Sarasota, Florida Market News – It’s All Good! If You Are Selling

SRQ market news – It’s All Good! If you are selling!


August sales remained strong at 975 (698 single family & 277 condos) transactions. Last month 928 transactions were closed and last August there were 957 closings.
The media sales price decreased slightly to $195,750 from Julys figure of $201,000.
Based on pending sales we expect an equally strong September. This strong market continues.

Inventory is still low. August had only4.1 months supply, less than last month and less than a year ago. It’s still a sellers market and multiple offers are common.

Want to know the first steps to selling your home?  Call Susan at 941-726-2227 or drop me a line at to find out the market value of your home today.

Can you afford to buy a median-priced home in Sarasota County?

Can you afford to buy a median-priced home in Sarasota County?


Second quarter market data gathered by National Association of Realtors and analyzed by reported by Libby Kane of Business Insider, shows 12 metro areas of the US and the salary required to buy a median priced home. Property taxes and insurance costs can skew the cost of an individual property and were considered in the calculation. One’s debt situation has to be considered in addition as a personal debt ratio of more than 8% will increase the salary needed to qualify.
This list of 12 areas from HSH’s list has the salary needed to buy, which if you’re married or otherwise splitting the cost, may be your household income.  I went to Dave McLaughlin, my favorite Wells Fargo Rep. to get a Sarasota number.  Here, the same methodology is used to calculate the salary needed to buy a $200,000 home in Sarasota.  Go to to start your search for an affordable home in Sarasota, Florida.
Sarasota County
Population: 390,429
Median Home Price: $201,000
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $1,537
Salary Needed to Buy: $45,000


Population: 921,147
Median Home Price: $136,300
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $845
Salary Needed To Buy: $36,000

Phoenix, Arizona.
Population: 1,476,331
Median Home Price: $198,600
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $962
Salary Needed To Buy: $41,500
San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas.
Population: 1,258,733
Median Home Price: $184,200
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $1,080
Salary Needed To Buy: $46,500

Dallas, Texas.
Population: 1,246,185
Median Home Price: $191,300
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $1,169
Salary Needed To Buy: $50,000
Houston, Texas.
Population: 2,076,189
Median Home Price: $204,000
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $1,208
Salary Needed To Buy: $52,000
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Population: 1,517,628
Median Home Price: $227,200
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $1,267
Salary Needed To Buy: $54,500

Baltimore, Maryland.
Population: 640,064
Median Home Price: $255,600
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $1,345
Salary Needed To Buy: $57,500
Chicago, Illinois.
Population: 2,824,584
Median Home Price: $218,000
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $1,384
Salary Needed To Buy: $59,500

Washington, D.C.
Population: 582,049
Median Home Price: $403,600
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $1,983
Salary Needed To Buy: $85,000

Los Angeles, California.
Population: 3,794,640
Median Home Price: $420,300
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $2,025
Salary Needed To Buy: $87,000
New York, New York.
Population: 8,213,839
Median Home Price: $396,700
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $2,098
Salary Needed To Buy: $90,000
San Diego, California.
Population: 1,284,347
Median Home Price: $504,200
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $2,335
Salary Needed To Buy: $100,000

San Francisco, California.
Population: 777,660
Median Home Price: $769,600
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $3,511
Salary Needed To Buy: $150,500

6 Questions You Must Ask Before Buying a Luxury Home in Sarasota

In Sarasota, Florida we are so fortunate to have a variety of lifestyles to offer. Shopping for a luxury lifestyle can be daunting so here’s a list of questions to ask yourself to keep the process as stress-free as possible.
1. What do you want your social life to look like?
Are you a community social person? Then you will want a home in a planned community that has a planned social scene to enjoy.  Are you a neighborly sort that likes to know your neighbors and gather casually around the pool? Then a perhaps a condo lifestyle is where you see yourself. golfer
2. What activities do you enjoy? A golfer will surely prefer a Golf & Country Club community. If you are planning on taking up a new endeavor such as tennis then again, the planned community is ideal. However, with the numerous public courts and courses available you can find your home in many of the beautiful neighborhoods in Sarasota, Florida and be within 20 minutes of a game.
3. How much maintenance and gardening do you want to do? Most gated/deed restricted community associations will dictate some of the landscaping options and house paint colors that are agreeable as well as parking rules. If this is not a problem for you then you are more likely to find a maintenance-free lifestyle in one of these communities.
4. Is privacy a main concern? Then lot size is an important consideration. There are several planned luxury communities in Sarasota that have .5 – >5 acre parcels. 2014-05-31 14.52.42
5. What is the most desirable location? Do you need to be close to the interstate for commuting? Do your interests and activities steer you toward the water? Do you need to be in east Sarasota so you can raise horses?
6. Is the house more important than any one of these factors? Keep in mind that you may not find the perfect house with the perfect setting and the perfect location. Decide the priority of each of these factors. All of these things create the lifestyle that you want in Sarasota, Florida. I’m a strong believer in the power of visualization to clarity and ease the stress of finding your next home. So, see it and let me help you attain it.  Because My Work Style = Your Life Style. Call me at 941-726-2227 or go here to start your search.

Selling a Home in Sarasota

You have decided to sell your home in Sarasota, Florida! How exciting and a little overwhelming! You want to ensure that you make the most money for your home without pricing yourself out of the market.

Follow these five tips that smart sellers already know to learn how to find that happy medium and get the biggest payoff while remaining competitive and avoiding seller’s remorse.

  1. Hire a real estate agent. An experienced real estate agent knows the market. Have your agent walk through your home with you before you determine a price. This way, the agent can get to know you, your home and your neighborhood is Sarasota, and can make recommendations as to how you should price your home. An agent can recommend upgrades, renovations, and other criteria that could affect the listing price. Your agent will also likely have access to a comparative market analysis that can help you determine the price of your home.
  2. You may have to spend a little money to make a little more. Create a budget and invest in any necessary upgrades. It can be as simple as a new coat of paint or could even include updating your kitchen. Be practical, but understand that your home needs to appeal to new homeowners who may have updated and contemporary tastes. Also, home staging is necessary when selling your home. If you are not sure how to stage your home to sell, get help from your real estate agent or consider hiring a professional home stager.
  3. Have your home inspected before listing it. The home selling process can be a long one, but nothing is worse than waiting to find a home buyer then having them discover that something is wrong with your home. In these cases, you’ll have to either reduce the price, give credits, or the home buyer will just back out of the offer, putting your home back on the market. When your home is off the market and then goes back on, many agents and buyers see this as a sign that something is wrong with your home. A pre-sales inspection is a great investment and spending the money on it could ultimately save you.
  4.  Supercharge your online listing post. More than 90% of home buyers start their search online, so it’s important that your home listing stands out. Make sure all your photos are professional, high-resolution photographs taken in good lighting. Include photos of every room and include different angles of your home. Highlight unique features of your house such as built-in wine storage, walk-in pantries or closets, an open floor plan, spa tubs, etc. List any upgrades you’ve invested in. Talk about your neighborhood and location as well as school district. Also, don’t forget about the outside of your home and outdoor living spaces in your listing.
  5. Don’t let emotional attachment get in the way. There’s no doubt you love your home and have many memories, along with sweat equity, attached to it. Unfortunately, buyers generally don’t give much thought to the memories you’ve created in your home. What you may love about your home they may not. Work with your real estate agent to create a realistic, competitive price in the current market. Taking the emotion out of the decision will actually remove a lot of stress from the process.  Better yet, call Susan Phelps at 941-726-2227 for sensible advice and a solid plan to help you sell your house quickly and for the best price.


– See more at:


The Meadows – Master Planned Community

2014-05-31 14.24.14The Meadows Golf and Country Club

Click here for neighborhood video.

The Meadows is all about golf. 3 different courses offer golfers the perfect challenge whether it be The Meadows with different tee boxes ranging from 5200 to 6700 yards. The Meadows is by far one of the best championship courses in Sarasota.

The Highlands also has varying tee boxes and has old-Florida charm with oak tree lined fairways and elevation changes.

The Groves is an enjoyable walking course but also a challenging course designed by Arthur Hills.

Golf Carts are equipped with GPS Electronic Caddy to show you the exact hazards and yardage and distances coming up at the next shot.

One of the best things about the Meadows Golf and Country Club is that there are different memberships to fit your budget and your lifestyle. A summer family membership is offered currently that includes unlimited tennis, fitness center, and pool as well as dining privileges in 3 restaurants.

Oh, and then there is tennis. The Meadows Golf and Country Club has 17 Har-Tru courts and has been voted in the top 20 USA facilities having been the home of the 2012 USPTA Fl club pro of the year.

A social life centered around elegant or casual dining in one of the 3 restaurants and events planned within the community round out a planned Florida life style that is hard to beat.

Home ownership in any of the many neighborhoods can fit your needs whether it be a single family home or a maintenance free villa or condo. There is something for everyone. Families will grow up in a safe and friendly environment and retirees can depend on a relaxing and quiet atmosphere. A part-time resident can feel comfortable leaving their home for the summer in a maintenance-free neighborhood. The professional can feel confident that the prestige of a beautiful executive style home will suit the needs for an impressive entertainment experience for clients and friends. A growing family can feel safe and secure in a kid friendly neighborhood that provides summer programs and an active lifestyle.

Having owned in the Meadows and having many friends that live there gives me an advantage of familiarity with the many options offered in the market in the Meadows. For more information call Susan at 941-726-2227 or visit to search for homes in Sarasota. Use the zip code 34235 to include The Meadows in your search

School District Matters When Buying a Home

school daysThere are many things to consider when buying a new home. Of course you automatically consider price, location, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the condition of the home. However, something you might look over that is important to anyone purchasing a new home is the school district of the home. 

According to the 2012 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 25% of home buyers listed school quality and 19% listed proximity to schools as deciding factors in their home purchase.


Even if you don’t have school-age children, living in a good school district boosts property values. When it comes time to resell, you learn quickly that strong school districts are a top priority for many home buyers looking to buy a home in the best neighborhoods of Sarasota.


Parents of school-aged children often pay attention to a district’s performance ratings and are likely to pay more to want to live near public schools with higher scores. A school’s high rating can often drive up the price of a home.


Parents always want the best school they can afford for their kids so they want to know about the best neighborhoods in Sarasota County. When you are buying a home, consider the resale value and how the school district could affect it. School districts and their boundaries, whether or not you have children, should always be on your radar when buying a bus

Your realtor can provide info about the school districts in Sarasota County.  Be sure to ask.  If I am working with a family with school age children, I feel that is part of my job.  If you are thinking of re-locating to Sarasota and want more information about the schools here call me: 941-726-2227 or email me @


Sarasota, Florida House Hunting in the Fall

Thinking of a second home in Sarasota, Florida? Are you starting your search before you get here? It’s a good idea. Especially if you have not spent a lot of time in Sarasota. If you have then you might already know which areas of Sarasota are attractive to you. Regardless, the search for a second home or even a permanent home in Sarasota should begin soon.

Are you computer savvy and looking online? Most home buyers start online and manage to get a lot of information about the market before they arrive. is a popular search site that is fairly accurate. However, you can’t depend on it like you can a good Realtor. It took me 3 months to get to take down a listing that I had sold. Daily accurate information is on the MLS which is not available to the general public.  I’ve got a great house hunting app to download on your phone.  Just Text BHHS1003497 to 87778 or go here:

and enter your phone number and you will see how easy it is to use.

CMS_4114_60017_XAnd certainly, if you are not searching online then you definitely need an active, dependable, knowledgeable Realtor to consult with the determine what the best options in the market for you are.

Consider your timeline and work towards a reasonable goal. If you travel to Sarasota in the cooler months of October or November and you want to be settled by Christmas so the family can come down for a celebration in your new home, then it’s best to start looking soon. Even if you are buying with cash and the title search can be done quickly, there may be some hang-ups on the seller side that have to be settled. There may be background checks that have to be done if you are moving to a neighborhood that has a strict home owners association. Inspections may reveal issues that either have to be taken care of or negotiated to your satisfaction.

bikersSarasota has so much to offer the retired individual or the executive that is moving from a full-time career to perhaps a consultant position that frees them up to enjoy a new more relaxing lifestyle. There are several Master planned communities like Palmer Ranch, Lakewood Ranch or The Meadows that include all amenities and home styles to choose from. There are many 55+ communities that maintain the active adult lifestyle that some prefer. In the following posts I will focus on some of these communities in depth to share the wonderful neighborhoods and the Florida lifestyle that you are looking for. After all My Work Style = Your Life Style and you can be assured that I will find you the perfect fit.  Start your search now by calling: Susan Phelps at 941-726-2227.


It’s Back to School Time – How to Stay Organized in the Chaos

Life after summer fun requires some adjustments for kids and parents. If your family is like most, you will be dealing with cranky kids that don’t want summer break to end and organizational challenges surrounding schedules and stuff.
Here are some tips on how to avoid the chaos and keep your sanity while going into the new school year.
Andrew Mellen, author of Unstuff Your Life!, offers his organizational holy trinity:
• Designate a home for everything. Every backpack, skirt, homework assignment must have its own place. Get the kids in the habit of placing everything where it belongs.
• Place like with like. All pencils go in one bin; permission slips in one clear envelope; coats on the same row of hooks.
• Something in; something out. When you buy something new, you get rid of something old. No exceptions!
Here are more ways to escape back-to-school clutter from Lisa Gordon a contributor to House Logic.

1. Make a list. Impulse buying is deadly when shopping for school clothes, supplies, field trips, and sports stuff. Take an inventory, make a list of must-haves, and follow it exactly. If it’s not on the list, it doesn’t come into the house.

2. Unpack immediately. Don’t pile up shopping bags full of supplies. Unpack and organize as soon as you bring the bags into the house. That way, you’ll avoid day-before-school chaos.

3. Create a Mommy/Daddy binder. Geralin Thomas, a pro organizer featured on A&E’s show “Hoarders,” says parents should make for themselves a three-ring binder that contains kids’ immunization records, lists of active medications, pediatrician telephone numbers — the information they refer to and write on forms frequently during the school year.

4. Establish a homework zone. Kids’ rooms, dining room table, kitchen counter — just pick a place. Stock the spot with bins, jars, or rolling caddies with school supplies — pens, papers, glue sticks — so kids don’t have to hunt for what they need.

5. Color-code your kids. Assign each child a color: Billy’s blue, Mary’s red. Buy basics — binders, towels, toothbrushes, slippers — in those colors for easy sorting and cleanup.

6. Pick a staging spot. This is where kids put their ready-to-go backpacks each night before bed. In the morning, they just grab and go.

7. Give each child a sports bin. A place in the mudroom or entryway where each kid can put their kneepads, helmets, ballet shoes — all the equipment they need for lessons, practices, and games. Also, tape a checklist for each sport above each bin; i.e., Baseball: cleats, mitt, bat, hat. That way, kids won’t forget what they need.

These are all great suggestions that you will wonder why you haven’t done before.  As the Sarasota County school year approaches one of the biggest challenges for settling into a new home you bought over the summer is to maintain a cool composure about a new school and new after school arrangements so that the kids will adjust easily.  Go here: Info for After School Care

or call Susan Phelps for more info: 941-726-2227.

Is Your Home an Investment?

Is my home an investment?

The finance gurus will say no, because an investment is something that will either generate income, or for which you will gain a large return. As long as you are living in your home it will not generate income, (unless it has a side rental) nor will it provide a return, (other than the non-tangible returns associated with owning a home.)House

There is however, a “perk” associated with owning a home, and that is equity. Equity can be defined as The value of a property minus the owner’s outstanding mortgage balance. This means if you purchase a home for $248,000, and find that it appraises for $320,000 in five years, it could be said that you have $72,000 in equity. However, just because the bank is willing to provide a loan to you based on equity, it’s important to remember that the “value” of your home and what your home might actually sell for may be two different things. You would also need to actually sell your home to realize any equity you have in the home. While your primary residence may not be considered an investment from an economic perspective, it may still be considered an investment of your time, energy, and your credit. Regardless of whether you plan on living in your home for 2 years or 30, make sure you have a solid maintenance plan in place to protect your home’s value.

Your home may not be an investment, but it can still save you money. When you leave your job for the day, do you take work home with you? if so, make sure you have a home office set up, so you can claim the home office deduction on your taxes. If you receive a 1098 from your bank, be sure you claim the mortgage interest paid as well. Also remember to deduct your property taxes, and homeowners insurance as well. 

For more info about the value of your house call me, Susan Phelps, at 941-726-2227.