Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Homes | Islandwalk by Divosta | Venice FL

Island Walk has been at the apex of new home construction in Venice FL for quite some time.  The builder, Divosta Homes, has a stellar reputation for building quality homes all over south Florida.

Island Walk will eventually consist of 2,400 residences, and at a rate of 150-200 units per year, new homes will be built in Island Walk for the foreseeable future.

Today I toured their new model homes and their on-site showroom.  They also have two interactive online touchscreen monitors, where buyers can configure their homes with desired finishes and see the price right away.  This truly sets Island Walk apart from the other new homes in the Venice area.

The Martin Ray model home has a nice open plan and large caged pool and covered lanai.

The Abbeyville model has nice touches such as a curbless shower and a butler's pantry.

Unlike many builders, Divosta provides their design center on-site, giving buyers an almost endless choice of flooring, cabinetry, and finishes such as faucets and door pulls.  Note the very cool touch screen in the sales center, allowing buyers to configure their home and get an immediate price.

A lot of buyers are looking for an active community, without it being a 55 and over community.  Island Walk fits the bill.  They have a beautiful club house and community pool, tennis courts, and a planned activities center will be finished shortly, not to mention their full time, on-site activities director.

You can see more pictures, community information and fees, floor plans, and model home elevations by clicking this link.  If you'd like to schedule a tour of Island Walk, please contact me.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Homes | Sarasota National by WCI | Venice FL

I recently visited Sarasota National in Venice.  There's a lot going on here with a lot of new home options for buyers.

Sarasota National has been around for a while.  It was acquired from the original owner by WCI, after the real estate market downturn.  Many people consider it a golf course community, but you can purchase a new home, villa, or condo without belonging to the golf club.  Sarasota National is located east of Venice on Hwy 41, about 4 miles from downtown Venice.

Yes, I mentioned condos as a housing option in Sarasota National.  Most of the new home builders in the Venice and Sarasota areas are concentrating on single family and villas because they are more profitable, but WCI is offering "carriage homes" in Sarasota National.

Carriage homes under constuction in Sarasota National

I toured several of the model homes and villas during my visit.  If you've ever visited Venetian Golf and River Club in Nokomis, another WCI community, you will find similar floor plans and exterior elevations.  

Villa model home in Sarasota National

The model homes in Sarasota National, compared to the nearby new homes community Gran Paradiso, seemed to be finished in more contemporary materials, such as ceramic plank flooring, updated mosaic back splashes, and lighter kitchen cabinets.  In addition, I found the floor plans to make better use of available space with open plan concepts, as opposed to Gran Paradiso, which offers formal living and dining rooms.

Front elevation of a villa model in Sarasota National

Most of the non-golf course homes and villas have annual association fees around $2400, which includes basic cable, water, and shared community amenities.  This makes the fees in Sarasota National a bit higher than those in Gran Paradiso, or recently reviewed Keyway Place in Englewood. Sarasota National also has a CDD fee averaging $1100 annually, depending on the type of home.

Open floor plans will appeal to many new home buyers

There is a large selection of front elevations and floor plans in Sarasota National; in fact, too many to name here.  The coach home condos start at $189,900, and increase to golf village homes at $407,990.  Home buyers will have no trouble finding a floor plan and price point to meet their needs.

Wide water views from many of the homes in Sarasota National
Open floor plan concept in another villa model in Sarasota National

Sarasota National covers a huge area, which will take the next 8 years to be built out.

Contemporary finishes in a single family model home in Sarasota National

Paver driveways are standard in Sarasota National

If you are interested in touring the model homes in Sarasota National and comparing them with other new home communities in the Venice FL area, please contact me for a tour.  You can also view move-in ready new homes for sale on my website: http://www.davidbarrhomes.com/#!new-homes-venice-fl/c3hx

Full disclosure:  Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida and WCI communities are affiliated businesses.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Homes | Gran Paradiso by Lennar | Venice FL

If you're looking for a new home in the Venice, FL area, you won't want to miss Gran Paradiso by Lennar.
Tuscan themed Gran Paradiso entrance
Sprawling Gran Paradiso clubhouse

Clubhouse great room

Activities room

Gran Paradiso fitness and aerobics center

Located on Hwy 41 about 5 miles east of downtown Venice, Gran Paradiso is a modern take on Tuscan style, offering an impressive resort-style club house and pool.

One of the best features of Gran Paradiso is that all homes have access to the clubhouse and are maintenance free, which means law mowing, irrigation, and exterior pest control are provided with low homeowner association fees, which vary from around $150 per month to around $225 per month for some of the villas.

Tile roofs are standard on all Gran Paradiso homes and villas
I found some of the floor plans, such as the Princeton II, a bit disappointing in that a formal dining and living room are still offered, where most of today's buyers want a more open concept.

Formal living room and breakfast nook offered in the Oakmont model home
Lennar is offering a LOT of different floor plans and elevations in Gran Paradiso (maybe too many for some), including 5 bedroom homes for multi-generational living.  These homes have separate garages and living spaces.

Formal dining room
Twin villas start in the $180's, ranging up to the $470's for a 2-story single family home with 3800 sq ft.  You can see all the different model elevations, floor plans, and community photos here in this link.

My opinion on Gran Paradiso is that it is impressive for curb appeal and community features for the price points offered, but some of the floor plans seem a bit outdated.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I give Gran Paradiso an 8.

Please contact me to tour Gran Paradiso and other new home communities during your next visit to Venice.  You can also view move-in ready new homes for sale on my real estate website, davidbarrhomes.com

Thursday, November 6, 2014

New Homes | Keyway Place by Ryland Homes | Englewood FL

Today I was fortunate to tour a new home community between Englewood and Venice called Keyway Place.

Keyway Place is built by Ryland Homes and is located just south of Manasota Beach Road on Hwy 776.  Keyway Place doesn't look like much from the road, but the community will have 70 homes, all single story.

Prices start in the $230's.  I was highly impressed with the model home.

Kitchen has that WOW factor.  Note the builder upgrade ceramic tile plank floors.

The generous master bedroom

Open floor plan that buyers want and a very useful spot for the den, 3rd bedroom, or home office

I really liked the floor plan for this model home, which is the Heron model elevation B.  The placement of the den was logical, yet so many other builders tend to place this room on the side of the house rather than the front.  

A starting price of $243,000 for 1635 sq ft for this model is a good value among new homes in the area.  There are no CDD fees in Keyway Place, and HOA fees are only $186 per month.

You can see all the model elevations and floor plans here, as well as additional pictures of the model home.  Please contact me to schedule a tour of this new home community during your next visit to Venice or Englewood.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

New Homes | Grand Oaks | Venice FL

I recently toured a new home community in Venice, FL called Grand Oaks.

Grand Oaks is a small gated and walled community of just 55 homes, located on Venice Avenue west of Jacaranda Blvd.  Home prices start at just under $300,000.

A brand new Publix is within walking distance, and it's just 3 miles to downtown Venice attractions.

Grand Oaks has no CDD fee, with monthly homeowner association dues of just $199 per month and a very nice community pool.

This is a good combination of lower taxes and fees for a new home community.

Please click here for elevations, floor plans, and pricing information and contact me if you'd like to schedule a tour of this new home community or any others in the area.

New Homes | Calusa Park by DR Horton | Nokomis FL

Today I visited Calusa Park in Nokomis by DR Horton.

Calusa Park is just off Laurel Road, between I-75 and Tamiami Trail.


Calusa Park is a gated community of just 80 homes, with prices starting in the upper $200's.  There are 12 quick move-in homes in the pipeline, which will be ready beginning in January.  Floor plans include both single story and 2 story homes with up to 5 bedrooms.

Calusa Park has no CDD fee and a very low home owner association fee of $176 per month, which includes lawn maintenance and a community pool (to be built).

Calusa Park has an attractive location, close to schools and shopping, and is only minutes to Nokomis Beach.  With such low fees, anyone looking for a new home in this price range should add this community to the top of their list.

Click here for a list of available floor plans, community features and more pictures of the model homes.

Welcome to my New Homes Blog!

This blog will be about new home communities in Sarasota, Venice, Nokomis, and Englewood FL.  I will personally visit each new home community, post links to floor plans and elevations, and answer common questions home buyers have about new homes.

My goal is to visit at least two new home communities each week.  I invite comments or suggestions on new home communities to include here on my blog.

Don't forget my other websites and blogs:

Thanks and enjoy!