Emerald Coast Real Estate Update

Trusted Real Estate News Blog

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.

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.