Emerald Coast Real Estate Update

Trusted Real Estate News Blog

Jan. 16, 2019

House at 7795 Grundy Street in Southwest Pensacola for Sale

Pensacola house at 7795 Grundy Street is for Sale

The house at 7795 Grundy Street is on a quiet cul-de-sac in the Bay Meadows subdivision in Southwest Pensacola is for sale. Convenient to downtown Pensacola, Naval Air Station, the beaches of Perdido Key and more, Bay Meadows is just off of Gulf Beach Hwy and Bayou Grande.  The home is all brick and has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a two car garage and a total of 1,437 square feet of living space. The great room is spacious with light-colored laminate wood flooring, and a brick, wood-burning fireplace. The open floor plan combines the dining room, kitchen with a huge breakfast bar. The U-shaped kitchen has an over-sized pantry and laundry room off to the side.

Large open kitchen at 7795 Grundy Street

Most rooms offer tile flooring, and the bedrooms have carpet. A large screened sunroom just off the living area allows you to enjoy the fenced backyard with mature shade trees. This home also has hurricane protection for the windows and doors - a significant feature in coastal living.

Call Emerald Coast Realty, 850-437-5618, for further details about this home and others in Pensacola.

Posted in SW Pensacola
Dec. 28, 2018

Determining Factors for Your Home's Value

Homeowner with real estate agent

You want to sell your house, and you know the value has increased since you originally purchased it. Pricing your house correctly to the market is a critical factor in how quickly the home will sell. How can you determine the present value to get the best price when you sell?

Establishing The Correct Listing Price

You could price your home for any amount you think it is worth, but your house may not sell at that price. To make the most significant impact on potential buyers when first list your home on the real estate market, it is essential not to overprice it. In other words; price it to the market. You can lower the price at any time, but you may miss out on a buyer before then. If you under price your home, you may receive multiple bids. Sometimes this strategy in a hot market can drive up the price, but this is a gamble you may not want to make when you are selling your home. It falls into the science of supply and demand. Some factors to consider that determine your home's value are as follows:

  • Desirability - Curb appeal, attractive front and back yards, room sizes, modern kitchen and appliances, multiple bathrooms, good working heating, and air conditioning unit, and turn-key condition are all desirability factors.
  • Location - Safe neighborhood, close to schools and library, nearby park, shopping areas, good restaurants and coffee shops, doctor's offices and medical facilities, and other amenities close to your home's location are important to potential buyers.
  • Comparables - Your real estate agent will pull comparable listings and sales in the same neighborhood or area as your home, and prepare a comparative market analysis for the last three months. A good agent will only compare homes that are similar to yours in size, age, condition, and location.

Your real estate agent has access to everything that has been sold and can pull comparables quickly. Working together, you can come up with the right price to list your home. If you want to increase the selling value of your home before listing it for sale, there are some inexpensive upgrades you can make.

  • Paint interior rooms in neutral colors
  • Replace any outdated lighting fixtures
  • Replace kitchen and bathroom faucets with modern styles
  • Replace cabinet handles and drawer pulls
  • Replace old or noisy garage door opener
  • Install an outlet with device charger slots in each room
  • Replace front door if it is old and not airtight
  • Put a nice lock set on the front door
  • Replace all toilet seats
  • Replace cracked or stained bathroom sink
  • Put new caulk in bathrooms
  • Have all carpets professionally cleaned

Getting the best sells price for your home is the objective. Working as a partner with an experienced real estate agent; you will get a good offer. Start making those little improvements on your home right away so it will be ready for an open house soon. 

Would you like to estimate what is you home worth right now? Choose Instant Property Value Estimate to assess a range of prices for properties like yours.

Nov. 28, 2018

What to Ask About Your Real Estate Agent's Valuation of Your Home

Real estate agent property valuation

For their seller customers, most real estate agents use comparative market analysis (CMA) to recommend a listing price for the home. The process uses some of the same tools and methods used by appraisers, which mostly reviews recently sold homes in the area. Here is an overview of the CMA process as practiced by most real estate agents.

Selection of Comps (Comparable Sold Homes)

The selection of comps is the most subjective part of the process, as there can be many sold homes from which to choose, but the agent selects only three to five in most cases. Changing the chosen homes can make a significant change in the listing price recommendation. The agent selects based on three criteria:

  1. Homes nearby or in the same neighborhood are the best comps. Because there can be many differences between communities, from the general location to amenities, it is best to remain as near as practicable to the home to be valued when making these selections.
  2. Homes as similar as possible in features, size, and amenities as the home to be valued make the CMA more accurate.
  3. The homes selected should have been sold as recently as possible. Because markets are continually evolving, using comps that are too far in the past may not be reflective of the current market.

Adjustment of the Sold Prices of the Comps

Because it is almost impossible to find three or more homes with the same features and amenities as the home to be valued, there is a process to adjust the actual sold prices to be more like they would have been if the house had the same features, bedrooms, baths, and similar amenities. Because there will be differences in most cases, the agent adjusts the sold price by:

  1. Determining the main differences between the home to be valued and each comp. There will be some adjustment of the sold price for each significant difference. For this example, a house with two bedrooms and two baths will be valued.
  2. Use a dollar value of the feature or amenity to adjust the sold price. Suppose a home sold nearby recently, but it had three bedrooms instead of the two in the house to be valued. The agent would use some subjective value of a bedroom, and in this case, subtract that amount from the sold price to make the three-bedroom home price more like that of a two-bedroom home. It works the other way as well. If a comp home has one bath instead of two, then the value of a bathroom would be added to that sold price.

By using these methods, the agent adjusts the comparable homes' sold prices to dollar amounts they would have been if they were the same as the home to be valued.

Calculate the Suggested List Price from the Comps' Adjusted Sold Prices

Once an adjusted sold price is ready for each of the comparable homes, the agent has just a little math to do to come up with the suggested list price:

  1. Take each home's adjusted sold price and divide it by the property's square footage. That yields a cost per square foot number.
  2. Once a price per square foot is ready for each of the comps, average them for a single price per square foot.
  3. Use the average price per square foot then multiply it by the square footage of the home to be valued, and you get a suggested list price.

What to Ask the Agent About their CMA

With this overview of the process, you can see that there are a couple of steps in the process that are not hard math. The agent controls the selection of the comps and the adjustment of their sold prices, and just as agents can be entirely different people, their choices can be just as varied. Those differences can change that suggested list price substantially.

First, ask about the comps they chose. How long ago did they sell?  If there were more from which to choose, why did they select those particular comps?  When there are more than necessary from which to choose, often agents will rule out what they consider outliers sales; in other words, those sales that seemed high or low in the current market.

Next, ask where their values came from for the adjustments. Perhaps they used remodel estimates for the value of a bedroom. This means of value adjustment may not be the best approach, as it costs much less to add a bedroom in the initial construction than to come in later and add one. If they're using values used by local appraisers, they're probably more accurate.

One more question may be necessary, especially in active markets. Perhaps the agent selected comps that were older sold dates than others because the homes were more similar to the house to be valued. If the comps are not recent, ask if they have done or can do another CMA, but using the list prices of currently listed homes. These are your competition in the market. If market prices are moving, or if there are fewer similar homes available, this can change the average price per square foot and the ultimate suggested list price.

Knowing how an agent calculates a CMA and asking these questions can either give you confidence in their list price recommendation or cause you to ask for another CMA using different comps or feature values. You do not want to list a home at too high or too low a price, so this is the most critical service your listing agent provides.

Oct. 5, 2018

Sundown Condo for Sale in Perdido Key

Sundown Condo for sale in Perdido Key FL

Sundown Condominium in Perdido Key, FL has something for everyone.  The complex offers tennis, an Olympic sized pool, community pier, boat slips, and storage and private deeded access to the beach.  Sundown is located on Old River and has spectacular views of the waterway, boats and, of course, dolphins.  This lovely two bedroom condo has been updated throughout and sells fully furnished with renters already booked in on the calendar.  Sundown is an excellent destination for a beach vacation, but this would also be a terrific place to live.

Sundown condo D-22

Perdido Key offers an abundance of water sports and golf as well as easy access to shopping, restaurants and entertainment venues.  Grand Lagoon State Park and Johnson Beach, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, are just minutes away and offer hiking, camping, and picnic venues.  The beach life is calling.

Call Emerald Coast Realty, 850-437-5618, for further details about the condominium located at 16470 Perdido Key Dr Sundown, FL 32507.

Posted in Perdido Key
Sept. 29, 2018

Buying the Right Home Before It Is Gone

Smart homebuyers

Once you reach the "serious" stage in home shopping, it can make all of the difference if you have an effective plan to view the best homes for you first. It is good to let a real estate professional help you, but as it is going to be your mortgage payment for years, a proactive approach to which homes to see first is essential.

It is likely that you will be doing much of this home viewing on the weekend, though getting into some of the best on a week day before the weekend rush could be worth some time off work. However, even for weekend viewing, the right plan can help you to get to the best homes before the competition.

Studies of home sales have shown that home listings that go active on Wednesdays are most likely to sell faster than those listed other days or on the weekend. That is because real estate agents have figured out that you need a couple of days to plan your viewings and set appointments, so they know that taking a listing active on a Wednesday is a smart move. It gives serious buyers like you a chance to get it into your schedule.

Help your real estate agent to help you by getting them to set up an automated email report of new listings from the local real estate MLS ( Multiple Listing Service) database. Once you enter your home selection criteria, a custom search gets created. You will receive email alerts as new listings or price changes get entered into the MLS.

Pay attention to all new listings, but those that come on the market in the middle of the week or just before the weekend give you time to alert your agent that you want to see them. Unless you have a unique set of criteria, you are not going to be the only buyers out there wanting to see the newest listings. Set up your list in a way that will help you to prioritize them based on which appear to meet your needs best.

It may pay off if you leave a little room in your schedule for listings that go active on the weekend while you are out looking. If this happens, you can receive that email alert on your smartphone and see if it is a home you would like to visit right away. You never know when being the first or almost-first buyer into the house can get you the perfect home.

Even in slower market areas, the very best homes are the first to sell. Do not let poor planning or a lax attitude keep you from getting the perfect home.

Aug. 30, 2018

Belle Mer Condo 1004 Navarre Beach

Belle Mer Condominium in Navarre Beach

Belle Mer Condominium, perfectly sited on the Gulf of Mexico in beautiful Navarre Beach. This pristine beach is less than thirty minutes away from all of the shopping and restaurants that Okaloosa Island and Destin offer but is a world away from the traffic, congestion, and noise. Belle Mer residents enjoy a unique respite from the hustle and bustle of modern life. The property provides tennis courts, fitness facilities and a sparkling pool and hot tub. All of the condos at Belle Mer have sensational views of the Gulf of Mexico and are directly on the beach. Unit 1004 Belle Mer has two masters on the Gulf side, an updated kitchen and western views overlooking Santa Rosa Island, the sound and the Gulf.

This condominium is listed for sale at Emerald Coast Realty by Kim Gibbons,

Posted in Navarre Beach
July 28, 2018

Should I Get A Home Inspection?

House Inspector on the job

Buying a home is an exciting, albeit frustrating process at times. After all, you have finally found your dream home, and you are making plans to pack up all of your possessions and move into your new place. Should you consider getting a home inspection before you finalize your purchase? Typically, this strategy is a good idea, whether you have noticed a few issues that have you concerned or not. Here is a bit more information on what a home inspection is and why you should pay the expense of getting one done.

How Does a Home Inspection Work?

Home buyers generally arrange and pay for home inspections.  Factors typically evaluated during this process are:

  • The heating and cooling system
  • The plumbing system
  • Electrical wiring, outlets, and circuit panels
  • The roof
  • Windows
  • The foundation and walls of the home 
  • The presence of water and/or mold damage 
  • Pest infestations

Why Bother with a Home Inspection?

The purpose of a home inspection is to look for flaws that are not readily visible.  If you are lucky, the home inspection you arrange finds nothing wrong with the house. More likely, a few minor issues or sometimes a major one is discovered. The goal of the inspection is to attain enough facts about the property to help you choose if you want repairs done to move forward with your purchase or you might decide to keep looking until you find a home that is almost move-in ready.

Home inspections are designed to identify structural problems as well as safety hazards. Arranging for a comprehensive inspection as a contingency of a home sale protects your financial interests while also providing the peace of mind you deserve when buying your next home.

June 27, 2018

Top Reasons to Consider Purchasing Property Near the Beach

Real estate on Florida Gulf Beach
The Lost Beach Club on beach in Perdido Key

Are you tired of living in your current location? Do you want a change, but are not sure where you should move to? It might be time to consider moving to an area near the beach. Beach living offers all sorts of benefits you might not have considered. Contemplate the following reasons for purchasing property near the beach, and you might be able to convince yourself to make your move to paradise.

  • Beach dwellers tend to have cooler weather than those who do not live near the ocean. Temperatures can often be a few degrees cooler thanks to the proximity to ocean breezes. If the idea of cooling ocean breezes sounds like your idea of paradise, it is probably time to start looking for real estate near the ocean.
  • Real estate prices near the ocean can be significantly higher than prices inland. If you are looking for real estate that will likely prove to be a smart investment, consider purchasing near the water.
  • Those who live near the beach tend to have access to better scenic views than their land-locked friends and family. If you want to ensure your loved ones come to visit you more often, consider purchasing real estate near the beach.
  • When you live near the Florida Gulf, you tend to walk more often. From a stroll on a sandy beach to hours spent picking seashells and taking pictures of sea creatures, beach enthusiasts find plenty of ways to pack more physical activity into their days.

These are just a few of many reasons you should consider purchasing real estate near the Florida Gulf. Not only will your property values likely increase, so too will your peace of mind and sense of tranquility. Is this the year you should consider buying beach-front property?

May 26, 2018

If You Are Not Invested in Real Estate - Why Not?

Real estate investors

When investor groups get together, if the discussion turns to real estate, often the same concerns come up. These are often myths or over-exaggerated stories of money lost in real estate.

It takes a lot of money to get started:

If the first deal you want to do is to buy a rental home, then this is a correct statement. However, if you know how or want to know how to shop for discount deals on homes, you could be wholesaling to rental investors in days or weeks. The money necessary to get a deal from the purchase to the sale to your buyer is usually just a small earnest money deposit. There are also lease-to-own strategies that allow the investor to lease a home and place a tenant in it with little or no money out of pocket but these are not widely available to most renters.

If you have enough for a down payment, you can use the leverage of a mortgage to buy a rental home and start depositing positive cash flow every month right away. As a simple example, if you invest $30,000 into a $150,000 home as a down payment, if you can rent it out and clear $300/month after expenses, this equates to whopping 12% ROI. Where does an investor get this kind of return from a brokerage account?

Real estate is risky:

It is true that jumping into “fix & flip” investing as you see on the TV shows can be very risky if you do not learn a lot about your market area and how to price repairs and renovation. Those TV shows often do not mention costs that are involved since this does not make for an exciting show.

However, if you stick to wholesaling and do it right, you can sell to other investors, holding the property for very short periods, and make a nice profit along the way. The risk is highest if you do not develop your list of investor buyers first. Having these relationships and knowing what they want takes much of the risk out of this strategy.

Rental profits are not worth the landlord hassles:

First, you can farm out your management duties, though it will cut into your profits. When you can put a few hundred dollars every month into the bank after expenses, posting a double-digit return on your investment, it is worth a little hassle.

You can not do it in a retirement account:

Simply, yes you can. You will probably have to transfer to a self-directed IRA or 401k, but they are designed to give the investor a lot more options for their investing. There are a lot of rules, but a self-directed account custodian experienced with real estate can handle it. Fees are higher, but the returns on real estate easily make up for that.

Many investors do not realize the advantages the IRS provides for real estate investors that are not available to other asset classes.

•   Depreciation of the structure cuts tax exposure.

•   All expenses, taxes and insurance costs are deductible against rental income.

•   With the 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange, properties can be sold, and the profits rolled into other properties while avoiding capital gains.

Everything considered, once you get past these myths and over-stated concerns, real estate investment is perhaps the very best way to build wealth for your retirement.

May 7, 2018

Windemere Condo 606 is for Sale in Perdido Key

Windemere Condominium unit 606 for sale

Windemere Perdido Key Condominium unit 606 on Perdido Key has a breathtaking seascape on the Gulf of Mexico makes this well-appointed Florida beach paradise a "must have." For people who value their retreat from the modern world, this condo is everything. Fully updated in 2016-2017, this two bedroom, two bath unit has all the modern conveniences in a tranquil setting with stunning views. Gulf front master ensuite provides serene views of the sun shimmering on emerald waves. A coveted covered parking spot comes with this unit at a fantastic price. Building updates make a difference in luxury, aesthetics, and stability at Windemere on the Key. 

Perdido Key beach access

Windemere Gulf front community offers exclusive use of the state of the art exercise room, meeting room, elevated L-shaped pool, hot tub, beach walkway and an elegant, welcoming lobby for guests. Perdido Key boasts pristine beaches and innate beauty on the Gulf of Mexico.  Play, live, vacation, and more at the Windemere in Perdido Key, FL.

This unit is for sale; to schedule a tour or if would like to learn more about this fabulous resort condominium call Emerald Coast Realty, 850-437-5618.

See the listing detail page for Windemere Condominium unit 606.

Posted in Perdido Key