Market snapshot: South Creek in Osprey


PHOTO GALLERY: South Creek in Osprey

It's easy to miss the entrance to South Creek, an appealing waterfront, "West of the Trail" neighborhood in Osprey.

Located on the north side of the creek for which it was named, the community is set back about 700 feet from U.S. 41 on North Lane, across from Oscar Scherer State Park and about a mile south of Blackburn Point Road.

The gated enclave consists of 69 custom-built homes, most of them grouped around South Creek Drive, which describes a large circle, and along Island Way. The roadways are wide and raised above water level, and many of the driveways slope upward. Lots are large, attractively landscaped and well maintained.

Mature oaks and palm trees are found throughout, but the feeling is light, bright and contemporary, not "Old Florida."

There are spectacular views of Sorrento Shores across the creek to the south and of a chain of lush, green, uninhabited islands along the bayside of Casey Key.

Although the earliest houses date to the late 1970s and 1980s, most of South Creek was filled out in the 1990s. It still has five vacant lots. Prices range from more than $1 million for the waterfront properties to $400,000 and $500,000 inland.

With all of the homes custom built, the neighborhood has a variety of architectural styles: spacious, two-story Spanish- and Mediterranean-style mansions; single-story ranch houses; and contemporary Florida houses with high ceilings and open floor plans. Exterior finishes come in stucco, brick and wood. Red tiles alternate with Florida metal roofs.

Many of the homes have been renovated, upgraded and, in some cases, added to.

Such is the case with the Mediterranean home at 452 South Creek Drive, listed by Harvey and Ethel Lovelace of Michael Saunders & Co. for $799,000.

The current owners bought it as a short sale last year and redid the interior from the floors to the crown moldings, installing a new fireplace, bathroom showers, and kitchen appliances, cabinetry and granite counter tops.

"They renovated it as if they were living in it," Harvey Lovelace said.

Market Snapshot: South CreekSouth Creek is a neighborhood made for recreation and boating. The small park at the entrance sports tennis courts, playground equipment and a basketball court. Many of the homes located on canals and waterfront have private deep-water docks.

For the inland dwellings, there is a day dock where residents can pull up in their boat, pick up guests, load up and head out into the Intracoastal Waterway and Gulf.

Also popular with residents is the community boat launch for canoes and kayaks, allowing them to paddle out on the water without first having to go to a public boat ramp or beach.

According to Ethel Lovelace, most of the people living in South Creek are local, working professionals and very few are seasonal visitors and retirees.

"Some of the residents have more than one home in Sarasota," she said. "They want to be by the water, so they have a house there and go there on weekends."

As a result, there is a quiet, congenial atmosphere.

"For people who don't want the hustle and bustle of Sarasota, it's very comfortable, laid-back, unpretentious and casual — a good-walking, good-dog, good-kids neighborhood," she said. "The types of people who live there don't boast about how much money they have. They just enjoy their lifestyles."

"The homeowners association fee are low — only $650 per year, which is attractive to the residents, too," Harvey Lovelace said.

Market Snapshot: South CreekThe community's residents also take advantage of the surrounding amenities, which include Oscar Scherer State Park, Historic Spanish Point and an entrance to the Legacy Trail just up the road. Twenty restaurants are within a three-mile radius, and hotels are nearby along the Trail for those out-of-town guests.

For shopping, there is a Walmart nearby and the Westfield Sarasota Square Mall within easy driving distance. It's convenient to head either to Venice or Sarasota for work or entertainment, and to visit Nokomis Beach or the Siesta Key beaches for recreation.

Real estate transactions in South Creek have been steady.

Since the beginning of the year, two homes have sold. Currently, four properties are on the market, ranging from $419,900 to $900,000. One sale is pending.

Last modified: June 29, 2013
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