Destin, Florida

Recently I spend a week down in Destin Florida. Of coarse I had to check out the real estate market.  Riding around I sure did see a lot of For Sale signs on a lot of really nice properties.

A local broker says the property and lot sales dropped big time in the third quarter of 2005 and have leveled out at a much lower level.  He reckons it will stay that way for another two years or until the new regional airport opens.  I do bet with a new larger airport that will help spur things up a bit.

 Destiin is such a beautiful area and a lot of people have second homes there. To them, if they are long term holders, it shouldn’t matter much. We talked with an owner at the condo community we were staying. She is from Oklahoma and has owned here unit since it was new, about 30 years ago.  They visit about twice a year and do not rent out their property.  She has such a low initial investment, it really has paid off for her.

Plenty of properties to rent for a week or longer in Destin even thought rental rates seem to be holding up very well.   But I know Destin had become so hot, a lot of people were into flipping.  I know several people who says they would put down a pre construction deposit and then were able to sell at a double closing when property was ready for a big profit.  Those days seem to be over for the time being.

Destin will come back so a bargain hunter could start looking now.

Many retirees are getting a second home to live in part of the year and keeping their current home. Or if you live in a nearby metro like Atlanta for example, you could make several trips down as often as you like, and either rent out your unit or not.

St. Simons Island GA

It seems I hear more and more about St. Simons Island Georgia as a vacation spot, a second home location and now a great retirement place.

St. Simons Island is part of the legendary Golden Isles near Historic Brunswick, Georgia, St. Simons Island lies between Jekyll Island and Sea Island.

Marsh’s Edge is a full service senior community located on the beautiful Saint Simons Island.  From the photos on their web site, it looks simply gorgeous, with lakes and live oaks around the property.  Already a vacation and second home destination, Marsh’s Edge is in the midst of legendary golf courses, distinctive boutiques, art galleries and antique shops.

I can imagine living here without the worries about home maintenance, yard work and other chores.  It would be like being on vacation all the time. The Wellness Center includes senior friendly exercise equipment and an indoor swimming pool.

Continuing Care Retirement Community

This is a Continuing Care Retirement Community. CCRCs are so named because they address the entire continuum of care with healthy seniors moving into independent living apartments, but having the security of knowing they can “age in place” thanks to assisted living and skilled nursing services on site.

A big part of Marsh’s Edge is the regular retirement community living. They have a good variety of accomadations including:

  • Spacious one and two-bedroom apartments — some include a den
  • Two-bedroom plus den and three-bedroom cottages
  • I think a trip to check out Marsh’s Edge on St. Simons Island would be interesting and worthwhile.



    Del Webb at LAKE OCONEE

    We just visited Del Webb’s new Active Adult Community at Lake Oconee Greensboro Georgia.  Lake Oconee has been a hot spot for those fortunate enough to “retire to the lake” for years. It is the home of Reynolds Plantation where homes go from $400,000 to well over a million.  The area has developed high end shopping and gourmet restaurants.  I have heard a lot about Lake Oconee and now after visiting can see why it is a very nice place to live.

    Del Webb at Lake Oconee is coming along nicely. Most of the streets are in as well as the model home park and the sales center.  I toured several lot pods and was surprised to see high elevation lots with nice long vistas the fortunate homeowners will get.  In my mind I am thinking everything was going to be flat, but that is not the case. Also some very nice lake view lots were spotted on at least two pods.  

    At the entrance will be a large community monuments with a gorgeous waterfall feature that should give quite an impression. Then the gated security follows as you enter this new 55+ community.  The sales center and model home park will be on the right. Looks like maybe 12 model homes from my count.  The 21,000 square feet activities center will be nearby.  The elevation slopes as you follow the Del Webb Parkway through the community towards the lake.  At the lake there will be two boat ramps and docks with about 40 boat slips for the community.  On the hill to the left will be a nice covered pavilion for picnicking with a view over the lake.  A quite interesting feature being planned is a RV and boat storage facility right on the property.  That would be nice to have your boat right in your community next to your boat ramp with no highway towing necessary.

    My wife and I are still talking about this new community and I am sure there will be quite a stir the Ritz Carlton Lodge on August 3 & 4 when when the VIP preview event will take place. If you have an interest in 55+ lake property and communities, you need to go to Del Webb’s Lake Oconee web page and register for this VIP event as soon as possible. I believe it may be booked up but an opening is possible if you act now.  

    We have toured two other Pulte Del Webb communities and were very impressed by the livable, energy efficient floor pans. There will be the same floor plans offered here, plus Villas.  There will be 895 lots on 400 acres, so this is a reasonable size community.

    Del Webb at Lake Oconee community is located off Lake Oconee Parkway in the middle of Georgia’s Lake Country and very near the Lake Oconee Village shops.