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Who Lives Here and Why

by Roger C. Pettingell

Who Lives Here and Why

When prospective clients contact me to live in Longboat Key and Sarasota they generally have a good idea why they want to move here. If they vacation here first they witness the splendid sites and activities this area has to offer.

To think of great year around weather your first thought is to draw a mental picture of the beaches and the amount of sunshine that this state has to offer. Florida is a larger state than it may appear, so the complexion of each area represents a different way of life. The hustle of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, the equestrian lifestyle around Ocala or the college cities of Gainesville and Tallahassee each are attractive in their own ways.

Sarasota and the six barrier islands attract a different type of resident. They are looking beyond the great beaches, golfing, restaurants, fishing and boating that other beach communities share in Florida and settle here for a more relaxing life with a home style atmosphere of luxury homes in quaint neighborhoods.

Planet Venus at sunset shines like a bright star in the southwest from any location on the Gulf of Mexico coast beaches at sunset.For the most part they have worked hard all their life to achieve their status and want to share that with others of similar backgrounds. Neighbors are friends with similar backgrounds but security and privacy is a priority they all share.

The list is impressive of those who have purchased real estate here in the Sarasota County area. Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, Brian Johnson of AC/DC, thrill author Stephen King, professional wrestler 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, talk show king Jerry Springer, Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, actress Jane Lynch, sports commentator Dick Vitale, tennis coaching legend Nick Bollettieri, tennis star Martina Navratilova, TV series host Jack Perkins, R&B recording legend Donald 'Duck' Dunn, founding Moody Blues band member Graeme Edge, and our most recent addition actress Rosie O'Donnell, have all purchased property here.

It is likely that this area originated as an arts center through the contributions that famed circus promoter John and Mable Ringling brought to the area. Nearly a century later of classical arts Sarasota was voted the number one top art destination in the nation for small cities by readers of American Style Magazine. Northern neighbor Bradenton was voted number two in that same poll.

Sarasota is home to the oldest continuing orchestra and the oldest theatre company in the state. It is home to the first professional ballet and opera companies on the Gulf coast of Florida. An annual film festival for one week in April attracts visitors from around the world.

America’s favorite pastime begins each year here in Sarasota for the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium in downtown Sarasota. A total of 16 teams from the National League and American League have a hefty pre-season schedule in March.

Recreation, fishing, boating and relaxation; there is more that Sarasota and the Gulf of Mexico barrier islands has to offer. Come to Longboat Key and Sarasota for the beaches and sunshine, stay for all that remains.

Happy Thanksgiving. It is my hope that your travels are safe and your visit with family is memorable.

Three Levels of Homestead Exemptions in Florida

by Roger C. Pettingell

3 Levels of Homestead Exemptions in Florida

You may have heard that Florida has one of the broadest provisions in the United States for debtor protection with respect to your home. This is one of the three provisions in the Florida Homestead Exemption legislation. These laws were enacted to protect your home from forfeiture in bankruptcy, but also provide tax relief and exempt from a forced home sale before and at death.

Florida is attractive for real estate investments, these laws protect new residents of Florida who also seek a tax exemption on their home here. What began with a law in 1933 following the Great Depression to protect Florida homeowners with $5,000 in protection, progressed through the years when voters of Florida approved a constitutional amendment to increase the exemption to $50,000 in 1980.

Home on Bogey Lane in Longboat Key, Florida.This exemption is only available to the primary residence of a homeowner here in Florida. It reduces the property tax liability by $50,000. However, the appraised value to calculate taxes for school levies has some relief but only the first $25,000 is exempt for school district taxes.

In addition, the law limits the annual increase of property valuation to the lesser of 3% or the rate of inflation. This is helpful for luxury homes that may increase in value by double digit percentages each year.

The exemptions are not automatic, the homeowner must file for the property tax exemptions with the state on Form DR-501. There are other forms available online that provides some relief to residents who live in Florida and are over 65 years of age. The amount of relief is determined by municipality or by county ordinances. To qualify household incomes cannot exceed $20,000 per year. An additional Form DR-501SC is required to qualify for these benefits. Seniors who qualify in Sarasota may be eligible for the following ad valorem tax exemption, which is the legal jargon for the exemption on the tax based on the value of real estate:

  • $25,000 exemption for the City of Sarasota municipal
  • $25,000 exemption for the Town of Longboat Key municipal
  • $ 5,000 exemption for the Sarasota County

Another exemption provides aid to permanently disabled veterans over 65 years of age. Application is made on the form mentioned above, DR-501.

Other benefits in the law apply to widows and widowers, persons who are considered under the law to be legally blind, or permanently disabled. There are exempt provisions for the installation of renewable energy source devices installed this year and the construction of living space for a parent or grandparent.

In order to qualify in Sarasota County you must file by March 1 and be a home owner resident on January 1 of the year you claim your exemption.

Applicants who are denied an exemption have an appellate process through a petition to the Value Adjustment Board. More information and form downloads are available online through the MyFlorida.com website or at your county tax assessor office. In Sarasota the number is (941) 861-8200 for more information.

Call us at (941) 387-1840 to start your search for property here in Longboat Key and to help guide you through the basics of homestead exemption.

Enjoy the Winter Months with these Events

by Roger C. Pettingell

Enjoy the Winter Months with these Events

Welcome back. While you were away you may have missed that Sarasota and Bradenton were voted 1-2 respectively in American Style Magazine’s top arts destinations in the nation for populations of 100,000 or less. Quite an accomplishment.

Sarasota Chalk Festival attracts thousands and over 100 artists to the Pineapple Ave downtown area each year in mid-November. The 2013 theme is Not without reason, the culture here supports opera, ballet, symphonies, theatre and family entertainment. And with the height of the season coming up there is plenty to do. I’ve compiled a list from online sources so that you have one location for some suggestions I have for you to spend your time here in the area around Longboat Key and Sarasota. When possible I tried to list these events right through March and April of 2014.

And on any given Friday night you can always catch "Live from Downtown Sarasota - It's Friday Night!" with live entertainment at Towles Court.

If you have additions to this list please feel free to add them in the comments below. If you need more information there are a variety of sources for each event, just a Google search away. There are over 100 events listed to enjoy your time here through April. Enjoy the winter months.

Updated February 14 with upcoming events
This is the last update for 2013 - Updates will continue on our Upcoming Events page

See expanded event details with links below 2014 Area Events for these venues

  • Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
  • Ringling Museum
  • Van Wezel Performing Arts
  • Sarasota Ballet
  • Sarasota Opera House
  • Sarasota Orchestra
  • Sarasota Opera
  • Asolo Repertory Theatre​

2014 Area Events

Now - February 27
Tropical Splendor - Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Now-April 27
Warhol: Art. Fame. Mortality
Dali Museum, St. Petersburg

Now - May 1
Bird Naturalist Program
Celery Fields

February 15-16
32nd Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival
Florida Maritime Museum, Cortez

February 15-16
Sarasota Festival of the Arts
Five Points Park

February 15-16
Sea Blues Festival
Clearwater

February 22
Sarasota Exotic Car Fest
Five Points Park

February 22
Sarasota/Bradenton Chili Cook-Off
University Square Plaza

February 22
Battle of Ballast Point
Civil War Reenactment
Fort De Soto Park

February 22-23
Fine Arts Show and Sale
Venice Art Center    

February 22-23
2014 Plant & Garden Festival
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

February 22-23
Circus Sarasota Winter Performance 
Circus Sarasota Tent

February 22-23
Wine, Chocolate and Romance 
MOSI, Tampa

February 23
Arts at the Point Festival
Historic Spanish Point

March 1
Highland Fling
MOSI, Tampa 

March 1-2
Sarasota Wildlife Art Festival
Ken Thompson Park, City Island Sarasota

March 1
Celebration Dinner, dog-in-bowtie
Southeastern Guide Dogs
This delightful dinner is a chance to celebrate the year, mingle with friends, enjoy fine cuisine and present awards of distinction
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront

March 4
Masquerade - Mardi Gras St. Armand's Style
St. Armand's Circle Park

​March 8-9
Buccaneer Beer Fest
MOSI, Tampa

March 15-16
Shamrocks and Shenanigans
MOSI, Tampa

March 22
Classic Antique Car Show
St. Armand's Circle Park

March 22-23
Wonders of the World
MOSI, Tampa

​March 29
Firefly Gala, "Illuminate the Night!"
Presented by the Dart Foundation
Entertainment by The Go‐Go’s, girl band of the early 80's
The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club
Benefiting Forty Carrots Family Center

March 29-30
High Seas Adventure
MOSI, Tampa

April 4
Festival Friday
MOSI, Tampa

April 4-13
The Sarasota Film Festival returns for its 15th year of celebrating the art of filmmaking while providing engaging community programs. We invite you to join us to experience the best of independent film from new and veteran filmmakers on the No. 1 beach in the world.

April 5-6
Huzzah to the King
MOSI, Tampa

April 9
Blue Ties & Butterflies
Michael’s On East
Child Protection Center Signature Event

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
Season theme is “Rhythms of Change”

February 19 – March 23
Harry and Lena
Nate Jacobs honors the debonair “King of Calypso” Harry Belafonte and the incomparable singer and actress Lena Horne in an original musical revue guaranteed to delight you.

April 9 – May 11
Bubbling Brown sugar
Journey back in time to the Harlem Renaissance (1920-1940) when audiences flocked to the area’s popular nightclubs to see the greatest talents entertain.

Ringling Museum

March 6
Wes Moore
Ringling College Library

Now - March 9
Unfamiliar Realities Exhibit, The Ringling
John & Mable Ringling Museum

Now - March 9
Optical Impulses Exhibit, The Ringling
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

March 20
Leon Panetta
Ringling College Library

Now – May 7
Highlights of New Acquisitions, The Ringling
John & Mable Ringling Museum

Now - June 29
The Philip and Nancy Kotler Glass Collection, The Ringling
John & Mable Ringling Museum

March 20
Ringling by the Bay: The Venturas
Bolger Campiello at Ca'd'Zan for live music and dancing. Music will be provided by The Venturas.

Van Wezel Performing Arts

February 14
Tony Bennett
What could be more romantic than Valentine’s Day with the one and only Tony Bennett! The 17-time Grammy® Award-winner has his albums continue to top the charts today.

February 15
Lewis Black The Rant is Due
You’ve seen him on countless late night talk shows and all over Comedy Central touting four Comedy Central Presents standup specials.

February 16
Masters of Illusion-Live!
Masters of Illusion Live! is a spectacular stage phenomenon comprised of the most astonishing and amazing magical performers in the world!

February 17
The Hit Men
The Hit Men Former Stars of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons & Tommy James and the Shondells

February 18
Stayin’ Alive
Stayin’ Alive The World’s # 1 Tribute to the Bee Gees

February 20
Man of La Mancha
Winner of five Tony® Awards, including Best Musical, MAN OF LA MANCHA is one of the best loved musicals of a generation.

February 24
Memphis
Winner of four Tony® Awards, including 2010 Best Musical, MEMPHIS bursts off the stage with explosive dancing and irresistible songs.

February 25
Bob Newhart
Back at the Van Wezel by popular demand! With a comedic career rarely seen today, Bob Newhart has starred in multiple iconic TV series & 14 feature films.

February 26
Lang Lang
Heralded as one of the hottest artists on the classical music planet, LANG LANG returns to Sarasota for his first solo concert!

February 27
The Moscow Festival Ballet: Don Quixote
THE MOSCOW FESTIVAL BALLET presents the full length ballet: Don Quixote.

February 28
Rhythm of the Dance
Since the creation of RHYTHM OF THE DANCE in 1998, it has consistently toured internationally-achieving greater critical acclaim year after year.

March 1
Sutton Foster
Award-winning actress, singer and dancer, Sutton Foster, has become a mainstay on the Broadway scene.

March 4-5
Chicago: The Musical
The #1 longest-running American musical in Broadway History! CHICAGO has everything that makes Broadway great.

March 7
Jerry Seinfeld
America’s Premier Comedian, Jerry Seinfeld returns to the Van Wezel performing his signature stand-up routine for one night only!

March 10
Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
With his three-and-a-half-octave vocal range, over 100 million records sold and a multi-decade career, we can’t take our eyes off of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.

March 12
Peking Acrobats
China’s most gifted tumblers, contortionists, jugglers, cyclists, and gymnasts, the Peking acrobats are complemented by live musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments.

Sarasota Ballet

February 28-March 3
Program 5 | Graziano, Ashton & DeMille
FSU Center for the Performing Arts

April 4-5
Program 6 | Ashton, Graziano & Tudor
Sarasota Opera House

April 25-26 
Program 7 | The Sarasota Ballet Presents Johan Kobborg, Alina Cojocaru & Friends
Sarasota Opera House

Sarasota Orchestra

February 12-15
Heart to Hart
Holley Hall

February 20 - 23
Homage
Anu Tali conducts her second concert of the season
Van Wezel

March 7-9
Exotic Stories
Neel PAC

March 13
Mozart Madness 1
Holley Hall

March 14
Mozart Madness 2
Holley Hall

March 19-22
Come Fly With Me
Holley Hall

March 28-29
Satchmo, Fats & The Duke
Van Wezel

March 30
Come Fly With Me
Neel PAC

April 4
Beethoven’s Fifth
Neel PAC

Sarasota Opera

February 16, 21-22, 25, 27, March 2, 7, 14, 22
Il trovatore
Giuseppe Verdi
A troubador's quest for love, a soldier's lust, and a mother's undying thirst for vengeance is the story of this dramatic opera by Verdi.
Sarasota Opera House

February 13-15, 18-20, 23, 26, 28, March 7, 15, 20-21
The Barber of Seville
Gioachino Rossini
One of the most beloved works in the operatic repertory returns to Sarasota Opera's stage!  
Sarasota Opera House

March 1, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 23
The Flying Dutchman
Richard Wagner
Ancient lore comes to life in the tale of a cursed sea captain forced to wander the world, ultimately finding redemption in the selfless gift of a woman's love.  
Sarasota Opera House

March 5
American Music Concert 2014
Sarasota Opera House

March 8, 11, 13, 16, 19, 22
Jerusalem
Giuseppe Verdi
An epic tale of warriors, family rivalry, and jealousy evolves into a story of forgiveness.  
Sarasota Opera House

March 8
Prelude Dinner 2014: Mozaic
Sarasota Opera House

March 18
Artists Choice Concert 2014
Sarasota Opera House

March 23
The Verdi Concert 2014

Sarasota Pops

March 16
007 and Other Numerous Movie
Pops Soloists
Felicia Brunelle
Riverview PAC

April 13
Take 5 Around the World
Pops Soloists
George Mancini
Marc Mannino
Neel PAC

Asolo Repertory Theatre
Check Dates and Times

Show Boat
A true classic of American Musical Theatre. Spanning the years from 1890 to 1927, Show Boat follows the lives, loves, and losses of a troupe of riverboat performers on the mighty Mississippi.

Philadelphia, Here I Come! 
The play that established Brian Friel (Dancing at Lughnasa) as one of the greatest theatrical voices in the English language, "Philadelphia, Here I Come!" paints a touching and humorous portrait of a young man on the verge of a new beginning.

Other Desert Cities
This fiercly funny new play by the creator of TV’s hit drama “Brothers & Sisters” brings dysfunctional family drama to new heights.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike 
Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia live a quiet life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they were raised, while their movie-star sister Masha travels the world.

The Grapes of Wrath
Frank Galati’s groundbreaking adaptation of Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel won the Tony Award for Best Play and has become a national theatrical treasure. 

4000 Miles 
Called by TIME magazine “The best play of 2012, hands down,” this funny and moving masterpiece looks at how two outsiders find their way in the world today.

Hero
Aspiring comic book artist Hero Batowski lives anything but a superhero life—he’s 28 years old, works in his family’s Milwaukee comic book shop, and still lives at home with his dad.

Following are performances by FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training

Antigone
A retelling of the famous Greek tragedy about the collision between the state and personal responsibility, in a modern version that reveals just how dangerous it is for the individual to take a stand in the 20th century. 

How I Learned to Drive
L'il Bit has put her past behind her, but her dark and dangerous relationship with her Uncle Peck continues to haunt her in this Pulitzer Prize winning play about disturbing family relationships and a culture that sexualizes young women.

Loot
A wild, black farce by one of the 20th century's most anarchic playwrights. Hal and Dennis try to hide the loot from a bank robbery while juggling a grieving widower, a mother's corpse, a predatory nurse, and a sinister police inspector in this brilliant English comedy.

The School for Lies
It's 1666 and in the glittering salons of Paris, a surly misanthrope falls in love with the very fashionable Celimene, causing chaos and catastrophe in everyone's lives.

To post your own event or to comment on any of these events click to the full 2014 Sarasota Area Winter Events post if you are not already there.

Community Events this Veterans' Day Weekend

by Roger C. Pettingell

Community Events this Veterans' Day

I don’t know if Veterans’ Day weekend is the official kickoff to the winter festival season in Longboat Key and Sarasota areas, but there is much aligned for all ages and all interests.

If your taste is for culinary arts with a combination of wine, check out the Bacchus on the Beach - Celebration of Food & Winestarting at 6 p.m. at the Resort at Longboat Key Club on Friday. Each dinner by award-winning chefs is paired with select wines from guest winemakers. The Stone Crab Celebration & Wine Tasting is on Saturday night, reservations are required for both.

Picturing Ceylon at the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota Florida. Ceylon is now the country of Sri Lanka.

The Ringling Museum has a few events Friday through Monday. Opening at 10 a.m. each day on the picturesque grounds this weekend are "Picturing Ceylon”, "Icons of Style" and the "Wild West," at the Circus Museum. These exhibits will be at the Ringling until January. Friday night is “Sunsets in Joseph's Coat” where the Ringling changes the color of space through the use of LED lights. If you can't make it this weekend this event appears weekly Thursday and Friday until next September.

In St. Armand’s Circle is the Fall Sidewalk Sale Friday through Sunday starting a 10 a.m. each day. Over 100 of the circle shops will present discounted items for the sidewalk sale that will coincide with the 25th Annual Fall Art Festival on Saturday and Sunday when 150 artists gather on the inner circle to show sculpture, photography, glass, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media and more for sale. The artists will be on hand to talk with the public and discuss commissioning their artwork.

This is a big weekend at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota as it hosts the Grand Opening Celebration for Ann Goldstein Children, starting at 1 p.m. for two hours on Saturday. This is a community open house, paid admission to the gardens will include guided tours, tropical refreshments, rainforest performances, storytelling, games and more. The celebration coincides with two exhibits, the “Batiks Botanicos: Viva Florida Exhibit,” and “Tropical Jewels”.

A live concert on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. is a Salute to the Five Branches of the Military at the Riverview Performing Arts Center. The Sarasota Pops orchestra joins the Woodworks Marimba Ensemble with music from Saving Private Ryan, 1941, the Patriot, Platoon and John Phillip Sousa. Jason Cannon from Florida Studio Theater will narrate Copland’s Lincoln Portrait.

We are proud to support our veterans, enjoy the festivities in your honor.

For further information you can find each of these online with simple searches, but if they are not what you are looking for maybe these events will help you plan your weekend through Veterans’ Day on Monday.

On multiple days this weekend:
The Prima Donnettes, 6:00 PM, 3:00 PM Sunday Matinees
Repeats weekly on Friday through Sunday until February 7, 2014.
Location: Florida Studio Theatre

Cine-World Film Festival, 7:00 PM
Repeats daily until Sunday.
Location: Burns Court Cinema

Comedy and magic show Dr. Conundrums Cabaret, 7:00 PM
Each day through November 16.
Location: Cabaret of Magic

Sarasota Orchestra presents Dawning of a New Season; 8:00 PM
Daily with the final day on Sunday.
Location: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

"The School for Lies" live performance, 8:00 PM, 2:00 PM Sunday Matinees
Every day until November 17.
Location: Asolo Repertory Theatre

"The Little Sweep," live opera, 5:30 PM, Sunday Matinee at 12:30 PM
Location: Sarasota Opera House    

“I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change!” live performance, 8:00 PM
Appears Tuesday through Sunday until November 24
Location: Venice Theatre

Sarasota Medieval Fair, 9:45 AM
Each Saturday and Sunday through November 24.
Location: Sarasota County Fairgrounds

Tampa Greek Festival - Eat Dance & Be Greek!, 11:00 AM
Friday through Saturday until midnight, Sunday until 6:00 PM
Location:  St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, Tampa

Friday, November 8:
Live from Downtown, Second Friday, 6:00 PM
Location: Historic Burns Square District    

Music in the Park, 6:00 PM
Location: Riverwalk Mosaic Amphitheater    

"Caddyshack," Film Fridays, 6:00 PM
Location: South Florida Museum    

"Side Effects" live performance, 7:30 PM
This is the last day for this performance which appears daily.
Location: The Players Theatre

Masquerade Fall Ball, 7:45 PM
Location: Beyond Dancing Lakewood Ranch

Saturday, November 9:
St. Jude Hispanic Festival, 10:00 AM
Location: St Jude Catholic Church

Mullet Smoke-Off, 11:00 AM
Location: Seabreeze Park on Terra Ceia Island

Red-White-Blues & Country Vets Celebration, 6:00 PM
Award Winning JENNY RIMMER & Blues Pig Band
Location: Strong Tower Vineyard & Winery, Spring Hill

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Roger Pettingell?

Experience

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

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  • Number 1 single Coldwell Banker agent in all of Florida for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
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  • Number 1 Realtor for all Sarasota in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
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  • Ranked among the top 250 agents in the country for 2014, 2016 and 2017 by REAL Trends as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

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About Roger Pettingell

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