Fort Walton Beach, FL Real Estate News

By Karen Butler, Eglin AFB/ Fort Walton Beach /Destin Relocation
(RE/MAX Coastal Properties)
Fannie Mae modified a policy that limited real estate investors to only 4  financed properties. That number can now be increased upwards from 5 to 10, depending on eligibility criteria, underwriting and delivery requirements are met. The change is noted in a just-released update of Fannie Mae’s “Multiple Mortgages to the Same Borrower Policy.” The change is effective March 1 2009. To qualify, borrowers must meet Fannie Mae’s criteria. Fannie Mae offers more information about its new policy in Announcement 09-02, released on Friday. To download the policy guidance (PDF format) and get more information on qualifying and underwriting criteria, go to: https://www.efanniemae.com/sf/guides/ssg/annltrs/pdf/2009/0902.pdf This will give a boost to the struggling housing market.  And with rates c...
Comments 1
By Karen Butler, Eglin AFB/ Fort Walton Beach /Destin Relocation
(RE/MAX Coastal Properties)
   Veterans who experience injury and/or disability may have a difficult time accommodating their disability to their home. Veterans with limb injuries may struggle with stairs, hallways, bathrooms, and kitchens. Vets with brain injuries or vision problems may have trouble navigating their existing home. Whether you are a disabled veterans or a disabled vet’s family member, understanding how to handle housing adaptations and veteran status is important for your quality of life. The VA offers the Specially Adapted Housing Grant program for disabled veterans. Unlike traditional VA home loans, the Specially Adapted Housing Grant (SAH grant) program is available only to disabled vets, and typically only those with service-related injuries. Because veterans often come home to homes that form...
Comments 1
By Karen Butler, Eglin AFB/ Fort Walton Beach /Destin Relocation
(RE/MAX Coastal Properties)
It's never too early to get a jumpstart on planning a more beautiful backyard. Maybe you are looking forward to inhaling the perfume of flowers  through the air, clipping buds from your rose bushes, or simply enjoying the beauty of you often neglected backyard oasis this year like me.Here are some tips to help you to make that dream a reality, in a "greener," more cost-conscious way: How about a push lawn mower or electric mower this year. Overall they're traditionally lower in price, save you money at the gas pump and also provide you with healthy exercise.  Use a landscape fabric like Weed-X or Weed Shield to protect your investment in expensive perennial and annual plants. Unlike other landscape fabrics or simple black plastic, these fabrics are the only products reported to prevent...
Comments 0
By Karen Butler, Eglin AFB/ Fort Walton Beach /Destin Relocation
(RE/MAX Coastal Properties)
Emerald Coast Association of REALTORS® will be the title sponsor of the 2009 USTA Pro Circuit Emerald Coast Association of REALTORS® $25,000 Women’s Challenger Tennis Tournament presented by First City Bank. The international event will feature a field of thirty-six tennis professionals in the singles tournaments and sixteen teams in the doubles tournament. All matches will be played at the Fort Walton Beach Tennis Center, 45 West Audrey Dr NW. The tournament beings Saturday, February 28, with an opening ceremony featuring students from Elliott Point Elementary School and Liza Jackson Preparatory School who will be carrying flags from all countries represented in the tournament. Tennis begins Sunday, March 1, and continues through March 8. Entry to the early-round matches is free, and ...
Comments 0
By Karen Butler, Eglin AFB/ Fort Walton Beach /Destin Relocation
(RE/MAX Coastal Properties)
Moratorium in place until March or the Obama administration announces a plan Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp, Morgan Stanley and  Wells Fargo agreed to suspend foreclosures while the Obama administration works on a housing plan to modify mortgages for troubled borrowers. Citigroup will halt foreclosures through March 12, Wells Fargo said its moratorium is in place until a plan is announced. The other lenders said foreclosures will be stopped on owner-occupied homes until March 6. So basically they are stopping for 3 weeks? JPMorgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Wells Fargo, State Street Corp and Bank of New York, Mellon Corp. got $125 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program in October, and Citigroup and Bank of Am...
Comments 0
By Karen Butler, Eglin AFB/ Fort Walton Beach /Destin Relocation
(RE/MAX Coastal Properties)
 The Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with three lenders – one in Florida – who violated FTC law by misleading potential borrowers by allegedly touting low monthly payments and rates without fully disclosing loan terms. The lenders have actually agreed to settle, and admitted that their ads violated federal law. I'm not going to bother naming the culprits, because many more are doing it, they just haven't been caught/charged yet.  One of the direct mail ads for the company states: “30-Year Fixed. 1.95%.” However, in the magnifying glass required fine-print, virtually illegible footnote at the bottom of the ad states, “4.981% Annual Percentage Rate,” and a fine-print disclosure on the reverse side of the ad states, “Initial Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for a 30 year mortga...
Comments 0
By Karen Butler, Eglin AFB/ Fort Walton Beach /Destin Relocation
(RE/MAX Coastal Properties)
Community Events If you are planning to  be in the Fort Walton Beach area in the near future, here are some of the things that will be going on in the area.  There's something for everyone.  I will try to keep it updated for you as I come across new events.  I will find some information for Destin and Navarre beach type activies as well.  If you've never seen the beautiful beaches of the Emerald Coast, prepare to be amazed  (as soon as I can figure out how to add photos) Arnold Menches Exhibit - through February 19; Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing Arts Center, Northwest Florida State College; Free Better Business Bureau® Foundation of Northwest Florida is currently accepting nominations for the 2009 Customer Service Excellence Award; application deadline is March 27, 2009. For entry fo...
Comments 5
By Wendy Rulnick, "It's Wendy... It's Sold!"
(Rulnick Realty, Inc.)
  The best part of my day trumped any real estate sale I could ever make. I was chatting a friend, whom I'll call Jessica, in Fort Walton Beach Florida, when her cell phone rang.  Jessica is a small business owner on the Emerald Coast, and I have bought her products for many years. Whenever I see her we talk about our lives and our businesses - one entrepreneur to another.  Anyway, her phone rang and she looked at it, checking the caller id.  "I am not answering that!  It's a bill collector", she told me.  Jessica proceeded to describe how her company's profits had dwindled in the past year, so that now her income was reduced to one-third of what it was.  "People put off buying my product, they want until they absolutely have to or just stop altogether," she said. Jessica told me she ha...
Comments 2
By Wendy Rulnick, "It's Wendy... It's Sold!"
(Rulnick Realty, Inc.)
The Emerald Coast of Florida has a high military population with both active duty and retired air force personnel.  Eglin Air Force Base is located in Fort Walton Beach, and Hurlburt Field is in Navarre, Florida.  Duke Field and NAS Whiting Field are nearby.  We will be seeing an increase in short sales for GI borrowers when they must relocate during their PCS moves (permanent change of station).  VA Short Sales are called "Offers in Compromise", "Compromise Claims" or "Compromise Sales".  The VA may accept a Compromise Sale if the cost to the VA is determined to be less than that of foreclosure.  The VA website says: "If the borrower is unable to sell the property for an amount that is greater than or equal to what he/she owes on the loan, including closing costs, VA may pay a "compro...
Comments 9
By Sue Botelho, USDA Rural Housing Mortgage Pro
(Waterstone Mortgage Corporation)
I was interviewed Thursday for a show that is supposed to air on Monday, December 15 on Good Morning, America.  It's about the housing market and how to help people who are behind, as well as what steps could be taken to improve the housing market.  I made the following points, but they may edit a lot of it out.  I hope you get an opportunity to watch!  Thank you to Beth Forbes for part of her ActiveRain post - I made SURE to get that out there, as well! Until we get housing out of it's "deep depression", the rest of the economy doesn't stand a chance and people won't buy cars until their housing is fixed!.  Let's get a government program together that lends money to people who already own multiple properties, who have excellent and deep credit who actually WANT to buy up the over suppl...
Comments 0
By Kelly Klein, "Doing Great Things Today to Improve Tomorrow"
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices | Pen Fed Realty)
A local Air Conditioning Company let go 30 employees here locally.  The owner stated that he holds 1 million dollars in real estate assets but is no longer able to borrow money against them to keep his business going.  The lack of credit in the market place and the unwillingness of the banks to make these loans are causing small business owners like this one to shut their doors. The trickle down economy does not work as being evidence now in all sectors.  The rich simply got richer and the middle class are now among the poor.  What's your thoughts? Kelly Klein                                      Welcome to the most comprehensive Real Estate Service center for Destin, Florida. Our Real Estate Services cover the areas of Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Niceville and Panama City Beach.  Make th...
Comments 0
By Kelly Klein, "Doing Great Things Today to Improve Tomorrow"
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices | Pen Fed Realty)
I recently bought tickets to see Natalie Cole at the Ft. Walton Beach convention center and Natalie was sick so they replaced her with Roberta Flack.  Roberta is fine, but I really wanted to see Natalie Cole.  I called immediately and was told by an employee of Sinfonia that I would be given a refund.  Well, that was over a month ago.  I am still waiting to see my refund for four tickets $305 dollars.  Nothing.  So I began calling them this week every day.  You get a nice recording saying they are busy or on the other line so please leave your name and phone number and someone will get back with you as soon as possible, etc.  Well, no returned calls for over a week.  I next thought well there is a fax number on my envelope that the tickets came in.  So I copied my unused tickets and tri...
Comments 5
By Sue Botelho, USDA Rural Housing Mortgage Pro
(Waterstone Mortgage Corporation)
    Please read this and forward it to your database.  My daughter Wrote this.  My son's dog is missing and we really Want to find him - he's one of our family And my son is heartbroken.  There are several pictures Here that can help you to recognize Dupree. Also, please forward this To your database and help us bring Dupree home.  Thank You SO much!  ~~Sue   **Missing**   Dupree     A slat in our fence had broken and we didn't know it.  Dupree got out yesterday, November 6, from our home between Memorial Parkway and Jet Drive in Fort Walton Beach and has been missing since.  He didn't have his collar and tags on, but he is very friendly and up-to-date with shots.  Dupree is my brother's dog, but a true part of our family.  My poor brother is heartbroken.  If you have ANY information on...
Comments 5
By Wendy Rulnick, "It's Wendy... It's Sold!"
(Rulnick Realty, Inc.)
I recently had a Fort Walton Beach FL Short Sale approved by Washington Mutual (WAMU).  In this case, WAMU was the junior lien, the first was Citi Mortgage.   There was enough from the sale proceeds to satisfy Citi's mortgage balance, so the only approval necessary was from WAMU.  As with all Short Sales, we know to provide a preliminary settlement statement (HUD) with the package to the seller's lender. This is a guide upon which the lender bases its approval. As a rule and for the sake being conservative, I instruct the title agent preparing the HUD to overestimate the prorations. Why? In Florida, property taxes are paid one year in arrears, so there is typically a credit from seller to buyer at closing.  (In some other states, property taxes are paid in advance.)  So in order to prep...
Comments 17
By Christine von dem Bach
(Engel & Völkers)
Lori Kelley Receives Third Annual Athena International AwardSept. 29, 2008 - On September 23, at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa, Partner at the accounting firm O'Sullivan Creel, LLP; became the 2008 Athena International Award Recipient. This award was presented by Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast; in conjunction with: the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Panama City Beaches Chamber of Commerce and the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce.Athena Award recipients are selected for their professional excellence, community service and leadership, and for actively and generously assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence. Athena Award winners are those who excel in their chosen fields; d...
Comments 0
By Kerry Veach
(RE/MAX Southern Realty, Southern Resort)
What is the difference between agents who are selling, having their best year, closing 20-30 deals per month and other agents who have not even closed 2 this year? Listings. Have you ever heard the phrase "If you dont list, you don't last?" This is more true now than ever. How to Survive this Market! Set some goals and stick to them.  Learn somthing new one hour of every day you work. Technology in real estate has doubled in the past year. Agents that jumped on board the Gold Rush train got little to no training.  Those gents did not even learn the basics of how to return phone calls or how to turn leads into client's.  NAR is predicting another 30% fall out of Realtors(r) this year.  This will be a good thing for the rest of us that take our job seriously.  The number of transactions p...
Comments 5
By Wendy Rulnick, "It's Wendy... It's Sold!"
(Rulnick Realty, Inc.)
My most recent approval was received this morning, approximately seven weeks from submission, from Washington Mutual.  It was a very smooth transaction.  Here is the summary: Property:   House in Fort Walton Beach Florida Value and Offer:  About $110,000 First Mortgage: CITI owed about $70,000 Second Mortgage:  Washington Mutual owed about $90,000 Hardship:  Medical Package Submitted:  August 13 Appraisal Ordered:   September 3 Approval Email:   September 30 Factors:  First mortgage, Citi, was in collections, but not in a short sale position, since net was enough to cover full balance- so only needed approval from WAMU Delays:  Washington Mutual "lost" Letter of Authorization and "lost" part of the ahort sale package Overall, this was a quick and mostly problem-free Fort Walton Beach sh...
Comments 21
By Sue Botelho, USDA Rural Housing Mortgage Pro
(Waterstone Mortgage Corporation)
We just went to the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island, right by the pier.  The water was wicked rough!  We even spotted a water spout that was heading from Destin.  Here are a couple of pictures of the beach in Ft. Walton Beach during the storm.  There may be some beach erosion, but this will not be bad in our area.  
Comments 1
By Brandon Jordan
(ERA American Real Estate)
You all know where the luxury homes are! In this two day course with Valleri Crabtree, learn the needs and desires of luxury home sellers and buyers. This entertaining speaker will teach you how to market yourself to find luxury home buyers! Learn the 4 steps to showing a luxury home and the 9 key buyer signals to know when you've found a luxury home buyer. Learn the Feng-Shui Phenomenon and more!       "Accredited Luxury Home Specialist Designation Program"Monday and Tuesday, August 18-19, 2008              Time: 9:00am - 4:00pm Instructor: Valleri Crabtree                          Cost: $399Sponsors: H & S Title and Wallace Moorehand     11 Hours of CE CreditLearn how to find, market, and present yourself to affluent buyers and sellers with confidence; how to enhance, expand, and refi...
Comments 1
By Brandon Jordan
(ERA American Real Estate)
FORT WALTON BEACH - Although its corporate office still will not confirm it, Kohl's is coming. The Okaloosa County Commission unanimously approved site plans for a new Kohl's department store to be located near the intersection of Beal Parkway and Hurlburt Road in Fort Walton Beach. With Tuesday's approval, construction is expected to start early next month, said John Kramp, site development manager for Kohl's. He said they hope to have the store open by the end of the year. "It's going to be a fairly long road (before the store opens)," Kramp said. "The timetable is up in the air." The first phase will be the demolition of the Bay Furniture building. The new 103,990-square-foot department store will replace the old Bay Furniture next to Winn-Dixie. The only question commissioners had a...
Comments 0