Showing posts from 2018

Barton Farms Homes for Sale | Sarasota FL | David Barr Broker Associate

Barton Farms is an established neighborhood of single family homes in Sarasota, located east of I-75 off Bee Ridge Road and Iona Road.

The 324 homes in Barton Farms have 3 to 5 bedrooms, with 2300 to up to just over 4000 square feet of living space.  Most homes were built between 2000 and 2004.  When the real estate market crashed, there were a few vacant lots left over, so you will see a few homes there built more recently in 2015 or 2016.

Amenities in Barton Farms include a clubhouse, community pool, and tennis, in addition to the neighborhood being gated.  Barton Farms HOA fees are a low $1300 annually.
Home buyers will appreciate open floor plans and serene water views.  The larger homes in the neighborhood provide lots of interior space to spread out, with split bedroom floor plans and open kitchen/living room.
Home prices range from the high $300,000's to the mid $500,000's.  If your home buying budget is in this range, you may also want to consider new construction hom…

Tour The Legacy Trail | Sarasota to Venice FL | David Barr Broker Associate

Some nice Florida weather over the holidays encouraged me to update this HD video tour of The Legacy Trail.

The Legacy Trail is a 13 mile converted railroad bed that runs from Palmer Ranch in Sarasota south to Venice, connecting with The Venetian Waterway Park that continues to Shamrock Park and Caspersen Beach.
Sarasota County has approved funding to extend the trail from Palmer Ranch north to downtown Sarasota.
You'll see how popular this hiking, walking, and biking trail is, with lots of people out and about as I filmed this video.
If you're interested in Florida real estate, you could live within easy biking or walking distance to The Legacy Trail.  Visit my website for a list of homes and condos selected geographically close to The Legacy Trail.

Aqualane Estates Homes for Sale | Sarasota FL | David Barr Broker Associate

Aqualane Estates is one of a quartet of Sarasota waterfront neighborhoods on the mainland, across the ICW from Siesta Key.

You'll find Aqualane Estates just north of the Stickney Point Bridge.  Turn north on Beechwood Avenue from Stickney Point Road.  The streets in Aqualane Estates are Ridgewood Lane, Shelburne Lane, Stanford Lane, and Meadowood St.

Homes in Aqualane Estates run from original ranches and ramblers from the 60's and 70's, to new construction luxury waterfront homes on canals.  Because of the canals and ICW access, Aqualane Estates is attractive to boaters.  There's only one bridge to the Gulf of Mexico at the north end of Siesta Key, which offers clearance for all except the largest yachts.
Please visit my website for a list of current homes for sale from the MLS, and recently sold properties.

Venice Island in Venice FL | Real Estate | David Barr, Broker Associate

If you're interested in Venice FL real estate, no doubt you are looking for information on Venice Island, the location of downtown Venice, Centennial Park, Venice Airport, and local beaches.

I've put together a page on my website where you can find:

An HD video tour of popular restaurant Sharky's and it's fishing pier;All currently available homes for sale from the MLS;An HD video of a ride from downtown to Venice Beach via Heritage Park;An HD video of the north end of the Island;Demographic reports;Walk Score;A photo gallery of the spectacular new library;Sales statistics for the last 5 years.

Take a ride from downtown to Venice Beach

An informed customer is my best customer. If you'd like to tour homes and condos on Venice Island, please contact me. 

Blue Heron Pond | Venice FL Homes for Sale | David Barr, Broker Associate

Tucked away in Venice FL is the very nice single family home neighborhood of Blue Heron Pond.

Located off Venice Avenue just east of the Jacaranda traffic circle, Blue Heron Pond's 102 residences are the perfect example of a small neighborhood with a low HOA fee.  All homes are 3 bedrooms and 2 baths with 1800 to 2300 square feet of living space.

With no manned guard gate and no community pool, Blue Heron Pond's HOA fee is only $576 annually.  Homes here are not maintenance free, so homeowners are responsible for irrigation and lawn maintenance.  There is no clubhouse or community pool, but a survey of the homes from my exclusive aerial footage shows about 2/3 of the homes have private pools.

Blue Heron Pond was built by local builder Caithness Construction, who has a good reputation for quality.  Most homes were built between  2003 and 2005, well before issues with Chinese drywall became a concern in our local market.  The concrete block and tile roofs have stood up well.  M…

Bay Point Neighborhood | Nokomis FL | David Barr, Broker Associate

The Bay Point neighborhood in Nokomis, FL may not be specifically on a lot of home buyer's short lists, but it's worth a tour.

Homes in Bay Point offer a lot of choice in price.  You can get a canal or waterfront home in the $1 million plus range, or you can buy a more modestly priced home on an interior lot from the high $100's.

Bay Point is a peninusla that is south of Albee Road at Tamiami Trail, bordered by Lyons Bay to the west and Dona Bay to the east.  The area is a favorite of boaters, with most homes having no bridges to the Gulf of Mexico.
Home owners in Bay Point will also love the close proximity to Nokomis Beach, within easy bike or walking distance.

If you're into historical architecture, there are a few Mission style homes built in the 1920's in this area, many of which have been renovated.
Contact me for a tour of homes for sale in Bay Point, or visit for the latest MLS listings.

Chateau Venice | Venice FL Condos for Sale | David Barr, Broker Associate

I got a lot of inquiries about Chateau Venice, an upscale 4-unit condo on Venice Island in Venice FL, when it was first announced back in 2015.  At the time, it was the newest condo being built on the island.

The first resale in Chateau Venice is now available for sale.  It's a 3 bedroom furnished top floor unit listed at $689,000.  You can view the MLS information in this link.

Chateau Venice is just steps to Venice Beach.  There is no community pool or expensive clubhouse or fitness center to maintain, so condo fees are relatively inexpensive at $1000 per quarter, compared to other condos nearby, directly on the beach.
Another plus is that Chateau Venice is pet friendly.  Two large pets are allowed.  I have more information on my website.
Please contact me for your private showing of this rarely available condo today.

Babcock Ranch FL | Solar Powered Town | David Barr, Broker Associate

If you missed the news reports, Babcock Ranch in south Charlotte County, FL, is the nation's first 100% solar powered town.  It's so unique and intriguing, I decided to add it to my servicea area.

Babcock Ranch is about an hour and fifteen minutes from the Sarasota area.  To get there, take I-75 south, and exit east on Hwy 17 once you cross the Peace River.  On Hwy 17, turn onto Bermont Road and go east until you reach Hwy 31, which is now labelled Babcock Ranch Road.  Turn south, and you'll see the Babcock Ranch main entrance.

Babcock Ranch will grow to approximately 20,000 homes with up to 50,000 residents.  It's a master planned community of 18,000 acres, larger than the 10,000 acre West Villages in Venice, and smaller than Lakewood Ranch, with 33,000 acres.

Babcock Ranch partnered with FPL to create a 75mw solar farm that powers the town.  Excess power is stored in batteries and supplied on overcast days and at night.

Besides solar, Babcock Ranch offers it's ow…

Island Court Town Homes | Venice FL | David Barr, Broker Associate

I get a lot of inquiries about Island Court in Venice on the Island. These are two story town homes, with attached garage parking. Most units have elevators. Many buyers will like their ground floor bedroom/office with walk out private patio. 

Upstairs, the units feature volume ceilings and open concept floor plans and 2nd story terrace. Units in Island Court are not often on the market.  Let me know if you'd like email updates for this upscale community that's just a short walk to all downtown Venice shops and restaurants.  Expect prices in the high $400's to low $500's.

Bellagio on Venice Island | Venice FL | David Barr, Realtor

Venice Island is one of the most desirable real estate destinations in the Venice FL area, and Bellagio on Venice Island is unique.

It's the only single family neighborhood on Venice Island that is gated.  If you're a boater, it's located next to Marine Max, which has a marina with boat slips and indoor storage.

Homes in Bellagio have a Mediterranean/Tuscan design, are built with concrete block with stucco, and have durable tile roofs.  Most homes were built between 2000 and 2004, with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, averaging about 1800 square feet of living area.  Inside, buyers will be pleased to find split bedroom floor plans, with kitchens open to the main living spaces in the home.

Residents here enjoy a clubhouse, community pool, tennis, and direct access to The Venetian Waterway Trail, a city park that runs southward to Shamrock Park, and connects with The Legacy Trail to the north.
There are a total of 144 homes in Bellagio.  Most times there are only a couple of homes f…

What Not to Do in Real Estate Marketing in Sarasota

Marketing in the real estate business is a big topic.  I believe the quality of the marketing for a property directly relates to the quality of the potential buyer of the property.

My Broker showed our sales team this photo at our sales meeting this week:

I don't need to say much about this, other than I have a lot more sophisticated ways to reach the best potential customers for your Sarasota home for sale, combined with the excellent marketing we have in the Berkshire Hathaway Luxury Collection.
Visit my real estate websites for more information: for Venice, for Sarasota, and for Lakewood Ranch.

Venice FL Beautification Project | David Barr, Realtor

The Venice FL downtown beautification project is moving along.
The east bound lanes of Venice Avenue have had new drainage installed.  The sidewalks are being clad in brick pavers, and new brick paver crosswalks are being installed.
Miami Avenue one block to the south of Venice Avenue will also be repaved and will have new plantings.  Tip:  Some of Venice's best restaurants are on Miami Avenue.  Don't forget to take a stroll that way on your next visit. 
Here's the latest bird's eye view: 

For your complete Venice FL real estate guide, visit my website

Using Drones in Real Estate Marketing | Sarasota FL |

Drones have been around in real estate marketing for a while now, but like everything else in the real estate business, they way they are (or should be) used is constantly evolving.

Back when drones first made headlines, they were touted as a camera platform to get unique photo shots, mostly of luxury homes.  They had limited range, flying time, and photo options.  At first, the public thought drones were a huge invasion of privacy.  From my own experience, I can tell you that public acceptance of drones has increased tremendously, and I'm no longer excoriated by a passerby or threatened with a call to the police.

I got my first drone, an Autel X-Star Premium, back in November of 2016.  I flew it hundreds of times, capturing video and learning along the way.  I now have a total of 4 drones, partly for back up and partly for different uses, such as client video or creating photos and video for social media.  Flying a drone is one thing, knowing what to capture is another thing, an…

Lakewood Ranch Update | David Barr, Broker Associate |

Today I’ll be talking about Lakewood Ranch.  As I’m sitting down to create this blog post,
I’ve just finished a major project, which is my stand alone website for Lakewood Ranch
(with an easy to remember URL,  and a comprehensive video of the area:
attractions, lifestyles, new construction, business, and health care.

It was also just announced that Lakewood Ranch has moved up to the 2nd best
selling master planned community in the country.  
I may be one of only a handful of local Realtors who serve two of the top 5 best
selling master planned communities, when you include The West Villages in Venice.
There is a combined 21 new home communities between Lakewood Ranch and The West Villages.
That’s a lot of options for you as a home buyer.
New homes cost the same when you’re working with your own Realtor,
so let me help you narrow your choices to find what’s right for you.

Lakewood Ranch has something for everyone.  
It’s home to luxury golf courses such as The Lak…

Authenticity in Real Estate Marketing | Sarasota FL |

I get the “Think with Google” newsletters and updates, and it’s the one email I look forward to. Google, like it or leave it, has access to the immediate data and trends of today’s consumers. And let’s face it: being a Realtor means you’ll be spending most of your time marketing to attract new clients, and to market your current client’s property listings.
So, today’s Think with Google topic was about authenticity. Millenials are changing the way all of us look at marketing and advertising. For example, is that diamond ethically mined? Is that coffee ecologically sourced and farmed? Does that spaghetti sauce have all natural ingredients? Is that product actually depicted in a way we would use it ourselves?
Everything about this trend translates directly to real estate.
Is that home description telling me what I need to know about the home, or is it filled with useless adjectives (like charming, cozy, sweet)? Are the photographs realistically depicting the home? I’ve seen many wa…

Expired Listing Specialist | Configuring Your Listing in the MLS |

We're seeing a lot of expired listings in Sarasota and Venice.  That should be disconcerting to you as a home owner, since you were probably expecting that your home would sell in a hot market.

Your Sarasota home may have expired in the MLS because of other issues besides price and condition.

Technology and real estate marketing are moving quickly beyond the aptitude of low tech Realtors.  One example of this is the ability to understand why and how to make sure your Sarasota property for sale shows up on other Realtor's websites.

We have something called IDX, which means internet data exchange.  Brokers who belong to our MLS can agree to allow their listings to be shown on other broker's websites.  It's been a boon to consumers, as you can go to highly ranked and visited real estate websites like mine, and, and view all the available homes and condos, based on your search parameters.

However, some brokers (seemingly, most of the s…

Expired Listing Specialist | Venice FL |

Today’s topic is especially for you, if your Venice FL home was listed for sale but expired in the MLS. This is one of the reasons why I named this podcast Get Real. The topic of real estate marketing I think is a fuzzy one for many home sellers. You interview real estate agents to tell you how they will market your home for sale and attract a buyer. The flashy graphics showing you the 950 real estate related websites your home will appear on look great, but lets get real. Every major broker does this. I’m here to tell you the straight up truth that the next level of real estate marketing is upon us, and is probably one of the reasons your expired listing didn’t sell.
So, let’s get real.
I’m a bit of a different Realtor. I sometimes feel like a Martian in my real estate office. I devour anything I can get my hands or eyes on when it comes to online marketing, whether it’s real estate or any other business. I am obsessed with keeping ahead of how consumers are acting online, an…

Advanced Online Real Estate Marketing | Venice FL |

I talk a lot about real estate marketing, because it's changing rapidly and because most Realtors are falling behind the technology curve.

Home buyers today are more informed than ever.  Many times, they don't need a Realtor to send them a list of properties from a search request on Zillow or  In my experience with my own websites, I'm finding many buyers don't want to sign up for listings updates.  They just keep coming back to my website again and again, to check on available properties for condos and neighborhoods they are interested in.

That's why, when I take your listing, I market your Venice FL home or condo to the actual buyers, not other Realtors in the area.  Buyers are driving neighborhoods, looking for Open Houses, and using their phones to do it.

What if I told you that with my advanced marketing, the best buyer prospects looking for homes in your neighborhood, could find your individual property easily on their mobile device?

Do you think…

Lake of the Woods Homes for Sale | Venice FL |

So first of all, where is Lake of the Woods? Travel east on Tamiami Trail from Jacaranda, and turn north on Venice East Ave. It’s a huge area with about 800 total homes. Lake of the Woods is the master association but there are four separate neighborhoods: Lake of the Woods, Grassy Oaks, Park Estates, and The Lakes of Jacaranda. 
 For convenience purposes for home buyers, I have a page on my website listed under Lake of the Woods that includes homes for sale and video from all 4 neighborhoods. You can find that under the neighborhoods tab on the main menu on my Venice website,

Lake of the Woods is considered one of the Venice area’s nicest upscale neighborhoods. The homes sit on large lots and aren’t right on top of each other, and there’s a lot of mature oaks and palms. There are nicely winding streets and lots of lake views. 
Most homes here are 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, and a good number have private pools. Most homes have 1800 to 2400 square feet under air.…

Luxury Real Estate Year to Date | Sarasota FL |

The Sarasota luxury real estate market is lagging from a marketing point of view.

I've been posting recently about the state of our local luxury market, and it doesn't seem to have the same vibrancy as other areas such as Miami/Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Keys, or Los Angeles. 

Why is this?  I have some numbers to back up my suspicions, as well as reasons why luxury home owners should consider other alternatives when it comes to selling their properties in the Sarasota area.

So, first the numbers:

Luxury Homes Sale Price $1,000,000 and above (all figures median):

1/1/2017-3/31-2017   # Sold: 83  $/Square Foot Sold: $452  Days on Market: 96  LP/SP ratio: 94
1/1/2018-3/31/2017  # Sold: 100  $/Square Foot Sold: $455  Days on Market: 78  LP/SP ratio: 93

The number that jumps out at me is the list price to sales price ratio.  The median sales price of a home priced over $1,000,000 in Sarasota County in 2018 was $1,509,000.  A 7% decrease is $105,630.  That's a lot of money to …

Luxury Home Real Estate Marketing | Sarasota FL |

Luxury real estate. Ah yes, the sweet excitement of getting to list and hopefully sell a million dollar plus property in Sarasota and Venice. That was the subject of a sales seminar I attended this week. And it fell totally flat, at least for me. Did I really need to attend a luxury real estate seminar, only to find out that my car should be clean for clients, and that I should wear nice clothes to meet luxury home owners? No, no, and no!
My suspicion before attending the seminar was that the speaker would be a prime example of what Sarasota luxury real estate represents to many agents. Unfortunately, my suspicion was dead on. In short, her message was that we need to look the part and speak the part to connect with you, Mr. and Mrs Luxury Home Owner, as potential clients.

Listen to this blog on my podcast:

None of this superficial BS matters to a potential buyer, when it comes to selling yo…

Listing Your Home for Sale | Real Estate Marketing | Sarasota FL

When you sell your Sarasota real estate, you should be interviewing Realtors who are already marketing your neighborhood or condo to buyers who are searching for it online.

It's no longer enough for a real estate website to rank high for "sarasota real estate" searches on Google.  Those potential buyers are comparing Sarasota to other areas in Florida and are at the early stages of their buying cycle.

The best prospective buyers for your Sarasota real estate are searching for information for your specific neighborhood or condo.  These buyers are the best potential prospects to make an offer on your property.

Once these buyers find your Sarasota real estate for sale, you don't want your property to appear in a long list of competing properties.  I can provide a premium banner advertisement with a link to your individual property information on my website, ensuring that buyers looking for your neighborhood see your property first.
Contact me for a case study and more i…

Stupid Real Estate Marketing Tricks | Top 5 Lists | Sarasota FL

Real estate marketing tends to lure you into giving up your email address to get more information.

I don't want to do that to you.  You shouldn't have to be bombarded with unwanted advertising to get answers to your questions.  I want to be your Venice and Sarasota Realtor of choice.

Listen to my podcast:


Atlanta Braves Spring Training | February 2018 Update | The West Villages Venice FL

Here's a video update on the construction going on at the Atlanta Braves spring training facility in The West Villages in Venice FL you won't find anywhere else.

Grand opening should be in time for the 2020 season.  This will be located next to The West Villages Town Center, and will be within walking distance of Renaissance at The West Villages and Islandwalk.

For more about The West Villages and the new construction homes, visit my website

Distance to the Beach | Palmer Ranch | Sarasota FL

Are there homes in Palmer Ranch the same distance to a beach, as a home located east of I-75?  Yes, they do exist.  You'll be surprised to know that both Toscana Isles and Willow Chase are almost the exact same distance to Nokomis Beach.

Take the estimated travel times by Google with a grain of salt.  If you've ever tried to get to Siesta Key beach in season, the travel time from Tamimi Trail over Stickney Point Bridge can take up to 30 minutes.

Contact me for expert local market knowledge to help you select a home with the features and lifestyle that matter to you.

Real Estate Marketing | Luxury Homes and Condos | Sarasota FL

Do you have a home to sell in #Sarasota or #VeniceFL? I am uniquely providing the next level of real estate marketing available to you today. 
Potential buyers for my listing in Gulf Twin Towers will find the property's landing page on my website, and my landing page chock full of real estate information for the condo building itself, at the top of Google search results, far above #Zillow

Buyers searching specifically for your condo or neighborhood are better prospects than buyers searching "sarasota real estate".
This is important because over 90% of home buyers start their search online.  Any broker can list your property for sale on hundreds of real estate websites.  Being visible to those buyers looking for your specific real estate for sale in a Google search will result in a shorter time on the market.  
Contact me for more about advanced online marketing for your luxury home or condo that no local broker can match.