Discover Your Perfect Emerald Coast Neighborhood in 6 Essential Steps

Discover Your Perfect Emerald Coast Neighborhood in 6 Essential Steps

  • Yvonne Summerfield
  • 09/27/22

The pandemic reminded us that life is short, so live it well. For a growing number of investors, living well means luxury homes. Based on recent real estate statistics, this specialty market is attainable for buyers of the top 5% to 10% of properties in the market. This top-tier offers a level of decadence not found in your average ranch or two-story style home in even affluent neighborhoods. These jaw-dropping homes take the ordinary out of daily life with dramatic architecture, enviable amenities such as golf courses or beach access, exotic or premier materials to rarer features such as indoor swimming pools or backyard tennis courts.

The pandemic, coupled with remote work untethering employees from specific corporate locations, may influence demand in this market. Luxury properties, either as primary or second homes, are closing faster than in previous years.

Luxury living gains momentum

Buyers are flocking to high-end properties in areas such as Texas and Florida. For example, Miami saw unprecedented growth in the last two years in the luxury real estate market. Florida's Emerald Coast, known for its stunning blue-green water, beachfront living, and stunning neighborhoods, is inspiring a growing number of luxury newbies and long-time property owners.

As interest in luxury real estate gains momentum, prices are rising to reflect an increase in demand. Closing on a luxury property in your ideal neighborhood just got more complex, but not impossible. If the Emerald Coast is your ideal location or at the top of your list, follow these steps to facilitate an enjoyable buying experience with peace of mind that you made the best decision.

Steps for a better luxury buying experience

Partnering with a luxury real estate agent is a must, but there are certain steps to complete before signing that agreement.

Use this list to guide your steps

1. Why? What? How? Where? - Clarify the basics. Why are you pursuing a high-end home - to upgrade your primary home or looking for an opulent second home? What are the must-haves - beachfront property, easy access to shopping, or close to schools? How will you purchase the property? Will you sell a home to purchase your next with cash or use your capital gain for a down payment with a loan? Where will you focus your search - local or move out of state?
2. Location motivation - Have a "deal-breaker" list and a "nice-to-have" list. Are you a city dweller, a suburbanite, or more rural? Do you plan to surf, walk on the beach, or play golf at an exclusive club? Include these considerations when listing location details - taxes, home prices, availability, or scarcity of homes in that market. Texas and Florida are trending partly because of their tax benefits. They're also known for lower home prices. Although, those markets are experiencing rising prices/valuations.
3. It's in the details - Stunning designs, abundant square footage, prestigious communities, and enviable amenities set high-end properties apart from other real estate markets. Desired amenities play a big role in your ideal Emerald Coast neighborhood, such as golf communities, beachfront options, proximity to shopping, restaurants, walking trails or bike paths, sports facilities such as tennis courts, etc.
4. Window shopping - Do your research on whether you're staying local or considering another state. Check out state or city websites or connect with a luxury real estate agent to create property listing emails in the neighborhoods you are considering. Online searches will give you information on market availability, knowledge of what the average price will get you in what neighborhoods, number of rooms, lot size, square footage, etc., and images of what the homes look like.

5. Try it on - If you're local and have a list of ideal neighborhoods, driving through areas of interest gives you insights into the look, feel and commute times around your daily activities. If you're far enough in the process to have preapproval, find a luxury real estate agent to schedule private showings of listed properties. Make informed decisions from an in-person experience of properties of interest and have conversations with your agent regarding the features, location, timeframe, and other considerations to list and rank the homes you're considering.

6. Timing is everything - Make a plan and pinpoint your timeframe and work with your real estate agent with expertise in luxury homes. An experienced agent is your best resource for finding your perfect neighborhood and closing on your ideal high-end property.

With the basics in mind, coupled with desired property features and location, you can start to narrow the list to specific neighborhoods.  The Emerald Coast of Northwest Florida hosts luxury communities perfect for beachfront seekers or those looking to experience the golf lifestyle.  Golf enthusiasts with golf clubs living on their "must have" list, these insights will help narrow that list.

Must-know insights on Northwest Florida  Emerald Coast neighborhoods from Pensacola to Panama City Beach

1. Destin is located in the Florida Panhandle and boasts beautiful beaches and golf communities that would make luxury living a reality for beachgoers and golf enthusiasts. Beaches include June White Decker Beach Park, Norriego Point Beach Park, Shore at Crystal Beach Park, Henderson Beach, and James Lee Park. Golf Clubs include Emerald Bay Golf Club, Golf Garden of Destin, Indian Bayou Golf Club, Kelly Plantation Golf Club, and Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club.

2. Freeport sits between North and South Walton County. Those looking for a smaller city might consider Freeport. Beaches include Tallahassee, Pensacola, Montgomery, Ft. Walton Beach, and Panama City. It is a half-hour drive from the beaches and golf courses of South Walton and offers high-end living in the Windswept Dunes Golf Club community.

3. Ft. Walton Beach has a small-town charm and several neighborhoods along the shoreline. This seaside community hosts two golf club communities; Shalimar Pointe Golf Club and The Golf Club at Bluewater Bay.

4. Gulf Breeze is a suburb of Pensacola with a small-town feel and enjoys 18 miles of waterfront. This community makes an excellent backdrop to your high-end home, including its golf community Tiger Point Golf Club.

5. Miramar Beach (Sandestin) appeals to the active type with easy access to golf, tennis, and running or biking trails. Tennis lovers can enjoy an award-winning tennis facility with six championship clay courts. This location has diverse beach neighborhoods in South Walton with golf clubs such as Baytowne Golf Club, Burnt Pine Golf Club, Raven Golf Club, and Links.

6. Navarre Beach is located at the far northwestern tip of the state, with 12 miles of pristine white shoreline. This shoreline community is perfect for those wanting solitude and simplicity. Its pristine beaches are considered some of the best in the nation and host to the Club at Hidden Creek for golf club community seekers.

7. Panama City Beach is nestled in northwest Florida in an area known as the Panhandle. With its unique quartz crystal beach sand, it is a relatively new community. Beyond its beaches, Panama City features a healthy retail experience in the business corridor. The beautiful beaches complement the prestigious golf clubs, including Bay Point Resort Golf Club, Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort, and Holiday Golf Club, to name a few.

8. Panama City Beach Watersound features luxury living with golf clubs that include; Camp Creek Golf Club, Origins Golf Club, and Shark Tooth Golf Course.

9. Pensacola, a barrier island that spans the Gulf of Mexico, is known for sugar white beach sand and is home to some of the most lavish neighborhoods in Florida. If a golf community lifestyle is a motivation for buying a luxury home, you can choose from numerous golf/country clubs, including; Marcus Pointe Golf Club, Pensacola Country Club, Scenic Hills Country Club, and Stonebrook Golf Club.

10. Perdido Key brags on its unique community that covers Alabama and Florida and features miles of unblemished wilderness in the Florida Panhandle. Perdido golfing communities are available in the Lost Key Golf Club and Perdido Bay Golf Club. Beach and a few Florida urban communities will attract those buyers looking for luxury living in those areas.

11. Santa Rosa Beach, part of South Walton County, is renowned for its sugar-sand beaches, gorgeous blue-green waters, and breathtaking scenic experience. The neighborhoods in Santa Rosa are set apart by their charm and style, lending to luxury beachfront properties and the Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club.

Life truly is short! Living your best life has a deeper meaning.  Luxury living is more desirable and attainable than ever.  Corporations are embracing remote work, making it even easier to live and work in a high-end property.   More and more homeowners are making the move to luxury living.  As the high-end market continues to grow, more opulent options will grow along with it. Whether you are looking for a primary residence or a second home, following the six steps and partnering with an experienced luxury real estate agent will guide your search and decision. If the Emerald Coast is your perfect fit, RE/MAX By The Sea Broker Associate Yvonne Summerfield's experience and knowledge are par for the course. Contact Yvonne today and start your luxury search.

Let's Work Together

As one of RE/MAX's top selling agents nationwide and worldwide, I am uniquely qualified to help you with your real estate needs along one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. It is my privilege and goal to be of service to you, providing exceptional representation with the highest levels of integrity, discretion and professionalism. For over 18 years homeowners have entrusted me to represent them in over half a billion dollars in real estate transactions. I'm ready to help you with a purchase or sale by providing you with outstanding service and outstanding results.

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