Faith Pennybaker, a Realtor with Keller Williams, agrees: “It’s a beautiful, private place.”
Her four-bedroom, 2,926-square-foot listing at 6921 Scrub Jay Drive has a tranquil pool, spa and outdoor living area that is visible from the interior. “You open the front door, and you immediately enter into a Florida lifestyle,” she says.
All of the 150 single-family residences in Red Hawk Reserve are appealingly arranged around large lakes or back up to lush nature preserves. Beautifully landscaped and generously sized, from 2,400 to 4,300 square feet, they offer three to five bedrooms and three-car garages.
With prices ranging from $400,000 to $600,000, Red Hawk Reserve fills a mid-market niche. “It’s not affordable housing, but not luxury, either,” says Ross.
Just over a decade old, Red Hawk Reserve personifies the area’s history of new housing during the recent real estate boom and bust. Developed in 2005 by U.S. Home at the height of the bubble, it did well initially, generating considerable interest.
But then sales went flat as the market soufflé turned into a pancake and new-home building ground to a halt. When the market recovered in 2009, D.R. Horton, the largest home-construction company in the United States, bought the remaining 80 home sites.
Unlike other builders, the company took a risk and put up 12 spec homes. The gamble paid off, and, by 2013, lots and houses were selling quickly.
D.R. Horton offered a variety of exterior finishes and colors, but kept the Mediterranean and Florida-contemporary looks, with cathedral ceilings, barrel-tile roofs and paver driveways.
Owners responded by custom-tailoring the interiors to their tastes, creating some beautiful homes.
One example is the bright yellow, three-bedroom, two-bath home at 5590 Red Rock Drive, listed by Ross for $450,000. The entire east side is lined with bricks, and the master bedroom features a beautiful stone wall, creating a warm, inviting interior.
“The upgrades throughout are better than on a model home,” says Ross.
Residents include year-round retirees, snowbirds, working professionals and families with children. For the latter, the three-car garages are a plus, perfect for a teen’s vehicle. The district schools are Lakeview Elementary, Sarasota Middle, and Riverview High.
Another plus for families is that Twin Lakes Park is directly across Clark Road from the neighborhood. The 123-acre recreational facility has a variety of playing fields and lots of activities, including youth football, baseball and soccer. There are also tennis courts and a playground for smaller children.
For nature outings, Myakka State Park is only a 10-minute drive to the east. At the same time, there are plenty of other amenities — shopping, restaurants, banking — in the other direction. The renowned white-sand beaches of Siesta Key are an 8-mile shot west on Clark Road.
While Red Hawk Reserve is light on interior amenities, its HOA fees are only $1,300 a year, which includes irrigation for the front lawns. There are no community development district (CDD) fees.
Although the community is relatively new, some resales are available, and prices have recovered from their precipitous slide during the recession and have started to climb again. Even a short-sale, the only real estate transaction in the past six months, brought $500,000.
Currently, three homes are on the market, ranging in price from $450,000 to $549,000. In addition, two sales are pending and two more are “active with contract.”
“It’s a beautiful place,” reiterates Ross. “If I didn’t like it so much where I am living now, I’d move there in two seconds flat.”