I get a lot of calls from people looking for a "deal".  I ask those folks to tell me what they mean but most people can't answer the question.

So if you want a deal, but can't exactly define one, I analyzed Junes sales of condos in Destin, FL on the gulf and this is what I came up with as the top 3 buys for Jun '09:

1. Grand Dunes, South Tower, Unit 550.  The specs for this unit are as follows:
2870 sf; 4br/4ba, direct gulf front, built in 2006 and sold for $975,000.  That works out to $339 per sf for a luxury gulf front condo. This was a normal sale and not a foreclosure or short sale.

2. Pelican Beach, Unit 310. The specs for this unit are as follows: 873 sf, 1br/2ba, direct gulf front, built in 1997 and sold for $237,500.  That works out to…

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The developer for Waterscape Condominiums has recently released several units for sale at steeply discounted liquidation prices.  Waterscape is an upscale, kid friendly, beach front, condominium located on over 490 ft of beach front on Okaloosa Island.

Waterscape is loaded with amenities including: lush tropical pool with zero entry, splash and wading pools for the kids, lazy river, fitness center, tiki bar, and much more.

The units are well-equipped with stainless steel appliances, crown molding, 9 ft. ceilings, tile, and carpet.  There are condos available in 1, 2, and 3 bedrooms. The sizes of each are:

1br:   864 square feet
2br:  1292 square feet
3br:  1490 square feet

Click the link below for a complete listing of condos available at…

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Demand for condos in Destin and along the Emerald Coast has picked up dramatically in the past 4 months.  This was to be expected with the precipitous decline in prices experienced in the past few years.

As a realtor, you would think I would be ecstatic. However, there's one major problem.  Fannie Mae, who provides financing for the bulk of residential properties in the country is now  refusing to finance condos.  Ok, that's not entirely true.  They will still finance condos that fit a very specific criteria.  The problem is that very few, if any, condos along the Emerald Coast of Florida, meet the criteria.  These are the same folks that Fannie Mae was literally throwing money at back in 2004 and 2005 to fund their condo purchases.  This is further…

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I received feedback from the bank today on two short sales. 

One was a beach front condominium in Destin that I had presented an offer of $210,000 to the bank about 3 months ago.  After several frustrating weeks of little to no communication from the bank, they finally called and told me that the appraisal came in at $260k and to bring another offer.

The second communication was regarding a home for sale in Destin.  The offer had been presented at $170,000 about four months ago.  Again, after several weeks with little to no communication, the bank came back and said that the property appraised for $200,000 and to bring a better offer.

What's the point? Simply this: APPRAISALS ARE THE HOLY GRAIL FOR THE BANKS. Listing a home or presenting an offer…

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For the past couple of years, we have all been talking about the correlation between property taxes and individuals ability to afford homes along the Emerald Coast.  After a couple of years of heated debate, Amendment 1 was put to a vote this week.  The amendment passed overwhelmingly this week as most residents want their tax bills lowered. 

The Key Points of Amendment 1 Are:

  1. It doubles Florida’s Homestead Exemption to $50,000 for non-school taxes.  The previous exemption was $25,000
  2. It Provides Portability.  This means that homesteaders can transfer $500,000 worth of the non-taxed value they’ve accumulated over the years to their next home.
  3. It does not take away the Save Our Homes Cap of 3%.
  4. Businesses receive a…

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Time to Get Quotes from Prospective Lenders

Ok, we’ve spent countless hours discussing your needs and wants for your dream home or condo.  You have looked at dozens of listings that fit your criteria.  We have spent several days together looking at those properties.  We have researched prices, written offers, and negotiated “The Best Deal” for you. 

Now what happens?

Unfortunately, in too many instances, I see buyer’s that have worked so hard to get the best deal only to give it all up with their financing.  This is a shame considering that mortgages are the easiest component to negotiate.  How do you keep this from happening to you?  Follow a few simple rules:

1.      Get at least 3 quotes.  Every person has a “financial” profile.  This…

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How to Place the Best Offer on a Destin Condo

Whether we are buying a new car, computer, plane tickets, or Real Estate, we all want the same thing, which is “The Best Deal”.  With most items, the best deal is assured when we buy the item that we want at the lowest price. 

Real Estate doesn’t work that way.  In addition to the purchase price, things like closing costs, lenders fees, property taxes, and state taxes affect your initial overall total cost.  As a buyer, this overall total cost should be what you are concerned with minimizing.  Keep in mind that most seller’s are focused on PURCHASE PRICE.  Let’s take a look at how to put together a smart offer.

Purchase Price:  This is the most visible and important of all terms in the offer.  It’s…

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The Real Estate Environment in Destin may have changed in the past few years but a few things are the same.  In particular, buyer’s are still looking for the “hot” deals.  In 2003 and 2004 pre-construction condos were the rage.

In those days, the phones literally rang off the hook for people looking for pre-construction properties.  Many buyer’s didn’t care about the condo layout, project amenities, location, costs of ownership or anything else.  They just wanted to know where to sign the contract and where to send the deposit.

Today, the phones are ringing off the hook for buyer’s looking for lists of foreclosures and short sales in Destin and the surrounding area.  In both cases, the bank or mortgage holder is involved in the selling process. …

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I had a buyer in the office today inquiring about the cost of owning a condo.  I thought I’d share my answer with you because there are a few things that you should consider if you are thinking of buying a condo:

Maintenance:  the nice thing about owning a condo or townhome in Destin or along the Emerald Coast is that the Home Owner’s Association takes care of most of the maintenance to the structure of the building.  The rule of thumb is that if a repair is needed to the outside of your condo, common walls and balconies, the Home Owner’s Association will take care of it.  If the repair is needed inside your unit, it is your responsibility.

It certainly takes away from having to worry about a lot of repairs that most home owners are faced with…

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