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Designing a perfect HVAC system for your home

by Roger Pettingell

The best AC system for cost and efficiency

Calculations for new homes or upgraded systems

Home at 3260 Bayou Sound on Longboat Key
Heat Strip versus Heat Pump - Heat pumps are popular for pools here on Longboat Key.

In June I wrote an article about setting your home up for the summer while away for extended periods of time. In it I discussed security and setting up your air conditioning to control humidity and reduce the potential for mold. At the time I made the assumption you had an Air Conditioning unit that was running at peak efficiency, I also recommended having a maintenance service before leaving. So, how do you get a good system and know that it is good for your home. You may be building a new home or you may be replacing a system, I’ve learned something about AC systems over the years here in Sarasota.

It might be easy to say that you want the biggest and best, that way you can’t go wrong. It is my hope that after reading this that finding the right system for your home is a better way to think about your project. It can be confusing and my advice here may only apply to this area of the country, and even this area of Florida.

The size of the air conditioner depends on many factors and not just square footage of the home. It is based more on room volume and other environmental factors that a professional will measure in a heat load calculation. They will factor in shade for the home, open windows and the direction these windows face. From the heat load calculation they will determine the amount of British thermal units, or Btu’s required to cool the home. Since 12,000 Btu’s are required to melt a ton of ice in one hour, they will express your needs in terms of tons. A one-ton unit will be efficient for a home that requires 12,000 Btu’s, a two-ton unit for 24,000 Btu’s, and so on up to five-ton units.

If more than five tons of cooling are required in a residential space they will likely separate the home out into zones. The main section may have a four-ton unit, while the master bedroom area will have sufficient cooling with a two-ton unit. Programmable thermostats are important here. The system will run more efficiently if you determine the times of day you will be sleeping and program the master bedroom to be cooled during those times while the rest of the home will be cooled to the desired temperature only during the times you will be entertaining, eating and relaxing in the family room.

You likely will not see two tons stamped on the installed AC unit, nor will you likely see Btu’s recorded there. To determine what size the unit is you may have to refer to the running amperage that is stamped on the installation plaque. Since most residential AC units are installed as single-phase, 220 volt systems, you should be able to calculate the size based on the running amps. There, five running amps will be the equivalent of one ton or 12,000 Btu’s. A ten-amp system is two tons. If there is a 12.5 amp stamp, expect your system to be 2.5 tons.

There is an economical hazard in installing the wrong size AC for your home. Too little and the unit may run continuously. If the unit is too big, the home will be cooled down too quickly and humidity may not be removed from the home. Too much humidity and mold may form.

Thermostat Humidistat connection
The thermostat is set to cool and auto, working together with the humidistat set to on for the summer.

If you moved down from the north you might remember humidifiers that put moisture in the air during cold winter spells. Here in Sarasota we use dehumidifiers to remove the humidity, or moisture in the air that can cause mold and make us feel uncomfortable in the home. In many homes you will find a humidistat that is a stand-alone setting near the thermostat, or an integral part of the thermostat. The humidistat only reacts to relative humidity. There are settings on the humidistat to set the percentage of RH, but in most situations you will turn the humidistat to the maximum on position and let the system do the work for you. In situations where you may be leaving on vacation you can adjust the thermostat and humidistat for more efficient and safe environmental control. See my article on June 8 for more information and settings while away for extended periods of time. Humidistats are also used in humidifiers and even microwave ovens.

At times homes in our area may need an element of heat, pun intended. For that you will rely on heat strips in the heating portion of your Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning system, or HVAC system. Most homes in our area have an air conditioner with a heat strip. Comparatively, this system is less economical if you need more heat, but that may be one of the reasons why you moved to Sarasota or Longboat Key in the first place. The more north you move a heat pump is more economical because it uses any heat in the air to move into the home. I see heat pumps here when the homeowner requires higher temperatures in their homes. They cost a bit more to install and most residents here do not get a good return on their investment. Heat pumps are typically used locally to control the temperature of swimming pools. They provide heat in the winter and cooler water in the summer.

You can calculate the size of the heat strip in the AC. The US Department of Energy has classified our area as a hot-humid zone, we love it here for the warmth in the winter. But that classification also means that we can determine our heat strip needs by multiplying our square footage by 25. The multiplier increases the more north you go in the country and heat pumps become more economical. So, for a 2,000 square-foot home (25 X 2,000) you will need 50,000 Btu’s to heat your residence. Heat strips are sold by kilowatts, and a five kilowatt heat strip is sufficient to heat a home that requires 17,000 Btu’s. You can start there with the 2,000 square-foot home mentioned here. The calculation would be 50,000 divided by 17,000, which equals 2.94. Multiply 2.94 by the 5 KW per 17,000 Btu’s and your needs will be a 14.7 KW heat strip. Your contractor will also be able to calculate the size of the heat strip needed for use in your home or condominium. If the contractor recommends a 15 KW heat strip you can see that he may be selling the correct size for this particular home.

Now that you know what size AC and what size heat strip you need for your HVAC system, your contractor will likely ask you how efficient you want your system to be. The more efficient, the more it will cost to install but the energy savings may be worth the additional up-front cost. Your utility company, standards organizations and the federal government can help you there. Air conditioning, heating and refrigeration appliances are rated for efficiency by their Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) and determined by the ratio of cooling in Btu’s to watt-hours of energy consumed. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit is expected to perform. Most contractors will calculate your energy savings for different options, it is up to you to determine justification for the extra cost. I usually think in terms of the number of years that you expect to live in the home. If you are going to live their long term then a more efficient system may be the best ROI for you.

Energy Star program
Look for the ENERGY STAR logo for efficient appliances. This federal program highlights air conditioners that use less energy when compared to conventional models based on SEER ratings.

The ENERGY STAR program by the federal government certifies many appliances for energy efficiency. In order to qualify for the ENERGY STAR certification, the product must be 15 percent more efficient than conventional models based on the SEER number. Other home improvement products such as windows, roofing and insulation can also achieve ENERGY STAR status. Your home can have a higher resale value if it is certified as a green home with energy efficient products and systems.

Utilities also have incentives for upgrading or installing a more efficient AC unit such as the one through Florida, Power and Light. The local power provider for this area, FPL will issue a rebate if you install a complete system, the system has a minimum SEER of 15, and the system was installed by a Participating Independent Contractor.

Another way to save money on cooling costs is through proper use of your ceiling fans. I see ceiling fans running continuously, which is just consuming energy and not providing additional benefits. The AC system running properly will perform adequate circulation within the home during the day when you are not there. Running your ceiling fan while in the room is the most efficient use of the fan.

This area has many highly qualified air conditioning contractors. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you would like information on a particular contractor or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Pet-Friendly Communities in Sarasota and Longboat Key

by Roger Pettingell

Dogs, Cats and Birds: What's Allowed

Most communities allow pets but may have restrictions

Nice Kitty
Pet-friendly communities - Many communities accept pets but may have restrictions.

People love their pets, and their pets give them unconditional love in return. In some housing associations on Longboat Key and Sarasota, boards have put conditions on the size, kind and amount of pets in their community. Your real estate agent will either know these restrictions or know who to ask. The information here is meant to serve as a general guideline. The restrictions change, it is always good to confirm the information before putting in an offer on your dream home, especially if Pooch or Fluffy is a part of the family.

Those communities that have eliminated pets of all kinds may be attractive to potential owners. People with allergies or fears can locate into communities that are deed restricted for family pets.

In Sarasota, these following guidelines can be used. If you have a pet and feel strongly about a community that restricts pets I recommend that you confirm this with the Homeowners Association. I have seen some HOA communities that restrict pets to a section, or even a set of roads where pets are allowed.

Downtown Sarasota: There are no size restrictions for pets in the condominiums on 100 Central Avenue and 1350 Main Street in the heart of downtown Sarasota. In both communities owners are restricted to two pets. Owners at 1350 Main Street are required to register their pets and renters are restricted to one dog. One dog with a maximum size of 25 pounds, or two cats are allowed at Bay Plaza, 1255 N. Gulfstream Avenue while Dolphin Towers at 101 S. Gulfstream Avenue have said no to pets. Alinari and Renaissance condominiums, both on Tamiami Trail, have two-dog limits with a maximum size of 30 pounds at Renaissance. Kingston Arms at 500 S. Washington will allow two small pets, but tenants under lease cannot bring their pets while staying there. Plaza at Five Points, 50 Central Avenue, are less restrictive. They will allow two pets with no size restrictions. Cats only are allowed at Embassy Villas, 770 S. Palm.

Nice birdie and kitty!
In communities everyone has to live together.

Golden Gate Point: This wonderful area of Sarasota is on a peninsula as you begin to drive over the Ringling Causeway bridge toward Lido Key and St. Armands Circle. Two pets are allowed at Majestic Bay and Phoenix, but a 45-pound restriction is set for Majestic Bay while pets are limited to 40 pounds maximum at Phoenix. Harbor View restricts their owners to one pet. Across the Ringling Causeway street by the Ritz-Carlton Tower Residences, Sunset Towers condominiums will allow one cat or dog up to 35 pounds. The Tower Residences accepts two pets up to 35 pounds each. The Ritz-Carlton Residences at 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive also accepts two pets and will allow up to 40 pounds each.

Lido Key condominiums: Beach Residences on Lido Key, which serves as the Beach Club of the Ritz-Carlton, will allow up to two large dogs in their condominiums on the Gulf of Mexico. Also on the beach of Lido Key, the Lido Surf and Sand condominiums allows one cat or dog under 25 pounds. Orchid Beach and L’Elegance condominiums on Benjamin Franklin Drive will allow up to two pets. Further up the Gulf of Mexico beach, the St. Armands North Tower Association will allow one small pet.

Longboat Key / Bay Isles Beach Club, Condominiums and Townhouses: Homeowners love the security and Gulf of Mexico beach access provided by the Bay Isles Beach Club. There are condominiums, townhouse and single family homes behind the 24-hour manned gates. The condominiums of Grand Bay will allow two pets with no size limits while the condo association at Marina Bay has restricted their owners to one pet with a maximum size of 25 pounds. Winding Oaks will allow large dogs within their community. Fairway Bay has two different restrictions for one dog or cat. Fairway Bay Phase I townhouses on Harbourside Drive have a maximum size restriction of 15 pounds while Phase II owners can have their pet up to 25 pounds.

Longboat Key / Bay Isles Beach Club, Single Family Homes: Single-family homes in Corey’s Landing behind the north gates of the Bay Isles Beach Club restrict their owners to two dogs but they can be rather large. Harbour Oaks has more explicit instructions for home owners. You can have birds, fish, one cat or one small dog up to 12 pounds maximum weight.

Cold Kitty!
Some cats just know how to keep cool in the summer.

Longboat Key / Bayside: Buttonwood Cove condominiums will accept one dog up to 20 pounds. On the south end of Longboat Key, Tangerine Bay has a two-pet limit with 22 pounds maximum weight and 16 inch height. A two-pet limit is set for Whitney Beach condominiums on the north end of the island at 6700-6800 Gulf of Mexico Drive. Condominiums on the bayside, Cedars East will allow pets, as will Bayport but are restricted to one dog with a maximum height at shoulders set at 15 inches. Windward Bay, another set of condominiums located near the middle of the island, has restricted their owners to two pets up to 25 pounds. Boaters love their single-family homes on the canals of Spanish Main Yacht Club, which will allow their owners to have one pet up to 25 pounds.

Longboat Key / Gulfside Condominiums (2 pets Max): The Gulf of Mexico side of Longboat Key has many condominium communities that will allow up to two pets per unit. Beach Walk, en Provence, Islands West, Pelican Harbor, Vizcaya and the Water Club restrict their owners to two pets with no weight limits at Positano. Pelican Harbour also has no weight limits but limit their owners to one dog and one cat, or two cats. Beach Walk has set the maximum size to 30 pounds, while Vizcaya wants only pets that have a maximum weight of 20 pounds. Only small pets are allowed at en Provence, Islands West, and Vizcaya defines their size limit as to be able to be carried in the arms of the owner. Longboat Key Yacht and Tennis condominium association says yes to small cats or dogs under 20 pounds. Banyan Bay doesn’t limit the number or size of pets in their community.

Longboat Key / Gulfside Condominiums: One small pet is acceptable at condominiums the Castillian, La Playa and Salty Acres. A single small pet up to 20 pounds is allowed at the Sea Twig and up to 30 pounds is allowed at L’Ambiance and the Sanctuary. Longboat Key was once called Longbeach, and the condominium association which kept its name will allow pets up to 25 pounds. Club Longboat and Longboat Terrace also allow pets. Beachplace is well known for its liberal rental policy but does not allow pets in their community. Seaplace does not allow pets either.

Nice Birdie!
Not all associations will allow birds, see the restrictions at Aria in Longboat Key new construction.

Longboat Key / New construction: Longboat Key and Sarasota has seen a phenomenal rise in the construction of new condominiums. Aria at 2251 Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key has also set their restrictions and are saying no to dangerous breeds of dogs and all pets must be kept on a leash. They are also saying no to birds that transmit noise to other units and to fish tanks that are over 50 gallons. Guests are not allowed to bring their pets onto the property. There is one active listing at Infinity, which is pet friendly allowing up to two dogs with a maximum weight of 50 pounds. There are 11 beachfront residences currently under construction at Infinity.

Sarasota / New construction: The Vue, a monumental construction project at Tamiami Trail and Ringling Causeway in downtown Sarasota will have 141 condominium units and 255 Westin hotel units. Pets are limited to two per residence owner and there are still active listings. The high rise Echelon at 624 S. Palm has a limit of two pets and neither can be over 150 pounds. I think that classifies as a large dog. Other communities in new construction areas will also announce their restrictions.

Slithering and swimming: You will want to call if you have exotic animals or large fish tanks as there may be restrictions. Sands Point, a condominium association community on the Gulf of Mexico side of Longboat Key allows only cats, fish and birds. I would call first also if your passion is any of the following, or similar to the following: terrariums, reptariums, hamsters, gerbils or ferrets. I understand some of these cages can be quite elaborate.

Last week the stock market took a big hit, but economists are still bullish on the overall outlook of our country’s finances. Driving down stock prices are indications from the Federal Reserve that interests rates will be heading upward, the low price on crude oil and the uncertainty of the China currency market. This could be welcome news for home buyers as the Fed may ease on their intention to raise interest rates. On the other side, indicators still show strong employment figures and the housing market is very impressive. In the two counties of Sarasota and Manatee, single-family home sales rose by 9.9 percent setting us up for another record-setting year. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have property to sell or buy, or know someone that is interested in property sales.

Harbor Acres - Sarasota community spotlight

by Roger Pettingell

Sarasota's eclectic gem overlooking the bay

Inspired city leaders of the 1930s helped form Harbor Acres

Aerial view of Harbor Acres in Sarasota
Harbor Acres from the air - Waterfront dockage exists on many homes of Harbor Acres. Click on the image above to see the video in REALTALK™ #56.

Developed from dredging of Sarasota Bay, Harbor Acres was formed with two peninsulas that extend into the bay, creating a boater’s paradise with deep water access to the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. This prestigious community overlooks Bird Key, which ironically was also created from dredging projects by some of the great city planners of the day. To the north, the structure of the Ringling Bridge can been seen through a panoramic view with all of its magnificence. All three of these projects were centered around the 1920s real estate depression in Florida that preceded the Great Depression, after the 1929 stock market crash and world financial crisis.

While the infamous John Ringling and Owen Burns were developing the land between mainland Sarasota and Longboat Key, Sarasota mayor Earnest A. Smith had his goal for enriching the city through opportunities created by the depression. Soon after the stock market plummeted, nature created another disaster in hurricane form that devastated Sarasota. The combination of the two initiated a trip to Washington by Smith in an effort to solicit funds under the New Deal and its “Alphabet Soup” programs created in the first hundred days of President Roosevelt's administration. At the time land was cheaply available as owners were unable to pay back loans, drastically dropping their value. Washington was convinced that Sarasota required Federal help to rebuild, and Smith returned to Sarasota with WPA funds to update public utilities and purchase the inexpensive land. He was also given funds to buy land and build a civic center, now the site of the Municipal Auditorium on Tamiami Trail at the Boulevard of the Arts intersection.

1378 Harbor Drive, Sarasota, FL
Many homes in Harbor Acres are new construction such as this new listing on Harbor Drive.

Smith had aspirations for the southern sections of Sarasota and wanted to expand to the area “West of the Trail.” Sarasota Memorial Hospital had been built in 1925 and the area toward the bay was ideal for the doctors of the hospital to build their homes. He served the citizens of Sarasota as mayor from 1931-1937 with an accomplished resume of projects that would inspire the next generation of city leaders. The city would soon change its charter in the 1940s to form a Commission-Manager form of government that holds true to today. A mayor is not directly elected by the people but a panel of five commissioners. At the time cities were evolving to avoid the corruption that was created under other administrations such as Tammany Hall of New York City.

The impetus for Harbor Acres was picked up again after World War II. Some of the first homes that were built in the late 1940s are still in existence today and because it is close to the hospital it was once referred to as Doctors Acres. Doctors still reside here, either as attending physicians or as retirees. The composition of different styles bring together old and new Florida for a quaint community that is preferred for its limited restrictions on deeds. Harbor Acres is also attractive to home buyers as it is close to the rich cultural life of Sarasota, fabulous dining, recreation and boutique shopping experiences.

REALTALK #56 - Harbor Acres
REALTALK™ #56 - Harbor Acres is spotlighted.

In REALTALK™ #56 last week I talked about the evolution of Harbor Acres and its transition to new construction with waterfront and luxury garden homes. Many of the homes here are now built to newer building codes and have many modern conveniences. Waterfront homes in Harbor Acres typically have boat docks and pools with square footage starting at 3,500. There was a sale recently of an updated home of 1,775 square feet, an original 1954 home on Orange Avenue that is the eastern-most boundary road of Harbor Acres. Because these homes are in high demand it was on the market six days. Even homes on the lower end of the scale in this community go quickly. I do not expect that the home I have listed at 1378 Harbor Drive on the water will stay on the market long either. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you would like a tour or have a property to sell or buy in Sarasota or Longboat Key. Click here for active listings in Harbor Acres.

Closing costs, guide for buyers and sellers

by Roger Pettingell

Knowing Your Responsibilities in Paradise

Some costs are unique to Florida, some vary by location

Tom Luzier, real estate attorney at Dunlap Moran in Sarasota talks about doc stamps and title insurance
Doc stamps and title insurance - Sarasota real estate attorney Tom Luzier discusses closing costs.

Buying a home in Florida is a wonderful thing. After all, you are purchasing in paradise. Florida has some other unique tax laws that also make it attractive. For instance, no state income tax. Our unique homestead act not only protects the property of homeowners from creditors but it also reduces the amount of property taxes for those who meet resident requirements. The costs associated with the home-selling process are standard among other states but the responsibility for who pays each can be a little different in Florida, and may even vary by county.

There are a few professionals involved in the process to make a better experience for the seller and the buyer. It can become complicated, these experts are there for you and have costs associated with their services. Even such fees as documentary stamps are something new to buyers if moving in from another state. Many of my buyers are on their second or third homes here and moving up in square footage, or have a desire for waterfront property. They may be familiar with the process.

As to who pays for closing costs can be negotiated in the contract, but you can start with some basic assumptions for buyers. Many of my buyers are also cash buyers so they can avoid the costs involved with a lender. For those buyers seeking a mortgage can eliminate points, but the payoff for the bank may be at a higher interest rate. Rates are so low now you can consider eliminating points as an expense. Most banks will require insurance to protect their equity in the home. Once a contract is signed it is good to shop for rates as it is typically required that they buyer pays for one year and have proof at closing. Property taxes and insurance can be escrowed into the loan.

Assuming the contract does not alter the fee structure the buyer will also cover attorney fees, title agency fees, or both. A home purchase may have bumps in the road so it is good to have a real estate attorney you trust, they can also serve as the closing agent. A home inspection is desirable too, even if the contract is without a mortgage contingency through a cash only sale. You will want to know the exact condition of the property you are purchasing. Even with “As is” contracts, there is an inspection period of 15 days so the buyer can have an opportunity to discover a defect in the home that could significantly reduce the value of the home.

The seller is left with fees associated to the sale of the home. As in most state the real estate agent costs are the responsibility of the seller as are any repairs that may have been discovered through an inspection. There can be a repair limit that the seller can negotiate in the contract.

Who pays title insurance can vary by location. The deed is a written document recorded with the county and sometimes confused as the title, likely since the title of a car is written ownership. Title insurance covers the accuracy of the deed and other tangible documents recorded with the county. It also is a one-time insurance premium that covers intangibles that may not be recorded such as a botched probate in a chain of property transactions. In Sarasota County it is assumed that the buyer covers the cost of title insurance, but just to the north title insurance is typically paid by the seller in Manatee County.

If you are moving from Nebraska you may be familiar with documentary stamps. As Tom Luzier, real estate attorney at Dunlap Moran in Sarasota pointed out in REALTALK™ #38, doc stamps are the way our “state keeps the lights on” in the government offices. Although Miami-Dade County in southeastern Florida has a different rate for doc stamps, the rate in our counties are calculated at seventy cents on every $100. Doc stamps are typically paid by the seller. This tax is typically thought of for home purchases but is extended to other real property transactions such as the purchase of mineral rights or easements.

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, call our office to get started in the process. For sellers we can give you a fair market value price on your home. I can also walk through the different costs associated with selling your home. When it comes time to negotiate a sale, our office can calculate “what if” scenarios to get you the best price for your home. We offer similar services when we represent buyers. For each property you have an interest in I will review comparable sales in the area so the homes are not overpriced and will find hidden gems once I learn your likes, dislikes and budget.

1378 Harbor Drive, Sarasota, Florida, 34239 | home for sale
Luxury waterfront home for sale at 1378 Harbor Drive with a spectacular sunset view of Sarasota Bay.

Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy. I just listed this wonderful estate in the exclusive community of Harbor Acres. This home for sale is a showcase of beautiful details, designer embellishments and wonderful conveniences. The private gated entry, tranquil fountain and brick-pavered driveway welcomes you. A stone staircase and balustrade leads up to the statuesque, double-door entrance and foyer. Formal living and dining rooms offer a lavish and open layout, excellent for entertaining, plus a stone-encased gas fireplace. Call me for an exclusive showing of this magnificent home.

1378 Harbor Drive, Sarasota $4,795,000 Video Photo Slideshow

 

The acronyms of housing associations

by Roger Pettingell

Associations help keep home values high

Differences in the types of associations are subtle

Water Club Condominium Association covers amenities such as pool maintenance.
Amenity rich - The Water Club Condominium Association covers amenities such as the pool.

Mention a community association and the first thought is to think of the fees. While that is important, homeowners (HOA) and condominium associations exist to provide the amenities that make that community a more desirable place to live. They are also good to help maintain high property values. Both types have similar features such as the common areas that pertain to pools, spas, fitness centers, tennis courts and even golf courses.

The differences between the two types of associations may seem obvious but the details reside in the rules and regulations written by the board of directors, typically an elected group from owners within the community. The board serves the association in order to write and enforce the rules. Although many owners typically do not involve themselves with the regulations of the association, they are there to protect the value of other homes or condominiums. You may have a better homeowner experience by knowing the rules. A simple remodeling project may become very costly if it violates the rules of the association.

Associations are typically formed as a corporation by the developer of the community as a Common-interest development (CID). The company will run the CID until it is turned over to a board of directors when a certain number of homes are sold within the new development and an HOA is created.

By definition, the HOA is a collective ownership of homes within a specified boundary where the homeowner owns the lot purchased but the common areas belong to the HOA. The common areas can be used to provide recreational amenities to that community. Privileges to the use of these amenities can be suspended with violations of the HOA rules, as determined by the board. So it does make sense to pay attention to the rules. A Florida law enacted in 2013 provides some control over associations as some were asserting their control with more vigor than others. At the time, nearly 2 million homeowners in Florida were affected by the new law.

Some HOAs provide lawn and landscaping services but for the most part the homeowners are responsible for the upkeep of their property. It is the responsibility of the homeowner in most cases to provide advance notification to the HOA for any alterations to the exterior of the home. In some locations, a building permit from the county and written permission from the HOA may be required for remodeling projects. Deed restricted communities are usually governed by the HOA with a set of rules for alterations to the home.

There may be also a Community Development District, or CDD, which may be assessed as part of your property taxes. HOA fees are paid directly to the association. The CDD assessments may be short-termed for the construction of amenities or services that benefit the community. These CDD fees are typically used to pay the interest and principal for a bond that was sold so these projects can be funded. These funds may also be used to pay for the maintenance of these amenities. A CDD is usually reserved for some public utility or infrastructure such as roads and utilities.

Bay Isles Beach Club
Bay Isles Beach Club is unique: Behind the secure gates are condominiums, town houses and single-family homes and all have access to its amenities.

Homeowners behind the gates of Bay Isles pay their annual fees directly to the association. In return, homeowners gain access to the beach club on the Gulf of Mexico side of Longboat Key. Bay Isles also provides north and south 24-hour manned security gates. It is unique in that condominium and homeowner associations reside within the geographical area defined by the association. Homeowner communities such as Queens Harbour, Corey’s Landing and other single family communities are within the service area of Bay Isles. Each homeowner has deeded access to Bay Isles and pay an annual fee for the privilege.

Grand Bay condominiums on Longboat Key are also a part of Bay Isles and provides its residents with an additional layer of security with 24-hour manned gates. Grand Bay also provides a fitness center, pool, tennis courts and community center as association amenities for its owners.

Condominium Associations are similar to HOAs relative to the common elements of the community. Condominium Association amenities of these common elements sometimes resemble those of an HOA. Whereas the HOA may refer to the homeowners, a Condominium Association defines ownership of the unit that is usually from the drywall inward and the floor upward to the ceiling. That includes plumbing, electrical wiring and appliances within the confines of the residence. So the Condominium Association is responsible for the exterior, roof and other common services such as the elevators.

Some Condominium Associations may differ in the maintenance of some of the building features. For instance, at Beachplace on Longboat Key the association maintains doors and windows while responsibility for maintenance of doors and windows is left to the owner at other Condominium Associations. Basic cable television may be provided by some associations, while it may not be provided at others.

Your broker should be able to provide some guidance in the area of association services, rules and fees. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

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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.