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Articles Tagged "Holidays"


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Stocking Stuffer Ideas: 9 Crafts to Make This Season

DIY Stocking Stuffers

Don't forget about your stocking stuffers as you shop for your holiday gifts. Homemade stocking stuffers are a fun, thoughtful way to show your loved ones that you're thinking about them. Our real estate agents suggest checking out these DIY stocking stuffer ideas. 

  1. Homemade Playdough
    Playdough isn't just for kids; teens and adults enjoy creating figures and shapes for stress relief and artistic entertainment. You can whip up a batch of playdough after exploring Bradenton homes for sale in just a few minutes with a simple recipe. Grab a pretty jar or storage container, and your gift is ready to go.

  2. Homemade Sugar Scrub
    A DIY sugar scrub is an excellent way to soothe rough, dry skin. Combine a cup of sugar with two cups of coconut oil, along with 15 drops of essential oils. Peppermint or lavender are popular options. You can gift a large batch or divide it into smaller containers for multiple stocking stuffers.

  3. Chocolate-Covered Spoon
    Chocolate-covered spoons are a delicious addition to a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. You can cover disposable spoons with chocolate and sprinkles, or you may opt for a reusable spoon that the recipient can add to their at-home coffee bar. Just melt the chocolate and dip the spoon. While the chocolate is wet, add any flavor accompaniments, like sprinkles, crushed peppermint, drizzled peanut butter, nuts, or mini marshmallows. Make sure to make a couple for yourself so that you can relax with a tasty beverage after viewing Sarasota homes for sale

  4. Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
    Mix up a batch of your favorite homemade hot chocolate and house it in small jars. You can add a small card with preparation instructions and a small bag of marshmallows to complete your stocking stuffer. 

  5. A Paperclip Bookmark
    Have a friend or family member who's always folding down their book's pages to save their spots? Make them a paperclip bookmark by tying a small tassel or ribbon to a large paperclip. 

  6. Candy Bottles
    Grab a small glass bottle with a lid and fill it with the recipient's favorite candy. Or, try a holiday favorite, like Hershey's hug kisses, holiday M and Ms, Snowcaps, or festive gummy candies. 

  7. Holiday-Themed Mini Candles
    Holiday-themed mini candles are simple and fun to make. Head to your local craft store, and pick up your favorite color of candle wax. Prepare it according to the instructions, and use small holiday-inspired cookie cutters to make your candles. 

  8. Photo Magnets
    To make photo magnets, print out your desired photos and mount them to a mat board. Cut each magnet out using scissors. Cover them with a layer of Mod-Podge or another protective sealant and attach a strip of magnetic tape to the back. 

  9. Polka Dot Pencils
    Polka dot pencils make it fun to write and take notes. Pick up a pack of pencils and spray paint them your desired color. Use a Sharpie pen or marker to add the polka dots. 

Wish that your home had more space for holiday festivities and craft sessions? Contact us to search for your next home!


Holiday Events Around Bradenton and Sarasota

Bradenton holidays

The holidays mark a time of wonder and excitement – not just for kids but Floridians of all ages. If you have been looking at Sarasota homes for sale or Bradenton homes for sale, you'll be minutes from the holiday happenings that locals here anticipate all year. Get ready to make some wonderful memories!

Our real estate agents have been making a list and checking it twice, and now we're ready to share with you some popular ideas for family-friendly fun in the local area. There's always something going on here in Florida's famous sister cities.

Let's take a look at some top picks for holiday fun in Bradenton and Sarasota:

  • Holiday Tour of Lights – 3941 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota, FL 34233
    Get excited for an annual tradition with the Holiday Tour of Lights right here in Sarasota. The tours will take off at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., with boarding fifteen minutes before. The event is planned "rain or shine" and will guide visitors through some of the most beautiful holiday light displays in Sarasota. Be prepared to be enchanted. Tickets are available online right now for just $20 per participant.

  • Mommy & Me Holiday Cookie Decorating Class – 4914 Lena Road #104, Bradenton, FL 34211
    Mommy & Me Holiday Cookie Decorating Class is a chance for kids and parents to get some fun family bonding in time to create something delicious for Santa. Taking place on December 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., it will have a reprise on December 17. Sponsored by the local Pineapple Kitchen and Cookie University, five undecorated cookies and icing will be provided, plus professional instruction.

  • 7th Annual Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl – See Website for Location Information in Sarasota, FL
    The 7th Annual Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl will give adults the chance to enjoy some holiday cheer as the group makes its way to some of Sarasota's best bars on the evening of December 10. There will be all kinds of fun, including Christmas movie trivia, a registration party for all guests, DJs playing holiday music, and – of course – an after-party. It's "Bring Your Own Sweater," but commemorative shirts are available.

  • A Christmas Carol – 140 Tampa Avenue West, Venice, FL 34285
    If you are looking for holiday festivities near Venice homes for sale, you surely can't go wrong with A Christmas Carol as performed at the historic Venice Theatre. This venue is at the heart of the community theater scene in the metro area. It will stage Dickens' classic starting December 9. Showings occur Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 in the afternoon. Be there and experience the magic!

Ready to find a home near all your favorite local events?

Contact us for more insights on the best local real estate opportunities.


How to Create a Holiday Charcuterie Board

Holiday Dining Ideas

Whether you're throwing a holiday party or preparing for a relaxing evening at home, a holiday charcuterie board is a delicious addition to your festivities. Our real estate agents suggest following this guide to help you create a tasty holiday charcuterie board. 

  • Select Your Charcuterie Board
    You'll need a slab or flat board to house your foods and spreads. While some people use their charcuterie board as a decorative piece, others focus more on functionality. You can invest in a handsome wood or marble charcuterie board, or if you've only got a little time, you can use one of your baking sheets. Make sure your board is suitably-sized for the number of people you plan to serve. A small board is sufficient when preparing for a quiet evening at home. You'll want a board approximately 20 by 15 inches for a larger crowd to ensure you have ample space for everything. 
  • Decide What You Want to Include
    There are no limitations on what you can and can't include on your holiday charcuterie board. You can even create a themed charcuterie board that's perfect for celebrating the holidays after you check out Sarasota homes for sale or after exploring Bradenton homes for sale. Most people include a few types of meat; pepperoni, smoked salmon, turkey, ham, and salami are a few possibilities.

    Add two to three ounces of meat for each person when arranging a snack board and five to six ounces per person for a meal board. Next, decide what kind of cheese you want to incorporate. Select a mix of hard and soft cheeses for variety and better visual appeal. See that your cheeses coordinate well with your meats.

    Spreads and dips are essential for any charcuterie board. Jellies, jams, mustard, relish, ranch, and cheese spreads are just a few alternatives. Include items that can be used to sample the dips, like veggies, fruit, crackers, pretzels, cookies, and bread. Other popular charcuterie items include pickles, olives, nuts, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate candy. Once you know what food items your board will include, you can choose your bowls and spreaders. Look for bowls and spreaders that coordinate with your holiday decor or help set your desired ambiance. 
  • Arrange Your Board
    To arrange your charcuterie board, begin by placing the dips on the board. Next, lay out your meats and cheeses, putting coordinating flavors next to each other. Place fruits, veggies, crackers, and other items near the dips people are most likely to use them with. Keep wet items (like pickles and olives) away from dry foods (such as crackers and bread). Use fruit, veggies, and wrapped candy to fill any sparse areas of your charcuterie board. 

A charcuterie board is a fast, versatile option for a holiday meal or snack. Interested in purchasing a home with more space for your holiday festivities? Or a new kitchen perfect for creating your holiday dishes? Contact us to get started with your search!


2022 Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is just around the corner! This time of year, it's so much fun to carve pumpkins, make costumes, and of course, go trick-or-treating. Don't let the magic of Halloween be overshadowed by an accident or injury. Our real estate agents have some important tips to help keep everyone in your family safe and well this Halloween season.

  • Put Reflector Strips on Costumes
    Add a few strips of reflective tape to your child's costume. You really only need four: one along the back and front of each leg. This will ensure drivers can see your child as they're walking down the sidewalk. If you're trick-or-treating in an area that's not well-lit, consider attaching clip-on lights to everyone, too.

  • Put Phones Away
    Unfortunately, there are a lot of distracted drivers on Halloween. And even a responsible driver, understandably, might hit you if you accidentally step out into traffic. Minimize the risk of such accidents by keeping your phone in your pocket while you're trick-or-treating. Make sure your kids do the same. The social media updates and shared photos can wait till you get home. 

  • Stick to Familiar Areas
    It can be tempting to explore a new neighborhood as you trick-or-treat, but it's safer to stay in neighborhoods you know well. You and your kids will be more familiar with the traffic flow. You're less likely to get lost or confused, and you'll see more people you know along the way.

  • Make Sure Costumes Fit
    Costumes don't need to fit perfectly, but they should not be so big or long that they drag on the ground and present a tripping hazard. You also don't want the sleeves so long that your child will struggle to hold onto their candy bucket or turn a door handle. So, when possible, have your kids try on their costumes before you buy them.

  • Drive Slowly and Carefully
    You can also keep others safe by doing your part and driving extra carefully on Halloween. Slow down, especially in residential neighborhoods. Turn the music off or down so you can focus. Don't look at your phone while driving, and make sure your kids know they need to be quiet so you can focus behind the wheel.

    If you're wearing a costume, make sure it's one that you can drive comfortably and safely in. You may want to drive in normal clothing and change into your costume at the destination.

  • Stay With Younger Kids and Designate a Meeting Space
    Teenagers can often go trick-or-treating alone. But you should always accompany younger kids. Also, agree on a meetup place. This should be a familiar place that's easy to reach. If anyone does get separated from the group, they can go to the meeting place and meet back up with you there.

With the safety tips above, you can have a happy and safe Halloween. If you're still looking for Bradenton homes for sale or Sarasota homes for sale, don't hesitate to contact us. We can guide you through the process of looking for a home for sale and making an offer.


Wagner Realty Celebrates the 4th of July Parade, Island Style

Anna Maria Island, FL, July 5, 2022 –Wagner Realty along with island locals and guests came together on July 4 to celebrate the nation's birthday and Independence Day. Guests arrived early outside the Anna Maria Island office Along with chairs, coolers, and water toys, families were fully attired in decorated in red, white and blue. While waiting for the parade, the Wagner staff handed out water bottles with koozies and cups, beads, candy, glow bracelets, and festive fans to the crowd. 

"It was so nice to see the smiling faces of families here in our great community, and especially our young ones" notes Natalie Russell, Wagner Realty's Operations Manager, adding "we want to thank all our guests who sat with us outside our office to enjoy the festivities."

As one of the oldest real estate companies in Manatee County, Wagner Realty began operations in 1939. Wagner Realty is locally owned and operated and is one of the largest real estate companies in the region. Every year, for more than 23 years, Wagner Realty has been voted "Favorite Real Estate Company" by readers of the local newspaper.

Pictured: Lucas and Ralph Martinez, Lucky Schmidt, Vera McGill


Surprise Mom With a Bouquet from These Local Florists

Sarasota Florists

Mother's Day is just around the corner, so now is the time to start thinking about how you'll show mom your appreciation this year. 

Our real estate agents turn to our local flower shops to find the perfect Mother's Day gifts. A bouquet of flowers is not only a great way to freshen up the house, but it's also a gift associated with love and beauty. Here are some local flower shops that make a great Mother's Day bouquet. 

  • Sarasota Florist - 2300 Bee Ridge Rd #303, Sarasota, FL 34239
    For some of the finest Mother's Day florals in the area, stop by Sarasota Florist. This store's professional team of floral designers is offering a special Designer's Choice Mother's Day arrangement for $75. Looking for something different? Whether it's classic, traditional, modern, trendy, or offbeat, they can also create the perfect floral arrangement for you.

  • Suncoast Floristry - 1227 S Beneva Rd, Sarasota, FL 34232
    Expect beautiful flowers, great service, and on-time deliveries at Suncoast Floristry -- a local flower shop where you're sure to find the perfect Mother's Day bouquet. This independent, family-owned floral shop has been serving the Sarasota area since 1980. They offer a wide selection and affordable prices. Best of all, the shop is conveniently located near some beautiful Sarasota homes for sale.

  • Flowers By Edie - 4607 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton, FL 34210
    This local florist has been providing hand-delivered flowers to the Bradenton area for over 35 years. This shop offers tons of beautifully designed bouquets perfect for any occasion. Flowers By Edie has tons of Mother's Day specials available on their website. The shop is also just around the corner from some fantastic Bradenton homes for sale.

  • Blooms By The Beach - 2501 Gulf Dr. N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
    This beachside store is the go-to destination for beautiful flowers in Anna Maria Island and Bradenton. Blooms By The Beach is a full-service florist with high-quality products that are sure to delight. The store offers loads of options for Mother's Day gifts. The staff also has a reputation for being friendly and helpful, so you're sure to find the perfect gift for mom. After shopping, be sure to schedule a tour of one of these beautiful nearby Bradenton Beach homes for sale.

  • Ellenton Florist - 6214 US-301, Ellenton, FL 34222
    Celebrate mom with some of the most beautifully-designed bouquets in South Florida. Ellenton Florist sources flowers from the highest quality origins and has a dedicated staff of floral experts and artists. Mother's Day flower delivery is available in Ellenton, Parrish, Palmetto, and several other surrounding towns. This amazing shop is also just a few miles away from these spectacular Ellenton homes for sale.

Give mom the gift she deserves this year by visiting one of our area's wonderful local flower shops. For more local recommendations around Sarasota, Bradenton, or Ellenton, contact us today.


Wagner Realty Celebrates Another Successful Year With Holiday Brunch at the Bradenton Country Club

Wagner Realty Celebrates Another Successful Year With Holiday Brunch at the Bradenton Country Club

Bradenton, FL  December 8, 2021 – Each year as the holidays approach, Wagner Realty invites agents, support staff and affiliate partners to gather for a wonderful brunch at the Bradenton Country Club. This year, the company held its holiday celebration on December 6th with more than 150 in attendance, celebrating their successes and enjoy each other's camaraderie.

 "Despite the many challenges, 2021 was a momentous year," notes David Eckel, Wagner Realty's owner and principal broker, adding "we want our agents and staff to know how grateful we are for all of their hard work."


Bake Cookies Day: Holiday Cookie Recipes

This is the perfect time of year to gather in your kitchen and bake some cookies. Not only are the winter holidays quickly approaching, but December 18th is Bake Cookies Day! So, pull out that mixer, stock up on flour, and check out some of these cookie recipes our real estate agents recommend.

  • Gingerbread Biscotti
    Gingerbread is a classic choice in the winter, and this Gingerbread Biscotti recipe is a tasty riff on the old standby. The recipe makes 24 biscotti — enough for sharing — and comes together in less than 90 minutes. The molasses gives these biscotti a rich flavor, and of course, plenty of ginger makes them irresistible alongside a mug of coffee or hot chocolate.

  • Penguin Slice-and-Bake Cookies
    If you have kids, these Penguin Slice-and-Bake Cookies are sure to be a favorite. The recipe tells you how to prepare the dough and assemble it into a long cylinder. Refrigerate and later slice to yield adorable penguins. The cookies themselves are tender and sweet with that classic sugar cookie flavor.

  • Mini Linzer Cookies
    Take a break from looking at Sarasota homes for sale, and whip up a batch of these Mini Linzer Cookies. They're a traditional cookie that will take you back to a simpler time. The recipe was created by none other than Ina Garten herself. It calls for raspberry preserves, but you could use apricot or blueberry preserves if you happen to have them on hand.

  • Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread
    Some people love shortbread, and others find it bland. But this kicked-up version, Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread, is sure to bring a smile to your face. Not only do these cookies taste delicious, but they also look attractive when presented in a bowl or mug with their chocolate-dipped ends pointing upward. The recipe makes one dozen biscotti, which is just enough if you don't want a sugar overload.

  • Monster Marshmallow Cookies
    If you're tired from spending the day looking at Bradenton homes for sale, then these Monster Marshmallow Cookies are the perfect ones to make. The recipe is easy to follow and only takes about 20 minutes to prep. The cookies themselves are extra large and loaded with crisped rice, pecans, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows.

  • Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies
    If you find gingersnaps to be a bit too hard and crunchy, you'll like these Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies. The sugar coating gives them just a hint of crispiness. Just make sure you plan ahead since the dough does need to chill for at least two hours, and preferably overnight.

  • Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
    These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies have a fudgy center, and they're rolled in powdered sugar for a lovely, crackled look. The recipe is surprisingly simple. The decadent cocoa powder makes the cookies nice and rich. You need to chill the dough for 2 hours, but the results are worth the wait.

  • Snowball Cookies
    Even in Florida, where the holidays tend to be green, Snowball Cookies are a tried-and-true favorite. This recipe makes delicious ones loaded with walnuts, although you could substitute toasted pecans if desired. Dusting the cookies with powdered sugar twice, as advised in this recipe, results in a thicker and sturdier coating that won't fluff away.

Make sure you set aside time to celebrate Bake Cookies Day this year! It's the perfect reason to use your kitchen this holiday season. If you're new to the area and still looking for a place to do all your holiday baking, contact us to learn more about our real estate services.


Holidays in a New Home: 7 Ways to Make the Most of it

New Home for the Holidays

After looking at various Sarasota homes for sale, are you finally settled into your new house? As much as you love your new place, it may not quite feel like home yet. You may still be unpacking, decorating, and making the space your own. How, then, does celebrating the holidays fit into this equation? Better than you think! Here are seven ways to make the most of the holidays in a new home.

  1. Attend Local Events
    Your home may not quite be set up for celebrating yet, but surely there are lots of local events that can put you in the holiday spirit. Look for tree lighting ceremonies, local shopping events, and winter festivals to attend. You'll get to know the area and your neighbors better in the process.

  2. Make a Special Meal
    Enjoying a special meal at home is a nice way to spend time with family. Even if you can't make your traditional holiday meal because some of your cookware is still packed away, take the time to make something else. You can make a delicious holiday roast in a slow cooker or bake a lasagne in the oven. 

  3. Start a New Tradition
    New home, new traditions! If you take the opportunity to start a new holiday tradition, you will always reflect back on your first year in this home each time you stick to that tradition in the future. You could create a new traditional meal. Or you could play a certain game, wrap gifts together while holiday music plays, dance to some favorite tunes, bake cookies — the possibilities are endless. 

  4. Decorate With What You Have
    Sure, most of your decorations might still be packed away. Some of them may not work well in your new home since you selected them for your old home. But how much fun can you have decorating for the holidays with what you have on hand? You can really exercise your creativity here. Make snowflakes out of paper plates. Create paper chains from takeout menus. Use cookie cutters to trace holiday shapes onto paper, creating ornaments. Your decorations won't be traditional, but that's half the fun.

  5. Take Baked Goods to the Neighbors
    If you enjoy baking during the holiday season, consider sharing some baked goods with your neighbors. This is a great way to get to know others in your community. Becoming friendly with your neighbors will make your house start to feel more like a home during the holiday season and beyond. You might find that some neighbors give you holiday baked goods in return, which is always comforting, too.

  6. Order From a New Restaurant
    If your kitchen items are still packed, and cooking isn't an option, take this opportunity to order from a new, local restaurant. You'll be supporting a local business, which will help you start to feel like a part of the community. Plus, you'll get to enjoy delicious food, which always puts you in a holiday mood.

  7. Host a Move-in Holiday Party
    If you have friends and family members in the area, invite everyone over for a combination move-in party and holiday party. Nobody will be surprised that your home is still filled with boxes, and helping you unpack can be part of the fun. Put on some holiday music, and work together to make your house a home.

These ideas are sure to make your holidays brighter! If you're still looking for Bradenton homes for sale, please feel free to contact us. We'll put you in touch with our real estate agents, who can simplify the home buying process for you.


Small Business Saturday: 2021 Local Shopping Guide

Small Business Saturday

Shopping local is the perfect way to support small businesses during the holiday season. This year, our real estate agents suggest that you leave Black Friday to the crowd-followers. On November 27, be a trend-setter and support Small Business Saturday by patronizing these amazing shops around Bradenton and Sarasota.

  • The Dancing Crane Gallery - 1019 10th Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205
    Have you or a friend recently purchased one of the great Bradenton homes for sale? Add some individual flair with artwork from The Dancing Crane Gallery. Choose from paintings, glassware, hand-painted tiles, and sculptures from a variety of talented artists. Hours are 11 a.m. 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with extended hours until 9 p.m. on the first Friday of each month. 

  • Mixon Fruit Farms - 2525 27th St. E., Bradenton, FL 34208
    Kids who hate shopping will love going to Mixon Fruit Farms, which is fun for the whole family. Take a fascinating tram tour through the grove, with a stop for an interactive educational show at the wildlife center. Then it's time for lunch at the Groveside Cafe and a visit to the Play Place before you pick up some fresh fruit, wine, fudge, and other treats to take home. Stock up on gifts like fudge, wine, and sauces. Mixon Fruit Farms is open 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Tram tours are held each day at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for kids ages 3-12.

  • Bookstore1Sarasota - 12 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
    At Bookstore1Sarasota, their motto is, "Joie de Livres," which translates to, "Joy of Books." Owners and staff are passionate about the joy of books and equally passionate about sharing that joy with customers. Discover a new favorite from among their selection of current best-sellers and perennial classics. The shop's online author events and book clubs are a perfect way to connect with other book lovers. Hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily except Sunday when doors close at 2 p.m. 

  • Lotus Boutique - 1464 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Dress yourself from head to toe at Lotus Boutique, just minutes from Sarasota homes for sale. Lotus features the hottest designs from Diane von Furstenburg, Frank & Eileen, Norma Kamali, and other name brands. Complete your outfit with jewelry, shoes, and accessories in the latest styles. Afterward, cross the street to their newest addition and expand your wardrobe with their collection of activewear and casual favorites. Lotus Boutique is open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon - 5 p.m. Sunday.

  • Pastry Art - 1512 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Even power shoppers need a break. Rest and recharge with a snack or light lunch at Pastry Art. Choose from a tasty selection of salads, sandwiches, and wraps, or head right to the good stuff with a cupcake, cannoli, or molten lava cake. Coffee is locally roasted and freshly brewed for a full, rich flavor. Hours are 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday.

Wagner Realty is proud to be part of the vibrant business community around Bradenton and Sarasota. Contact us for help with all your real estate needs.


Thanksgiving Recipes for Healthy Dining

Thanksgiving Dining

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends and enjoy a delicious meal together. If you're watching your weight, you'll be glad to know that you don't necessarily have to load up on unhealthy foods. 

Many of our real estate agents love to cook. When they weren't busy showing buyers all the great Sarasota homes for sale, they spent some time looking for delicious healthy recipes you can prepare this Thanksgiving. Take a look at some of the ideas below. By lightening up the menu, you can make sure that this year the only thing that will be stuffed on Thanksgiving Day is the turkey! 

  • Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
    This delicious butternut squash soup makes the perfect starter for Thanksgiving dinner. You can give it a healthy twist by swapping out the heavy cream for equally tasty coconut milk. Even better, if you use pre-cut butternut squash, you can make this recipe in just five minutes! That's a real lifesaver when you're already spending the bulk of the day in the kitchen. 
  • Shrimp Cocktail 
    Enjoying a healthy appetizer before dinner can help keep you from over-eating when you sit down for the main meal. Shrimp cocktail is an easy and festive dish that has a low-calorie count. Steam your shrimp in spices and make your own cocktail sauce instead of buying the pre-made version from the store - you'll be glad you did! 

  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon
    Instead of making a traditional sweet potato casserole that's loaded with brown sugar and marshmallows, try these roasted sweet potatoes with honey and cinnamon. They still have plenty of sweetness but without all the added sugar. This super-simple recipe only takes a few minutes to prepare and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. 
  • Healthy Mashed Potatoes
    Most people agree that Thanksgiving dinner wouldn't be the same without mashed potatoes. But, you can make a healthy version that doesn't involve two sticks of butter. This recipe substitutes regular milk for heavy cream and adds just enough butter to make the dish taste delicious without being overly fatty. Top your potatoes with some fresh chives for a little extra dash of color and flavor. 

  • Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
    When you try these maple bacon Brussels sprouts, you'll have a hard time believing they're actually good for you! This decadent-tasting dish gets its flavor from real maple syrup, bacon, and cayenne pepper. Also, if you think you don't like Brussels sprouts, you probably just haven't had them cooked the right way - so do yourself a favor and try them out. 
  • Healthy Cranberry Sauce
    It's a great idea to skip the sugar-laden canned cranberry sauce and make your own instead. This easy cranberry sauce recipe calls for only three ingredients - fresh cranberries, maple syrup, and orange juice. If you want to make it extra special, add a bit of cinnamon and vanilla extract as well. 

If you're looking for the perfect Florida home this Thanksgiving season, the agents at Wagner Realty are here to help. We have the inside scoop on all the best Sarasota and Bradenton homes for sale, so don't delay. Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started! 


Make Your Own Holiday Wreath With These Tips

Holiday Wreath Sarasota

Nothing warms the heart like a home that's decorated for the holidays. Decorating your home doesn't have to mean spending a fortune on impersonal, store-bought decorations. Even the most quintessential holiday decoration, a wreath, can be made at home with a little time and creativity.

Our real estate agents have noticed that a little bit of tasteful holiday decoration goes a long way when it comes to making a good impression with potential homebuyers. Whether you're selling or looking for a way to personalize your own home, break out the crafting supplies, and add some holiday cheer with these tips.

Find the Right Form

At the core of most wreaths is a form to give it shape. What you use depends on what your wreath is made of. For instance, many wreaths have a metal form that's useful for wiring greenery to. You can also find styrofoam wreath forms that can be spray painted or have decorations, such as jewels, glued to them. Even a cardboard cutout can provide the foundation for a wreath, with the right three-dimensional ornaments affixed to it.

Use Nature's Own Supplies

You can't go wrong with a traditional evergreen wreath, and you'll find many Bradenton homes for sale with these types of decorations hung on their doors. Finding materials for such a wreath could be as simple (and as cheap) as taking a walk. Collect small, thin evergreen branches that can be easily affixed to your wreath, as well as other potential decor, such as pine cones. Do make sure you have permission before you go stripping branches off someone else's trees, though, and try not to take too many from one tree.

Repurpose Like a Pro

If a more traditional wreath doesn't appeal to you, you can make a free or inexpensive holiday wreath by repurposing everyday items. For instance, holiday fabric (perhaps from those holiday pajamas you never liked?) can be used to cover a styrofoam wreath form, or other holiday items such as ornaments or holiday cookie cutters can be grouped to form a wreath shape. Don't forget to finish it off with some pretty ribbon!

Tie It All Together

Once you have an idea for your wreath, the real trick is to put it into action. Choosing a sturdy way of putting everything together will ensure your wreath lasts the season, especially if it's expected to get knocked around a bit. Sarasota homes for sale get a lot of showings, so make your wreath strong if it'll hang on the door of your home while it's on the market! When well done, a wreath that is wired together can easily stand the test of time. While it's quick and easy, remember that hot glue is simply melted plastic and won't withstand a lot of rough handling. Other glues tend to weaken over time and may not be ideal for wreaths you want to reuse in future years.

The holidays are exciting, and nothing gets you in the mood to celebrate quite like decorating. Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of selling your home during the busy holiday season? Contact us today, and one of our agents can take some of that weight off your shoulders.


How to Give Back This Holiday Season Near Sarasota and Bradenton

Give Back in Sarasota

The holidays are a season of giving, and our real estate agents are always on the lookout for new ways to give back to our local community. This year, with so many families in the Sarasota and Bradenton areas suffering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for help is greater than ever. 

Whether you're a long-time resident of the area or are looking at Sarasota homes for sale and Bradenton homes for sale, we're excited to share ways to help. Please consider some of these opportunities to give back this holiday season!

  1. Give to a Toy Drive
    As a child, one of the great joys of the holiday season is the thrill of unwrapping gifts on Christmas morning. That's why participating in a local toy drive is a great way to give back and share some joy with a child in need. No matter where you live, chances are, there's a toy drive in your area. Here in Sarasota, the 4th Annual Toy Drive, hosted by the Sarasota sheriff's office, or the local chapter of the Marine Toys for Tots program, helping children in need since 1947. 

  2. Give the Gift of Warmth
    Far too many people must face winter without the warm clothing they need. Donating unused winter coats to a winter coat drive is a great way to give someone the warmth and security they need this holiday season. Here in the Sarasota and Bradenton area, the annual Facing Homelessness coat drive collects much-needed winter coats for the homeless every December. 

  3. Donate Blood
    Blood and platelet donations are always in need, but many people forget about it during the holiday season because their attention is turned to other charities and causes. But the American Red Cross is always in need of donations, and the winter is actually one of the seasons of greatest need. Giving blood at a local blood drive this time of year is a life-saving gift that directly helps those who need it most.

  4. Donate to a Food Pantry
    No one should go without, especially during the holiday season. Donating canned goods and similar non-perishable food items to a food pantry or food bank is a great way to help. This is more true in 2020 than ever before. Check out this directory of food pantries and similar charities in the Sarasota area to learn more about where you can give. 

  5. Give to the Boys and Girls Club
    For more than 150 years, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America have helped create brighter futures for children in need. This nationwide charity network does so by providing quality voluntary after-school programs for kids who may not otherwise have access to them. Our local Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County can always use your assistance, and there are many ways to give. Financial donations are always much appreciated, but you can also volunteer your time, just as essential. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. If you're looking for your dream home, our team is here to help every step of the way. We're also thrilled to offer some unique ways to give back to the community we love.


Gift Local This Year: Gift Ideas from Shops Near Bradenton and Sarasota

Sarasota Gift Local

'Tis the season for giving, and our real estate agents invite you to join our shop small initiative. Our local businesses support our communities economically and socially. Without them, Sarasota and Manatee Counties just wouldn't feel like home. Let's support our friends, family members, and neighbors by purchasing gifts from these local shops.

Gifts for the Outdoor Enthusiast…

Living in Florida means living outside for most of the year. If you have someone on your gift list that loves the outdoors, you can't go wrong with a gift card to Surfer Bus. Located around the block from Anna Maria homes for sale, this kayak rental service makes it effortless to get out onto the open water. For those who prefer to stay on land, Zegway by the Bay is a better bet. This unique company offers Segway tours around local towns near our Holmes Beach homes for sale. If you're looking to hit the town in style, consider a gift certificate to Longboat Limousine. Cruising from our Longboat Key homes for sale throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties, you can simply enjoy a luxurious ride with million-dollar views of the Gulf of Mexico.

Gifts for the Foodie…

Who doesn't love good food? Gift the foodie in your life a gift certificate to Jennings Downtown Provisions. A favorite destination of those who moved into Bradenton homes for sale, Jennings is a restaurant and bar specializing in great eats like tacos and flatbread. The Bradenton Farmer's Market is another fantastic place where a single gift card will fill them with the best local flavors.

Gifts for Lovers of All Things Local…

The Original Sand Dollar and Sun & Surf Beach Shop have various gifts that fit perfectly under the tree. If you're seeking something unique, you'll find several one-of-a-kind, locally-owned, giftshops near our Sarasota homes for sale, like Artisans' World MarketplaceMaker's Market, and The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime. Or you can think outside the box and pair a foodie gift card from above with a trip to the theatre. 

Gifts that Celebrate the Arts and Nature…

While some nonprofit shops may not have gift certificates for purchase, you can gift tickets or memberships to some of our local museums like The John and Mable Ringling Museum of ArtSelby Gardens, and Sarasota Art Museum.

Gifts to Benefit A Favorite Cause...

It's a time of increased need throughout our community, which makes it a great time to give the gift of support. We also encourage you to consider gifts that help nonprofits in the Sarasota and Manatee Counties. If you aren't sure which non-profit you would like to support, visit The Giving Partner website. The Giving Partner, presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, helps local nonprofits tell their story and enables you to explore how each nonprofit is making a difference in our neighbors' lives. The Giving Partner database contains over 700 profiles of 501(c)(3) charitable organizations serving Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties.

If you're interested in buying or selling homes in Manatee or Sarasota Counties this holiday season, feel free to contact us. For more gift giving inspiration, be sure to check out our collection of short videos.


Florists for Valentine's Day Bouquets in Manatee and Sarasota

Sarasota Florists

Love is in the air as Valentine's Day approaches — make sure this lovely occasion smells just as sweet by gifting the special someone in your life a beautiful bouquet. Sarasota and Manatee counties are blooming with flower shops offering a variety of dazzling daisies, perfect poinsettias, and amazing asters to show your partner how much they mean to you. Let these florist shops around town help make your Valentine's Day truly memorable.

  1. Sue Ellen's Floral Boutique — 3522 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34237
    Having worked in her family's flower shop throughout her life, Sue Ellen has spent the last 20 years serving the floral industry of Sarasota. Her new floral boutique strives to deliver exceptional service by going the extra mile to ensure that every order is fresh, on-time, and one-of-a-kind. Their delivery area encompasses the city, including the top neighborhoods with Sarasota homes for sale, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and retirement centers. 

  2. Josey's Poseys Florist — 6100 Manatee Ave., W., Bradenton, FL 34209 
    Serving areas near Anna Maria Island homes for sale, this locally owned shop is sure to please! Josey's Poseys Florist will deliver to your valentine a hand-arranged floral display they'll cherish this Valentine's Day. Choose the perfect one from their Valentine's Day bouquet options, and their team will do the rest!   

  3. Ellenton Florist — 6214 US-301, Ellenton, FL 34222
    Deliver something extra special this Valentine's Day with a little help from Ellenton Florist. Located near Ellenton homes for sale, this local florist offers free same-day delivery in the Ellenton area. Plus, their Deal of the Day makes it easy and affordable to surprise your valentine throughout the year with a beautiful bouquet crafted by floral experts. 

  4. Fantasy Flowers of Lakewood Ranch — 8111 Lakewood Ranch Main St. Building J, Suite 101, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
    Fantasy Flowers of Lakewood Ranch is ready to craft a dream bouquet for your significant other this Valentine's Day. They can create any sized bouquet featuring romantic roses, playful daisies, and caring carnations. Located on Main Street just feet away from brand new Lakewood Ranch homes for sale, Fantasy Flowers will help you express the feelings in your heart.

  5. Bradenton Flower Shop — 5262 State Rd. 64 E., Bradenton, FL 34208
    For over 30 years, Bradenton Flower Shop has made Valentine's Day memorable. Many of their "flowers in a gift" sets include a beautiful vase that can be reused all year long. Imagine getting your partner a gorgeous group of flowers for Valentine's Day then filling the vase with more fresh florals throughout the first year you spend in one of our lovely Bradenton homes for sale.

  6. Flowers By Fudgie — 6119A Clark Center Ave., Sarasota, FL 34238
    Impress your valentine with a bouquet hand-arranged by the professional florists at Flowers By Fudgie. Servicing areas near Siesta Key homes for sale, their staff is committed to customer satisfaction and crafting beautiful floral displays. Make sure to order a day in advance for Valentine's Day!   

Looking to share a home with the person you love? Contact us, and our REALTORS® will help you find a loving home.


Ring in the New Year at These Manatee & Sarasota Events

Sarasota New Year

There are a ton of fun New Year's events to enjoy in the Manatee and Sarasota areas this year. Whether you're looking for family fun, a formal event, live music, or just one big, local party with all of your friends, there's a New Year's Eve event with your name on it. Our REALTORS® are ready to welcome 2020! Learn about some of the local events with our guide to just some of the great New Year's Eve events in the Manatee and Sarasota area.

  1. 2020 EPIC New Year Party - Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Ring in the new decade with 22N, an awesome high energy band that will have everyone on the dancing floor. When the band takes a break, DJ EMP will be spinning Top 40 hits to keep the party going. You'll love the huge dance floor! Party tickets for 2020 EPIC New Year Party include valet to the red carpet, paparazzi, bottomless bubbly all night, full open top-shelf bar, catered appetizers by Acropolis Greek Taverna and Star Thai & Sushi & Desserts, midnight celebration and much more. Plus, you can save $10 with the following case sensitive promo code: wagner. 

  2. Sarasota New Year's Eve Pineapple Drop – Main Street, Downtown Sarasota, FL 34236
    Participate in one of the most time-honored New Year's traditions, the Sarasota New Year's Eve Pineapple Drop, with a special Florida twist. Enjoy a carnival atmosphere perfect for families, along with local food, drink, a full bar, live music, and a spectacular fireworks display to close out the evening. Many Sarasota homes for sale are right around the corner from the festivities.

  3. New Year's Eve at Selby Gardens – 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Enjoy an elegant, black-tie New Year's Eve experience with New Year's Eve at Selby Gardens, and ring in the new year in style. This event features a little bit of everything, with unique tropical light displays, a delicious four-course, sit-down dinner, and live entertainment throughout the evening. When the clock strikes midnight, you can cap off your evening with a fantastic view of the fireworks over Sarasota Bay.

  4. Salute to Vienna New Year's Concert – 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Head for the Salute to Vienna New Year's Concert for music, dance, and so much more. With a full symphony orchestra and tons of talented dancers, the Salute to Vienna has been a local New Year's Eve staple for more than 20 years. Make this Sarasota tradition a part of your celebrations! 

  5. New Year's Eve Docksider – 509 N. Tamiami Trail, Venice, FL 34285
    Searching for New Year's excitement and waterfront fun close to Venice homes for sale? Visit the New Year's Eve Docksider and celebrate your favorite holiday as only Florida knows how. Settle in for a relaxing, laid-back New Year's celebration on the docks, with fantastic food and live local music. 

  6. Decades Rewind – 1 Indian Ave., Venice, FL 34285
    Celebrate past decades as you ring in a new one at Decades Rewind, a music-filled New Year's Eve party that's sure to have you on the dance floor. The fun starts early in the afternoon, with music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. As the evening progresses and midnight draws closer, you'll enjoy music from the 80s and 90s. If you're looking for an all-day party to celebrate New Year's, this is the place to be.

  7. The Waterfront at Caddy's - 801 Riverside Dr. E, Bradenton, FL 34208
    Ring in the New Year on the waterfront at Caddy's with Irish bagpipers at 7 pm, DJ Pezz at 8 pm and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight! Pull up your boat and enjoy a one of a kind waterfront dining experience and an incredible view near Bradenton homes for sale.

  8. Roaring 2020 New Year's Eve Party – Grove, Main Street, Lakewood Ranch
    Welcome the year in style and dress in your best 20's attire when you attend the Roaring 2020 New Year's Eve Party at GROVE! The perfect place to celebrate the New Year close to Lakewood Ranch homes for sale. Enjoy hors d'oeuvre's, carving station and a premium open bar all included with the price of your ticket. The cost per person is $119.95 plus applicable tax and gratuity. 

Is finding a new home at the top of your New Year's resolution list this year? We can help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Manatee and Sarasota areas.


Manatee & Sarasota Bakeries for Your Holiday Pies

Sarasota Bakeries

Not in the mood for baking this holiday season? No problem! The Sarasota and Manatee areas are loaded with great, local bakeries, perfect for picking up pies for all of your big holiday events. There's a local bakery for every taste, with specialties ranging from legendary key lime pies to a huge selection of gluten-free baked goods. Our REALTORS® are here to help you ring in the season in style, with our guide to the best Manatee and Sarasota bakeries for your holiday seasonal treats.

  • Ginnie's and Jane E's – 9807 Gulf Dr., Anna Maria, FL 34216
    Searching for something sweet close to Anna Maria homes for sale? Stop by Ginnie's and Jane E's cafe to shop for holiday pies and so much more. The bakery at this local gem stocks a wide variety of pies, with vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options available. There's also a cafe and antique shop connected to the bakery.

  • Carribean Pie Co. – 2245 Bee Bridge Rd., Sarasota, FL 34239
    If you're looking for an authentic, amazing key lime pie close to Sarasota homes for sale, then the Carribean Pie Co. is more than worth a trip. Try the award-winning key lime pie or sample one of many other pies with tropical themes. With over 25 years of experience creating delicious treats, you can always expect quality desserts.

  • Island Gluten Free Bakery – 1880 Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota, FL 34231
    When Island Gluten Free Bakery got its start in 2006, it was one of just a handful of gluten-free bakeries in the country. Even though there's a lot more competition today, this bakery still ranks as one of the country's best. There are also extensive vegan options, all made fresh with local ingredients.

  • Yoder's Amish Village 3434 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota, FL 34239
    You can't go wrong with a pie from Yoder's Amish Village. This Sarasota staple has been serving up mouthwatering slices of pie since 1975. All of these Amish pies are completely made-from-scratch every morning. There are plenty of options to take home with you during the holidays, including cherry, pumpkin, southern pecan, double-crust apple, and more! 

  • Der Dutchman – 3713 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota, FL 34232
    Enjoy a homemade Amish pie during the holidays when you pick up pies from Der Dutchman. Conveniently located on Bahia Vista St, this Amish store is perfect for holiday desserts or even picking up last-minute gifts. Pie options include black raspberry, custard, pumpkin, and blueberry.   

  • Morton's Gourmet Market – 1924 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, Florida 34239
    Morton's Gourmet Market has upheld a tradition of tasty food for over 40 years. You'll impress at the holiday party when you bring a treat from Morton's Gourmet Market's talented pastry chefs. Some of their holiday dessert specialties for 2019 include pumpkin pie, old fashioned apple pie, and Jim Beam pecan pie. Be sure to place your holiday orders before December 20th. 

Still searching for the perfect local home where you can create your own holiday memories? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Manatee and Sarasota areas.


Holiday Event Guide Manatee and Sarasota Counties

Holiday Event Guide

We may have sand instead of snow, but Manatee and Sarasota Counties still transform into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. Our REALTORS® have put together this holiday event guide to make sure your family enjoys a season filled with cheer!

  • Sarasota Christmas Glow Run 5K — Nathan Benderson Park 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota, FL 4235 | Dec 07
    Get a running start on the holiday season with the Sarasota Christmas Glow Run 5K. The entire Christmas-themed lakeside course is open for runners and walkers so anyone can cheerfully attend. There will be snacks, refreshments, awards, and even a finish line with a forecast for a 100 percent chance of snowfall! Don't worry, the nearby Lakewood Ranch homes for sale you visit are only covered in sunshine.
  • The 12 Dolls of Christmas — Stone Hall 502 Third Ave W., Bradenton, FL 34205 | Dec 9 & 10
    Grab the kids and settle in for a new Christmas show. The 12 Dolls of Christmas holiday musical tells the story of a family Christmas pageant where twelve dancing dolls magically come to life. A fun show for kids of all ages, stop by Stone Hall after you walk a couple of Bradenton homes for sale.
  • An Old Florida Christmas — Manatee Village Historical Park 1404 Manatee Ave E., Bradenton, FL 34208 | Dec 15
    An Old School Florida Christmas celebrates old-fashioned holiday traditions by bringing the community together for music, food, crafts, and more. Stop by and pick up a few gifts from the many local heritage craft vendors. If you're hoping to unwrap a new place to live this year, we recommend you take a few hours to visit some Palmetto homes for sale just across the river.
  • A Night Before Christmas — GT Bray Park 5502 33rd Ave Dr. W., Bradenton, FL 34209 | Dec 14
    Santa will make a quick stop at GT Bray Park to make sure every little boy and girl updates him on their Christmas list. Bring your children down to the A Night Before Christmas event, which will feature hayrides, face painting, and even snow! Just a short drive from Anna Maria Island homes for sale
  • A Taste of Chanukah – Music and Food Festival – Philippi Estate Park 5500 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231- December 22nd 3:00PM - 6:00PM
    Enjoy 3 hours of fun for the whole family with Kosher food and live entertainment near Sarasota homes for sale. A Taste of Chanukah includes many of the area's best Kosher caterers, a graffiti wall and photo booth, a laser light show, face painting, magicians and live music with DJ CJ Koenig. Plus, the whole family will love the Skyriders Trampoline Show. Don't miss out on this fun event!  
  • Harmony for the Holidays — Historic Asolo Theatre 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, FL 34234 | Dec 21 &22
    One great aspect of the holiday season is that the airwaves are almost always filled with beautiful Christmas music. If you can't get enough of these yuletide tunes, buy a ticket for Harmony for the Holidays at the Historic Asolo Theatre. The Duchess Vocal Trio give their creative take on Christmas songs new and old. End a day browsing Sarasota homes for sale, with this concert.
  • A Christmas Carol — Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall 777 N. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, FL 34236 | Dec 28 
    Enjoy the magic of the holidays with the whole family when you attend Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker. This stunning show will be in town on December 28th and is a holiday tradition featuring a timeless score. While you're in town, check out the Lido Key homes for sale
  • It's a Wonderful Life a New Musical - Manatee Performing Arts Center 502 Third Avenue West, Bradenton FL 34205 | December 5-22
    See the 1946 film come to life on the stage when you get tickets for It's a Wonderful Life A New Musical. The show runs from December 5-22, giving you plenty of time to get the family together for a trip to the theater. Plus, you can enjoy looking at Bradenton homes for sale prior to the show. 
  • Sledding with Santa (Lakewood Ranch) - Lakewood Ranch YMCA 5100 Lakewood Ranch Blvd 
    Bradenton, FL 34211 | December 6

    A free event the whole family will love close to Lakewood Ranch homes for sale. Sledding with Santa is the perfect event to kick off the holiday season and will have real snow! Gather the whole family for a fun day of sledding and holiday treats. 
  • Chanukah Celebration - Lakewood Ranch Main Street 8100 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 - December 22nd - 5:00PM - 8:00PM
    Join Chabad of Bradenton & Lakewood Ranch for its Annual Chanukah Celebration on Main Street right around the corner from Lakewood Ranch homes for sale. This festival features a Grand Lego Menorah & Chanukah Gelt Drop! Enjoy Falafel With Yoav, Kosher BBQ, Kona Ice Truck, Jeff the Juggler, Face Painting, Doughnut Decorating, Hot Latkes Music, Dreidel Moonbounce and More! Admission is free. Nominal food fees to apply.

For more help finding the perfect Sarasota or Manatee County home to spend your next holiday, contact us!


Holiday Events in the Manatee-Sarasota Area

December is a delightful time of the year, and nothing makes the holiday season brighter than the vibrant holiday celebrations taking place throughout our region. Our REALTORS® encourage you to gather your family and explore our local holiday events.

  • Lights in Bloom — Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 909 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236 | Dec 14 – Jan. 4
    The Lights in Bloom Selby Experience is an event like no other! More than two million lights will transform the gardens into a winter wonderland. This 16th annual Sarasota tradition includes crafts and games for children as well as a visit from Santa. Schedule your Sarasota homes for sale tours early in the evening so you and your family can stroll through the magical gardens under this dazzling display!

  • Holiday Boat Parade — Caddy's Bradenton 801 Riverside Drive E., Bradenton, FL 34208 | Dec 14
    The 22nd Annual Manatee River Holiday Boat Parade is a very Floridian way to celebrate the winter holidays. This event will feature dozens of boats decked out in holiday decorations vying for prizes. Grab a seat along the river and watch as these Christmas ships cruise across the Manatee River in support of the Toys for Tots Program. This event takes place in the afternoon, so be sure to schedule Bradenton homes for sale visits early!

  • VABI Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration — Venice Arboretum at West Blalock Park 401 Pensacola Rd., Venice, FL 34285 | Dec 14
    The Venice Area Beautification Incorporated Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration returns for its 13th year. Come together with the community as dozens of trees are illuminated with colorful lights. Entertainment for adults and children will be provided, including a visit from Santa! Don't worry — we can help you pick out a few Venice homes for sale, so Santa knows what you want.

  • Holidays Around the Ranch — Lakewood Ranch Main Street 8100 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 | Dec 13
    Holidays Around the Ranch is a favorite annual gathering of the Lakewood Ranch community. This festive celebration has everything from eggnog and carolers to a tree-lighting ceremony, musical performances, and a grand entrance from Santa Claus! They've also got an outdoor snow slide for children that turns Main Street into a winter wonderland. If you're spending the weekend looking at Lakewood Ranch homes for sale, come into town early so you can enjoy this celebration.

  • Sarasota Holiday Parade — Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 Dec 7
    Welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus to Sarasota when you attend the annual Sarasota Holiday Parade. This event is always held on the first Saturday in December and is close to many Sarasota homes for sale. The parade will feature lighted floats, high school marching bands, and of course Santa. 

  • Holiday Tour of Lights — Regions Bank 4041 Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota, FL 34236 | Dec 6 – 31
    The Annual Holiday Tour of Lights is a must-visit event in the Sarasota area. Hop aboard the SRQ Trolley as it glides you around the best light displays in town. You are permitted to bring snacks and beverages onboard, but remember, the trolley takes off at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm sharp! Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to walk Sarasota homes for sale and get to the pickup spot!

Are you hoping to light up your own home in Sarasota or Manatee County this holiday season? Contact us today, and we'll help you with your search!


Labor Day Events Around Manatee & Sarasota Counties

Manatee & Sarasota County Labor Day Weekend Events
Scheduling your plans for Labor Day weekend along Florida's Gulf Coast? Our communities throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties are jam-packed with weekend activities and celebrations. Whether you're a long-time resident, newcomer, or visitor, our REALTORS® are here with favorite Labor Day events sure to pique the interest of every member of your family.

  1. Sarasota Architectural Salvage, 1093 Central Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Buying one of our Sarasota homes for sale is the perfect reason to go treasure hunting for unique décor at Sarasota Architectural Salvage during their Labor Day Sale.  Get great items for your new home and save money while you're attending their weekend sale. FREE beer and/or soda all weekend, Register for drawings and specials online.  This event will be taking place Labor Day Weekend. 

  2. Tampa Bay Labor Day Tournament — Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch, 5895 Post Blvd., Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211
    Take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend with an exciting soccer tournament. The 2019 Tampa Bay Labor Day Tournament will take place at Premier Sports Campus just around the corner from Lakewood Ranch homes for sale. One of the best in the state, this tournament brings teams from far and wide to compete in front of their families and friends in this fun annual event!

  3. 27th Annual Canes Cross Country Classic 5K & 1K — 2900 51st St. W., Bradenton, FL 34209
    Spend your Labor Day having fun in Manatee County's oldest running tradition. The 27th Annual Canes Cross Country Classic takes place just up the road from Bradenton homes for sale and challenges runners of all ages to get out and get active. There is a 1K family fun run/walk, as well as two 5Ks for under and above 18 aged runners. Come out and start your Labor Day with an exhilarating morning run!

  4. Labor Day Scramble — Lake Venice Golf Club, 1801 Harbor Dr. S., Venice, FL 34285
    Ready to get one last round of golf in before the summer ends? Head over to the Lake Venice Golf Club around the corner from Venice homes for sale and participate in their Labor Day Scramble. Beginning at 8:00 AM on Labor Day, a $25 entrance fee gets you 18 holes, a cart, food and more. Play against your friends and potentially walk away with some amazing prizes!  

  5. 63rd Annual Englewood Pioneer Days Parade & Festival — Dearborn Street Plaza, 300 W. Dearborn St., Englewood, FL 34223
    Every year, one of the longest and best Labor Day celebrations occurs right down the road from Englewood homes for sale. The 63rd Annual Englewood Pioneer Days Festival has activities from August 17th through Labor Day. On Labor Day itself, there will be a morning parade on Dearborn Street followed by a festival and car show at Pioneer Park that you don't want to miss!
  6. 2019 Summer of Rum Festival - Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, 1001 N Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33606
    Take a little road trip from Bradenton up to DowntownTampa this Labor Day weekend for The Summer of Rum Festival on Saturday, August 31, 2019, from noon to 11:00 P.M. Try out a variety of cocktails from Pina Coladas, rum runners, Cuba Libres, frozen daiquiris and more. The Caribbean Food Market will showcase a variety of local vendors. Try out 40+ rums during the Island Tasting Party, and the celebration ends with an amazing fireworks show.

Are you ready to buy a home in Sarasota or Manatee County before? Contact us today and our team will help you find the home of your dreams!


Where to Celebrate New Year's Eve Near Sarasota

Sarasota New Years Eve
New Year's Eve is right around the corner, and the Sarasota area is a great place to celebrate. Whether you prefer a family-friendly event or an epic street party, we've got you covered. Our real estate agents have gathered a list of the very best ways to ring in the New Year in and around the city of Sarasota.

Are you ready to plan an evening you'll never forget? Let's start exploring your options!

  1. Sarasota NYE Pineapple Drop: Downtown Sarasota, 1 South Lemon Ave., Sarasota
    If you love being in the middle of the action, you'll definitely want to check out the Sarasota NYE Pineapple Drop. This event attracts tens of thousands of revelers and is one of the largest New Year's Eve celebrations in the entire state. Enjoy food and live music starting at 1 pm and stay for the party all the way through until 1:30 am. We suggest you take the scenic route on the way there, so you can get a look at some of the great Sarasota homes for sale near the downtown area.

  2. Main Street Live!: Old Main St. 400 12th St. W., Bradenton
    The city of Bradenton is ringing in the New Year with a special edition of Main Street Live! This event features plenty of food trucks, merchants, and of course, live music. If you're over 21, you can also expand your entertainment options by visiting some of the nearby bars and pubs. It won't take you long to see why Bradenton is known as "The Friendly City." Before you know it, you might find yourself adding Bradenton homes for sale to your 2019 wish list.

  3. Winter Wonderland: 5151 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key
    If you've spent some time looking at Siesta Key homes for sale, you're probably familiar with the area's perfect blend of casual and class. The Beach Club's Winter Wonderland NYE Party is exactly that. Dance the night away with music by TL Jentgens, enjoy a premium open bar, hors-d'oeuvres and party favors, and a cash balloon drop at midnight.

  4. New Year's Eve at Selby Gardens: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Ave., Sarasota
    If a fancy New Year's Eve is more your style, you'll want to check out the black tie NYE event at Selby Gardens. This sophisticated evening features a private tour of Selby Gardens' tropical light display and a four-course meal. After dinner, you'll enjoy performances by Trainees from the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory and The Sarasota Ballet Studio Company. Finish the night off with a midnight champagne toast and an unparalleled view of the fireworks over Sarasota Bay.

  5. Sarasota New Year's Eve ILLUMINATION Party: The Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
    The ILLUMINATION Party at Sarasota's Municipal Auditorium offers attendees the chance to immerse themselves in a true red carpet experience. This all-inclusive party features valet, open bar, catered appetizers, and dessert stations. Dance the night away on the huge dance floor while listening to top-of-the-line live entertainment.
  6. New Year's Eve Fireworks: Marina Jack 2, Marina Plaza, Sarasota
    A favorite among local residents and visitors alike, the New Year's Eve Fireworks at Marina Jack is something you won't want to miss. Both the dining room and the Deep Six Lounge & Piano Bar are serving a four-course dinner, while the Blue Sunshine Patio offers more casual dining options. For a truly memorable experience, reserve your spot on the special four-hour dinner cruise with an elaborate buffet, dance floor, and midnight champagne toast. 

Wagner Realty - Your Sarasota Real Estate Pros

Do your 2019 goals include finding a new home in the Sarasota area? There are plenty of gorgeous homes for sale, and our real estate agents are happy to help you find the perfect one. Don't put your dreams on hold, contact Wagner Realty today to get started! 



5 Places in Sarasota to Volunteer This Holiday Season

Sarasota Holiday Volunteering

Our real estate agents know about all the things that make Sarasota such a great community to live in. And one of the best things is the people. Many people in our city like to volunteer during the holiday season, and Sarasota has no shortage of opportunities to help make our community a better place. The holidays often bring an increased need for community services and the groups that provide those services have an increased need for volunteers. So during this season of giving, consider giving some of your time to help one of the many organizations that make Sarasota a better place. Whatever your skill set, you can find meaningful work that supports the community. Not sure where to start? We have a few suggestions to help.

  1. The Salvation Army Sarasota, 1400 10th Street, Sarasota, Florida 34236
    The Salvation Army Sarasota has a wide variety of ways to volunteer. Successfully providing over 700 meals per day to those in need takes a lot of volunteers! There is always a need for food prep, service and clean up. Other programs provide shelter and life recovery services and those programs need volunteers to help with laundry, teaching, and mentoring. Additionally, volunteers answer the phone, drive the van, help at special events, and provide other essential tasks to help the Salvation Army serve those in need.

  2. Habitat for Humanity Sarasota, 1757 N. East Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34234
    Do you have a knack for building, repairs, or painting? You can help Habitat for Humanity Sarasota to build and provide critical repairs to homes. They provide the tools and training so even if you don't have experience, you can still help out. Opportunities are updated weekly, so there's plenty of work to go around.

  3. Humane Society Sarasota County, 2331 15th Street, Sarasota, FL 34237
    The Humane Society Sarasota County is the area's largest no-kill shelter and always needs plenty of animal lovers to help out. Volunteers can help with cleaning and laundry, dog and cat companionship and care, administrative support and help at special events. Of course, they are always in need of foster homes for animals as well.

  4. MOTE Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236
    If your love of animals is more for the swimming kind, volunteering at MOTE Marine Laboratory & Aquarium might be for you. MOTE is dedicated to research and education supporting conservation and sustainable use of the oceans. Cashiers, greeters, tour guides, and membership specialists are all volunteer opportunities that help educate the community on the importance of marine stewardship.

  5. Resurrection House Inc., 507 Kumquat Court, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Caring and compassionate people are needed to help Resurrection House Inc. provides day services for the homeless of Sarasota. Over 180 volunteers help people back to self-sufficiency with a faith-based program that provides necessities such as showers and laundry, medical treatment, and counseling services.

Making a real difference in someone's life this holiday season can be a rewarding experience that makes your community a better place. When shopping for a home, deciding where you want to live is an important part of the decision. Sarasota homes for sale offer everything you want in a home and a community. Contact Wagner Realty today and get started finding the right home for you.


There's No Place Like a New Home for the Holidays

New Home for the Holidays - Wagner Realty

So you have decided it's time for a new home, and are eagerly counting the days until spring to begin the search. But should you really wait that long to get started? While spring is one of the most popular times for buying a house, there are some advantages to making your purchase in the off-season, particularly around the holidays. So, perhaps it is time to talk to our real estate agents about finding your new home. After all, there's no place like a new home for the holidays.

Here are some advantages of making your home purchase over the holiday season:

  • Less Competition
    Off-season home shopping generally means less competition with other buyers, which means that there is a smaller chance of there being multiple offers on a home you're interested in purchasing. Fewer buyers to compete with can also translate to more room to negotiate with sellers, providing the potential to get a better price and better terms than you might if you were purchasing in the spring or summer. Finally, with fewer buyers shopping for homes, there will be less competition for the time of real estate agents, allowing yours to put a lot more time into helping you find your dream home than might be possible in the peak buying season.

  • Motivated Sellers
    People who put their homes on the market during the holiday season tend to be very motivated to sell. Often, they are selling at this time of year – rather than the peak season – because they need to. Perhaps they have a job in another state or need to move for family or financial reasons. Maybe their home has been on the market for a long time, and they want to make a sale before the end of the year. If you're buying a house from a seller that needs to sell quickly, the chances are good that you can get a better deal than might otherwise be possible.

  • Potential Price Advantages
    Research has shown that buying a house during the holidays can save you money. A study that looked at the best days to get a price discount on a new home found that seven of the ten best days were in December. The highest discounts were secured by people who bought homes on the 26th of December, having put in offers for those homes around Thanksgiving.

  • Quicker Closings
    Generally, everyone involved in a holiday-season home purchase wants to get the deal signed, sealed and delivered by the end of the year. Buyers and sellers want the moving wrapped up, given the hassles of relocating during the holidays. Lenders wish to wrap up loans posting them to the current year's book, and real estate agents want their commission recorded as income for the current year. What that means is that deals are made, and the closing process completed more quickly than would happen during the busy spring or summer seasons.

These are just a few of the potential advantages that can be gained by buying your new home during the holiday season. To hear more about how you can benefit from buying a home in the off-season, please contact Wagner Realty. We're always ready to help you make your best deal on a new home – no matter what time of year you choose to buy.


8 Great Holiday Gifts for the First-Time Home Buyer

Holiday Gifts for First-time Buyers

Decking the halls in your new home for the first time is a cause for celebration. If you've got a first-time home buyer on your holiday gift-giving list, you'll want to spend some extra time choosing the perfect item. Whether you decide to take the sentimental route or opt for something more practical, you'll want to give a memorable gift that they will love for years to come.

Our real estate agents spend plenty of time with first-time home buyers, so we have some insight into the things they need. Here are eight of the best ways for you to help your loved ones turn their new house into a home. 

  1. Smart Home Electronics
    Smart home technology is all the rage now, with good reason. Not only are smart upgrades cool and convenient, but they can also make your home safer and more energy efficient. Video doorbells, programmable thermostats, and smart lighting technology all make excellent holiday gifts.

  2. Kitchenware
    First-time homebuyers aren't likely to have full sets of matching dishes, a variety of wine glasses, nice knives, or quality pots and pans. Try to think back to the things you needed when you moved into your first home, and it's a good bet that the person you're shopping for needs the same things.

  3. Towels and Sheets
    Let's face it, towels and sheets are expensive, and they aren't much fun to buy. If you're going to take this route, make sure to choose quality items that will last for some time. Plush, absorbent towels and high-thread-count sheets are both excellent gift ideas. 

  4. Gizmos and Gadgets
    Want to give a fun gift that will get a lot of use? Consider a robot vacuum, one-cup coffee maker, or electric wine bottle opener. Essential appliances like a slow cooker, stand mixer, or a quality blender is also likely to become household staples.

  5. Practical Tools
    Most first-time homeowners don't know what tools they need until they're in a situation where they need them. You can be the hero by setting them up ahead of time with a versatile toolset, a good tape measure, or a quality flashlight (with batteries!) Don't be surprised if one day you hear a story about how your gift saved the day.

  6. Safety-Savvy Items
    Safety items like fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors, and security cameras all make excellent gift ideas. Some less expensive ideas include a first-aid kit, heating pad, and ice packs, or motion-sensing nightlights.

  7. Personalized Gifts
    Commemorate this special occasion with a personalized gift like a monogrammed doormat, custom holiday ornament, or upscale home décor. Taking the time to have an item specially-made shows how much you care and is sure to tug on the heartstrings of the recipients.

  8. Store Gift Cards
    Gift cards might not seem like the most thoughtful choice, but they're often a lifesaver for new homeowners. There will always be times when they need something right away, and the ability to get it without spending their hard-earned cash is a gift they'll appreciate. Choose cards from home improvement stores, big-box retailers, or even your local grocery store. 

Is a Sarasota Home on Your Holiday Wish List?

If a new home is on your holiday wish list, you're in luck. Now is the perfect time to start checking out some of the beautiful Sarasota homes for sale. Don't let the hustle and bustle of the holidays get in the way of making your dream a reality. Contact Wagner Realty today to learn how we can help.


Where to See Santa in Sarasota

Sarasota See Santa
Whether you're a kid or a kid at heart, Christmas wouldn't be the same without a glimpse of Jolly Old Saint Nick. Luckily, Santa loves soaking up the sun in Sarasota before he gets too busy preparing for his big night.

Our real estate agents have the inside scoop on his favorite spots to hang out while he's here, and we're ready to let you in on the secret. Here are six of the best places to see Santa in and around Sarasota. 

  1. The Mall at University Town Center: 140 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota
    The Mall at University Town Center isn't just a great place to do all of your holiday shopping; it's also one of the best places to see Santa. Bring the kids to the mall's Grand Court where they can visit with Santa and become official members of his flight crew. They'll get to try on an official flight suit, learn how to fly Santa's sleigh, and play under magical lights and snowflakes. Santa and his helpers will be at the mall starting on November 9th and running until Christmas Eve.

  2. St. Armands Circle: N. Blvd. of the Presidents, St. Armands
    Enjoy a memorable evening of family fun in beautiful St. Armands Circle during the Holiday Night of Lights. The event takes place on December 7th from 6 to 9 p.m. and features a parade, holiday carol sing-along, and lighting of a 55-foot tree. Children will love having their photos taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, while Mom and Dad take advantage of shopping discounts at the area's unique local shops.

  3. Sarasota Holiday Parade: Downtown Sarasota, 1718 Main Street, Sarasota
    The Sarasota Holiday Parade has been a favorite of locals and visitors for the past 22 years. It's now grown to be one of the largest and most popular holiday parades along the Suncoast. Taking place on December 1st from 7 to 9 p.m., this event is the perfect kickoff to the holiday season. Watch as thousands of participants light up downtown Sarasota with festive floats and holiday music. Make sure you stick around until the end, where you'll see Santa and Mrs. Claus closing out the parade.

  4. The 33rd Annual Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights: Marina Jack Restaurant, Bayfront Park, City Island and Centennial Park
    You don't have to spend much time on Sarasota Bay to see why it's home to some of the best Sarasota homes for sale. Whether you're lucky enough to live in one of these homes or you take a trip down to one of the nearby parks, you'll love the breathtaking waterfront views of the 33rd annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. The event is held on Saturday, December 8th at 6 p.m. Keep a close eye on the festively-decorated boats, and you just might see Santa and some of his elves.

  5. Holidays Around the Ranch: 8100 Lakewood Main Street, Lakewood Ranch
    Holidays Around the Ranch
    , held on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch, is popular among revelers of all ages. Join in on the fun on December 14th from 6 to 9 p.m. Sing along with carolers while you wait for Santa and Mrs. Claus to arrive in a decorated horse-drawn carriage. Enjoy a line-up of live performers and musical entertainment while sipping cocoa and eggnog. Your kids definitely won't want to miss sliding down the real outdoor snow slide, and everyone will love watching the spectacular tree lighting.

  6. Privateers, Inc. Christmas Parade: Bayfront Park, 316 N. Bay Blvd. Anna Maria
    The Anna Maria Privateers are spreading holiday joy again this year with their annual Christmas Parade and Santa's Open House. The parade starts at Bayfront Park and then travels south, winding through the three island cities. After the parade, children are welcome to come to the open house and receive a gift from Santa himself.

Let Us Help Your Holiday Wishes Come True

If your holiday wish this year involves buying or selling a home in Sarasota, we can help! Contact Wagner Realty today to discuss your real estate goals.


10 Tips for Selling Your Home Over the Holidays

Selling Your Home Holidays
The holidays are filled with fun and excitement, and home buyers are eager to add to that excitement by finding their favorite new home. With the help from one of our real estate agents and these tips, your home selling experience can be a great one.

  1. Start Your Marketing Efforts Before Thanksgiving
    If you need a buyer before the end of the year, there's a more limited time frame involved. Extend that timeframe by starting before Thanksgiving. That means more time to coordinate showings, and you can get the attention of buyers before they decide to take a break for the holidays.

  2. Price It Right
    With fewer buyers who are usually more serious, it's even more important to price it right the first time.

  3. You Still Need Curb Appeal
    With sparser foliage, buyers are more likely to notice the need for repairs. Make sure the paint is touched up, bricks are power washed, gutters are clean, and the yard is cleaned up before your home goes up for sale. Always pay attention to safety issues. And if your house looks beautiful when the landscaping is all green and in bloom, leave a strategically placed photo for buyers to see.
  4. Make Your Home Cozy and Inviting
    A comfortable temperature, a stylized dining room table, and a living room with comfortable looking furniture are all examples of ways your home can look welcoming to a buyer. If it looks inviting, they'll stay a little longer, and it can help them form the emotional connection and positive feelings they'll need to move from looking to buying.

  5. Use Holiday Décor, but Don't Overdo It
    It can make your home look festive and inviting and can help with curb appeal too. But keep it to a minimum. Visitors still need to move around the house so décor shouldn't be in the way or so overdone that it's a turnoff. Avoid anything specifically religious since not everyone celebrates the same holidays.

  6. Use a Video Tour to Attract Buyers
    With busy schedules and inclement weather, shopping plans can change. A video can help connect you with the right buyer under any circumstances. Your home will be the first one they come to when they do go back out.

  7. Be as Flexible as Possible With Showings
    With everyone's extra busy schedules, it's important to be available and flexible when it comes to showings. Good communication with your agent can really help here.

  8. Highlight Winter-Friendly Amenities
    A working fireplace, new roof, updated heating, or attached garage are all features that are greatly appreciated during the winter. If your home has any of these options, make sure to mention them. Also highlight the entertainment areas where future owners can imagine their own holiday gatherings.

  9. Pay Special Attention to Lighting
    With less available natural light and shorter daylight hours, there's a higher chance buyers may be touring your home under less than optimal conditions. Use the brightest light bulbs that are safe for your fixtures and add a lamp or other lighting where necessary.

  10. Keep the Weather-Related Mess to a Minimum
    Buyers expect a clean home, so don't let the weather make it difficult. Provide a place to hang coats, a couple of umbrellas for outdoors and shoe covers or a doormat to help keep the carpet clean.

Selling your home during the holidays isn't impossible and having the right real estate agent can really make the process easier. Contact Wagner Realty today and let us help get your home sold!

Contact Wagner Realty


5 Spots in Sarasota to Ring in the New Year

Sarasota New Years Eve Spots2018 is almost here, and our REALTORS® in Sarasota know just how to celebrate. If you're still free on New Year's Eve, it's time to make plans for an unforgettable evening. 

Here are five of our favorite ways to ring in 2018 right here in Sarasota: 

  1. NYE Party at the Municipal Auditorium
    One of the biggest and most popular parties in Sarasota, this all-inclusive bash benefits charity and features top-shelf liquor, bottomless champagne, live music, appetizers, valet parking, and other VIP perks. We're actually sponsoring this year's event, which will fill out the historic Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. Get your tickets now to take advantage of early prices for the "Best NYE Party in SRQ".

  2. Pineapple Drop & Fair on Main Street
    Downtown Sarasota gets tropical every year for a unique NYE tradition: the Pineapple Drop. But before you look up at midnight to watch the illuminated fruit on Lemon and Main, you can spend all day with the family at a big outdoor New Year's Eve Party. Carnival rides, games, three stages of live entertainment, dozens of local food and drink vendors, and more will fill Main Street from 2 pm onward. Grab the kids for an all-day celebration, or come after dark to drink and dance the night away with your favorite adults.

  3. Fireworks Show at Marina Jack
    This year, Marina Jack and the City of Sarasota will work together to produce a midnight fireworks show over the marina and bay. Grab a seat at one of two four-course dinners at the restaurant (which overlooks the water), or spend midnight on the water itself, with a four-hour dinner cruise that boards at 8 pm. The celebratory cruise will include a delicious buffet, champagne toast, and live music. No matter how you spend the evening, the fireworks show is sure to dazzle.

  4. Speakeasy at the Powel Crosley Estate
    Want to ring in 2018 like it's still 1928? Come to the famous Powel Crosley Estate for a New Year's Gala and After Party that will be roaring all night long – or at least until 1 AM. The waterfront mansion will transform into a speakeasy-style party venue, complete with card games, live jazz, dancing under the stars, and a classic and delicious meal straight out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Get glamorous and channel your inner flapper for an unforgettable New Year's Eve.

  5. Glamour at the Selby Gardens
    If you're looking for something formal and fancy, why not spend the evening among the flowers? Our friends at the gorgeous Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are hosting a black-tie New Year's Eve "experience" among their tropical plants and festive holiday lights. The evening will include hors d'oeuvres, a four-course dinner, and live music and dancing. Of course, it all ends with a champagne toast at midnight and a fantastic view of the fireworks over Sarasota Bay.

After you experience our night life, don't forget to check out all our beautiful Sarasota homes for sale. Our agents are always ready to help you find the listing of your dreams. Contact Wagner Realty today to get started on your search for a new home in the new year.

Contact Wagner Realty


Holidays on Main at Lakewood Ranch

Lakewood Ranch Holidays
Our team of Lakewood Ranch REALTORS® loves a good Christmas party as much as anyone, and we wanted to give you a heads up on some of the fun holiday happenings around Lakewood Ranch this season! You can expect a packed schedule of events on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch this month, including some that you definitely don't want to miss. So gather up your holiday cheer, and join us for Christmas on Main!

  • Thursday, December 7, 14 & 21 - Carriage Rides, Strolling Carolers, Santa Stroll
    Every Thursday until Christmas, carolers will be out on the streets spreading holiday cheer from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. You can also take a carriage ride as you listen to the carolers sing, and keep an eye out for Santa as he strolls the streets during this free weekly event.

  • Friday, December 8 - Holidays At the Ranch
    This annual holiday street festival is one of our favorite Christmas events. From 6 pm to 9 pm, you can enjoy a spectacular Christmas lights display, join in with singing carolers, and watch Santa make a grand entrance in a horse-drawn carriage. There will also be children's activities, rides, and crafts, as well as plenty of holiday-themed refreshments.

  • Saturday, December 9 - Lunch with Santa at MacAllisters
    Join Santa for lunch at MacAllisters Grill & Tavern between 12 pm and 3 pm for great food and a chance to have some fun with Santa Claus himself. Call ahead to reserve a spot.

  • Saturday, December 16 - Breakfast with Santa at Polo Grill & Bar
    In case you missed your chance to dine with old Saint Nick at MacAllisters, he'll also be sitting down for breakfast at Polo Bar & Grill from 8:30 am to 10:30 am on Saturday, December 16. Reservations are available by phone, and don't forget to bring your Christmas list!

  • Sunday, December 17 - Lunch with Santa at Main Street Trattoria
    Last chance! Sit down with Santa for lunch at Main Street Trattoria from 1 pm to 3 pm on December 17. We assume he'll be too busy making toys from then until Christmas, so be sure to make a reservation and take the opportunity to meet him while you can!

  • Friday, December 22 - Jingle Run 5K
    One of the largest chip-timed 5K run/walks in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, the annual Jingle Run 5k is a great way to get your blood pumping and the holiday spirit flowing. Just tie some jingle bells to your shoes (they will be provided) and you're off! There will be holiday music along the way, and a post-race party at the end of the line.

  • Saturday, December 23 - Christmas Celebration
    The Christmas on Main festivities culminate with the December 23 Christmas Celebration, which includes food, fun, games, rides, and music. Join Grace Community Church for this special Christmas Celebration from 6 pm to 8:30 pm.

No matter the season, there's always something going on at Lakewood Ranch! Contact Wagner Realty today to learn more about life in this vibrant community. Our team is committed to helping you find the perfect Lakewood Ranch homes.

Contact Wagner Realty



5 Reasons Why The Holidays are a Great Time to Sell Your Home! |

Sell Your Home Holidays
The holidays are not only a time of good cheer but a great time to sell your home too. If you're planning to relocate, putting your home on the market during the holidays can be less of a hassle and more lucrative than you think.

  1. Less Competition
    Many homeowners don't want the hassle of selling their home at the holidays; consequently, there are fewer homes on the market. If you decide to sell your property during the holidays, you'll have less competition. Fewer homes for sale overall means more buyers touring your home.

    Another plus is being able to sell your home for asking price. When there's less of a selection, buyers will be more willing to buy at the price you've set because of the shortage of comparable homes on the market during the holidays.

  2. Motivated Buyers
    Buyers who take time out of their schedule to go house hunting are usually serious about buying a new home. Maybe they've been looking for months and just haven't found that perfect home yet. They may be relocating to start a new job or want to buy before year-end for tax reasons. Keep your home in showing-ready shape and be flexible about when people can come take a look. Negotiations might not take long because many people who want or need to move right away are willing to pay a premium to get the buying and moving process out of the way quickly.

  3. Your Home Is Decked Out
    The lights, sights and sounds of the holiday season often tug on people's heartstrings. Take advantage of this by making your home cheerful, warm and cozy during showings. Clear the clutter and hang tasteful decorations that enhance your home's best features. That way, home buyers will be able to picture themselves celebrating in your home next year. While decorations are nice during the season, in January they're just depressing. Make sure to remove decorations as soon as the holidays are over.

  4. Buyers Have Time Off
    You may think that people are too busy to look for a home during the holidays, but many buyers have more time to search because they have holiday and vacation days off from work. Also, if they're looking for a home as a family, children and college students typically have a break from school for a few weeks in December.

  5. The New Year = Time Of Chang
    Many businesses in the United States hire people at the start of a new year. Typically, people who are relocating due to a new job want to find a home and close on it quickly. While this may cause you some stress, it is usually worth it in the end. Motivated sellers who need to find something fast are also more open to paying a higher price.

This could be the right time to sell your home. CONTACT US to learn more about selling your home.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 02/07/2023. The listing information on this page last changed on 02/07/2023. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Stellar MLS (last updated Tue 02/07/2023 12:03:18 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Wagner Realty may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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