Two great options for Sarasotans 55 and over.
Back in my youth I never saw myself living in a 55-plus community. They were a little too quiet, a little too unexciting. But now, after a horrible experience with some unruly neighbors (a single mom down the street with rowdy teenagers she can’t control) I’m beginning to look at adult-only communities in a much more favorable light. They offer peace and quiet, great security, no bratty, disrespectful kids to make your life miserable—and they’re very affordable.
Sarasota has many such places, mostly built back in the 1970s, and they tend to be located in the south central part of town, off f Beneva or Swift. The units themselves are often paired villas with a garage or carport, two bedrooms, two baths, and usually come in at just over 1,000 square feet. At the moment they are priced very well. You can get one that needs updating for under $100,000, and if you can go up to $135,000 or so, you’ll get the pick of the litter.
My problem with many of these of these places is that they’re just not very attractive from an architectural point of view. They’re solid and spacious and well-planned but they’re just not pretty. Luckily, there are a couple of complexes that are exceptions to this rule, and my two favorites are Village Green and Village Plaza.
Village Green is located adjacent to the Village Green Golf Course (near Beneva and Bee Ridge) and the villas are particularly large and sunny. Some, those with enclosed lanais, come in at over 1,700 square feet. They are spread out over acres of green grass, with the villas clustered around swimming pools, and the effect is that of endless lawns and all the room in the world. A place like this could never be built today; they would cram five times as many units into the same amount of space.
3710 El Poinier Ct. #512
But the best one of all is Village Plaza, right across Beneva. Here, for the same price, you get a much more upscale look, with lots of trees, and landscaping that’s a cut above the rest. Village Plaza has a wider variety of units, too – villas, yes, but also two-story buildings with condo-style units. I took a look at one over the weekend that I particularly liked. It has just been updated, and they did a great job. New everything, lots of crown molding, new premium tile and carpeting, a gorgeous kitchen with Corian counters and cherry wood cabinets. One minor drawback – there’s only one bath. But it’s a beautiful bathroom (I actually said “wow” as I walked in) and if you’re single or a couple, that’s all you really need. It’s priced at $116,000, and the listing agents are Linda Barchard and Janice Klatt at 941-780-3480.
Some shopping tips: always ask what the monthly maintenance is. For the above unit it’s $250, which includes cable. That’s pretty standard, but some also include water and trash. Find out the pet situation. Village Plaza allows dogs, a big plus for resale. But the best plus of all – no damn kids.