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Living in the Sarasota Area-Cities
 

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Area Cities

Sarasota Fl

boca raton map

Sarasota County is 60 miles south of Tampa, on the West coast of Florida. But while you might think its orientation would be toward Tampa Bay, you would be wrong. This is a special place in Florida, beautiful of course, cultured like few places in the whole State with a wide range of activities in theater, music, art, and entertainment in general, and with both a fabulous “front-door” on the Gulf of Mexico and an exotic “back-door” featuring the Myakka River and Myakka Lakes wilderness areas.

Sarasota has a great year-round climate (average temp is 72), some 35 miles of long and largely pristine Gulf beaches on the barrier islands of Longboat Key, Siesta Key, and Lido Beach, an expanding and well balanced economy and plentiful recreational opportunities. And all this is mixed in with excelent health and educational facilities. Top that off with Sarasota’s unique mix of cosmopolitan and small-town feel, and well, you get the idea. Add in lots of sun.The neighborhoods are diverse and the Real Estate ranges widely in price.

General Information.

Located in the central west coast portion of Florida, 51 miles south of Tampa, 211 miles north west of Miami, 127 miles southwest of Orlando, and 236 miles south of Jacksonville.
600 square miles (Sarasota county)
Average summer Temperature 91°F
Average winter temperature is 71
Average yearly temperature 72
Average Annual Precipitation 53 in
Average Rain Days 107
Population projection 2005 -355,00 Sarasota County
Average home cost-June 2005-$250,000
Cost of Living-108.9-it's surrounding areas are less.
Median age-50
Major job Employment By Industry in order of numbers

Construction 8.6%
Education & Health Services 20.2% 1
Financial Activities 6.4%
Information 2.0%
Leisure & Hospitality 12.2%
Manufacturing 5.0%
Natural Resources & Mining 0.3%
Other Services 4.0%
Professional & Business Services 17.5%
Public administration 4.6%
Trade, Transportation and Utilities 19.3%
Sarasota offers a very high quality of life, one of the very best in Florida. The weather is great and it is a cultured place. It offers a vibrant economy, good health facilities, rich environmental resources, excelent schools, and safe neighborhoods. Compared with the rest of the United States in terms of similar amenities, Sarasota is still a bargain.

For specifics in other general categories, see the links to the left.

.©2006. Florida Real Estate Network Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

Bradenton

If you plan to relocate to Florida, the Bradenton area offers a relatively unique, rich mix of living opportunities. As in many other parts of Florida this mix includes places with an old-Florida small town feel, as well as pricier beach front property and a growing choice of new construction in the other towns and unincorporated areas of Manatee County.

Unlike most areas in Florida, however, here in Bradenton you can enjoy a truly rural community away from the noise, congestion, and frenetic pace of big-city urban America, yet have all the amenities that a big city (Tampa-StP-C) has to offer.

You can enjoy quiet, country charm and a laid-back pace of living, yet be close to cultural riches like opera, symphony, ballet, theater and fine art
You can also enjoy the delights of hassle-free access to pristine barrier island beaches and relaxed boating on a myriad of quiet bays, lakes and rivers, yet still be close enough to the rest of the Tampa Bay cities to take in big-time professional sports or an active night life.
You don’t have to put up with much jet noise, yet you can easily fly off from Tampa International to the rest of the world.
And finally, while still enjoying your relative isolation, you’ll know that just down I-75 south of you a few minutes is your own Sarasota-Bradenton regional airport, an opera, a slew of museums, one of the University of South Florida campuses (to go with your own Manatee Community College), a famous aquarium, and some really major additional shopping – all at Sarasota.

Cost of Living
Oh, and did we tell you that the Bradenton area, as well as Tampa Bay in general, is more affordable than much of Florida, let alone the rest of the country?

Tampa Bay

According to the ACCRA cost of living index (COLI), the overall cost of living in the Tampa Bay Region 99.7) is about the same as the national average (=100), and a little less on some specifics like groceries, utilities, healthcare, and miscelaneous goods and services. Most of the region is also about 5% less costly than other large Florida metro areas. (See Eflorida.com and coli.org for comparative data. Tampa Bay’s COLI is a composite of Bradenton, Sarasota, metro St. Petersburg-Clearwater and metro Tampa).

Home prices in the greater Tampa Bay area are also relatively inexpensive: Even after the rapid Statewide growth of median home prices in 2003-2004 (21% in Tampa Bay alone), the Region’s median home price of $171,700 was still a bargain, nearly 6% below the statewide average and 7% lower than the national average.
Bradenton

And Bradenton is still better! The Bradenton area’s 2005 Cost of Living Index was 96.4%, well below the national and state averages, and less than Tampa’s (98.8), Sarasota’s (108.9), or Tampa Bay in general (99.7).
Bradenton’s median home prices in various housing categories are about 5% less than general Tampa Bay regional median home prices, and as much as 25-35% below Sarasota’s median prices. (Bradenton and Sarasota are often grouped statistically, which disguises how much of a bargain parts of Bradenton still represent for people relocating to this area. For example, as of Sept 2005, an MLS search shows 2/2 homes starting at $119,000.)

More Facts about the Area

Manatee County is comprised of six communities.
Bradenton and Palmetto are the largest and are situated on the mainland facing each other across the Manatee River.
Manatee County’s barrier islands are home to the other four communities, including Longboat Key, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach. (Longboat Key's northern portion is in Manatee County and its southern portion is in Sarasota County
A collection of small Unincorporated communities make up the balance of Manatee County. Terra Ceia, near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge resembles Florida Communities of years past. Cortez is a fishing village on Sarasota Bay. Parrish and Ellenton are agricultural communities.
If one single thing about the Bradenton area really stands out, it is the watery environment and orientation. Manatee county has 27 miles of beaches and 150 miles of waterfront. With so much water access here, fishing and boating are very popular. There are 30 plus marinas and yacht basins; lots of charter boats; 15 boat ramps; 6 fishing piers; and a gazillion inland streams and rivers for canoeing and kayaking.
Water’s not your thing? No problem. There are also 66 Tennis courts and 20 golf courses.
Distances to other cities from Bradenton
· Ft. Myers 87 miles
· Jacksonville 235 miles
· Miami 221 miles
· Orlando 119 miles
· Tampa 51 miles
The Bradenton population is over 50,000 and Manatee County is about 300,000.
Average annual temperature is 74.5.
In January, it averages 66.8 degrees; in the summer it averages about 82 degrees.
Yearly rainfall amounts to 54 inches. Typically, in the summer, that means brief afternoon showers or thunderstorms.
Median age: 45. This is not primarily a retiree population, but rather a well-balanced mix of people of all ages.
Cost of Living (see above detailed discussion)
Employment by industry
· Tourist related/Services 32%
· Retail: 22%
· Manufacturing: 14%
· Local Government: 11%
· Agriculture: 7%
· Finance, Insurance, Real Estate 4%
· Construction: 3%
Schools: Extensive information about the schools in this area is online at the state's Department of Education (http://www.firn.edu/doe/doehome.htm).
For more information, you can also contact:

Bradenton City Hall 500 15th St. W. 813 748-0800
Manatee County Historical Commission 813 749-7165
Palmetto City Hall 516 8th Ave. W. 813 723-4570
Bradenton Beach City Hall 107 Gulf Drive N. 813 778-1005
Holmes Beach City Hall 5901 Marina Drive 813 778-2221
Anna Maria City Hall 10005 Gulf Drive 813 778-0781
Longboat Key Town Hall 501 Bay Isles Road 813 383-3721
For mores specifics on the area see also the general information links for Tampa or Sarasota.

In conclusion, Bradenton is a mix of old town, beach front property and new construction in Manatee County. If you are relocating here, there is a wide variety of property types to choose among. And as I’ve noted already, the real bonus in Bradenton is the unique blending of lifestyle: you can enjoy living in a slower paced, more rural community, yet have all the amenities that a nearby big city (Tampa etc.) has to offer.

.©2006. Florida Real Estate Network Inc. All Rights Reserved

Port Charlotte

Charlotte County is between Lee County (Fort Myers) and Sarasota County in Southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. It is about 100 miles south of Tampa, 160 miles northwest of Miami and 120 miles southwest of Orlando. Three-quarters of Florida’s population are within a 150-mile radius.

The towns of Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte are located in the mid S.W. coast of Florida. The two communities are divided by Charlotte Harbor and the Peace River. Both these communities are part of Charlotte County. From the bridge over the Peace River connecting Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, you are just 30 miles from Sarasota, 20 from Ft. Myers.
Location, Location, Location
Not only does that proximity mean great access to all the usual amenities, including employment opportunities, that mid-sized cities can provide. It also means, particularly at Sarasota, one of Florida’s real cultural centers, great access to some of Florida’s finest Arts and cultural institutions and offerings.

From a completely different geographic perspective, the Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte area is also just a half hour drive from one of the oldest and most interesting of Florida’s small central cities, Arcadia, all the greater a treasure because of the destructive damage done by Hurricane Charlie (a very rare event) to the nearby tiny Old Florida communities of Fort Ogden, Nocatee, and others.
In fact, Charlotte County is a great area from which to explore various towns and the countryside of inland Florida’s Citrus Ridge and Central Lakes regions, counties which with justification call themselves “Florida’s Freshwater Frontier”.
Last but not least , Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte are in a good location and have easy access via I-75 to the Arts and Culture, sports, health, education and the theme parks and other sightseeing activities at Disneyland approximately 119 miles to the north and Miami approximately 138 miles to the south.
Climate and Recreation
The climate in Charlotte County is South Florida sub-tropical, making it possible to enjoy the outdoors year round. However, this is not a beach location. Orientation is mostly to the bays and rivers. Still, Gulf beaches to the West on Manasota Key, Don Pedro Island, and Gasparilla Island (the area from Englewood to Boca Grande) are easy to reach within 25-45 minutes.

What this variety of Florida outdoors location does provide is unparalleled boating and fishing access to Charlotte Harbor and some of the world’s greatest tarpon fishing grounds. And the Peace and Myakka Rivers and wetlands, right at your back door, are excelent fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. In addition, one of Florida’s finest wild areas, Myakka River State Park, offers great recreational options just a half hour away.
Some statistics

The cost of living as of the 2nd quarter 2005 is 92.8. This puts it low on a statewide and national level. You get to keep more of what you make.
The population is approximately 160,000 with a 2010 estimate of 174,000
The weather

July is the average warmest month.
The highest recorded temperature was 101°F in 1981.
The average coolest month is January.
The lowest recorded temperature was 23°F in 1982.
The maximum average precipitation occurs in June.
(Source: The Weather Channel)
Housing

As of Sept 2005 per an MLS search, a 2/2 home in Port Charlotte started at $139,000.
A 2/2 in Punta Gorda started at $145,000.
In both cases there were in excess of 400 properties available.
Employment

The top employment categories are:

Construction 9.3%
Education & Health Services 25.5%
Financial Activities 5.1%
Leisure & Hospitality 12.6%
Professional & Business Services 7.6%
Public administration7.7%
Trade, Transportation and Utilities 22.9%
Transportation
The area is served by many different transportation options.
Airports

Charlotte County Airport
28000 Airport Road
Punta Gorda, FL 33950 941 639-4119
Orlando International Airport
(407) 825-2001 One Airport Boulevard
Orlando, Florida 32827-4399
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport
941 FLY-2-SRQ 6000 Airport Circle Sarasota, FL 34243
Southwest Florida International Airport
239 768-4308 16000 Chamberlain Parkway
Fort Myers, FL 33913
Tampa International Airport
5507 Spruce Street Tampa, FL 33607
813 870-8700
Bus Service
Greyhound

· Port Charlotte Station:
· 900 Kings Highway
· Port Charlotte, FL 33980
· 941 627-5836
· Punta Gorda Station:
· 26505 N Jones Loop Road
· Punta Gorda, FL 33950 941 875-2781
Rail

Seminole Gulf Railway
Passenger excursions are from Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Punta Gorda and Arcadia.
Business

Charlotte County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state,and is very receptive to new business. Here it’s possible to have a business and enjoy a relaxed environment.
State Incentives---Qualified Target Industry (QTI)
Charlotte County offers a Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund to encourage quality job growth in targeted high value-added businesses. New or expanding businesses, serving multi-state and/or international markets, in targeted industries or designated corporate headquarters are eligible for this refund. Pre-approved applicants who create new jobs in Charlotte County, paying 115% of the average annual area wage, can receive tax refunds up to $3,000 per new job created, up to $6,000 in an Enterprise Zone or Rural County. Additional "per job" bonuses are available for businesses paying 150 or 200 percent of the average annual area wage. For more detailed information, view the QTI Summary. To apply, contact the Florida Economic Development Office

For local info re permits and codes, go to http://www.charlottecountyfl.com/CDEV/License/newBusinessGuide
Education

Charlotte County Community Education offers a staggering variety of courses for all those interested, ranging from citizenship and English language classes to watercolors and yoga
Extensive information about the schools in this area is online at the state's Department of Education (http://www.firn.edu/doe/doehome.htm).

In conclusion
If you like clean air, sunshine, fishing, wildlife, golfing, boating and swimming in a quiet, relaxed atmosphere at affordable prices, this again could be the one.
For more information about the nearby communities see either Ft Myers or Sarasota links.

.©2006. Florida Real Estate Network Inc. All Rights Reserved

Venice


The Greater Venice Area lies in Sarasota County Florida on the Gulf Coast. It sits directly on the Gulf of Mexico, just south of Sarasota and is one of the few cities that is not separated from the Gulf by a barrier island.
The City of Venice is divided by the Intracoastal Waterway into Venice Island and the Mainland. "Venice Mainland", east of the Intracoastal, is threaded by the Tamiami Trail (US 41).
Venice is 71 miles south of Tampa and 55 miles north of Fort Myers. Most of the year temperatures seldom drop below 70 degrees.

Yes, the city was named after Venice Italy. To preserve the original ambience of Venice, the city created a Historic Venice District and an Architectural Review Board to ensure that new construction or modification of existing buildings conform to the northern Italian renaissance style of the city's original architecture. The town’s designation as a Florida Main Street City by the state further assures that Venice's heritage will be preserved.
Venice supports a fast growing and diverse economy. The range of business is wide. Real Estate is affordable, and the quality of life is outstanding.
Some basic facts about the area
Demographics:

The Population is 30,000
Median age is 51
The top employers are

The School Ddistrict
Venice Hospital
City Government
Weather

The summer temperatures average 89 degrees
Winter temperatures average 79 degrees
Recreation

This area may be a sleeper for most people relocating to Florida; it’s perhaps not even on your radar, but it should be! When you think “recreation” think about this: Venice has all the fantastic cultural advantages of Sarasota less than half an hour away, not to mention Sarasota’s shopping and dining diversions!
Yet it’s safely tucked into its own quiet, lovely, and private corner of Florida, and with its own array of outdoors-dominated recreational opportunities, including:

Fishing and water sports, which would appear to dominate the main activities here.
But then there’s also 14 golf courses and many tennis courts.
And Venice has over 20 bike trails, and numerous walk paths
There are 12 parks and 5 local beach park facilities!
There’s over 13 miles of beaches, which by the way I find are more pristine and less impacted than most other Florida beaches
Myakka River State Park, maybe the best state park in Florida, is just a few miles east of I-75. (The Myakka is one of just two official Wild and Scenic Rivers in Florida, but is very accessible, since the park itself is laced with 40 miles of boardwalks, trails, and tram tours into some of the best wilderness areas.)
Housing and the Cost of Living
As of Sept 2005 per an MLS search: A 2/2 home started at a price of $135,000. It goes up from there, but you get the picture: Venice is affordable.
The cost of living index comes in at 98, putting it below the national average.
Education
Extensive information about the schools in this area is online at the state's Department of Education (http://www.firn.edu/doe/doehome.htm).
In conclusion
Venice was originally started as a retirement community and has evolved to have it’s own identity. The neighborhoods generally appear new and are well maintained. There is an active Arts community and the Old Downtown offers unique shops and restaurants.
And of all Florida, the Venice area stands out as one of the most desirable spots. It has a good mix of relaxed but yet has the facilities needed for a quality life style and yet remains a great place to open a business and raise a family.

To see more specific information go to Sarasota general info links to the left.

.©2006. Florida Real Estate Network Inc. All Rights Reserved


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About the areas
The site has the state divided up into 19 major areas and 80 plus sub-areas. We chose these areas as they are the ones most referred to in guides about Florida and also because most people are familiar with them as the names evoke something. Additionally on each area dropdown there is information relevant to florida real estate and relocating to florida. We have provided lists of Florida Real Estate agents-Mortgage brokers and more.