Manasota High

This Manasota Key Home Just Sold for $8 Million Cash

This sale proves Med-Rev isn't dead. Here's a peek inside.

By Kim Doleatto May 2, 2023

This Manasota Key home fetched the most ever in a residential sale there.

With more inventory on the real estate market than in the past two years, a dip in the original listing price received by the seller, and more days to contract, one might think you’d at least have to do away with window valances to close a sale like this one on Manasota Key, which just fetched $8 million.

Not the case.

One of five bedrooms.

One of five-and-a-half bathrooms.

Turns out, the home's water views and craftsmanship outdo what some might consider outdated interior design elements. Plus, with that kind of money in hand—it was an all-cash deal that surpassed the asking price by $500,000—a remodel probably won’t require too much of a stretch. After all, the home garnered a bidding war and sold in just three days.

“This was more of a 2021 scenario,” says Kathy Naida-Lowry of Debi Healy and Coastal Properties Real Estate, who represented the buyers. That year saw a fast and furious market with rapidly climbing home values and no-time sales.

Water views

The home is located at 6380 Manasota Key Road in Englewood and was sold by homeowners Stacy and Mary Shmidt. When it was purchased in 2011 for $4.8 million, it was among the top 10 most expensive home purchases in Sarasota County that year—seventh place, to be precise.

The foyer 

Stacy Schmidt, 70, made his money as a franchisee for the Hardee's fast-food restaurant chain. He started managing 20 Hardee's in Wisconsin and later moved to Arkansas after finding that the Wisconsin market, with 200 restaurants, had no need for more.

When he and his wife at the time, Dolly, arrived in Arkansas in the early ‘90s, there were only 38 Hardee's restaurants there. He started by helping the owner of four struggling Hardee’s become profitable, and eventually built his own franchise empire. In 1999, he was appointed president of Hardee's Franchise Advisory Council, representing 900 franchisees.

Kitchen and dining area

Built in 2008, the three-story, five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bathroom Mediterranean-style home sits on just more than an acre, and spans 6,638 square feet. It comes with 100 feet of private beachfront, and a deeded 10-foot wide private dock and boat lift on Lemon Bay. There’s also a theater room, a detached five-car, air-conditioned garage, in addition to the three-car attached garage, a heated saltwater pool and Jacuzzi with fountains, a covered lanai with a fireplace and a lighted boardwalk leading to the beach. The purchase also includes access to the Manasota Beach Club, a 25-acre resort that offers small cottages and tennis, croquet and bocce ball courts. 

Home theatre

Manasota Key is also home to the Hermitage Artist Retreat, an incubator for artists from around the country. In fact, it’s kind of the forgotten key–everyone knows Siesta, Longboat and Casey. But Manasota is off by itself, south of Venice, not very easy to get to and not especially convenient to anything—except perfect water views and sunsets.  

The 11-mile-long barrier island has an Old Florida vibe, thanks to lots of native red cedars and ancient gnarled oaks. Many of the homes are hidden behind the foliage and aren't visible from the road that cuts through the island. The key is home to Sarasota County's southernmost beach, Manasota Beach, and county zoning regulations ensure sprawling properties. Single-family home lots are a required minimum of one acre, and builds must not exceed a maximum of three stories.

Outdoor terrace

“It’s a little less discovered and less expensive than the other keys in Sarasota County. Rebuilding on the keys is a challenge and this home doesn’t need that. The house is pristine,” says Naida-Lowry.

“You’re looking at the same Gulf as you are on Casey Key, and this home over there would cost millions more. I’ve lived here since 2006, and you're either Gulfront or bayfront. The views are unbeatable and everyone is so nice here,” she says. 

Saltwater pool and jacuzzi.

Some of those nice people include celebrities. Singer Bobby Vinton, now well into his 80s, has a home there, and late disco queen Donna Summer spent her retirement there in a house she bought from country star Mel Tillis. 

It’s a destination for those who want a beach house set on a big, unspoiled piece of land. Manasota Key has never really been developed beyond single-family homes. Adjacent to historic Englewood, the beaches there attract the largest number of nesting marine turtles on the west coast of Florida since the hot, dark sand found there incubate the eggs in a shorter timeframe. 

Private dock and boat lift.

As of now, there are eight homes for sale on Manasota Key, ranging from $1.3 to $5.3 million each, and Naida-Lowry hints at more soon on the way.

Compass Florida agents Pam Charron and Rich Polese represented the sellers, and the buyers were represented by Kathy Naida-Lowry with Debi Healy of Coastal Properties Real Estate.

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