Saturday, December 28, 2013

Single Family Home Median Prices Up 20.6 Percent

The November report from the Sarasota Association of Realtors has been released.

Click Here for the entire market update complete with graphs and charts.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Voted one of "The 10 Most Exciting Small Cities in America"

We think we live in a beautiful, interesting city.  But apparently others think so too!

These Are the 10 Most Exciting Small Cities in America By Movoto Real Estate

Circus Sarasota and Nik Wallenda

The Ringling and has produced a wonderful short video that we wanted to share.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

October 2013 Median Prices Soar Over Last Year

"This remains a dynamic market and seems to have plenty of strength," said SAR President Roger Piro. "There haven't been any national, regional or local shocks to jolt the market, and local tourism is at historic highs according to recent reports in the media. When we have such a strong influx of visitors, that tends to propel future sales as people enjoy visiting Sarasota and decide it might make a great future home."

Friday, November 1, 2013


See what has been happening at Riviera Dunes by clicking
on the link below to the 2013 Market Report.
And, as always, please call us at 866-242-9506 with any questions.

Trust the Unmatched Power of Coldwell Banker

Locally * Nationally *  Globally

At Coldwell Banker, we don't just claim to market our properties globally, we use our worldwide
office network to present each home directly to international buyers. Plus, we showcase all of our properties on more than 575 global websites that reach 16 million buyers daily all around the world.

Discover why Coldwell Banker is a trusted name in the U.S. and abroad, providing global reach with local expertise.

Contact Team Vitale today at 866-242-9506 and let us assist you with all your real estate needs.

Facts: Coldwell Banker has . . .
* 3,100 offices in 50+ countries worldwide.
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* 107 year real estate legacy
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* Coldwell Banker is the #1 residential real estate brokerage in Florida

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Would YOU buy a haunted house?

In the spirit of the season, we found the following article interesting. . . . .
Survey:  Most People Open to Buying a Haunted House
Real Estate News - October 18, 2013 by Team
More than half of home buyers are open to buying a haunted house, according to's 2013 Haunted Housing Report. Also, 35% of the nearly 1,400 people who took the survey say they have lived in a haunted home.
Today (Oct 18th) released the results of its Haunted Housing Report, which ran on from September 25 to October 1 and explored consumer sentiments around haunted real estate. Survey results reveal consumer thresholds for purchasing haunted houses for sale, past experiences with spooky homes, popular "warning signs" of a haunted home, expected discounts when buying haunted houses for sale, and intolerale scary occurrences.
"When purchasing a home, buyers want to know what they are getting into and that includes anything potentially spooky," said Alison Schwartz, vice president of corporate communications for Move Inc. which operates  "Our data reveals that while the majority of consumers are open to purchasing a haunted home, many buyers conduct research on a home's history to be aware of any weird incidences.  Additionally, data finds that while some respondents are willing to purchase a haunted home at a discounted price, many say levitating objects, ghost sightings and objects moving from one place to another would deter them from purchasing a home."
Sentiment regarding a haunted home purchase:
* 26% indicated they would consider purchasing a haunted house for sale
* 36% might consider a haunted home purchase
* 38% would not consider a haunted home purchase
Consumer experiences with haunted real estate:
* 51% heard about someone else's haunted home experience
* 35% lived in a home they suspected to be haunted
* 25% have researched a home's history to find out any eerie past incidents
Most popular warning signs a home could be haunted:
* 61% thought a cemestery on the property could be an indication
* 50% thought homes over 100 years old could be haunted
* 45% considered quick transitions in owners could be a sign
* 45% believe that an unexplainable low price on the home is alarming
* 43% suspected home in close proximity to a battlefield could be haunted
Of the respondents who would consider purchasing a haunted home, many indicated that they would expect discounts on a property:
* 12% would pay full market value or more for a haunted house for sale
* 34% would purchase a haunted home if it were discounted 1-30%
* 22% would purchase a haunted home if it were discounted 31-50%
* 19% would purchase a haunted home if it were discounted 51% or more
Among the respondents who would contemplate purchasing a haunted home, the following spooky occurrences would scare them away:
* 75% levitating objects
* 63% objects being moved from where they were placed
* 63% ghost sightings
* 61% supernatural sensations
* 61% flickering lights/appliances
* 60% strange noises (footsteps, doors slamming)
* 34% warm or cold spots
Our comments:  Sounds like people are willing to buy a haunted house just as long as it is not haunted for them.  Hmmmm 

Monday, September 30, 2013

August Sales Report

The most recent report, complete with stats and graphs, from the Sarasota Association of Realtors has been posted.  Click below for full report.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Selecting a Mortgage Lender isn't just about Rates

Here is an interesting article about finding the right bank to "get the job done".  Coldwell Banker's affiliate, Sunbelt Lending, has one of the lowest declination percentages. 


Friday, August 30, 2013

Helpful Real Estate Sites

Team Vitale offers the following sites which we hope are useful to anyone interested in Real Estate on Sarasota Bay. - Monthly report provided by the Sarasota Association of Realtors with market information from the previous month along with graphs and charts. - Team Vitale's bi-monthly newsletter with links to properties, news articles, and more. - A monthly update of Foreclosure and Short Sale properties in both Sarasota and Manatee Counties as provided in the multiple listing service.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Team Vitale September Newsletter Hot Off the Presses

The September issue of Team Vitale's digital newsletter is out. 

The newsletter can be viewed at

If you'd like to be added to our contact list and receive the bi-monthly newsletter directly to your in-box, please send your email address to with your request.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wounded Vets' Transplanting Coral in Florida - With Multiple Benefits

"America's finest" are making a difference yet again! Off the Florida Keys, a support group of American Vets from The Combat Wounded Veterans Challenge - a group of vets who have lost limbs or suffered traumatic brain injury - are volunteering to help save the dying reefs. 

Sarasota's Mote Marine Laboratories is growing coral in an underwater nursery which the group helps to replant on nearby reefs.

Yet another benefit from their service
is to research how prosthetics can be used in water.

As the video comments, these brave vets are "helping to improve their lives by improving the world."  They are an inspiration to us all!

Click here for news video

A wonderful organization to assist our veterans is the Wounded Warrior Project

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lakewood Ranch Cinema

Hey movie lovers, if you haven't gone to the Lakewood Ranch Cinema, you are missing a treat! Located on the Main Street Circle, along with some really outstanding shops and restaurants, the theater boasts six full auditorium screens with current running films. 

And to get the best bang for your buck, join the Sarasota Film Society (on site at the teller windows) and get member benefits as well as discounted tickets all year long.  In addition, the membership is good for discounts at various area restaurants and shops as well as Burns Court Cinema.

Student Membership $20
Membership $30  = 1 Free Movie Pass, 1 Free Popcorn, $5 movie tickets all year, discounted tickets for Film Festivals and events, Free popcorn refills and more!

For more information, go to:

Monday, August 5, 2013

Are the 2017 World Rowing Championships coming to Sarasota???

Just one more reason why Sarasota Bay is the place to be!

CLICK HERE! for the article.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Versace Mansion up for Auction

In what they are calling "the auction of the century", the Versace Mansion will soon be sold on the auction block.  This event was covered by a local Miami news station, complete with a guided tour of this incredible palatial home.  Click the link below to view the news coverage. 

This is quite a house!!!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Marina Jack's location once known as City Pier

A well known Sarasota landmark, Bayfront Park/Island Park, is a popular location for locals and tourists.  Sidewalks make it a wonderful spot for a morning or evening stroll and is also popular for rollerblading and bicycling.  Children love the water fountains to splash in and the huge playground zone. My favorite is to just sit on one of the many park benches and watch the waves lap up onto the shore as the evening sun fades.

Another highlight for this beautiful spot are the two waterfront restaurants, O'Leary's Tiki Bar and Grill and Marina Jacks dockside.

One of my personal favorite activities when I have out of town visitors is to take them on the LeBarge Tropical Cruise near Marina Jacks.  It is a two hour sightseeing cruise along the coastline with live serenade of Jimmy Buffet tunes. The evening is topped off watching the sun set before heading back to the dock.  It is a great opportunity for photo taking and an enjoyable evening with a tropical flair.

History of Bayfront Park/Island Park
Our thanks once again to Sarasota History Alive for the following videos which give us a short history of Bayfront Park.

PART ONE - City Pier

PART TWO - City Pier

Friday, July 26, 2013

Inventory Drops to new decate low; sales remain high

In June, the inventory of available homes in the Sarasota market fell to the LOWEST LEVEL IN OVER A DECADE!

For the first half of 2013, sales are up 13.8 percent over last year at this time. If the current trend continues, 2013 will go down as the second highest sales year in the 90 year history of the Sarasota Association of Realtors.

For the entire article provided by the Sarasota Association of Realtors, along with graphs and charts, CLICK HERE.

Or visit at any time for the most current report.

Other helpful sites include: with the most current Team Vitale newsletter. for current listings of Short Sales and Foreclosures.

And remember, if you have any questions about Real Estate in the Sarasota/Manatee areas, call us at 866-242-9506.  We are always here for YOU!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Charles Ringling and his influence on Sarasota's Development

We often think of John and Mabel Ringling because of the incredible museum and mansion left to the people of Florida and because of their influence on Sarasota and its keys. But brother Charles left an important footprint on our landscape as well. 

Charles Ringling

Sarasota History Alive offers a short video on Charles' accomplishments in the video below.


"Although Charles is often overshadowed by his brother, John, his contributions and accomplishments remain a legacy to Sarasotans today."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Avenida de Colores Chalk Festival in Sarasota

Sarasota residents, whether personally artistic or not, are proud of our artists and performers.  SarasotaHistoryAlive's website offers an interesting and fun video about one of the annual Chalk Festivals.  Enjoy!


Click Here to view the video

Local Fisherman Catches Sharks (and then releases them)

Sarasota Bay and its Keys are well known for availability to virtually every kind of water sport - parasailing, beach and swimming, water skiing, jet skies, deep sea fishing, etc., etc., etc. 

But one local has taken water sports to a whole different realm.  Richard Gabor recently made headlines on ABC 7 My Suncoast news for his unique hobby - catching and releasing sharks on Siesta Key's Turtle Beach.

For the article and photos, click here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Mall Opening in October 2014 at University Parkway

Just in time for the holidays in 2014!

CLICK HERE to view the "virtual photos".

June issue of "Inside Out Coldwell Banker Previews Magazine"

Just spotted the June issue of the new Coldwell Banker Previews Magazine in my in-box and wanted to share that link with you as well.


Coldwell Banker Launches Online Luxury Real Estate Magazine

Coldwell Banker Previews,

the luxury side of real estate, 

has launched a new online magazine. 

Click here to view the magazine and have the opportunity to subscribe (upper right hand corner).

Friday, July 12, 2013

Mortgage Rates on the Rise

Those of us who remember the double digit years still find anything under 5% a bargain.  And when compared to today's interest rates on other items such as cars, credit cards, etc., they still are! But after several years of historically low rates, buyers are concerned with even this slight increase.

Click here for the article "Mortgage rates reach highest level in 2 years" at CNNMoney.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mote Marine's caviar goes global

10 years ago, Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota came up with a way to farm-raise sturgeon.  What started as a project to save a species, created an international reputation for Mote Marine. Now, their farm-raised sturgeon caviar is raised all over the world.

For the video and article, click here.

Thank you to Debbie M. for sharing this fascinating article via Facebook.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sarasota Architecture

The "Sarasota History Alive" site offers an interesting article on some of Sarasota's early architects and their influence on Sarasota's homes and buildings.

For the full article, click here.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Nik Wallenda Walks the Grand Canyon

Nik Wallenda has been hot news over the last few weeks because of his death defying high wire act over the Grand Canyon.  But did you know that Mr. Wallenda "practiced" right here in beautiful Sarasota?  Here are a few YouTube videos of his recent walks.

Video by HuBStudios

Video by HowBoutJoey

As we say, these were just "practice".  But for the big event . . . .

Watch as he walks the Grand Canyon!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sarasota Homes with Historic Designation

The Ashton home on Bay Shore Road holds a place in Sarasota's fascinating early 20th century history not only because of its interesting builders but also because of its subsequent tenants.

To read about the Ashton home, as told on the site, click here.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bickel Helped Keep Florida Beautiful

Whether it was running her own business or her crusade to keep Sarasota and the state of Florida beautiful, Helen Madira Bickel certainly left her mark.

Click here for theTitle Article from SarasotaHistoryAlive

Other related websites:

Madira Bickel Mound State Archeological Site

Madira Bickel Mound Park transports visitors back 1000 years into Florida's past

Take a Tour of the Mound on YouTube

Terra Ceia & Madira Bickel Mounts 1450 AD

Thursday, June 20, 2013

MAY: A New 8 Year High in Sarasota Bay Real Estate Sales

After a robust "season" of home/condo sales, the Sarasota Bay real estate market continues to push upward with May sales 19.4 percent above those of May 2012. 

And the high sales volume was accompanied by yet another increase in median sale prices of homes.  For single family homes (now $220,000), it was the highest level since August 2008, up 18.8 percent over last May's figure of $185,000.  Condos (now $194,250) fared well also -- up almost 8 percent over last May's figure of $180,000.

Available inventory has hit a new low for the decade - down almost 16 percent since May of 2012.  Inventory stood at 3 months for single family and 3.9 months for condos in May - both well below what would be considered "typically healthy" for our marketplace.

CLICK HERE for the complete Sarasota Association Monthly Statistics Report for May 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bertha Palmer Adds Cowboy to Her Estate

Bertha Honore Palmer, American businesswoman, socialite and philanthropist and Florida Real Estate Pioneer.  Mrs. Palmer played an important part in Sarasota's founding history and development.

Click here for Mrs. Palmer's Biography

Click here for the Title Article from the
Sarasota History Alive website

Monday, June 10, 2013

Baseball Legend, Ted Williams

Sports, especially baseball, has played an important part in Sarasota's history.  One baseball legend, Ted Williams, was a popular subject in the local community during his time with the Boston Red Sox and the time he spent in Sarasota.

Click Here for the Ted Williams article from SarasotaHistoryAlive website

Monday, June 3, 2013

Amish and Mennonite Communities - Article from Journals of Yesteryear

Amish and Mennonite Communities have been a vital part of the Sarasota landscape since the first settlements in 1925. 

Click Here for the SarasotaHistoryAlive article

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pet Friendly Sarasota/Bradenton

Recently I visited my daughter, son-in-law and new baby in their home in Atlanta, GA.  As I was driving, I chose to take "my baby", Sophie, with me rather than leave her with her "Pet Nanny" for a week.  Thankfully she was good as gold both on the drive and while visiting in their new home.

Sophie is definitely a member of the family, as most pets are to their families.  So when traveling, it is important to plan ahead for "pet friendly" restaurants, hotels and parks so that our four legged family members enjoy their vacation as much as we do.  Fortunately the Sarasota/Bradenton communities embrace this love of our pets.  We have some beautiful community dog parks as well as many public parks. 

When researching the information for this blog, I hit on a gold mine at site called This site offers helpful travel information for many locations around the world!

I have included some helpful direct links below for those coming to Sarasota/Bradenton. But check out when going elsewhere as well.  It is user friendly and loaded with helpful information.

Awesome travel site for Dog Lovers - Click here to visit the site:


Bayfront Dog Park - not off leash

17th Street Paw Park - off leash

Click Here for a list of "Pet Friendly Restaurants in Sarasota"

Click Here for a list of "Pet Friendly Hotels In Sarasota"


Happy Trails Dog Park - off leash

Click Here for a list of "Pet Friendly Restaurants in Bradenton"

Click Here for a list of "Pet Friendly Hotels in Bradenton"

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Paradise Eluded the Early Settlers

We recently located the site , a site overflowing with stories focused on Sarasota's history.  Because we find these articles so interesting, we thought you would too so we will be posting a few of these articles in future posts for your reading pleasure. 

Sarasota has such a culturally rich history with fascinating founders and early residents who helped to make Sarasota the beautiful city that we enjoy today.

Click Here for the article  "Paradise Eluded the Early Settlers"

Thursday, May 23, 2013

SW FL population growth TRIPLES!

Last year, SW Florida more than tripled its rate of population growth, an inflection point in the region's emergence from the "Great Recession".  While the biggest proportionate recovery was in Charlotte County, not far behind was Sarasota County, which saw its population rise 1.2 percent last year compared to less than a half-percent gain from 2010 to 2011.

For the complete Herald Tribune article by author Dale White, CLICK HERE.

April 2013 Sales Top 1,000 Mark - Eight Year High!

Members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors sold more than 1,000 properties in April 2013, the first time sales have hit four figures in a single month since June 2005. 

"This has been an amazing time for the Sarasota real estate market", says Sarasota Association of Realtors President Roger Piro.  "It's our members who help make dreams come true for those who want to make Sarasota their new home."

For the complete April Sales report with graphs and statistics, go to

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

IMG celebrates $15M dorms in Bradenton

A new residence hall is adding a touch of community and sense of home for students at IMG Academy in Bradenton.

CLICK HERE for Bradenton Herald Article

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Luxury Waterfront Home with 60' Boat Slip at Riviera Dunes

Beautiful luxury Home with panoramic waterfront views at one of the safest storm protected marinas in Florida!  Special features include two levels of screened verandas to enjoy the views, infinity pool and spa, 60' boat dock/slip, and TWO guest suites with private entrance.  Click on the link for a flyer with virtual tour, photos, and MLS data sheets.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Coldwell Banker Previews International Dominates Market

Ever wonder how Coldwell Banker Previews International compares to Sotheby's and Christie's. Click the link below to view a pdf slideshow of the Market Analysis. Team Vitale is proud to be associated with such an outstanding company, Coldwell Banker Previews International!

Click Here for Market Analysis Slideshow

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sarasota Association of Realtors March Report

For full article click on:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bubil: Realtors reporting most sales since the boom

Article from Real Estate Guru, Harold Bubil, of the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Click Here for article

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Welcome gains in job data, especially in housing sector

Article from Sarasota Herald Tribune

Click Here for Link to article

Friday, January 25, 2013

2013 Could be the Year of the Seller - Zillow

After years of declining home values and a buyers’ market, 2013 could be the year of the seller.
Though the situation varies by region, we’ve seen a glimmer of hope for sellers and the housing market in general over the past six months. Homes that didn’t move for a year started getting activity as buyers came off the sidelines, their confidence in the housing market and their financial situations greatly improved. That confidence, coupled with record low interest rates and rising rents, has been the fuel the real estate market needed. Add to this the low inventory seen in many markets, and you’ve got buyers motivated to make a purchase.
If 2013 might be your year to sell, start planning, engaging professionals and doing as much of the legwork as soon as possible. You only have one chance to be “Just Listed” in this new market. More than ever, you’ve got to put your best foot forward when presenting your home to motivated buyers.
Here are three things you can do now to transition from homeowner to successful home seller.

1. Know the comps
One of the first people you’ll want to reconnect with is your real estate agent. They are your “feet on the street” and have their finger on the market’s pulse. Real estate agents generally pick up on trends or shifts in your particular neighborhood or market before the press or the bloggers.
So get on your agent’s radar as soon as possible. Start going to open houses to see what’s selling and to get a feel for values and how homes are being presented. Likely a home you see at an open house in February could sell by the time you list in May or June. Future buyers will probably use this home as a “comparable” sale. Having seen the “comps” yourself puts you in the buyers’ mindset. It enables you to get ahead of the curve or learn from the mistakes of other sellers.

2. Have your property inspected
The buyer, after they have a signed contract on a home, is supposed to pay for an inspection, right? While that’s true, you can beat them to the punch and know what needs to be repaired before you go on the market.
Imagine if you list your home and have a great offer from a solid buyer. But the buyer finds out through the inspection that the roof needs replacement and the deck has dry rot. That excellent offer may not seem so great if you have to negotiate thousands of dollars in credits with the buyer.
Having your property inspected months in advance will allow you time to make a plan to get the big (and small) things repaired. If you can identify the problems upfront, you can fix them for a lot less money than those repairs would get negotiated for down the road. Or, you can price your home factoring in the needed repairs. Plus, a home with a clean bill of health can be advertised as such. Many buyers are looking for a home in “move-in” condition, free of any needed repairs or fixes.
3. Hire a designer or stager
Your real estate agent should have a good designer or stager they like to work with — someone who can help you start to view your home as a product to be marketed. This should be someone you reach out to once you have the place inspected and know the property’s condition.
Many people think a designer means big money or a wasted expense, but this isn’t always the case. Many designers charge by the hour. It could be as easy as hiring a designer for two hours to help you decide on colors to paint a room or two; a stager to help you declutter or decide which furniture to move out to make some rooms show better.
Based on your real estate agent’s feedback, you may decide to engage the designer on a minor kitchen or bathroom remodel. An old kitchen with linoleum countertops, knotty redwood cabinets and avocado-colored appliances can easily be updated with an inexpensive cabinet makeover and new stainless steel appliances.
You’ll save money in the long run
Like any major decision, selling a home takes a lot of planning, timing and consultation. Consulting with professionals and getting the facts in advance will help the process go a lot smoother, will help you make an informed decision and will most likely save you a lot of money when you sell.
If you’re a homeowner, transitioning to a seller mindset isn’t necessarily easy. The sooner you start that transition, however, the easier the process will be. But be aware there can be an unexpected, if ironic, outcome: Some would-be sellers do the fix-it work to their homes, clean up some rooms, or paint and update the entire place — only to fall in love with their home all over again and decide to stay.
Artcle provided by