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. 16, 2016

Coming Soon in St Thomas Square

Did you miss buying one of the last two 1BR Villas to come on the market in St. Thomas Square? One lasted four days and the other only 70 days.

Get ready! A poolside one bedroom villa on the ground floor is being offered for sale this week. This condo has a rental history demonstrating it generates strong cash flow while giving you many opportunities to come enjoy it yourself.

Buy this condo with confidence that you made the right decision. I am offering my Try it•Like it•Buy it! plan when you have me write up a purchase agreement that closes (not offered to clients already working with an agent).

Don’t hesitate to schedule your opportunity to be the first to see this latest offering by Scott Pope at St. Thomas Square.

July 2, 2016

Sold & Closed in Hurricane Fashion

My neighbors Greg and Debbie Noland were on a mission for their dream home in Panama City Beach, Florida. Together we formulated criteria and started the journey.

Within days they found a home exactly where they always wanted to live — south side of S Lagoon Drive. However, due diligence overcame excitement. A major sewerage problem was found with a hefty repair estimate along with several minor problems. The seller was unwilling to negotiate off a list price that was appropriate for a perfect home. So the Nolands walked.

We looked at all available homes in the desired area. Nothing had the same appeal as that first home. Impatiently, we hoped for something new to come on the market. I looked on the MLS every day hoping for something new.

Then, Debbie called me with a home she wanted to look at. It was not in the “must have” area (the previous evening she had once again stressed the area they wanted). The home was vacant so we went at dusk to see it. I submitted an offer by noon the next day.

It was one of three on the table for the seller. We were not the highest offer, but we were the only cash offer. The sellers had just experienced a contract that fell through because of financing. The pre-approved buyer purchased a new vehicle after he had a contrct on the home. Buyers DO NOT DO THIS! The mortgage company denied the loan immediately.

His loss was the Nolands’ gain. The sellers were not willing to risk another failed contract so they accepted my clients’ offer.

Due diligence time again. Everything was good except some confusion at the title company. When the surveyor contacted them about the property, they were told the deal fell through. This caused a delay. Yet another delay as the surveyor waited for additional information from the title company. Then…it rained, hard. For most of the day it was scheduled for the survey which was the day before closing. But it was done by late afternoon with drawing and elevation certificate in hand by midmorning of closing date.

Whew! It was a hurricane paced race from contract to close in only 16 days on 7/1/16, including stormy weather the day before closing.

Congratulations Greg and Debbie!

Thank you Parkers for selling your home to a great couple who loves the home you sold to them. This deal could not have been successful without the help of Bonnie Milstead (listing agent), Jim Musser (home inspector), Arrow Pest Service (WDO inspection), Roger Anglin (surveyor), Mark Stockdale (Diamond Title Agency).

Posted in Sold
May 9, 2016

Under Contract: St Thomas Square 1301A

Unit 1301A in St. Thomas Square in Panama City Beach, Fl 32408 went under contract on 5/8/16. It was only on the market for 25 days. The projected closing date is 6/21/16.

There is only one studio and one efficiency condo available in the Plaza of St Thomas Square. There is also a 2BR 2BA loft unit available in Villa III.

St Thomas Square is a unique property located on Grand Lagoon and just one block off the beach. You can access the Bay and the Gulf within 15 minutes from the on-site dock. Or you can walk a quarter mile to the public beach access located across the street at Gulf Crest condos. I would say St Thomas Square is the best kept secret in Panama City Beach.

You can find out more and/or make an appointment to see available units by calling Scott at 850-329-5910.

St Thomas Square Condos for Sale

Posted in Market Updates
April 12, 2016

St Thomas Square Condo For Sale 1301A

This unit sold on 6/3/2016

See available St Thomas Square condos for sale


This 1BR 1BA condo is 693 square feet that has new carpet and fresh paint. It is one of only four found in the Plaza of St. Thomas Square with this floor plan. There are only two on the top floor. 1301A is on the east end of the building. Since it is an end unit, that means you do not have any neighbors above you and you only have one unit directly beside you.

Another advantage of an end unit is windows! There are seven windows, a sliding glass door unit leading to the balcony, and the bedroom door accessing the balcony is mostly glass. You will enjoy the Florida sunshine making this a bright and inviting place for you to stay. In contrast, most units in the Plaza have sliding glass door units for the balcony only.

Windows means views! You can see a small view of the Gulf from the dining area table on a pretty day. The living area overlooks Thomas Drive and all the condos along the coast. From the balcony you see a pond, boats in the parking lot, tennis courts, beautiful landscaping, villas, and the lagoon is spotted between villa buildings.

Location Location Location

If location is important to you, then this is the place to be. First, St.Thomas Square is on the corner of Thomas Drive and Joan Avenue. You can walk to the beach! A public beach access approximately 1,500 feet from your condo is found at the end of Joan Avenue. Enjoy the day at the sugary beach of Panama City Beach on the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Swim. Play Frisbee. Go parasailing. Or lie in the sun and/or get a great nap. In other words, have fun!

Second, there is a Mexican restaurant, coffee shop, hair salon, nail salon, dentist, and more on the property. An amusement park with go karts, bumper boats, and arcade is adjacent to the complex. Other restaurants within walking distance are Wendy’s, Hammerhead Fred’s, Mellow Mushroom, and Subway. . St. Andrews State Park is five miles away. Pier Park is 7.5 miles west. Signal Hill golf course and Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum is only a mile away. Can’t get enough water at the beach? Three miles and you are at Shipwreck Island Waterpark.

Third, Grand Lagoon runs along the north side of the complex. There is a community boat dock you can tie off your boat or personal watercraft. Grand Lagoon takes you directly to the Bay and the Gulf in less than twenty minutes. You can fish in the lagoon or kayak or paddleboard. You will see many types of birds ranging from Osprey to ducks. Occasionally dolphin are seen in the lagoon.


All this is offered at $89,795! This is your chance to have a great vacation home in Panama City Beach. You can rent this unit when you are not using it and it will practically pay for itself. This condo is ready for vacation by you, your guests, and renters.

Posted in Featured Listing
Jan. 11, 2016

St Thomas Square Studio Condo 1305 For Sale

St. Thomas Square is an ideal location for you who love coming to Panama City Beach for the beach and water sports! It is nestled between the glimmering emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Grand Lagoon.

For beach lovers it is only one block from the beach directly across from the public access to the beach. That means you can walk or, if you prefer, drive less than five minutes to enjoy the Emerald Coast.

Water sports enthusiasts bring your watercraft and keep it at the property’s own dock and park your trailer on the premises. Then you can go fishing, boating, or waterskiing anytime you wish. You are just a 30 minute ride to Shell Island, dockside restaurants and the Gulf of Mexico. Dock will accommodate boats up to 30 feet, has electricity, and a fish cleaning station.

You can walk to restaurants, coffee shop, nail salon, hair salon, and amusements from your new condo.

St. Thomas Square’s unique location makes it a desirable vacation destination. You can come anytime you like and share it with friends and family. Best of all, it is a great vacation rental property. That means you can rent your unit when you are not using it and it will practically pay for itself. So have a vacay stay for nearly free.

Unit number 1305 at St. Thomas Square is a 623 ft.² studio condo suitable for both vacationing and as a vacation rental. This combo comes fully furnished and includes washer and dryer. It is offered at $87,000. Conventional financing is available with 10% down if used as a second home. There is still time to purchase this unit in time for the busy rental season so it can start paying for itself, and for you a practically free vacation.

More St Thomas Square Condos Available to Purchase
Posted in Homes For Sale
Jan. 11, 2016

Preparation and Perspiration: Don’t Forget Curb Appeal

Don’t judge a book by its cover. I am sure you have heard that one before. If not, just because the cover of the book doesn’t appeal to you doesn’t mean the content is not good. Usually it’s the converse. The book has a beautiful cover but it is a terrible book. That is why more times than not the cover is going to be attractive. They have to get you interested before you will even consider opening it up and checking to see if it is any good.

Likewise, how your house looks from the street, hence curb appeal, to a potential buyer who passes by often determines whether they will consider looking at the inside or continue on to the next house for sale.

I know. Certain architectural characteristics of your house cannot be changed. Without exorbitant cost you can’t make a ranch into a two story or a two story into a split-level…

However, make the best of what you have. Preparing a home for sale costs you time and perspiration. The payoff: you get the most money for your house faster. So do the things you do have control over.


You CAN keep the grass cut and neatly trimmed. When’s the last time you trimmed those shrubs (or bushes to some depending where you are from). Think about this, do you like the way your coworker looks when he/she neglects grooming? Kind of makes you look the other way. Neglect grooming your lawn and the buyers are going to look right past your home as well.cutting grass

Personally, I am not a yard guy. I have been cutting grass since I was six (mom had to start the mower for me). So I am tired of cutting grass, but it has to be done. But, is it necessary for my wife to plant trees and flowers that break up a great cutting pattern? I digress.

However, I’m thinking that if I can sell my house for top dollar and can use that money to (buy a bigger house, buy a beach condo, go on a trip around the world, you fill in the blank). Then it probably is worthwhile cutting and trimming grass and bushes—shrubs to some. Might even pay to plant a few of those pesky get in the way flowers around the mailbox. Most people will appreciate them even if you don’t.

So you did the lawn and thought you were done. Not so fast. Open your eyes and look. No, really look at the way your house looks from the street. Now everything looks good to you. Right? Then it probably doesn’t look good enough to catch buyers’ attention because almost all your competition looks “good.” You have to look better!

Clean & Paint

Curb appeal also involves cleaning and painting. Clean the windows. Exterior siding needs power washing to brighten up its appearance, and you  may as well do the driveway and sidewalk while you are at it. Fix the fence if boards are rotten, or badly warped. Paint or stain the fence or redo the finish. Paint the front door a nice color. Make your house pop!

It’s time to look at your house from the street again. How does that “book’s cover” look now? Is it inviting? You should be excited with the results of all your preparation and perspiration.

Now you actually stand a chance of selling your house. Congratulations, great curb appeal doesn’t guarantee the sale of your home, but it’s a great start. Positive curb appeal invites potential buyers to see if the inside lives up to the cover. Otherwise, it’s on to the next one on the long list of potential homes.

Posted in Selling
Jan. 8, 2016

Preparation and Perspiration: How to Get More Money For Your Home

70 Camaro

Camaro After It Was Repaired

When I was 16, I bought this really cool 1970 Camaro for $1800. I had it for one month before I smashed it into a tree (no drugs or alcohol were involved; showing off for my girlfriend and trying to outdo another friend, ugh!)

How much damage did I do? $1800! It was a total loss and I didn’t have full coverage insurance. I still owed $1800 on it (that was a lot of money then, especially for someone 16 years old). Thank goodness my income tax refund gave me the funds for most of the repairs.

My dad had a friend that owned a body shop. He offered me a way to save my car. He let me do all the menial and mundane tasks involved in fixing a wrecked car, and I helped him with heavy work like hanging a new door. It was dirty work in a hot shop that made me sweat. But it was necessary preparation that had to be done in order to get a great end result; a car that looked as good as it did before the wreck.

He discounted the repair costs because I was doing a lot of the preparation work, work almost anyone could perform. And he did all the finish work. The stuff I couldn’t do like matching the paint and doing it without runs. In other words, tasks that require specific knowledge and practice which made him a professional in his field.

I had a choice to let him do all the work and pay a higher price, or help prepare my car with sweat equity and let him apply his professional skills for a great outcome.

Selling a House

You see, I am a professional who markets and coordinates real estate transactions. My job, like the body shop owner, requires much preparation and perspiration to get your home ready for sale. The actual marketing, selling, and coordinating the sale process of your home are the skills I have that are better left to a professional with the knowledge and practice to perform them.

However, a house must first be properly prepared inside and out before going on the market. This will draw more buyers to your property and more offers. More importantly, strong offers giving you the most return on your investment in your house.

Preparation consists of:cutting grass

• Cleaning inside and outside thoroughly
• Attention to landscaping (curb appeal)
• Decluttering, depersonalizing, and staging
• Painting
• Necessary repairs

These things require time and labor (preparation and perspiration). Actions almost anyone can perform and somebody has to get these things done. You must do them or pay someone to do them. I believe preparation is essential before putting your home on the market if you want terrific results.

Why Prepare?

Don’t you want the best possible outcome? Like my wrecked car, preparation is needed before you can have the best possible product on the market. The goal for my car was to restore it to a pre-wrecked condition that looked good again and would be salable. The goal for your house is to sale it in the shortest amount of time for the most amount of money! And that requires preparation and perspiration to achieve that goal.

A real estate salesman not willing to have either you or themselves take this critical first step probably just wants to “list” your home. They do not know what it takes to market your home effectively. They put up a “for sale” sign in your yard, put your house on the MLS, and they hope it sells. They make great money if the house does happen to sell. Even if it doesn’t, they benefit from phone inquiries from buyers looking for a home because of the sign in your yard. That inquiry may lead to a sell of another home your listing agent profits from.

Remember it’s your home being sold. You deserve choices. You deserve to have your home properly prepared before it is put on the market so you will benefit from a quick sale and get the most money for your home.

I had a choice with my car, either spend many hot and sweaty hours helping get it back drivable and looking good, or let it set useless and ugly. I had part of the money to get it repaired, but a half repaired total wrecked car is still not worth much, or very appealing.

I believe you should have a choice to save money or, if you prefer, have it done for you. If you have the time and willing to sweat a little bit, or a lot, and have the money to take care of the preparation yourself, then you should be rewarded for doing the menial and mundane tasks for the real estate agent selling your home. The agent however should take this in consideration and reflect it in her sales commission.

What do You Choose?

If you don’t have the time and rather have someone else take care of it for you, that’s fine also. At least you should have the option to choose how you want to proceed with the sale of your home. I had a choice with my car, either spend many hot and sweaty hours helping get it back drivable and looking good, or let it set useless and ugly.

If you choose not to properly prepare your home, then be prepared for it to sit on the market for a long time. And be prepared for low offers. Please prepare your home prior to placing it on the market. Then see the results!

sold listing 1

Posted in Selling
Jan. 6, 2016

Attention FSBOs and Expired Listings on the Do Not Call List

I just sat down to eat my dinner when my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number but I answered it anyway. “Hello I am calling to let you know that you qualify for (click).” Another pesky telemarketer. It seems it always happens at dinner and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t know about you but I hate this method of sales.

Prevent Unwanted Telemarketing

do not call

Did you know you can register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, and Florida residents you can register it on the Florida Do Not Call Program as well? 31 days after you register telemarketers will be violating the law each time they call you. It really does help cut down on the annoying, unwanted disruption of someone trying to sell you something.

I am not a salesman and I’m sure not a telemarketer. I market and coordinate real estate transactions. I do not use these methods to acquire business. However, there are plenty of real estate agents who are telemarketers. That’s fine if it works for them and they do not do it illegally.

There are two types of potential clients that are often targets for real estate telemarketers: FSBOs and expired listings (owners of homes whose listing contracts expire before they are sold). If you are in one of these two categories, you can expect to receive many phone calls from real estate agents.

What if your phone number is on the do not call list(s)? Are real estate agents exempt from obeying the do not call lists? Let’s look at FSBOs first to find out.


There are two reasons a real estate agent would call a FSBO. First, the agent has clients interested in your property. She would call to ask if you are willing to pay a commission if she brings a buyer with an acceptable offer. If you respond yes, she will make an appointment to bring her clients to see your home. This is a legitimate purpose for calling.

Second, the agent calls you trying to get you to list your home with them on the MLS. This is not a legitimate purpose for calling. However many are taught that since they are only trying to help you with a problem they are not actually selling you anything. You are the one selling (your house) they reason. This is not a legitimate purpose for calling. Now let’s look at expired listings.


You may receive a phone call from the agent who originally listed your home for up to 18 months after the expiration date of the contract. This is not a violation. However, you may request that agent to remove you from their list and they must not call you any longer. Any other agent that calls a number on the do not call list is breaking the law.

Realtor© Associations Opinon

This is not my opinion. According to both the National Association of Realtors[1] and the Florida Association of  Realtors[2], the solicitation by an agent for a listing from a FSBO with a number registered on the do not call Registry is illegal. The fine for violating the national do not call list is up to $16,000 per call, and the fine is up to $10,000 per call for violating Florida law.

You do not have to be bothered with telemarketers, real estate or otherwise. You can report them to the appropriate agencies. One phone call made by an agent to a person listed on the do not call lists could cost as much as $26,000. If you are like me, when I decide I want a product or service I will contact who I want to help me with that product or service at my convenience.

FSBOs and Expireds I am not going to call you if you are on the do not call list because I am not going to do to you what I do not want done to me. And I can’t afford a $26,000 phone call.

I specialize in helping frustrated FSBOs and Expireds sell their homes. I can’t call you to assist you because your number is on the do not call list. So give me a call at 850-329-5910 and make an appointment for me to diagnose why your home hasn’t sold. I will explain how my value-added proactive marketing program can sell your house.


[1]  “The cold-calling activities of real estate professionals after October 1, 2003 will need to comply with the requirements of the new federal do-not-call registry, based on rules issued by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”). Real estate professionals who engage in cold calling activities are now required to comply federal do-not-call rules by October 1, 2003.” (note: this is password protected material)

[2] “As of Jan. 1, 2005, telemarketers and sellers (including Realtors) are required to search the registry at least once every 31 days and drop from their call lists the phone numbers of consumers who have registered. FSBO’s and expired listings are not exempted from the application of the federal Do Not Call rules.”

Posted in Selling
Jan. 2, 2016

Avoid These 5 Home Pricing Mistakes

You have de home for salecided to sell your house and your first thought is: “How much is it worth?” You know what you paid for it and how much you owe on the loan. You remodeled a bathroom and finished the basement. You want to buy a new home across town and need $25,000 for the down payment and closing costs. You decide $195,000 sounds like a good price. That figure seems to pop up a lot lately when you check out other homes for sale.

Sound anything like your initial thoughts when you decided to sell your house? This kind of information will definitely affect your final decision to sell, and it should be considered before selling. But, does it affect the value of your house?

Let’s look at five mistakes home owner’s make when pricing their house.

You know what you paid for your house.

Whether you inherited the house outright or paid $300,000 for it does not affect the current value of the house. Owning a house you did not pay for does not mean it’s worthless. Paying $300,000 for your house last year or 10 years ago does not mean it’s worth $300,000 today, however it’s not worthless.

House prices fluctuate over time for many reasons. The general state of the economy affects house prices. The condition of the neighborhood where the house is located becomes more desirable or less over time. The overall condition of the home is a consideration. This is not a viable method for determining a price.

You know how much is owed on the loan.

You may have an extremely low balance remaining on the loan. On the other hand, you purchased the house in the last year. Nearly the whole loan payment has been for interest meaning you practically owe what you paid for it. Does that mean the payoff of the loan is the value of your house?

No, this method assumes your house will always depreciate in value rather than appreciating. You will always lose with this strategy. However, house values do fluctuate with the economy and can go down. Homes bought before a drop in the economy, or in a dropping situation, may be worth less than when you bought it. In that case, your home would be overpriced in that type of market and will not command the original price or more.

However, if the economy is picking up, the supply of homes for sale in your area are down, and there are more home buyers in the market than before, the value of your home can increase. Basing the value of your home on the remaining balance of the loan will cost you hard earned equity.

You remodeled your house.

You bought a home and decided to remodel a bathroom, or finish in the basement, or add a larger deck. Remodeling costs money. Surely, you can add at minimum what was spent for the remodel to the original cost of the home to get its latest value. Can’t you?

No, it’s not that simple. Most improvements will not recuperate the original expenditure. Moreover, it depends on what was done and the quality of the work. High quality kitchen remodels for example may very well make your home worth more than the cost of the remodel.

However, adding an addition that does not fit the architectural style of your home and does not flow with the current floorplan probably will only return a small portion of your investment.

Do not error on pricing your house by adding the remodel cost to the original price of the home to calculate the sales price. Chances are great that formula will over price your house for the market. However, you don’t want to lose money using that formula if your remodel does add real value to the price.

The amount of cash you need to buy your next home.wad cash

So you have decided to move. You have already picked out a new house and know how much money you need for a down payment and closing costs in order to buy it. Can you add the amount you need to have for the new home to how much you owe on your current home to determine your old home’s value?

No. This is a simple formula, but flawed. That’s like trying to make your home into a money press. Just decide how much you need, add it to the price, and walah…got what you need.

What you want for your house.

You decide to sell and you think $195,000 sounds reasonable. Based on what? This is similar to the above example.

Pricing a home requires investigation, research, and knowledge of the local market. Look at your county tax appraisal website to see what homes sold for in the last six months around your home. Ask several real estate agents to do a comparative market analysis and give you a price. Check out home selling websites as well. Then you can make an educated choice on a price.


Each of the above pricing formulas are simple and easy, which makes them appealing to use. Unfortunately, pricing your home incorrectly will have one of two results. 1) You underprice the house and lose hard earned money. 2) You overprice it and it never sells.

However, three of the five formulas discussed are pertinent factors for determining if you should sell. It does matter how much you paid for and owe on your home once you have determined its value. It will help you evaluate if the home is worth more or less than you owe on the loan. Then you can make an educated decision based on that information as to whether you want to sell the house or not.

Likewise, the balance of what you owe and what you will net from the sale may or may not be the amount you need to make the move to that new house you want.

I advise due diligence when pricing your house. Have several real estate agents do a comparative market analysis on your house and see what value they give. Get an appraisal from a licensed real estate appraiser. Look at the county tax appraiser’s website to see what similar homes have sold for as well. Then you can make an educated decision on what to price your house. Sorry, this is not a simple formula and requires some effort. However, you will have a competitive price for your home that will not cost you thousands in lost profit. It doesn’t cost being diligent pricing your house, it pays.

(Originally posted on ActiveRain)

Posted in Selling
Dec. 29, 2015



The vision for SweetBay is a community planned around water, green space, and convenient shopping and eating located within the development. A marina will be a major feature of the project. An abundance of walking trails, biking trails, and playgrounds provide recreation for both kids and adults. The idea is that this is not just an inanimate place, but a living, thriving community that residents can interact with, and with others. It’s a place where you can create lifelong memories.

SweetBay Map

This vast 700 acre community is located on the old Bay County Airport property and will eventually house residents of 7 neighborhoods and up to 30,000 homes. SweetBay’s first community, Academy Park, will offer buyers nine floor plans, with prices starting around $260,000. The first phase of the community calls for 127 home-lot packages, with the full buildout of Academy Park set at 260 homes.

University Academy

Academy Park is located adjacent to the old airport terminal that was renovated for a school and named Academy University. It is a free charter school serving grades 4-K through 6th grade with plans to eventually go through 8th grade. Students experience challenging STEAM curriculum which is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, based on real-world application of those disciplines.


And don’t forget the central amenity that the entire project is built upon: the water! SweetBay will provide residents with immediate access to North Bay, Goose Bay, and Robinson Bayou, and those with boats can access Goose Island, which is actually part of the SweetBay community as well.
The future water-front section of the community boasts a marina and a waterside trail, so whether you prefer to get around by sailing the high seas or hiking through the sights and sounds of the scenic bayside community, SweetBay has something for you. Imagine bobbing up and down on the waves, watching seagulls soar, watching Dolphin, and listening to the surf crash onto the shore. Go fishing in the bay or head on out to the Gulf of Mexico. You can get away from it all whenever you please! Yet, you’re only minutes from Downtown Panama City.

Academy Park is set to open Spring of 2016, with model homes of the 9 floorplans available for viewing, and home packages available for purchase. SweetBay offers fantastic amenities at a great location in the Panhandle of Florida. Get ready to claim your piece of paradise!

(Originally posted on Active Rain )

Posted in Homes For Sale