Spotlight on Sarabay Coves Condominiums

November 25, 2011

You can spend a million or even much more on waterfront property that has deep water dockage — and if you’ve got it to spend, why not?

But what if you don’t? There are plenty of places where you can spend wage-earner money and have access to the same water as everybody else — like Sarabay Coves.

Sarabay Coves is in the northeast corner of Sarasota Bay:

From the street, it’s just north of the Sarasota-Manatee county line and accessible to both areas. The airport is a 10-dollar cab ride. The address, in case you want to play around in Google Maps or Google Earth, is 1714 69th Ave W Bradenton FL 34207.

66 condos in 3 buildings (parking at ground level and 3 stories above that) with a swimming pool, club house, and tennis courts. Sale prices are in the high 90s and low 100s for a 2 bedroom, one-thousand square foot condo. Monthly condo fees will run around $450 a month and that includes all maintenance and insurance except what’s inside your condo (or your boat).

The DOCKs, though, are where it’s at! Dock a boat up to 42 feet, draft to 5 feet, for just $1.50 per month, and just walk up to your condo when you’re done!

The last time I checked, a slip of that size at Marina Jack in downtown Sarasota was $500 a month — and you have to share the bathroom facilities! Hmmm.

All of the condos have screened lanais. The view will depend on which side of the building you are on, with the best ones facing west toward the Gulf — but even those are affordable. If you can live with one facing town to the east, the price will be well under $100,000. Every now and then a 1-bedroom unit becomes available as well, priced commensurately lower.

The view to the west looks over the rooftops of Trailer Estates, a long-established manufactured home community. I’ve heard people express that as a drawback, but I have a different view(!): each homeowner in Trailer Estates owns their own lot … and that means it is highly unlikely that a developer will build some huge high-rise to block your view of the sunset over Sarasota Bay!

All in all, Sarabay Coves is quite a little secret hideaway for boat people.  To see what’s available right now,  either drop me a line or search the MLS at my site

2012: My New Year’s resolution is early this year

November 14, 2011

It’s hard to believe that so much time has gone by without me posting on this blog … or Facebook … or LinkedIn … or pretty much ANYwhere. Embarrassing. Someone said that life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans, and I guess my own example supports that thesis.

Faced with a long gap in writing, a variety of thoughts crowd in … none of them really conducive to picking up the pen/keyboard again. Excuses, reasons, justifications … all the way on down to doubt, recriminations, self-loathing … good God, man, better get a grip!

A recurrent theme in those mental meanderings is, “What can I write about?” Something interesting, something engaging, something useful to readers? Truth is, it better be interesting to me first or it won’t get written, I suppose.

The professional practice of real estate is a lot about focused research on a particular area/neighborhood. One cannot be an expert on everything, everywhere, but it is possible to achieve a 90th-percentile level of knowledge of any neighborhood in a fairly short time, and we realtors do that all the time, as the need arises in order to serve a customer. The results of that research can get tucked away in a file cabinet for future reference but I think it’s more useful to plaster it up on this blog instead. It’s fun for me, it’s good information and it won’t get lost in my filing cabinets this way. So periodically, I’ll add another “Neighborhood Focus” blurb. That’s my New Year’s resolution, a little early this year.

Naturally, since boats and waterfront is on my mind much of the time, that’s where the “Focus” will wind up most of the time. Aw, gee.

Stump Pass one fine day

Sometimes you just gotta do …

February 15, 2010

… what you gotta do. Sunday it was pretty cool here still,  but we were driving across the Ringling bridge and the water looked so good we just had to go boating. By the time we got out, the sun had gone down a little further and the wind had come up a little more, so it was not quite as balmy as we had hoped!

DSCN0996We’re coming in New Pass, and that’s the Sarasota skyline behind Cynthia. In the lower right corner is my foot with some new Vibram Five Finger footwear. Like going barefoot but with a little protection on the sole for those of us that have to wear shoes for work every day and so don’t have the tough feet we had when we were little! They feel great, and I expect they’ll feel even better when the weather warms up about 10 degrees.

Waterfront for $110,000

June 9, 2009

You wouldn’t think it’s possible … but it is!

I actually went and viewed this one yesterday … a 1/1 manufactured home in Trailer Estates, Bradenton FL … just a few minutes from my home office.

It’s on a deep water canal with no bridges to the bay. I know it’s deep because there is a sailboat docked opposite this unit.

I’ve never lived in a trailer, but I’ve lived aboard a boat, and I’ll tell you: A trailer, er, manufactured home, is more spacious. That’s ’cause it’s rectangular, you know, no pointy ends or graceful curves. It also has a real bathroom, real municipal water and sewer, never gets barnacles, and never sinks at its mooring.

Think of a trailer with dock space behind it as a boat slip you own, with an extra little dwelling where you can keep some tools and a washing machine!

Anyhow — it’s cool in an old-Florida, low-overhead, unpretentious sort of way. Not for everyone, to be sure — but one way of living the waterfront dream on very limited bucks! Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.

FEMA rules for additions to exisiting waterfront homes

February 3, 2009

So you want to buy a waterfront home — one that was built prior to the latest hurricane codes. It needs updating and an addition to the building would be nice too … Not so fast.

Please, before making an offer, know what you can and cannot do with that structure! Start by calling the local Zoning department and asking lots of questions. For example, the cost of your new permitted work may not Read the rest of this entry »

A slice out of time

January 30, 2009
The old Ruth Louise, in photos from the late '50s - early '60s. Am I just a nostalgia freak, or are these older boats uniquely handsome?

The old Ruth Louise, in photos from the late '50s - early '60s. Am I just a nostalgia freak, or are these older boats uniquely handsome?

I have a waterfront listing in downtown Sarasota that was owned by the same family continuously from about 1946 until recently. I attended the estate sale held there today, and an old scrapbook of the owner’s was for sale. A couple of pictures caught my eye, and I asked to have them. The Ruth Luise, named after the matriarch of the clan, is shown here, and I believe the body of water is Whittaker Bayou, just down the way from the house. In other photos, she was shown with the Clewiston locks in the background – these are in central Florida, separating Lake Okeechobee from the waters leading to the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently the owners got around a bit in her. When I was a boy, boats like this were common. Now that they are scarce, I can’t help but feel that something precious has been lost.

Some “Ins and Outs” of condo insurance

January 29, 2009

So you have a unit in a condo association, and part of your monthly (or quarterly) condo fee goes for insurance — so your troubles are over, right?

Well … not so much (and most of you know this), because the condo insurance doesn’t cover the inside of your unit. You have to purchase your own policy for your interior and contents.

What most folks don’t know is the “Ins and Outs” of that insurance and what to expect in case there is a loss, so let’s fix that. Spending a few minutes asking a few extra questions of your insurance agent and making sure you know what Read the rest of this entry »