Steal This House!

By Robert Plunket November 19, 2008

Great bargains on the Sarasota real estate market.


By Robert Plunket


Click here to see our Real Estate Junkie describe these bargains on TV. 


4311 Bell Ave.



I came across this house Sunday while checking out some open houses and almost didn’t go in. From the outside it’s nice but not all that special, although the big yard and location at the end of a dead end street set it apart. But when I stepped inside I went “Wow.”


It was like I was back at my grandparents’ house in Michigan. Every inch of the interior is covered with wood paneling – cypress, knotty pine, and pecan wood. The floors, the walls, even the ceilings. It was built back in 1954 by a contractor/master carpenter, and it’s all custom work, beautifully done. And everywhere you look there are built-ins and cubby-holes. Each of the two bedrooms has built-in bureaus and the living room has a built in desk.

The kitchen has been updated with stainless appliances, but the cabinets are original and the new stuff has been designed to match perfectly. Just one bath, but it’s a 1950s dream with the original gray and yellow tile. There’s also a sun porch under a/c that can be used as a den.


The house has been updated by a young couple who have done a great job respecting the original style and workmanship. And the paneling is in great shape. The beautiful floors are pecan wood, so hard that even though they have four dogs there are no scratches from their claws.


It’s got a great location – the Beneva/Bee Ridge area – and wonderful landscaping. Completely fenced for the dogs. Asking price = $170,000. The owners are selling it themselves so I don’t think it’s on the MLS. Call Mark at 941-320-4953.


And keep in mind: there are some incredible bargains around town at the moment. You can actually get a nice condo in a good area for under $50,000. Don’t believe me?

There are several one-bedroom units in Village Brooke (3245 Beneva Road) for $49,000 or thereabouts. Almost 700 square feet, and a pleasant complex with pools and tennis.

2205 Beneva Terrace

And if that’s too much, how about $42,000? Yes, this two-bedroom, two-bath unit – it’s the one on the second floor – has 950 square feet. It could use some updating but it’s livable the way it is. The complex is right in the middle of Forest Lakes – a great part of town – and the maintenance fee ($283) includes water, trash, and cable. And they take pets. And it’s not age-restricted. Put down 20 percent and your mortgage payment will be $201. Right in the middle of Sarasota. Amazing. Call Tom Waters at 941-487-6932.


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