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$2.25 million manse a sign of the times

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- A recent $2.25 million sale in the Country Club Village of Lakewood Ranch is a sign of the times: a foreclosure suit filed against one owner, and then the palatial property’s resale to another buyer.

The spacious single-family residence at 7028 Portmarnock Place was built in 2003, with a living area of 7,072 square feet, according to county records.

Among its amenities are five full baths, three half baths, five bedrooms, two fireplaces and a swimming pool, county records said.

Realtors say the most recent sale also represents a change they’re seeing in the market: For the first time in a few years, Lakewood Ranch is seeing real movement in the high-end market.

Buyers are snapping up homes selling for $1 million or more.

Two sales of more than $2 million took place earlier this year in Lakewood Ranch, one at $2.4 million, and another at $2.6 million, said Craig Cerreta, of Signature Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Those are numbers we haven’t seen in the last few years,” Cerreta said.

The Lakewood Ranch market has had 14 resales at about $1 million in the last few months, and builders have recorded another 16 sales of lots and houses -- where they’ll build the house -- that average about $1 million apiece, he said.

“It’s encouraging because people with money are believing it’s time to get back into the market, so I think that’s a strong statement,” Cerreta said.

In the case of 7028 Portmarnock Place, records show it was sold to Thomasina Longshore for $3.6 million in February 2009. Later that year, sellers Richard A. and Margaret A. Bechtold filed a foreclosure suit against Longshore and her husband, Mark.

From 1996-2006, the Bechtolds were listed as officers of a business called The Bechtold Corp. Richard Bechtold listed his address as 7028 Portmarnock Place, while Margaret listed hers at an address in University Park, according to state records.

The pair frequently appear in county records in connection with real estate transactions.

About $1.2 million remained outstanding on the property after the suit and settlement between the Bechtolds and the Longshores, according to court records.

The Bechtolds then put the property up for sale again.

On Dec. 7, it sold for $2.25 million to Gregory M. Shepard, according to county records.

Shepard declined comment Wednesday, the Bechtolds could not be reached for comment, and calls to the Longshores’ attorney were not returned.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7031.