Do You Resolve to Spiff Up Your Destin Home in 2020?

Whether you enjoy making New Year’s resolutions or scoff at the idea, there’s something inherently motivating about seeing a fresh page on the calendar. If you don’t want to join the masses who hit the gym or vow to go on a digital diet, you may want to resolve to set some goals on behalf of your home.

Chances are, you spend a lot of time in your Destin Florida area home, so why not make sure it’s as energy-efficient, safe, and comfortable as possible? If you’re a homeowner, making some New Year’s resolutions—and then following through—may pay dividends all year long.

Take a look at four improvements that are easy to implement and won’t break the bank. In fact, some may even put money back in your pocket.

1. Conserve energy

If you’re not quite ready to install solar panels on your roof in Destin or Niceville, you can still save energy (and money) by conducting your own energy audit.

Are lights often left on in rooms nobody is in? Is electricity powering things that aren’t even in use? Commit to turning off lights in rooms you’re not using and unplugging gadgets that aren’t being used or charged. According to Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC.org), Americans waste approximately $19 billion on inactive electronics or devices every year. From your coffee maker to your laptop computer, you may be squandering energy and dollars. Give a quick look around and see where you can conserve and save.

Moving on to larger items, be sure to properly maintain your heating and cooling systems so they’re operating optimally. If you have an older model unit, you may want to consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient system to save money and enjoy a more comfortable environment.

Also, look for leaks around your windows and doors. If you find any, caulk the drafty areas or consider installing new energy-efficient windows and doors, which will help you keep heat or air-conditioning in your home where it belongs.

Installing low-flow showerheads also allows you to cut water costs at the same time you’re conserving this precious resource.

2. Do a safety check

Knowing your Emerald Coast of Florida home is safe and secure offers priceless peace of mind. If you didn’t change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in the fall, now is the time to do it. It’s also worth noting that smoke alarms have a lifespan of seven to 10 years, while carbon monoxide detectors last between five and seven years. If you’ve had yours for longer than these timeframes, it’s wise to replace them as soon as possible.

A seldom discussed, but just as real hazard, is your dryer’s lint trap. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, highly-combustible lint, which builds up in your dryer’s trap, accounts for more than 15,000 building fires per year. So make sure those are cleaned out. I can tell you – this has happened to me!

But, just in case of an emergency, you’ll want to have an escape plan with two exit routes in place. If you haven’t worked those out, make it a priority in the new year.

Do an outdoor inspection and make sure all your stairs and railings are secure. Installing motion-sensing flood lights above your garage or in your backyard can make entering and exiting your home a bit safer for you, while at the same time deterring would-be burglars.

3. Deep clean and declutter

It’s not all about safety and savings, though! Making a resolution to love where you live can make your year more enjoyable, and a good way to do that is to give it a serious cleaning.

You can check this one off your list by simply hiring a house cleaner to do it for you. (I’m a terrible house cleaner, so I hire someone to clean my Bluewater Bay home!) If you want to save the money, however, just pick a room and get going. Work in manageable increments so you don’t feel overwhelmed. If you do, take a break but don’t give up. From washing bedding and windows to deep-cleaning your appliances and even your gutters, you’ll love the results that go hand-in-hand with freshly-scrubbed spaces.

To keep your place spic and span over the course of the entire year, set some small goals that ultimately make a big difference. For example, vow to put away all your clothing at the end of each day, deal with your junk mail the day it arrives, keep an ongoing donation box handy so you’re not holding on to items you no longer need or want.

4. Plan for the coming years

The new year is a great time to take stock of what needs to be fixed or improved in the future for your Destin, Niceville, or Santa Rosa Beach house.

Could you benefit from a landscaping upgrade, new roofing, decking, or patio? How about painting or replacing furniture? If you’re outgrowing your current home, are you considering an addition?

If so, you may not be able to knock all of them off the list in the next year, but just resolving to do them and forming a plan can be worthwhile goal and achievement.

Once you have a list of what you want and need to get done, you can begin budgeting for these. From nice-to-have to the absolute necessities, prioritize your upcoming expenses so you can either start saving or looking into a home equity loan or line of credit.

Are you thinking about moving? If so, you’ll want to tackle those projects a buyer will notice, or a home inspector will surely catch sooner or later, so your home shines and fetches top dollar.

You don’t have to entirely renovate or remodel to enjoy home improvements. Start with these four resolutions, and by the end of the year, your home will be a better place to live.

By the way, if you are thinking of remodeling, let me know if I may suggest upgrades that may get you more return on invest for your Emerald Coast of Florida property!

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-259-0422
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Emerald Grande 4 Bedroom Condo, Destin Harbor, Destin FL 32541

Emerald Grande condo unit W226 is for sale in this iconic Destin Florida condominium project.  It lives like a home with four large bedrooms, four full bathrooms and eye-drawing balcony views of magnificent Destin waterways. Emerald Grande?  See it from the distance as you are driving or flying into town with its architectural uniqueness. It’s the masterpiece of Destin Florida and the landmark hub of the city, situated on Destin Harbor with views of  Crab Island boaters, East Pass, the Gulf of Mexico, the Choctawhatchee Bay and the Destin Bridge.  This splendid four bedroom condo has the high ceilings, crown molding, upscale  furnishings and spacious bedrooms. Upgrades include designed furnishings, custom paint, new balcony furniture and custom window shades.  Enjoy a panoramic view from all windows and balconies that put you in the postcard of sand, emerald blue waters and Destin Florida sunshine. This spacious Emerald Grande condo could be your full-time residence, a second or third home, or your Florida get-away.  Numerous amenities are available for diverse tastes nearby and on site in HarborWalk Village. Find restaurants like the famous McGuire’s Irish PubCrab Island CantinaHarry T’sJimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Jackacudas Seafood Sushi, Coyote Ugly Saloon and more. Shopping? There are numerous specialty shops overlooking the water, galleries, charter fishing boats, private beach, concerts, fireworks and weekly events.  On the same floor of this luxury condo is the fitness center and the Destin Spa at Emerald Grande.  Choose from various pools, bars and nightclubs, or just relax and go to the sugar white beach of East Pass. The lifestyle you imagined is here.  Owning at Emerald Grande means you won’t have to leave, unless you want to.

Watch the virtual tour of 10 Harbor Boulevard Unit W226 at Emerald Grande.

Emerald Grande W226 four bedroom luxury condo is offered for sale for $925,000.00

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-259-0422
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

    

My Latest Review from Lovely Seller Clients – Santa Rosa Beach Florida

“Wendy Rulnick was a real pleasure to work with. When we would send her a text msg we would barely finish sending it when she was already answering. She took our listing and advertised our house on several venues. Places that I didn’t even know about. We ended up getting a full price cash offer without any conditions. As previous Real Estate agents ourselves and authors of the book “The Ultimate New-home buying Guide”, we have been involved in over 200 closings so when we sing praises to Wendy we know what we are talking about. If you want great responsive service from a Real Expert in the Real Estate profession, CALL WENDY YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!!!!”

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-259-0422
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Customer Service – How Important is the Telephone?

We all know that it’s best to return a text with a text, a phone call with a call, and an email with an email. Whichever is your customer’s preferred method of communication is the guide. However, when a request is made for the “dreaded” phone call, to what extent will a business go to avoid it?

I recently represented sellers in a real estate transaction in Destin, Florida.  We sold the house fast and everything went along quite smoothly, until the closing. Ummm, until after the closing, that is.  We closed ahead of schedule. On a Friday. The title agent told my seller their check would be delivered by UPS the next day, which was a Saturday. My sellers were living in an apartment complex and did not want to have a check for a large dollar amount sitting outside their door, so stayed home all Saturday waiting for the delivery. It never came. We left phone messages and emailed three parties at the title agency to ask for a tracking number. Alas, no one got back to us.  It was the weekend, remember.

Monday at 9:30 a.m. I called the title office. They still had not returned the calls or emails from my client or me, stating they had been very busy.  I asked the representative to call my sellers, as they did not check their email much.  She sort of apologized and said she would.  When I checked my computer, there was an email from the representative to the sellers.  She had decided not to call. I then received another email telling me the seller had not understood the delivery schedule. This was addressed to me, not the seller.  The second party at the firm decided not to call my seller, either. Finally, a third representative responded to me by text asking if the issue was taken care of. I explained that it had been, but that my customers were displeased.  Then we were dropped. The property had closed, after all.

What a difference it would have made had anyone called my sellers to personally apologize for any misunderstanding. It’s one thing when a simple clarifying request is made. It’s quite another when displeased customers ask specifically for a phone call, and don’t get it.

Sometimes it’s hard to do what’s right – like facing the client with the “dreaded” phone call. But to hear a human voice at the end of the line, talking from the heart, apologizing if necessary, is the difference between stellar performance and just getting by.

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-259-0422
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

 

Turn Over a Sale? Do the Right Thing in Real Estate (and in Life!)

A few days ago I got a phone call from an old client.  He asked me to research a property for sale for him and the adjoining parcel, checking the zoning and sales history.  I did some preliminary investigation and discussed my findings, when he told me he actually had written an offer on this property a month ago with another agent – a friend of his.  I told him he should stick with that agent if he wanted to resubmit an offer. It was the right thing to do. He reluctantly agreed, as he felt the agent was “too busy” for him.  I followed up the next day and he was taking my advice and sticking with that agent.

Would most real estate salespeople have done this? I doubt it.

Here’s another example. I received a phone call from a buyer interested in seeing one of my listings in Santa Rosa Beach.  Quickly in the conversation, he mentioned he had looked at other houses in the area. I asked if he had an “agent”. He said he did not, but that so-and-so had shown him several houses as recently as the day before. I told him to call her. He was surprised, and protested at first, but said he would. I called the agent myself to let her know. She was in shock. She said she had tried to teach the buyer client about loyalty, but he didn’t get it. You see, she would not have been paid for her time had he purchased a home from somebody else.  Realtors work on commission.  The agent told me most agents would not have returned the customer and that she would never forget it.  She said most agents would jump at the chance to show their own listing and disregard the buyer’s previous business relationship.

Being fair, being ethical, that’s more important than making a dollar. It’s called doing the right thing.

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-259-0422
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

4 Bedroom Pool Home in Raintree Estates, 1250 Shipley Dr., Niceville FL

1250 Shipley Drive, a pool home in Raintree Estates, Niceville, Florida is now offered for sale.

Finally, the stunning home on a large corner lot that everyone notices driving by is on the market. Grand spaces offer living options for large families and flowing parties in this elegant Raintree Estates home. Over 3400 square feet, two living rooms and two dining rooms underscore its size.  The kitchen features a large granite slab center island, rows of cabinets and huge walk-in pantry.  There is a first floor office and first floor master suite with separate sitting room. Adjacent to the formal living room, double doors open to a family room.  There is a wetbar and pool table (included). The in-ground pool has substantial surrounding deck areas with plentiful seating.  There is a hot tub, gas grill, fun cabana space and room for multiple furniture arrangements. Three bedrooms and bath are on the second floor with loft area. Highlights of this home’s design include columns, a curved staircase and architecturally interesting detail inside and out. Situated on a corner lot, there is a three car side-entry garage.

Raintree Estates voluntary association provides access to the neighborhood beach and Woods Parks. One of the parks is by the water with a dock into Grass Lake and the Choctawhatchee Bay. The interior park has a baseball field and soccer goal. Destin Florida beaches are minutes away as is Eglin Air Force Base.

See the virtual tour.

    

1250 Shipley Drive is offered for $567,500.

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-259-0422
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

 

Current Most Overused Real Estate Ad Terms on the Emerald Coast

Did you know that Realtors often advertise their listings to each other? Here on the Emerald Coast of Florida, the most overused and trendy terms for agent-to-agent advertising are:

  1. Price improvement (as opposed to price reduction)
  2. Easy Show (this term has been used for years – oftentimes the property is not easy to show)
  3. Compelling Price, New Compelling Price (this is no longer a unique term, and I am not compelled)
  4. Seller is Highly Motivated (did you know you cannot say that without the seller’s permission?)
  5. Impeccable
  6. Impressive
  7. Discerning buyer
  8. You won’t want to miss this
  9. Exceptional
  10. Click Here! (What, are you trying to capture my email address?)

If you are thinking about listing your Emerald Coast real estate, look for someone with creativity to market your property.

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-259-0422
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

312 Pin Oak Lp., Driftwood Estates, 4 Bedroom, Santa Rosa Beach FL

312 Pin Oak Loop, Driftwood Estates, Santa Rosa Beach Florida is sparkling clean with pristine paint and flooring. This four bedroom home has granite counters, cathedral and trey ceilings, recessed lighting, raised panel doors, brushed nickel hardware and more. The brick elegant exterior is refined and highlighted by a covered patio. The pond setting is relaxing – you’ll see diving osprey! Landscaped to attract butterflies and birds, there is also a new sprinkler system and lawn pump. The closets are oversized, the master bedroom has a huge walk-in.  The master bedroom is on the water side, wake up and soak in a fresh day. The master bathroom is luxurious. The kitchen has a plethora of cabinets and granite counters and offers water views. There is a laundry room adjacent, the washer and dryer are included. The neighborhood of Driftwood Estates has a community pool, playground and fishing.  Nearby, shop and dine at Grand Boulevard, Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin, Silver Sands outlets and Destin Commons.  There are medical facilities at Sacred Heart Hospital, five minutes away on Mack Bayou Road. The beaches of South Walton are close by, as are rare coastal dune lakes, Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, bike trails and the uniqueness of 30-A.

Virtual tour.

312 Pin Oak Loop, Driftwood Estates, Santa Rosa Beach Florida is offered for $312,900.

Want to get qualified? Want to see it?

Call Wendy Rulnick 850-259-0422.

 

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-259-0422
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Offering on a House? How to Lose!

It’s a seller’s market on the Emerald Coast of Florida.  Real estate agents will tell you they cannot find inventory for their buyers! There are way more buyers than sellers and properties are selling almost instantly.

Instead of telling you how to WIN the house – I am going to tell you how to LOSE.  Use some of the following techniques and be sure to not get your contract accepted:

  1. Don’t have a pre-approval or proof of funds letter.  Let the seller and her agent guess if you are qualified, because you told your agent you were.
  2. Don’t offer full price or MORE.  Offer low. The seller will counter-offer yours because they don’t have other offers OVER asking (NOT!)
  3. Don’t put down a reasonable amount for earnest money. Show them how un-serious you are.
  4. Don’t use an “as is” contract.  Ask for the full repair limit, yeah – that will make you competitive.
  5. Don’t ask seller to pay only their own closing costs.  Ask them to pay everything for you. They are desperate to sell, right?

I hope you understand my sarcasm. If you are serious about buying a house or condo in Destin or the surrounding towns, don’t fiddle around.  You will likely have ONE SHOT at getting your offer accepted.  Make it strong.

 

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-259-0422
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Free Market Analysis – Emerald Coast Florida Real Estate

Do you want to know what your property is worth?

SPECIAL OFFER! Free Market Analysis for properties on the Emerald Coast of Florida for the following towns and areas: Destin, Miramar Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Niceville, Crestview, 30A, Sandestin, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Holley by the Sea.

Contact me for a custom analysis of your property value, including lots, houses, townhouses and condos. In addition, I will answer your questions on property improvement to let you know what upgrades may get you a better value, or suggestions to get your property ready to list. There is no obligation.

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-259-0422
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com