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SoWal People: Alice Forrester Has Seen Plenty of Changes

April 16, 2012 by Marla Burns

Alice Forrester has been a long time, trusted resident of South Walton County. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, it was in 1984 that she first went to work for the developer of Seagrove Beach, Cube McGee, at Seagrove on the Beach Realty.

Shortly thereafter she obtained her real estate license, and in 1989 she received her Broker’s license. Then in 1995, she opened up 30A Realty, Inc. along with her business partner, Mickey Whitaker. The rest is history, which is where we begin.

How did you get started here?
When we moved here there were not many jobs and not much of anything going on, so about the only thing you could do was lawn care or work in a real estate office. Seaside was just beginning so I decided to get my real estate license and learn the market.

We started out with only the two of us and after the first two years we had about 10 agents. Of course as the market continued to grow so did we, and we had up to 50 agents and 4 locations from DeFuniak, Freeport, and two on Scenic 30A.  But the market crashed and we, like everyone, had to downsize and many agents left to go find other jobs. We are still located in the Sugar Suites just behind Angelina’s Restaurant and very visible from Scenic 30A.  We have 11 sales agents with us now, and one main office in Seagrove. We are still very active in the market today, listing and selling properties in South Walton. We have a group of local realtors that have been working here in South Walton for a long time. 

How do you see the state of the market now and in the future?
We have all had our ups and downs here in South Walton, from hurricanes in 1995 and 2005, the market booming in 2004 and falling in 2006, and then, of course, the oil spill.  But we still see everyone…love Paradise and…want to have a piece of it. There have been great buys out there, with foreclosures and short sales, but they seem to be dwindling away and we are becoming more stabilized in the market.  As always, everyone still wants to come to the beach, so we will continue to thrive and have a good market here in South Walton.

What are some of your other interests?
I live in Pt. Washington. I love the historical area and Eden Gardens State Park. I love the bay and the river as much as the beach, and find myself and my husband enjoying the Choctawhatchee River a lot.  He used to give river tours and loves the fauna and the flora.

I do love the community of South Walton, and have been involved in numerous activities, such as the art festivals and activities at all the schools. I have enjoyed being near my grandchildren, who were born and raised here, and now I am a great grandmother. My grandchildren are Keslee, Forrest, and Saylor Mae. Now, Keslee is married and has a new baby named Layden Jude Richard.  I have one daughter who also has moved back to the area, Dara. I am especially blessed by all of them.

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Some of Alice’s past achievements include South Walton Realtor of the Year in 1998, Ambassador of the Year for Walton County Chamber of Commerce in 1996, 1997, and 1998, President’s Award from Emerald Coast Association of Realtors in 1993, and Outstanding Achievement Award from Emerald Coast Association of Realtors in 1991.

Some of the local organizations of which Alice is a member are Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, where she served for three years as South Walton Director, advisor for South Walton Committee of Realtors, and she’s a member of the Walton County Chamber of Commerce.

Alice has helped hundreds of locals find their forever homes here in paradise. Here’s hoping she continues to grace South Walton with her knowledge of the area and her way of making everyone feel at home here.

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Marla Burns

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