Is Buying a Second Home in the Longboat Key Right for You?

December 25, 2022


Is Buying a Second Home in the Longboat Key Right for You?

Whether a vacation home, secondary residence, or rental property, buying a second home can offer several opportunities, especially when searching in desirable places like Longboat Key. Be sure to pick a location with plenty to explore and that you’ll love for time to come before starting your search. To better understand if Longboat Key is right for you, read on. But first, here’s what you need to know about the local real estate market.

The housing market in Longboat Key leans in the seller’s favor, as the average list price for properties in the area has increased 110% over the past year. With an average selling price of about $2.3 million, the waterfront properties spend an average of 96 days on the market, down 11% since last month. Although inventory is still lower than it was at the same time last year, buyers can benefit from its 7% growth since last month. With this in mind, here’s an overview of Longboat Key.

Longboat Key

Longboat Key is an offshore barrier island along the western boundary of Sarasota Bay. Those living in Longboat Key enjoy the town for its white sand beach along the western shoreline, the mangrove forests along its eastern shoreline, as well as the deep water that passes along its northern and southern boundaries. Full-time residents are mostly made of retirees who enjoy the island’s upscale and relaxing atmosphere, as well as its luxury amenities.

This town has a notable seasonal population due to its popularity as a vacation destination. As such, there are some rental properties, although most property types in the area are single-family homes and apartment complexes. The island during its peak season is vibrant and energetic, while a bit quieter and slower-paced in the off-season. Neighborhoods in Longboat Key include Long Beach, Longboat Key East, and Longboat Key South.


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The main attraction for those searching for homes for sale in Longboat Key is its beaches. Many of the beaches in the area are private, with access available to resorts or with beachfront homes. There are also 11 different access points to the shoreline in the town, mainly along the Gulf of Mexico Drive. A popular spot is Whitney Beach, situated right across from Whitney Plaza. Those visiting here can enjoy its white sands and sparkling waters for an afternoon dip or a sunset stroll along the shoreline. Beer Can Island is popular to boat to, providing a beautiful area to swim, throw a party, or fish.


Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Another perk those living in Longboat Key enjoy is its recreation. There are plenty of outdoor activities to do, like visiting the stunning facilities at the Longboat Key Club. Visitors can golf its two courses and 45 holes while surrounded by towering palms and water features. The Quick Point Nature Preserve is another way to enjoy views of the lagoons and mangroves. For other attractions, residents and visitors can visit the Ringling Museum of Art or the Riverwalk for live music and festivals.


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Longboat Key also has great shopping for buyers considering a second home in this town. A major shopping center in the area is St. Armands Circle, which is located just across the bridge. With 130 businesses ranging from luxury fashion to gourmet food and unique boutiques, shoppers will love this center. Other shopping areas include The Chart House, which hosts stores with views of Sarasota Bay, as well as Shoppes of Bay Isles, offering a mix of services, dining options, and shopping.

Tips for buying a second home

Although it’s important to be confident about your second home’s location, researching the area is only one part of the buying process. To better understand if searching for homes for sale in Longboat Key is right for you, take the time to consider the property’s purpose, think about travel times, and partner with an agent.

Consider its purpose

Before starting your search, consider what you want the purpose of your second home to be. Will it be solely a vacation home for private use? Will you rent it out when you aren’t using it? Or are you buying with the intention of investing or renting out? Requirements for financing on a second home will be stricter, and there will be fewer options available, especially if you plan on using rental revenue to pay off a loan. Beyond financial complications, also consider the responsibilities of being a landlord if you rent out.

Travel time

When purchasing a second home as a vacation property, consider the time and effort it takes to get to the second property, as well as if you’re willing to make the commute more than once. Longboat Key has several amenities that make travel time worth it, although only you can decide if you’re willing to do so. If you’re the type of person who likes traveling to many places, being tied to one spot by a vacation home might not be right for you.

Work with an agent

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

To fully understand the second home buying process, as well as to find a property that meets your wants and needs quicker, work with an agent. An agent is well-versed in what the area has to offer, the real estate trends, as well as the available listings. With this information, they can help you narrow down your goals, find several different homes, and secure the best deal. They can also provide advice about the particulars of the process and suggest lenders for second mortgages.

Ready to buy a second home in Longboat Key?

Longboat Key is a great town to start your second home search, as its location next to miles of shoreline, its indoor and outdoor recreation, and its gorgeous tropical views make it a fun and enjoyable place to live. When you’re ready to start your search in the area, contact local agent Judy Kepecz-Hays to guide you through the process.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Work With The Judy Kepecz-Hays Team

Dive into luxury with the Kepecz-Hays Team, renowned realtors for Florida's Central West Coast, emphasizing Longboat Key, Lido Key, and Sarasota. With an impressive $2.4 billion in career sales, our team combines an expansive international network with expert marketing strategies. For buyers, we offer a select range of premier properties and private viewings. Experience the best of Sarasota County — its pristine beaches, arts, paddle sports, and shopping. From insightful neighborhood guides to tips for seamless buying and selling, we're your key to Florida's elite real estate. Choose Kepecz-Hays Team for unparalleled excellence.