Date Archives: May 2021

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May
25

Dog-Friendly Restaurants in the Sarasota and Manatee Area

Dog Friendly Restaurants

Sarasota and Manatee Counties feature many fun places to dine, many of which offer fresh local seafood and fabulous water views. Some will also let you bring your dog with you as you enjoy their restaurant.

Our real estate agents suggest taking your pooch to the following dog-friendly restaurants in the Sarasota and Manatee area:

  1. Sun Garden Cafe - 210 Avenida Madera, Siesta Key, FL 34242
    Sun Garden Cafe, which serves lunch and dinner, offers locally caught fish, locally grown produce, farm-fresh eggs, and artisan foods from around the world. Feel free to wear your flip-flops and dine inside or outside. Well-behaved dogs are always welcome, so if you buy one of our Siesta Keys homes for sale, you can bring your pooch with you.

  2. Owens Fish Camp - 516 Burns Ct #7030, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Located near Sarasota homes for sale, Owens Fish Camp brings in local fish from the Bay every day. The atmosphere is casual old Florida, where you can try a craft beer with your seafood and eat at one of the front porch tables with your dog. A huge Banyan tree out front and a tire swing out back add to the laid-back, comfortable vibe.

  3. Turtle Beach Grill - 8865 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota, FL 34242
    Located across from Turtle Beach near Sarasota homes for sale, the Turtle Beach Grill has dog-friendly dining on their outside patio deck. You'll be able to enjoy live entertainment on the deck Thursdays-Sundays from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Visit the Turtle Beach Grill for lunch, dinner, or drinks, and you can even arrive by boat and dock at Bayfront Yachtworks.

  4. Gulf Drive Cafe - 900 Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
    The Gulf Drive Cafe has been a popular fixture in Bradenton Beach since 1981, and it's easy to see why. The dog-friendly restaurant offers amazing views since it sits on 2 acres of waterfront on the Gulf of Mexico near Bradenton Beach homes for sale. Fresh seafood is a mainstay of the lunch and dinner menus, and while you're enjoying your meal, you can also have a cold cocktail and listen to live entertainment. And if you time it right, you can catch a multi-colored sunset from your restaurant view.

  5. The Waterfront Restaurant & Craft Bar - 111 South Bay Blvd., Anna Maria, FL 34216
    Whether you have a picky or an adventurous palate, you'll find something to love at The Waterfront Restaurant & Craft Bar, located near Anna Maria homes for sale. Utilizing fresh, natural flavors, the restaurant serves recognizable favorites as well as rare seasonal items. Try a selection from the micro-brew and wine bar and sit at the open-air patio that has views of Tampa Bay.

Even pets love calling the Sunshine State home! Contact us today to learn more about what homeowners enjoy about living in the Sarasota and Manatee area. 

May
17

How to Pick the Perfect Houseplants

Houseplant Tips

One of the best parts of buying a new house is giving it those personal touches that help turn it into a home. Our estate agents can help you find Bradenton homes for sale, but only you can make that home your own. One simple and rewarding touch you can add to any home is houseplants. What kind should you have, though? Here are a few things to consider when selecting houseplants.

  1. Benefits
    Think about what benefits you want. For instance, if you want to reduce stress, go with a lavender plant. Its scent has a calming effect and can improve sleep. Maybe you're looking to make your air more breathable. In that case, peace lilies and English ivy absorb toxins to improve indoor air quality. Or you might want to add a splash of color to your decor. If so, coleus comes in various bright shades, including purple, orange, and red. Gardon croton has leaves of red, yellow, green, and copper. And bromeliads bloom in red, orange, yellow, and pink. There are many other houseplants with myriad other benefits. Do some research and find out which ones best suit your needs.

  2. Environment
    Consider where your houseplants will be kept and what their needs are. How much sunlight does it need? What temperature range does it thrive in? Does it need a dry environment or a humid one? If you're looking for a plant for your bathroom, for instance, you should try the humidity-loving monstera plant. If you have a room without windows, try a snake plant. If you've got a big window with lots of sunlight, consider a jade plant or a lemon tree.

  3. Care
    Perhaps the most important consideration is how much care your plant will need and how much care you'll be able to give it. How often does the plant need to be watered? Does it need any other care, such as pruning? If you travel a lot, then look for a plant that doesn't require as much care - or be prepared to get a plant-sitter. Air plants, for instance, don't even need soil. Keep them in indirect sunlight and water them every two weeks, and they'll thrive. What if you're afraid you'll forget to water your plant on a regular schedule? Or that you'll accidentally overcompensate, watering it too often? Set a reminder on your phone to alert you when your plant needs water or other care. It can be set to go off automatically once a week, every two weeks, or however, often your plant needs attention.

  4. Containers
    Once you've chosen your houseplant, it needs to go in the right container. Porous clay pots are good for your plants and the environment. They retain moisture while letting soil toxins escape. You might also consider a glass terrarium designed to keep in moisture and heat. Whatever container you use, make sure it's got holes on the bottom for water drainage. If you're buying a baby plant, know how much it will grow over time, and get a container that will accommodate it - or be prepared to transplant it later. A larger pot can also allow you to put multiple plants in the same space. 

If you've got houseplants inside, you're likely going to want a few outdoors as well. Fortunately, there are plenty of Sarasota homes for sale with big front and backyards, perfect for gardening. Contact us to help you find the space that's right for you!

May
10

What to Consider When Choosing a Gated Community

Gated Community

Everyone wants safety and security for their homes, but before you assume a particular gated community is right for you, it's important that you understand all the rules and restrictions that accompany that security. Our real estate agents can help you make the right decision based on your lifestyle. There are several basic types of gated communities. Each has its own pros and cons.

  • Equity Country Clubs
    These are communities associated with a private country club. In addition to monthly homeowner's association fees, which take care of regular maintenance tasks, homeowners are assessed with a portion of the costs to renovate or add amenities, such as the golf course or tennis courts. These are known as equity fees. Avid golfers may find these added costs worth the benefits.
  • Non-Equity Country Clubs
    These country clubs do not require membership of all residents, who will therefore not have to pay equity fees. That probably also means you are unable to use the golf course or other facilities. Each community has its own rules, so you need to check what amenities are included for your use. 
  • Guard-Gated Properties
    A guard at the gate checks the ID of all visitors. After verifying that the visitor is authorized by a resident, the guard will direct the visitor to the appropriate destination. The guard will usually follow a strict protocol to ensure the safety of the entire community. These properties typically include amenities such as fitness centers, clubhouses, and tennis courts. Their maintenance is included in the monthly homeowner fees. 
  • Guard-Gated 55+ Communities
    Monitored by a guard at the gate, this community is focused on the interests of residents over the age of 55. You will often find social gatherings, crafts, and outings in addition to a clubhouse. To qualify, a household generally only needs one person of the appropriate age, but there may be limits on the number of people under that minimum age in the entire community. Normally, school buses are not allowed on the grounds, and you will rarely find playgrounds. Grandparents who find themselves bringing up their grandchildren may find this a hardship. 
  • Non-Guard Gated Communities
    The gate to these properties is accessed via passcode or telephone. Visitors may need to insert an ID while speaking to someone via camera. With a phone entry system, visitors input numbers on a keypad which causes the resident's phone to ring. The homeowner will then buzz them in. Homeowner fees are typically less expensive than in guard-gated communities.

In addition to the perks and restrictions specific to each of these, there are some policies that apply to all. Some benefits include lower crime rates, less traffic, no solicitors, and higher property values. Most exterior maintenance will be covered by the HOA fees. Some properties even include cable and house painting. Less work on the part of the homeowner means more spare time to enjoy the amenities offered. The downsides can be restrictions on the type of pets allowed, excessive HOA fees, restricted visitor access, and strict rules governing home exteriors. Deliveries may be problematic. Many communities require the owner to reside in the home for a defined time frame before renting to avoid turnover.

Once you understand the parameters of living in the various gated community types, it's easier to know what to look for in a new home. Contact us when you're ready to look at Bradenton homes for sale or Sarasota homes for sale in gated communities. 

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