Located between Sarasota and Osprey, The Oaks was the area's first ultra-luxury mainland single-family neighborhood when it began development in the early 1980s. It encompasses just over 1,000 acres west of Tamiami Trail along Sarasota Bay, east of the Trail featuring multiple golf courses and a clubhouse, and also the former Oaks III, now called Oaks Preserve. Here's a look:
Number of Oaks property owners: 520
Average size of residences: 5,570 square feet
Price range of current listings: $385,000 in Oaks Preserve to $3,300,000 for bayfront residences
Number of sales in 2002: 40, with an average sales price of $1,100,998
An elegantly renovated classic Georgian at 67 Sugar Mill Drive sold in mid-October for $1.125 million, just under the list price of $1,275,000. This home features two marble fireplaces, walnut paneling, antique brick and lush landscaping. Previous sale, 2001: $562,500.
This property at 868 MacEwen Drive is listed for $895,000. Sandra Strom, of Strom & Strom Realtors, (941) 349-3045.
Nan Kennedy of Prudential Palms Realty is busy showing her Siesta Key listing to prospective buyers who want the Sarasota lifestyle today. Right now. No waiting. "This home can be bought as is, completely furnished," explains Kennedy. "In this case, furnished means every appliance, all of the furniture, each accessory, the gorgeous Oriental rugs on the floor, even the 26-foot Sea Ray docked out back." The package also comes with a 4,800-foot home, oversized swimming pool and 90-foot boat dock with lifts. The house is situated on a quiet cove with full bay views and a lushly landscaped jungle within a walled and gated surround. Prospective buyers are mostly from out-of-town, ages 40 to 50, with a great deal of money but little patience. "One gentleman who is very interested is a plastic surgeon from Atlantic City," says Kennedy. "He wants a place in Sarasota where he can just fly in with his toothbrush." List price for the furnished residence is $2.495 million.
Sometimes one detail can make the deal. Lee Byron says that, for a young doctor moving here from California, it was all about finding the ideal place to watch television. "I previewed a number of places, he flew in and together we started the search," says Byron. At once, she noticed her client was not interested in gorgeous views, gourmet kitchens or lavish master baths. "He is a bachelor and loves to watch sports, so we sat down on various couches in different homes to stare at the television," says Byron. "He animatedly discussed technological advantages of certain televisions, high-tech details, various speakers, and all the bells and whistles. I actually got a lesson on the finer points of what guys want in a television and why." Ultimately, Byron's client bought a home in Bradenton with--you guessed it-an outstanding media room.
The single-family condo
Teetering on the brink of going condo for its amenities, but reluctant to surrender the privacy of a single-family home? The perfect compromise may be 5400 Ocean Blvd., a short walk from the Village on Siesta Key. That's where you'll find Unit M-1 of The Terraces condominium. M-1 is actually a private home built right on the sand, designed by the condominium builder for his personal residence, yet also part and parcel of the condominium property. Three bedrooms and three full baths, living, dining and family rooms all offer direct Gulf views. The lucky owner will enjoy a heated pool, covered parking and no need for flood or homeowner's insurance. Yet this house is a completely separate entity, accessible through a private courtyard entrance with private balcony and open terraces offering panoramic 270-degree views of water and beach. Storage is ample, hurricane shutters are already in place and the interior is fully furnished. The Beach Terrace is offered by Carol and Charles Palmeri of Prudential Palms Realty for $2,750,000.
TOP OF THE MARKET
The former estate of singer/songwriter Bobby Vinton was September's most expensive Sarasota County residential sale. The Lido Shores home is located at 1415 Westway Drive, on lots 6 and 8, with more than 250 feet of waterfront on New Pass and views from the south end of Longboat to the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. Landscaped grounds surround the 9,000-square-foot main house; two separate guest quarters offer an additional 3,500 square feet of living space. There are nine bedrooms and nine baths, oversized pool with spa and an 80-foot lanai. The custom boat dock is on deep water, and deeded beach access is available by joining the homeowners association. It was listed for $5,695,000 and Reid Murphy of TNGR Developers Realty Inc. sold it for $4,225,000.
Friends and Neighbors
One of the original buyers at Page Development's Barefoot Beach condominiums on Manasota Key fell so in love with the lifestyle that he flew friends down from the Midwest to buy in the same building. "This particular buyer bought his condominium sight unseen," explains Jeanann Dodson of Page Development. "He previewed the Web site, read the descriptions of shelling, fishing, boating and water skiing, saw the detailed floor plan of the residences that are right on the beach and enjoyed photos of the nearby state park. Sold! After coming down to close on his new property, he called his best friends and neighbors in Illinois, bought them plane tickets and flew them down to take a look." Currently, couple number two is in the process of finding their dream vacation home. Interestingly, Page Development's Pete Page hails from Indianapolis and was one of the original developers of Sanibel, which still boasts a huge contingency of owners and vacationers from Indiana. In addition to Barefoot Beach, Page also has buyers lined up for two new condominiums just down the beach: Gulf Breeze and Boulder Pointe. "Manasota Key sits only a few miles south of Sarasota but you would be surprised at how many people have never been there," said Dodson. "Take the causeway bridge from Englewood and suddenly you are surrounded by natural beauty, in a perfect place for rest, relaxation and recreation."
Claudia Ridge is a real estate agent with Michael Saunders & Company's Englewood office. We failed to properly identify her in the October issue.