'Tis the season for spreading some cheer and here in Lakewood Ranch, this is as much a priority this year as it ever has been (in the safest ways possible!)
Main Street's halls have been decked, the tree looks beautiful, and the elves are hiding! (I’ll explain, below)
Today, we share some fun activities happening in and around Lakewood Ranch this holiday season so you can get a taste of what life on the Ranch is all about!
1. Spot the Elves on Main Street!
Nineteen mischievous elves are hiding throughout Main Street. Can you find them all? Find at least ten elves to enter the contest for a chance to win $500 in Main Street gift cards.
The contest ends on January 1, 2021. Winners will be announced on January 8, 2021.
2. Carriage Rides on Main Street
Take a relaxing carriage ride down Main Street and celebrate the Christmas season with us! Free to the public. Pickup and drop off is at the Christmas Tree.
Thursday, December 3rd – 6:30-8:30
Wednesday , December 9th -6:30-8:30
Thursday, December 17th – 6:30-8:30
Rides will be limited to two adults or one family at a time. Seats and carriage will be disinfected after each ride. Social distance will be in effect while waiting.
3. Virtual Lakewood Ranch Holiday Art Project
Create a fun craft with Kori! Saturday December 19th at 3PM (online)
4. Hunsader Farms Country Christmas
Visit the farm for Country Christmas this year! They will have over 300,000 lights, hayrides, train rides, pony rides, food, Christmas music, petting zoo, snow tubing, and more!
12/11/20, 12/12/20, 12/13/20, 12/18/20, 12/19/20, 12/20/20
5. UTC Holiday Festival of Lights
This year’s reimagined holiday experience – UTC Holiday Festival of Lights – is aimed at inspiring awe and wonder in the hearts of friends, families and communities through millions of lights over 44 nights.
Take in the sights and sounds of the season with fresh-air festivities including:
Light shows choregraphed to music
Nightly | 6:30-9:30 PM, every 30 minutes | Viewing areas around Cattlemen Drive
Holiday movies under the stars
Fridays & Saturdays | 7 PM | West District, parking area across from DSW
Saturdays | 9 PM
Horse-drawn carriage rides* ($5 per passenger)
Thursdays-Saturdays, 6-10 PM | Sundays 6-8:30 PM | Pick up/drop off at Mall at UTC valet area
* Rides provided on first-come, first-served basis
Outdoor holiday market
Nov. 21-22 & Dec. 5-6 | 11 AM - 7 PM Saturday and 11 AM - 6 PM Sunday | Mall at UTC, parking area adjacent to Brio Tuscan Grille
Ugly Sweater Alley
West District, between BurgerFi and Ethan Allen
Giant holiday greeting card displays, decorated by local schools
Plus so much more magical, memorable experiences!
Help us spread cheer, not germs!
6. Rye Road Giraffes Christmas Celebration and Circus
The Christmas Carol Circus, featuring their caroling ringmaster that will be singing some of our favorite Christmas songs live, will be performing on scheduled Saturdays and Sundays throughout December.🎉🎄🎅
There will also be optional children's activities happening before the show, such as Pony rides, camels rides, face painting, bounce houses, and of course animal feedings that will be available for all ages.
The farm will be decorated for the holidays, so don't forget your camera 📸
Choose one of the following🎟️
Saturday Dec 5th at 11am or 3pm
Sunday Dec 6th at 11am or 3pm
Adult tickets - $15
Childrens tickets - $5 (ages 4 - 10)
(a non refundable deposit may apply)
7. St. Armand’s Circle Holiday Night of Lights
Friday December 4 at 6:00PM
Kick off the season on the circle as they light the largest tree on the Gulf coast!
8. Sarasota Christmas Glow Run 5K
Saturday December 19 at 6PM
This family friendly event at Nathan Benderson Park features Christmas lights and music to get you in the spirit (and make you run faster!)
9. Holiday Splendor Drive-Thru Experience: The Ringling will hold a drive-thru version of its Holiday Splendor event, with holiday decorations and a toy drive. Cars can drive through Central Campus Gate, complete the loop around the Museum of Art, and exit via the South Gate. Guests who donate unwrapped new toys will receive a coupon for $5 off their next museum visit, with free cocoa and cookies served by Metz Catering.
6-8 p.m. Dec. 3
10. Sarasota Trolley’s Holiday Tour of Lights
See homes decorated for the holidays from the comfort of the Sarasota Trolley with tours departing nightly at 6:15 and 8:15 p.m. Dec. 4-30.
Guests are welcome to bring along a beverage and a snack. The trolley departs from the parking lot at Burlington Coat Factory at the corner of Cattlemen and Bee Ridge roads. Tickets are $15 per person.
Reservations and masks are required and trolleys are sanitized between each tour.
11. A Taste of Chanukah:
The 10th annual event will feature a snow slide, BMX performers, kosher food by Michael’s on East, a helicopter Chanukah gelt drop, Latkes by Sam, Kona Ice and more.
4-6 p.m. Dec. 13; Phillippi Estate Park
....and more! 🎄☃️🎁☕️🎅🏼💫✨
We live in Lakewood Ranch and love sharing local events and news with you because we truly do love it here!
If you’re considering a move, let us help you find the perfect spot. Contact us today! Give yourself the gift of a new home and Florida lifestyle for the holidays! 😎🌴
Michael & Courtney Chenkus
Charles Rutenberg Realty | Lakewood Ranch
There are many do's and don'ts when it comes to real estate. Buying new construction may be something you have never experienced before, and there are a few ways to make the process easier. One of those things, is working with us! 😉 There are also a few things you want to avoid, not do, and not be fooled by throughout this process. Today, we share 5 of the things you want to not do when buying or building new. If you have any questions on this information, we are always here to help!
1- don’t sign anything or fill anything out
When you visit model home sales centers, there is usually a form that the salespeople want you to fill out in order to register. This form captures your personal contact information and might ask some general questions about your home search. Don’t feel pressured to fill it out!
If you have a realtor with you and they explain the form so you feel comfortable completing it, then go ahead. If you are on your own and just beginning your search, say you’d prefer not to fill anything out just yet. Sometimes, if the forms are completed on your first visit and you didn’t bring a realtor with you, it makes it difficult to get them involved in the transaction later on. Also, the salespeople may send you emails and text messages about the community and the information can get overwhelming. Let your agent do the research and weed through all that info for you!
2 - don’t share any personal info or opinions
When looking at the models (or any home) don’t share your personal information or opinions in front of the salespeople. You want to put yourself in the best position to negotiate and revealing all the details about your financial situation, timing, and thoughts about the house could weaken that position. Definitely share that information with your realtor privately, but don’t have those candid conversations until you are alone. Let the salespeople wonder what you think about the house!
3 - don’t expect the traditional real estate contract
If you have bought or sold real estate in a traditional resale transaction, there was probably a common state-wide or commonly used contract that all realtors were familiar with for those residential transactions. However, when you go the new construction route, each builder has their own unique contract that they utilize. Your realtor should be able to review this with you and point out the important details and differences at this phase in the transaction. It may be much longer than a residential resale contract, so use them as a resource to make sure you understand it before signing!
4 - don’t be fooled by the “base price” & don’t expect your home to look like the model
We have mentioned it in previous videos but to recap, the price listed on builder websites and advertised on signs around the community is the “base price” of the home. If it were delivered empty with basic interior finishes and floating in the air, that would be the price.
If you want to actually build on planet earth, there are additional costs like the lot fee, interior options and upgrades, pools, etc. So that initial price is very misleading. Along those same lines, the detail and finishing in the model homes can be deceiving. Your home will be built with standard walls, basic ceilings, paint, floors, cabinets, and maybe appliances. Any fancy trim or detail, as well as nicer floors and finishes, are all upgrades that cost more money. Keep that in mind when considering a budget!
5 - Don’t discount the element of timing and how important it is
Real estate transactions follow a process and have many steps. From start to finish, timing is very important. That includes the timing of finding a community you love, building the house, selling your current house, making design choices, moving in, and everything in between. All of those steps are like dominoes and if one gets stuck or doesn’t fall in the right order, it de rails the entire process.
You want to start by talking to a lender and figuring out finances. Can you even buy a house? When can you sell your house within the process to make it work? Most builders won’t take a contingency on a sale, so that is a very important timing element.
Then, decide on the community and if you need to build or buy inventory. Building takes at least 6 months, sometimes up to a year with a custom builder. All of that timing needs to be considered!
All in all, the process of buying or building new can be confusing and overwhelming, so it helps to work with a great realtor who understands it, can help make it less stressful, and has your best interests at heart. This video shared some things to NOT do, but one of the most important things you CAN and should do is find a great agent to work with.
If you’re looking for a home in Lakewood Ranch, we would love to be that agent for you!