If you are considering homes on Cheyenne St., you're actually looking at Bayview Acres, not Gulf Gate. Bayview Acres is west of Tamiami Trail, and Gulf Gate is east of the Trail. I think that you'll find Bayview Acres to be like many other neighborhoods that are near the water - they're constantly changing because of continuing investment and renovation. If you have looked at listings on Cheyenne St. on the internet, you know that most of the homes were built from the mid-1950's to the early 1970's, and the lot sizes are generally around 10,000 square feet. The homes are not large. It's generally a street of modest, affordable homes that have the obvious advantage of being close to the Intracoastal Waterway and Siesta Key. If you go a block or so to the west, you'll find larger homes near the water, and if you go over to Avenue B, Schooner Bay Circle or Anchorage St., you will see canal-front homes and condos. These are also generally larger and more expensive, but they're still reasonably-priced for homes with direct boating access.
Now that I think of it, on Cheyenne Street you've found decent modestly-priced homes that are surrounded by very nice more expensive properties. It's usually said that for investment purposes it's a good idea to buy the least expensive home in a good neighborhood, so you're on the right track here. Of course, nobody can guarantee your investment, but I think that you're wise to consider this area.
If you're not entirely familiar with Sarasota, you'll want to know a little more about the area surrounding Cheyenne St. and Bayview Acres. Because it's so close to the water, the neighborhood was developed with a mix of housing including everything from expensive waterfront homes to trailer parks. On nearby Stickney Point Road you'll see a few remaining funky motels, modest new vacation condos, and strip malls full of chain restaurants and shops that serve the tourist trade (t-shirts, swimwear, etc.). It's typical Florida funky stuff. If you're looking to live the Sarasota lifestyle at a modest price, I think you've found it here.
Now, on to Gulf Gate, which is just across Tamiami Trail to the east. Gulf Gate is generally a little newer than Bayview Acres, built in the 1960's and early 1970's. It's a typical Florida subdivision from that period, with modestly-sized ranch homes on good-sized lots. The housing style is more homogeneous than Bayview Acres, and in general they're really decent homes. I think that you'll find that the developer did a great job here, laying out the streets with gentle curves to make it more interesting (and to slow traffic). During the real estate boom in recent years, Gulf Gate was one of the hottest neighborhoods for real estate investors and quite frankly prices got over-inflated. In today's market, prices have become more reasonable again, and there are plenty of opportunities here. You'll find some nicely-updated homes, and occasional bargains as a result of foreclosures and short sales. As I said about Bayview Acres, nobody can guarantee your investment but I like this area a lot, and it's certainly worth checking out. To get an idea of the location of Gulf Gate, go to Google maps and type in "Gulf Gate Sarasota". That will help you to put things into perspective. It's a great location.
I would be happy to email you current listings, and to discuss these neighborhoods in detail. Give me a call, or send me an email.
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Inc.
423 St. Armands Circle
Sarasota, FL (941) 321-9664