By Roger Drouin
Constructed with 18-inch concrete block and exposed panel and beam ceilings, the units are on the smaller side, but well-constructed and easily made light and bright with some paint and interior design, says Dawn Lacey, office manager since 1993.
The community has palm-lined common areas and walkways, and one of the largest private beachfronts on the Key, Lacey added, because it was built before developments started having smaller beachfronts. There are a total of 74 units, in two two-story beachfront buildings and four one-story buildings closer to Midnight Pass.
Casa Mar has a list of attributes that draw potential investors who rent out their units and seasonal residents alike, said Realtor Bob Ruiz, with Key Solutions Real Estate. Those amenities include a “great center of island location directly on Crescent Beach, a very short walk to the mid-Key village with restaurants and shops and a quick ride to Siesta Village.” Other amenities include: tennis, volleyball, four lighted shuffleboard courts, clubhouse, video library and Internet café, and two resort-like pools. “The clubhouse and other community amenities are an important feature for investors as well as owner/residents,” Ruiz told Siesta Sand. “Everyone seems to love the common areas — particularly the pools!”
Lacey notes that only several current owners are seasonal residents, and most other current owners are investors who rent their units out throughout the year. The one-week rental minimum policy, ideal mid-Key location, and the on-site rental program, make it a good choice for investors.
The community is popular among vacationing families and retirees, and many renters are return guests. “I would say 70 to 75 percent are return guests,” Lacey said. Most guests stay for longer than the one-week minimum stay.
Casa Mar has linen service and weekly maid service. The community is already booked up for winter 2018, and the rental office has been taking reservations for July and June in the upcoming year, as well. Lacey said units near the clubhouse rent well, along with units close to the water. Many guests request a certain unit when they are booking their stay, and renovated and light-and-bright units tend to be most popular.
Another plus for residents and guests is the convenient parking. “Parking is right behind [the] units, so people don’t have to walk with groceries or things,” Lacey said.
The community’s layout is conducive for a friendly, neighborly atmosphere. “With the way the courtyard and picnic areas are set up, it is very family friendly and there is space for guests to mingle,” Lacey said.
The community is popular for weddings, as well, because of the expansive beach.
There are currently two units for sale in Casa Mar.
• A 420-square foot studio is listed for sale for $285,000, or $679 a square foot. This charming and open concept studio has been completely renovated with designer upgrades, according to the MLS listing. Light tile throughout matches the white-painted wood ceiling.
• A larger two-bedroom, two bath Gulf-front unit is listed for $879,000. With 1,008 square feet, the listing works out to $872 a square foot. Beach chairs overlook the Gulf and the first-floor unit’s screen door leads directly out to the sand, according to information from the MLS listing. The unit is turnkey furnished and ready for use as a rental or for a getaway. It is listed by ReMax Tropical Sands.
There have been three recent sales in the community, ranging from $385,000 for an 840 square foot unit to $299,000 for a 600 square-foot unit. Both units are located in the one-story buildings east of the beachfront buildings.