Happy Hour with Grayt People

This is the beginning of my Happy Hour Blog with some really Grayt People.  We call them Grayt because well, first of all, they are and secondly they own in the Preserve at Grayton Beach a lovely community along the 30a corridor between Grayton and Blue Mt. Beach, FL.

Week one we went to Cuvee 30a.  This was a great happy hour with Chef Tim Creehan’s inspired Escargot for an appetizer or the flat bread pizzas that are simply lovely and light. Kyle was our server and he was excellent with splitting up bills with a large crowd and gave us top notch service too.  Their House wine were only $5 per glass and it was a Kendall Jackson Camelot Cabernet.  Very good.  Others had the pork belly over mashed potatoes and they were excellent as well.  The thin cake was to die for as Chuck stated.   My spouse and I got out of there for $89 and had a great time with friends.  You can find out more about this classy upscale happy hour location at http://www.thirtyavenue.com/dining/cuvee-30a/  This location got 5 stars *****

Week Two we decided to go to Shades at the Loop.  It was dark inside and they sat us near the arcade.  We did not have any children with us.  The music was loud and not desirable. Their house wine was $5 a glass.  They were out of the Tuna Poke as an appetizer which is what I wanted.  We ordered the garlic Parmesan tator tots as an appetizer and if you order them ask for more Parmesan as it had very little and also ask that they double fry them.  My spouse and I shared a turkey burger which is always very good there.  It comes with fries but we got cole slaw on the side.  Others had the nachos which were good, but the salsa was not good.  The tuna dip was good, but a small portion.  The hummus was good.   Our waitress was Jessica and she was getting ready for her shift to end.  She told the table how drunk she was the night before and was looking forward to going home.  It was unprofessional.  The replacement Tabby was better.  Be careful because your gratuity is included with the bill with larger parties.  We got out of there for $67.  I give it three and one half stars. ***~  You can find out more about this location at http://shades30a.com/


Until next week…….

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Why Don’t You Call Me?

Gesh, no wonder my business is up. I answer phone calls. I can’t even get listing agents to call me back when trying to make a showing appointment.

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Email Accounts

Being in Real Estate I found out a very long time ago that it is best to have only one email address from the very start.  This way if you change companies you are not constantly losing your clients because they no longer have your email address.  I have owned Kelly@KellyKleinSoldMine.com since 2007.  It has served me well.  Clients always know how to reach me.  Even if I were to work for someone other than myself, I would keep my email account.

Funny thing happened recently when I was trying to contact another Realtor© recently to show a property.  We have an email system for communication in the MLS.  So I emailed what she had in the Roster.  I got a kick back stating that I need to contact her at another email address so I did that next.  I got a message stating that the first email address I sent to was the correct one.  By now I have to call her because the cycle never ended.  Then I was told on the phone that her best email address was her first name followed by the @ sign and then her first and last name dot com.  Well this is how my emails are (see above).  Easy enough.  So I sent her an email to what she had instructed me to do and it got kicked back again stating that I had to use another email address.  By now I am laughing so hard I can hardly control it.  So I picked up the phone again to inform her that she probably need some technical assistance in solving the puzzle of her multiple email accounts because obviously she was losing business when no one could get a hold of her.  She said she would make it a priority.  To this day I do not know if I can email her or not.

Point of the story is use only one email address for communication if you can.  This should also be applied to your phone numbers.  Have only one.  Don’t make customers try to find you and figure it out.  Keep the stress out of reaching you and a goal of good solid communication.

Warmly yours,

Kelly Klein, Lifeguard Real Estate, Inc.




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Flood Zone Determinations

I live in Florida and flood zone determinations and costs of flood insurance can vary greatly. The best zone to be in is called an X zone. This is where the National Flood Insurance Program (FENA) will provide you flood insurance up to a value of $225,000. If available one should buy it. It is not that expensive and could very well protect your home if ever needed.

There are other determinations as well Another common one here location is called an AE BFE: 7 zone. This one basically means that the elevation is only 7 feet above sea level and it has a high risk of flooding. Flood insurance will be mandatory unless you can get a LOMA letter or a Letter of Map Amendment to have the elevation evaluated and determined to be actually in a zone X instead.

Even with a LOMA letter and a zone X determination, now the mortgage company will give you a loan on the property, but if you were to get flood insurance on the home it will be very expensive through a private carrier.

It is best when buying a property in Florida to know where you are buying, work with a Real Estate Agent who best knows the area well and then get a free flood determination prior to purchase to make sure you understand your risks and the rewards of living by the water’s edge.

Destin Fishing Village

Destin Fishing Village

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What’s Happening In Walton County Florida?

Well, I went to bed last night with temperatures right around 72 degrees to wake up to thunderstorms and tornado watches rolling through the area until around 9 a.m. this morning.  Then the temperature started to drop.  It is 53 degrees right now and it is supposed to drop to just above 32 degrees tonight.  Tomorrow night it can drop down to 29 degrees.  I had three different weather alerts that I woke up to this morning.  This is crazy you say.  I know……so what does this have to do with real estate?  Let’s take a look at Walton County Florida for the month of October 2014.

New home sales abound everywhere.  With new players like D.R. Horton communities and older players coming back into the market like St. Joe Properties with new homes in Watersound Origins, new home sales are up 22% over same period last year.  You can actually see new home construction everywhere and there is a buzz in the air from happy looking people making money again.  I can attest to the new homes going up.  I had four flat tires this past year and I am a proud member of Pep Boy’s Free Flat Repair Service.

So what is happening with resale of homes you ask?  Well they are about the same as last year.  Holding steady with 1,323 homes resold in Walton County in 2014.  When people can buy new or old, they are mostly buying new.

Where does this leave the condo market?  Condos are down for the year by 4.03%.  Condo loans continue to require 25% down in order to buy and condo fees in some complexes have removed many buyers from the market by just costing too much to own.

Gee, I wonder what lot sales are like now?  They are down 19.80% over last year due to rising prices.  The best year to buy a lot was 2009 when the prices were 1/4 of the price now.  Steadily rising slowly has slowed the investor or would be primary home buyer down a bit.

Are there still foreclosures in Walton County?  Yes there are and they are rising right now with banks letting loose of inventory as they see the prices going up.  There are 14.66% more than last year in the market.

So if you are wanting to buy either a home, a condo, a townhome, or a lot in Walton County, FL please allow me to assist you.  I know what a good deal looks like and can find one for you.

Here are my best friends in the world below.  One look at them tells you we are friendly here and a close community.  I hope to see you at the BEACH !

Best Friends

Best Friends

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Best Buys

I go on what is called Realtor Tour in my area frequently to learn inventory, quality and price.  Yesterday, I saw a home listed for $399,000 that had the quality of a home built in the $800,000 price range.  It is a recommended buy.  I can help you find these diamonds in the rough too.

I also saw a home priced at $1,000 a square foot.  It had 5,600 square feet of space so you do the math.  Yep, a home valued at $5,600,000.  Gulf Front and private with its own pool, bathhouse, cabana, mother-in-law suite, and two car garage.  It rents out for $246,000 a year in rental income.  Even at this price the carpeting needed to be replaced as you could tell where renters had spilled drinks, etc.  However, the home and location was spectacular.  It used to be owned by an Atlanta Braves pitcher.  Know anyone who can afford this luxury home? Mention my name and send them my way for a private tour of either.  The photo below was taken from the outdoor back deck around the pool.  The cabana belongs to this property and is wonderful for watching sunsets.


Private cabana for sunsets

Private cabana for sunsets

Kelly Klein, Lifeguard Real Estate, Inc.



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Arkansas Realtor Found Dead

I never meet with strangers in vacant houses. Why? For this very reason. It is dangerous. I do full background checks on potential buyers before I meet with them or use other precautions like carrying mace with me and letting others know my whereabouts prior to showing a vacant property. I take a friend with me or a lender and never do Open Houses without others.

Trust your gut. If something feels wrong then it probably is wrong.

Never show a home to someone who cannot fully qualify for the purchase and prove that they qualify by providing you Proof of Cash Funds or a Preapproval Letter from a Local Lender.

Be Smart. Be Safe. Stay Alive.
Kelly Klein, Lifeguard Real Estate, Inc.

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