Vol 6 No. 17 - January 18, 2006

Canalfront living fine at The Bayou



Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker
The canal at The Bayou condominiums in Anna Maria leads to the Gulf of Mexico,
with a tight squeeze under the Bay Boulevard bridge.

By Louise Bolger

SUN STAFF WRITER

After five years of writing profiles of various communities on the Island, it’s fun to go back and see what the values were at the first writing. One of the more interesting island communities, and the only condominium complex in the City of Anna Maria with the exception of a recent hotel/motel conversion, is called The Bayou. Most island residents are aware of The Bayou because of its unique status and enviable location at the end of Pine Avenue right across from The City Pier, but most people won’t believe how much more they’re selling for now than in the past.

The last time I wrote about The Bayou was in June 2002 – three and a half years ago, an eternity when it comes to real estate. At that time the condos were selling for under $200,000. The first half of 2002 had two sales, one for $185,000 and the other for $175,000.

Just to refresh your memory, The Bayou is a medium size condo complex with 32 units. They have four units in the eight two -story buildings that were constructed in 1973. Although the units are on the small side, about 900 square feet including a patio or balcony, they have water views and boat slips for boats small enough to slip under the Bay Boulevard bridge and out to the Gulf. The units are two bedrooms and one bath with common laundry facilities, assigned parking but not covered, no elevators, pets not allowed.

As of this writing, 2005 had two closings: $399,900 in June and $365,000 in February, and there is currently one listed at $425,000. Not only have the sale prices more than doubled in three years, but it’s still hard to get your hands on one.

The Bayou Condos are just one of the island’s successful real estate stories during an era of high appreciation and fast moving sales. If you purchased a unit in The Bayou three to five years ago, you made a wise choice. Even if the upcoming years are witness to a somewhat less insane real estate market, The Bayou, like all waterfront property, will be in a better position than most - the next three and a half years should be VERY interesting.

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