The Panama City Real Estate Blog

Aqua Condominium

As one of the most sought-after, premier resort destinations on the beach, Aqua offers all the comforts and conveniences for pure luxury living.  Ascending twenty-two stories into the crystal blue skies of the Emerald Coast, this 252-unit condominium complex offers all the grandeur to make any stay a memorable one.  Upon entrance into the facility through the porte-cochere entry way one immediately notices the dazzling water features and water gardens throughout the grand lobby.   Voted best of the best for its distinctive architectural design, Aqua is breathtaking throughout. 

Considered one of the best locations on the beach as it is in walking distance to Pier Park, this complex features 1, 2, and 3 bedroom spacious units, some including additional bunk rooms, hall bunks, and bunk alcoves with breathtaking views off the elliptical balconies of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.  With thoughtful floor plans that include open kitchens, raised ceilings, and full length windows the choices for investment in this property are astounding. 

Built in 2007, this complex is highly desirable with a very high rental potential and continuous repeat business.  Offering fun for the whole family amenities include an indoor/outdoor pool, a whirlpool spa grotto, a poolside café with flat screen TV’s and wireless internet, and an aromatherapy steam and treatment room.  Additionally, a fully appointed fitness center overlooking the crystal white sands entices one to start any day off right.  Seasonally, Aquatic Adventures beach service offers dolphin boat tours, wave runners, snorkel trips, umbrella beach chair rentals, parasailing and so forth.  Party and meeting rooms are also available along with an additional media room. 

As this facility offers so much in elegance and beauty and as it is a prime location on the beach, considering investing in this property is a wise decision.  Schedule an appointment with one of our agents to go and see for yourself how amazing Aqua really is.  


Marina Bay Condominium

Located just over the Bailey Bridge in beautiful Lynn Haven, Marina Bay is a permanent residence complex that overlooks the serene waters of North Bay.  With views both East and West, this exquisite, very quiet eight story condominium development is everything you are looking for in an upscale bay front gated community.  Built in 2001, and nestled on 7.5 acres, Marina Bay boasts its own 1300’ private beach, its own private marina that houses boat’s up to 34’, and its own private 350’ fishing pier.  Secure gated parking, both covered an uncovered, are available for the residents as well as a covered drop off area.  With a large heated pool and spa, and a community room/club house, residents can enjoy coastal living at its finest. 

Offering elegance and privacy, these contemporary, upscale 2 bedroom/ 2 bath and 3 bedroom/ 3 bath unit’s feature floor to ceiling full length windows for natural lighting and for panoramic views of the water.  As you enter each luxurious condo through a rotunda foyer, you will immediately notice the 9’ raised trey ceilings, the open floor plans, and the split bedroom designs.  Each unit features large laundry rooms, extra storage space, jacuzzi tubs, and large walk-in closets along with an expansive full length balcony.  Private storage areas are available at an additional price. 

If low maintenance is what you desire with no short-term rental tenants, and with a low monthly HOA fee which currently is $372, then Marina Bay is a great option for you.  Zoned for excellent schools, and located within minutes to world class golf courses, restaurants, and boutiques life at Marina Bay is the perfect place to live.  Come see for yourself everything that it has to offer!


Seychelles Beach Resort

Seychelles is a premier condominium complex located on the East end of Panama City Beach.  Conveniently located just a short walk to St. Andrews State Park, and in a quiet location outside the hub of traffic, this 22 Story, 197 Unit resort destination offers everything you are looking for in either a primary residence, 2nd home, or vacation investment.  Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico on 200 feet of gulf front terrain, Seychelles offers one bedroom, two bedrooms, and two bedrooms with extra bunk room floor plans each with two adjoining bathrooms.  Each condo features 9’ ceilings, washers and dryers, and with exquisite flooring, cultured marble vanities, counter tops, and appliances varying by unit.  Additionally, to enjoy the grand Florida sunsets, interior condo units include an 8’ deep spacious balcony and end condo units offer gorgeous, much larger wrap around balconies. 

Built in 2006, and one of the newest complexes on the beach, Seychelles is perfectly manicured with a lush, tropical landscape and an exquisite porte cochere entrance.  With three high speed elevators in the tower and two additional elevators located in the covered parking garage, entrance to the facility is easy.  Amenities on property include two outdoor pools and two spas; one of which is heated seasonally.  Additionally, there is a fully- equipped fitness center, meeting facilities, and a game room.  Beach service is offered March -October and for vacation rental guests, there is on-site management with an on-site check in office.  For dining and entertainment, located just next door is the famous Schooners beachside restaurant; and just down the street is the Treasure Island Marina.

With all that Seychelles encompasses, the greatest feature not yet mentioned is that the low HOA fees include all utilities.  Currently at $1523 quarterly, this is quite the incentive to consider purchasing in this development.  If you are looking for an atmosphere of luxury beachfront living that is all inclusive in a quarterly payment, then owning at Seychelles Beach Resort is the right choice for you.  Accordingly, if you are considering an investment such as a vacation rental property choosing this complex is a very wise decision.  Contact one of our agents for current listings and to discuss rental income histories of individual units.


Market Trend and Investments

If you are contemplating purchasing a home, condo, or even a business venture and would like to finance your investment then now may be the time to go ahead and consider making this decision.  Last week, Freddie Mac announced that the average rate on a 30- year fixed home loan increased from 3.97% to 4.03%.  As of Thursday, the rate decreased slightly to 4.02% which has since remained the same.  On a 15- year mortgage home loan the rate rose from 3.23% to 3.27%.  The good news is, though, that according to the National Association of Realtors existing home sales jumped 4.4% in March “to their highest pace in over 10 years.”  This sales increase is 5.9% higher than a year ago and the strongest since 2007.  In Bay County, home sales rose 13.1% in April alone, compared to this time last year.  With an average sale price this past month of $211,971, up 4.54% since April 2016, planning on investing in the real estate market is a wise choice.  Since Panama City Beach is known for the ‘World’s Most Beautiful Beaches’, and since new home and luxury condominium construction is fairly recent and continues to grow, this area is the perfect destination to acquire real estate as either your primary residence or your vacation home.  With an upper momentum in the housing market, and as mortgage rates currently hold steady, now is the perfect opportunity to make that decision.



Consider a Relocation

Have you been considering a relocation or has your job been reassigned to the local area?  Well then Panama City Beach is a great place to consider.  Not only do we have the 'world's most beautiful beaches' but we also offer a familly friendly atmosphere with top notch schools, outstanding community resources and events, and countless real estate options. Round all this out with delicious dining experiences and a plethora of shopping choices for you and your families pleasure and this makes the Panama City Beach area an enticing place to consider.

Ranked by CNN's Money Magazine as one of the "top cities for the fastest growth in the nation" PCB continuously sees growth in the areas of employment, in the housing market and sales, and in the local commerce and businesses.  With an average median home value of $232,000 and growth of 9.5% over the last year making an investment in the community is an excellent decision to consider.  

If this hasn't convinced you to consider that relocation to our area than come and see for yourself all that we offer.  Once you are here we guarantee you will love it and want to make this area of the Emerald Coast your new place to call home.  Contact us at Miller & Associates so that we may help you find your future investment that suits your needs.


Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

Getting a Home Mortgage

There is no doubt that mortgage credit availability is expanding, meaning it is easier to finance a home today than it was last year. However, the mortgage market is still much tighter than it was prior to the housing boom and bust experienced between 2003 - 2006.

The Housing Financing Policy Center at the Urban Institute just released data revealing two reasons for the current exceptionally high credit standards:

  1. Additional restrictions lenders put on borrowing because of concerns that they will be forced to repurchase failed loans from the government-sponsored enterprises or Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
  2. The concern about potential litigation for imperfect loans.

What has been the result of these concerns?

6.3 Million Less Mortgages

The Policy Center report went on to say:

“It was so hard to get a mortgage in 2015 that lenders failed to make about 1.1 million mortgages that they would have made if reasonable lending standards had been in place. From 2009 to 2014, lenders failed to make about 5.2 million mortgages thanks to overly tight credit. In total, lenders would have issued 6.3 million additional mortgages between 2009 and 2015 if lending standards had been more reasonable.”

In an interview with DSNews, Laurie Goodman and Alanna McCargo of the Policy Center further explained:

“Our Housing Credit Availability Index (HCAI)* measures the probability that mortgage borrowers will become delinquent on that mortgage for 90 or more days, which we refer to as the default risk. This measure indicates that the probability of default rose from 12 percent in 2001 to a peak of 16.5 percent at the end of 2005/beginning of 2006, before declining to the current level of 5 percent. Stated differently, lenders are currently taking less than half the credit risk they were taking in 2001, a period of reasonable credit standards.”

The cost to the economy if we’re writing fewer loans…

Goodman and McCargo put it best:

“…fewer households will become homeowners at exactly the point in the economic cycle when it is most advantageous to do so… [They] will continue to miss this wealth-building opportunity. The median family wealth for homeowners is $195,400, with their home the most valuable asset for most; the median family wealth for renters is $5,400…...

Selling in the Winter Attracts Serious Buyers

Selling in the Winter Attracts Serious Buyers

A recent study of more than 7 million home sales over the past four years revealed that the season in which a home is listed may be able to shed some light on the likelihood that the home will sell for more than asking price, as well as how quickly the sale will close.

It’s no surprise that listing a home for sale during the spring saw the largest return, as the spring is traditionally the busiest month for real estate. What is surprising, though, is that listing during the winter came in second!

“Among spring listings, 18.7 percent of homes fetched above asking, with winter listings not far behind at 17.5 percent. While 48.0 percent of homes listed in spring sold within 30 days, 46.2 percent of homes in winter did the same.”

The study goes on to say that:

“Buyers [in the winter] often need to move, so they’re much less likely to make a lowball offer and they’ll often want to close quickly — two things that can make the sale much smoother.”

Bottom Line

If you are debating listing your home for sale within the next 6 months, keep in mind that the spring is when most other homeowners will decide to list their homes as well. Listing your home this winter will ensure that you have the best exposure to the serious buyers who are out looking now!

The study used the astronomical seasons to determine which season the listing date fell into (Winter: Dec. 21 – Mar. 20; Spring: Mar. 21 – June 20; Summer: June 21 – Sept 21; Autumn: Sept 21 – Dec. 20).


3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is actually a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a recent survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home values are projected to increase by 5.3% over the next 12 months.

What does that mean to you?

Simply put, if you are planning on buying a home that costs $250,000 today, that same home will cost you an additional $13,250 if you wait until next year. Your down payment will need to be higher as well to account for the higher home price.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months as you can see in the chart below:

Mortgage Rate Projections | MyKCM...

Will Increasing Mortgage Rates Impact Home Prices?

Increasing Mortgage RatesThere are some who are calling for a decrease in home prices should mortgage interest rates begin to rise rapidly. Intuitively, this makes sense as the cost of a home is determined by the price of the home, plus the cost of financing that home. If mortgage interest rates increase, fewer people will be able to buy, and logic says prices will fall if demand decreases.

However, history shows us that this has not been the case the last four times mortgage interest rates dramatically increased.

Here is a graph showing what actually happened:

Dramatic Mortgage Rate Increases

Last week, in an article titled “Higher Rates Don’t Mean Lower House Prices After All, the Wall Street Journal revealed that a recent study by John Burns Real Estate Consulting Inc. found that:

“[P]rices weren’t especially sensitive to rising rates, particularly in the presence of other positive economic factors, such as strong job growth, rising wages and improving consumer confidence.”

Last week’s jobs report was strong and the Conference Board just reported that the Consumer Confidence Index was back to pre-recession levels.

Bottom Line

We will have to wait and see what happens as we move forward, but a decrease in home prices should rates go up is anything but guaranteed.


Beachfront Bargain Hunt Again!

The HGTV show "Beachfront Bargain Hunt" is back in Panama City Beach, FL. This is the 3rd time that Panama City Beach has made the show in recent episodes... and we don't have to wonder why. Panama City Beach boast "The World's Most Beautiful Beaches" then when you throw in all the family activities, state parks, restaurants, shopping, marinas and more; who wouldn't want to live in PCB?!?!?! It's not just the attractions that are drawing people here, I mean the show has "BARGAIN" in it for a reason. With the average condo selling at just $257,052, there is no other place along the gulf that offers such awesome amenities and incredible prices. It is not wonder more and more people are choosing to invest their money here in PCB. Not only are people choosing to live here full time, but investors stand to make mega money as PCB is listed as one of the Top 10 Beaches in the US. Rental rates and occupancy rates reached record numbers in 2016 despite the cut in Spring Break activities, revamping Panama City Beach as the once dubbed "Party Place" into a family friendly atmosphere.

If you have considered listing your condo, now is the time as we have buyers looking for their perfect investment. If you are looking for a great investment, give us a call today and we will help find the right place for you. Join the hundreds of new investors that chose to invest in 2016, while the prices are still incredible.

Catch the next episode featuring Panama City Beach on Sunday January 15th, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. (check your local listings as times may vary)

Article written by Laura Welch and is property of Miller & Associates Realty, LLC.