Welcome to one of the “hot spots” of the general Sarasota area. Lakewood Ranch is predominantly in Manatee County but is right on the line and a fair amount of it does lie in Sarasota County. Some that live “on the Ranch” will refer to it simply as Lakewood Ranch and won’t pledge an allegiance to anyone except their own name while others will describe it as Bradenton and others as Sarasota. No matter what you call it, it is great and should be given consideration if you are considering a new home. One of the many appeals of “the Ranch” is that so much of it is new. There is a freshness to the area and a consistent and reliable feel to everything in the community. The homes and neighborhoods are up to date in their styling and the layout of the streets and shopping and amenities make it clear that a lot of thought went into this area. In fact, it truly is a master planned community that covers 8500 acres and is an award winning community. More than 15,000 residents call it home and it has its own hospital, a 75-acre sports complex, a Main Street shopping district that has a theater and wonderful dining opportunities, A-rated schools, a wide variety of lovely newer churches, a Polo Club where matches are held and over 4 million square feet in commercial offices and spaces. It really is its own town and it just keeps getting better. That is evidenced by the fact that in January of 2012 it was announced that Lakewood Ranch made the Top 10 list in the United States for top selling communities. In 2011 there were 391 new home sales. It came in at number 9 and beat out other iconic communities like Summerlin in Las Vegas and Stapleton in Denver. There is a wide variety of home choices on the Ranch and they range anywhere from about the $150,000 mark up to as much as $5 million. From modest to mansion. You decide what is right for you. Lakewood Ranch has been part of Sarasota for somewhere between 10 and 12 years and in that time it has become a very popular place to live. Families love it here as there are great things for the children and the homes are affordable and newer. They do tend to sit on slightly smaller lots than some other areas of town but most don’t seem to mind and trade in that feature for all of the other more important things to them.