I can’t believe it – there are communities in Sarasota and Venice with low Homeowners Association Fees!
The startling truth about the cost of living in Sarasota is………that it is “challenging” in some places – money-wise. If money didn’t matter, there’d be plenty of fabulous places to spend the retirement or to raise your kids. A penthouse on Longboat Key, overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, or a 4,000 sq ft Pool-Home in the Oaks Club, with golf course view, would be perfect. Perhaps a nice property in one of Sarasota’s finest Ranch Communities would be your dream? Bring your animals and have fun in the sun. You will all love it!
Unfortunately, for many of us money does somehow matter. You may be able to buy a nice home at rock-bottom price, but when the monthly Homeowners Association bill hits your mailbox, your face may turn a whiter shade of pale. Paying the price for the home is one thing, coming up with the monthly expenses for the years to come can become a real task …..and it can put a noticeable dent into your retirement funds.
You know already, there is not too much you can do about taxes and insurance. Only the assessed value determines the amount of your property tax. If you want to pay fewer taxes, you can only buy a cheaper property, or you can try to bribe the county property appraiser? Insurance wise, you are in the same boat. Insuring a cheaper home costs less, a newer home costs less, being further away from the water costs less, and having hurricane protection can also save money. In addition, by shopping around you may save a few dollars more. Comparing different companies and different policies can save you hundreds of dollars, and if you are brave enough you can skip the insurance altogether and hope for the best during hurricane season.
Okay, because we cannot do too much about taxes and insurance, let’s complain about a more versatile expense, the monthly (or quarterly) association fee. This bill can range from “dirt cheap” ( $100/mo. or less) to “outrageously high ” ( $1,000 and more + steep CDD fees). Before we go any further, there is one rule attached to Homeowner Association Fees: you have to keep in mind that they will never go down; at least, we haven’t seen it happen in our lifetime so far.
Why are the fees so different? Good question, however, the answer is relatively simple: if you need world-class dining around the corner, well maintained tennis courts, a community movie theater, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a championship golf court, several heated community pools, gate and security, and a bunch of gardeners with doctor’s degrees and green thumbs, you have to pay for it, right? If that is what you want – excellent. If you don’t want to pay for amenities or services you may never use in your lifetime you have to look somewhere else, and there are communities in Sarasota County with a very reasonable fee structure.
But don’t fool yourself when it comes to community fees – don’t compare apples and oranges; the issue can become a lot more complex the closer you look. A $100 monthly is called “expensive” when it only covers some community expenses; in comparison a bill of $250 a month may seem pretty expensive, but it is extremely cheap when it includes the upkeep of your lawn and yard, cleaning and painting of the walls of your unit, insurance for the common grounds, and eventually roof repairs or even roof replacement.
Yes, of course, you are right – there is another option as well – the cheapest way is to shy away from incorporated communities at all. In those communities you do not pay a single dime, but – let me put it this way – some of them look like something you need to get used to. If you don’t like boats, trailers and RVs all over the place, do yourself a favor and spend a few bucks for the HOA- Fees of a deed restricted community before you start screaming at your new neighbors.
Below are a few communities we like. Check them out.
Chestnut Creek in Venice FL a quiet and mature community surrounded by lakes and nature preserves. Click here to view all homes for sale.
Exclusive Silver Oak in Sarasota FL. Luxury Homes in a tropical setting and a first class location. Click here to view all homes for sale.
Ventura Village in Venice. Inexpensive Living just 2 miles from the beach. Click here to view all homes for sale.
Calusa Lakes Golf & Country Club in Nokomis FL, a gated golf course community centrally located between Sarasota and Venice in a park like setting. Click here to view all homes for sale.
Venice Gardens in Venice FL is a vintage neighborhood with voluntary HOA fees. Click here to view all homes for sale.
Pinebrook South in Venice FL a very popular neighborhood, centrally located with a low annual HOA fee, Clubhouse and access to Curry Creek with your Kayak or Canoe. Not many homes become available here, because people like it and stay there for a long time. Click here to view all current homes for sale