On the AMarket Real Estate Section
In This Section By the Numbers: A Look at July's Market Highlights page 78 Neighborhood Spotlight: Pace page 82
Make Your House Make Sense page 84 5 Steps That Can Improve Your Credit Score page 88
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On the Market Featured Home
Location, Location, Location The McKenzie from Pensacola homebuilders D.R. Horton offers location, design and comfort in an ideal setting. Located in Vintage Creek, a brand new community just two miles from the New Perdido River boat ramp and three miles from Navy Federal headquarters, The McKenzie is a homebuyer’s dream come true. Featuring five bedrooms and three baths, The McKenzie is a best seller due to the 9 ft. ceilings, separation of bedrooms, and a very open layout from the kitchen through the dining to the family room. The McKenzie also features a gourmet kitchen with Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, Moen faucets, granite in kitchen and baths, ceiling fans in family and master, and
hardwood flooring everywhere except bedrooms. A spacious 11 X 23 covered back porch is perfect for entertaining or relaxing. The very spacious Master Bath features a five foot tile shower w/ bench seat, and a large walk-in closet as well as linen closet. There’s plenty of room for a large family or frequent guests, too. The other four bedrooms are quite spacious—with a full bath just steps away. A study is located across from the dining in the front of the home and offers a gorgeous view out the picture window. The home also features a 50 gallon electric water heater, an efficient heating and cooling system and a large, two car garage. The premier community of Vintage Creek boasts a number of high end amenities including rolling hills, large oaks, a swimming pool and a clubhouse.
7991 Woodbrook Rd. 3113 SQFT. | 5 BEDROOMS | 3 BATHS | new gated community | new home construction Features: Built-In Microwave, Continuous Cleaning Oven,
Dishwasher, Disposal, Granite Countertops, Island, Pantry, Wall Oven, Baseboards, Ceiling Fans, Crown Molding, High Ceilings, Recessed Lighting, Trey Ceiling, Walk-In Closet DRHorton.com
CONTACT Rebecca Purvis or Karen Horton Sales Representatives (850) 478-1178
Pricing effective August 26, 2017 and subject to change at any time. §Square foot dimensions are approximate. Pictures, photographs, floor plans, elevations, features, colors and sizes are approximate for illustration purposes only and will vary from the homes built. Home and community information including pricing, included features, terms, availability and amenities are subject to change and prior to sale at any time without notice or obligation. Please contact a sales representative for details. ©2017 D.R. Horton, Inc. Florida Registered Building Contractor License #RB29003307
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BY The NUMBERS a look at JULY'S Market Highlights
Median Sale Price
75 Avg. Days on Market
Market Highlights July's sales were up 15 percent over last month and five percent over the same month last year. 78 | pensacola magazine
Median sales price for July remained just shy of $190,000
July DOM remained at 75, the lowest level thus far this year.
Single Family Inventory in the $200k-$299k range dropped 6.4 percent, with all other inventory remaining virtually unchanged.
Information courtesy of Pensacola Association of Realtors
REAL ESTATE EXPERTS
An experienced Realtor is an invaluable tool to guide sellers and buyers through complex real estate transactions. An interested buyer is only the beginning. Contract negotiations, financing, inspections, repairs, survey, title work, appraisal, final walk-thru, and schedule logistics are all steps that make for a successful closing.
National Association of Realtor statistics show the average FSBO sells for 17 percent less than a Realtor assisted sale. The stats show most buyers prefer using the services of a professional Realtor, so you’re best efforts to save money will likely cost you even more, not to mention the wasted time and Bruce Baker, MBA needless stress. 1. Knowledge. What you don’t know will often hurt you right in the wallet! The number one reason buyers prefer to use a realtor is to help make sense of important market data. Realtors have a daily pulse on market trends such as pricing, available inventory, and even have access to properties that aren’t yet on the market. An agent will help you best prepare your property for the market and stand out to buyers in the best light possible. 2. Time/Security. What is the value of your time? Do you have the resources available to properly vet the inquiries? Are you available to show your home at a moment’s notice (while you are at work or on vacation) Lost opportunity here could cost you greatly. 3. Presentation. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Do you know how to properly prepare your home and stage it for the market? What repairs are best done before the property goes on the market? Do you have an eye for how a space will translate on camera?
Eight Major Disadvantages Sellers Face when going For Sale by Owner (FSBO) From precise pricing and proper staging to expert photography, 3-D tours, video, etc., positioning yourself correctly against the competition requires expert knowledge of the market - an experienced agent is your best asset. 4. Marketing. Do you know the types of buyers looking for your neighborhood and how to reach them? Do you have access to predictive buyer analytics to take advantage of social media? Can you effectively gain the attention of the Realtors in your community – the very people who will have access to the large source of buyers for your property? A well-connected agent, particularly one with a large franchise such as RE/MAX, has the built-in agent network needed to market your property and capture buyer leads from across the globe. 5. Negotiation experience. You’ve received an offer! Now what? The best negotiation will be devoid of the emotional tie you inevitably have to your home - are you the one-in-a-million individual who can effectively do this? Do you have access to a contract that provides a fair balance of protection to both parties? What protections do buyers rightfully look for? What terms/conditions are in your best interest as the seller? What costs should you incur within the local market? Do you know how to negotiate to keep the buyer in the game versus walking away? 6. Inspection and repair know-how. The inspection process is one of the most difficult parts of the transaction, even for seasoned real estate professionals. Do you know what inspections to expect? Do you know what items are required to be in operating condition? Do you have a vendor list for required repairs? 7. Transaction management. You’ve struck a deal on price and terms, but how do you professionally and successfully manage the closing between two parties with opposing agendas, one of whom is you? Multiple inspections, title work, survey, appraisal, lender requirements, and repair vendors all must occur in a timely manner. How will you handle challenges like unexpected repairs, termite damage, and appraisal discrepancies? What if the buyer’s financing is shaky? Do you have trusted
back-up lenders who will tell you the truth? These are potential pitfalls and deals are likely to fall apart if not handled with the experience of a seasoned professional. 8. Closing finesse. Do you know the full closing protocol within the local market? What are normal expectations and legal obligations of all parties involved? In what condition are do you turn the home over to the buyer, and when? What is a normal request for a final walk-thru and how do you handle last minute requests? What happens when the lender delays, a natural disaster occurs or homeowner insurance requirements threaten to become a show stopper? When must all repairs be completed? What disclosures are required? Real Estate transactions are complex in nature and both buyers and sellers stand to lose much if the transaction isn’t handled by a professional. Buyers are, by-in-large, afraid to go at it alone without the advice of a professional, neutral third party, and they are willing to pay for it. The buyers who go after a FSBO, do so for one reason – to take that extra 17 percent away from you, the seller! 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
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1914 WAXWING DR AFFORDABLE PENSACOLA HOME MOVE IN READY
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SEE ALL HOMES FOR SALE IN THE PENSACOLA AREA WWW.PENSACOLAHOMESNOW.COM Robin Sherman, MA, CRS Broker Owner
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Knowledge opens doors
1628 E. Mallory Street $315,000 | MLS# 521795
104 Ariola Drive $1,650,000 | MLS# 49811
precious east Hill Cottage 3 Blocks from Bayview park! This 2 bedroom 1.5 bath also features a full studio Apartment with living area adjacent to the kitchen and a separate bedroom and bathroom. The main house offers Corian Counters, Custom Cabinets, and pine wood flooring. Awesome curb appeal!
Contemporary gulf Front Fully Furnished “sand Castle”! Multiple Balconies & windows allow you breath taking views of the gulf. This home has 4,300 sF and offers 5 bedrooms, 4 full bathrooms, elevator, master suite with a wet bar and spacious bath/sun room overlooking the gulf. guests can enjoy the 2nd Master suite. Covered carport great for entertaining!
Linda Turner • 850-324-4235 • email@example.com
Billy Hale • 850-377-6188 • firstname.lastname@example.org
506 Port Royal Way $589,000 | MLS# 520943
9248 Bell Ridge Drive $294,900 | MLS# 517297
This fifth-floor unit faces south over pensacola Bay within the gated port royal development. The 2,112 sq. ft. unit offers an additional 216 sq. ft. of balcony space. The original 3 bedroom floor plan was recently updated to afford more space in the living area by opening up 1 of the existing bedrooms. only one Block from one of the “10 great streets in America”!
Here’s your opportunity to own a home in the popular Bell ridge subdivision! Conveniently located in the Beulah area across from the navy Federal complex and less than 5 minutes to the interstate, this home has many desirable features. Main home has over 2,500 sqft with 3br/2.5 ba along with a nearly 1,600 sqft detached 2 car garage that features a half bath, separate water heater and built in workshop!
Frasier Phelps • 850-485-2665 • email@example.com
Lauren Schneider • 850-516-1993 • firstname.lastname@example.org
NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT Pace
Pensacola is a great city, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention all the towns and communities just outside the city limits that make up our diverse urban sprawl. Many workers, educators and leaders commute into the city, but return to their comfortable, quiet neighborhoods when the workday is over. That’s why we are shining our Neighborhood Spotlight on the community of Pace, an unincorporated community just a short drive northeast up US 90. Seeing a boom in recent years, Pace provides great schools, quiet living and a relaxed pace that makes it an appealing place to raise a family. History of the Neighborhood Pace was recognized as an unincorporated area as early as 1912, distinguishing itself from other local communities like Floridatown and Pea Ridge. The community was named after James G. Pace, a lumber, paper and turpentine producer who operated within the community. Though only having a population of 7,300 in 2000, the area became much more suburban and the population shot up to more than 20,000, according to the 2010 census – all within nine square miles. Properties and Prices Despite its size, Pace is one of the fastest growing communities in northwest Florida. According to Trulia, the average sale price in the neighborhood is around $270k, though most are around $150k. These houses are often suburban brick-faced ranch style homes between 1000 and 2000 square feet. Many of them have at least three bedrooms and two baths. The area has seen a lot of growth since 2000, so many of the houses are only about a decade old, perhaps a little older. There are also many new construction homes being built. Rental properties are few and far between, however.
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Pace is a laidback community, as most residents are in their mid-30s to mid-40s, often married with children. Traffic in the suburban streets is light, and a short drive down US 90 will get you to the heart of Pensacola. For utilities, ECUA handles waste, Pace Water Systems provides water, Gulf Power provides electricity, and AT&T or Cox Communications offers internet and cable servicews. Local Attractions Pace is part of the Santa Rosa County school district and offers great opportunities for the families within the area. Pea Ridge Elementary, Berry Hill Elementary and S.S. Dixon Intermediate are great for younger children, and Thomas L. Sims Middle and Pace High serves the teenagers. Their school district covers most of the entirety of Pace and they have a great reputation in academics, sports and arts. Pace is more suburban, meaning it offers a plethora of outdoor experiences. In addition to Benny Russell Park – which features a sprawling playground, picnic area and open spaces – they are numerous trails to see the beautiful pine forests and wildlife native to northwest Florida.
Though there are many fast food restaurant options in Pace, small cafes and restaurants like Coffee Break Café, Bayou Café and Steven’s Market Deli provide cozy atmosphere and great food. For groceries, Winn-Dixie and Publix are the go-to stores. For the rest of your shopping needs, Santa Rosa Commons offers shopping spots like Target and PetSmart.
Summary Pace is in the middle of a huge growth spurt, as it provides a family-oriented community that isn’t far from Pensacola. With new construction going up constantly and more people looking for an urban escape, now is the time to look into visiting this cozy community. For more information on Pace, visit cityofpace.com or speak to your realtor to find out why Pace should be a place you call home.
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manof Lamancha March 16 & 18, 2018
don’t want the kids room to smell like oranges, the living room flowers and the bathrooms fresh cotton. Just pick one fragrance and stick with it. Your eyes and nose are happy. How about your ears? You can’t move your home if you live by a train track or a busy street. You can, however, lessen unwanted noises. If you have time before your home shows, put on some music. Not your favorite rock band or reggae group. The music should not distract the buyers. Just pick an easy listening channel. Again, if you don’t want to leave music on for hours while you’re at work, invest in a white noise machine. Or pick out a small water feature. You can find them at home improvement stores.
MAKE YOUR HOUSE MAKE SENSE By Jenn Cole
Potential sellers, remember your five senses—sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste! If you want your home to sell quickly, take note. You must present buyers with a pleasant experience for all their senses. Open your front door, what do you see? What do you smell? This is the first impression a buyer will have of your home. Let’s start with sight. Is there clutter everywhere? That pile of mail in the kitchen? Every school picture of your child from kindergarten through high school up on the walls? Shoes by the front door? Take stock. You’re used to seeing 84 | pensacola magazine
your own home, now look at it through a buyer’s eyes—they will want to make it their home. So, step one, pick up. Move your piles of stuff, take the majority of personal pictures off your walls, and the dog’s bed needs to go in a closet during the showing. Now, what do you smell? Is it the shoes? The cat’s litter box? A buyer’s sense of smell can be assaulted the moment they walk in the door. Maybe you don’t have time to light a candle every time your home shows. Don’t worry, candles are great but you can also swing by almost any store and pick up air fresheners. They’re cute and they can plug into the wall or sit on a table. Pick a soothing smell and keep it uniform throughout the house. You’ll definitely want one right by the front door for that immediate “Ah, this home smells great” reaction from the buyer. Keep that nice smell going, you
The last two senses get a bit trickier. First, there’s touch. Buyer’s normally won’t run their hands all over your home but they will touch certain things. Light fixtures—if their agent hasn’t already turned all the lights on, buyers will. They can’t be sticky! Go around your home and make sure all the light switches are clean! Same goes for all the doorknobs in your home. A buyer will open everything, including random closets and the door to the garage. Now check out the kitchen. Your counter tops should be free from any food particles and any stickiness Don’t forget the handle to the refrigerator, buyers always open the fridge. Make sure their senses of sight and smell won’t be overwhelmed. A filthy fridge can be a deal breaker. Okay, the last one—taste. Be assured no one is going to lick your walls! So, this sense is an easy one to please. Put some cookies on a tray. Not into baking?Just set a bowl of candy on the counter. Are you a healthy eater? Trade out candy for granola bars. It doesn’t matter, just offer up a treat for the buyer. They’ll remember your house as the “the yummy house.” Buyers are looking for ways to differentiate your home from the others they looked at that day. Satisfy their five senses and your home will be the one that stands out!
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Hereâ€™s to kickoff. Contact me today. Shellie Isakson-Smith Mortgage Loan Originator Office 850.436.7846 Cell 850.232.3224 shellieisakson-smith@ synovusmortgage.com Loans subject to approval, including credit approval. Shellie Isakson-Smith NMLS 440325.
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Alexis Bolin Group • Ranked Amongst the Top 1/10 of 1% of all Real Estate Agents Nationwide • Over 5,100 Closed Sales • "Who's Who" in Residential Real Estate Alexis Bolin-Broker Associate Lisa Mix-Realtor Associate • One of the Most Influential Agents in Florida • One of the Most Awarded Agents in the Nation Cell (850) 777-0275 Cell (850) 572-4102 • International Hall of Fame - 2013 Office (850) 478-5446 Office (850) 478-5446 • Real Estate Experts Hall of Fame - 2013 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org • CRS - Certified Residential Specialist • ABR - Accredited by a Representative • MRP - Military Relocation Professional
STEPS THAT CAN IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT SCORE IN A 100 DAYS OR LESS
Low interest rates, a strong economy and the turn of the seasons are all causing the real estate market to heat up. More homes on the market bring more competition to buy the inventory that is out there. And one way to stand apart from other buyers who are vying for their dream home is to take steps to improve your credit score now. "Preparing your finances is a must before the busy real estate season," says Barrett Burns, president and CEO of credit score model developer VantageScore Solutions. "Knowing your credit scores and making improvements is essential to getting the best loan at the best rates. This also makes you a more attractive home buyer, especially in a competitive market." With limited time, you may think there's nothing you can do to improve your score. Burns says that's an incorrect assumption. While you can't make dramatic jumps in just a couple months, there are several steps you can take that may influence your score to increase enough to get you prequalified for the loan you want. Keep in mind, lenders will pull 88 | pensacola magazine
your scores from all three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), so it's wise to check your credit report from each of them. You can do so for free once every 12 months at AnnualCreditReport.com. For best results, monitor at least one credit score from each of the bureaus. You also can check your credit score for free through a large number of online services, such as CreditKarma. com, NerdWallet.com or Credit.com. Other sites offering free VantageScore credit scores can be found at VantageScore.com/free. Once you have your reports in hand, you can take steps that may have a positive impact on your scores.
Step 1: Check for errors A credit report gives a comprehensive list of your lines of credit and payment history. The first step is to review your credit report for errors and take steps to make corrections, including past and present names, loan amounts and credit cards in your name. When checking your credit score, bear in mind that some differences in credit scores across bureaus is normal. But if one of the three credit scores is
an extreme outlier, it could be worth double-checking your credit report from that bureau to make sure it doesn't reflect any questionable or erroneous activity.
Step 2: Don't miss a payment Creditors are interested in seeing how you manage credit, and the consistency of behavior counts. You should always pay at least the minimum amount due on bills on time every month. An easy way to ensure you don't miss a payment is to sign up for automatic bill pay when available.
Step 3: Lower credit utilization levels Credit utilization is the ratio of a credit card balance to the credit limit. If your balance is $5,000 and your credit limit is $10,000, then your credit utilization for that credit card is 50 percent. In general, a good credit utilization is less than 30 percent, so if you have a higher ratio, consider using your tax refund to pay down this debt.
Step 4: Don't close old credit cards If you have a credit card that is no longer used but was previously paid off on time each month, don't close the account. Not only is this good for your credit utilization ratio, but it also is another indicator you're a responsible candidate for a loan.
Step 5: Don't apply for new credit Avoid applying for any new credit, such as an auto loan or a new credit card account, between now and the time you will close on a home purchase. Lenders considering your loan application request your credit score from one or more credit bureaus. And these lender "inquiries" are recorded with one or more of the three national credit bureaus, which may lower your credit score by 10 to 20 points. The score decreases typically only last a few months, as long as you continue to make payments on time. But unless they're absolutely necessary, try to avoid additional inquiries until after you've secured your mortgage. If you follow these five steps, you may see an increase in your score within a few months so you can get a loan and be an attractive buyer when it comes time to put in a bid for your dream home. Keep in mind, the more you can put toward the down payment, the more instant equity you'll have, the lower your monthly payment will be, and the better your chances are of not needing private mortgage insurance (PMI), which can add hundreds of dollars to your monthly payment. Plus, if you're able to put down more than a lender requires, a mortgage company may be willing to give you a pass on other issues on your application, such as a less-than-stellar credit score.
Let Gulf Winds help you finance your dream home. 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 credit union makes. Come in and see us today to start your journey toward your dream home.
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1612 Smugglers Cove Circle 3 BED | 4 BATH | 4,513 SQ FEET
his luxuriously elegant, custom designed home was featured by H&G Magazine. Truly captivating is the view of the Santa Rosa Sound through glass paned walls and a multitude of picture windows. Indulge in the luxury of a home theater, a wine closet with distinctly crafted iron/copper doors, a well appointed wet bar and a grand master bedroom with panoramic water views and 10 ft tray ceilings. The grand master bath promotes a serene sanctuary. The generously sized kitchen offers GE Monogram appliances and flows between the dining room and two living areas. Equipped with manicured landscaping, a 1,200 sqft lanai and a pier with dual boat lifts. Nestled in Smugglers Cove in the quiet part of Gulf Breeze, this neighborhood offers a number of amenities. A truly distinct home fit for royalty.
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Emerald Coast Realty
Pensacola Realtor, Real Estate Broker
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