Real Estate Information Archive


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Wind Insurance in Florida

by Roger Pettingell

Protecting Your New Home Purchase

Summer in Florida means a review of Wind Insurance

Roger Pettingell discusses wind insurance with Mary Kay on REALTALK #9
REALTALK™ #9 - Roger Pettingell discusses wind insurance with Mary Kay on REALTALK #9

One of the questions I receive when talking to potential clients about property purchases here in Florida is one of wind insurance. In my video, REALTALK™ #9, I discussed the issue, particularly when it pertains to obtaining wind insurance in the summer months. I suggest to buyers of properties here in Florida that they should arrange for wind insurance as soon as a contract is agreed up. Make those arrangements early so there are no issues at closing if a mortgage is involved. Cash buyers are under a different set of instructions at closing, but lenders may require it.

The laws in Florida are in place to protect the marketplace. Wind insurance, also called windstorm insurance or hurricane windstorm insurance, protects your home in the unlikely event of wind damage to your house. We haven’t had a hurricane here since 2005, and the Gulf coast is somewhat protected. Storms developing in the eastern Atlantic drive up the coast or blow through the Caribbean to hit landfall on the western or northern Caribbean.

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, a state-run insurance program, is proposing to lower their rates on home owner policies because they have a surplus that has been built up from the lack of predicted storms. We have been fortunate.

Wind insurance can be part of a homeowner’s policy so consult with your agency on wind insurance as a rider, or part of your plan. You should ask about your coverage from wind damage and how much that coverage is. Don’t make the assumption that 100% replacement cost is covered in these type of policies as wind insurance may cover a different percentage of replacement value. More likely you may find a higher deductible, based on a percentage of the home value. A higher deductible may lower your premium payments but create a hardship if you should need the insurance.

Home owners can reduce their rates on wind insurance by having their homes reviewed by a licensed inspector. A wind mitigation inspection costs a couple hundred dollars, but can save you on premiums. In these inspections they are looking at the length of roofing nails, stability of anchored truss straps, and even the roofing material itself. Homeowners may not even be aware that these building properties exist in their home until an inspection is completed.

Flood insurance is a different topic and typically a separate policy. There are different laws that govern this type of insurance, many mandated by the Federal government. This should be a separate discussion with your insurance company. I did want to touch on this only to point out there is a difference.

As I stated in the REALTALK™ episode that appeared on June 18, we often recommend insurance agents to our clients. These are companies who have a good reputation with us for providing quality insurance at good rates. Please feel free to contact me at (941) 387-1840 for a recommendation on homeowner’s insurance companies.

Please take a look at our most recent listings. We welcome these new sellers to our services here at Roger Pettingell, Coldwell Banker Previews International.

125 Big Pass Lane, Siesta Key $2,495,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1211 Gulf of Mexico Drive, #510 $899,000 Video Photo Slideshow
783 Marbury Lane, Longboat Key $699,000 Video Photo Slideshow


* Currently Not Listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), please call (941) 387-1840 for more information.


Community Names

by Roger Pettingell

Origin of Local Community Names

Sarasota, Longboat Key, Lido Key and Siesta Key

Ringling Causeway bridge at dusk
Ringling Causeway bridge at dusk.

Much of the origin of names in this area can be traced back to Spanish, but less likely to the Spanish explorations of Juan Ponce de León and Hernando de Soto in the early 1500s. A daughter of de Soto named Sara was even identified as an origin of the name for Sarasota. Since there is no record of a daughter, Sarasota was likely named as a combination of two words.

But which two words is somewhat of a mystery. The most plausible is Zara Zota, a shortened derivation of Sahara and its white sands “Zara” and “Zota” for its blue waters. What is documented is the first Post Office in the area opened under the name of Sara Sota in 1878, nearly 100 years after the two words were put together on a map. Other names appear on maps in the 1700s that are also similar to Sarasota, including Boca Sarazota in 1776. Boca is the Spanish word for mouth. Sarasota is a unique name, something we can say with a little bit of pride.

A longboat is the largest boat carried by a merchant ship, used mostly for cutting through waves and surf over short distances. There is some thought that the Longboat Key name can be attributed to de Soto who supposedly visited the area on his longboat in the mid-1530s. He was noted for his exploration of southeastern United States in search of gold and other treasures. The word key, or cayo in Spanish, is a reef or low island.

The settling of Lido Key began in the 1500s, drawing its name from the Italian word for beach. In more modern times Lido Key is rich in history following the vision of circus magnate John Ringling and the connection of St. Armand’s Key by bridge to Sarasota mainland in 1926. The island became more prominent to the rich and wealthy when Lido Key Casino was built in 1940. The casino and swimming pool was a popular destination for two decades and survived until it was razed in 1969 following years of neglect. Ringling recognized the potential for Lido Key as a shopping destination and proceeded to encourage development in St. Armand’s Circle. Today boutique shops and restaurants line the outer edge of the large roundabout drive.

The Ringling Causeway bridge led visitors to Lido Key and Bird Key. Bird Key was named for the large flock of birds that frequented the island. Originally connected to the Ringling Causeway by its own causeway, Bird Key was filled in as a land development in the 1950s to create 250 acres of prime real estate between Sarasota and Lido Key. The average home sale the last 12 months on Bird Key was $1,486,010. Roughly half of the residents are full time.

Late in terms of settlement is Siesta Key, which picked up inhabitants in the early 1900s. Call it a sleepy town, appropriately given that its name is derived from the Spanish word for early afternoon nap. Most of the original residents were fisherman and through a series of name changes for the island became known as Siesta Key in 1907, a year after Captain Robert’s boarding house was converted to a hotel and the town was platted by a group led by the good captain.

Boca – Spanish origin for the word meaning mouth.
Key – Spanish origin of cayo, meaning a reef or low island.
Lido - The term is an Italian word for beach
Longboat – The largest boat carried on a merchant ship
Siesta – Spanish origin for early afternoon nap


Importance of Staging a home

by Roger Pettingell

Staging Your Home for Sale

Marketing your home to the buyer for quicker sales

Episode 8 - June 11, 2014 of REALTALK - Staging Your Home for Sale
Staging Your Home - June 11, 2014, REALTALK™

When I meet with clients for the first time our conversation starts with a discussion on the price of their residence, whether it’s a home or condominium. Once pricing is established we can have a discussion on how to accomplish our goals for getting that price. Staging a home to sell is one of the next discussions we have. 

In episode 8 of REALTALK™ that aired June 11, 2014, I discussed the basics of staging a luxury home or condominium for sale. Sometimes a home requires just some basic tweaking and thorough cleaning to set it up for the market. As long as it is current with comfort and entertainment there may not be anything more that is required. You don’t want a giant CRT television when a flat screen on the wall represents a better feeling that this home is up to date. Even dated historical homes should have modern conveniences.

When we feel more is required for a good sale we can request that a professional staging company come in to offer valuable suggestions. This can be something simple as changing out the carpet, but at times we have swapped out a full set of furniture. Over the years I have noted their advice to my clients.

At the forefront is marketing your home for buyers, not to showcase your house by displaying your personal belongings. This may mean removing some of your photos on the wall and replacing them with artwork that brings out the architecture of the home. You can rent original artwork from the artist or a studio.

Curb appeal at 627 Mourning Dove Drive on Bird Key
Curb appeal is a form of staging as in this beautifully landscaped home at 627 Mourning Dove Drive on Bird Key. Click on the image above for REALTALK #8, Staging your home for selling.

High quality window dressings and bedroom linen are important too, as they enhance the home and give it a luxury appearance. When making a first impression that first step into the residence will want to pull the buyer in so that everything else is secondary to the showing. Any electrical lighting and natural light will highlight these basic features.

Sometimes I will recommend painting with a neutral color if the home has a wall covering or paint that is out of date. Buyers are also savvy enough to know that painting over a bright red wall can be difficult to cover without special primers or covering paint. Anything that sets a negative should be discussed.

Whether you are selling a home furnished or unfurnished, you may consider storing the family heirloom antique that is out of place in the home. A home makeover might mean that you will want to purchase or rent quality furniture for your home. I have seen many times that the buyer will make an offer on some of the furniture if staged properly with the house. I often caution against too much furniture, the home will appear larger with less furniture. The perception for the home buyer is that there is more room than there actually is.

Staging Your Home for Sale - 5201 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, Florida
Neutral colors, current technology and the absence of family photos invite any buyer to take ownership of this condominium. You can visit this Gulf Front Condo at 5201 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key.

These tips will work for a condominium or single family home here in Longboat Key and Sarasota. First impressions for a single family home here will likely start with curb appeal. Luxury home buyers will want to see manicured lawns and professionally landscaped home fronts. Simple repairs of exterior lighting fixtures will set a good example for the home. Maintain a pool and make repairs to any screens on a lanai.

Often neglected is the garage on a single family home. Potential buyers likely aren’t garaging their 1961 Ford Fairlane unless they are restoring it. Instead they will want to know that their Audi or BMW will have a clean environment while under roof. In condominium sales, deeded under-building parking spaces are important to note in your property listing. The association is typically responsible for keeping the area around your space clean but it doesn’t hurt to spot check all your community spaces. Note any discrepancies or maintenance issues with your building manager. This includes any exterior area outside your unit that is the association’s responsibility.

Just when you think you have staged your home properly, pay attention to showing feedback for clues that you can use to modify your staging. Feedback for “Too dark” might only mean that you open curtains or turn on all the lights during a showing. It may mean something more deep rooted. We solicit feedback whenever there is a showing. If pricing is the issue, we can fix that too.

Please take a look at our most recent listing. We welcome this new seller of their townhouse in the community of Prestancia, Sarasota. If you have any questions on this property, or any other property on our site, please feel free to contact me at (941) 387-1840.

3611 Square West Lane, #18 $349,950   Photo Slideshow



Kitchen Remodeling

by Roger Pettingell

Kitchen Remodeling for Comfort and Resale

Evaluating the benefits of remodeling for an open kitchen

REALTALK #6 video - Kitchen remodeling
REALTALK™ #6 - Kitchen remodeling - May 28, 2014. Click on the image above for the video.

A white kitchen was a great modeling scheme, particularly when outfitting your home for resale. What we see trending now though is an open kitchen for the best return when buyers are looking at homes. The open kitchen is the new “white”.

Kitchens are becoming the heart of the home. Families are gathering more in the kitchen and there is more entertainment of guests in a dining room that is open to the kitchen. Buyers react favorably to a home that has an open kitchen floor plan.

When considering a remodeling project for the home look at your kitchen. In my REALTALK™ video, episode 6 on May 28, I presented a beautiful kitchen from my listing at 2735 Gulf of Mexico Drive here in Longboat Key. There is plenty of room for interaction with guests in this open kitchen. The cost benefits are conclusive, homes with an inviting kitchen are selling faster. You can now consider tearing down walls, even while remodeling a condominium unit. Hesitant home owners should consider opening up the kitchen for a better atmosphere for themselves and to generate a higher resale value.

The kitchen at 1561 Blue Heron Drive in Sarasota has an open floor plan.
The kitchen at 1561 Blue Heron Drive in Sarasota has an open floor plan.

Forbes magazine staff writer Morgan Brennan presented the kitchen makeover as one her ten best remodeling projects for resale consideration. She based some of her conclusions on the Cost versus Value analysis conducted each year by Remodeling magazine. Kitchen remodeling typically has a high return on investment in this annual report.

Remodeling magazine recently released the 2014 analysis, comparing 13 different remodeling categories. The magazine considered major and minor kitchen remodeling projects in its report. Their reports are easy to follow and presented as a national average or broken out by region or major metropolitan. The closest city in the report this year is Tampa Bay.

In the Tampa area, $34,088 of a $52,086 major kitchen remodeling was recouped in the resale of homes. The 65.4% recovery reduced the cost of the project, but it also attracted home buyers. Almost 77% was recouped with a minor kitchen remodeling project at $17,890. You can read the entire 2014 Remodeling magazine Cost versus Value report for the Tampa Bay area.

While you are at it, look at some other projects that returns a high value. If your front entry door is out of date, consider a replacement. Of the top three projects, replacing an entry door with a steel door adds 149% of the cost to the resale value. Recoup 108% with a garage door replacement and 93.3% with a fiberglass replacement.

World Oceans Day at Mote

by Roger Pettingell

Many things to many ocean species

Since 1955 this organization has been at the forefront of marine research

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium - The Aquarium was added in 1980 for a public view of the research.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium has been in the news a lot lately. The base campus and aquarium on City Island is notably the most visible of their research facilities but there are four other facilities in Florida that research on the oceans is an ongoing effort. The Mote Aquaculture Research Park on Fruitville Road, Mote Boca Grande, Mote Eco-Discovery Center in Key West and the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration in Summerland all have different perspectives on the Mote ocean research mission. These are the field stations that support research that is ongoing in all seven continents.

And now we are pondering what happens to City Island if Mote Marine moves its aquarium to a proposed site that is between the rowing lake of Nathan Benderson Park and the new Mall at University Town Center. For Mote it is in an ideal location for the view of 43 million travelers each year on Interstate 75. The announcement in February caused a stir in the community that Mote was abandoning Longboat Key. An article in the Longboat Observer newspaper on April 1 reported plans that the laboratory and aquarium would be replaced by a 400,000-square-foot modern shopping complex. Please note the date of the news article before writing any letters or emails.

In any event though Mote Marine is not abandoning their facility on City Island when the new aquarium opens, expected to be in 2021. Instead the new aquarium will expand again and add a sixth facility to its field centers. The new aquarium will be a highly visible tourist attraction for Sarasota while the research laboratories on City Island will be transformed into attracting more scientists that have been looking for space to conduct their lab research.

Since its beginning in 1955, Mote Marine has been a leader in marine research and is the oldest such facility in Florida. In 1980 the aquarium was added to give a public view of the scientific examination of oceans, from the smallest to largest creatures that live underwater. In March Mote Marine was recognized the second highest research production among the 228 non-profits in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. On April 2 the same organization awarded Mote Marine accreditation as a leader in providing animal care and a meaningful experience for visitors. Mote Marine applies for this distinguished award every five years before an audit and inspection. This is the fourth accreditation since its first in 2003.

Mote Marine has extensive data on manatees, sea turtles, sharks, dolphins, coral reefs, and more than most on just about anything else under the sea. Recently Mote Marine scientists published a new procedure for taking the temperature of manatees, oral thermometers are just too impractical for this procedure. Trained resident manatees Hugh and Buffett were involved in this study. Mote Marine maintains a statewide catalog of manatees and shares that information with two other organizations in Florida.

One of the many exhibits at the aquarium open to the public.
Educational Exhibits - High quality displays at Mote Marine provide a vast amount of information for attendees

To celebrate and raise funds for protecting nesting turtles Mote Marine this month held its 32nd annual Run for the Turtles. Turtle nesting season runs from May 1 to October 31. Residents are asked to help in the protection of eggs through a series of requirements so the turtles have a safe journey to the nesting area and that the hatchlings can safely make their first entry into the Gulf of Mexico. Education flyers and kiosks provide information on ways to help and laws that are enforced during this period. In 2017 new rules were announced to increase the safety of nesting turtles. Turtle watch organizations supported by Mote Marine identify and mark the nesting areas during the season. They also report this information, the 2017 summaries are available online at the Mote Marine website and also reported in local news organizations.

Mote Marine researcher Dr. David Vaughan, executive director of the Summerland coral field office reported this week in the Yale Climate Connections a new procedure for growing coral. His discoveries in the lab are now transferrable to the world’s oceans. Mote Marine has also developed other methods to speed the expansion of slow-growing brain, boulder and star corals through micro-fragmentation and fusion. Mote Marine has planted 20,000 of the faster growing staghorn corals into the reefs of the Florida keys. Last year Dr. Erinn Muller was the first to report the effects of low pH on the increase of a world epidemic of black band, a disease affecting 42 different species of coral.

Scientist Carl Luer is researching the intensifying evidence that sharks have the potential to save human lives by examining their metabolisms. For decades scientists have looked at the ability of sharks to heal their wounds. Over the years shark fin has been sold by Japanese herbalists to promote well-being but their finning process of catching sharks only for their fins has been criticized world-wide.

Over the years Mote Marine scientists have given testimony and reviewed pending legislation before congress. The Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act was reviewed by Dr. Bob Hueter, senior scientist at Mote Marine. Dr. John Reynolds was appointed to lead the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission from 1991 to 2010. He passed away on December 23, 2017. This commission was responsible for manatees, whales and polar bears. Dr. Kevan Main served as president of the World Aquaculture Society.

Sarasota Lionfish Derby
Sarasota Lionfish Derby - Volunteers weigh and measure this invasive species at the 2016 derby.

There are many programs offered at Mote Marine to educate the public on the world oceans. The problems of marine debris will be held at 6 PM on April 16. The Environmental Summit by the Science and Environment Council kicks off with a keynote address by Jack Davis, author and professor at the University of Florida. The keynote will be held at 5:30 PM on April 25 at Mote Marine while the summit runs April 25 to 27 at New College of Florida. World Oceans Day is celebrated June 2 with an all-day family festival. A three-day Sarasota Lionfish Derby that begins July 6 is one of education, collection and research on this invasive species of fish. A list of events for fundraising and education is available on the Mote Marine website.

Mote Marine receives its funding through donations and fund-raisers, with door and event gate receipts. It also receives a portion of its operational funding through grants. Memberships and venue rentals add to the revenue of this non-profit. Volunteers are needed to support the staff and help with educational programs. Valuable training is also given to volunteers. Contact the office to get involved with this valuable program that means so much to this community.

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
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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.