Code Enforcement to Start Enforcing Trash Ordinance?

November 18, 2007 at 12:09 pm | Posted in Cape San Blas | Leave a comment
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Greeting From Beautiful Cape San Blas 

Gulf County has had a trash ordinance since 2005 but you’d never know it driving down Cape San Blas Road on any given summer afternoon.  Apparently the new code enforcement officer is going to have a go at enforcing it by issuing fines, which would be nice, but the cynic in me says not to bother being on the lookout for any flying pigs.  Others have tried enforcing both this and the sign ordinance and it’s apparently a recipe for a short career with the county.  It’s that “The Rules Are Different For Some People” syndrome again. 

The primary problem properties are rental units, and some property managers, by no means all, don’t want to be bothered with complying and so they call and complain and that always seems to be the end of it.   Anyway, I like Mr. Aiken, our new code enforcement officer.  He seems to ge a good man who takes his work seriously which is what we need, and I do indeed wish him success.  This problem has been plaguing us for far too long and it would be wonderful if we could finally solve it.  Here is a link to the County Ordinance if you aren’t familiar with the details:

Gulf County Trash Ordinance


Week In Review – Nov. 10 – 17

November 17, 2007 at 10:38 am | Posted in Business, Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, Real Estate | Leave a comment

fordalesoldblue.jpgOff to a late start this morning – I’ve been doing a system upgrade this week and haven’t been able to access the site since Tuesday (that’s tech talk for “I screwed up something really bad on Tuesday and have been wrestling with it ever since and it took me til this morning to figure out how to unscrew it).  But we’re back up and running now, so let’s take our weekly look at what’s been going on with Cape San Blas real estate.

For the first time our inventory remains exactly unchanged from the previous week, holding steady at 552, with 200 homes and 352 lots.

It’s been a pretty quiet week – I think the weather’s been too absolutely gorgeous for anyone to be out looking at real estate.  No solds and only one pending, a 2 bedroom, 2 bath townhome at Barrier Dunes.  Its been on the market since early January, currently priced at $285,000 which is aggressively low for Barrier Dunes.  It’s scheduled to close in about two weeks which sounds as if it’s a cash deal so we’ll just have to wait and see what the final negotiated price was.  The sellers bought it back in 2002 so they should be ok.

Only ten price changes, and none of them really eye-popping save for a 24% reduction on a lot on Pluto Way in Surfside Estates, which went from $210,000 to $160,000.  Here again the Seller bought it back on 2000 so he should still have room for a nice profit.

Looking ahead, there were 103 residential sales in 2005 with 60% of those closing between March and June.   Three-year ARM’s were all the rage then so they’ll be coming due real soon; it could be an interesting Spring shaping up with the likelihood of a number of sellers stepping up to do some serious bargain letting (sounds nicer than “blood letting”) . 

If you are interested in locating a well-priced investment property or own property you’d like to have an estimate of its current likely market value, shoot me an e-mail to or give me a call at 850-227-5197.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Week in Review Nov. 3 – 9

November 10, 2007 at 8:45 am | Posted in Business, Cape San Blas, Real Estate | Leave a comment

fordalesoldblue1.jpgGrab a cuppa coffee and settle right in for our Saturday morning week in review of real estate happenings in the Cape San Blas market.

About the only noteworthy event this week was the arrival of autumn and with it cool, dry weather.  The humidity has been down in the 30’s which is absolutely unheard of in Florida. Very little else happening though.  Our inventory remains relatively unchanged at 552, down only 2 from last week, with homes holding steady at 200 and 2 fewer lots at 352.

The buyers must all be up in the mountains checking out the fall foliage because they sure weren’t around here.  No new contracts and only the one closed lot sale that we were watching last week when it went under contract.  

Our one sold was a lot on Seminole Street over in Indian Pass Beach subdivision which was noted to be a foreclosure sale.  Unfortunately, it looks as if this seller needed to bail on an investment that just didn’t work out for him.  The lot was listed in February for $175,000 and sold this week for $150,000 cash, with the buyer paying the property taxes of roughly $1,600.   This sale was below the property appraisers assessed value of $160,000.  Here’s the ouch factor: he bought it in January 2004 for $200,000, so we’re talking about a 25% loss.  

Looking back on sales data we can see that the local market peaked in the fall of 2004 and sales turned off as abruptly as if someone had snapped a switch.  A quick check of the county clerk’s office records show that the mortgage matured in February of this year at a minimum of 9.25% and was due to adjust again in three months. 

There’s an art to knowing when to leave a party.

If you own or are in the market for investment property and would like to explore the probable current market value, shoot me an e-mail to or give me a call at 850-227-5197. 

Street Sign Update

November 6, 2007 at 5:17 pm | Posted in Cape San Blas, Real Estate | 2 Comments

The CCA received an email from the Code Enforcement Officer on additional missing street signs located in the Cape San Blas to Indian Pass area.  They will replace the County signs, but it is up to the individual property owners to replace private signs.  Following is the list they have been provided with.  Again, this is a safety issue; if you want EMS or the volunteer firemen to find your home, you may want to contact Bobby Knee at the County (850-639-2238).  The Code Enforcement Officer for the county is Michael Aiken at 850-229-8944.


Savannah Road, off C30E
Sawgrass Lane, off Savanna Road
Savanna Lane, off Savanna Road
Main Sail Lane, map sheet 5D
Bamba Way, map sheet 5D
Kingfisher, map sheet 5D
Secluded Dunes Drive, map sheet 5D
Sapodilla Lane, map sheet 5A


Lee Street
Griffin Ave
Gulf Pines Drive

The Lures of Apalach

November 6, 2007 at 10:27 am | Posted in Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, Travel | Leave a comment

I spent the past weekend in Apalach with my husband and friends welcoming the arrival of Autumn and, of course, the annual seafood festival.  The weather for the event was the best I’ve ever seen and they had a great turnout.

If you’ve never been to Apalachicola or it’s just been a little too long since you were lucky enough to visit, you’ll enjoy a very well written feature on the renaissance of this historic waterfront town in Sunday’s Boston GlobeRead the full story here.

Week In Review – Oct. 27 – Nov. 2

November 3, 2007 at 9:16 am | Posted in Business, Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, Real Estate | Leave a comment

fordalesoldblue.jpgTime once again for our Saturday morning week in review of what’s been happening (or not) in the world of Cape San Blas real estate.  The weather has cooled a bit this week, pleasant as can be; let’s see if our market is following suit.

We end the week with a total active listing inventory of 554, down an impressive 2.5% from last week’s  568.  There are exactly 200 houses (down 2) and 354 lots (down 14).  This reflects a growing number of expireds deciding not to re-list.  In looking over the monthly housing inventory for the past 4 years, it looks as if the market peaked in April 2006 at 288, and has been trending downward ever since.

Home Sold in Seagrass on Cape San Blas Oct. 25, 2007We have one closed sale this week, a beautiful nearly new home in Seagrass, which sold for an even $1M, 87% of its list price of $1,150,000.  The owner was both listing and selling agent, so the Seller and listing agent were clearly equally motivated.   This home is a gulf first tier with private in-ground pool and lovely landscaping, and was sold beautifully furnished.

Only one new pending sale, an interior lot on Seminole Street in Indian Pass Beach subdivision.  Unfortunately, this is a foreclosure sale with a list price of $175,000 on a lot purchased by the Seller in January 2005 for $200,000.  This contract is scheduled for a quick close so we should know by next Saturday what the actual sale price is.

Twenty-three sellers decided to tweak their prices downward this week,  16 houses and 7 lots.  There are getting to be some pretty sweet looking deals showing up out there which should start getting the attention of savvy investors.

If you own or are interested in property that you’d like to get an estimate of its likely current market value, give me a call at 850-227-7891 or shoot me an e-mail to

Shut Up and Pay Your Taxes

November 1, 2007 at 3:16 pm | Posted in Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, Real Estate | 1 Comment

We may pay obscenely high taxes for the privilege of owning property in Gulf County but don’t go thinking you’re entitled to any services in return.  That’s the reality of living in a county without at-large voting; we’re held hostage to the whims of five commissioners each protecting and only caring about their own little fiefdom.  This is what passes for “government” here.   I received the following update from Coastal Community Association (originally formed as Cape San Blas Taxpayers Association) president Pat Hardman this afternoon regarding missing street signs here on the Cape and it just makes my blood boil:

At the County Commission meeting on October 26, the Commission decided to not replace or repair street signs in South Gulf County on private streets.  The request and argument for replacement of the signs had been “public safety” for identification of streets for fire and emergency personnel.  One Commissioner’s comment was that, if he owned a half million dollar home and he wanted the fire and ambulance to find his house, he would be paying for the sign to be put up himself and not expecting the County to do it after all the cuts they had to make this year to the elderly and poor.  Jerry Barnes and Billy Williams spoke in favor of replacing the signs.

Bobby Knee at the Road Department (639-2238) said the sign costs the county $60.00.  The County will fix the sign and put it up for the $60.00 when someone on the street calls and obligates for the $60.00.

Owners of homes on these streets may want to call Bobby and have the signs put up.  It is a matter of public safety and of emergency and fire personnel finding your home.  Remember these are volunteers trying to find unfamiliar locations.

The streets without signs are: (according to the list given to the County) there may be more streets but this is all Bobby has at this time.


Barefoot Trail-No sign at intersection of Barefoot Trail & Canoe Lane
Cottage Lane-No street sign at C30A
Canoe Lane-No sign at the intersection of Barefoot Trail & no sign at the intersection of Treasure Drive

Indian Pass Road

Lagoon Drive-No street sign at the intersection of Painted Pony
Broken Arrow Lane-No street sign at the intersection of Painted Pony
Private road between Reservation Road and Red Bird Lane – not street sign
Majestic Palms Dr – No Street Sign
St Vincent Circle-No Street Sign


Cabana Lane – No street sign
Secluded Dunes –  No Street Sign
Summer Breeze – No street sign

Please call Bobby Knee at the Road Department (639-2238) if your sign is on this list and you want to pay to have them have your private road marked for safety purposes.

Patricia Hardman

CCA President 

State Approves Yet Another Property Insurance Hiike

November 1, 2007 at 2:23 pm | Posted in Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, Real Estate | Leave a comment

Taxpayers Wallets Under Attack . . . AgainApparently our friends in Tallahassee think Florida taxpayers wallets are like Mary Poppins’ bag in that from them a never ending stream of money can be extracted.  This time it’s insurance – even though most of us hadn’t yet stopped reeling from the last increase earlier this year – and they’re already back hitting us up again with a 2 per cent increase.  For more on this story, link to the details here.

What’s Up With All Those C-30 Survey Crews?

October 30, 2007 at 2:01 pm | Posted in Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, Real Estate | Leave a comment

Surveyors Along C-30If you’ve driven along C-30 between the Cape and Simmons Bayou lately, you’ve no doubt noticed the inordinate number of survey crews lining the sides of the road.  I’ve had a number of e-mails and calls from folks wondering what’s going on so I decided to check it out.

Turns out there’s two separate projects going on, one public, one private.  Preble Rish has crews over by Country Club Road (just east of Presnell’s) surveying for installation of sewer lines for the new subdivision there, Shallow Reed.

The other crews are further west not far from the old Treasure Bay Lodge which now houses the Buffer Preserve folks.   They told me the Florida Department of Transportation is getting ready to replace the two little bridges along that stretch.  I asked if there are plans to widen any portion of the road but they didn’t know.

Hospital Moving Closer to Becoming Reality

October 28, 2007 at 9:09 am | Posted in Business, Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe | Leave a comment

The New Sacred Heart Hospital in Port St. Joe Driving 130 miles round trip from the Cape to Panama City hospitals for health care is scheduled to become a thing of the past by Spring of 2009. If you haven’t driven past the community college on Hwy. 98 recently, you’ll be surprised the next time you do as huge swaths of land have now been cleared on either side of the road in preparation for construction to begin on both the new Sacred Heart Hospital and the housing/commercial development to support it.  This morning’s News Herald has a detailed update on the current status.

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