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Old 08-12-2012, 08:43 AM
 
6 posts, read 9,539 times
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First I want to thank everyone who contributes to this site. I have found a lot of the information helpful. My family of 5 (38 &35, kids 6,4,3) currently reside in Dallas TX. My husband has been offered a job opportunity that would relocate us to the Sarasota area. The LWR neighborhood was recommended and we are actually visiting this next week. I'm a stay at home mom who is very plugged in with our schools and community and have never resided outside of Dallas. I am apprehensive (at best) to leave, but need a well rounded opinion. I think the realtor we have helping us next week can shed some light on my questions, but let's face it, she's in the business of selling houses Please help with some of my random questions, and feel free to add any info you feel helpful.

1) Are the public schools in that area responsive to parent volunteers (room moms, lunch duty, etc.)

2) My two little ones are in a program called "Mother's Day Out". These are half day programs from 1 to 4 days a week that almost every church sponsors. My kids go 9-2 and the staff at our school is about 95% certified teachers. The curriculum is phenomenal and they have taught my kids so much. I can't seem to find something comparable that offers as many days or from 9-2. Our tuition is high, but worth it.

3) It is pretty popular in our area to hold the "younger 5s" (those with a late summer birthday) back from kindergarten so they start school having just turned 6. We have decided to do this with our younger 2 and have adjusted their preschool classes accordingly. There are many programs in our area called Pre-K 5s that accommodate these kiddos, not sure if this is done in other areas.

4) Why no backyard??? We have a nice sized yard with a huge wooden playset and outdoor kitchen and basketball hoop. Every house I have seen has the lanai and that is it. Are there areas that have fenced in yards? What about LWR? I love leaving our backdoor open and the kids run in and out playing - it let's me get things done. And the outdoor kitchens in Fl I have seen seem like they are inside the house. However, I am going off pictures.

Again, many thanks. And I am sure I will think of some other randoms!
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:56 AM
 
279 posts, read 529,291 times
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1) i only know our school but yes, very responsive. So many opportunities to volunteer, go on field trips, help in the office, classrooms, etc.

2) can't help with this one, I moved here when my kids were a bit older

3) didn't live here for the pr-k years, sorry

4) of course there are! you just need to look around! i have a screened in pool & lanai also but also a big yard, basketball hoop etc. I have friends with the outdoor kitchens and wood playsets. Some neighborhoods restrict those things so learn the deed restrictions. I'm not a fan of LWR or Palmer Ranch so I'd say look elsewhere to find what you are looking for.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:11 AM
 
Location: SUNNY FLORIDA
219 posts, read 637,754 times
Reputation: 100
Default sarasota bound

price range would be good to post ,we live in an area called mill creek just a little east of lakewood ranch blvd it has open space, ponds,etc low hoa fees and none of the typical gestapo tactics all you need to do is keep your yard and surroundings neat and your lawn cut ,we have young and mid aged children, you can put up a fence as long as you don't block a pond view if you happen to have one, or else anything but a chain link.we find the neighborhood extremely safe, a yearly community picnic and now a halloween party,there are a lot of properties from the mid 250000.00 to the high 400000.s

Last edited by 41mag; 08-12-2012 at 09:12 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:42 AM
 
16,380 posts, read 20,373,757 times
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Not sure if you have fire ants in Dallas. If not, do some research on them so you can teach your children not to step in the mounds.

The mounds are usually small fresh dirt hills a few inches tall and wide. If you step on them, ants come spewing out bite you. You really dont want to walk in bare feet due to this. The bites can leave red itchy swollen bumps. You can treat the mounds with bait or insecticide, but new mounds appear so you have to always be watchful. The mounds appear mostly in sunny areas. It's pretty rare to have them in shaded/wooded areas.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:58 AM
 
279 posts, read 529,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sware2cod View Post
Not sure if you have fire ants in Dallas. If not, do some research on them so you can teach your children not to step in the mounds.

The mounds are usually small fresh dirt hills a few inches tall and wide. If you step on them, ants come spewing out bite you. You really dont want to walk in bare feet due to this. The bites can leave red itchy swollen bumps. You can treat the mounds with bait or insecticide, but new mounds appear so you have to always be watchful. The mounds appear mostly in sunny areas. It's pretty rare to have them in shaded/wooded areas.
we have them in our shaded, wooded yard! DD and I got swarmed and ran for the pool! i got off easy. DD got 3 bites on her ankle and they were awful. I think we are lucky though, some people are allergic. DS's friend was bit on the hand at school and it blew up. A friend (from this formus) was recently bit and had a terrible allergic reaction, passed out and ended up in the hospital. It's serious stuff!
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:44 AM
 
547 posts, read 827,903 times
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Yes to volunteering in schools, at least in Sarasota. You will have to register and they will do a backround. No biggie.
My Grandchildren went to a mommy and me preschool at Sarasota Baptist Church. It was a wonderful experience, terrific curriculum.
There are plenty of nice places other than LWR
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,641 posts, read 9,580,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Girl View Post
1) Are the public schools in that area responsive to parent volunteers (room moms, lunch duty, etc.)
Definitely...they will welcome you with open arms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Girl View Post
2) My two little ones are in a program called "Mother's Day Out". These are half day programs from 1 to 4 days a week that almost every church sponsors. My kids go 9-2 and the staff at our school is about 95% certified teachers. The curriculum is phenomenal and they have taught my kids so much. I can't seem to find something comparable that offers as many days or from 9-2. Our tuition is high, but worth it.
Woodland Community Church has something like this. They are located on SR70 just West of LWR. There also are private preschools in LWR and elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Girl View Post
3) It is pretty popular in our area to hold the "younger 5s" (those with a late summer birthday) back from kindergarten so they start school having just turned 6. We have decided to do this with our younger 2 and have adjusted their preschool classes accordingly. There are many programs in our area called Pre-K 5s that accommodate these kiddos, not sure if this is done in other areas.
We have VPKs that are for 4 yos and Kinders go 5 and 6 yo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Girl View Post
4) Why no backyard??? We have a nice sized yard with a huge wooden playset and outdoor kitchen and basketball hoop. Every house I have seen has the lanai and that is it. Are there areas that have fenced in yards? What about LWR? I love leaving our backdoor open and the kids run in and out playing - it let's me get things done. And the outdoor kitchens in Fl I have seen seem like they are inside the house. However, I am going off pictures.
Lots of homes have backyards that are large enough for playing but you have to shop around to find what you want. I don't know your price range but you will find slightly older homes in River Club and Braden Woods (very close to LWR) with much larger lots plus there are other areas that are a bit further with large lots, too. If you want a particular minimum-sized lot, let your agent know and she can modify the search so the system includes only those properties that match. Just be aware that you might miss a great property because it was missing that one aspect. It's all about priorities.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:19 AM
 
6 posts, read 9,539 times
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Thanks for all the info, and keep it coming! Not sure of our price range at this point. I think we can sell our Dallas home for 450 - 500K. It is about 4,400 sq ft., 5 bdroom, with study and media room and really nice finish out. I don't think we could get the same in LWR. However, we are in a master planned community and LOVE it! It is not as big as LWR, much more intimate from what I can tell. We have a village shops with a Tex Mex restaurant (is there Tex Mex in FL?),a donut shop, a dance studio, karate, water fountains, and an elementary school dedicated to the neighborhood. There are tons and tons of parks, a few pools, a splash park, community events like music, magic shows, farmer's markets, kids triathlon, our own firework display and on and on. I want this type of lifestyle and a comparable home, but it looks like the Sarasota master planned community homes run a lot higher.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Sarasota/ Bradenton - University Pkwy area
3,912 posts, read 5,862,867 times
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Why no backyard??? We have a nice sized yard with a huge wooden playset and outdoor kitchen and basketball hoop.

Most of the neighborhoods within Lakewood Ranch have very specific rules in the deed restrictions regarding what can and cannot be done to the exterior of the homes, the landscaping and yes, what type of play equipment and where it can be placed in your yard. So if you have specific play equipment or things you wish to change after you buy your home here, I would strongly recommend getting a copy of the deed restrictions before you write an offer and read them carefully to see if the rules fit your family's lifestyle.

If fencing is a must have for your back yard, then I would also check with the association to see if that particular yard can be fenced. Many of the deed restricted communities will have rules regarding fencing and not all yards can be fenced. In Lakewood Ranch, corner lots and those on water may not be fencable. There are also restrictions on the style of fencing allowed.

Lots on newer construction homes tend to be smaller, with many of those lots only 55 or 65 ft wide. So if having a larger yard is a priority for you, you may want to look at other nearby subdivisions outside of Lakewood Ranch.

For larger lots in deed restricted communities, you might look at neighborhoods such as Mill Creek, Braden Woods, River Club, Panther Ridge or Country Creek.



There are tons and tons of parks, a few pools, a splash park, community events like music, magic shows, farmer's markets, kids triathlon, our own firework display and on and on.

I don't think Lakewood Ranch would disappoint you on those requirements. The Main Street has events every month (Music on Main) that always offers activities for children as well as adults, plus LWR is known for their holiday celebrations and events calendars. Main Street hosts a farmers market each weekend through the winter months, the San Marco Plaza on LWR hosts a farmers market every Friday with local produce, music and proceeds benefiting the Humane Society of LWR.

The YMCA's LWR branch has recently expanded it's facilities and programs, plus they are offering revised fee schedules to better offer options to familiies and young members. Lakewood Ranch also offers about 100 miles of nature trails and sidewalks, a number of parks and playgrounds and access to outdoor acitivities. LWR also has their new premier sports complex and the Athletic Center with tennis courts, fitness center & 2 swimming pools (additional fees required).


A couple of other communities worth mentioning are Greyhawk Landings and Stoneybrook at Heritage Harbour, which have a lot of amenities geared towards families. Heritage Harbour hosts a number of social & holiday events throughout the year in their community. (One note here, Stoneybrook at Heritage Harbour is dealing with litigation right now by the owners of the country club against the CDD district over the fees. Both sides are hoping to have it resolved soon, but they have not yet reached a settlement.)
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:52 PM
 
279 posts, read 529,291 times
Reputation: 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Girl View Post
Tex Mex restaurant (is there Tex Mex in FL?),
is the place called Text Mex or do you mean Tex/Mex food in general? lol i haven't had decent Mexican food in Sarasota yet.
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