Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Late Spring Market Update-Mex​ico Beach to Cape San Blas-98

Things are going well at your favorite Coastal area. There’s a sense of optimism everywhere and there were some great crowds down enjoying the beach for Spring Break. I heard over and over again on the weekends from different business owners that it felt like the 4th of July did 10 years ago. I’ve seen rental companies cut their summer advertising, not because they are doing poorly, but because everything is almost completely booked. There are more and more people wanting to come to the area this year. We have had some new businesses open this year and others are under construction right now. The overwhelming majority of business owners I talk to tell me that they are up this year and that this may be their best year ever.

Real estate sales are definitely up as well. There have been 116 sales so far this year which puts us on pace to have the most closings of any year since 2005. Mexico Beach/St. Joe Beach is having the most activity with 51 closings while Cape San Blas/ Indian Pass has had 32 sales and Port St. Joe is at 23 for the year. There’s also an astounding 78 properties under contract!! The higher end market remains a little slow. I have the 2 highest residential sales ($400,000) for the Mexico Beach/St. Joe Beach area and also have the highest sale in the Port St. Joe area for the year at only $190,000. There has been a little more higher end activity for the Cape San Blas market with 6 sales of $400,000 or higher with the highest sale year to date at $525,000.

98 Real Estate Group started back the Ling Ding fishing tournament that was an old time favorite but hasn’t been held since the 80’s. We hoped to get 30 boats entered our first year and we currently have 61 boats. We have had wonderful response and participation from the community. Our finale will be held at the Mexico Beach Marina this Saturday afternoon. There will be live music and we will be smoking a pig and providing free BBQ and refreshments. Feel free to stop by and enjoy the company and see some big cobia weighed in. This link will show you all the pictures:

My parents are both retired teachers. They sold their home in Bainbridge Georgia last month and are now full time residents of Mexico Beach. They sold a smaller house here late last year and want to consolidate and have one large home at the beach. They are planning on buying a nice lot and build the house my mother has always wanted on it. They are looking for a lot in a nice area within easy walking distance of the beach that’s at least 70’ wide and surrounded by other single family homes. I took my dad around and showed him 4 lots that stood out as good deals last month. All 4 have sold since then or are under contract.

I’m telling their story to help to show that it is hard to be passively looking for a place at the beach and expect the properties you’ve looked at to still be on the market when you decide to purchase. He really liked 2 of the lots and now we can’t find anything at those prices that compare. It could realistically take us a few months now and they may still have to pay more. There are a few exceptions and some deals stay on a few weeks longer than expected, but most deals are moving pretty quickly. If you seriously want a place for Summer, you need to be a committed buyer that can act quickly. If I can help you in any way, please let me know and I need to know what you’re looking for. The best way for me to be able to help you is to spend some time looking around one day at properties and by listening to what you like and don’t like.

I updated the Top 25 today at and below are the deals that stand out for Port St. Joe and Cape San Blas.
Port St. Joe Residences:

If you're looking to sell, 98 Real Estate Group is leading the way getting properties sold. We have been extremely successful this year and are advertising and marketing extensively. We currently have 13 properties under contract and are in negotiations on numerous other properties. There are less people here right now, but many of them are negotiating on property that they saw over Spring Break. I expect May to remain steady and then have a very busy Summer. I've put a gulf front duplex, gulf view lot, gulf front condo, and and interior townhouse under contract in the last week and have closed on 8 other properties since March 1st.

I’ve partnered with a few friends and have purchased a home on the beach in Beacon Hill that sits across 2 beach front lots. We will be moving the house about 3 miles to a lot on 35th St. in Mexico Beach. There are not many gulf front lots left. There’s usually only one or two that sell each year as most owners want to hold on to them or either sell them at 2005 prices. The least expensive gulf front lot from St. Joe Beach to Mexico Beach is currently $449,000. These two lots will be available at $299,000 each. With building prices down, you could be in a very nice brand new beach front home for under $600,000. There are some good deals on existing gulf front homes as well, here is a link to see all of the gulf front single family homes on the market now.

Superior Bank was taken over by the FDIC on April 15th. Houston based Community Bancorp was set up to take them over and they never missed a beat and were open for business Monday morning. They will now operate as Superior N.A. Every single employee I talked to seems optimistic that this has happened and that they now have a much healthier bank. One of them told me they went from the worst capitalized bank in Florida to the best overnight. Rates are still looking good and a rate sheet I saw this week had 30 year conventional mortgages at 4.875% and 15 years at 4.375%. Vacant land loans aren’t as attractive, but more banks are starting to lend on land and there are many more options than there were 2 years ago.

I hope that you get to come and enjoy the beach soon.

Take care,
Zach Childs
Cell: 850-819-0833
Broker/Owner 98 Real Estate Group

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