Market snapshot: Lakeridge Falls, southern Manatee County



Lakeridge Falls, a gated 55+ community just north of University Parkway between Tuttle Avenue and Lockwood Ridge Road, has a lot to offer: attractive surroundings, active lifestyle and a wide range of amenities. Although its 170 acres are in southern Manatee County, the homes have a Sarasota address.


The land was originally a combination of orange groves, wetlands and Florida jungle. When Centex, a national home builder, developed the community from 2000 to 2003, it preserved a great deal of the natural beauty. All of the homes back up to one of 16 lakes or the large nature preserve in the middle of the neighborhood, offering nice views throughout.

falls2There is a lot of wildlife, including squirrels, raccoons, armadillos and the occasional bobcat. It’s not unusual to see spoonbills and wood storks, red shouldered hawks, egrets and osprey; a variety of ducks and geese swim in the lakes.

“It’s a pleasure to go into the neighborhood,” said Penny Pier, a broker associate with Coldwell Bankers who has a two-bedroom, two-bath home listed there. “It has a special air about it.”

The community has 399 homes in three distinct sections. Stirling Falls has 151 single-family residences, ranging from 1,511 to 2,091 square feet. The Victoria Falls neighborhood consists of 110 paired villas, and Sandstone Falls has 138 garden villas laid out in four- and six-unit buildings. The duplexes and quads range in floor plans from 1,391 to 1,576 square feet.

All of the homes are in contemporary Florida design with barrel-tile roofs.

All of Lakeridge Falls is maintenance-free. Homeowners association fees range from $672 to $778 per quarter and cover a wide variety owf services, including a 24-hour guard at the main entrance gate and all driveways and sidewalks being pressure washed once a year.

On-site property manager Oded Neeman has overseen landscaping, irrigation, signage, lighting and maintenance of lakes for the past three years. “Association fees have been reduced in the past two years, which doesn’t happen in a lot of communities,” he said. “At the same time, we have a fully funded reserve.”

Chuck Tierney has lived in Lakeridge Falls since he and his wife moved there from Washington, D.C., in 2003. A former federal government employee, he is president of Lakeridge Falls’ HOA board.

He appreciates the friendly atmosphere of like-minded people of the same generation living together. “Eighty-five percent of the units have to be occupied by one person 55 or older,” he said, adding with a smile, “If you have a late-December romance with a younger spouse, it would be OK.

“It’s a nice mix of people from the Northeast and Midwest,” Tierney said. “Most of them are year-round. Only 30 percent or so are snowbirds or take an extended summer vacation.”

But what he really likes is the convenient location. Restaurants, stores and banks are all along University Parkway. The new shopping mall at I-75, and Lakewood Ranch’s Town Center, are only a five-minute drive away.

“You can walk around the corner to Publix and Walmart on University Parkway and still have that sense of privacy,” Tierney said. “If I hit the traffic lights right, I can be in downtown Sarasota in 10 minutes!”

Community amenities abound. The lakeside clubhouse has a heated, resort- style swimming pool, a spa and a fitness center, as well as card, billiard, arts-and- crafts and meeting rooms, a library with three computer stations, and free Wi-Fi throughout. The clubhouse also includes a grand salon with a catering kitchen.

The two Bocce Ball courts outside have just been renovated, and there are plans for a shaded picnic area.

The “Fall Forum,” a monthly on-line newsletter, shares pictures, advice and news. It also publishes the social calendar, which offers a variety of games, including poker, Bridge, Hearts, Euchre and Mahjong; breakfasts, lunches and potluck dinners; art classes and exhibits; travel groups and holiday events.

“Our social committee does a fine job,” Tierney said.

As an active, thriving community, Lakeridge Falls is popular, but access is limited. While sales have been steady, inventory continues to be low. Over the last 12 months, 19 properties were sold — 13 villas, ranging in price from $197,500 to $272,000, and six single-family homes, from $274,450 to $340,000.

The only properties on the market now are four villas, from $224,900 to $274,900, and two stand-alone residences, priced at $324,900 and $329,900.


Last modified: July 18, 2014
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