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Old 05-22-2011, 06:13 PM
 
152 posts, read 597,428 times
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Husband and I are looking to buy a home. We love Siesta Key and are renting there at the moment but the only problem for us is the housing inventory is so limited. We would prefer a newer home built up against storms etc but Siesta key seems to be mainly the ranch style homes which makes the insurance costs prohibitive. We drove to AMI today and it seemed to have much of what Siesta Key has but with a much larger choice of newer homes.
Is there a reason there is so much more for sale there? There seems to be more new construction going on whereas here in Siesta everything is pretty much built out.
What we love about Siesta is we can cycle everywhere and people and very friendly, we love to chat...We have 2 dogs so we love to walk also .
I would love some feedback on AMI as I know there are some experts on here.
Thanks
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,675,055 times
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Most of the keys in the area are pretty neat and everyone has a different feel.

Anna Maria is a very laid back sleepy beach town and is one of the few towns that still has the "Old Florida" feel to it. In fact, there are no high rise condos on AMI.

I used to live out that way when I was a kid and my father started the Islander Newspaper, which was the first newspaper for Anna Maria Island. As a kid I attended Anna Maria Elementary and so did my father. I have fond memories of the school and the island.

The original old city pier the Rod & Reel that's been there since 1910, is still there. There are a few little restaurants and small beachy stores but definitely not touristy. Here's the local chamber website: http://www.annamariaislandchamber.org/ and The Official Guide to Anna Maria Island: Anna Maria Island Visitor Information

Anna Maria has a free trolley that shuttles people up and down the island. It runs from Coquina Beach to the south end of Anna Maria. Anna Maria is actually known as the "wedding capital of Florida". It also has a great arts and theater community.

From May through October in Florida, sea turtles come ashore to nest. Anna Maria Island is one of the many places in Florida that sea turtles nest on the beaches. Protection of the sea turtles is an important aspect of the island culture, and information and training is available for tourists and locals in abundance. Manatees are also frequent summer visitors at Anna Maria Island, and similarly, the Manatee is held in great reverence by islanders. A subspecies of the Indian Manatee, these herbivores call Anna Maria Island their summer vacation home.

The entire island is a bird sanctuary, and pelicans, multiple types of cranes and herons, wild parrots, sand pipers, hawks, vultures, seagulls, and crows share the island with humans.

Anna Maria Island is actually comprised of three cities- Anna Maria in the north, Holmes Beach in the middle and Bradenton Beach in the south. Oh yes, and the beaches are beautiful.

On the question about new on Siesta vs. AMI, here's the answer. There are a total of 70 homes in the 34216 zip (Anna Maria), 7 were built in 2000 or newer. With Siesta (34242) there are 167 single family homes and 40 homes 2000 or newer. So there are actually more homes on Siesta that are newer. Maybe you're just not finding the style you like.

In my opinion, Siesta Key has the youngest vibe. Probably due to the handful of bars and several restaurants in the village that seem to draw the younger crowd. Most of the bands that play out at the Siesta bars seemed to be geared more for the younger crowd as well. One thing I hear over and over about people who live year round on Siesta is-traffic. People who live near the village have to plan their days in the winter according to the traffic. That's a reason I hear over and over from sellers. Many people prefer being south of the south bridge or on the far north end so the traffic situation isn't so bad. Just thought I'd point that out because many people don't consider that when buying.

Longboat always had more of an old money feel to me. There really is no downtown area on Longboat either, unless you consider Ave of the Flowers the downtown area. There's the "village" but that's nothing more than a restaurant or two. I loved living there as a kid and would go swim at the community dock. It was a pretty tight knit community. I would say the people in the village are the more "working class".

I lived on Lido back in the early 90's and it was great. You could walk to St Armand's, which was kind of neat. At the time, my boyfriend was a surfer and all the surfers would hang out over on the beach. There's not a lot going on on Lido. More of the action is on the circle. Lido is almost an extension of downtown, and it's near the vibrant and cosmopolitan St. Armand's Circle. Lido gets a good mix of all types of people, and for this reason I find it most interesting. There is also a nice little park at the south end, which attracts more families.

Manasota Key is pretty laid back as well. There's Lock -n- Key Restaurant and Pub and that's about the most happening place on the key.

Most of the keys get pretty crowded in the winter and clear out more in the summer. You really can't go wrong with any of the keys it just depends on the "vibe" you're looking for.

Last edited by SoFLGal; 05-22-2011 at 07:26 PM.. Reason: Added some info to the Siesta part...
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Punta Gorda and Maryland
6,103 posts, read 14,251,120 times
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I hope you have a boat load of $$. Because if you want to live in either of those places it can be expensive.

I love both those places. I recently spent a long weekend in AMI and loved it. A Siesta Key vacation is what drew us to the area as a place to live in the first place.
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,675,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big House View Post
I hope you have a boat load of $$. Because if you want to live in either of those places it can be expensive.

I love both those places. I recently spent a long weekend in AMI and loved it. A Siesta Key vacation is what drew us to the area as a place to live in the first place.
Haha---Very eloquently put
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ
453 posts, read 1,659,870 times
Reputation: 231
Buying a home on a barrier island such as AMI may get interesting in the next year or so. The National Flood Insurance Program's extension is due to expire later this year and is bleeding red ink to the tune of $18 billion and counting with the Mississippi River flood problems.

Congress is VERY likely to require that the program raise rates substantially along with a bunch of other restrictions and changes. As the present bill came out of the House Financial Services committee, rates would be allowed to rise as much as 20% a year until they reach actuarial levels. I'd budget a few thousand extra per year for Flood insurance than you might have anticipated, along with an emergency fund to cover what might be a very high deductible.

It's anyone's guess what these changes will do to barrier island property values. Perhaps our realtor friends can venture an opinion.

Rhys
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:21 PM
 
152 posts, read 597,428 times
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Thats why we wanted a home that is built up - flood insurance is much cheaper than on the ranch style homes. Only problem in Siesta Key unless you have several million most of the homes are older ranch homes. The few newer ones on the market are mainly in communties that do not appeal to us.
Anna Maria and Holmes Beach seems to have more homes built up.
We are going to view a few this week.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,648 posts, read 9,867,185 times
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Not to get too political but I think you are correct about the need to drastically raise the rates for flood insurance and, depending on how fiscally responsible the Congress finally becomes (I think they are just beginning to realize now the scope of what needs to be done and that's why a number of long time politicians are leaving), we could see the government getting out of the flood insurance business all together. Remember, historically speaking, insurance is a relatively recent concept and, although we tend to assume it will always be a part of our lives, companies ultimately will offer it only if they feel they will profit by doing so. Considering what has happened over the past 6 years, it seems to me they'd be unlikely to jump in any time soon. And, considering that the country is broke (despite the fact that some political figures still can't wrap their minds around it), a truly fiscally responsible government might say "hey, the money isn't there and we shouldn't be in the business so, y'all are on your own." Some will say that will never happen but, as we have seen in recent years, severe budget deficits and a severe drop in the value of property and money (read inflation) can make many things happen that no one ever thought would or could happen. It may be that only cash buyers will be able to buy in flood areas and they will have to self-insure.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:55 PM
 
Location: siesta key
1 posts, read 4,065 times
Reputation: 10
Default Siesta Key

Stay in rented until the right one comes along. We just bought a place on Siesta that needs complete renovation job, but it was worth the wait, as we love the location even though it is one of the ranch style homes. I think insurance is a small price to pay for piece of mind and too live in such a great location.
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