« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

SRQ DAILY Aug 11, 2018

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"Looking back, we've certainly come a long way from the challenging circumstances that defined the real estate industry a decade ago."

- Drayton Saunders, Michael Saunders & Company

[Under The Hood]  The Rigorous Roasting of Riches
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

One thing seems fairly certain this November. Voters in U.S. House District 16 will send a rather wealthy Congressman to Washington. Indeed, the personal spending choices of the two men vying for the job so far have produced the most entertaining (thought hardly the most inspiring) political battle on the Gulf Coast this year.

Most zany so far has been the scavenger hunt for Vern Buchanan’s new yacht. Floridians for a Fair Shake, a dark money political committee that may or not be run by Floridians and boasts little interest in fighting fair, discovered a treasure in the incumbent Congressman’s financial disclosure this year. Buchanan plunked down upward of $1 million to purchase a new Ocean Alexander yacht on Nov. 16, which happens to be the same day the congressman joined fellow Republicans in passing a tax cut that disproportionately benefits the wealthy.

That dark money PAC set up a website at VernsYacht.com offering $500 to whomever could provide them a picture of the boat. Either no one has collected yet or the group is holding back on posting the picture to its site or using the Twitter handle @VernsYacht, though a look at tweets includes some sarcastic social media interactions with @DevosYacht, another account shaming Education secretary Betsy DeVos.

But the Buchanan people punched back with own exposure of the finances of one Davis Shapiro, the Sarasota attorney and leading Democrat lined up to challenge Buchanan in November. Like Buchanan, Shapiro’s list of financial assets runs pages long. And somehow, he’s invested in seemingly every cause he’s swiped at over the course of the campaign. The Republicans have closely cross-referenced Shapiro’s words against his portfolio.

When Shapiro promised to prevent offshore oil drilling, the Buchanan camp noted the Democrat held stock in Halliburton and Transocean, companies held partially liable for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Shapiro brought up the opioid crisis and his opponents noted his Pfizer stocks. After Shapiro pledged to stand up the National Rifle Association and support an assault weapon ban, his investment in mutual funds invested in gun manufacturers Vista Outdoor and Olin came to light. And upon a guest column in the Herald-Tribune criticizing corporate welfare for Kimberly Clark, Walmart and AT&T, GOP operatives noted he owned individual stock in all three companies.

So what’s all this mean? Just that both men are financially loaded and loaded for bear. In reality, it seems unlikely either candidate’s spending decisions hold much connection to any votes either one might later cast in the U.S. House. While critics will gleefully compare Buchanan’s estimated tax windfall against the price of that yacht, the cut represents a small part of his income and the boat a small portion of his purchases. The congressmen last year also invested upward of $5 million in investment properties around Aspen, for example.

And Shapiro’s stocks? It’s quite a leap to think ownership of public stocks in a company means an endorsement of every corporate policy. And looking through 44 pages of financial assets, it would be hard to balance such loyalties. Shapiro owns stock in Netflix and Viacom, in McDonald’s and Monsanto, in Dollar Tree and GoldmanSachs. It so happens Buchanan also invested in the same Ishares portfolios with gunmaker holdings, so hypocrisy claims can go around.

Obviously, the financial assets for both men will continue to be political liabilities as various issues dominate political conversation this fall. My best unsolicited advice? Get in front of attacks and hope Sarasota’s well-to-do voters value financial success. Buchanan should post a selfie on his yacht—preferably wearing shades and surrounded by models—then claim the $500 photo bounty himself. As for Shapiro? Sell any stocks that will go down after Democrats take the House, then donate it all charity.

There’s no point playing poor man in Sarasota when the suit doesn’t fit anyhow. Better to flaunt it right now than to hide it away.

Jacob Ogles is contribution senior editor for SRQ Media Group. 

[Real Estate]  Luxury Sales Continue to Climb
Drayton Saunders

As in the first quarter of 2018, the luxury market saw another healthy period of growth. Though it paced just slightly behind the extraordinary numbers of the early year, Q2 saw a savvier luxury buyer emerge, causing sellers and their agents to adjust prices and go to market with this new trend in mind to remain competitive with new construction.

Among the sales highlights: the second highest sale on Longboat Key, the highest resale in The Islands on the Manatee River and an impressive waterfront remodel. Also reported in Q2 was the annual Christie’s International Real Estate Luxury Defined report in which Sarasota was named the Third Hottest Second-Home Market globally.

Our luxury sales spotlight showcases all sales over $1 million in the Manatee, and Charlotte counties and all sales over $2 million in Sarasota County.

I’d Like to Thank the Academy

Beyond positive statistics, the Gulf Coast garnered a tremendous amount of national and international attention in Q2, and with good reason. Our beloved tri-county area is growing at an exponential rate across all sectors and price ranges. Some might say the accolades helped sales…or is it that the numbers fueled interest? No matter what side you take in this “chicken or egg” scenario, we can all agree Florida is a great place to call home.

Learning from Our Past

As mentioned in the last quarterly report update, we wanted to use our time in Q2 to watch the continued upward movement of median sales prices. Looking back, we’ve certainly come a long way from the challenging circumstances that defined the real estate industry a decade ago, but many have interpreted this current price appreciation as foreshadowing for dark days ahead. Like searching for medical diagnoses on the internet, there are a lot of opinions out there that may lead you to believe the worst.

The good news? To get a sense of market health, a lot of other factors come into play. Here are some (of many) things to consider in addition to median price metrics:

  • We now have more homeowners versus home speculators in the market
  • Lenders are requiring more of borrowers, and sub-prime loan products are non-existent
  • Nationally, 70 percent of all closed loans had FICO scores over 700. The average for the month of June increased 2 points to 726 (according to the June 2018 Origination Insight Report).

As we look toward the end of summer, we’ll continue to monitor these trends and more. For a more detailed look at the market in your neighborhood, contact one of our experienced real estate agents. Don’t forget to comment below and on the market report video with questions about the current condition of Gulf Coast real estate. We’ll try to answer as many as possible and keep you aware of the latest and greatest updates in the Q3 Market Report this fall.

Drayton Saunders is president of Michael Saunders & Company. 

Read more at the MSCBlog.

[SCOOP]  Teen Court Volunteer Recognition Celebration

Since 1996, Teen Court of Sarasota has awarded more than $188,000 in scholarships at its annual Volunteer Recognition Celebration. This year’s event showcased an abbreviated case that took place in the Judge Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center and was followed by light bites, refreshments and awards in the Historical Lobby of the Terrace Building. Scholarship recipients Nathan Clemens, Naomi Gomez, Rodney Gonzalez, Rachel Kalmanovich, Gavin Morey, Victoria Palfy, Avery Smith and Connor Wozniak each spoke about how the scholarship will assist them as they head off to college, the armed services and other endeavors. Dignitaries and local leaders were in attendance for the awards as they honored the city of North Port and the North Port City Commission for its efforts in bringing a Teen Court expansion to their city.  

Teen Court of Sarasota

[SCOOP ]  FST Announces 2018-2019 Educational Programming

From acting, dance and improv, to playwriting, behind the scenes tours and theatre appreciation, there’s something for students of all ages, experience levels and artistic interests at Florida Studio Theatre (FST).  With classes like Little Theatre, Musical Theatre Boot Camp and Advanced Youth Acting,youth willbuild their self-image and self-esteem, develop their improvisational and storytelling skills, and expand their imaginations. This year, for the first time, FST is offering an entire education series just for teens, aged 13-18. Teens will develop, write and perform their own theatrical pieces in Advanced Teen Acting: Perform a Play and Write and Perform.FST offers two comedy courses created specifically for teenagers—Teen Improvisation and Kids Komedy Club. In these classes, participants will have imaginative fun through improv games, and will write and rehearse their own sketch comedy scenes. For the creative adult, FST’s Actors’ Lab provides a wide array of workshops in theatre creation, theatre appreciation, theatre performance, and improvisation. Three levels of playwriting courses—including the newly added Playwriting 201: Writing in 3D—are available for budding playwrights. More than four levels of acting classes are offered for those who want to learn the processes and techniques that professional actors use.   

Florida Studio Theatre

[SCOOP]  Ricky Nelson Remembered Starring Matthew & Gunnar Nelson

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ricky Nelson’s life and music touched millions; his twin sons, multi-platinum recording artists, Matthew & Gunnar Nelson, relive the music and memories in their multi-media event, Ricky Nelson Remembered. Featuring hit songs like “Hello Mary Lou,” “Poor Little Fool,” “Travelin’ Man,” “I’m Walkin’,” “I Gotta Feeling,” “Teenage Idol,” “Garden Party” and many more, RNR showcases his life with never-before-seen interviews from artists he influenced, including Paul McCartney and Chris Isaak. Matthew and Gunnar’s musical event is heartfelt and full of laughter. Ricky Nelson’s legacy includes 53 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and nineteen other top-ten hits.  He is one of the biggest-selling artists of all time, a Golden Globe winner for his performance alongside John Wayne in Rio Bravo and in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. From Ozzie and Harriet to Ricky to Matthew and Gunnar, the Nelson’s are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only family in history with three successive generations of No. 1 hit makers. Matthew and Gunnar are also nephews of NCIS star, Mark Harmon, on their mother’s side.


Sarasota Opera

[KUDOS ]  Murray Devine Joins Leadership Florida Connect Class IX

Murray Devine, the manager of communications and marketing for the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, has been selected as a member of Leadership Florida Connect Class IX. Devine joins up to 45 other young emerging leaders chosen from across the state to participate in the premier statewide resource for educating, engaging and inspiring Florida’s top young professionals. Leadership Florida Connect classes are determined annually following a highly selective application process open to leaders age 25-39 from throughout Florida representing multiple industries and sectors. The program is comprised of five sessions over a nine-month period in different locations throughout the State. Each programming session focuses on key issues and opportunities that are specific to Florida while intertwining leadership skills and development. Since 2014, Devine has been responsible for independently managing the communications, marketing, and branding efforts of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, which last year awarded more than $33 million in grants and scholarships.


Community Foundation of Sarasota County

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

Copyright © 2020 by SRQ Media Group, 331 South Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.
Powered by Sarasota Web Design | Unsubscribe

Read More

Sarasota County will open beaches Monday to limited use

Sarasota County will open beaches Monday to limited use

Jacob Ogles | Apr 23, 2020

Biker Breakdown

Kory Souza Creates Custom Motorcycle Art

Brittany Mattie | Apr 15, 2020

Piano Planter

The Story of a Piano's Visit to Selby Gardens

Brittany Mattie | Apr 15, 2020

A Beacon of Light

A Longboat Key Home Rocks the Atrium

Brittany Mattie | Apr 15, 2020