General Area in Sarasota>Question Details

 IrishFam, Real Estate Pro in ,

Artsy, liberal, international family may be relocating to Sarasota area from Los Angeles. Which are the best neighborhoods for us?

Asked by IrishFam, , Sat Jun 1, 2013

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Hi, just saw your inquiry about relocating to Sarasota. If you have not made your move yet, and are still considering this area, may I suggest you contact a friend of mine who specializes in rentals. Her name is Kathy and you can email her at Give her your information, let her know your requirements as far a housing, schools, budget etc. and she can locate the perfect house for you. Mention that I gave her name to you, please. If there is anything else I can help with, please do not hesitate to contact me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 4, 2013
Gerry McLoughlin, Real Estate Pro in Naples, FL
Hi Irish Family,
I'm an Irish Realtor who's been living in Naples Florida for 15 years.
I feel like I would be better able to answer your question with more information. I like to really get to know my clients so that I can uncover their dominant motivations in searching for property. Do you want to be near great schools for your kids? Or maybe they are older and it would be more important to have short commuting distance or be closer to the airport for easy access on international flights? All of these things are a concern to me because I'm sure they are important to you.
If you have time, let's talk.
Free call 1855-9-NAPLES
I know the Sarasota market very well and have access to all the homes there listed in the Sarasota MLS. Call me anytime before 9pm.
Gerry McLoughlin
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 18, 2013

Sarasota is a delightful resort community that offers a high density of cultural events, festivals and opportunities. It is a laid back community that is also focused around water sports, the beach and allows for lots of activities for adults.

Since the early 2000s the demographics shifted and more families moved into the area. You can see evidence by the housing available in Sarasota county. Most homes are 2 bedrooms, 2 bath with a den. There are 3 bedroom and 4 bedrooms, but, these homes were built in the late 90s or 2000s.

The housing costs in Florida vs California is dramatically different. Having spent time in Los Angeles, it is very different from Sarasota. The density of people is much higher in LA, whereas Sarasota, is seasonal with most festivities and events offered during the snowbird season.

If you like Silver Lake and West Hollywood, then you might like the Siesta Key area. If you like the Valley then Lakewood Ranch might be of interest to you. If you like Santa Monica and West LA then downtown Sarasota and Lido Key. if you like Brentwood then Longboat.

California and the west coast of Florida are very very different. Visit the website: Los Angeles and Sarasota. You will be able to read through the public comments and gather a flavor for the area.

Best regards,

Lynn Brock
Brock Realty Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 18, 2013
Hi IrishFam,

Depending on your kids ages - I would say Southside School District.
Burns Court area downtown is very artsy - loads of galleries walk or bike to Whole Foods and Farmers Market on Saturday.
Always price is a factor but knowing that LA is up there - you should be able to find a nice place that meets you needs.
Bungalow or Sears Craftsman style homes in the areas I have mentioned under $600K
If you would like a mid-century modern (atomic ranch with terrazzo floors) or Sarasota School of Architecture house I can help you with that also.

I can help you find the right home.
Call or email me, I would love to work with you.


Albert Wooster, P.A.
Cell: (941) 350-1220
Allen Real Estate Services, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
Hi IrishFam :)

I would strongly suggest coming down here for a couple of weeks or you can familiarize yourself with the area for a bit. Moving with a child is difficult enough, and you want to make sure you rent a place that is close enough to work and the cultural activities you enjoy, yet also having a good family feel to it as well. The idea of going home needs to make you feel good regardless of whether you rent or own.

I'd be happy to take you out and about a couple of times in order to get oriented and then you'll have an idea of the areas which appeal to you. I originally relocated from Canada, so I well understand how important it is to feel that the area into which you're moving feel right to you.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 6, 2013
I meant reach out.
Flag Sat Jun 8, 2013
Thanks Joan! Hopefully we wil have some time to do that. It may be whirlwind last minute move, but either way I will reach it.

Flag Sat Jun 8, 2013
I have a house in the Indian beach area that is available. Contact me if you want to see a perfect family pool home near the ringling museum and family favorite Jungle Gardens. Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
Thanks so much Steve, but we won't know if we're moving for sure until July. Maybe then?
Flag Wed Jun 5, 2013
We have many great neighborhoods. What price point do you want to be in? Do you want a yard? A golf course? Lake or Gulf view? Close to riding stables or restaurants? It's so easy to get around -- being close to work is simple.

American companies are moving toward becoming more efficient and problem solving with their skill in innovations. Sarasota is attracting job growth and relocation for these very reasons. Industries that are particularly innovative have higher employee retention here.

Recently -- in the Top 10 "Cities On The Water" in the U.S.A.: Clean, Nice, Family, and Great Home Value.

What is also making headlines? Home owners insurance! Homes that don't pass a 4 point inspection don't qualify for most types of home loans. How do you avoid this pitfall? How do you have peace of mind while enjoying your home? A top notch Professional Realtor will have great referrals for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 2, 2013
Thanks Sandra. We would need to rent at first to find our footing and get accommodated with the area. 3 bed/2 bath under $1800. A yard is important because we have a toddler. Ideally a place that has some walkability close by -- restaurants, shops, local merchants. No golf courses necessary.
Flag Sun Jun 2, 2013
West of Trail, Sapphire Shores, Indian Beach are all close to downtown, museums, theaters, etc and tend to have more unique and interesting homes than the newer areas of town where many people call the homes "cookie cutter".

I have a great tool called Listingbook that will help you find a home. Go to for details and to sign up for a free account.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 2, 2013
Hi IrishFam,

The downtown core is where most of our arts are located as well as Ringling College our premier art school. Sarasota is a small, diverse, culturally dynamic city and offers a lot. I have a 3 bedroom 2 bath home with pool for rent on St Armand's Key, just over the bridge from our downtown, for $2,900 a month. Other great areas to look are Southside Village which is west of Tamaiami Trail, Laurel Park, Burns Court and Indian Beach by the Ringling Museum and USF.

All the best,

Teresa M. Fellows
ERA Waterside Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 1, 2013
Hi Terri. Thank you for the information. We would be looking to spend a lot less. Probably under $1800.
Flag Sat Jun 1, 2013
Thanks everyone. More details:

We are very open, but don't know the area well. We would be renting initially. Preferably a single family home -- 3 bedroom/2 bath. It would be great to be somewhere that could accommodate a back yard for our little one, but also access to shops and local merchants (like European village/high street) near by. A good school district/access to childcare would be great. I am an arts educator so good education is important to me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 1, 2013
I can draw a search polygon around the Southside school district and cap the price at what ever you tell me, for: 1. Renal price and 2. purchase price.
Shoot me an email:
Flag Tue Jun 11, 2013
For education Southside Elementary is the best in the county.
Indian beach which others are suggesting is in a very very low scoring school district. They are not listening. I agree with John August here - I live in Southgate more affordable than West of Trail but still in Southside School District - You can get a good 3BR home in South Gate for in the $200s. West of Trail the prices skyrocket to over $400s for the same home.
Rentals are very hard to come buy in the Southside area and since prices are rebounding quickly you would shoot yourself in the foot waiting to buy.
Feel free to contact me.
If you give me your email address I can send you rental and for sale listings in the Southside school district.
-Albert Wooster
Flag Mon Jun 10, 2013
I would recommend a rental just south of downtown. Either in the Southgate area or "West of the Trail". West of the trail would be idea there are a number of restaurants and shops in that area. It will be a challenge getting a rental since the rental market is relatively tight. I would recommend going to my website and clicking on the "Rental" button. On the right side you will find all the major rental companies in the area. The best candidate firms for that area are: Michael Saunders, Jennette Properties, Rossi and Stringer Mgt. Please email or call and I can refer you to a good Rental Agent. Regards, John August 941.320.9795 or
Flag Sat Jun 1, 2013
Most areas of are very atuned to the arts and are populated by a percentage of interational home owners. Downtown Sarasota and Lido are probably good candidate communities. Most of the Arts are located in or near downtown. If you could give more specifics on your housing needs I could help you determine a more specific location. One of my friends on Longboat Key moved to Sarasota from Los Angeles about 7 years ago.
John August, Realtor
Michael Saunders & Co - Licensed Broker
61 S. Blvd of the Presidents - St Armands Circle - Sarasota FL
Cell: 941.320.9795
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 1, 2013
I would be happy to show you several different areas in and around Sarasota.

Raffie Hamilton, Broker
Good Life Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 1, 2013
One of the most important things to determine in buying a home is location, location, location. How do you know what neighborhood is right for you? Here is a list that might help you.

1. Would you enjoy living there?

2. How far of a commute is it from work, school, shopping, hospitals, restaurants, parks, entertainment and transportation? Take a test drive.

3. Drive through the neighborhood to get an idea of what it is like. You may want to go at different times throughout the day. What is the noise and traffic level?

4. Does the neighborhood have curb appeal? It is well maintained? Does it have nice landscaping?

5. Does the neighborhood fit in with your demographics? Are you looking for a family friendly neighborhood, a deed restricted neighborhood, a 55 and older retirement neighborhood, or a high or low income neighborhood?

6. Price makes all the difference. Do some research to find out the price range of the neighborhoods so that you can eliminate ones that do not fit within your budget.

7. Check to see what the neighborhood crime statistics are. Look around for graffiti or other signs of criminal activity. Check with local police or check the police blotter in the local newspaper. You want to live in a safe neighborhood.

8. Be aware of any new construction or zoning laws that may be in the neighborhood.

9. If you are choosing a deed restricted community with a homeowner association, find out what the fees are?

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
RE/MAX Palm Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 1, 2013
I think Lakewood Ranch or University Park.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 1, 2013
This a great question, but it's not really possible to answer it without a lot more information from you. As you probably already know, Sarasota is the "arts capital" of the state of Florida, and our community certainly has a cosmopolitan character. You'll feel it on Main Street and at St. Armands Circle, but it's also apparent on the beaches and even on the golf links.

What kind of neighborhood appeals to you and your family? Urban or suburban, gated or not, older or new? Do you need to be close to schools, and what does "close" mean to you? What is your budget?

I'm sure that others will chime in with specific recommendations, but I would prefer to discuss your needs and interests first. Please give me a call or send an email, and then I will be happy to provide suggestions and enough information for you to begin a focused search to find the right neighborhood and home for your family.

Charles Offer
423 St. Armands Circle
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 321-9664
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 1, 2013
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