OWA Spells “FUN!”

OWA Opening


Living in Baldwin County has been an incredible experience, and it comes with so many exciting opportunities to enjoy living on the coast. My family is always looking for activities to make the most of being able to enjoy being outdoors, and OWA will not disappoint! Along with the amusement park, sports complex, restaurants, hotels, etc., this development brings with it excitement! How fun will it be to have a place to make the memories with our families and friends we will be able to make?


I grew up in north central Alabama and every Summer we would travel to the Gulf Coast for vacation. Some of my favorite memories are jumping the waves with my Nanny or watching my little sister jump in the pool with her floaties on at under 2 years old. She was a little fish! But along with those memories are those of the rides, games, and fun at Miracle Strip in Panama City Beach. I loved riding the cars with my cousin, playing games and eating way too many snacks.




One of my favorite pictures of my grandfather, my Papa, is the one above and it was taken at Miracle Strip when I was around 3 years old. I treasure this photo and the memory that comes to mind every single time I see it – he was making that popping sound by putting his finger in the side of his mouth and popping it out – no clue how else to explain it. In my 3 year old mind, it was magic!


As the time comes for the opportunity to make these memories with my own husband and daughter, I get more and more excited! I know it means more traffic, and I know it means growth in our small towns, but how amazing is it that we get to watch it happen, Baldwin County? We get to watch more people move to the area that we all love and experience the life that we get to live every day.


There’s plenty of room for all of us! And if you need help moving to or away from the growing areas, then by all means let me know! I look forward to seeing you at OWA and helping you find your home near the shores!


6 Reasons Your Home Won’t Sell

Are you ready to sell your home and want it to have a great first impression on the market? Or maybe your home has been listed for a few weeks or months, you can’t figure out why it won’t sell, and you know your agent is working hard to market it. We’ve listed below the top 6 reasons your home may not make a good impression and end up stagnant on the market.

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To be clear, an overpriced home is the #1 reason a home won’t sell. We often times want our homes to be worth a lot more than we may see based on the data, but if you put your home on the market for the number you wish it will bring instead of the price it actually needs to be, your home can sit on the market for months without getting a single showing. If you’re thinking you need to price high to leave room for negotiations, statistics show that views for your property, for buyers in your price range, can drop a whopping 90% if it’s priced too high. Discuss with your agent what the market says the value of your home is, then price it competitively to potentially get a bidding frenzy instead of low offers or having it expire.


Making sure the house is clean and having to leave on a daily basis for buyers to tour the home may get a little overwhelming, but it is crucial to have open availability to have your home shown. You could end up missing out on the perfect buyer if you decline too many showings. The longer it sits on the market, the less value buyers will see in it. Talk with your agent about having a 24 hour notice period if the extra time is needed, but make sure your home is available to be shown as often as possible.


Buyers want to walk into a house and envision their lives in that home. This is difficult to do if your home is cluttered with personal belongings. They are instantly given the feeling of invading someone else’s personal space, instead of the satisfaction of being able to see a future in your home. Make sure your property is clutter free before putting it on the market, and make sure to store away any family photos.


If you smoke or have pets it’s easy to get used to the smell to the point that you don’t even notice it anymore, but it’s important to understand that the scent can be picked up by new people visiting your home. It can really turn them off from making an offer. Before a showing, make sure to dispose of any garbage, don’t cook fish or other strong smelling food, and ensure the home is freshened up so there are no pet or smoke odors.


Selling your home as-is may sound appealing at first, but being unwilling to make repairs could make you responsible for more mortgage payments that far exceed the cost of repairs. If you refuse to work with the buyer on their requests, then your home goes back on the market again. It’s wise to be open to repair requests, and simply go over with your agent what you can afford to do and make a reasonable counter offer during the repair negotiations. 


It’s important to have an open mind about requests that will come from buyers when it comes to purchasing your home. These requests can come in the form of price negotiations, repair requests, or even requests to cover closing costs or home warranties. With your agent on your side advising you of the best steps to take, it’s best to be open to working with the buyer’s on some of their requests to ensure a successful closing.


Why Rent if You Can Buy?

Believe me, I understand renting has a very important purpose and can be the wisest choice in certain scenarios. My first year in Daphne I my family and I lived in a rental property. We were in transition from our relocation and did not yet know where we would want to purchase our home. Although it was the right decision for us at the time, I look at that year as money lost and happiness sacrificed. We rented an 1,800 square foot house that was built in the 70s, had no fenced yard for our two dogs, had no level outside area for our toddler to play, and cost us $1,200 per month. A couple months ago we purchased a brand new 2,200 square foot home that has a fenced back yard, a large lot that is level and has plenty of room for our little one to run and play, and only costs us $1,300 per month.

Home ownership rates are the lowest they have been in the last 50 years. Yet a large portion of Americans are still renting properties, instead of enjoying a home of their own. Consumer reports believe this is an issue because of a buyer’s lack of trust in their ability to purchase. It is still a long standing notion that a buyer needs 20% towards the cost of the home in order to move forward, but this isn’t true. With countless down payment assistant programs and closing cost roll-ins, a homeowner could move in with as little as a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Which is a huge difference in the time it takes to save up to make the move.

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Another reason to purchase in today’s market are the low interest rates available. The money saved over a mortgage’s lifespan can result in tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds. That’s more money in your pocket today. Don’t wait to buy when interest rates soar again. With low interest rates, that means your monthly mortgage payments are at a significantly lower cost, as well. With such a heated housing market, rental prices are soaring, and statistics are constantly showing that home ownership can be equivalent to your rental rate each month, if not less. Why remain in a small apartment or rental house if you can move into a home and pay a monthly rate that is the same? And even get a 3 bedroom house with a great backyard?

There is also a fear that a home can keep you “stuck” or “rooted” to one place without an easy transition out if you decide to move. Although the future of the housing market isn’t easily predictable from location to location, we can always discuss buying a home in an area that has a strong turn-over rate when a home hits the market. The equity build up when it comes time to sell is going to be far more beneficial than if you put money into a rental and decided to move. The money from selling the property can be used to purchase a new home. With renting, there would be no additional funds to transition into a new place.

Now imagine if you were renting a home for $2,000 per month. If your landlord is renting to make a profit, think of how much less you’d be paying on a monthly basis towards your mortgage if the home was yours. You wouldn’t be paying a landlord to profit off of you, you’d be paying a reasonable rate and would get to call the property your own.

Let’s discuss the steps you need to take towards home ownership. You might be pleasantly surprised about the type of home you can afford to move into.

Debunking 5 Home Buying Myths

Untitled design (2)Finally ready to make the transition into home ownership? That’s awesome, and in this exciting time you can be turning to friends and family for an insight into the process. However, there seems to be a circulation of misinformation spreading around, so we’re here to clear up a few myths.



You know the saying, “Don’t put the cart before the horse,” well that’s important to remember when it comes to buying a home. You don’t want to start looking for a house until you have gotten to sit down with a lender and discuss what the bank will qualify you for. If you fall in love with a house that’s $250,000 and come to find out you’re only qualified for $200,000 you can get your hopes crushed and waste a lot of time. Don’t start the process on the wrong foot and make sure the numbers line up.


For starts, when buying a home, 99% of the time the buyer’s agent gets paid by the sellers. That random 1% can be for odd circumstances. So you’re getting to use the services of a real estate agent for free. Having a real estate agent on your side means you’ll get to see homes that aren’t as readily available on public searches, you avoid outdated listings and scammers (there are lots of them), and you have protection when it comes to navigating the legalities of contracts and buying a home. Why wouldn’t you want an awesome negotiator working to ensure you get the best from the transaction? For FREE!


Fortunately for some, this is a myth. Lenders and banks come by the hundreds of thousands and all though there are a few loan options, a lot of lenders can work with credit scores down to the low to mid 500’s. Get in touch with an agent to help you connect with the right lender who can help you potentially approved. There is a lot of factors that go into approvals, but your credit doesn’t have to be a sore thumb during the process. However, you will be doing yourself a favor if you connect with a credit repair specialist to at least get those numbers in the 600’s. A better score will lower you interest rate.


Think you have to sell an arm and a leg to buy a home? Not at all! An FHA loan only requires 3.5% while a conventional only requires 5%. There are a lot of programs that can potentially help you with down payment assistance or be 0% down mortgage. USDA and VA loans are the most popular 0% down programs. If you qualify, this can take a big chunk off the amount of cash you have to bring to the closing table.


This is one of the biggest misconceptions. There is a lot of cost that goes into buying a home, and that includes upfront costs. One of the mandatory ones are a termite and appraisal. If you are getting a mortgage, the home will have to appraise and get a letter stating there are no termites in the home. Termite can range between $25-$75 dollars. An appraisal can range from $300-$700 dollars. Aside from your down payment, you then have to pay for closing costs. And NO, they are not the same thing. Closing costs can range anywhere between 3-6% of the purchase price. In certain markets, this can be negotiated for sellers to cover by rolling into the offer price, but whether that decision is smart to do or not when it comes to landing your dream home will need to be discussed with your agent.

Now that you have some knowledge to get the process started, contact contact me so I can help you get through the process as smoothly as possible.