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We looked at buying on St. George Island but after looking in So.Wal, we knew where to put our $$$. The water and beaches are much more beautiful, there is no comparison. Also as was mentioned, the houses there are more likely to suffer from storm surge etc. Insurance costs are a good bit higher than in So. Wal. also. We had a chance to buy in Summer Camp but opted out.
 

Georgian

Beach Comber
Feb 27, 2005
29
0
correct me if I'm wrong but I believe St. Joe is not selling the lots but they will also be building every home in this final phase. When you get to the bottom of the pot I guess you try to keep as much in-house as you can. Not only will they profit from the land but also from the construction markup. Heck why don't they just put them all on a rental program and sell them in a few years after the airport goes in? After all for those of us that not only invest in land but in stock wouldn't this make more sense. JOE is up 100% over the past 12-18 months.
 

beachmouse

Beach Fanatic
Dec 5, 2004
3,505
741
Bluewater Bay, FL
According to a couple of Log articles I've seen, the Mississippi Gulf Coast is supposed to be the next Big Thing. Beaches aren't as nice, but you do get the casino-related amenities.

Closer to Walton County, well I think for Coastal Walton County, you had to be here 18 months ago to really jump on that train. Further afield, I still like Mexico Beach east of Tyndall. They've had significant price jumps there, but still aren't at SoWal levels, and I think the nearby St. Joe redevelopment of Port St. Joe will push prices up in Mexico Beach & Beacon Hill as well. Quiet area, and the beaches are still sugar sand in that area.

Other possibilities: new townhouse developments in inland areas (Destin north of US 98, Ft. Walton Beach, Niceville). They're not short term rental areas, but are going relatively fast because people realize it's just going to get more and more expensive to live anywhere close to the coast. I got talking to a random realtor last Christmas, and she was saying she was making $50,000 per unit flipping preconstruction townhouses in Niceville in late 2004.

Growth areas of the future: Mossy Head, DeFuniak Springs. Now that mid-level service sector employees are getting priced out of Panama City Beach and Crestview (and darn, it sounds weird to say people are getting priced out of Crestview) they're going to need housing somewhere else, and those are two logical spots. If you can get ahold of a decent-sized parcel up there that can be zoned to residential and has good utility access, you will be sitting on something very, very valuable in 5-10 years.
 

Buckhead Rick

Beach Lover
Feb 15, 2005
140
5
The fellow who built our house in Watercolor said St. Joe HAD planned on selling lot and house in phase 4 as a package but could not get the crews to build them. So it was either sell less for more % profit or sell more for less %profit. Remember there is more profit to St. Joe in property (avarage cost basis $1.00 an acre) and they can sell them all in one earnings year, then spread that out over several years for an extra 20% gain from building.
After phase 4 they are down to just around 800,000 acres in Florida.
 

pat3797

Beach Comber
Apr 22, 2005
8
0
I have been looking seriously for almost 18 months now. Started my search in Destin before moving it East. Some of my ideas are land vs condo. The problem with land is the ability to build and then rent. That's why condos sound so much easier
 

Philip_Atlanta

Beach Lover
Mar 1, 2005
140
1
www.rosemaryrental.com
pat3797 said:
I have been looking seriously for almost 18 months now. Started my search in Destin before moving it East. Some of my ideas are land vs condo. The problem with land is the ability to build and then rent. That's why condos sound so much easier

It strikes me that this thread needs a better definition of "best investment". In real estate, there are many ways to "skin the cat" so to speak. In a real general sense --

If your goal is quick cash by flipping property - then buying a pre-construction condo or a lot via a lottery (as discussed above) and then selling in a short period of time could yield a pretty good short-term result. (heck, in Walton co, people have made 6 figures in a matter of months doing this..)

If your goal is to build wealth via a buy and hold strategy, well my bet is to buy single-family houses. My belief is by owning the house, you own the land and that, in a sense, is what is increasing in value. I'm personally not a big believer in buy and hold for condos - but I haven't tried..
 

Smiling JOe

SoWal Expert
Nov 18, 2004
31,648
1,773
pat3797 said:
I have been looking seriously for almost 18 months now. Started my search in Destin before moving it East. Some of my ideas are land vs condo. The problem with land is the ability to build and then rent. That's why condos sound so much easier


Your post is a bit vague. Have you been looking without buying for 18 months? If so, why do you continue to look? Are you just shopping and wishing, or are you seriously willing to pay the price when the right property comes along?

You mention your "ideas are land vs. condo." What does that mean?

"The problem with land is the ability to build and then rent." Are you wanting to build and rent? Do you think that if you build it you cannot rent? Do you think renting out a condo which you purchase will cover your expenses of owning?
 
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