Forgotten Coast Real Estate and Community News

May 22, 2023

What Homeowners Should Know About Water Damage on the Roof

One of the last things a homeowner wants to hear is that they have water damage in their roof. Homeowners usually can't anticipate water damage on their roofs without seeing signs of water damage  Homeowners need to pay attention to these warning signs and get the necessary repairs done to ensure the problem doesn’t aggravate. To help, in this blog post, we discuss some telltale signs of roof damage.

Water Damage On A RoofWhat Homeowners Should Know About Water Damage on the Roof

Water Spots

Water spots on the roof ceiling will indicate a leak or potential water damage. When you see this, it doesn't mean you know the origin of the leak, which can be challenging to find. Oftentimes, slow leaks are a lot more challenging to find than a big leak. Slow leaks usually migrate from an opening and travel from that pinpoint. It is important to work with a professional roofing repair company to have your roof inspected. A roofer will be able to find the source of your leak and provide a solution to repair the damage.


Your gutters are extremely important and can be damaged by rain and storms. If you notice your roof losing shingles then you will need to replace the granules on our roof. Damage to shingles can be visible. You will see smooth or bald spots. Check your manufacturer warranty and contact a professional roofing company to assess the extent of your shingle damage and repair or replace them.

Cracking Shingles

As shingles age, they can loosen and crack. This happens because of their exposure to sunlight. Over time the exposure will make shingles turn brittle. The UV radiation is what damages shingles from the inside and this leads to the cracking. This cracking can lead to water leaks that may cause water damage. If you notice any cracks in our roofing you want to contact a roofing professional immediately.

Wood Decking

Any wood decking that is soft or soggy can indicate longstanding water damage. Water damage can cause decking to rot and this will leave your roof susceptible to potential leaks in the future. If you notice water spots on your deck you want to have it checked out and repaired as quickly as possible.

Exterior of Walls

If you notice water spots on the walls that could indicate damage to the roof flashing, which is where the roof meets the wall. Flashing can become loose or rust over time due to rainwater or water spots. When you replace the step flashing you can prevent from this being a long-standing issue. You want to make sure you have this taken care of quickly and by a professional roofing company.

In Conclusion

Roofing systems deteriorate over time just like any other home system. This is due to exposure to weather and other outdoor elements. Sometimes this damage can seem to have very little impact but over time if it isn't used, it can create much larger issues and lead to costly repairs.

For more information on homeownership and to begin your Florida home search contact us today!We would be happy to assist you with all of your real estate needs.


Posted in Homeowners
May 15, 2023

Best Flooring Choices For A Beach House

A beach house is a dream for many. Your beach home will experience a lot of wear and tear due to its proximity to the ocean air. From sandy feet to the humidity of the air, your seaside home will be put to the maintenance test. If you are looking at replacing your coastal home flooring you want to do your research. You want something that will be resilient, and functional, and enhance the aesthetics of the home. After all, you own your beach home so you can enjoy all the fun that comes with being next to the ocean.Best Flooring Choices For A Beach House

Best Flooring Choices For A Beach House


Tile can be a low-maintenance and stylized look in your home. A ceramic tile is a great option for any waterfront home. This tile is durable and resilient without a lot of care. Ceramic tile will look new for several years and there is a variety of different looks you can choose from when looking for tile. The tile is sealed against moisture which is why it is a great option for any home close to the ocean.

Engineered Hardwood

Hardwood is not the best option to come to mind for a coastal home, however, there is engineered hardwood that can be a smart choice. This flooring holds up well with a lot of wear and tear and it also repels moisture which is perfect for a home near the water.


Vinyl is available in planks, sheets, or tiles and you can get it in a variety of styles and colors that will fit your beach home. You can achieve a faux wood look or even a stone or mosaic pattern. This material is waterproof and great for transitioning from the outdoors to the indoors. You will see this used in a lot of entryways or from the garage into the house.


Bamboo is a great material for coastal homes. The aesthetics of it add to the organic look and bring in natural wood. Bamboo is strong and durable and the flooring comes in a variety of shades and tones. Bamboo is resistant to wear and tear and is best in high-traffic areas. Bamboo is water-resistant and easy to install too.


Hardwood is one of the most desired flooring options out there. It is a luxurious floor in a beachy home. Hardwood beings in a natural element and makes a home feel cozy. Hardwood requires maintenance but if maintained properly, it can last for a while. There is a variety of hardwood flooring materials available out there. Hardwood floors are not always the best near a moist environment. it is important to place mats around that collect the grit and grim as well as moisture before it comes onto the hardwood floor. Although it needs more care, hardwood can still be a great option even for a coastal home.

In Conclusion

For more information on purchasing your Florida coastal home, give us a call! We would be happy to assist you with all of your buying, selling, and investing needs.


Posted in Homeowners
May 8, 2023

Understanding Coastal Beach Erosion & Who is Most at Risk!

There are over 1,000 miles of pristine, beautiful beaches in the state of Florida, making nearly the entire state edged in the coast. For this reason, you can bet that there is a high chance of coastal erosion for all those that live in the area. For residents of cities situated close to the coast, this concern can be high. Continue to read to get a better understanding of coastal erosion and who is most at risk.

What is Coastal Erosion Understanding Coastal Beach Erosion

To start, coastal erosion occurs when sand gets trapped on structures such as jetties, piers, etc... While the sand is trapped, the natural lapping of the ocean water along the shoreline continues, but there is no sand moving with the water, as it was all trapped. This can result in the water beginning to erode the shoreline, eating it up, instead of replenishing the sand as it moves. In the state of Florida, there are a few causes of this occurrence:

  • A Slow Rise of Sea-Level
  • Hurricanes or Other Tropical Storms
  • Poorly Planned Development
  • Poor Construction and Navigation Inlets

Which Areas in Florida Are Most At Risk for Erosion? 

The Southeast part of Florida and the Floridan Keys are the most vulnerable regions when it concerns coastal storms, an unpreventable reason for sea level rise and therefore coastal erosion. Reports have been compiled by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on critically eroded beaches in the year 1989. Unfortunately, this number has only doubled in the year 2022, as a quarter of the state's 825 miles of sandy shoreline is in danger of collapse.

How to Prevent Coastal Erosion in Florida 

There are many, many methods to prevent coastal erosion, and many are actively used in various places along the coast of Florida. Some of these methods have worked amazingly, making a difference, while others have different drawbacks and advantages. Many common methods worth noting to preventing coastal erosion are the following:

  • Seawalls. The good news is that seawalls that have started to fail can be replaced by foundation professionals. The use of seawalls prevents erosion by locking the sand along the shore into place, therefore the possibility of erosion by the ocean is unlikely. With a proper seawall in place, the beach around you and your home can be safe from being slowly eaten away by the unpreventable current. If your seawall itself begins to erode, it can fail. That is why maintenance is key.
  • Breakwaters. This silly-named method of preventing coastal erosion is beneficial in its construction of barriers offshore parallel to or at an angle of the shoreline. This barrier acts as a wave catcher, allowing the beach to grow all while preventing some harmful erosion. Waves that hit the breakwater deposit their harmful load of sediment along it.
  • Jetties. Because Florida is home to some of the freshest catches off-water, this method of fighting coastal erosion can be handy. A line is constructed of long structures perpendicular to the coast that reaches into the ocean. The number of lines depends on the number of channels you are dealing with. This can be made from stone, concrete, steel, timber, etc... and is designed to keep sand from entering a ship channel. When sand builds along the jetties, as it will, it can be redistributed along the beach to reduce erosion.
  • Vegetation and Beach Nourishment. The strategic planting of vegetation can actually make a difference in coastal erosion. The roots of many coastal plants help anchor the sand in place, ensuring it is not carried away in erosion. Areas home to seagrass and the construction of marshes are typically safe from erosion. However, this isn't always beneficial to areas particular to tourists as it can limit space and functions. Beach nourishment on the other hand is a soft solution that involves depositing sand on the beach to artificially widen it, though it can be costly and temporary.

For more information on coastal erosion, how to combat it, and where it is most prominent on the Forgotten Coast of Florida, contact us today. We can help you find the perfect home on Florida's Forgotten Coast.


Posted in Homeowners
April 24, 2023

Upcoming Spring & Early Summer Forgotten Coast 2023

Correctly labeled "forgotten," the portion of Old Florida rightly gained its name for the overdevelopment of North Florida's coastline. Today, the Forgotten Coast is a special place for what has been preserved rather than developed. Here, you can find events linked to pristine bays coated in white sugar-like sand, coastal marshlands, rich sea life, and barrier islands with plumes of dune formations.

Check out upcoming spring and early summer 2023 events coming to the Forgotten Coast.Upcoming Spring & Early Summer Forgotten Coast 2023


Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin' Festival

When: Saturday, April 8, 2023
Time: 7:00 am-10:00 pm
Where: Sopchoppy, FL

The Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin' Festival is easily Wakulla County's most popular event seen each year in the area. Residents of Wakulla County and surrounding areas to witness the rising of the famed Sopchoppy worms from the ground and the crowning of a new worm gruntin' king. This event runs all day, beginning with a 5k race, followed by a worm gruntin' demonstration and competition in the afternoon, and finally closing with a live music night. Here, you can find 100 food vendors, as well as some fun arts and crafts vendors as well. There is even an annual worm gruntin' ball.


Boat & Car Show

When: Saturday, April 15, 2023
Time: All Day
Where: Water Street Apalachicola, FL 

Interested in remastered vintage vehicles and revived boat decades old? Come and check out the Apalachicola Chamber of Commerce for the annual Boat & Car Show in Apalachicola, FL.


Panhandle Players present "Nunsense"

When: Friday, April 21- Sunday, April 23, 2023
Time: All Day

Where: Chapman Auditorium 155 Avenue, E Apalachicola, FL 

This mega-musical "Nunsense" by Panhandle Players is a spoof about the misadventures of five nuns trying to manage a fundraiser with the rest of the sisterhood having passed from botulism. Featuring catchy songs and irreverent comedy, Nunsense will keep the audience at the edge of their seats with laughter.


Wheels on Williams

When: Thursday, May 18, 2023, Thursday, June 15, 2023, Thursday, July 20, 2023
Time: 5:00 pm- 8:00 pm

Where: Williams Avenue, Port St Joe, FL 

Come and enjoy this car show accompanied by food trucks on Williams Avenue. The Wheels on Williams is a free event brought to Port St Joe by the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce.


MBARA Kingfish Tournament

When: Saturday, July 29, 2023
Time: All Day 

Where: Mexico Beach, FL 

Come and join the Mexico Beach, FL residents for their 27th annual MBARA Kingfish Tournament hosted by the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Associations. Anglers will hit the open water on Saturday, an event that is set to last all day, of the Gulf of Mexico to search out the prize kingfish. Along with this event is a charitable fundraiser whose goal is to assist in developing and deploying artificial reefs in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.


Bay Scallop Season

When: Wednesday, August 16- Sunday, September 24, 2023 
Time: All Day 

Where: St. Joseph Bay 

This season's opening of the annual Bay Scallop Season will start in the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County. There is a daily limit per person consisting of 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat. Per vessel, the daily limit is a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell of 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat (1/2 gallons=4 pints). Keep in mind that recreational harvesters need a Florida saltwater fishing license to harvest bay scallops, the only exception to this is if there is no license required, or a no-cost shoreline fishing license is in hand.


To find more information on upcoming events in the year 2023 on the Forgotten Coast of Florida, check out our website.


Posted in Community News
April 17, 2023

4 Key Factors to Buying a House on the Forgotten Coast of Florida

There are several key factors to take into consideration when buying a house on the Gulf of Florida's Forgotten Coast. In carefully evaluating these factors, choosing the right home that will ensure your long-time happiness can make the whole process easier. Let's get started!

A Waterfront Property 4 Key Factors to Buying a House on the Forgotten Coast of Florida

There is a ton of amazing qualities that comes in a neat little package about owning a waterfront property! To start, the beach is your backyard, just a few steps from your backdoor! Hosting amazing parties, and enjoying beautiful views daily will make your house the chosen party house. Unfortunately, however, waterfront properties come with their slew of problems, and solving some of the accompanied issues can help make you happier with your property in the long run.

  • The Issue of Tourists and Beachgoers

Ensure that you set time aside to map out the quickest route to and from work to ensure that you have enough time in the height of the summer aka "tourist season" to avoid clogged roads. It can also be beneficial to you to find alternative routes you can use if traffic gets to be a little too crazy!

  • Understand Natural Disasters

Loving the ocean can come with its list of dangers, in and out of the water. Keep a close eye on the weather so you can be properly prepared for any sign of evacuation, as Florida is home to many a hurricane. Ensure you keep a "go" bag packed and ready in case you have to grab it and run.

  • Love the Beach Safely with Your Kids

Small children in your family should be under close surveillance at all times when it comes to being near any body of water. Ensure that strategies are put into place for your new home, including but not limited to the addition of deadbolts on doors that are difficult to reach for children, as well as monitoring systems such as in-home cameras, to keep track of smaller children when your eyes can't be on them.

Cost of Insurance 

Natural disasters are a serious consideration to take when purchasing a home on the Forgotten Coast of Florida, and your insurance company will understand this. Ensure that you carefully evaluate policies to detect if certain coverages for key damage in your area are or are not offered. To make the most of your property, your insurance should cover the following potential damages:

  • Flooding
  • Hurricane
  • Wind

That way, expensive repairs out of pocket can be prevented.

Pricey Property Taxes

Before you dive in (pun intended) on purchasing property on the Forgotten Coast of Florida, take a close and careful look at the property taxes in the area you are planning to settle down in. If you are in a town very close to the joys of the beach, your property taxes are sure to be higher than if you were located in a different area of Florida. This can be a critical addition to your budget, especially erroring in the potential of overspending.

Dreaded HOA Restrictions

Life on the Forgotten Coast of Florida is a dream come true, and you can bet that there are many an area and neighborhoods where homeowners associations do their best to keep it that way! Gated communities, safe and stunning, and beachfront areas are sure to be part of a homeowner's association. Before choosing to settle in an area, make sure you check out the HOA policies for the neighborhood so you understand your fees and where they will be applied. To consider, HOA rules often include the following:

  • House Color Requirements- This ensures that the neighborhood looks its best, therefore certain bright colors may be prohibited.
  • Pet Restrictions- A limit on how many pets and what size of pets (if you are a dog person) you can own and house at your residence.
  • Lawn Maintenance- If you tend to let your lawn overgrow from time to time, there is a high possibility of a fine you will have to pay if you don't keep up with lawn maintenance.
  • Vehicle Regulations- There may be a high possibility that you will have certain spots near your home where you can park a vehicle and in most neighborhoods the option of parking a camper or RV may be impossible.

It can be disheartening when faced with so many strict regulations that HOA imposes, but know that these rules impact everyone in the association. To think in a more positive light, these rules are set to ensure that your community value stays in a good light. Take into consideration finding an HOA that fits your lifestyle to make this easier on you.

For more information on the Forgotten Coast of Florida, and what to take into consideration when moving there, check out our website!


Posted in Buying a Home
April 1, 2023

Top 5 Questions to Ask a Buyer's Agent

To begin, let's explore what a buyer's agent is. A buyer's agent is a real estate agent who will be guiding the buyer through the extensive process of purchasing a home. The representation this agent offers is extensive, from scheduling showings to negotiations and finally closing the deal. When working with a buyer's agent, you don't have to be an expert when it comes to all the legalities of real estate and there won't be any direct negotiations with a seller taking place. There is of course a fee that takes place when hiring a buyer's agent, this is called a buyer's agent fee, which is the fee your agent receives depending on the location of the home being bought, typically a three percent commission, which can be negotiated.Top 5 Questions to Ask a Buyer's Agent

5. What is Your Prior Experience in the Neighborhoods I'm Interested in?

Working with an agent who knows the area, especially the one you are interested in, is sure to land you in your dream home. A good, licensed agent will know if a home's listing price is accurate for what you are getting. They too should know the general price range of homes in a similar area to ensure there is no chance of overpricing.

4. Are You Willing to Work in my Price Range?

Agents should be comfortable working within a variety of price ranges. If you aren't interested in buying homes listed in the millions when your price range does not exceed 500k, then an agent who specializes in selling in the latter would be a better fit for you. An agent can only work within their connections and expertise goes only so far, especially when it comes to the type of home you are hoping to settle into.

3. What is Your Negotiation Style and Experience?

When buying a house, you want to get the best deal. You will want to ensure your potential buyer's agent has a good hand in negotiating. To ensure this, ask about additional courses taken in negotiation, even going as far as asking about examples of tougher deals they've put through successfully.

2. How Do You Go About Winning a Bidding War?

Let's say you and five other buyers come across a house you think is perfect. It is a good idea to see how a potential realtor will react to this situation before you decide to work with them. The only way to win sometimes isn't just with heaps of money, but with the attitude and connections that come with it.

1. What Other Partnerships Do You Have with Home Service Professionals?

There is a lot that goes into buying a house and selling a house. Having the right connections to other professionals is key to a successful buy and/or sell. You will more than likely need the contacts of a good real estate agent lawyer, a fantastic home inspector, and a good appraiser to start. A decrease in stress you may feel with such a big decision attached to buying or selling a new home comes with the territory of a good buyer's agent that has connections in the industry so you do not have to seek the listed professionals above out yourself. However, take caution with any buyer agent that has a preexisting "agreement" with professionals that are paid to recommend them because that is illegal.

For more information on understanding what buyer's agents specialize in and how to pick the perfect one for you, check out our website!


Posted in Buying a Home
March 27, 2023

Concerns about Hurricanes on Florida's Forgotten Coast: Tips to Get You Through

Fun fact: more than 41 percent of hurricanes in the US have passed through Florida, making Florida one of the most hurricane-ravaged states in the country. Okay maybe that's not so much a fun fact but more and more people are moving to Florida then ever before.  Florida is home to the second-longest coastline, about 1,350 miles, among the states. Because the state of Florida juts into warm, tropical waters, that leaves it in the path of hurricanes that make their way across the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

The Forgotten Coast of Florida is no exception to being mangled by tropical storms, as many towns along the Forgotten Coast are rebuilding from 2019's Hurricane Michael, the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the Florida panhandle, and the third strongest storm in US history. Despite the level of devastation, this storm brought to the coast, locals continue to rebuild with perseverance. Because the State is so prone to storms, you can bet they are well-equipped to deal with them too.

Continue to read to find some tips to get you through a hurricane when living on Florida's Forgotten Coast.

1. A Plan

When a hurricane is set to hit the Sunshine State, it is always best to be ready for the outcome days before. Whether you decide to stay home and weather the storm in the comfort of your home, or you decide to evacuate, you will have to be ready to leave at any moment's notice. Coastal locations are always prone to mandatory evacuation. Orders to evacuate come from historical flood maps, based on the strength of the storm.

Related: What to know about Flood Insurance

2. Prepare to Evacuate: Find Shelter!Concerns about Hurricanes on Florida's Forgotten Coast

It is always best to assemble supplies that can be ready for evacuation! Nonperishable foods, water, first-aid kits, etc... are all great things to have on hand, preferably in a "go bag" you can carry when evacuating. Having a battery-powered radio on hand to listen to local evacuation instructions and knowing where your local shelter is will help you in the long run. Before leaving your home, make sure it is secure by closing and locking windows and doors. Unplug all of your electronics. If there is a flood that can be predicted, it is best to unplug your fridge and freezer as well as shut off water, gas, and electricity before vacating.

3. How to Shelter in Place at Home

You should ensure your property is clear of rubble; trim trees and bushes, collect and store loose outdoor items, shop for window coverings, and find a safe place for your vehicle. Windows should be covered with shutters or plywood, something to keep the glass from damage. If your plan is not to evacuate, make sure you have a "safe room" you can stay in when/if the storm hits your location, preferably an interior room of your house. Lastly, having a generator on hand is great if your power should go off, but never run it inside your home.

More: How to Prevent Moisture in Your Home

4. Survival Kit

Having a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a weather radio with a tone alert can let you in on what is going on during a storm. Make sure you have extra batteries. Can opener for imperishable foods. Cash and traveler's check and change. Change of clothes, especially warm ones as it can get rather cold, especially if it should flood. Dust masks, because they filter out contaminated air. First-aid kit and book. Important documentation such as insurance policies, identification, and bank account records.

There are many different things you can add to your survival kit, your list of how to shelter at home, and your plan to get through a hurricane on the Forgotten Coast of Florida, check out our website.



Posted in Homeowners
March 21, 2023

7 Tips on Senior Moving by Coastal Realty 2023

Moving can come with many challenges. Choosing the right location, loving the new home as much as you loved your old one, and ensuring that you live in a safe area can be among the many challenges. But nothing can be more of a challenge than moving with the added reality of aging. Some seniors may choose to downsize, while others may choose to move closer to family members such as children, or into retirement communities altogether. When finding a new home, it is important to consider potential health risks, as well as which community is best for the next stage of their lives. Continue to read to find 10 of the best downsizing tips for seniors with a guideline!

7. A New Floor Plan7 Tips on Senior Moving

A floor plan of the new place, whether it is a retirement community, or a smaller home can work in your favor. This will let you know how much of your personal belongings you should bring along to the new location. Furniture can take up a lot of room, but with a floor plan, you can see how things will fit to help aid you in deciding where things will go before settling in your new home.

6. Consider Downsizing Personal Belongings

When it comes to downsizing, it can be difficult in the sense of physically exhausting and emotionally taxing. We recommend taking personal time to sort through your belongings and gift special items to friends and family if you have a hard time parting with your items. Hosting a yard sale or donating to a local charity can also be effective means of parting with belongings. And for those items you are not ready to permanently part ways with, consider the use of a storage facility.

5. Consider a Sorting System

Fun organization methods such as colored stickers can identify items you wish to donate, which will be passed down to your family, and which ones will go with you to your new home. Another organizational method that can be useful is a list. Make a list of recipients and match up the items.

4. Plan for Moving Transportation Around Health Needs

If you need additional travel time, multiple stops can aid in the extension of overall travel time. If flying is more comfortable than a long car ride, consider booking nonstop flights with the addition of boarding assistance. Finally, look into-or having a family member look for you-senior-focused transportation companies that specialize in medical transit designed for not only moving someone but their equipment as well (wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, etc...)

3. Lockdown Healthcare Ahead of Time

Consider hiring a geriatric care manager who is familiar with different providers around your new location. Sometimes medical transport can be arranged for the move. If you have important prescriptions, consider having them transferred to a new pharmacy near your home.

2. Contact Insurance Providers

Ensure doctors and specialists all have in-network coverage via your health insurance plan. The number on the back of your insurance card(s) can come in handy for this situation to avoid any hefty fees.

1. Enjoy the Benefits of the New Home

When you have lived in a home for over 30 years, it can be difficult to move on to a new home. But with a new home, comes new opportunities. If you are moving into an assisted living home, rest easy and know that most chores that may have been daunting will be taken care of for you (bye-bye laundry!). Recreating routines is key to finding normalcy again, finding things that can make you happy, such as an activity calendar and other amenities to enjoy.

For more information on senior moving and tips to keep in mind, browse our blog or contact us for all Forgotten Coast of Florida real estate and vacation property.


Posted in Buying a Home
March 14, 2023

How To Prevent Moisture Damage In Your Home

How To Prevent Moisture Damage In Your Home

Water damage s one of the worst things a homeowner runs into. It is one of the most common causes of property damage and typically comes up in those wet, seasonal times of the year. Water damage is one of the most costly repairs homeowners face and depending on the cause, may not be eligible for a homeowners insurance claim. If you ignore your home's warning signs then you may need yp with much larger problems, so let's look at some simple ways you can protect your home against water damage.

How To Prevent Moisture Damage In Your Home

The Stop

You want to make sure that you and your entire family know where the shut-off valve is so that in case there is ever a water issue, anyone can quickly take care and shut off the water. Water leaks can happen quickly.


Check Regularly

Oftentimes minor leaks can be undetected and waste a lot of water. You want to consistently check your home for potential leaks, this includes looking underneath sinks and around appliances like your washing machine or dishwasher.

Check Sump Pump

Your sump pump plays a huge role in ensuring your home doesn't flood after a big storm. Make sure your sump pump is working properly so you don't have a flood in your basement. To do this you want to have your sump pump serviced at least one time a year.


If leaves and debris are blocking your gutters from working properly, you could end yo with moss or weed growth that will damage your roof and cause a leak. A blocked gutter is one of the biggest contributors to water or moisture damage on your home's roof. Make sure your gutters are cleaned out annually or bi-annually depending on where you live.

Your Roof

You want to regularly check your roof and attic for any signs of water damage or leaking. Make sure you look for damp spots or any discoloration. Check outside to see if there are any visible signs of damage to the exterior too.

Freezing Pipes

You want to always make sure your home remains warm enough to prevent your pipes from freezing. Freezing damage can be a big problem. Turn off the water to your home if you are going to leave it unattended for some time and get your system drained to prevent freezing issues.

Moisture and Mold

You want to be sure you consistently look for signs of moisture buildup and or mold. If you notice any peeling paint or wallpaper, this could mean it is damp and moisture is coming from somewhere. If you notice any kind of smell, there is an issue that needs your immediate attention. It may be that you need additional insulation. Skylights and windows can also hold condensation, especially in the mornings so you want to be aware and look out in these areas. Always check for signs of mold. If there is any presence of either moisture or mold, you need this taken care of immediately and by a professional.

In Conclusion

Homeownership comes with a lot of responsibility, but it is very rewarding. For more information on buying a home on Florida's Forgotten Coast contact Coastal Realty.



Posted in Homeowners
Feb. 28, 2023

Options for Selling With an Underwater Mortgage

Are you spending more money than your property is worth? If so, it would seem that you have an underwater mortgage. This particular situation can be a massive headache to homeowners in these situations, especially if they wish to sell the property or refinance.

What is an Underwater Mortgage & What Does it Mean?Options for Selling With an Underwater Mortgage

An underwater mortgage, sometimes also referred to as an upside-down mortgage is a home loan with a higher principal than the home is worth. This oftentimes happens when property values fall, but you are still required to repay the original balance of your loan. However, mortgages aren't the only loans that can end up underwater.

How Does an Underwater Mortgage Happen?

There are two significant ways that mortgages can end up underwater:

  1. Decrease in property value.
  2. Missed Payments.

Here is a closer look into how these two things can happen.

Decrease in Property Value 

Changes in the real estate market can lower the value of your home. Natural disasters and climate change can lower your property value because the property is a greater risk to purchase. Certain foreclosures in the neighborhood can also drive down property value. When the value of a property falls below the outstanding balance on the mortgage, this is called negative equity, meaning you owe more on your home than it is worth.

Missed Payments

When you make payments on your loan, most of the money you pay goes toward interest. When you chip away at your principal balance, you pay less and less in interest. This process is called amortization, this is a way to pay off the debt in equal installments that include varying amounts of interest and principal payments over the life of the loan. If you fail to pay off your interest in one month, that interest will accumulate. Compounding interest can make it difficult to pay back your loan and may put you underwater.

The Trouble of Underwater Mortgages

Not having equity, or having negative equity, in your home can cause several problems not from being able to refinance to losing your home.


If you are underwater, it is impossible to refinance your home. Most lenders need you to have equity in your property before you refinance.


If your loan is underwater, you can have difficulty selling your home. You use the balance from the sale to pay down your existing mortgage when you sell your home. It can be difficult to get enough money to cover outstanding principal when you're underwater. This can leave you with only two options:

  1. Stay in your home and continue payments.
  2. Sell your home and cover the rest of your savings.

Potential of Foreclosure

Underwater mortgages can have higher chances of undergoing foreclosure. This can occur when you fall behind on payments and the bank seizes your home. If there is trouble making payment, you may need to foreclose and you can't refinance.

Signs Mortgage is Underwater

Here is how to know for sure if your mortgage is underwater:

Falling Local Property Values

Falling local property values are the first sign that your home is going underwater. When you know how much local homes are worth, compare this to the remaining principal on your loan. Requesting a payoff statement can also help determine how much you owe. A payoff statement will tell you how much is left on the loan, how much interest you currently owe, and the exact date you are slated to pay it off. If there is a major difference between your loan balance and the value of other homes in the area, there is a possibility you are likely underwater.

Low Appraisal

An independent appraisal is what you need if you want an exact idea of how much your loan is worth. An appraiser will look at the overall condition of your home, and how other homes are selling in the area. An appraisal is the most accurate way to understand what your home is worth. A comparison of the appraiser's estimate and the amount owed on the loan will show you if you are underwater if the appraiser's estimate is much lower than your loan balance.

You are Behind on your Payments

If your home is underwater, there is a good chance you have fallen behind on your monthly mortgage payments early on in your loan and you can avoid foreclosure if local property values are stable. Request a payoff statement, and compare the amount you owe with the loan amount you took out. If your current principal is higher than it was when you first took out the loan and your home has gone up in value, you are underwater.

Options For Homeowners Who Have An Underwater Mortgage

Continue Making Payments

If you can afford your monthly mortgage payments and don't plan on moving, the best thing to do is to wait it out and continue payments. Paying down your balance will help you get out of negative equity, giving your home time to appreciate its value. Over time, home values trend upwards. If it has taken a temporary hit, waiting some odd years can give you time to experience enough appreciation to get out from being underwater on your loan.

Sell Your Home

When a home is sold with a mortgage on it, the entire loan balance becomes due. Home sellers can use the proceeds from their sale to pay off the balance. If you are underwater, it is very likely you won't have enough to cover the full amount. However, if you cannot wait and there is a need to sell your home, you can always try to sell it and pay out of pocket whatever is left on the mortgage. If there are no funds to do so, you can talk to your lender about doing a short sale, which is where the lender accepts less than the remaining mortgage balance.

For more information on an underwater mortgage, and selling with an underwater mortgage, contact our office. We can help you sell your Forgotten Coast home or real estate quickly and efficiently.



Posted in Selling Your Home