Sarasota started out as a cattle town and there are many small ranches out east that carry on this tradition. Some are located in communities such as Gator Greek and Saddle Creek; others go it alone. These days, life in the country is considered an option just as appealing as the beach or on the golf course — you get five-plus acres of land, an upscale atmosphere and more space, both outdoors and indoors, than most of us can possibly imagine. Suddenly a whole new array of interests and obsessions are possible. You can keep horses, raise livestock, grow your own food, park your RV’s, trucks, and ATV’s and feel a connection to nature that can be hard to find these days. Here, more than anywhere, you are buying a lifestyle. Let’s take a look at three properties currently for sale east of I-75.
1. For the serious rancher ...
9800 Cameo Farm Lane
If you know your way around a ranch, here’s a 30-acre working horse-and-cattle ranch off of Fruitville Road, just 4 miles past the interstate. It includes a charming old-Florida home, which needs a little updating — four bedrooms, two fireplaces, a swimming pool — plus a barn with 12 stalls and a tack room, and a storage building with an attached apartment for a field hand. The property includes hardwood hammocks and land for grazing. It is currently being used for raising cattle and as an equestrian-training facility. Sub-dividing the ranch is possible, or keep it as a unique homestead with total privacy, yet, it’s just minutes from shopping and restaurants.
Priced at $1.25 million. For more information call Ken Hoskinson of Hembree and Associates at 951-1776.
2. For the gentleman rancher ...
7152 Saddle Creek Circle
If you’re looking for a ranch feel without all the work, here’s a large three-bedroom, three-bath home on just more than 5 acres, in the community of Saddle Creek. Most of your neighbors keep horses but the fact that you don’t have a barn lets you off the hook. Instead, you’ll enjoy a beautifully-treed piece of property that’s both gated and fenced. The home has recently been updated with a new kitchen, beautiful new floors and plantation shutters. Outside, there’s a pool and patio, complete with wood-burning pizza oven, plus a large pond. There’s also a separate two-bedroom, two-bath guest house. Saddle Creek is one of the older communities out east, with 26 miles of horse trails and a prestigious reputation.
Priced at $839,000. For more information call Brian Wood of Premier Sotheby’s at 928-8408.
3. For the budget-minded rancher ...
5261 Vanderipe Road
Myakka Valley Ranches is a good place to look if you want country living on a budget. Just as pretty as its neighbor, Saddle Creek, and a little more “real,” it has some great deals at the moment. Here’s a good-looking, well-built home on 5 acres of land, part pasture and part woods. The house is nice — three bedrooms, two baths, but the real attraction is the gorgeous piece of property that includes a pond which attracts deer and other wildlife. There’s a barn with stalls for three horses. Myakka Valley Ranches is the largest of the ranching communities, containing 285 homes. It’s particularly good for young families who want to bring up their children around animals and outdoor activities.
Priced at $330,000. For more information call Paul Wolbers of Coldwell Banker at 350-4527.