Emerald Coast Real Estate News


April 19, 2017

Taking advantage of foreclosed homes in Destin, Florida

A foreclosure can create a new future for someone looking to purchase their dream property. Sure, some foreclosed homes can be run downed and are often left in dire conditions.  However, it can also go the other way around, you can end up finding a home that is in perfect condition. Now, imagine if you can find a great property through Foreclosures in Destin Florida For Sale. Yes, you’ve read right, you can own property in not just any town in Florida, but in the Floridian panhandle town of Destin, Florida.

Tourist attractions in Destin:

Once you’ve found your dream property in Destin, imagine going to the beach every weekend! Whether you like to swim, surf or play volleyball on the beach, one thing is for sure, you won’t get bored living close to the beach. After a fun day at the beach, imagine taking your friends or family to one of the many seafood restaurants. But wait, there’s more places fun places in Destin besides the beach. You can take your kids to the Track! Here they have a huge go cart racetrack. Your kids will surely enjoy the fun motorsport activity. Other activities include bumper cars, mini golf and bungee jumping.

Shopping venues in Destin:

Love to shop? Well, living in Destin, you can visit the famous Silver Sands Outlet Mall that has a variety of stores to choose from. With countess designer stores from Michael Kors, Brooks Brothers, Nike, Ralph Lauren and Banana Republic are just some of many stores situated in this mall. Surely, there shopping options are limitless, so go ahead and shop till you drop.

Water parks in Destin:

Once you’ve had enough of the beach, you can take your kids to the Big Kahuna Water Park in Destin. With a variety of water slides and water sports activities, your kids will enjoy endless fun. What’s more, with over 40 rides to choose from, there are rides that are suited for everyone, from adults to children, everyone can enjoy this water park.

April 3, 2017

How You Can Profit From Real Estate Foreclosures in Destin Florida

The Florida pan handle is a hotspot for vacationers and beachgoers. Every summer, millions of vacation goers flock to Destin, Florida, including college students coming for a short spring break; and senior citizens retiring from the workforce looking to settle in the Florida. This makes real estate in Destin, Florida in high-demand. Whether they are houses, apartments or other property, people are willing to put down a lot of cash to buy their dream real-estate in this pan handle municipality.

Why move to Destin, Florida?

Destin has been named after the English fisherman Leonard Destin who settled there in 1845. Destin and his immediate relatives lived in this area, turning it into a fishing village. Destin wasn’t a hotspot until the 1980’s when it underwent rapid population growth. This small municipality in Florida has a rich culture as well. Every October, a fishing rodeo takes place which attracts decent number of participants from across the United States. In the same month, there is a seafood festival, known for serving fresh seafood with musical concerts.

What’s more, those who wish to move to Destin, Florida have been attracted by its white beaches, great fishing spots, and waters that accentuates a shade of emerald. This is one spot anyone would sure love to live in. However, that’s not all that the area has to offer; those who live in Destin are certain to enjoy dining at a plethora of fine dining restaurants in the country. What’s more, the new Florida northwest regional airport has made getting to this destination a breeze. Destin is also known for its superior golf resorts, so anyone who loves playing golf would find Destin their heaven on earth. On the other hand, if you love fishing, Destin is the best place to live. This is because this region in Florida has been named as the ‘luckiest fishing village’, so you are sure to snag that record breaker sooner or later.

Investing In Real Estate Is Lucrative:

Investing in real-estate is a win-win situation for the investor. Why? Well, first of all, when an individual purchases a property, they are purchasing an asset that is not only be a place to reside, but also one that will increase in value over time. The real-estate investment business has been one of the safest and lucrative of all investments of all time.  Most importantly, there is no better time to invest than now in Destin real-estate market due real estate foreclosures Destin, Florida.

March 27, 2017

What Features to Consider before Buying a Condominium on Sale in Destin, Florida

Once you have made macro level choices regarding the style, age and location of the condominium you’re looking to purchase, then comes the specific features you need to look into. Each condo comes with its own unique features and pitfalls buyers need to inspect before finalizing the buying decision. Some may be built and ready for tenants to move in instantly, while others may still require additional work to get the units in shape before listing them in the market. Whatever the situation, let’s examine the points you need to consider in a condo before purchasing it on sale in Destin, Florida. Besides examining a property on your own, you can always hire top real estate specialists to help you in spotting the best properties in the market.

1. Appliances

A number of modern developments will provide with state-of-the-art appliances including microwaves, refrigerators, and other home appliances. Owners normally need to upgrade some large appliances in each unit themselves such as washer/dryer hookup.

2. Common Areas

Common areas and related amenities are often required in some projects. For instance, if there are a number of boating lovers, then a boat dock or marina makes sense. While landscape and gardens lovers will opt to look for areas covered with beautiful lawns and turf. Each condo or property comes with its own common areas and features. Careful thought should be given to both the factors involving things buyer will desire along with those that do not tempt the buyer. Sometimes, condo dues related to the common area may also add to the cost. For example, community dues might be quite high compared to those in the rest of locality just because of the 60-slip marina. Somehow if you feel you’re not be able to get the most out of the installed features, it’s better to look somewhere else.

3. Parking

One of the major factors to consider, a parking area plays a vital role whenever you are choosing to acquire a condo unit. Most projects tend to have parking spaces in the basement of the site or adjacent to each building. Normally, each unit is allotted a specific number of parking passes, which is given on the basis of number of bedrooms each unit contains. The passes come in terms of hanging hand-tags or stickers that need to be visible on your vehicle whenever parking the car in the allocated space. Some expensive condos also tend to construct security-controlled parking areas equipped with automatic gates that open only for the building tenants and not for any outsider.

4. Security

Besides the installed gates, condos often install other security measures for the safety and comfort of residents. Certain high-tech and strict manual measures include 24/7 patrolling security guards, well lit parking spaces, corridors, and common areas, locked doors outside the building’s facilities and exterior spaces, camera and video surveillance, etc. The point is to prevent unwelcomed intrusion and burglars from entering the area.

The developers may also install perimeter fencing and safe landscaping for clear walkways without any overgrown bushes. Each unit allow tenants to have access to call 911 from their own space and/or install a personal alarm if needed to quickly call the emergency unit.

The condo should be well-equipped to deal with a plethora of natural disasters including fire, floods, earthquakes etc. and also total power blackout. The condo staff and security personnel must be clearly and personally informed of the names that requires extra and prompt attention in case of emergency clearance such as disabled or terminally ill people. Several large structures including the facilities areas tend to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire suppression systems too to catch the slightest fire before it goes beyond control.

Eventually the usefulness of the type of features in a condominium depends on your choices, and what you consider worth investing in. If you’re not sure of these features, it’s always best to consider your local real estate agent like Lisa Snuggs.

Posted in Condominium
March 20, 2017

6 Best and Unique Characteristics of Real Estate Investments in Destin, Florida

A profitable and valuable real estate investment will not only provide a steady source of income to the investor, but also build his/her wealth through asset appreciation on a long-term basis. Having an experienced and knowledgeable investor is critical to understand the unique characteristics of your real estate investments will help you to devise a profitable approach. Moreover, understanding how to utilize the best features of your portfolio is what will make you a thriving investor in a competitive city like Destin, Florida. . But what actually make real estate investments unique as compared to other types of investments? Here are six unique features:

1. Durability

Real estate investments if handled properly can become exceptionally durable and able to create several sources of revenue generation. A real estate investment has no fixed maturity unlike other types of investments. You can retain the investment for several years to come, or even sell out within a few days of acquisition if there is profitable offer in the market. Consider some unique investments in the U.S. that have been in possession for several decades, while few exclusive investments have been acquired by the same family or trust for centuries in some European cities.

2. No Transparency

Certain markets like commodities and stocks, tend to function on transparent basis. Investors have clear access to real-time market facts which enables them to make drastic amendments to their plans and portfolio.

In the case of real estate industry, it is otherwise. Whenever an investor wants to acquire a property, there is a probability the seller is containing some information or even he/she may be unaware of the issues relating to the property.

Considering the need, a thorough research and many on-site inspections are vital before deciding to purchase the asset. While purchasing an unseen property in situations like an auction, it’s better to include the high risk of uncertainties and several issues into the decision-making process.

3. Diversification

Each real estate investment calls for unique features when it comes to location, price, and structure. To cater to the need, investors tend to gather knowledge from the local community in accordance with managing highly profitable and diversified portfolio of investments. It’s not a surprising fact that many experienced investors tend to hire a local team in each location for their investments to gain as much help as possible from the heterogeneity nature of this industry.

4. Illiquidity

A real estate investment is taken as illiquid due to its inability to sell immediately and saving the owner from a considerable loss in value. Even if you want to flip a property, it will cover a significant length of time to buy, apply renovations and additions, locate an interested party, and close the deal. And if you are owning a rental property with residing tenants, the process is only going to get prolonged.

However, the illiquidity factor is a favorable one, especially when it pertains to investment in real estate. The lack of liquidity will only stabilize and appreciate the asset over time, which is the best case scenario for long-term investors.

5. High Startup Costs

The costs involved in initiating a real estate investment is higher in contrast to other kinds of investments. Normal costs will include purchasing and closing costs, rehabilitation, and financing. Remember in order to make money you have to invest, and the same concept applies for real estate markets too.

Similar to illiquidity, the high startup cost is the reason property investment is such an exciting prospect for investors. However, the soaring costs do limit the number of investors entering some high-investment markets, even though the rewards are promising in terms of high cash inflow.

6. Vulnerability in Investments

The risks involved in real estate industry run hand-in-hand with the high rewards that tempt potential investors. The fluidity of investment markets tend to change with to the geographic differences as well. In this sense, real estate investment is not a one-time effort, but rather requires constant acknowledgement and engagement in order to stay abreast with the ever-changing trends.

Several top investors may either handle their investments personally, or tend to hire a real estate expert or team to manage all the details and specifications relevant to their properties.

March 16, 2017

What You Need To Know About Foreclosures for Sale in Destin, Florida

If a homeowner fails to meet their end of the bargain – in other words, if they are unable to pay their mortgage payments, the bank who loaned them the money has the right to take away the property, this terms as a foreclosure. Whatever the homeowner has invested in their property, they will end up losing all of it. Although, foreclosures can have devastating effects on the people who have to give up their home, foreclosed properties do bring advantages for those who are willing to purchase a foreclosed property – mainly this advantage comes with purchasing the property at a bargain rate.

Benefits of purchasing a foreclosed home:

Anyone who wants to live in a nice neighborhood like Destin, Florida has the opportunity to buy a foreclosed home which they would otherwise have not be able to afford under normal circumstances. It doesn’t matter what type of home you are looking for, a mansion, an apartment, a single story house or a double story house, there are plenty of foreclosed properties to choose from. Often times, a foreclosed home may be in great condition and the buyer ends up getting a great bargain that could end up being a deal-breaker of a lifetime.

What to watch out for before purchasing a foreclosed home:

Often times, those losing their homes might be undergoing financial hardships. They may not have invested much money into home repairs – perhaps they felt that if they were going to lose their home in the near future, they didn’t see any advantages in getting important repair work done. In that case, you should have the home inspected thoroughly before closing the sale. However, with extreme vetting and research you can certainly find a good deal on a foreclosed home.

Getting a good deal on a property in Destin, Florida:

Destin, Florida is an amazing place to live, work and play. With its vast sandy beaches, world class golf resorts and extraordinary fishing spots, it has become a hotspot for tourist and real estate developers and investors. Consequently, everybody is looking to own a piece of land in the small municipality of the Floridian pan handle. However, many are unable to afford their dream property because the demand to own a property in Destin has skyrocketed. Nonetheless, many would-be buyers have not explored the foreclosure market in Destin. There are plenty of foreclosures for sale in Destin, Florida which will offer you the opportunity to buy that perfect beach house or luxurious condominium you have always wanted.

Feb. 26, 2017

Some Must-Know Facts about Foreclosures and Short Sales

It’s not necessary that a house that runs into default has to go for a foreclosure. Some are sold even before the notice of default is prepared. The core reason homebuyers and investors are tempted to purchase short sales and foreclosures is due to their less-than-market-value price. Sometimes, both the seller in default and the interested buyer can successfully close the deal with a profit for both the parities.

But let’s not forget the process is not as simple as it may sound. Foreclosure purchase is often a complex process as the owner has legal rights over the property in foreclosure. So it’s better both the buyer and seller should acquire professional legal advice before going into a contract. Here are some facts you must know about these types of properties.

Seller of Foreclosures

For obvious reasons neither party wants any kind of problem to occur in the course of foreclosure. But for the seller it’s important to know there are some other options available too besides letting the bank seize the property.

  1. Knowing how to stop the foreclosure helps the owner who wants to keep the property - by using forbearance, reinstatement, repayments plans and mortgage modifications.
  2. Short sales for the seller simplifies how the title to the buyer could be transferred before the end of the redemption period. The process is done by requesting the lender to agree for a less than the unpaid mortgage balance. However, do note, not all lenders would be willing for the short sale. Applying the perfect negotiation skills for pricing is the key to success.
  3. Short sale taxes explain how the IRS will handle the foreclosure property or short sale for taxing reasons. Known as debt forgiveness, according to some tax regulations, seller could be obliged for taxes to the government even though the seller might have incurred loss in the sale.

Tips for Buying Foreclosure and Short Sales Homes

It’s a fact not all foreclosures guarantee a profit. To acquire a property from foreclosure, the buyer would be called to create back payments to the lender; pay off all required fees; and clear the loan or make necessary arrangements to sell the property.

  1. A foreclosure home can be acquired by either from the seller of the property, negotiating for a short sale, or purchasing from the lender after the completion of an auction.
  2. Purchasing a foreclosure is about capturing a sale of a distressed property which will be featured in the impending auction. The deal entails by negotiating the transaction directly with the seller. Even though the buyer can wait to bid for the home at the auction, but better know about the imposed requirements and regulations in advance.
  3. Learn about the pitfalls of foreclosures that will describe how the process of buying a distressed property can pose some hindrances and complications and how to counter them.
Feb. 20, 2017

3 Major Tips That Will Help You in Hiring the Best Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent is not a regular cup of Joe that you can simply greet, meet, and hire. In fact, hiring an agent should be a considered decision. A large number of agents can be seen marketing themselves through online ads, yard signs, and other mediums, but how can you choose and finalize the best real estate agent for your needs? While there are tons of factors involved here, the following three major aspects should be considered a priority.

1. The best real estate agent is one who knows the business

Ask the prospective agent how long he has been serving the real estate industry. However if you are not comfortable asking the question directly, you can consult a state licensing authority to provide an authentic answer. Whatever the time period, ultimately you want an agent who is active in the particular area of your interest. Ultimately, you’re looking for a real estate agent who is knowledgeable of housing, pricing, and market trends.

2. Study the current listings

Check online for the agent’s listings. Reliable channels to search include Realtor.com and also the agent’s own business website. Checking realtor.com would be a wise decision as you can go through a large database of properties, which is also listed in the Multiple Listing Service, America’s real estate portal.

What you should look for is how attractively and professionally the agent has maintained his/her website. See how close the agent’s listings resemble with the properties you want to purchase or sell.

Ask yourself these questions :

Are the properties in the same area?

Does the price range matches yours?

Does the agent has enough listings that would clearly suggest he has a nice business going?

Or are there too many listings which could put you in a risk of being just a “number to see” rather than a “client” for the agent?

3. Ask about other houses on sale nearby

Apart from his own location of business, a reliable agent should also have the knowledge of properties in other areas that are available. As a test, mention a property in your area that has recently been sold or is currently listed for sale. If the agent is well-acquainted with the industry, he/she should be able to provide you some details.

This point is hire an agent who keeps a bird’s-eye view on the market, and have tremendous knowledge. You don’t want to entrust someone with your property who doesn’t know neighborhood even.

Feb. 14, 2017

3 Important Questions Home Sellers Need to Ask a Real Estate Agent

When it’s time to list their house on the market for sale, most sellers have only two questions in mind for the hired or a prospective real estate agent: For how much will the house be sold? What will be the agent’s commission to do the job? As per the data gathered by National Association of Realtors (NAR), only few sellers go beyond these standard questions and hire the first agent they meet in most cases.

Its obvious most of the hiring is done on the basis of gut instinct and presentation of the agent. But selling a home is not a grocery transaction we do every day, so it’s better to have a much thorough discussion by asking additional questions before deciding to hire a reliable agent.

1. What’s your experience?

The question may seem apparent enough, but not many sellers ask the agent about his/her professional experience. It should be understood a transaction involving a property like a house, is one of the most important and somewhat expensive transactions we make in our life. Unfortunately, people tend to ask more questions regarding a small household furniture than they do at the occasion of buying or selling a home.

There’s no magic number when it comes to the level or nature of work experience, according to Rob Levy, a principal broker with Keller Williams Realty Professionals in Portland, Ore. But it’s better to hunt an agent who’s had a number of successful sales stated in his resume and can smoothly handle deals from listing to closing the process, than one who blunders his or her way through. Equally important is the knowledge about the listings in the local area.

2. What will be your plan to market the listing?

As experienced real estate professionals always say: No home selling if there is no proper marketing done. And if you are not inquiring the agent regarding how he plans to market and sell your property then you aren’t doing your homework well.

"Sellers really need to ask agents how they plan to market their home to the greatest number of potential buyers. Find out what your agent's philosophy is for marketing listings, and ask what the agent will do after taking the listing,” says Cheryl Eidinger-Taylor, COO of ERA Key Realty Services in Whitinsville, Mass.

Try to check out the agent’s marketing success record. The track record will display how effectively the agent has used online mediums to showcase house listings, as a large number of buyers today potentially search for online listings. The agent should also use high-definition pictures of your home to put online. Further as per Taylor, agents should present virtual tours they have created through their professional years to the sellers, as the trend is increasingly becoming vital for buyers.

3. How will you communicate with me?

You will be having extensive conversations with your hired agent, so ask him how he intends to communicate with you.

The seller needs to clearly define the time and medium of communication to stay updated at all times regarding the status of his/her property. Would it be via phone or email? Would it be during active business hours or in the evening when you may get time to talk at length? The understanding should focus on the agent’s ability to act as a team member whenever he/she is looking to further the process of selling your home.

Substantiate the agent‘s words by observing what and how he/she has communicated with you until now. If the agent doesn’t respect your opinions and needs, has been careless in attending a small meeting, or responds to your calls and emails in an untimely manner, then it is clear the agent is not professional enough to sell your home justifiably and willingly.

Posted in Home Selling
Feb. 8, 2017

5 Questions to Ask Before Acquiring a Real Estate Foreclosure in Destin Florida

If you are considering to buy a property as big as a real estate foreclosure, there are several factors you need to know before making the investment. Buying a foreclosure in an attractive and in-demand city like Destin, Florida presents a number of advantages including home upgrades, financial gains, and more. So let’s examine the questions an investor should ask him- or herself before finalizing the purchasing decision.

1. Are my finances prepared?

Acquiring a foreclosure at a favorable cost may seem an attractive prospect, but the additional costs that come along should be considered when financing the purchase. You will be surprised to see how quickly costs mount up such as upfront costs for foreclosure research, repair and construction costs, and the costs pertaining to any inherited liens. Conduct a thorough study to see if you have adequate finances to handle such expenses that tend to arise in the course of foreclosure purchase.

2. Is there a team of professionals to assist me?

Working with real estate experts specialized in foreclosure transactions such as Lisa Snuggs can go all smooth for you right from the start till process completion. This is why you need to hire Lisa Snuggs to save you from complex issues which includes: how to locate potential listings in the market, going through the paperwork adhering to the foreclosure rules in your area, and hiring a reliable general contractor to supervise all the repair work in the property.

3. Is my purchasing timeline supple?

It is important to remember that buying a foreclosure property is not the same as buying a home. Be prepared to witness any abrupt “ups” and ‘downs” as the sale can get lost at any instant in the process. Situations in which the sale could end include:

  • The homeowner coming in the midst of foreclosure deal and pay off the loan he was defaulted for.
  • The lender not getting satisfied with the profile and offer at the sale, takes full acquisition of the home, and start to wait out for extended time before offering the property as an REO.

When attending the foreclosure sale, the interested buyer should act quickly upon an offer, but shouldn’t lose patience for concluding the sale. If you have a timeline contingency acting concurrently like the selling of your current home, then it may not be a wise time to acquire a foreclosure as the process itself will become quite complicated for you to handle.

4. Would I be able to reside somewhere if not moving in right away?

The decision to move in your new property will largely depend on its condition - see how much repairs (if any) are required. Even if the house is finely habitable, but a thorough renovation of bathrooms and the kitchen will display an unpleasant appearance. Think about where you will pass the time till all the repairs are made.

In some stressful situations previous owners or tenants mayl flatly refuse to leave the foreclosure. In such cases, legal processing and correspondences take a lengthy time to make them vacate the property. Till then you need to find a decent place to wait out.

5. Are you up for the time and effort involved?

Purchasing a decent home during the foreclosure process is not as simple as it seems. Be honest and prepared for the time and effort involved to go through the complete purchase patiently and getting the house ready for a perfect home.

Dec. 15, 2016

4 Tips for Hiring the Best Real Estate Agent in Destin Florida

Either you are new in the real estate market or have been playing for quite some time now, you always want the best real estate agent to work with. But the question is how you can locate a top professional when there are a countless number of agents marketing themselves through online ads, yard signs, direct mail postcards, etc. So let’s go through some important considerations you need to look before choosing a real estate agent in Destin Florida.

1. Talk with recent References

Ask the agent to provide the list of items they have dealt in over the past year along with the contact information of the respective clients. However before proceeding on to talk to the clients, ask the agent about the nature of each client or if it is okay to contact them.

With the old clients of the agent, the easiest and most important thing to ask them regarding their deal is the asking price and the sale price. If you are a seller, try to figure out if there were any similarities with the previous properties in terms of location, size, price, and other major features. The point is you need to know whether the agent you are about to deal with is specialized in any particular field of real estate or not.

Another crucial question to consider is: how long have the homes been listed in the market?

2. Search the License Information

Obviously licensed agents are preferred first. Consult you state’s regulatory body if your shortlisted agent is legally licensed and if there have been any disciplinary issues and relevant actions taken. The information can be found online.

3. How about a Winner?

Agents that have been appreciated or awarded by the state are best judged by the clients. For instance, being awarded “Realtor of the Year” is a huge endorsement for the agent in itself.

4. Agent with the right Credentials

Every profession in any industry has additional specialized fields, so is the case with real estate. Even general agents are asked to acquire further trainings in some areas. So a clear designation associated with an agent’s name is enough to showcase the fact the agent is specialized in certain areas of real estate sales. For example, some of the specialized designations can come in the following terms.

  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) who has gained an additional training to represent buyers in transactions.
  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is entitled to deal with residential real estate transactions.
  • Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) who are excelled in dealing with the buying and selling processes for senior citizens normally of 50+ age range.