Real Estate Information Archive


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Smart Homes for Ease of Mind

by Roger Pettingell

Home systems that are easy to use

Processes control security, entertainment and comfort

Wicked Smart Home technology in use at 530 Harbor Gate Way
530 Harbor Gate Way - Smart home technology in use at this home for sale in Bay Isles.

Some of the technology from the Jetsons has not made it into our daily lives as yet, but smart homes are here. A smart home has added convenience to our lives, provided different levels of security and offer energy savings by controlling the environment within the home. Sounds complicated, and it is. Last week I interviewed Mark Bolduc of Wicked Smart Homes for my REALTALK™ #42 segment, he demonstrated how easy it is to operate a smart home. With one button designated as “home” on the tablet, the curtains raised and the lights came on for the first level. The technology behind the home might be complicated, but the operation for the home owner is made simple.

These operations offer automated convenience, whether you are home or away. Even as you enter your home the oven can be appropriately pre-heated to the temperature of your recipe, the lights will be on, the evening news will be tuned for full stereo and the home thermostat can be set to your exact specifications. The dog might have to bring in your newspaper and you still might have to sort your own mail. I wouldn’t doubt there is a programmer working on those processes as well.

You may not have realized it but the first programmable thermostat you had installed was a move toward home automation. The newer thermostats are easy to set for your lifestyle. If you work Monday through Friday, you can save energy by setting the thermostat so that it knows when you will likely be out of the home and don’t require extra heating or cooling. The NEST thermostat actually functions to learn your lifestyle and comfort levels. Energy conservation is one of the goals for smart home technology. In its simplest forms, the electronic timer switch you plug lamps into and oven timers are also forms of smart home automation to save energy and create a more green home. These are the type of operations that can be tied all together by companies such as Wicked Smart Homes.

Wicked Smart Home Tablet Display
Tablets display status and one-button processing.

You can also tie convenience and energy saving systems into your security operations. Not only will they have the capability for alerting local police during a potential break-in, video can be displayed on your smart phone or laptop so that you know the dog was sleeping on the couch while you were away. You can get peace of mind if you are away and wondered if you left the garage door up or the front door locked. Smart home automation can notify you of these conditions and even lock the door or close the garage door for you. Mark said his company has “water bug” technology that will detect water intrusion if a bathroom or other water line should burst, let's say.

In the REALTALK™ segment Mark walked me through a process for establishing smart technology and used the home at 530 Harbor Gate Way as an example for good implementation. To start a project like this the best time to arrange for the infrastructure is the time that the floor plans are completed. At that time he can meet with the clients and discuss their needs. He can also discuss their level of sophistication. His company then returns to the office to automate the controls with a one-button operation, or leave a certain level of programming to the individual homeowner if they choose. One level can even be assigned to one spouse, and another level can be set for more control by the other.

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

The house plans can then be altered to accommodate any extra Ethernet category-5 or RG-6 wiring, and possible utility room, to accomplish these goals. The processes can then be customized for the client. And when the home is sold the new owners can ask that these programs be changed to fit their own lifestyle. As we grow with our experience for using smart phones and tablets, automating our home is a good step forward and can be made very simple through this technology.

Last Wednesday I attended the 2014 Coldwell Banker awards ceremony at the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club. Over 150 agents from Southwest Florida were recognized during the Honoring Excellence evening. I appreciate the kind words the Longboat Key office broker Bob Stanley had for me and my team members. I also want to thank Bob and Coldwell Banker for the presentation of the Society of Excellence Award, National Leadership Award and the Top 100 award for sales in Florida.

Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy. Check out this new listing for this beautiful, waterfront home for sale on Sabal Cove Lane and a direct Gulf front residence at Seaplace, both on Longboat Key.

3340 Sabal Cove Lane $1,595,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1965 Gulf of Mexico Dr. #G5-202 $449,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Bright Ideas on the Gulf Coast

by Roger Pettingell

BIG successes in four sectors

Sarasota business program helps nurture entrepreneurs

University of South Florida
BIG Brain Drain - Program helps stop the flow of graduates from leaving the area.

Sarasota is widely known for its arts, lifestyle and culture. Real estate website Movoto rated Sarasota as among the top 10 most exciting  small cities two years ago. Global Edge named Sarasota as The Best Place to Buy Real Estate in the Western World in 2010. It has been voted the number one small city for the arts, best beaches in Siesta Key, and the best place to retire. For business though, in 2012 Fast Company magazine featured Sarasota as among the top 10 Underrated Hotbeds of Innovation.

What makes Sarasota so underrated? One reason might be the brain drain. Students graduate from any of the fine colleges in Sarasota and move on to work in bigger cities with diploma in hand. A support system and economic clusters were recommended in 2009 by the Economic Development Corp of Sarasota County to nurture young entrepreneurs. One local organization is pushing for that change in a BIG way. Bright Ideas on the Gulf Coast formed an initiative in 2013 to help business minded entrepreneurs open up innovation. BIG promotes four industry sectors to compete on a national scale.

  1. The first is in the digital arts and BIG has already claimed some successes. Google has picked Sarasota as Florida’s number one eCity for 2014 based on the collective digital infrastructure for doing business online. Ringling College has planned for major improvements to its soundstage.
  2. Another sector is health innovation and businesses such as Voalte, BioLucid and CAE Healthcare are contributing to the success in this sector. Sarasota Memorial Hospital and Roskamp Institute lead the way in research.
  3. Mote Marine Laboratory and the Aquaculture Park there excel in the marine science sector. Mote has 33 PhDs on staff for a wide range of research on fighting cancer by studying shark immunology to developing sustainable fish-farming methods. Eckerd College, New College and University of South Florida are assets defined by BIG in this sector.
  4. Sports performance is the fourth sector defined by BIG. IMG Academy is world renown as a training ground for top athletes in football, tennis, basketball, soccer and golf. The recently christened Nathan Benderson Park off I-75 is having a phenomenal start and has already hosted the 2015 Modern Pentathlon World Cup #1, the first modern pentathlon world cup final in the United States since the 1970s. The park is already booked for international rowing events including the 2015 USRowing Youth National Championships, the 2016 FISA International, the 2017 World Rowing Championships, and the 2018 NCAA National Championships. Some of the nation’s top colleges have scheduled training sessions at this world class park.

BIG has identified ways for the community to be involved with its philanthropic initiatives. Retired executives can get involved through SCORE or BIG to provide entrepreneur counseling for start-up business owners. Contact BIG at (941) 486-4619 or email to become a support resource.

Another way to help is to send a tax-deductible donation, annuity or endowment to BIG. BIG is funded through private donations to the organization. There are also opportunities for venture capitalists or to be a private equity source. Become a Proaction Hero by calling (941) 486-4600 to establish a BIG fund.

Those with business or marketable ideas can submit them to My BIG Idea. The organization will pair that person with the resources they need to make a success of the product or service. At times these ideas are submitted to a gathering of local professionals in a Shark Tank atmosphere, where ideas are pitched in a 10-minute segment with a 20-minute Q&A period.

These initiatives will help strengthen Manatee and Sarasota counties to help stop the flow of young entrepreneurs out of the area. Together we can create something good for the future. Sarasota has a strong history for real estate, the BIG program will help prepare us for the future.

We are past the traditional mid-point for the 2015 real estate selling season here in Sarasota and Longboat Key. In the early part of the season we had many showings but very few offers. Starting in March properties have been selling! Since mid-February, I’ve closed $10,719,000 and have sales pending for $23,842,500. Since the beginning of the year my total sales for 2015 so far is $40,732,250. Local real estate figures for February were released and follow a similarly good pattern. Sarasota County totaled 585 single family homes and 252 condominium sales. We still have some wonderful listings for sale! Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

March Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) reports for 18 communities on Longboat Key and Sarasota are now posted. They are updated monthly, some back to 2008.

Sarasota, home of the Spring Orioles

by Roger Pettingell

Summer stars begin their training here

Renovations to stadium enhance the atmosphere

Orioles Spring Training at Ed Smith Stadium, Tampa Bay Rays, March 14, 2015
Who is the home team? - The Tampa Bay Rays were listed as the visiting team Saturday at Ed Smith Stadium, the Spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles in the Florida Grapefruit League.

Depending on who you talk to, major league baseball Spring training either started in 1870 in New Orleans or in 1888 in Jacksonville. Here in Sarasota the New York Giants started the late Winter phenomenon in 1924 with the help of John Ringling. On opening day that year, the Giants made local history at Payne Park, named after Calvin and Martha Payne who sold land for the park at a discounted rate.

This year on March 4 the Orioles opened their season with the veterans sharpening their skills and the rookies trying to impress at Ed Smith Stadium. The park is conveniently located in downtown Sarasota, named after a civic leader and supporter of youth sports. My family attended the game on Saturday when the Tampa Rays visited. Or were the Rays the home team, it was hard to tell but 8,400 were in attendance at the park which is listed with 7,500 seats.

The Orioles came to town as the home team for Spring training the first time in 2009 as part of the Grapefruit League. Within 250 miles of each other you can catch half of the major league teams from the Atlanta Braves in Lake Buena Vista, to the Blue Jays in Dunedin, the Red Sox and Twins in Fort Myers, to the Cardinals and Marlins in Jupiter. The Phillies, Yankees, Tigers, Mets, Nationals and Astros compete here in Florida for four weeks within that radius. The Rays and Marlins don’t condition in their home town, they are in Port Charlotte and Jupiter respectively. The Pirates, up the road in Bradenton, are at the renovated McKechnie Field.

If you believe the beginning as 1888, Spring training didn’t pan out that year for the three weeks the Washington Nationals spent in Jacksonville. They went on to finish 37 ½ games out of first place. It wasn’t until the turn of the century when Connie Mack brought the Philadelphia Athletics to Florida for another Spring training attempt. They had just won the American League but finished 14 ½ games out of first place that year. Both Spring sessions began a disappointing season. Another 11 years passed before the Chicago Cubs returned to Florida, this time in Tampa. They were quickly followed by the St. Louis Browns and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Philadelphia Athletics returned to Jacksonville with manager Connie Mack.

Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees came to St. Petersburg for Spring training in the 1920s. There were 16 teams in the majors at the time and 10 spent their Springs in Florida during that decade when Payne Park and McKechnie Field were built. That might have been the historical years that Spring training truly was a Florida rite. Every year since tourists, sports writers, players and managers travel to Florida to shake off the Winter chills and prepare for the baseball season at their respective parks.

The other half of the major league teams start their season in the Cactus League. Baseball was an East coast and Midwest phenomenon until 1958 when the Dodgers began their storied history in Los Angeles. Before then, California cities hosted some of the nation’s Spring training camps around the 1900 turn of the century. Camps in Arizona didn’t open up for the teams East of the Mississippi until 1929, about the time that Florida was firmly establishing itself as the capital of Winter baseball. It was another 20 years, and after World War II, before the Cactus League took hold.

Now 18 teams participate, with Glendale, Arizona at the center of the circle and the Winter home of the Dodgers. The Angels, Athletics, Brewers, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Giants, Indians, Mariners, Padres, Rangers, Reds, Rockies, Royals and White Sox call Arizona their home for the month of March.

So the competition is fierce between the two states. At stake are tourism dollars, nearly 3.5 million fans visited Spring training parks in 2010. That year Ed Smith Stadium was renovated for $31.2 million to present a more modern atmosphere, and McKechnie followed with renovations soon after that.

Ed Smith Stadium and the Orioles are two more reasons this area is an excellent place to live, especially for sports fans. Strong traditions in other sports from football to polo attract many more visitors and property buyers.

Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy. Check out this new penthouse listing at Beachplace.

1135 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #603 $849,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Establishing a home price

by Roger Pettingell

Some Properties Require REALTOR® Pricing

Looking outside of the community for comparables

Establishing the price of a home, REALTALK™ #39
The Water Club property - Some unique properties require comps from outside of the community.

I think we all are aware that pricing a home for sale is a very important part of the process. Set it too low and you could lose on some equity you have in the home, set it too high and you risk having it sit on the market longer than you can afford to. The natural reaction is to set it high, possibly higher than you might think so that you can pick up a rogue buyer willing to pay more than the market value of the home. In my experience that rarely happens. By setting a price too high you risk a low number of showings and offers that are only disappointing.

Even pricing based on Zillow, Trulia and has its risks. I’ve mentioned before in REALTALK™ videos how these companies offer their prices based on square footage and do not take into consideration any upgrades to the property for sale. This is where you need a professional real estate agent to assess your property so it is not set too high or too low. We start with the comps (Comparable Market Analysis) and evaluate the home based on a thorough understanding of the home and how it will appear to buyers. We can then recommend a price for the residence.

In my most current REALTALK™ #39 video last Wednesday I talked about the magnificent new listing at the Water Club on Longboat Key. This is a property that had a limited number of comps because it is unique and rarely available. It is also on the eighth floor, adding to its value. Anything above the sixth floor there has ten-foot ceilings which will also add value to the residence. This property at 801 also has been upgraded with marble floors, electric blinds with beautiful wall and window treatments.

The stack there is one that I have followed during the 30 years I have been involved in real estate here and was on the original development team for building one. To create a comparable price for this unique place I had to look outside of the community at L’Ambiance on the south end and Positano on the north end of Longboat Key. The updates for this property will not sway the online real estate websites, but will generate a higher sale price.

With all the online information available to professionals, sellers and buyers, the world has become more sophisticated for the real estate process. It is good information to start but there is no substitute for knowledge of the local real estate market. For your research we provide CMAs back to 2010 for the Water Club and back to 2008 for 17 other communities in Sarasota and Longboat Key. The histories will show the progression of the markets each year, updated every month.

Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy. We have a new listing this week in Country Club Shores at 511 Putting Green Lane, along with the new property for sale at the Water Club.

Address Price BR/BA Photo Slideshow
1281 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #801 $3,495,000 3/4.5 Photo Slideshow
511 Putting Green Lane, Longboat Key $869,000 3/2 Photo Slideshow


Van Wezel - Happy 45th Anniversay

by Roger Pettingell

Performing Arts Hall Revels with Ringo

All-Starr band performs to a sold out Sarasota crowd

Aerial view of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Aerial view of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

When the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall opened its doors in February of 1970, the Broadway show Fiddler on the Roof was the hottest ticket in town. It has been selling out many nights through the next 45 years, including the anniversary concert last week when ex-Beatle Ringo Starr brought his All-Starr band to the Van Wezel.

Each season, from October through April, the Van Wezel opens its doors nearly every night to concerts, Broadway plays, orchestra and dance performances in keeping with its mission statement to present a broad spectrum of the world’s finest performing artists. This season there are a total of 77 events in these seven months that include 54 comedy and concert performances, 13 Broadway shows, six orchestra nights and four dance performances.

More than 49,000 students from four surrounding counties attend the Van Wezel Schooltime Performances each season. Local teachers are educated on classroom instruction through the Sarasota County School Board and the John F. Kennedy Center Partners in Education program.

Even the history of the Van Wezel contributes to the cultural diversity of this city. The foundation of the arts hall was laid with a city bond referendum in 1968 and a bequest from Lewis and Eugenia Van Wezel. Renowned architect Wesley Peters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation designed. He collaborated with Wright on the famous Falling Waters home in Pennsylvania and Guggenheim Museum in New York city. Olgivanna Wright, widow of the famous architect, selected the purple color of the hall.

Today the main hall, Roskamp Auditorium, seats 1,736 since its renovation in 2001 through a donation by Sarasota residents Bob and Diane Roskamp. The Van Wezel is owned and operated by the city of Sarasota. There is also a grand foyer, terrace and bay-front lawn. One of three Mattison’s restaurants, Mattison’s Bayside, is available for daily lunches and buffets before most shows.

Ringo Starr and his All-Starr band at the 45th anniversary of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota Florida on February 24, 2015
Ringo and his All-Starr Band - Pictured is Ringo Starr and Gregg Bissonette on drums, and Richard Page and Todd Rundgren on guitars at the 45th Anniversary of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

When the band stepped out onto the stage last Tuesday for the anniversary, it was a special night for them as well. They flew in from Puerto Rico for their performance before continuing their South American tour in Brazil. Ringo performed songs from the Beatles but mixed in some of his own songs and filtered in with a variety of hits from the all-stars. On stage also were Steve Lukather from Toto, drummer Gregg Bissonette from Spinal Tap and ELO, Todd Rundgren on guitar, Gregg Rolie of Santana and Journey, and bass guitarist, Richard Page of Mr. Mister. Think of one their songs that you like and they were likely in their repertoire during the non-stop two and a half hour show.

It was a special night for the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the All-Starr band and the audience. You can see for yourself this grand hall, starting tonight with 1950s teen idol, Paul Anka. If you can’t make it on such short notice, look for Jekyll and Hyde on Thursday, a concert with Three Dog Night next Monday or the very popular Jersey Boys for shows next Wednesday through Sunday. If they don’t have a show every night, they are setting up for a show within the next few days.

This Sunday, March 8, we begin Daylight Savings Time so remember that we Spring forward at 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. Not all states participate in Daylight Savings Time and Iowa is the latest to consider a proposal to end the practice.

Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy. We are marketing a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home on the waterfront in Country Club Shores at 560 Putter Lane.

560 Putter Lane, Longboat Key $899,000 Video Photo Slideshow

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5




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.