Whitfield Revisited…

There is lots of buzz in the office about this weekend’s upcoming Whitfield Estates Historic Tour. Among the 5 Spanish-style homes being showcased on the tour, the Knapp Residence at 7219 Broughton Street is a must see. When I was a home-owner in Whitfield, I can remember walking the neighborhood admiring every single home that is included in this weekend’s event, but 7219 Broughton was the one that took my breath away. I was very lucky to have lived in a Spanish-style home myself at 7444 Broughton Street, so being surrounded by such unique architectural style was very exciting for me. When the opportunity of touring the Knapp Residence presented itself to me, I jumped at the chance. If I close my eyes, I can still remember the incredible details of this true historic treasure… from the amazing landscaping, saltwater swimming pool, greenhouse, Mother-In-Law Quarters and covered patio offered on the outside to open floor plan, stained-glass, fireplace and French doors on the inside, I was mesmerized with every step. My words cannot do this beautiful home justice, so I can only suggest that you get to experience its charm for yourself.

In October 2009, Sarasota Magazine’s Senior Editor, Robert Plunkett included the Knapp Residence in his article “Sarasota’s 10 Most Beautiful Homes”. Kudos to you, Mr. Plunkett… I totally agree. To read Mr. Plunkett’s entire article, click here. http://www.sarasotamagazine.com/Articles/Past-Issues/2009/October-2009/Sarasota-s-10-Most-Beautiful-Homes.aspx

Be sure to read the recent article published by Harold Bubil in the Real Estate section of the Sarasota Herald Tribune for a complete breakdown of the properties included this year… Don’t miss out on this wonderful tour that is once again including these gorgeous vintage homes. An experience I can promise will not disappoint! http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20110220/ARTICLE/102201018

Whitfield Estates Historic Tour
10am – 4pm, Sunday, February 27
Tickets – $15/person (Can be purchased at any tour home)
For more information, visit www.whitfield-ballentine.org
Or call 351-5725 or 755-0164

Enjoy the tour!
Elsa K. Holderness

The Emotional Ups and Downs of a Short Sale… Finding Your Balance

Unfortunately, if you are facing a short sale, it is most likely something that you cannot avoid. Everyone’s Short Sale experience is completely different and I can only share mine. I can also tell you that in the end, everything is going to be ok and you will be able to move forward with your life.

Just as I wasn’t, I’m sure you aren’t ready to deal with everything that comes along with doing a Short Sale… the emotions, the mountains of paperwork, the waiting game, the renegotiating, the disapproval of an offer, multiple offers, losing a buyer… and the list goes on and on. I don’t know if anyone could ever prepare to deal with everything on such an emotional level.

There are two ways to deal with your Short Sale… head on or avoidance. I remember the feeling of failure I had when I came to the acceptance that a Short Sale was the only way I was going to avoid other financial burdens down the road; for me it was the only thing that I could do, no matter how disheartening. I was lucky to have a great Realtor and Broker by my side every step of the way. Without them in my corner, I don’t know if I would have pulled through.

You would think it would be easier to know that you’re not the only one dealing with losing their home. No matter what corner I seemed to turn, there were Short Sale signs galore. In the beginning, this didn’t give me much comfort. I have to say though as time went by, it did help to know that I wasn’t alone. Once this becomes your reality, and we all come this reality in our own time, things do start getting easier. I didn’t say less aggravating or stressful, but still easier.

Dianne Hicks in California gives four great pieces of advice that I think are worth sharing. (See her entire article at http://www.trulia.com/blog/dianne_hicks/2010/09/short_sale_dealing_with_the_emotional_roller_coaster)

1. You may get a bit frustrated with all the paperwork the bank wants. Just bite the bullet, sit down and get it all over with. It will be much easier once it is off your plate. Prolonging this will just keep it in the back of your mind. At this point, you should feel a sense of relief because your Realtor will now take over dealing with the bank. Therefore, from this point forward, you will have very little interaction with the bank and this should be a relief. Just be sure to give your Realtor a heads-up when you do receive any communication from your bank. In the meantime, concentrate on you and your family.
2. You will probably get super annoyed when Realtors call because someone wants to see your house, especially when it’s extra inconvenient. Try your best to keep your cool. You can request to have 24-hour notice to help avoid this dilemma. When you are going through a Short Sale, the emotional side of you can make you feel less tolerant to show your home. Unfortunately, it is a necessary part of the process, so it is key to figure out what works best for you. She strongly suggests giving your home a good spring cleaning and declutter. The house will show much better and hopefully will lead to an accepted offer much more quickly.
3. You get an offer and your Realtor submits it to the bank… now what? This is a good opportunity for you to take a breath and allow the emotional healing to begin. You are now faced with some time for reflection and direction. Both are equally important to help you understand that this may very well be the best thing that can happen in your circumstances. If your Realtor can help close the deal totally clean, try to see it as a blessing. It doesn’t have to all be negative. Try to look at this as a new beginning and it can be exciting to have a new beginning. It’s true, your credit will take a hit — work on getting your credit in order because you may be able to purchase in as little as two years from this point, if owning a home again is a strong desire.
4. Reach out to family, friends and your Realtor for moral support. Learn from mistakes and move on because it would be a shame to waste time with negative energy.

If you are in need of Short Sale advice or a seasoned Short Sale Realtor, please give our office a call and we’ll connect you with an agent that will help you see the light! Good luck!!

Now Is the Time to Follow Your Dreams…

As we were driving west on SR64 to Chase’s lacrosse practice, I observed the many “FOR RENT”, “FOR LEASE”, and “FOR SALE” signs that adorned the multitude of commercial properties along the way. I sighed and told my boyfriend, “I wish I had money”. As he did, you may ask “why?”. Five years ago, I was in the beginning stages of launching my own business… a graphic design boutique. Prices to rent, lease or buy had sky-rocketed through the roof and I had no idea how I would be able to afford all of the costs involved. It seemed impossible. My dream still lives deep within me and I someday hope it will become a reality. However, like most of us, I have been deeply affected by the economy over the past few years. I’ve watched well-established, local businesses, close up shop or down-size with no hopes of holding onto their own dreams. Sad, but true. The wide variety of locations, architecture styles and size that are currently available in commercial space made my eyes glaze over like a kid in a candy store. If I were only in a different time and place in my own life, I would absolutely jump at making my dream a reality. Now is the time to buy or rent to own. Prices are down and, inventory is up and deals can be found from sunrise to sunset. The key to finding the perfect commercial space is a great REALTOR®. Call one of our experienced commercial agents at 941-355-7696.

Looking for Something Fun to Do This Weekend?

As the week is coming to a close, the conversation around the office is what’s happening this weekend that is fun and family-friendly. Well, you’re in luck folks!

The 29th Annual Cortez Fishing Festival is this weekend. If you’ve never visited this cool fishing village, it’s a must for young and old alike. You’ll find FABULOUS Florida seafood that will make you’re mouth water, live music, and art displays. Fun for the entire family… I’m sure you’ll even run into one of our SaraBay Realtors while you are there… Be sure to say hello!


Saturday-Sunday February 19- 20, 2011 from 10 am to 6 pm
Admission – $2, kids under 12 FREE
4600 124th St. West, Cortez FL 32415
Proceeds benefit the F.I.S.H. Preserve

Parking: Free parking east of Festival area at the
F.I.S.H. Preserve (space is limited and may fill up early)
Remote Parking: Cortez Commons Shopping Center, Cortez Road & 59th St. West (5584 Cortez Rd Bradenton, Fl 34209) and Coquina Beach on the Island. Round-trip shuttle service from remote parking lots $2

Entertainment Schedule:
Saturday February 19th Stage #1
10:00 am: soul R coaster
11:30 am: Gumbo Boogie Band
12:30 pm: Awards and Introductions
1:00 pm: Eric von Hahmann
2:30 pm: Razing Cane
4:00 pm: Billy Rice Band

Saturday February 19th Stage #2
10:00 am: Andrew Eddie
11:00 am: Eric von Hahmann
12:30 pm: Brian Smalley
1:45 pm: Main Hatch Motley Sea & St. Pete Shanty Singers
2:30 pm: Andrew Eddie
4:00 pm: Eric von Hahmann

Sunday February 20th Stage #1
10:00 am: Manatee River Bluegrass Band
11:30 am: Soupy Davis and his Band
1:00 pm: Eric von Hahmann
2:30 pm: Dr. Dave Band
4:00 pm: Loretta James band

Sunday February 20th Stage #2
10:00 am: Main Hatch Motley Sea & St. Pete Shanty Singers
11:00 am: Eric von Hahmann
12:30 pm: Mike Jurgensen
1:30 pm: Andrew Eddie
3:00 pm: Eric von Hahmann
4:00 pm: Terry Blauvelt

If you’re looking for something in downtown Sarasota, be sure to check out the 23rd Annual Downtown Sarasota Festival of the Arts. Consistently ranked one of the top 100 Fine Art Shows by Sunshine Artist Magazine, this is one of the area’s biggest and best art events. Be sure to take a gander and meet some of the best artists in the nation, displaying life-size sculptures, spectacular paintings, one-of-a-kind jewels, photography and more.


February 19th & 20th (Saturday & Sunday)… FREE ADMISSION

Hope to see you out there  enjoying the beautiful weekend that’s ahead. Smile, laugh, eat, drink and be safe!

Until monday…


My House is Worth What?

It’s important to know what your home is worth without the rose-colored glasses before you decide to sell, and then learn strategies that work to get it sold. Read this article by Liz Gray at Frontdoor.com for tips on coming to terms with the “true” market value of your home.


On a personal note…

As the sun began to peek through the evening blanket in the sky, I lay thinking how lucky we are to see this magnificent miracle on a daily basis and it propels me to reflect on a very special woman’s journey with cancer.

Today should be the last of her chemo treatments and I wonder how she is feeling this morning. I’m sure there is anxiety, hope, excitement and expectations… not only by her, but her loving husband, children and friends as well. I have witnessed a true miracle of bonded souls coming together in a time of crisis to show support, offer prayers, lend a shoulder and just be. She has been a tower of strength and perserverance, and I know she would comment that she couldn’t have done it without prayer and love. May today bring her closure to this chapter in her life and allow her to start her next journey, whatever it may be.

And I ask all of you, to see the reminder of each new day… to ease into things just as the sun rises.

SaraBay Referrals… A Company for Inactive Florida Realtors

I would like to introduce our sister company, SaraBay Referrals… a company for Florida real estate agents who have decided to become inactive, no matter what the reason. We understand the economy has greatly affected our community and the way that we all work; we also know how hard you worked to get your Florida real estate license. So, why not hang your current, inactive license with SaraBay Referrals and earn some extra income? There are no fees, no dues, no stresses… the only requirement of you is to place 1 (one) referral each calendar year. Easy as pie! You will earn 20% of the transaction side that you brought to us just by making a simple phone call… one of our professional agents will do the hard work and close the deal. Call Elsa Holderness at 941-355-7696 for more details and to join our referral family!

We Love Referrals,

Elsa K. Holderness

Relocation Around the Globe

As members of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, SaraBay Real Estate can help you relocate to or sell in any market in the United States and in 30 countries. Whether a personal or company relocation, let us help you with all of the intricate details, from finding a hotel for your pre-move visit to connecting you with a top-notch moving company. We’re here to make your move as painless as possible. For more information on how we can help, please contact Elsa Holderness at 941-355-7696 or by emailing elsa@sarabay.com

Relocation is My Specialty,

Elsa K. Holderness, RCC, WRS

Welcome to SaraBay Real Estates new blog

Welcome to SaraBay Real Estate’s new blog…  an online resource that I hope you will find helpful, informative, and interesting enough to keep you coming back for more. I am excited to begin this new venture and hopefully provide you with valuable information to help you make the best possible decisions when it comes to real estate. It’s not going to be all matter-of-fact and serious… so please visit with us and share anything of value with your friends and family. On behalf of the entire SaraBay family, welcome…

At Your Service,

Elsa K. Holderness, Customer Care

Recent Posts