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Old 01-30-2013, 03:36 PM
8 posts, read 17,887 times
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Hi All,

We are moving to Sarasota in next 3-6 months and looking for kid friendly communities. Does not have to be filled with kids, but a decent amount and not on top of your neighbor. We like outdoor activites and bike and walk alot. Great schools is important and we would like an easy drive to shopping and beaches. We like the Southern part of Sarasota, Nokomis and Venice.

Looking for a 4br, 400-600K range. I saw a few for sale in the Venetian Golf and River Club, but was unsure if there was a decent amount of kids in that plan and with CDW in that plan, would it be a hard resale b/c of a few homes that had it?

Other ideas on plans, I have found LOTS of 3 br, but not too many 4 br.

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Old 01-30-2013, 05:10 PM
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,834,405 times
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Hi There!

There are several communities that would be a good fit. Generally the golfing communities cater to an older clientèle. Most of the Venice/Osprey/Nokomis schools are pretty good. I've attended many as have my kids. You also have Pine View in Osprey, which is a full time gifted school. I had one kid graduate from Pine View and another went there from 2nd-7th grades. I attended Venice Elementary and so did my oldest. They have a pretty decent gifted program there as well. I've also heard good things about Laurel Nokomis, so you have several options in that area when it comes to schools.

So, now on to neighborhoods. I would suggest looking in the following neighborhoods.

The neighborhood of Rivendell is one of the newest communities in the Osprey, Florida area. Offering moderate to high-end homes, this neighborhood is perfect for prospective buyers who are looking for a place to call home where they can enjoy the amenities of living near Sarasota while at the same time benefiting from a small town environment.
Rivendell is situated slightly north of Oscar Scherer State Park. If you love nature, you will appreciate the easy access this location provides you to the Park, with its 15 miles of biking and hiking trails and numerous outdoor activities, including kayaking, fishing and more.

Housing options in this neighborhood include the Cottages of Rivendell, where there are 84 maintenance-free cottages offered. If you are looking for the opportunity to truly enjoy life without worrying about the hassles of day to day living, this is the perfect choice for you. The Cottages are designed to provide the feel of living in a quaint New England neighborhood. The Woodlands at Rivendell is yet one more option. This choice affords buyers with architectural options that are more Florida traditional and overlooks the preserve, lakes and ponds.

In the immediate area around Rivendell residents will be able to benefit from a number of amenities and recreational opportunities, including the local beaches. There are also many boat ramps not far from this community, making it easy for residents to launch their boats out into the spectacular Gulf of Mexico.

Sarasota is only a short drive from Rivendell, offering plenty of dining and shopping opportunities. There are also many cultural pursuits available in the local Sarasota area, including museums, art galleries, live theater productions, the symphony, orchestra and much more.

Rivendell offers everything you need to live a life of leisure and comfort.

Sorrento Shores:
Sorrento Shores is one of the most unique waterfront communities in the Nokomis area. Buyers will find this neighborhood located on the canals that lead directly to the Bay. This location makes it absolutely ideal for fishing and boating enthusiasts. Sorrento Shores is homes to more than 200 properties. Most of the homes here were constructed on spacious lots, ensuring you have plenty of room to spread out and enjoy ample amounts of privacy and seclusion. Some of the homes have been recently remodeled, ensuring you are able to enjoy the latest amenities and features.

One of the most prized aspects about this neighborhood is the availability of phenomenal views that are offered of the Bay to residents. The sunsets here could very well be taken from a postcard. This is a dream come true for boaters and fishermen due to the fact that there are no fixed bridges in the Gulf to worry about navigating around. You can practically walk right out your back door, board your boat and then spend several hours out on the water, simply soaking up the tropical breezes.

While Sorrento Shores is certainly ideal for those who like to spend a lot of time on the water, buyers will also find that this neighborhood is also perfect for enjoying the amenities and attractions of the surrounding area. There are several championship golf courses in the local area and Venice and Sarasota are located within just a short drive of Sorrento Shores, making it easy to enjoy world class shopping, dining and entertainment.

For waterfront living that will have you feeling as though you have arrived in your own little paradise, there is no option better than Sorrento Shores. Come and view the properties here today and choose your dream home on the water.

South Creek:
Situated on the west side of the Tamiami Trail, south of Blackburn Point Road is the gated community of South Creek. Comprised of charming single family homes, South Creek offers prospective buyers the opportunity to live near the Bay and enjoy all of the amenities that entails. Some of the homes in South Creek are actually situated directly on the Bay and provide not only breathtaking views but also dockage as well. If you are a boating or fishing enthusiast, these homes would be absolutely ideal. Other homes in South Creek are situated on the creek for which the community is named or are located on the canal that is only a short distance off the Bay. There are no bridges here to mar the spectacular views or your ability to slip into your boat and make your way out across the water. Day dockage is also available in South Creek for homeowners with non-waterfront homes.

The easy access to the water provided in South Creek combined with the beautiful views might very well be enough to convince you that this is the ideal place to call home, but there are also many other amenities offered to homeowners in this community as well, including two tennis courts, volleyball, a basketball half-court and a playground area.

South Creek is situated in the up and coming area known as Osprey. The area is quite close to gorgeous Nokomis Beach and is only a short drive from Sarasota. One of the things that residents of Osprey enjoy most is the distinctive sense of tranquility this charming community provides, while at the same time remaining near all of the amenities and services of Sarasota. In the nearby area of Osprey, there are numerous attractions to enjoy, including Oscar Scherer State Park with its many biking and hiking trails, camp sites, picnic areas and of course, it’s wide array of native Florida wildlife.

Prospective buyers who are looking for the opportunity to live right on the Bay, far enough from the hustle and bustle of Sarasota to enjoy tranquility and yet near enough to take advantage of all the amenities will find South Creek in Osprey to be ideal.

Southbay Yacht & Racquet Club:
The established community of Southbay Yacht and Racquet Club is situated west of US 41 and is nestled right on little Sarasota Bay. Many of the lavish homes in this community offer sweeping views of the Bay. Prices for the upper end homes in this community begin around the $1.8 million mark and go upward from there. Many of the homes in South Bay are not actually situated on the Bay, but still provide homeowners with the use of the gorgeous marina facilities where it is possible to keep even a spacious yacht, provided that you live within the community of Southbay. Prices for homes not on the Bay tend to range between $450,000 and $900,000, depending on the home’s location within Southbay.

Southbay is truly ideal for any prospective buyer who is looking for a high-end community right on the Bay where they can enjoy exclusive marina privileges and get away from the hustle and bustle of Sarasota. Homeowners in Southbay are also entitled to the use of the gorgeous clubhouse, which is perfect for holding social events, as well as the heated community swimming pool. There are also several miles of walking trails for those homeowners who enjoy keeping up with a fitness routine or who simply want to soak up the pleasure of the surrounding natural beauty.

Situated in the up and coming community of Osprey, South Bay offers discerning buyers the chance to enjoy a life of tranquility as well as easy access to the Bay. One of the centerpieces of the Osprey area is easily Oscar Scherer State Park. The trails here are perfect for biking and hiking while taking a peak at the surrounding native Florida landscape and wildlife. The park is also home to its own beachfront lake, Osprey Lake. Offering canoe rental services, picnic sites and camp sites, this state park is a haven for nature lovers.

Southbay offers everything a homebuyer who wants to get away from it all and enjoy convenient access to nature and the Bay could possibly desire.

The lovely community of Willowbend is situated across US 41 from South Bay. A fairly new community to the Osprey area, Willowbend is comprised of homes that were built in the early 2000’s. The community was developed under the direction of Lee Wetherington Homes and is actually the first community to enforce the Florida Yards Program. Nestled within the up and coming area of Osprey, Willowbend offers a tranquil existence away from the business of the city, while still remaining close enough to easily take advantage of the amenities of Sarasota.

A maintenance-free community, Willowbend offers homeowners the inclusion of yard maintenance, lawn sprinklers, outdoor pest control, water, high speed Internet and cable television in the association fees. The fees also includes maintenance for the common areas in the community as well as use of Community Center facilities, the community swimming pool, fitness center, basketball court and Tot Lot. The association fee for small homes in Willowbend is $240 per month and is $260 per month for larger homes.

Prices for homes in Willowbend tend to range between $350,000 and $700,000. Many of the more spacious homes in this community offer spectacular views of Oscar Scherer State Park right from their back yards. This state park is well known in the area for offering some of the best opportunities for local wildlife viewing and is home to an amazing array of Old Florida flora and fauna. In addition, there are miles and miles of hiking and biking trails, a beachfront lake, canoe rental services, picnic sites and camp sites.

As an active community, Willowbend offers numerous planned social activities throughout the year. This community is perfect for homeowners who want to interact with their neighbors regularly and enjoy the use of a wide range of on-site amenities and activities. The community’s close proximity to Oscar Scherer State Park is an added bonus as well.

Pine Ranch:
Pine Ranch is another possibility if you like to have your space. It's located very close to Pine View School and southern Sarasota. Most of the properties are on at least an acre of land.

Myakka River Trails:
Myakka River Trails is one of the few residential developments situated along the gorgeous Myakka River. The river meanders through much of both Charlotte and Sarasota counties and is actually only one of two rivers located in the state to be designated as a Wild and Scenic River. In order to protect the river, development has been discouraged in the area. Buyers who are looking for the opportunity to live near this unspoiled natural region of the state will find Myakka River Trails to be ideal solution. Home sites in this community range from five to fifteen acres, providing owners with plenty of space to enjoy complete privacy and seclusion.

Gated and secluded, this community is situated on River Road, providing convenient access to both US 41 and I-75. While residents are in actuality only a short distance from the interstate, they feel as though they are miles away from civilization. If you have been seeking a new home that will provide you with the chance to just get away from it all; while at the same time remaining close proximity to all of the major services and amenities; this is it.

The only riverfront estate community within Sarasota County, Myakka River Trails also provides nature and private horse trails. Here, you can truly enjoy the best of convenient living combined with natural beauty. Many of the homes in the community even provide river access. Those properties without river frontage are frequently situated on natural preserves. Nature lovers will certainly appreciate close proximity to the many beautiful habitats and natural preserves.
Within the community, residents will be able to enjoy numerous amenities, including a clubhouse, community pool, playground and lighted tennis courts. This is truly of the last remaining neighborhood communities in the local area where it is possible to purchase both a large parcel of land and a luxury home.

Designed with a master touch, many of the homes here include high-end features such as designer kitchens, crown molding, tile roofs and much more. As a result, the custom homes found in Myakka River Trails truly stand out above all of the rest. The high-end amenities, nearby nature preserves, expansive lot sizes and river frontage make Myakka River Trails a hidden gem. Ideal for any lifestyle, this great community provides prospective buyers with custom built homes, all within minutes of the Gulf of Mexico.

Stoneybrook at Venice:
One of the most stunning new residential developments in Venice, Florida is Stoneybrook. Located on River Road, Stoneybrook is conveniently near I-75 and is ideally situated near local shopping, schools, libraries, parks, fine dining and the beautiful Florida beaches.

When complete, Stoneybrook will feature 900 meticulously designed homes. Among the many amenities Stoneybrook will offer include a spa, lagoon style pool and children’s splash fountain. There will also be an expansive health club with cardio and weight equipment that will be available to residents 24 hours per day. Other amenities and services will include a media room and movie theater.

Stoneybrook has been designed to truly act as a family style community, replete with activities for both children and adults. Residents can try out the hockey rink and in-line skating rink or challenge one another to a game on one of the four lighted tennis courts. There are is also a beautiful nature trail as well as a butterfly garden. If you happen to enjoy sports, you will love the basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, soccer field and baseball diamond.

A full-time activities director is on staff at Stoneybrook to enhance the many amenities and services. For special events, the community offers a function and catering hall. Whether you are socializing near the gazebo, strolling through the property or hosting a cookout in the public area, this family friendly community has something for everyone. Homes in Stoneybrook feature numerous luxury amenities that include security systems, professional landscaping, GE appliances and much more. Nestled amongst a setting with no less than 35 lakes, this is the natural, tranquil environment you have always desired. The nature conscious will adore Jelk’s preserve, which features the resident butterfly garden and private nature trail.

Prospective buyers are able to choose from numerous options, including spacious homes that are perfect for families and offer up to four bedrooms or smaller homes that are ideal for singles and retirees. Stoneybrook offers a wide array of available options as well as upgrades, providing the chance for buyers to personalize their home and make it distinctive. If you have always wanted to live in a family friendly community that offers plenty of extras and amenities as well as limitless potential, Stoneybrook is definitely the right choice. For the best of Florida style living with the best of amenities, there are no other options that compare to Stoneybrook.

Venice Farm Acres:
Prospective buyers who are looking for property in Venice, Florida with the ability to enjoy the ability to near the cosmopolitan amenities of the downtown area while maintaining a country feel will love Venice Farm Acres. One of the most appealing aspects of Venice Farm Acres for many buyers is the fact that this community offers lot sizes that are larger than many communities in the local area. As a result, residents here are able to enjoy a number of distinctive advantages. Not only will you feel as though you are living on your own private estate, but the larger lot sizes also affords residents with more seclusion than is typically available in many planned communities.

The larger lot sizes of Venice Farm Acres also provide residents with more options and flexibility. As a result, you can enjoy the amenities that are available within just a short distance of this lovely community, while at the same time benefitting from a warm and distinctive country atmosphere.

Those who purchase a home in the community of Venice Farm Acres will be able to enjoy an array of amenities within a short distance, including several well known beaches. More than 14 miles of spectacular beaches are scattered throughout the local area. Homeowners in the local area are also able to enjoy a variety of recreational activities, including excellent fishing and boating. Venice Farm Acres is truly your opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds; bucolic and tranquil living, situated not far from some of the best waterways in the state.

World class golfing abounds throughout the local area as well. Residents in the area can often be found practicing their swing or participating in a rousing game at one of the many upscale courses not far from the community of Venice Farm Acres. Swimming, tennis, boating and picnicking are just a few of the activities that are all available not far away.

The downtown district of Venice also offers a wide array of dining, shopping and theater experiences. Choose to spend the afternoon shopping along the palm tree lined streets or dine with family and friends at one of the trendy restaurants. There is never a lack of something to enjoy when you call Venice Farm Acres home. For discerning buyers, this community provides everything you could desire in an upscale and tranquil setting.

South Sarasota:
Deer Creek on Palmer Ranch:
Just a few of the amenities residents of Deer Creek in Sarasota, Florid are able to enjoy include a manned security gate, mature and lush trees and convenient access to local amenities. The homes in this well established neighborhood tend to be meticulously maintained, providing prospective buyers with the opportunity to buy into a neighborhood where pride of ownership is clearly evident. Deer Creek is one of the more coveted neighborhoods in Sarasota. Comprised of nearly 400 homes and more than 100 maintenance free villas, there is truly something for everyone here.

Do you enjoy golfing and tennis? If so, Deer Creek is perfect for you. Other amenities available in the area include movies, a local YMCA, fine restaurants and Siesta Key Beach. These are the types of amenities you can enjoy within just a few minutes of your home when you settle into Deer Creek. All of the local amenities are available within just a short drive.

Many of the homes in Deer Creek are backed by water or the forest preserve. There are actually seventeen lakes and ponds in the local area, providing a beautiful and natural sense of privacy that is also replete in local wildlife. Awaken every morning to a cacophony of warbles, chirps and birdsong. If you love nature, you will fall in love with Deer Creek. As a guarded and gated community, Deer Creek provides the peace of mind and seclusion you have been seeking, while at the same time offering the preserved sense of natural beauty that is sure to beckon to you from the moment you first enter the gates. Complimented by a dedicated staff as well as resident volunteers, Deer Creek is committed to ensuring this neighborhood is one of the best in the local Sarasota area.

One of the more upscale communities in the Palmer Ranch development in Sarasota is Stonebridge. This neighborhood features a range of single-family homes and impeccable landscaping. One of the benefits of living in this superb neighborhood is that it borders preserved lakes and land, giving owners a sense of being far removed from it all. Residents of Stonebridge are treated to a community swimming pool as well as numerous other amenities. In addition, Stonebridge offers a location that is second to none; only minutes from local shopping, schools and beaches. This cozy community is conveniently situated near everything you could desire. Stonebridge is also conveniently near the Palmer Ranch Parkway entrance to the popular Legacy Trail. The local YMCA, one of the largest in the area, is located only a short distance from Stonebridge and provides ample recreational facilities, a water park and fitness classes. Sarasota Square Mall is located in the nearby area as well, providing convenient access to a wonderful array of shopping and a brand new theater.

Stonebridge offers a selection of affordably priced three and bedroom homes. This area has been rated for some of the top schools in the area, including Ashton Elementary, Sarasota Middle School and Riverview High School. As a result, Stonebridge is extremely popular with families. The homes in Stonebridge feature a diverse array of color, style and design. As with all of the communities in Palmer Ranch, the landscaping surrounding the homes in Stonebridge is meticulously maintained. The fact that the homeowner’s association fees are quite low is yet one more reason why so many people love this community. Featuring sidewalks throughout the entire community, quiet streets and tranquil cul-de-sacs, Stonebridge is the ideal place to call home when you are looking for a friendly and quiet neighborhood.

The Hamptons:
The Hamptons is a lovely community situated within the gated borders of the highly desirable Palmer Ranch in Sarasota. Buyers who are in the market for elegant homes without the fees that are often associated with some of the newer subdivisions will find just what they are looking for here. There are actually three areas that make up the Hamptons. Northampton is home to traditional style single-family homes that typically range in size from around 2,500 square feet. Southampton provides maintenance-free single family homes and Westhampton is a gated community that offers estate sized homes of around 3,300 square feet of living space.

This community is an excellent choice for families as it is zone for Ashton Elementary School, Sarasota Middle School and Riverview High School. The bus will pick up students at the community swimming pool, which is centrally located to all of the homes in the Hamptons.
Amenities available here include a community swimming pool which all residents may use. Sidewalks are situated throughout the community, making it easy for kids to ride their bikes and parents to enjoy leisurely strolls. Overall, this is an excellent neighborhood for dog lovers, biking and walking. Preserves and lakes are scattered throughout the Hamptons. At the back of the community there are even several pairs of nesting bald eagles that fly over the homes from time to time. The sparkling lakes are stocked and provide hours and hours of fishing for adults and kids alike. If you are a nature lover, you will adore living in the Hamptons.

Buyers will find the Hamptons situated on the northeast corner of Palmer Ranch. It is only a mile to shopping as well as numerous restaurants and coffee shops. The Palmer Ranch Parkway entrance to Legacy Trail is situated only about 1 ½ miles away.

Turtle Rock:
The community of Turtle Rock is conveniently located within the South Sarasota district. Residents here are able to enjoy a number of amenities and conveniences, including complete maintenance free living. You can choose from a wide variety of different home styles and options, including single family residences, villas and even estate homes with ample amounts of space. The lots here are meticulously well-maintained. From the moment you enter Turtle Rock, you will find a peacefulness that immediately beckons you. This active community is ideal whether you are a family with young children or you are an active retiree that is seeking out the ideal neighborhood.

Among the many amenities you will be able to enjoy at Turtle Rock include a private country club. Here, you will be able to enjoy tennis courts, swimming pool, recreational facilities and much more. In addition, you will be conveniently near championship golf courses as well as excellent shopping opportunities and dining facilities.

The world class beaches of Sarasota are also only a short distance away from Turtle Rock as well. From the convenience of the beaches you can enjoy activities ranging from strolling in the surf to soaking up the sun.

If you prefer the idea of boating or fishing, there are also numerous waterways available in the local area surrounding Turtle Rock in Sarasota. Within minutes you can head out into the Gulf and enjoy the spectacular fishing that abounds in this particular region of Florida.

The maintenance free lifestyle offered at Turtle Rock allows you to enjoy the lifestyle that is so revered in the local Sarasota, Florida area without the need to worry about tending to any maintenance issues at home. Come and preview the many homes available at Turtle Creek now and choose your next home
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:56 PM
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Nice summary
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:26 PM
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Wow Thank you SoFlGal Now to cross my fingers on one coming up for sale soon!

The Venetian Golf and River Club, is that a plan worth looking into or not, seems to be quite a few in there that might fit my 4 br wish.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:03 PM
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,834,405 times
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That community wouldn't be at the top of my list for your needs. I would suggest making your first trip kind of a scouting expedition. Check out some of the communities after 3pm, when the kids get out of school and see what your thoughts are.

I have videos of many of the communities up on my website.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:59 AM
Location: Sarasota/ Bradenton - University Pkwy area
4,199 posts, read 6,417,082 times
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A number of real estate web sites will give you a brief description of the various communities and list the features, amenities and good points of those communities.

However, for those communities that you have interest in, I suggest digging deeper to see what other information you can find out that may be relevant in making your home buying decision.

For example, homes in both Stoneybrook at Venice and Venetian Golf & River Club were found to have Chinese drywall. If you Google Chinese drywall you can find a wealth of information on the subject and what has (or hasn't in some cases) been done to deal with it.

The older neighborhoods in Palmer Ranch, such as Deer Creek (especially Deer Creek) and The Hamptons, are known for having problems with pin hole leaks in the plumbing. You'll notice that some MLS listings will state the homes have been replumbed. The Sarasota Herald has run several stories over the years on this ongoing problem.

Flood zones. Neighborhoods such as Sorrento Shores have lovely waterfront homes. The trade off there is that it is a low lying area and a number of the homes are in flood zones. So you may want to contact an insurance agent for quotes before making a decision. Also keep in mind that the national Flood Insurance program does limit the amount of coverage.
Q&As About Flood Insurance

These are all nice communities and I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from buying a home in one of them. All I am saying is gather as much information as you can about the communities you like, both the positive AND the negative, so that when you do make a decision about where you want to live, you do it from a position of knowledge.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:22 PM
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Thanks you for the info SunshineRules. Good points to consider especially for resale value in case there would be a reason we would need to move again. A lot of companies are trimming their moving packages and I would not want to have a difficult time selling a house b/c of the stigma the neighborhood may have for defective drywall or plumbing. It has to make it more difficult to sell.
My prior home was a popular national cookie cutter type builder, where you got a lot of space for your buck, but it also reflected this down the years and I would not buy from this builder again.
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