We all know the three most important words in real estate, Location Location Location. That's what brings people from all over the country to our shores. We had some good friends visit from Kentucky over the holiday who knew all about Destin and Santa Rosa beach from things they had heard back home. It's amazing how far and wide our visitors spread! Here are some things to consider if you're looking to join to local community and purchase property in Rosemary, Inlet Beach, or anywhere along 30A.
You know the area pretty well from visiting and whatever your perceptions are will probably be pretty similar to what other visitors from your home state think. If you feel like it's a long drive from Watercolor to the beach, a potential renter probably will too. If you think it's too hot in the summer, they will too. If you are inconvenienced by the long drive to shopping, others feel the same way. Visiting and living are totally different attitudes though, people will put up with inconvenience for a week but it can get annoying after a while. A lot of people live here because of the solitude, so the distance to various restaurants or shopping is completely relative. Dont listen so much to what people tell you and decide how you want to live.
Consider location as you see it as well as how the locals see it to reach a balance. Perception drives prices as much as anything so make sure you aren't overpaying ust because it's a hot neighborhood right now. If your target neighborhood doesn't have dedicated beach access, consider where you would go and make sure there's parking. Also be aware of local beach ordinances, for example there is only one dog friendly beach in the area and it's down by Panama City Beach. If you aren't as up to date with the area, continue reading for some updates to 30A and Santa Rosa Beach.
Get a Realtor
There are 152 real estate offices and many hundreds of real estate agents listed with the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors between Santa Rosa Beach and Inlet Beach. You are probably experienced enough to filter out the good from the bad but try and get a recommendation from another local person or business you trust before calling around. With so many rental properties around here, different realtors will have different strengths: some may do mostly condo management, some specialize in commercial units, some strictly handle single family homes, some have connections in the high value homeowners market, some work directly with builders, and some do it all.
We work with realtors practically every day and would be happy to recommend someone who fits your needs. Most in the area are knowledgeable and professional but the quest for big sales has brought in plenty of amateurs. Knowing how a home was built can be just as important as location around here.
The market changes quickly around here, neighborhoods get hot and prices soar while other areas slump. Summer is generally too crazy with renters to get an accurate feel for an area but at the same time the summer tells you exactly what the busiest time can be like. Alys Beach and Seagrove are much quieter with far less through-traffic in the offseason but construction is daily during the winter. It'll be a few years before that quiets down. Grayton beach is pretty quiet most of the year because the state park takes up half the space in that area and new construction is more sparse. There is some bridge work on 30A in that area right now but it should be clear soon.
The western corner of 30A and 98 closer to Destin is being developed for retail and commercial space, St Joe owns the land and are clearing it now. Consider it an improvement to that side of 30A since the closest shopping is some ways off in Miramar Beach.
The rest of 30A is status quo, with new construction practically everywhere and those unchanged glorious beaches. The location is hard to beat after all, so no matter what you end up with you'll be able to find happiness on the shores of the Emerald Coast.
What are you waiting for? Come to visit or come to stay, we'll be here and look forward to meeting you! Call or email anytime for recommendations about the area or questions about home insurance, auto insurance, or business insurance!
The views expressed here are the opinion of the author and do not attempt to make any recommendation for insurance coverage. Eligibility is determined by the insurance carrier and not all applicants will qualify. Please contact your licensed insurance agent regarding your area's coverage and eligibility.