Archive for the 'Taxes' Category

Feb 25 2012

Cape San Blas Real Estate Week in Review – Feb. 18-24, 2012

For Sale and Sold SignThe winter months are typically slower for our real estate market here along the coast, but no such winter doldrums so far and this week is no exception, with four sales and four new contracts, six new listings and six price changes. Our inventory remains unchanged from last week, closing once again at 380, with 94 homes and 286 lots listed for sale in the Cape San Blas, Indian Pass and C-30 Corridor market. Let’s see what sparked all that interest.

Cape San Blas Cottage Under Contract  with List Price of $119,900

The first of our four sales is a unique listing: two mobile homes located on a single third-acre lot. They’re on Jamaica Lane, the road next to The Tradin’ Post. Listed for $119,900, and valued by the county at $94,796, they last sold in April 2003 for $134,100. One thing impacting the value of this property is that it may be deemed a non-conforming parcel due to the two homes on one parcel. This week they sold for $109,000.

Cape San Blas Bank-Owned Interior Lot Under Contract Nov. 14, 2011 with List Price of $40,000

On the south side of the Cape in Piney Woods subdivision our second sale is a bank-owned interior lot which they acquired from the developer who tried to sell it as far back as early 2006 when he marketed it with a $375,000 price tag. It went under contract with a list price of $40,000, below the county’s assessed value of $45,000, and closed on Friday for a bargain-basement price of just $17,000.

Gulf View Second Tier Lot Under Contract Feb. 1, 2012 with List Price of $59,000

We’ll head out onto the C-30 Corridor for our third sale, heading east until we reach this second tier gulf view lot in Indian Palms subdivision that went under contract February 1st with a list price of $59,000. It’s an irregularly-shaped FEMA eligible property measuring roughly a quarter acre valued by the county at $50,000, darn close to the $51,000 it sold for on Tuesday.

Bank-Owned Gulf Front Home in Gulf Pines Near Cape San Blas Under Contract Jan. 9, 2012 with List Price of $799,900

A little further east along the C-30 Corridor, our fourth and final sale is this bank-owned 3-bedroom, 3 1/2 bath, 3,271 square foot handsome gulf front home in Treasure Shores. It went under contract with a list price $799,900 and the current asessed value is $651,881, once again very close its sale price of $649,000 on Friday. It has only had one owner (other than the bank) and built it in 2002. This, too, is in a FEMA eligible area.

Two Cape San Blas Lots Under Contract with Joint List Price of $69,000

We’ll begin our review of this week’s four new contracts up on Sandlewood Blvd. in Peninsula Estates, about a half mile south of the state park where we have another “twofer”, this time two lots being sold as one parcel with a combined list price of $69,000, attractively below the combined assessed value of $95,000. There is roughly 1 1/3 acres between the two of them. They last sold in 1999 for $35,800.

Pick of the Week Dec. 27, 2008 Our second contract is one of my Price Change Picks of the Week from way back, a bay front home on the Cape which goes under contract with a list price of $699,000. The sellers have owned it since 2004 when they purchased it for $750,000, and since then they have renovated and added many upgrades. This 4-bedroom, 3 bath, 3,376 square foot beauty is a treasure trove of bells and whistles.

Check out the view from the deck:Sunset View From Bay Front Beauty on Cape San Blas

Here’s the description from the MLS:

Beautiful bay front home with private boat dock including two boat lifts and a private inground screen-enclosed swimming pool.

Not One but Two Boatlifts on on this Bay Front Home on Cape San Blas

Bay Front Pool on Cape San Blas

Boardwalk to the Bay on Cape San Blas

The spacious open floor plan features a large, entertainer kitchen and large living room and dining room. There is a full apartment on the lower level with full kitchen, living room, bedroom and bath and private entrance and walkout to pool area. The sunrise view from the porch was recently featured in Atlantic Southeast Airlines travel magazine. The privacy, decks, porches and views galore make this a truly special home.

Hot Tub With an Awesome View of St. Joe Bay on Beautiful Cape San Blas

If an in-ground pool isn’t enough, enjoy a dip in the hot tub instead.

And here’s your view from the living room (complete with fireplace).

Bay Front View from the Living Room of this Cape San Blas Home

There are contingencies on the contract to be met, so no projected closing date yet.

Bank-Owned Cape San Blas Office Building Under Contract Feb. 19, 2012 with List Price of $245,000

Next up we have a commercial property on the south side of the Cape, a 2,384-square foot, bank-owned office building listed for $245,000, very close to the assessed value of $223,550.

Indian Pass Gulf Front Lot Sold September 2010 for $156,000

Our fourth and final new contract is on a gulf front lot over on Indian Pass, a 50′ wide property last sold in September 2010 as part of an estate from a family which had owned it for quite some time. At that time it was a very ineresting comp in that the county had it assessed at $350,000, the list price well below that at $289,900, and yet it closed for $156,000. This time around it goes under contract with a list price of $135,000 and an assessed value of $157,500.

That’ll do it for now. We spend a lot of time here each week looking at property values but I was abruptly reminded this week how important it is to stop and take stock of the value of friendships and loved ones. The number of times we get to show those we care about how much they mean to us really is in limited supply, so please try to take some time this weekend to do just that.

I appreciate hearing from my readers and enjoy getting to know so many of you. If you’d like more info on our beautiful area, call or text me at 850-227-5197 or shoot me an email to Have a terrific week, and thanks so much for stopping by today.

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Nov 26 2011

Cape San Blas Real Estate Week in Review – Nov. 19-25, 2011

For Sale and Sold SignI hope you had a terrrific Thanksgiving with family and friends. It was a gorgeous day here on the Cape, warm and clear. Lots of people here for the holiday, with this traditionally being when our many absentee owners who rent their homes block this week out for them and their families to use. Seems as if everybody had turkey, football and fishing on their minds rather than real estate as there was very little activity, with no sales though we did manage to serve up two new contracts, four price changes, and one new listing. Accordingly, virtually no change in our inventory, moving down by only one to 387, ending the week with107 homes and 280 lots listed for sale in the Cape San Blas, Indian Summer, and the C-30 Corridor market.

Cape San Blas First Tier Lot Under Contract Nov. 22, 2011 with List Price of $109,000 Both of our two new contracts are on lots, the first being this one-third acre first tier lot on the Cape listed for $109,000. The sellers bought this “X” zone lot in May 2000 for $96,000, and have been trying to sell it since August 2005 when they initally listed it for $750,000. The county has it pegged at $120,000. There are no contingencies to be met so it should close relatively quickly.

Second Tier Lot at Cottages of Indian Summer Under Contract Nov. 22, 2011 with List Price of $27,500 Our second new contract is on this quarter-acre second tier lot nestled among the pines and palms at the Cottages at Indian Summer near Indian Pass along the C-30 Corridor. It goes under contract with a list price of $27,500. The owners have had it since late 2003 when they pcked it up for $50,000. Theystarted tyring to sell it in early 2008 when they listed it for $229,000. The county’s assessment is way above list at $73,600, but they describe it as a first tier rather than a second tier, so that error may be causing the discrepency.

Cape San Blas 1.25 Acre Gulf Front Lot Now Just $225,000 as Short Sale

Can’t really have a “New Listing Pick of the Week” when there’s only one new listing, but from our four price changes I do have a Price Change Pick of the Week. I’m going with this 1.25 acre gulf front lot in Jubilation on the south side of the Cape which was reduced in price from $265,000 to $225,000 as a short sale; that’s well below the county’s assessed value of $315,000. The sellers paid $900,000 for it in late 2004.

That does it for this week. Since this weekend offically kicks off the Christmas shopping season, if you’re considering a place at the beach for that special someone on your list, by all means let me know and I’ll gladly play the part of Santa’s helper to help you find it. You can call me on my cell at 850-227-5197 or text me or send me an email to sherri@sherridodsworth. Have a great week, and thanks so much for stopping by today.

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Dec 05 2009

Cape San Blas Real Estate Week in Review – Nov. 28 – Dec. 4, 2009

Week In Review for Cape San Blas Real Estate MarketI’m hard pressed to believe I was in the Sunshine State this week with all the cold and rain (9 inches on Wednesday alone), but even that wasn’t enough to dampen or chill our red hot market, as we had what is our best week in the past two and a half years, closing eight sales since last Saturday. Even more encouraging is that six of them were lots so land is moving again. I’m also proud to say our office participated in five of the eight sales. Our only new contract is one of those sales, and we have three new listings and nine new price tags. Our inventory is back on the right track again inching downward, coming in at 386, down 2, with 137 houses and 249 lots in the MLS in the Cape San Blas, Indian Pass and C-30 Corridor. We have a lot of territory to cover today so let’s get started.

Cape San Blas Lot at Park point Sold Dec. 3, 2009 for $40,700

We’ll start at the north end of the Cape and work our way southward. First stop is up at Park Point Subdivision alongside the entrance to the state park, where this quarter-acre bank-owned lot listed for $120,000 sold for a Christmas blue-light special of $40,700. Even the county thought it would bring at least $78,500, probably since it sold in late 2003 for $264,000.

Barrier Dunes Cottage Sold Dec. 4, 2009 for $265,000

A few blocks south at Barrier Dunes we have our one new contract and second sale, one of the handful of cottages in the back by the park. A couple of my loyal readers decided it was time for them to have a coastal retreat and so we went shopping for their ideal place. This 3-bedroom, 3-bath, 1,876 square foot cottage with porches upstairs and down wrapping three sides perfectly suited them. Don’t you love the Hemingway-esque Key West look of the white picket fence and palms? The sellers put it on the market only a few weeks ago for $309,000, but soon thereafter wisely moved it below the $300K mark to $299,000. We went under contract last Saturday and closed Friday for $265,000, super close to the assessed value of $239,597. The sellers purchased the home in 1995 for $220,000.

Cape San Blas Gulf & Bay View Lot Sold Dec. 3, 2009 for $58,500

Lots of action this week in Cape Breezes, about a mile south of the state park entrance where we had two sales on side by side bank-owned properties. The first is a nearly half acre lot measuring 100′ by 180′ which will afford both gulf and bay views when built upon. All the lots in this subdivision also come with deeded gulf and bay access. This s a good building site, high and dry even with all the rain we’ve had recently and it’s in the “X” zone. The property last sold in early 2004 for $200,000 and went back on the market two years later with a list price of $425,000. It never sold and eventually went back to the bank who listed it for $64,900, considerably below the county’s assessment of $100,800. Another one of my readers picked it up on Thursday for $58,500.

Bank Owned Cape San Blas House Auctioned Dec. 3, 2009 for $215,050

Our fourth sale next door was a 2-bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 1,644 square foot spec home built in 2005 which the builder was unable to sell. it was listed sale in late 2007 for $549,000, but it, too, eventually went back to the bank. The house went on the auction block a few months ago with a list price of $299,000, well above the county’s assessment of $246,724, but even Kes mis-judged what the market would bear on this one as the winning bid turned out to be a mere $215,050.

Cape San Blas Interior Lot Sold on Dec. 2, 2009 for $50,000

Our very own Mr. $50,000 Lot Guy was a busy man this week as our next two sales clearly show. The first is this corner property on the bay side at Paradise Bay not far from Cape Palms Park. Measuring 96′ by 200′, and also in the “X”zone, it puts you within an easy stroll to either the gulf or bay, and our very popular bike path runs right in front of it. Last sold in August 2006 for $230,000, it was currently listed for $74,000 but not as a short sale, and sold on Wednesday for a cool $50,000. Kes pretty much nailed this one, having it at $56,000.

Cape San Blas Commercial Lot Sold on Dec. 2, 2009 for $50,000

His next successful $50,000 lot sale was this commercial one on the corner of Aruba and Cape San Blas Road about half a mile north of Scallop Cove which was listed for $79,000. Because this parcel was replatted from a larger parcel with a house on it I don’t have any pertinent sales or assessment values to cite.

Cape San Blas Gulf Front Home Sold Dec. 4, 2009 for $460,000

Our seventh sale is the second of our two homes sold this week and it’s a lovely gulf front place located on Clipper Way in Feather Sound Subdivision on the Cape not far from the Tradin’ Post. These buyers got a great buy, too, as they picked up this steal of a deal for only $460,000. This home last sold in early 2004 for $775,000 and was put back on the market in April 2007 for $1.2M. The sellers tweaked it down to its contract list price of $480,000 and that did the trick. Once again, the assessed value was real close, coming in at $455,762.

Indian Pass Gulf to Lagoon Lot Sold Nov. 30, 2009 for $200,000

Our eighth and final sale of the week takes us off the Cape and over to Indian Pass for what I think is the most jaw-dropping deal of all. What a beautiful property this is. It runs from the gulf to the lagoon, roughly a hundred feet wide by 1,089 feet deep, for a total of about 2 1/2 acres. Kes totally missed the call on this one, having it assessed at $601,000. The sellers bought it in ’98 for $200,000, listed it this past September for $495,000, reduced it down to $330,000 and took $200,000 for it on Monday.

Barrier Dunes Townhouse Now Only $159,900

Only two new listings and no real excitement, so I’ll go straight to the Price Change Pick of the Week which goes to this 2-bedroom, 2-bath, 1,172 square foot Barrier Dunes townhouse which was reduced from $184,500 to $159,900. That’s below both it’s current assessment of $222,007 and the $185,000 it sold for in mid-2003. This is located by the park in a natural, peaceful setting.

Lots of good deals out there, folks. I love helping my readers find great properties, so if you’re in the mood for adding some coastal real estate to your Christmas shopping list, give me a call at 850-227-7891 or write me at . Have a terrific weekend, and thanks for stopping by today.

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Sep 12 2009

Cape San Blas Week in Review – Sept. 5-11, 2009

For Sale and Sold Summer may be officially over but luckily our buyers apparently didn’t get that memo as they were still here snapping up great real estate deals. It’s been another good week, with three closings and three new contracts. Only four new listings and eight new price tags. Unfortunately, though, our inventory’s inching back up, adding nine more than last week, ending at 402, with 146 houses and 256 lots listed for sale in the MLS for the Cape San Blas, Indian Pass and C-30 Corridor market.

Gulf Front Lot at Cape San Blas Sold on September 11, 2009 for $400,000 It is a healthy indicator for our market when all three of our sales are lots. They’re all on the Cape, and the first is a gulf front property in Dolphin Beach to Bay subdivision, located about three miles south of the state park. This is 54′ on the gulf, a little over half an acre, and last sold in early 2002 for $390,000. The sellers listed it in January for $549,000, had it down to $439,000 by the time it went under contract, and picked up a check at closing this week for $400,000.

Cape San Blas Gulf View Lot Sold on September 11, 2009 for $139,000

Our second sale is just a few blocks away on Sea Horse Lane not far from The Tradin’ Post. It’s a really nice gulf view lot, good elevation and with awesome views of the beach. It was listed just a few weeks ago for $139,000 and that’s what it closed for on Friday. The sellers had owned it for quite some time so there’s no pertinent sales data on file, just the assessed value of $180,000. Again, price it right and it will sell.

Cape San Blas Lot Sold on September 11, 2009 for $37,500 Our final sale was an interior lot in San Blas Plantation on the south side of the Cape. This roughly quarter acre lot last sold in December 2004 for $240,000 and was put back on the market in early 2006 for $349,000 but never had any takers, and was eventually foreclosed on by the bank. They listed it for $89,900 this past January, have been whittling the price down since then, finally reaching $44,000 in early August, and it closed this week for $37,500. Talk about a comp killer – even the county had it assessed for $124,000. Ouch.

Cape San Blas Gulf Front Home Under Contract September 9, 2009

Our three new contracts include one house and two lots. Let’s start with the house, which is a bank-owned single family fixer upper gulf front home just north of Stumphole. This listing showed up on the MLS late Wednesday for the give-away price of $225,000 and was under contract with no contingencies by Thursday morning with a projected closing date of September 25. This one’s going to be yet another comp killer at this price. It last sold in 2005 for $1.5M so the bank is taking a huge soaking here. Kudos to Kes, though, as the county already had it assessed at $247,630. Real curious to see what it actually closes for.

Indian Pass Gulf Front Lot Under Contract September 8, 2009

Our first lot is also a gulf front, this one over at Indian Pass. It’s not a short sale or foreclosure but you’d think so with a list price of only $269,000 for 61′ on the gulf. It has been in the family for some time so no pertinent sales data is available; I guess they just really want to sell. Since it’s part of a larger parcel the county doesn’t have an assessed value on just this piece.

Cape San Blas Interior Lot Under Contract on September 11, 2009

Our third and final new contract is on an interior lot up in Sunset Pointe at Cape San Blas, adjacent to the state park with a list price of $89,000. This property last sold at the height of the market in mid 2004 for $195,000. They tried to flip it a year later putting it back on the market for $435,000 but by then buyers had disappeared. According to the MLS this is not a short sale requiring lender approval; the sellers are taking the sacrifice here. They have it priced very close to the county’s assessed value of $78,500.

My pick of the week I had lined up from this week’s four new listings has already gone under contract, the gulf front house mentioned above listed for $225,000. I do have a winner, though, among our eight price changes.

Cape San Blas Cottage Now Only $229,000

This comfy cottage at Cape Dunes on the south side of the Cape is priced to sell quickly, with the sellers dropping the price this week from $279,000 to $229,000, real close to the county’s assessed value of $191,286. This is a good deal for a great weekend get away or vacation rental. Here’s of snapshot the beach at Cape Dunes which is only a short stroll out the front door:

The Beach at Cape Dunes on Cape San Blas

This 3-bedroom, 1,259 square foot home built in 2001 has a custom interior by Tiffins Interiors and is being sold completely furnished. It has a large deck overlooking the bay, and an open deck off the living area for sunning. Plenty of parking for several cars and boats, plus a large storage room/workshop space, too.

That does it for this week. I’m working this weekend so if you’d like more info on these or other properties pick up the phone and give me a call: 850-227-7891, or send me an email to . I also got a stack of brand new For Sale signs in this week so if you’re interested in selling, I’m ready. Just let me know. I’d love to be your listing agent.

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Jun 27 2009

Cape San Blas Real Estate Week in Review – Week of June 20-26, 2009

For Sale and Sold Our brisk pace continued this week with buyers stepping up to the plate and writing offers, and we also started to see some making it to closing. Overall a very good week, with three closings, two more contracts, only three new listings, and six price changes. Even our inventory returned to trending in the right direction as we end the week with 404 active MLS listings in the Cape San Blas, Indian Pass and C-30 Corridor market, down 4 from last week, with 160 homes and 244 lots.

Our three closings offer a little bit of everything, with a town house and single family home on the Cape, and a gulf front lot at Indian Pass. We’ll start on the Cape with the townhouse at Barrier Dunes.

Cape San Blas Townhouse at Barrier Dunes Sold June 23, 2009 for $204,500

This is a 2-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath 1,364 square foot interior unit situated on one of the ponds near the back of Barrier Dunes. The sellers bought it from the developer brand new in 2002 for $187,900. They have had it on the market since September when they originally listed it for $284,500 but have had to lower the price incrementally since then, finally reaching $218,00, very close to the county’s assessed value of $221,429, and that did the trick. They went under contract on the first of June and closed Tuesday for $204,500.

Cape San Blas Home in Seagrass Sold June 23, 2009 for $440,000

Next up is another Seagrass sale, this one a 4-bedroom, 3-bath 3,049 square foot spec home which has sat vacant and unsold since it was built in 2006, and which county records indicate the bank took back from the developer last December. The lot alone last sold in July 2005 for $525,000. The home has been on the market since mid-2006 when it debuted at $1.15M and meandered downward from there but never to a price the market would bear. When Bank of America got it they listed it for $512,900, finally got it to $450,900 in late April and closed on Tuesday for $440,000.

Gulf Front Lot at Indian Pass Sold June 24, 2009 for $135,000

Now out to Indian Pass, almost all the way out to the point, where this 50′ wide bank-owned gulf front lot in the St. Vincent Point subdivision sold for – are you sitting down? – $135,000. No typo, folks: $135,000 as in 2,700 per waterfront foot, or about half of what the last bay front lot on the Cape sold for. These buyers got the deal of the year, especially considering it last sold in July 2005 for $735,000! I’m not sure what the appraisers are going to do with this one but it will be interesting to see play out. The county has it assessed at $308,500. This lot has the most amazing views overlooking St. Vincent Island.

Our two new contracts have much in common: they’re both short sales on Cape San Blas first tier lots and went under contract with contingencies on Friday.

Cape San Blas 1st Tier Lot Under Contract Week of June 20-26, 2009

The first is just a bit north of Scallop Cove BP off Tiffany Drive and it has been on the market since October 2005. It’s current list price is $139,000 and from what I can tell from county records it seems to have last sold in mid-2001 for $100,000. I say that because it has been quit-claimed several times since then and it’s a short sale at $139K.

Cape San Blas 1st tier Lot at Seagrass Under Contract Week of June 20-26, 2009 The Seagrass lot has been on the market since January 2008 when it opened with a list price of $325,000. By the time it went under contract this week that was down below the county’s assessed value of $227,500 to $199,000 as a short sale. The sellers purchased it mid-2004 for $345,000.

I’m just not seeing anything gems among our three new listings and six price changes that makes me sit up straight and pay attention so I’m not going to have a pick of the week in either category this week. I’d like to keep these picks truly noteworthy, so I don’t want to feature something just for the sake of having one.

Unlike last week’s marathon this has been a pretty quick ride. I’m enjoying hearing from more and more of you and welcome your comments and excellent input. If I can help you at all with any real estate or area questions or information please call me at 850-227-7891 or send me an email to . I hope to see you back here, and appreciate your stopping by today.

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Jun 10 2009

License Fees Increase in Florida – Deadline to Save Looms

Saw this on the WMBB Twitter feed tonight and thought it important enough to share in case you missed the mention I tweeted several days ago. Could save you big $$ if you have cars/boats/trailers registered in Florida.

06/10/09 – 04:14 PM Allyson Walker – WMBB

You will soon be paying an increase of 100% or more for some fees at the tax collector’s office.

The increases were enacted by the Florida Legislature to put more money in the state’s general revenue fund.

During the last legislative session Governor Charlie Crist signed a bill that increases fees for car tags. Walton County’s Tax Collector is trying to get the word out to residents that if they wait, they may be paying nearly 200% more.

Walton County residents walk into the tax collector’s office today only to get a message they didn’t expect; you better pay now to save later. Deputy Tax Collector Cory Gibson says the State of Florida will get the extra revenue, not the local governments.

Walton County Tax Collectors wanted its residents to know that they can can go ahead and get this year’s rates locked in for two years.

The breakdown of the fee increases shows about a six to twelve dollar increase depending on the size of your vehicle. For title transfers, you could pay two hundred dollars more for your plate, decal, and registration fee. If you’re new to Florida and have to change to a Florida license, you also could pay two hundred dollars more after September 1st.

Cory Gibson said that the only mrevenue the local governments actually make comes from a two dollar and fifty cent transaction fee that hasn’t changed since 1983. So in esssence, all this money is going straight to the State of Florida. Tax collectors all over the state have gathered to voice their concern.

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Jan 03 2009

Cape San Blas Real Estate Market Week in Review – Dec. 27 – Jan. 2, 2009

For Sale and Sold NewI said yesterday in my year end review that I believe 2009 is going to be a better year than ’08, and if the first week is any indication we’re in for a great year. We definitely started off with fireworks, with four sales, one new contract, five new listings and five price changes. Our inventory of MLS listings in the Cape San Blas, Indian Pass, C-30 Corridor took a healthy 4% dip, too, starting off the year at 353, down 14 from 367, with 147 homes (vs. 150) and 206 lots (vs. 217). Lots to cover so let’s get rolling by taking a look at what sold.

The year started off with a bargain hunters bonanza with two homes and two lots all sporting SOLD signs at bargain basement prices. The first home is this 520 square foot 2-bedroom, 1-bath cottage tucked away behind The Tradin’ Post which went under contract back on December 11.

Cottage at Cape San Blas Under Contract Dec. 11, 2008 The sellers picked it up in mid 2005 for $185,000 and put it back on the market just 2 years later in mid-2007 for $199,000 and have been lowering the list price ever since in hopes of attracting a buyer. Finally offering it at $149,000 did the trick; they got an offer and closed this week with a cash deal for $130,000, which is not only a heck of a lot less than they paid for it, but also substantially less than the county’s assessed value of $140,927 which is something we never used to see.

Money Bayou Foreclosure Sold on December 29, 2008

Our second home sale was a foreclosure on a 2-bedroom, 1 1/2 bath 1224 square foot first tier home in Money Bayou with gorgeous views throughout of both the gulf and Money Bayou that we looked at back on the 13th of December. Listed for $375,250, it closed on Tuesday for $311,000, 35% below the county’s assessed value of $480,336. This was the only sale this week with conventional financing; the other three were all cash deals.

Cape San Blas Lot For Only $99,000 Some savvy buyer started the new year off by stealing ths first tier lot on the Cape for only $80,000! This bank-owned property was my October 18 pick-of-the-week when it was listed for a mind-numbing $99,000, almost half of the county’s assessed value of $192,000. Looks like Kes, our property appraiser, has his work cut out for him this spring. The previous owners paid $380,000 for it just three years ago in January 2005.

Lagoon Front Lot on Indian Pass Under Contract Week of Dec. 6-12, 2008Our fourth and final sale of the week came on the market and went under contract the first week of December. It’s a lagoon front property in Mystic Palms subdivision near the point of Indian Pass which was listed for $225,000 and closed on Tuesday for an even $200,000 cash. Just like our other three sales, this, too, is well beneath the county’s assessed value of $250,000.

foo’ Wide Gulf Front Cape San Blas Lot Under Contract Week of Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2009

Our one new contract this week is on a lot that is a rare breed any more, a 200′ wide gulf front parcel on Cape San Blas listed in July for $1.59M, still below the county’s assessed value of $1.7M. The seller has owned it for nearly 25 years so this will be pure profit at almost any price. The annual taxes of $27,737 are probably more than the fellow paid for it back in the early ’80s. There are contingencies to be met on this contract so no closing date disclosed yet.

Treasure Shores Gulf Front Home Offered for Only $799,000

So what bargains are lurking among our five new listings this week? My pick of the week among them goes to this 1,396 square foot, 3-bedroom, 2-bath gulf front home in Treasures Shores which enters the competition with an attractive price tag of $799,000. Until recently that would have been tantamount to offering the 75′ wide gulf front lot at a mouth watering price and then throwing the house in for free. Wouldn’t you love to call this your back yard?

Treasure Shores Boardwalk to the Beach

Here’s what the listing agent has to say:

Just walk into this open, comfortable and very functionally designed home and experience the true feeling of beachfront living on the C-30 and Indian Pass unspoiled shoreline. Exceptional views with an open floor plan and high, 10 foot ceilings designed for the full panoramic experience. Three bedrooms, 2 full baths (both with jacuzzi tubs), wood-burning fireplace, beautiful oak hardwood floors accented with an ocean blue creamic tile in the kitchen and around the fireplace. Partially screened porch highlights the great location, views, natural setting and surroundings. Outdoor shower and boardwalk to the never crowded, wide beach. Large 75′ wide lot with federal flood insurance available. Owner occupied, never rented, house is in great condition.

Ovation Lot Now Only $149,900 We’ve seen a lot of great bargains already this week and we’re just now getting to the five new price changes, where my pick of the week for this category goes to a lot at Ovation on Cape San Blas which comes down 25% (how’s that for an after Christmas sale?) from $199,900 to $149,900. This is in keeping with the spirit of things as that’s well below the tax assessed value of $192,000, and the $235,000 the sellers gave for it in September 2005. At this rate old Kes is going to have to hire a few folks just to keep up with all these changes. According to the MLS, this price includes architectural houseplans by Donofro Architects, the architectural firm who designed Ovation itself.

I think the lesson we’ve learned this week is that if you price it right the buyers will come. As we saw in the year end review yesterday, lots may still be looking for a bottom, but housing just may be on the rebound locally. If you’re thinking of selling or buying, let’s talk. My direct line is 850-227-5197 or shoot me an email to As the owner selling his gulf front parcel purchased in the early ’80s proves, real estate is still your best long term investment. Thanks for stopping by today. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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Feb 20 2008

March 1 Deadline To File For Homestead Exemption

The Tallahassee Tax MachineOn January 29, Floridians went to the polls and voted for a Constitutional Amendment which significantly impacts both homestead and non-homestead properties. I’ve received a lot of questions about these changes, and with the homestead exemption application deadline fast approaching on March 1, I’m reprinting here a well-written set of FAQs on the Amendment compiled by the Florida Association of Realtors to address concerns you may have. For ongoing, up-to-date info, check out the Amendment info page on the Florida Department of Revenue’s website.

Q: When will the changes from Amendment 1 show up on tax bills?

A: For those who are eligible, benefits from portability, the additional homestead exemption and the $25,000 exemption for tangible personal property will show up on 2008 tax bills.

Q: How does a person apply for portability?

A: The homesteaded property owner should turn in a completed application to the office of the property appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located. The application from the Department of Revenue.

Q: Who’s eligible for portability this year?

A: A person who establishes a new Florida homestead for 2008 and filed to give up the previous homestead sometime after Jan. 1, 2007. In other words, a person who relocated from a homestead last year and is claiming a new homestead for 2008 is eligible. The deadline for 2008 homestead and portability applications is March 1. The portability benefit would show up on the 2008 tax bill.

Q: Who’s eligible for portability after that?

A: Any Florida homesteaded property owner who establishes a new homestead for 2009 or any subsequent year as long as the person had another valid homestead within two years of establishing the new one.

Q: How much is the portability benefit worth?

A: A homesteaded property owner can transfer up to $500,000 of portability benefit to a new homestead. A person moving to a more expensive home transfers the dollar amount. A person moving to a less expensive home transfers the percentage value.

Q: I don’t plan to move. What happens to the 3 percent cap on property tax assessments I got every year under Save Our Homes?

A: You’re still protected. Save Our Homes doesn’t go away.

Q: Is there an application for the additional homestead exemption?

A: No. The additional exemption will be granted automatically to anyone qualifying for a base $25,000 homestead exemption. It applies only if a property’s assessed value exceeds $50,000.

Q: How much is the additional exemption?

A: The exemption is $25,000, but it does not apply to property taxes assessed for local schools. In other words, no additional exemption will be applied to a property’s assessed value for the purposes of levying school taxes.

Q: Do business owners and mobile-home owners with tangible personal property have to apply for the exemption?

A: To receive the exemption, they must file their 2008 returns. If the value of tangible personal property is under $25,000, they will not have to file again the following year.

Q: When does the 10 percent cap on annual assessment increases for most non-homesteaded properties go into effect?

A: It goes into effect in 2009. There will also be an application. Keep checking the Department of Revenue web site [ ]for details.

© Copyright 2008 Florida Association of Realtors®

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Nov 01 2007

Shut Up and Pay Your Taxes

Taxpayers Wallets Under Attack . . . AgainWe may pay obscenely high taxes for the privilege of owning property in Gulf County but don’t go thinking you’re entitled to any services in return. That’s the reality of living in a county without at-large voting; we’re held hostage to the whims of five commissioners each protecting and only caring about their own little fiefdom. This is what passes for “government” here. I received the following update from Coastal Community Association (originally formed as Cape San Blas Taxpayers Association) president Pat Hardman this afternoon regarding missing street signs here on the Cape and it just makes my blood boil:

At the County Commission meeting on October 26, the Commission decided to not replace or repair street signs in South Gulf County on private streets. The request and argument for replacement of the signs had been “public safety” for identification of streets for fire and emergency personnel. One Commissioner’s comment was that, if he owned a half million dollar home and he wanted the fire and ambulance to find his house, he would be paying for the sign to be put up himself and not expecting the County to do it after all the cuts they had to make this year to the elderly and poor. Jerry Barnes and Billy Williams spoke in favor of replacing the signs.

Bobby Knee at the Road Department (639-2238) said the sign costs the county $60.00. The County will fix the sign and put it up for the $60.00 when someone on the street calls and obligates for the $60.00.

Owners of homes on these streets may want to call Bobby and have the signs put up. It is a matter of public safety and of emergency and fire personnel finding your home. Remember these are volunteers trying to find unfamiliar locations.

The streets without signs are: (according to the list given to the County) there may be more streets but this is all Bobby has at this time.


Barefoot Trail-No sign at intersection of Barefoot Trail & Canoe Lane
Cottage Lane-No street sign at C30A
Canoe Lane-No sign at the intersection of Barefoot Trail & no sign at the intersection of Treasure Drive

Indian Pass Road

Lagoon Drive-No street sign at the intersection of Painted Pony
Broken Arrow Lane-No street sign at the intersection of Painted Pony
Private road between Reservation Road and Red Bird Lane – not street sign
Majestic Palms Dr – No Street Sign
St Vincent Circle-No Street Sign


Cabana Lane – No street sign
Secluded Dunes – No Street Sign
Summer Breeze – No street sign

Please call Bobby Knee at the Road Department (639-2238) if your sign is on this list and you want to pay to have them have your private road marked for safety purposes.

Patricia Hardman

CCA President

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Oct 23 2007

Florida House Proposes Changes for Property Tax Relief

The Tallahassee Tax MachineOne of the contributing factors stagnating our market is the incredible increase in property taxes in the past few years exacerbated by the inequity in taxes between homestead and non-homestead properties. With the vast majority of our properties having absentee owners, this is a major concern here. On Saturday, October 20, Florida’s House of Representatives released its updated property tax reform plan.

House leaders now hope to build a bipartisan consensus to show the Senate they’re serious about drastically cutting state property taxes. If Democrats and Republicans pass the measure with something close to a majority, they reason, the Senate would have to consider the plan.

In addition to portability – which the governor, Senate and House already advocate – the updated House proposal includes a 5 percent assessment cap on commercial and non-homestead property. The cap applies to properties, not owners, so a change of ownership would not change those taxes under a new owner, giving non-homestead property owners a degree of stability and predictability.

The House also advocates a new homestead exemption. Instead of doubling the current $25,000 exemption, a proposal I have been vehemently against because it’s a proven disaster, the plan would guarantee a minimum Save Our Homes exemption of 40 percent of a county’s median home price. According to a staffer in Jimmy Patronis’ office whom I spoke with, the current figures being used for Gulf County, subject to change of course, would be 40 percent of $138,000 for non-moving, $397,000 for moving, and $428,000 for first time claimants of the homestead exemption. These cuts would provide a net -24.1% change in taxes. House leaders believe this will provide relief to not only new buyers but also those who have purchased in the past few years.

Issues proposed in the House plan include:

  1. Homestead property owners would pay tax based on their existing Save Our Homes value or current value minus 40 percent of their county’s current median home price, whichever is less.
  2. 5 percent cap on commercial and non-homestead property taxes
  3. Under portability, homeowners may transfer Save Our Homes benefits to a new homestead anywhere in Florida within two years of leaving their former homestead.
  4. Tangible personal property exemption of $25,000
  5. Limits the authority of local governments to increase property taxes
  6. Provides limitations on the assessed value of properties used for affordable housing
  7. 5 percent assessment growth limitation for all non-homestead properties
  8. More flexibility for the Legislature to limit assessments for working waterfront properties
  9. Election of all county property appraisers

The House went into session late Monday afternoon for further debate, so I will keep you posted as I hear of updates. If you would like to contact our representative, Jimmy Patronis, his contact info is as follows:

Capitol Office:
1102 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahasse, FL 32399-1300

District Office:
Suite A
455 Harrison Avenue
Panama City, FL 32401-2775

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