Emerald Coast of Florida Real Estate Market – Pending Sales Increase

Real estate pending sales on the Emerald Coast of Florida in May are returning to the start of March levels, after an early April plummet. Looking at the entire region, including Navarre, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30-A, Miramar Beach, Freeport, Crestview, Niceville, Freeport and DeFuniak Springs, pending sales of real estate were almost 96% of the earlier March count. Pending sales are a good indicator of the current pulse of the market, compared to closed sales (solds), which show the result of activities a month or more old.  Pending sales track where the market is going.

Here is a recap of the Emerald Coast pending real estate market statistics for May 1- May 15, 2020, as compared to March 1 – March 15:

Properties going under contract decreased from 790 units to 755 total units.

That’s 96% of  of the previous number of houses, condos, town homes, lots and commercial properties going under contract. It’s a great sign of buyer interest.

Destin Pending Sales increased from 51 to 64  ( +25%).

Miramar Beach Pending Sales dropped from  67 to 45  (- 33%).

Niceville Pending Sales increased from 57 to 61  ( + 1%).

Fort Walton Beach Pending Sales dropped from 123 to 108 ( – 12%).

Santa Rosa Beach, North of Hwy 98, Pending Sales dropped from 37 to 26 (- 30%).

30-A Santa Rosa Beach, South of Hwy 98 Pending Sales increased from 102 to 107 (+5%).

Crestview Pending Sales increased from 120 to 128 (+7%).

Navarre Florida Pending Sales dropped from 131 to 115 (- 12%).

The Coronavirus economic effect has impacted local real estate sales, but since the Florida re-opening began on May 4, the number of sales have continued to grow. Check back here for future analyses of the Emerald Coast of Florida real estate market.

If you find that during or after the COVID-19 crisis, you must sell your Emerald Coast real estate, consider your options. Let me know if you have any questions about real estate, whether traditional or short 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, sells short sale, pre-foreclosure, REO and traditional real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Growling Dogs, Mops, and Calm, Assertive Energy

 

The dogs were growling behind the chain link fence, pulling right up to the wire, low and threatening.  They were gathered together, two or three of them, their heads perched over the top, staring at me.  I don’t know what kind of dogs they were, mostly black with light brown splotches, and large.  I had parked the car across the street on the side of the road, in front of the house I was going to inspect. It was vacant, a short sale property I had just listed in Crestview, Florida. The driveway was steep, so I didn’t want to pull up to the garage.  That would have been safer. Nor did I want to turn around and go back home, I had come all this way.

After I made the decision to go in, I got out of the car and did not look back at the dogs. I walked directly up to the front door. Trying to act confident with my body language. Petrified. There was an electronic lock, a tricky lock, called a KABA.  I’m usually not successful the first time I attempt to open one, so I was panicked. I had the code and was shaking, praying that it would open, as I heard the dogs growling in the background.  I got inside, wondering how I would leave. First things first.  I looked around the house and took notes.  It was empty except for some things left on the counters by the tenants, and a few cleaning items.  I couldn’t tell if anyone was coming back.  I finished up quickly.

Then I called my husband (like what could he do? He was at work!).  I told him I was really scared and did not know how I would get back to my car with those dogs acting like they wanted to attack me.  He told me to find something like a stick, so I would look bigger to the dogs. Ok, there was no way I was going outside the house to look for a stick! I thought of the mop that I saw inside the house.

I took the mop, and a deep breath, and strode decidedly to my car.  Not too fast, but not slow. I was trembling inside, holding my body straight with the mop at the ready.  I got in the car and slammed the door, the whole time imagining the dogs making it through the crack of the door and getting to me! Then for some dumb reason which I cannot explain, I threw the mop out the passenger window onto the yard! (If anyone came back to the house, they would surely wonder about that.)

Sweaty and victorious, with my heart still pounding, I drove off to get a Starbucks!

What can you do if you are in a similar situation, with growling dogs threatening you?  Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer, states in “What to do When Dogs Attack”: “Once you have successfully used calm assertive energy to keep that dog back, claim your own space. If you happen to be carrying anything in your hands, like a cane or an umbrella, place it out in front of yourself to appear bigger and be more in command of your space.”   Or, better yet, leave!

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 short sale, pre-foreclosure, REO and traditional real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

How a little bird told me to change my perspective

Day after day, year after year, I have been sitting at my computer, lost in a world of google searches, websites, email checking and other automatic behaviors. Caught in the minutia of the daily routine. Doing the same thing every day. As if by rote, life passing by.

After the pandemic hit, things changed. Like, working from home. Spending weekdays with my husband.  And of course, exercising at home.  This was all different.

Then, the bird came.

I was working out on my total gym in a little used bedroom. It is normally locked to keep the cats out, in pristine condition, reserved for the once-every-two-year visit from my brother.  But now, the room’s use was changed.  We had moved the work-out machine into it, along with some old dumbbells we had in the garage.  That morning, I opened the blinds so I could see out the window and started my cable pulls, when my eye caught a blue spark flitting on the ground. No, could it be? My husband had said that he thought he saw the elusive bird a few days prior, but I had doubted him. After all, I was the true birder in the family, even though he had caught on well after being married to me.

But, there it was. An Indigo Bunting. As a birder would know, joy leapt, and I ran for the binoculars.  The bird was hopping around on the ground underneath our feeder. It was a place we rarely saw, because we have a low brick wall blocking that perspective from our normal bird-watching spot in the sunroom. It had been seven years since I last saw an Indigo Bunting (I keep a journal). They are dazzling birds.  They are an Atlantic Ocean blue. They are also hunted and caught in Central America for their beauty.

For the next week, I pulled chairs into a new location in front of the window (one for me, and two for my cats, plus my husband when he gets home). After work, I wait for the Indigo Bunting to come back.  I saw it one more time.

This little story made me think. Maybe, if we keep doing the same thing we’ve always done, we will never see what else there is, or what else can be. If I hadn’t been working out at home, looking out a different window, I would have never seen that bird. With the same perspective, we always see the same thing, but maybe there is something more.

 

Wendy Rulnick

Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!
850-259-0422 | itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells short sale, pre-foreclosure, REO and traditional real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Economists Discuss Covid-19 and the Housing Market – Destin FL

Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis

Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis | MyKCM

In times of uncertainty, one of the best things we can do to ease our fears is to educate ourselves with research, facts, and data. Digging into past experiences by reviewing historical trends and understanding the peaks and valleys of what’s come before us is one of the many ways we can confidently evaluate any situation. With concerns of a global recession on everyone’s minds today, it’s important to take an objective look at what has transpired over the years and how the housing market has successfully weathered these storms.

1. The Market Today Is Vastly Different from 2008

We all remember 2008. This is not 2008. Today’s market conditions are far from the time when housing was a key factor that triggered a recession. From easy-to-access mortgages to skyrocketing home price appreciation, a surplus of inventory, excessive equity-tapping, and more – we’re not where we were 12 years ago. None of those factors are in play today. Rest assured, housing is not a catalyst that could spiral us back to that time or place.

According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com, if there is a recession:

“It will be different than the Great Recession. Things unraveled pretty quickly, and then the recovery was pretty slow. I would expect this to be milder. There’s no dysfunction in the banking system, we don’t have many households who are overleveraged with their mortgage payments and are potentially in trouble.”

In addition, the Goldman Sachs GDP Forecast released this week indicates that although there is no growth anticipated immediately, gains are forecasted heading into the second half of this year and getting even stronger in early 2021.Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis | MyKCMBoth of these expert sources indicate this is a momentary event in time, not a collapse of the financial industry. It is a drop that will rebound quickly, a stark difference to the crash of 2008 that failed to get back to a sense of normal for almost four years. Although it poses plenty of near-term financial challenges, a potential recession this year is not a repeat of the long-term housing market crash we remember all too well.

2. A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

Next, take a look at the past five recessions in U.S. history. Home values actually appreciated in three of them. It is true that they sank by almost 20% during the last recession, but as we’ve identified above, 2008 presented different circumstances. In the four previous recessions, home values depreciated only once (by less than 2%). In the other three, residential real estate values increased by 3.5%, 6.1%, and 6.6% (see below):Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis | MyKCM

3. We Can Be Confident About What We Know

Concerns about the global impact COVID-19 will have on the economy are real. And they’re scary, as the health and wellness of our friends, families, and loved ones are high on everyone’s emotional radar.

According to Bloomberg,

“Several economists made clear that the extent of the economic wreckage will depend on factors such as how long the virus lasts, whether governments will loosen fiscal policy enough and can markets avoid freezing up.”

That said, we can be confident that, while we don’t know the exact impact the virus will have on the housing market, we do know that housing isn’t the driver.

The reasons we move – marriage, children, job changes, retirement, etc. – are steadfast parts of life. As noted in a recent piece in the New York Times, “Everyone needs someplace to live.” That won’t change.

Bottom Line

Concerns about a recession are real, but housing isn’t the driver. If you have questions about what it means for your family’s homebuying or selling plans, let’s connect to discuss your needs.

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.

 

How Overpricing Your Destin Home Affects Your Bottom Line

 

Even though there’s a big buyer demand for homes in today’s low inventory markets in Destin, 30A and Niceville, it doesn’t mean you should price your home as high as the sky when you’re ready to sell. Here’s why making sure you price it right is key to driving the best price for the sale.

If you’ve ever watched the show “The Price Is Right,” you know the only way to win the game is to be the one to correctly guess the price of the item up for bid without going over. That means your guess must be just slightly under the retail price.

When it comes to pricing your Destin area home, setting it at or slightly below market value will increase the visibility of your listing and drive more buyers your way. This strategy actually increases the number of buyers who will see your home in their search process. Why? When potential buyers look at your listing and see a great price for a fantastic home, they’re probably going to want to take a closer look. This means more buyers are going to be excited about your house and more apt to make an offer.

If you look at the chart above you see how the market dwindles for highly overpriced homes.  If a house is overprice by 15% of market value, the buyers looking at it dwindle to 10%. If a house is priced just under market value, then there is a 75% – 90% buyer exposure.

When this happens, you’re more likely to set up a scenario with multiple offers, potential bidding wars, and the ability to drive a higher final sale price. At the end of the day, even when inventory is tight in the Destin, 30A and Niceville real estate markets, pricing it right – or pricing it to sell immediately – makes a big difference.

Here’s the other thing: homeowners who make the mistake of overpricing their homes will eventually have to lower the prices anyway after they sit on the market for an extended period of time. This leaves buyers wondering if the price drops were caused by something wrong with these homes when in reality, nothing was wrong, the initial prices were just too high.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about selling your home this year, let’s get together so you have a professional on your side to help you properly price your home and maximize demand from the start.

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.

 

Remodeling Your Home for Your Cats – Would You?

How far would you go to remodel your Niceville or Destin Florida home for your cats?

Many house cats would love to run outside with unrestricted freedom,  but it is usually a dangerous place for a cat.  For example, in my Southwind, Bluewater Bay neighborhood, there are known be coyotes, and I have seen bobcats three times!  So, unfortunately, kitties are often confined within the walls your home, looking at the birds through the windows.

You could, however, consider remodeling your home with a luxurious and extensive indoor/outdoor cat enclosure like ones that Hellas Pet Enclosures build!

Take a look at one they built for one of their customers…

It started 2 years ago with the section attached to the house by the upper window, giving the owners’ cats a little freedom. But then they added the “stairs” going down to…

…a bridge that crosses over their yard. You see where this is headed?!

The 42’ bridge takes a right turn in the trees and leads to the grand catio.

There’s a handy door for humans to get into the 12’x16’ enclosure. (Way better than having to crawl out of the second floor window and through the bridge! LOL) Let’s take a look inside…

It’s prime time for climb time for a cat who wants to!

But there’s also plenty of cool perches to just chill out and watch the birds, breathe in the fresh air, and soak up the warm sun.

But just in case kitty wants a little break from the sun, or just a little privacy, there’s a little hideaway they can curl up in.

This thoughtful home remodel is something your cats would probably love. I know my three kitties, two ocicats and a bengal, would “purr-fur” it!

 

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.

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.

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.

Diary of a Destin Realtor

 

Day in the life of a Destin Realtor…

Morning…

Trying to beat the impending storm, I drive through dense fog to get to my waterfront listing in Fort Walton Beach to remove my signs and lockbox before closing.  I get there in time, walk 400 feet down the pier to the intracoastal.  Getting totally wind-blown, I drag the sign back up the pier, my heart palpitating in my chest, out of breath.  I thought I exercised enough.

On the way back to my Miramar Beach office, I stop at the Destin Walgreens to buy a comb and hair spray to try to get my frazzled hair back under control. Stepping out on the sidewalk, I find my shoe is no longer on my foot. The heel is jammed in a large crack. I have to use force to remove the shoe from the crack. The Walgreens cashier asks if I am “ok”.

Afternoon…

Back at the office, I receive a call from a homeowner wanting to to do a short sale of his house in Santa Rosa Beach.  He tells me his foreclosure sale date is in two weeks. I tell him that’s not enough time for us to accomplish a short sale, he must call the bank and his attorney to see if they will delay the foreclosure before we list it. I never hear back from him again.

My 2:00 p.m. appointment to meet a real estate agent to interview for my team passes.  She’s a no-show. She calls me at 2:30 p.m. to tell me she’s not coming. Thank you.

The house cleaner texts to ask where her check is. I panic, then realize I must have thrown it out “cleaning” the house before she arrived. She finds the check in the trash.

I show a house to a client who is accompanied by three friends. They are all drinking out of paper cups. I ask if it’s coffee? They answer “no”.

I go to gym, do cardio.

 

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 Zillow Review from Destin Florida Home Seller

Thank you to my Destin Florida seller! I sold two Destin townhomes for him within a few weeks.  I advised him on an effective remodel that would maximize his selling price. It’s always a pleasure to hear that I’ve helped someone!

How may I help you?

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-650-7883 ext 204
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.