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Horribly Horrific Things To Avoid When Buying A Beach Home

Things to Avoid When Purchasing Your Panama City Beach Home

So you are considering buying a beach house or condo in Panama City Beach?

What could possibly be horrible or horrific about that? Well absolutely nothing, almost.

This is a list of red flags to avoid that is really relevant to buying a new home anywhere but would be particularly obnoxious when you have finally arrived at your beach home and are expecting to exhale with a pina colada in hand (or margarita, depending on your personal preference).

  • Don’t buy a piece of real estate before taking a glance (and listen) around at the neighbors. Unfortunately, they come with any new property and last time we checked, you can’t renovate them if they irritate you. Are they loud, unfriendly? Do they have a dog that they let bark constantly or an unkept yard or balcony? It’s pretty awesome to have a condo on the 28th floor looking out at the ocean but not if you can hear your neighbor’s Rottweiler barking to go on a walk every three hours. That is not a recipe for a relaxing and happy vacation spot.
  • Have your realtor help you check to see if there are any outstanding liens on the property. This can be done at the county clerk, recorder or assessor’s office (and in some cases, online). If there are liens, then they need to be remedied before you purchase the property. This should be taken care of with the title, but it never hurts to check at the outset in hopes of preventing hurdles and time delays further into the purchasing process.
  • Also consider looking to see if any suits have been filed against the property builder or condo association. Even if a case has been settled or closed, it will still apprise you of potential issues such as chronic leaky windows. It’s easy for a seller to repair and paint over damaged areas for the purpose of selling a property so it’s good to have a heads up if there is something specific you want your inspector to look for.
  • Last but not least, it’s easy to be swept away but granite countertops and updated bathrooms, but it’s important to also take notice of community areas in a condominium building. Community areas are also part of what you are purchasing and will be associated with your property (and your enjoyment of it) for as long as you own it. Is trash being disposed of in a timely and appropriate manner? Is the outside of the building in good repair (no peeling paint, rust or signs of water damage)? These are important issues that can drive down your property’s resell value down the line if not attended to. Take the time to investigate them now as well as the steps that are typically taken to remedy any issues. Also, your realtor should help you review the rules of your condo association as well as the HOA fees you are obligated to pay to address such upkeep requirements.

Using a knowledgeable and experienced real estate group such as Life’s a Beach Real Estate can help you navigate through some of these red flags when purchasing a house or condo in Panama City Beach. We know the Panama City Beach real estate market well and are looking forward to helping you find your dream home successfully!

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Why Panama City Beach Should Be Your #1 Retirement Destination

Why You Should Retire to Panama City Beach

Ahhh, retirement is here at last (or at least on the horizon) and you can finally start living your dream life at the beach.

There are numerous reasons why buying a condo at Panama City Beach should be a major contender in your retirement plans.

Here is a list of what we at Life’s a Beach Real Estate think are the major ways in which Panama City Beach is an attractive retirement spot. Feel free to reach out us for additional information about this great city and all that it has to offer!

  • Smart Investment. It’s always a good idea to choose an opportunity where your financial investment has a high probability of growing. You never know what might come up in life and there’s just no reason to look away from an opportunity to invest in real estate that has chances of bringing you a positive return. Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia all report growth in the Panama City real estate market with Trulia showing median home prices with an increase of 7% in the last twelve months and the average price per square foot rising from $139 to $153. Similarly, Zillow reports a 6.4% growth in median home values in 2017 and predicts an additional 3.9% value growth in 2018. We don’t need to explain to you the value such trends could bring homeowners if they continue long term. We think it would be pretty sweet to be making money off your beach house in retirement just by sitting at the beach – don’t you agree?
  • Active Senior / Retirement community. Almost half of Panama City Beach’s population is made up of people over the age of 45 (https://www.floridaforboomers.com/retirement-spotlight-panama-city-beach/). This statistic is important because it shows the value that seniors have to the community and economy in this city. As a result there are countless clubs, communities, activities and resources dedicated to senior wants and needs. Not to mention the numerous golf courses and golf clubs in the area . . that is, if the idea of golfing during your retirement is appealing to you!
  • Beaches. This goes without saying but there’s no reason not to throw it in here as well since it’s our favorite part of this area. Did you know Panama City Beach boasts 27 miles of beautiful beaches? Depending on what other beaches you have visited in the world, your appreciation for Panama City Beach’s sugary soft white sand will be substantial. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world in part due to the luxurious softness your feet are treated to simply by taking a daily walk by the water. Not. Too. Shabby.
  • Restaurants and Shopping. For those of us not as into playing 18 holes five times a week (that’s a total of 90 holes, FYI), Panama City Beach is also known for its countless restaurants and shopping. Restaurants range from beachside dives to anniversary worthy five star restaurants, bring on the culinary romance!

Shopping has an equivalent spread of options with the most popular spot probably being Pier Park, an open air mall with almost a MILLION square feet of stores that is located across the street from the beach. Retirement is looking better and better!

If this sounds like a great way to dive into retirement, Life’s a Beach Real Estate can help you locate the perfect house or condo in Panama City Beach to call your new home. We are on standby, waiting to show you what this city has to offer!

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Preparing Your Panama City Beach Home for a Hurricane

Preparing Your Panama City Beach home for a hurricane

If you own a home or condo in Panama City Beach or if you are searching the Panama City Beach real estate market in hopes of finding a new beach home, then it is important to make yourself familiar with the following regarding preparing your beach property in Panama City Beach for a hurricane.

Florida is a wonderful state full of beautiful beaches and sunshine, but the reality is that there is an annual hurricane season that arrives every year in late summer and stays throughout the fall. Hurricane Irma devastated the coast in 2017 and should serve as an unpleasant reminder of how critical it is to plan for Florida’s hurricane season in regards to your property.

Below is a list of different recommendations and ideas to prepare your property for the 2018 season:

  • You should take the time to sit down and review and renegotiate your home insurance policy on an annual basis and make sure that you have flood insurance in addition to basic home insurance. Also, you should confirm that your policy would cover the costs necessary to completely rebuild your home. Unfortunately, some hurricanes can blast through a property leaving you only with the option to rebuild instead of to just repair.
  • Go to Lowes or Home Depot and get a supply of plywood or drywall to have on hand. This will save you the hassle of running out with the masses to get supplies to cover your windows when news of a hurricane comes up. These items are large but slim and easy to store along the back wall of your garage without taking up too much space.
  • Do a quick cleanup outside. Move any brush away and prune / trim trees that have branches close to your house. Also, go ahead and store those lawn chairs and beach umbrella. While these items seem minor, with the force of hurricane winds behind them, they become very dangerous and can do serious damage to your property.
  • Prep your home with items such as head and foot bolts for your doors, hurricane roof straps for your roof (also get it inspected for loose shingles once a year), and a hurricane rated garage door. Regular garage doors can be the flimsiest part of a structure and as a result can be obliterated in seconds by a nasty hurricane leaving the contents of your garage completely vulnerable. These items require an investment but are quickly worth the expense if they can prevent serious damage during a storm.
  • Most importantly, listen to what your local and state authorities advise. Your property is important and for many represents their largest investment, but YOU are much more important. If the state issues warnings and evacuation requirements, heed them and get out of there. No home is worth putting your life at risk for. If you stay behind, you won’t be able to fight the storm back just because you are there.
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Panama City Beach’s Secret Treasures

Panama City Beach Secret Treasures

When considering condo ownership in Panama City Beach or evaluating the Panama City Beach real estate market in general, there are a number of factors to consider but one of the first steps should be to make yourself familiar with this awesome city and all that it has to offer.

Panama City Beach is widely known for its beaches, restaurants, nightlife and shopping but some of its most spectacular attractions are a little more off the beaten path.

These three secret treasures in Panama City Beach are excellent destinations for your next adventure!

  1. Shell Island is a barrier island and part of St. Andrews State Park. It is 700 acres of undeveloped beach reachable via a daily shuttle. The island is rich with marine life, in particular, with lots of bottlenose dolphins. While Panama City is a busy exciting destination, Shell Island offers a quiet, untouched escape just minutes away. Imagine packing a picnic and leaving for the day to stretches of beach that are free of all structures and signs of commercial development, add on the chance to some of the world’s largest pods of dolphins and you have the recipe for quite a day.
  1. Camp Helen State Park is a historical 180 acre site surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Powell, a coastal dune lake. It is rich in history and has remnants of human existence on the property as far back as 4,000 years!! It also has old buildings that are being restored to explore from when the park was a company retreat from the 1940s to 1980s. The park offers hiking, swimming and fishing (freshwater and saltwater) but most importantly, Camp Helen State Park offers Panama City Beach visitors a spot to slow down and connect with nature. 
  1. Panama City Beach Conservation Park is another option with 2,900 acres and 24 miles of hiking trails. Over a mile of boardwalks lead you through different parts of the park. The park’s active wildlife population attracts many wildlife lovers and birdwatchers, and areas with picnic tables and a pavilion are a great spot to convene. The park hosts a variety of different recreational and educational events.

Visitors’ dogs are also welcome in the conservation park, as opposed to many beaches, making Panama City Beach Conservation Park a great destination to get a small break from the sun and some quality time with your pet.

Remember that there is more to Panama City Beach than high-rises, restaurants and parties. These special spots offer a balance to the party that the Panama City Beach real estate market has to offer.

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