Market Snapshot: Deerfield in Sarasota County


PHOTO GALLERY: Deerfield neighborhood

Realtors like to describe neighborhoods as “hidden gems” and “tucked away.” In the case of Deerfield, a small, maintenance-free community a half-mile east of Interstate 75, they would be right on the money. Located in a little-known residential area between Palmer Boulevard and Bee Ridge Road, the 93-home enclave has a quiet, charming, secluded atmosphere.

Many homes are on the lake at Deerfield subdivision in East Sarasota. STAFF PHOTO / DAN WAGNER

Many homes are on the lake at Deerfield subdivision in East Sarasota. STAFF PHOTO / DAN WAGNER

You would have to be lucky to stumble upon it, even by accident. From Bee Ridge Road to the south, take Sarasota Golf Course Boulevard and wind your way through a maze of canopied streets. From Palmer Boulevard to the north, Porter Road meanders for a mile past a slew of industrial buildings, hardly offering the a promise of a residential paradise to come.

When you finally come to Deerfield’s entrance, a short, divided roadway leads to the interior ring road, Deering Circle, which surrounds a scenic, man-made lake. The small community park across the street has a gazebo, wooden benches, a fishing pier and an American flag planted in the middle of a central lawn area.

The three-bedroom homes are nicely arranged on either side of Deering Circle and Deer Lake Court, a 12-house lane that ends in a cul-de-sac overlooking the water. Twenty-four of the houses are lakefront properties. Each of the four turns in the ring road has a small traffic island attractively landscaped with shrubs and palm trees.

Constructed with concrete blocks, the mostly three-bedroom homes are aesthetically pleasing, with stucco exteriors and a variety of front elevations with round or square column entryways. All residences have high ceilings, open floor plans, and tile roofs in white, gray, pink or sienna red tiles.

The entrance to the Deerfield subdivision in East Sarasota. STAFF PHOTO / DAN WAGNER

The entrance to the Deerfield subdivision in East Sarasota. STAFF PHOTO / DAN WAGNER

Deerfield was established between 1997 and 2001 by Southwest Florida Homes Inc., headed by Wayne Farrell and Jud Boedecker. Real estate development runs in the family. Wayne and Jud are the son and son-in-law, respectively, of Reid and Adelaide Farrell, longtime Sarasota residents. Reid started Farrell Realty in the 1960s after developing the neighborhoods of Phillippi Gardens and Bellevue Terrace with his brother Ralph Jr.

Peggy Wellman, a Realtor with Michael Saunders & Co., still remembers when Deerfield was created. She has sold a number of homes in the community and has a current listing at 6780 Deerfield Circle.

“When Jud Boedecker and Wayne Farrell decided to develop the property, it was an open field with not a tree in sight,” she recalls. “But there happened to be a nursery next door that was going out of business, so they bought it out and used the trees and bushes in their new development.”

As a result, Deerfield has lush landscaping throughout, with more maturing palms and live oak trees than many other communities built around the same time.

Wellman loves the neighborhood for its quiet appeal and unusual opportunities. “It has 75-foot lots, rare for a maintenance-free community, which provides the perfect balance between living in a home and a condo,” she says. “A lot of homes have their own pool here because there is no community swimming pool.”

Quarterly HOA fees of $410 cover upkeep of the community park, the lake and other common areas, as well as lawn care (mulching, trimming, fertilizing and irrigation) basic cable TV and a monitored home-security system for each residence.

According to Wellman, Deerfield is inhabited by a mix of retirees, young professionals and families. Parents with young children appreciate that there is not a lot of traffic. The district schools are Tatum Ridge Elementary, McIntosh Middle and Sarasota High.

Pets are welcome. “People walk the neighborhood with their dogs, and sit on one of the benches in the park to look at the lake,” says Wellman. “Sometimes the kids play with little motorized boats or fish off the pier.”

While Deerfield may be far off the beaten track, it is surprisingly close to a host of stores and other destinations. Getting to Interstate 75, Doctors Hospital, The Home Depot, Walmart and Lowe’s on Cattlemen Road, and banks and restaurants takes only a few minutes.

Palmer Boulevard offers easy access to Detweiler’s Farm Market and the new Audubon Center at the Celery Fields Park. The 360-acre nature preserve is ideal for bird and wildlife watching, fishing, kayaking, biking and walking up the manmade hill.

The Fruitville branch of the Sarasota County Library, and the UTC Mall, are within easy driving distance. At the same time, downtown Sarasota and the Gulf beaches on Lido and Siesta keys are only 20 minutes away if traffic is moving.

The real estate market has been active in Deerfield. Over the past 12 months, there have been seven sales, ranging in price from $220,000 to $329,000. Currently, three homes are on the market, listed from $299,000 to $335,000, and one listing is “active with contract.”

Last modified: November 14, 2015
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