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June
28

5 Places to Help You Stay Active in Sarasota and Bradenton

Stay Active in Bradenton

Our area is also a great place for retirees to get active and stay active!

If you haven't tried the SilverSneakers app, we highly recommend it. It's a perfect way to motivate yourself and also to find great fitness locations no matter where in the country you may be. Our real estate agents are particularly fond of these SilverSneakers locations in Sarasota and Bradenton:

  1. Sun N Fun RV Resort - 7125 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota, FL 34240
    Sarasota's Sun N Fun RV Resort is a beautiful place to park one's motor home and relax, but it's also much more than that. They're all about promoting a healthy, active lifestyle and offer amenities that include an extensive indoor fitness canter and an Olympic-size outdoor pool. Dozens of group activities and fitness classes are also available, ranging from yoga and Pilates to strength training and martial arts. Sun N Fun RV Resort also makes a great home base if you're in town looking at Sarasota homes for sale.

  2. G.T. Bray Recreation Center - 5502 33rd Ave Dr. W, Bradenton, FL 34209
    A state-of-the-art recreation complex in the heart of Bradenton, the G.T. Bray Recreation Center is a hub for all things fitness-related. Classes and programs are offered for every age and fitness level, with amenities that include tennis and racquetball courts, an Olympic-sized pool, an outdoor running/walking track, and a beautifully appointed indoor fitness center. The G.T. Bray Recreation center is also just minutes from these Bradenton homes for sale, making it a convenient option for staying active. 

  3. Lana's BarBelles - 7014 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton, FL 34210
    It's not easy to find a quality fitness center that's specifically tailored to women's needs. But Bradenton has a great resource in Lana's BarBelles, a woman-owned fitness center that focuses on group and personal training for women. They offer a free fitness assessment and specially-tailored programs to help all ages and fitness levels reach their health and wellness goals. Many folks visit Lana's BarBelles for the first time while they're in Bradenton on winter vacation and then keep coming back again and again. 

  4. GYM SRQ - 3530 Clark Rd, Sarasota, FL 34231
    One of Sarasota's most consistently highly-rated gyms, GYM SRQ goes the extra mile to create a better fitness experience. No matter where you're starting out or what your goals may be, they have classes tailored to your needs. Small group classes and one-on-one sessions with certified personal trainers are available to help you not only lose weight or gain strength but also learn the principles behind living a longer, healthier life. 

  5. Terra Ceia Bay Country Club - 2802 Terra Ceia Bay Blvd, Palmetto, FL 34221
    The Terra Ceia Bay Country Club is home to a truly spectacular golf course with splendid views and meticulously manicured greens and fairways. But the country club also offers a wide range of additional fitness activities and amenities, including racquet courts and a swimming pool. There's also a tiki bar and grill on-site, making it a great place to socialize and meet people in the local community. The Terra Ceia Bay Country Club is just a short drive across the Manatee River from Bradenton and minutes from many Palmetto homes for sale.

Contact us today to learn more about how to stay active and reach your fitness goals in Sarasota and Bradenton, and be sure to talk with our team about finding your retirement dream home!

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. 

December
21

7 Tips for Finding the Right Home for Your Retirement Years

Sarasota Retirement Years

If you have been considering selling your current home before purchasing the home where you'll retire, this year presents an excellent opportunity to take the next step. Single-family homes are in high demand, making it easy to find a buyer, and interest rates are low if you're planning to finance your next home. Our real estate agents have more details on why this is a great time to shop and how to find the right home for your retirement years.

  1. Not Quite Ready to Retire? It's Still Smart to Be Prepared
    Even if you don't plan to retire for a few more years, it's wise to plan. If you need financing, it may be easier to secure a mortgage while you're still working. Shopping for your retirement home now also gives you more time to prepare, visit communities, and ensure that you choose a home that you'll love.

  2. Consider the Amenities and Necessities You'll Need Now and in the Future
    Choosing the perfect home to enjoy your retirement depends on your needs now, as well as what you'll need in the future. Ensure that any neighborhood and home you choose has the accessibility necessary for you to enjoy your retirement and that the services you may need in the future will be close to home.

  3. Visit Communities You Might Like to Call Home
    If you're planning to purchase a home in a community you've traveled to in the past, be sure to schedule a visit to help decide if you would like to live there long-term. Spending some time around the sun and sand near Sarasota homes for sale and Bradenton homes for sale makes for a fun vacation while also allowing you to learn more about a community you might choose to call home. Plus, our inventory of rentals are excellent options for you to learn what area you like best! Choose between annual options or 6-month rentals. 

  4. Make a List of Priorities to Help You Shop
    For many people, moving to live closer to family members and friends is a strong motivator when shopping for a home for retirement. Understanding what's most important to you will help you narrow your options. Make a list of your priorities, starting with the most important factors, and use it to aid your home search.

  5. Work Out Your Retirement Budget to Understand Your Purchasing Power
    Remember that your budget is likely to be different in retirement than it was while working, and plan for the future accordingly. If you haven't done so yet, lay out your budget for retirement so that you know exactly how much home you can afford while still leaving the funds you need to enjoy your retirement years.

  6. Take Advantage of an Appealing Real Estate Market
    If you've been waiting for an advantageous real estate market to sell your current home before buying your retirement home, now is an excellent time to strike while the iron is hot. The high demand for single-family homes means that you may be able to sell at a premium, which will leave you with more money to pursue your perfect home for your retirement years.

  7. Get a Knowledgeable Agent 
    Getting help from a knowledgeable real estate agent is always recommended and can truly give you peace of mind as you prepare for retirement.

Searching for a home near the sand and sun where you can enjoy retirement to the fullest? Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout Florida's Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

March
6

Retirees Move to Florida For More Than Great Weather

Retirees in Florida

Living in Florida offers some amazing benefits during your retirement years – sun, sand, and surf, but for people ready to embark on retirement, there's something that could be even better:

Amazing tax benefits.

Our REALTORS® know many different factors go into deciding where to call "home." When you're ready to retire, you have more options than you've ever had before. The Sunshine State is unparalleled when it comes to helping older residents get more from their retirement budget by making tax benefits as easy as can be. Let's look at some benefits that are just as attractive as the warm weather:

  1. No State Income Tax
    Many retirees continue to work part time. In many places, state income tax will take anywhere from 6% to 10% of your money every year. Not so for Florida, which is one of the few states with no state income tax. Only seven U.S. states have no income tax, and out of all of them, Florida has some of the best "quality of life" factors – especially for seniors.
  2. Low Average Sales Taxes
    Tax revenue needs to come from somewhere. Sales tax is where Florida makes up on its absence of income tax, but the state rate is just 6%, middle of the road for sales tax. Relatively few towns and cities in Florida impose any additional sales tax (although some go as high as 2.5%), and there are opportunities to make tax-exempt purchases throughout the year.
  3. Social Security is Tax Exempt
    Not only is Social Security income tax exempt in Florida, but it also will not take a cut from any of your retirement income. That includes savings and investment vehicles like the Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), private or public pension funds and 401(k) accounts. Florida is one of 37 states that does not tax Social Security, but only a handful don't tax any retirement income.
  4. Affordable Cost of Living
    There are condos and smaller homes located nearby those refreshing sea breezes. The overall cost of living, including your groceries and other essentials, is middle of the road compared to the whole country.
  5. Extra Exemptions Aplenty
    There are plenty of other exemptions retirees may be able to enjoy, although some do require you to be a Florida resident for an extended time. The crown jewel of Florida taxes is the Homestead Exemption, which allows elders who've resided in Florida for several years to claim an additional exemption up to $50,000 from certain towns, cities, and counties.

Many home buyers discover Florida is the perfect place to retire. Whether you're looking at Bradenton homes for sale or further south at Sarasota homes for sale, the weather is mild, daily living costs are modest, and world-class amenities provide for an excellent quality of life. Many seniors put off downsizing or making the "big move" because it seems like such a hassle, but our agents have the years of experience and unbeatable customer service that can help you live the lifestyle of your dreams. To find out more, contact us today.

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