Sarasota Real Estate: Home Sales Trend

As 2006 was about to come to a close, Sarasota’s existing home sales edged slightly upward by 2 percent in November, compared to same month of 2005.

According to reports released by Florida Association of Realtors, the increase might have been attributed to falling median prices, from $343,600 to $281,900 in 2006.

The positive trend, though relatively small, can be an indication of a new, promising stability in 2007. Florida, in general, has seen doom and small bust in the real estate market. The National Association of Realtors is confident of what might be the outlook of existing home sales. This development, if coupled with the leveling of interest rates and continuity of job growth in the region might liven up sales activity in the coming months.

This holds true with Sarasota real estate market. Despite its declining home sales in 2006, the output was just a reflection of the overall national trend affecting the whole region.

Florida has had its share of the regional struggles, especially due to natural calamities like hurricanes which perennially beset the state. Sales were volatile last year, but still the market was showing indications of stability. Sarasota homes are still being sought for and sellers were optimistic of a continuous positive trend.

The subtle rise in sales in November is predicted to repeat in the ensuing months and Sarasota real estate is one of the sectors which will gain a comfortable pace.

Realtors are not convinced that falling prices can accurately depict the real picture of Sarasota home sales. Those who were forced to sell their homes have to drop their prices below the market value in order to dispose their house in accordance to their own personal reasons. Such actions do not manifest the overall condition of homes sales across the region, so to speak.

NAR officials said the “constant fluctuation of the last few months throughout the United States may be coming to an end throughout the United States.”

History dictates that December is a “quiet month’ for real estate with the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the realization of travel plans for most people. Buyers are more occupied with buying gifts for loved ones rather than buying homes, according to realty brokers.

Despite the lull in December sales because of the holiday season, serious buyers will always be on the lookout for best deals. Once there is a home listing with a realistic price and is easily accessible to interested buyers, selling it is inevitable.

NAR expects home sales to remain constant in 2007 but other sectors believe otherwise as they predict a 10 to 15 percent increase of homes sales over the 2006 figures.

Sarasota is a popular tourist destination and is considered the “cultural heart of Florida.” It is predicted that its real estate market will fully recover when ‘baby boomers” begin buying second homes in places offering great vacation spots and Sarasota is indeed a good place to be.

Guide to Buying Smith Lake Real Estate

The search for Lewis Smith Lake real estate is an exciting endeavor. The thought of moving to the lake and living in a water front home lingers in many of our minds. Until one day, we decide to pursue this heart felt dream. Some of us will buy a lake home, while others will purchase the perfect lot on which to build their new dream house.

Before you dive in head first, there are many things that you should consider in order to secure your long time happiness on Smith Lake. Following price, the number one concern of which you should be aware is whether or not your chosen property is located on seasonal or year round water frontage. Smith Lake is designed to normally fluctuate about fourteen feet between full pool and winter pool. Full pool is identified by the elevation of 510 feet above sea level. This means that if you purchase a property that has a depth of only 10 feet at your dock, then your dock will probably have no water under it during the winter draw down period.To insure year round use of your Smith Lake property, I would recommend you find a property that is at least 20 feet deep at the shallowest part of your dock when the lake is at full pool. This will provide you with uninterrupted use of your Smith Lake get away. If you are only interested in using your dock during the warmer months, then you might consider the purchase of real estate with seasonal water frontage.

You might think that the only elevation that is important is that of full pool. You also need to be aware that Alabama Power owns a flood easement on your property all the way to the 522 feet elevation. In the last few years, FEMA has also gotten involved with flooding concerns in the Smith Lake area, and now you will have to have flood insurance if your home is not strategically positioned above the 524 feet elevation mark.

The flood easement is not the only easement that can affect your property. You need to research whether the property has an access easement, and if the property offers easements to others such as ingress/egress easements, power company easements, and water company easements.

You need to research the property of interest and find out if there are any additional building set backs, restrictions, or HOAs that will affect your use of the property. Many subdivisions require minimum set backs, minimum square footage, and some even require construction with specific architectural design. It is very important for you to be aware of these covenants and the fees associated with them before you commit to the purchase of any real estate on Smith Lake. A little extra homework prior to your purchase will add a substantial amount of happiness after the sale.

Some other issues that many people forget are to make sure power and water are readily available at the site in question. If not, you need to determine the costs associated with the installation of such services. You also need to determine if the property has city water or well water. If it has well water, collect a water sample and send it to the health department for examination and look into available filtration systems.

Please make sure you obtain a recent survey for any real estate that you purchase. There is nothing worse than starting your Smith Lake adventure with a property dispute or finding out you did not buy what you thought you were buying. If you are buying land, have the surveyor do a perc test to insure that you will be able to have a septic system for your new home. If you are buying an existing house, have the septic system inspected to make sure you are not buying a problem. Obvously this is not a problem you want to have.

If the property already has a boat dock, check with Alabama Power about transferring the dock permit and to make sure that the dock is in compliance with their rules. If your property does not have a dock, contact Alabama Power to make sure that it can be permitted. You will be greatly disappointed if you discover later that your new home can not have a dock for some unforeseen reason. Also, observe the boat traffic in the area that interests you. Sometimes being on the main body of the lake is both an advantage and a disadvantage.

Charitable Giving Real Estate

Recently traveling through West Virginia on my way out West to the Plains of Texas and the Hot New Mexico Desert, I met with a financial planner at a coffee shop and we discussed many new strategies of giving away money. Perhaps you are not aware but giving away money is one of the hardest things to do correctly.

Anyone can donate money, but giving the right way is extremely difficult. In fact when Warren Buffet and Bill Gates merged their Foundation Assets and Warren came aboard as a Trustee, they mentioned this exact challenge and they were concerned about this.

During my coffee shop conversation we discussed the Charitable giving of real estate and the gentleman from West Virginia also a member of the State Legislature told me of an older lady who donated her families hotel to a Church in Charleston WV. The way it was done was very smart. The Church took out an annuity life insurance policy for the lady and she gave them the building.

People often donate millions to American Cancer Society this way and the organization buys them an Annuity. Yet it works even better if you consider this can be done for a Boys and Girls Club or some other purpose locally in the community such as hospice or historical society.

It is great to see the charitable giving in American and around the world from our people both on the massive scale of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the small scale giving in local communities. Consider all this in 2006.