Real Estate Blog

Maintenance is a big part of being a homeowner. Put simply, owning a home means having a never-ending to-do list and, depending on your level of know-how, some of it will require the help of a professional. These jobs can range from major renovations such as putting an addition on your house to basic upkeep and repairs like having ducts cleaned and fixing leaks. Essentially, you are your home's temporary caretaker and how well you take care of it will affect not only how comfortable and enjoyable your home is to live in but also how much you can ask for it when you sell. These days, it seems Americans are increasingly interested in fixing up their homes. In fact, newly released data from the National Association of Home Builders shows home remodeling

209 Views, 0 Comments

With rental costs and home prices both increasing, it's become more challenging for renters to save for a down payment. How much so? Well, according to one recent analysis, the typical renter will have to save for nearly six and a half years to come up with a 20 percent down payment on a median-priced home. And, since the median home value is currently $216,000, depending on your prospective neighborhood, it could take even longer to save up for a house. Renters who aspire to homeownership shouldn't get discouraged, though. Despite the fact that a 20 percent down payment is the standard amount recommended by financial experts, it is not a requirement in order to buy a house. In fact, depending on the particular terms of your mortgage, you can put down as

221 Views, 0 Comments

The vast majority of surveyed Americans say that homeownership is among their retirement goals, according to a recent survey. In fact, 85 percent of non-retiree respondents said they want to own their own home in retirement and believe they can pay off their mortgage before they retire. But, though non-retiree participants feel like they'll have their mortgage paid off in time, more than 25 percent of retired respondents said they're still paying off a mortgage and over half of those had a balance of more than $50,000. In short, Americans may be a bit too optimistic. But regardless of whether or not they make it, the debate about home ownership and retirement will continue. On the one hand, tax breaks and equity make a good case for the wealth-building

199 Views, 0 Comments

The challenge of finding an affordable entry-level home in today's housing market gets a lot of coverage. First-time buyers facing higher rent, difficulty saving for a down payment, and low inventory are an important demographic and their habits have implications for the overall health of the market. But, at the same time as the starter-home market has been hot, demand for luxury homes has also ramped up. In fact, new research shows sales of homes $1 million and higher are up 25 percent over last year – which represents the largest jump since January 2014. In short, the improved economy and job market has also led to an increase in demand for luxury homes, the same way it has elevated demand across all segments of the housing market. Among specific

277 Views, 0 Comments

There are two reasons home buyers typically have to pay more for a house on the water. The first is that people want to live on the water. It's a desirable location. Secondly, there are a limited number of houses with water access. And when you combine high demand and low supply, you usually have a recipe for higher prices. But new research shows that waterfront property isn't selling at as high a premium this year. In fact, waterfront homes in the first quarter sold for a 36 percent premium, which is the lowest level since 2002. By comparison, the average premium since 1996 is 41 percent and in 2012 the premium was as high as 54 percent. In other words, the difference in price between homes on the water and those further inland is lower than normal. But

218 Views, 0 Comments

Perception doesn't always match reality but, when it comes to financial markets, it can make a difference. For example, if you've ever invested in the stock market, you know that a company's stock can rise or fall based on the day's news, even if the company's fundamentals and outlook remain the same as the day before. In short, perception matters. And, in today's housing market, there's a perception that there are few affordable homes available to prospective buyers. In fact, according to a recent analysis from Fannie Mae, though only 8 percent of homeowners consider their current mortgage unaffordable, 45 percent said that affordable housing is difficult to find in their area. Which provides a snapshot of what is going on in many markets across the

267 Views, 0 Comments

In recent years, there's been a lot of discussion about millennial home buying preferences. Mostly, this is due to the fact that first-time home buyers have historically made up about 40 percent of the home sales in any given year. And, because they account for a large number of the homes sold each year, any fluctuation in those numbers is notable. That's why Freddie Mac recently took a look at why the homeownership rate among young adults has dropped 8 percent since hitting its peak in 2004. As you might imagine, there are a variety of reasons for this. Among them, affordability, not surprisingly, ranks highest. Concern about being able to afford homeownership is always an issue for younger buyers. But there are many other factors that have played a role

276 Views, 0 Comments

Are you hearing stories flying around Sandestin about things such as a condo on Jolee Island, The Beach House restaurant coming down to make room for a high-rise, and The Village of Baytowne Wharf closing down? Kitty Whitney, SRE Executive Director, separates FACT from FICTION here. Have a question YOU want answered? Send it directly to Kitty at:



Section of Village closing and condos to be built.


The Village is alive and well. Nothing in the Village is being closed. (see map and directory with new establishments from most recent Shop, Dine, Play)

The adjacent Baytowne Conference Center expansion starts soon and it will take the foot print of the current service parking lot near the loading dock and

837 Views, 0 Comments

Have you ever been curious what it is like "below the deck" on one of those incredible fishing boats that enter the annual Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic fishing tournament? We were able to catch up with Brad Benton, Captain of the Aldente (docked at the Sandestin Baytowne Marina) for a quick Q & A:


1.       When you’re out in the East Pass on Thursday and the horn blows to start the ECBC, how do you spend that first day of fishing?

  The strategy has totally changed due to the recent change in start time.  The 12pm leave allows for fishing on the first day.  So, we may not be able to reach our primary destination, but this allows ample time to cross over some good marlin grounds.  This year we spent a little time making bait and fished for

307 Views, 0 Comments

Available homes continue to sell quickly with the typical property going under contract in less than a month, according to new numbers from the National Association of Realtors. The newly released data shows the average property sold in 26 days, which was unchanged from the month before. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says there are not enough homes to meet buyer demand and it's causing available homes to sell quickly. “Inventory coming onto the market during this year's spring buying season – as evidenced again by last month's weak reading – was not even close to being enough to satisfy demand,” Yun said. “That is why home prices keep outpacing incomes and listings are going under contract in less than a month – and much faster – in many parts of

180 Views, 0 Comments