City of Snowbirds

By Robert Plunket September 24, 2008

Looking for a second home? We’ve got the range—and the deals.


By Robert Plunket

Click here to see our Real Estate Junkie discussing snowbirds on TV. 

Snowbirds built this town. And if we can get them to buy some real estate while they’re here this winter, maybe we can make a dent in our enormous inventory. Here’s some pricing and lifestyle information you may want to forward to friends and relatives up North—the ones you like, anyway.




Top: Winds of St. Armands' street scene. Below: The clubhouse.


Being a snowbird can be remarkably inexpensive. Consider a senior mobile home community like the Winds of St Armands, which is the fancy new name for the all-gussied up Windmill Village on Tuttle. You don’t buy the land here, you lease it for about $550 a month, and that includes amenities and things like lawn maintenance. The homes themselves (on which you do not pay property tax) start at under $10,000—that’s for a smaller, older model—and go up to $100,000 and over for a brand-new place with a garage and 1,700 square feet of living space.



Don’t let the “trailer park” image put you off. These places are the height of respectability and have clubhouses, pools, shuffleboard and lots of social activities—even a courtesy bus to the stores. There’s a very nice golf course right across the street, and pets are accepted in certain areas of the park. True, that wonderful old windmill is gone— or rather, transformed into the newly remodeled clubhouse. For more info call (941) 355-6661 or drop by 4000 N. Tuttle.




Top: The exterior of a Botanica condo. Below: A unit's kitchen.


Moving up a notch or two on the economic scale are the mid-level places, in which Sarasota abounds. Palmer Ranch has many almost-new developments that are perfect for snowbirds. One of my favorites is Botanica; it seems a little more stylish and upscale than most, with the architectural detailing being South African/Dutch Colonial—not something you see every day. There’s a great unit on the market at 7452 Botanica Parkway. It’s on the second floor (with a private elevator) and overlooks a nature preserve. It’s spacious—almost 2,000 square feet, with three bedrooms, two baths. It’s a former model with lots of upgrades and has been reduced to $299,900. Contact Rob Clark of Horizon Realty at [email protected]





Top: An aerial shot of The Beaches on Longboat Key. Below: A Beaches bedroom.


And finally, there is snowbird heaven: Longboat Key. This is one of the best addresses in the state, and you can easily spend millions. It’s a little trickier to get something on the beach for under a million, but here’s a unique unit in The Beaches, behind the gates of the Longboat Key Club, that’s priced at $799,900. It’s a one-bedroom, converted from a two, with two bathrooms, and a very special feature—since it’s on the ground floor you can walk down from your terrace right to the beach. It’s about as close as you can get to a Gulf-front house on the best stretch of beach for under a million. It’s located at 775 Longboat Club Road, unit 101. Call Sylvia Babineau at (941) 504-0551




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