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10 Tips for Relocating to Sarasota, FL

A True Top Ten Tips on relocating to Sarasota.

You’re beginning an exciting adventure by moving your family to Sarasota, the crown jewel on Florida’s west coast. Pristine beaches (the Number One beach in the U.S.), expansive hiking trails, stimulating academic offerings, culture beyond description, great schools and parks, vibrant churches and synagogues, farmers’ markets, a range of shopping venues, baseball’s spring training venueÂ… and more! What’s not to love? Nothing!

If you’re just starting the relocation process, the first step will be to find a real estate brokerage that specializes in buyers’ needs. True Sarasota Real Estate is nationally recognized as an outstanding provider of buyer services. The company’s Accredited Buyers Representative’s will be with you every step of the way to find the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood, and can provide you with pre- and post-moving assistance on every level.

If you’ve just landed in Sarasota with your home purchased, insurance and taxes covered, and any homeowners’ association or condo fees handled, there are tasks you’ll need to address. Here are 10 of the most important.

  1. Connect utilities, phone, cable, etc. Florida Power and Light oversees electrical service in Sarasota County. Call 800-226-3545. If your new home is equipped for gas service, call Teco Peoples Gas System, 877-832-6747. Choose from phone companies depending on your individual needs. For water and sewer in Sarasota County, call 941-955-2325.
  2. Enroll your children in school. Sarasota residents can choose from neighborhood-based schools to those that specialize in the arts (Booker), gifted programs (Pine View), military (Sarasota Military Academy) and multiple alternative schools. A child must be 5 by September1 in order to enter kindergarten, 6 to enter first grade (and must have attended kindergarten). Bring to the school the child’s birth certificate, immunization records, proof of a physical exam within the past six months and proof of residence.
  3. Don’t forget to change your address with the post office. You can do this by personally visiting a local post office or going online to
  4. Contract with lawn and other service providers. Ask your Buyers Agent for help with this in advance, or wait until you’re settled and check with neighbors. It’s a great way to get to meet people, and they’ll be glad to offer references.
  5. Find medical support for your family and your pets. Again, your agent will be a good starting point. You may try several medical providers before deciding on the one that’s best for you; check the Internet for ratings and comments on those you are considering. Sarasota is home to internationally-known physicians in multiple fields, such as the Silverstein Institute for hearing disorders, the DaSilva Institute for anti-aging therapies, Kennedy White Orthopedic Center for treatment of joint diseases and conditions, and more.
  6. Register your car. New Florida residents have 10 days after gaining employment or enrolling children in school to register vehicles. Be prepared with your current driverÂ’s license, proof of Florida auto insurance, prior registration and title. Bring the VIN number and be ready to be wowed by the selection of Florida plates available. You’ll also need to apply for a Florida Title Certificate. All of this is handled by the Sarasota County Tax Commissioner. Call 941-861-8300 for locations and more information.
  7. A Florida Drivers License must be secured within 30 days of accepting employment, entering children in public school, registering to vote, or filing for homestead exemption. Just bring your previous license, take a vision test and you’re all set. Call 941-861-8300 for more info.
  8. Find places to shop for your new home. Whether high-end, full-service furniture and appliance stores are in your budget, or if you’re looking for bargains, Sarasota has it all. In fact, the consignment stores and auction houses here are packed with top-quality, little-used furnishings from some of the area’s most prestigious homes. As couples and singles downsize, they often turn to estate sales, consignment stores and auctions to help minimize the move.
  9.  Discover restaurants. From American to Amish, French to Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Thai, Mexican, Sushi, Vegetarian and Gluten-free  there’s something for everyone. Go online to search for the perfect meal, dine-in or take-out, for a celebratory dinner.
  10. Go to the Beach: Siesta, Turtle, Longboat, Lido, try them all. Sun, surf and sand are the hallmarks of the Sarasota lifestyle. You’ll end up saying, “I feel like I’m on vacation every day, and I LIVE HERE!