Market snapshot: Mote Ranch, Manatee County



Located just a couple of miles north of University Parkway on either side of Honore Avenue and Old Farm Road, Mote Ranch is a tucked-away community with a lot going for it. Although it lies considerably north of the Manatee-Sarasota County line, most of the 777 homes have a Sarasota zip code. A small pocket of residences has a University Park address.


mote2The community consists of nine contiguous subdivisions. Three of them — Grand Point, Riverbend and Riverpark — are right on the Braden River, offering spectacular vistas and great natural beauty. In the other six neighborhoods — Arbor Lakes, Arbor Lakes Estates, Chaparral, Copper Ridge, Meadowlake and Misty Lake — scenic lakes and extensive green belts provide quiet, attractive surroundings.

Mote Ranch extends west to where Honore Avenue makes a 90-degree turn and runs past Ward Lake to meet Lockwood Ridge Road. The southern border is University Park Country Club, so a number of the homes have rear views of the University Park golf course.

The area was originally forest covered with oaks, palmettos, bay trees and loblolly bay shrubs. The developer, Lennar Homes, made sure to keep many of the original features. As a result, the lush wildlife preserves and lakes are a wilderness playground for small wildlife, including a host of birds — egrets, owls and sandhill cranes. Mature, majestic oaks and tall palm trees abound.

“It really is a one-of-a-kind place — a hidden gem. Few people know of its existence,” says Christine Huxtable, a Realtor with Re/Max Alliance Group.

She has been selling houses in the community for 11 years and loves the quiet and beauty there. Her current listing at 6809 Winslow Street in the Chaparral subdivision is a three-bedroom, two-bath home priced at $259,900.

Development of Mote Ranch started in 1988, and all the homes were built from 1990 to 2004. A few different builders worked there, but because Lennar Homes put up the lion’s share of the houses, most of the residences have a similar architectural style — “Florida contemporary” is one way to describe it. Still, there is variety throughout the subdivisions, from smaller ranch houses to large homes with vaulted ceilings and barrel-tile roofs.

According to Huxtable, one of Mote Ranch’s attractions is that many of the lots are larger than for equivalent-size homes in Lakewood Ranch. They also like the fact that there are no Community Development District fees and that homeowners association dues are low — $167 a quarter. Advanced Management Inc. of South Florida takes care of all public areas and facilities. Rentals are permitted, but must be for a minimum of six months.

Residents are a mix of retirees, snowbirds and lots of families with children of all ages. Nearby schools are Robert Willis Elementary, Braden River Middle and Braden River High.

The community recreational center on a dead-end extension of Old Farm Road is family-friendly.

Situated on the Braden River, its amenities include a large pool for swimming laps, a barbecue area, fishing dock, canoe/kayak launch, playground and a nature trail through the ample preserve in back.

“It feels like walking through Selby Gardens,” Huxtable said.

Mote Ranch has easy access to Interstate 75 to the east and the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport to the west, with the Ringling Museum and Asolo Repertory Theater just beyond. Downtown Sarasota and the Gulf beaches are within a half-hour’s drive.

Mote Ranch has benefitted from the explosive development of University Parkway and Lakewood Ranch. Shopping and dining opportunities are close by, as are banks, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center and a number of championship golf courses.

“Things grew up around it,” Huxtable said. “With the new mall about to open, Mote Ranch will be right in the thick of it, yet far enough away to preserve its quiet, off-the-beaten-track atmosphere.”

Mote Ranch’s inventory of homes for sale is low. In the past 12 months, 26 homes were sold, ranging from $237,500 to $465,000.

Currently, only seven homes are on the market in all of the subdivisions, from $279,000 to $484,900; another seven are “active with contract” or pending sales, from $259,900 to $389,000.

“I love having listings there and open houses,” Huxtable said. “If homes are priced right, they sell very quickly.”


Last modified: August 22, 2014
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