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Arts and Entertainment Friday, Mar. 16, 2012 7 years ago

Real Estate Deal of the Week: Beneva Woods

by: Dana Westmark and Donald Geikie

A conversation with Donald Geikie and Dana Westmark, realtors with Michael Saunders & Company, Main Street office.

Once in a while you drive through a neighborhood and pass a home that is so out of place you slam on the brakes and do a quick about-face. That happened to us the other day just off Beneva Road in a sleepy neighborhood called Beneva Woods.

He says, "Most of the homes here look like they were built in the late '70s. Most have a California contemporary style---but not this one! ... it's a grand old Southern belle situated on two lots with long lake views."

She says, "I'm fascinated by its distinctive difference. Let's do a little digging into its pedigree."

We discovered this home was built in 1978 for Thomas Dawson, a Florida Representative with an obvious taste for the grandiose. The honorable Mr. Dawson hired renowned architect Tom Kincaid to construct this "grande dame" of Beneva Woods.

He says, "Get a load of this: After Mr. Dawson moved out, Sarasota's own Maxwell Cook took residence with more Cadillacs than Mitt Romney’s wife! I guess it helps when you own the dealership. This home rates when it comes to Sarasota history."

An ivy-covered wall with a wrought iron gate opens onto an intimate brick courtyard. Three sets of French doors make up the entrance to the main living space---think "grand."

He says, "Can you believe this room alone has seven sets of French doors front to back? A wood-burning fireplace anchors one end of the room with very intricate floor to ceiling wood carvings. Beautiful craftsmanship."

She says, "If you're not into window-washing---hire someone!" The family room and master also have multiple sets of French doors.

Why we love it?

Apart from the gracious living/dining room, the main house has three bedrooms, two baths, a great family-sized kitchen and separate family room with highly polished wood floors. Perfect for those poised to leave the nest for college, a separate guest apartment behind the garage served as a “launch pad” for the home’s latest round of children. The home is surrounded by stately oak trees with Spanish moss billowing in the breeze---only reinforcing that Gone with the Wind feeling. So: there she stands, 3,300 square feet of quiet Southern charm waiting for Mr. & Mrs. Right.

He says, "Minus the staircase, Rhett and Scarlett would feel right at home."

Next time you are out for a drive, stop by 5453 Beneva Oaks Circle. It could be yours for $449,000.

The Real Estate Deal of the Week is brought to you by Donald Geikie and Dana C. Westmark, realtors with the fabulous Main Street associates of Michael Saunders & Company. Spark your own conversation with them by calling (941) 951-6660.

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