Find a realtor you trust, in the area you want to look and be clear what you want and what you can pay for it. You won't pay more going through a realtor...people who sell on their own often simply want to cut out the middleman; they aren't interested in you getting a bargain.
Anna Maria Island also has some small cottages starting in the mid $300's and the beaches are an easy bike ride from most areas on the island: http://www.davidbarrhomes.com/anna_maria
I've been showing properties in both areas quite frequently this season, and I'd be happy to give you a property tour.
David Barr, Broker Associate
Allison James Estates & Homes