Archives for August 2013

East Pine Avenue Lot for Sale – New Listing

Enjoy the natural vegetation and trees in this quiet location that offers privacy near state-owned lands.  948 East Pine Avenue is the address of a new listing on St. George Island.  Located on the south side of Pine, both gulf and bay views are possible with 2-story house design.  List Price:  $89,000.  Legal Description: Unit 4, Block 45, Lot 7.

New Lot Loans Available – 25% down, interest rates start at 5.47%

Brenda Ash, local loan officer with Centennial Bank and a blogger for, just announced a new lot loan program that’s the best I’ve found in years!  75% loan to value, 15 year amortization at 6.19% or 75% loan to value, 15 year amortization with fixed rate for 5 years and balloon payment due in 5 years at 5.47% interest.  Local approval can be provided quickly.  1% origination fee + $250 processing fee + standard mortgage costs (doc stamps, intangible tax & recording fees).  This program is available to individuals only, no LLCs or companies.  Only one lot per person.  This offering is available through December 2013.   For more information, contact Brenda Ash at

Real Estate Market Continues to Improve on St. George Island

I’m happy to report the St. George Island real estate market continues its improvement.  To date, the average sales price on SGI is $418,566; in 2012 the average sales price was $381,146.  This is a 10% increase!  The “days on market” number continues to decrease.  In 2012, the average DOM was 281.  This year to date the average DOM is 225, a 20% decrease.  These statistics cover all sales on SGI (residential, lots & land, commercial) and are based on data provided by the MLS of the Realtor Association of Franklin & Gulf Counties.

Proposed Tax Notices Mailed Last Week – Time Sensitive Information!

If you are a St. George Island or Franklin County property owner, you should have received your “Notice of Proposed Property Taxes” last week.  This is an important document and should be reviewed carefully.  You should check the Market Value of your property which is listed at the bottom of the page (Market Value, Assessed Value, Exemptions, Taxable Value).   If you believe your Market Value is incorrect, or if you have questions, you should contact the Franklin County Property Appraiser 850-653-9236 as soon as possible.  If the property appraiser’s office is unable to resolve the issue, you may file a petition for adjustment with the Value Adjustment Board.  Deadline for filing petitions is September 15.

Remember that the Market Value for 2013 is based on qualified sales that closed in 2012 only.  Foreclosures are not qualified sales under Florida law.

The proposed tax rate for 2013 is 12.18150 mills (.0121815 x taxable value = taxes due).  This is an increase from the 2012 rate of 11.39370 and is based on Franklin County’s proposed budget.   If you would like to comment on the proposed tax rate and the county budget, there are two public hearings scheduled.   September 5 at 5:15 pm in the County Courthouse Annex and September 3 at 6:00 pm in Eastpoint at the Willie Speed Board Room.

Foreclosures Filings in Franklin County

This year through July, there were 102 new foreclosure cases filed here in Franklin County, according to Clerk of Court Marcia Johnson.  In 2012, a total of 180 cases were filed.  This is down from the peak here in Franklin County when annual filings were over 200.  Johnson also reported that only 21 cases were filed during 2005, her first year in office.  While the level of foreclosure filings remains somewhat high for the county, there are few new filings on St. George Island.  Currently, there are no active bank owned listings on St. George Island.  This is due, in part, to the active market on St. George and to the bank’s willingness to approve short sale transactions.

National Trends – When are buyers looking for real estate?

According to national real estate website, real estate searches pick up in January and peak in March.  There’s a dip in May and the searches peak, again, in July.  Activity online is then slow until December.  Here on St. George Island, our sales activity picks up in mid to late February and peaks in June.  Then, activity increases in the fall, usually from mid-October through December.  In all my years of selling real estate here on St. George Island, we typically write the most contracts in April-May-June.

Sold! 857 West Gorrie Drive, St. George Island

This great fixer-upper cottage on a first tier lot in the Gulf Beaches sold last week for $310,000.


Young Osprey on St. George Island

08-08-13 Osprey, recently fledged, St. George Island, Florida. (c) John B. Spohrer, Jr.


New Listing at St. James Bay Golf Course Community

If you enjoy golf course living, this home on the 12th fairway is priced to sell.  Located at 141 Royal Tern Way, the home was built in 2008 and is in good condition.  Features include 2-car garage, hardi-board siding, metal roof, front porch, screened porch, tile & carpet floors, granite countertops and plenty of storage.  Price to sell at $206,000.

141 Royal Tern Way at St. James Bay - $206,000

141 Royal Tern Way at St. James Bay – $206,000

Closed! 128 East Gorrie Drive – Beachfront St. George Island

The gulf front home at 128 East Gorrie Drive sold in late July for $406,200.  This was a great value and one of the last bank owned houses on the market here on St. George Island.  Current comparable listings start at $629,000.

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