The new Palmer Oaks condos offer much more than you’d expect for the money.
By Robert Plunket
The $200,000 condo has long been a staple of Sarasota real estate. There are a million of them all over town, from Palm Aire to the Beneva corridor. They are about the cheapest form of housing you can live in and still hold your head up high as a worthy participant in the Sarasota lifestyle of society and culture.
They are also often amazingly comfortable, usually two bedroom, two bath, in a low rise building, with parking near the front door. Of course they have washer/dryers and most usually have a lanai (sometimes remodeled into a sun room.) The big drawback to many is that the second bedroom and kitchen often face an outside hall, meaning strangers can walk right past you while you are lying in bed.
They are such an important part of our housing stock that it pays to keep tabs on them. Well, guess what? $200,000 is the new $300,000. Meaning, prices have fallen so much that what used to cost $300,000 now costs $200,000. You suddenly get a whole lot more for the money.
That was certainly my reaction when I checked out that new Palmer Oaks place on Honore in Palmer Ranch. I saw an ad in the paper with their new pricing (all units were knocked down over $50,000 each) and the least expensive model was now $199,900. What were they like? Tiny? Ugly?
Anything but, as it turns out. First of all, they’re enormous for a two-bedroom condo, ranging from 1,665 square feet to just over 2,000. Most have a large bonus room that could function as a third bedroom. They all include an attached garage that enters directly into your unit. A large master bath has all the fancy features, like whirlpool tub and separate shower, and separate toilet, and – it goes without saying – granite and stainless steel in the kitchen. Palmer Ranch is a new, prestigious neighborhood – the Lakewood Ranch of the southern part of town. Best of all, the condos “feel” good – light and airy and upscale.
Drawbacks: the still unlandscaped site is pretty charmless. There are no amenities other than a pool. The finishes are good but can’t quite compare to nearby Botanica. And the lowest-priced units face Honore; and, yes, one model has a bedroom that looks out onto a dark entryway. But none of these are deal breakers. And it makes you realize there really is something wonderful about the current market – great buys.
Call Nancy Steffke at Kimball Hill Homes. 284-5944. Palmer Oaks is located on Honore, approximately two blocks south of Clark.