Emerald Coast Real Estate Update

Trusted Real Estate News Blog

March 25, 2018

Want to Buy on the Coast? Be Aware: It's A Seller's Market

Homes on NW Florida's Gulf Coast

More people today are ready to buy on Florida's NW Gulf Coast than ever before; real estate inventory is down, prices are up, it's a seller's market. So, what does this mean for you?

What this means is that more people are competing for fewer properties thus giving the seller the upper hand in pricing and negotiating terms. It is very common to have multiple buyers competing for a condominium or house that is for sale. Typically, these multiple buyers will be asked to present their highest and best offer, at times selling above the asking price. While in many parts of the country this has been the case for at least three years, we are experiencing this in our market now.

In these situations, cash buyers have a better chance of having their offer accepted than those buyers needing to finance, all things being equal.

When Kim Gibbons, Broker, and Owner of Emerald Coast Realty was asked how this real estate market compares to previous years, she said: "this is the strongest seller's market I have seen since 2004."  The last real estate boom started a few years before 2004 and peaked shortly afterward.  "Prices are up 12.5% year-over-year in February, and there is no weakness in the market."

If you are planning to purchase a house or condominium, be prepared to move quickly and make an offer when you find the one you want. Properties that are priced well sell very quickly.

NW Florida beaches properties are seeing continued appreciation strong demand and reduced property inventory. Beach communities all along the NW Florida Gulf Coast from Perdido Key, the westernmost beach community in the Pensacola, to the beaches of Hwy 30A in Walton County to the east of Destin.

Some of the hottest areas are close to downtown Pensacola and Navy Federal's expanding complex on the North West side of Pensacola. The revitalization of downtown has spread to adjoining neighborhoods and beyond. NW of Pensacola, extensive building activity around Navy Federal has expanded well past the Nature Trail subdivision and is moving southward toward the Escambia County's Equestrian Center.

Feb. 9, 2018

Sans Souci Condominium Unit 208 for Sale

View of beach from Sans Souci balcony

Welcome to Sans Souci, the hidden jewel of Pensacola Beach, where spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico meet the perfect destination for fun and relaxation.

This beautiful condominium sits directly on the Gulf, facing the world famous Florida beach. This second-floor unit is fully-furnished with lovely décor and is turnkey ready. The well-appointed kitchen has beautiful white cabinetry with stylish fixtures, a large breakfast bar, recess lighting, plant ledges, cute built in shelves and flows directly into the dining and living areas. The glass top dining table, buffet table, and coffee table blend the décor's earthy tones with comfort and light from the large sliding glass doors that enter onto the balcony. From here you will fall in love with the panoramic views of Pensacola Beach. The master suite and guest suite are large and roomy with king sized beds, carpeted flooring, ceiling fans and large closets. Both bathrooms have been recently updated as well.

Living room in Unit 208 Sans Souci

Unit 208 has a dedicated storage unit and designated covered parking space; both located in the parking garage beneath the main condominium structure.

Sans Souci Condominium boasts many amenities such as a gated entry, large pool, hot tub, exercise room and private walkover directly onto the beach. The complex was completely remodeled in 2005 with new landscaping, new pool, and new windows. Just minutes away are fabulous restaurants, such as Peg Leg Pete's, Crab's and Flounders, just to name a few. You can enjoy the great diversity of marine life at the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier after eating at Casino Beach Bar and Grill.

Visualize waking up to the sounds of the ocean and watching the dolphins play just beyond your balcony. What an excellent opportunity to purchase your very own home, vacation home or beach investment property located directly on the Gulf of Mexico. With all of the exciting and fun things to do on the Florida Emerald Coast within reach, imagine calling this paradise home.

Contact kim Gibbons, broker at Emerald Coast Realty at 850-437-5618 for further details and to arrange a showing.

See listing detail page for Sans Souci #208

Posted in Pensacola Beach
Nov. 28, 2017

Downtown Pensacola, Unprecedented Expansion and Revitalization

New construction in Downtown Pensacola

There are many words that people use to describe Pensacola Florida, but the one that stands out is Progress. Everywhere you look you see the progression that Downtown Pensacola is experiencing. The new YMCA complex at Tarragona and E Intendencia Streets is completed and thriving with more new members joining weekly. On the next block, Quint Studer's new multi-use development will be completed soon and offer over 250 new rental units. The Perfect Plain Brewery has opened its doors adding another popular microbrewery to the thriving downtown scene.

Older Pensacola neighborhoods like North Hill, East Hill, Maxent Tract, East Pensacola Heights, and waterfront subdivisions on and near Bayou Chico that are close to downtown and more affordable are benefiting from the expansion. Buyers are snatching up homes in these older established neighborhoods and are being renovated to reflect today's lifestyle. Custom builders are responding to buyer demand and are actively looking for lots and tear-downs to build new homes in communities adjacent to the downtown corridor. Both D.R. Horton and Adams Homes are building new developments in support of this growth.

The revitalization has developers and residents flocking to participate in the real estate opportunities that Pensacola offers. The city is besieged with opportunity for growth, and it seems like there is no end in sight. There are hundreds of condominiums, houses, and townhomes in various stages of development. The residential expansion is not the only thing happening here. Businesses, restaurants, technology companies, firms, boutiques, and even a basketball team are heading our way.

Pensacola offers quality living in a picturesque waterfront community that is willing to grow without compromising its authenticity. Pensacola is a city that embraces its future without losing sight of its rich past.

Call Justin Nicholas at Emerald Coast Realty to learn more about what Downtown Pensacola has to offer, 850-437-5618.


Article by Justin R. Nicholas

Posted in Downtown Pensacola
Nov. 28, 2017

Pensacola December 2017 Events

I love Christmas! I love the decorations, lights, shopping, the holiday food, and the parties. Most of all, I love Santa. If you feel the same way, then your opportunity to have a picture with Santa Claus in downtown Pensacola is here. Santa will be at the Escambia County Government Building, 223 S. Palafox Friday through Sunday until the 25th. Admission is free, and Santa's elves will be serving hot chocolate and assisting the photo process. Call 850-583-1365 for details.

One of the fun events you only see by living close to the water is the Lighted Boat Parade on Pensacola Beach. The parade starts at 6:30 p.m. December 2nd from the Sabine Marina and will make its way around to the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk. After the parade, Santa will greet children and other fans at the Quietwater Shell. Stick around for the firework display that begins at 8:00. Shaggy's will be hosting a pre-parade party for kids and their families from 4:00 to 6:00.

The Pensacola Christmas Parade in Downtown Pensacola will be beginning at 5:30 on December 9th. This annual event has grown tremendously over the years and now draws over 50,000 people to downtown streets. This year's parade features more floats, bands, and fun than ever. Come early; parking is more difficult to find in the dark. We love to go out afterward for a late dinner, but I would suggest making reservations to avoid a long wait.

December brings a lot of fun activities to the area between Christmas and New Year's Eve. Sometimes there are too many events to choose. The final Gallery Night for 2017 on December 15th is an easy choice. The mild fall weather this year makes a fun time even better Gallery Night closes traffic between Garden and Main Streets so you can meander thru the art, artists, food, and friendship. A good time for all.

Posted in Pensacola
Nov. 13, 2017

Navarre Beach Photo Gallery

The photos in this gallery represent the Navarre Beach sights and activities that people come here to enjoy. People choose to live here because of the quiet and slower beach environment. There are only 650 people that live here year-round.

Welcome to Navarre Beach sign

Of the all the beach communities on the Emerald Coast, Navarre Beach offer waterfront living without the crowds. Send us any photographs you would like to have included in the gallery.

This iconic sign is located at the base of the Navarre Beach Bridge and is the first thing you see as you approach Santa Rosa Island.

Navarre Beach Pier

A lone person sits on the beach enjoying a beautiful day near the Navarre Pier.

Visitors to the Pier

Navarre Beach Pier is the longest public pier in the Gulf of Mexico, 515 yards long. This is great location for great fishing and spectacular views of the gulf and beaches. You can even rent a fishing pole if you choose.

Navarre Beach Pier Resaurant

Visitors that are out for the day at the beach choose to have lunch at the Navarre Beach Pier Restaurant.

Condos and beach umbrellas

A busy day at the beach as folks rent chairs and umbrellas. The condos seen here from east to west are the Navarre Beach Regency, Beach Colony Resort, The Pearl and Caribbean Resort.

People on beach in Navarre

This is what people love about Navarre Beach, a relaxing beach life. Frequently, this is how residents and visitors choose to spend their free time.

Santa Rosa Island Condos on Navarre Beach

The view of the island, near the bridge, in Navarre on Highway 98. The condos seen here (from left to right) are Summerwind, Navarre Beach Regency Resort, Beach Colony, The Pearl of Navarre Beach and the Caribbean Resort.

Navarre Beach County Park

This is one of the picnic pavilions available at Navarre Beach Marine Park. The park has three reefs for snorkeling and the shallow water areas and beaches are prime locations for bird watching.

Santa Rosa Sound beach visitors

Small beach on Santa Rosa Sound at Navarre Beach Marine Park.

Navarre Beach Bridge

Island view of the Navarre Bridge from the park.

Rocco's Bistro

Rocco's Bistro is a favorite Navarre Beach restaurant and night spot.

The Hidden Creek Golf Course in Navarre FL

A round of golf is a great way to spend the day while In Navarre at Hidden Creek Estates.

Posted in Navarre Beach
Nov. 10, 2017

Beach Club Condo 1404 for sale on Pensacola Beach

Pool at Beach Club Resort

Beach Club Resort is the premiere destination on Pensacola Beach. You know you have arrived from the moment you pull up to the front gate. 1404 Beach Club is an elegantly appointed three-bedroom home featuring unfettered views of the Gulf of Mexico and the beach to the east and west of the resort. The great room is spacious and flows between the kitchen and the balcony. Floor to ceiling sliding doors span the great room and the master suite on the beach side of the condo and allow access to the balcony.

Unit 1404 master bedroom at Beach Club Condominiums

The split bedroom floor plan gives all three bedrooms privacy. The master suite is spacious and includes walk-in closets, a dressing area, on suite master bath and crown molding. Beach Club offers a beautifully landscaped pool, heated indoor pool, state-of-the-art gym and day spa. This oasis is walking distance to all of the fun at the Boardwalk but miles away from ordinary.

Beach Club Condo #1404 at 18 Via De Luna Drive was sold by Kim Gibbons, Emerald Coast Realty for $760,000.

Posted in Pensacola Beach
Oct. 28, 2017

How to Sell a Vacant Home in the Off-Season

Empty house for sale

There is a reason that spring and summer are the major seasons for selling houses. Most people want to move at a time that allows them to be settled by the fall, when kids go back to school and daylight shortens.

However, you might find yourself having to sell a vacant home in the off-season. The home might be empty because the seller had to move on for reasons of work or had to move into a house he or she was paying for.

There are really two issues here. The first is selling a vacant house. The second is selling a house in the off-season. Here are some tips on how to do both:

Selling a Vacant House

Keep Up Maintenance and Repair - Even with no one around, surfaces need to be dusted and kept clean. Once people move out, minor items needing repair, like a leaky faucet or a burned-out light bulb, might not be noticed. It is your job to notice, though, because signs of even minor disrepair or lack of maintenance can quickly turn off prospective buyers.

Clean the house or hire someone to clean it at least once a month. Surfaces need to be dusted, for example, and floors mopped or vacuumed. Do a walkthrough looking for repairs once a month, or hire a property manager to do it.

Make Sure the House Does not Look Vacant - A vacant property should not look vacant for two reasons: First, it is uninviting to see an empty property. It is less likely that a buyer will see themselves in the space; second, it is an open invitation to thieves, vandals and even squatters. You do not want to open the door one day and see that vandals spray-painted all over the walls.

Develop a plan. Pick up mail if the seller is not having it forwarded. Place lights on timers so that they go on automatically in the evening, just as they would if someone still lived there. Many have remote apps that make this easy.

Turn on the Heat - Do not leave the heat off for long periods of time. Lack of heat may make the house uncomfotable when it comes time to show it. In addition, lack of proper ventilation can make the house smell musty and unused. It is best to run the heat at regular intervals while the house is vacant.

Focus on Curb Appeal - Do not skimp on curb appeal just because the house is vacant. If anything, making the house look inviting becomes even more critical if no one lives there. Keep the grounds and garden in the same pristine condition as the house. Paint the door a vibrant color. Place small trees on either side to frame it.

Stage the Interior - When prospective buyers come, they need to see an interior that looks welcoming, and that allows them to visualize themselves in the house. They may not be able to do that fully if the house is completely empty.

On the other hand, completely furnishing an empty house may not be practical. What you need to do is stage the interior. Put focal pieces in each room, for example. You don't need to create a functional room; you just have to give clients a sense of how the room would look if they lived there. In other words: a fireplace with wood, a lamp and a sofa in the living room might be enough. No need for matching armchairs and two more lamps.

Selling in the Off-Season

Price to Sell - While you likely will not attract the maximum number of buyers in the off-season, some people do look in the fall and winter. To move the house, the most prudent move is to price it to sell. If you are in a hot market, that may be at a market price. If demand is a tad sluggish, price it slightly under. For most sellers, it is better to sell at a price slightly under the asking price in October than to wait five more months, especially if they are carrying the mortgage.

Sweeten the Offer - Sweetening the offer may also help sell the house in the off-season. Nicely enough, sweeteners abound, depending on the property. Does a patio look as if it may need replacement in the next five years? See if the seller will replace it as a sweetener. Do the same with any major appliance that may go in five years, such as water heaters.

The other sweetener strategy is to wait for buyers to suggest things. Some may want a reseeded lawn or pruned trees. Entertain these offers if they look likely to result in a sale.

It can be more challenging to sell a vacant home in the off-season, but by utilizing these tips, you will place yourself at a strategic advantage in moving a house in the off-season.

By Megan Wild

Permission RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

Oct. 27, 2017

Pensacola November 2017 Events


Fall is finally in the air as we move towards the holidays. Tourists are heading home, and we are welcoming snowbirds back to spend the season with us. There are lots of festivals and activities offered this month beginning with the Umbrella Sky Project.  This project is part of the 4th Annual Pensacola Foo Foo Festival which begins on November 2nd. Hundreds of colorful umbrellas are being installed on Intendencia St from Palafox to Jefferson St. The art project is intended to remain for three months.

The Pensacola Foo Foo Festival is a grouping of new and established events throughout the greater Pensacola area that showcases a celebration of our gulf coast food, music, arts and creative events.  Offerings include the Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival, the Big Green Egg« Cook-off, Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival, the annual Pensacola Marathon, and the always popular Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show.  You can check out the Foo Festival at FooFooFest.com.

The Great Gulf Coast Art Festival is on November 3, 2017 - November 5, 2017, in Seville Square Park. The festival offers food, music, demonstrations, children's activities as well as the art featured in the show. This year's festival is following the launch of Cubed Gulf Coast art display in the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza on Palafox St.  On Nov. 3-5 pm, sixteen artists will transform one side of four cubes with their vision in this live art experience. This display will remain in place for the twelve days of Foo Foo.

If you have not been preparing for the Pensacola Marathon, then it is probably too late for you to participate. You can still cheer the runners on November 12, 2017, beginning at Veterans Memorial Park beginning at 6:30 am.  The time limit for the full and half marathon course is six hours.

If festivals are not your thing the UF/IFAS Escambia County Extension is hosting "The Science Hour," offered on the 3rd Thursday of every week this month. Check out topics such as climate change, stormwater pollution, bats, and more. Sessions are free. For more information contact Carrie Stevenson at call (850) 475-5230.

Posted in Pensacola
Oct. 10, 2017

Lillian Hwy home for sale on Perdido Bay

Home on 10245 Lillian Highway

This coastal cottage at 10245 Lillian Highway, in Southwest Pensacola, is a move-in ready and sold fully furnished home. The recently renovated home has three bedrooms, two full baths, an upgraded kitchen and two living areas. A large L-shaped porch on the front allows a straight view of the bay. While sitting on the front porch, it is easy to imagine that time has slowed down and is inviting you to do the same. The back porch is screened and overlooks a generous backyard that has plenty of room for kids and a garden. The screened gazebo in the south-west corner offers additional options for entertaining.

Waterfront home on Perdido Bay

The Lillian Highway portion of Perdido Bay is a quiet stretch of waterfront big trees and far-reaching waterfront vistas. It is easy to imagine tooling around in a pontoon boat with family and friends of spending the day fishing out in the bay. Perdido Bay offers easy access to the Gulf of Mexico, Perdido Key, Orange Beach and Ono Island.

This property at 10245 Lillian Highway in Pensacola FL 32506 was sold by Kim Gibbons at Emerald Coast Realty for $225,000.

Posted in Perdido Bay
Sept. 29, 2017

House at 4920 Hickory Shores Blvd in Gulf Breeze for Sale

Front of 4920 Hickory Shores Blvd in Gulf Breeze FL

Gulf Breeze FL has long been a popular waterfront community for homeowners because of its convenient location, great schools, and the natural beauty of the peninsula it is on. With the bay to the north and the Santa Rosa Sound to the south, we offer great opportunities for boating, fishing, water skiing, paddle boarding and various other water sports. Those not interested in getting out there on the water can kick back and enjoy the views. Being surrounded by water allows us to have a more moderate climate than some of our neighbors to the north.

Aerial photo of Hickory Shores from the water.

4920 Hickory Shores, nestled into a corner of Gulf Breeze that still offers mature trees and over-sized waterfront lots. Located around the corner from the southern campus of Pensacola State College, the neighborhood has easy access to both Pensacola, Navarre, and Ft. Walton. This bay front home is sited on a lot just under one acre and includes a pier, swimming pool, and a new two-story detached two car garage that is framed out for a studio apartment or guest quarters upstairs. There is plenty of room for the family here.

Sold Kim Gibbons at Emerald Coast Realty

Posted in Gulf Breeze