North Port Is Choice Destination for More Affordable Homes


The city of North Port looks well en route toward fortifying its standing as one of the favored buying destinations in Southwest Florida for affordably priced homes, Sarasota Bay Real Estate reports. Some of the impetus here is being generated by Lennar Corp., a Miami-based builder which counts affordable homes as mainstays in its portfolio of house models.

SBRE, a full service realty firm, observes that since October 2013, Lennar has been aggressively promoting sales of its new builds starting around the $200s at the Gran Paradiso community in the West Villages district of North Port. The homebuilder acquired this 370-acre property sometime in the latter half of 2013, drawn by the infrastructures that its original developer, Sam Rodgers, has already set up. Also, the community’s strategic location near I-75 and U.S. 41 is a decisive advantage.

Villa models

North Port Is Choice Destination for More Affordable Homes

Rodgers, along with Lee Wetherington Homes, started developing Gran Paradiso in 2006 but they failed to complete the master-planned project owing to difficulties which arose from the housing downturn in subsequent years. Only 20 or so homes were built then, but with Lennar’s entry, the community is now moving forward to the 1,999 homes envisioned for it at build-out.

The homebuilder currently advertises models for two affordably priced twin villas at Gran Paradiso. These one-story residences both have options on two and three bedrooms in their floor areas of around 1,500 square feet. The price points for this pair are under the $200s.

Buoyant sales

Since October 2013, Lennar has been sprucing up the common areas of this gated subdivision which impresses with its grand gate entrance. The Gran Paradiso clubhouse is also being completed. Its planned features include a community swimming pool with cabanas, spa and steam room, tennis courts, and a media center. As of February 2014, Lennar was reported to have already sold 40 lots in the community.

Prospects of further sales gains seem encouraging. Just opposite Gran Paradiso, at the IslandWalk a total of 130 homes were sold last year. Sales started strong too for 2014 in this development by the DiVosta unit of Pulte Homes. Currently, 25 houses are being built and another 50 are set for construction in the next two months.

Like Lennar, DiVosta also has several affordably priced models. Four of these have starting prices under the $200s, featuring floor areas of between 1,300 and 1,450 square feet designed with one up to three bedrooms.

Resale home options

IslandWalk at West Villages currently has resale properties listed in the MLS of Sarasota homes for sale at asking prices likewise below the $200s. One available option is that of a maintenance-free detached villa built in 2011. Its floor area of nearly 1,400 square feet is designed with three bedrooms and two baths.

The IslandWalk community was developed well ahead of Gran Paradiso, and consequently, its development wasn’t affected as much by the last housing downturn. IslandWalk is a 24-hour guard-gated subdivision with resort-like community features. These include a 14,000-square-foot recreational center, resort and lap pools, tennis and bocce courts, and a fitness facility.