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Picture-Perfect Homes and Neighbors

Wednesday, July 7, 2021  |  Community, Homeowner Stories

When Glenn Kaplan first began thinking about buying a second home in Florida, he knew he wanted to be on the west coast of the state.

“Photography is my hobby, and I loved the concept of being able to have sunsets,” he says.

He and his wife, Jamie, narrowed in on southern Sarasota County, and they began looking at all the different residential developments located there. After extensive research and many community visits, they found themselves drawn to Neal Communities’ Kiawah floor plan and to Boca Royale Golf & Country Club.

“Boca Royale has a golf course, and that was an appeal to us,” says Kaplan. “And we liked that with the Kiawah model, we had the ability to have a second floor. I needed a place to set up my computers and printers for photography, and I didn’t think just having one floor with a den would have been enough space. This way I can hide it upstairs; I don’t have to have my desk meticulous.”


The Kaplans also liked the Kiawah’s open floor plan, the pool bath off the lanai, and the fact that the primary bedroom was on the opposite side of the house from the guest bedrooms. Working with Denise Whitty, a sales associate for Neal Communities at Boca Royale and a seven-year resident of the community herself, helped them finalize their decision to buy a home there.

“She’s amazing,” says Kaplan. “She is unbelievable when it comes to selling Boca Royale.”

A Model Plan For New Neighbors

The Kaplans chose their homesite in a new section of the community and during the building process, they got hooked up with their future neighbors, Joel and Kelly Wilner.

The Wilners heard about the Sarasota area from both a neighbor who had moved there and a longtime friend from Michigan who moved to Boca Royale four years prior, now in the process of building their second home. This started Joel Wilner thinking about his own move. “We decided to take a leap and start enjoying the next chapter in our life.”

The Wilners went with Neal Communities’ Sanibel floor plan. “It’s got the widest living room and the biggest view out the back onto the lanai, and to me that’s what it’s all about,” says Wilner. “That’s where most of the action is anyway, so that was probably the number-one factor over the other models.”

Both couples enjoyed their experiences at the Neal Design Center choosing options for their homes. “It was actually a lot of fun,” says Wilner. “Nicole Nisi, who we worked with, was great and we had a blast.”

The Kaplans also worked with Nicole, who helped them sort through options and select a replacement flooring choice when the ceramic plank tile they originally wanted was no longer available. “We got something that we actually like better than the original thing we selected,” says Kaplan. “We think the house is beautiful, and it’s more than we could have hoped for.”

Community Providing a Neighborly Feel

Both couples settled into their homes at the end of 2020. The Wilners are living at Boca Royale full-time, while the Kaplans are snowbirds. Jamie spent the past winter and spring at Boca Royale, while Glenn traveled back and forth to New Jersey, where he still works as a physician.

The two couples share the same favorite thing about the community of Boca Royale: the people living there. “Everybody is incredibly nice, and it’s almost like there’s too much going on,” laughs Wilner.

“The people there are awesome,” says Kaplan. “They’re friendly and wonderful people who are very much in love with their community. We think we have something special at Boca Royale that you’re not going to find everywhere else.”