March 6th, 2014
The winter weather has made for an interesting few months here on the Gulf Coast. As Destin homeowners, we know it was a season full of precautions to protect your family and home.
Now, the only thing we want to prepare for is warm weather and sunny days spent on the beach. But with summer right around the corner and hurricane season on its heels, it is never too early to plan for tropical weather when you own real estate in the panhandle.
While we cannot change the weather, we have learned that you can minimize some of the threats. Hurricane season officially begins June 1. That means it is time to start developing a strategy to stay safe and secure your home during this National Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
Plan an evacuation route in the event that you must leave home. Often traffic and lodging can become an issue so it is a good idea to have more than one potential destination in mind. If you choose not to evacuate, remember to stock up on emergency supplies like bottled water, food, flashlights and batteries.
Keep in mind the important factors when it comes to preparing your home. While the sun is shining, take a walk around your property and take “before” pictures for insurance purposes. You will want to do this inside as well just to show the normal state of things should anything happen.
More advance planning and preparation tips can be found in our hurricane safety guide at GoSouthern.com.
February 28th, 2014
Get ready to score a great deal for a great cause this weekend during the Southern Family Garage Sake! We will be having a garage sale this Saturday, March 1 at 7AM in Destin. As you all know, our long term property management team and real estate sales office recently moved. Due to this we have many wonderful items we can no longer use and are selling them to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida.
Available for sale are many nice office desks, professional filing cabinets and office equipment. In addition to traditional office items you will also find a variety of original artwork and other decor items are up for grabs. This sale will also include items donated by the Southern family such as clothes, household furniture, kids toys and an assortment of chairs.
Desks will be sold for $75 each, while smaller office items will go for as little as $30! You must be present at the sale Saturday to purchase these items. We will be out in Destin at 34894 Emerald Coast Parkway until 12PM this Saturday. All proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida. Come shop some wonderful deals for a terrrific local cause!
February 21st, 2014
If you’re a runner there is no better place in Northwest Florida to buy a home than in Destin! Backed with fall and spring races, the Emerald Coast is a dream come true for those who love a good 5K, 10K or even half-marathon. And, this weekend, there is an awesome 5K taking place right in the heart of Destin, Florida.
Neighborhood events, including runs and festivals, are a tremendous part of what make up a community. It can also be a huge deciding factor when deciding where to live when shopping for a Northwest Florida home. Destin is, luckily, home to some of the best and most family-friendly things to do in the area.
This Saturday you can lace up your sneakers and Rock the Road with us. This run will benefit the Junior League of the Emerald Coast, organization that does terrific work within our community. Register and then meet up at Clement Taylor Park at 6:30AM to take in a scenic jog through downtown Destin and along Choctawhatchee Bay. Afterwards, stick around for the awards ceremony and post-race celebration!
February 14th, 2014
Whether you are buying your first home in Destin or getting ready to make your next of many investments there are some key real estate basics you need to keep in mind. As agents at RE/MAX Southern Realty we’ve seen it all and forgetting the little details can have major impacts on your buying experience.
Our first tip for successfully buying real estate? Put down the credit card! We know you’ve been frugal for years while preparing to throw down that down payment and are ready to make some purchases for your new home. Don’t forget, however, that your credit information will be verified before closing. Running up a credit card balance or opening new credit after your preapproval could affect your debt to income ratio and whether or not you can close on the home at all.
About those preapproval letters, it was issued based on the information you told your lender. Do everything possible to ensure it is correct and you know where your credit really stands. Lenders will investigate you and your finances thoroughly as they prepare to close, and again, you don’t want to be surprised.
Finally, remember that this process will take time. You didn’t think it only took 30 days, did you? Truthfully, it depends on the loan type selcted, any issues found with you or the home and so much more. Don’t worry, though, as experience agents familiar with the process of buying Destin real estate, we are happy to see you through it!
February 7th, 2014
Let’s be frank – homes are expensive. They are a major investment. They are where you will spend an immense portion of your time. You should be totally and completely in love with a house, your future home, before you sign on the dotted line.
For some homebuyers it’s a feeling they get when they walk in, but others may need to evaluate a bit more. No matter what your approach to buying a home, know what matters most to you before you ever walk in the door of a potential home. Sit down with your spouse, or even the whole family, and make a list of what will make or break your relationship with a home.
Look at your current residence and the reasons you are shopping. Is it the size of the rooms? Are there not enough rooms? Are you able to purchase a home in Destin or your desired neighborhood? There are so many questions to ask yourself that will help you ensure you form a loving, lasting relationship with your home purchase.
Don’t forget that compromise is often required in most relationships. You have your list now remember what your must-haves are and the difference between what you want and what you need. Just a little preplanning and thought will ensure you find your dream home and that your home search doesn’t end in heartbreak!
January 31st, 2014
Despite this week’s deep freeze spring will arrive to the Gulf Coast soon. Are you planning to do some upgrades to your recent real estate purchase? Or, perhaps you are considering selling your Destin home. Either way, consider making those improvements outside. A new report shows improving your curb appeal may help increase your home value the most.
The 2014 Remodeling Cost vs Value report, recently released by Remodeling Magazine and REALTOR Magazine, compaired the 35 most popular remodeling projects with the retainable value of those upgrades when it came time to sell. After looking at the results, it appears exterior projects improve your resale value and are usually of the most importance to buyers.
Curb appeal is partly responsible for this trend. After all, it is your home’s first impression to visitors and buyers. An immediate judgement is made based on what a buyer sees when they pull up to your home and this sets the tone for the showing. Exterior projects, including siding, doors, windows and decking, are also preceived as high-dollar items that many homebuyers just don’t want to take on right away, especially first time homebuyers.
Kitchen remodels and additions, of course, are also items sought after by buyers. Check out the complete list or consult your RE/MAX Southern realtor about how to get the most bang for your buck before listing your Gulf Coast home for sale.
January 24th, 2014
Venture moments from your little piece of Destin real estate this Saturday, January 25, 2014 to enjoy a scenic run along our beautiful Emerald Coast during the Destin Bayou, Bay and Back Run/Walk. Offering a 5K, 10K and half marathon course, this is a fun event your entire family can enjoy together.
The Destin’s Bayou, Bay & Back run/walk event is open to everyone. Whether you are a dedicated runner, stroller warrior or just out for a walk under our brilliant blue skies come enjoy this terrific course. Superheroes are the theme this year and everyone is encouraged to pick their favorite run in costume.
Meet at Clement Taylor Park, located just off Calhoun Avenue in Destin, at 7:30AM, rain or shine. Depending on your distance your route may change but all include a scenic trip through Destin. The half-marathon course, however, will traverse Choctawhatchee Bay, the Destin Harbor, and East Pass as it leads runners through Destin, along an undeveloped stretch of Okaloosa Island and back to the starting point over the Destin Bridge.
Sign up now and make your plans now to participate in one of the best runs in Northwest Florida! Fudpuckers on Okaloosa Island will host the after-party and all superheroes receive a 50% discount! All proceeds benefit the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance and you can register for the run, at a discounted fee, at active.com.
January 17th, 2014
We love events centered around delicious food, especially if those eats happen to center around the Gulf Coast’s fine, fresh seafood. For this reason, we highly suggest you get out of your home in Destin and make your way to the community center next weekend for the annual Gumbo Contest and Silent Auction presented by the Destin History and Fishing Museum.
The gumbo contest is a tradition here in Destin, so if you have just purchased a home in Northwest Florida be sure to come and try out all the yummy Creole concoctions on January 25, 2014. Sampling kicks off at 11AM, just in time for lunch, and all proceeds support the efforts of Destin’s History and Fishing museum which works hard to preserve and honor our local history.
Hundreds of locals and visitors to the Gulf Coast make their way out for this event. In addition to individuals entering their gumbo recipes, which will feature sausage, chicken, seafood and more, some of your favorite local restaurants will also get in on the action. Past participants include AJ’s, The Back Porch and Fisherman’s Wharf.
In addition to the tasting and competition, a silent auction will also take place during this event. Come sample some hardy eats and bid on a range of gifts as you help support this wonderful local museum in Destin, Florida.
January 10th, 2014
The wicked weather has made for an interesting week. As Destin homeowners we know you have had to take precautions to protect your home, pets and keep the family warm. Now that things are getting back to normal, it’s time to assess the damages, if any.
If you prepared your home for the deep freeze by leaving your outdoor pipes dripping, winterizing your sprinkler system and prepping your pool, you probably faired okay in the grand scheme of things. Your expensive landscaping? Maybe not. While covering plants is a great idea and a precaution worth taking, many of our Florida plants just aren’t built to withstand the icy temperatures, especially when they last for more than one night.
Venture outside and begin uncovering your plants and shrubs. Inspect their leaves and stems. Many may have suffered burns from the severe cold. While you may thinking pruning is the way to go, hold off until spring or at least until we are out of deep freeze season. Pruning your plants now could be taking away the protection they have from future cold spells. Instead, water those plants and give them an extra boost with some liquid fertilizer.
Next, take a look at the trees around your Northwest Florida real estate. Look for any unusual splits or cracks that have resulted from the cold weather. If you do find a crack, pull away any loose bark and carefully smooth the edges around the split. This will allow the tree to form a natural callous and protect itself.
January 3rd, 2014
Do you commute from your home in Northern Okaloosa County to work in Destin or even South Walton? If so, we’ve got some very good news about your drive time beginning in January! The new Mid-Bay Connector will be opening in early 2014.
The Mid-Bay Connector has been in the works for quite awhile now, but we are finally about to see all that work pay off. And, if you have suffered long drives to work in early morning traffic through Niceville and know that pain, it’s about to pay off big time! This new road will offer a bypass of Niceville for anyone who normally travels via Interstate 10, SR 85, SR 285 or SR 20 to get to work, school or even just the beach in Destin. Whereas you had to traverse through Niceville and Bluewater Bay to reach the Mid-Bay Bridge previously, you will soon be able to skip 14 traffic lights and enjoy a quicker journey to our sandy white shores from your home! The toll is just $1.50, or $1 if you are a Sunpass user, and a bill is mailed to you monthly thanks to the new license plate photo capture system.
Celebrate the Mid-Bay Connector opening this weekend with a jog along the new blacktop. The Mid-Bay Connector Run is tomorrow, January 4, 2014, at 8AM but there is still time to sign up. Not only will you get a sneak peek at the new road and enjoy some scenic sights along the way, but all the proceeds benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.