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Sand Castles

The “ideal ranch island home”

Renovated home features ample outdoor living space on an over-sized lot

By Roger Drouin

On Sandy Nook Street, an extensively-updated ranch home sits on a half-acre lot – one of only six such over-sized lots in the Sara Sands subdivision.

The canal-front home, built in 1973, has been renovated both inside and outside. The interior was upgraded with features such as white wood floors, an upgraded kitchen, new, and expansive glass sliders and windows. Outside the home, an 800-plus-square-foot screened lanai overlooks the pool and canal-front Tiki hut. The ranch home is situated amid palms and lush landscaping.

“It’s very private,” says Joe Ferraro, who has owned the home for 18 years.

The home was listed on the market last month for $1,199,000.

Realtor Bob Ruiz, of Key Solutions Real Estate, who is the listing agent, calls it an “ideal island ranch home.”

For Ferraro, who updated the 2,101-square-foot home in phases, it is time to downsize. But the home has provided many years of enjoyment, including a fun space for his children and grandchildren.

The Sara Sands neighborhood is just a mile to Siesta Village and a short walk to the prestigious Out of Door Academy. Conveniently located, the neighborhood is easily accessible by both Siesta bridges, making for quick access off and onto the island. There are only six approximately half-acre lots in the subdivision, and all of the over-sized lots are located at the end of canals, according to Ferraro.

The neighborhood includes many newer homes that were recently constructed.

After purchasing the home, Ferraro considering tearing it down to build a new home on the lot. But Ferraro opted to upgrade the canal-front home — instead of demolishing and building a new one. Because he decided to upgrade the existing home, it is situated on one level, at ground level. Adding on to the square footage, the original lanai and garage were both enclosed, and a much larger lanai was added, as well as a new garage. The enclosed spaces were constructed using tall windows and sliding doors — giving the home an even brighter and more open feel.

During the expansion construction, the home’s original garage became the dining room/family room. That made more sense, Ferraro says, because the old garage looked out on the canal, whereas the newer dining room now has the canal view. The original lanai became a den/Florida room. Much of the home now looks out on the pool and outdoor area, and the canal just beyond.

One of the most interesting upgrades is the white hardwood floors. Ferraro says some people questioned the choice, but the floors came out stunning. “It is unique, and that is why I wanted it,” Ferraro says of the white wood floors.

“Pretty much everything [in the home] was redone,” Ferraro told Siesta Sand.

The lanai is huge and comes furnished with top-of-the-line furnishings, as does the entire home, Ruiz says. “Six ceiling fans, combined with the openness on three sides, ensures the space is comfortably cooled and aired,” Ruiz says of the lanai. The screened lanai also has a gas fire place and 75-inch television. It can seat 25 plus people.

The home is full of unique feature: “the lovely pool; a tiki hut; docks with lifts for both boat and jet skis; and a fire pit with additional seating complete the incredible outdoor living space,” says Ruiz.

The home is perfect for a family, Ferraro says. And someone who doesn’t mind maintaining a larger, landscaped property, or hiring a contractor to do so.

The home is centered amid and looking out on an abundant outdoor-living space.

“This home is conveniently all on one level — no stairs,” says Ruiz, the listing agent for the home. “The floorplan makes for easy living with the family/dining area connected and just off the kitchen.”  The kitchen has a separate eat-in nook filled with windows and a pass-through to the den/Florida room with a wall of glass overlooking the pool and canal. At the back of the home, the master suite enjoys views of the pool, as well. “This home is all about outdoor living,” adds Ruiz.

The expansive corner lot also includes parking for six cars with an additional large gated pad for an RV or boat/trailer.

The Sara Sands community includes Sandy Beach Avenue, Sandy Nook Street, Sandy Shore Avenue, Sandy Cove Avenue, Higel Avenue, Windward Avenue and Windward Place.  Built on four fingers of land, each on canals, every home backs up to water and has or has the capacity for a boat dock.

Three homes sold in the Sara Sands neighborhood over the past year.

  • The sales include a 2,624 square-foot home that was built in 1996. The home sits on a one-third acre lot. It sold for $1,050,000 in April, 2018. The home has a heated pool and hot tub. According to the listing on MLS, “it is a bright split floor plan with open kitchen and living areas, glass sliders in the master, living, dining and family room beckoning the indoor/outdoor Florida experience.” The home has 12-foot ceilings, three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, plus an office on one living level. The home came with a security system and irrigation, as well. The sale came out to $400 a square foot.
  • A Mid Century art deco-style home built in 1961 sold for $747,000 in December, 2017. That home, at 2,318 square feet, sold for $322 a square foot. This home on Windward Avenue also sits on one-third acre. The waterfront home was restored and updated by Ampersand Design Renovation. The 600 square foot master bedroom with a large en-suite features a walk in closet with sitting area and a sliding door overlooking the canal and private boat dock. The main room features a wall of oversized, stack sliding doors that open to the screened lanai overlooking the beautiful private wooded lot and canal. The home also features a circular drive, high ceilings, and cement and butcher-block counters in the kitchen.
  • Five homes are listed for sale, including the home on Sandy Nook Street. The other current listings include: a $2,119,783 for a 3,439 square foot home built in 2018.

A 1,356 square foot home, built in 1967, is listed for $1,074,900. This home was updated throughout and features a high-end kitchen, bonus room with separate entrance, and a screened-in pool.