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Is this the PCB Beach Home for Me?

PCB beach home - is this the one for me

Before we talking about whether you’ve found the right PCB beach home, let’s recap…

We recently talked about PCB vacation rentals, purchasing a diamond in the rough, and investment property management options.

But it occurs to me that I may have jumped ahead a bit and that we need to roll back to the purchasing steps of a PCB investment property.

Oh, and speaking of “rollback…” I feel like we are on a condo renovation rollback.

As I mentioned last week, we decided to completely gut our condo and finish it out with a top to bottom condo renovation. However, we are now in the “bidding” process with the tradesmen who will help us complete the top to bottom renovation work.

Based on how the condo renovation bids turn out and what we determine we can we do ourselves, we may have to make some adjustments. However, hopefully, work will resume soon on our investment PCB Beach home and we will be closer to our dream investment vacation home on the beach.

Okay, so you have decided you want to a PCB beach home and live the Panama City Beach beach life…

Whether you are a full-time resident of Panama City Beach or a part-time resident, let’s dive into that question.

Let’s chat about the first steps in purchasing a PCB beach home (assuming you are ready to make either a cash offer or have your pre-qualified letter from your financial institution).

Quite a bit of our PCB real estate market is condos, so we will focus on that in this post.

Most of our PCB condominiums are beachfront; the handful of buildings that are not directly beachfront, usually still condos for sale with view of the beautiful Gulf Coast.

Many of the real estate investors we work with have visited our beaches and resorts. Thus giving them an idea of what area, if not what building, in which they would like to own real estate.

Once you have picked out the building or buildings you have interest in, you must have a good understanding of the COA (condo owner association) and what their rules and regulations are. Navigating the nuances of a COA is where your real estate professional is critical.

What can they tell you about the management of the building? Have you received their budget, and how are the reserves? Has your agent provided the condominium documents with rules and regulations required? All of this information is incredibly important when considering a financial investment in your future PCB beach home and you should review before making an offer.

I mentioned earlier in this post that having your pre-qualification letter from a PCB financial institution is important. Some condo buildings present some guideline challenges to financial institutions regarding financing in our current real estate market. Next week, I will address that topic.

It is also essential to have your complete funding lined out for your PCB home purchase.

You do not want to miss out on your beach home in Panama City Beach because you chose the wrong lender!

In the meantime, as always, if you are interested in learning more about Panama City Beach real estate, reach out to our Life’s A Beach Real Estate team, and we would be happy to help you navigate the emerald waters of our market.

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Woody Junot Publishes “Want to buy a Panama City Beach Condo?” on PCBBeachesDirect.com

buy a condo on Panama City Beach

Summary of “Want to buy a Panama City Beach Condo?”

Woody Junot, Broker/Owner of Life’s a Beach Real Estate recently published a new article on PCBBeachesDirect.com.

In the article, Woody provides information and tips on what you need to know if you want to buy a condo on Panama City Beach.

One quote from Woody states:

Beach condos are a great way to own your own piece of paradise with virtually no physical maintenance or lawn care. Just sit back and enjoy the Gulf views and the beautiful evening sunsets. What a great way to spend time with the entire family in Panama City Beach!

Check out the full article here: https://pcbeachesdirect.com/panama-city-beach-news-tips-events/want-to-buy-a-panama-city-beach-condo/.

buy a condo on PCB
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Your PCB Investment Property – To Manage or Not to Manage

PCB investment property to manage or not to manage

Last week I touched on the best way to put your PCB investment property on a vacation rental program as there are options out there. Before I get into that, however, let me update you on our renovation project.

Originally we had planned to renovate our PCB investment property in phases.

The first phase, bathrooms, flooring, and new appliances. Next phase painting and furniture, and following that redoing the kitchen.

Well, what is the old saying about “…best-laid plans?”

It turns out the phases have turned into one BIG project when it comes to our investment condo.

We are gutting our condo entirely and tackling it all at the onset. I have had to take a few breaths as I come to terms with the budget (more than) blown. And the timeline went from a couple of weeks… to possibly three months. Not to mention the ups and downs of the surprises we find as we get further in our condo renovation project.

Saying all that, we decided it was the smarter business decision to complete the renovation project sooner rather than stretching it out over time.

Renovating in phases could impact renting a PCB condo.

Furthermore, ultimately, we would spend more money by having to redo completed work every time we start a new project.

So, needless to say, this adventure with our PCB investment property is continuing and bound to have more twists and turns!

Stay tuned as the Panama City Beach investment condo adventures continue…

Ok, back to the subject at hand.

As a Panama City Beach real estate agent, I am often asked, “How do I manage my investment property?”

Well, there are two primary options for investment property management in PCB:

  • First, you can hire a property management company.
  • Alternately, you can manage a PCB investment property yourself.

If you choose to manage a PCB condo or investment property on your own, you will get a better return on your investment.

However, you will be handling reservations, cleaning, and maintenance.

If you hire a PCB property management company, you pay a fee percentage to back to the company.

However, you will not have to worry about the headaches of reservations and day-to-day management.

Another benefit of managing a PCB condo yourself (beyond the increased revenue) that you get more control over your reservations. You also have hands-on communication with your cleaning and maintenance team. You will need a reliable team, and you want to take care of that team as they are boots on the ground, helping you take care of your investment.

Ok, so then, what are the benefits of hiring a PCB condo management company?

Primarily, someone else is handling everything for you and many people prefer that approach.  For those who do, it is worth it to them to pay the fee.

Here is some advice… and please take to heart if you are getting into the PCB investment property market, and especially if you decide to hire a company to manage: CHECK ON YOUR INVESTMENT PROPERTY! Don’t assume that someone else is going to take care of your property as you would. Make sure it is maintained appropriately and according to any fees charged on your statement(s). Monitor your reviews and if there are issues, address them and do not ignore them.

If you are stepping out into the emerald waters of the Panama City Beach or PCB investment property market and have questions, reach out to us.  We would be more than happy to help!

And as always, if you have ANY PCB real estate needs at all, the Life’s A Beach Real Estate team is here to help.

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PCB Investment Properties: Renovating The Diamond in The Rough

PCB investment properties - renovating your condo
Last week I shared with you that we have purchased our first foray into PCB investment properties – our first vacation investment property in Panama City Beach

Now, let’s talk more about another side of PCB investment properties—the renovation…

As soon as the seller accepted our offer on our PCB investment condo purchase, we were on the phone with our “reno guys”…(you remember, from the “I got a guy” list) to schedule our beach condo renovationWe timed the start of our PCB condo renovation with the closing of the sale, hiring them to come in and start (in the words of Chip Gaines) “demo day.” 
We planned to rip up the flooring and rip out the showers and install new flooring and showers.  When that is complete (as I write this, the flooring and shower project is not quite finished…but getting there), the painting begins, along with the addition of some new appliances. 

When that is all finished, that will be the completion of phase one of the renovation…. and we will put our condo on the PCB vacation rental market. 

Going through a home renovation is exciting….and of course, in our excitement, we wanted it all done sooner rather than later… Okay, okay… I wanted it all done right away.  Reality check. Much as with the blown budget… the reno timeline always extends farther than the first projected date.  
 
Now, in all fairness, it is not our reno guys fault that little miss Hurricane Sally decided to come to visit the Panhandle.  And unfortunately, her presence caused some minor flooding issues in and around Panama City Beach.  Sally made her presence known with lots of rain and flash floods on the roads in the area, which caused problems with travel along the beach roads. Thus, Sally’s stay along the Gulf Coast pushed our project back a day or two.  Oh, and on the subject of Hurricane Sally…if you plan on having a vacation home along PCB beach, you always want to be “tracking the tropics” and have a hurricane plan.
 
So anyway… the project is still underway and only pushed back a few days. And I have gotten over my disappointment.  I am now focused on simply looking forward to the big reveal of phase one. 

And of course, I am excited to get my condo on the PCB vacation rental market with other PCB investment properties.

After all, the longer the property is not on the market, the less money it makes… right!? 

Speaking of the PCB rental market, as an investment property real estate agent in Panama City Beach, many investors ask, “What is the best option to manage the rentals of the investment property?” 

There are options, of course. Specifically, you can hire a PCB property management company or manage the rentals of the vacation property personally. Understanding the market and the needs of our investors, we can offer advice and direction that can make hiring our team a little less time and energy-intensive than doing the management yourself.

Which brings us to another must-have list for a Panama City Beach real estate agent and that is a list of property management companies, of which there are many OR other resources that will enable an investor to manage PCB vacation properties themselves. 

As I mentioned last week with the “I got a guy…” list, we use the same approach with any other referral type; we will never recommend unless we have or are willing to use them.

Next week as we continue the adventure, we will discuss PCB investment property management options. 

In next week’s post, I will share with you more detail about your options for PCB investment property management, as well as the pros and cons. 

In the interim, if you are interested to learn more about purchasing your Panama City Beach home or purchasing a PCB vacation investment property, reach out to Life’s A Beach Real Estate

We have a team of PCB real estate agents – true real estate professionals – who can walk you through your transaction, whether it is your first home, first vacation home, or first PCB investment property.
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Investing in PCB Real Estate: The Start of Vacation Adventures in Paradise!

Investing in PCB real estate

My husband and I have been PCB real estate along the Emerald Coast for six years now, and we have helped many vacation property investors purchase their vacation beach home.


Our philosophy is simple: As Panama City Beach real estate agents, it is our job to be that trusted advisor and help with the process and purchase of the right home.

In many of our conversations with our real estate clients, the question has come up: do we own a vacation investment home in Panama City Beach… and well, the answer has been no.

My husband was always willing to go down that path, but I wasn’t quite ready for it. Well…with the words of Zac Brown’s Castaway song in my head, “Pour me another one, make it a strong one, we’re gonna have some fun tonight,” the discussion ensued about taking the plunge into the Panama City Beach vacation rental market.

Just kidding… there was no rum or any alcohol involved in the decision. The serious conversation began a month or so ago, walking my corgis. I really can’t explain why I turned the corner in my mind and decided it was time for us to invest in the Panama City Beach vacation rental market, but turn the corner I did! And decided we should go for it! (I think you could have knocked my husband over with a feather when I told him I was on board!!)

Now, what you may or may not know, is that right now, Panama City Beach Real Estate is hot…hot…hot…(leaving another little tune in your head, shout out to Arrow)!

We have LOW inventory and a HIGH demand when it comes to Panama City Beach real estate for sale.

Even knowing the market as well as we do – and knowing we needed to execute quickly on PCB beach property – we had some disappointments trying to close on our first vacation investment home. Lesson learned… in the current real estate market, you do not want to wait! If you have decided to invest in real estate in PCB, you better pull up your anchor and head out in the water, or you are going to miss out!

As PCB real estate agents and knowing the market, we had an idea of some of the places that would suit our needs.

Finally, on our third try, we found and closed on our diamond in the rough…and I mean a diamond in the rough. So, not only are we taking on the vacation investment market, but we are taking on a little fixer-upper action as well. You see, the PCB condo for sale that we purchased was technically rental ready. We could have put it on the vacation rental market after we closed on the property.

However, in our experience, we know that the more updated the PCB vacation rental property is, the better your investment return will be. So we decided to take on a renovation…and with any renovation, there is always a budget… I mean, blown budget (wink, wink).

So here we are, we just closed on our condo, and it’s time for the renovations to begin. And this is where the, “I got a guy…” list comes in handy. Again, working with so many investors in the past and helping counsel through design and renovation, we have our list of go-to professionals… a must-have list for real estate agents. We never recommend someone unless we have used them or are willing to use them. As the condo renovation gets underway, I will keep you updated on our beach paradise adventures… the good… the bad… and the ugly. But, oh wait! There is no ugly on the sugar-white sandy beaches and the emerald waters!

As you follow our adventure, if you are interested to learn more about purchasing your Panama City Beach home or purchasing a PCB vacation investment property, reach out to Life’s A Beach Real Estate.

We have a team of real estate professionals who can walk you through your transaction, whether it is your first home or vacation home.

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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.