Vol 6 No. 35 - May 24, 2006

Island’s north end one of most desirable areas

By Louise Bolger
SUN STAFF WRITER

The north end of Anna Maria Island is one of the most desirable areas in, Manatee County, in the Tampa Bay area, in the state of Florida and, I’ll even go so far to say, in the entire country. The confluence of impeccable beaches, clear sparkling water, fishing piers, restaurants, marinas and perfect boating access makes the northern tip of the Island an island wonderland.

The section of single family homes organized into an area called Bay Influence, encompass some or all of the following streets: North Shore Drive, North Bay Boulevard, Jacaranda Avenue, South Bay Boulevard, Sea Gull Way, Blue Heron, and Bayview Place. As magnificent as it is to live and own property on one of these streets, it has also been a very lucrative investment for those who bought at the right time.

Even older modest homes that front on Tampa Bay are listed for sale well over $1,000,000. Newer and larger homes are over $2,000,000. Homes that are not on the water can still be found under a million, but some of these are also listed over $1,000,000. There are currently several properties for sale with local realtors and a fair number of them for sale by owners. Two of the bay front homes on North Shore Drive are listed at $2,250,000 and $1,895,000, and one on South Bay is listed at $1,349,000. There are also two bayfront lots on South Bay Boulevard for sale at $2,500,000 each.

There’s no secret that our market has slowed up a bit. That’s why it’s not surprising that only two properties have closed so far this year, both on South Bay, one selling for $1,600,000 and the other for $1,050,000. Between June and December of last year there were seven closings, both on and off the water, averaging just under $1,300,000 per sale.

One of the biggest challenges facing homeowners at the north end of the Island is obtaining adequate and affordable wind insurance. Virtually any new policy written for homes in this area will be by Citizens Property Insurance, the state run insurer of last resort, and will have hefty premiums. However, people who make the choice to live and invest at the north end consider it a small price to pay for the opportunity to live in wonderland, where on a daily basis you will be entertained by creatures of the sea just beyond your front door.

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