Updated: Nov 8
I live in the North Sarasota.
It's a great location for getting to Lakewood Ranch, Downtown Sarasota, Lido Key, Longboat Key, Bradenton, and even Siesta Key.
Sarasota is growing. People are moving here from all over the country - myself included.
Sarasota can be considered upscale. The cost of living is high -- and the general wages are low. So many people work two jobs.
I also publish a website called See Sarasota.
SOME PROS AND CONS:
Good, but not perfect weather. You see, I prefer a more temperate and moderate weather profile. Sarasota is extremely hot from May until October. It makes it difficult to even go outside.
This is a Luxury Market. While I don't consume much luxury, it is nice to know that it is out there and available. It lets you know that there is prosperity in town. Not every city can say that.
Beaches. I never considered myself a beach person, and still don't. But the beach is nice. I used to go to Turtle Beach on SIesta when I was going stir-crazy. I would take a nap under the sun with the waves splashing. It can get a little crowded, but it is quite serene.
Professional Sports. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays, and Tampa Bay Lightning are only an hour away. These are all great franchises and its great to have them nearby.
Proximity to Tampa, St. Pete, and Clearwater. Living in Tampa has big city qualities (which you may or may not like) - but knowing that its there and is just an hour away is a great perk. You get the amenities of city life without the downsides.
Driving Proximity to all of Florida. Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm. There are all accessible by car. This gives you so many options depending on what you are looking for - for a long weekend or "staycation"
Traffic and Crowding during "Season". Season is what is referred to as when the tourists and snowbirds flock to Florida, en masse. It can be difficult to navigate the streets; they simply weren't designed for that many people. While Florida has always accommodated the masses during season, it continue to get more popular and the street simply can't hold up. Not to mention the Construction, especially in Downtown Sarasota.
Cost of Housing: I consider myself lucky to only pay just over $1100 dollars for rent for a really nice 1 Bedroom. Most of the housing stock here are single family homes, which don't accommodate single people, unless you want to live with roommates. And if you do finda 1 bedroom, chances are you will be paying way more than $1100.