Living on Longboat

By Robert Plunket March 4, 2009

Sarasota’s ultra-luxury barrier island has suddenly become affordable.


By Robert Plunket

Click here to see our Real Estate Junkie discuss these Longboat deals on TV.

Longboat Key has traditionally been one of the most upscale towns in Florida, right up there with Palm Beach and Naples. But if you thought you never could afford to live there, or buy a second home, think again. Prices are down and Longboat is full of bargains.

4720 Gulf of Mexico Drive, #V-2


Take this one-bedroom villa at Windward Bay. It’s got over 800 square feet, an eat-in kitchen, lots of closets, and a lanai that could make a nice den or even second bedroom. The asking price? $179,000.


It’s in a complex called Windward Bay, about halfway up the key, on the bay side. It’s one of the bigger developments from the ‘70s, over 26 acres, and faces the bay (although this villa doesn’t have a water view.) Like most such places it’s oriented toward a resort lifestyle: two pools, kayaking, boat docks, etc. And right across Gulf of Mexico Drive is deeded beach access.


Call Maureen Curtin at 941-228-5121.


If you go back in time another decade to the 1960s, you come across the charming community of Spanish Main, right up the road. They don’t build places like Spanish Main anymore and the fact that it’s still here, and in such good shape, makes it all the more remarkable. It’s all villas. From the outside they seem like cute tiny little cottages, white, with barrel tile roofs and shutters painted bright tropical colors. 


 Inside they’re not so tiny. I toured five of them last Sunday and was amazed at how much bigger they were once you got inside. Most are between 1,300 to 1,400 square feet, typically containing two bedrooms and two baths, plus a good-sized lanai/family room.


Prices depend on location and condition. They start at under $250,000 for one that needs updating and go up to over $700,000 for a unit directly facing the bay. These pictures show a very nicely updated one with a pretty view over a little lake. It comes completely furnished, right down to the dishes (and they’re nice dishes) and is priced at $399,000. 
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