Panama City Beach Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Aug. 31, 2018

How to Save Money and Make Money With an Easy Project

Condo sales and rentals all start online and pictures will either attract or turn away prospective buyers or guests.

Want an easy way to make your condo more photogenic? Paint. Whether it's walls or furniture, fresh paint brightens up space and makes it look cleaner. And that will make it sell or rent faster!

For example, the black cabinet cost $400 new and it fits into the hallway perfectly because it's narrow. It looked alright as it was, but it's color wasn't ideal.

So we had three choices: 1. Get a new one which means spending more money...and having to dispose of a great piece of furniture. 2. Leave it as is. 3. Or refinish it.We decided to spend $100 and a couple hours refinishing the old cabinet with paint. Chalk paint is ideal for refinishing furniture. No priming or sanding required but it is recommended to wipe it down with glass cleaner and a cloth. Lastly, and it dries fast.

Six Easy Steps:

1) Pick out chalk paint color(s)

2) Pick out new hardware

3) Remove drawers

4) Paint

5) Install new hardware

6) Put drawers back into place

As you can see, the cabinet coordinates with the color scheme now and looks more attractive. It brightens the picture and is more appealingThis is an easy, inexpensive project that doesn't take much time to do. And the payoff is huge. It eliminates furniture hunting. We didn't have to spend another $300-400 for a replacement. Lastly, it's photogenic and makes the hallway pop both online and in person.

That means more money for us! Give it a try and get these benefits too–especially the money part.


Posted in condo improvements
Aug. 31, 2018

What Does Buying a Snickers and a Condo Have in Common?

When I was around 8 years old, I remember being at a store, finding my favorite candy bar – Snickers – and rushing to check-out. It was in my hand but soon it would be in my mouth. I was already drooling like Pavlov's dog.

The cashier rung up the sale and asked me for money. I counted my money. I counted it again. No! Reaching into my pocket, I searched for another nickel. No luck. I stared at her with disbelief. I was speechless but she wasn't.

"Sorry," said the cashier, as she gave me back my money and keeping my prized delicacy.

I learned a lesson: Know how much something costs and know if you have enough money to get it. Otherwise, you will be disappointed when something you dreamed of having is within your grasp yet is taken from you just as you can taste it.

Have you ever had such an experience?

Well, I don't want you to have that experience shopping for a condo when you're borrowing money to buy it.

I know you're thinking: What do you mean Scott? My credit is good and I have the down payment. My bank has pre-approved me and tells me to just pick one out. No problem.

That's great. Your banker knows you, your credit score and history. Unfortunately your bank probably isn't familiar with beach condos. Often they say they can do the loan. You make an offer on your dream get away. It's accepted. Then three weeks into buying your condo–about a week until closing and it's yours!–you are told "sorry" by the bank because they can't do the loan since it's non-warrantable.

You are like the little kid at the counter ready to devour chocolate goodness and you too do not have the money to pay for it. Ouch!

See most banks and mortgage lenders do not keep the loans they originate. They will sell that mortgage in the secondary market to either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. However those two institutions have guidelines that mortgages must meet in order for them to consider purchasing them from the original lenders (your bank or mortgage broker).

Condos that meet Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's criteria are called a "warrantable" condo and those that don't meet it are "non-warrantable" condos.

The general guidelines for classifying a condo warrantable are:

  • No one person or entity owns more than 10% of the units in a complex

  • A minimum of 51% of the units are owner-occupied

  • Less than 15% of the units are behind on their HOA dues

  • The HOA is not named in litigation

  • No more than 25% of the total building is for commercial use

Traits of non-warrantable condos are:

  • The development is not yet completed

  • There is an on-site short-term rental office

  • The HOA is involved in litigation

That is not to say there aren't loans for non-warrantable condos but you will have a higher down payment and higher interest rate to obtain one. And some condos will require a loan from a local bank who hold their own loans. Those loans typically are adjustable rate mortgages.

If you need a low down payment and reasonable interest rate to qualify for a mortgage on your beach condo purchase, then you will want to look at the chart on the next page. Identify the warrantable condos, and pursue those.

The point is, before you even begin looking at condos and begin drooling over your "Snickers," you need to ask a question: What condos at my price point are warrantable? Now let's go find you a condo!

Posted in mortgages
Aug. 8, 2018

Seychelles July 2018 Market Report

Since 1/1/2015, a total of 76 units have sold in Seychelles to date (2015, 15 units; 2016, 17; 2017, 30; 2018, 14). The turnover of ownership is close to 10% per annum. Sales in 2017 almost equaled all of the previous two years combined. This year's pace is falling short of last year.

This year one bedroom units are averaging $233,200. The low was $222K and the high was $245K. The last two sales were both at $245K bought with cash whereas all the other sales were by conventional financing.

Prices have jumped by $23K for one bedroom units since May of this year which is an

amazing 10% increase. The latest listing is at $259K, pushing for another 5.5% in less than a month.

Three three bedroom condos have sold for $415,000 in January for cash; $424,900 in June for cash; and $440,900 in late June for "other", according to the MLS. That is a 6% increase in pricing in six months.

See Seychelles Condos for Sale

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 7, 2018

The Sunbird July 2018 Market Report

 Since 1/1/2015, a total of 70 units have sold in the Sunbird to date (2015, 20 units; 2016, 16; 2017, 19; 2018, 15). The turnover of ownership is 6.5% per annum. This year's pace is on track to sell three more units than last year. Four are currently under contract.

This year condos are averaging $173,686. The low was $155,900 and the high was $197,500. The average sold to original list price ratio was 96.89%. The average days on the market was 53 and 73% of the units sold in 60 days or less. Total volume sold is $2,605,300 which is $222,500 above the total of last year's sales with five months remaining in the year. At this pace, sales volume by year's end would be $3,821,102.

The average price grew by $24,761 from 2017 to 2018 for a 16% year over year increase!And the days on the market dropped 16% as well.

I sold 710W 2/28/18 for $173K which comes to $284.07/sq ft (4.5 months later another one sold for the same amount). Only one other unit sold for more this year at $285.29/sq ft., amounting to only one half of one percent difference.

This is a phenomenal year. The primary advantage Sunbird has over most complexes is its entry-level price point along with its great condition and low HOA fees.

Posted in Market Updates
May 6, 2018

Couple Decide to Move Closer to Grandkids!

Congratulations to the Willinghams on the sale of their St. Thomas Square condo at 8730 Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach, Florida! They bought it two years ago for $80,000 and put some work into it and sold it for $119,000. It is the highest selling unit in The Plaza at St Thomas Square since the 08 crash.

They enjoyed two sun-filled, fun-filled years in paradise at Panama City Beach, Florida. However, their lifestyle wants and needs changed. Ron & Jane decided to move back to northwest Georgia and live closer to kids and grandkids, or more likely grandkids and kids.

They didn't strike out although they had two strikes. The first contract was within days of going on the market, but it was contingent upon the buyers selling their property first. Didn't happen. Strike one. Then another contract came in from a couple who sold their Missouri home. They wanted to rent the condo for the six weeks leading up to closing day. Problem: the Willinghams didn't want to move before the property closed. Strike two. Then a cash offer with no contingencies arrived. Home run!

Helping people accomplish their lifestyle goals is what I love about being a real estate advisor. The opportunity to make dreams of living at the beach a reality, having a second home in paradise to enjoy part-time, or geting back to "home". I have the privilege of being a part of an exciting adventure people decide to take, but don't know exactly how to begin and make it happen. That's satisfying to me.

Do you have a yearning for a coastal retreat?

Or want to move to the beach full-time?

A journey begins with the first step. Then knowing the following steps will get you there faster. You don't have to blaze a new trail. I know the path and I can help you arrive at your dream destination.

Take the next step. Give us a call today at 850-329-5910 or you can get your FREE Panama City Beach Condo Guide here.

Learn more about St. Thomas Square and see all condos for sale HERE!




Posted in Sold
March 2, 2018

Sunbird 710W Sold & Closed

The Sunbird in Panama City Beach, FL 

Congratulations to the Kelloggs on the sale of their unit to the Richardsons who got a million dollar sunset view for only $173,000.

The Sunbird 710W sold and closed on 2/28/2018. 15 Sunbird units were sold the last 12 months (2/28/17-2/28/18):

  • Total Sales Volume $2,364,200
  • Average Sales Price $157,647
  • Median Sales Price $153,200
  • Average Sales Price/sq ft $271.96
  • 2 pending sales

It sold for 4.45% more than any other unit at $284.07/sq. ft. It ranks third in price at $173,000.*

See the pictures and details about this condo at my SOLD page 

Stay informed. Get a FREE Sunbird Market Report online by Subscribing NOW 

*Information obtained from Central Panhandle Association of Realtors®

Posted in Sold
Jan. 17, 2018

VW Quiz

Posted in quiz
Jan. 13, 2018

Sunshine Fills Panama City Beach Real Estate

The sun always seems to be shining on Panama City Beach real estate. And, the best refreshment for sunshiny days is a cool and frosty ice cream cone. Cheers ring out from crowds headed to Hershey’s Beach Ice Cream where over thirty-five flavors beckon snackers.

All the classics represent. French Vanilla is the ultimate taste sensation. Crazy Vanilla is just as yummy but a bit wild with its appearance a rainbow of colors. Strawberry kicks it up a notch by mixing deliciously with cheesecake. Chocolate lovers find exactly what they are looking for. Numerous blends including Milk Chocolate Mayhem, Muddy Sneakers, Dutch Chocolate Almond, Fudge Ripple and Bear Foot Brownie. Mixing peanut butter with chocolate goes a step further and creates plenty of smiles. Top choices are Peanut Butter Pretzel and Peanut Butter Twist. Kids go wild for fun flavors such as Cotton Candy, Playdough, Bubble Gum, Birthday Batter and Candy Bar Overload. Parents may eye their kids cones with envy but feel a bit sophisticated choosing Amaretto Chocolate Truffle, Praline Pecan, Rum Raisin or Butter Brickle.

Discover Scoops of Goodness on Panama City Beach Property

Fruity concoctions often restore energy sapped from the sun. Tropical tastebuds call out for double scoops of Mango Mango, Pineapple and Coconut. Both light and airy, Lemon competes closely with Orange Blossom on this Panama City Beach property. Passersby turn green with envy as they spy folks with bowls of Pistachio, Key Lime Pie and Mint Moose Tracks. Whatever craving comes calling there’s something in the house to satisfy. Adding an element of surprise the ice cream flavors here change regularly.

Scoops are generous in size and come in one, two and three scoop increments. Sensational sundaes smother ice cream in between bananas, or on top of brownies. Hot fudge and caramel sauces are swirled on as a finishing touch. Eat inside or out on the patio. Many indulge in a rootbeer float, shake or malt. A bit less messy these beverages are a perfect grab and go when relaxing on Panama City Beach real estate


Posted in News
Jan. 13, 2018

Behold the Sea’s Mysteries While Living in Panama City Beach

The mystery of the ocean's depths has always intrigued those on the land living in Panama City Beach and beyond. A short trip down Highway 98 leads to the Man in the Sea Museum where the history of underwater exploration of the sea is showcased.

Man’s early attempts at traversing underwater included rudimentary diving and fishing equipment such as breathing apparatuses crafted from animal skins. The evolution of personal diving equipment is more than impressive when comparing the transformation of old to modern gear. Commercial diving outfits are laid out for scrutiny next to a substantial collection of masks and helmets. Underwater crafts have also gone through significant changes. Visitors get a glimpse of early model submarines onsite while touring the Underwater Traveling Modules exhibit. Guests line up to view past United States Navy Sea Labs including the “first underwater living facility.” A journey to the Coastal Systems Display teaches patrons about the history of U.S. Navy.

Life Under the Waves Comes to Light on Panama City Beach Property

Friendly staff greet visitors and brief them on the museum's holdings. Self guided tours are easily accomplished. Guided tours give extra insight into the sealab. Multiple vessels allow boarding causing imaginations to soar.

The doors to the Man in the Sea Museum are open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 17. Children under the age of 5 may enter for free. Military members and senior citizens receive discounts on ticket prices. Membership packages are wonderful for beach bums living in Panama City Beach. Including complimentary admission to the museum, other perks incorporate member only events, preferred admittance to special events and additional discounts. Options for memberships range from one year individual to family and lifetime sponsors.

After a visit to the Man in the Sea Museum on Panama City Beach property folks may look at the ocean a bit differently. The mystery remains hidden in its depths but man will forever try to get a glimpse of the secrets of the sea!


Posted in News
Jan. 13, 2018

Wild Adventure Awaits on Panama City Beach Property

The wildest of dreams come true on Panama City Beach property. At Zoo World visitors not only view exotic animals in state of the art habitats but have the opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of creatures. One of a kind experiences feature the gentlest of animals and the most fearsome.

Get kisses from a long-necked giraffe, cuddle a sloth, hold an alligator and chirp with budgies. All encounters are priced under $40 making these memories more affordable than comparable programs at larger zoos. Mellow giraffes stick their necks out when they bid hello to those standing on the Giraffe Feeding Tower. Guests offering up a lettuce leaf or two are more often than not rewarded with a kiss of gratitude. Sloths are sleepy and love to be cuddled. Slink in slowly and match them pace for pace. Lemurs big on character adore making new friends. Brave buddies gather round for alligator feedings. When the buckets are emptied into the water a frenzy ensues. Those not intimidated may choose to hold one of these fierce relatives of the dinosaurs. Bird watchers find themselves in their own heavenly realm as they enter the aviary. Feathers fly in a colorful array and shoulders and arms become perches as birds seek out snacks in the form of a budgie stick.

Visit the Exotic Animals Calling Panama City Beach Home

Many other forms of wildlife make this their Panama City Beach home. Favorites to visit are bears, lions and tigers. Monkeys mimic each other causing giggles to break out. Youngsters of all ages engage happily with a variety of domesticated farm animals. Feed is available for those who wish to practice being a farmer. Located at 9008 Front Beach Road on Panama City Beach property, Zoo World is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Annual passes are great ways to stay close to the animals. Packages include limitless admission and discounts.


Posted in News