January seems to have brought not just the new year but spring itself. We’ve had such unseasonably warm weather that my azaleas started to bloom this week when we usually dont’ seem them until March. There’s nothing in the 10-day forecast about cooling off, and our real estate market is following suit turning in yet another unseasonably warm – no, make that “hot” – performance. What an action-packed week we had: closed an impressive five sales, wrote six new contracts, one of which has already closed, entered eleven new listings and lowered prices on four properties. Our inventory comes in relatively unchanged at 375, with 93 homes and 282 lots listed in the MLS for the Cape San Blas, Indian Pass, and C-30 Corridor market. We have a lot of territory to cover today, so settle back, make yourself comfortable, and let’s get started.
The first of our five sales is located on the Cape in the vicinity of The Tradin’ Post in Feather Sound, a 2-bedroom, 2-bath, 900 square foot gulf view beach cottage built in 1990. This was originally one of six cottages located at Stumphole until Hurricane Opal washed them off their foundations in 1995 when the road washed out. All but one of the buildings survived intact and were relocated to various lots on the Cape and renovated. This one became a good little rental property and has an interesting sales history: in July 2003 it sold for $285,000 and then resold a year later in August 2004 for $438,000. Those sellers listed it in May 2006 for $619,000 but were unable to attract a buyer until finally getting it down to a list price as a short sale for $249,000. On Wednesday they closed for $210,000, well above the county’s assessed value of $155,468.
Our second sale is down close to the southern end of the peninsula near Stumphole; it’s a gulf front lot, 44′ wide, bank-owned, was listed for $125,000 and sold this week for $122,500, well below the county’s assessed value of $150,000. This southern area has a history of serious erosion.
Our third sale is down on the south side of the Cape at Cape Dunes and it is a 2-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath, 1,019 square foot one-side of a duplex fronting Cape San Blas Road. The home was listed in September as a short sale for $150,000, a price that immediately attracted a buyer that resulted in a contract. It was built and sold in May 2003 for $195,000, and resold exactly one year later in May 2004 for $302,500. They put it back on the market the following April for $425,000 but were never able to find a taker, and they reduced the price repeatedly until it last expired in late 2010. On Friday it sold for $125,000, roughly 10% above the county’s assessed value of $111,525.
Our fourth sale went under contract and closed within the week. It’s a first tier gulf view lot out on the C-30 Corridor as you head towards Indian Pass in a micro-subdivision known as Indian Palms. Measuring roughly 65′ x 150′, or about .25 acre, the developer originaly listed it in March 2005 for $575,000. By now that asking price was down to $94,000, and on Friday it closed for $88,000, well above the assessed value of $60,000.
Heading east over onto the Indian Pass peninsula our fifth and final sale was a former Pick of the Week, a bank-owned magnificent gulf front home at Indian Pass, originally offered in 2007 for $1.999M, listed at fire-sale pricing of only $629,900. When only the finest will do, this 5-bedroom, 5-bath home with 3,861 square feet of living space should fill the bill. Wide outdoor decks span the gulf front side of each of the living areas, expanding the total footage to 6,140. If the surf’s a bit rough, cool off in the in-ground pool overlooking the beach. Ease of access to each level of the home via elevator. You could not recreate this fine home today on a comparable gulf front lot at this price. People often tell me they’re looking for a “steal of a deal” and one savvy buyer snapped it up this week for the amazing price of just $587,500.
Now on to our six new contracts, beginning where we so often do, on the Cape up at Barrier Dunes, where this 2-bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 1,172 square foot townhouse situated on a pond back by the park went under contract on Friday morning wth a list price of $144,500, well below the assessed value of $162,131. It’s not listed as a short sale even though the seller paid $210,000 for it in May 2003. According to the listing agent, there is an inspection contingency which should be completed by Monday and if that inspection reveals no show stoppers the parties will be ready to close quickly.
Our second contract is on a gulf front beauty on Hartley Lane, just a little south of Rish Park towards the north end of the Cape. This is a great home in need of some TLC. She’s a big gal, 2,788 square feet with a spacious open layout and lovely furnishings throughout. It has 3 bedrooms and 3 baths and a whole lot of wrap-around decks and porches, for a total square footage of 7,704. This one’s a short sale with a list price of $499,000, having last sold for $1.5M in the summer of ’04. That list is way below the county’s assessment of $613,993.
Our next contract takes us about a mile down the road to San Dunes to this half-acre, “X”-zone, 50′ wide gulf front lot last sold in mid-2004 for $750,000 and currently listed as a short sale for $325,000, nowhere near the county’s assessment of $200,000, which seems too low to me for a gulf front lot in this location. Someone’s going to get a good property here as this is one of the nicest little subdivisions on the Cape.
Just a few blocks further south our next contract is on a gulf view lot in Seagrass. It first sold in June 2004 for $345,000, then again the following may in 2005 for $589,000, and goes under contract this week as a short sale with a list price of $97,000, just a smidgen below the assessed value of $105,000.
Just a another short way further south our fifth contract is on a handsome 4-bedroom, 3 2/2-bath, 3,400 square foot home built in 2004. This beautifully appointed and furnished home was listed on January 8 for $599,000 and has an impressive gross rental performance in excess of $80,000. In December of 2004 it sold for $757,300 but went to foreclosure, subsequently going back to the bank who sold it to the current owners in May 2009 for $545,000.
We’ll head back out on to the C-30 Corridor for our sixth and final new contract, this time heading north towards Port St. Joe. This one’s a bay view lot in Treasure Bay measuring 101′ x 290′, or about 0.67 of an acre, and listed for $38,500. Here’s one with another interesting sales history. In early 2001 it sold for $14,000, then resold in December 2003 for $89,000, then again just the following summer in July 2004 for $162,500. The county’s somewhere between those 2001 and 2003 prices, having it valued at $25,000.
What a marathon! Three of our five sales and three of our new contracts were homes, so relative to our inventory of lots we’re continuing to see a highly disproportionate demand for developed property, resulting in our lot inventory increasing by 37% this January over a year ago. Therefore, buyers looking for second homes or income-producing properties should factor in a greater sense of urgency in submitting offers than those shopping for lots. If you’re in the market for either, I can help. Please call or text me at 850-227-5197 or shoot me an email to [email protected] and I’ll be glad to help you get started. I enjoy hearing from and working with my readers, and thank you so much for taking time to stop by today.