Bubil: HGTV takes note of Sarasota


Have you noticed that Sarasota is getting a lot of attention from national media?

Usually it is for the white sands of Siesta Beach. And recently, along with North Port and Bradenton, it was singled out as the best metropolitan area in the country for overall well-being, according to Gallup-Healthways Index.

The region’s latest dance in the spotlight came on Thursday, and again on Friday, on HGTV — a television staple in my household.

The home-shopping quest of Sarasotans Madeline and Ryan Chase was chronicled on the cable network’s “House Hunters” program. The episode was titled “Looking for a Home Near the Water in Sarasota, Florida.”

The Chases, who met at the University of Florida and married seven years ago, moved to Sarasota from Parrish to be closer to Ryan’s job as assistant principal at McIntosh Middle School.

They actually did look at a house near the water, three houses from the bay in Whitfield Estates. But they ended up buying a four-bedroom house in Colonial Oaks, near Doctors Hospital and about 10 minutes from McIntosh.

“I work for Florida Virtual School, so I can live anywhere,” said Madeline Chase, a teacher. “My family lives in Sarasota. We were sick of making the drive down from Parrish to Sarasota every weekend.” So they decided to move.

“My husband and I have been fans of HGTV,” she said. “Last summer, we were in the process of selling our house and moving to Sarasota, and we decided, on a whim, to apply (for the show) on their website, never thinking we would ever hear anything.

“Then a couple months later, we received an email asking if we were still interested in being on the show. We sent in a video audition, and after that it happened quickly. A week later they told us we were selected for the show, and a week after that we started the filming.”

Besides looking at houses with Realtor Debra Pitell-Hauge of Michael Saunders & Co., the Chases were filmed walking on Sarasota’s Main Street, strolling the Farmer’s Market on Lemon Avenue and shopping at a tile store.

“They wanted to film us doing stuff that we do on a regular basis,” she said. “The producer was from California, and thought we could be filmed fishing, but we don’t fish. They filmed our 3-year-old son, Carter, and one of the scenes was done at Mozzarella Fella” restaurant.

If you missed it on Thursday or Friday, Madeline Chase expects the episode to be available online at HGTV.com/shows/house-hunters. It’s Season 100, Episode

Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: April 25, 2015
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