If you’re looking for a mid-century house, something with at least a hint of the Sarasota School of Architecture, but think they are priced way out of what you can afford, you might want to take a look at Kensington Park. It’s one of Sarasota’s earliest developments and while the homes and atmosphere are hardly deluxe, it may be a great place to get something authentic at a rock bottom price.

Here’s an example. I wish I could say it was typical, but one this nice doesn’t come along often and when it does, it goes immediately. (This particular example was on the market for a couple of days and is already “pending.”) It’s a 1961 vaulted ceiling ranch, with 3 bedrooms and one and a half baths. It’s small—just over 1000 square feet—but it’s in great shape and has most of the original details. 

These includes terrazzo floors, clerestory windows, a wall of roman brick, and a period-appropriate front door. The baths have mostly original fixtures, including the sinks. The kitchen appears to have been remodeled at some intermediate date, but it looks great and could easily be given a retro look with minimum effort. Best of all, the general feeling of the house is definitely what you’re looking for and hasn’t been remodeled and ruined like so many of them.

The home’s provenance is exceptional. It was owned by Andrew Weaving, the guy who wrote the famous book Sarasota Modern. And the price, $163,900, is hard to argue with. 

I’m sitting on the fence about Kensington Park as a place to live. I wish it were “prettier”—too many homes don’t display pride of ownership and there are a lot of renters rather than owners. But the location—just off Lockwood Ridge north of 17st Street--is super convenient and you certainly can’t argue with the price.

2797 Heather Place is listed at $163,900. The agents are Dan and Susan Heschmeyer of Gulf Coast Realty Team.

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