Post Hurricane Michael

You may be asking what is going on Post Hurricane Michael?  Well, real estate is crawling to a halt in the Panama City Beach market.  There are homeless people in tents, campers, all in need of rentals.  Most of the business is shifting to the West in areas like Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar Beach, and Destin.  Many are still without power, no internet and only sketchy cell phone services.  The newer buildings are doing the best.  In 2005, Florida building codes were strengthened with tougher standards on how to attach a roof to a home, hurricane strength rated hurricane windows and doors and higher lips for sliding glass doors.  With this came some stronger and better built buildings.  So when thinking of buying a home, a townhome, or condo, you will want to keep these items in mind.  Look for purchases built after 2005 or newer.  One home in Mexico Beach is still standing because that owner demanded on even higher than the basic standard codes.  His home had poured concrete walls and windows rated up to 220 mph force winds and a higher elevated ground floor to avoid flooding.  The higher costs paid off and that home is still standing.  However, it will be a long time for his community to rebound.  No power, no internet, and no supporting businesses makes for a lonely way to live.  Most humans are kind and try to help and assist others in need.  Then you have people that are mean no matter what and try to take advantage of others in times of need.  That is why a curfew, the national guard, and extra police come in to protect what belongings are still there.  I believe most people are good and we will bounce back.  If you are still in the market for a home or a condo along the Gulf Coast, there are some very desirable ones still available to the west of of Panama City Beach, FL.  If I can help, please do not hesitate to contact me at 850-420-2480 or do a proactive search at

Warmly yours,



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to Use your Cash Wisely for Exterior Projects

Often times I get questions on what a seller can do to help with the sale of the home.  A lot of times this comes down to exterior improvements.  Here are some cash investments that you may want to consider when you are selling your home.

Landscape Maintenance is Number 1.  You will get 100% recovered on exterior landscape maintenance.  If you cannot get a buyer in the door, then you may have lost that buyer.  It is important to have an attractive entrance bringing the buyer into the home.

Tree Care is Number 2.  You will get a 100% return on money spent in this area.  It is important to have your trees healthy and trimmed.  Make sure trees are not touching the house and make sure that your palm trees are trimmed back.

Irrigation System is Number 3.  You have to have water to keep your plants in your yard healthy, especially here in Florida.  You will recover 86% of your expenses.

Overall Landscape Upgrades is Number 4.  You will get approximately 83% recovered costs in this category.  This would cover additional landscaping additions to your yard.

New Wood Deck is Number 5.  You will only recover 80% of your expenses in the area of a new wood deck.

Outdoor Kitchen is Number 6.  Outdoor Kitchens are very popular.  Gatherings in Florida are often times around the outdoor kitchen area.  They will bring you a 71% return on your money.

New Patio is Number 7.  You will only recover 69% of your costs in the area of a new patio.

Landscaping Lighting is Number 8.  Look for only a 69% recovery in costs in this area.  Lighting today is expensive.

Fire Pit or Fire Feature is Number 9.  Who doesn’t love to sit around a fire.  However, you will only recover 67% of your expenses.

New Pool is Number 10.  Don’t expect a lot of return on your new pool.  You will spend approximately $57,000 and only recover around $25,000 on any appraisal.  The recovery is only about 43%.

32 Joan Cir_LAA_20170315_523



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment





Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Like to Golf, so do I !

I have been a member of the Santa Rosa Golf and Beach Club for sometime now.  I really enjoy being a member.  The golf course is challenging.  I usually do better on the back nine than the front nine.  If you like to golf, you should check it out.  You can book a tee time at Santa Rosa Golf Club and learn more about the club and membership.  Tournaments are a fun way to meet new people and join for a cause.

One such really fun event every year is the For Her Tournament.  I particularly like the ball drop when the helicopter above drops balls on the driving range to see which ball comes closest or goes in the hole.

Hope you can join us at the club soon and take part in a lot of fun activities and discounts.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Walton County July Sales Statistics

Living and working in Walton County, FL I like to keep up on the sales statistics.  Statistics on their own can be painfully difficult to read, so I will try to make this painless.

Total number of sales in July 2018 were down -15.8% over July 2017 sales figures.  Many things can come into play with this number.  One are rising mortgage rates and two being that Rick Scott signed HB 631 declaring the beaches private instead of public.  It was a horrible mistake on his part and sales in Walton County are declining where this fight is the biggest.  Over 7,000 affidavits have already been collected.  I know I will not be voting for Rick Scott.   His ideas are dangerous and have nothing to do with what is right for all, but for himself and others.  His decisions are prompted by greed, his own.

Sorry for the rant above, but this is having an affect on sales in Walton County.  Our Median Sales Price is $347,000.  This is up 9.1% over same period last year, but only because inventory is low.  I predict a reversal of this trend within the next year.  We currently have 6.8 months worth of inventory to sell.

Typically the month of August means less sales than the month of July looking over the historical pattern.  It typically does not pick up again until the month of November and December when tax advisers tell their clients to sell something before the end of the year.

Let me know if you would like to know a sales pattern for your community, county, or area.  I would be happy to provide such a report.  Thank you.  Kelly


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not Everyone Is As Nice As You

Realtors work long hours researching, showing properties, calling prospective sellers and buyers, and educating ourselves with local knowledge all of the time.  Our time is well spent and we do so for free.  We are never paid a dime until a property successfully closes.  So we spend a lot of time in hopes we will have a closing.

So when do you say no to a potential customer?  One, if a customer is rude then do not work with them.  If they are not loyal to your hours of service, then do not work with them.  If during a background check you find out they have felony arrests for child molestation, robbery, resisting arrest, etc. then do not work with them.

You are a stranger to a Realtor.  We have never met before.  I require a photo ID before I meet with you.  I do a precursory background check before I agree to meet with you.  I never put you in my car.  You will follow me and we will meet at the first property.

Realtors take a huge liability risk by placing customers in their car.  One such story is that of an older couple riding with a Realtor and the Realtor took a speed bump a little fast.  The couple sued that Realtor for whip lash.

Realtors have been robbed at gunpoint in the past for placing customers in their car.  Other Realtors have been murdered in vacant homes meeting strangers on the fly.

So, please do not be offended when I take the necessary steps to make sure that you are a good person and are able to afford the properties I will be showing you.

Do not ask me to set up 10 properties for viewings and then call the next morning to cancel.  It takes a lot of time to call for showing instructions, get door keys or codes, and permission to gain access to show a property.  It is just plain RUDE of you to cancel at the last minute.  You know who you are…….

Rely On A Realtor Approved Logo 7 2009


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Customary Use

What is customary use of our beaches in Florida and specifically in S. Walton County?

Read this to be informed.  If you are an owner, please fill out the affidavit stating how you and your family have been using the beaches since the beginning of your own life.

Thank you.

Updated: What is Customary Use and What Impact Does it Have on 30A’s Beaches?


The Walton County Customary Use Hearing will be held September 8, 2018 at South Walton High School, located at 645 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach. The meeting will begin at 9:00am.

In order to provide the public with access to the September 8th Customary Use Hearing, Walton County will stream the meeting on YouTube. The stream will begin at 9:00am CST and will be stopped during any breaks as well as for lunch. When the meeting resumes following breaks, a new stream will begin

While this is being done as a public service, the County cannot guarantee the full quality of the stream due to using a third part provider, as well as any unknown issues that may arise with internet service at the location.

The meeting will be able to be viewed at the following:

More details can be found on the Walton County website.

Customary use is a common law term referring to the public access of the sandy beach in front of privately-owned beachfront property.

Some gulf-front properties in Florida have a property line that extends to the “mean high water line.” The mean high water line is calculated using the mean high water line tidal plane with the beach.

The Walton County Customary Use ordinance has been in effect since 2017, stating that the public has the right to enjoy the sandy beach as people have done since time began without fear of prosecution, both at public beach access points and in front of beachfront homes.

However, in April 2018, the Florida Legislature passed House Bill 631 which was signed by the governor which struck down this ordinance. Beginning July 1, 2018, the Customary Use Ordinance in Walton County will no longer be in place.

Here’s Sheriff Michael Adkinson’s take on the matter, and how his officers plan to address the changes:

“What I do know is that I cannot in good faith instruct deputy sheriffs to make an arrest for trespassing after warning when I know they cannot be prosecuted. As such, I am directing my deputies not to make arrests for trespass after warning for routine activities such as walking, sitting or transversing the beach. Ultimately, we all have to work together. This is a county that, at the end of the day, the citizens that want to come to use the public beaches and the private property owners who are entitled to the reasonable use and enjoyment of their property have to learn to get along. We have to learn to be good neighbors. I’m optimistic that we can do that.”
– Walton County Sheriff, Michael A. Adkinson, Jr. on the issue of private property on Walton County Beaches

What does that mean?

Beginning July 1st, when customary use ordinance changes go into effect, the Walton County Beach Operations and Code Enforcement officials will no longer have jurisdiction over property that is considered private based on the new customary use law.

Walton County Sheriff’s Department will be the governing force for any conflicts or complications that may arise on the space in front of the properties since they would now be considered private property.

Walton County Sheriff’s office will not police the beaches looking for violators, They will, however, respond to complaints from property owners.

Property owners must be prepared to produce documentation of their property lines. However, according to the Sheriff’s video statement, trespassers will NOT be arrested for walking or sitting on the beach, even if a warning is issued. However, common sense rules will be applied to other issues related to disturbing the peace.

Does that mean I can’t walk all 26 miles of our white sand beaches? 

No, you can absolutely still walk our beautiful beaches for as far as you wish. There will still be plenty of space in the wet sand area for beach-walkers to enjoy. And, as the video above notes, officers will not arrest anyone for trespassing, as long as they are being respectful citizens.

Can people put up fences on the beach?

No. Only signs are permitted, no fencing or ropes, and the signs must be of specific size and message stating Private Property. All signs must be removed from the sandy beach by 5 PM daily or Walton County Beach Code Enforcement will remove them and dispose of them.

Things to keep in mind 

South Walton currently has over 50 public beach access points, including 8 Regional Public Beach Accesses complete with parking, restroom facilities, and lifeguards.

The customary use changes do not affect our public beach accesses, only privately-owned beachfront property.

Planned communities such as Rosemary Beach, Alys, Watersound, Seaside and Watercolor, will see no changes to their beach access for their guests. Seaside also has public beach access at town center and this will not change.

Please respect private property

For the vast majority of visitors and locals, this change will have no effect on their enjoyment of our beaches. However, if you do see signs posted, please remember to be respectful and adhere to the posted signs.

The wet sand of the beach is not private property but the dry sand to the dunes and up to the dwelling can be considered private and property owners may choose to enforce this.

For more info, please contact Walton County Sheriff’s Department.

Knees at beach

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment