Monday, July 17, 2017

West Villages: Notice Regarding West Villages Improvement Distric Annual Assessments

Post copied from

Hi, Friends and neighbors -

It has been a while since I last blogged about the district meetings. Mostly, because there really didn't seem to be much "meaty news" in the proceedings for a while. There has been a lot of general business stuff (like authorizations to pay vendors' bills, work orders, formal process requirements of items already addressed, and these kind of things), but not much of anything truly noteworthy at the ones I have been able to attend...until recently...

Most homeowners, if not all, that live in the district have by now received a notice in the mail about the bond funds being refinanced. From talking to neighbors, there does seem to be quite a bit of concern, confusion, and questions out there about it. So, let me just give a brief summary of the basic plan and what it means.

It was said outright at the last West Villages Improvement District Supervisory Board meeting on June 29th that individual residents' annual assessments are to remain the same and have the same maturity date. The plan is to refinance the bonds at terms more favorable to the district, so as to increase the total volume of funds that are available for various projects and services needed to improve the district. There will be more money for the district to use for operations and improvements, irrigation improvements for one, but not costing residents more in the process.

A public hearing is required for them to move forward on this. It was suggested and set to occur with the next regular board meeting on August 10th. These are generally held at North Port City Hall off Sumter beginning at 11am.

Hope that helps clarify some, and hope to see you at the next meeting!

Thinking about buying or selling your home in this area? Our in-depth knowledge and experience here is exceptional, as you can see, and can be of particular value to you throughout the process. Contact us today and find out all of the ways we can be of help to you!

Ali H. Johnston, MHA, MBA in Real Estate
Realtor®, Lic. Broker #BK3284964
West Villages Realty LLC
Office: 941-460-3179

Saturday, July 8, 2017

West Villages: 4th Top-Selling Master-Planned Community in the United States

Our area remains a top-ranked choice in popularity across the nation!

Below taken from developer info newsletter/email

RCLCO Ranks West Villages Florida
Number 4 in Nation

RCLCO Real Estate Advisors has ranked West Villages Florida as the 4th Top-Selling Master-Planned Community in the United States in the first half of the year.

Already one of the fastest-selling new home communities in the United States, West Villages in south Sarasota County had 526 sales in the first half of 2017.

“We are proud to be ranked so highly on this prestigious list,” said Paul Erhardt, President of West Villages. “The momentum we are building is beginning to capture national attention as we put in place the building blocks for West Villages to be the most desirable new home town in the country.”

The community is home to the area’s finest and most reputable builders including Mattamy Homes, Neal Communities, Lennar, DiVosta, WCI Communities, Sam Rodgers Homes, D.R. Horton and M/I Homes.

West Villages also recently placed in the number four slot on the annual John Burns Real Estate Consulting list of top-selling master-planned communities in the United States. There were 848 new home sales in West Villages in 2016.  West Villages is comprised of five actively selling neighborhoods, including Sarasota National, Gran Paradiso, Grand Palm, Island Walk and Renaissance.  Two new communities are planned to open later this year.

Contact us at West Villages Realty LLC to assist you in purchasing your new home in this fabulous region!

Thanks for reading,

Ali H. Johnston, MHA, MBA in Real Estate
Realtor®, Lic. Broker #BK3284964
West Villages Realty LLC
Office: 941-460-3179

Friday, July 7, 2017

Venice City Bicycle Ride

Monthly City Bicycle Ride
(Open to Public)

When: Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Where: Venice City Hall parking lot, 401 W. Venice Ave
Time: 10:00 AM
City of Venice Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator, Darlene Culpepper, leads a monthly bicycle ride in the city. The free ride takes place on the second Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. 

It's a fun and casual, 6-mile ride around the Island of Venice, traveling along the ever-so-popular Venice Island Loop. There will be a brief safety discussion prior to the ride, as the group will be riding along shared bicycle lanes.

Participants will need to bring their own bike and will be required to wear a helmet and sign a short waiver.

For more information, or to RSVP, email Darlene Culpepper at

Ali H. Johnston, MHA, MBA in Real Estate
Realtor®, Lic. Broker #BK3284964
West Villages Realty LLC
Office: 941-460-3179

Sarasota National Community

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Maine Lobster Fest at the Italian American Club of Venice

Maine Lobster Fest
 Italian American Club of Venice
1375 Ringling Dr., Venice
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM

7th Annual Italian American Club Midsummer Festival.
Menu includes: shrimp cocktail, salad, rolls, clam chowder, 1 1/4 lb fresh Maine lobster, coleslaw, corn on the cob, red skin potatoes, key lime pie, coffee.
Assigned seating.
Top shelf liquor raffle.
Cash bar available.
Cost, $28 donation for members; $33 for guests.
3-4 p.m. cocktails, dinner to follow.
For tickets call Johanna, 941-468-5013.
No takeouts; no refunds.
Limited seating; get your tickets today.

Ali H. Johnston, MHA, MBA in Real Estate
Realtor®, Lic. Broker #BK3284964
West Villages Realty LLC
Office: 941-460-3179

Sarasota National Community

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

West Villages: Braves $1.7 Billion Projected Economic Impact

Latest Newsletter/Email from West Villages
view at

The new Atlanta Braves Spring Training Complex being developed in West Villages Florida  is expected to generate more than $1.7 billion in economic impact during the 30-year contract with the team.

On Monday this week, The West Villages Improvement District, along with Sarasota County, the City of North Port and the Atlanta Braves, filed a grant application with the State of Florida asking for $20 million to help with facility construction costs. The economic impact study is part of the application process.

“This conservative impact study shows what a dynamic impact the Atlanta Braves Spring Training Complex is going to have on North Port, Sarasota County and the region,” said West Villages Improvement District Chairman Martin Black, AICP, ICMA-CM. “We know this stadium and the excitement of Major League Baseball have more than just an economic impact, it will truly touch this community for two generations or more.”

The spring training complex will enhance and promote tourism while providing jobs and economic growth within the City of North Port and Sarasota County.

The Stantec study goes into great detail explaining how the company came to its conclusions about the economic impact of the spring training complex.

“Using the Total Direct Annual Expenses … the indirect and induced effects were estimated using the multiplier provided in the 2009 Major League Baseball Florida Spring Training Economic Impact Study Report, to estimate a total economic impact resulting from Direct Expenses,” the report reads.

The study looks at comparative Southwest Florida spring training facilities and even evaluates the fan base in segments to make sure the impact numbers reflect the real direct expenses. Conservatively, the study looks at the 6,500-seat stadium at a slowly rising attendance over the first 10 years of the deal.

“To understand the long-term economic impact of Atlanta Braves Spring Training in West Villages, the total economic impact over the next 30 years was calculated, in net present value, assuming a conservatively steady annual attendance growth rate of 1 percent for the first ten years, to 2028, maintaining approximately 82 percent stadium capacity, for the following 20 years,” the study reads.

Copyright 2017 West Villages,
19503 S. West Villages Parkway, Venice, FL 34293 All rights reserved.

Ali H. Johnston, MHA, MBA in Real Estate
Realtor®, Lic. Broker #BK3284964
West Villages Realty LLC
Office: 941-460-3179

Sarasota National Community

Friday, June 9, 2017

West Villages: Sarasota County Community Volunteer Fair June 13 10a-2p

Write-up taken from:

Selby Public Library will host a Community Volunteer Fair on June 13th. This is a unique chance to meet with more than 20 local nonprofit organizations to find out how you can help them. Residents can learn about the organizations and their volunteer opportunities, which include one-day events, family events and ongoing positions.

Organizations that will be in attendance include All Faiths Food Bank, Safe Place Rape and Crisis Center (SPARCC), Ringling Museum, Selby Gardens, Senior Friendship Center and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast.

"The theme for Sarasota County Libraries' summer learning program this year is 'Build a Better World,' and we are honored to host these great organizations so community members can learn how they can help build a better world through volunteering," said Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources Director Sarabeth Kalajian.

Again, the event takes place June 13th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Selby Public Library in Downtown Sarasota.

Check out the Volunteer Sarasota County Facebook page link here

Ali H. Johnston, MHA, MBA in Real Estate
Realtor®, Lic. Broker #BK3284964
West Villages Realty LLC
Office: 941-460-3179

Sarasota National Community

Monday, May 22, 2017

West Villages: Latest MetroStudy Growth Report for Sarasota/Bradenton

Link to published study:

SARASOTA / BRADENTON HOUSING 1Q17: Growth Still Up but Slowing – Higher Prices May Impact Further Expansion
Metrostudy NewsMay 18, 2017

---Quarterly New Home Starts are down 4.4% from 1Q16 levels, but the Annual Starts rate is up 6.4% YoY

---We continue to see new home production move into the higher price points – starts under $250k were down 11.4% YoY

---Sarasota remains one of the two Florida markets building above its long term average but it appears that the run of back to back years with 20%+ growth will likely end in 2017.

Metrostudy’s 1Q17 survey of the Sarasota-Bradenton housing market shows 1,370 single-family units were started in the quarter, down 4.4% compared to 1Q16. However, it represented a 13.2% increase versus the 4Q 2016 quarterly starts pace. The annual start rate compared to last year increased by 6.4%, from 5,185 to 5,518 annual starts.  Single-family quarterly closings totaled 1,301 units, up 2.6% from 1Q16 levels. The annual closings rate was 5,281 units per year, 17.4% above the rate in 1Q16. The fourth quarter is typically the biggest quarter for closings but 1Q17 saw closings improve by 5.9% versus 4Q16.

For the twelve months ending March 31, 2017, new homes starts in price ranges under $250k totaled 1,385 units, down 11.4% from the 1Q16 annual activity in prices less than $250k. Annual new homes starts in prices over $250k were up 14.1% for the twelve months ending March 31, 2017 versus 1Q 2016. The marginal 333 unit increase in the annual start pace was split: 178 less units under $250k and 511 more units above $250k.  The chart below shows the price distribution of annual housing starts for the first quarter this year compared to the three previous years: Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 10.00.10 AM

“Starts were down versus the first, second and third quarters of 2016 but up from 4Q 2016 levels, as retirees and job growth continued to provide demand for housing,” said Tony Polito, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Sarasota/Bradenton market. “However, higher prices may be placing a limit on growth in the new home sector. Sarasota remains one of the two Florida markets building above its long term average but it appears that the run of back to back years with 20%+ growth will likely end in 2017. The peak of the “Baby Boom” was 1957 and those folks are turning 60 years old this year. Because of retiree demand and continued expected job growth, Metrostudy projects an increase in new housing starts between 7% and 14% in 2017.”

During 1Q17, Manatee County recorded 693 housing starts, down 0.2% versus the 695 starts in 4Q 2016 and down 3.8% compared to the 720 units built in 1Q 2016. During 1Q 2017, Sarasota County recorded 594 housing starts, up 23.4% versus the 481 starts in 4Q 2016 and up 25.3% compared to the 474 units started in 1Q 2016. Venice is approaching twice the activity level of North Manatee and is by far the second most active area.

The final significant trend worth noting is new housing inventory. We consider FV equilibrium as between 1.5 and 2.0 months. The number of FV units grew by 50% from 1Q last year, a rather large increase. However, since the market was under-supplied and because the annual closing pace is rising, the months of supply only grew from 0.9 to 1.1 months. Certainly, not a level that would raise any concerns. The County by County finished vacant supply indicated that Manatee County is still below equilibrium level of FV supply at 1.3 months. Sarasota County was even further below equilibrium level at 0.9 months. Charlotte County has 45 FV units and is also below equilibrium with a 0.9 month supply. The market added more units for the “snowbird season” and is now properly supplied with inventory homes. The UC months of supply improved from 5.5 MOS for 1Q 2016 to 4.8 MOS for 1Q 2017. All told, the total inventory level of 6.6 months is within equilibrium. Metrostudy believes demographics will support strong “snowbird seasons”, for several more years

The table below ranks the top ten communities in the market by annual starts.

Community (Area)                                      Ann Starts

Lakewood Ranch …………………………………… 787

The West Villages ………………………………….. 456

Palmer Ranch ……………………………………….. 249

South Gulf Cove ……………………………………. 207

Grand Palm ………………………………………….. 204

Del Tierra …………………………………………….. 178

Sarasota National ………………………………….. 155

Rotonda ………………………………………………. 153

Milano …………………………………………………. 131

Heritage Harbour …………………………………… 130

For information contact:
Tony Polito

About Metrostudy: Metrostudy is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide. Metrostudy provides research, data, analytics and consulting services to help builders, developers, lenders, suppliers, retailers, utilities and others make investment and business decisions every day. For more information, visit

Ali H. Johnston, MHA, MBA in Real Estate
Realtor®, Lic. Broker #BK3284964
West Villages Realty LLC
Office: 941-460-3179