We have always been told that it is best to buy the worst home on a great street and turn it into a good one. On most streets that might be true but if you want waterfront property in Sarasota, you often have to buy the best house on a street with few comparable homes.
When Florida was being settled, there was little thought to zoning or standardization of homes. You found a lot on the water, whether it be the bay, a river or the Gulf and you put up the home you desired.
It stands to reason that the homes on the waterfront side of the street ended up with far more valuable land than the ones across the street from them and as the years passed, grander and more luxurious homes replaced them while the smaller utilitarian homes on the other side of the road stayed small and sometimes fell into disarray.
We have an incredible neighborhood, Sapphire Shores just south of the Airport in which three to four million dollar homes line the bay and yet you can buy a home across the street for as little as 150,000. Neighborhoods like this one follow the shorelines and to be able to live on the waterways, purchasing the best home on the block is often a neccessity.
When buyers arrive here from other states that have always had strict zoning and permitting, it is quite a shock to them when the property tour starts. They have selected homes by looking at photos and virtual tours on the MLS and are in mild disbelief when they see what modest neighborhoods so many of them are located in.
But, the lure of the water is hard to deny and the ability to dock a boat and enjoy the lifestyle of waterfront property usually overcomes the worry of having bought the best home on the block.