Buying a Home in Sarasota, FL

The Argelia Vidal Team July 4, 2023

Sarasota, Florida, is a beautiful place to live, with a warm climate, breathtaking beaches, and various entertainment options. Many people are drawn to the town for its rich cultural scene, which includes a thriving arts community and numerous performing arts venues, including the Sarasota Orchestra and The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Sarasota provides residents with a high quality of life with world-class amenities and attractions. The strong local economy and job market make it the perfect location for professionals and families looking for a place to settle down.

Finding the perfect location to purchase a property takes research and in-person visits to various communities, parks, schools, and stores to ensure the area fits your needs. Many residents fall in love with Sarasota after one visit and commit to a relocation to enjoy the coastal community.

Why purchase a home in Sarasota?

Sarasota has everything you need, from quality schools to a thriving job market, luxury homes, and fun community events. Before deciding on a move, you can learn more about the area.

Upscale lifestyle

Sarasota is known for its upscale lifestyle, with many stunning housing options for those looking to buy a home. From waterfront properties to gated communities, the real estate market in Sarasota offers high-end options with amenities to enhance your lifestyle. The vibe in the community is relaxed, with a slow pace and friendly locals, and it is easy to integrate into the community and feel connected to neighbors.

Coastal location

Sarasota is on the state’s southwestern coast, making it a highly desirable location due to its views of the Gulf of Mexico. This location also means residents can enjoy a warm climate year-round, perfect for those who love outdoor activities like boating, fishing, and golfing. The community is close to thriving areas like Turtle Beach, Siesta Key, and Longboat Key.

Fun attractions

Sarasota has a lot to offer besides luxurious homes and a beautiful coastline. The area has many fun attractions, including the iconic John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which displays some of the world’s most significant works of art. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens offers a peaceful, serene environment with rare and native plants. The Mote Marine Aquarium is a must-visit to experience hands-on exhibits and information about marine life and conservation.

Upscale neighborhoods in the area

One of the standout features of the Sarasota real estate market is the upscale neighborhoods. Buyers can find waterfront property with a private dock, a sprawling estate in a gated community, or towering high-rise condominiums with minimal maintenance and shared amenities.

St. Armands Circle and Bird Key

St. Armands Circle is a sought-after area for homebuyers in Sarasota, a unique destination just over the John Ringling Causeway Bridge. The Circle boasts a distinctive European feel, with high-end shops, art galleries, and gourmet restaurants. Bird Key is a beautiful neighborhood located just south of St. Armands Circle, offering stunning waterfront properties with boat access and breathtaking views. Both St. Armands Circle and Bird Key are excellent options for luxury living in Sarasota.

Downtown Sarasota

Downtown Sarasota is a vibrant area with walkable shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The city’s downtown district is home to art galleries, theaters, and music venues, including the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Residents can also enjoy the weekly farmers’ market, craft fairs, and other events throughout the year. The downtown area is trendy among young professionals and retirees looking for a lively atmosphere and a sense of community.

Home-buying costs to consider

When buying a home in Sarasota, there are several costs associated with purchasing property.

Closing costs

Closing costs are an essential consideration, typically including fees for services such as real estate commissions, property taxes, and title transfers. The terms for closing costs vary depending on your contract and should be discussed at length with your agent to ensure you understand your financial responsibilities.

Homeowner’s insurance

Homeowner’s insurance is critical in coastal communities like Sarasota because they are prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tropical storms, and regular flooding, which can cause extensive damage to homes. Homeowner’s insurance will protect your investment and provide assistance in a disaster, but additional insurance, like flood insurance, may be necessary depending on your location. Shop around for the best rates and coverage options to find a policy that meets your needs and budget.

HOA fees

Many of the luxury communities in Sarasota have HOAs, which charge a monthly or annual fee to upkeep public spaces and provide services such as landscaping, security, and amenity maintenance. These fees can vary depending on the neighborhood and the amenities and services offered, so it is essential to understand these costs before making an offer on a property.

Money-saving tips

If you are seeing dollar signs, don’t panic; there are ways to save money during your home-buying journey.

Get pre-qualified

Before diving into the home-buying process, you can pre-qualify for a mortgage. By meeting with a lender to determine your borrowing limit based on your income, credit score, and other financial factors, you can ensure you stay within your allocated budget. Pre-qualifying beforehand helps you narrow your search and shows that you are a serious buyer with finances in place to move forward with a purchase.

Save for a larger down payment

Making a larger down payment may take more time to save up, but it can save you money in the long run. A sizable down payment can reduce the overall mortgage amount and monthly payments and eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance, which is a necessary expense for some loans with lower down payments.

Work with a real estate agent

Working with a dependable real estate agent can save buyers time, money, and headaches throughout the home-buying process. Agents can help buyers navigate the complicated process of negotiating with sellers, reviewing and understanding contracts, and finding the right home that meets their needs and budget. Without expert guidance, you may find yourself in an unfavorable contract with an asking price above market value.

The Argelia Vidal Team is a Sarasota real estate agency with seasoned professionals helping clients buy and sell property with less stress. Avoid setbacks and costly mistakes by working with a trusted realtor and finding your new home today.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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