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Fourth of July Spectacular Weekend in Sarasota

by Roger Pettingell

Superboats, Theater and Fireworks Saturday

The Suncoast Grand Prix attracts thousands to Sarasota

It's not all about Super Boats, Envy's Viper drew a crowd
It's not just about boats, Envy's Viper drew a crowd at the Grand Prix Super Boat races in 2014.

In just about any location this weekend in the Sarasota you will be able to find fireworks, that’s a given. If you like the theater, expect plenty there too. The Hound of the Baskervilles, a comical play based on the investigations of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson begins Wednesday and plays through August 2 in the Keating Theatre here in Sarasota. REBORNING, by Zayd Dohr, and directed by Brendon Fox is a dark comedy of creation to motherhood. It is currently running at the Urbanite Theatre and concludes July 12 with a matinee. Six Guitars combines comedy, story-telling, and music by Chase Padgett that covers the careers of six guitar players at the Florida Studio Theatre, also through July 12. The Summer Circus Spectacular 2015 is running through August 1 at the Ringling’s Historic Asolo Theater.

Thousands of spectators will be in Sarasota this weekend for the 31st running of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival, with its name change to the Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix this year. Speedboats will travel in excess of 150 mph past the shores of Lido and Siesta keys with the addition of jet ski races Saturday and Sunday. The four days of parades, meet and greets, open water testing and the races attract boating enthusiasts worldwide to this area over the holiday weekend.

In 2014 the event raised $80,000 for its host, the Suncoast Charities for Children. This year the races will be televised nationally on three major sports channels and has over 30 power boat and 60 jet ski racers this year.

The Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix has already begun with opening festivities this past weekend. The Aqua Plumbing & Air Grand Prix Golf Classic was held Saturday at the Meadows Country Club. Sunday’s Car Show in Lakewood Ranch, the Boat & Personal Watercraft Fun Run and Finz Finds Motorcycle "Freedom Ride" were part of the Grand Prix program.

More events are to follow including the kickoff party at the Sarasota Yacht Club on Tuesday and the "The Friendliest Catch" fishing tournament for special needs children on Wednesday. On Friday, prime time televised coverage will begin on the CBS Sports Network with the festival parade of boats and block party.

Fireworks will be on display at nearly every location on Saturday. There is a list following this article of fireworks locations from Englewood to Tarpon Springs, including the spectacular planned for the Grand Prix at Marina Jack. One will be missing this year. Typically the day before other fireworks, the 22nd annual fireworks from the Beach House restaurant on Bradenton Beach was cancelled to help protect rare migrating bird species. Black skimmers and lesser terns are nesting on north end of the property. This is a top-notch display, but I appreciate the conservation effort. If you still want fireworks on the day before, consider the Marauder's baseball game on July 3 at McKechnie Field in Bradenton. Here are fireworks on Independence Day:

  • All American Barbecue and Fireworks - Selby Gardens, Sarasota
  • Fireworks at Marina Jack - Marina Jack, Sarasota
  • Sandbar Fireworks Spectacular! - Sandbar Restaurant, Anna Maria Island
  • Siesta Key Fireworks and Party - Crescent Beach, Siesta Key
  • Fireworks Over the Manatee River - River walk, Bradenton
  • Fourth Festival with fireworks and country music - Sutton Park, Palmetto
  • Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks - Main Street, Safety Harbor
  • Englewood Firecracker Festival - Dearborn Street, Englewood
  • Fourth of July Fireworks - Venice - South Jetty Pier, Venice
  • Fourth of July Patriotic Picnic in the Park - Craig Park, Tarpon Springs
  • Gulfport's Fourth of July - Beach Boulevard, Gulfport
  • Fourth of July at the Aquarium - Florida Aquarium, Tampa

These and other Fourth of July events are on our calendar, enjoy your holiday weekend. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy. Our new listings on Longboat Key offer value to those wishing to buy property on the Gulf Coast in the Sunshine State.

3260 Bayou Sound, Longboat Key $899,000 Video Photo Slideshow
524 Halyard Lane, Longboat Key $699,000 Video Photo Slideshow


MLS searches on

by Roger Pettingell

Search the Internet like a real estate pro

Simple and advanced searches for buyers and sellers

Range of search options with one click from the menu at the top of each page
Range of Options - There is a range of search options with one click at the top of each page.

You can search for your next dream home in the Sarasota area through our website at Start with one click, hover over the Property Listings menu at the top of the page and a series of searches open up with options that narrow your search without having to type in parameters. With one click you can view one category of homes for sale, condominiums for sale, buildable lots, and so much more that are in Sarasota and the surrounding areas. Click on the MLS map search and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is available to you in map view. Zoom in, or move the map around to find a location that you have further interest as a buyer or a seller.

The MLS is becoming more widely available to individuals, once thought of as proprietary to agents and brokers. Long before the Internet, even as long ago as the 1800s, real estate agents would gather to share information with other agents in order to expedite the process for getting sellers and buyers together. That same process is in place today, an agent will sign with a seller for exclusive right to sell that property. Buyers and sellers benefit as more agents and brokers push that information to the Internet.

We have tried to make the search process simple on our website, and yet open up advanced searches when you narrow your price range, need for number of bedrooms, and location. Although I don’t require registration to search, you can save your criteria and continue at a later date.

We continue to make the website simple for searching. For instance, let’s say you feel that Bird Key is a wonderful place to live. It is, and I live there. If you are searching Comparative Market Analysis reports (CMAs) for Bird Key you will see a link that will reveal the properties for sale in that community. Homes for sale will appear on a map at the top, below that is basic information on each home with a single photo. Click on one of interest and a wealth of information is revealed about the property. You can save your search or begin again later. We have CMA histories back to 2008 for some of the 18 different communities in our area that we display monthly reports.

There are two menu sections left of CMA Histories at the top for buyers and sellers. There are reports to compare home prices in different areas of the country. We review the data for you and then offer advice for sellers and buyers of real estate. Under the seller menu there is a link to through the link Home Value Analysis. Type in your address to get an estimate of the value of your home in the Sarasota and Longboat Key area. The tool allows you to modify conditions for more accuracy, call our office and I can review the information for greater accuracy. The value from the website is based on information that is data driven and may not take into consideration other market conditions or condition of the home with upgrades you may have made. A link for this service is also at the bottom of the home page.

Buyers can go to our service and perform a search there for their dream home. If you fill in the contact information you will receive daily updates on homes for sale that meet your criteria of location, price, number of bedrooms or number of bathrooms.

For mobile phone users has been optimized for home searches on the mobile platform. Ffrom the home screen featured properties appear in order of newest listings first. The advanced search button appears at the top of the mobile screen. This is the same search as that on the desktop, optimized for smaller screens.

With all this information, once you feel comfortable speaking with an agent please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Prepare now for potential summer storms

by Roger Pettingell

Storm tips for safety and home protection

Prepare, plan and stay informed this summer season

Prepare for wind and water
Storm preparation - Storms can cause damage from wind and water. Preparation can help mitigate both.

Last week I wrote about ways to protect your home while you travel for the summer months. Although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a below normal number of 6-11 named storms this season, preparation can go a long way to protect yourself and your home. Hurricane Andrew devastated the town of Homestead in 1992 when the number of named storms were low that summer too. Sarasota has been spared of a direct hit since records have been kept starting in the 1800s, but in 1950 Hurricane Easy approached the coast close enough to cause significant damage in the area. It was also the first year storms were given names.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has a mantra of preparedness, planning and staying informed, which begins long before a storm is named. Your hurricane kit should contain some of the basics to survive such as water and canned goods, enough for three days. FEMA recommends labeling the water with dates and change out every six months, about the length of hurricane season from June to November. Include a battery-powered radio and flashlight with extra batteries, towelettes, first aid kit, work gloves, duct tape and pliers. Prepare your kit with a note to grab any medicines you need so that you can pack them in an emergency.

Pack a solar charger for your phone. Your communication plan should include local emergency numbers programmed into your phone or listed on a paper sheet. Text HURRICANE to 43362 (4FEMA) to receive safety tips from FEMA. FEMA also has an app for Androids and iPhones that you can upload photos of storm damage. Also share with family and friends the name of an out-of-state person to call in an emergency. In an emergency you may not be able to rely on phone calls, but text messages may be get through. Make a contact for ICE and list your most important emergency contacts.

You can begin preparations even before you purchase your dream home. At the inspection you can also request one of three types of inspections that will help reduce your home insurance premiums for windstorm damage. The wind mitigation inspection will cover the condition of the house, structure and age. A four-point inspection is a review of the roof, electric, plumbing and HVAC. A roof inspection is sometimes requested by your insurance company. Rarely will an insurer request all three, check with the inspector and the insurance company for the requirements if you are purchasing windstorm damage protection.

Roger Pettingell discusses wind insurance with Mary Kay on REALTALK #9
Wind Insurance - I discuss wind insurance with Mary Kay on REALTALK™ #9

So what can you do to protect your home? Large windows are popular in modern home designs but may not hold up to strong storms. Florida tightened regulations on window codes after Andrew. But just installing windows to code may not be good enough for your needs. Impact resistant windows offer more protection and may qualify your home for a discount on insurance. Hurricane shutters can be installed to protect windows on some older homes. Plywood over the windows is less expensive but may be scarce if a storm is headed your way. Good windows are storm resistant, cut down on noise and provide better protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

FEMA also recommends trimming bushes to make them sturdier in strong winds. Reinforce garage doors. Outdoor furniture should be indoors, in a strong wind they can be dangerous as flying debris if not stored inside the home. Anything else that may become a projectile should be secured indoors.

Now that your home is secured think about your boat. The Manatee Power and Sail Squadron recommends that you seal openings and hatches with duct tape. Lines over a half inch should be used to secure the boat up to 25 feet and thicker for larger boats. Protect the lines with commercial chafing gear, or home made from neoprene garden hose. Check bilge pumps and ensure your battery is sufficiently charged. Cleats should be backed with plates so they are less likely to pull away from their support. Also remove anything that can become a flying hazard In strong winds.

Your pets should be considered when making preparations for storms. If they stress during storms consider medicines that can be prescribed by a veterinarian. Some emergency shelters in Sarasota and Manatee counties allow pets so research them in advance. Six of the 21 shelters in Sarasota are pet friendly. Evacuation routes such as Fruitville Road provide good access to I75.

Sarasota is beautiful and I love it here. Knock on wood that we will be storm free again this summer. It is a great location, please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy. Check out our great new listing, a ninth-floor Antigua floor plan at Grand Bay.

3060 Grand Bay Blvd, #196 $1,795,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Setting your home for summer

by Roger Pettingell

Prepare your Sarasota home for vacation

Security and home preparation for the summer months

Entrance to Bird Key in Sarasota Florida
Bird Key entrance - Many communities such as Bird Key have guarded gates at their entrance for additional security while you are away.

The snow has melted in most of the areas where our clients have their summer homes. At this time they have taken their privilege as a snowbird or making their final plans. Those who are still here have some time to properly prepare their residence while away for the summer.

It starts with the air conditioning system, typically about three weeks out with an annual maintenance service request. They will check for proper refrigerant, the coils and filters for maximum efficiency. Ask that they also calibrate the humidistat which will become important during the warm days of the summer. If there is not a programmable thermostat I would recommend having one installed. The amount of energy saved can recoup its cost in a single summer. They are available at any big box store that sells home products and can be installed by a handy home owner. You can set the thermostat and humidistat to work together for the prevention of mold. Florida Power and Light recommends that on the day you leave program the thermostat to run at 72 degrees for two hours in the morning and 88 degrees the remainder of the time. Since the air is circulating with the AC set on auto, you can save money by turning off ceiling fans. As an added preventative measure for humidity, the humidistat should be set at 58 percent. Additional dehumidifiers can be used if there is a history of humidity or a large home.

Neighbors that stay full-time can be a big help to you during the summer months. With little effort they can perform a periodic check of the residence and be a good contact person if there are any problems.

Many communities on Longboat Key are gated, but security can be an issue particularly in areas without 24-hour manned gates. Your good neighbor friend can be your ears and eyes on the home. They can also be good if there is an impending storm. Security experts tell me that many break-ins occur in homes when the hurricane shutters are down in pleasant weather, a sure sign the home is unoccupied. If your neighbor is handy they can close the house for impending storms or hire a company that will provide those services. However, once a storm is declared they may also be busy so prepare for some contingencies.

With security in mind, a  home with piled up newspapers, no cars in the driveway and lights out during prime time are also signs the home is unoccupied. Newspaper companies and the USPS are now set up for online support so that you can easily stop and start these services. Putting some lights on timers will help also, which brings up a funny episode we had with a listing client. We received a call from a neighbor who told us that the vacant home we had listed had a television on in the master bedroom. We checked it out and found LED lights that flickered different colors in random patterns. The owners had purchased the lights that were sold as an inexpensive system that will imitate a television. I thought it was ingenious and priced them online for $30 to $40, some as low as $15. Some are set with a timer to mimic late night viewing in the master bedroom, such as watching the evening news. Their energy usage is minimal so a good alternative to the TV.

Services such as water can be turned off during this time. Turn off the water heater after closing the main water supply. The phone, Internet and television services have seasonal plans in this area to accommodate those who are here part-time. Contact your provider for options there. Leave the electricity on for sure, but empty the refrigerator and unplug it from the wall socket. Empty the icemaker tray, turn off the supply and leave the doors slightly ajar for air circulation.

In advance of your departure check with your HOA or condominium association for responsibility of pest control. Pantry food and stored herbs are good munchies for pests while spices in closed containers and canned food are OK to leave. Check with a pest control company if this is your responsibility.

Now that you are prepared, enjoy your vacation with friends and relatives. Summer inventory is low, now may be a good time to list your property. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy. Check out our new listing in Building Eight at Beachplace with excellent Gulf-front views.

1055 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #205 $765,000   Photo Slideshow


Sarasota Music Festival 2015 Begins Thursday

by Roger Pettingell

Music by the Masters starts festival

Artistic director Robert Levin in his ninth year as lead

Sarasota Opera House
Many of the events for the 2015 Sarasota Music Festival will be held at the Sarasota Opera House.

For the next three weeks there will be music in Sarasota, sans blaring guitars and screaming vocals. This festival will be more for eclectic aficionados of the masters Johann Sebastian Bach to Menachem Wiesenberg. Expect concertos with wind instruments, pianos and plenty of string instruments. Similar to the La Musica International Chamber Music Festival held each April in Sarasota, these concerts are scheduled Thursday through Sunday for each of the three weeks. The festival is led by Sarasota Orchestra's artistic director, Robert Levin, now in his ninth year in this position. When there are no audience performances, students mix with the masters for lectures and classes.

Acclaimed as one of the best classical music events in the nation, the festival combines students and internationally renowned guest artists for some great chamber music. Over the 50 years the festival has grown to include 60 students from around the nation to combine with 40 master musicians. The Florida legislature designated the Sarasota Music Festival as the official teaching and performing festival of the state in 1984.

Each weekend of the festival begins with an Artist Showcase every Thursday in Holley Hall. The first is Music by the Masters on Thursday, a concerto of sonatas, Hebrew prayers and etudes. The next day begins the Friday Festival series with Dazzling and Petite. The concert highlights a Piano Quartet No. 3 in B Minor, Petite Symphonie in B-flat Major and Piano Trio No. 3 in C Minor. Friday Festivals highlight faculty and student ensembles. Selected students and faculty combine for concerto performances every Saturday, the first of which is the Romantic Legends with conductor Nichola McGegan in the Opera House at 61 North Pineapple Avenue.

The second Artist Showcase on June 11 in Holley Hall is Pyrotechnic Pedagogues, a concert of sonatas, mazurkas, ballades and suites. Sixes and Eights, a concert combining Mozart’s Serenade No. 12 in C Minor and String Octet in B-flat Major are performed in Friday Festival Number 2 on June 12. That Saturday, Beethoven’s Eighth performance will be conducted by Larry Rachleff.

The festival wraps up the weekend beginning on June 18 and showcases Mozart, Duo No. 1 in G Major, K. 423, Schumann, Fairy Tales, Op. 132, and Franck, Violin Sonata in A Major. The theme for Friday Festival Concert 3 is Classically Charged, featuring an Octet Movement, Homage to Mendelssohn. Also, Beethoven’s Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 103 and Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 87 will be performed on Friday. Saturday, June 20, wraps up the symphony series with student concertmaster, conductor Hugh Wolff, Brahms and Beethoven.

Holley Hall
Some festival performances take place in Holley Hall, inside the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center.

There are student recitals the first two Sundays and Friday, June 19, in Holley Hall at 709 N Tamiami Trail by the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center. Subscribe now as many of these concerts were sold out last year. Artist Showcases start at 4:30 p.m. in Holley Hall, other performances begin at 8 p.m. at the Sarasota Opera House. Visit the Ticket Sarasota site for times, locations and artists for each performance.

Estonian born Anu Tali has injected fresh musical ideas into the Sarasota Orchestra since her appointment as music director in 2013. The orchestra has been putting on the festival since 1965. Beautiful with long flowing blonde hair, her talents are diverse with opera and symphonies. She has traveled the world to conduct some of the finest orchestras in France, Japan, Canada and United States. Our city is proud to have her in this position.

Festivals like the Sarasota Music Festival attract buyers of residential properties worldwide. It is widely known that Sarasota is a national leader in promoting the arts. This stature resonates and April sales set a record in the county with 1,224 existing single-family homes and condominiums sold. Sarasota County is on pace to set an annual record in 2015. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

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.