The process starts with first making the decision to purchase a home in Sarasota. Once this decision is made, many alternative decisions are triggered. Because there are so many options to consider, most buyers begins by looking at hundreds of homes on the internet. Many times this process serves to add confusion and frustration providing more questions than answers.
Whether you are buying your first home or the next home of many, the home buying process is supposed to be a happy positive experience. Emotion and anticipation are two main ingredients. Every home buyer expects to “live happily ever after” in their new home. All too often, once a buyer moves into the new home and lives there for a while, unforeseen can things surface.
When I first moved to Sarasota to become a full time resident I decided to rent for a period of time rather than purchasing a home immediately. Having relocated from the cold and clouds of Western New York I wanted to be close to the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. I rented a two bedroom condominium overlooking Lido Beach. I enjoyed my time on the water but after a year I wanted a home, one that didn’t feel like a vacation spot with neighbors changing almost weekly. A place with “roots” that was more consistent with the feel of a home.
I looked for and found a three bedroom two bath home on the bay side of Siesta Key. Like most buyers, I had a limited budget and had to compromise on many things. Although I completed a major renovation of the house and lot the end product had continuing basic flaws and drawbacks. After moving in, the insurance cost (primarily flood insurance) increased to $8,500 annually and the real estate taxes went up to $11,500. The utilities, landscape and pest control costs were also high. New kitchen cabinets, counters and appliances did not transform the kitchen into an up to date area. The same was true with the bathrooms. Although the home looked great at first glance, it required considerable regular maintenance. Living near the salt water causes many components of the house to wear out much quicker than expected. Traffic congestion on and off the island became a regular disappointment. Before any mortgage payments the home was costing me more than $30,000 annually. What seemed desirable at first became a burden in a short time. It was a happy day when the house was sold for less than I had paid for the property.
From Siesta Key, Karen and I moved to a three year old custom built home east of interstate 75. The four bedroom four bath house was immaculate, with all the features of a new home. Due to the housing recession we paid $235,000 less than the original owners paid three years earlier. The neighbors and neighborhood were wonderful. The lot was 80’ wide with 20’ between each house. This is pretty much standard for new homes built in the 2000’s. Actually, 80’ wide lots are on the bigger lot size for Southwest Florida.
Our insurance cost and real estate taxes dropped from $20,000 per year to under $7,000 annually. The modern kitchen and baths were a delight compared to the older home on Siesta Key. We enjoyed our pool and lanai almost daily and lived outside as much as possible. Then our neighbors moved. The new neighbors were disrespectful and unfriendly. Because our houses were only 20 feet apart we had very little privacy in our pool area. We were forced to live inside the house way more often than we wanted to. After a year of uncomfortable living, we decided to sell the home and move. The real estate market was improving and we were fortunate to sell the home at the same price that we invested originally.
During the decade that we lived on Siesta Key and our home out east, we also bought and sold several houses and condominiums. We studied the Sarasota housing market, bought houses that required renovation, completed the work and were able to sell each at a modest profit. Buying, renovating and selling property, with our own funds gave us keen insight to the Sarasota housing market. My position at Iberia Bank, handling the sale of almost 3,000 properties over the past six years has allowed me daily access to the Southwest Florida real estate market. Today we live in the right house for us, in the right location for us and at the right price for us.
Over our years in Florida, it has not been unusual to hear people express their dissatisfaction with some aspect of the recent home purchase. The majority of the concern is based in higher than expected occupancy costs or privacy/neighbor issues. Choosing the neighborhood and understanding all aspects of the occupancy costs is paramount to long term satisfaction with your next home purchase.
Your right home in Sarasota, along with your wants and needs are unique. That said, the current Sarasota housing market alternatives are very similar the never ending story. Well over 10,000 buyers and sellers will actively buy and sell their home in Sarasota during 2016. Employing the experience of Mark and Karen Collier the assist you in buying or selling your home will provide you the confidence that your final decision is the right decision for you.
When you make the decision to purchase or sell your home contact us. Our dedication, service and market knowledge will exceed your expectations.