How familiar are you with Sarasota? Generally speaking, the closer the homes are to the waterfront the higher the prices. Being closer to the water/bay will also increase the potential of the homes being in a wind zone, which will increase the annual insurance bill on the properties. Flood zones and flood insurance are another factor you should take into consideration in a home purchase, flood insurance rates are going thru some significant changes over the next few years thanks to changes to the national flood insurance program.
There are quite a few neighborhoods that would meet your price point and bdrm/bath criteria that are within a 15 minute drive to either St. Armands or Siesta Key. Actually, depending on your other preferences, needs, etc you may be able to find something for under $200,000.
What type of homes appeal to you, older homes with character or newer construction? Older homes will typically come with higher insurance rates, newer construction homes will have lower insurance rates but may have annual HOA fees and usually have detailed deed restrictions on what you can and cannot do with the exterior of your property. Do you want a deed restricted community or non deed restricted? You mentioned having a dog, would you want a larger yard? Fenced back yard? Not all neighborhoods (especially newer construction) allow fencing or have restrictions on the style of fence allowed.
Knowing more specifics as to what appeals to you in regard to style of home and neighborhood features would make it easier to suggest communities for your search.
As a 30+ year resident of Sarasota - Bradenton, I know the area well. Please feel free to contact me to further discuss your needs and preferences, I would be happy to share my knowledge of the local neighborhoods with you.
Diane Christner, Realtor, GRI, SFR
Realty Executives Solutions
cell: (941) 726-7109
I have profiled several popular neighborhoods and areas on my website, http://www.davidbarrhomes.com
You can search by map or by clicking on the neighborhoods button in the main menu.
I would recommend West of Trail to start. It's only minutes to Lido Beach and downtown.
While there are neighborhoods and communities that offer homes in your price range, the question is how "close" do you want to be to St. Armands. Price points increase exponentially the closer you get to St. Armands and change from single-family to condos (which won't work for you).
I'd love to better understand your locational needs. Please call me and we can have a constructive conversation. Thank you!
Real Estate Consultant
Keller Williams on the Water Sarasota