Market snapshot: Venice Acres


If you want a community with a spacious, country feeling west of Interstate 75, Venice Acres is just the ticket. Located near the Jacaranda exit where the interstate curves due east, the community offers 1- to 3-acre lots and frontage from 100 to 200 feet. Most of the houses are set back well from the road and have long, estate-sized driveways.


Although there are some palm trees and plenty of foliage, Venice Acres doesn’t have a Florida ambience. Many of the ranch style homes are surrounded by meadow-sized lawns.

“You swear you’re in the Midwest, with big yards and big oak trees and a country-gentlemen feel,” said Charryl Youman, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, who knows the neighborhood well.

acres2Venice Acres has 159 homes. From its entrance on North Auburn Road, Hermitage Boulevard winds its way through the neighborhood. All of the off-shoot streets end in cul de sacs, ensuring a quiet atmosphere and limited traffic.

The first section was mostly three-bedroom Florida ranches of around 2,000 square feet. The oldest dates back to 1978. The second section, built in the 1990s, has the larger properties and bigger residences — four-bedroom, two-story homes and houses with cathedral ceilings, ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet. Many of them have barns, outbuildings and second garages.

Architecture styles include Mediterranean and Key West, and even some brick facades.

What attracts people to Venice Acres is the spaciousness and sense of freedom.

Ethel Lovelace and her husband, Harvey, both Realtors with Michael Saunders & Co., have sold a number of properties there.

“About seven years ago, we represented a doctor and his family,” Ethel Lovelace said.

“They were living in a subdivision that was far too restrictive for their children to play ball, street hockey and soccer. So we sold them a lot and they built their home with Todd Johnston.”

That desire for space and freedom characterizes most of the residents — young retirees, working professionals with families and people who love the outdoors.

“They want acreage and all that means,” Youman said.

“They tend not to be older retires who don’t want to have to take care of those big yards. Families love it there because their kids and dogs can romp around on the streets without worry.”

At the same time, they respect each other’s privacy.

“They’re friendly, but not necessarily social,” Lovelace said.

Many of the residents use their out buildings and extra garages for hobbies.

The property the Lovelaces have listed at 2914 Hermitage Blvd., has a 30-by-30- foot, air-conditioned outbuilding with a 220-watt power supply. The current owners have used the workshop for refinishing antique furniture.

“It’s perfect for someone who wants to put in a pottery studio or convert it into an in-law suite,” Ethel Lovelace said.

Although deed restricted, Venice Acres is not gated and has minimal rules.

The roads are private and have to be taken care of by the community, but HOA fees are only $300 a year. Wells and septic tanks comprise the utilities.

It’s “for the rebels who don’t want to pay the county for water and sewer services,” Youman said with a smile.

When it was platted in 1977, Venice Acres was considered the boondocks by those who knew of is existence.

“It was a sleepy little area, but now with new construction going on and Venice spreading east, it’s surrounded by other communities,” Ethel Lovelace said.

There is a new strip mall with a Publix and shops and restaurants on the roundabout at the intersection of East Venice Avenue and Jacaranda Boulevard, less than a mile away. Downtown Venice is within 15 minutes.

For the activity oriented, the Courtside Tennis Club, with 11 courts, is conveniently located at the Hermitage Boulevard entrance to the community. Several golf courses are close by.

Despite its appeal, sales in Venice Acres have been slow.

According to Ethel Lovelace, the reason is that many of the homes have not been updated, although some have.

“It’s more of a handyman subdivision than most areas,” she said. “Because the houses haven’t been revamped, buyers think they have to put a lot of money into them and want to get them at a much lower price.”

Only two homes sold in 2013, just one so far this year. Another one is pending. Nine homes are on the market, ranging in price from $300,000 to $479,000.

“If you like a big spread, Venice Acres gives you a lot of freedom,” Ethel Lovelace said.

“It’s a great place for people who like elbow room.”


Last modified: April 19, 2014
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