The Law of the Market

By Robert Plunket July 9, 2007

Falling prices mean a rise in great buys.


By Robert Plunket


It’s amazing to see our free market economy at work. Real estate prices in Sarasota are falling so noticeably that suddenly it’s a whole new ballgame. Since I’ve started doing this blog I would estimate they’re down 25 percent—the ones that are selling, anyway.


This means there are some wonderful buys out there. It used to be that you couldn’t get a decent house for under $200,000. Now you have your pick. And if you’re willing to shop around you can really find something remarkable.


This week’s bargain is a cute 1950s block house right in the middle of town. Price; $159,000. The trick with a cheap house is find one that’s pleasant, and this one meets that criteria perfectly. It’s bright and sunny, spotless, just painted, with plaster walls, a retro pink and gray bathroom, terrazzo floors (in great shape, by the way), a fenced backyard, and a 12x17 Florida room with jalousie windows on three side that adds enormously to the livability of the house. What it doesn’t have, oddly enough, is central air. But maybe the out-of-town owners would be willing to dicker about some credit on this point.

3919 Freedom Ave., Sarasota.


It’s a perfect house for Paris Hilton, in that you don’t need a driver’s license. You can walk to numerous bars and liquor stores, Fleming’s, Café Baci, the tanning salon and the dog groomer’s, Saks, Macy’s, Dillards, Barnes and Noble, Best Buys, Renaissance Video. The bus to the beach is half a block away. True, it’s not a fancy neighborhood (there’s a trailer down the street, something you don’t see much anymore) but if you squint you can pretend it’s bohemian and shabby chic. It’s being listed by Gaia Goldman at Michael Saunders. She has it staged beautifully and she oozes competence; she even has written estimates for minor repairs you might want to make. This one is a find. Call Gaia at 587-4935. Address: 3919 Freedom Ave.


P.S. I realizd I’m getting stuck in an “under $200,000” rut. Next week everything will be over $1,000,000. I promise.
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