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Panama City Beach Home Pricing

Panama City Beach Home Pricing

Panama City Beach Home Pricing


Panama City Beach Home Pricing


Homebuilders say major uptick coming


WASHINGTON – May 6, 2016 – Steady job growth, low mortgage rates and pent-up demand are prompting an increase in the demand for new single-family homes, and homebuilders say they’re ready to build them.

However, builders also say they face plenty of headwinds that could subdue some construction, such as a shortage of lots and labor, and tight access to construction and development loans.

“Builders remain cautiously optimistic about market conditions,” says Robert Dietz, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders, in a Spring Construction Forecast Webinar on Thursday. “2016 should be the first year since the Great Recession in which the growth rate for single-family production exceeds that of multifamily. And we see single-family growth accelerating in 2017 as the supply side chain mends and we can expand production.”

NAHB forecasters predict that single-family production will see a 14 percent uptick this year to 812,000 units, and then rise another 19 percent to 964,000 units in 2017.

Single-family starts will reach 64 percent of historically normal levels by the fourth quarter of this year and rise to 77 percent of normal by the end of 2017, NAHB reports. By the end of 2017, the top 20 percent of the largest states will reach at least 102 percent of normal single-family production levels compared to the bottom 20 percent, which likely will still remain below 65 percent, NAHB reports.

“Consumer surveys suggest the ultimate goal of millennials is to purchase a single-family home in the suburbs,” says Dietz. “We see growth for single-family looking ahead. The recovery continues and is dictated by demand side conditions and supply side headwinds.”

Source: National Association of Home Builders

© Copyright 2016 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

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Big Gains in March Home Pricing!

Panama City Beach Home Prices

Panama City Beach Home Prices

 Panama City Beach Home Prices


March home price gains highest since 2007

IRVINE, Calif. – April 21, 2016 – U.S. home prices rose 17 percent year-to-year in March, according to RealtyTrac’s latest report for month and first quarter of the year – and Florida remains the king of all-cash sales: State metro areas took all spots on the top five all-cash-sales list.

RealtyTrac’s March and Q1 2016 U.S. Home Sales report finds that the average U.S. home sold for $30,500 more than they owner paid for it – a 17 percent average gain in price. It’s the highest monthly average price gain for sellers since the onset of the Great Recession (December, 2007).

While Florida had a handful of cities with high price gains, it stood out in one type of sale category overall: All-cash sales. Among 110 metro areas with at least 1,000 single family and condo sales in the first quarter, those at the top for cash buyers were all in Florida: Naples, (57.1 percent cash buyers) Miami (53.9 percent), North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (53.4 percent), Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville (52.7 percent) and Ocala (51.6 percent).

“South Florida real estate attracts world money,” says Mike Pappas, CEO and president of Keyes Company, covering the South Florida market. “Our strong international, northeast and investor buyers push our cash sales to 50 percent.”

Two markets, Jacksonville and the Daytona Beach area, also ranked high in RealtyTrac’s study for yearly home price increases. The markets with the biggest annual increase in median home price were Philadelphia (up 29 percent), followed by Rockford, Illinois (up 22 percent); Jacksonville (up 22 percent); Cincinnati, Ohio (up 19 percent); and Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach (up 18 percent).

“Home sellers in many markets are now seeing average price gains close to or above what home sellers experienced during the last housing boom,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac. “That should encourage more homeowners to take advantage of the prime seller’s market and list their homes for sale this year. Banks are already taking advantage of that market as evidenced by the uptick in the distressed sales share over the last two quarters.”

Blomquist says that an uptick in distressed sales in many markets combined with affordability problems contribute “to faltering home price appreciation in some markets – most notably the bellwether markets of Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. He notes that “bank-owned homes are selling at a median price that is 40 percent below the overall median sales price nationwide.”

Home sellers who sold in March had, on average, owned for 7.67 years, up 4 percent from an average of 7.37 years for home sellers who sold in March 2015.

Nationwide, one in three U.S. metro markets (36 percent) are now at all-time home price highs. March was the 49th consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in the U.S. median home price, though, on average, it’s still 8 percent below its peak in July 2005.

Distressed sales – bank-owned sales, in-foreclosure sales and short sales – have risen for the past two quarters. They accounted for 18.2 percent of all single family and condo sales in the first quarter, up from 17.2 percent in the previous quarter. Still, distressed sales are down year-to-year after peaking at 44 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

Among 110 metro areas with at least 1,000 single family and condo sales in the first quarter, those with the highest share of distressed sales were Chicago, Illinois (31.0 percent); Flint, Michigan (29.9 percent); Baltimore, Maryland (28.8 percent); Tallahassee (28.1 percent); and Jacksonville (27.6 percent).

Buyers using loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) – typically first-time buyers or boomerang buyers with a low downpayment – accounted for 15.2 percent of all single family and condo sales in the first quarter, up from 14.8 percent in the previous quarter and up from 13.5 percent a year ago.

© 2016 Florida Realtors®  

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8 Bad ‘Home Improvement’ Habits

8 Bad ‘Home Improvement’ Habits

8 Bad ‘Home Improvement’ Habits

8 Bad ‘Home Improvement’ Habits from RealtorMag

Home owners can overdo it when it comes to the upkeep of their home. This Old House recently spotlighted several ways that home owners’ enthusiasm for home ownership may actually harm the house.

1. Having light bulbs that are too bright. You want a well-lit home, but exceeding a lamp or light fixture’s recommended wattage can be dangerous, particularly with incandescents or halogen lights, says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director for Underwriters Laboratories. “Using a bulb with too-high wattage will cause the fixture and its wiring to overheat,” he notes, which could then allow the heat to travel to the wall or erode the insulation on the wires and lead to a house fire. Check the fixtures label to make sure you use the correct wattage.

2. Planting trees near driveways or walkways. A line of trees to the house may up its curb appeal but adding young trees near driveways or walkways could be putting your slab at risk. As these trees grow taller, their roots will go outward, potentially pushing up the paving and causing it to buckle or crack. This Old House recommends planting small trees that will remain under 20 feet at maturity and that are at least 10 feet from paved areas. For larger trees, leave at least a 20-foot radius.

3. Overscrubbing a sink. Don’t overdo it with abrasive cleaners; they can scratch the sink. “Cleaners with a grit or grain to them will wear away at the finish and dull it,” Kohler‘s Mike Marbuch told This Old House. “That will make the sink more prone to gunk sticking to it—actually making it look dirtier.” Try a liquid cleanser like vinegar or lemon juice on the sink and avoid scrubbing it every day.

4. Overdoing it with can lights. Excessive recessed lighting in a home can cause a lot of air leaks. Recessed lighting is known as causing heat-sucking air leaks, especially when the fixtures are unsealed in vaulted ceilings. Airtight recessed lighting fixtures are available that are rated for insulation contact (IC). Also, use as few recessed lights as you can, especially when it comes to adding them to cathedral ceilings or in rooms directly below unconditioned attics.

5. Spreading too much mulch outside. “Over-mulching will suffocate plants, confuse their root systems, and prevent water from percolating into the soil,” notes the article at This Old House. “If you’ve mulched so much that tree trunks and flowers’ and shrubs’ lower branches are covered by or dragging in it, you’ve gone overboard.” Have mulch no thicker than 3 inches.

6. Using glass cleaner on mirrors. Watch out for store-bought sprays that promise to make your glass sparkle. “A drop of liquid running around the mirror’s edge can cause the reflective backing to lift or craze,” This Old House notes. The black edge can occur from using ammonia- or vinegar-based cleaners. This Old House recommends using warm water and a soft, lint-free cloth to clean mirrors. Or if you do use the sprays, spray it onto a dry cloth first and not directly onto the glass.

7. Repainting too much. “Excessive paint is detrimental – especially on an older house, which may have layers of thicker oil-based paint, which becomes brittle with age,” notes This Old House. To avoid thick, cracked, or peeling paint, be sure to carefully power-wash prior to painting, sand areas that need it, and then use 100 percent acrylic-resin exterior paint.

8. Fertilizing too much. Fertilizing too often can spur more weeds to grow. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency warns over-fertilizing can cause “nutrient pollution,” which is when nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from lawn fertilizers and then leads to an overgrowth of algae that can even pollute local waterways. Some lawn experts recommend only fertilizing twice a year, late summer and fall only.

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Tax Benefits of Owning a Home

Tax Benefits of Owning a Home

Tax Benefits of Owning a Home

The Tax Benefits of Owning a Home

From building equity to giving you a chance to settle down and plant roots, homeownership comes with potential benefits that renting simply doesn’t offer. Among them are several tax advantages worth knowing about. Here’s a quick look at how to make the most of those tax deductions.

Deducting Mortgage Interest…
Unless you recently won the lottery, chances are good that you took out a mortgage to pay for your home. If that’s the case, then you already know that this type of loan is a big commitment that often spans up to 30 years. But you may be able to deduct the interest you pay on a mortgage that doesn’t exceed $1 million. That limit shrinks to $500,000 if you’re married but filing taxes separately from your spouse. As tax season approaches, your lender will send you a Form 1098, which states how much mortgage interest you’ve paid in the past year. Once you know that amount, you’ll have to itemize your deduction using Form 1040’s Schedule A. The amount of money you’ll save depends on your taxable income. Generally speaking, the higher your earnings, the more money you can save.

Property Taxes also Qualify for Deductions
Homeowners can also reduce their taxable income by deducting their property taxes. Your lender has probably set you up with an escrow account, which is used to pay for things such as homeowners insurance and property taxes. To figure out how much money to deduct, take a look at the escrow statement to see how much you paid in taxes. You’ll generally be able to cut your taxable income by that amount.

The Takeaway
Because financing and maintaining a house or apartment can put a real dent in your wallet, it’s a good idea to take advantage of all the help you can get. Maximizing the tax breaks that homeowners qualify for is a great starting point. To do so, be sure to keep an eye out for Form 1098, as well as the escrow statement. Although filling out and filing these documents may take some getting used to, you’ll be a veteran in no time, and it may be well worth the effort.

Contact Us and one of our professional agents would be happy to help you start your home ownership journey!

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Condos For Sale Panama City Beach

Condos For Sale Panama City Beach

Condos For Sale Panama City Beach


Condos For Sale Panama City Beach


PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) It’s no secret Panama City Beach is growing tremendously.

Pier Park has been built up over the years, and now sports parks are coming to the area along with new condos and hotels.

With all of these things making their way to Panama City Beach, the value of houses and businesses is going up.

Bubba McCants, a local realtor for Counts Real Estate Group, said, “Buyers who are qualified are able to buy, banks are lending money, and interest rates are low.”

In other words, if you’re planning on buying or selling property in Panama City Beach, now’s the time to do so.

Realty experts said over the last two years the housing market has been in an upward swing.

“We were one of the first ones in the recession,” said McCants. “So that means we’re also going to be one of the first ones out.”

Bay County Property Appraiser Dan Sowell said, “Prices had gotten so low that they were just very, very, attractive to individuals and investors and so what you’re seeing now is people trying to take advantage of that.”

Bay County property values as a whole are on the rise.

Panama City Beach takes the lead with its 2016 preliminary values up more than five percent.

“Condo’s are driving a lot of that percentage up,” said Sowell. “Because they are up 6.1 percent on their own.”

While the market is up, some Gulf-view businesses are cashing in before it’s too late.

“There’s still a good amount left [locally owned businesses] and they will sell if the price is right,” said McCants. “And to someone who wants to come in and develop that land.”

Locally owned two parcel Bikini Beach Hotel just sold to an investment company for $7.3 million.

“People pay a premium to walk out of their front door and be on the beach,” said Sowell.

Realty experts said when you see new hotels and condominiums going up, it’s a good sign.

“When you see a lot of construction around that’s how you know the housing market is doing well,” said McCants.

“Things are looking up,” said Sowell. “You’re not going to find a better place to live than Bay County, Florida.”

Realty experts said they do not believe spring break has significantly affected the increase in property value, but the efforts of the Tourist Development Council marketing Panama City Beach as a “family destination” can only help moving forward.


Click here to contact Us and our Professional Agents will be happy to help you find the Condo of your Dreams!

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Florida Mortgage Rates

Florida Mortgage Rates

Florida Mortgage Rates

Average rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.62%


WASHINGTON (AP) – Feb. 25, 2016 – Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week as anxiety over the global economy persisted. Long-term rates resumed their decline after being unchanged last week following six straight weeks of easing.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 3.62 percent from 3.65 percent last week. That puts it well below the 3.80 percent it marked a year ago.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages declined to 2.93 percent from 2.95 percent last week.

Mortgage rates have continued to fall despite the Federal Reserve’s decision in December to raise the short-term rate it controls for the first time since 2006.

Global economic worries and turbulence in world stock markets have pushed up prices of U.S. government bonds as investors seek safety. That has depressed the yields on the bonds, which mortgage rates follow. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond has dropped to strikingly low levels below the significant 2-percent mark.

The benchmark yield stood at 1.75 percent Wednesday, down from 1.81 percent a week earlier. The yield fell further to 1.72 percent Thursday morning. That compares with 2.27 percent before the Fed’s rate hike on Dec. 16.

Despite the decline in mortgage rates this year, new government data show that Americans stepped back from buying new homes in January, as purchases plunged sharply in western states where prices are typically higher.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new-home sales fell 9.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 494,000. Most of the decline stemmed for a 32.1 percent drop in sales in the West. Sales also slipped in the Midwest, while edging up in the Northeast and South.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fees for a 30-year mortgage rose to 0.6 point from 0.5 point last week. The fee for a 15-year loan was unchanged at 0.5 point.

Rates on the adjustable five-year mortgage averaged 2.79 percent this week, down from 2.85 percent last week. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.99 percent.

The fee on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage increased to 0.5 point from 0.4 point.


Now is the time to buy! Click here to contact us and one of our professional agents would be happy to help you “find your piece of paradise!”

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Most Beautiful Beaches

Buy Your Beach Dream Home



Most Beautiful Beaches



If you live on Panama City Beach you already knew this but Panama City Beach is in the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the United States.

According to TripAdvisor, Panama City Beach is ranked number ten on the list.

Also on the list: St. Augustine Beach, Florida, Pensacola Beach, Florida, and Saint Pete Beach, Florida.

The top three beaches were Siesta Beach, Florida, Lanikai Beach, Hawaii, and number one was Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Click HERE to see the full TripAdvisor List!

What better time than to secure your own personal piece of paradise?!?

Our real estate market is hot and now is a good time to find your perfect

beach house or condo before prices really go through the roof!

Contact us and one of our professional agents will be happy to

“help you find your piece of paradise!”

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Panama City Beach Spring Jam

Panama City Beach Spring Jam

Panama City Beach Spring Jam

Mark your calendars, Panama City Beach Spring Jam is coming!

Spring Jam is a three-day country music festival in Panama City Beach, FL from April 7th to April 9th. This year, it will be headlined by Rascal Flatts, Thomas Rhett, and Chris Young. Tickets are now on sale.

Spring Jam is located in Panama City Beach, one of Florida’s most beautiful beach locations. Festival goers travel from across the United States, not just for the sensational country music and renowned artists but for a beach vacation as well! Lodging packages will be available and will include accommodations as well as Preferred Lodging tickets (which are located in front of the General Admission section).

Tickets will be available for all three days as well as for single days. Visit the Tickets page for more information on pricing and where you can purchase. Prices will increase as the festival gets closer so purchasing tickets in advance will guarantee the best deal!

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Panama City Beach Condos for Sale

Panama City Beach Condos for Sale

Panama City Beach Condos for Sale

Panama City Beach Condos for Sale

Life’s a Beach currently has over 750 one, two, three, and four bedroom condos for sale here in beautiful Panama City Beach! Whether you are looking for your slice of beachfront paradise or a quiet bay front retreat to dock your boat, our professional agents can help you find what you’re looking for.

If you’re not looking for a condo, numerous subdivisions throughout Panama City Beach have quick and easy access to all the draws that keep vacationers flocking here — including the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. Since opening in May 2010, the airport has provided, via Southwest and Delta airlines (and now Silver Airlines), easy access to the area. It serves over 800,000 passengers a year, illustrating that Panama City Beach is no longer pigeonholed as a drive-to-only destination.

It also turns out that the lures for vacationers — the 1,500-foot Russell-Fields Pier, known for its fishing and sunrise and sunset views, as well as historic Pineapple Willy’s for the best ribs on the beach and Thomas Donut & Snack Shop for an amazing glazed donut — are a plus for residents too.

Panama City Beach is a great place to live, work, and play! There are tons of things to do, things to see, places to eat, and of course our beaches can’t be beat! Click here to check out some more of the Panama City Beach local happenings!

Click here to search for all the Panama City Beach Condos for sale!

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Panama City Beach For Sale By Owner

Panama City Beach For Sale By Owner

Why the Majority of FSBOs Fail

For Sale By Owner

Industry insiders claim that FSBO failure rates range from 75% all the way up to 95%.*

While selling your home on your own in order to save paying a real estate agent’s commission may seem like a great way to save money, the truth of the matter is that such FSBO sales are seldom successful. So why are homeowners having such a hard time marketing their own homes, even in today’s heating-up marketplace?

Fail #1: Over or Undervaluing the Home

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a Blue Book for homes? All you’d need to do to come up with the right price is to look up your home’s make, model, and general condition, and voilà! The price is right.

Sadly, all most sellers have to go on is comparisons to other local properties, but this is hardly a foolproof system. Your neighbors may be listing their homes around $500,000, but how many homes are actually selling for that amount? Overpricing your home is, in fact, one of the biggest mistakes home sellers make, ensuring that the property takes forever to sell (or worse, won’t sell at all).

You’ve also got to be wary of underpricing your property. If you sell your own home for less than what you could get selling through a top selling REALTORⓇ, then you haven’t really saved any money after all.

Fail #2: Expecting the Home to Sell Itself

Many home sellers today purchased their homes in the boom years of the early 2000s, when it seemed that homes sold within minutes of putting up a “For Sale” sign in the yard.

While that may have been true 10 years ago, these days you have to compete if you want to attract a buyer. And by “compete” we mean market, which means you’ve got to come up with a sales plan and devote plenty of time to your marketing efforts. One top REALTORⓇ in Tallahassee, FL, estimates he and his associates spend over 10 man-hours per day just promoting their listings**.

Fail #3: Skimping on the Details

So you’ve got a sign up, made some fliers, maybe you’re even advertising your home online. Good for you! Do not, however, make the rookie mistake of thinking that all you need is a picture and the words “for sale”.

Most would-be buyers won’t even consider your home unless you’re up-front with an asking price, and of course you need to provide full contact details, names as well as numbers. When it comes to fliers and online advertising, the more details the better. A good listing provides square footage, lot size, number of rooms and bathrooms, age of home, a floor plan and as many pictures as possible.

Fail #4: Specifically Targeting Buyers

Wait a minute – don’t you want to attract buyers? Isn’t this what selling your home is all about? What you have to realize is that 88% of buyers are working through agents***, and the homes they’ll see are the homes their agents steer them towards.

So how do you make buyers’ agents aware of your FSBO offering? Well, that’s a tricky one. You could hand-deliver your flyers to every realty office in town, or you could pony up the fee to get your home listed on the MLS. Even if you do these things, though, there’s a good chance many buyers’ agents aren’t going to want to bother working with a FSBO seller, so you’re limited right off the bat to just a small share of the homebuyer market.

Fail #5: Refusing to Play Nice with Buyer Agents

One reason that many buyer agents won’t steer their clients toward FSBO listings is because the FSBO seller hasn’t made it clear from the outset that he’s willing to pay the buyer’s commission out of the proceeds. A typical buyer’s agent can expect to receive about 2.5-3% of a home’s selling price, and without that incentive, there’s no reason to show your home.

In fact, if you really want your FSBO home to move, you’ll need to offer a similar commission to transaction brokers as well as buyer agents. So, it’s not just as simple as listing your home yourself in order to save the full 5 to 6% of the listing agent’s fee.

Fail #6: Slow Response Time

How long do you think you can wait before you get back to someone who’s called about your home after seeing your yard sign, flyer or online ad? Is it okay to get back to them the next day, or at least wait a few hours?

You may be shocked to realize that according to a study conducted by an MIT professor, your odds of contacting a lead drop 100 times if you wait as much as half an hour instead of getting back to them in the first five minutes****. Yep, like that Tallahassee REALTORⓇ (the one from #2) said, selling homes is a full-time job, and if you snooze, you really do lose.

Fail #7: Nobody’s Home

Okay, maybe you’re Fast Freddy and you answer every call on the first ring. Awesome. But…are you actually going to be available to show your home when the prospective buyer wants to see it? If you have a full-time job other than home sales, chances are the answer won’t always be yes.

One thing you could do is purchase a combination lock box in which to leave your door key, and this will work just fine if there’s a buyer’s agent willing to show your home to her clients. If there’s no agent involved, though, you probably don’t want to let just any random stranger into your home when you’re not there.

Fail #8: Underestimating the Complexity

Many times, homeowners will choose to go FSBO because they “just don’t want to deal with the hassle” of going through an agent. It seems straightforward enough – you have something to sell, other people have money and want to buy. Just like selling a used car or granny’s antique armoire, right?

When it comes to a home sale, though, there’s so much more involved than a simple exchange of goods for money. There’s financing, inspections, offers, counter-offers, contracts and closings. The list goes on and on, and if you aren’t prepared for all the steps (and the paperwork), you may soon find yourself with absolutely no clue how to proceed.

Fail #9: Trying to Go it Alone

Ok, so you know you’ve got to spend time and money marketing your home, respond to every inquiry ASAP, be home to show your home whenever a buyer wants to see it, deal with home inspectors, negotiate financing, and then navigate your way through the tricky waters of closing.

Do you really have the time and the know-how to arrange for all of this on your own without completely losing your sanity? You can’t play every part in the symphony if you’re just a one-man band, after all. Even a super-REALTORⓇ isn’t going to carry out every aspect of the home-selling process all on her own, but she doesn’t have to. Instead, she’ll leave it up to the qualified experts (mortgage broker, home inspector, real estate attorney) she’s already got on speed dial.


Let our qualified, professional agents at Life’s a Beach Real Estate help you avoid the pitfalls and complications of buying and selling real estate here on the beach!




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