands Circle and the ecosystem of Ted Sperling Park, 100 acres for kayaking and trail-blazing with 640 liner feet of Gulf beach on south Lido Key. Walk out to the beach from a ground-floor residence or enjoy one of many spectacular sunsets from a top-floor penthouse. You will have prime viewing for the annual Power Boat Grand Prix held each year over the Independence Day weekend.

The history of St. Armands Circle started when circus magnate John Ringling had a vision for creating an island atmosphere of homes that linked Sarasota to Longboat Key. Today the Circle is a display of the history that is surrounded by fine dining, boutique shopping and an active nightlife. Single-family homes dominate the surrounding area. Homeowners play on the circle or cross the Ringling Bridge for the cultural arts that Sarasota provides. Updated luxury homes co-exist with quaint homes that reflect the prosperity of the times when other civic leaders took over Ringling's vision and made it a renowned world landmark. Some homes around the circle toward Lido Beach have docks on water with direct access to Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Find your dream home quicker, then please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
* 3541 Fair Oaks Lane $999,000    


* Sold the same day it was listed on MLS.


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Why Choose
Roger Pettingell?


  • Over 33 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, 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Number 1 Realtor on Longboat Key and Bird Key for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Number 1 Realtor for all Sarasota in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Coldwell Banker Society of Excellence award in 2013, 2014 and 2016
  • 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.