Over the last couple of years, we've seen record low inventory, significant demand, and low-interest rates, which have created an unprecedented seller's market. While rising rates are expected to cool things off a bit, sellers are still very much in the driver's seat.
However, our real estate agents say buying a home in this market isn't impossible. Buyers just have to adjust their approach. It's also never been more important to have an experienced real estate agent in your corner. An agent is critical for navigating the complexities of today's market and avoiding costly pitfalls. Here's why:
Buying a home is challenging in today's market, but a good agent can help you find success. Contact us today to start exploring local listings.
When you're buying a home, you often have a full to-do list. You have to arrange financing for your new home and get your old property prepared to sell or move out of. It's likely that you have multiple things demanding your attention; this, unfortunately, can make you susceptible to phishing scams.
A phishing scam is a scam that uses a text message, phone call, or email to trick people into revealing their sensitive information. The scammer makes the scam message appear as if it's from a company that you know, like your bank, credit card company, a retailer, or even a government entity.
Once you click the link or contact the scammer with your info, they're able to use it to access your financial accounts or potentially open financial products in your name. The scammers can then run up debt in your name or steal your money.
Phishing scams can even be real estate related to trick would-be homeowners into revealing their info in hopes of navigating the home buying process. Our real estate agents recommend following these tips to protect yourself from phishing scams.
Following these tips can help you avoid a phishing scam. One of the best ways to protect yourself from real estate phishing scams is to have an experienced agent in your corner, helping you out through the process. Contact us today!
With its amazing weather and beautiful beaches, it's not hard to see why purchasing a vacation home in Florida is the ultimate dream for thousands of people all over the world. Not only is a Florida vacation home a great escape, but it's also a fantastic investment. Florida is a hot real estate market, and it's easy to generate rental income from a second home when you're not using it
If buying a Florida vacation home is one of your New Year's resolutions this year, here are some tips from our real estate agents on how to find the right dream home for you:
A Florida vacation home doesn't have to be a dream. If you're planning to make a purchase in 2022, now is a great time to start your research. For more info on the Florida real estate market, contact us today.
Saving up for a down payment can be one of the most challenging parts of buying a home, especially for first-time buyers. Here are seven tips our real estate agents recommend to help you save for a down payment on your dream home!
Saving for a down payment may seem daunting, but having a solid plan in place can put your dream house within easier reach than you might think. Ready to start your search? Contact us today.
It's a hot market, and you're looking to buy or sell a home among Sarasota homes for sale or Bradenton homes for sale. While an agent can help you in any type of real estate market, their help is especially critical during a hot market. Here's why.
Why Hire an Agent?
Yes, your home might just fly off the market with a Craigslist ad or the like, but what if it doesn't? With an agent, your home will get considerably more exposure in MLS (multiple listing service) databases created and maintained by real estate professionals to help homeowners like you sell their property. It just makes sense that the more potential buyers see your property, the greater the chance that the selling price could go much higher than your expectations. You could have buyers competing with one another, and that could only benefit you.
Your agent will be there throughout the whole process and able to offer advice for any aspect of the sale, from determining a price to staging your home to determining the scope of repairs you want to do before you put the home on the market.
But an even better reason to hire a real estate agent is that many potential buyers are not comfortable talking to the owner of a property and prefer to deal with an agent. Not only can you -- and should you -- make yourself scarce while the agent shows your home, but you'll boost the comfort level of potential buyers, who may feel they are visiting you, as the owner of the home, rather than seriously looking at a home they want to live in.
What to Look for in an Agent
As you begin to look for a real estate agent, you will likely focus on an individual's experience in selling houses like yours in your neighborhood. Ask neighbors for recommendations. Get at least three referrals. And remember, while experience is important, so is personality. Can you relate to this person? Does he or she seem real to you? Look for an agent you can build a rapport with, in addition to their sales and successes.
Pay attention to the agent's marketing tools, including website, business card, brochures, signage, social media efforts, and more. Does the agent's personal appearance give you confidence in them, or is something lacking?
When you discuss the sale of your home with a real estate agent, you want someone who can guide you through what can be a precarious journey. Can your agent answer questions reliably and with real data about investment analysis, neighborhood-level market performance, and possibly even the impact of your decision to sell? You don't want an agent who honey coats their answers; you need real information about possible pitfalls, so listen carefully to how your agent replies to your questions and make sure the agent is really hearing you.
Moving can be stressful, but does it have to be? It's never too early to think about how you'll make moving easier, even as you're just starting to look at Sarasota homes for sale. By following these guidelines from our real estate agents, you can stay organized and hopefully avoid any big surprises on your moving day.
Moving is a big event, but it's also an exciting one! By being fully prepared for your move, you can turn your attention to the thrill of moving into your dream home. Contact us today to start the process of finding the perfect home for your family.
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.
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.
If you want the option to select the finishes in your home or if you prefer a brand-new space, our real estate agents know a new construction home is an excellent option. When purchasing a new construction home, you may be tempted to forgo using a REALTOR®. Here are a few reasons to use a REALTOR® when purchasing a new construction home.
Ready to start exploring new construction? Contact us to get started!
Would you like to wake up every day and feel like you're on vacation? Then a move to Sarasota may be just what you need. Our real estate agents love welcoming new residents to Sarasota. Even those who have lived in Florida their entire lives are wowed at the beautiful beaches, spectacular shopping, and laid-back lifestyle of this Gulf Coast city. There are dozens of reasons you should move to Sarasota in 2021; here are five of our favorites.
Would you like to call this Southwest Florida gem home? As one of the top-rated places to retire in the United States, now is the perfect time to put down roots in the Sunshine State for the long-term. Contact us today to see our latest listings for Sarasota homes for sale.
Ready to buy your first home? 2020 has been a year unlike any other, and there are unique opportunities available to anyone who is dreaming of becoming a homeowner for the first time. Interest rates are lower than ever, sellers are very motivated to find qualified buyers, and you can take detailed tours of available homes without leaving your current residence. Our real estate agents have all the details on why this is the perfect time to shop for your first home, and how you can prepare for this opportunity.
Tips to Help Land Your Perfect First Home in This Unique Market
Ready to purchase your first home, but still searching for the real estate agent who will help you cross the finish line? Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Manatee and Sarasota, FL area.
If you're looking to buy a home and have found one that you love, that's great news, but we are in a competitive market, so you'll need to make your offer stand out from any others that come in.
Our real estate agents love helping people find a new place to call home in the Sunshine State. With the real estate market being as hot as the Florida summer weather, we suggest the following five ways to make sure your offer stands out.
Contact us at Wagner Realty today to see Bradenton homes for sale and Sarasota homes for sale and let us help you with your search. We'll help you make an offer that stands out in a competitive market and gives you the best possible chance of buying the home you want.
Everyone's "dream home" looks a little different, but what happens when you try to merge two different pictures? House hunting as a married couple is easier than going solo because you have emotional and financial support throughout the process. If you and your spouse have different ideas about your future digs, it's important to find out now and figure it out. Keep in mind, compromise isn't always easy when you're making the most significant purchase of your life.
At Wagner Realty, our real estate agents are committed to simplifying your search for a home. We know how important it is to find a house that works for both you and your spouse. As you prepare to embark on a house-hunting journey, here are some home-buying tips to help you avoid common conflicts:
Ready to start looking for a house with your spouse? Contact Wagner Realty to find an agent who can help you find a home that makes both of you happy.
Buying a new house can be a long, costly process, and preparing as much as possible will make it easier. You can avoid unexpected expenses and find a place to live that's affordable and comfortable for your family. Here are some tips from our real estate agents to help you budget your way into your first home.
You should make your down payment as large as possible to save on mortgage interest. If you put at least 20 percent down, you can avoid paying for mortgage insurance. This type of insurance protects the lender and guarantees payment for people who choose lower down payments. According to Investopedia, it usually costs about 1 percent of the mortgage balance per year. That would be $1,500 for a $150,000 loan, more than $100 per month. Recent tax cuts eliminated a deduction for mortgage insurance and increased costs further.
Even if saving 20 percent isn't possible for your family, you can reduce costs by making your down payment as large as possible. Also, a larger down payment will give your home immediate equity and help you increase your credit score. That way, you can easily qualify for an additional loan for a new car or fresh decor for your home.
Closing costs usually include fees for:
Our agents can help you negotiate with the seller to reduce these costs as much as possible. We can also assist you with persuading sellers to replace old appliances and take care of repairs before you move in. That way, you can save time and money.
The cost of the mortgage isn't the only thing you need to consider. Other recurring expenses include homeowners insurance, maintenance, and landscaping. The rent for many apartments includes water, sewer, and trash pickup. In most cases, you'll need to pay these fees if you own your own home. Some homeowners' associations (HOAs) include some of these services in their fees, but you may end up paying more than you would in a house without an HOA. You'll also need to pay for property taxes and larger utility bills.
Budgeting for your first home can help you and your family make buying a house and moving less stressful. It can also prevent unexpected expenses. Contact us at Wagner Realty for help with creating a budget for your first home. We can also assist you in finding a place in your price range that meets your needs and help navigate the closing process.
Did you know that February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day? Our real estate agents know just how much people love their pets, and offer six simple ways to make your move low-stress for your furry friends (and you!). After all, pets are family so it's important to make sure to help them adjust and stay safe during a move.
If you're ready to move with your furry friends, we can help you find the home of your dreams. Contact Wagner Realty today to get started.
Transferring the ownership of a home at closing can be confusing. Even though real estate closings take place daily, the paperwork and costs that ensure that your property transfers legally can often be met with surprises if you're not prepared.
Our real estate agents are here with an explanation of what costs to expect at closing so you are not caught by surprise.
In any real estate transaction, buyers and sellers should understand each closing cost component before coming to the signing. Some items can be negotiated before the closing to determine who pays.
Typical costs that may appear on your real estate closing statement are:
When you're ready to begin touring Sarasota homes for sale, there is nothing like the help of a local real estate professional by your side. Our real estate agents know the current market in Southwest Florida and are ready to help.
Contact us at Wagner Realty to get started.
Decking the halls in your new home for the first time is a cause for celebration. If you've got a first-time home buyer on your holiday gift-giving list, you'll want to spend some extra time choosing the perfect item. Whether you decide to take the sentimental route or opt for something more practical, you'll want to give a memorable gift that they will love for years to come.
Our real estate agents spend plenty of time with first-time home buyers, so we have some insight into the things they need. Here are eight of the best ways for you to help your loved ones turn their new house into a home.
If a new home is on your holiday wish list, you're in luck. Now is the perfect time to start checking out some of the beautiful Sarasota homes for sale. Don't let the hustle and bustle of the holidays get in the way of making your dream a reality. Contact Wagner Realty today to learn how we can help.
If you walk into a supermarket and try to negotiate a lower price for a gallon of milk, you're bound to walk away disappointed. Luckily, when it comes to buying a house, the fine art of haggling is still alive and well. Our real estate agents are here to help you get the best price you can on your dream home, and these are the tips you need to know about negotiating a better deal.
Contact Wagner Realty today to learn more about how our team of experienced real estate agents can help you get a better deal on Bradenton homes for sale. We're no strangers to the negotiation process. We work with you to help you get a house you love at a price you can afford.
Buying a home is often a time filled with both excitement and anxiety, and if you are a family with children, those feelings can be even more intense. With kids, your house hunting strategy will be different than that of a single person or a retired couple. Our REALTORS® in Sarasota understand the ins and outs of the housing market, and we've put together a checklist of things to consider as you prepare to find your family's dream home.
Wagner Realty wants nothing more than to see your family's dream of owning your own home come true. We provide personal, results-oriented service to you from our first meeting to closing day for your perfect home. For more information about Sarasota homes for sale, contact Wagner Realty today.
Buying a home is a huge deal especially for first-time home buyers. Apart from being the single biggest purchase you will ever make, the process itself can be complicated. When you work with one of our real estate agents from Wagner Realty, we will always be on hand to help guide you through the entire process. Below are the key lessons to learn today to help make your home-purchase journey a little less stressful.
Put Aside Your Down Payment Money
It's common for lenders to require you to put down 20 percent as down payment for your new home. Although many lenders allow as little as 3 percent for first-time home buyers, committing anything less than 20 percent will mean higher loan costs and additional private mortgage insurance fees. Save enough money for your home's down payment using several savings schemes such as setting aside work bonuses and tax refunds or having an automatics savings plan.
Explore All Your Down Payment Options
As a first-time home buyer, you have several down payment options available to you if you cannot raise the deposit money. These are:
Check Your Credit
Your credit is a key factor in determining whether or not your home loan is approved. Moreover, it will determine your loan terms and interest rate. Therefore, work to improve your credit score in advance and offset outstanding debts early.
Pick the Right Home
Always consider everything you are looking for in your dream home when shopping around for one. Here:
Budget for Closing Costs
After making an offer and starting the process of closing the deal, you need to account for closing costs that can run from two to five percent of your loan amount. Here, our real estate agents can help you shop around for affordable options to minimize some of your closing expenses such as title searches, home inspections, and homeowners insurance.
Take Your Time
Perhaps one of the hardest lessons on this list, but taking enough time to look for your dream home and shop around for all the services you will require throughout the buying process is essential. Try to minimize your frustrations and manage your emotions because making rush decisions can easily lead to buyer's remorse.
Be Prepared to Compromise
Making a strong offer is not a guarantee that you will close the deal. As issues arise from the home inspection and appraisal processes, be prepared to make compromises with the seller on certain things. However, too many compromises may result in high renovation costs.
Find a Great REALTOR®
When looking for homes for sale in Manatee and Sarasota Counties, it is important to hire the services of a professional buyer's agent to help you through the buying process from your home search through moving day.
Contact Wagner Realty today to get started buying your Flordia dream home.
One of the first steps our real estate agents recommend when you decide to start shopping for a home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage. While many people use these terms interchangeably, they are different and depending on your situation you might choose one over the other. Here's what you need to know.
What They Have in Common
Both pre-qualification and pre-approval refer to a statement in writing from a lender that they are willing to finance your home purchase. Either or both will happen before you start looking at homes. However, neither is a complete guarantee that you'll be approved and a lender can still turn you down for a mortgage up until you've actually received final approval.
Most people wait until they are actually ready to buy, but getting pre-qualified can happen early on in the home-buying process. It's a good idea to start here if you're not sure how your financial situation will impact the home buying process or if you think you may need to make improvements to your credit. Pre-qualification is a basic review based on your monthly income and debt. A pre-qualification means that based the lender's initial evaluation, you'll probably be eligible for a mortgage of a certain amount. This evaluation is based on the information you provide to the lender about your monthly finances. It doesn't consider your credit report or history, verify stable employment and other information, or scrutinize your financial situation. Often, you don't even have to meet with a lender in person. Pre-qualification can be helpful if you aren't sure how much or what kinds of mortgages might be available to you.
You can start with a pre-approval or get pre-qualified first, then move on to a pre-approval once you're completely ready to buy. Pre-approval requires you to actually start the mortgage application process. You may be charged a fee to cover pulling your credit report and the letter from your lender will state that you are pre-approved for a specific amount. Your lender's underwriting department will verify all your financial information such as your assets and salary, verify your employment and personal information, look at your bank statements and pay stubs, obtain your credit report and do a detailed review of your finances.
A pre-approval means you've gotten the financial details out of the way, all that is left is to find a suitable property. In a hot market, a pre-approval can give you an advantage, since it is the next best thing to paying cash. Since you've already started the application process, it shows you're a serious buyer and sellers know the chances of your financing falling through after this point are slim. Unless your financial situation changes significantly for the worse, or the appraisal comes in low, you're good!
A pre-qualification or pre-approval is an essential first step and both will give sellers the confidence that your offer is the one they'll want. Contact Wagner Realty and get started on your home buying journey today!
If buying your first home has been on your mind lately, maybe it's time to escape the rental trap that so many people have fallen into and begin the search for an investment in your future. There are many advantages to being a homeowner, and it might be easier to purchase your perfect home than you think!
Buying your own home is effectively ensuring that you have invested in your own future. Falling into the cycle of putting your hard earned money towards rent may keep a roof over your head, but the only one making a profit is your landlord or rental agency. A well-maintained home will retain and usually build value as time passes, so you are virtually saving for years to come when you make a mortgage payment. A home purchase is a solid way to enhance your long-term net worth and even build your credit. You can't recoup the money you've been spending for rent payments, but you can take the first step today in making a solid investment in your new home.
Many people don't realize that buying a home vs. renting might actually save them money. Rent prices have been on the rise and in many cases, may actually exceed what you would be paying for a monthly mortgage installment. You're likely footing the bill for the rental property insurance and maintenance in your rent payment. If you own your own home, you have the advantage of being able to shop around for the best prices and services for these extras.
As a prospective buyer, you are able to research and ultimately decide on your surroundings. You might be tired of less than thoughtful neighbors surrounding you on all sides, and a nice quiet neighborhood could be just what you're seeking. Want to make improvements or updates to your living space? Often, that's not possible when you're renting. Even getting basic repairs performed sometimes proves to be a hassle if your landlord isn't ideal. Owning your own house gives you the freedom to make your home uniquely yours without the hassle of having to ask permission or haggle over upkeep with a landlord.
If you're ready to break free from the rental trap, contact Wagner Realty and let's discuss your goals as a future homeowner. Our real estate agents are known for their personal and dedicated service to their clients and are waiting to hear from you!
So you've fallen in love with the perfect house. Your dream home is waiting, and now the ball is in your court. Knowing how to make the right impression with the seller is an important element in negotiating an agreeable selling price and ensuring that your prospective new home doesn't slip away and into someone else's hands. Our real estate agents have the experience and know how to help you make an offer that's hard to refuse, and we've put together a few suggestions that could give you the advantage in sealing the deal.
Many home sellers have an emotional attachment to their home and may be a bit reluctant of letting it go to a virtual stranger. If you are ready to make an offer, consider taking the time to write a cover letter to send with it. Of course you'll want to introduce yourself and perhaps give the seller a little bit of personal background, but more importantly, you'll want to let them know why their home is so appealing to you. Giving the seller insight as to why you love their home may just give you the upper hand, especially if there are multiple offers on the table.
An offer is one thing, but documentation that backs up your offer in black and white is almost certain to get the seller's attention. Proof of financing terms from your bank as well as an underwriting approval indicates that you are ready and have the financial resources available to purchase the home.
Asking for seller concessions such as closing costs may put your offer in line behind other buyers who aren't requesting such credits. Furnishings and fixtures are not always included with the home, and no matter how much you fancy them, it might be wiser to wait and purchase comparable items on your own instead of giving the seller a reason to hesitate in considering your offer.
If you are in a position to do so financially, you might give some thought to making an offer over the seller's list price. There's no doubt that an offer that exceeds the seller's expectations will be taken seriously.
Want to let the seller know that you mean business? Here are a few other ideas that might sway the seller to accept your offer:
You know what you're looking for, and now you know some of the best secrets to making a successful offer. Your dream home is out there, and we want to help you find it Contact Wagner Realty today, and let our team of experts show you a world of possibilities!
Preparing to purchase your first home starts long before you choose a REALTOR® or fill out a loan application form. You've probably started the process without even knowing it by graduating from school, accepting your first job, and financing a car.
There's something you should know before we get started: lenders typically base their loan approval on two things:
Before you begin the loan application process, it's important to get your finances in order to buy your first home.
Saving for a down payment is hard, but it is worth the effort. A more substantial down payment will give you better interest rates and more options. The amount of your down payment increases or decreases the risk the lender takes when providing the financing for your house. The larger the down payment, the less chance of losing part of their investment.A good rule of thumb is to save at least 20 percent of the purchase price of a home. By doing this, you'll receive better mortgage and interest rate options--and avoid the extra cost of private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Following a monthly budget will allow you to save enough money for your down payment. Designate a savings account fund earmarked for your down payment. Once you buy your home that same money-saving discipline will help you save enough money to make your monthly mortgage payments.
Lenders use your credit score to determine how likely you are to pay your bills in a timely manner. Typically, the higher your credit score, the better interest rate you may be able to obtain. A person's credit score is based on information about your credit history taking into consideration factors like the amount and type of debt and late payments.
You can order your credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They will all be slightly different, so look at each report. You can order free copies once a year from www.annualcreditreport.com. Look for any inaccuracies and report them to the credit reporting agency. Fixing mistakes takes time, so start this process as early as you can.
Getting your finances in order prepares you to impress mortgage loan reviewers and qualify for the financing you need to buy your first home. Contact Wagner Realty to get your home search started.
It happens every year as sure as the change of the seasons: Folks from the North and even into Canada travel south to find a warm, mild climate to spend the winter. The name given to those who happily engage in this annual practice: Snowbirds.
Snowbirds are typically established professionals or retired people who want to enjoy a change of scenery and a slower pace for winter. There'll be no worries about keeping the furnace hot or digging the car out of the snow when you decide to bask in beautiful Sarasota.
Just how welcoming is Sarasota? Its winter temperatures run from about 51 degrees at night to 70 or so during the day. Air conditioning is ubiquitous throughout Florida, so virtually any place you plan to spend your time will also be equipped with central heating.
It should come as no surprise some people decide to finally settle down here. In recent years, Baby Boomers have flocked to Florida like never before!
When it comes to easy living, Florida's retirement scene is almost as well-known as its beaches. Florida has been a retirement destination for decades and has developed amazing amenities to match.
It offers world-class cuisine, golfing, water sports, and more. Some of the nation's leading hospitals are also found here, making it easy for elders to access the care they can count on. When family comes in to visit, there are outstanding airports to choose from--and even rail travel.
Florida is far and away the best when it comes to communities focused on senior living. Due to a convenient location, climate, weather, and gorgeous surroundings, Sarasota has attracted an enviable share of developments with the snowbird and retirement lifestyle in mind.
These days, it seems like there are more barriers than ever between first-time home buyers and their dream homes. One of the most challenging is coming up with a down payment. Conventional wisdom suggests that home ownership might be out of reach for someone who can't put up a down payment on a home – but that might not be the case.
We asked our REALTORS® to share some tips on how to buy a home with no money down. As it turns out, there are several options that could help you become a homeowner without having to come up with a down payment.
Avoiding Down Payment Woes
A recent survey by GOBankingRates.com shows that 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. Considering that the standard 20% down payment on a $200,000 home is $40,000, it's not hard to see the problem. Even a federally-insured FHA loan requires a down payment of 3.5% (or $7,000 on a $200,000 home). The fact that home prices appear to be on the rise again certainly doesn't help.
No Money Down Loans
To buy a home via the traditional route requires a traditional mortgage, and most mortgage lenders would never dream of offering a loan to a buyer who has not saved up enough for a down payment. That being said, these are the non-traditional options:
Weighing Your Options
Not everyone will qualify for a zero down payment mortgage, but you might be surprised by how many people actually do qualify. It might be just the edge you need to put home ownership within reach.
Of course, it's also good to keep in mind that putting no money down on a home isn't the best option for everyone. If you can make a down payment then you should, if only to have some equity in your home and avoid paying extra for private mortgage insurance. And of course, the more you are able to pay upfront, the less you will have to pay in interest in the long run.
Contact Wagner Realty to learn more about how you can buy a home with no money down. We are committed to helping you find your dream home in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, and are ready to explore all options to make that dream a reality!
You may be looking for your dream house, but have you given any thought to your dream neighborhood? The location of your home is at least as important as those four walls and a roof -- perhaps more so. The right neighborhood can offer not only amenities that are important to you, but an investment that will pay off in years to come.
It's easy to browse Sarasota homes for sale, but harder to shop for a neighborhood directly. Without MLS listings for neighborhoods, how should you determine where to look for your dream home? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Identify Your Priorities
Before you even start shopping for a home, you should have a good idea OF what you want in a neighborhood. Sit down and make a list, ranking them in order of priority. If there is something you can't live without, such as good schools for the kids or walking distance to work, school, shopping, or public transit, put that at the very top of the list and mark it off from the rest.
Some of the factors you might consider in your search for a neighborhood are:
Balance Price and Investment with Quality of Life
Financially speaking, the best investments are where you buy in during the beginnings of a period of growth, when a neighborhood is just starting to improve itself and grow in popularity, so that your home's value will accrue quickly. Look for areas that are adjacent to popular neighborhoods that have already gone through that period of growth and improvement. As rising values price out young, new buyers, they'll look to recreate the same experience nearby.
This being said, there's still a balance to achieve between a good investment and quality of life. Look for neighborhoods that offer the opportunity for rising values, but also those qualities you ranked as most important. This might mean that the best investments don't make the most sense for you and your family, but that's okay!
Start Your Research Online
The Internet is good for more than just browsing Bradenton homes for sale at 1am. As you browse, make a list of the neighborhoods you see in the listings, and then use Google, municipal websites, and a variety of other online tools to:
Visit the Neighborhood
If your preliminary research online checks out, it's time to go to the neighborhood and check things out.
Ask Your Agent
Don't forget about one of the most important resources at your disposal: your real estate agent. Our REALTORS® are knowledgeable about the neighborhoods they cover and can help you more easily navigate the process of finding the right neighborhood for you and your family. Contact Wagner Realty today to consult with one of our experienced agents about your search.
Finding the right first home is much like finding the right life partner. Will it be love at first sight or a determined search? Are you looking for a fixer-upper to call your forever home--to have and to hold, to shape and to mold? It's a serious endeavor often fraught with pitfalls. First, you'll need a map and a good compass. Yes! A map of Sarasota homes for sale and a seasoned guide from our REALTORS® to point you in the right direction with these five tips for buying your first home.
1. Love Nest Wish List
Your love nest wish list is a compilation, using pen and paper, of all the things you are looking for in your first home. This is important. Don't wing it. Certainly, compiling a list of "things" is a rather broad task. Shorten it. Define what "things" means to you and your spouse. However, for the sake of buying your first home in Sarasota, the term "things" refers to quality, not quantity--what you need now with room to grow.
2. Budget For Today, Tomorrow and # Years
Don't fudge the math or misplace a decimal point--it's number-crunching time. Yippee! Don't fret. You have a good plan in place, and you know where you're going. You have dreams. Absolutely! You also have a budget to map out for today, tomorrow and # years in order to make your dreams a reality.
3. Pre-Approved Mortgage
Not that long ago, you simply found the home you wanted, submitted an offer and went to the bank for financing. It is now customary to secure a pre-approved mortgage before a seller or agent will show you a home. However, you are not bound by the letter. Once you find the perfect home in Sarasota, shop different financial institutions for the best interest rate available to you.
4. Home Inspections
The last thing you want is to move into a beautiful first home only to discover problems with essential systems. Are there signs of roof leaks, uneven room temperatures, plumbing issues and/or electrical problems?
Don't be shocked after the fact if you come across system problems regardless of a home's age. Moreover, make sure a home inspection includes the age of HVAC systems and the roof--two major expenses should they need replacing.
5. Hiring A Real Estate Agent
As newlywed first-time home buyers, work with a real estate agent familiar with the communities that interest you. Our REALTORS® know the subtleties of Sarasota markets and will craft a realistic offer on your dream home substantiated with comparable statistics. We do the footwork and guide you through the entire home-buying process.
From your love nest wish list to closing, speak to a real estate agent with extensive experience in Sarasota homes for sale by contacting Wagner Realty.
If you're thinking about relocating to a warmer climate, Sarasota, Florida is a wonderful choice. It's the city "where urban amenities meet small-town living." Winters are tropical, with occasional Gulf breezes and rain showers to ease the heat. You'll find a thriving art and culture scene and exciting residential and commercial architecture. If you're making the transition as a Sarasota retiree, you'll find many activities to fill your leisurely days.
Our REALTORS® live, work, and play in the Sarasota area. We believe it's one of the most desirable cities in America. When you're ready to explore local living options, we'll be happy to arrange tours of Sarasota homes for sale. In the meantime, take a look at our Step-by-Step Guide for Relocating to Sarasota.
1. Visit Sarasota
If you haven't made up your mind about your move, visit our fabulous city and you'll know for sure. Sarasota is far more than just palm trees, beaches, and sunshine. You'll enjoy entertainment, dining, and outdoor activities. With the extensive selection of homes, you're certain to find the style, space, and amenities you want.
2. Connect with a REALTOR®
Establish a relationship with a Florida real estate professional who can manage the home-buying process from beginning to end. Your REALTOR® can begin searching for a home that meets your criteria.
3. Organize your move
Consider delegating your moving tasks. Movers can pack, load, move, unload, unpack, and set up at your final destination while you relax and remain stress-free. If you're moving for a transfer or promotion, your employer might reimburse your expenses. Otherwise, they could be tax deductible.
4. Arrange your utilities
You must contact several sources to establish utility services in your new home.
5. Connect your phone
If you're a cell-only family, check to see if your provider has coverage in Sarasota. Companies like Wirefly, Xfinity, and others offer Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) home landline service.
6. Get legal to drive in Florida
Drivers in Florida must have:
7. Find a new doctor
The Sarasota County Medical Society maintains an online Sarasota Physician Directory.
8. Find a new dentist
Visit Dentist.com for a directory of Sarasota dentists.
9. Enroll your kids in school
10. Change your address
Complete a USPS.com online address change so your mail will follow you to Sarasota. USPS partners will send digital coupons you can use at your new location.
11. Register to vote
Follow the instruction at the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections website to complete the voter registration process online or print, complete and mail the application.
2018 is almost here, and our REALTORS® in Sarasota know just how to celebrate. If you're still free on New Year's Eve, it's time to make plans for an unforgettable evening.
Here are five of our favorite ways to ring in 2018 right here in Sarasota:
After you experience our night life, don't forget to check out all our beautiful Sarasota homes for sale. Our agents are always ready to help you find the listing of your dreams. Contact Wagner Realty today to get started on your search for a new home in the new year.
2017 has been a busy year for home buyers and 2018 seems like it will be booming too.
While some people will shy away from getting involved in such a busy housing market, first-time buyers should be excited! First-time buyers have some major home-buying advantages. There are many state, county and municipal assistance programs available for first-time home buyers. In addition, time is also on the side of the first-time buyer. Since you don't have to worry about selling an existing home before you move, you can gather information and take action on your terms.
Let's focus on the top ten things you can do to get off to the right start.
Contact Wagner Realty for expert help to get the search for your first home started.
Buying your first home is an important life milestone. The process requires your patience, dedication, and financial commitment. You must think differently and consider factors that may not have been important before now.
The good news is that our REALTORS® know what it takes to find a home that's right for your family. When it's time to search for your new home, we'll help you through the process. Our Real Estate Guide for Buying Your First Home provides a to-do list to help you prepare for your home buying experience.
You should stop spending and start saving long before you begin touring homes for sale. You'll need the money when you close on your home and cash to cover a wave of home-related expenses.
If you have no idea about the kind of home you want, look at home listings, attend open houses, and drive by homes for sale. Even if you're not quite ready to buy, you can get an idea of communities, home prices, amenities, and how much you're willing to pay for what's available.
If you have children or plan to someday, you must make sure you're in a thriving school district. Visit a non-profit school rating website like Greatschools.org to see community school ratings.
The FHA Mortgage Calculator and similar online apps and websites make it easy to calculate monthly mortgage costs. You input the mortgage amount, down payment, terms, rates, and other factors and the calculator shows you the monthly payment and income you need to afford it.
You can pay the three major credit bureaus for a copy of your credit reports, but you can access them for free at Annualcreditreport.com. Viewing your reports allows you to uncover problems that may make it difficult to get your home financed. You can eliminate inaccurate information and contact debtors to correct, resolve, or dispute problematic credit entries.
When you find the home of your dreams, your pre-approval letter will save some delays. Your mortgage company will review your debt, credit rating, and financial standing to determine if you're mortgage-worthy. When they issue an approval letter, it tells potential home sellers that you're ready to buy.
If you're ready to buy your first Gulf Coast of Florida home, you need a realtor to provide professional guidance. Contact Wagner Realty if you're buying or selling a home, or simply want information about the communities we serve.
Our team of Lakewood Ranch REALTORS® loves a good Christmas party as much as anyone, and we wanted to give you a heads up on some of the fun holiday happenings around Lakewood Ranch this season! You can expect a packed schedule of events on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch this month, including some that you definitely don't want to miss. So gather up your holiday cheer, and join us for Christmas on Main!
No matter the season, there's always something going on at Lakewood Ranch! Contact Wagner Realty today to learn more about life in this vibrant community. Our team is committed to helping you find the perfect Lakewood Ranch homes.
Held every week, the Sarasota Farmers Market takes place right in the heart of Downtown year-round. Read on to find out more, and feel free to get in touch with our REALTORS® to learn more about life in Sarasota, FL.
The Sarasota Farmers Market was established in 1979, offering a selection of local plants, produce, prepared foods and crafts that caught on quickly with the local community. It has only grown in the years since, quickly becoming a beloved mainstay of the Downtown Sarasota area. Today, the market spans more than 5,000 square feet and offers a space for more than 70 vendors to sell their locally grown and crafted goods.
Operated by the nonprofit SFMV, Inc. (Sarasota Farmers Market Vendors), this weekly market promises a colorful variety of locally grown produce. Availability changes with the seasons, so be sure to return again to see what's new! Of course, there's a lot more to the Sarasota Farmers Market than fresh veggies. For example:
Visiting the Sarasota Farmers Market also provides an opportunity to check out some of the local businesses in Saratota's vibrant Downtown district. Grab lunch at Boca Kitchen Bar and Market, find the latest catch at Duval's Fresh Local Seafood, or stop for coffee and fresh baked goods at Coffee Carousel.
The Sarasota Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from 7 am to 1 pm. Unlike many farmers markets that close up shop in winter, the Sarasota Farmers Market continues every week throughout the entire year, offering a selection of goods that changes with the seasons. You'll find it on Lemon Avenue, near its intersection with Main Street. Parking is available on the streets and in public lots nearby.
Open houses are packed to the rafters, "for sale" signs are few and far between, and the appealing properties that do make it to the market are selling before you even get a chance to pull out your checkbook...What do you do when you're working to buy a home, and see the signs of seller's market all around you?
Buying a house in a seller's market is never going to be easy, but it's absolutely possible if you're willing to make some extra effort. Our REALTORS® know what it takes to navigate a seller's market, and we've put together five must-know tips to help you do the same.
Are you searching for the right real estate team to help you land your first-choice home in a competitive market? Contact Wagner Realty for all of your real estate needs in the Sarasota and Bradenton, Floridareal estate areas.
Finding the right home may be your top priority as a shopper, but identifying the right neighborhood is just as important for landing a home you'll love long-term. Our REALTORS® know what it takes to become a neighborhood expert, and we've compiled the top 10 traits of a great neighborhood.
Whether you're still searching for the perfect neighborhood or you already have an ideal match in mind, our local real estate team is here to help you cross the finish line. Contact Wagner Realty to buy and sell homes in the Sarasota/Bradenton area.
It's October, and we all know what that means, everywhere you turn ... ghosts and goblins abound. It's no different in Lakewood Ranch. Just minutes from Southwest Florida's beach, shopping, dining, and local events, the Lakewood Ranch Community Activities Corporation is busy preparing for the community's annual themed Halloween event, BOOFEST on Main Street.
The mission of Lakewood Ranch Community Activities Corporation is to nurture a sense of community and friendships through memorable events and social clubs within their community. Some of the LWR's activities are so popular that they have become annual events such as the Eggstravaganaza, Boo Fest, and Holidays Around The Ranch.
Our local REALTORS® know the importance of getting to know your new neighbors when you buy a home in a new community, so we've created this Lakewood Ranch event highlight so you don't miss any of the howling good fun that will be happening at BOOFEST on Main Street.
Kids of all ages love Halloween. The family-friendly community of Lakewood Ranch has plenty of scary good fun planned for its annual October holiday event.
Since Halloween falls on a school night, BOOFEST is scheduled for Friday, October 27--the fun starts at 6 PM.
Children will find plenty of thrills and chills at this all-ages Halloween celebration. It includes its own super Spooktacular Maze, crazy balloon art, and themed performances from local dancers.
Young guests are encouraged to dress in costumes to visit neighbors and friends. Exhibitors and sponsors will fill their bags with all sorts of tasty treats. Naturally, there will be a costume contest with plenty of prizes.
A full haunted house is planned – giving all the young ones many chances to enjoy on one of the most exciting nights of the year. It's the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit!
BOOFEST is your family's opportunity to pack a whole season of Halloween fun into a single night. Plus, if you just can't get enough of this creepy extravaganza, you still have time for a full evening of trick or treating throughout the weekend.
Lakewood Ranch is known for its safe and welcoming neighborhoods, so parents can feel confident as their children participate in the local festivities. And, of course, BOOFEST is just one of several yearly events you'll be able to enjoy if you buy one of the homes for sale in Lakewood Ranch.
People throughout Florida and beyond relocate to Lakewood Ranch for all sorts of reasons including great amenities, mild weather, and a wide range of beautiful homes. Once you visit, you might find that you wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
Our REALTORS® can help you find the perfect home for you and your family. Contact us to get started.
If you're a single mother, the idea of buying a house can seem like an unreachable dream. The Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2016 show that women still earn less than men. As the custodial parent, you must stretch fewer dollars to meet increasing financial obligations. Homeownership can seem unrealistic under such tight financial circumstances.
Our REALTORS® understand your concerns and we want to help. We believe that buying a house should be an attainable dream, so we've compiled a list of resources to help you reach your goal.
When your dream of owning a home seems out of reach, we can help. Contact Wagner Realty to help make your homeownership dream come true.
Sarasota's neighborhoods are teeming with gorgeous, modern, waterfront homes, but one building still stands out nearly a century after it was first built. One of the most beautiful and historic homes in Sarasota, the Ca' d'Zan, was restored to its former glory at the turn of this century. Today, the bayfront mansion's Venetian-inspired architecture and opulent furnishings are just as impressive as they were in 1926, when the Ringling family moved in and hosted glamorous parties on the water.
Whether you want to step back into the Roaring Twenties, catch a gorgeous sunset, or learn more about Sarasota's history as a circus town, this mansion-turned-museum is a must. Here are some of our favorite things to do at the Ca' d'Zan.
When circus magnate John Ringling started building the Ca' d'Zan ("House of John") in 1926, his family was one of the wealthiest in the world. Instead of pinning their dream homes on Pinterest, they traveled through Europe for inspiration, and the authentic masterpiece is a great example of Venetian and Spanish architecture from the 1800's. The Ringlings spent $1.65 million (more than $20 million today) and imported most of their materials – and design ideas – from Europe, and the manicured grounds and well-preserved mansion may transport you to the middle of Italy with their authentic details. For example, the roof is tiled with a cargo ship's worth of salvaged Spanish antique tiles, and the home itself is modeled after the Doge's Palace in Venice, Italy.
There are plenty of places to watch the sunset in Sarasota, but this mansion offers one of the oldest and most beautiful vantage points. As the sun begins to set over Sarasota every night, bursts of color illuminate the blue bay and cast a golden glow over the Ca' d'Zan's marble walls. Once a month, donors gather on the outdoor terrace for live music and gourmet dinners during this natural spectacle. It's easy to see why Mable Ringling commissioned a custom dock and gondola for the property. In the 1920's, servants would take Mable and her friends for picturesque sunset gondola rides along the shore. Towering Banyan trees, colorful gardens, a six-story tower, and a patio right on the sea wall complete the picturesque outdoor experience.
The mansion was donated to the State of Florida in the late 1930's, but it deteriorated so much in the decades to come that Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow filmed Great Expectations there in 1996. By then, the dilapidated mansion was the perfect fit for a reclusive Dickensian widow's dusty, crumbling manor. Fortunately, that's all changed, and the well-restored mansion now looks a lot like it did when the Ringlings first moved in. Renovations began in 2002, and today the mansion is meticulously restored and furnished with much of its original artwork, décor, and furniture. Restored murals by famous artists depict vivid circus and Renaissance scenes customized for the Ringlings themselves. Even clothing in the closets, liquor bottles in the bar, and silver in the butler's pantry are original possessions of the Ringling family.
Our REALTORS® are eager to help families like the Ringlings start a beautiful new chapter in Sarasota, Florida. Whether you want a mansion on the bay or an apartment downtown, we will make sure your search is productive and your deal is fair. Contact Wagner Realty today to find a real estate professional that can help you find your dream home in Sarasota.
Bradenton is one of the most desirable communities in all of Florida's picturesque west coast. With seaside charm and sophisticated amenities in a mid-sized city of 54,000, it attracts visitors and new residents alike each year. As the county seat and the core of the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice area, there is truly something for everyone.
Sure, just about any seaside town in Florida will wow you with its fair share of marvelous attractions, but Bradenton is in a class by itself. Let's take a closer look at seven of the top sights that will make you want to take a selfie:
When you find yourself in a living in a new city and want to find the best spots to grab a bite to eat, what do you do? That's easy—ask a Local! Luckily, our REALTORS® live and work in Longboat Key are thrilled to share some of our favorite eateries that will have you dining like a native Floridian in no time.
Homes in Longboat Key offer easy access to beautiful Gulf Coast views and miles of beautiful beaches. With all that seaside scenery, it comes as no surprise that Longboat Key serves up some of the best seafood around, but our local restaurants also offer much more! Here are some of our favorites:
When you're ready to begin your search for a home in Longboat Key, contact Wagner Realty. We have the "inside scoop" on the best homes for sale in our area--not to mention the restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and attractions in Longboat Key.
Most people envision crystal blue water and white sandy beaches when they think about relocating to Florida and not American history class and the Civil War. However, plantations were built and flourished in Florida. One such plantaton still stands today as the Gamble Plantation Historic State Park in Ellenton, Florida.
In 1844 Major Robert Gamble purchased 3,500 acres northeast of today's Bradenton and his plantation soon became a leading producer of sugar cane, molasses, citrus, grapes and olives. Gamble's plantation became renowned for its 10-room, two-story architectural design. Greek revival in design, its red brick and tabby walls were two feet thick. The exterior of the home showcases wide-shaded upper and lower verandas wrapping around three sides of the home. The original 40,000 gallon cistern remains today.
Legend has it that Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin used the Gamble Mansion as a safe haven after the Confederacy fell in 1865 until he fled the United States for England. Like many southern plantations, after the war the Gamble Mansion fell into disrepair.
Gamble's mansion was sold to the Patten family after the war. In 1925 the property was saved by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and restored the home, who donated the mansion and 16 acres of land to the state of Florida.
Ellenton's Gamble Plantation Historic State Park welcomes thousands of visitors each year. The park covers over 3,500 acres and the beautifully restored mansion is open for guided tours.
The Gamble Plantation State Historical Site is the only remaining plantation house in South Florida. Built in the mid-1800's by Major Robert Gamble, it was the epicenter of a large sugar plantation. The area along the Gulf Coast from the Crystal River to below Tampa Bay was optimal for growing sugarcane, and many wealthy Floridians settled and built plantations there.
The park grounds open daily at 8 AM. The visitor center/museum is open Thursday through Monday, 9 AM – 5PM.
Ellenton, FL is a cozy community settled along the banks of the Manatee River just a short drive away from Bradenton, Sarasota, and Anna Maria Island. Waterfront properties abound and an eclectic variety of Ellenton homes offer the best in Florida living.
When you are considering a move to the sleepy southern town of Ellenton, our REALTORS® can help you find a beautiful home that will suit your family's needs. Contact Wagner Realty to find out more about South Florida living.
When it comes to beach days in Sarasota, Siesta Beach gets most of the hype – and rightfully so. Its powder-white sand and gorgeous sunsets regularly top "most beautiful" lists and Siesta Key is a historic beach town with plenty of daytime and nighttime activities. However, that national and global acclaim brings the crowds, especially on sunny weekend days. If you want to enjoy the charm and beauty of Siesta Key without spreading a towel on a packed beach, we recommend Turtle Beach instead.
Just a few miles south of its more popular cousin, Turtle Beach takes up the southern tip of Siesta Key, nestled close to quiet Siesta Key homes instead of hotels and bars. Here are some of our favorite things about Turtle Beach:
Turtle Beach Has Both Lagoon and Gulf Views
Turtle Beach is right on the Gulf of Mexico, but it's separated from the other side of Siesta Key (the part that faces Sarasota Bay) by a small lagoon. This keeps it quiet, narrow, and difficult to develop, especially as erosion frequently eats away the sinkingly soft sand. Even during peak seasons in Sarasota, Turtle Beach is one of the quietest places in Siesta Key, and it's sandwiched between two bodies of water to boot. Get gorgeous sunset views to the west and quiet lagoon views to the east, plus overhead shade from trees that tower over the grassy dune.
Amenities Make it Easy to Get Away
Turtle Beach has everything you need to spend a fun, stress-free day at the beach: ample free parking, public restrooms, showers, picnic tables, charcoal grills, and even a boat launch. It's not as newly renovated or well-maintained as the public facilities as Siesta Beach, but the parking lot isn't nearly as crowded either, so you probably won't have to hunt for a spot in the lot or get there at dawn to get a table. Just spread a tablecloth and set up lunch with your family after a few hours in the water.
Snorkeling & Shelling
Turtle Beach's name is no accident. Sea turtles nest here once a year, and sea life in general is more active and visible, in part because the beach has a steeper drop-off and human feet don't disturb the deeper water. Bring your snorkeling gear (or rent some on your way through Siesta Village) to take advantage of some of the best snorkeling off Siesta Key, FL. When you're on shore, pay attention to the shells in the darker sand too. Local artists and collectors love Turtle Beach for its abundance of unique, well-preserved shells.
Our REALTORS® in Sarasota know which beaches are the least crowded, and they also know local real estate trends and news that will give their clients an upper hand. If you're selling your house or looking for a new home in Sarasota or Siesta Key, contact Wagner Realty to get in touch with an agent who can help.
Sarasota, Florida has it all--beautiful weather, amazing amenities, and a community with something for everyone. It's no surprise that, when buying a house, you might find yourself in a situation where the home you want has multiple bids.
It may seem like the only thing you can do is raise your offer and hope for the best. Sometimes doing just that is the simplest way to get a seller's attention. Still, it's not your only option.
In an ideal situation, you'd make your offer, find out you're the only buyer, and move toward closing within a few weeks. Still, there are some homes that are worth the extra effort. Let's look at some steps you can take to fend off multiple offers and emerge victorious.
Multiple Offers Don't Mean the End – Here's What You Can Do
Sarasota certainly isn't short on beautiful scenery, but one hidden gem shines especially bright. Full of colors that rival our sunset skies and scents that evaporate stress, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is tucked into a lush waterfront spot right next to the Marina. In between beach days on Lido and Siesta Key, you can spend a whole day exploring this downtown treasure, known simply as Selby Gardens or Selby to those with homes in Sarasota. Whether you're planning a romantic date, a fun family outing, or a solo stroll, Selby is the perfect place to do it, and it's open every day except Christmas for your convenience.
Here are some of our favorite ways to make the most of your time at this world-renowned plant conservatory.
Explore the Children's Rainforest Garden
One of Selby's newest and most impressive sections is the Ann Goldstein's Children's Rainforest Garden. This interactive space is designed to simulate the biological richness and cool tranquility of the rainforest, while turning every spot into a hands-on learning opportunity for kids. Your kids will love the 12-foot-tall waterfall that splashes into a tranquil pool, the century-old Banyan tree that offers ample natural shade and seating, and the swinging rope bridges that stretch overhead for bird's eye views of the canopy and garden. You'll love the way Selby integrates biology and ecology lessons into their all-natural play areas, which also include special thatched research huts and an outdoor classroom.
Take an Art, Landscaping, or Yoga Class
Your day in the garden could also be a learning experience – if you enroll in one of Selby's many art, wellness, or horticulture classes. Join Yoga in the Gardens for an early morning stretch session, hone your photography skills on Tripod Tuesday, or pick a watercolor class that matches your experience level. Or if you want to learn how to landscape your Sarasota home, take a gardening class that focuses on orchids, bamboo, succulents, or another Florida-friendly theme. Selby's educational opportunities include one-off classes and season-long series, so you can choose how much time to commit.
Walk Among the Butterflies & Ferns
Everything at Selby serves a purpose beyond looking pretty, but the plants and flowers in front of Payne Mansion have a magical role: attracting butterflies. Visit the Butterfly Garden after touring the historic mansion, and meet dozens of colorful guests who drop in every day to enjoy the gorgeous plant life. Then stroll over to the Fern Garden for another blissfully serene experience. Just follow the circular path around the low-lying and towering ferns, which flourish in Sarasota's subtropical climate and show off a wide range of scents, textures, and colors.
Follow the Mangroves for Waterfront Views
Make sure you stay until Selby closes, because the waterfront location makes for perfect evening views of Sarasota Bay, downtown Sarasota, and Bird Key. Three different mangrove species are native to the region's shorelines, and Selby's boardwalk meanders through grand examples of all of them. Enjoy the black, white, and red mangroves as you follow the wooden path along the shoreline, to a spectacular lookout spot right on Sarasota Bay. Selby hosts a Fourth of July party every year to take full advantage of these stunning bayfront views.
When you live in Sarasota, you have year-round access to this lush retreat and its schedule of fun and educational events. Our REALTORS® in Sarasota can help you find the perfect home to landscape in our subtropical beach town. Contact Wagner Realty to get started today.
When the night sky lights up this Fourth of July, where will you be? For families with homes in Sarasota, it's hard to get this answer wrong. Siesta Key's explosive Independence Day celebration has drawn thousands for the past 26 years, but the country's best beach isn't the only place to be on Tuesday, July 4. Our gardens, parks, and restaurants also offer world-class waterfront views and patriotic celebrations this Fourth, so you can choose your view every year.
If you live or plan to buy a house in the Sarasota-Bradenton area, just pick which body of water you want to see sparkle, and settle in for a full day or evening of Fourth of July fun. Here are some of our favorite spots to celebrate:
It's no surprise that Sarasota's most popular fireworks show happens right on its famous white sand beach. The 27th annual Siesta Key Fourth of July Fireworks start at 9:15 PM this year, and the explosives last at least a full half hour, with colors and shapes that rival even the most picturesque Siesta Key sunsets. The Chamber of Commerce's official celebration is always on Siesta Key Public Beach, but if you want to beat the crowds and enjoy unbeatable views, go a little south of the public area, toward Crescent Beach.
A lush, tropical retreat in the middle of downtown Sarasota, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are nearly surrounded by Sarasota Bay and the Hudson Bayou. They take advantage of their stellar views of multiple fireworks displays over Sarasota Bay, with an evening party that features live music, a cookout, and cool drinks. The All-American Cookout starts at 6, but free trolleys bound for Selby start leaving the Sarasota Friendship Center at 5 PM.
Would you rather skip the beach and city crowds, and take in some waterfront fireworks at a slower pace? Head north to Bradenton's PIER 22, a literal pier that juts right out onto Manatee River for unbeatable waterfront views. This Fourth of July, the restaurant is hosting a buffet-style barbecue and waterside fireworks display. Come to PIER 22 at 6 PM for the Independence Day buffet, a single seating event that coincides with the explosions over the river.
The fireworks over Sarasota Bay are visible from both sides of the causeway, but the best views are from the edge of the marina, where family-friendly Bayfront Park pokes out into the water. Grab dinner and drinks at Marina Jack or O'Leary's Tiki Bar & Grill, then walk the Marina Jack Trail along the perimeter of this small but beautiful bayfront park. The fireworks over Sarasota Bay will begin at around 9 PM this Fourth of July, so grab a bench or spread a blanket and enjoy the spectacular show.
Looking for a family-friendly distraction before the fireworks begin? Sarasota Jungle Gardens is right on the Bay near Ringling Museum and New College of Florida, and it's an interactive wonderland with flamingos, alligators, and lush landscapes where kids can frolic and adults can relax and take in waterfront views. Kids' admission is half off from Saturday, July 1 through Tuesday, July 4, making it the perfect pre-fireworks destination for Sarasota families.
Are you interested in buying a house in Sarasota? Contact Wagner Realty for more information about our beautiful beach town and its fun, lively neighborhoods. One of our REALTORS® in Sarasota will help you get started on your real estate journey.
Many people looking at Sarasota homes find themselves drawn to the charm of Siesta Key, just a 15-minute drive from downtown Sarasota proper. Siesta Key, a community of just over 6,000 people, is a barrier island with some of the most beautiful sights in Florida.
If you're searching for the right place to truly enjoy the climate and views only Florida can offer, Siesta Key is perfect. Although it attracts many tourists, there are also plenty of "out of the way" places to enjoy a slower pace.
Spanning just 3.5 square miles, Siesta Key is made up of four main districts:
Thanks to its unique geography, living in Siesta Key feels like being away from it all – but you still have access to all the best amenities of Sarasota, Bradenton, and even the Tampa Bay Area. But how can you know if Siesta Key is right for you?
Locals applaud Siesta Key for its laid back community, great shops, and nightlife. Despite its popularity with out-of-town visitors, it is amazingly intimate and local, with a flavor all its own. It also has a strong arts and culture scene, and there is always something to do. Don't miss the historic Ringling Bros. home.
For its permanent residents, Siesta Key attracts families and established professionals working in the growing technology and healthcare scenes in Sarasota or Bradenton. The area is serviced by the world class Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Sarasota County Schools operates more than 30 public schools in the area, with many elementary schools rated among the Sunshine State's best.
Siesta Key is the place to be, no matter whether you're moving to Florida from outside the state or "trading up" from a hectic urban lifestyle. Truly, the best way to appreciate how Siesta Key can transform your life for the better is to see some of the amazing homes for sale.
Sometimes, the most beloved local landmarks are created from the inspiration that comes when a city replaces something old with something new. Back in 1967, a new drawbridge was built to connect Anna Maria Island with the city of Bradenton Beach, FL, replacing the bridge the connected the communities for more than 50 years. Rather than consigning the old bridge to the demolition squad, city officials decided to turn it into a gathering place for the community. Bradenton Beach City Pier opened to the public soon after, and it's been delighting both visitors and locals ever since.
Anna Maria Island features seven miles of sandy beachfront off Manatee County, Florida. The City of Anna Maria is a quaint, walkable Florida village that has become a destination for travelers seeking sun and relaxation and people looking for a place to call home.
With nearby amenities of Bradenton, this island features multiple communities at the mouth of Tampa Bay. Standout features of the area include emerald green water, white sand beaches, cottage-style Anna Maria Island homes, and of course the Historic City Pier.
Anna Maria Island was known to native inhabitants of the America's for many years, but being only accessible by boat, no one wanted to live there. The Timucan and Caloosan American Indian tribes would visit as did the Spanish explorers who gave the island the name we use today. It wasn't until 1892 that the island gained its first official resident in George Emerson Bean, who spurred the development of the area.
Anna Maria Island's first residents were forced to commute to the mainland by boat or ferry, leading them to create the historic Anna Maria City Pier in 1911. A bridge over the water wasn't added until 1921.
Described by Trip Advisor as, "Stunning," this historic pier stretches 678 feet across Gulf Coast waters. The pier has stood the test of time, weathering hurricanes for over 100 years as residents continually rebuild this attraction. Most recent renovations include a planned $1.7 million upgrade project, promising to keep generations visiting for years to come.
And why do people keep coming? Food, fishing, and fun just to name a few.
Rod and Reel Restaurant
The Rod and Reel restaurant offers 360-degree views at its iconic home at the end of the pier. Squeeze yourself into the tiny bar on the lower deck for an icy cold margarita, or find a table upstairs for a more formal meal. As you might guess, the seafood here is fresh!
Fishing at the Anna Maria Pier
A unique twist to the Rod and Reel Restaurant is that the area doubles as a fishing pier too. A common sight you'll see are the dangling fishing lines of fishing enthusiasts, hoping to catch a bite -- before they order a bite. It's a great way to pass the time during the busy summer season (the restaurant may have a line.)
Florida's Gulf Coast is the perfect place to spend your vacation. Wagner Realty has vacation rentals available to share experiences and make memories with family and friends. Play on some of Southern Florida's best golf courses, relax on sandy, white beaches, shop our local shops and boutiques.
No need to be sad when your visit ends because with the help of Anna Maria Island REALTORS® you can become a resident. Contact Wagner Realty to discover the best beachfront properties or the perfect vacation bungalow and enjoy the community of Anna Maria Island.
Longboat Key is a town divided between Florida's Manatee and Sarasota counties. The charms of this tropical, Gulf Coast community are endless with 12 miles of secluded, sandy white beaches. Ask anyone who owns a maintenance-free home in Longboat Key and they'll tell you it's the best choice they ever made. Our REALTORS® have all the information you need to join this maintenance-free living style--trading bleak winters for alluring beaches and plenty of sunshine.
Whether you're a beach comber, club hopper or nature lover, maintenance-free living homes in Longboat Key are the answer to your new way of living. When you tour Longboat Key condominiums and homes, you'll soon understand why so many opt for a maintenance-free lifestyle.
Contact Wagner Realty to introduce you to the world of maintenance-free living in Longboat Key, FL. Our REALTORS® in Longboat Key have the market knowledge and experience to help you search for the perfect home in Florida for you.
Finding yourself thinking about Sarasota homes?
A Florida city whose rich history dates all the way back to 1763, it is nicknamed "Paradise" by its 53,000 residents. Though the greater metro area is home to more than 700,000 people, it's the picturesque surrounding communities that often attract homeowners moving to the state.
When you choose Sarasota, you have access to some of Florida's most dynamic cities – but you can disappear into the peaceful tranquility of any number of gorgeous beachfront towns. The Sarasota Keys offer a truly unique experience to those lucky enough to live there.
Let's look at some of the best places to live in Sarasota:
Interested in coming home to Sarasota? It's truly one of the best places in America to work, raise a family, or retire. No matter which area you're interested in, our REALTORS® in Sarasota will be glad to help you find the home of your dreams. Contact Wagner Realty to find out more.
Anna Maria Island, FL is a truly unique community, and that commitment to originality is always on display at the diverse dining destinations around the island. As you might expect from a seaside town, many of Anna Maria Island's most popular dining spots are big on serving fresh, locally sourced seafood, with entree inspirations from around the world. Enjoying a meal on the island is as much about the scenery as it is about the food on your plate. Let's just say you won't have any trouble finding waterfront dining when you call Anna Maria Island, FL home.
One of the nice things about living on Anna Maria Island is that there's a dining spot for every occasion. You can enjoy an elegant, sit-down meal by the sea, or head straight from the beach to a bistro in your flip-flops. No matter the occasion, Anna Maria homes for sale put you close to the action on the island.
Our REALTORS® in Anna Maria love getting to experience the island, and we know you will too. Contact our local Anna Maria office to shop for homes on Anna Marie Island, and learn what it's like to enjoy a world-class meal by the sea.
When it comes to celebrating a holiday, there nothing better than spending time with family and friends over a good meal. Easter Sunday is no exception. Nothing says Easter quite like a big brunch with the family.
Even though Easter Sunday is just a few days away, if you "hop to it," there's still time to make reservations. Our REALTORS® in Sarasota live and work in our community and have created this Sarasota Restaurant Guide of their five favorite restaurants with something special planned for Easter Sunday.
Contact us when you're considering relocating to Sarasota. Wagner Realty has access to the most up-to-date listings for Sarasota homes for sale including Sarasota school district and subdivision information.
31,000 acres, 15 neighborhoods, and world-class amenities around every corner. The master-planned community of Lakewood Ranch, FL is anything but average--and that's no accident. From the start, the community was designed with its residents in mind, so that you can find everything you need in a peaceful, secure, scenic Florida setting. There are homes here to fit every buyer in Lakewood Ranch and enough recreation activities to keep you busy for years to come.
While the community is a major selling point, life at Lakewood Ranch still starts at home. Lakewood Ranch homes include single-family homes, condos, apartments, town homes and custom-built homes from the best builders in the area. The community is broken down into 15 villages, or neighborhoods, each with its own perks and amenities.
Most villages in Lakewood Ranch are adjacent to at least one golf course and offer beautiful views even if you're not the type to hit the links yourself. There are also age-restricted villages to be found within the community, along with family-friendly villages. Our Lakewood Ranch REALTORS® can help you find a house you'll love in a neighborhood you'll be proud to call home.
The Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club is really three great golf courses in one, each with its own unique personality. Cypress Links, King's Dunes and Royal Lakes are the three 18-hole courses that make up Lakewood Ranch and Country Club. Every course at the club makes use of the gorgeous natural scenery of Lakewood Ranch, and can be enjoyed by golfers of any skill level. The club also offers a host of other recreational activities, and a busy schedule of special events that are always well-attended by the community.
When you live in Lakewood Ranch, winter is little more than a distant memory. Even during the heart of January, you can golf in a short-sleeve polo or go for a cool, comfortable morning jog without bundling up for a blizzard. In addition to great golf, you can enjoy year-round fun at the Premier Sports Campus, the Sarasota Polo Club, and the Ancient Oak Gun Club. Parks, walking trails and scenic hideaways dot the community as well, so there is always something new to explore.
Whether you're purchasing a second home or moving in full-time, Lakewood Ranch offers move-in options to make life a little easier. There are move-in ready homes available in some villages, as well as maintenance-free homes that provide peace of mind throughout your time in Lakewood Ranch. You're also welcome to handle those details yourself, but it's nice to know the all-inclusive option is there if you need it.
Town Centers are the hubs of Lakewood Ranch's villages, where residents go to shop, dine, drink and enjoy an evening out with their neighbors. Neighborhood shopping centers allow you to handle grocery shopping, banking and all of life's little errands without leaving Lakewood Ranch. You'll also find three large, central town centers called San Marco Plaza, Waterside Place, and Main Street, each with its own unique businesses, dining spots, and entertainment options.
There has never been a better time to find your place in the beautiful, all-inclusive community of Lakewood Ranch. Contact Wagner Realty to shop for homes in Lakewood Ranch, FL, and learn what it's like to have everything you need in life located within minutes of your front door.
Tucked away on the Gulf Coast just south of Tampa, Anna Maria Island, FL is a slice of paradise even by the very high standards of the Sunshine State. The first thing that you notice when buying a house on Anna Maria Island won't be the tall condos or big-box chain stores, because the island doesn't have them. Instead, you'll be greeted by pristine white beaches, crystal-clear waters, and the warm, sunny weather that the community enjoys throughout the year. So pull up a beach chair, grab a cool, refreshing beverage, and get ready to experience your own personal paradise on the Florida coast.
The pace of life on Anna Maria Island is very laid back, and you won't find a better example than the island's beautiful beaches. The beaches of Anna Maria Island are quiet, clean, and beloved by the locals. You can spend a relaxing afternoon with your favorite book and your toes in the warm sand, or break out your paddle-board to explore the island from a new perspective on the water. There are fishing spots to be found throughout Anna Maria Island, while the beaches are a great place to catch a glimpse of Florida's vibrant coastal ecosystems and diverse wildlife.
The motto of Anna Maria Island captures life here perfectly, and says a lot about why the locals love to call the island home. This is the sort of island where you are more likely to see people traveling by surfboard or kayak than by yacht. Everyone is welcome, and everyone who arrives is happy to be here. Why have an attitude, when paradise is waiting outside your door every morning? Buying a house in paradise should be a pleasant experience, after all.
Are you searching for Anna Maria Island homes for sale, but currently living in another part of the country? When you live on Anna Maria Island, you won't have to say goodbye to your favorite teams. Every spring, teams from across Major League Baseball come to the Florida Coast for Spring Training games and fan-friendly promotions. Popular teams like the Yankees, Phillies, Red Sox, and Cardinals participate in the Grapefruit League each spring, and there's always time for a day at the stadium in paradise.
Does it still count as winter, when the average daily temperature still tops 70 degrees? Put it this way, you'll never have to put away your flip-flops for the season when you live on Anna Maria Island. The "coldest" month of the year on Anna Maria Island is January, and even then daily highs routinely top 70 degrees. For most of the year, it simply feels like summer. Beach season never ends after buying a house on the island, and cold winters are little more than a distant memory.
Rather than trying to attract big-name chains, Anna Maria Island much prefers to keep things local. The dining scene on the island is especially robust, with fresh seafood, brilliant barbecue, and gourmet meals set to beach-front views. You'll also find all of the services you need provided by small businesses on the island, so there's no need to leave paradise when you need to get things done.
Our Anna Maria Island REALTORS® are here to help you find your own piece of paradise on the coast. Contact our office to buy and sell homes in Anna Maria Island, FL, and get ready to fall in love with this gorgeous coastal community.
It came as no surprise to native Sarasotans that our hometown was named as one of the Best Places to Live in the United States by US News. People move to Sarasota in record numbers because of its "paradise-like personality." Who wouldn't love this city's wonderfully warm, year-round temperatures, white, sandy beaches and crystal clear water? Sarasota certainly does check all of the boxes for beaches and weather; however, factors like our dedication to the arts, affordable living, housing choices, great schools and a flourishing business environment are even more reasons to move to Sarasota.
Our REALTORS® in Sarasota created this list of why so many are making Sarasota their home.
Sarasota - A Warm Place in the Sun
Like most cities in Florida, Sarasota is known for its year-round warm temperatures. When other parts of the US are experiencing cold, snow and ice, Sarasota's residents enjoy an average annual temperature of 72 degrees. Now don't get me wrong--it certainly can get hot from June through September in Florida, but as most Sarasota residents will tell you…that's the perfect time to head to the beach or one of our six barrier islands.
Sun & Fun at Sarasota's Beaches
Sarasota has over 40 miles of coastline located just off the Gulf of Mexico and its beaches are considered among the most beautiful in Florida and, in fact, the US. But, don't take our word for it…just ask TripAdvisor. Siesta Beach, located in central Sarasota, is no stranger to receiving high rankings for beachcombers in the know. In addition to TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Award, Siesta Beach has ranked highly by Dr. Beach (a.k.a. Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman) as a Top 10 Beach in America. In addition to sun and sand, Sarasota's six barrier islands (or keys) are home to others noteworthy beaches: Siesta, Lido and Longboat in Southwest Florida.
Culture Along the Coast
Sarasota's arts scene is diverse as the types of seashells found on its beaches. Sarasota is home to a host of performing arts including the Sarasota Opera, Asolo Repertory Theatre and the Sarasota Ballet of Florida as well as world-class museums like the Ringling Museum of Art and the Ringling Circus Museum located on the former Sarasota estate of John Ringling, circus magnate. No matter what your preference, Sarasota arts and cultural activities include gala and charitable events, theater options, musical venues, art galleries and showcases, a film festival and even sand sculptures.
Outdoor Fun in Sarasota
There's never a need to waste a sunny day in Sarasota. Aside from the obvious opportunities to play in the ocean and run along the beaches, Sarasota also offers an outstanding array of other outdoor activities. Take advantage of our massive Myakka River Stark Park, learn how to sail or kayak; grab your gear and head out for a day of exciting fishing opportunities; hit up the bike trails that crisscross the area and get back to an Old Florida feel on the Sarasota Legacy Bike Trail; or take your favorite set of clubs and play a round on any of the excellent golf courses in Sarasota.
Best Places to Eat & Drink
A genuine foodie haven, Sarasota has been named by Conde' Nast Traveler magazine as one of the 15 best food cities in the United States. Conde' Nast cited two Sarasota restaurants specifically: Indigenous, known for incorporating local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients into their menu items and C'est La Vie in downtown Sarasota for its savory crêpes and fresh croissants. Sarasota offers a bona fide restaurant roster offering local diners a full range of gastronomical delights to work their way through. Here are three of our team's favorite dining places (in no particular order): Crab & Fin in St. Armand's Circle features global seafood from raw oysters from various oceans to rich cioppino made with local red snapper. Selva on Main Street features Latino cuisine with at least 10 different ceviches and masterfully-made cocktails. Owen's Fish Camp, located in the heart of downtown Sarasota, showcases Old Florida classics such as fried oysters and cornmeal-crusted catfish as well as craft-beer and wine.
Moving to Sarasota
Florida has been called "paradise" by many of its residents and Sarasota is an excellent example of what they're talking about. When you're searching for Sarasota homes for sale, it's hard to go wrong with the beautiful sunsets for which our area is famous. Sarasota's sandy beaches, top-tier cultural offerings and shopping and dining options are among the best available in the nation. When you're ready to start living in paradise, contact our team at Wagner Realty to start your search for a Sarasota home.