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Freeport Real Estate

Freeport Real Estate

Freeport Real Estate

Freeport Poised for Major Growth

South Walton is essentially a very narrow strip of land, sandwiched between the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay. With over 40 percent of the land here being protected State Park or Forest — and most major parcels of developable land already being spoken for — there’s simply not a whole lot of room left to grow. With the bustle of Destin bumping up against us to the west and Panama City Beach on the east, there’s only one way to expand — north. And with the new 331 bridge expansion project already underway (due to be completed in the summer of 2016), it’s clear that the 331 corridor north of the bridge is poised for explosive growth. Apartment complexes, restaurants, shopping plazas, movie theaters, gas stations, bay-front communities, golf coursescampgrounds and hotels. We expect all of these things to start taking shape north of the bay. Freeport will continue to be a place that many locals call home, especially all of the countless hospitality professionals who will be required to support 30A’s thriving tourism-based economy. Freeport will become the place that many of us live, work and play, and supporting such a large population of professionals will require building many new living and entertainment options for them to enjoy.

If you are thinking about some Freeport Real Estate let one of our experienced agents help you in your search! Contact us and one of our professional agents will get back to you ASAP!

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Panama City Beach Tourism

Panama City Beach Tourism

Panama City Beach Tourism

Panama City Beach leaders: Steady tourism, better reputation to be ‘new normal’

News Herald Reporter
Posted Jun. 4, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Updated Jun 4, 2016 at 11:42 PM

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Officials say new projects aimed at year-round crowds — and continued strict adherence to this year’s Spring Break laws — will lead to “a new normal” for Panama City Beach.

“The laws aren’t going to change, so Spring Break as we have known it in the past probably we’re looking at it in the rearview mirror, and there is a new normal,” said Dan Rowe, the executive director of the Bay Tourist Development Council (TDC). “We’re focused on how we can drive as much business as we can throughout the year, knowing that the visitor spending in March is going to change.”

The TDC and Beach officials are looking forward to several projects — including a sports complex expected to open in the first quarter of 2018 and a possible events center that could open in three or four years — as options to diversify the tourism industry and reel in new visitors.

The plan is to focus on increasing visitor spending 12 months a year, Rowe said, “so we’re not as reliant on any particular month of the year.”

“A rising tide floats all boats, and so we’re looking not just at March-specific strategies, but how do we increase visitor demand to Panama City Beach?” he said.

In the near term, the TDC has focused on bringing in new events and growing existing ones. Rowe said SpringJam, which was funded by the TDC and held for the first time in April, helped change the national conversation: People began noticing Panama City Beach as a locale that attracts world-class country musicians rather than the home of Spring Break controversy.

“It really did accomplish our goals of creating a new opportunity for people to come and give us something to talk about from a public relations standpoint,” Rowe said.

The recent Memorial Day weekend also gave credence to the TDC’s efforts. Hotels and businesses reported increased traffic compared to the same weekend last year.

Blowback from businesses

However, hoteliers and businesses that cater to spring breakers say officials have a case of wishful thinking if they believe family business in March can replace the lost business from college Spring Break. They said spring breakers were a reliable customer base who would come down even during the sometimes chilly month of March. Some also have argued families are not going to come in March if their children are still in school.

“You can spin it however you want,” said Julie Hilton, whose family owns three hotels on the Beach at which revenues were down 50 percent in March compared to last year. “The bottom line: It hurts our team members and it hurts the economy. In the end, we’re all connected. We are all in this community together. It will affect all of us one way or the other. Even though you think you are insulated from it, if you have nothing to with the tourism industry, everyone in Bay County is affected by tourism.”

But Beach officials stand by their decisions. Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas said he’s confident March business will pick back up once people understand the city has taken care of the crime problems that were associated with Spring Break. He believes the strict rules of the last few years were necessary to get the city’s point across.

“I don’t believe the rules ran people off,” he said. “I believe our actions ran people off, and I believe when we show that we are going to be a good destination, that we’re going to be a respectful destination and a fun, family destination, I believe a lot of those people will come back, both young and old.”

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Grand Panama Condos For Sale

Grand Panama Condos For Sale

Grand Panama Condos For Sale


Grand Panama Condos For Sale


Are you searching for Grand Panama Condos For Sale? If you are thinking of making your dream a reality and purchasing a condo in the Grand Panama Beach Resort, you have come to the right place! Life’s a Beach Real Estate sold more Grand Panama units in 2015 than any other real estate company on the beach. Currently, the majority of the units listed in the Grand Panama are listed with Life’s a Beach Real Estate. We have intimate knowledge of the building and can guide you with your Grand Panama purchase like none other! Check out the video below to see some of what the Grand Panama has to offer!


Click here to see what’s for sale in the Grand Panama right now!




Life’s A Beach Real Estate is a local boutique real estate company that has made its mark in the Emerald Coast real estate market by putting service first! We are a beach front Company located on the world’s most beautiful beaches of Panama City Beach FL. Our specialty is condo sales but we are a full service brokerage which includes, investments, commercial, construction ,and development.

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Panama City Beach Home Pricing

Panama City Beach Home Pricing

Panama City Beach Home Pricing


Panama City Beach Home Pricing


Homebuilders say major uptick coming


WASHINGTON – May 6, 2016 – Steady job growth, low mortgage rates and pent-up demand are prompting an increase in the demand for new single-family homes, and homebuilders say they’re ready to build them.

However, builders also say they face plenty of headwinds that could subdue some construction, such as a shortage of lots and labor, and tight access to construction and development loans.

“Builders remain cautiously optimistic about market conditions,” says Robert Dietz, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders, in a Spring Construction Forecast Webinar on Thursday. “2016 should be the first year since the Great Recession in which the growth rate for single-family production exceeds that of multifamily. And we see single-family growth accelerating in 2017 as the supply side chain mends and we can expand production.”

NAHB forecasters predict that single-family production will see a 14 percent uptick this year to 812,000 units, and then rise another 19 percent to 964,000 units in 2017.

Single-family starts will reach 64 percent of historically normal levels by the fourth quarter of this year and rise to 77 percent of normal by the end of 2017, NAHB reports. By the end of 2017, the top 20 percent of the largest states will reach at least 102 percent of normal single-family production levels compared to the bottom 20 percent, which likely will still remain below 65 percent, NAHB reports.

“Consumer surveys suggest the ultimate goal of millennials is to purchase a single-family home in the suburbs,” says Dietz. “We see growth for single-family looking ahead. The recovery continues and is dictated by demand side conditions and supply side headwinds.”

Source: National Association of Home Builders

© Copyright 2016 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

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Big Gains in March Home Pricing!

Panama City Beach Home Prices

Panama City Beach Home Prices

 Panama City Beach Home Prices


March home price gains highest since 2007

IRVINE, Calif. – April 21, 2016 – U.S. home prices rose 17 percent year-to-year in March, according to RealtyTrac’s latest report for month and first quarter of the year – and Florida remains the king of all-cash sales: State metro areas took all spots on the top five all-cash-sales list.

RealtyTrac’s March and Q1 2016 U.S. Home Sales report finds that the average U.S. home sold for $30,500 more than they owner paid for it – a 17 percent average gain in price. It’s the highest monthly average price gain for sellers since the onset of the Great Recession (December, 2007).

While Florida had a handful of cities with high price gains, it stood out in one type of sale category overall: All-cash sales. Among 110 metro areas with at least 1,000 single family and condo sales in the first quarter, those at the top for cash buyers were all in Florida: Naples, (57.1 percent cash buyers) Miami (53.9 percent), North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (53.4 percent), Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville (52.7 percent) and Ocala (51.6 percent).

“South Florida real estate attracts world money,” says Mike Pappas, CEO and president of Keyes Company, covering the South Florida market. “Our strong international, northeast and investor buyers push our cash sales to 50 percent.”

Two markets, Jacksonville and the Daytona Beach area, also ranked high in RealtyTrac’s study for yearly home price increases. The markets with the biggest annual increase in median home price were Philadelphia (up 29 percent), followed by Rockford, Illinois (up 22 percent); Jacksonville (up 22 percent); Cincinnati, Ohio (up 19 percent); and Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach (up 18 percent).

“Home sellers in many markets are now seeing average price gains close to or above what home sellers experienced during the last housing boom,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac. “That should encourage more homeowners to take advantage of the prime seller’s market and list their homes for sale this year. Banks are already taking advantage of that market as evidenced by the uptick in the distressed sales share over the last two quarters.”

Blomquist says that an uptick in distressed sales in many markets combined with affordability problems contribute “to faltering home price appreciation in some markets – most notably the bellwether markets of Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. He notes that “bank-owned homes are selling at a median price that is 40 percent below the overall median sales price nationwide.”

Home sellers who sold in March had, on average, owned for 7.67 years, up 4 percent from an average of 7.37 years for home sellers who sold in March 2015.

Nationwide, one in three U.S. metro markets (36 percent) are now at all-time home price highs. March was the 49th consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in the U.S. median home price, though, on average, it’s still 8 percent below its peak in July 2005.

Distressed sales – bank-owned sales, in-foreclosure sales and short sales – have risen for the past two quarters. They accounted for 18.2 percent of all single family and condo sales in the first quarter, up from 17.2 percent in the previous quarter. Still, distressed sales are down year-to-year after peaking at 44 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

Among 110 metro areas with at least 1,000 single family and condo sales in the first quarter, those with the highest share of distressed sales were Chicago, Illinois (31.0 percent); Flint, Michigan (29.9 percent); Baltimore, Maryland (28.8 percent); Tallahassee (28.1 percent); and Jacksonville (27.6 percent).

Buyers using loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) – typically first-time buyers or boomerang buyers with a low downpayment – accounted for 15.2 percent of all single family and condo sales in the first quarter, up from 14.8 percent in the previous quarter and up from 13.5 percent a year ago.

© 2016 Florida Realtors®  

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8 Bad ‘Home Improvement’ Habits

8 Bad ‘Home Improvement’ Habits

8 Bad ‘Home Improvement’ Habits

8 Bad ‘Home Improvement’ Habits from RealtorMag

Home owners can overdo it when it comes to the upkeep of their home. This Old House recently spotlighted several ways that home owners’ enthusiasm for home ownership may actually harm the house.

1. Having light bulbs that are too bright. You want a well-lit home, but exceeding a lamp or light fixture’s recommended wattage can be dangerous, particularly with incandescents or halogen lights, says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director for Underwriters Laboratories. “Using a bulb with too-high wattage will cause the fixture and its wiring to overheat,” he notes, which could then allow the heat to travel to the wall or erode the insulation on the wires and lead to a house fire. Check the fixtures label to make sure you use the correct wattage.

2. Planting trees near driveways or walkways. A line of trees to the house may up its curb appeal but adding young trees near driveways or walkways could be putting your slab at risk. As these trees grow taller, their roots will go outward, potentially pushing up the paving and causing it to buckle or crack. This Old House recommends planting small trees that will remain under 20 feet at maturity and that are at least 10 feet from paved areas. For larger trees, leave at least a 20-foot radius.

3. Overscrubbing a sink. Don’t overdo it with abrasive cleaners; they can scratch the sink. “Cleaners with a grit or grain to them will wear away at the finish and dull it,” Kohler‘s Mike Marbuch told This Old House. “That will make the sink more prone to gunk sticking to it—actually making it look dirtier.” Try a liquid cleanser like vinegar or lemon juice on the sink and avoid scrubbing it every day.

4. Overdoing it with can lights. Excessive recessed lighting in a home can cause a lot of air leaks. Recessed lighting is known as causing heat-sucking air leaks, especially when the fixtures are unsealed in vaulted ceilings. Airtight recessed lighting fixtures are available that are rated for insulation contact (IC). Also, use as few recessed lights as you can, especially when it comes to adding them to cathedral ceilings or in rooms directly below unconditioned attics.

5. Spreading too much mulch outside. “Over-mulching will suffocate plants, confuse their root systems, and prevent water from percolating into the soil,” notes the article at This Old House. “If you’ve mulched so much that tree trunks and flowers’ and shrubs’ lower branches are covered by or dragging in it, you’ve gone overboard.” Have mulch no thicker than 3 inches.

6. Using glass cleaner on mirrors. Watch out for store-bought sprays that promise to make your glass sparkle. “A drop of liquid running around the mirror’s edge can cause the reflective backing to lift or craze,” This Old House notes. The black edge can occur from using ammonia- or vinegar-based cleaners. This Old House recommends using warm water and a soft, lint-free cloth to clean mirrors. Or if you do use the sprays, spray it onto a dry cloth first and not directly onto the glass.

7. Repainting too much. “Excessive paint is detrimental – especially on an older house, which may have layers of thicker oil-based paint, which becomes brittle with age,” notes This Old House. To avoid thick, cracked, or peeling paint, be sure to carefully power-wash prior to painting, sand areas that need it, and then use 100 percent acrylic-resin exterior paint.

8. Fertilizing too much. Fertilizing too often can spur more weeds to grow. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency warns over-fertilizing can cause “nutrient pollution,” which is when nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from lawn fertilizers and then leads to an overgrowth of algae that can even pollute local waterways. Some lawn experts recommend only fertilizing twice a year, late summer and fall only.

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Tax Benefits of Owning a Home

Tax Benefits of Owning a Home

Tax Benefits of Owning a Home

The Tax Benefits of Owning a Home

From building equity to giving you a chance to settle down and plant roots, homeownership comes with potential benefits that renting simply doesn’t offer. Among them are several tax advantages worth knowing about. Here’s a quick look at how to make the most of those tax deductions.

Deducting Mortgage Interest…
Unless you recently won the lottery, chances are good that you took out a mortgage to pay for your home. If that’s the case, then you already know that this type of loan is a big commitment that often spans up to 30 years. But you may be able to deduct the interest you pay on a mortgage that doesn’t exceed $1 million. That limit shrinks to $500,000 if you’re married but filing taxes separately from your spouse. As tax season approaches, your lender will send you a Form 1098, which states how much mortgage interest you’ve paid in the past year. Once you know that amount, you’ll have to itemize your deduction using Form 1040’s Schedule A. The amount of money you’ll save depends on your taxable income. Generally speaking, the higher your earnings, the more money you can save.

Property Taxes also Qualify for Deductions
Homeowners can also reduce their taxable income by deducting their property taxes. Your lender has probably set you up with an escrow account, which is used to pay for things such as homeowners insurance and property taxes. To figure out how much money to deduct, take a look at the escrow statement to see how much you paid in taxes. You’ll generally be able to cut your taxable income by that amount.

The Takeaway
Because financing and maintaining a house or apartment can put a real dent in your wallet, it’s a good idea to take advantage of all the help you can get. Maximizing the tax breaks that homeowners qualify for is a great starting point. To do so, be sure to keep an eye out for Form 1098, as well as the escrow statement. Although filling out and filing these documents may take some getting used to, you’ll be a veteran in no time, and it may be well worth the effort.

Contact Us and one of our professional agents would be happy to help you start your home ownership journey!

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Condos For Sale Panama City Beach

Condos For Sale Panama City Beach

Condos For Sale Panama City Beach


Condos For Sale Panama City Beach


PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) It’s no secret Panama City Beach is growing tremendously.

Pier Park has been built up over the years, and now sports parks are coming to the area along with new condos and hotels.

With all of these things making their way to Panama City Beach, the value of houses and businesses is going up.

Bubba McCants, a local realtor for Counts Real Estate Group, said, “Buyers who are qualified are able to buy, banks are lending money, and interest rates are low.”

In other words, if you’re planning on buying or selling property in Panama City Beach, now’s the time to do so.

Realty experts said over the last two years the housing market has been in an upward swing.

“We were one of the first ones in the recession,” said McCants. “So that means we’re also going to be one of the first ones out.”

Bay County Property Appraiser Dan Sowell said, “Prices had gotten so low that they were just very, very, attractive to individuals and investors and so what you’re seeing now is people trying to take advantage of that.”

Bay County property values as a whole are on the rise.

Panama City Beach takes the lead with its 2016 preliminary values up more than five percent.

“Condo’s are driving a lot of that percentage up,” said Sowell. “Because they are up 6.1 percent on their own.”

While the market is up, some Gulf-view businesses are cashing in before it’s too late.

“There’s still a good amount left [locally owned businesses] and they will sell if the price is right,” said McCants. “And to someone who wants to come in and develop that land.”

Locally owned two parcel Bikini Beach Hotel just sold to an investment company for $7.3 million.

“People pay a premium to walk out of their front door and be on the beach,” said Sowell.

Realty experts said when you see new hotels and condominiums going up, it’s a good sign.

“When you see a lot of construction around that’s how you know the housing market is doing well,” said McCants.

“Things are looking up,” said Sowell. “You’re not going to find a better place to live than Bay County, Florida.”

Realty experts said they do not believe spring break has significantly affected the increase in property value, but the efforts of the Tourist Development Council marketing Panama City Beach as a “family destination” can only help moving forward.


Click here to contact Us and our Professional Agents will be happy to help you find the Condo of your Dreams!

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Florida Mortgage Rates

Florida Mortgage Rates

Florida Mortgage Rates

Average rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.62%


WASHINGTON (AP) – Feb. 25, 2016 – Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week as anxiety over the global economy persisted. Long-term rates resumed their decline after being unchanged last week following six straight weeks of easing.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 3.62 percent from 3.65 percent last week. That puts it well below the 3.80 percent it marked a year ago.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages declined to 2.93 percent from 2.95 percent last week.

Mortgage rates have continued to fall despite the Federal Reserve’s decision in December to raise the short-term rate it controls for the first time since 2006.

Global economic worries and turbulence in world stock markets have pushed up prices of U.S. government bonds as investors seek safety. That has depressed the yields on the bonds, which mortgage rates follow. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond has dropped to strikingly low levels below the significant 2-percent mark.

The benchmark yield stood at 1.75 percent Wednesday, down from 1.81 percent a week earlier. The yield fell further to 1.72 percent Thursday morning. That compares with 2.27 percent before the Fed’s rate hike on Dec. 16.

Despite the decline in mortgage rates this year, new government data show that Americans stepped back from buying new homes in January, as purchases plunged sharply in western states where prices are typically higher.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new-home sales fell 9.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 494,000. Most of the decline stemmed for a 32.1 percent drop in sales in the West. Sales also slipped in the Midwest, while edging up in the Northeast and South.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fees for a 30-year mortgage rose to 0.6 point from 0.5 point last week. The fee for a 15-year loan was unchanged at 0.5 point.

Rates on the adjustable five-year mortgage averaged 2.79 percent this week, down from 2.85 percent last week. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.99 percent.

The fee on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage increased to 0.5 point from 0.4 point.


Now is the time to buy! Click here to contact us and one of our professional agents would be happy to help you “find your piece of paradise!”

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Most Beautiful Beaches

Buy Your Beach Dream Home



Most Beautiful Beaches



If you live on Panama City Beach you already knew this but Panama City Beach is in the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the United States.

According to TripAdvisor, Panama City Beach is ranked number ten on the list.

Also on the list: St. Augustine Beach, Florida, Pensacola Beach, Florida, and Saint Pete Beach, Florida.

The top three beaches were Siesta Beach, Florida, Lanikai Beach, Hawaii, and number one was Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Click HERE to see the full TripAdvisor List!

What better time than to secure your own personal piece of paradise?!?

Our real estate market is hot and now is a good time to find your perfect

beach house or condo before prices really go through the roof!

Contact us and one of our professional agents will be happy to

“help you find your piece of paradise!”