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Bottom Feeding

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Scouting out potential bargains at Sky Sotheby’s upcoming auction.     By Robert Plunket   Well, the auction is nearly here, and I’m getting nervous. It looks like the bottom feeders have arrived. That little army of people that used to drive around looking for something to buy, anything at any price, has now transmogrified […]

November 14, 2007


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Scouting out potential bargains at Sky Sotheby’s upcoming auction.
 
 
By Robert Plunket
 
Well, the auction is nearly here, and I’m getting nervous. It looks like the bottom feeders have arrived. That little army of people that used to drive around looking for something to buy, anything at any price, has now transmogrified into a little army of people who drive around looking for something to buy at well under half the price. And they’re finding things—that’s the scary part.
 
So that’s why the auction is so important. It’s like a referendum on where we are now. Based on the mood of the town, I bet things will go very cheaply.
 

I checked out two more potential bargains over the weekend. First, the Carl Abbott house in Hidden Forest (off Mink Road in the northeast part of town.) This is a great house. The two-acre plot gave Carl a lot of room to stretch out— it’s Carl Abbott at his most expansive. No need to do clever things to maximize a beachfront lot. Now he has all the room in the world and uses it. Five bedrooms and almost 6,000 square feet. The views of all the greenery and the oak trees are spectacular. It has somewhat the feeling of the famous Putterman House in Lido Shores, but on a much larger scale. The kitchen and baths are still in their 1984 state. Personally I’d keep them.

 

 
The original asking price was $2,500,000. I wouldn’t hazard a guess on this one; modern architecture is a hard sell in Sarasota. The good news is that it may your chance to get a masterpiece at a rock-bottom price.
 

Next, I’ve always been fascinated with those expensive condos in Lakewood Ranch, near Main Street. They’re midrise; one is called Watercrest and the other is Lake Vista, right across the street. Well, it seems that 22 of the Lake Vista ones are on the auction. I was told they are all owned by the same person. Talk about your bad investments.

 

 
These are very nice condos. They’re not quite as refined as their Watercrest competition, but they’re big and luxurious. What I like about them is that they have all the luxury features you want (like the extra-fancy and enormous master bath) but you’re not paying for all sorts of extra bedrooms you’re not going to use.
 
They started out in the $500s and $600s. They are now down to the low $400s, maybe even less. If I could get one of these babies for under $300, 000, I’d grab it.
 
The auction will take place on Friday Nov. 16 at the Longboat Key Club. It starts at 11 a.m. Registration starts at 9. This being Sarasota, the auction is being held in conjunction with the Sarasota Sports Foundation’s Celebrity gala and golf tournament. Chuck Woolery and Lou Pinella will be attending the dinner. Let’s just hope they show up at the auction with their cashier’s check.
 

For more info go to auctions.skysothebysrealty.com or call the auction hotline: 941-308-6560 or 800-332-376