Emerald Coast Real Estate Update

Trusted Real Estate News Blog

April 26, 2020

COVID-19: Let's take a moment

Couple riding bicycles.

Let's take a moment to acknowledge that these are the craziest times we have ever seen. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought economic uncertainty, but it has also brought a sense of community that we have not experienced in decades.  People are riding bikes with their children, walking their dogs, and hanging out on their porches in record numbers.  While the Florida "Stay at Home" mandate has kept many people at home, residential real estate services are an "Essential Service" in the State of Florida.

Buyers and sellers are still active in the real estate market, and sales statistics indicate they are continuing to close on local properties.  The Pensacola Association of Realtors reports that March sales were up 32% compared to February and 16% above March of last year.  With a median sale price listed as the highest on record for any month, it's easy to see why sellers are still optimistically putting their homes on the market this spring.  The stats for March showed the number of "Days on Market" remained virtually unchanged from February.  It's true that pending sales slipped 6% compared to February,  yet were 3% ahead of the same month 2019.  It is too early to know how April sales will compare to last year, but our agents are still actively working on behalf of our buyers and sellers.

If you are interested in viewing properties but are not comfortable or able to see homes in person, we can arrange virtual showings for you.  We are still available to show properties in-person to qualified buyers and are committed to using safe practices to protect all parties.  We know that the most significant financial decision most Americans make is a real estate transaction, and we remain here to help you navigate through these challenging times.

Posted in Pensacola
May 7, 2019

Palm Beach Club Condo 115 for Sale


Palm Beach Club Condo 115 is for sale in Pensacola Beach FL

Located on the far west end of Pensacola Beach, Palm Beach Club is a sought after destination. With its proximity to the Gulf, the Santa Rosa Sound and the park at Ft. Pickens it's easy to see why. Palm Beach Club offers a sandy beach on the Sound, a beautiful Sound front pool, covered parking, elevators and incredible views of the Gulf of Mexico. You can kayak, snorkel, and paddle board here without driving somewhere else first. The beach trolley means the shops and restaurants are only a few minutes away and the ride is free.  This end of the beach is indeed paradise found.


Palm Beach Club 115 is a "flat" end unit with unobstructed views of the gulf. Flats are highly desirable because there are no stairs. The great room features a fireplace and overlooks the Gulf with access to a balcony. The Master Suite is on the Gulf side with a sitting area and a private balcony. The kitchen is a generous size with plenty of cabinet space and a pass thru to the dining room. This two bedroom condo is offered fully furnished and rental ready with tile throughout and a washer/dryer in the unit.

Call Kim Gibbons at 850-912-9826 for more information about Palm Beach Club condo 115.

Posted in Pensacola Beach
May 3, 2019

Portofino Tower One condo for sale

Unit 1803, Portofino Condo Tower One is for sale

Portofino Resort is the vacation destination for Pensacola Beach. Located on the east end of the beach, Portofino offers beautiful surroundings, six sparkling pools, luxurious accommodations and abundant amenities for all family members.  Whether your passion is paddle boarding, cruising on a catamaran, relaxing in the spa or getting beachside service on the gulf, there is something for everyone here.

Portofino's Tower One is located on the gulf side of the complex and offers spectacular unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico.  Unit 1803 is ideally situated to offer direct views of the gulf, the Santa Rosa Sound and best of all, the magnificent sunsets. You can hear the ocean waves lulling you to sleep at night. This condo is sold fully furnished with a beachy West Indies vibe and is ready to rent. This sky home also includes two coveted garage space and two storage spaces. This is Pensacola Beach living at its best!

Posted in Pensacola Beach
April 26, 2019

Homebuyers: 3 Warning Signs Not Everyone Will Point out to You

Homebuyers looking at house fro sale

It is not always easy being a homebuyer.

A home for sale that you tour, for example, can seem to have everything you want in a house. However, upon closer inspection by a professional, problems may be revealed that your amateur eyes do not necessarily see at first glance. It is difficult, when shopping for a home, to always identify what might be deal-breakers in your decision to make an offer.

To save some aggravation, it might be a good idea to know some problematic-but-lesser-known issues to look for when you visit a home for sale. Here are three tips to remember:

Uneven floors

Floors that sag are a big deal. Typically, it means that there is something structurally wrong with a home. If you were to place a baseball in the middle of the floor, it should stay there. If it rolls on its own, the floor is not level.

Moreover, floors that are not level should be a huge red flag, the sort of red flag you would expect a home inspector to note if you get that far into the purchase process. However, even the best home inspectors are often unable to identify the underlying issues that cause uneven floors. Those issues could be dry-walled over; they might be contained in basements or crawl spaces that are not fully accessible, or your inspector might consider slight sagging of floors merely a symptom of normal settling.

Regardless, purchasing a home with sagging floors, at any level of the structure, is probably not a good idea. It is as true a signal as any that there is something structurally wrong with the home.

Hideous paint colors or worn carpeting are easy fixes. Structural issues are not. 


The No. 1 enemy of homes is water. It is insidious and unrelenting. If you tour a home for sale that has watermarks on ceilings or bubbled paint on walls, it means that the home has had some issues with water encroachment. If you see signs of moisture on the walls or floor a basement, chances are it's a chronic problem.


Think of it this way: If someone puts up their home for sale, they're going to take measures to make it look as good as possible. They are going to minimize any problems. So, if you walk through a home for sale and STILL see evidence of water damage, it likely means it is an ongoing issue, beyond reasonable quick fixes.

The nose knows

If you look at a home for sale that has been occupied by a tobacco smoker, you will probably recognize it, and that alone might be a deal-breaker. Odor-absorbing primers and paints can block residual odors that might linger in the walls.

However, if there is carpet, you will probably have to replace it, or at least budget for a whole-house carpet-cleaning by a professional outfit.

If you catch a whiff of pet odors, however, it can be an entirely different problem. Usually, any pet odors mean removing all carpet, not just cleaning it. Also, pet odors often go beyond just carpet. If there is hardwood, it can hold pet odors. Even subfloors might need replacing and this can get costly. Any porous surfaces do not surrender pet odors easily.

Similarly, if you sense a musty odor or the distinct smell of mold, it means there could be a problem with water intrusion. Again, keep in mind that a seller has likely taken steps to put their home's best foot forward, so if you sniff something that seems out of place, it is likely to be a fundamental or chronic problem.

No home is perfect, but when you are in the market to purchase one, there are going to be things you compromise on, including cosmetic fixes that are no big deal.

However, some items are a big deal, even if they are not so apparent to the casual observer. Having an experienced, qualified agent to help guide you through the process helps, but you might want to have your own base of knowledge, too. Knowing what to look for when buying a home, even if no one specifically tells you to look for them, can help you avoid putting in an offer on the wrong house.

Article by Emerald Coast Realty

March 24, 2019

Mirador Condo 304 in East Hill Pensacola is for sale

Mirador condo 304 in East Hill Pensacola on Texar Bayou

Mirador Condominium is majestically perched at the intersection of Pensacola Bay and Bayou Texar as well as the bridge that connects East Pensacola Heights to East Hill Pensacola. This Mediterranean Revival building was originally built as an apartment complex and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  Tenants loved the spacious floor-plans with their unique touches not seen in other buildings, the amenities the complex offered and most of all the location. Mirador became a condominium in 1983 and has been a popular homestead ever since.

Unit 304 is a prime example of affordable luxury living. The home has been completely renovated with all the best and is move-in ready. The views from this condo are unparalleled and stunning. The living room features tray ceilings, wood floors and opens to a balcony that overlooks Bayou Texar and also allows views of the community pool, and the bridge leading into East Pensacola Heights. The south side of this home has beautiful views of Pensacola Bay and offers a back stairwell leading to the bayou and Mirador's community pier. The master suite is truly a sanctuary with a spacious bedroom, on-suite master bath, and a terrific walk-in closet.

Mirador Condominium in Pensacola FL

Add to the mix highly rated A.K Suter Elementary, close proximity to downtown, area malls, restaurants, medical facilities and beaches, this home has too much to offer to pass up.

See listing detail page for Mirador Condo unit 304, listed by Kim Gibbons, Emerald Coast Realty, 850-437-5618

Posted in East Hill
Jan. 29, 2019

How Google Maps Can Help You Buy Real Estate

Street View on a iPad for Real Estate

If you are looking for a home, or if you are an investor looking to buy real estate, you may have used Google Maps to look up an address or get directions to a location. However, you may not know that Google Maps can do a lot more than merely locate an address. You can use its features to make your life much easier.

Street View is a useful feature for checking out properties online. If you are interested in a condominium, but the real estate MLS has not included any external views for the listing, it can really help. Spend a minute searching Google Maps to see the street view of the property's frontage and other houses on the street. The interior may have recently been renovated, but if the yard and entrance are not completed, you might not bother to arrange a visit. To do this, of course, you need the address. Street view also indicates the month, and year the images were acquired and many times offers multiple time frames for a historical perspective.

Street View also gives you a feel for the area. For instance, check out the state of repair of houses; are they well maintained? In a somewhat run-down street, do you see three or four houses that have clearly been recently renovated? Even noting the kinds of cars parked on the street and driveways can give you a feeling for the average income level and type of owner which lives there.

Back to the map view, you can check out the area's amenities. Are there local restaurants and bars or cafes? Where are the nearest schools? Is there a university nearby? You can also see parks, boat launches, theaters, art galleries, and museums - proximity to such sights is useful when planning a purchase. You could do all this by walking around - but it is so much quicker and easier to use Google Maps first to narrow down your options.

Switch to satellite view next and zoom in close. You cannot see every detail, but you can get a feel for some important real estate details, such as the structure of roofs. In particular, you can often see which properties in an old district have been re-roofed recently in new materials. Check the backyards for fencing, trees, a pool or parking. With a condominium, you can see proximity to the beach and other condo complexes. Google Maps is a useful tool for finding out exactly what lies on the outside side of a house or condominium.

You can also save data on Google Maps; this is useful when you are planning to see several different properties, which may be for sale. However, you can add other data too; for instance, you could create a map showing the price per square foot for properties that come up for sale. In many cities, you will find mash-ups that show other data on Google Maps, such as crime rates and average income. If you are investing in a specific town, it can help you pin down the best and worst areas; if you are moving to a suburbs, it can help you find the right areas to look for a home.

Google Maps will not tell you whether the house you have found is a bargain, but it can make your property search much easier.

Article by Emerald Coast Realty

Jan. 23, 2019

Two Palm Beach Club Condos for Sale, Pensacola Beach

Sand dunes and Gulf Beach at Pensacola Beach FL

The Palm Beach Club Condominium is a very popular destination on Pensacola Beach for both vacationers and owners alike. Palm Beach Club is located at the entrance to Fort Pickens Gulf Island National Seashore, between the Gulf of Mexico and Pensacola Bay. This complex is only a block away from a beach dog park, a fun experience for pet and owners.

Emerald Coast Realty currently has two units listed for sale; unit 105 and 255. These condos offer the beach lifestyle that people come here to experience. Two balconies provide fabulous panoramic views and stunning sunsets. On the bayside the is also a white sand beach with no wave action; perfect for kayaks, paddleboards, and young children. In the community area, you can barbeque, and a large pool and deck overlook the bay.

Pool and deck at Palm Beach Club Condominiums overlooking Pensacola Bay

Both condos are nicely appointed and have two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Unit 105 is located on Pensacola Bay and has northerly views over the sound and looking westwards towards the park. This unit features the flat floor plan for those that prefer one level living.  Unit 255 is a two story condo overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Unit 255 offers a Gulf beach vibe and is selling fully furnished.

Contact Kim Gibbons (850-437-5618), Emerald Coast Realty for additional information or to schedule a tour.

YouTube Video Palm Beach Club, 255

YouTube Video Palm Beach Club, 105


Listings by Emerald Coast Realty

Posted in Pensacola Beach
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.

Article by Emerald Coast Realty

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.