Nature-loving Sleepy Lagoon
Number of Sleepy Lagoon properties: 270
Number of sales 6/2005 to 8/2006: 16
Range of sales prices 6/2005 to 8/2006: $850,000 to $7.5 million
Average sales price: $2,043,594
Range of square footage: 1,545 to 6,390 square feet
A 3,400-square-foot, Spanish Mediterranean-style home under construction at
A beautifully remodeled beach cottage at
MLS statistics courtesy of Andrew Bers of Prudential Palms Realty. MLS records transactions and listings by members of the Sarasota Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.
Top of the Market
Sales information provided by Kim Ogilvie of Michael Saunders & Company.
Moulton on the Market Although the
The spectacular spec house, done in Addison Mizner style, offers the highest quality finishes and upgrades. Moulton says it’s the type of property that allows
Moulton cites several reasons for today’s market changes. First, he’s seeing a more educated consumer. “Today’s buyers have spent time on the Internet searching cities and neighborhoods, and they want great value. They also have greater choice today, since properties are staying on the market longer. They can take their time and make better decisions,” he says. Investing in real estate has slowed somewhat, so projects are moving at a more measured pace. Also, says Moulton, today’s buyers are less willing to go under contract without having sold their existing homes.
“The ‘grab-it-now’ mindset is over,” he says. “A few years ago, buyers were snapping up properties as fast as they came on the market because demand was extremely high and supply extremely limited. Many buyers were handling two mortgages and applying for bridge loans to cover themselves. Some probably paid more than they should have. But things have changed.”
Typically, Moulton’s buyer is a wealthy entrepreneur. Free to live anywhere he or she desires, this buyer is most often comparing
Honored as two of Michael Saunders & Company’s top producers in 2005, Moulton and partner Annette Rogers have sold $300 million in real estate in the last five years, with an average transaction of $1.7 million and an average listing of $1,325,000 in 2005.
Island Personality Terry Hayes of Sky Sotheby’s International Realty has listed elegant island-style homes, steps from Anna Maria’s sandy beaches, with surprising prices in the $800,000s. These spacious three-bedroom, two-bath open designs feature soaring ceilings, wood floors, gourmet kitchens, top-of-the-line appliances and private terraces overlooking an inviting swimming pool. Each residence is pre-wired for Smart House, has a two-car garage and a security system.
Hayes says the homes are distinctive because they offer the laid-back lifestyle of Anna Maria, with its funky art galleries, eclectic restaurants and small-town character. “Buyers love the beach house feel and the price and don’t mind walking a block to the water,” she explains. “There are no buildings over three stories on the beach, and that’s a plus. Some say there’s almost a retro quality, a bit slower and not as hectic. Many buyers like seeing a slice of
Highest End Buyers narrowing their sights on the highest end of
A boutique real estate brokerage, Modus Vivendi has carved out a niche listing its own product and specializing in multimillion-dollar residences. “We may only have four or five properties listed at a time,” explains Phil Chmieleski, Sandcastles CEO, “but they will be very special. We’re selling the top slice of the upper end.” Properties may include Sandcastles’ own spec homes, inventory lots, homes currently under construction and proposed custom residences. A sample of current Modus Vivendi listings includes a magnificent 8,400-square-foot residence in The Concession for $8.4 million, the chance to build a British Colonial-styled home on the white beaches of north Siesta Key for $7.5 million, and a bayfront Tuscan estate with boat dock situated within a private gated enclave on Longboat Key for $3,695,000.
Mere Fractions What if you could own a luxurious beachfront home for a fraction of its cost? Now imagine a home featuring lavish finishes and furnishings with concierge-level services thrown into the mix. Such is the concept recently introduced by Palatial Destinations with its Premiere Residence of Distinction, De Soto Grande on
“The goal is to provide buyers with a vacation experience utterly devoid of headaches and hassles,” says Adam Eberle, managing partner of Palatial Destinations. “Homeowners simply open the front door and begin their dream vacation.”
The deal is made possible through fractional ownership. “Research shows that most second-home owners use their residences only 21 days per year,” explains Eberle, “hardly meriting the costs and responsibilities of ownership. A fractional owner has deeded interest in a multimillion-dollar estate for less than a typical down payment for such a property. Buyers enjoy their vacation home for multiple weeks every year, and when they’re ready to go home, they simply leave. We do the rest.”
Unlike time-share vacations, fractional ownership conveys separate deeds to each of the participating families. Property can be sold or willed to heirs through an estate. Homeowners enjoy certain weeks that are guaranteed every year, while open weeks are offered to owners on an equitable rotating basis. Entanglements are effectively eliminated and maintenance is equally divided.
Up In Smoke Cheri McKean of
“The key did not fit any door and did not work on any lock,” explains McKean, “which I thought was odd. I tried peeking in the windows but everything was shuttered and dark so I could not see a thing. I finally gave up and drove back to the office, assuming she had mailed me the wrong key.”
The client instructed McKean to hire a locksmith, explaining that she couldn’t find the right key. “I followed through, and the locksmith was able to make a key that opened the front door,” she explains. “But once unlocked, I still was unable to walk in the front door, because barely six inches inside was a solid wall of cardboard boxes stacked to the ceiling. I mean, the house was literally stuffed full of these boxes, with no aisles at all, no paths, no possible way to walk inside. Even the detached two-car garage was packed so tightly that I couldn’t enter.”
After another call to the client, movers were hired to empty the place. The move required five full-sized moving vans. “Due to the boxes, every wall was all marred up, the rugs were filthy and the house was filled with dust,” she says. “We had the residence cleaned, steamed, painted, mopped, you name it. And ultimately we found a buyer and it sold.”
After all was said and done, McKean received a telephone call from the moving company that caused her to sit down. “The caller told me that during the move, one of his drivers discovered what was inside the boxes. After seeing the contents, he refused to move them and called in the authorities. Every one of those boxes was filled with Cuban cigars. The house was apparently being used as storage for illegal contraband, and I will never know if the client in