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!



Jan. 21, 2019

Panama City Beach's First NEW Condo Development in 10 Years

Palace Sands in Panama City Beach, FL

FINALLY… construction of a new Gulf-front condo complex is beginning soon on Thomas Drive in Panama City Beach, Florida.

The Man Behind The Project

I recently had a transaction with Michael Jones who was the developer of the PRINCESS (nearly 20 years ago) located on Thomas Drive. He is now bringing Panama City Beach its first new Gulf front complex since 2008—called PALACE SANDS. I have already pre-sold one PALACE SANDS unit and Michael gave me permission to tell my clients and subscribers about the opportunity be a charter owner in this magnificent place.

Like the PRINCESS, PALACE SANDS is Michael’s passion. He loves coordinating all the pieces required to birth a new project. He is most proud of his reputation for quality. That means more to him than monetary reward. He says that he is still thrilled when he sees the PRINCESS’ crown as he crosses the Hathaway Bridge. This won’t be a nondescript building among the other clones. NO…this condo will rise out of the sand as an “inspirational architectural beauty,” according to Michael.


PALACE SANDS will have twenty floors and 158 condos. The finest condos you can find. For example, all units will have superlative details such as quartz countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms. It will be topped off by this city’s absolute finest penthouses on Floor 20…REAL PENTHOUSES — not just a top floor unit just like all the rest except by name. The magnificent Cobalt Blue standing seam roof with a nearly 30 foot peak, allows a cathedral ceiling for that floor’s discriminating owners — the likes of which have never before seen here.

The amenity package includes a pair of half Olympic style pools raised a bit over the frontal dune area, allowing for maximum enjoyment of BOTH fresh water swimming and the Gulf of Mexico — which is only the width of beach away. Pools will be surrounded by cabanas and lush tropical plantings.

The rear “manatee deck” {4th. floor} will have a fun oriented “bar and grill” serving hot and cold sandwiches and beverages. Of course, our “signature” indoor pool, vis-à-vis Princess once again, will be a sure hit especially for our Snowbird guests. Included will be a SPA and a Gazebo with gas grilling available for the do-it-yourselfers. Oh yes, and a pair of “LOW Penthouses” featuring 14 foot ceilings anchoring the East and West ends of said floor.

Future Plans

The developer has designated the westernmost 310 feet of their 855 lineal feet on the Gulf for Phase I.  Future developments may include up to another pair of similar projects [PALACE SURF and PALACE SUN perhaps?] or considerations are underway for the possibility of one larger - say 250 units - but regardless, they are committed to using less than half of the allowed density permitted, an unheard-of concession by ANY Developer…anywhere.  These folks are not all about the MONEY…never have been and never will be…To wit:  FOUR OTIS ELEVATORS opening into air-conditioned lobbies… A study of their three successful condo projects exudes and exemplifies  the character of the folks with whom we are dealing…just read what the Realtors have to say who are fortunate to enjoy a rare listing in one of their legacy projects: ULTIMATE on Holiday Isle [Destin – East Pass setting] or HARBOR LIGHTS  [Destin harbor setting] or PRINCESS [Thomas Drive PCB setting]…we rest our case. 

People come here for three primary reasons, goals, needs whatever you wish to call them – always amount to same things:  Sands, Surf and Sun…Look no further!

Be a Charter Owner

For the very BEST this town has to offer in new condominium construction – expected to open in 2021 -- call NOW: Scott Pope 850-329-5910.

Prices range from $570,000-$770,000. Two Penthouses available at $2.6 million and two at $2.75 million.

See Palace Sands Condos for Sale, floor plans, and elevations!

Posted in Condo for Sale, News
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