Emerald Coast Real Estate News


Dec. 1, 2016

4 Things You Need to Know about Real Estate Property Prices in Destin Florida

In any real estate transaction, both the buyers and sellers perform their duties well: buyer asking and seller trying to push back. The negotiation typically goes by the sellers demanding the highest possible price, while the buyer emphasizing on availing the best deal. The negotiation is best solved by coming to terms on a win-win situation. So there are some important considerations to be taken into account before finalizing a deal. Let’s examine the important things in property prices both the parties need to know before closing a real estate transaction in Destin Florida.

1. Price

Obviously being the simplest and most important one, both the parties try to get the best deal for themselves. The point to understand is the property price has different meanings for both. The seller wants the maximum price while the buyer wants the least—usually the negotiation ends up somewhere in the middle.

Buyers avoid overpaying as it could seriously affect their chances of getting a nice value from resale of the property in future. While the sellers wish to stay as close to their financial plan as possible.

2. Closing Costs

Buyer has to bear the prepaid closing costs associated with the property—money that the lender holds in escrow, for items such as insurance, taxes, etc. The buyer may sometimes ask the seller to pay a flat amount for the closing costs, or a defined percentage as a contribution for the lender.

3. Closing Date

Sellers can decide and inform the buyer when they need their capital out of the home. The closing dates largely affect the monthly cash flow of the buyer once they have acquired the home. For instance, if a buyer closes the deal, they can skip the next month’s mortgage payment. This can happen if they want to close at the beginning of the month so they decided to skip the next month.

4. Financing Contingencies

A financing contingency allows the buyer enough time to apply for and acquire a loan to purchase the property. This is a very important protection tool for buyer who can back out of the agreement in case he is unable to secure the loan from a bank or any hard money lender. The contingency decides the number of days within which the buyer has to obtain the loan. Till the arrival of the date, the buyer can dissolve the contract or request for an extension (however, the extension must be mutually agreed with the seller in written).

Nov. 10, 2016

Lisa Snuggs—a Leading Real Estate Group Collects the “Best of” Award

Just over a time period of one year since the inception of her business, the owner/broker Lisa Snuggs answered a call from Emerald Coast Magazine. The magazine informed that her newly started venture—The Lisa Snuggs Real Estate Group has been voted “Best of the Emerald Coast” in the elite and top performing category of Residential Real Estate Group.

On every October, Emerald Coast Magazine tends to celebrate the businesses spread throughout our community which have been chosen as the Best of the Best by the readers. Operated firms or locally owned enterprises locating from Bay County to Escambia County are eligible for this prestigious honor only if the owner or the managing partner resides within the 30 miles of this geographic location. Voting ballets are acquired from the June/July publication of Emerald Coast Magazine and votes are allowed as write-in only.

“Only one other company being in business for less than a year has ever won an award, and it is very unusual that someone in your category/industry, in business for a year, wins Best of," said Darla Harrison of Rowland Publishing. "The real estate category is very competitive.”

While Lisa Snuggs herself comments by stating, “We are honored and humbled to receive this client-driven award and intend to continue to deliver quality service, honest advise and ethical negotiations in all real estate transactions."

The Lisa Snuggs Real Estate Group initiated their healthy operation from 225 Main Street Suite 15 in Destin in June 2015. Factors including a vast and diversified experience, highly dedicated work ethic, and extended work hours are responsible for the growth and current success of this brokerage firm. The Lisa Snuggs Real Estate Group employs eight licensed realtors along with brokerage operations manager and a transaction coordinator with all working to smoothen the buying and selling process of properties and real estate transactions as much as possible. Their working philosophy does not believe in complicated and stressful meetings with clients. The office is active from 9 am to 5 pm, with Monday to Friday.

The Lisa Snuggs Real Estate Group excels in dealing with residential real estate, second homes, condominiums, investment properties, 1031 exchanges, waterfront properties, and the sale of unimproved land. To better cater their clients who purchase short- and long-term rental investments, the firm has successfully added the property management division too in their already booming service portfolio.

The Lisa Snuggs is actively accepting new clients and is looking to staff two additional agents in the team by the end of the year.

Sept. 21, 2016

Tips for Buying Property for Sale in Florida

Buying a property for sale in Florida can be complex, but if you go through the following tips before making any decisions it will save your time, money, and make sure that your investment is secure. If you are considering purchasing a property, stop for a few minutes, and look at these tips that can help you make the right decisions.

Do Your Research

This may seem like stating the obvious, but you will be surprised by the fact that a number of people do not do enough research before buying property. Even though you can never do enough research, diving into the property market blindfolded can lead to a purchase that you later regret. If you like a property, find out more about the surrounding area, check out the crime rate in that neighborhood, check the school ratings, drive the neighborhood at night, on the weekends, when the kids are getting off the school bus. Check the area zoning and any proposed changes, ask your Realtor to pull SOLD COMPS no more than 90 days old. It doesn’t matter what a seller is asking for a property, what matters is how much the buyers in the past 90 days were willing to pay. You can do your research online or consult a reliable and trusted Real Estate agent as well. We suggest doing BOTH!

Prepare Yourself Financially

Before you make any offers – GET PRE-APPROVED to assure that you can actually afford what you are offering on. Make sure that you have taken all costs into consideration including insurance, HOA fees, taxes, inspections and survey fees, and any other overheads. Work with a LOCAL LENDER who is familiar with the area, the flood zones, Coastal Construction Lines, insurance requirements and Condo Association standards. This is very important to pick a local lender.

Conduct Survey, Home Inspection and Termite / WDO Inspection.

To receive title insurance, you will be required to have a recent or certified survey. The seller of the property may convey an existing survey if no changes have been made to the property. A Home inspection by a licensed individual is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! A Termite / WDO inspection will be mandatory if receiving a loan, highly recommended if paying cash. This might add some expenses to your purchase but it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Analyze the Property’s Market

Before making a deal make sure that you find out for how long the property has been on the market from your real estate agent. Even if you fall in love with the property, if it has been on the market for a long period of time you should stop and find out why. Make sure the property is free and clear of title issues and liens – clear and marketable title should always be obtained before closing.

Control Your Emotions

One important tip for you is to never act overly keen to either the seller or the seller’s agent. If the seller or the seller’s real estate agent find out your interest, they will try to get as much money out of you as possible. Also remember that YOUR real estate agent works for YOU and therefore cannot tell anyone how much you are willing to pay for the property. Therefore, control your emotions during any negotiations.

Aug. 23, 2016

Buying Property for Sale in Florida

Buying a property may very well be the biggest investment of your life. Therefore, choosing the right location is an extremely important part of buying a property. Buying a property for sale in Florida, has its advantages, with the city’s miles of beautiful sand beaches and flourishing urban centers, that make this city quite popular location for real estate investment. Florida is a popular location for primary, second, or winter season homes. Thinking about your motives for buying a property for sale in Florida and asking yourself some basic questions before you buy it will this process an easy one for you.

Consider Why You Want to Buy Property in Florida?

You should think about buying a property in Florida as a long-term investment. The amount that you are likely to earn on your investment home depends on its exact location in the city therefore, you should choose wisely and carefully before making a final decision. You should also make sure that the home works as a real estate investment and the deal makes sense financially. If you are paying more in mortgage and taxes than you are getting in rent, it is probably not the best deal for you. The property has to be in a good locality in order to attract reliable and high-paying tenants.

Ask Yourself If You Need a Second Home

Getting yourself a second home can be a great investment if you have the time and money, but you must remember that paying mortgage and property taxes is quite expensive. You will be better off consulting a financial planner before planning any property purchases to make sure you don’t end up draining out your finances. Another important thing is to be realistic about the utility your new home brings to you. Whether you use it is as a vacation home, a second home, or rent it out to someone else, plan everything ahead of the purchase.

Find a Good Realtor

A good realtor is the one who listens to your wants and understands your needs. A good real estate agent or agency will take note of your criteria and identify the properties that match your needs in Florida. The process for buying a property for sale in Florida can be hectic, difficult, and confusing and only an experienced realtor can help you walk through it while explaining you everything as clearly as possible.

Aug. 17, 2016

Important Things you should consider before Buying a Waterfront Property

In Destin, Florida and all along the Emerald Coast, the purchase of waterfront property is a lifestyle enjoyed by permanent residents and second homeowners. Whether on the Gulf of Mexico, the Choctawhatchee Bay, Deep Water Bayou’s, Coastal Lakes or Santa Rosa Sound, there are many additional issues and conditions to consider before a purchase. Real estate transactions involving waterfront property require a professional with a specific knowledge of the local area, property history and insurance requirements.

The land

There are so many things to consider about the land itself; is it High and Dry – what is the elevation of the property and does the seller have an elevation certificate they will convey? Is the Seawall built strong? Be sure to have it inspected! What flood zone is it in? What direction is it facing or side of the building is it on, will you get the Sunrise or the Sunset? This will also influence your utility expenses.


Before a purchase, it is imperative you speak with a LOCAL insurance specialist to determine the expenses of insuring your new investment. If a property sits in a COBRA Zone or within the Coastal Construction Line, without the proper Elevation Certificate or LOMA Letter, insurance could be cost prohibitive.

Accessibility to boating

Waterfront living affords a boating lifestyle that Destin was founded on. If you are purchasing a home not only for your family, but for the family’s favorite toy – The BOAT, make sure you pick the right property with the access, water depth, boat house, lift and dock that will fit your boat and your lifestyle!


Always check local requirements for building and maintaining docks, piers, boat houses and lifts. What are the laws and costs associated with replacement due to storm damage?

Maintenance Expenses

Waterfront property is exposed to severe weather, salt air and constant moisture. These factors require additional attention to property preservation. Corrosion is inevitable and moisture damage must be constantly attended to. So before a waterfront purchase, these additional expenses should be taken into consideration.

Aug. 9, 2016

Things to Keep in Mind before Buying Foreclosures for Sale in Destin, Florida

Foreclosure sales are happening everywhere and more often than you’d think. A number of people purchase homes and later find themselves unable to make the required payments because of troubles and hardships or are unwilling to pay when the value of the house drops below its purchase price. If you are in the market for a foreclosed home, there are a few things you should take note of.

Finding Foreclosures

The first thing you need to do is identify the homes that are or will be in foreclosure. Identifying all these properties will give you more time do your research and also give you a lot more options. You can find foreclosure properties in the local newspapers, the auctions for the city are usually published in the legal notices section. For instance, to find out more about foreclosures for sale in Destin, Florida, first check the local newspapers, tax records and real estate listings. In some areas you can get special issue publication with real estate and foreclosure listings. A real estate agent can also help, you can ask them to give you updates regarding any new foreclosures.

Types of Foreclosures

Foreclosures are processed in three stages: foreclosure auctions, bank owned properties (Real Estate Owned – REO), and pre-foreclosure (Short-Sales).

At the foreclosure auction, people show up at a predetermined meeting, usually at a public location, and make bids against each other for a property. Anyone can come to these auctions and representatives from financial institutions also show up to make sure that the bidding starts at an amount which helps them recover their costs. The highest bid wins. If the property fails to sell at an auction, it becomes real estate owned (REO). REO’s are the homes that go through an unsuccessful foreclosure auction and become bank owned properties.

Before the property is legally foreclosed and before the auction, buyers have an opportunity to make a deal with the owner or lender. This is called pre-foreclosure, and it is a period where investors stand to make the most money.

Find Out Everything Beforehand

Before bidding for a foreclosure, be sure to find the hidden costs involved in the process. You might want to research the title to see if there are any outstanding legal burdens or liens, outstanding property taxes or property encroachments. If you win an auction for a foreclosure property with any such baggage, you could be responsible for paying them off as well.

You may also get a surprise by banks that loaned earlier mortgages to the homeowner. This is the reason that it is extremely important to always have the title checked before attending the foreclosure auction. You do not want a property with strings attached and do not want to responsible for any back utilities either – yes that can happen too.

Nov. 18, 2015

What Your Realtor Should Tell You About Contract Negotiations

The combination of low inventories on homes for sale and rising interest rates are resulting in some sellers receiving up to a dozen or more offers on their properties the day the home is listed on the market.  What a disappointment to home buyers, who just months ago, had many homes to choose from at rock bottom pricing.

If you're in the market to buy a home, your Realtor should ensure you understand the contract and negotiation process and align your expectations with the reality of your local housing market. For example, before submitting a first contract, you'd want to know the following:

  • Listing agents and sellers are not legally required to disclose that there are other offers
  • Sellers are not obligated to negotiate with the first buyer who makes a bid
  • Sellers don't have to accept full-price or cash offers
  • Counteroffers can be made over the phone, but only written agreements are binding
  • Sellers can legally tell a buyer what a competing bidder offered because neither they, nor their agent, owe a duty of confidentiality to the buyer
  • Buyers should realize they don't have the right to change their mind once a seller accepts their offer in writing
  • If buyers reject a seller's counteroffer, the counteroffer is no longer open for acceptance

Information from FloridaRealtors.org, Nov. 16, 2015

Oct. 6, 2015

United States' August 2015 Home Sales SURGE

The Associated Press reports that Americans purchased new homes last August at the fastest pace in more than seven years. New-home sales surged 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 552,000, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That is the strongest pace since February 2008, near the beginning of the Great Recession. Last month's increase followed an even bigger 12 percent jump in July, according to the government's revised figures.

Sept. 4, 2015

New Website for The Lisa Snuggs Real Estate Group

Lisa Snuggs Real Estate Group website

The Lisa Snuggs Real Estate Group is proud to announce the launch of their new website. The website not only introduces the Realtors working for the group, but provides valuable search capabilities for anyone wanting to familiarize themselves with real estate available on Florida's Emerald Coast.

The site allows someone to setup a property search, save searches and then get automated email notifications when properties meeting search criteria are added or their listing price changes.

The site supports all property listed in the following Emerald Coast regions:

Destin   Miramar Beach   Sandestin Resort   Santa Rosa Beach
Seaside   Grayton Beach   Watercolor   Pt Washington
Niceville   Ft Walton Beach   Navarre   Gulf Breeze