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Lakewood Ranch Real Estate Blog

Heritage Harbour 2017 Real Estate Review

2017 Heritage Harbour Condo and Home Sale Recap

Condo Sales
Total Sales - 164
Active Days on Market - 57
Percentage of listing price to selling price - 97%  (Please keep in mind that this does not factor in price reductions)

The Warmth of a Sun Setting! Coach Homes in River Strand - CLOSED!

6406 Grand Estuary Trail, #103: Coach Homes in River Strand: SOLD!

How cool is it that my recent clients, Nancy and Roberto Mendizabal, shared this photo of the sun setting in River Strand at their coach home? The first thing Roberto said to me was, "Robert, you missed the boat on the marketing--did you see how the sun sets at this location?" When he showed me this picture, I understood he was right.

The warm afterglow of the sun setting in the back of his home, a view that they have a perfect vantage point from on their lanai, was terrific. He actually took a couple of pictures--and one with the sun setting just above the horizon--but this is the picture that says it all because the warmth of the sun is hovering just beneath the surface and lights up the converging nighttime sky. So cool. Thanks for sharing...and THANK YOU Steve and Lynn Bucknam for introducing me to Roberto and Nancy. Great couple.

This was one of the last new coach homes for sale in River Strand to close...but the chapter doesn't end here...rather, it begins. River Strand is a terrific community located in an unbeatable location with a fabulous golf course and amenities. There is something for everyone...even a sunset!

coach homes for sale in River Strand


And the Holiday Season is Upon Us!

Looking for a fun event to take your family to? 

Here it is...

The Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch Polo Grounds!!

Making it's debut on December 6, this fun-filled community event is happening each week at the Sarasota Polo Club.
This farmers market will feature quality vendors like Maggie's Seafood, Grove Ladder Farm, Sunshine Canning, along with many more. With wine tastings, fitness demos, culinary demos, kids activities and live music.  Another fun event in our area!

SOLD! Coach Home for Sale in Lakewood National: 5827 Wake Forest Run, #103

SOLD! Coach Home for Sale in Lakewood National: 5827 Wake Forest Run, #103

Lakewood National is off and running...these new coach homes in Lakewood Ranch have gorgeous front elevations, light and bright interiors, and sprawling golf course and water views. As you make your approach to Lakewood National, the meandering road ascends up a little hill to the guard gate, which allows entry to the neighborhood. From the top of the hill, you will quickly see what this community is becoming, and what it will be in the future.

condos for sale in Lakewood National

Moving straight ahead, the coach homes will appear on the right, and you will eventually make your way to Wake Forest Run, where this gorgeous coach home location awaits. As you make your way through this home and make your way out to the lanai, you will notice the trifecta of panoramic views, which includes a preserve to the right, and a long lake and golf course view to the left. The natural preserves provides terrific privacy, while the lake view adds some tranquility. These new coach homes for sale in Lakewood National depart from the traditional interiors that Lennar has offered in the past, especially the lighter and brighter paint permeating throughout the entire home. The kitchen also impresses, and the white cabinets significantly brighten this area of the home. Of course, the owner's retreat has always impressed in these upstairs coach homes--the size of the space adds both versatility and...

SOLD! River Strand Homes for Sale: 7003 Quiet Creek


See More: Homes for Sale in River Strand

What a TERRIFIC VALUE for this Maintenance Provided & TURNKEY FURNISHED Pool & Spa home in the Sanctuary at River Strand! This cleverly imagined Trevi model, an open floorplan known for its versatility & comfort, is tastefully furnished w/ after-market enhancements that impresses immediately. Upon entry, you will notice a transom window allowing light to illuminate the foyer area, which showcases the volume ceiling, decorative wood paneling & moldings. These finishes extend to the great room, which features a built-in cabinet area w/ granite counters for the TV area.


Housing Boom is Officially Back

Housing boom is officially back


The following article is the reason home prices will not crash in the near future and why the crash happened about 10 years ago.

CHICAGO – Nov. 14, 2017 – Housing prices have returned to the "boom levels" of a decade ago, but this time around, the fast appreciation is being fueled by strong supply-and-demand dynamics this time – not 2006's predatory lending practices, investor speculation and too much construction, according to new data released Monday.

"As we compare today's market dynamics to those of a decade ago, it's important to remember rising prices didn't cause the housing crash," says Chief Economist Danielle Hale. "It was rising prices stoked by subprime and low-documentation mortgages, as well as people looking for short-term gains – versus today's truer market vitality – that created the environment for the crash."

The national median price for a home in 2016 was $236,000 – 2 percent higher than in pre-recession 2006 – according to Out of the country's 50 largest housing markets, 31 have returned to their levels during the last housing bubble (62 percent). researchers finger Austin, Texas, as the city that has posted the largest increases in home prices – 63 percent – over the past 10 years. Denver and Dallas have also seen some of the biggest gains, at 54 percent and 52 percent, respectively. On the other hand, three markets remained more than 20 percent below their 2006 highs: Las Vegas (25 percent below); Tucson, Ariz. (22 percent); and Riverside, Calif. (22 percent).

Source:  © Copyright 2017 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688


Good Eats Near Lakewood National:Part III of Series

Good Eats for Lakewood National! Part 3: Tampa

Throughout this series, I have broken down some of the best places to eat right outside our door. The unique location of homes and condos for sale in Lakewood National is the prime position that allows us branch out to neighboring cities with little to no trouble. The largest and most well-known of these cities is Tampa. 

Tampa is a well renowned for several reasons, including their world class amusement parks and sports teams. This kind of notoriety has given Tampa the opportunity to bring in many of the best restaurants from around the world. The restaurants I’m going to share my experiences on are AJ’s Press, Ulele, and Columbia Restaurant. All three of these local eats are special in their own way and provide a wide variety of culinary flavors and styles.

The first restaurant we are going to dive into, happens to be a personal favorite of mine.  This is AJ’s Press. AJ’s Press is a local family-owned restaurant specializing in fresh ingredients and slow roasted meats. The restaurant is located in what appears to be a small colorful house. This laid back, genuine environment makes this restaurant feel like a home. Not only does AJ’s use fresh ingredients such as their fresh baked Bolillo and Telera breads, they also make their name with their brilliant flavor combinations. My "go-to" sandwich has to be the Crunchy Chicken. This sandwich has AJ’s own signature crunchy chicken with a sweet and tangy Chili...

Good Eats Near Lakewood National: Part II of Series

Good Eats for Lakewood National! Part 2: Sarasota

There’s nothing like a meal that just hits the spot. In this series, I’m going to breakdown the best places to eat in the areas surrounding Lakewood National. Homes and condos for sale in Lakewood National give us the chance to have a central location in one of the most up and coming areas in the country. A big part of this rise to the top is thanks to Sarasota.

Sarasota has always been a cultural hub in south Florida, but one thing that often goes unnoticed is the plethora of dining options that are available to those in the area. In my quest to find the best, I found some great restaurants to please any palette. After eating my way through the town, I decided to focus on Brick’s Smoked Meats, Antoine’s Restaurant, and Andrea’s Restaurant. These are my favorite restaurants in the area for good reason. Each of them offers their own unique specialty that truly sets them apart from other establishments in the area.

good eats near Lakewood National...

BUBBLE? - Nowhere in Sight for US Housing Market

Bubble? Nowhere in sight for U.S. housing market


Oct. 24, 2017 – U.S. housing markets are expected to remain healthy through at least the end of 2018, with no housing bubble in sight and no projection of home prices falling, according to the Fall 2017 edition of The Housing and Mortgage Market Review (HaMMR), released by Arch Mortgage Insurance Company.

The HaMMR features the Arch MI Risk Index, a statistical model based on recent housing market indicators. The index suggests that over the next two years, the probability of home price declines in America's 401 largest cities averages just 4 percent – an unusually low number.

"People waiting for home prices to fall before buying may want to change their strategy, as the overall housing market is expected to stay strong for the foreseeable future," says Dr. Ralph G. DeFranco, Global Chief Economist, Mortgage Services of Arch Capital Services Inc. "Our research shows no housing bubble is forming in the United States, with prices overall near historic norms compared to incomes."

The HaMMR also finds that some recent concern about U.S. home prices hitting all-time highs is overblown because, after adjusting for inflation, national home prices are still 10 percent below their prior peak.


JUST LISTED! 7003 Quiet Creek Dr : Homes for Sale in River Strand

7003 Quiet Creek Drive : River strand real estate 

Listing Information: 7003 Quiet Creek Drive, Bradenton, Florida

What a TERRIFIC VALUE for this Maintenance Provided & TURNKEY FURNISHED Pool & Spa home in the Sanctuary at River Strand! This cleverly imagined Trevi model, an open floorplan known for its versatility & comfort, is tastefully furnished w/ after-market enhancements that impresses immediately.

Upon entry, you will notice a transom window allowing light to illuminate the foyer area, which showcases the volume ceiling, decorative wood paneling & moldings. These finishes extend to the great room, which features a built-in cabinet area w/ granite counters for the TV area. The large kitchen adds a cozy conversational feel, which includes a breakfast bar, S/S appliances & plenty of cabinets.

The owner's retreat is roomy, and boasts 2 walk in closets, en-suite bath w/ dual sinks, separate shower, & garden tub. One of the 2nd bedrooms even has a dedicated en-suite bath--a coveted feature for today's modern home. Finally, what residence is complete without a den/extra bedroom with built in desk space & cabinetry?

Living is EASY, SECURE, and CONVENIENT in...

JUST LISTED! 510 Winding Brook Lane #101 : Condos for Sale in River Strand

510 Winding Brook Lane #101 : Condos for Sale in River Strand 

This fabulous GOLF-INCLUDED coach home in River Strand Golf & Country Club is a TERRIFIC VALUE with a TREMENDOUS view! The massive lanai is a perfect spot to capture the amazingly long and deep view of the 9th fairway, with its twin lakes, preserves, and Clubhouse in the far distance. Even better, this home also offers a preserve view at the front entry for more privacy—an uncommon benefit that should not be overlooked.

Listing Information: 510 Winding Brook Lane, #101, Bradenton, Florida 34212

Outstanding features include BRAND NEW Carpeting,Tile on the Diagonal w/ SHIMMERING Grout Lines, Extensive Crown Molding, 42" solid wood cabinets, granite counter, S/S appliances, & high impact "hurricane" resistant windows/doors. The large great room, which makes the home feel cozy & comfortable all at once, is a perfect gathering place for family & friends. The spacious owner’s retreat features an en-suite bath with 2 walk-in closets, dual sinks, & separate garden tub & shower.

Located within the gates of River Strand, living in EASY, SECURE, & CONVENIENT. This condo comes w/ a free equity membership...

SOLD! 7015 River Hammock Dr # 403 : River Strand Real Estate

7015 River hammock dr # 403  : River Strand Real estate 

More Information: River Strand Golf & Country Club

It was one of only a LIMITED number of 4th FLOOR residences WITH a terrific view of the MANATEE RIVER and the 8th hole of the Sanctuary, with its expansive lake & preserves. At night, you can even see, on the horizon and in the far distance, illuminated homes across the Manatee River. There is no reason to settle for less on a lower floor—and with no residence directly above you, the home is quiet, comfortable, & cozy all at once. A remarkable location, quiet preserves also face the front of the building.

This condo was exquisitely furnished—so much so, builders will probably draw decoration inspiration from this gorgeous residence! A split bedroom plan for maximum privacy, the owner’s retreat is roomy and has two walk-in closets and en-suite bath. The large kitchen has plenty of cabinets, granite counters, & S/S appliances. Includes storage unit--perfect for golf clubs, bikes, & beach chairs!

Located within the gates of River Strand, living in EASY, SECURE, & CONVENIENT. This condo comes w/ a free equity membership to the 27 hole Arthur Hills championship golf course & Country Club, w/ access to 8 HAR-TRU lighted tennis courts and on-site tennis pro. There are TWO clubhouses, and the main...

Too Late - Sold!!! - 3 River Strand Villas Gone in One Month

Three River Strand villas sold in the month of September 2017- two were listed by our team.  Villas are popular properties because they are reasonably priced and have 2 car garages and lanais.  The maintenance-free aspect also makes them a wonderful 2nd home or retirement properties.  And, of course, River Strand, is a wonderful community with many amentities like golf, tennis, and many community pools.  So it is not hard to believe that these properties sold at an average days on market of just 66 days. For many years, our summer market would be slow but in the past 2 years our team has noticed that summer sales have increased.  So we no longer tell our sellers to wait for "Season" to list their homes.  We believe that when inventory is low, as it is now in River Strand, that it is a good time to sell.  Call us for a free assessment of your home value at 941-345-6087.


Lennar upbeat on housing market after storms

Lennar's commentary about the housing market following Hurricane Irma:  Despite being affected by the recent hurricanes, the United States' second largest homebuilder (Lennar) predicted a brief pause as the nation cleans up from the storms, but Chief Executive Stuart Miller said he expected to see increased demand for new homes going forward. "Results were supported by strong demand for homes, low unemployment, favorable interest rates and increased consumer confidence, which are all signs of a very healthy homebuilding market," the company said.  Home orders, a key indicator of future revenue, rose 8.4 percent to 7,610 homes in the third quarter ended Aug. 31, though Lennar said deliveries of about 950 homes would be pushed into fiscal 2018 because of the hurricanes. Still, the Florida-based builder said it sold 7,598 homes in the quarter, compared with 6,779 homes a year earlier.   Source: Reuters (10/03/17) Copyright 2017 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Carol's commentary on the local market:  The re-sale market is affected by the number of new home choices, in our area.  Those sellers that want to sell quickly should realize that the competition to their home might not be the re-sale home down the street, but rather the new construction home, around the corner. So many new home developments in east Bradenton have made a big impact on re-sales and so knowing what is being offered in new construction is crucial.  As I list homes, I always keep the competition in mind.  I always say every home will sell we just...

SOLD! River Strand Real Estate : Another Beautiful 'Lake View' Villa

6529 Candlestick Dr : River strand real estate 

More Information: River Strand Golf & Country Club

Low fees and a maintenance free yard made this villa an outstanding option at it's price. This immaculate villa had an open floor plan with 2 bedrooms AND a den with a lovely view from the extended lanai. The seller had upgraded many items in this villa including gorgeous light fixtures and fans, customized closets in the master bedroom, 2nd bedroom and the pantry, and custom Hunter Douglas cellular vertical shades on both door walls. The gourmet kitchen had a closet pantry, granite countertops and stainless appliances. There is also tile on the diagonal in main living areas, crown molding, and an extended lanai with a gorgeous water view. The spacious lanai had pavers with both covered and exposed areas underneath the large screened cage.

This villa had a social membership only so the fees are very reasonable for this resort-style community. The social membership entitles you to free use of both fitness centers with separate aerobics room and the tennis center with 8 HAR-TRU lighted tennis courts and an on-site tennis pro. The main pool has a poolside grill, sand "beach" and resistance swim pool. The pool-side grill serves a casual menu and drinks. There are many pools throughout the community that you can use. There is a wonderful restaurant in the Tuscan inspired clubhouse for casual dining or...

JUST SOLD! River Strand Real Estate


HOW WOULD YOU HAVE liked to own a 1) TURNKEY FURNISHED condo 2) at an affordable price 3) in an established community 4) with a terrific view? This "No Rooftop" rear lanai has a wide and deep view of the 8th fairway of the Sanctuary, with only golf course, water, and preserves as far as the eye can see.  River Strand real estate has some of the hottest properties available in Manatee County. 

More Information: River Strand Golf & Country Club

This split bedroom plan has vaulted ceilings, a large great room, and a spacious kitchen with granite countertops, S/S appliances, and lots of cabinet space. The owner's retreat has two walk in closets, en-suite bath, and three windows that capture that terrific view--waking up becomes the best part of the day! The bedrooms are separated by a large den that can also serve as an office or a 3rd bedroom. Crown molding and tile on the diagonal in the main areas add a touch of elegance too. However, the best feature could be the irresistible cross breeze that is generated by opening the front and rear lanais!

Living is Easy, Secure, and Convenient in River Strand! Ownership includes golf and full Country Club membership in the 39,000 square foot Clubhouse, and features...

The River Strand Real Estate Market is HOT!

River Strand Real Estate - a hot market

It is a fascinating time to own real estate in River Strand. I know a thing or two about this community. I worked for the builder in River Strand for several years and I have sold hundreds of homes and condos for sale in River Strand.

But what makes this market so unique and why am I so fascinated by it right now?

River Strand Clubhouse

For the first time--and as I write this today--there are actually zero (0) terrace condos for sale in River Strand. That is an astonishing thought, especially since you have an upstart community like Lakewood National selling similar condos. Of course, Lakewood National is still in its infancy and the full suite of amenities have yet to arrive. I do expect a balance to return to the real estate universe as season approaches. That being said, it really is a testament to how extraordinary of a community River Strand really has been and continues to be in this market.

With a variety of condos and homes for sale in River Strand ranging from the mid 100's to the 700's, there are residences for a variety of resort style home-seekers. Perhaps the most amazing thing is that you can get a Manatee River view in River Strand for the high 100's! Think about that for a second. How many folks can say they have a view like that? Now, prices have risen in River Strand...

Good Eats Near Lakewood National! Part 1: Lakewood National

Everybody eats. Of course we all love home cooked meals, but sometimes it’s nice to go out and enjoy dinner in town. This is one of the best things about homes and condos for sale in Lakewood National, delicious food is always near.  In this series, I’m going to break down the cuisines closest to Lakewood National, as well as options in Sarasota and Tampa.

Today we’re going to take a look at the phenomenal dining options right on our front doorstep. I had the delicious task of eating my way through the area and I was not disappointed. All of the restaurants were fabulous and they’re just a few minutes away. I went to Full Belly Stuffed Burgers, Another Broken Egg Café, and Michael John’s Restaurant. These restaurants can satisfy any food cravings you might have.

good eats near Lakewood National...

SOLD! River Strand Real Estate: 'Lake View' Villa


Affordable Luxury in River Strand. Fabulous Lifestyle. Outstanding Location. This newer built "Lake View" Villa is located in the Sanctuary at River Strand, one of Manatee County's finest resort style communities. As you make your approach, the curb appeal will impress immediately with the brick pavered driveway, tile roof, and mature maintenance free landscaping.


The foyer entry opens up to a great room with tile on diagonal throughout the main areas of the home. Large double glass sliders lead out to an extended lanai with a fabulous lake view--there is even an open air grilling and lounge area outside the screened enclosure! The kitchen has everything you would expect and more, including granite countertops, 42 inch cabinets with crown molding, stainless steel appliances, breakfast bar & pantry.

The spacious owner's retreat has a view of the lake, and features a walk-in closet and bathroom with dual sinks and garden tub. DEN/OFFICE is perfect for at home working or for visiting guests. Other great features include keyless entry, upgraded fans and lighting, blinds on windows, painted garage floors, gutters, and hurricane shutters. Only a social membership required in the Sanctuary. There is a newer clubhouse in the Sanctuary, with pool, fitness, kitchen, tennis,...

River Strand Real Estate: What's Next?

River Strand Real Estate: What's Next?

What's next for River Strand Real Estate now that Lennar has only 30 new homes to sell? The community has already been turned over to the homeowners and the transition is well underway. Quite a bit of disucssion in River Strand has revolved around how Lakewood National may impact River Strand as that community continues to grow in size and scope. It is certainly a good question to ponder, but there is reason to be excited about River Strand for many years to come.

river strand real estate

To be sure, Lakewood National will be a fantastic option for prospective homeowners to consider if a new home is the only option. The commercial infrastructure around Lakewood National will also improve. It has been fun to watch the WaWa's and the Dunkin Donuts go up right down the road--these are markers for what will eventually become a thriving area around Lakewood National. My wife even ballroom dances at the local Fred Astaire right down the road from the community. So, simply put, Lakewood National will be a hit--especially when the amenities are established.

But back to River Strand. One of the defining characteristics of River Strand real estate is the location. While "location, location, location"...