More Artists' Houses

By Robert Plunket June 11, 2008

From cottages to bayfront Old Florida classics, homes for creative spirits.


By Robert Plunket


Here are two more houses from our Artist Housing series, special one-of-a-kind homes guaranteed to bring out the creative spirit in anyone. Keep in mind that both of these are being sold “by owner,” meaning they are not listed on the MLS. A realtor won’t show you these houses; you just have to stumble across them – like you’re doing now.

2367 Main St.


House No. 1 is located at 2367 Main St, just a five minute walk from downtown. The big selling point here is the amazing garden, which was designed and grown by the current owner, a landscaper who used to work at Selby Gardens. It has decks and paths and water features, plus rare and unusual palms, bamboo, and flowering trees. The overall effect is like something you’d find in Key West. Best of all, it’s very low maintenance.

The remodeled kitchen and the lanai of 2357 Main St.

The house itself is a 1950s Florida cottage, nicely remodeled. Two bedrooms, two baths, and a brand-new kitchen with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. It’s just over 1,100 square feet and has tile floors. A particularly nice lanai overlooks the enclosed back garden. There’s nothing else like it in town, and the price is a steal: $185,000. Call the owner, Ben Appel, at 941- 350-7703.

 12124 45th Ave. Drive W.

Our second house is an Old Florida classic and almost impossible to find these days: an old farmhouse-type home in Cortez, right on the bay, set on almost half an acre. This is pure Norman Rockwell in the tropics, and the whole place glows with old-fashioned nostalgia. The house itself was built back in the 1950s and added to over the years. It’s got three bedrooms, two baths, and a big master suite on the second floor that opens onto a sun deck overlooking the view. There is a 61 foot seawall and a detached studio/workshop with AC and water.

The living room and separate studio of the Cortez home.

The village of Cortez is itself unique: a genuine old fishing village, seemingly untouched by time. It has successfully resisted development over the years, and I hope that whoever buys this house will respect it and keep it more or less the same. The current owner tells me he likes to sit in his recliner in the living room and watch the mullet as they jump out of the water, out in the bay, with the northern end of Longboat Key way in the distance. You can’t get more charming than this place, and for almost half an acre right on the bay, the $849,000 price is excellent. The address is 12124 45th Ave. Dr West, Cortez. Yes, it’s a little hard to find, way at the end of a twisting shell road – just the way it should be. Call 941-795-7174.


By the way, all the pictures for the Artist Housing series were taken by Matt McCourtney. We use him all the time at Sarasota Magazine; he’s one of the top house photographers in the area. Matt’s number is 941-536-6193

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