Did you know that Lakewood Ranch is the number one selling community in the United States? Have you ever heard of Lakewood Ranch or know where it is? Well, I’m going to give you 13 reasons why we have that ranking and what it took to get us there.
Hello, I’m Mark Boehmig with Michael Saunders & Company. So we’re going to look at the 13 reasons that I feel people love to come to Lakewood Ranch. The way that we got the ranking is based on new home sales. Now I’m sure that you’re probably familiar with our neighbor, The Villages to the north, but they are a 55 plus community, and we are a multi-generational community.
So we do hold the number one ranking for the multi-generational community, meaning that there’s no age restriction to live here, and that’s how we’re number one. Let’s get to the 13 reasons. Starting with number 13, and these are in no particular order, but we have one of the best areas in the country to watch polo.
- Now, most people don’t realize that in Lakewood Ranch, we have a polo field here. It’s called the Sarasota Polo Club, and it’s located just off of University Avenue. It is 130 acres. And the polo field is surrounded by 35 individual home sites of equestrian people that board their horses there. And those home sites are anywhere from five to 40 acre home sites.
The polo matches are held on Sundays in January through April. And it’s a very casual atmosphere with a low fee ($12) to come in and watch the events, people dress in shorts and sundresses, and they bring their food and have a tailgate. And it’s quite a pleasant experience. And for those that aren’t familiar with polo, the announcers do a really good job of explaining what’s happening while Polo players are on the field.
- Number 12 on our list is the design of the homes that are here in Lakewood ranch.
We have many different builders here, and we have a lot of different designs. At the same time, some people come in and feel that this is a cookie-cutter area. Some areas might be, but there’s a lot of individuality in many of these homes, large open floor spaces, high ceilings, large lanais, that overlook pools and ponds.
So the home designs here are quite lovely, especially once you get on the inside.
- Number 11 on our list is the variety of wildlife. We have alligator, deer otters, fox, Osprey, all types of birds, Sandhill cranes, and don’t do drive too fast around the Sandhill cranes because they will not get out of your way. They are tall birds and stand up 3 feet, and they’re very slow-moving. I have watched Osprey fish in these ponds, and catch fish and take them up to the nest. It’s quite an experience.
- Number 10 on our list is the number of villages that you have to choose from for deciding where you would like to live. We have about 24 different villages in Lakewood ranch. Now a village is usually subdivided into different communities within the villages. So you might have single-family homes, condos, and then substantial expansive homes all within the same village.
- Number nine on our list happens to be the weather. While it can be quite hot, most of the time there is a pleasant breeze, and if it’s too hot, we usually either go to the Beach or go to the pool, whether it’s a community pool or the private pool at the houses or the country club. So there are lots to do to beat the heat. The wintertime’s unbeatable because our highs generally in the winter are in the seventies, lows in the fifties and the summertime, yes, in the nineties and lows in the seventies.
- Number eight on our list is the fact that this is a master plan community.
So what that it means is that all of the roads and the infrastructure are installed before the neighborhoods are started so that you don’t get significant traffic backups. As people begin to move into the areas and the kids go to school, and you have the school buses. So the infrastructure is vital in this planned community because it’s already there when the developers build out their communities, making it much easier on the traffic here in Lakewood ranch.
- Number seven on our list is we are very pet-friendly. Lots of dogs here and people take their dogs to dinner with them. If they’re eating outside and the dogs sit up under the tables, they usually furnish water bowls from the restaurants. A lot of shops have water bowls outside for the dogs, as you see them walking up and down the streets. So a very dog-friendly community.
- Number six is how easy it is to get to Lakewood Ranch. We’re very close to Sarasota, St. Pete, Tampa, Naples, and even Orlando. We do have an airport right here, which is called SRQ.
- And SRQ happens to be number five on my list because it in itself is a great place to fly out of or fly back to. It’s a small domestic airport, flights that go to the Northeast, Midwest, and the West. So easy to access, when you park your car and you go into the terminal, and you go through customs, or you go through the security checkpoints, and then to your gate, it usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
- For number four, and one of the reasons that I’m here in this community is the number of golf courses and tennis courts. Now I am not a good golfer, but I do love tennis. And as a matter of fact, I joined the Lakewood Ranch country club for the tennis center, which has 20 hard-tru (clay courts). And a lot of communities around here have tennis courts.
So it’s very proactive when it comes to golf and tennis. And I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of IMG Academy, but it’s just up the road. And that’s where people will send their kids if they feel that they have the capability of becoming a professional athlete. Tennis is what they were founded on from the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. So a lot of famous tennis player players have gone through the tennis school, which is now IMG Academy.
- Number three on our list is: if you like to fish and you like to boat, you can’t be at a much better place. We’re very close to the marinas in Sarasota and Bradenton and Palmetto. Anywhere up and down the coast, you’re probably within 25 minutes of a good Marina to get right to the intercoastal waterway and into the Gulf of Mexico. We have a lot of fishing here. And as a result, we have a lot of good seafood restaurants.
- And number two on our list is the size of Lakewood ranch. Well, it’s about 50 square miles, and it encompasses 31,000 acres. We have about 38,000 residents. And that number is continually growing. And we have about 150 miles of trails that go through the Lakewood Ranch community. So, as far as geographic size it’s relatively large, it was developed by the Uihlein family and is now operated by Schroeder Manatee Ranch, SMR.
The Uihlein family is one of the families that started Schlitz brewery.
Out of the 31,000 acres that cover “the Ranch”, 40% is set aside for parks and conservation areas. So this is not one of those pave paradise and put up a parking lot type situation. We have a lot of green space here in Lakewood Ranch.
- So the number one thing about living in Lakewood Ranch is the location. So we’re very close to the beaches of Siesta Key, Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key and Lido Key. Some of those beaches have been named best beaches in the world by several different magazines, but it’s also very accessible to get to St. Pete, Tampa, and Sarasota. We have UTC mall right here in the Lakewood Ranch area, tons of shops, tons of restaurants, and indeed a great place to live.