Sarasota County Public Schools – Florida

Contact Information – Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County School District
1960 Landings Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34231
941-927-9000

Sarasota Public Schools

Below is a complete list of Sarasota County Public Schools serving all of Sarasota County. For details on the best Sarasota Florida Public schools and to learn which schools are ranked the highest, click here. You will be taken to the U.S. News & World Reports Best School Rankings where you will be able to search by school name.

 

🏫 Sarasota Elementary Schools

Alta Vista ElementaryEnglewood ElementaryLamarque Elementary (North Port)
Ashton ElementaryFruitville ElementaryLaurel Nokomis Elementary
Atwater ElementaryGarden ElementaryPhillippi Elementary
Bay Haven ElementaryGlenallen ElementarySouthside Elementary
Brentwood ElementaryGocio ElementaryTatum Elementary
Cranberry ElementaryGulf Gate Elementary
Emma E. Booker ElementaryLakeview Elementary

 

🏫 Sarasota Middle Schools

Booker MiddleLaurel Nokomis MiddleVenice Middle
Brookside MiddleMcIntosh MiddleWoodland Middle
Heron Creek MiddleSarasota Middle

 

🏫 Sarasota High Schools

Booker HighSarasota HighPine View School
North Port HighSuncoast Polytechnical HighOak Park School
Riverview HighVenice High

Sarasota Charter Schools

Charter schools, like public schools, are allocated public monies. They operate under a performance contract also referred to as a “charter”.  They hire their own teachers, set their own curriculum, control their own finances, have a board of directors, and are free from most of the rules and regulations imposed for the public schools.  Per the Sarasota County School website, below is a list of Sarasota Charter Schools providing quality educations.

Sarasota County School Zones

To learn what school district your home is zoned for, visit the Sarasota County School Boards Search for School Zones Page.  Simply input your address and discover what school your child should attend.

Sarasota County FL School Calendar

Get your Sarasota school schedule and school supply lists here!

Request More Info

We pride ourselves on quick response times.  Please fill out the below form and we will be in touch with you shortly.

 

Helpful Sarasota Resources

This quaint, little city is dotted with spectacular waterfront mansions and beautiful beaches. It’s home to many including the rich and famous. See who has lived here and why it is the choice over many other popular areas.
Browse “Gina’s List” of best Sarasota providers related to the real estate industry and beyond. Referrals include title companies, attorneys, lenders, home inspectors, contractors, doctors, pet sitters, and more.
Our beautiful city offers an abundance of fun and unique things to do including sporting events, cultural events, shopping, dining, and beautiful beaches. From arts and culture to local attractions, discover some of the best things to do

Sarasota, FL | Big City Feel, Small Town Charm

Chrystal white sand, clear blue water, and plenty of sunshine – you can have it all. Situated along the west coast of Florida is a quaint little city which sits along the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. Its coastline is dotted with spectacular waterfront mansions and award winning beaches. It is a popular sunny escape for the winter weary and a place where many fortunate residents, including myself, call home. This wonderful little area is Sarasota, FL. If you plan to vacation or move here, I must warn you, between golf, the beach, and all types of water and boat activities, you may never want to leave.

Sarasota Florida Real Estate

Sarasota, FL attracts buyers of all kinds, including the rich and famous who have owned homes in our beautiful city either now or in the past. Celebrities such as Joe Perry, Randy Savage, Jerry Springer, Dick Vitale, Stephen King, Michael Jordan, Tom Selleck, and Tom Cruise have all added Sarasota homes to their list of real estate.

There are plenty of reasons why one might choose Sarasota real estate over other popular areas. It may be a peaceful escape or to live closer to relatives. Or maybe they just want to take advantage of our beautiful Sarasota Florida weather with some fun in the sun at the world famous Siesta Key Beach.

Sarasota, FL is a city rich in history and architecture and many of its historic neighborhoods still remain today. Located on the outskirts of downtown Sarasota is Gillespie Park, an affordable neighborhood of bungalows and cottages named after the first mayor of Sarasota, Hamilton Gillespie. If you prefer history combined with walkability, then there is the historic Laurel Park boasting a mix of homes and apartment buildings dating back to the 1920’s. The allure of both these neighborhoods is the close proximity to the heart of downtown Sarasota.

As you venture into downtown Sarasota, in the heart of the city is Main Street, with streets, many named after fruits, branching off on both sides. This historic city is filled with shops, restaurants, and colorful bungalows. Downtown Sarasota is divided into five districts: The Rosemary District, Burns Court, The Historic Palm Ave District, Towels Court, and Gillespie Court.

Read more about the best downtown Sarasota historical districts…

Traveling west from downtown, over the Ringling Bridge, you will find the communities of Lido Key, St. Armand’s and the popular St. Armand’s Circle where you will find high-end retail shops, boutiques, and restaurants.

As you travel South towards Siesta Key Beach, west of Tamiami Trail, is the historic community of Cherokee Park. This is one of the oldest and premier historic neighborhoods along Sarasota Bay offering tree-lined streets and homes dating back to as early as the 1920’s. Sarasota real estate prices in Cherokee Park start in the high $800,000’s.

A short drive from downtown is the renowned community of Siesta Key, an 8 mile island, home to one of the most popular beaches in the nation, Siesta Key Beach. Homes on this barrier island range from affordable condos to million dollar homes along the glittering waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Sarasota offers cool and chic condo living throughout its wonderful city. A large number of high rises line the coast of Sarasota’s barrier islands including Siesta Key, Longboat Key, and downtown Sarasota.  Condominiums for sale in Sarasota Florida are offered in a variety of price ranges, styles, and locations.

Sarasota has over 80 golf courses so for those who want to live in an above par community and get their game below par, there are plenty of golf communities to choose from.

For the boating enthusiast, you have your pick of places to launch your boat, marinas to store your boat, or homes with boat docks.

The area has several master planned communities including Palm Aire, Palmer Ranch, and Lakewood Ranch which was recently recognized as the third best selling master planned community in the nation. These large-scale residential neighborhoods boast recreational and commercial amenities including golf courses, lakes, community parks, community pools, restaurants, and quality schools.

Small towns near Sarasota FL include Anna Maria Island, Bradenton Beach, and Longboat Key. These nearby Florida beach towns are a fun place to visit when venturing outside of Sarasota, FL.

Sarasota FL Zip Code

Sarasota Florida Weather

Sarasota is Florida’s own slice of paradise, especially for those looking to escape the cold winter months in the northeast. With warm tropical weather year round, one can plan on removing the word winter coat from their vocabulary. During the hot summer months of June through September, Floridians can expect temperatures in the 80’s to 90’s, humidity, and periods of daily rain, with storms that roll out as quickly as they roll in. The humidity drops and temperatures begin to cool during the dry months of October through May, with average temperatures in the 70’s. That is not to say that Sarasota does not experience near freezing temperatures. During the months of December through March, the area can experience random temperature drops into the low 30’s, yet on average, there is only one frost per year. 

Sarasota is a year-round outdoor playground and recognized as one of the healthiest cities in the nation. The sunshine allures residents and visitors alike to take advantage of the surf and sand. There are plenty of outdoor activities that meet just about anyone’s needs. You can kayak, paddleboard,  or jet ski. There are fishing charters, dinner cruises, and plenty of scenic locations for fishing, jogging or walking.

Sarasota Florida Beaches

Known for some of the most gorgeous beaches in the nation, Sarasota attracts visitors from all over the world. Our beaches offer soft white sand, crystal blue waters, and a less hectic atmospheres than the bigger city beaches. When visiting our local beaches, expect some solitude and relaxation along with manatees swimming and dolphins gracefully playing.  Take a stroll along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline and you will find unique seashells, sun-cured sand dollars, and coral washed ashore. You might even find an unusual treasure like a sea sponge.

It doesn’t matter which Sarasota beach you choose because all offer free parking and a unique experience. Let’s take a better look at each of our beautiful Sarasota area beaches.

Siesta Key Beach

Address: Siesta Key Beach 948. Beach Rd., Siesta Key, FL 34242

Having won accolades more than once for the best beach in the nation, Siesta Beach has become one of Sarasota’s most popular beach spots. A recent $21.4 million renovation only adds to this famous beach’s allure. The expanded parking lot with 141 additional spots and the newly renovated visitor’s area are only a glimpse of what lies beyond. Beautiful, spacious walkways cut through the expansive quartz sand beach directing visitors to the sparkling blue waters.  These walkways along with wide open access points throughout the beach make it easy to navigate to the perfect spot with your beach chairs and coolers in hand.

One of the newest highlights is the elevated, two-story, concession with an open deck for capturing some of the most magnificent views. As with most beach concessions, the food can be a bit pricey.

For a fun activity, gather some friends for a game of beach volleyball in the baby, soft sand. The Siesta Beach volleyball courts attract players of all levels and have been host to collegiate and commercial tournaments throughout the years.

Every Sunday night, about an hour before the sun sets, just south of the Pavillion, is the Siesta Key Drum Circle.  What started as some friends playing on the beach has blossomed into a big attraction of many people playing percussion instruments and dancing while the sun sets on the horizon. It’s a time for everyone to have fun and enjoy themselves. Both the event and parking are free, but it is a popular event, so get there early because parking fills up quickly.

Lido Key Beach

Lido Key boasts three beaches: North Lido, Lido Beach, and South Lido. John Ringling, an influential Sarasota figure with a love for Italian, referred to the beach as Lido, which translates to beach in Italian. Although smaller than Siesta Key Beach, Lido Beach is a close match with its turquoise waters and soft white sand which squeaks as you scuff your feet through it. During low tide, enjoy a walk out to the sandbar where you will see an abundance of beautiful shells and live sand dollars.

Lido Key is a small barrier island lined with many condos, yet the beach rarely feels crowded. Head there early to catch the sunrise and meditate amid the sounds of seagulls and crashing waves.  Spend the day relaxing on the beach, watching the Pelicans and Osprey dive for fish, then wind down with a beautiful Florida sunset.

From mid-June until the fourth of July, Lido Key Beach is home to the annual Sarasota Power Boat Grand Prix Races. If you plan to attend, this is a popular event, so get to the beach early.

Parking at Lido Key Beach is free.

Lido Key is within a short walking distance to the upscale St. Armand’s Circle with restaurants, shops, and boutiques.

If you are in Sarasota, Lido Key Beach is a must see.

Other Beaches

For those who want to venture outside of Sarasota, there are many other nearby beaches to enjoy. Situated between Lido Key and Bradenton are the beaches of Longboat Key, accessible by residents who visit the local resorts or guests and owners of beach condos and houses. Whitney Beach, offering public parking and public beach access is located at the north end of the Island. Although the beaches of Longboat Key offer no amenities, visitors will enjoy the soft, white sand and beautiful green-blue waters.

North of Longboat Key is Coquina Beach with picnic areas and grills. Heading north from Coquina Beach is Bradenton Beach boasting a historic fishing village. Continue traveling north and you will fall upon Manatee Beach. All are public beaches with free parking.

Things to Do in Sarasota

Sarasota offers an abundance of fun things to do including sporting events, cultural events, shopping, dining, and beautiful beaches. From arts and culture to local attractions, discover some of the best things to do in Sarasota, Florida.

Baltimore Orioles Spring Training – Pick up some tickets to watch spring training at Ed Smith Stadium.

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Celery Fields – This 360-acre manmade hill, owned by Sarasota County is great for bird watching, walking, and biking.  See more than 200,000 aquatic plants, wildlife, and trees. Access points and two boardwalks are located off Palmer Blvd and the other off Raymond Road.

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Christmas Boat Parade – Held every December, boats decked out in holiday decor and festive music parade along the waters of Sarasota Bay.

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Classic Car Museum – Located across the street from the Ringling Museum, this nostalgic museum boasts over 90 cars with over 100 years of man’s greatest invention.

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Farmer’s Market – Pick up fresh fruit and produce at the Farmer’s Market, held each Saturday in downtown Sarasota.

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Historic Spanish Point – This is a preserved Sarasota archeological site once inhabited by Indians. See prehistoric shell middens and learn about our Prehistory,  Pioneers, Palmer, and Plants.

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Historical Downtown Sarasota Walking Tour – Sarasota is an interesting city full of history and architecture. During this guided walking tour, you will discover the history and folklore of our area, both past, present, and future.

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John Ringling Museum – Located on the grounds of John and Mabels Sarasota mansion, visitors will enjoy Ringling’s art collection, circus museum, and their breathtaking gardens.   

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Jungle Gardens – A wonderful children’s attraction featuring interactive experiences with birds, reptiles, animals, and entertaining shows.

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LeBarge Tropical Cruises – Enjoy a two hour cruise along the Sarasota Bay where you will see dolphins, manatees, and various other marine mammals. Select from a menu of cruises, each offering something totally different.

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Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsey – Stroll through a garden setting of art and whimsey. Open November through May. 

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Manatee Village Historical Park – Located in Manatee County, this historical village takes you back in time with historical  landmarks dating back to the 1860’s – 1930’s.  Historic structures include a courthouse, church, store, school, and cracker house.

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Marina Jack Dinner Cruise – Enjoy sightseeing on the Gulf of Mexico. Located on the downtown Sarasota bayfront, this narrated lunch or dinner cruise is a must do.  

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Medieval Fair – This annual event is held in November of each year.  Enjoy food, rides and games, face painting, artisan and craft demonstrations, and entertainment. 

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Mote Aquarium – Say hello to Hugh and Buffet, the aquarium Manatees. See sharks, sea turtles, and other marine life through touch pools, working labs, and interactive exhibits.

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Myakka Wildlife Tours – See and learn about alligators and our area wildlife on a narrated, one hour covered airboat tour. 

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Professional and Amateur Theaters–  Take your pick of theaters including Florida Studio, Asolo Repertory Theater, West Coast Black Theater Troupe, Urbanite Theater, Players Center for Performing Arts, and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

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Sarasota Film Festival – This 10-day long annual event showcases local and independent filmmaking. With over 850 film festivals across the nation, the Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) consistently ranks in the top 10%. 

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Siesta Key Crystal Classic – This event attracts professionals from all over in an annual sand sculpting festival. These masterpieces are a must see.

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Sporting Events – Sports enthusiasts will have their share of sporting events to choose from including the Sarasota Polo GroundsPremier Sports Campus Lakewood Ranch, Premier Rowing Facility of Benderson Park, Fiesta on Siesta, Sarasota Power Boat Grand Prix, or the Baltimore Orioles Spring Training Facility.

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St. Armands Circle – Located just over the Ringling Bridge from downtown Sarasota, the circle offers fabulous dining, shopping, and sightseeing.

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State Parks & ForestsOscar Scherer State Park, Myakka River State Park, Myakka State Forest.

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The Children’s Garden and Art Center – An enchanting place to bring the kids! Children can dig, play, and explore the magical gardens with fairies, dragons, pirates, and more. Art and nature classes are offered weekly.

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Towels Court – Explore this artful neighborhood in downtown Sarasota filled with artist studios, galleries, and restaurants.  From October – May, from 5-9 PM meet the artists and enjoy some live music while you stroll Towels.

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TreeUmph Adventure Course – For a unique athletic experience, gear up for some climbing, swinging, zip lining, and aerial adventures at the TreeUmp Adventure Course located in Bradenton, FL. 

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Sarasota Restaurants

Sarasota is filled with an abundance of delicious dining options, with a restaurant to please just about any palate. With over 21 Zagat rated establishments, the below list is just touching the surface of all the wonderful restaurants Sarasota has to offer.

Barnacle Bills – One of Sarasota’s well-known seafood restaurants offering resort style food at friendly prices. They offer two dining locations, N. Tamiami Trail and downtown Main Street.

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 Bijou Cafe – Zagat awarded fine continental dining. Located on 1st Street in Sarasota.

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The Blue Rooster – Located on 4th Street in downtown Sarasota, offering creative southern comfort cuisine.

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 Cafe Amici –  Set in the heart of downtown Sarasota, this is your classical Italian cuisine.

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 Cafe Baci – Delicious northern Italian cuisine, specializing in osso bucco.

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 Capital Grille – Wonderul dry aged beef, seafood, and an award winning wine list. Located at the prestigious University Town Center Mall.

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Clasico Cafe Bar– Situated on Main Street, Sarasota, this popular restaurant offers cuisine with a European flair.

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Drunken Poet Cafe – A local attraction on Main Street, Sarasota offering Thai and sushi cuisine.

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Flemmings Steak House – In addition to the perfect ambiance, you will enjoy prime cut, mouth-watering steaks and fine wines.

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 Hob Nob – For a bit of nostolgia, visit this original 50’s drive in with outdoor seating, hot dogs, hamburgs, and shakes. Located at 1701 N. Washington  Boulevard, Sarasota.

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Hyde Park Steak House – Delicious thick cut, charbroiled steaks, chops, and seafood in a chic urban environment. Located in downtown Sarasota at 35 S. Lemon Avenue.

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 Kona Grill – Located in the Mall at University Town Center, this casual restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, a contemporary American cuisine, and specialty drinks.

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Louies Modern – A dining hotspot and bistro in dowontown Sarasota offering indoor and outdoor seating and an American cuisine menu.

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 Marina Jack – Enjoy waterfront dining with expansive Sarasota Bay views. The menu features seafood, a raw outdoor patio bar, and a piano bar.

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Mattison’s City Grille– Located in the heart of downtown Sarasota on the corner of Main Street and Lemon Ave, this restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, music, and an award winning menu.

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Nancy’s Barbeque – This popular barbeque hotspot is located in downtown Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch Main Street. Enjoy a casual atmosphere with a choice of smoked chicken, pork, ribs, and brisket.

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Old Salty Dog – Offering spectacular water views and a casual atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor dining. The menu consists of pub food, seafood, and of course their legendary, salty dog.

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Ophelia’s on the Bay –  This Siesta Key seafood restaurant offers beautiful waterfront views while enjoying casual, fine dining.

 

Transportation

Sarasota is home to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, making travel to and from the area easy.  The airport is conveniently located off University Parkway. Rental cars services and shuttle services are available near the baggage claim area.

Downtown Sarasota offers iShare, a free electric car shuttle service available from 11:00 am. until 11:00 pm. For the Saturday Farmers Market, the shuttle service begins at 8:00 am.  It covers downtown Sarasota and the Rosemary district.  Its boundaries are 14th Street to the north, Mound Street to the south, School Avenue to the east and the Bayfront to the west. To take advantage of this service, call 941.444.2585.

SCAT is the Sarasota County Transit System, offering bus service from the south of the county to the north. If you want to avoid the hassle of finding beach parking, the SCAT transit system runs 10 times per day from the Westfield Southgate Shopping Center to Siesta Key Public Beach.

 

Nokomis Waterfront Homes for Sale | 238 Portofino Dr.

You can have the perfect day, every day, in the exquisitely designed home in Venetian Golf and Country Club.  Start the day off with a round of golf then enjoy an afternoon cook out with your top-of-the-line outdoor kitchen featuring granite counter tops with a large eating island, an ice maker, sink, and Solaire appliances including an infrared 30″ grill, a two burner gas stove, a glass front refrigerator and powder coated cabinetry with soft close drawers and doors. Finish off the evening with pool side cocktails under LED Nebula lighting then a movie in your state-of-the art movie room featuring a 100″ wall mounted screen, surround sound, a fiber optic star studded ceiling, and custom acoustic panels for the ultimate sound experience.

nokomis waterfront homes for sale

 

BONUS GOLF INCENTIVE ~ Homeowner will pay your golf initiation fee!

nokomis waterfront homes for sale

This four bedroom, three bath, one story house with theater room in North Venice was designed with entertaining in mind. If you have been searching for floor plans with media room downstairs, you will find that this home has one of the best floor plans for entertaining.

If you work out of the home, then the home office featuring wood floors and plantation shutters will suit you perfectly.

Cook in grand style in the chef’s kitchen, clad with premium finishes and fixtures including high-end granite, top of the line stainless steel appliances, wine refrigerator, and a wall mounted fountain. Sliding glass doors in the kitchen/great room and living room showcase the home’s gorgeous lake views while opening up the home to the outdoor entertaining space.

Spill out to the awe-inspiring lanai, where a fully-equipped outdoor stainless-steel kitchen, sun deck, private pool and spa await. Dramatic LED lighting along the lanai cage framework and custom sconce pool cage lighting complete this ultimate outdoor experience.

nokomis waterfront homes for sale

Venetian amenities include nature trails, a resort style pool and spa, lap pool,  club house dining, tiki bar, fitness center and classes, tennis, and an 18-hole championship golf course.

This gated community is conveniently located close to I-75, world-famous local beaches, shopping and dining.

238 Portofino Drive Property Details

Square footage: 3146

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3

Every detail in this home was carefully selected and designed with entertaining in mind. You won’t be able to find another new construction home with all these upgrades at this price!

  • Premium waterfront lot with western sunset views
  • Upgraded plank tile laid on a diagonal
  • Upgraded wood flooring in master and study
  • Tray ceilings
  • Crown moulding
  • Custom kitchen hood vent
  • Built in wine refrigerator
  • Custom cabinet kitchen panels on backside of kitchen island
  • Complete security system with 4 cameras accessible with your phone
  • Ring doorbell camera system (When doorbell rings it goes to your phone. Communicate with someone at your door when out of town)
  • Upgraded landscape lighting in addition to what builder installed.
  • Custom irrigation system.
  • Sonos ready (wireless sound system). Built in speakers throughout the home and on the lanai.
  • Private pool with fountain and heated spa
  • LED Nebula lighting along lanai cage ceiling framework
  • Custom sconce pool cage lighting on dimmers
  • Hurricane glass throughout, including newly installed front door glass inserts.
  • Plantation shutters or Hunter Douglas shades in all rooms
  • Remote control blinds in master bedroom
  • Ceiling fans in every room including lanai
  • Home theater room with 100″ wall mounted screen
  • Star studded fiber optic constellation with Little Dipper and Orion’s Belt in theater room
  • Outdoor kitchen with granite, ice maker, sink, and Solaire appliances including infrared 30″ grill, 2 burner gas stove, glass front refrigerator and powder coated cabinetry with soft close drawers and doors.
  • Custom stone wall behind grill area
  • Tankless water heater
  • Central vac
  • Low HOA fees of $184 quarterly!

CLICK ON THE BELOW IMAGE FOR A GUIDED TOUR OF THIS HOME

nokomis waterfront homes for sale

Venetian Golf and Country Club Real Estate | Nokomis Waterfront Homes for Sale

7 Step Guide to Buying Your First Home | Real Estate

7 Step Guide to Buying Your First Home | Real Estate

Although there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks among the top of the list. We call home ownership the best “accidental investment” most people ever make. But, we believe when it is done right, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.

Looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs, both for the short and long terms. For many buyers, buying a house for the first time will be one of the biggest decisions you have made yet. When buying your first home, because the process is brand new to you, it is very easy to make mistakes. Mistakes can, in fact, cost you money. Below, we have outlined some first-time buyer advice that will act as a guide when you start planning to buy your first home in Florida or anywhere else in U.S.

 

buying first home guideFinding Your Home

 

Have you been dreaming of buying a lake home, with a long walkway, a patio, and a little garden in the backyard, yet you work in the city? The closest lake is miles away. Is it feasible to purchase a home at that location due to the distance from your job? Almost anything is possible, but your lifestyle will determine the house and location that will be most suitable for you and your family. Being a first time home buyer and entering into the housing market without clearly defined specifications of what you feel will make the perfect home and the most sense for your commute and your family can be quite confusing. If you already have an idea of what you want in a house, these expectations should be trimmed in line with what is realistically obtainable.

Here are some questions you want to ask yourself when purchasing a home:

  1. What do I want my home to be close to?
  2. How much space do I need and why?
  3. Which is more critical: location or size?
  4. Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
  5. How important is home value appreciation?
  6. Would I be interested in a condo?
  7. Would I be interested in new home construction?
  8. What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?

 

first time houseFinancing and Mortgage Fees You Can Expect to Pay

 

While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment, but if you are paying rent, you very likely can afford to buy. An experienced loan officer or mortgage specialist will provide you with an easy-to-understand process for securing the financing for your first home.

A less than perfect credit score will not necessarily prevent you from buying a home. There are numerous real estate financing options, so a short meeting with your loan officer will reveal the options available to you which best fit your needs. It should be noted that several considerations like your financial history and credit score will be considered before you are approved. Your loan officer will guide you in choosing the best option for financing the purchase of your home. Your choice of financing should be a package that will be properly serviced with your income, leaving you with enough funds to cater to other important future costs such as home repairs or medical expenses.

Be sure to ask plenty of questions and clarify the exact fees you will be expected to pay to avoid any hidden or unexpected charges.

Below are some of the fees you can expect to pay if you are financing your home.

  • Loan application fee – Some lenders charge a fee to process your application. Not all lenders charge this fee.
  • Credit report fee – This is the fee for pulling your credit report. It is typically a third party fee that is paid by the buyer.
  • Mortgage origination fee – This is the fee you pay your lender to prepare the mortgage for closing.
  • Discount points – A borrower can purchase buy downs to lower subsequent interest payments. This is an optional fee.
  • Survey – If you are financing a home, this is a requirement. A survey provides information on the property boundaries and locations of structures or fences.  This is typically a buyer expense unless stated otherwise in the contract.
  • Appraisal – A lender will want assurance that they are not lending on a home that is valued less than the agreed upon contract price. The lender orders the appraisal, but it is typically a buyers expense due to the fact that its part of the loan. The appraisal will determine the fair market value of a home. If an appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price, view your low appraisal options here.
  • Private mortgage insurance – Also referred to as PMI, this is the fee lenders charge to protect themselves when they are financing a large portion of the home.  If you are putting down 20% or higher, you may not be required to purchase PMI insurance.

 

guide for buying your first home checklist4 Important Things You Need When Buying a Home

 

There are 4 important things you will need when buying your first home.  This list will cover some of the most common items and the costs involved. Keep in mind, there may be additional things required of you by your lender such as copies of your tax returns or employment verification.

 

  1. Mortgage pre-approval: If you are not paying cash for your home, you will need a mortgage pre-approval from your mortgage lender. This is the seller’s assurance that they will be taking the property off the market for a qualified buyer. There is no charge for a mortgage pre-approval.
  2. Escrow deposit:  Once you make an offer you will be required to put down an escrow deposit, also referred to as a good faith deposit. This proves that you are serious about buying the home and assures the seller that you will not walk away from the transaction. In Sarasota, Florida, earnest money is usually 10% or less and is held by a title company or the listing brokers office. In many cases you can get your earnest money back if something goes wrong with the home purchase, otherwise, the earnest money is applied towards your down payment and closing costs.
  3. Money for your down payment and closing costs:  Your lender can provide you a good faith estimate which breaks down all your costs and provides an estimated amount of funds that you will need to bring to closing. Your down payment will depend on the type of loan you decide to go with, so consult your lender. The lack of a substantial down payment should not prevent you from making your first home purchase. Many first time home buyers opt for FHA financing which requires a lower down payment of 3.5%. If eligible, VA loans and USDA loans require no downpayment. To see if you are eligible for downpayment assistance, click here. In addition to your down payment, there are closing costs. Closing costs in Sarasota, Florida are typically 1-1.5% of the purchase price.  
  4. Home Inspection:  Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can’t return it if something breaks or doesn’t quite work like it’s supposed to. For this reason, once you are under contract, you will want to perform a home inspection. The home inspector will determine if there are any major issues in the home. In Florida, the standard home inspection period is 15 days. Depending on whether it is a single family home or condo, and what additional items you choose to have inspected, such as an AC or pool, home inspections can run anywhere between $325 – $700 in the Sarasota, Florida area.

 

buying your first home tips and adviceHome Ownership Expenses

 

  • Property taxes – For some, property taxes may be included in your mortgage payments, but for others, you will receive a yearly tax bill. In the Sarasota, FL area, depending on the community your taxes can range from $900 per year to over $16,000 per year depending on the location or the community.
  • CDD fees – The Community Development District fee (CDD) is a common fee for newer communities in the Sarasota, FL area. The developer of the community borrows money from the county government for the community infrastructure and it is paid back by the homeowners. The fee is included in the annual property taxes. I have seen these fees range anywhere between $900 per year to $7000+ per year.
  • Homeowner’s insurance – Property insurance is a requirement by lenders. Prices can vary depending on the type of property or the age of the property. It is typically escrowed into your monthly mortgage payment.
  • Utility bills – Water, sewer, trash, gas, and electric are examples of utilities you will need to consider when purchasing a home.  To get an idea of the cost of each, ask the current owner for the average utility costs.
  • Homeowner association fees or condo fees – If you purchase a condo, you can expect condo fees yet, not every community has a homeowners association.  Association fees will vary according to the community and amenities. Fees are typically paid either monthly, quarterly, or annually.
  • Home maintenanceAttention to your home’s maintenance needs is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment. Every home needs maintaining so make sure you have money set aside for upkeep or repairs.
  • Lawn service – If you plan on maintaining your own lawn, you will need to invest in a mower, yard tools, and landscape materials. It is wise to estimate the costs of these items prior to purchasing a home.
  • Pool service – In Florida, pools are commonplace in many homes. Prior to purchasing a home, it is a good idea to research the estimated cost of what it is to maintain a pool or to have someone maintain it for you.

 

home buying guideCurrent Real Estate Market Trends

 

Real estate markets have varying trends depending on the state and community. Prior to purchasing a home, conduct housing market research to understand the current market trends that influence the real estate market where you want to buy your home. Look out for market increases or decreases in statistics such as the average home price, the average number of days on the market, and the monthly supply of inventory. Lower inventory supplies indicate a seller’s market, whereas a higher supply of inventory indicates a buyer’s market. Being armed with this information will benefit you in the negotiating process.

Browse the Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics for Sarasota, FL

 

first time home buyer guidePets and Homeownership

 

If you are a pet lover then the type of home you buy should have the necessary accommodation to cater to your pets. If you are buying your first home checklist and tipspurchasing a home which is part of a condo or Homeowner’s Association (HOA), then there may be restrictions as to the number of pets allowed, the size of the pet, and the breed.  Prior to making an offer, be sure to confirm the community pet restrictions. The last thing you want to happen is to move into your new home, then be asked to remove your pet.

 

Learn more about HOA’s and their homeowner restrictions here.

 

tips for buying a house for the first timeDo Location and Accessibility Matter?

 

A commonly used real estate phrase is location, location, location, so yes, your ideal home should be in a good location. This decision will actually depend on your lifestyle and occupation. Houses in centralized areas typically cost more than houses located on the outskirts of the cities.  Getting a home in an area where you can easily access the transportation system, markets and malls will be convenient but may cost more. If you want to live close to the beach, then you can expect to pay more.  So in the end, you will need to decide if living further away from these conveniences outweighs paying more for a home.

 

Buying your first home doesn’t need to be complicated. There are real estate agents that can deliver excellent services to help you make the best choice from the available options. If you are buying a home for the first time, it is a good idea to seek professional assistance. When seeking the services of a real estate agent to find your perfect home, there is no cost to you, yet they are a great resource for providing you information on things to know when buying your first home.

Talking with a real estate professional will help you understand many other factors that should be considered before you make your final selection from the homes available on the market. Buying a home is an emotional decision; however, your home should be perfect and the home buying process should be smooth. Sadly, any mistakes made along the way may be difficult to correct, which is why it is important to use an experienced real estate broker for all your real estate concerns.

When choosing a real estate agent, qualifications are important. However, finding a solid, professional agent means getting beyond the resume, and into what makes an agent effective. Use the following questions as your starting point in hiring your licensed, professional real estate agent:

  1. Why did you become a real estate agent?
  2. Why should I work with you?
  3. What do you do better than other real estate agents?
  4. What process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?
  5. What are the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would you handle them?
  6. What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?
  7. What other professionals do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials?
  8. Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?

If you have any questions or need professional real estate assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We pride ourselves in meeting clients needs and exceeding their expectations. We cover Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Longboat Key and have partners in the surrounding areas or across the nation as well. We look forward to speaking with you.

 

 

First Time Home Buyer Resources

Our home buyer blog posts will provide you a wealth of knowledge to prepare you for buying your first home.

June 2017 Sarasota Real Estate Statistics

 

The Sarasota Real Estate Statistics – June 2017

Are you wondering what lies ahead for the Sarasota Real Estate Market 2017? Here is a glimpse of the most recent Sarasota real estate news including Sarasota real estate prices, Sarasota real estate statistics, as well as some Sarasota real estate listings within our area’s median price range. According to the statistics gathered by the Manatee Board of Realtors, both Sarasota and Manatee counties saw an increase in the following areas: new listings, median sale prices, inventory, and closed sales.

The median sales price for single family homes in Sarasota is $260,000, a decrease of 1.1 percent from May 2016.

As of the end of May 2017, we are still experiencing a seller’s market, yet it is slowly heading towards a balanced market. A balanced market means it is neither a buyers nor a sellers market. This happens when we hit a 6 month supply of inventory. The months supply of inventory is defined as an estimate on how many months it will take to deplete the current inventory.

Currently, Sarasota county single family homes are at a 4.5 month supply, while Manatee county single family homes are at a 4.3 month supply.  The Sarasota condo market is at a 5.2 month supply while the Manatee condo market is at a 4.6 month supply.

June Real Estate Statistics | 2017 vs. 2016

Average Home Price

Sarasota County:

$345,835 vs. $377,779 (Single Family Homes)

$338,511 vs. $358,234 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County:

$397,883 vs. $357,389  (Single Family Homes)

$210,554 vs. $230,591 (Condos and Townhouses)

 

Closed Sales

Sarasota County

822 vs 756 (Single Family Homes)

425 vs 377 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

625 vs. 608 (Single Family Homes)

238 vs. 250 (Condos and Townhouses)

 

Paid in Cash

Sarasota County

296 vs. 318 (Single Family Homes)

264 vs. 250 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

176 vs. 180 (Single Family Homes)

112 vs. 160 (Condos and Townhouses)

 

Median Percent of List Price Received

Sarasota County

95.2% vs. 95.1% (Single Family Homes)

93.8% vs. 94.5% (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

94.7% vs. 94.4% (Single Family Homes)

95.7% vs. 96% (Condos and Townhouses)

 

Median Days to Contract

Sarasota County

45 days vs. 35 days (Single Family Homes)

61 days vs. 40 days (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

47 days vs. 46 days (Single Family Homes)

47 days vs. 48 days (Condos and Townhouses)

 

New Pending Sales

Sarasota County

753 vs. 741 (Single Family Homes)

350 vs. 336 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

565 vs. 612 (Single Family Homes)

226 vs. 225 (Condos and Townhouses)

 

Active Listings

Sarasota County

2,982 vs. 2,635 (Single Family Homes)

1607 vs. 1,504 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

2,199 vs. 2,066  (Single Family Homes)

972 vs. 908 (Condos and Townhouses)

 

Month’s Supply of Inventory

Sarasota County

4.5 vs. 3.9 (Single Family Homes)

5.2 vs. 4.9 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

4.3 vs 4.1 (Single Family Homes)

4.6 vs. 4.3 (Condos and Townhouses)

View all of our Sarasota Housing Market Reports

April 2017December 2016November 2016
May 2017June 2017

 

Browse all newly listed homes for sale just added to the database under $345,835, which is the June 2017 average home price for Sarasota.

Wondering what your home is worth? Find out in 15 second by using our home value calculator or call 941-812-4894. We cover Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Longboat Key and have partners in the surrounding areas or across the nation as well.

Browse Longboat Key, Florida homes for sale

ALL LISTINGS$400,000 - $500,000$800,000 - $900,000
$100,000 - $200,000$500,000 - $600,000$900,000 - $1,000,000
$200,000 - $300,000$600,000 - $700,000$1,000,000 - $2,000,000
$300,000 - $400,000$700,000 - $800,000$2,000,000+

Browse downtown Sarasota condos for sale by building name

1350 MainEmbassy HouseRivo at Ringling
AlinariEssex HouseRoyal St. Andrew
Bay PlazaFrances CarltonSarabande
Beau Ciel Gulfstream TowersSt. Regis
Broadway PromenadeOne WatergateSunset Towers
CityscapeRegency HouseThe Q
Condo on the BayRenaissance
Dolphin TowerRitz Carlton Residences

Browse Neighborhoods in Lakewood Ranch, FL

Arbor GrandeDel WebbLakewood NationalShoreview at Lakewood Ranch Waterside
BridgewaterEsplanadeLofts on MainSummerfield
Central ParkGreenbrook VillageMallory ParkThe Lake Club
Concession HarmonyRiverwalkWaterfront at Main Street
Country Club EastIndigoSavannaAll Lakewood Ranch Real Estate

1255 N Gulfstream Ave #206 | Bay Plaza Sarasota

CLOSE BY APRIL 30, 2107 AND SELLER WILL PAY CURRENT CONDO FEES THROUGH DECEMBER 2017

REMODELED AND GORGEOUS

IN DOWNTOWN SARASOTA!

Newly renovated and gorgeous in Bay Plaza! This 2/2 plus den luxury apartment in the heart of downtown Sarasota captures the feel of New York yet is steps from the Sarasota Bay. Luxury, designer finishes include a redesigned open concept kitchen with high end BOSCH stainless steel appliances, Quartz counter tops, stainless steel back splash, and European cabinetry. Additional designer finishes throughout include Porcelanosa sinks and fixtures (from Spain), LED lighting, Legrand switches and outlets, over-sized LG washer and dryer, solid core doors, oversized closets, and porcelain plank tile laid in a herringbone pattern.  All new electric and plumbing in walls and the latest in sprinkler technology. Private balcony with a pond view.

Bay Plaza is a prestigious Gulfstream condominium building with the finest amenities including valet parking, 24-hour concierge, community pool, hot tub, fitness, plus shopping and restaurants just outside your door.

THE PRESTIGIOUS BAY PLAZA

LEARN  MORE ABOUT THIS LUXURY RESIDENCE!

Built in 1982, this Sarasota Gulfstream condominium is one the few downtown buildings with unobstructed views of the lovely Sarasota Bay.  The building is 13 stories and consists of 97 units, ranging from 1,600 square feet to 3,500 square feet.  On the lower level, there are retail and mixed-use office spaces.

Bay Plaza is pet friendly, allowing one small dog or two cats under 25 pounds.

Unit owners are allowed to lease out their units a maximum of once per year.

THE LUXURIOUS AMENITIES

downtown sarasota condos for sale

Bay Plaza is perfectly located between Palm Avenue and Gulfstream Avenue, and offers residents the choice of Bay Plaza’s fine amenities and the quaint and lively downtown Sarasota conveniences.  For those who enjoy the beach, Siesta Key Beach and Lido Key Beach are a short drive away.

  • Valet Parking
  • 24 Hour Concierge
  • Heated Community Pool
  • Spa
  • Fitness
  • Media Center
  • Within steps to downtown restaurants, shops, boutiques, and theaters.
  • 10 minutes to the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport
  • 10 minutes to Lido Key Beach
  • 20 minutes to Siesta Key Beach

MORE BAY PLAZA APARTMENTS

SARASOTA DOWNTOWN CONDOS

Real Estate Agent Sarasota