Market Snapshot: River Pointe, Bradenton


Despite the post-World War II building boom, the southern shore of the Manatee River east of its major tributary, the Braden River, remained pristine and undeveloped for many decades. Locals braved the wooded wilderness and enjoyed plentiful fishing on the two waterways.

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Then, in the early 1990s, several waterfront communities were platted and built. One of them was River Pointe, named for its location near the confluence of the two rivers.

It all began when Centex Homes, now a subsidiary of Pulte Homes, bought the land next to The Inlets, a neighboring waterfront community that was being developed immediately to the east. The salt water canals in both communities had been dug in the late 1950s but not developed until the 1990s.

“Both neighborhoods are all about boating,” says Lynda Melnick, a Realtor with Wagner Realty. In 1994, she had just moved here from Pittsburgh and was in the process of building a home in The Inlets. “I remember walking through River Pointe when it was all empty lots.”

Centex offered several models to prospective buyers, ranging from 1,600 to more than 3,000 square feet. The houses have large patios for the enjoyment of the scenic views. Most have three bedrooms and two baths with a pool and two-car garage.

Today, the two entrances off State Road 64, about three miles west of Interstate 75, are lined with trees and lead into a pleasant, quiet neighborhood of 176 houses. Washingtonia palms, live oaks and lush Florida shrubbery provide attractive landscaping throughout.

Melnick notes the change. “I have walked, and ridden my bike, through it many times. Now it is well-established and matured,” she says. “It’s charming – a great area to live.”

Most of the homes on the salt-water canals have private docks with direct access to the Manatee River. Others surround a large, freshwater lake. They have docks, too, but boaters must navigate a small channel and boat lift to lower their vessels into the canal system. The rest of the homes back up to landlocked lakes and retention ponds.

River Pointe also provides entrance to two other, separate communities within its boundaries. Bella Sole is a neighborhood of maintenance-free homes, and Hawk Island, an enclave of million-dollar homes, sits directly on the Manatee River.

Melnick, who has sold many homes in the community, also likes River Pointe for its friendly atmosphere and convenient location. “It’s three miles from the Interstate, close to three major airports, and close to shopping and restaurants,” she says. Publix and Winn-Dixie grocery stores are nearby on State Road 64. Downtown Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and the Ellenton Outlet Mall are all within easy driving distance.

Although River Pointe has few amenities other than those for boaters, there are plenty of recreational opportunities in the area, including a number of golf courses and the Lakewood Ranch YMCA.

Membership in the homeowners’ association is mandatory, but there are no community development district (CDD) fees. The semi-annual dues of $251 goes to keeping the neighborhood attractive and maintaining the common areas, including a small park and wooden walkway/fishing pier at the community boat launch.

Residents include retirees, military veterans, middle-aged singles and families with young children. The latter like the proximity of Bashaw Elementary, Haile Middle and Braden River and Lakewood Ranch high schools.

More than half of the homeowners are year-round residents. “A lot of people lock up their homes during the summer and head up north,” says Melnick.

The real estate market in River Pointe has been slow but steady, with inventory being low. In the past six months, seven homes have sold, ranging in price from $210,000 to $362,500, the more expensive houses being saltwater-canal homes.

The three active listings are priced from $239,900 (off water) to $399,000 (on water). There are also two actives-with-contract and two pending sales



Last modified: July 4, 2015
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