Waterside in Lakewood Ranch is a captivating master-planned community set against the backdrop of serene lakes and lush landscapes. Comprising a diverse mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums, Waterside caters to a wide range of residents seeking a modern and picturesque living experience. This vibrant community fosters a sense of inclusivity, attracting families, professionals, and retirees to its tranquil surroundings. Residents can indulge in outdoor activities with numerous parks, walking trails, and waterfront areas, embracing the natural beauty that defines Waterside.  The focal point of the Waterside neighborhood is Waterside Place; the community’s town center is home to premier shopping and dining, and an endless number of multigenerational events including Ranch Night and the Sunday farmer’s market.  

Introducing the latest addition to Waterside, the “Wild Blue at Waterside” community by Stock Development. With 505 home sites curated by six distinguished and award-winning builders, Wild Blue presents a diverse selection of homes spanning from 2,400 to 4,575 square feet. These home sites encompass a variety of living experiences, including waterfront residences, scenic preserve views, and everything in between. Wild Blue offers a range of housing options, providing residents with the opportunity to choose a home that perfectly suits their preferences and lifestyle. Community amenities include: 

🏠 Florida Homeowners Alert! 🌴🏡

Hey there, Florida homeowners! 🌞 Did you know that August is when Florida TRIM (Truth in Millage) notices are being sent out? 📬 This is a heads-up about your property’s assessed value and potential property taxes for the upcoming year.

But wait, there’s some exciting news for those of you who purchased your homes without putting 20% down and are still carrying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)! 🏡💰

If your home’s value has increased since you purchased it and you now have more equity built up, you might be eligible for a new appraisal on your home. 📈✨ This new appraisal could show that your home’s equity has grown enough to drop your monthly PMI payment. That means more money in your pocket every month! 💸🎉

So, keep an eye on your TRIM notice this August and consider exploring the possibility of a new appraisal if you’re in this situation. It’s a great opportunity to potentially save on your monthly expenses and make the most of your investment.

Remember, every homeowner’s situation is unique, so reaching out to a qualified real estate professional or mortgage advisor can help you navigate the process smoothly. 📋🏦

Here’s to more equity and less PMI! 🎊 #FloridaHomeowners #TRIMNotices #EquityMatters #PMISavings #HomeSweetHome


Are we surprised though? Like really? As a lifetime resident of Sarasota – born and raised in this gorgeous place, it’s thrilling to me that our little secret has finally gotten out! In the past year alone, our beautiful city has received world wide recognition by multiple media networks. We’ve received accolades from “Best Beaches” (2 years in a row), Number 1 Place to Retire, Best Selling Multi Generational Community (in Lakewood Ranch) – – just to name a few!

I’m always curious when I start working with a new buyer – particularly someone who is moving here for the first time, what initially drew them in? Was it the sugary white beaches, the cultural atmosphere provided by The Ringling Museum, the high end shopping of St. Armands, A Rated school systems or one of the countless rated fine dining restaurants that our city is lined with?

The list could go on and on and for me it’s definitely not just one of the aforementioned reasons that we chose to raise our family here – it’s an accumulation of all of them!

Award winning Sarasota builder, Medallion Homes, is well known for their well thought out floor plans and for centralizing the family unit in a comfortable, elevated living space. Unlike most home builders, they offer a bit more flexibility when it comes to personalizing their floor plans. It’s no wonder one of their newest developments, Hampton Lakes, went from 63 home sites to less than 5 in record time.

Hampton Lakes is a gated community off of Fruitville road that is minutes from Lakewood Ranch, Waterside and downtown Sarasota. Each lot boasts between 3 – 8 acres for the home owner looking to stretch their legs a bit more between neighbors.

3 model homes available for tour and 8 thoughtfully crafted floor plans for the discerning buyer.

Lot prices begin in the mid $100,000’s up to the mid $200,000’s and floor plans begin in the mid $600,000’s. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Additional standard features include: Floor plans from 2395 sq.ft – 4154 sq.ft.,  3+ Acre Home Sites, Impact Glass Windows and Sliders, 3-Car Garage Standard, Tile Roofs, No CDD and reasonably priced HOA.

The community is currently offering a waitlist to interested buyers and they are doing a slow roll out with their remaining lots. The next release will be on May 1 2021.

To learn more about this unique community and it’s features, let’s chat and schedule a tour. As a Realtor I can help navigate this challenging home buying market and strategize a plan that works best for you.

Visit the Hampton Lakes Community page HERE.

Models are available for in person tours at:
3447 Recurve Circle Sarasota, FL 34240

We’ve rounded up the TOP 5 reasons people flock to our community. Continue reading for more!

A local Realtor’s guide on where to stay when making a BIG MOVE.

Thinking of relocating to a life with sandy beaches, boating, and golfing year round? A place where you can snorkel in the morning and finish the day on the course before the sun goes down? I’d love to tell you about my favorite place in the world – Sarasota! I think you’ll love it here!

My name is Fondren Watts and I am a Realtor with Michael Saunders & Company and a Sarasota native. I was literally born and raised here. I hate to use the word “expert’ but you’d be hard pressed to find someone else who has more history and local knowledge of this community besides a true local like myself.

I love working with people who are new to the area! Ask any one of my friends or former clients – I find so much joy helping others explore our community while sharing my favorites places and local tips. That is exactly why I created this blog post!

Why not come test the waters for a weekend or perhaps stay a whole week! I want you to experience living locally for yourself and show you what Sarasota hospitality is all about! We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite vacation locations for you to consider as Step 1 of “Operation Relocation.”

**Comment below with your email address to receive an exclusive promo code for 2 of our suggested hotels listed below.**

The Ritz-Carlton ( 5 Star | $$$$) 

Touting world-wide brand recognition like The Ritz-Carlton, you know you’re in good hands. This 5 star luxury hotel recently underwent a full renovation that boasts a coastal-elegant flair and is the perfect location to get you down to the beaches or out to Lakewood Ranch for a day of looking at your future dream home. 

The Longboat Key Club (5 Star |$$$$)

Over 410 acres of lush tropical paradise, this 5 star resort offers it all. A full renovation, scheduled in 2020 will elevate this gulf front landmark from its current iconic state to another level of elegance and luxury. The Longboat Key Club is perfect for families, snowbirds, and retirement, this resort offers everything a guest could ever need after a day of touring the island and looking at waterfront condos and properties.

The Gasparilla Inn (4 Star | $$$-$$$$) 

With its Florida charm and Southern elegance, this local gem is nothing short of paradise. Stay for a night or stay for a month – they’ll treat you like royalty either way! The Gasparilla Inn and Club is a great option whether looking for a second residence or income generating property (check out Boca Grande on VRBO or Air BNB to see the potential). Don’t disregard this beautiful island as a primary residence though –  with a wide selection of restaurants and the Boca Pass Club, a year round members only club, you will have plenty of options if you want to socialize or quietly sink your toes into the sand.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Sarasota Lakewood Ranch (3 Star $$)

This trip means BUSINESS. Sometimes you just don’t have the flexibility to add on the thrills and frills of going to the beach or playing a few rounds of golf. This trip has one purpose and one purpose only – relocation, relocation, relocation. We hear you and have the perfect spot for you to rest your feet after a long day of scoping neighborhoods and options. You want to go somewhere convenient, quiet, clean and affordable. The Homewood Suites by Hilton in Lakewood Ranch is your answer. 

**Offer only available for clients of Fondren Watts at Michael Saunders and Company.


Is it just me, or does it feel like the St. Regis just started accepting reservations for private residences last month and they’re ALREADY telling us that they’re half way to capacity! That means that out of the 69 luxury residential units they only have 36 remaining! Excuse me while I pull my jaw off the floor for a minute…….. Okay, got it.

I can see why people are flocking to this incredible literally ONE OF A KIND opportunity. Where else can you have the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico combined with the 5 STAR luxury only found at the St. Regis. No where – that’s where. The St. Regis Residences at Long Boat Key is only 1 of 15 St. Regis properties that offers individuals the opportunity to live like they’re on vacation.

A few of the 5 STAR features of this resort include:

The Residences: (exclusive amenities in addition to resort amenities)

Now for the details – the numbers. The things you really need to know since you’ve fallen in love and can’t live any other way.

Appointments are available in person or through a video conference call meeting. I look forward to hearing from you and setting up a time with the sales team to share more details on this one-of-a-kind opportunity.

Danny and I at the Monkey Bar in 2019 weeks before it closed permanently.

Monkey Bar – Fun Fact – many LBK visitors and Sarasota locals remember “THE” Monkey Bar. The original bar at the historic Colony located on this same land where the St. Regis is now being built. The developer of the St. Regis wanted to give a nod to the rich history of the former resort and honor it’s legacy with this tribute restoration. I for one can’t wait to see what the new Monkey Bar has in store and look forward to many new memories for years to come!

Hi! 👋🏼 I wanted to introduce myself, I’m Fondren and I’m a Sarasota native/ Lakewood Ranch resident. I married my best friend, Danny, who is also believe it or not is a Sarasota native. It’s crazy to think we were both lucky enough to be born and raised in this amazing community AND NOW, we’re raising our children here too!

Before starting in real estate, I was a small business owner and had a boutique in downtown Sarasota. I love absolutely everything about this community so it wasn’t a hard decision to begin a career in real estate after selling my business. I hope you enjoy my page and if you ever see any homes/ communities you like, please contact me! I truly love meeting new people and of course, working with old friends. I take tremendous pride in helping individuals and families buy and sell their homes and help them get acclimated to their new surroundings.

Thank you for following along! 🏡


🏡 Homesteading in Florida 🏡 – What is it and what are the key facts to remember?

💰🚫 Tax Exemption: Florida provides its residents several statutory tax exemptions, which lessen and/or eliminate the amount of ad valorem taxes due and owing with respect to real property designated as the OWNERS PERMANENT RESIDENCE. (👈🏻 This is your first key fact).

💸 💳 Protection From Creditors: The Florida Constitutional homestead exemption offers virtually absolute protection from forced sale to meet the demands of creditors, except under four special circumstances, and should not be confused with the Florida Ad Valorem tax reduction savings, which is a product of the Florida legislature.

🚚📦 LAST: If you are moving from a previous Florida homestead to a new homestead in Florida, you may be able to transfer, or “port,” all or part of your homestead assessment difference.

🤔❓QUESTIONS about Homestead, I’d be happy to chat but our conversation can’t replace that of a Florida Licensed Real Estate Attorney ⚖️. I’d be happy to introduce you to one, just let me know!

So, you know that friend you met your first year of college who really seemed like they had it all figured out. They probably declared their major when they were like 6 years old and really committed to it for the rest of their life? Allow me introduce you to my good friend and former college roommate, Alexis Limb. She’s that friend. Alexis and I met at Florida State University and had an instant connection. Alexis is stylish, kind and organized (even in college 🙄 ). After graduating from Florida State with a degree in interior design, she has gained national recognition for her talents and has over 13 years of experience in the industry- of that, 4.5 of those years have been operating her own design firm, Alexis Marie Interiors.

Alexis is literally my go to on anything home decor and design related. When my husband and I sold our home a year ago, we hired Alexis to help us do a small renovation and update the furniture in our home. The whole process was entirely too fun and I could see personally, why clients come to her from all over for her design advice and expertise.

As any good friend would do (even when they have over 10 projects they’re currently working on!), Alexis indulged me in a little one on one session to help answer some of the biggest questions that clients ask when putting their home on the market. Read on for more of her pro tips that won’t leave you guessing – “What do I do as I prepare my home to sell?”.

One of the first questions most home sellers ask when they decide to sell their home is how long do you think it will take before our home sells?

There are a lot of different determining factors that can affect that answer. Beginning with things that are out of our control such as market demand being one of the first (we just happen to be in a hot market right now!), other outstanding factors include taxes (or an additional CDD tax which is common in LWR), property size, lot size, and views (Southern vs. Northern, Eastern vs. Western). Once we get past the factors beyond our control, you can really begin to focus on the aesthetics that are within your control. This begins with exterior finishes – curb appeal (maintained and fresh landscaping), pressure washing (never under estimate the importance of cleaning the exterior of your home and driveway), and so on.  So while many of the aforementioned details can’t be controlled once you own your home –  ie, you can’t exactly pick up your home and change the direction it faces because a buyer wants a sunset view or a sunrise view. You can control your curb appeal with things like a fresh coat of paint –  even if it’s just the front door, pressure washing and fresh landscaping. Buyers know immediately upon driving up to a home if they get “the feeling” and want to continue with their showing.

We believe if you can control their first impression, and initial experience on the outside, you’re already off to a great start! But what happens when they turn the knob and open the door to your home. What steps can be taken to continue their intrigue and have them falling in love with your property? Here is what Alexis has to say…

What is the first thing you would suggest to a client who is getting their home ready to put on the market?

DE-CLUTTER!!! Clutter is one of the biggest turn-offs for potential buyers. They want to feel as if they are walking into something new and fresh. Take away as many little knick-knacks and items that you can. Most personal items, while they may mean the world to you could be distracting to potential buyers.

Is it true that buyers are looking for more neutral walls and décor todayie/ white or gray walls? Are there a few color suggestions that you always recommend to your clients that modernize their space and give it a broader appeal to most?

YES! Neutral is often times best. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a home or room. Two of our big go-to’s is Accessible Beige or Agreeable Grey by Sherwin Williams. They have a very transformative tone and can go warmer or cooler based on the furnishings, accessories and backgrounds of the space. We have also been incorporating bright white walls lately so it gives the appearance of a more open feel.

What do you telyour clients when they ask what they should do with all of their family photos? Can they keep them up – I mean theystill live here, right?

As a designer most people still want to feel “at home” and welcome in a space. While I would urge you to de-clutter as much as you can I would say you wouldn’t need to do away with every single photo in the home. You also don’t want the buyer feeling like they are “in someone else’s home” as they walk through. You want them to be able to envision themselves living there and adding their own personal touches. So, my advice on this would be…less is more 😉 .

What about a young family – do you think they should put away any toys or games that they usually have out? Is there a general rule of thumb about this that can apply to more than just families?

YES! Again, with the de-cluttering theme…I would put everything away that you possibly can. Make them feel like they can envision their own pieces of furniture or possibly buy the ones you are selling with the home but you don’t want them to be tripping over toys, playpens, kid kitchens, etc.

Should we plan to invest money into selling our home? If so, how much do you think is enough? AKA – Should we get rid of any outdated furniture and replace it with something new? As an example: Should we replace said outdated furniture witha new set of white couches like we see in all of the home magazines? It’s not like they are buying our furniture but model homes definitely have that “new” look and feeling that we love…

I would say yes, it is almost always necessary to invest a little in order to be up there with the competition in your area. Where you invest is heavily dependent on what you are selling….can you get away with fresh paint, and some new throw pillows? DO IT! If your sofas or chairs look like your great grandmother gifted them to you then there are plenty of places that you can find affordable “fresh” looking pieces these days! Keeping in mind that your taste may not be your potential buyers you want to think in more broad terms and appeal to the masses. Keep the big things (i.e. sofa, chairs, etc) neutral. Accent with some pops in the throw pillows and accessories. Sometimes a bedroom just needs a brighter paint color and a new duvet cover to freshen up the space. Clear off countertops and really allow peoples eye to travel around a room and not get stuck on any overly cluttered areas.

Fresh flowers or fresh cookies? Or both? What do you think makes a sweeter impression?

I LOVE fresh flowers! I believe they can do wonders for a space and almost always bring a smile to someone walking through. Again, keep it neutral, keep it simple and keep it classy! White anything is always a plus!

Cookies are also a great idea as well and who doesn’t love a fresh baked cookie?!?! You could always set up a small beverage area on a tray in the kitchen if you felt compelled with little waters, tea or even little champagne splits!  We think that adding a personalized touch like that can really be endearing to a potential buyer and encourages them to “feel at home”.

Are you currently working on any projects in our area?

We are! We are currently nearing completion on a semi-custom build with Stock in Lake Club. We have had an amazing time working with our clients from the initial lot selection, making floor plan modifications, jazzing up the architectural detailing, selecting background materials for the home and now working on the furnishings and interior of the home getting ready to close and install in November! We love the opportunity to work on a project from the very beginning and being able to convey the clients wants/needs to the builder. This is often times integral and produces the most seamless results.  We love the area  – it has a very similar feel to Naples!

Any exciting projects you’re working on that you want to share with us?

We have about 10 projects at various stages right now and are so excited to keep sharing progress on them all. Visit our social media pages to keep up! We are so excited for one of our big renovation projects to complete within the next month as we touched every corner of the home inside and out and really made it a space that was VERY dated into an oasis this family has come to gather, and make memories in. It is one of the biggest, most drastic transformations I’ve worked on in a while.

Anything else you’d like to share with us today that you feel is important that you would like to share with us as a Must Do or your own personal motto that you follow when helping stage a home?

For staging and prepping to sell….Less is More! Keep it Light, Keep it Bright, Keep it tight!

Lastly – This seems like a lot of work, should we hire a professional like yourself to help us stage? I would say it may be necessary if you are feeling too overwhelmed by it all. If you have no idea where to start or no idea how to “declutter” because everything seems important to you then it would be wise to bring in professional. You can hire someone to come in to consult and tell you what to do or come in to do it for you. Designers can offer this service as well as professional organizers or actual home staging companies.

Alexis Marie Interiors can be reached and followed with the links below!


Phone: 239.231.3955