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Florida Top Destination for Foreign Real Estate Buyers

Florida continues to be the top choice for foreign buyers of investment and vacation homes in the U.S.  19 percent of foreign buyers purchased property here in 2018. 

Not surprisingly, Sarasota has been ranked high again at #3 as the best place to retire in the United States, according to a report by U.S. News & World Report.  I can attest to that, after having lived here in Sarasota for 44 years since I moved here with my family as a teenager from England!

Lido Key Emergency Beach Renourishment

Work has started on the dredging of New Pass between Lido Key and Longboat Key.  As you drive over the New Pass bridge, you see the dredging equipment in the pass below you.  The loss of sand on south Lido Key is serious and it is necessary to renourish the beach immediately.  Previously the residents of Lido Key had asked neighboring Siesta Key to "give back" some of the sand that had shifted, but Siesta Key is reluctant to do so, so the sand is not coming from Big Pass.

Occasional renourishment of all the beaches is common in waterfront areas.


Recent Real Estate Update

Despite rising interest rates, sales and prices of real estate have continued to rise in the Sarasota/Manatee area.  That is not surprising considering 70 percent of my buyers pay cash, so interest rates are not usually a factor.

In addition, many buyers are coming from the north to get away from the cold, high property taxes and state income taxes.  Now that Sarasota is "on the map" and a destination, the area is expecting 26,000 new families to move here in 2019.

Sarasota real estate sales rose 7.6 percent in the past year, and inventory continues to be low with only a 2.7 percent increase over last year.  It is still a seller's market.  Properties that are remodeled and in good condition are the first to sell if priced properly.

Florida Ranked Fourth for Affluent Owners

A study by RewardExpert used holistic criteria to determine why households between $200,000 to $500,000 choose a place to live.

Florida came in fourth after Colorado, Nevada & Michigan.

Besides the obvious criteria like schools and taxes, the study takes into account public safety and quality of life.

The four top reasons why an area is chosen are: High-ranking public schools, high property values, low property taxes and no state income tax.

Sarasota, Florida is experiencing much of this population growth.  CLICK HERE to find homes in the Sarasota/Manatee area.


Mote Marine Laboratory & Stranded Whales

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium has been in the Sarasota area for the past 40 years.  The primary mission of this non-profit organization is to undertake scientific research on the natural Florida marine habitat and to educate the public.  It also provides rehabilitation of Florida marine mammals & fish, such as dolphins, whales & manatees, and promotes the protection of marine species and coral reefs.

During this recent outbreak of the red tide, two pygmy whales and one melon-headed whale were rescued.  These sick whales were named Thunder, Lightning and Bolt, and they were given full-time critical care and medical treatment.  Unfortunately, they did not survive.  The scientists at Mote Marine are dedicated to learning as much as possible from these animals.  Each one has had a necropsy and the results have been sent to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation to test for exposure to the red tide toxin.

Update on Red Tide

We as Realtors understand the importance of addressing the issues of red tide.

I have lived here for almost 45 years and have experienced red tide many times.  This year the outbreak has had more serious consequences.  Red tide is a natural occurrence; however, this time it may have been worsened due to chemical causes.

All fifty-four Florida real estate associations have signed a petition sent to our U.S. senators, urging them to act on the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 to find the cause of the red tide.

Senators Rubio and Nelson then filed a bill to address red tide in Florida.

Sarasota One of the Top Cities to Retire

Sarasota, Florida has been chosen as one of the top eight cities to retire, mentioned in this month's issue of Where to Retire magazine.

This magazine is written for retirees who decide to move away from their hometown.  Studies have found that retirees who move to a different area are generally better educated, more adventurous, wealthier and healthier than those that stay in their current home.  There are approximately 700,000 American retirees that move each year, according to Where to Retire.

It is not surprising that Sarasota has hit the list with its beaches, scenic waterfront, outdoor sports and activities, and its myriad cultural events.

Making the Most of your Backyard in the Summer

There are several simple ways to make your backyard or garden more enjoyable and usable during the summer.  Now is the time you enjoy the warm, long summer days, entertain family and friends with barbecues and alfresco dining.

Make sure the patio or deck is in good condition by inspecting the wood, stone or brick.  Buy some pots and plant colorful flowers and blooming plants.  Adding an attractive outdoor rug to place under your outdoor furniture.  Coordinate with colorful pillows.   By simply adding attractive place settings, you can complete the look. 

A fountain adds charm and a peaceful feeling to the ambiance.  For cool summer evenings, a fire pit is a sure bet.  There are so many small, inexpensive ways to enhance your outdoor living space and spend many enjoyable summer days in the outdoors.

Sarasota Is Fastest Growing Luxury Market in U.S.

What is really hot in the Sarasota, Florida real estate market is the luxury market. In a recent Realtor.com report of the top 10 fastest-growing U.S. luxury markets nationwide, the Sarasota-Manatee market stood atop the list. Sarasota’s entry-level luxury price rose 19.1 percent year over year, reaching $993,000. Luxury prices are rising quickly as buyers from places like New York, Boston and Chicago realize there is a better bang for their buck available here.

Sarasota, Florida property taxes are also more reasonable than in the northern cities.  The lack of a state income tax is a big draw for luxury buyers moving to Florida.

Sarasota Offshore Power Boat Grand Prix

Every year on the first weekend in July, just before July Fourth, Sarasota, Florida holds the Sarasota Offshore Power Boat Grand Prix.  This spectacular week-long event brings boat racers and fans from all over the country, and even the world.

The proceeds from this 34th Grand Prix are donated to the Suncoast Charities for Children, helping children with special needs and their families.  Many of the events include participation by the children.  In the days leading up to the final race, activities include a golf tournament, car show, fishing tournament, comedy night, party in the boat pits, and motorcycle charity ride.  The culmination is the six-and-a-half mile race off the beach on Lido Key with these magnificent powerboats achieving speeds of over 100 miles per hour.

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Carolyn Donnelly, P.A.
Coldwell Banker Res RE
 Sarasota & Longboat Key, FL
Phone: 941-350-9900​



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