Sarasota News Leader

05/30/2014

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The surveys specifically asked for informa- tion about the motives of buyers who moved to the area from outside Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties, she explained, and they provided lists of possibilities. Realtors said they rarely found a client to cite just one reason for the move, Haley pointed out. Of the 292 responses provided by the Sarasota Association of Realtors for people offering more than one reason, Haley noted, the top choice was "Previous vacation or visit to area" (131), followed by "Family or friends in the area" (114) and "Climate/weather" (109). Seventy-two of the responses indicated "Nature, beaches, outdoor activities," and 66 noted "Arts or cultural amenities." The remaining categories had the following number of responses: "Recreational Sports" — 60; "Schools" — 60; "Vibrant downtowns" — 52; "Clean, safe environment" — 51; and "Sports training opportunities" — 49. Twenty-seven responses went into the "Other" category. The 411 answers from the Venice Board of Realtors, whose clients listed only one reason, showed "Climate/weather" as the top choice of 41.4 percent followed by "Previous visit/ vacation" with 24.3 percent; "Family/friends in area" with 12.1 percent; "Nature, beaches, outdoor activities" with 9.7 percent; and "Clean safe environment" with 7.3 percent. "Recreational Sports" was at the bottom of the rankings with 2.4 percent. Both surveys offered open-ended comments, Haley told the TDC members. Among those in the Venice survey, respondents said they wanted to live on the Gulf Coast but preferred a smaller community "with all the amenities and less traffic and congestion." They also cited the desire to "be near fam- ily and friends with the opportunity for arts and culture with proximity to beaches." Further comments indicated that while peo- ple chose South County because it was more affordable, they were interested in Sarasota County specifically for fishing and Spring Training baseball. Downtown Venice also was noted for i t s v i b r a n c y a n d q u a i n t a t m o s p h e r e , Haley explained. Regarding the open-ended comments that members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors received, she said, people chose Sarasota because it has everything they wanted; its demographics were unique in Florida; they had friends in Sarasota and enjoyed the num- ber of activities available; and they liked the climate and natural environment. Those reasons line up with typical com- ments about why visitors come to Sarasota County, Haley added of the Sarasota Realtors' responses. Among other noteworthy information, Haley told the TDC, was the mention by a couple of Sarasota Realtors "that clients had been turned off by the homeless situation — seeing the people on the street corners." "That was very helpful," Patterson told Haley at the conclusion of the presentation. % Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 50

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