BRADENTON, FL May 13th - REALTOR Jacki Jensen has joined Wagner Realtyʼs Manatee Ave West Oﬀice as a licensed REALTOR®. Jacki has been in the real estate industry since the early 1990's when she obtained her real estate license in the state of Colorado. She was in the forefront of the growth of Colorado working with the new construction housing market.
Jacki moved to the Bradenton area in 2004 where she remained in residential sales, adding property management to her resume. She will be providing residential real estate listing and sales services throughout Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
She loves the area where she can enjoy her favorite sport of tennis playing all year round. Jacki is looking forward to taking pickleball lessons and joining a few local teams in the area, since it is such a popular Florida sport.
Colorado Springs is still home to her son and daughter, six grandchildren and one great granddaughter but the cold snowy winters will certainly draw her large family to visit her in the luscious warm weather and gorgeous beaches here in Florida.
"From the day I walked into the Corporate office, I felt so comfortable," notes Jacki, adding "I was warmly welcomed there and made friends from the first day. I am so thankful that my friends recommended me to contact Wagner."
She can be reached at the Wagner Realty Manatee Ave West Oﬀice located at 7411 Manatee Ave West Office, Bradenton, Florida 34236 or by phone at 719.352.5513, on the web at www.jjensen.wagnerrealty.com or by email at jackijensen@WagnerRealty.com.
LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL May 6th – REALTOR Lora L. Howell, Esq. has joined Wagner Realty's Lakewood Ranch Office as a licensed REALTOR® and will be working with the business brokerage division.
As part of the expert brokerage team in Lakewood Ranch, Lora will specialize in marketing businesses in a way that will appeal to a large base of qualified buyers. With advanced understanding from both the litigation and transactional perspectives, she will advise clients with the confidence required in all business transactions.
Lora has been a member of the Florida Bar since 2007 and has focused her practice in the areas of Real Estate Law, Foreclosure Litigation, Family Law and Civil Litigation.
Ms. Howell was raised in Mooresville, Indiana and earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Indiana University in 1994 graduating on the Dean's List and where she was a member of the Political Science Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha. She earned her Juris Doctor Degree from Florida State University College of Law and is currently active in several professional organizations as well as community groups.
Lora can be reached at the Wagner Realty Lakewood Ranch Office located at 8141 Lakewood Main Street, Suite N106, Lakewood Ranch, Florida 34202 or by phone at 941.756.7800, or by email at LoraHowell@WagnerRealty.com
SARASOTA, FL May 12th - REALTOR Genesis Abascal has joined Wagner Realtyʼs First Street Sarasota Oﬀice as a licensed REALTOR®. Genesis has been in the real estate industry since 2005, serving as a Sales Manager at a Miami real estate company. She was in the forefront of the growth and revitalization of the Miami Brickell Downtown area for over 17 years, working under one of the largest South Florida developers and brokerage teams.
Genesis frequently traveled to the Gulf Coast to visit family and fell in love with the area. In November of 2021, she made the decision to make Sarasota her home.
Genesis is committed to sharing her love of the Gulf Coast with expertise and market knowledge to her customers. Real estate is the only career she has ever had, and being able to work in the Gulf Coast has been her dream for many years. She will be providing residential real estate listing and sales services throughout Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Being bilingual and having experience working with International Spanish speaking clients, Genesis enjoys helping homebuyers/sellers and investors communicate their real estate goals.
"In searching for a new brokerage to place my license with, I was looking for an independent and large brokerage where I could be a part of a family and not just a name on a roster of agents," notes Genesis, adding "I was warmly welcomed and made to feel so comfortable that I selected Wagner Realty as my new home."
Genesis is a proud mother of one son, Elias, who lives in Miami. His love for theater and performing arts since the tender age of eight, has resulted in acting roles in local musicals within the Miami area. Genesis hopes that she can attract her now, eighteen-year-old son to join the more than half dozen diﬀerent theater companies on a variety of theatrical stages locally in Sarasota.
Genesis has spent many years actively involved in local Miami non-profit organizations, such as the Covenant House, an organization that helps homeless children. She also served as Ambassador at Kristi House, a safe haven for abused children, while studying for her Bachelor's Degree in special education at Miami Dade College.
She can be reached at the Wagner Realty First Street Sarasota Oﬀice located at 1440 First Street, Sarasota, Florida 34236 or by phone at 305-853-6400, on the web at www.genesissellsflorida.com or by email at genesis@WagnerRealty.com.
Mother's Day is just around the corner, so now is the time to start thinking about how you'll show mom your appreciation this year.
Our real estate agents turn to our local flower shops to find the perfect Mother's Day gifts. A bouquet of flowers is not only a great way to freshen up the house, but it's also a gift associated with love and beauty. Here are some local flower shops that make a great Mother's Day bouquet.
Give mom the gift she deserves this year by visiting one of our area's wonderful local flower shops. For more local recommendations around Sarasota, Bradenton, or Ellenton, contact us today.
BRADENTON, FL, February 28th – REALTOR Maria LaPiana has joined Wagner Realty's SR 64 East, Bradenton Office as a licensed REALTOR®. Maria has spent more than seventeen years in the real estate industry, with the majority of the time at Howard Hanna in Real Estate Services in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After observing many of her long-term clients were migrating to the warmer Florida climate, it wasn't long before she headed south to spend more time in Florida. She was sold on the attractive sunny climate and went off to quickly obtain a Florida real estate license in early 2022, in addition to her Pennsylvania license.
Maria will be providing residential real estate listing and sales services throughout Manatee and Sarasota Counties, with a specialty in helping clients to relocate to warmer climate.
"Wagner Realty has the perfect combination of more than eighty years of experience and family style atmosphere" notes Maria, adding "I had all my questions answered from very knowledgeable and friendly Wagner team members and that's what also convinced me that I made the right decision."
She can be reached at the Wagner Realty SR 64 East, Bradenton Office located at 5215 SR 64 East, Bradenton, FL 34208, or by phone at 724.840.8684, on the web at mlapiana.WagnerRealty.com or by email at marialapiana@WagnerRealty.com
LONGBOAT KEY, FL, February 23, 2022 – Becky Smith, Broker Associate has been named new Branch Manager for Wagner Realty's Longboat Key Office, located at 5360 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Ste 101, on Longboat Key. Becky will be taking the helm as her predecessor, Dia Wilson has transitioned to concentrate full time on her real estate business.
Becky joined Wagner Realty in October of 2002, and quickly achieved multiple top sales and listings awards. She served on the REALTOR Association of Sarasota & Manatee (RASM) Professional Standards Committee. Becky brings more than twenty years of managerial real estate skills to this position and still manages the Wagner Realty Anna Maria Island Office.
Originally from Mishawaka, Indiana, Becky and her family moved to Anna Maria Island in 1988, so she considers the area islands her home. "Becky brings so much to the table" notes David Eckel, Wagner President and Broker, adding "we know the Longboat Key Office will continue to bring a high level of credibility and reliability as Becky moves into this additional leadership role."
In addition to his real estate talents, she was a member of Toastmasters International for more than thirty five years. "I love Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key and look forward to leading my fellow Wagner Realtors as we continue to provide exceptional service to those looking to buy and sell homes in this incredibly beautiful area on the Gulf Coast of Florida."
Becky can be reached at Wagner Realty by phone at 941.773.1954, on the web at annamariaislandpro.com or by email at BeckySmith@WagnerRealty.com.
Lakewood Ranch, FL February 17, 2022 – Wagner Realty has opened their doors for business at the new office located in the center of Main Street in Lakewood Ranch. The prominent store-front location is designed to create a first-class visitor experience.
"We are very excited about our new upscale office in the heart of Lakewood Ranch," said David Eckel, Broker/Owner of Wagner Realty. "The office features collaborative workspaces as well as technology-enabled conference rooms for customer meetings. This space reflects the innovative culture of Wagner Realty. The décor, furnishings and unique design elements of the space collectively make the new office a comfortable place for agents to work, and for customers to enjoy the home buying and selling experience in a modern, comfortable and welcoming environment."
"We have been working hard for months on this new location and office layout and are so thrilled to see everything come to fruition," said Diane Lee, REALTOR® and Lakewood Ranch Branch Manager. "Our high visibility store-front location at the entrance to Lakewood Ranch Main Street is a nice addition to the wide variety of restaurants and eateries, boutique shops, and other local businesses. We are excited to be in the center of the community events that Lakewood Ranch Main Street is well known for."
Wagner Realty is local, veteran owned and operated and recognizes that small businesses are the heart and soul of the community. They promote and support bringing awareness to small locally owned businesses.
Wagner Realty has deep roots on the Gulf Coast of Florida. For more than eighty years, over two hundred highly trained professional REALTORS® in eight offices have formed long-term strategic relationships with the community, lenders, title companies, and home inspectors. Wagner Realty provides a full suite of real estate services including Residential Sales, Commercial Sales & Leasing, Business Brokerage, Relocation Services, and Property Management/Rentals.
As a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LRE), Wagner Realty has a global presence in more than fifty countries and can provide a full range of services to people moving to or from anywhere in the world.
Wagner Realty has been awarded #1 Favorite Real Estate Agency for a consecutive twenty-three years in a row.
For more information, contact Natalie Russell, Operations Manager at 941.727.2800 or via email at WagnerRealty@tampabay.rr.com.
LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL February 14, 2022 – Nadia Gross has joined Wagner Realty's Lakewood Ranch Office as a licensed Broker Associate.
After receiving a degree in Multinational Marketing from Florida State University, she spent over 13 years of Real Estate Sales and Investments in the high-end markets from Las Vegas to Sarasota. With more than twenty-eight years of business management and marketing experience, Nadia knows what it takes to help her clients achieve their real estate goals, understand the market, and negotiate the best deal and sell their homes for top dollar.
For the past thirteen years, she has personally invested in real estate and the rental vacation business and that's where she discovered her passion for total renovation projects and new home construction. Her clients have raved about their equity growth, ultimately building a nice "nest egg" for retirement.
Nadia stays connected with the local community with her dedicated volunteer involvement with Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS International) who partners with churches and organizations worldwide to equip and encourage moms in more than sixty-eight countries.
"I really was impressed with the longevity of Wagner Realty" notes Nadia, adding "I was thrilled when the SR70 East office relocated to the thriving center of Lakewood Ranch on Main Street, right in the heart of my customer base."
Nadia realizes that families who want to live on the West Coast of Florida will have many dreams and desires. Whether it's basking in the sun, sharing sunsets with loved ones, enjoying unique dining experiences, or creating an active lifestyle, she is ready to help fill those desires by providing the best real estate experience.
She can be reached at the Wagner Realty Lakewood Ranch Office located at 8141 Lakewood Main St., Suite N106, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202, or by phone at 941.301.7771. Visit her website at BestHomesinLakewoodRanch.com or by email at Nadia@WagnerRealty.com.
Anna Maria Island, FL., February 8, 2022 – REALTOR® Brian Sullivan has joined the Wagner Realty Anna Maria Island Office as a licensed Broker Associate. Born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Brian started his career in 1999 as a Mortgage Loan Officer. In 2002, Brian became a licensed REALTOR and four years later he earned his Broker Associate license. His twenty years in the real estate industry has resulted in an unparalleled professional track-record and high ethical standards. Brian is well known for being an honest, hard-working agent who does everything in his power to ensure his clients' success. Brian will be providing residential real estate listing and sales services throughout Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
As a regular vacationer to Florida, Brian and his wife, Kayla dreamed of making the Gulf Coast of Florida their permanent home. They proved that dreams do come true when they packed up and moved to Bradenton in 2021.
The Sullivans are founders of Community Outreach, Inc., a local non-profit company in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Dedicated to helping the local community, the organization has contributed over $100,000 since its founding in 2009.
"Wagner Realty is the perfect home for me" notes Brian, adding "I was immediately drawn to the friendly atmosphere of the island office as well as the corporate office. That factor, along with advanced technology tools and training is what convinced me that I made the right decision."
He can be reached at the Wagner Realty Office located at 2217 Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach or by phone at 540.379.5643. Visit his website at bsullivan.wagnerrealty.com or by email at Briansullivan@WagnerRealty.com.
BRADENTON, FL, January 19, 2022 – Leslie Lake has joined Wagner Realty's Manatee Ave West Office as a licensed REALTOR. Leslie is a seasoned real estate agent whose career began twenty-four years ago in Norwalk, Connecticut. Her relocation decision to the Bradenton area was driven by, not only the glorious weather, but by the arrival of her first grandson.
"I am so lucky to be living here in paradise" says Leslie, adding "I am delighted to be with Wagner Realty selling homes in Manatee and Sarasota Counties."
Leslie knows first-hand what it is like to make a life-changing move and that proves extremely helpful when collaborating with customers. Whether they are making a move across the country or down the street, her goal is to make that a seamless stress-free experience.
In her spare time, Leslie enjoys the outdoors including bicycle riding, boating, and walking our local area Robinson Preserve. Recently, she has been working on her creativity skills by taking classes at ArtCenter Manatee. She absolutely adores her two grandsons and enjoys outdoor activities with them.
She can be reached at the Wagner Realty Manatee Ave West Office located at 7411 Manatee Ave West, Ste 100, Bradenton, FL 34210 or by phone at 941.524.3426. Visit her website at llake.wagnerrealty.com or by email at leslielake@WagnerRealty.com.
When you're buying a home, you're subjected to a variety of tips and recommendations from your friends and family. Unfortunately, our real estate agents know that much of the real estate tidbits floating around are myths.
Prospective homeowners believe these myths, potentially interfering with their dreams of homeownership. Here are a few common real estate myths we want to debunk.
Ready to start searching for your next home? Contact us today!
A new home is like a blank canvas. There are plenty of Sarasota homes for sale, but it's your job to make that house your own, with everything from the colors of the walls to the style and layout of the furniture, and much more. Now, with fall upon us, it's the perfect opportunity to turn your new house into a home with some fun interior design trends. Here are a few you should know about.
If you're looking for Bradenton homes for sale, our real estate agents can help you find the perfect one to meet your needs. Contact us to help you find your dream home, and find the design elements that will really make it yours.
Fall in Florida brings many exciting activities. While people up north are hunkering down for the winter, here, we're enjoying slightly cooler weather and gearing up for the busy season. From now until the summer returns, there's no shortage of things to do.
This time of year, when they're not busy helping clients find their dream homes, our real estate agents enjoy visiting local craft shows on the weekends. Whether you're an art enthusiast or just looking for something fun to do, we recommend paying a visit to these upcoming events.
Now is the perfect time to find your dream home in Florida, and the agents at Wagner Realty are here to help! Contact us today to learn more and get started with your homebuying journey.
Gated communities offer various advantages that many residents find appealing, but the gated community lifestyle isn't necessarily a perfect fit for every buyer. If you've been shopping for homes and thinking about purchasing a home in a gated community, then it's important to understand exactly what to expect from your neighborhood. Our real estate agents are here to help you make an informed decision, with our guide to terms you need to know when considering a gated community.
Whether you're shopping for Bradenton homes for sale in a gated community or a more traditional neighborhood, our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout Southwest Florida communities.
Bradenton, FL, April 5, 2021 - Every year, the Bradenton Herald features the "People"s Choice" Awards, inviting readers to vote for their favorite service providers in a variety of businesses. For the 23rd consecutive year, Wagner Realty has been voted the "2021 People's Choice" as the #1 local real estate service provider. We would like to take this time to thank the general public and our customers for their vote of confidence and support, year after year.
"Additionally, I want to thank our hard-working and talented team for this honor" said David Eckel, Owner and Broker of Wagner Realty. "Our agents are simply the best. They're dedicated to improving the quality of life of our customers, their families and the communities we serve. The People's Choice award exemplifies the excellence we foster in all aspects of our business. Congratulations to all of our brokers, agents and staff on this wonderful achievement!"
Established in 1939, Wagner Realty is one of the oldest and largest independent, locally owned and operated real estate companies in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. With more than 200 agents, Wagner Realty serves all of Manatee and Sarasota Counties, as well the Greater Tampa Bay Area. The company's relocation division provides buyers and sellers with professional assistance when moving to or from anywhere in the world. As a member of LeadingRE, Wagner Realty offers global reach and access to top real estate professionals throughout the world. For more information about Wagner Realty, visit www.WagnerRealty.com.
The Internet has made planning vacations a breeze. But along with the ease of booking travel and accommodation on the web, we've also seen a rise in the incidence of vacation scams.
It's all too easy to be fooled into thinking that a great bargain for a beautiful vacation property you're trying to rent is for real, when in fact, you've been had by scammers who have taken your money and run with it.
Here are 6 tips that can help you avoid vacation rental scams while you're booking your dream vacation.
Avoiding Vacation Rental Scams
Our experienced team is here to help with your vacation planning! With 8 offices, our team has plenty of Florida properties to choose from for your vacation. Plus, our Anna Maria Island office has been open for over 80 years!
Press Release: Realtor Natasha McCorley Joins Wagner Realty's El Conquistador Office
BRADENTON, FL February 16, 2021 - Natasha McCorley has recently joined Wagner Realty's El Conquistador Office as a licensed REALTOR. She will be providing residential real estate listing and sales services throughout Manatee County.
Born and raised in Michigan, Natasha moved to Columbus, Ohio and started a remodeling company in 2011, "Top 2 Bottom Home Improvement & Decorating LLC". As the name says, the company provided complete renovation services literally from top to bottom with each project uniquely finished with Natasha's magic touch of professional interior design. Her home remodeling involvement coupled with her passion for real estate culminated in becoming a licensed REALTOR® in 2017. She relocated with her family to the West Bradenton area in 2020. With her specialized knowledge of home remodeling, she will be a huge help to buyers and sellers.
"I chose Wagner because the firm is local and I felt like I was part of the family as soon as I walked in the door," notes Natasha, adding "they're welcoming, and positive. It's a great company that offers expert personalized training!"
Natasha can be reached at Wagner Realty's El Conquistador Office located at 3403 El Conquistador Pkwy, Bradenton, FL, by phone at 941.253.7982, on the web at www.natashasellshomes.com or by email at .
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!
Press Release: Realtor Mary May Joins Wagner Realty's Lakewood Ranch Office
BRADENTON, FL, January 25, 2021 – Mary May has joined Wagner Realty's Lakewood Ranch Office as a licensed REALTOR®. Mary will be providing residential real estate listing and sales services throughout Manatee County.
She is a native of Florida and was raised in Panama City, Florida. Licensed in 1984 as a REALTOR, Mary worked part-time and raised four children. By 2006, she had stepped back from her real estate career to provide care for her family. She eventually settled in Manatee County.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.
"I was drawn to Wagner Realty because of their community presence," notes Mary, adding "and they provide a family atmosphere for agents and an inviting experience for buyers and sellers!"
Mary can be reached at Wagner Realty's Lakewood Ranch office located at 11121 SR 70 E, Bradenton, FL, by phone at 850.699.3964, on the web at www.mmay.wagnerrealty.com or by email at marymay.WagnerRealty.com.
If extreme temperatures are rapidly increasing your home's energy costs, it's time to look for ways to lower your home's energy usage. Our real estate agents recommend homeowners conduct an annual appraisal of their home to find easy ways to lower their energy costs.
Making your home more energy efficient is also beneficial if you plan to add it to the inventory of Bradenton homes for sale; buyers appreciate a well-maintained property that incorporates environmentally-friendly features. Here are some simple tips to help your household lower its energy usage.
Ready to explore other home options? Contact us today 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
'Tis the season for giving, and our real estate agents invite you to join our shop small initiative. Our local businesses support our communities economically and socially. Without them, Sarasota and Manatee Counties just wouldn't feel like home. Let's support our friends, family members, and neighbors by purchasing gifts from these local shops.
Gifts for the Outdoor Enthusiast…
Living in Florida means living outside for most of the year. If you have someone on your gift list that loves the outdoors, you can't go wrong with a gift card to Surfer Bus. Located around the block from Anna Maria homes for sale, this kayak rental service makes it effortless to get out onto the open water. For those who prefer to stay on land, Zegway by the Bay is a better bet. This unique company offers Segway tours around local towns near our Holmes Beach homes for sale. If you're looking to hit the town in style, consider a gift certificate to Longboat Limousine. Cruising from our Longboat Key homes for sale throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties, you can simply enjoy a luxurious ride with million-dollar views of the Gulf of Mexico.
Gifts for the Foodie…
Who doesn't love good food? Gift the foodie in your life a gift certificate to Jennings Downtown Provisions. A favorite destination of those who moved into Bradenton homes for sale, Jennings is a restaurant and bar specializing in great eats like tacos and flatbread. The Bradenton Farmer's Market is another fantastic place where a single gift card will fill them with the best local flavors.
Gifts for Lovers of All Things Local…
The Original Sand Dollar and Sun & Surf Beach Shop have various gifts that fit perfectly under the tree. If you're seeking something unique, you'll find several one-of-a-kind, locally-owned, giftshops near our Sarasota homes for sale, like Artisans' World Marketplace, Maker's Market, and The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime. Or you can think outside the box and pair a foodie gift card from above with a trip to the theatre.
Gifts that Celebrate the Arts and Nature…
While some nonprofit shops may not have gift certificates for purchase, you can gift tickets or memberships to some of our local museums like The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Selby Gardens, and Sarasota Art Museum.
Gifts to Benefit A Favorite Cause...
It's a time of increased need throughout our community, which makes it a great time to give the gift of support. We also encourage you to consider gifts that help nonprofits in the Sarasota and Manatee Counties. If you aren't sure which non-profit you would like to support, visit The Giving Partner website. The Giving Partner, presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, helps local nonprofits tell their story and enables you to explore how each nonprofit is making a difference in our neighbors' lives. The Giving Partner database contains over 700 profiles of 501(c)(3) charitable organizations serving Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties.
If you're interested in buying or selling homes in Manatee or Sarasota Counties this holiday season, feel free to contact us. For more gift giving inspiration, be sure to check out our collection of short videos.
If you've been feeling stuck at home over the last few months, imagine how your dog feels. Treat your pup to an exciting afternoon by getting out and about around Sarasota and Bradenton. Our real estate agents encourage you to check out these seven dog-friendly parks to bring your four-legged friend.
Are you looking for a home close to the coast where you and your four-legged friend can play in the sun? We'll happily assist you with your search. Contact us today to see our latest listings of homes for sale in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.
Are you searching for a place where you can relax with your family and friends? Our real estate agents invite you to leave your worries behind and spend hours enjoying a staycation at One Particular Harbour.
Only moments away from the beach, award-winning golf, shopping, dining, and entertainment, One Particular Harbour is a gated community that caters to adults and families of all ages.
Short term stays include access to amenities such as a deep-water marina, restaurant, pool, grilling area, and children's area. For those visiting for more than 30 days, enjoy the extended amenities of Harbour Isle. A waterfront beach club, private pool, sky bar, kayak launch, fitness center, and yoga lawn can be yours to enjoy throughout your staycation.
Are you ready for a staycation on Anna Maria Island? Our team receives approximately 10 rental inquires for this property daily, so don't delay booking your getaway.
Better yet, would you like to call this slice of paradise home? Whether you want to visit for a week or live here for years to come, contact us to discover our best Bradenton homes for sale and for rent in the area.
The Parrish, FL area has seen significant growth in recent years, and that's no surprise. With plenty to do close to home and an easy commute to nearby communities like Tampa, Bradenton, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota, the community has something to offer for everyone. Whether you enjoy spending time outdoors in the sun, catching up on culture, watching live sports, or shopping until you drop, it's easy to find fun around Parrish. Our real estate agents are here to help you get to know the community, with our guide to living in the Parrish area.
Parrish Has Homes to Suit Every Buyer
A central location, strong job market, and diverse local attractions are just a few of the factors that have caused the recent growth of Parrish. That growth has lead to ample new construction in the area, and the average home in Parrish is just six years old. Parrish homes for sale feature something to fit every budget, from perfect starter homes for families to attractive, new luxury listings.
Outdoor Fun from Golf to the Gulf
Love spending time by the water? Parrish offers easy access to the area's best beaches, fishing spots, and marinas. Enjoy time by the Gulf on the beaches of Bradenton, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota, along with fresh seafood at beachfront dining spots. Of course, living in Parrish also makes it easy to experience the legendary local golf scene, including the scenic, challenging layout at River Wilderness Golf & Country Club.
Easy Access to the Best of Southwest Florida
You'll find plenty to do close to home in Parrish, and even more when you visit the other dynamic, local Florida communities within short driving distance. Communities like Bradenton, Sarasota, Tampa, and St. Petersburg are all close by. Enjoy access to a diverse collection of job markets with a short daily commute, and find fun for every member of the family with nearby attractions for all ages. When you live in Parrish, the best of Southwest Florida is always waiting just outside your front door.
Enjoy Live Sports and Entertainment Close to Home
If you love live sports, the Parrish area has action during every season. Catch your favorite MLB team tuning up for the season each spring, with the Yankees in Tampa, the Pirates in Bradenton, the Orioles in Sarasota, and the Phillies in Clearwater. Tampa is also home to the Lightning of the NHL, the Buccaneers of the NFL, and the Rays of MLB.
There's plenty of culture in the area, too, with the Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Symphony, and Sarasota Ballet just a short drive from home. The many performance venues around Tampa also attract world-class performers, including some of the biggest names in music.
Local History and So Much More Near Parrish
Art, science, history... the museums around Parrish offer something for every interest. The Florida Railroad Museum, located within Parrish, offers a trip back to the 1940s and 1950s when railroads were one of the most popular ways to travel. In nearby Sarasota, you'll find the historic Ringling Museum of Art, Selby Botanical Gardens, and Mote Marine Aquarium. Just over the Sunshine Skyway, in St. Petersburg you'll find The Dali Museum and in Tampa, The Florida Aquarium. There's so much to discover when you call Parrish home!
Ready to enjoy all the perks of living in Parrish? Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Parrish, FL area.
If you love the surf, sand, and incredible sunsets you'll love a vacation at Runaway Bay! Set along the serene shores of Bradenton Beach, Runaway Bay is nestled near Bradenton Beach homes for sale. If you've been dreaming of a "staycation" these cozy condos offer an opportunity for you to get away from the stresses of everyday life while remaining close to home. Our real estate agents encourage you to consider a long-weekend stay at one of these tranquil units.
Located on Anna Maria Island, just footsteps from Bradenton Beach, Runaway Bay is a short drive away from Sarasota, Bradenton, St. Petersburg, and Tampa. For those who are craving some excitement, popular Florida vacation destinations like Busch Gardens, Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios are within one to two hours from the property.
The amenities of Runaway Bay are so welcoming that visitors find everything they need for a relaxing and fun vacation. A large heated swimming pool and sauna are all on the property for those who want to pamper themselves. Or, if you prefer, there's also pickleball, a recreation room, gym, fishing pier, shuffleboard court, tennis court, and bocce ball. Whether you come from near or far, you'll savor every moment lounging in Runaway Bay.
Would you like to soak up the sun on Bradenton Beach? Contact us today to learn more about our renting a unit in the relaxing Runaway Bay.
Although current events may have canceled your global travel plans, there's still plenty of time to have an amazing vacation close to home. Our REALTORS® invite you to plan a staycation at one of our Florida rental properties. Situated near or directly on the sandy shores of the Gulf Coast, these rental properties allow you to soak up the sun and maximize your time to relax, unwind, and enjoy the simple pleasures that the Sunshine State has to offer.
Who says you can't staycation forever? We have a portfolio of gorgeous Longboat Key homes for sale on the water and many stunning Bradenton Beach homes for sale within a short stroll to the shore. Contact us today to book one of our amazing rental homes and discover what life is like along the Gulf Coast.
As we shelter in place, many of us are working remotely from home. While for some, this may be an improvement over the office with its obvious distractions and interruptions, but for others, the home environment offers its own distractions. With schools closed, you may have kids to look after, or if you live alone, the laundry and other tasks call to you as you're in the midst of dealing with your work email backlog. Here are some tips that may help you as you navigate your new work environment.
With the kids at home for the foreseeable future and many public spaces closed indefinitely, many parents will need a helping hand keeping their children entertained during this difficult time. Our REALTORS® understand that, while having fun is a great distraction, children still need to spend adequate time learning and growing while out of school. Thankfully, these seven educational websites offer great ways to keep your kids entertained and academically engaged while at home.
Are you looking for a way to stay entertained at home? Why not browse some of our Bradenton homes or Sarasota homes for sale? Many of these stunning properties feature high-definition photographs and even virtual tours. Contact us to learn more.
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:
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.
On your mark, get set, race! Get your running shoes ready and check out these races taking place around the Sarasota and Manatee area during February and March.
If you're looking forward to a healthier you in 2020, then you're in luck. CrossFit is an excellent workout option to help you accomplish any fitness goal. Whether that goal is to improve health or weight loss, Crossfit can help you get in better shape. The program works for everyone—people who are just starting out and people who have trained for years. These CrossFit gyms in Manatee and Sarasota counties offer an intense workout to help you along on your fitness journey!
Contact us today to learn more about life in the Manatee and Sarasota area. Our REALTORS® have helped countless families find their dream homes in Florida, and we can't wait to help you find yours!
Painting, music, theater, sculpture—there's no end to the types of art you can be inspired by. Our REALTORS® count themselves lucky to live in the Sarasota/Manatee area, where inspiration is never hard to find.
This January 31st is National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day. In honor of the occasion, we're happy to share some of our favorite local art classes, studios, and creative spaces in the Manatee and Sarasota areas.
Contact us today to learn more about life in Florida. Our little corner of Florida offers great opportunities for fun, adventure, and creativity year-round!
It's almost time once again for the cheesiest holiday of the year, with January 20th marking this year's edition of National Cheese Lover's Day. Whether you're a true aficionado of all things cheese or you simply love an excuse to sample, you'll find no shortage of places to celebrate in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Our REALTORS® have the details on 6 local spots where you can celebrate National Cheese Lover's Day.
Artisan Cheese Company – 550 Central Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
With a convenient location close to Sarasota homes for sale and a diverse selection of cheese from around the world, Artisan Cheese Company is sure to have what you seek. Visit anytime to browse the best selection of artisan cheese in Sarasota. If you love a glass of good wine with your favorite cheese, wine, and cheese clubs at Artisan Cheese Company can satisfy both of your culinary passions.
Chop Shop Grocer – 5906 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34209
Looking for a local, old-fashioned grocer close to Bradenton homes for sale? Then head for the Chop Shop Grocer, where you'll find great cheese and so much more. The award-winning deli at the Chop Shop stocks a wide variety of international cheeses, along with all of your favorite cold cuts. Grab a prepared meal, or find the freshest ingredients for your own home-cooked creations.
Morton's Gourmet Market – 1924 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, FL 34239
Whether you're shopping for gourmet cheese, fine wines, or the freshest top-quality ingredients for your next meal, Morton's Gourmet Market in Sarasota will have what you need. Order a gourmet basket for the cheese-lover on your shopping list, or grab something delicious to take home. With more than 200 cheeses available every day and expert help from cheesemonger Karen LaBonte, Morton's is sure to stock what you seek.
Papa's Meat Market – 324 Tamiami Trail S., Venice, FL 34285
It's easy to find fresh food and fantastic cheese close to Venice homes for sale, thanks to well-known local shops like Papa's Meat Market. The cheese selection at Papa's Meat Market is diverse, with cheeses created on small farms throughout the country. At Papa's, you can sample everything from Amish cheese to the best imported Parmesan from Italy.
The Ancient Olive of Sarasota – St. Armands Circle 26 N. Boulevard of the Presidents, Sarasota, FL 34236
Just a short drive from Longboat Key homes for sale, you'll find The Ancient Olive. It's not a cheese shop, but when you have gourmet cheese, you need the amenities – like premium extra virgin olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars. The Ancient Olive provides an epicurean adventure that includes tastings of its various specialty foods among an array of unique culinary gifts, all found in the ambiance of a fine art gallery. The tasting room At The Ancient Olive features 55+ premium single varietal and flavored extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars and has been awarded for excellence in quality and education.
You'll never be hungry when you call our corner of Florida home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Manatee and Sarasota area.
There are a ton of fun New Year's events to enjoy in the Manatee and Sarasota areas this year. Whether you're looking for family fun, a formal event, live music, or just one big, local party with all of your friends, there's a New Year's Eve event with your name on it. Our REALTORS® are ready to welcome 2020! Learn about some of the local events with our guide to just some of the great New Year's Eve events in the Manatee and Sarasota area.
2020 EPIC New Year Party - Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
Ring in the new decade with 22N, an awesome high energy band that will have everyone on the dancing floor. When the band takes a break, DJ EMP will be spinning Top 40 hits to keep the party going. You'll love the huge dance floor! Party tickets for 2020 EPIC New Year Party include valet to the red carpet, paparazzi, bottomless bubbly all night, full open top-shelf bar, catered appetizers by Acropolis Greek Taverna and Star Thai & Sushi & Desserts, midnight celebration and much more. Plus, you can save $10 with the following case sensitive promo code: wagner.
Sarasota New Year's Eve Pineapple Drop – Main Street, Downtown Sarasota, FL 34236
Participate in one of the most time-honored New Year's traditions, the Sarasota New Year's Eve Pineapple Drop, with a special Florida twist. Enjoy a carnival atmosphere perfect for families, along with local food, drink, a full bar, live music, and a spectacular fireworks display to close out the evening. Many Sarasota homes for sale are right around the corner from the festivities.
New Year's Eve at Selby Gardens – 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
Enjoy an elegant, black-tie New Year's Eve experience with New Year's Eve at Selby Gardens, and ring in the new year in style. This event features a little bit of everything, with unique tropical light displays, a delicious four-course, sit-down dinner, and live entertainment throughout the evening. When the clock strikes midnight, you can cap off your evening with a fantastic view of the fireworks over Sarasota Bay.
Salute to Vienna New Year's Concert – 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
Head for the Salute to Vienna New Year's Concert for music, dance, and so much more. With a full symphony orchestra and tons of talented dancers, the Salute to Vienna has been a local New Year's Eve staple for more than 20 years. Make this Sarasota tradition a part of your celebrations!
New Year's Eve Docksider – 509 N. Tamiami Trail, Venice, FL 34285
Searching for New Year's excitement and waterfront fun close to Venice homes for sale? Visit the New Year's Eve Docksider and celebrate your favorite holiday as only Florida knows how. Settle in for a relaxing, laid-back New Year's celebration on the docks, with fantastic food and live local music.
Decades Rewind – 1 Indian Ave., Venice, FL 34285
Celebrate past decades as you ring in a new one at Decades Rewind, a music-filled New Year's Eve party that's sure to have you on the dance floor. The fun starts early in the afternoon, with music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. As the evening progresses and midnight draws closer, you'll enjoy music from the 80s and 90s. If you're looking for an all-day party to celebrate New Year's, this is the place to be.
The Waterfront at Caddy's - 801 Riverside Dr. E, Bradenton, FL 34208
Ring in the New Year on the waterfront at Caddy's with Irish bagpipers at 7 pm, DJ Pezz at 8 pm and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight! Pull up your boat and enjoy a one of a kind waterfront dining experience and an incredible view near Bradenton homes for sale.
Roaring 2020 New Year's Eve Party – Grove, Main Street, Lakewood Ranch
Welcome the year in style and dress in your best 20's attire when you attend the Roaring 2020 New Year's Eve Party at GROVE! The perfect place to celebrate the New Year close to Lakewood Ranch homes for sale. Enjoy hors d'oeuvre's, carving station and a premium open bar all included with the price of your ticket. The cost per person is $119.95 plus applicable tax and gratuity.
Is finding a new home at the top of your New Year's resolution list this year? We can help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Manatee and Sarasota areas.
Not in the mood for baking this holiday season? No problem! The Sarasota and Manatee areas are loaded with great, local bakeries, perfect for picking up pies for all of your big holiday events. There's a local bakery for every taste, with specialties ranging from legendary key lime pies to a huge selection of gluten-free baked goods. Our REALTORS® are here to help you ring in the season in style, with our guide to the best Manatee and Sarasota bakeries for your holiday seasonal treats.
Ginnie's and Jane E's – 9807 Gulf Dr., Anna Maria, FL 34216
Searching for something sweet close to Anna Maria homes for sale? Stop by Ginnie's and Jane E's cafe to shop for holiday pies and so much more. The bakery at this local gem stocks a wide variety of pies, with vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options available. There's also a cafe and antique shop connected to the bakery.
Carribean Pie Co. – 2245 Bee Bridge Rd., Sarasota, FL 34239
If you're looking for an authentic, amazing key lime pie close to Sarasota homes for sale, then the Carribean Pie Co. is more than worth a trip. Try the award-winning key lime pie or sample one of many other pies with tropical themes. With over 25 years of experience creating delicious treats, you can always expect quality desserts.
Island Gluten Free Bakery – 1880 Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota, FL 34231
When Island Gluten Free Bakery got its start in 2006, it was one of just a handful of gluten-free bakeries in the country. Even though there's a lot more competition today, this bakery still ranks as one of the country's best. There are also extensive vegan options, all made fresh with local ingredients.
Yoder's Amish Village – 3434 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota, FL 34239
You can't go wrong with a pie from Yoder's Amish Village. This Sarasota staple has been serving up mouthwatering slices of pie since 1975. All of these Amish pies are completely made-from-scratch every morning. There are plenty of options to take home with you during the holidays, including cherry, pumpkin, southern pecan, double-crust apple, and more!
Der Dutchman – 3713 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota, FL 34232
Enjoy a homemade Amish pie during the holidays when you pick up pies from Der Dutchman. Conveniently located on Bahia Vista St, this Amish store is perfect for holiday desserts or even picking up last-minute gifts. Pie options include black raspberry, custard, pumpkin, and blueberry.
Morton's Gourmet Market – 1924 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, Florida 34239
Morton's Gourmet Market has upheld a tradition of tasty food for over 40 years. You'll impress at the holiday party when you bring a treat from Morton's Gourmet Market's talented pastry chefs. Some of their holiday dessert specialties for 2019 include pumpkin pie, old fashioned apple pie, and Jim Beam pecan pie. Be sure to place your holiday orders before December 20th.
Still searching for the perfect local home where you can create your own holiday memories? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Manatee and Sarasota areas.
Sticking to an exercise routine can be tough, especially during the holiday season. Between last-minute shopping, fun community events, and celebrations with family and friends, finding time for the gym is difficult. Thankfully, these fitness centers around Manatee and Sarasota Counties make it easy to stay in shape during the holidays.
Thanksgiving is upon us, offering an opportunity for reflection and gratitude. Everyone has their own favorites to be thankful for, but we thought it might be nice to start the holiday week off by sharing some of our favorites.
If you're you looking for a home close to a relaxing beach or a condo in the heart of a bustling art, culture, and dining scene, contact us today, and we'll help you find a home that you'll be thankful for every day of the year.
We may have sand instead of snow, but Manatee and Sarasota Counties still transform into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. Our REALTORS® have put together this holiday event guide to make sure your family enjoys a season filled with cheer!
For more help finding the perfect Sarasota or Manatee County home to spend your next holiday, contact us!
No-Shave November has blown up in recent years, with men all over the world letting their beards grow wild as a way to raise awareness and money to fight cancer. Our REALTORS® have always been happy to take part, but when November draws to a close, we're about ready for a shave.
Luckily, we have some great barbers in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. So when No-Shave November ends and you're ready to kiss your beard goodbye, these local barbershops are the places to go.
Contact us to learn more about life in Manatee and Sarasota Counties! Our team has helped families find their dream homes of Florida's Sunset Coast, and we're committed to helping you find yours.
Even though there's no snow in sight, the many holiday craft fairs returning to town are making it feel a lot like Christmas. Our REALTORS® are excited to complete our shopping lists by visiting a handful of the spectacular holiday craft fairs in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. If you're looking for one-of-a-kind gifts for that special someone, head to one of these festive fairs.
Are you looking for a place to keep all of your new crafts and décor? Contact us today, and we'll help you find a great home in Sarasota or Manatee County.
Get started on your Halloween festivities early by celebrating National Pumpkin Day on October 26th. Give in to your pumpkin obsession by picking out the perfect pumpkin to carve, eating pumpkin-flavored foods, and participating in fun-filled activities for the whole family at these great pumpkin patches and events around Sarasota and Manatee Counties.
After you've picked the perfect pumpkin, it's time to pick the perfect home. Contact us to view our best homes for sale in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.
Did you know that the Sarasota and Manatee area is home to some of Florida's most unique museums? Whether you're interested in art, history, culture, classic cars, or whimsy, there's a local museum waiting to be explored. In addition to being great places to visit, museums add character to neighborhoods while preserving local history. Our REALTORS® have all the details on the best museums to visit in the Sarasota and Manatee area.
Still searching for a home close to the art, history, and fascinating museums? Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties.
Yoga has helped people of all ages improve their breathing, balance, and alleviate stress levels.
Luckily, residents of Sarasota and Manatee Counties have plenty of yoga studios to choose where to improve their yoga practice. These yoga studios have expert instructors and supportive classes ready and able to help you work out the knots and bring your daily life back into balance. Find your center at one of these area yoga studios.
Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year along the Gulf Coast. You can be sure everyone will be taking full advantage of the cooler weather by getting out and active! Our REALTORS® are here with the return of these family-friendly fall festivals around Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
Looking for a great home in Manatee or Sarasota Counties to settle in for the fall? Contact us today, and we'll help you with your search!
Your precious pooch wants and needs regular exercise, but walks around the block can get old fast. Our real estate agents recommend some of our favorite dog parks in Sarasota and Manatee Counties to share quality time with your pet in the Florida sunshine.
Searching for the perfect home for your family, including the four-legged members? Contact us at Wagner Realty, your top choice for professional real estate services.
Choosing the right charter means the difference between an incredible experience you'll never forget, and a day that's just so-so. To help make sure you enjoy every minute of your trip, we've created the following list of our favorite local fishing and sailing charters.
Are you thinking about buying a home in the Sarasota area? Wagner Realty can help! Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started.
Living in the Sunshine State gives you plenty of opportunities to spend time outdoors and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. For many Florida residents, staying active and eating well are important priorities. Lately, people across the state are embracing the idea of "clean eating."
While this might sound like just another fad diet, it's actually a way of life that's incredibly effective for maintaining your health. In its simplest form, clean eating involves avoiding processed foods, eating balanced meals prepared in healthy ways, and ramping up your intake of plant-based foods.
Luckily, you don't have to slave away in the kitchen to enjoy eating clean. Our real estate agents have found some great clean eating restaurants throughout the Sarasota-Manatee areas! Check out this list of some of our local favorites.
There's so much to love about living in Sarasota and Manatee! From seemingly limitless dining and entertainment options to great weather and gorgeous houses, this city has it all. If you're ready to learn more about the area and start exploring some of our homes for sale throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties, contact us today to get started.
When you think about moving to Florida, sun, sand, and surf most likely top your list of reasons to relocate here. But did you know Florida's call extends to horse farms, rodeos, polo fields, and thoroughbred horse racing tracks too?
Yes, "horsing around" can be added to your bucket list of things to do when you come to Southwest Florida. Moving to one of our nearby communities means you'll have the unique opportunity to enjoy equine events in cities like Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Parrish, Bradenton, and Venice.
Our real estate agents are here with some of the best places to enjoy horseback riding throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties:
Does buying a home in Florida have to be complicated? We say neigh! Wagner Realty will ride to the rescue with advice and customer care you can count on. You'll be galloping toward closing today in no time with us. Contact us today to find out more.
There's no shortage of fun outdoor activities to do in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. If you want to get out of the house and connect with nature, grab your binoculars and your camera and head out to some of the area's best birdwatching spots.
Whether you're new to the birdwatching scene of you're already a member of the Sarasota Audubon Society, you might be surprised by the array of interesting species you'll find nearby. Our REALTORS® recommend taking a drive to the following locations where you're sure to find some new feathered friends.
From outdoor adventures to shopping and nightlife, Our REALTORS® are "in the know" about all things there are to love about living in Sarasota-Manatee County communities. If you would like to learn more about the area and take a look at some of the gorgeous homes for sale, we can help! Contact us at Wagner Realty to get started.
One of the best things about living in the Sarasota-Manatee area is it's proximity to the water. Not only is the area home to some of the best beaches in the country, but it also offers many opportunities to enjoy a memorable waterfront dining experience.
Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or are looking for a great place to enjoy a casual lunch, the ideal waterfront restaurant is just a short drive away.
Our REALTORS® have some favorite waterfront locations to share with you. Here are five to start your local waterfront dining tour.
If you're ready to make the Sarasota-Manatee area your new home, we're here to help! Whether you want to live on the water, in the city, or in the suburbs, there's a home in the area that's perfect for you. Contact Wagner Realty today to discuss your goals and get started.
If you're touring Anna Maria Island homes for sale, then you're considering buying a home where the rest of the world dreams of vacationing. With its many quaint shops, award-winning restaurants, and beautiful beaches, there's never a shortage of things to do here.
Our REALTORS® recommend taking a short break from house hunting to get a taste of what island life is like. Spending the day on a fishing or sailing charter is a great way to do just that. Here are a few of our favorite charter services to help you get started.
When you work with us, you don't have to fish around for a good deal. Our REALTORS® know the area inside and out and will help you find the home you've been dreaming of. Contact Wagner Realty and learn how much easier home buying can be with us by your side.
When it comes to summer fun for the kiddos, our real estate agents have a tip for you: Sarasota-Manatee has some of the top summer camps found anywhere in Florida! The concept of summer camp has sure changed over the years. Now, the conventional "cabin in the woods" approach is just one of many kids can embark on during break. Everything from arts to surfing to engineering is available to the lucky little ones living in our area. With more than 100 active summer camps around Sarasota and Bradenton, picking just one can be a real puzzler. To get you (and the kids!) started, we'd like to recommend five standout camps in Sarasota-Manatee:
With our blend of local insight and outstanding customer service, Wagner Realty's real estate agents make it easy for you to find the property you've been dreaming of. Contact us today to find out more.
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.
Earth Day Festival at Selby Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota | Monday, April 22, from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
The City of Sarasota and UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County will host an Earth Day Festival on Monday, April 22, from 11:30 am -1:30 pm at Selby Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota. The event will feature information booths throughout the park on a variety of environmental issues, including energy efficiency, stormwater pollution, composting, native plants, electric vehicles and more. Food will be available for purchase from the Spice Boys food truck. Visitors will have a chance to tour two tiny homes, pick up free bicycle gear, try an e-scooter, learn about plastic pollution and how to turn single-use plastics into reusable items, hear more about Sarasota in Motion, the city's transportation master plan, and learn why putting fats, oils and greases down the kitchen drain is so bad. In recognition of Arbor Day and the City of Sarasota's celebration of 33 years of being designated as a "Tree City USA" by the Arbor Day Foundation, some attendees will also be able to take home free native plants and trees available at the festival. For more information, contact the City's Sustainability office at 941-926-6686 or email@example.com.
Join our REALTORS® at Wagner Realty as we observe National Lost Dog Awareness Day on April 23rd. This annual event celebrates the happy reunions of lost pets and their owners while raising awareness for the hundreds of other missing or abandoned dogs that need a loving home. There are plenty of cute canines throughout the Sarasota and Manatee Counties that are available for immediate adoption. As you browse homes for sale along Florida's Gulf Coast, we invite you to stop by one of these compassionate animal shelters and find a four-legged friend to add to your family.
Participating in National Lost Dog Awareness Day is a great way to show your support for the thousands of abandoned dogs that go to sleep every night without a permanent, loving home. To learn more about dog adoption centers in the area, or to shop Sarasota and Manatee County homes for sale, contact Wagner Realty today.
When's the last time you spent the weekend enjoying the sun and exploring the fun found around Sarasota and Bradenton? Our REALTORS® encourage you to get out and get involved in the many fantastic weekend events that fill our coast with rich arts and culture. Celebrate our gorgeous weather and vibrant communities by attending one of these five great spring festivals happening in Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
Contact Wagner Realty today to learn more about other spectacular springtime festivals happening around Sarasota and Manatee Counties.
Birthdays come around just once a year, and our REALTORS® know it's an important time for your kids. It's the perfect day to spend with friends and family all around. Sarasota and Manatee Counties feature plenty of locations to have a party that kicks another year off right.
No matter what interests your young one has, our nearby communities are at the center of exciting party venues that are enjoyable and educational. From party staples like pizza to hands-on art projects, we have it all.
Some of the best places to throw a birthday party are at your backdoor:
When people think about buying a home, it usually doesn't inspire them to break out the party hats. An experienced real estate agent makes things easier with expert advice that will get you to closing.
Contact Wagner Realty to find out more. We look forward to helping you.
Our real estate agents at Wagner Realty stand by you every step of the way during your home buying journey. That includes move-in day!
Buying a home is an exciting time, but there's one part that gives people pause: Hauling their "stuff" to their brand new home.
With the popularity of things like the "KonMari Method" helping people to declutter their lives, more people are taking a close look at the things they own. Moving is an excellent opportunity for you to get rid of things you no longer need. That's much easier than finding new places to put them!
It's often a relief to start over in a new home. But how can you do it the right way?
Here's how to purge before you pack – and cut out stress for your moving day.
By being proactive and following these tips, you'll be ready to make a smooth move once you get to closing day. If you haven't found your dream home yet, contact Wagner Realty for expert real estate advice.
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.
Want to sell a spare TV or some old clothes? Just take a picture or two, post them on eBay or Craigslist and wait for the calls to come in. But Bradenton homes for sale require a little more TLC to move quickly and command top price.
If you're a Bradenton homeowner planning to put your house on the market, use these smart tips from our real estate agents to develop a winning game plan.
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.
The city of Bradenton has more to offer than beautiful houses, friendly neighbors, and plenty of sunshine. It's also home to some of the area's best bakeries. When our real estate agents are in the mood for a tasty treat, they love making a stop at one of their favorite sweet spots.
The decadent delights you'll find in these shops are totally worth taking a break from your New Year's resolutions, if only for a day. We've created a list of our favorite Bradenton bakeries, so you can see for yourself what all the buzz is about.
Outstanding bakeries and cafes are just one of the things that make Bradenton a great place to live and work. Contact us at Wagner Realty today and let us show you even more reasons to make "The Friendly City" your new home.
With 2019 just around the corner, it's time to start looking at resolutions for the new year. While many of us like to put our New Year's focus on our health, wellness, and families – all important things – many homeowners neglect the fact that the New Year is the perfect time to make some New Year's resolutions for your home.
Below, our real estate agents outlined five easy New Year's resolutions for your Bradenton home:
Maybe you're still looking for a home and have put your New Year's focus on purchasing Bradenton homes for sale. You've come to the right place! We have a full inventory of homes and can help you find the right one. Make a new home part of your New Year's resolution and contact Wagner Realty today to find the perfect home for you and your family.
New Year's Eve is right around the corner, and the Sarasota area is a great place to celebrate. Whether you prefer a family-friendly event or an epic street party, we've got you covered. Our real estate agents have gathered a list of the very best ways to ring in the New Year in and around the city of Sarasota.
Are you ready to plan an evening you'll never forget? Let's start exploring your options!
Do your 2019 goals include finding a new home in the Sarasota area? There are plenty of gorgeous homes for sale, and our real estate agents are happy to help you find the perfect one. Don't put your dreams on hold, contact Wagner Realty today to get started!
So you have decided it's time for a new home, and are eagerly counting the days until spring to begin the search. But should you really wait that long to get started? While spring is one of the most popular times for buying a house, there are some advantages to making your purchase in the off-season, particularly around the holidays. So, perhaps it is time to talk to our real estate agents about finding your new home. After all, there's no place like a new home for the holidays.
Here are some advantages of making your home purchase over the holiday season:
These are just a few of the potential advantages that can be gained by buying your new home during the holiday season. To hear more about how you can benefit from buying a home in the off-season, please contact Wagner Realty. We're always ready to help you make your best deal on a new home – no matter what time of year you choose to buy.
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.
Whether you're a kid or a kid at heart, Christmas wouldn't be the same without a glimpse of Jolly Old Saint Nick. Luckily, Santa loves soaking up the sun in Sarasota before he gets too busy preparing for his big night.
Our real estate agents have the inside scoop on his favorite spots to hang out while he's here, and we're ready to let you in on the secret. Here are six of the best places to see Santa in and around Sarasota.
If your holiday wish this year involves buying or selling a home in Sarasota, we can help! Contact Wagner Realty today to discuss your real estate goals.
Family-friendly Thanksgiving Day runs, also known as Turkey Trots, first began way back in 1896. Since then, the tradition has grown hugely popular across the United States, offering families and friends a fun way to burn some extra calories before indulging in the day's festivities.
While most of the country will wake up to cold, blustery weather on Thanksgiving morning, Sarasota area residents and visitors will enjoy mild temperatures that are perfect for an early morning run. This year why not start a new family tradition that will allow you to gobble guilt-free all day long? This list of the area's most popular Turkey Trot races will help you get started.
First Inaugural Florida Turkey Trot: Nathan Benderson Park, Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota
Our real estate agents love visiting beautiful Nathan Benderson Park and are excited for the First Inaugural Florida Turkey Trot 5k. This centrally-located first-class venue is perfect for families coming from Sarasota, Bradenton, and Lakewood Ranch.
The event will feature a chipped-timed 5k run/walk with a final "floating mile" over the lake and bracketed "Turkey Dashes" for the kids. Stick around after the race for sweet treats and beverages, and don't forget to bring along your canned-food donations for the All Faiths Food Bank.
All participants will receive a commemorative shirt and finisher medal. Proceeds from the event benefit The Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates, Inc. (SANCA).
ALSO Youth 9th Annual Turkey Trot 5K: Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota
Participants in the ALSO Youth 9th Annual Turkey Trot 5K will enjoy beautiful views of some of the best Sarasota homes for sale as they race over the iconic Ringling Bridge. This chip-timed race offers awards for the top finishers in each group, a finisher's medal for participants under age 15, and a long-sleeve tech shirt for all pre-registered participants.
After you're done, be sure to check out the post-race party and celebrate while enjoying music, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, and a variety of beers.
Tidewell Hospice Turkey Trot 5k: Lakewood Ranch Main Street, Lakewood Ranch
Are you too busy to make it to a race on Thanksgiving day? You're in luck! The Tidewell Hospice Turkey Trot 5k is held on Sunday, November 17th. This chip-timed 5k run/walk is both stroller and pet-friendly, making it an excellent family-friendly option.
Children will love participating in the "Turkey-Dashes," and the 5k course features turkey-themed volunteers, plenty of water stations, and music to help you hustle along. Registration includes a commemorative moisture-wicking shirt.
You're sure to have fun at the after-party featuring food from local area restaurants. On your way home from the event, don't forget to take the scenic route so you can get a look at the many beautiful Lakewood Ranch homes for sale.
Bradenton Turkey Trot "Give to Run" 5k: GT Bray Park, Bradenton
The 22nd Annual Bradenton Turkey Trot puts a unique spin on their event by skipping the registration fee. Instead, participants are encouraged to support The Food Bank of Manatee and Turing Points with monetary donations and/or canned goods.
Participants have the option to purchase Turkey-Trot themed t-shirts, and the overall male and female winners will each receive a delicious pie for their Thanksgiving celebrations. This event is hugely popular and always has a large turnout. If you've been checking out Bradenton homes for sale this is a great way to meet some of your potential new neighbors.
After experiencing the strong sense of community in the Sarasota area, we're confident you'll be more excited than ever to make this area your new home. Contact Wagner Realty to learn how we can help make your dream a reality.
Like it or not, summer is behind us, and cooler weather is headed our way. Luckily, living in Florida means the changes in the seasons aren't nearly as drastic as those experienced by our friends up north. Still, our real estate agents in Bradenton want to make sure you're ready for the change. These are the steps you should take this fall to get your Bradenton home ready for winter.
Contact Wagner Realty today to learn more about adjusting to the changing seasons in Florida, and to find out how we can help you make your dream of living in the Sunshine State a reality. If you're looking for Bradenton homes for sale, our team is here to help.
Ask any of our real estate agents, and they'll tell you that Sarasota locals know how to celebrate Halloween. If you're lucky enough to be in the area this month checking out Sarasota homes for sale, you'll want to visit some of the area's hottest Halloween events. Here are a few of our favorites:
Autumn is an excellent time to relocate to the Sunshine State! Whether you're a local planning to sell your home or a buyer searching for the perfect new residence, our qualified agents make it easy. Contact Wagner Realty today to discuss your needs and learn how we can help.
You don't have to whisk off to a far-away resort to enjoy a relaxing day at a top-notch spa. No matter where you live, you're likely to find some excellent day spas nearby.
The city of Bradenton, on the West coast of Florida, is home to stunning beaches, excellent dining and entertainment options, and plenty of opportunities to pamper yourself. Whether you're a local looking for a luxurious way to spend your day off or a potential new resident ready to take a break after exploring the many gorgeous Bradenton homes for sale, you'll want to check out one or more of the best spas in Bradenton.
If you're ready to make this corner of paradise your permanent home, our real estate agents can help. The city of Bradenton is home to many different residential neighborhoods, each with a unique vibe. Contact Wagner Realty today to start exploring your options.
Nothing spruces up a home like a kitchen renovation. It improves how you make use of your home and can deliver a return on investment when it comes time to sell your home.
The biggest challenge with a kitchen reno is knowing where to start. Our REALTORS® have helped clients make the right decisions when renovating their kitchens prior to listing. Take advantage of these tips to make your kitchen reno project a huge success for your home.
There's something to be said about the simple joy of a refreshing scoop of ice cream, and the Anna Maria area has plenty of great ice cream spots to satisfy your craving. Our real estate agents are experts in the area, and we make your housing goals our priority. So whether you're looking to buy one of many fabulous Anna Maria homes for sale or want to sell your current home, leave the work to us, and head on out to one or more of our six favorite places to indulge in a creamy treat.
These local ice cream shops are just a part of what makes Anna Maria such a fun and beautiful place to live. For more area information or to get started with your house hunt, contact Wagner Realty today!
Once you've decided to sell your home, the next step is to find the right real estate agent to help you get the job done efficiently and to your satisfaction. The trick to finding an agent that has your best interests is to do some research ahead of time and to be open and honest during your initial meeting with them. Our REALTORS® are always on top of the housing market and have built a strong reputation with clients who are buying or selling Florida real estate. Before you select your agent, prepare some questions to ask up front and know what characteristics you should be looking for during your first meeting.
Just as in any field, skill and knowledge are gained over time in the real estate industry. One of the first questions you might want to ask a prospective agent is about their experience. Aside from inquiring about the number of years an agent has working in the field and with their firm, it's important to ask about their recent performance. A good agent should be proud to share their track record with you when you ask about the number of sales during the past year and the percentage of listings that have sold.
Understand the Plan
Asking an agent to explain their specific plan to market your home is not only recommended, but it's also smart. It's much better to understand how your agent will work to get your home the best exposure and the most offers than to automatically assume their plan will work for you. Discuss their marketing strategies including online visibility, signage, and local advertisements. Inquire about how the lockbox will be handled, home showings, and an estimated time frame.
Negotiation and Communication
Get a feel for the agent's communication style while you're discussing the home selling process, but don't be afraid to ask them directly about their negotiation skills. After all, your agent will be the one acting on your behalf during this time period. You'll want to know that they have excellent negotiation tactics and that they're willing to put them to use for you. Communication is crucial in working with an agent, and it's best to understand how and when they'll be communicating with you about offers, updates, and changing market trends.
Dollars and Cents
Have the agent explain how their commission works during your initial meeting. You might think that an agent requiring less commission is a wise choice, but a well-paid, experienced agent has most likely earned a reputation for excellence. It's important to consider a combination of factors when selecting an agent.
Finally, you might ask the agent why they believe they would be the best choice for selling your home. This question gives the agent an opportunity to pitch their qualifications to you, and you'll be able to see how effective their selling skills are right away.
Choosing the right agent to market your home is a huge decision that will affect the entire process, hopefully in a positive way. When you're ready to list your home for sale, contact our team at Wagner Realty to understand what it's like to work with the best in the business. Our 200+ Associates are licensed REALTORS® and belong to the local, state and National Associations of REALTORS®.
Selling your home is a big undertaking, and although tackling the job yourself may initially seem like a good idea, many for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) listings fall short of ideal and at times wind up costing the seller money. Our REALTORS® in Sarasota are experts in the housing market, and we understand just how much work it takes to make a home sale successful. If you are considering selling your home, here are some of the benefits of hiring a real estate agent to sell your house.
Our Wagner Realty sales team is ready to make your home sale a success, and we're excited to speak with you. Save yourself time, frustration, and potentially money by allowing us to present your home to many potential buyers who are currently touring Sarasota homes for sale. Contact Wagner Realty when you're ready to list your home for sale.
Sarasota is about so much more than beautiful beaches and fantastic shopping and dining, although we can't brag enough about those attributes. Our city is a mosaic of cultural events and attractions that are begging to be explored. Known as the "Cultural Coast" of Florida, the Sarasota area adds an unheralded depth of sophistication and education with its various performing arts venues, museums and more. If you are drawn to the area and are thinking of purchasing one of several Sarasota homes for sale, be sure to spend some time acquainting yourself with our city's cultural flair.
It would be difficult to find a more fascinating and breathtaking display of art and architecture than the collection at John Ringling's Mansion. One of the founders of the world-famous Ringling Bros Circus, John Ringling, and his wife had the Venetian Gothic style home built after his travels through Europe. Particularly enthralled by Venice, the Ringlings brought back not only art but inspiration for what would be their winter home and eventually a tribute to both their lifestyle and their circus legacy. The mansion, officially called Ca' d'Zan, is a whopping 36,000 square feet and houses several permanent art collections and special exhibitions. Visitors can also enjoy performances at the mansion's theater, a museum dedicated to the circus and family oriented events. The home and gardens are an attraction in themselves, showcasing the grandeur of Venetian style.
Aside from John Ringling's Mansion, you'll find several other museums in Sarasota that are definitely worth a visit. Just as its name implies, the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy puts the spotlight on the fun and whimsical with bright and inspiring pieces of art. The Sarasota Classic Car Museum is a must-see for lovers of vintage automobiles, and Crowley Museum and Nature Center is a great family attraction that nature enthusiasts and pioneering spirits will love. With a great collection of contemporary art on display, Art Center Sarasota focuses on showcasing area artists and educating the public through workshops and special events.
If you love live music, Sarasota Orchestra won't disappoint. From their Masterworks and Pops series to special events that include the annual Sarasota Music Festival, the orchestra presents a variety of entertainment throughout the year. If you prefer live theater, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe performs Broadway hits and much more in a display of fun and musical excitement. You'll also find a fantastic variety of music, comedy, dance and theatrical performances at Sarasota's Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
Art extends to the great outdoors in Sarasota and its beautiful botanical displays. Visit the tranquil grounds of Marie Shelby Botanical Gardens where you can peacefully stroll through the grounds and marvel at over 20,000 plants carefully tended and arranged for our enjoyment. Sarasota Garden Club is open to the public and is home to thirteen individual gardens that you can leisurely explore.
Sarasota is an all around great place to live, and with so much to discover on the Cultural Coast, we think you'll be delighted time and again. For more information on the Sarasota area and to discuss your real estate needs, contact Wagner Realty today. Our REALTORS® in Sarasota are ready to welcome you home.
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!
When you put your home on the market, the value must be obvious. Your home must generate interest even for a potential buyer who's just driving by. As buyers make the rounds of Bradenton homes for sale, you need a "wow" factor that brings them to your front door. That's a tall order, but it's doable with the right fixes and upgrades.
Our real estate agents understand that upgrading your home is the key to attracting buyers. As many remodeling projects won't deliver a sound return on your investment, you must find other ways to add personality and value. Use these seven tips for adding value and personality to your home for sale.
Home buyers love modern attractive bathrooms. Unfortunately, if you do a full remodel, you won't likely recoup your costs. You still have options for creating a fresh new look.
Trendy pendant lighting fixtures brighten dull corners, make rooms appear more spacious, and add personality. Pendant is the trendy name for drop or suspended lights that hang from the ceiling by a rod or chain. They've been around for a long time, but you can find modern, colorful versions that add value to any room.
Fresh paint adds value to your home exterior and a colorfully painted door adds a personality wow. Newly painted walls enhance any room. Pale blues and grays are the new "neutral" colors for kitchens, living rooms, and baths. Avoid dark colors when the goal is to lighten and brighten.
A well-planned landscape adds personality that attracts homebuyers passing by. Keep your grass mowed and trimmed, of course. Add value with creative landscaping.
You can add value to your home and attract buyers with the lure of future energy savings. Solar panels can be costly but they deliver a return on your investment when you sell. A kitchen redo with Energy Star appliances adds value and personality. If these upgrades are too costly, try less expensive enticements.
A new garage door adds personality and value to your home and it's a Remodel Magazine Cost/Value study Key Trend. At a $3,470 average cost, a garage door is a relatively low-budget remodel and it brings a higher return on investment than any other item on the Cost/Value list.
There's an art to adding personality and value to your home. Our real estate professionals can help. Contact Wagner Realty when you're buying or selling a home or for more information about the Florida communities we serve.
When you're planning to make a move, you choose your neighborhood carefully. It makes sense to find a community that lives up to your highest expectations. If you're considering Sarasota homes for sale, you're headed in the right direction.
Our real estate agents could give you a long list of great reasons to make the move to Sarasota. Instead, we've decided to keep it simple by sharing 5 Things that Make Sarasota's Neighborhoods Great.
Sarasota is a beautiful active city. It's no wonder vacationers visit in record-breaking numbers. With easy access to Sarasota Bay, Venice, Lido Key, Casey Key and other seaside vistas, you won't have to travel far for vacation-style fun every day.
Endless Entertainment Options
Entertainment variety is a key perk of living a Sarasota lifestyle. Here are just a few of the many entertaining experiences.
And for Kids...
The Sarasota school page on Greatschools.org shows a long list of positive ratings. These reviews were parent-generated, but Florida Department of Education stats reveal the same positive trend. The FLDOE ratings show that many Sarasota schools consistently earn "A" ratings.
Many Sarasota neighborhoods are rated highly-safe. But as with any active city, crime varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. To get the specifics on your future home, you must do your own research. Websites like Areavibes.com and AARP Livability Index can help. When you enter your city or zip code, these sites supply crime and other livability ratings for your chosen neighborhood.
In Sarasota, the average commute takes 21.9 minutes. That's largely due to the fact that I-75 and SR 19 cut right through Sarasota. If you prefer to avoid driving, SCAT buses run throughout the city. You can also register for a vanpool or carpool match-up on the FDOT Commuter Services page. As you'll find a number of white collar jobs in the city, your commute time could be minimal.
If you're thinking about moving to Sarasota, let us help. Contact Wagner Realty if you're buying or selling a home or if you simply want to know more about Sarasota living.
This is often the time of the year to begin home renovation projects that have been on the back burner for quite a while. Home improvement projects can be satisfying and even fun when they are properly planned and well executed. Maybe you have a vision of what you'd like to change in your home but don't know quite where or how to begin. Before you jump in head first, there are several steps you should take to get your project off on the right foot.
Our real estate agents understand that your home is your sanctuary, and a renovation may be just what you need to make your home feel and look perfect to you. We're here for all your real estate needs and happy to assist you with questions and recommendations. Contact Wagner Realty 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!
Adding curb appeal increases the value of your home and makes it more appealing to house hunters. Landscaping projects can be a quick and fairly inexpensive way to make your homes stand out from the other homes for sale in Sarasota. Our REALTORS® know what it takes to sell homes in our community. Here are a few ways to boost your curb appeal and give potential buyers a great first impression of your home from the minute they pull up to the curb.
Paint a Picture of the Salt Life
Buyers are looking for a Sarasota home that embraces the delight of living in paradise. Paint a picture with a few flowering bushes in lovely stone planters. Power wash your driveway, stone paths, and lanai to make everything sparkle. Most home improvement stores rent power washers, making this an inexpensive improvement that magnifies the appeal of your home. If you have a pool, make certain that the water is crystal clear and brightly clean. These little things add up to make your home even more attractive.
Add a Hummingbird Garden
A hummingbird garden is a lovely asset to any home. It's small, colorful and requires minimal maintenance. Hummingbirds are tiny, so you don't have to worry about the car damage some larger birds cause. Hummingbird-friendly landscaping also attracts butterflies, so you get two benefits from a single weekend project. Look for plants with vibrant colors (especially red). Flowers that flourish in Sarasota include:
Each of these plants is low-maintenance. By planting several varieties, you can have butterflies and hummingbirds from May through August.
Consider a Lawn Upgrade
A beautiful yard provides a place for outside activities, prevents erosion, and releases sweet-smelling oxygen before a rainfall. A lawn with a dependable drainage system is extremely attractive to buyers. Low or easy maintenance is another benefit that home buyers are looking for in a new home. Before you make a major investment in upgrades, stop by one of our offices. Our real estate agents will be happy to share what types of lawns appeal to buyers in Southwest Florida. As a seller, you want to balance any investment you make with the benefits that it will provide.
Wagner Realty for Sarasota Real Estate Services
A few simple updates can make a major impact on the road-side appeal of your home. Look for ideas online or at one of our many nurseries in the area. One of the best resources for advice about lawn care and landscaping in Sarasota is free. The UF Agricultural Extension Department is available year-round with demonstrations and Q&A sessions at library branches in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Contact Wagner Realty to start the process of selling your home.
If you're ready to sell your home, you will need to find the right real estate agent to list it. As a savvy homeowner, you should find an agent that not only has the credentials to sell your home but one that you're comfortable and confident working with. Our real estate agents have been asked a lot of questions during their careers. Here are some of the best questions to ask while interviewing a real estate agent:
Now that you know what questions to ask, contact Wagner Realty. We have the best agents in the area, and you are certain to find someone that is just right for 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!
Our REALTORS® are always thrilled when new residents come to Sarasota to look for a home and ask about interesting things to see and do. Inevitably, we direct them to a popular destination with public art that comes with quite a storied past.
One of the most photographed statues in Florida, if not America, is a 26-foot tall statue that calls Sarasota home. It commemorates the famous photo that appeared in LIFE magazine of a young U.S. sailor dipping and kissing a nurse in Times Square on the day World War II ended. The statue, Unconditional Surrender, is part of a series of statues created by American artist Seward Johnson and can today be found in Sarasota's Bayfront Park. This statue pays homage to the "Greatest Generation" and the joyful celebrations at the end of the war, but its placement in the park has a rather interesting history.
Sarasota's Bayfront Park has had the "kissing sailor" statue come and go on three separate occasions. Its story alone makes it worth a visit when you are ready to take a break from seeing Sarasota homes for sale.
In 2005, the statue made its first appearance when a heavy duty styrofoam version was placed in the park on a temporary basis. It was initially met with mixed reviews from locals who either loved it or hated it. After a couple of years, a foundation established by the artist decided to relocate the statue, so it was loaded onto a flatbed trailer and trucked across the country to San Diego. Then in 2009, thanks to the efforts of a local WWII veteran and art patron, a new, painted aluminum version of the statue was purchased and delivered back to Bayfront Park.
Unfortunately, it was placed just a little too close to the busy intersection, and just three years later, a woman driving a Mercedes jumped the curb and hit it, knocking a big hole in the sailor's foot and causing more than $125,000 in damage. So, once again, the statue was loaded on a flatbed, and this time it was trucked to New Jersey where it endured six months of painstaking repairs.
After the statue was repaired, it was returned to Sarasota in December 2012, once again placed in Bayfront Park, but this time, city leaders had it installed further from the road near the shoreline where it currently remains.
Today the statue is one of the most popular stops for tourists who visit Sarasota, and most residents have grown fond of it too. On any given day you can see couples recreating the famous "kissing sailor" pose for their own selfies and photographs.
So when you're looking for a new home in Sarasota, be sure to contact Wagner Realty, and before, during or after visiting homes with one of our agents, make a trip to Bayfront Park to see the famous "kissing sailor" statue. With a story like this, we're fairly certain it will become one of your favorite places to bring your friends and family when they come to visit you in your new Sarasota home.
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.
One of the perks of living near Siesta Beach in Sarasota (apart from enjoying the beach itself) is the weekly drum circle held every Sunday. Here, you will be treated to a beautiful sunset while listening and dancing to drummers in a festive-like atmosphere. Our REALTORS® in Sarasota have all the details of this exciting local phenomenon as well as all other to-do things in the area.
The Siesta Key Drum Circle starts one hour before the sun sets every Sunday and continues into the night. The popular tradition attracts large crowds of onlookers and participants for dancing and drumming on Siesta Beach. Drum circle regulars sporadically perform with fire, swords, or even hula hoops. They are also dressed in beautiful colors and offer flowers to onlookers.
The free fun event is held every Sunday evening at Siesta Beach. It takes place south of the beach's pavilion between the third and fourth lifeguard stands. Since it is a huge event that attracts a large crowd, you cannot miss it once you get to the beach.
You are advised to arrive early to get a parking space and also sit near the front of the circle for a great view. You should also bring your beach chairs or blankets. Several hundred people typically attend the drum circle. Depending on what you came for, you will find an engaging show and a mellow atmosphere.
The Siesta Key Drum Circle is not a commercial event but a local phenomenon that started spontaneously, grew from demand and active participation, and now enjoys a life of its own. It is one of the main reasons why Siesta Key homes are in high demand.
The weekly ritual started in 1996 during the autumn equinox. It evolved from a potlatch ceremony of a Ringling School of the Arts' creativity workshop. The event continued for several years with the support and participation of members of the local churches as well as the Native Descended Nation, which explains its spiritual aspect.
In the beginning, the drumming circle was located at Beach Access 8 and was only supposed to be held during the full moon. However, people liked it so much that it became a weekly affair. When the event moved to the Siesta Public Beach, it seized to be a sacred atmosphere and became a carnival. It also got a change of diversity and pace.
Today, the drum circle has raised whole generations of kids who now bring their children to the family event. The Sunday night tradition is now the number one free event in Sarasota and is listed in most magazines. It is a must-see attraction for your family that has evolved into a local culture passed down generations.
Imagine both finishing your week and starting the next in a fun drum circle carnival that allows you to let loose and dance your stress away. You will find the circle both a spiritual and social event. It generates positive energy and gives people the space they need. Moreover, it is an ideal way to spend quality time with your family because it offers a unique experience, but once the sun sets and it gets dark, you will find the crowd becomes less inhibited.
If you are looking at Siesta Key homes or are interested in moving into the area, contact Wagner Realty today to find your perfect home. Wagner Realty has served Sarasota County since 1939 helping people find their ideal home.
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.
Selling your home can be a profitable venture, particularly if you invested a large down payment, have built up equity, updated the home as needed, and have benefited from rising market values here in Florida. But it isn't as simple as getting a check from the buyer, paying off what you owe and pocketing the rest. There are costs associated with selling, and it's important to familiarize yourself with them so that there are no surprises at the closing table.
Most of a seller's closing costs are based on the sales price of the home, and some costs may vary depending on where you live. Our REALTORS® can help you estimate costs based on an expected sales price. Doing those calculations at the start of your sales process will help you evaluate offers with complete information. Here's a list of typical closing costs for sellers:
Now that you have a clearer picture of what expenses you can expect to pay to sell your home, it's time to hire a great agent and get started. Contact Wagner Realty, one of the most respected real estate companies in Manatee and Sarasota Counties, to get an expert agent working for you.
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!
It's February and love is in the air. If it's inspired you to propose to the one you love, why not make it a romantic event? You don't need a trendy live band or flash mob dancers to make your proposal special. You simply need the right romantic spot. When you're touring Sarasota homes for sale, you'll find plenty of romantic places to make your proposal an occasion to remember.
Our REALTORS® live and work in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. We're certain that among the area's white sand beaches, natural landscapes, and fabulous dining venues you'll find the ideal place to pop the big question. To help you plan your romantic adventure, we've prepared our list of Five Engaging Locations to Pop the Question in Florida.
If you live in one of our nearby Siesta Key homes, you already know that Ophelia's on the Bay sets the scene for big romantic nights. You and that someone special can dine on the open-air patio. If you prefer an indoor table, both dining rooms have a wall of windows that deliver a perfect view of Little Sarasota Bay.
An ever-changing menu features fresh seafood and classic cuisine prepared with Florida grown fruits and vegetables. You can begin your meal with wine from Ophelia's extensive selection and toast your engagement with a glass of fine champagne.
You can create your own love-inspired event in the shadow of the Ca' d'Zan at the Ringling. This Venetian Gothic-styled mansion is the opulent home of circus millionaires, John and Mable Ringling. You may stroll the beautiful bayfront grounds, tour the oldest rose garden in Florida, and share a romantic picnic with a light meal from the Muse restaurant.
The Waterfront Restaurant is a local favorite that's easily accessible from Anna Maria Island homes. Together, you can enjoy delicious, fresh cuisine, a laid-back atmosphere, and natural island charm.
Of course, your love will say "yes." And once the proposal is on the record, you can toast your engagement with a sip of wine, a specialty drink, or a craft beer. If you prefer to make your proposal on the beach, you'll find white-sand and gulf waters just beyond the door.
The Ringling experience gives you a complete art and cultural immersion. It's bound to make your true love say "yes." You'll be blown away by the Museum of Art, Circus Museum, and other fabulous attractions on the estate. You can attend a live performance at the Historic Asolo Theater or pop the question at Blossoms & Brunch in Mable's rose garden.
Residents of Longboat Key homes will happily explain that a big engagement reveal doesn't have to be in a restaurant. It doesn't have to be on land at all. When you book a Sunset Cruise with Kathleen D. Sailing, you can share your romantic proposal at sea then sail off into the sunset... literally. For a slightly different slant to the evening cruise, you can schedule a Full Moon Sail.
Whether you live in Sarasota, Bradenton or one of our other nearby communities, this is the perfect place for living, playing, and falling in love. Contact us at Wagner Realty when you're considering making this your permanent home after you say "I do."
Landscaping can be an easy and fairly inexpensive way to increase the value of your home and add some much-needed curb appeal. When our REALTORS® are showing you Sarasota homes for sale, you'll certainly notice landscaping features you simply adore. Landscaping is often one of the first things you notice about a property, so keeping yours in top shape can really pay off.
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.
No matter where your house is located or when you choose to sell it, there will always be competition from other sellers in your area. The good news is there's plenty you can do to make your home stand out if you're willing to invest some time and a bit of elbow grease. Our REALTORS® know what it takes to sell a home, and we've put together a checklist to help you maximize the value you get for selling your Florida home.
Whether you're looking to maximize your return on investment, sell your home as quickly as possible, or both, it all starts with having a plan. Your real estate agent should be a huge help throughout the process, which leads us to the first point on our checklist:
Finding the right real estate agent is one of the most important things you can do when selling a house, and our team would love to help you get the results you seek. Contact Wagner Realty to buy and sell homes throughout the Sarasota area.
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.
When you think of living in Bradenton, Florida, the first thing that most likely pops into your mind is enjoying our city's sugary sand beaches. However, Bradenton boasts a full slate of local activities and events sure to please locals, visitors and new residents alike starting with our upcoming Bradenton Blues Festival Weekend. One of the best-kept secrets in Bradenton and beyond is the annual Bradenton Blues Festival. The Bradenton Blues Festival main event will be Saturday, December 2.
For music aficionados, the Bradenton Blues Festival is known for amazing sets from hot local and national blues musicians. It's put on every year by the nonprofit Realize Bradenton, solely dedicated to a vibrant and prosperous downtown for the Bradenton community.
In addition to the smooth blues solos, Blues Festival is known far and wide for the best eats. As you enjoy acts on the big stage, you'll also have the opportunity to sample local craft beer and pick your favorite from more than a dozen specialty food vendors.
The fun doesn't end when the last act takes a bow, either – there's still Sunday to look forward to.
The Bradenton Blues Brunch caps off the event from 11 am to 1 pm. on Sunday. You'll find it along with a lively crowd of blues fans at Mattison's City Grille, a hip hangout you just can't miss when you visit the Bradenton Riverwalk.
Mattison's is known for mouth-watering steaks and seafood, a dizzying selection of tasty cocktails, and scrumptious key lime pie that will have you coming back for seconds. It also distinguishes itself with a complete selection of fresh signature sushi rolls.
Tickets for the brunch are available for $50 and attendees will nosh their way through a three-course, seated-and-served brunch headed by renowned chef Paul Mattison. Mimosas, wines and even a Bloody Mary or two will be on hand to be paired with each course.
Plus, you'll get live entertainment from top local blues duo Fowler and Walker. Find out more about the line-up and book your Blues Fest tickets soon – they're going fast!
Our REALTORS® would love the chance to show you Bradenton's most breathtaking homes for sale. See all Bradenton living has to offer – and enjoy Florida's finest blues event at the same time. Contact us to get your home search started.
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.
When you own a home in an area that could be affected by hurricanes, it's important to plan ahead to prepare both your home and all of the people in your household.
Hurricane damage can cut homeowners off from important services like electricity, internet, phone, and water. These risks are present no matter the strength of the hurricane affecting homes both inland and directly on the coast. While there is no way to eliminate the risk of hurricane damage, there are plenty of steps you can take to make sure that your home is prepared.
Being informed is one of the most important steps you can take during hurricane season. You can install a weather app on your phone, watch the local news, or visit the National Hurricane Center's website for the most up to date information on potential storms. Knowing when a storm is coming will give you as much time as possible to prepare.
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 homes are among the most enticing in the Sunshine State. Found on Florida's southwest coast, the city of about 56,000 people has been known as Circus City or even simply "Paradise."
But did you know that Sarasota is also a great place for a romantic date?
No matter whether you are meeting someone new or celebrating an anniversary, Sarasota will provide plenty of amazing places to do it. Over the years, it has attracted some of the top chefs and world-class restaurants. Plus, there are lots of other things to see and do both before and after you eat.
Let's consider some of the most romantic options for your big night out.
Make Sarasota Your Home
Do you want to enjoy Sarasota's small town charm and big city amenities all year round? Contact Wagner Realty and our REALTORS® in Sarasota will be glad to help you. Our team offers years of experience and insight into the local real estate market.
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.
If you've got a growing family, buying a home in Sarasota might be the right choice for you. With about 56,000 residents, Sarasota has long prided itself on its combination of big city amenities and small town living.
Sure, Sarasota is home to some of the best public and private schools in Florida. But, let's face it: Most kids don't get too excited about that. What they really care about is fun, excitement, and adventure.
Sarasota has that in spades – and one of the best examples is Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens was founded in 1939 and is one of the most popular attractions in the area. It features ten exotic acres of tropical vegetation and trails that will give you plenty of amazing opportunities for your own little family safari.
Of course, no jungle would be complete without plenty of awesome animals!
When you explore Sarasota Jungle Gardens, you'll have the chance to encounter a crew of more than 200 animals. They run the gamut from Florida locals to some of the most breathtaking creatures you'll see anywhere in North America.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens is well known for the complete selection of parrots and macaws plus the legendary Florida flamingo. Visitors are especially fond of the flamingo flock, as they can be spotted roaming freely across much of the grounds.
Of course, you'll also find Florida alligators and their distant Nile cousins, the crocodile, lurking in a brilliant recreation of their native habitat. The different guided tours and shows – including Reptile Encounter, Jungle Bird, and Wildlife Wonder – help ensure that you can see everything in a visit.
Although there are plenty of reptiles, snakes, and small mammals to see, kids of all ages tend to gravitate toward the petting zoo. This interactive experience is suitable for the smaller kids, as they'll meet and hand-feed friendly critters like goats, chickens, and a miniature cow.
Younger kids won't feel left out – although it can get pretty steamy in Sarasota Jungle Gardens, the events are short enough to keep the little ones' attention. If sitting still just isn't happening, there's a full playground and a beloved wooden train for the junior explorers to check out.
Last, but not least, you won't want to forget the cafe and the gift shop. The Flamingo Cafe pays tribute to the Gardens' most iconic residents with favorites like hot dogs, hamburgers, and pizza. Drop in and you'll have the chance to hand-feed the koi fish.
The Flamingo Cafe also takes reservations for large groups and birthday parties.
As kids grow, their interests change. Luckily, Sarasota will never leave them with nothing to do. From parks and playgrounds to the perfect high school hangout spots, this little city packs a lot of living into a quaint community where people feel free to get to know one another.
It's no surprise homes in Sarasota are in demand all year around. If you want to find the right one for you, working with an expert team is essential. Contact Wagner Realty and our REALTORS® in Sarasota will give you the personalized assistance you deserve.
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.
As a modern thinker, you probably believe that men and women are pretty much the same under the surface. Unfortunately, that's not true. When you're selling your home, it's important to realize that a few traditional men vs. women differences are alive and well and they can affect the sale of your home. Our REALTORS® view these differences as a challenge. As we market your home, we work with you to prevent them from becoming a roadblock to selling your home.
When significant others search for their dream home, they scan listings, discuss properties and attend open houses together. Only as they examine each property with a critical eye, do their male versus female homeowner value systems clash. Couples often follow a pattern documented by real estate researchers. They arrive together to view your home but they look for different things.
When you're struggling with man versus woman home buying difficulties, our real estate agents can help you overcome them by presenting your home in the best possible light. Contact us for more information about the realities of selling your home.
When you think of moving to Anna Maria Island, you'll likely picture a quaint beach bungalow surrounded by emerald green waters and sugary white sand. While it's true that this is part of living in Anna Maria Island, what you should know is that it is also a welcoming community with deep roots in local history.
Roser Memorial Community Church, opened in 1913, stands today as a beacon welcoming all to Anna Maria Island, Manatee County and even people from across the globe.
Learn more about this beautiful building that still holds services today.
The Roser family was one of the first land development partners in Anna Maria. The Roser Chapel was the vision of John Roser who hoped to create a place of worship for both residents and visitors to commemorate his late wife Caroline.
Unlike many Florida churches, this memorial had one stipulation--that it belongs to the community. The founders requested this chapel stay non-denominational, representing all of Anna Maria's residents.
One of the more notable features upon entering the chapel is the beautiful stained glass window in the sanctuary. The current 400-seat sanctuary is an expanded area brought on by a historic-inspired remodel in the 1970's.
As more Anna Maria Island homes were built, Roser Church attendance increased filling its seats to capacity. Additional church buildings house community programs including the music ministry, community food pantry, thrift store and storage.
Follow Gulf Drive north to Pine Avenue, then turn right for about half a mile. The church is located on the north end of Anna Maria Island, close to the historic Anna Maria Pier at 512 Pine Avenue, Anna Maria FL 34216.
Sunday services are open to the public and held twice daily due to demand. Choose to attend at 8:30 am or 10:00 am in addition to available Bible study and Sunday school. You can also check out the Roser Church Facebook page for weekly activities and special events.
Roser Church is one of the many peaceful island churches of Anna Maria Island. With a wide variety of denominations represented, there is a little something for everyone. Ask your local Anna Maria Island REALTORS® about homes in the area near the church of your choice.
Contact Wagner Realty whether you're searching for a year-round home or vacation rental. Our local real estate agents undestand the benefits of island life and can help you find your Florida dream home.
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.