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On theA Real Market Estate Section

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT BELMONT - DEVILLIERS.

In This Section By the Numbers: A Look at June's Market Highlights page 66 7 Deadly Mistakes Most Home Sellers Make page 68

page 72

Tips for First Time Homebuyers page 76 Benefits of Financing your Mortgage Locally page 80

pensacola magazine | 63


64 | pensacola magazine


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BY The NUMBERS

a look at JUNE's Market Highlights $189K

Median Sale Price

75 Avg. Days on Market

Monthly Sales

925

Quarterly Sales

2500

Market Highlights June'ssaleswereupseven percentoverlastmonthand fivepercentoverthesame month last year. 66 | pensacola magazine

While sales in the $160k to $199kpricerangesawthe most sales activity in May, theyfell22%fromMaytotals this month.

MediansalespriceforJune shot up to $189k

June's Days on the Market (DOM)fellto75,thelowest level thus far this year.

Information courtesy of Pensacola Association of Realtors


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7Most Home Sellers Make Deadly Mistakes

The market is hot right now–––home prices are up but are still below what they were at their peak. In this situation, buyers are far more discriminating, so it’s more critical than ever to learn how to avoid costly seller mistakes in order to sell your home in the shortest time for the most amount money. Here are some tips that will help you maximize your profits and reduce the stress that comes with the home selling process. ––– by Alexis Bolin

Pricing is the most important aspect of the sale of a home. Most sellers feel they should price high so they have room to come down in the negotiation process. However, pricing too high can be very dangerous in getting your home sold. The average buyer looks at 15-20 homes at the same time they are considering yours. They have a basis for price comparison so if your home doesn't match up with others in the price range you've set, they will pick another home to buy. As a result, your home will sit on the market and become stale. This causes buyers and agents to wonder what is wrong with your home so they may chose not to even look at it. Get an experienced realtor to prepare a market analysis based sales of similar homes sold in the past six-12 months, what is currently under contract and current homes for sale. This will show the price buyers have been willing to pay for homes like yours, then price accordingly. If you disagree with the market analysis then get an appraisal to set the price.

to represent you in the sale of your most expensive asset. All agents are licensed by the state but that doesn’t make them all equal in knowledge and sales experience. When issues arise during the listing, sale and closing of your home, and they will, you better make sure you have a realtor who is very experienced in negotiating and solving real estate issues. Make sure to hire a full-time realtor with extensive experience especially in effective multiparty, face-to-face negotiations. Look for a realtor who has a great reputation with a proven track record, market knowledge, and comes with a high recommendation. Choose someone who is going to tell you the truth about the market, condition of your home and the fair price to get it sold. Almost any agent can bring in a signed offer but it takes a lot of experience to successfully negotiate through the issues with inspections, appraisals, survey, and title issues to get to a successful closing. Remember this should be handled like any other business transaction. Hiring the wrong agent could cost you valuable time and money!

Mistake #2 – Condition - First Impressions are Crucial

Mistake4–GettingEmotionallyInvolvedin the Sale

Mistake#1–Pricingtoohigh-Priceisthe#1 Reason Homes do not Sell

It is not okay to give an allowance for paint, carpet or appliances. Replace worn or outdated carpet, lighting, plumbing fixtures and remove wall paper. Fresh paint and new flooring goes a long way to making your home feel lighter and brighter. Do a deep cleaning on the entire house. Make sure there are no unpleasant odors especially from pets. Buyers make a choice to buy or not to buy your home based upon what it looks like when they see it so presentation is everything. Appearance is critical and it generates a greater emotional response than any other factor. The decision to buy a home is often based more on emotion than logic.

Mistake #3 – Hiring the Wrong Agent This is one of the worst decisions a seller can make. Do not hire an agent based on the price they promise or the fees they charge. Many sellers make the mistake of listing their home with the one who promises them the highest price or the lowest real estate fees. This is not the way to select an agent 68 | pensacola magazine

This is one of the biggest challenges sellers face. All sellers are emotional about their home but buyers see it differently. They are looking for the nicest home at the best price and aren’t going to pay an emotional value for the house. Sellers should leave the house during showings and let the agents sell the house. When a seller follows a buyer around to show what they feel are important features, it makes the buyer uncomfortable and they aren’t able to really see the house.

Mistake 5 - Home Inspection and Disclosure Do not cover up problems or fail to disclose them. Florida has a disclosure law which says a seller is required to disclose anything that will affect the value of the property. Just because you disclaim knowledge doesn't mean you can’t be sued later for items discovered months or years after closing. I suggest getting a home inspection, termite

inspection, appraisal and/or a survey done prior to putting the home on the market. Make all the repairs before putting up a sale sign. It takes away the stress most sellers have about inspections and allow you to get repairs done ahead of time so you prevent later issues. Then you will be better prepared to complete a written disclosure to be presented to a prospective buyer.

Mistake 6 – The Wrong Marketing Great photos and written presentation are the most important aspects of marketing. Today all the first showings are online. Studies show that 90 percent of buyers start the home search on the internet, making it more important than ever to have a great presence. The right marketing should include local as well as internet-based advertising and print media. Real estate is local in nature so make sure your home has coverage in local magazines and newspapers. Do not discount the power of print media! Choose an agent who has an extensive marketing program.

Mistake 7 - Showing Availability – Do Not Make it Difficult to Show Serious buyers want to view a property during times which are convenient for them. Sellers need to be prepared for a showing in an hour or less since it isn’t uncommon for agents to have 10-20 homes lined up to show the buyers. If you miss a showing, you may not get another opportunity with that buyer and may miss a sale. Yes, it is going to be inconvenient—but it’s all part of selling. OriginallyfromtheNewJerseyShore,AlexishaslivedinGulf Breezesince1977.AlexisobtainedherRealEstatelicensein May1978andherFloridaBroker’slicensein1980.Sheisawellrespected,nationallyknownspeakersharinghervastrealestate experiencewithotheragents.Alexishasearnedthefollowing designations: ABR,CDPE,CRP,CRS,ERS,MNEC,SRESandis amemberofthelocal,stateandnational,Women’sCouncilof Realtors. Alexis Bolin, CRS Emeritus ERA Legacy Realty Cell- 850-777-0275 Office- 850-478-5446


Welcomes The Bolin Group Alexis Bolin, Lisa Mix and Donna Wiggins

• Ranked Amongst the Top 1/10 of 1% of all Real Estate Agents Nationwide • "Who's Who" in Residential Real Estate Alexis Bolin-Broker Associate • One of the Most Influential Agents in Florida • One of the Most Awarded Agents in the Nation • # 2 Agent Nationwide in closed sales with home warranty Cell (850) 777-0275 • # 1 Agent Nationwide 1988, 1992, 1996 • Who's Who in Residential Sales Office (850) 478-5446 • International Hall of Fame - 2013 Email: alexisera@aol.com • Real Estate Experts Hall of Fame - 2013

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REAL ESTATE EXPERTS Make your offer as strong as possible. Find out what the important terms are for the seller.

Bruce Baker, MBA

As our local real estate market becomes more of a sellers’ market and inventory becomes tighter, real estate transactions are getting more stressful and emotional for buyers and sellers.

A higher number of contracts are cancelling or not making it to the closing table.

1. SUGGESTIONS FOR BUYERS: a. Inventory in certain segments is very tight. b. Buyers need to be pre-approved BEFORE Shopping. If you are paying cash, have your proof of funds ready! When homes come onto the market, you must be prepared to write an offer. c. Make sure your head is in the game. A higher than usual number of deals are falling APART with BUYERS BACKING OUT over minor issues after inspections are completed – items that are inconsequential or seller will repair, which begs the question: are buyers jumping to make offers so quickly they are having buyer’s remorse? Is the house you are writing an offer on the house you really want, or are you caught up in the emotion of not wanting to miss out? (Do you like it only because others want it?) d. Write a letter to the sellers with information about yourself that may appeal to certain sellers.

Sometimes sellers will take these into account, although not always. e. Make your offer as strong as possible. Find out what the important terms are for the seller: do the sellers need to move asap, do they need to stay in the house for 2 months, are they elderly and have no one to help with repairs before closing, etc. These seemingly minor terms can sometimes be the make or break of an offer. 2. SUGGESTONS FOR SELLER: BEFORE listing their home, Sellers need to understand a couple of things: a. If your Realtor thinks you may receive multiple offers, it will be because of the number of buyers in that price range/property type and not because you have it priced below market. We are not in NYC or San Francisco where cash buyers may pay more to get a property. A majority of our buyers require a loan, most likely VA, FHA or even Rural Housing. b. If a seller asks for highest and best offers, and they all come in around the same price, that is most likely the market price for your home. It will still need to appraise if your buyers are obtaining a loan. If you agree to sell your home at a price, be prepared to move forward. 3. SLIMMER MARGIN OF NEGOTIATIONS: a. The 2012 market is long past us. In the current climate, buyers and sellers can expect a slimmer margin for negotiations. Sellers should leave a little wiggle room in their asking price for seller concession for closing costs/slight price reduction but not as much as in the past. The days of “lowball” offers are behind us for now, however, sellers who overprice their homes can

still expect that buyers will only pay market rate and at a rate that will appraise. b. The process of purchasing/selling real estate for a personal home is highly emotional on both sides. If both buyers and sellers have trust in their agents and try to keep emotions at bay, real estate transactions become much less stressful. Let’s sell some houses! Kathy Batterton and Bruce Baker, MBA are top RE/ MAX agents servicing the Northwest Florida areas. Kathy is a RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Real Trends Top 100 Influential Agents in Florida, Top 20 RE/MAX Agent in Florida for sales 3 years running. Bruce is a 27-year Greater Pensacola real estate veteran, holds both an MBA as well as a Master of Accountancy, is a RE/MAX Hall of Fame award winner and a Top five in number of transactions for RE/MAX Florida in 2016. To submit a question or for more information contact Bruce Baker, MBA at 850.449.0365, Bruce@BruceBakerMBA.com or Kathy Batterton at 850.377.7735, Kathy@KathyBatterton.com. AskPensacolaRealEstateExperts@gmail.com

Kathy Batterton

pensacola magazine | 71


NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT Belmontdevilliers by tanner yea • Photos by Guy Stevens

It’s no secret that Pensacola is an old city – in fact, it’s technically the oldest European settlement in the United States.Thoughthecityhasdeveloped intoamodernmetropolis,therearestill manyhistoricneighborhoodsthatare greatplacestoliveandserveasaliving museums of Pensacola’s past. That’s why we are shining our Neighborhood Spotlight on the neighborhoodof Belmont-DeVilliers – not only a place of history for the city,butanimportantlandmarkforthe SouthandforAfrican-Americanculture. Close to downtown and alive with its own heartbeat, Belmont-DeVilliers is growing at an amazing rate, while still honoring its roots. History of the Neighborhood Belmont-DeVilliers holds a very important place in the cultural history of Pensacola. Post Civil War, many African-Americans settled in Belmont-DeVilliers and over the years it became a thriving commercial district. Not only that, it became a cultural center for early 20th century AfricanAmericans music and culture– Abe’s 506 Club became part of the Chitlin’ Circuit of southern musicians, seeing such acts as Louis Armstrong, James Brown and Aretha Franklin. In the 1950s, however, the area began to decline as people moved out and businesses began shuttering. The area remained 72 | pensacola magazine

underutilized until the early 2000s, when the City of Pensacola began the BelmontDeVilliers Land Use Plan to revitalize and preserve the neighborhood and its history. Since then, the area has seen significant growth with new businesses, real estate, restaurants and even the UWF Innovation Institute bringing energy back to the historic neighborhood. Properties and Prices Belmont-DeVilliers is focused on Devillier’s Square, which is the intersection of West Belmont Street and North De Villiers Street, but also extends into the surrounding areas. According to the Belmont-DeVilliers Neighborhood Association, the neighborhood extends from Cervantes Street to the north, Gregory Street to the south, A Street to the west and Spring Street to the east.

Since Belmont-DeVilliers is in the process of revitalizing, housing here is quite affordable, considering its proximity to downtown. According to Trulia, the average sale price in the neighborhood is around $184k, with most homes sitting around $250k. Most of these houses are small cottage style houses, usually between 1,500 and 2,000 square feet. A majority of the houses have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, though the area also boasts some much larger homes. Most of historic homes in Belmont-DeVilliers were built between the late 1800s and the 1950s. Rental properties are scarce, but lots are available for those wanting to build. The demographics of Belmont-Devilliers are changing rapidly with new homes being built and younger couples moving in. Traffic is light, and downtown can easily be reached with just a short walk. For utilities, water and waste are provided by ECUA,


electricity by Gulf Power, and AT&T or Cox provides internet and cable. Local Attractions Belmont-DeVilliers has access to all the schools that most of Downtown Pensacola is familiar with. N.B. Cook Elementary and Global Learning Academy best serves younger children, while JH Workman Middle and Pensacola High serve most of the city in general. There are also several Christian schools, such as the East Hill Christian School and Episcopal Day School of Christ Church Parish. The Pensacola Public Library is also nearby on Spring Street. Belmont-DeVilliers is mostly residential and commercial, but there are some great green spaces nearby, such as the Hollice T. Williams Park, Wyer Park or the Blue Wahoos Stadium. The neighborhood holds a lot of hidden gems when it comes to places to dine out, especially if you like Southern food, The Dwarf on DeVilliers St. has some of the best fried chicken in the city – and it is

worth the wait. Blue Dot Barbeque is always packed with people hungry for their famous burgers and ribs, and the Five Sisters Blues Café features southern fare of all types, as well as delicious cocktails and live music. For grocery stores, Publix in East Hill is only a short drive away, but there is also Ever’mans Cooperative Grocery and Cafe just across Garden Street. Belmont-DeVilliers is, of course, close to all the nightlife downtown has to offer, but there are also several nightspots in the neighborhood proper. The biggest standout is chizuko, a bar and vegan eatery built in the old legendary Abe’s 506 Club. There is also the Belmont-DeVilliers Cultural Center – once the historic Bunny Club – that is often rented out for parties and events.

Summary Belmont-DeVilliers has had some of the most distinctive history of any neighborhood in the city, and its revitalization is a sign of good things to come. The housing is affordable, the neighborhood is friendly and the community’s future holds limitless potential. For more information on BelmontDeVilliers and the surrounding areas, visit facebook.com/belmontdevilliers or speak to your realtor to see what makes BelmontDeVilliers so special.

pensacola magazine | 73


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Tips For First Time Home Buyers by Simone Sands

Most people believe buying a home is a wise and smart investment, but buying your first home can be scary. Ifyou’reworriedaboutpaying too much, or investing in a moneypit,you’renotalone. However,manypeopledon’t realize that when you own a home, your mortgage paymentcanbeasmuchas35 percentlessthanyourrental payment—nottomentionthe taxsavingsandequitygrowth. Once you’ve decided home ownership is the path for you, the next step is choosing a real estate agent. In a city of 3,000 agents, this shouldn’t be a difficult task. However, it’s important to choose an agent who is experienced and preferably specializes in first-time home buyers, as they will have a lot of knowledge about the different programs available to get you the money needed to buy your home. This type of specialized agent is familiar with patiently holding a first-time buyer’s hand and walking them through the process. When choosing your agent, ask them how long they’ve been in real estate, if they’re a full time agent, and how many first time home buyers they’ve worked with in the last year. Unless you’re one of the lucky few that is buying your first home for cash, obtaining the right mortgage is a crucial part of the 76 | pensacola magazine

buying process. Not all lenders are created equally. Different lenders offer different loan programs. There are county programs that offer $7,500 toward your down payment and closing costs, and other loan programs that offer 100 percent financing based on location and/or income. One of the qualifications for the $7,500 assistance requires that a 1-2 person household income may not exceed $63,300. If there are three or more people in the household, the income threshold is increased to $72,795. The lender will want to make sure you will have enough income to pay your mortgage and additional debts you may have. The mortgage payment (including taxes and insurance) may not exceed 30 percent of your monthly gross income, or 45 percent of your total monthly expenses. Besides financing, you’ll need to consider your closing costs. Despite what a lot of these home buying and renovating shows will have you believe, sellers don’t always pick up the tab for your closing costs. Closing costs generally run between 3.5 - 4 percent of the purchase price, and that amount comes directly off the seller’s bottom line. Therefore, if you want your seller to cover some of those costs, you may have to up your purchase price offer. Your mortgage payment includes principal (the amount you borrow), interest (the charge for obtaining the loan), taxes and insurance. Insurance premiums can vary greatly, therefore this can play a major part in your mortgage payment. A qualified agent should be able to provide some clear guidelines on which homes should save you money on your insurance and therefore keep your mortgage payment low.

Now that you have a great agent, and a loan that fits your needs, it’s time to find your home! Most buyers I know of spend hours on end searching the local Multiple Listing Service. Once you start shopping, you may be afraid to put in an offer on a house that you like “because you just started looking.” Don’t be afraid to put in an offer ASAP! It’s a hot market, and the good listings are not staying active on the market for long. You’ve all heard about the first rule in real estate, “location, location, location.” The second rule is, “time is of the essence.” It’s truly a matter of “if you snooze – you lose.” If the house looks like it might be a winner, make that offer! You will have time for inspections. Once an agreed upon offer has been signed off on by both the buyer and the seller, the clock starts ticking. One very important deadline is your inspections deadline. A standard Florida real estate contract allows 15 days for home inspections. There are several types of inspections you, your lender, and your insurance company may need—a general home inspection, a 4-point inspection, and a wind mitigation are the most common. The general home inspection shows the overall condition of the home and the details of the home. A 4-point inspection will let your insurance company know the condition of the main mechanics of your home and the insurability. The wind mitigation report is also for your insurance company. This will let them know about what credits your roof may have that may greatly affect the cost of your annual premium. Although you might be dreaming of a beautiful old Victorian that you can fix up over

the years, your lender might not agree. Different loan programs have different qualifications in terms of the condition of the home. For example, if the home needs a new roof or major work done, to protect their investment, it wouldn’t make sense for the lender to loan 100 percent of the purchase price. A fixer upper may only be offered through a conventional loan program (which typically requires more money down and less assistance) or as a cash only purchase. Once you are under contract, it’s important to keep yourself credit worthy to get to the closing table to obtain your keys. Now is not the time to buy a new car or start shopping for new furniture for your home. Additionally, do not open any new accounts, or close any existing accounts. You can expect closing to take approximately 45 days from contract to close. Buying your first home can be scary, but it’s a great financial decision. With a great agent and the right loan program, it’s easier than you may think. BIO: Simone Sands with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty has been selling homes since 2006. Simone is a First Time Home Buyer’s Specialist and regularly hosts free First Time Home Buyer Seminars. You may contact her at 850-293-2292 or simone@simonesells.com to obtain information about the next upcoming seminar or a no pressure appointment to find out the value of your home.


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Nice large sized lot across the street from the Gulf just steps away from the water and waiting for you to build your dream or investment home.Gulf of Mexico and Pensacola Sound views possible from upper floors of new home. Unobstructed view, as rear of property sits adjacent to recreational area for local elementary school, public tennis courts and local church.

Rare find on Pensacola Beach 4 bedroom/4 bath condo with over 2300 square feet. Large living and dining space to accommodate a large family or lots of guests. You can dine or relax in the living room and watch the gulf of Mexico. Two bedrooms downstairs and two upstairs. All bedrooms have their own bathroom. This condo has a two car garage and its own private entrance.

Build your dream home on this quiet corner lot on a cul-de-sac. Beautiful views of the sound directly across the street. Steps from the sound and the gulf. Plans are available for a 2428 Sq Ft 4BR/3.5BA home with numerous decks from Architect Doug Whitfield. Plans are available in office and on the website. This is an excellent opportunity to build on a large lot on Pensacola Beach.

Located in the desirable Hidden Oaks Subdivision. This is the perfect family home. Located in the back of the neighborhood on a quiet street. Three bedrooms and two baths. Large bedrooms and lots of storage. Gunite pool and beautiful Lanai to entertain guests. New AC, copper wiring and hot water heater installed in 2017. Buyer to verify room sizes and square footage for themselves.

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This awesome home boasts panoramic views of the Gulf and Sound. Built with all the latest technology for storms including solid concrete pilings running through all floors. Home has Anderson windows and doors. Beautiful Travertine marble tile graces the living area, kitchen and outside decks. Maple bookcases flank the gas fireplace in the Great Room with a 22 foot recessed ceiling.

Located on a quiet street in the culde-sac across the street from the sound. Driving in you have a 1400 square foot garage that can accommodate four cars. The first floor has two bedrooms with a Jack and Jill bathroom. There is a half bath on the first floor for guests. The third floor is the Master suite. French doors lead onto your private balcony with breathtaking views.

This residence is beautifully designed with immaculate attention to detail. As you walk through this home, you will notice the contemporary floor plan with spacious bedrooms and high ceilings. The kitchen offers a glass tile backsplash, stainless steel appliances, and a breakfast area. The spacious master bedroom features a trey ceiling, ceiling fan, and French doors leading out to the pool area.

Rare opportunity to own a large amount of waterfront on Pensacola Beach, FL. Sharp point is now available for the Buyer looking for a premier location to build a residence, family retreat, or vacation rental. This nearly 1/2 acre lot with 196 waterfront feet and newly installed rip rap provides an unparalleled buildable area to design and build the perfect home. Create your legacy today!

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78 | pensacola magazine


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Veranda of Pensacola 7/19/17 8:41 AM


Benefits of Financing YourMortgageLocally Courtesy of Gulf Winds Credit Union

If you’ve been thinking about buying a home for the first time or even making a move into a new home, you may be wondering where do I begin? One of your first steps is getting preapproved with a lender so you know what you can afford. But even before that–howdoyoudecidewhere youwanttofinanceyourhome loan? With most mortgages being 20–30 years, this is arguably the biggest decision you’ll make in the home buying process. In the age of technology, you can finance a mortgage completely online without ever meeting a lender face80 | pensacola magazine

to-face – but is that the right option for you and your family? Even if you never (or rarely) meet in person, it’s reassuring to know that you have someone local you can turn to for answers. Local lenders offer a personal touch. When you meet with a local lender, they are more likely to take into account your individual circumstances and needs. They can help you walk through your credit report and budget, finding a loan that will fit your needs. And since the home buying process can be lengthy, it’s always nice to have the peace of mind that you can pick up the phone or stop by a local office and talk to your mortgage loan officer. They know the local market. A local lender may have tips that will help you in your search for a home since they work with local realtors

and borrowers every day. Having additional insight may be especially beneficial to you if you’re new to an area or don’t know much about your local housing market.

lender, take the time to meet with someone local, too. It’s a good idea to consider all of your options before making a 20-30-year commitment to a mortgage lender.

The process is smoother. Knowledge of the local market paired with the ability to meet with you one-on-one simplifies the home buying process. You’ll have better customer service overall and likely work with the same person from start to finish.

The Gulf Winds mortgage team is here to help. With more than 50 combined years of experience in financial services, we are the experts you want on your side during the home buying process. Give us a call at 850-479-9601 or stop by any branchtolearnmoreaboutfinancing your mortgage locally with Gulf Winds.

Plus, you’re supporting the local economy. Inevitably, you’ll end up paying quite a bit in interest over the life of your mortgage. By financing locally, there’s a good chance that the money you spend will support the community in which you live. Plus – you’re supporting the local job market by investing your time with a mortgage loan officer who lives in the area. The bottom line is, financing locally is positive for you and your community. You can easily search for local banks and credit unions in your area who offer mortgages. Even if you’re leaning toward a national

Sherry Brock Nine Mile Road Branch

Cristy Nash Milton Branch

Larry Carlan Downtown Branch


Your dream home starts here. Our mortgage professionals are right here in our branches. That means you talk with a real person (not an 800 number) who lives in the community and understands our market. You get all the loan options those big box financial institutions offer AND the personal service you deserve. Experience the difference a local lender makes. Come in and meet one of our mortgage professionals today to start your journey toward your dream home.

Visit your local branch or learn more at:

GoGulf Winds.com/Mortgage

Federally insured by NCUA.

SEPTEMBER 28-30, 2017 In loving memory of

John Ryan Peacock and Ashley Lauren Offerdahl To date, the PCO has raised more than $915,000 for local charities thanks to the amazing generosity and support of businesses and individuals like you!

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82 | pensacola magazine


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