Real Estate Gossip - March 2004

By staff March 1, 2004

Neighborhood Watch

Back to nature at The Landings

The Landings is an established gated enclave with heavily wooded nature preserves and tree-lined winding streets alongside Sarasota Bay, directly to the west of Tamiami Trail and just north of Phillippi Creek. Residents enjoy a tennis center with pool and clubhouse, bike trails, a nature walk and pavilion on the Intracoastal Waterway and a shopping center that's a short stroll away. The popular neighborhood mingles villas, mid-rise condominiums and single-family homes.

Number of residences: 563

Range of square footage: 1,500 square feet to over 15,000 square feet

Number of sales 11/2002 to 11/2003: 42

Sales prices from 11/2002 to 11/2003: $199,500 to $2,925,000

Average price of those sales: $412,364

Sample Sale

This West Indies-style home at 1400 Peregrine Point Drive sold in November for $2.925 million. It features four bedrooms, four full baths and one half-bath and a handsome porte-cochere entrance serenely situated behind gorgeous wrought-iron gates. A state-of-the-art kitchen and family room with coral stone fireplace open to an outdoor living room with nearly 300 feet along the bay and a charming separate guest cottage. Two two-car garages and nearly a full acre of property add to the home's expansive feel. It was listed by Linda Roe Dickinson and sold by Cameron Icard, both of Michael Saunders & Company. Previous sales: 1989 (August): $900,000, 1983 (September): $193,500.

Sample Listing

A 6,430-square-foot bayfront estate at 1419 Peregrine Pointe Drive is listed at $3.8 million by Lenore Treiman of Michael Saunders & Company (966-8000). The home features five bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen with Viking appliances, study, exercise room and billiards room. Outdoor living space offers panoramic views of Sarasota Bay and Siesta Key with a luxurious open pool and spa, paver decks, screened patio and dock with boat lift.

Top of the Market

A magnificent two-story Mediterranean home on Bird Key that sold for $4 million was Sarasota's most expensive residential real estate sale in October. The 5,780-square-foot residence at 570 S. Spoonbill Drive, built by Bruce Saba, features five bedrooms, six baths, separate office and pub room. Volume ceilings and glass walls enhance panoramic views across Sarasota Bay to the Gulf. A custom-designed pool and spa overlook the multi-function boat dock on deep water. The home, which came with a Robb & Stucky furniture package, was listed at $4.2 million and sold by Debra Pitell of Michael Saunders & Company.

Classic downtown Sarasota

Jay Foley fashioned an exquisite slice of Europe in the heart of Sarasota and now some lucky buyer has the chance to live in these classic surroundings.

High above the corner of Palm Avenue and Main Street, atop the historic Orange Blossom Hotel building, Foley's two-story luxury penthouse offers breathtaking views of Sarasota Bay and the downtown city lights. The 7,200-square-foot beauty features four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths, an elevator, sauna, marble floors, multiple Juliet balconies overlooking the downstairs from a vaulted first story and a rooftop garden with sparkling fountain. Carved mahogany doors, keystone architectural detailing, stone columns and wrought iron create a sumptuous Old World feel, while the location offers easy strolls to shops, restaurants and theaters as well as a ringside seat for Fourth of July fireworks.

Realtors Susan and Jonathan Fox of Michael Saunders & Company have shown their Sotheby's listing to clients from New York and Chicago looking for that Hyde Park elegance, one professional athlete and several executives who wish to live downtown and dock their yachts at Marina Jack. The list price is $3.95 million.

Museum quality

Pat J. Taylor of ERA Mount Vernon Realty sells Sarasota's museum area with 192 houses closed in her illustrious career, including a dozen she has sold two and three times. But she is the one who is really sold on the neighborhood.

Taylor has lived in the Indian Beach neighborhood for 30 years in a proud old beauty of a house built back in 1924. A former resident of Siesta Key and Lido, Taylor and her family often rode bicycles down Indian Beach Road and through Sapphire Shores and one particular house always caught her eye. "I would just drool over this home and I told my husband and children that one day, that house would be ours."

Finally, her dream home did go up for sale and she hurried in with an offer, only to find out that another buyer had gotten there first. Taylor was just devastated until the telephone rang and the attorney for the seller requested an interview. "The seller had decided to entertain both offers and actually sell the home to the buyer deemed most suitable," explains Taylor.

During her interview, Taylor waxed eloquent about her years of waiting for this exact opportunity and casually mentioned that she had a love for old houses and a good bit of knowledge regarding their care and upkeep. "I had lived in old houses before and felt a deep sense of satisfaction about helping them wear their age proudly," she says. "We were chosen by the attorney as the right buyer and I am still so pleased to be here."

Measure twice!

Sarasota's remarkable appreciation rate has always been favorable to sellers but sometimes it's the buyer who gets lucky. Realtor Jerry Strom recently sold a beautiful parcel of land on deep boating water listed by another agency. Some time after the closing, Strom and his client were walking the property and scratching their heads.

"The lot size was listed at 32,000 square feet," explains Strom, "but this lot just seemed so much bigger." Some time later a survey was done and the actual size of the lot was determined to be over 48,000 square feet. "The existing tax records were in error and somehow the inaccurate measurement got into MLS and stayed there," says Strom. "The extra land is probably worth somewhere around $700,000, so that guy got one heck of a deal." Moral of the story? Check measurements and never automatically assume the court records are correct.

Southwest Longboat Key

Longboat Key boasts an eclectic clientele from all over the world and sometimes people incorporate their histories into the very fabric of their homes. When Judy and Bob Hoffman built in Sabal Cove, they brought not just their passion for the Southwest but their Arizona designer David Michael Miller and appropriate regional furnishings as well.

Authentic to the last detail, the home features include a barrel tile roof with mud patches thrown up there by the owner, cacti in the landscaping, a hand-carved front door with silver accents, a door pull that sets off a series of pealing bells, and beautiful hand-thrown clay pots imported from craftsmen in the Arizona desert. The 25-foot wood-beamed cathedral ceiling was specially textured with an instrument called an adz, which produces roughly hewn hatchet-like markings, and the home's alder wood furniture was designed by Miller and constructed in Phoenix. Saltillo tile, wrought-iron fixtures and warm, natural paint tones complete the 4,900-square-foot home that settles very comfortably amidst Longboat's swaying palm trees.

When the Hoffmans sold their special home, Californian Helene Roberson brought her extensive collection of Southwest art and moved right in, falling in love with the fa├žade, floor plan, library, two fireplaces and gourmet kitchen. Roberson recently listed the Spanish Mission-styled beauty, now offered for sale at $2.195 million by JoAnn Thorpe of Michael Saunders & Company.

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