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Saturday, September 08, 2012

Real Estate Market at Mexico Beach,Florida

Well, we've officially cruised into the "off season" here in Mexico Beach. I'm not sure where the year went but...its been fast and furious!!!

It's been a month since I posted an update on the real estate activity!

In Mexico Beach we've closed on 22 properties in Mexico Beach to Windmark Beach, 4 lots and 18 residences! That's a busy month!!!! Click here to see what people are buying.
Twelve more properties were put under contract as well in the last 30 days!!!   Click here to see what people have contracted to buy!!!


Out on the Cape, they've been busy as well, closing 17 properties...9 lots and 8 residences!
Click here to see what people are buying out at the cape!    Lots are still the big seller at the Cape...Nine additional lots were put under contract and 6 residences, as well.    Click here to see!

Port St. Joe closed on 3 homes and 1 lot in the same time frame.   Click here to see!
So, while it typically slows down this time of year while families are getting back to school....IT HASN'T THIS YEAR!!!!   

With interest rates so low and our inventory dwindling and people knowing we are at the bottom of the market .....property is flying off the shelves!!!!!

I've never been worried about not having enough property to sell before but seriously....I am a little worried about that now!!!

Mexico Beach hosts a free little concert on the beach every Thursday in September.    Bring your chair or blanket, some snacks and a beverage, and listen to some music while watching the sunset!   Music starts at 6:00 cst at Sunset Park, the pavillion next to El Governor.   
Click here to see what bands are scheduled.


The next big event at the beach is the Art and Wine Festival.   A great show of local artists, wine and food, a silent and live auction and you can't get better scenery since its right on the beach!!!!
Click here for more information.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I'm Not Going to Give it Away!!

I thought this was a great blog!    I've heard this phrase quite a lot since the decline of values!!!

I especially like the last paragraph!!!    So forgive me for re-blogging someone else's post...but why re-invent the wheel?  (I did the yellow highlighting though!)


I’m not going to just give it away! As a full time Maine Realtor® I hear this phrase at times from potential home sellers. While I certainly understand the sentiment, I would like to suggest that we all simply banish this phrase from our common language.

I had to chuckle this week as I was having a discussion with my own mother about a potential move and sure enough, she uttered those very words.

Trust me, the buyer obtaining a mortgage that they will be paying on for the next 30 years, does not feel like they have just been given a home. Home prices are not what they were in years past, but that does not mean that realizing full market value on the sale of your home constitutes a freebie for someone else.

Here’s the thing...I’m not suggesting you drop the idea behind the phrase, but let’s go ahead and say what you really mean:

“I want to sell my home for as much money as possible.”

Now on this, we can agree! I am here to use all of my experience, tools, and resources to help you achieve just that...the successful sale of your home. By “successful sale” I mean that you net the highest possible return on your investment, with the best possible sale terms, and in the time frame you desire.

I have heard it suggested that Realtors® just want to price it low, sell it quick and collect the commission. I have personally never seen this in my market. We Realtors are a competitive bunch...and yes, often prideful. We pride ourselves on being able to provide our clients with the best possible results. After all, without great results, who in their right mind would list their home with us? I’m sure when you started to consider selling your home you didn’t say to yourself, “I’ll just get any agent, I don’t care how good they are.” Of course not! You want, and frankly you deserve, the best agent possible. You want to know that time, energy, and expertise will go into the marketing and sale of your home.

When you and I have a pricing conversation about the market value of your home, remember we are on the same team. I am here to develop a pricing strategy that will bring you the results you are looking for. Neither of us can control the market itself, but we can work together to position your home in the market in the best possible fashion and bring you results. I’m not just looking for plain run of the mill results. When I list a home for sale, I’m looking for put your hands up in the air, shout it from the roof top results!

I understand that some home sellers may be a bit put off or disappointed with current home values. However, we also need to discuss the goals you are hoping to achieve with this move. Why do you want to sell? What will your life look like after the sale? How much will it cost you to hang on to your home? We need to analyze both sides of the move you are considering together. We’ve got some numbers to crunch! By the time we are done looking at the big picture, you may find that you are not giving it away at all, but gaining so much more by being able to move forward with your plans.





Kristen Wheatley on facebook



Kristen Wheatley
The Maine Real Estate Network
34 Center Street Auburn, ME 04210
207-689-9886 mainehomeseller@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Happy July from Mexico Beach Fl

It's been a while since I've blogged.  I'm sorry!   It's been busy!!!  Even though I say I work 24/7....I hope you know that I can't LITERALLY work 24/7.    I do have a house to clean, dogs to play with, husband to pay attention to, bills to pay.   I love to work in the yard...although it has been sorely neglected this month.   I'd love to exercize everyday but unfortunately that is the first thing to scratch off the list when I'm running out of time!  

So....I'm forcing myself to blog today.   I'm only going to tackle a few issues today and concentrating only on Mexico Beach to St. Joe Beach.   I'll try to update you on the Cape and Port St. Joe later today or tomorrow!!!!

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First of all.........Happy 4th of July!   We had a great 4th of July week.   The beach was packed.   There were over 400 runners for the 5K!!    Congrats to all those who participated.  List of winners!
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Snapper season ended yesterday.   Chip had a great "month" of fishing!!!    The snapper were plentiful and large!!!     


There are other fish in the sea though.....king, dolphin, spanish, black snapper, grouper!
www.charterboat-missmary.com
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Now on to my favorite subject..........REAL ESTATE!

Fourteen residential properties were put under contract since July 1 just in the Mexico Beach to St. Joe Beach area.   At the bottom of the list you can click to see all of them!   

247189 - Details: 120 ATLANTIC ST, PORT ST. JOE, FL - $133,000--ON THE MARKET 17 DAYS.
245827 -
Details: 107 OCEAN RIDGE LN, PORT ST. JOE, FL - $230,000
244790 -
Details: 109 38TH ST., #B, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $182,500
247522 -
Details: 109 29TH ST, #A, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $179,000
240648 -
Details: 490 SANTA ANNA ST, PORT ST. JOE, FL - $65,000
247484 -
Details: 1004 15TH ST, #18, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $99,900--ON THE MARKET 16 DAYS
247534 -
Details: 109 38TH ST., #C, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $139,500--ON THE MARKET 4 DAYS
246916 -
Details: 800 HWY 98, #106, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $199,000
247443 -
Details: 209 8TH ST, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $89,900
243740 -
Details: 408 CALIFORNIA DR, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $165,000
244968 -
Details: 111 SEA ST, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $450,000
245759 -
Details: 1016 15TH ST, #5A, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $105,000
247054 -
Details: 115 5TH ST, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $80,000
247495 -
Details: 8133 HWY 98, PORT ST. JOE, FL - $395,000--ON THE MARKET 20 DAYS

Click Here to see all properties above.

Seven closings since July1......I know we have quite a few more scheduled for the next couple of weeks.

245321 - Details: 9 WARD ST, PORT ST. JOE, FL - $55,000
247189 -
Details: 120 ATLANTIC ST, PORT ST. JOE, FL - $133,000
245827 -
Details: 107 OCEAN RIDGE LN, PORT ST. JOE, FL - $230,000
239189 -
Details: 106 32ND ST, #C, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $130,000
243211 -
Details: 0 BASSWOOD RD, OVERSTREET, FL - $15,000
247034 -
Details: 1008 15TH ST, #14D, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $108,900
245736 -
Details: 334 BAY ST, PORT ST. JOE, FL - $125,000

Or Click Here to go view all listings at once.

If I've said this once, I've said it a zillion times.....It is all about the price...but also..Mexico Beach has ONE OF A KIND HOUSES...no cookie cutter houses.   Each and every one of them are different in size, location, condition, charm.....So when you find one you love......if you don't buy it...there probably isn't going to be another one on the market next week. 

Interest rates are just unbelievably low...sales prices are low.....let's not dicker over a couple grand to get the house you want!

A few new listings on the market:

247521 - Details: 403 NEW MEXICO DR, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $229,000--QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD
247563 -
Details: 109 29TH ST, #D, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $165,000--WATER VIEW
247581 -
Details: 100 20TH ST, MEXICO BEACH, FL - $165,000--FIXER UPPER.

Or Click Here to go view all listings at once.

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Okay, gotta get busy...........more later!
Thanks
Mary
850-896-5222
www.maryblackburn.com



Monday, June 25, 2012

Tropical Storm Debby at Mexico Beach, FL

Well, let me first assure you........its not as bad as the weather channels says!!!!  

We've had pretty much steady rainfall starting yesterday morning, some pretty good squalls and wind gusts for sure.  The normal is happening....some small tree limbs all over the place, accumulating water in ditches and low lying spots.....surfers are trying to surf but we really don't have any waves!!!!     The surf is up but no real big deal.

I think we've had about 3 inches of rain.....probably more now because its been raining pretty hard non-stop since this morning!!!!    I think we are predicted to have quite a few more inches so I'll keep everyone in the loop!!!

I shot some footage but have misplaced my SD disk----so when I find it I'll post it!!!!

My house, however, has no electricity, haven't had since 2:00 yesterday!!!!   I'm afraid to open my fridge!!!!     It seems there are about 114 houses in Mexico Beach that don't have power...and according to Progress Energy...they don't know why.       I'm not sure they have dispatched anybody to really figure it out though!!!!


Indian Pass had some major flooding though.    The Cape closed the road at Stump hole for a little bit yesterday.....all pretty typical with a tropical storm!!!!!


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As for real estate.........not a lot of new stuff going on....six properties put under contract since my last blog.   Click here to see what people are buying!


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What is unbelievable is the interest rate!!!!!      I have a buyer who is getting a rate of 2.5% for 15 years!     (Primary home loan and they did have to buy some points but....2.5%!!!!!!!)

No wonder our inventory is so low......buyers are coming out of the woodwork knowing this is the ultimate opportunity to buy something at the beach!!!

On a side note...........I talked to a friend of my husbands yesterday who thought he had to call the agent on the real estate sign in the yard!    Nope, you don't.    You call the agent you have a relationship with , you call the agent who you know!      I am licensed to sell ANY PROPERTY in Florida!!!!     Of course, you don't want me to sell you a property in Miami because I don't know anything about Miami but.....at least start with me!!!!

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JULY 4TH is right around the corner!    Our weather will be back to beautiful by that time so I hope you've made your reservations early.     We'll have fireworks on the beach in Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe has activities and fireworks in town as well.       

It will be packed and happy and patriotic!!!!!

Have a great week and don't hesitate to call me!
850-896-5222
www.maryblackburn.com
sundance realty

Monday, June 11, 2012

Beach Real Estate Going Swimmingly Well!

We finally got a little rain this weekend!     I had quite a few emails from concerned family members and customers about the "flooding"  in the area.......While the national weather maps/reports sort of link all of the panhandle area together....Mexico Beach DID NOT get the amount of rain that Pensacola did!    We got quite a bit of rain last Friday and Saturday but only a few minutes of good rain Sunday.   We certainly needed it!     So...no flooding here!!! 
As one of my customers responded when I told her....."You DO live in Paradise!!!!"
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Update on Snapper fishing!!    The season is only 40 days and unfortunately the weather has taken about 5-7 of those days!!!!     Chip only has a few days left so if you are interested in catching some HUGE snapper in the next few weeks.....give him a call.    www.charterboat-missmary.com    850-527-6272.

I've got a girl's fishing trip planned for the 20th!!!   Will post pictures!!!
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As for real estate!       Fourteen residential properties have been put under contract since my last blog on Memorial Day.   Seven in Mexico Beach, 2 in Port St. Joe and 5 on the Cape/Indian Pass.
Click here to see what people are buying!!!!


Click here to see the closings for the last few weeks!    Out of 11 closings...8 were in Mexico Beach, 1 in Wewahitchka, and 2 out on the Cape!!!

The big real estate news was the developer release of an entire subdivision of lots out on the cape!
THIRTY VACANT LOTS out on the Cape sold in the last couple of weeks!!!!
Click here to see!!!         I've got to assume some of these were bought by investors who will hang on to them.....several sold to builder/investors who will build homes just to sell, and a few to people who have taken advantage of the market to buy a cheap lot and will build their dream vacation home!!!

No matter who bought what......its obvious A LOT of people think this is a great opportunity to buy!!!!
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With interest rates still below 4%, low inventory, lots of buyers.....and this...............right outside your door...........
IT IS A GREAT TIME TO BUY!!!


If you or a friend/family member are interested in buying....please go ahead and contact me now so I can start sending you properties!!!!       If you require financing....might be a good idea to talk to a  banker now just to get a good idea of what you can afford.    If you are requiring financing....condos are probably not going to work for you....lenders just don't want to lend on a condo.   Townhouses, single family homes are no problem!

If you have cash.....cash is king.....but be ready to act quickly because properties put on the market at good prices are going fast!
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If you know anyone who is considering selling a property around here.......PLEASE have them contact me ASAP as we really need more properties to sell!!!      Just have to price it right!!!!

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Don't forget the biggest holiday for our area is coming up the 4TH OF JULY!!!   If you plan on coming that week/weekend...........You better make arrangements now as the beach will fill up quickly!!!     
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Have a great week!

And what does the Lord require of you?   To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God!             Micah 6:8

Mary
850-896-5222
sundance realty

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day at Mexico Beach

WOW what a weekend!    This had to be the busiest weekend on record for Mexico Beach!!
It's always great to see homes that are usually vacant occupied with families enjoying the gorgeous weather we had!!!     The picture below says it all!!!      Of course, please realize, this is ATYPICAL!  It is only this crowded because its Memorial Day...the only other weekend it will be this crazy is 4th of July!!!


And speaking of the brave men and women who serve in the armed forces.....
THE EVENT COMMITTEE of the  FORGOTTEN COAST WARRIOR WEEKEND
on behalf of Port St. Joe and the surrounding communities will host 20 (Twenty) wounded Warriors
and their companions from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars the weekend of May 3...0 thru June 2. We will honor them with a PATRIOTIC BANQUET, A FISHING TOURNAMENT EVENT , LOTS OF FUN AND A GRAND PARADE/Motorcade.

THE GRAND PARADE WILL BEGIN AT 5: 30 P.M. on Thursday May 31 from WINDMARK BEACH where they will be staying and end at the Centennial Bldg where they will be honored and enjoy a patriotic banquet.

THE EVENT COMMITTEE WANTS TO URGE OUR COMMUNITY TO LINE THE PARADE ROUTE, WAVE AMERICAN FLAGS AND GIVE THESE WARRIORS, WHO HAVE SACRIFICED SO MUCH FOR US A RESOUNDING PORT ST. JOE WELCOME.

 

The City of Mexico Beach has, within the last few years,  done some great things for the town.....#1. The sidewalks!     It's so great to see the strollers, runners, walkers, bikers up and down the sidewalks starting early in the morning all day long until after the sunsets!!!    #2.  Golf carts...we are a golf cart friendly area and more and more people are taking advantage of this fun transportation mode!    It makes it so much easier for people several blocks back to haul all the kids and beach paraphernailia to the beach without having to get in the car!    It's become a form of entertainment around here!  It's a lot easier to stop and talk to somebody in their yard or riding on their bike, or taking a walk when you are in a golf cart than if you are in a car....so its also become a social thing!!!!



Memorial weekend is typically not a big weekend for real estate.  Families are too busy having fun!    Of course, we all showed property and a few offers thrown out and even a few accepted.  I'll update you later on those!
Suffice it to say.....inventory is still low......if you are serious about buying this year.....don't hesitate too long........I think we are at the bottom of the market and we just don't have a lot to choose from!
Interest rates are ridiculously low!!!!      Just make sure you have 20% to put down if you are buying a 2nd home/investment!

Snapper season starts June 1!!!!    I know Chip's calendar is filling up so if you want to catch some snapper this year...you better call and schedule it!!!    The season is only about 40 days long...limit of 2 per person.  But they are PLENTIFUL AND LARGE!!!!

850-527-6272


The MBARA Kingfish Tournament is August 25, as it is every year!!!!     It's a great fishing tournament and this year we are excited to have the Captain's party at the Beacon Hill Park!!!   Lots of room for even more folks!!!

The T-Shirts are out and the tournament book is out!!!    Below is our Sundance Realty Ad---As you can see......we take our jobs VERY seriously!


We have the tournament books in our office....stop by and get one!!!

Have a blessed week!
Don't hesitate to call me if you are interested in buying or selling!!!

Remember....I can help you with ANY property!!
Mary
850-896-5222













Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Memorial Day Prayer


Dear Heavenly Father,


As we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day, we think of how they have followed in the footsteps of your son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
 Please hold our servicemen and women in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and your presence as they stand in the gap for our protection.
We also remember the families of our troops. We ask for your unique blessings to fill their homes, and we pray your peace, provision, and strength will fill their lives.
May the members of our armed forces be supplied with courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord's mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our love and support.
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Absolute Condo Auction at Paradise Shores

Paradise Shores had an absolute auction of 14 condos Saturday in Mexico Beach.
This complex is across the street from the beach and directly across from Toucan's Restaurant.
Very nice units, spacious, all have a water view albeit some better than others!

The auction was well attended!!!     High bidders had their choice of any of the 28 units owned by the seller.  Below is the list of units SOLD at auction.    All winning bids had to add 10% to the purchase price.  
The prices below have that 10% already added in.

#200  3BR/3BA  $220,000
#408  3BR/3BA $214,500
#405 (furn) 2BR/2BA $214,500
#206 (furn) 2BR/2BA $187,000
#308  3BR/3BA $181,500
#406  2BR/2BA $181,500
#306  2BR/2BA $168,300
#301  2BR/2BA $168,300
#309  2BR/2BA $168,300
#401  2BR/2BA $162,800
#402  2BR/2BA $162,800

Bids were also taken BEFORE the auction and 3 units below were sold PRIOR TO AUCTION.

#211  3BR/3BA $245,000
#203  3BR/3BA $215,000
#210  2BR/2BA $195,000

Friday, May 18, 2012

The RE Market is HOT in Mexico Beach

As typical, I met several people this week who have come to Mexico Beach recently and just fallen in love with the area!   You really can't help it!!   We are a unique area!   Gorgeous white sand beaches, blue green water, no high rises...no super sizing in Mexico Beach!   

This is the perfect place to escape the hustle bustle of everyday life----or at least the every day of life of people who don't live HERE!

We've had an exceptional year in real estate thus far and the only thing slowing us down is our slim inventory!!    

Click here to see the properties put under contract since my blog last week.
Properties put under contract in the last week.   In Mexico Beach to St. Joe Beach.

Cape san Blas had a little slower week with only Five properties put under contract last week.
Click here to see them!

Port St. Joe had a fantastic week with Seven properties going under contract in the last week.
Click here to see.

As for closings...........ELEVEN closings in Mexico Beach since last Thursday!   Click here.
The best deal was a move in ready house beach side of Hwy 98.  Sold for $235,000.


Twelve closings between Port St. Joe and The Cape.....the majority of them are vacant lots.  Vacant lots have taken the largest decrease in value and its now a great time to buy a lot and build that custom house!!!!


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Here is a new listing in the beaches area.....2bed/2bath townhouse a little over a mile to the beach.
It's a short sale for $99,900!     Let me know if you are interested!!!


Here is another newer listing....GULF FRONT!
Older, 2 bed/2bath asking $259,900


The Paradise Shores Auction is this Saturday----should be interesting!    I'll blog on the outcome Monday!!!

If you are interested in buying or selling.....I'D LOVE TO HELP YOU!!!
Mary Blackburn
850-896-5222
Sundance Realty
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Below is a song I've just recently fallen in love with.   Hope it blesses you!



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Super Moon in Mexico Beach



The super moon in Mexico Beach.   (photo by Bill Fauth)
Absolutely gorgeous!!

Our weather has been fantastic...still coolish in the morning and evenings and wonderfully warm, even hot in the middle of the day!!   

We just had a little flurry of activity in the beaches area!   See the link below to see what's been going on!!    
Real Estate Activity in Mexico Beach and St. Joe Beach

Buyers definitely feel this is the bottom of the market and while interest rates are still so low......they are eager to buy!     

This is going to be short and sweet!

I'm actually on vacation this week.....all my sisters (6 of them) have flown down here to Florida.....so it's "sister" week and it is WONDERFUL!!!  

I'll elaborate more next week!!!
Mary
850-896-5222
www.maryblackburn.com
sundance realty

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Nationwide Inventory is Decreasing

Below is an article that confirms there is a change in the market!!!!!     We have been experiencing these 'bidding wars' on quite a few properties within the last year.   Properties priced aggressively often have multiple bids within a few days of listing!!!!

The supply in Mexico Beach to St. Joe Beach is low and we are all searching for properties to sell!!!
We've got the buyers!!!     Sellers who are serious about selling this year......YOUR PROPERTY WILL SELL THIS YEAR......it's all about.....LOCATION, CONDITION, PRICE! 
If you have a property you'd like to get rid of this year...call me!   Mary 850-896-5222



Bidding wars catch buyers off guard
SEATTLE – May 1, 2012 – Homebuyers are unexpectedly finding more competition this spring in landing their dream home. Bidding wars are increasingly being reported in markets across the country, from California to Florida, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“It’s a little surprising because we thought bidding wars were done with,” Andy Aley, a home shopper in Seattle said. Aley says he was outbid on a home earlier this year, even though he offered to pay $23,000 above the listing price and also waive inspections and other closing conditions.

Homebuyers are frustrated and caught off-guard about the bidding wars re-emerging, real estate professionals report.

“We’re writing a record number of offers, but we’re not seeing a record number of closings and that’s because it’s so competitive,” Glenn Kelman, chief executive of Redfin Corp., told The Wall Street Journal.

Why are things getting so competitive? Many housing markets are seeing a drastic decrease in the number of homes listed for sale, leaving homebuyers with fewer options and more bidding on the same house. Housing analysts say the shortage in supply is from sellers unwilling to take much less for their home than what they originally paid for it and pulling homes off the market. Also, a surge in investors who snatch up homes in bulk in all-cash deals has made the market competitive.

“The bidding wars caused by tight inventory provide the latest evidence that housing demand is starting to pick up after a six-year-long slump,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

National Association of Realtors® latest pending sales report seems to confirm the trend. Pending sales in March reached their highest level in nearly two years and are up 12.8 percent from one year earlier.

Source: “Stunned Home Buyers Find the Bidding Wars Are Back,” The Wall Street Journal (April 27, 2012)

© Copyright 2012 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Insurance at the Beach

There's a saying around here "You have to pay to play at the beach!"     

 We say that for several reasons.....#1.  The new 4,000 sq ft brick house with a pool  you can get for $150,000 in Ohio or Kentucky or Alabama....is not what you are going to get here for $150,000.  Our homes are smaller here for one thing (cuz dirt is at a premium) and because you have the white sand beaches and blue green waters of the Gulf of Mexico at your door step, you are probably going to get a small home that needs some work for that $150,000.  But the peace, serenity, and gorgeous scenery are all free!!!!

#2.  Insurance, which brings me to my topic today.   I went to a very informative class on insurance the other day.  I wanted to share what I learned.    I am not an insurance expert....so please take what I say below as just a starting point to learn about insurance----I'm going on what I already knew, my notes and memory from the class I attended!!!

All properties here at the coast need "windstorm" insurance.     As our insurance expert stated...this is not HURRICANE insurance....to be protected in case of a hurricance you really need windstorm + flood + homeowners. 

Not all properties here in Florida are required to have flood insurance.   If your property is in an X zone, you are not required (by your mortgagor) to have flood insurance.

In Mexico Beach, flood insurance is federally subsidized through FEMA, making it extremely affordable. 

Our insurance expert stated that Hurricane Katrina caused a storm surge SIX MILES inland in Mississippi.   Well........that certainly put things into perspective for me.....Mexico Beach is only about 1.5 miles deep!!!      You bet I will be encouraging ALL my customers to purchase flood insurance from now on!


The cost of insurance is based on the following items:
Location,
Construction--roof, siding, windows
Date of construction
Mitigation discounts
Type of ownership:  individual or LLC
Usage:  rental or primary
Claims history of buyer
Insured value

A house built prior to 1985 probably needs a new roof in order to get affordable windstorm insurance. 
A roof inspection must verify a roof has 3 years of life left and no leaks.  

Mitigation discounts are credits for things like...hurricane clips on your roof trusses, hurricane shutters on all doors and windows, roof construction.....These items reduce your insurance costs!

Hurricane shutters can range from a certain thickness of plywood that is cut and numbered for every door and window (every opening) kept on site to the manufactured shutters!

There are only 48 independent companies that write insurance policies in Florida!

Let's talk condos.    HOA fees pay for insurance for the building, it does not cover anything on the inside of your condo though, so you would want additional condo insurance. 
Comprehensive Condo policies would insure from the "paint in"..... contents, loss of use, liability, medical payments, Flood insurance would only cover contents.  This is not an expensive policy and definitely well worth the cost!!!

No company will 'knowingly' write any insurance policy if the dwelling is used for a vacation rental of less than one week.    If you rent your place for just 3-4 nights it would qualify for hotel-motel rates!    

Just to throw out some ball park numbers......1800 sq ft house, 1 mile from the beach, built in 2003, insurance costs were $963/year.  
A 1700 sq ft house built in 1981, a block from the beach...insurance costs were $1900. 

One way to ball park...big ball park...is to estimate cost this way:
Homes built in 2002 or newer...1/2 of 1% of the value.
Homes built prior to 2002...1% of the value. 

www.coastalcoverage.com    was the insurance company that taught this class.   

Thanks to Grant and Denise for a great class and I know I'll be calling to ask a lot more questions!!!

Mary
850-896-5222
www.maryblackburn.com
sundance realty





Monday, March 26, 2012

Mexico Beach!

The weather has been FANTASTICAL the last week!   Sometimes I seem to take where I live for granted.........and then I take my 3 minute commute to work along the beach and IT HITS ME!   I live and work in paradise!!!  (Thank you Lord!)   Unfortunately though, I've been really busy and just haven't had any time to enjoy this weather!      I want to go kayaking so bad I can't stand it....but I just haven't had a chance.    Soon, very soon!!!   I really need to get some sun on these legs of mine too!!!!
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We've had lots and lots of visitors last week.....Minnesota, Arkansas, New Mexico and of course our good ole' Georgia and Alabama folks as well!!!

If you are going to be in town this weekend below is an activity you may want to participate in or at the very least attend!     Always fun to play in the sand!!!

http://www.sandcastlesofstjoseph.com/

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Here's the link to see the real estate activity in the area.

http://www.rafsg.net/RAFSGReports/ListitLib/show_report.aspx?ID=3561522352

Just to review......Contingent means there is an accepted offer on the property but still some hoops to jump through.......inspections, financing....before it is actually a done deal!!

Pending means all those contengencies have been met and they are just waiting to write the check and transfer the deed!!!!

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Here are some of the new properties put on the open market this past week!!

New Listings

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Have a great week!    
Don't hesitate to call me any time if you have questions about real estate in the area!
Mary
850-896-5222
www.maryblackburn.com
sundance realty

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break in Mexico Beach Fl

Lots of spring breakers last week and probably for the next couple of weeks in Mexico Beach.
They have had PERFECT WEATHER!!!      Cooling down at night to mid 60's...warming up to high 70's low 80's.    Absolutely gorgeous!

Water temp is a little too chilly for me (high 60's low 70's)  but there were quite a few people who didn't mind at all!!!

It's always fun to see all the golf carts, runners, walkers, people working in their yards,  just milling about the beach area!!!      Not that we had any kind of winter at all this year....but its just so nice to see everybody enjoying getting out and about when spring springs!!!!


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Fifteen residential properties have been put under contract since March 1!!!    Its been BUSY!
Inventory is dwindling, multiple offers on properties, some going above the list price!

AND ITS ONLY MARCH!!!

Click here to see what's been put under contract so far in Mexico Beach to St. Joe Beach.

Ten residential closings so far in March.   Click here to see what has just sold.

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I finally got to work in my yard yesterday.....it was glorious!!!!      Mowed the grass, trimmed the palms, got all the dead wintery stuff out, planted flowers, put down fresh mulch..........I love working in the yard!!!!    Didn't get it all done so hopefully will get another chance some time this week!!!
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Chip has been busy booking fishing trips....he's on his first one today!   Spanish mackeral are out and about  + cobia are starting to show up!

He is headed to Washington DC for the fisherman's rally tomorrow.    He and the other fisherman in the area have been extremely dedicated in trying to fight all these unnecessary regulations on the fishing industry!!!        
They've given us 40 days to fish for Snapper this year!    Don't ask me why!!!!    There's enough snapper out there for everybody to fish 365 days!!!!         Fisherman who make their living fishing are the environmentalists......they don't want to overfish....that would be shooting themselves in the foot.        This over regulation has hurt all industries associated with fishing....the boating industry, tourist industry, even just the vacationer who wants to try and catch a fish on their vacation!!!

Another example of over reach by our government!
Okay.........I'm getting off my soap box now.
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DON'T HESITATE TO CALL OR EMAIL ME ANYTIME if you are interested in buying or selling in the area!!!
Mary
850-896-5222
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I pray everyone has a fantastic week!!!  
9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9
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Monday, February 27, 2012

Where is the sun in Florida???

Well, since my last blog I think it has rained EVERY SINGLE DAY!     I have lived here over 25 years and can't remember this many days in a row without sunshine.   I'm beginning to mildew!!! 


I'm really really really missing that sunshine!

That being said though......the real estate market is VERY SUNNY!!
Eight residential properties have been put under contract in the last week!!!    Click here to see.

I'm just hoping we aren't going to run completely out of properties to sell!!

While I don't think prices are going to escalate----with the inventory as low as it is....sellers may be able to hold to a price a little more!!!  

Interest rates are still unbelievably low....the last 3 loans I've done have been at 3.75% for 2nd homes!
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I've had a couple of people ask me what 'under contract' means so......let me just take a minute to explain this real estate lingo!

Under contract means an offer has been accepted by the seller and the transaction is progressing.  There may be some hoops the buyer has to jump through like financing, home inspection, survey...so there are some ways the deal can fall apart.     When you look on some websites these listing may still appear as active or 'contingent'.     If you are seriously interested, have your Realtor contact the listing agent and perhaps it would be worth putting in a back up offer.

A Back up offer is just a '2nd in line' contract if the first offer falls through for some reason.

Pending means the transaction is on its way to closing and there are no more hoops to jump through just waiting for the day for all parties involved to sign their documents!

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If you are in the market to buy or sell.....don't hesitate to call me....and yes...I work weekends!
850-896-5222

Have a fantastic week!
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.   The 2nd is this: love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no greater command than these.
Mark 12:30-32

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mid February Already???

I've had several people 'remind' me that I've not blogged for a long time!   I apologize!    While there is no good excuse at least let me TRY!!!!

Real estate has been busy!!     Below is a link that shows all the activity in our area...Mexico Beach to the Cape.    I believe there's 72 properties either put under contract and/or sold in the last month and a half.   That's VERY BUSY for this time of year!!!!!   

Click Here to go view all listings at once.

We (meaning all of us Realtors) have been busy....that's my first excuse.
My 2nd excuse........when I'm not working........I've been helping with the renovation of my kitchen!!!

I've been living in squallor now for going on 6 weeks.   My cabinets are 2 weeks late!!! 
We have the floors down (strand bamboo....love them!), the baseboards replaced and painted, repainted the ceiling.   The electrical is done....new pantry doors installed....Just waiting on the cabinets....did I mention they are TWO WEEKS LATE?        They are supposed to be here Wednesday...the granite templater Thursday!    I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

So.......while I have been slacking on the blogging...it certainly isn't because I've been having fun!!!

We've actually had some fantastic kayaking weather in January....but NO....I've had no time for that.  

It's been FREEZING the last couple of days though.  This too shall pass.

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One really great thing is now happening..........The purchase and finishing of the gulf front concrete eyesore in Mexico Beach.



The new owners are working feverishly on it and are projected to have it done by JUNE of this year!!!!     We are ALL looking forward to it. 

The new name is THE VUE  and prices start at $222,880.    Give me a call if you are interested!
850-896-5222

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I'll try do get back to blogging every week!!!!

Thanks for you patience!!!
Mary
850-896-5222
sundance realty

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy 2012

I can't believe another year has flown by...........I'm not old.........so why is time speeding by so fast.  My mother always told me it gets faster as you get older.......it can't possibly get any faster than what the last few years have sped by!  

But....since I can't slow it down........I'll just continue to try to keep up!!!

I know there are lots of areas in the country that are having very few real estate sales.   The beach is NOT such an area!      We had a great year in 2010, even better in 2011, and it looks as if 2012 is going to be great as well!!!!      We will always have buyers for beach property......when our prices are as low as they are now......we have LOTS OF BUYERS!!!  

Our little area is quite unique..........lots of public beach access, beautiful white sand, uncrowded beaches, every house within a 10-20 minute walk to the beach.....no red lights, no high rises, no tattoo parlors........................just sun, sand, surf and lots of friendly folks!!!      It REALLY CAN'T GET MUCH BETTER THAN THIS!!

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Speaking of buyers.........Five properties have been put under contract in the first 10 days of 2012 and one closed so far.   Click on link to see..........Click Here to go view all listings at once.

Our inventory is pretty low..........below are a few of my favorite properties on the market right now, starting from the lowest price point to the highest.....something for everybody.    I'm accounting for negotiating room in these when I say they are my favorites!

My picks............don't hesitate to call/email/text/skype me if you want any more info on any of these properties------or if you want to know why I chose them!!!!!

This kitchen/living area is in an older but renovated home in Mexico Beach.  Foreclosure, listed at $149,900, about 1/2 mile to the beach!    Let me know if you'd like more info.   maryblackburn@mchsi.com

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Our weather has been all over the place!!    A few days of cold, a few days of really warm and everything in between!    This is the time of year you dress in layers!!!!

January is typically our coldest month----but....so far its been pretty warm!    I will never complain about walking around in shorts in January!!!

A friend's grandson playing on the beach a couple of days ago!!!



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I'm in the process of overhauling my kitchen.....Chip has the time to work on it.........and we've been meaning to do it for the last few years......we finally decided to bite the bullet and get it started!!!
Of course, we are living here while the renovation is taking place.....NO FUN! 
Since I work from home 3-4 days a week......its a LITTLE distracting........so much NOISE and DIRT......it will be worth it...........gotta keep your eye on the prize!!!!!
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Again, thanks to all my customers, buyers and sellers alike, who have given me another successful year!!!      There's nothing better than handing the keys over to a new buyer who is sooooo looking forward to many sunny days here at the beach!!!!     The same when it comes to sellers, who have had their time at the beach and are now going to new adventures  (most of them to be closer to kids/grandkids!!!). 

My new year's prayer for my friends, my family, my buyers, sellers, my acquaintences, and even those who do not wish the best to me.........John 3: 1:2....I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers!

Please don't hesitate to call/email/text me anytime.........I pretty much work 24/7/365....holidays, evenings, weekend!!!

Have a great weekend!!
Mary
www.maryblackburn.com
850-896-5222
sundance realty

Monday, December 26, 2011

Small Town with Big Attitude

While waiting for Santa to come down our street yesterday, I was talking to some neighbors who come from a larger city.    They thought it was just sooo cool that Santa takes the time to ride the fire truck UP AND DOWN EVERY CITY STREET waving, passing out candy, stopping and talking to all the children!!!!      

I guess I've just become accustomed to living in the small town atmosphere where (literally) "everyone knows your name!!!"

I'm not sure if it was the real Santa, or one of Santa's many helpers...........but the guy on the fire truck was AWESOME!!!    I know he was tired, but he took as much time as it took to put every kid on his knee and wait for all the 10,000 pictures!!!   He hugged EVERYONE, including the big guys who didn't want hugging......even paid attention to the dogs!!!!

I can't imagine living anywhere else!     Not only can I walk on the beach every day, I get to live in a small town......with a big attitude....We do things right in Mexico Beach!!!!


Of course waiting for Santa in t-shirts and shorts isn't too bad either!







Sunset Park Mexico Beach


I'll be glad to help you find a house here at the beach, so you too can learn to appreciate the small town atmosphere----where you can walk to the beach from just about every house!!!!


Mary Blackburn
850-896-5222
sundance realty

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas

I pray everyone has a very blessed and Merry Christmas and hope that the "Reason for the Season" is always in your hearts and minds!!

I must say this is the only time (and it only lasts for a few moments) when I , sort of, miss snow.  Christmas is just different without snow.   Of course, I've been away from it so long, I'd probably go into an immediate panic attack if I had to drive in it....and I freeze when it drops below 60 now so....I guess I'll just "cherish the memories"!

Our weather at the beach has been up, down, hot, cold.   This time of year it can be 75 one day and 50 the next!     That drives me crazy!    However, since I am at the beach.....I really do enjoy riding around the neighborhood in the golf cart with just a light sweater on!!!
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Wiley at the El Governor does a super fantastic job of decorating Sunset Park every year.  He did not disappoint again this year!   Absolutely stunning!!!   I love driving by and seeing all the cars stopped and taking pictures.    It's really pretty awesome for a small town like us!!!

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It happened again this weekend.........I was talking with someone and they looked at me with a pitiful look and said.........So, Mary, are you selling ANYTHING?     That always cracks me up!!!
When I say..........WE HAD A GREAT YEAR, VERY BUSY, DID GREAT, SOLD LOTS......The look on their face is priceless!!!    
I know there are areas of the country where homes are just not selling.   But here at the beach, we have a very different market.......first of all.........WE ARE AT THE BEACH!    Every house in the area is walkable to the beach!!!!      The majority of our sales are to 2nd home owners......there will ALWAYS be buyers for beach property!    When prices have fallen to the prices we are at now.....there ARE LOTS OF BUYERS!!       Everybody's still looking for a good deal, but now....they are finding them!!!!    

In Fact, 11-13 properties were put under contract just in the first couple weeks of December!

So, we did have a fantastic sales year.    And I predict we will have another good year next year!!!!
Thank you to all my loyal customers!!!
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If you are in the market to buy...............please send me an email, give me a call ANYTIME and we'll find you that beach house!!!!
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This is a foreclosure.   Three bedroom, 2 bath, great contemporary kitchen, living area + den.
Listed now at $149,900.     About 1/2 mile to the beach.   Quiet neighborhood.    Call me for details!!!
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Mary Blackburn
850-896-5222
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Merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy new year!!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Shopping For Real Estate in Mexico Beach, Fl

Mexico Beach had its annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony last Sunday.  Sunset park is spectacular again as Wylie and his crew from the El Governor decorate every year!!!!   The golf cart parade was a huge crowd pleaser as well.
Last year it was FREEZING COLD, this year....you barely needed a light sweater!!!  

I think its supposed to turn a little cooler in the next few days though!!   Below are just a couple of the golf cart participants.   Check out my facebook page for more!!!





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As for real estate......it's been surprisingly busy, at least with the amount of email inquiries and showings.    We used to have "selling seasons", now...since most people start their search for homes on line....it just doesn't matter what season it is anymore.   Of course, we do get more inquires from the north pole (Minnesota, Missouri, New York....states way up there!!!) this time of year, simply because they are freezing to death and want to come south!!!!

However......if you are seriously looking, you better be ready to move fast!!!    Case in point....2 homes listed less than 2 weeks are now under contract.    Both homes had over 1700 sq ft and were priced to sell.   Both foreclosures. Listed between $159 and 177,000.  
Our inventory is really low right now!    Again, if you are seriously looking to buy now...its best to have all your ducks in a row....... financing, whether you need a pre-approval from a bank, or get your cash ready, get to know the area so you are familiar with location.   

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Everybody is looking for a deal.......a lot of people are only looking for steals!    Everyone wants a great property for a good price.......but I've seen many people give up a property perfectly suited for them because they weren't getting a steal.      And if I've said this once I've said this a thousand times....in this area we don't have 15 of the same kind of property----even our condos are limited and vary greatly with their view, location......So when you hesitate and pass up an opportunity.....it may gone forever and you may have to settle for a lesser property!!!!   
You have to be able to weigh in the "enjoyment factor".      If your plans are to hang on to this property and use it and enjoy it and make family memories for the next 10 years.....BUY THE GOOD DEAL!  Don't wait for the steal because it may not come!!!!   

With the inventory as low as it is right now.....supply and demand kicks in!!!
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Please don't hesitate to call me/email me/text me ANYTIME if you have questions about any property in the area.    I can help you with ANY property on the market...it does not have to be my listing.    The seller pays the commission not the buyer so choose a Realtor you like and trust and who will work hard for you and stick with them!!!   You will be rewarded for your loyalty!
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New Year's Eve is a big event here at the beach.    You can celebrate in eastern time zone and again in central time zone.   Trolleys will take you up and down the beach for free so NO DRINKING AND DRIVING!     Even if you are a tee totaler like me.....its fun to take a trolley ride up and down the beach!    
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Have a great week........please remember the "Reason for the Season"!

Mary
850-896-5222
sundance realty

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Don't Be Afraid to Buy a Short Sale

I've had a couple of customers show trepidation about making an offer on a "short sale".    So, I just thought I'd take a few lines to talk about short sales.

A short sale is when a buyer is trying to sell their property at a price LESS than what they OWE on the property.    The property is listed around market value determined by the current sales in the area.   When an offer is made, the seller (who still owns the property)  must agree to the price and terms of the of the offer.  Then the offer is submitted to the seller's bank.  Their bank must approve the price and terms as well since they are taking the loss!!    This process can take as long as several months.   However, the last one I did only took 30 days for approval!    The banks have finally come to the realization that they have to approve these short sales or foreclose.    Most banks really do not want to foreclose as it costs them more to take ownership and then they still have to sell it at a huge loss.

While the listing price of these short sales are negotiable the price offered must be in the "realm" of market value.   The first thing the seller's bank is going to do is order a "broker's price opinion" of the property giving it a value based on sales comps.  So, while buyers are still getting good deals on these properties......you aren't going to buy a house that is worth $300,000 in today's market for $150,000!!!
You might get it for $275,000 though!  

Once the offer is submitted to the bank, the bank will look at the financial situation of the seller to determine if they are going to approve the short sale.  The bank is the one to determine the final sales price....they can either accept the buyer's offer or counter back.    Once the final purchase price is determined then a closing date is set.    A buyer still has the right to do inspections on the house and, of course, a title search is completed to guarantee a clear title.  

The bank can approve the short sale waiving any deficiency judgement to the seller (the best scenario for the seller), they can ask the seller for a monetary contribution of a few thousand to tens of thousands, they can ask for a promissory note and set up a payment schedule for a reduced amount, or they can approve the short sale but just not waive the right to seek the balance owed.

A short sale will be recorded as mortgage paid in full if no judgement for the balance is sought.  A short sale, while it is a "ding" on your credit, is not as bad as a foreclosure.

That's it in a nutshell!! 

If you are considering a short sale on a property here at the beach, please let me know and I'll be glad to help you through the process.   


The difference between a short sale and a foreclosure is a foreclosure is a property that is now owned by the bank.  The foreclosure process has been completed and the bank has taken ownership.  The bank is now the seller (not the person who used to own and live in the house) and all negotiations are with the bank.  They still want to sell around market value, so the scenario of a $300,000 house is not going to be sold at $150,000 even as a foreclosure!!!  The process of buying a foreclosure is more streamlined in that negotiations usually are complete in a few days instead of waiting for a short sale approval.

I hope this clears up some confusion!

Don't hesitate to call or email me if you have any other questions!!!


Mary
850-896-5222
maryblackburn@mchsi.com