3 Acre Waterfront Lot -Sunset Point Rd. Vernon – Point Washington Area, Walton County Florida

3.8 Acre Waterfront Lot (#19, 20, 21) Sunset Point Rd. Vernon, Florida, Walton County now available for purchase.

For the daring water seeker, the maverick dreamer wanting solitude.

This approximately three acre waterfront lot is in the little known region of the Emerald Coast of Florida in Walton County opposite Point Washington, known as Sunset Point. This breathtaking waterfront parcel sits on the corner of Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

Find wide open vistas of the bay with long, stunning sunset views reflected for miles.  Few neighbors will you see, except for wild flora and fauna, jumping fish, and passing sail boats.

 

The creative new owner of this untamed land can maximize its remote nature and privacy to make wishes reality.

As development in Northwest Florida fingers out more and more, finding a lot of this size, yet within reach to the area’s rich offerings will be a captivating opportunity for an ambitious owner. Could you build a retreat, a cabin, a cottage or a substantial domicile?

To reach the lot, prepare to go through some miles of unpaved road, and walk the trail via easement to the thickly treed property.

 

Imagine, dream, be.

Lots 19, 20, 21 Sunset Point Rd., Walton County Florida offered for sale for $99,900.

Buyer to do own due diligence, wetland study, and building investigations. Lot size is from public records, but with the passage of time, wave motion has likely worn down the shoreline from its original platted size.

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

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

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

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Picky Agent Saves Buyer Money – Okaloosa Island – Destin, FL

 

They say salespeople are not detail oriented. Well, they should be. My picky OCD personality has helped me market, sell, and close many Emerald Coast of Florida properties over the years.  Being picky helps the client.  Correct representation is imperative. Details can be dollars.

Just recently, this picky agent sold a waterfront condo on Okaloosa Island with a boat slip.  Having sold two in the past few months made me dig further when the listing agent said he didn’t know anything about a boat slip transfer fee.   I was concerned, because I knew that there were boat slip transfer fees payable to the Florida DEP upon sale of a property.  I wanted to tell my buyer what this fee would be.  (Calculated at $1,000 x linear foot of the slip x 6% + 7% sales tax ).

The association management company researched the Okaloosa Island condo I was now selling. They said no transfer fee was due on that one, because it was a Florida homestead property, which is a primary residence. I asked for their reference document so I would have it for future use.

I let the title agent know there should be no fee charged to my buyer in this case.

Closing time came.  I had to review the preliminary settlement statement, also called a “Closing Disclosure” or “CD”. Well, gosh, there was the boat transfer fee in the amount of $1600, charged to my buyers! This wasn’t correct.

I notified the title agent and provided my documentation. She said the association manager had given her the figures with their estoppel letter. Hold on there.

I contacted the association manager to remind them that there was no boat slip transfer fee because it was a homestead property.  They corrected their estoppel letter, the title agent fixed the settlement statement, and the fee was removed.

No one had noticed. Not the lender, not the title agent, and not the very association management company who provided the original information.

If the transfer fee of $1600 had been collected and paid to the State of Florida, I doubt someone would have researched it after the fact to recognize this was a homestead property, and that no fee should have been paid. No one would have refunded that money to my buyers.

That is, if no one had noticed. This picky agent did.

 

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

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

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

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Florida Real Estate Contract – Important Appraisal Deadline Change

 

The Florida Realtors/Florida BAR contract for sale and purchase of real estate will change effective November 1.   Important updates to the financing clause addressing appraisals may affect you. Now, the mortgage approval deadline will also include the receipt of a satisfactory appraisal. The previous version of the contract did not have an appraisal deadline.

BACKGROUND:

Appraisals have been backlogged in the busy Destin, Florida real estate market, and all over Florida for the past year. Appraisals, or alternate valuations (for example, “desktop” appraisals, appraiser-assisted, or AVM “automated valuation models”) are part of the mortgage loan process, and how a lender vets a property they are lending on. Appraisals can take two to three weeks, and many assignments are turned down by appraisers due to the increased volume of orders for new purchases and refinance loans.

Appraisals are often paid out-of-pocket by the buyer at the time of the order. This could be between $450 and $2000 or more depending on the house.  Some buyers, upon advice from their agent, delayed having their lender order the appraisal until the home inspection was complete – which could take up to two weeks.  That’s because if they cancelled the contract due to inspection, they would save the appraisal expense.

On the other hand, if they ordered the appraisal right away, then cancelled afterwards due to inspection, they’d be out that money. (With the new Florida contract, that sneaky tactic is about to hit a road block.)

Since the previous version of the Florida FR/BAR contract had NO appraisal deadline, it could be done by day of closing.  If there was a problem with the property under-appraising for lender needs, the entire sale could be threatened. That’s no fun for a seller who just moved a house full of furniture, or a buyer whose lease is about to run out.  As appraisals have become more backlogged, the last-minute appraisal situation has become worse.

Florida Realtors’ solution is to have a date-certain by which the appraisal is complete. That date is the same as the loan approval deadline. You must specify the deadline in the contract, or it becomes the default time period – 30 calendar days (extended to the next calendar day if the time period ends on a Saturday, Sunday, or national legal holiday.)

If the finance and appraisal deadline passes, and there is no extension requested, the buyer can lose his deposit if he fails to close. 

So, what can you do about this new deadline to minimize your risk of losing your deposit?

  1. Ask your lender to order the appraisal right away.
  2. Find out when the due date is for the appraisal.
  3. Find out when your lender expects mortgage approval.
  4. Use the later date of the two, based on your consultations with your lender, in the contract paragraph 8b.
  5. Ask for an extension should your approval deadline be in jeapardy.

More questions?

 

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

 

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

Consult with your attorney for legal advice.

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

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SOLD! Two Condos – Palm Court Yacht Club, Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

Just sold! Two condos in Palm Court Yacht Club – Unit 208 and another unit (to be named upon closing) on the penthouse level at 321 Bream Ave, Okaloosa Island, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida!

Palm Court Yacht Club is a little known waterfront condo complex on Okaloosa Island.

To get there, you must drive by the quintessential older buildings on Bluefish Dr. and Barracuda Ave. Prepare to be surprised when you see the more modern Palm Court Yacht Club at the end of the street at 321 Bream Ave., directly on the Santa Rosa Sound.  I didn’t even know it was there, and neither did my clients, long time residents of Fort Walton Beach.

My buyers purchased two units in this complex, which is a prize catch! All the condos in Palm Court Yacht Club have boat slips. They are of various sizes and locations, so trading and cross-purchasing boat slips is common among the owners.

The views of Santa Rosa Sound and the warm, salty breezes from the balcony are swoon-worthy. Watch the Brooks Bridge and boat traffic, with a constant parade of interesting sea vessels. Many of the units in the complex have been updated, as were the two condos I sold.

The fun feature of Palm Court Yacht Club on Okaloosa Island is the owners coded gate that goes directly to the walkway to the beach! This is a secret entrance located on the “1st Beach Freeway” to the Gulf of Mexico Beach across the street. (If you want to buy a condo there, I’ll show you where it is!)

Palm Court Yacht Club has two secure entrance gates.   There is assigned, covered parking below, and open guest parking on the second level. The penthouse units come with two assigned parking spots.

Palm Court Yacht Club has locked access to its private boardwalk with boat slips. There are two elevators.

 

Walk to two local institutions for fresh fish – Stewby’s Seafood Shanty and A.J.’s Oyster Shanty

The prices for these Palm Court Yacht Club condos on Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, Florida are in the $450,000 range.

Search all Palm Court Yacht Club condos for sale.

Search all Okaloosa Island condos for sale.

Search all Okaloosa Island homes for sale.

 

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

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

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

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It’s SOLD! Case Study: Emerald Grande W226, Destin, Florida 32541

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold! Unit W226, Emerald Grande condo, 10 Harbor Blvd., Destin, Florida 32541

This Emerald Grande four bedroom condo in the corner stack had a tremendous view of Destin Harbor, the Choctawhatchee Bay, Crab Island, and the Gulf of Mexico.  Although the floor number is “2”, this condo was actually seven floors above ground level, so not too high, and not too low, offering a view that’s “just right”.  Soothingly updated with new furnishings, and well maintained, this Emerald Grande unit garnered a lot of attention during the Destin, Florida selling season.  A few years ago, Emerald Grande did not generate many sales, but this year was different.

Sales Factors for Emerald Grande W226 

This Destin luxury condo was listed for $925,000.

The buyer offered full price.

Surprisingly, the seller offered to reduce the sales price in exchange for several weeks of future rental bookings, which he valued at $6000.

The buyer agreed, and the sales price was reduced to $919,000. (Find out more about how sales factors make a difference)

The Emerald Grande complex is difficult to finance. The buyer went to two lenders and settled on Renasant Bank. (Read about Emerald Grande financing challenges).

Next problem – the unit underappraised!  Since there had been no recent four bedroom condo sales in Emerald Grande, it appraised for $850,000.  That’s $70,000 under contract price.

The buyer chose to go forward with the purchase anyway, seeing the value, and the still rising market in Destin, Florida.

It’s SOLD! Emerald Grande W226 sold for $919,000.

Search all Emerald Grande condos for sale.


It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

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

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

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83 Earl Rd. – Acre Lot – Waterfront – Lake Powell Coastal Dune Lake, Inlet Beach FL 32461

Just Listed – Lot 17, 83 Earl Rd., Inlet Beach, Florida 32461

To find a lot of this magnitude in South Walton, less than a mile from the Gulf of Mexico, located directly on Lake Powell, at almost an full acre – is unheard of.

Offered now for sale for those seeking privacy, yet moments from the exciting vibe of the uber lifestyle of 30A and the beach.

Imagine living on Lake Powell, one of the few coastal dune lakes in the entire world. Imagine living under a magical canopy of grand, mature trees. Imagine living less than a mile from the white sands of the Gulf of Mexico. Imagine all this on almost a full acre of land. In South Walton, you will not find another lot of this size, beauty and location.

The lot, at .94 acres is approximately 82 x 484.   The property has public water, and public sewer is available.  The road is gravel and maintained by Walton County.  Located in a Coastal Dune Lake Protection Zone, there are building requirements to respect the environment.

From the lot, fish in the rare ecosystem of Lake Powell, the largest coastal dune lake in Florida and North America. The combination of salt and freshwater offers a wide variety of fish. Paddle board, kayak or boat through Lake Powell’s outfall, which is a channel that flows directly to the Gulf of Mexico.

Moments away, find the top echelon of dining and shopping on 30A. The new Inlet Beach Pedestrian Underpass will be completed in 2022, a few minute walk from the property.  Camp Helen State Park, a historic site, is around the bend off Highway 98.  A major airport in Panama City Beach is within reach.

This is an unrivaled setting to create the home of your imagination. This is the opportunity of dreams.

83 Earl Rd., Inlet Beach, Florida is offered for $899,000.

UPDATE: This lot is now under contract!

 


It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

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

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

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SOLD! Lot 8 Euvino Way, Church Street Landing, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459

SOLD! A new home on Lot 8 Euvino Way, Church Street Landing, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459.

This is a new construction home that will be built similar to the photo.  My buyers were impressed with the quality offered by Martelle Builders when they previewed this home in the Ivy subdivision, Inlet Beach, Florida.

The builder representative, Logan Horne, made the whole process a delight. Logan offered to meet with my clients while our area was hit with the fringes of Hurricane Ida.  Afterward, Logan graciously came to my office, toting her laptop and contract paperwork.  She told me she would be brief, and one hour later, we had a signed contract and happy buyer.

The Ruth model is about 1800 square feet, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and a base price below $500,000.  This home will be built in the new Church Street Landing subdivision off Church St. on Euvino Way in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. The lot backs up to woodlands.  The Gulf of Mexico is 2.8 miles away directly down Scenic 393 on Scenic 30A, at the Ed Walline Beach Access.  Adjacent is Gulf Place Town Center with dining, shopping, artists, and vibrant concerts.

The first steps and selections of colors and upgrades are complete. We will be getting weekly updates about the progress of construction from the builder.

Stay tuned for new photos as the plans become reality.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for a new construction home in Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, or the surrounding towns on the Emerald Coast of Florida, give me a call.

Search New Construction Homes for Sale – Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

 

 

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

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

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

Parlo italiano.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

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

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

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JUST SOLD – 167 Starlight Ln., West Hewett Rd., Santa Rosa Beach FL 32459

JUST SOLD – 167 Starlight Ln., West Hewett Rd., Santa Rosa Beach FL 32459

Case Study:

The home at 167 Starlight Ln. was in excellent condition. Features included trendy décor, bamboo floors, upscale light fixtures, and substantial outdoor living areas.  The Florida room was 30 x 15, with wood ceilings, screens, shades, ceiling fans and an outdoor fireplace.

The price point was going to be attractive for Santa Rosa Beach, because the property was a manufactured home. That would place it on the more reasonable end of available offerings and likely contribute to a faster sale.

Marketing Challenges:

The property was located on a dirt portion of a road off West Hewett.  The lot for the subject property began just after the paved road ended.  It was red clay and in bad condition, with a few large pot holes you had to maneuver your car around. It was a mess.  I called Walton County and confirmed that the portion of the road where this property began was not county maintained.

I emphasized to the seller that the property would be more marketable, i.e. we could head off objections about the road, if it were smoothed out and the holes filled in. This was not an easy task, as my seller contacted numerous contractors and everyone was backed up. I researched what could be done and found out that Walton County has a “Pay to Grade” program offered by Public Works.  With “Pay to Grade”, a road that’s not county maintained can be graded for $50 per half-hour. The property owner had to supply the dirt.

This process of fixing the road took two months due to contractor delays, but only cost few hundred dollars. I feel the work probably reaped the seller an 8-10% higher sales price.

Comparable Sales: The best comparables were sales of about $250,000.  Given that those sales were a couple of months old, we were initially going to price around $289,000.  The delay in putting the home on the market to re-surface the dirt road was serendipitous, though, because prices had gone up further.  We listed for $299,000.

The property sold in one day with a cash, “as is” offer for $295,000.

 

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

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

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

Parlo italiano.

Selling a Lot in Walton County Florida is More Than Sticking A Sign In The Ground

I’m about to list a waterfront lot in Walton County, Florida.  It’s on a rare Coastal Dune Lake.  (Whenever you speak of “Coastal Dune Lake” in Florida, the word “rare” usually accompanies it.)  Yesterday, I walked the lot for the first time. The sellers are not local, so I went by myself, a bit furtively, so the neighbors would not think anything was amiss.  It was breathtaking strolling down to the water’s edge.  There were mature trees and cleared underbrush.  I could see someone loving this setting for their new home.

Now my research begins on price and preparation for putting the lot on the market.  Here are some of the steps involved:

  • What is the lot size? Does seller have a survey? YES!
  • What marks the lot boundaries? A certain tree? An iron pin? A fence?
  • Who maintains the road? This particular road is not paved. Do the owners have a road maintenance agreement, does no one maintain it (this happens in Florida), or does Walton County? Walton County has a link on their website that shows publicly maintained streets. When in doubt, call Walton County Public Works.

  • Is public water or sewer available and hooked up? If not, what would be the cost to hook up? These are called “tap” fees.
  • Is there an existing septic tank and well? If so, where are they located?
  • There’s an old mobile home on the lot. Will the sellers be removing it prior to the sale?
  • Are there wetlands on the property? Better yet, does the seller have a wetlands or environmental study? Preliminary wetlands research can be done on the Walton County GIS website.

  • What is the zoning for the property? Is it subdividable? You can also find out on the Walton County GIS website.
  • What is the FEMA flood zone of the property?
  • Is the property in a Coastal Dune Lake Protection Zone? If so, what are the building restrictions?
  • Is there a Homeowners Association? What are the costs? Is membership in the association required or voluntary? If there is an HOA, what are the rules and regulations?
  • Are there covenants and restrictions? Ask the seller, check public records on Walton County Clerk of Courts, or ask the existing HOA.

  • Who owns the property on either side of the lot? Is it improved, that is, with a house or structure on it, or is it “green space”?
  • Who owns the property across the lake on the other side? There appear to be only trees, but could this be developed? (A buyer might ask).
  • What are the nearby amenities, public parks, beach accesses, and future plans?

This is just the beginning of my research for my Walton County, Florida, lot seller. With these answers, the listing will be properly prepared for its introduction to the market. Then I won’t have to sneak around!

 

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

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

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

Parlo italiano.

New Construction Escalation Clause, Explained – Destin, FL

Having recently sold a new construction home in Destin, Florida, I was not surprised to review the builder contract and find an “Escalation Clause for Specified Building Materials”.  My buyer client had not read the contract carefully, and as we sat with the builder to finalize the sale, I brought it up.

What is this new construction cost escalation clause, and why is it used?

Building construction material costs have been rising for more than a year, since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.  Lumber and steel production declined and housing demand increased. Home remodeling projects skyrocketed from people working from home. These factors, as well as tariffs on imports and labor costs, caused the price of lumber and other construction materials to rapidly increase.

Overall:

Building materials prices have increased 22.5% year-over-year.

Steel products costs are up 59% in 2021

Softwood lumber prices are up 81% 

The cost of a new home has increased on average by $30,000 due to the price of lumber alone.

Since construction materials prices are considered “volatile”, builders are adding clauses to their contracts to cover unexpected price increases during construction.  This is called the “Escalation Clause for Specified Building Materials”, or a version thereof.  So, instead of being locked into the contract price for a new home, and stuck with the extra and unknown materials cost increase, the risk is being passed along to the buyer, or partially shared by the builder. It’s being used in about 47% of new construction contracts.

In the case of my recent Destin new construction sale, the buyer would be obligated to pay up to 4% more for construction materials, should their cost increase by more than 6%. The initial cost increase of 6% would be paid by the builder. If the cost of the materials went up more than 10%, the buyer could pay the overage or terminate the contract.  He would, however, lose his deposit. (Why? Because the builder will have already incurred costs in construction on buyer’s behalf, including and considering the builder’s time, design fees, permitting, lot preparation, paying subcontractors, and more.)

Variations to the Escalation Clause for Specified Building Materials include using a percentage increase of the overall base price of the home as a benchmark, or, as mentioned, using specified building materials cost increases. These extra fees may be paid at the time of the materials purchase or when the home is complete, and the sale closes.

You should read your new construction contract carefully to find out if you will be responsible for paying materials cost increases, at what limit, what happens if the limit is exceeded, and when payment will be due.

 

 

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

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

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

Parlo italiano.