ST AUGUSTINE BEACH AND CRESCENT BEACH CURRENT MARKET REPORT by RONNIE TUMLIN The information contained herein is deemed half way reliable based on some facts and mostly opinions of the author who is a high school graduate and holds a bachelor's degree from USF, a masters from Do It Yourself U, as well as a doctorate from the School of Hard Knocks.
AUGUST 1, 2019 NOW YA'LL TELL ME! Just in the past few days showing appointments have exploded we are booking one and two shows a day....other agents are telling me the same thing......but of course, this does not translate into contracts but they gotta look at the menu before they order......wouldn't it be great if the restaurant brought you out a small sample of the special of the day with a plate all dressed up? Instead of a wait staff stumbling around trying to remember how the special today is prepared .....and is it actually snapper or tilapia, a nasty fresh water fish in my opinion....when they say "perch" watch out.....when they say "white fish" watch out.....I want to know what kind of fish exactly.....white fish can be anything from catfish to shark. Anyway, we are getting tons of lookers so now lets see if they are buyers.....I personally think perhaps people with a lot of cash or stocks are getting nervous with all the crazy rumblings from from the left and their presidential candidates and the crazy four......I am personally going to watch this next election with both eyes and ears carefully......if those idiots want to start taxing what I have saved up my whole life I could lead the new old folks revolution and it won't be with a pen and phone. Those fools keep talking about taxing what you saved up after you paid taxes and now want to tax whats left? That's why they call them the "left" , if they missed you the first time they want to come back and take whatever is left!
Anyway, my storm predictions for 2019 cane season is still in the jury room.....I can usually tell you what's going to happen after I do my regular fishing trips to the gulf and keys...simply from what the water feels like....last year, the keys were cool....water was at least 5-8 degrees cooler than normal the gulf however was very warm....felt hot when you jumped in.....thusly no canes in south Fla and a big one in the gulf.....others hit far to the north of us. This year, the jury is still out, I have not been in the water this summer at all but summer ain't over till November. Maybe I'll start predicting weather like they do on TV....maybe it will and maybe it won't.....but I can tell you exactly what happened yesterday.....wallah! I'm a weather man. RT
JULY FOURTH! 2019 and a happy bang bang to your and yours. We currently have a nice collection of prime ocean front condos at what I consider to be "fair market value" We just put a top floor Sand Dollar we had under contract yesterday for a cash buyer and a fair price for all. We are still plagued by dumbunny new agents promising crazy prices to get listings and stupid agents telling buyers how cheap they can buy stuff on the beach. Not a good combination. MY RULE has always been to let the buyer decide if its a good deal or not unless it is a steal then I jump and down with my eyes flashing steal steal steal. One mans bargain is another's bad deal simple as that. I tell folks if you love it, buy it, if you don't love it pass it by. An old boat dealer named Bobby told me once when I was a young buck in the business "both, there's an ass for every seat" be patient show every boat on the yard let the customer pick it. Words to live by my friends.
We have two offers working right now for buyers, we have a couple of nips working on our Summerhouse and Sand Dollar penthouse but I have no idea if either will bare fruit we shall see in due time. We have lots of lookers again, so maybe sales will follow after a less than spectacular spring.....maybe the birds will go to roost late this year. The stock market is still strong, the fuel prices are still reasonable, people's kids and grand kids can get a job nowadays.....so I think discretionary cash laying around can be spent with some confidence on a vacation property that can be enjoyed and or rented. Speaking of rentals THERE IS STILL NO SUCH A THING AS A RENTAL CONDO THAT WILL "PAY FOR ITSELF" we had one such so called buyer last week try to buy one of our ocean fronts top floor corner and they insisted it was only worth so much....I smelled "cash return" requirements.....they walked only 2% apart on the price....I told their agent from the get go they were asking so called "investor" questions not the type questions users would ask. She insisted they were real buyers and nice people....I am sure they were but they were looking for 7% return best I could tell and that ain't gonna happen.... those days are over....during Obama days you could do that if you paid cash.....no more.....our best properties will usually yield about 3-4% on rentals if you do not stay yourself, if you do not loan to friends and customers and if you turn the rental agent loose with liberal requirements ...... sorry Charlie Tuna that's just the way it is......but like one buyer of mine said.....3 1/2% return is just fine, that does not include write offs , depreciation and our own personal use when not rented......we will take it. That is the kind of "investor/user" I want to see walk through the front door.
We still have an abundance of ocean front houses for sale at Crescent Beach....we just sold one a month ago for 1.7 on a 100 ft lot. Fair price for all. Call us, text us, email us if you want to shop for beach property or if you want to sell we are just a few steps away with our office on A1A in the heart of Crescent Beach. Now in our 20th year. rt
Early June 2019....Business is still doing "okay" but not on fire. I am still seeing bulletins every day announcing "price reduced!!" which proves what I have written about of late......new agents and hungry brokers are promising sellers anything they want to hear to get listings....no matter true market value.....yes, values are rising slowly on the island with houses......it is rather flat on condos.....house prices off island are pulling back a bit......I think due to the thousands of new houses coming on the market with new developments throughout the county. I am not in favor of any of these new developments, I just don't see we have infrastructure to support all the extra people moving in.....thank goodness most buyers are retirees without kids or the school taxes would kill us. School taxes have always been a barb under my saddle.....I guarantee you as a B student in high school in the sixties I knew more about readin writin and rithmetic......than 90% of the A students today. I knew double the history they know now......and as you older folks know so well....history tells us a lot about the future. However our educators do not see it that way.
Anyway, I do not see the market as either a buyers market or sellers market....it is a push. Sellers who really want to sell bad there are buyers out there for a bargain, we recently closed on a house for a client that felt the house was a good deal as we did too, there were multiple offers, we got the deal cause our buyer had cash, we paid a wee bit over appraisal but we felt the appraisal was low, that happens once in awhile.....for buyers who really want to buy , you will have to pay a fair price.....make sense?
Politics: I personally have no problem with tariffs, I prefer buying something made in the USA even if it costs more....my wife and I both look hard at what we are after to see if there is an American made product to do the job.....it usually costs more but that's ok. I hate it when I need something and the good is not made in America and I can't find one.....hate it. I really have no beef with "made in Japan" because I know it is the best quality and its usually expensive......not so "made in Mexico or China" I hate the "Chinese junk" tools I am forced to buy at Home Depot......I hate it.....the metal is cheap, and the power tools are disposable in my opinion .... but then again I was a B student in high school and a middle grade C in college. RT
Uno de Mayo 2019.....The good news for sellers is we still have lots of lookers, the bad news is prices are holding steady from last year and not going up a lot which is also good news for buyers and good news for sellers. IN many parts of the country prices are contracting despite what you may hear......sure, in some markets they get multiple offers the day a property goes on the market we are told.....I see ads about some agents who always get more than the asking price.....common mannnnnn, how dumb you gotta be to bite on that one.....If I list an ocean front Sand Dollar for 295 I will have 20 offers able the asking price in 24-48 hours maybe more......all will be cash no contingencies.....if agents claim to get more than asking price they are not asking enough simple as that.....next case your honor. We have several properties under contract right now, a commercial office, a house at Marsh Creek and a condo on the beach. We have several new listings that are good ones and priced to market. Beach front condos are selling if priced properly but our biggest problem as I have whined about many many times is renters are not cooperative and the owners don't want to miss out on the rent.....it is a tough tight rope to walk for us. We did have a huge flurry of requests to see rented condos bacon March when renters were getting ready to leave after being here all winter......do they want to shop in Jan or Feb? Noooooo they wait till they get ready to leave......it is a pattern. Rookie agents can't sniff these people out and drive us nuts wanting to get in....95% of the so called "buyers" are only shopping around looking for perhaps a better rental for next year and no way rental agents will tour them around so they masquerade as buyers and sucker agents show them various units for sale......think I'm crazy? Okay think about this. An agent calls me to see a Sand Dollar priced at $897 and a unit at $495 and another our office has listed at Summerhouse for $364,500.....now you tell me, is this a serious buyer shopping that huge a spread? Not in my pea brained opinion.
Best I can tell the hottest category of houses selling right now is in the 200-250 range...if you can find one.....we had a client looking at that price spread and they picked one and three offers came in within 24 hours, we lost out. We picked another and it went under contract before we could get the offer written.....both these properties had been on the market for over 30 days but what happens is lookers in that price range shop, scratch, sniff and all come to the same conclusion that property A is the best deal and they all concentrate on that one. We see the same with condos in the low 300s right now....if you can find one that is bigger than a cracker box.....animal crackers.....
Weather: we had a great winter hardly any hard cold days at all......a great spring and now that May is here temps are still in the low 80s. I suspect we should have a mild summer.....I hope......global warming? Sure, as a staunch conservative who is center right......I submit this regarding global warming....on the weather channel last night I was watching a report about Viking implements and clothes being found on islands no one knew existed....but ice and snow had melted uncovering islands in the Arctic......scientists are alarmed about global warming melting these glaciers......then they tell about Viking implements, clothes etc being found when the ice recedes for the first time in hundreds of years.....this stuff was dated 1600 plus years old......do any of them say....uhmmmmmm perhaps there were no glaciers in these places 1600 years ago? Perhaps the earth cools and warms??????hummmmmmm? Perhaps we were are supposed to be warmer and grass is supposed to grow inside the arctic circle only it got covered up by ice age weather.....now maybe things are straightening out? I dunno but what it tells me is there is zero we can do about it and the weather changes in both directions over the eons. Next case your honor.
Politics: I do absolutely feel the confidence from buyers in their financial future unlike we saw during obama days...just we saw during Carter days. People feel good about their finances, people feel good about their jobs.....I see help wanted signs everywhere....I have had several business owners tell me they have quit drug testing....that is the ad news....they have had to quit testing because they can't find help that is sober....we are out of help. Lord I hope these employees do not operate heavy equipment or drive cars for the employers. One AC guy I am friends with is doing service calls himself these days because he can't take the risk of sending out a druggie on his own but he will use one as a helper....sad but true and a by product of full employment. I am quite sure anybody who wants to work can find work easily. Trump? I think so, he is no choir boy but if one can get past his personal dumb things and only look at his policies for the country it is clear he is getting the job done, don't give a rats you know what about his tax returns and I doubt you do either. Several friends of mine in Texas are truly alarmed saying they are "under siege" from south and central Americans invading Texas.....I do not look for congress to do anything about it......I would really like to know if these migrants are providing work for employers or just draining medical and other resources from our country that the libs gleefully give them. I find it interesting that people like Bernie and Bozo who released their tax returns, give very very little to charity......but they want to give America's treasury to everybody! The Dems motto is do as I say not what I do. Somebody prove me wrong. RT
Feb 16, 2019 The roads are busy the restaurants are full, grocery store is standing in line all day.....it's Daytona 500 season! Runs tomorrow. Tell you how old I am, I saw the last Daytona race on the beach sitting on my father's shoulders in bleachers on the beach in 1956. I saw the first 500 at the super speedway in 1957 when it was a three way photo finish. They argued about the winner for years. I think the photo was taken with a polaroid. I enjoy all the hoopla for a few weeks, then its motorcycle week, then we start getting the spring break crowd. Spring break at Crescent Beach is orderly always has been.....no drinking allowed on the beach in decades. Rental companies will not rent to breakers. But they come from far and wide and stay in hotels or wherever they can find. Many come daily from the universities and colleges within 100 miles and there are lots of those.
So, how is business? Pretty good and orderly. Steady I think is the best way to say it. We have a million dollar condo under contract, a really nice Ocean Village Club under contract, just closed on a vacant lot at Sea Pines, just listed a Summerhouse and Barefoot Trace and another at Ocean Gallery. All three are very nice units in premium complexes. We also have an oceanfront at Tradewinds ground floor. and a Beach and Tennis 3/2 with a view. Come one, come all we got'ed all short and tall big and small.
Politics? I am continually amused at the idiots Americans have elected these days.....like the numbskull from New York that is now leading the Democratic Party. She and her cohorts want to eliminate fossil fuel propulsion......everybody is hollering about no airplanes? Hey mannnnn what about no boats!!!?????? What about if you want to drive across the state or country i will take days if not weeks......can't get a horse she wants to eliminate that too.....they only wrote up eliminating cows but trust me horses fart too......I had horses when I was a kid. They say the electorate is "smart"......I really have my doubts. RT
January 21, 2019 And the beat goes onnnnnn......no snow, no freezing weather, only sunshine and views of the atlantic and strollers, walkers and trotters on the beach.....bikers too.....the kind you peddle. I don't remember the last time I saw a Harley on the beach. If they do give it a try their fenders will rust out before they get home. Business on the island is still sailing along nicely. We have a couple of contracts pending right now and a couple more new listings on oceanfront and ocean view condos. An oceanfront house is coming on the market in a few weeks. The busiest month of the year is practically here. February is race month. The Daytona 500 crowd soaks up most all the hotel and rental properties within 50 miles of Daytona. It actually goes on for the entire month because right on the heels of the 500 is the motorcycle deal that goes on through the first week of March. I actually enjoy the traffic and roar up and down A1A for a few days here and there .... it is not constant....they gotta sleep. They gotta go drinkin so they are off the road for that too. We listed a house in Marsh Creek a week ago and we had 8 showings the first ten days.....unbelievable......but no offers yet.....so at least people are looking. We have had a couple of looney bird offers on a couple of our condo listings but no deal....people are still reading those financial seminar booklets that tell them they should be able to buy a rental property and get 20% return and finance the whole thing with zero down.......absurd right? They still believe that stuff.....and pay 30 bucks for the book!!!! common mannnnn. Oh, here's another tidbit....Our previous website was a world beater, I had a pro program it after I told him exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it to operate. It was great and we got a ton of business off of it before the chains and commercials like zillow stated horning in but we were holding on just fine against the giants.......but here's what I now think might have happened to it. I used to write a lot about politics and my disapproval of how the previous administration conducted business and was killing business with rules and regs from the nutty side. About 6 years ago, we were getting thousands of "hits" a month world wide and I kept harping about BHO (hopefully the robots won't pick up on that).....anyway, out of nowhere we got dropped and disappeared off the internet searches. I was told by my people they had no idea what happened.....we just vanished and I could not even buy my way back on.......now I see that the search company giant that we did so well with, was actively looking throughout the internet for sites that were "conservative" in their writings and thinkings. I sincerely think they didn't like what I was saying about their boy and pushed us out. The news of late confirms those California based search engines systematically have done an still do their best to muffle conservative views. I'll leave it at that lest they target me again.
Business is great! common down and let's find you a place where the only white stuff is sand. RT
January 4, 2019 Well folks, this I must tell you. This has been the busiest Christmas/New Year season for real estate sales I have ever seen. A lot of action. We had two closings today, put another oceanfront house under contract, picked up two new listings. "We"admittedly and proudly are a very small brokerage in the middle of Crescent Beach. Our brotherly brokerage St Johns Commercial Properties has been busy too with millions in new listings and just closed a deal near the interstate for 1.3! This is not supposed to happen this time of year. So, I keep asking myself what is going on? The influx of new shoppers are financially strong ....... most can write a check. Looking deeper into this activity I see an entire panhandle of Florida being looked upon as "hurricane alley" and people looking at those areas are looking for something a little safer. We have been sideswiped many times but have not taken a direct hit in scores and that one was over 50 years ago and was just a toy storm with winds about 75....just a big thunderstorm.
Another factor I keep hearing is they love the culture that downtown offers, the top rated schools and top rated colleges and artsie stuff that has steadily grown throughout the area. Our medical facilities are outstanding with outstanding doctors. Why not? They want to be here too for all these reasons. Our beaches are clean, we have no red tide, crime here is extremely rare, a speeding ticket is front page news. You can find most anything you want in and near St Augustine just a couple miles off island. Our restaurants are better than good and there are lots of them all over the place. Our seafood is nationally renowned and for good reason.....its the best of the best. Freshest of the fresh most of it comes from the ocean right here. As I write this, I can see five shrimp boats tonight at 8:30 dragging nets offshore all lit up like aircraft carriers. Those shrimp will be in the markets tomorrow. Last but not leastly .... hmmmm is leastly a word? You know what I mean.......GASOLINE IS CHEAP.....today I paid $1.99 a gallon for BP gasoline down the street from the house here on the island. That my friends gives us comfort that things are going good for America and thusly people are not afraid to invest in a family vacation property at the beach. I rest my case. Hope to see you soon. RT
November 26, 2018 Lightning does strike in November......right after I get through explaining to our owners of properties we have listed for sale......that this is a slow time of year and not hold your breath....wait till January for much of anything to happen.....boom! Our ocean front Barefoot Trace listing goes under contract. Lightning does strike when you least expect it. We had it priced to market and it is going to sell at a solid price that is fair to buyer and seller. This also proves as I have said for many years to quote the great Bobby Nobles, "there is an ass for every seat" a client from mine from Germany used different words....."there is a pipe for every pair of lips".......just depends on where you are from I suppose. Bobby was a famous boat dealer I did business with many many years ago in another life, Peter was a German engineer who relocated to Texas for work and then came here. He was skeptical of sales people and absolutely demanded he have an attorney close his deal....then he asked me for a recommendation! I said, Peter.....you don't trust me and the closing agent on this deal so you want MEEEE to recommend an attorney who I am not totally comfortable with closing a deal. He hesitated a moment and said, I want an attorney. Okay, it cost him 1500 extra bucks for nuttin but Peter was happy....all that counts.
I am still seeing prices flat line right now on housing.....no rocket ride to the top. Speaking of which the stock market looks like they threw out the anchor last week now the managers are running it back up today. I think the ones making the most are the ones handling the money they make it up and down.....kind of like real estate brokers huh? We make money buying and selling.....is this a great country or what? I don't know a lot about stocks but I can tell you this, I have bought property outside Florida and I hired a local realtor to work for me both buying and selling. You do not want a mirror and sutchers to operate on yourself. You do not want to represent yourself in court unless you know who the judge's girlfriend is, that one came from my grand daddy. He knew everybody in town and never got sued despite the fact he ran the bank pretty much as a dictator. It worked. Bank made money, people borrowed money they needed.....feds left him alone. He knew who everybodys girlfriend was.
Any steals out there for any of you "investors" no, not that I know of. The steals were 5 years ago. Flat line prices right now in the fourth quarter could be steals come spring if prices surge again which I am predicting they will once the political landscape settles down and people realize "we" held the Senate and "they" cannot destroy the economy for the next 2 years. That, however, can change but it will take at least 3 years for "them" to screw things up again. Speaking of investors.....I am greatly amused at brokers who tell me they are showing an "investor" one of my listings. I always chuckle and say goooood luck my boy......your investor ain't buying nuttin, he has been reading some book telling him how to make 12% on his real estate investment.......there ain't no free lunch and there ain't no 12%, a quote from the late Corkey Hancock who was one of the boys who ran Detroit back in the olden days as he referred to Bernie. He laughed at Madoff and his scheme.....Corky said all of us knew what he was doing.....I said Corky, you didn't put any money with Bernie? He said hell no! This conversation took place at a men's grill at a famous country club in New York. Corky told me Bernie would come in and order a drink and stand at the end of the bar by himself......slowly as word got around "that's Bernie over there"......somebody would slip over and introduce himself. Bernie would tell him I'm sorry but I have no room for any more investors I am fully booked to capacity. The more Bernie said no, the more they wanted in. Finally Bernie would say....okay, come by my office day after tomorrow and I'll see if I can find find room for you. By the time the sucker got there and took the day off work, he was frothing at the mouth, blank check in hand......Bernie would take his money......literally. That my friends is how you run a scam.....tellem no and they will want it more. Anyway, back at the farm.....the only guy who makes money on "investment" books is the guy who wrote the book.
I see in the news this morning the migrants "charged" the border in Tijuana......they were repelled....I am surprised the Hollywood crowd didn't show up with bridge building equipment. I think Trump oughta load all of them up in buses, givem a box lunch and dump them off in San Francisco, Wilshire Drive in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, NYC and DC. Tell the locals, here you go, take care of them. Don't call us. Problem solved. I was wondering one thing about the pics I see of these "migrants" These people supposedly walked 1500 miles over 2 months with nothing but the shirts on their backs.....I saw no scrawny painfully skinny people in the crowd......hmmmmmm. Yeah, yeah I'm on a roll today, time I shut up and went hunting another listing. RT
November 18, 2018 So you ask, what's going on at the beach? Actually quite a bit. All of a sudden we have a decent inventory of properties for sale, houses, condos.....a fewwww lots.....lots are a tough ticket, we are about 98% built out on the island and same for the areas between U. S. 1 and the waterway .... not a huge area but decent and it is about built out best I can tell. Ocean front houses are still in demand and a few are under construction on the beach and I can count the vacant lots left now on one pair of gloves. Many of you who live out of state have probably been bewildered by the recent vote counting in Florida.....I'll touch on that one in a minute.
Property values wise I am starting to see finally the gap between what people want and what people will pay tighten.....a lot of existing homes have had reductions in asking prices and so have the condos....the exception is ocean front lots which are very scarce. I think a fluttering stock market will help free up some cash that is likely to flow to the beach, we shall see. I don't think people are totally confident in the stock market right now. Me personally I haven't sold anything.....I have stuck with a modest amount of blue chippers over the past 40 and it has worked just fine and the dividends are good so I don't sweat the market playing yo-yo....did you have a Duncan yo-yo? I did, we had a Phillipino guy who came to town once a week and went from store to store (who sold Duncans) and had a contest at each store.....we would jump on our bikes and chase him all over town....The big kids always won...My Duncan didn't have any diamonds on it...couldn't afford the freight but I tried to win that three diamond job every week just wasn't good enough. I finally bought one when I gathered enough coke bottles to turn in and get fifty cents for the three diamond job.....it didn't walk the dog any better than my old one..... I finally figured out the string was the key... a nickel would get you a pack of strings.....my buddies would pool pennies and split the strings.....those were great times.
My best measuring stick for how many people are in town is traffic, lines at restaurants and lines at the grocery store check out. I think we are running above average right now probably because of destruction from the cane in the panhandle......if folks want to go to the beach, eat some great seafood and not freeze they gotta come here. Speaking of great food.....I am fairly well traveled and sea food is my deal wherever I go.....I like to see how other folks do it. I gotta say our local sea food restaurants are way better than anywhere else I go except for two places so far. One is in Charleston SC called....of all things California Dreaming.....its owned by a friend of mine and the seafood is fresh which is a must and the preparation is "St Augustine" quality...the other place is of all places is in....get this folks....Boone NC....in the mountains. A place called Mike's Inland Seafood is really really good and similar to ours which I am convinced is the absolute best. The owner talked to me about his policy.....fresh deliveries from the coast twice a week, fresh peanut oil daily and light batter and hot fried quick....thats it folks.
Ok now Florida politics and the vote count: Usns in the northern half of Florida and LA got caught off guard.....again.....Broward County and Palm Beach County have been suspected of shenanigans the past 20 years....just my opinion now.....The election supervisors are elected....the two people in charge of those counties are female , of color and big time Democrats.....they have been accused of all kinds of misdeeds in vote counting ..... one was convicted of destroying ballots several years ago after a primary, she wasn't removed and was re elected .... it just so happened Debbie Wasserman Schultz was challenged and she won that primary but nobody could check the actual ballots after the loser hollered foul......these were all democrats mind you, Repubs had no horse in that race. What you didn't hear about on TV around the country was the Gov and Senate race was a done deal late election night.....but miraculously tens of thousands of votes appeared out of nowhere in those counties over night.....I am not too sure about Palm Beach but Broward didn't turn in their totals till the next day...commissioner of agriculture race the repub went to bed with a 40 thousand vote victory and woke up behind by 5 thousand......the gov and senate races went from easy victories to.....lets say too close to call......then spit hit the fan......I think thats when the shenanigans ceased, all eyes nation wide were on Broward and Palm Beach counties. They couldn't finish the job too many people were watching and the two repubs ended up winning today in the final count. The poor guy for agriculture still loses.....nobody can explain how that happened.....he won almost the entire state on straight line voting but got killed in those two counties with the "late behind closed doors count" .... too fishy to be a mistake...just my opinion.....or should I say either total incompetence or crooked vote counting.....one of the two. My comments that no TV people have talked about is this: Just how many votes did Trump win by in Florida? if we had a proper count in those two counties he may have won the state in a landslide instead of "barely" hmmmm? Why didn't the Gov remove those two election supervisors from office a long time ago? Answer is simple: he would be called a racist and against women had he done so simple as that. It almost cost him the Senate seat which he won after a big fight about the tally. Glad its over. Just buy opinion....RT
OCTOBER 18, 2018 Those of you who check on what I am up to time tMy o time, and if you have been with me a very looooong time, you may have noticed I did not declare hurricane season over sometime by late summer which I often do. This year I was all set to declare the hurricane season over and done but that pesky system in the southern Caribbean kept pestering my better judgement. My annual trek to the keys revealed something that I thought would deter storms this year.....the water was actually cool in the keys...perhaps 5-8 degrees cooler than usual so I thought probably no storm down there this year...AND....I was right. But this Micheal storm came out of the lower Caribbean! Upon review of the ocean temps I noticed something rather rare....the gulf stream that sweeps around the keys and up the coast was actually showing cooler than normal but south and west of the stream the water was quite warm and voila! Cat 1 thunderstorm whipped up into a huge tornado in 3 days was it? I have very good friends who live right in the wheelhouse of that storm and they were ..... lets say ...."anxious" the folks around Tallahassee just stayed put, same for LA......One of my friends was totally in the dark for over a week he called today and said he just got electricity and cell service.....another near Pensacola reported minor damage and said he was lucky. I have some former clients who sold out here a few years ago and a small group of them actually decided to go to Mexico Beach and purchase property. They said they're tired of St Aug and wanted a change. They told me Mexico Bch was quaint, cheap and they liked it. I have not heard back lately they all bought second home property so I am sure they are safe in mid Georgia.
Weather today is finally getting good. Oct is the best month of the year in northeast Florida. temps in the mid 70s mostly and it should remain pretty good with cool nights for the next couple of months with occasional hot spells an cool snaps but nothing drastic till January.
As for the local market in St Aug and the beaches, I am seeing housing prices on existing homes fall like a rock still. I attribute this to one thing in particular. Rookies promising people prices that sound great but totally unachievable and after a few months of zero interest they start dropping their prices. The true selling prices are still in the 4-5% increase range year over year. I am seeing all kinds of "realtor bonuses" being offered from developers who got real froggy the past year or so. Up until now they didn't want to pay realtors anything at all they were selling their own stuff for high prices.....that party is over now they are begging us to help them after they slapped us in the face. I guess you know how I feel about that huh? Buttt.......plenty of starving agents will oblige.
Condos on the beach are starting to get listed and some good ones now that rental season is over. There is always a turn over but I am also seeing some high prices....I will say this, if the unit is really nice, I mean really really nice.....it will sell and bring a pretty penny. But average rental units are not flying off the shelf. I think we will see a good selling season along about January. I think the coming rental season will hurt sales though because the panhandle lost tons of rentals, the place is a wreck, those people will be headed our way this spring and summer so owners will be pleased with 100% occupancy I am guessing and savvy rental agents should be able to get higher prices. I think condo owners who want to sell should do quite well this fall and coming new year....."should" but we shall see, hind sight is always best. I also think stock market money will start coming out of the market and flowing towards income producing condos.....BUT.....many of these people read too much high grade BS and think they can capture 10 plus triple net percent on rentals......no way Jose' You can still expect to get 3-5 if you choose wisely. My grand daddy told me 50 years ago, son, there ain't no free lunch and there ain't no 10%...there is always a catch. Ask friends of Bernie. RT
AUGUST 15, 2018 The market is still doing very very well fore this time of year. We are getting lots of lookers for our listings, we have closed several properties in the past 30 days at new record highs for the complex since the crash ten years ago. How on earth do we do it many ask......I tell them just luck. The only bad thing going on is we still have new agents locally who have no clue what they are doing but want to pretend they are experts or "specialists" if you will. We had a showing today of one of our high end units and the agent is from out of town but refused our help with the show saying he could "handle it"......okayyyyy, well wasn't long before he sneaked around the corner and was calling with questions about the complex that anybody should know who claims to be an expert on the beach. That's okay though we help anyway to get a deal done they will either learn or go broke trying. They are asking us for comps on our listings.....that is nearly impossible since there are so few sales to hang your hat on due to lack of inventory. We recently had a closing that the appraisal came in 5000 below the sales price and the appraiser told us "the last one that sold in April just like this one sold for 5000 less than this sales price"...…..my reply was then what the hell does a seller need a good agent for? Just call an appraiser and take the appraisal and tack it on the bulletin board and say here it is for sale take it or leave it. common mannnnnnn. We told the buyers (represented by a newbeee of course) agent to take his clients down the road and buy the other unit for sale just like for less...…..he said there isn't one. I said, okayyyyyy what do you want me to do, price every unit that comes for sale at the same price the last one sold for? He screwed up telling the buyers what he "thought" they could buy it for. That is a no no......we never ever know what a seller will take and in a rising market …… well you know the drill here. I wished I could buy stock for what it sold for six months ago.....we would all be rich overnight right?
Politics: I actually got a political survey call yesterday.....first one in forever. They wanted to know my party, whether I considered myself conservative, very conservative, liberal or very liberal or middle of the road. I replied "conservative" she asked if I agreed with the Trump agenda, I said yes......she mumbled I get a lot of that.....she wanted to know my education level, I said 4 yrs college.....she said really? She asked what race I was......I replied WASP she said what's that? I asked her how old she was - 25- I then asked her what level of education? She said college.....I then asked what the hell do they teach in school? She laughed, I then told her what it stands for......she said what's Anglo Saxon? I went into a tirade…….she said well I don't know what to tell you. I told her look it up at least she said she already had written it down and would look it up later. That folks is what the problem is in this country......education does not teach history AT ALL. As old folks know history repeats it self and that's why it should be taught at all levels of education but it is taught at none today. RT
JUNE 22, 2018 The market in general is humming right along.....we are seeing strong interest from buyers in everything on the island the house market has picked up finally on the island....unfortunately, the chamber says we are the fastest growing county in the state and I don't like that one bit. Good for business bad for traffic. It is absolutely a seller's market right now unless the sellers are nuts with nutty asking prices and there are plenty of those to go around and that my friends is what you need us for, to help you identify the sucker deals vs the market price deals.
I have numerous Texican friends in different parts of the state, Dallas, Austin, Houston, El Paso. Most are conservatives, several are liberals and democrats big time....but friends none the less...I have been talking to all of them about the immigration thing and wonder if it is over blown....they all say no, it is under blown.....even my most staunch democrat friend from El Paso told me just today, something has to be done......so, I said what? He doesn't know but said a wall is not the answer. I said how about a 30 foot wall? He said they would have 31 foot ladders on the other side....my wife said who the hell is gonna drag a 31 foot ladder from Honduras thru MEXICO to the wall? I said Pedro would probably be selling ladders in Tijuana....or they would have catapults with the occupants wearing parachutes......even my democratic friend says the problem is young women showing up with 3 kids and pregnant....by the thousands every day. My friend in Houston said they are under siege.....my friend in Austin told me there are more first graders of hispanic origin than Texans......I was told Dallas several years ago, the school system reported that 60% of all first grader registrations were hispanic! WHAT my friends does that tell you. The immigration nightmare is coming like a freight train to a place like yours very soon and with the idiots we have in Washington there is nothing we can do about it, not even Trump. All he can do is slow it down, the dems are just stalling around waiting till the numbers overwhelm the rest of us. My own 96 year old mother watching TV with me a couple of days ago watching marchers carrying immigration signs, just blurted out: "this is Tuesday, what do these people do?" That my friends about sums it up, even my 96 year old mother knows the truth.....they are all on the dole courtesy of YOUUUUUU. RT
April 4, 2018 The market is doing "okay" still not on fire like it was in 2016 but doing just fine I think. I am seeing a lot of price reductions coming through on mls notification pages. I think this can be directly linked to new agents who are desperate and using a lot of advertising to attract sellers promising unrealistic prices. This mo is so prevalent in the market place right now I actually think some of the big house chain brokers are teaching new agents to promise anything and overshoot estimate values in order to get the listing and then start chiseling their clients down after they get the listing. Sounds like sour grapes right? No, I just shake my head and plod along with my head down......I've been in this business so long now nothing surprises or bothers me. I just wonder what happens when these agents get hold of an unsuspecting buyer. I got a listing last year from some people who bought a house on the island from a big house chain store agent a year earlier. I forget how they came to me to sell, but I distinctly remember being flabbergasted at what they paid. When I told them they were getting ready to lose a hundred on the deal they were not shocked......the man told me they trusted the agent when told it was a good buy. They indeed lost 100 thousand after owning the house two years. Yikes.
Condo deals are hard to come by but sometimes out of the local market agents get listings on the beach and miss the mark in the opposite direction....this happens once or twice a year. Yesterday Jill in our office showed a condo that she found listed and was excited wanting to know what was wrong with so and so complex....I said the hoa fees are too high why? She said the fees are only $350 and I said well they must have paid down the short fall on reserves from a couple of years ago.....she then said excitedly said I just showed this unit and it is priced below $225,000! I said yes you are right that is a steal....tell your clients to pull the trigger right now or they will lose it you will not have time to sleep on it. We shall see in a few days if I am right or not. RT
Feb 23, 2018 Wow, has it been that long since I posted anything? The market is doing just fine. We are still in a short supply mode with condos. There just isn't a lot for sale. We just listed a very very nice ground floor oceanfront at Tradewinds with exceptional views for a grounder. It sits on top of the dunes and looks down on the beach, a very rare location. We also just listed a Quail Hollow unit across the street from our office at a very reasonable price for an island condo....no views but close to the beach and convenient.....and lowww priced.
Houses have finally started to move. Houses were slow the last quarter of 2017 but have picked up significantly the first quarter of 2018. This is on the island and on the mainland as well. I think maybe a lot of people were riding the stock market last year, I think a lot of people (me included) have reduced their equity holdings and they are buying that Florida home since there have been some good choices of late and for sure prices are crawling upwards steadily....slowly compared to ten years ago but climbing at a reasonable rate. Questions? call me Ronnie 904-501-1010
Dec 12, 2017 Sales keep marching on. Sales are doing well of late for condos on the beach that are ocean front and ocean view. WE just closed on an ocean view Sea Place, we have an ocean front Sea Place to close in January and a Colony Reef to close in January and we just closed on a Sand Dollar 3/2. All these proeprties have been sold at "actual market appraisal prices"
But, I think I am seeing a crazy trend in new asking prices that new agents are listing properties for on the beach. Due to the fact that listings are hard to come by, agents are promising ridiculous prices to prospective sellers. I am seeing listings pop up at 100,000 dollars above realistic values. This is an indication that listings are hard to come by and are being handled by rookies. No responsible agent would let his/her buyer pay a hundred grand over true market value unless he told them they were from the get go. I had that happen one time and I warned the buyers not to do it but they did anyway because they had "friends" in the complex. Within 3 years the friends sold and they decided to sell too. I'll never forget when the husband called me....he started out...."I know you told me so so lets get down to business, how much am I going to lose?" He lost exactly a hundred grand because that was about the time the market was beginning to tank. But he did go buy something else he wanted and he bought it at a very low price so he did okay in the long run.
Existing house sales right now are stagnant so to speak and I am talking priced houses in the 300-400 range on the island and off island too. What is going on is the average existing house in decent shape is 12-20 years old.....it is absolutely worth 350,000 but the problem is new developments are popping up all over the place and the developers are cramming houses onto small lots and building them out of sticks that are cheap Canadian lumber (just my opinion). I say this because what I see is spruce and fur studs in the construction not tough strong southern yellow pine.....carpenters prefer the northern wood beaus it is lighter and easier to cut quickly while the southern pine is tough and hard to cut and is heavier. Very few new homes are built of block and mortar. Therefor builders are offering new homes of similar size with nice cosmetics and new new new stuff inside for the same money that existing home owners are looking to get. Result is existing home sales in that price range are tough to sell. The biggest difference is the older subdivisions have bigger lots, mature landscaping and better construction but potential buyers can't get past "new" so house sales people are doing what they have to do....take potential buyers to the new developments.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! RT
Nov 9, 2011 Market update: business has been very very good regarding condo sales especially for this time of year which is or was traditionally slow. Condos are flying off the for sale boards.....IFFFF THEY ARE PRICED TO MARKET......I was showing condos all last weekend to prospective buyers and saw a few good ones.....but here's the deal....if its a good one at a good price you best jump on it cause it will be gone tomorrow. Why???? because inventory is still very low.....nobody wants to sell in a bull market, everybody wants to buy in a bull market.....nobody wants to buy in a sinking market and everybody wants to sell in a sinking market. I think condos are like a commodity whereas homes are homes to live in....home sales are good, not on fire but trudging along nicely. Its amazing how what I call the price sweet spot changes season to season year to year.....it wasn't long ago the sweet spot was high 200s....everybody wanted something ocean front or view for 295.....now I get the feeling people are after premium ocean views or direct ocean fronts and the sweet spot is 395-450.....stuff priced at 500 and up are doing okay but the lookers are more cautious....they move slower but they are moving on these properties.
So where is the money and demand coming from? I see and feel alot of money being cashed out of the stock market....I am in that boat too I am liquidating some holdings right now.....I want to lock in those gains and if the market continues to soar so be it....I'll take my jump and be happy. I think this is driving a lot of buyers as well.....condos on the beach are more reliable more predictable and throw off reasonably good returns in rent if you are so inclined to rent. I am also seeing confidence in the market because those who got major storm damage are without hesitation rebuilding....some are struggling with insurance claims but they are coming out of pocket to rebuild. Here on our island, 99% of all the damage from wind was from a stray twister that took the roofs off several condos damaged roofs on others. The mini twister dinged up my house but nothing major as it appeared to have skipped from down island north up to about half way then that was it. The hurricane winds didn't do much to us. I think our construction now is to the point it takes a really big wolf to blow a house down these days. Most of the condo associations have retro fitted glass and sliders with new tough stuff and any time anybody replaces anything it has to be to new wind codes this has made a huge difference. On my house I have old style windows and sliders but I had zero leaks and damage because I opted for strong storm shutters that keeps water and wind out as well.
What do I see for the future of the market?? I see nothing but up with prices up with demand....I see it I feel it the tide is coming in and I think it shall continue to do so through 2018. I can talk for an hour about why so I'll leave it at that for now.
Politics: I am still leery the congress an do anything that makes a difference.....I do feel Trump is doing good things economy wise and shall continue to do so. I do feel the press will bend everything he tries to do or does. I think people with good business sense and money from their hard work will be fine no matter what.....we always have been we always will be. I do not like what I see with our young people in school....the schools and colleges and universities are all run by ultra liberals and they are indoctrinating our young with socialism.....I see lately that 44% of millennials like socialism......that is scary.....I won't be around to see America turn socialist but I suspect it will and that is fine if that is what the next generation wants. They have it in Europe and most are content I am told. Socialism is for the lazy. I am told that if you are not born rich in a socialism environment you can never get to the top of the food chain. I don't know the facts but I am just echoing what friends of mine who grew up over there tell me. One guy fame at 18 yrs old and he now has a huge business in Tennessee making big money.....he said his brother stayed behind in Germany and has a factory job....his brother has no chance to be wealthy but is happy with a decent house, one car and retirement at age 60 with the state taking care of him......so, to each his own. I simply prefer to reap the benefits of my own hard work instead of just getting by with the basics and no stress. RT
Oct 11, 2017 Florida and hurricane Irma: despite the fact this storm was in the Gulf of Mexico several hundred miles from our east coast, we did have some problems. We had a good bit of rain and wind which we handled just fine, power was off at the beach for 3-4 days and that was tolerable given the woes of those in the direct path. Grocery stores have their own generators and food was readily available. Gasoline was a bit dicey for a few days but tankers flooded into Florida I don't know anybody who HAD to have gas and couldn't find it....within just a couple of days we had fuel running out of our ears. Some homes on the waterway had some flooding.....again.....those were the ones built a long time ago and not raised up like the newer ones. Flooding for beach front homes and condos was zero problems in our area. North towards Ponte Vedra south beach they had their usual big problems with beach erosion...big problems. Crescent Beach did have one problem....a small twister took roofs off a few condos at Summerhouse.....it apparently skipped up the beach and did some cosmetic damage to my house and a couple of my neighbors....some houses it skipped over totally. I lost some rain gutters and soffits all of which were replaced in short order with no damage to the inside of the house. I am puzzled at a couple of dings in my concrete block house that looked like bullet holes that penetrated my stucco but the concrete block stopped whatever it was. I suppose flying debri in the little twister. A couple of other condo complexes on the beach had minor roof damage. Two weeks after the storm you would never know we had a storm.
We have some great new listings coming up so stay tuned. Rental season is over till January and owners who have been thinking about selling are putting their beach property on the market very soon. Stay tuned. Values are still steady throughout the island for houses and condos. We have seen a slight pull back on the mainland but I think that is because of the mushrooming new construction and new housing developments popping up like weeds in summer. We are one of the fastest growing counties in America and I surely hope the government fathers will pull back on the reins a little......the good news is the beaches are built out and they cannot cram 40 houses onto ten acres like they do across the great divide....thats what I call the waterway separating the island from the mainland. With all this new development comes a lot of new stores and logistical support which is fine and dandy because I can just go across the bridge and get anything I need easily. I do think we are lagging in eateries. There are lines at every restaurant in town every night these days. St Augustine proper is no longer a nice sleepy little coastal town, it is now a busy, heavy traffic city with residential development spreading north towards Jacksonville and south towards Palm Coast. On the island we are becoming somewhat like Palm Beach on the "island" with the great divide betwen them and West Palm Beach where the hubub is. Crescent Beach is slowly but surely upgrading the quality of homes and structures as they sell to new owners. We have several mega houses under construction on the beach. Famous football coaches, retiring doctors and big time executives who want some peace and quiet on a safe beach. These heavy hitters make me feel like I am special too despite the fact I am just ordinary folks who got in on the ground floor so to speak. I hope and I do believe today's buyers in 20 years will say they got in on the ground floor cause this place is going nowhere but uppppp. RT
Aug 30, 2017 Texas: what a mess. I have lived through weeks without electricity in the heat of summer and trust me the misery is just beginning in Texas. We were sideswiped last fall and it took us 8 months to get whole.....and we are just an itty bitty place that only had two feet of water on the roads. I cannot imagine yet what misery the Texicans will go through over the next two years. Hats off to the fishermen and boaters who answered the call ahead of the military getting in gear and besides the military did not have hundreds if not thousands of boats at their disposal for shallow water rescues. People up north get blizzards and lose electricity for long periods of time but you can eat the snow, you can build a fire, you can put on heavy clothes....you can burn the boomerang to keep warm, cut down trees, burn the sofa....whatever....in the south in summer you can't get cool without electricity. People will be miserable for months on end but I haven't heard any of the real Texicans hollerin like I heard the New Orleans crowd doing 12 years ago for somebody to give them help.....the Texicans will help themselves and take whatever help they get from the outside as welcome but they will not demand action....no way. Texas is like its own country and they are tough, smart and they have their own resources....it is a wealthy and tough state.
So, how's business as summer winds down......all of a sudden potential buyers are coming from everywhere.....we are inundated with lookers, real lookers. Renter season is over for a few weeks and now is the time real buyers are out looking at everything for sale. 2017 has not been as good as 2016 was for sales but it still has time to be a good year and I think it will be. I am seeing prices pull back some ... asking prices that is. A lot of sellers and brokers got a little exuberant with their asking prices but I am starting to see the ridiculous asking prices come down rather quickly since they did not sell this summer.....there is a fire sale or two here and there.....you can call and ask ame about those if you are interested. I see nothing of great interest for sale at Ocean Village Club, Sand Dollar and only one at Barefoot Trace these are my three favorite complexes. There just is not a lot of inventory very little. I have an Ocean House that is a beautiful remodel for sale at 299 and it is getting loads of lookers now that renter season is over.....my Sand Dollar is under contract and two Summerhouses are under contract all occurred in the last few weeks. I wished I had ten more good listings. Listings are starting to get hard to come by....we have a lot of new agents promising the moon just to get listings and it is giving us old guards a hard time.....I have a hard time inflating a just value just to get the listing....in fact I don't do it....I will only get the seller pissed off at me later when it doesn't sell and I'll spend a lot of time answering questions with no results....that doesn't do anybody any good at all.
Trump: I think he will eventually be a good president but he has a long way to go.....he needs to quit campaigning (obama did the same thing) he needs to tell the press and whiners he doesn't care what they think and quit trying ot make everybody happy.....if he put a chicken in every pot tomorrow they wouldn't be happy. Too many hillaryites out there still thinking he stole the election and they will not let go....to them, they should have worked harder. Trump out hustled her plain and simple. She played prevent defense thinking the game was over and we all know what happens when you do that.....and it did. I think Trump can make a big difference in turning this country around from a bad course he just needs to quit worrying about what the press and detractors think and say and just plow ahead with what he thinks is right head down blinders on. RT
July 28, 2017 We are finally winding down rental loads at the beach for a few weeks...school starts soon and most family vacationers are leaving next Saturday. We appreciate the income for our owners but man its tough on us realtors trying to sell units that are rented. We were only able to put one condo under contract this summer that was on the rental pool.....reason is simple we just couldn't show them despite the owners wanting to sell......same deal from Jan till April......yes, of course this is the two seasons when buyers are most active but owners who want to sell also want the rent......damn if you do damned if you don't....but hey if this business was easy everybody in it would make good money.....fact is 10% of the realtors make 90% of the sales....most just dabble and babble....for example: just this week we had a client tell us he had talked to another office and the agent there told him a certain condo type would bring in 40,000 a year in rent.......the condos in that category sell in the high 200s. We told him no way in hell......he could expect 16-20,000 on average......if they brought 40 grand a year in rent they would be selling in the high 3s and 4s maybe 5s.....nowhere near the 2s.......I haven't seen rental properties that would make their mortgage payments in 68 years or so....I'll buy anything anywhere that will pay for itself. That realtor who told him that number should go back to McDonalds...this folks is what we have to compete with.....customers don't know they are dealing with uninfored untrained idiots....stuff like this is what gives our profession a bad name sometimes. I have worked inside big offices in the past and watched newbies belch out high grade BS to customers and just shook my head in disbelief....untrained sales people are dangerous and plentiful in the large chain offices.....sure I have made mistakes our people have made mistakes but nothing of this magnitude and our mistakes are small and few and we have always corrected or hedged and told people.....I think its this or that but let me check and make sure......then we find out for a fact and go back and tell the customer we were either right or close or dead wrong.......either way the customer gets the accurate story. Ok, I'll get off the soap box.......business wise most agents tell me it has been a so so year.....slower than last....and I agree.....anybody who tells you its booming is lying.....again. It is "fair to okay" I still blame lack of inventory and some owners way out of whack with asking prices......price it to market values and it will sell ....IF WE CAN SHOW IT WITHOUT RENTERS GUMMING UP THE WORKS......Investors are still roaming around looking for deals that throw off a 9% yield....that ain't happenin either....I think these real estate flippin guides should be confiscated and burned.....some people will believe anything they read and as we all know today, the print media is awash with hogwash. Speaking of politics, I gotta admit I am not happy with Trumpster.....he needs to lay off of Jeff, now we have staff squabbling and the media haters are having a field day.....he just gives them too much fuel and needs to shut up and tend to the backyard. Healthcare? No way the nor-eastern republicans are going to let them dump obamacare.....ain't gonna happen.....trust me a northeastern republican senator is a rino period. What would I do? Medicare for every body that was the long term intention to begin with...how to pay for it? Tax hell out of everybody under 65 is the only way and stop huge ridiculous medical legal claims....defensive medicine and malpractice insurance premiums are ridiculous.....and the doctors and hospitals don't pay it, we doooooo....just like everything else the government mandates to private business.....the consumer pays not the business....never has never will. RT
July 18, 2017 Sales are traditionally slow this time of year because so many listings are rented rented rented. The rental people tell me this is a banner year for owners who put their property up for rent during the summer. One of our better listings at Summerhouse has been virtually impossible to show but we finally got a guy in there and he put a contract on it. It was only vacant 15 days since January 1. Now that my friends is tough sleddin.....sales are bumping along with most properties priced to market are selling but not many are properly priced and they usually sit. Houses on the island have slowed dramatically, its the summer time blues for agents specializing in high dollar houses on the island but that market will start coming back the first blizzard that shows up in the midwest or northeast.....blizzards are a Florida realtor's best friend. The flooding damage from Mathew is still being worked on believe it or not. There are just not enough rehab people who know what they are doing but it is moving along I am told. I guesstimate 80% of the damage has been replaced or repaired.......hmmmmmm.....sounds familiar....repeal and replace? Speaking of politics, the one who knows all sees all predicted 8 years ago that obamacare was nothing but a staging for turning the entire medical industry over to the government.....medicare for all......guess what? Here we are. The old proverb that is actually fact is in play here.....you can never take away from the electorate what you gave them.....except tax breaks.....I predict we will end up with medicare and or medicaid for all before all is said and done. I like Medicare since I am 68....BUT.....I paid into medicare out of my paychecks for over 50 years is it? How are we going to collect enough from regular working people age up to 65 to pay for medicare for all??????? My friends in Canada say they pay something crazy like 40% of their income for medical and other benefits......they will also tell you if they get really sick they have to leave and pay for treatment out of pocket....and if they get a certain age and need expensive treatment it is either denied or they are put on wait lists forever.....is that what we want? Oh, I guess the 20 somethings will get used to it eventually but us old folks who know how it used to be won't be happy if we live long enough to see the government run healthcare totally. I had one of my followers from Illinois back 8 years ago tell me to take me off my email list when I predicted Obamaare would eventually lead to single payer and the government controlling health care totally.......he was incensed! ... RT
July 3, 2017 Here we still are, still an arguing free society with as many different ideas as people. My mother's side directly descended from an original signer of the Declaration. He was from Savannah and was a doctor. He signed. I am told he was destroyed by the British in several years to come but his family survived and here I am. My middle name is George, my grandfathers name was George Washington Hall, our ancestor was Lyman Hall one of the reps from Georgia. I watched Mel Gibson last night in The Patriot. It should be required viewing by all school kids and then a talk afterwards. I don't know how truly factual it was but it did depict what I am sure many went through to get independence from England and I am quite sure there was plenty of pain, suffering and death. Amazing we are close allies today. I often think of Lyman Hall and his fellow representatives and what they would say today and was it worth it. Was their personal agony worth it.......I hope so.
Business wise this is a holiday week and everybody everywhere is trying to get into our beach listings to take a look but they are all 100% booked and the out of town agents bringing them do not understand....... the lookers don't understand either. I had one broker tell me her clients flew in just to look this week. I told her big mistake and good luck. She was squawkin all the listings they wanted to see were rented and all were turned down for a show.......surprise surprise. This is why us old vets take the week off too......shows will be hit and miss from now till mid August when everything will loosen up and we can show again but then the flurry for buyers will be over.....they want in now so they an enjoy the rest of the summer at the beach. Sellers don't want to miss the rental income and renters don't want to let people in to look, they paid for the week and some peace. Catch oh hell oh well.......With all this said there are still plenty of sales going on....if a property is priced right and somebody can get in to look it will sell and they are selling not quickly but moving along. Prices are moving up slowly some prices in some complexes are flat right now after a good run last year. Like the car ad says: NOW is a great time to buy, prices may never again be this lowwww. Hope you think about the people who gave so much back what.....some 241 years ago tomorrow......may we all live to see the 250th anniversary. RT
June 20, 2017 Here we are at the summer solstice already....the rising sun has moved from my south bedroom window to the north window. We live on the beach so we have hurricane electric remote control shutters of course (I'm too lazy to crank em up an down) we can open the south shutters fully first thing and no glare. What a view to wake up to and you can have it too just call me.
Business for us has been fairly slow and usually is this time of year with renters filling up everything for sale and making it tough to show, but we do best we can. I have checked with other brokers who work the beach and they all report the same thing....just hit and miss and on the slow side of average. Part of the problem is lack of inventory, we still just do not have a lot of choice inventory that checks all the boxes. If we have a nice unit the view is so so....if we have a good view the unit is so so condition. Buyers run spurts.....sometimes we will get a run of people wanting a dump so they can remodel it their way.....sometimes we will get a run for a month or two they want it already done. Its kind of like pulling into Dairy Queen when you don't see a sole and think wow I can get right in and out.....by the time you get in the door there's 12 people skittlin towards the counter. I never know when business will flip to high speed from neutral. My self conducted survey confirms most brokers were very busy and did a lot of business from Feb-early May then it died down to a simmer. I think the Trump euphoria has died down too, there is simply too much negative publicity for most of us to feel comfortable.
Politics and business: may I submit this for the positive column Most anybody can find a job if they really want one, gasoline is still in the $2.25 range and in South Carolina its still around $2.00 and their roads look like it. Trump is doing a lot of good things that the media ignores. Now the bad news: The auto business is slowing too according to my dealer friends. I have been shopping for a new ride for the Mrs and trust me on this, the prices have jumped for new cars big time and that my friend is the culprit. The prices out ran the want....I want one, but I ain't gonna pay the price. She currently has a diesel fired Audi that the mfg is buying back due to the emissions scandal and that happens July 17th for my buy back appointment. They will pay what I consider to be a fair deal but it has been extremely aggravating but I will say this they are trying to be equitable. I have no big beef but here's the catch.....the same exact car to replace it will be over 30 grand more than we paid for her current Audi so I add the extra 30 grand for replacement, then add up what they will give us for her current car and we are still way short....I think we will go domestic. I have been driving suburbans for 30 years plus and trade very 2-3 years and the trade amount is reasonable. Those foreign car makers think their cars are like beach condos! Meanwhile back on he campaign trail, I am not sure we will ever again be able to trust our politicians and I think it all began with the Clinton administration. I truly believe they were crooks to the core and the cancer spread throughout Washington politics and there is no way to turn it around. History may not show obama to be a crook but it will prove him to be greedy for himself and the hell with the rest of us. This gives us all a bad taste. I prefer electing rich guys/ladies who don't need to steal our money cause they have their own. None of the Bush people got rich from politics they were already rich and none of them go around getting half a mill for a speech.....Bill got it, Hillary gets it, barack gets it....I think these crazy speaking fees are paybacks......oh, they are out of office? Suppose you greased these people while you are in office and they want it kept quiet....how do they grease you back? Pay for a speech of course! Put you on their board of overpaid directors.....Politics 101 my friends and that is why we all think Washington stinks these days. The left is spewing fire and brimstone and the right is growing weary, the left will wear out the right they always do. On a nice Saturday afternoon we are out fishing, golfin, having a family get together you name it......the lefties? they are out marchin and raisin hell.....usns on the right don't have time to waste marching we are busy enjoying life and thats why we get run over. RT
June 4, 2017 Wow, can't believe its been almost a month since my last post. Been very very busy. Business is good, not on fire but good. We still have lots of lookers at all our listings but it has slowed down since the yanks went home. Just an observation: over the past twenty years we clearly track showings and they appear to spike around the time winter renters are heading home. Another interesting thing is, quite often the rookie agents are showing hard about that time. I think renters pretend to be buyers but are really looking at something else or better to rent next year. Just a guess mind you not trying to be a wise guy. We are still seeing many 2 br owners looking to upgrade to 3 br as new grandchildren come on line. Thats a good thing for us realtors. I am seeing a lot of traffic these days indicative of the growth off island. One development after another is cropping up along U.S. 1 and just off I-95. I for one am not wild about this growth but I guess if you live in one of the best communities in America then you have to expect people wanting to be a part of it. Some of my friends adhere to the Noah's Ark theory, which says "I'm on the Ark now, pull up the gang plank"
Politics: I think the stock market run since the election has helped us a lot....we have several clients of late cashing out the gains and buying condos at the beach for rental income and personal enjoyment. I think that is a good play. I am not sure the market will sustain its upward movement but I do belive the real estate market at Crescent Beach will move upwardly slowly but surely. I can't complain about obama anymore so that fun is over. I believe Trump's shotgun approach is almost necessary, obama left foreign relations in a mess and the economy not a mess but stagnant. Then we have half our congress and senate totally inept and the other half frustrated. Just think about this. When was the last time a liberal quit the senate or house? Conservatives quit frustrated all the time. Sure the repubs have their share of leeches but the dems have more than their share. A lot of the mouth pieces of the democratic party are out and out idiots....I can't believe some of the nonsense coming out of their side. Total bs, not even high grade bs just nonsensial bs. Everything is Russia's fault.....hah! They are squawkin about Russian influence in the election......does anybody remember not long ago obama getting involved secretly in Israel's election? Or the Egyptian election, hell he even gave money to one of the sides in Egypt.......why is it fair for America to dabble in other country's elections and not ok for foreign governments to dabble in ours???????? Common mannnnnn. Director Comey: do not feel sorry for him, he was caught between a rock and hard spot....the assumption was Hillary would win, he would then have to answer to her and her attorney general and he was still working for obama and lynch.....talk about a hard spot......Trumps people think he was undermining them.....I think he was covering his own behind and the election fooled him and everybody else. Fire him? I do not know what the facts are, but I suspect the new attorney generals office uncovered a lot of damning evidence Comey ignored because of his position between the rocks. Probably best to start anew. I think Trump fired him abruptly so that FBI people would not have a heads up to hide or destroy a lot of information regarding the Clintons and other Clinton operatives including the former AG. We shall see, but I hope the new admiistration will move on to more important things than beat the old drum, we have enough new problems to keep us occupied....lets move on. RT
May 10, 2017 Most of our northern friends have gone home but it seems many have decided to purchase while here because they loved the area. Net result is prices have continued to rise steadily. Not rapidly but steadily like a slow rising tide. We who are older than 60 know full well history has a habit of repeating itself. We are now in the same mode we were around 2000-2004 before things went crazy. Demand was high, supply was low and prices kept rising steadily. My wife and I bought our house in 1996 on the beach and within ten years it had tripled in value. We are seeing ocean front homes still selling steadily when they come on the market. We are now seeing half a dozen new oceanfront mansions under construction. I am seeing a lot of pent up desire coming out of the closet. Condos on the beach are getting snapped up quickly and for asking price most of the time unless the seller hangs a stupid price out there. Do I think this has anything to do with politics? I don't necessarily think so. I do sense a better feeling amongst those with means which brings me back to an old saying my grand daddy used to say about politicians who wanted to "tax" hell out of rich people. He said you can't hurt rich people, they are smarter than you to begin with and they can afford to dodge whatever road blocks you throw up there. I remember back when the politicians put a big excise tax on large boats built and or sold in the U.S. So, what happened? Easy. The builders moved manufacturing out of the country quickly, and all sales were done over seas and then the boats were registered under foreign flags and motored in. It only took a couple of years for the idiots in Washington to figure that one out and they rescinded the tax. Most of the builders came back but not all.
Houses on the island are still selling quickly if priced right and to current market value. I am amused how many people come in here demanding new houses.....mama wants a "new" house.....I tell them no such thing...we are built out unless you want to buy an old one, doze it and build new. You can always go get a newer house off island and for much less money.........for obvious reasons.
Are there any "bargains" out there? yes, but you have to have a broker who knows what a bargain is and can point it out to you. I am seeing a whole new flock of newbie real estate license holders who have no idea what they are doing.....a bunch of them......okay you say what about Ronnie he didn't know what he was doing when he started over 20 years ago........excuse me, I started buying and selling my own properties when I was 25. By the time I decided to start my final career I was an old salt on real estate in this area. These new agents running ads and running around claiming to be experts working for mega chain brokers have no clue, never worked sales in their life before. Sounds like I am frustrated right? Nahhhhh just amused, most will quit within 2 years and go find a job at the grocery store and have a duster sticking out of their back pocket.......again. I am slowing down and its about time. With hundreds of millions in sales the past 20 years plus I've earned the slow down. Ain't gonna quit just work for people who are sent to me by former clients and repeat clients, plenty of old friends come back when they are ready to sell or trade up or downsize. I am enjoying being on cruze control instead of in the middle of the race track with the pedal on the floor and my hair on fire.
Final advice: if you are thinking about buying in our area call me, the sooner the better and the sooner the cheaper. RT
April 2, 2017 I-95 has been crawling along at 50mph since Friday. The northbound lane. I have been told when the 8 and then 6 lanes shrink down to two in South Carolina it is a real mess. Should be all cleared up in a day or two. Now with the three month snowbirds flying backhome via plane, car and autotrain we are getting the weekly renters coming to the beach. Today it was 80 degrees and partly cloudy and the beach was busy busy with locals, regionals and new renters here for spring break with kids. Seems that spring break weeks are spread all over the place form early March thru April and that's fine. I have lots of clients who are still buying condos on the beach for "investment" purposes. I had one man tell me he was liquidating his brokerage account and buying his second rental condo beachfront. He said he was making 5% on his money in rental return and his condos were growing in value another 5% a year on average he said he felt much safer at Crescent Beach than on Wall Beach. Me? I think he's right to a degree. I'm too old to wrangle rentals though, I'll just clip coupons and keep selling poperty at the beach.......are there any steals? When one does come up its gone in a flash....and I mean a flash. People fight over it. Trouble is, the condo inventory of nice condos is at a 7 year lowwwww. Demand is stil here so prices have to go up. Houses? I have seen houses on the island go from high 300s just 3 years ago to high 400s now.....and they are scarce. No, flippers are not driving the prices, pure old demand from people wanting to move in and live here. Average 3/2 on the island is now averaging over 500 thousand.....thats average. Close to the beach? add 2, on the beach prices are now 1 million up to 3 and people are shopping hard. I see a fourth oceanfront house under construction right now....very few vacant lots left....one new house is being built on a lot where the buyer tore down the old house and is building a new one......I had an ocean front house listing for 1.385 and it just went under contract. Crescent Beach is vibrant to say the least.
Politics: I do indeed see a new attitude with people who "have money" of course that is a relative term. I know people who think I have money but I know people who have "real money" I think being rich is being happy with what you have. I really enjoy rich people....they are not the bad people the media portrays them to be.....most wealthy people I have dealt with in my sales life of over 50 years in business are genuinely nice people period. Especially old money.....new money is a different story about half of them are smart asses thinking they are smarter than I am....maybe they are but they don't have to flaunt it ..... I call guys like Mark Cuban "new money".....Trump came from old money and I think he is a hybrid.....he flaunts but is gracious to those under him according to those close to him.....a different combination for sure. Anyway I am seeing people with "money" starting to feel better about everything....maybe Trumps doings .....maybe not, I don't know, but they are feeling better and that helps me and will help you too....even if you have money. RT
March 9, 2017 Real Estate business on the island has been handcuffed of late by winter renters filling up all the condos and rental houses. Has been very very hard to show anything that is actually for sale. Traffic has been heavy, restaurants full, golf courses full and the weather this winter was fantastic with most days in the low 70s and 50s at night much like North Carolina mountains in the summer. The northern folks are now checking out since it is warmer up north for the most part but now its spring break season with parents bringing kids to the beach for a week and schools all over the southeast stagger their so called breaks so it goes on for a month. When I was in school I think we got Good Friday off and that was it till Summer. Amazing how kids today go to shool a few days then out a few days then back a few days and so on. Could this scenario have anything to do with poor grades and learning curves?
Back to the market: prices continue to rise, slowly......but surely.......houses on the island are still selling quickly if priced right, condos on the beach are on fire but the problem is there is nothing to set fire to. Very few listings and demand is high this my friends is what drives prices. We still are not seeing so called "flippers" because prices aren't rising fast enough for people with no money to borrow and flip which is a good thing in my opinion. If you want to sell what you have and upgrade pulllleeeeze give me a call.
Politics: wowwww, I was glad to see obama go, but Trump is beginning to make me wonder what on earth is he thinking about. He needs to shut up and do what he's been doing. The campaign is over Donald...its over....you won, the liberals are still gritting their teeth and pitching tantrums, let'em twist in the wind and just keep your mouth and tweeter shut. RT
January 19, 2017 and only one more day of unbelievable shennanigans from obama. I can't help but get political right now. For those who worshiped obama, perhaps they will now see his true colors. Letting a convicted traitor out of jail who caused many people to be killed, turning loose terorists out of Guantanimo every day, commuting thousands of convicted criminals. I tell you the man is crazy, not compassionate, he is crazy or really is a Muslim like so many thought for the past 8 years. He pardons a convicted terrorist bomber who killed at least 4 people in a Manhattan bar some years ago, a man who did should never see the light of day again but obama has turned him loose! I know I sound like Fox news but trust me folks, I watch CNN a lot to get a diferent perspective even they.....even CNN is not happy about this, that should tell all. I personally was willing to let obama sail off into oblivion as if he never existed and we can get this country going again but the man just doesn't quit doing stupid things.....20 years from now those alive during this time will look back and say "he did what?" No no he couldn't have done THAT....no way, nobody would do that....would they? Yes he did, I think it shows his true disgust for this country and his being upset he couldn't "transform" America because he lost the congress after only 2 years and never got it back.
Now for the real estate market, it turns on a dime folks, we have people from all over scratchin and sniffin up and down the beach. They are looking hard, I think many are on the fence but it won't be too long before they leap and experience tells me they will all leap at the same time. I am getting second lookers and third lookers at some of our better listings......I guarantee you we will end up with multiple offers......then everybody gets pissed off but hey I tell'em and tell'em.....they think its salesman talk but it isn't ..... it is human nature.... just like amateurs in the stock market.....they watch it go up and up and don't make a move then when they start to believe it will never end, they dive in only to see it tank....then they get out.....the it goes right back up. You cannot chase the market, you have to make up your mind and make your move before the rest of the world does the same thing simple as that. I am no genius and do not have a large crystal ball.....well, maybe a small one.....but if you study history you will find financially those who go against the grain always do best. Those who sold during he boom came out just fine.....those who bought when everybody was trying to sell did real good. I bought oil stocks a year ago against my broker's advice when oil tanked.....those are up 30% !! Other stuff I bought a year ago is up a little bit but I should have listened to myself and bought more oil than I did.....but hey, at least I gots a good little bit.....a little bit of a good thing is better than a lot of nuttin.
So, what would Ronnie buy at the beach if he was a buyer? Ocean front flats simple as that. They will endure and be worth a lot of value over time and all the while they will give the most enjoyment to the owners while the value grows. What about a market bust? When I see people buying who can't afford to buy I will let you know. I saw that before and advised my investor owners to bail.....right now the buyers we see can afford the property and are buying to use and enjoy.....they are not speculating.....speculators are looking for huge fast returns, that ain't gonna happen unless banks start throwing loans at people who can't pay back and I haven't see that yet....when it does I will let you know. Meanwhile, come shopping with us, the inventory of properties for sale is low and prices are stable.....no crazy jumps. RT
Jan 10, 2017 Welllll, here we are starting out a new year and everybody says the market is relatively slow......folks, it is always slow in early January it just seems slow after a furious fall 2016. I do believe 2017 will be a good year once buyers realize the market is slowly rising and it is not pullling back any time in the foreseeable future. I have noticed a few new listings coming on the market but they are asking top dollar which I would too most likely. I have several clients lately who are looking for "a deal" I tell them a deal nowadays is a market price on a nice unit. What they really meant to say is they want a "steal" and there is only one or two steals a year that come up. That occurs when either a seller has to sell and sell fast or a broker misses the value big time and both happen now and then and then it is usually a rush to get there first with an offer. Houses are still in demand on the island, there are hundreds if not thousands of new houses off island being built by every developer in the country. St Augustine is a huge new fast growing market for the homebuilders. They are buying swamps, they are buying sand hills you name it. They mitigate the properties with the state and start clearing and building new houses left and right. Prices are below 300 for the most part off island. On the island there are two new developments, probably the last two, and pricing is in the upper 400s on the smaller one and upper 500s in the larger one. That my friends is the difference in living "on island" and "off island."
A word about condos: We are seeing HOA fees rising due to new flood insurance premiums going up. Not a huge rise but now its 450ish across the board in many complexes and close to 500 in others. But the associations are now purchasing bundles of service such as wifi, telephone and expanded cable instead of leaving them all independent and they are getting good deals. All that considered, the fees are reasonable because all you pay from there is electric and that is it when you own a condo. I am hearing from agents everywhere buyers are looking for units with a good view for under 300 .... my friends that is a rare bird right now.....to get a decent unit and a view it takes over 300 and then some. I have seen Sand Dollar oceanfronts go from 450s two years ago to 550s - 600s now. that is almost a dramatic increase but buyers think it is worth it and so do I.
Politics: I am amused obama cannot get over the fact he lost....he has never lost before...that was because nobody knew who he was down deep......his early political career he talked nice, looked nice, acted nice and woooed all the easily fooled. I was never fooled, I gave him a chance but it became clear early on he was all about himself and still is. His friends can't accept defeat either and I find that amusing. When he was elected "we" said okay, lets hang on till he is gone and we have without a big squawk. I think the dems will keep kicking screaming and crying for at least 4 years....at least! Maybe 8!!!!! I do not think Trump will get us into a shooting war, he will not launch nuclear missiles he will not engage in conflict unless he is forced to do so. I also believe if he is forced to do so he will tell his people do whatever it takes to win and win fast instead of playing footsies with those who want to destroy us. Its already happening, TODAY in the news Iranian gun boats approached a destroyer escort the Captain fired three warning shots and they turned back. In two weeks I suspect the captain will fire two and if they don't turn back the third won't be across the bow, it'll be a bit lower. I also think the next six months will be more fun than the law allows.....he is going to turn the political process in DC upside down dems and repubs alike. I predict there will be some republican defectors on his nominations.....the dems only need two ..... surely there are 2 that can be swayed against Trump. I am amused about the obamacare fight and it will be a knock down drag'em out fight for sure. The repubs will probably lose the pr fight......they are not as good at politics as the dems. Hopefully they will come up with something simple to replace it but I doubt it. The problem is people are getting health insurance for free and they don't want to lose something that is freeeeee. They will trot out one destitute person with cancer after another saying Ohhhh I am going to die because I can'tr see a doctor now....Trump is killing me......trust me that is coming folks to a TV near you. The dems are already beating the medicare drum saying Trump wants to take away your medicare........common mannnnnn......Prediction: so how will the wall be paid for? I would set up a tariff reserve....all the tariffs put on imports Mexico will go towards building the wall until Mexico agrees to chip in big time.....we can choke them off if Trump has the guts to do it. I for one will be more than willing to pay a little more to get American made again. Black and Decker used to be bellweather tools, the "standard" then they went to China and cheaped out....junk today.....I suspect some conglomerate or venture capitalist outfit bought them, closed down the U.S shops, cheaped out the design and moved manufacturing to China......result was junk.....they said they are coming back to U.S.A. fine, I will buy B n D next time and I will pay more. I went to Home Depoot and asked if they had any American made tools? They said no. So, I bought Japanese Makita which are good but I would rather have American drill motors. Oreos are made in Mexico now and I haven't bought a bag since Nabisco moved out. Oreos aren't even close to what they were in quality. I have a one man boycot. charge me more and make the damned cookies back to original size with original stuff......Mexican made Oreos suck and I ain't bitin anymore.
Finally, the Hollywood crowd is starting to chip away at me like the NFL. I hate their politics, their bubble world mentality. The NFL is hurting for viewers.....I have about quit watching and so have many of my friends. The audience ratings show a big pullback since that Sanfran idiot started his foolishness. I am not rushing out to see movies anymore and I will not get a Capital One card as long as Samuel Jackson gets paid to be their pitchman. Simple as that. Next batter...........
Dec 10th, I am still reeling....still dumbstruck.....still giddy......this is the first election the great one who knows all sees all before it happens did not see this one. I absolutely missed this one three miles. I had no idea Trump could win by ten percent! I had no idea a ten percent victory would be enough to eke it out by a whisker. This election I think was much like a football game with refs on the take. You gotta win by 21 to win by 2. Trumpster's win was in reality a landslide!!! How did we miss this? I think after thinking about it for two days before posting this I simply overestimated the Clinton machine and underestimated women. Simple as that. Even my wife finally held her nose and voted Trump.....she still can't stand him, she still would rather have somebody else.....but she simply could not vote Hillary. I kept my mouth shut the past 30 days, I simply put my trump sticker on my suburban, parked well away from other cars and went on about my business. My wife does not have a sheepskin but she is way smarter than me and way smarter than 99% of all college degree holding females. She is self educated and extremely perceptive so i think all the hoopla about females would overwhelmingly go Hillary but in reality they did not. Most did but many did not. Hispanics went 30% for Trump which was double what most thought, I guess many of those have Noah's Arc syndrome. An old lawyer once told me that means this. The guy scrambles up the gangplank onto the arc....looks around doesn't see Noah and pulls up the plank. He's on!
Okay, what's going on with our market right now? Most of the storm debris is picked up and gone. Things look normal but they are not. Many pending contracts are canceled and nobody much is looking at anything but that will change my friends it will change. I think there will be buying opportunities for the next 3 or 4 months. I think the world will wake up and the storm will be forgotten by March or so.......we will be back to normal and I think with Trump in charge I think the entire market will feel better about it self soon.....I can already sense a true hope for a better economy coming and I think everybody will admit that in the next 12 months after 6 years of doldrums.....even those who won't admit it may realize the difference coming and soon. RT
Nov 8 ELECTION DAY! Okay folks, if you will read below my predictions posted the 28th and 31st of October you will all see yet once again the one who knows all and sees all well before it happens was dead right again! Only I missed the dismissal of inquiry on Hillary by a few days. Comey did that on a Sunday afternoon so all the news people and newspapers could blow up the announcement of NO CHARGES, CASE DISMISSED! Monday before the election. I tell you folks, its Hatlo's History.....they'll do it every time. I must admit here that this did not take a lot of crystal balling on my part just plain old salesmanship and wearing the hat of the customer only in this case wearing the hat of the accused and the people in charge assuming they are all in collusion which they obviously are.....this is why if I were Trump's advisor I would have been way out infront of this from the get go instead of praising Comey for having guts......Trump took the bait yet again! Ronnie the great advisor would have told Trump to say: "So, Director Comey announces they are reopening the investigation on Hillary........folks, I will believe it when I see it.......we all know they have the evidence, but I am betting they will not present the evidence, they will not charge Hillary....... and they will make this announcement in a couple of days! UNLESS this is on the up and up which I seriously doubt."
This one simple comment would have alerted all the pundits this was a ruse from the get go. This would have alerted the FBI and DOJ we are not taking the bait and we will believe them when we see them do something which we did not believe they would do. It would have put Comey and Lynch behind the 8ball.......THEN we would have something to holler about how corrupt the entire system is and we could say see???? told ya'll so.....vote for me I will clean out the rascals in Washington otherwise you have Dracula running the blood bank for another 8 years. RT
Oct 28, 2016 My phone, text and email has been blowing up this afternoon.......people all across the country calling asking questions about the FBI deal announced today. Folks, Ronnie is not getting wound up over this. Let's put on the hat Hillary's team wears. Wikileaks has been snapping at Hillary's heels for two weeks, the polls are tightening after she had a wide lead....most sane people are dismissing the women accusing Trump yada yada.......they have to do something and do it now! If the FBI is in the DNC back pocket and the DOJ is in the DNC back pocket as we all have suspected for the past 5 months....here is what I would do. I would tell Loretta and James this: You guys announce you are looking into the latest emails revealed ..... you can make up where you got the info it doesn't matter....just deflect the wikileak stuff coming out...announce it on a Friday.....done.......then along about a week before the actual election announce the FBI has reviewed all materials and there is NOTHING there of concern regarding Hillary.....NOTHING. That would seal the deal folks. If I am wrong , which I rarely am.......then it still will not matter. Those dedicated to Hillary would charge a maching gun nest with a pocket knife for Hillary. I think there is a small chance Trump can win, but I call it slim and none....and Slim done left town. ADDED AFTER 3PM FRIDAY: Rush Limbaugh must have read my notes here, he is predicting the same exact thing!
ADDED MONDAY 31ST, AFTER LISTENING TO CNN AND FOX......(NETWORKS ARE WORTHLESS FOR NEWS YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO FOX AND CNN THEN AVERAGE THE TWO): Now, lets make believe for a moment the FBI is on the up and up.....common mannnnn....okay lets give them a slight benefit of huge doubt.......what if this is on the up and up? Comey better hire some retired seals to guard him and other top FBI officials they could all wind up committing suicide like so many others have done. If this is on the up and up then there is no doubt Comey has damning evidence or he would not have gone out on such a long skinny limb above a pit of crocks....no way, not now. There is a good chance the NY bureau of the FBI found this stuff and was gonna squeel bloody murder, whistles and all...... if Comey did not open the investigation again......I still think it will all be for naught. When Hillary gets elected and if my prediciton about a pre election announcement does not occur then it will surely occur AFTER the election. Everybody involved in the FBI will be scared to death of her. Loretta will be a shoe in for Supreme Court so they will all harmoniously sing the praises of the Clintons when Comey announces no charges recommended again........but his career is over if that happens and if he lives long enough to write a book....which he probably won't, he will commit suicide or be killed in a freak accident when a dump truck runs over his Buick. Next case your honor. RT
Oct 25, 2016 Okay, we are several weeks past the sideswipe of a big hurricane but we did not get hit. Publicity has been really bad and I have had friends and clients all over the country calling about the damage. Here's the real story. Suzanne and I live right on the beach at Crescent south of St Augustine Beach. Our house had zero damage.....zero.....okay, I lost a cover off one of my cane shutters. I don't know where it went probably over the neighbors house and into the drink somewhere. Some lobster is probably living under it now.
Most homes north of Matanzas Inlet and south of St Augustine Beach had zero damage or very little. Homes north of St Augustine at Vilano and south Ponte Vedra got killed.....over a hundred were condemned.....many are ready to fall in the drink. I have warned clients for years about that area. The beach has been washing out ever since the corps of engineers put jetties on each side of the inlet and dredged it out. You can't beat mother nature.....sand washes up and down the beaches and has done so for millions of years....when you alter the flow nobody knows where it will go.....nobody but meeeeee. Every time they dredge the inlet and pump the sand onto St Aug beach it all washes south to Crescent Beach. When we bought our house in 1996 we had two dunes, the house is on top of number two and number one is the closest to the beach and surf. Today we have .... errrr....had four. Number one washed away in the storm so we now have three. Within a couple of years number one will build back again I am sure.
Now the real damage.....houses on the island on the waterway got flooded and I mean most of them. Salt water flooded, which is way worse than freshwater flood waters. ground floors were destroyed, ac units destroyed, interiors ruined, appliances are stacked on the side of the road, furniture, sheet rock the works....it looks like a war zone over there on the other side of A1A from me. This debris pile is going to affect prices on waterway houses and condos because people will see it and get spooked. I think it will take a year or more to get potential buyers calmed down. We have seen several buyers walk away from contracts on homes that had zero damage.....on the other side, we have three ocean front condos under contract and all three are sticking. Ocean front condos had virtually no damage in the Crescent Beach area.
Interior island houses got flooded if they were built on low lying areas. This was the first time they have ever gotten flooded by tidal waters but they did get flooded. Many homes where the owners added a little fill before building had no problem....if you cheaped out and saved a couple of thousand on fill you got flooded simple as that. Marsh Creek had some houses get flooded if they were not on built up lots but many did not get flooded.
South of here at Flagler and south of Matanzas here is the deal. In my opinion houses on old A1A are worthless....high tide surf is washing under and or thru them. The road is gone. A1A between Marineland and Flagler beach is washed out and collapsed onto the beach and surf. There is going to be a tug of war between DOT and the naturalist who do not want a seawall built. There is nowhere to reconstruct the road except on the new beach. It will be an interesting tug of war.
Meanwhile downtown St Augustine is humming right along and just fine.....just fine....most all the businesses are back open, restaurants are open the shrimp boats are in front of my house this morning are sleeping after dragging nets all night. I can see four from my bedroom right now. All is well or will be well. Yes, there are lots of people displaced form their homes and apartments. One friend lost everything who had an apartment north of here a couple of miles. He is relocating where his children live, there is nowhere for him to go around here and won't be for a year I think. He wants to come back. A lot of people are devastated make no mistake about that but the island shall return to normalcy within a year.
Politics: A Trump rally was at the amphitheater yesterday. It holds about 5000. There were another thousand standing room only and several thousand outside in the parking lot. Traffic was jammed for a couple of hours. Many people parked downtown and walked the couple of miles to the rally. I saw hundreds of Flagler College students walking to it. I was astonished and many were young women too! I still think Hillary will win and I said the democrats will cheat long before Trumpster said a word about it.....they are masters at it and have been a long time. That is why they are astonished when they lose......its like a basketball game with the refs on their side....you have to beat the other guys by twenty to win by two. I have been predicting a Hillary win for over a year and I am sticking by it......I will go vote today anyway and it won't be for her....not because she is a woman, or sick, or old......because she is a thief and corrupt....always has been in my opinion. There is just too much smoke not to be fire.....tooooo much smoke. I hate it when I am right. RT
Oct 9, 2016 The day after the day.......before we get started today I want you to go back to sept 26th below about line 7 where I just couldn't quite declare cane season over.......now you see why I am the oracle of Crescent Beach the one who knows all sees all well before it happens? Regarding news reports of damage, it is clear when you are in the middle of a storm, how the news people slant everything just like in politics...they are all looking for that spectacular story. The real deal is this: Flagler Beach road went into the drink....yes true...devastating? No, this has happened before back in 1962 I think it was. Every time you drove down A1A there you looked out at the ocean and said to yourself I am literally driving along the top of the ancient dunes.....but how stable are they? They ain't my friends and now the road is half as wide as it was and there is no room for new road unless you put it through people's living rooms.....what a mess! Then they showed peoples houses dropping in the drink at Vilano and Ponte Vedra beach about 10 miles north of St Augustine......that is not news either, just a landslide waiting for a good storm. I can't tell you how many people I have told to stay away from that area cause one dayyyyyy.........well sure enough, one day was yesterday. So what about the pics of downtown St Aug and St Aug beach going under water? That was predictable too.....has happened before.....remember the pics of the "kids" trapped in the bed and breakfast downtown? Ohhhhhh what dire straits.......6 hours later they walked out the front door and went home. When the tide went out and the wind changed directions the water left town like a badman after the stickup. But for a few mullet on the street you would never know it ever happened.
So what about the storm track and everybody hollerin wolf! Tru is nobody knew where it was going....the so called "cone" took up most of the state and out in the ocean 30 miles. Most people heeded the warnings and took off to parts unknown, we didn't like that wind speed at 145 a bit so we tied everything down, closed the shutters and left too. The storm got in the gulf stream like a highway and rode it all the way to Carolina as usual...the eye was 35 miles off shore so the windspeed here only gotup to 80-85.....if the eye was right on the beach it would have been really bad instead of fairly bad.
No, I am still not ready to declare cane season over....I just can't do it despite the fact I have declared it over as early as late August or first of Sept the past few years. People make big money predicting storms.....Ronnie is living proof you do not have to have a doctors degree to be right more than the weather doctors....it is not a science it is an art predicting hurricanes.
Ok, i predicted the first Hillary Trump debate perfectly to the letter....look back if you don't believe it....the post is still up. Tonight I predict Trump is going to be really mad, he may well blow it.....the dems pulled out a secret recording from 11 years ago right before the debate....trust me on this....this little nasty recording is just the tip of the ice burg of what the dems have stored up for the Trumpster. This is business as usual when it comes to the Clintons...they pouted and schemed for 8 years after obama surprised them. They didn't pull any dirty tricks on obama because they thought they had it in the bag....they are taking no chances this time. They have huge bountys out for anything derogatory on Trump and I suspect there is lots out there......its kind of like a treasure hunt......who the hell would have an 11 year old recording of a private Trump disussion on a bus with some guys about his girlfriends? Who would record it? save it? Where would one look for such? Somebody did and they are on Miami Beafh smoking Cuban cigars right now. Matter of fact think I'll order some old porn tapes and see if he's in any of them.......could bring millions and the clintons have lots of those. Before its over I expect Trump to exhibit horns and a forked tail. NOBODY IN DC WANTS HIM THERE, REPUBLICANS, INDEPENDENTS, DEMOCRATS......NOBODY.....THEY WANT THEIR APPLE CART JUST LIKE IT IS.......RT
Now folks I do not want to make light of a bad situation.....many people got hurt with high water and wind but thats living on the coast. Right here in Crescent Beach, my house had zero damage, my steps onto the beach are still buried in the sand like they were before. My neighbor to the north lost a rain gutter my neighbor to the south had no damage, the next neighor has a 50 year old house with vinyl siding, they lost a few panels and that was it......I was without power for two days and thats it. I have seen a few shingles here and there on the road, a few trees got blown down a few people have put their wet furniture out on the road....they lived on the waterway and I suspect the tide came right in their houses best i can tell.
Sept 26, 2016 Today is an up and down day. One of the greatest men i ever met passed away last night, Arnold Palmer. I met and talked with him several times since the mid 70s. He was every bit the gracious legend they all talk about. It is a sad time for all those who knew him. On the other hand, its a great day if you are a fisherman around here.....the annual early fall end of summer run of red bass just started.....everything that floats is down at the Matanzas inlet. Here at the office we just had a closing on a nice house we put on the market 30 days ago for 569,000 and it sold immediately for cash. The buyers are from DC and are nice people who are looking to retire here soon. They made a wise decision. I just listed a really nice Sand Dollar condo for 589,000 and I just sole one for 595,000 on the top floor so you might say business is still very good. Fall isn't quite in the air yet but I think its coming. As predicted below the hurricanes that get cooked up off Africa are all swinging north in short order. I'm just on the verge of declaring hurricane season is over but I just can't pull the trigger yet on that one. Water is cooling off slowly but cooling. i guess that's why the big red run at the inlet was a couple of weeks late this year.
Politics: so my friends......the biiiig debate is tonight! I predict the following: I am betting that both candidates come off as bland and rather boring. Hillary by all accounts will try to irritate Trump to make him make a mistake......I think he has been in pressure packed situations before and he will not pop his cork. I am predicting a subdued Trumpster. I am also predicting a calculated boring Hillary. I think the whole thing will be a drill in dullery. We shall see. The pundits are trying to build this mole hill into a mountain. I think 90% of the country knows how they will vote and won't change no matter what.....no matter who the talking head idiots say won....it will not matter. All it will do is solidify those who have already made their minds up. I think the 10% who say they will vote but haven't made their minds up yet won't vote at all. Remember I told you that. Hillaryites will say "she was presidential and came off as having superior knowledge of world affairs" she came off as being "uderstanding of women and children's needs" while the Trumpsters will come off saying "Trump can handle any situation, he came off as being in control and unruffled by Hillarys accusations...he was presidential"
Folks....just what is presidential? What does that mean? Being like Kennedy or like Johnson? Being like Ford or Nixon? Being like Carter or Reagan? Just what the hell is presidential? I would like to know. I don't think any of the talking head idiots know either. They would say prim and proper? Forceful? Stoic? I dunno.....all I know is I liked Reagan from the get go and when all the pundits were ready to lynch Reagan I wrote a column in late January after Bush's inauguration, saying Reagan would go down in history as one of our greatest presidents and to pay no attention to those who hated him. History of a president doesn't get written for a decade or so......Who was right? Meeeee of course......I'm always right, right? RT
Sept 17, 2016 Okayyyyyyy we are finally slowing down a bit and we are seeing normal activity for a September. A couple of weeks ago we had a so called storm threat. I had calls from all over the country worrying about their property here at the beach. I told them all thanks for calling and asking but I thought the storm was much to do about nothing and sure enough, I could have drank all the rain that fell. Couldn't even fly a good sized kite. It all went north as usual. Then there was early this week.....out of nowhere a little churner cooked up around Jacksonville and caught everybody flat footed but it was just some nice driving rain and 30-40 mph wind for a couple of days. Just stirred up the ocean and sand a bit that was it. I see a storm about a week out they say will wind up pretty good but I suspect it will go north before getting here. The water is cooling off now a bit and the fronts are coming across the country which I think should keep the big boys at sea....we shall see. I'll let you know when I get worried, thats when you need to worry because of course I do predict all and know all...........still.
So what about the real estate market as a whole in the near future? I think we shall march to a good tune the rest of this year. Demand for housing is extremely strong in the 400-500 range if its on the island. We sold a listing priced at 579 two blocks off the beach in ten days....okay it ain't sold yet but closes in 12 days I think its pretty much a lock. We sold 4 Barefoot condo units this summer, the biggest number that have sold in 2 years. Actually only one sold the past two years. We just got two more for sale, located 3rd and 4th floor. They are priced right but I have no idea if they will sell as quickly as the other four sold......they may move tomorrow with some showings on tap or may hang around till January we never ever know. I have an Ocean Village Club hanging around and it is a no brainer at 299,000. No brainer. I'm tempted to buy it and I don't want it! A new island project is starting the last one.....73 houses on large lots in St Aug Beach about 4 blocks from the beach. Prices are going to be in the 500s I am told. They are taking reservations now. That will be the last deal on the island.....we be outa land folks. Thank goodness, I have to look both ways before crossing the street these days.....when I was a kid we could drive down A1A and throw hand grenades out the widow and not hurt anything.....now its bumper to bumper on weekends and dodge car on weekdays most of the time.....except for now till Thanksgiving.....right now is the best time of the year at the beach. Noto many renters, not a lot of weekday visitors just local traffic.....I can get in and out of the grocery store in 10 minutes and I don't have to park on the highway. I can get through Wendy's and Mac's drive thru at noon in ten minutes, I can get off the first tee any time any day and I do not have to wait at the boat ramp......its great this time of year! In high school we could go down on the beach and race cars at night, build a bonfire and cook out and have a party you name it......now we have to have beach cops and nobody allowed on the beach at night with cars.........what a draggggg. I miss those days, they were good ones that today's kids will never know anything about....too bad.
Politics: hah! So you think I may have been wrong a year ago, six months ago and last month when I proclaimed Hill would win and Donald can take his trumpet and go home in November. I still think she will win despite his gains of recent weeks. I still feel there is an under current of voters all over the country who are keeping their mouths shut about who the will vote for (Trump). BUT my friends I still think the dems will get out the buses, the free promises, the hoards of volunteers, the unions and they will drag her across the finish line.......they will get people to vote numerous times......what? No way? Didn't I just see in NC where courts said people did not have to have id to vote? That means they can go precinct to precinct on the bus and vote......trust me it happened in 2012 people in Ohio even admitted they voted more than once for obama. I truly believe the dems can steal a dead heat election. On the other hand, they believe repubs can steal one too.....they still think the Bush/Gore was rigged despite the newspapers doing a recount three times in Florida.....three times......the newspapers and dems counted the ballots and Gore still lost every time. Trump is doing better but he still can't stand it when somebody pisseshim off and pops off with something that the press goes nuts about........today even, the press is hollering about Trump doubting obama was legally born a citizen.....they said his questioning such was "racist' common mannnnn.....stupid press with nothing else to holler about. What that is dong is deflecting criticism of Hill. So be it folks, the political process today is a shell game and dems are masters are bobbing and weaving and hiding stuff. How bout all the players claiming the fifth? The only press you see about that is on FOX nobody else cares the entire cast is pleading the fifth even the irs pleads the fifth.....there is so much smoke you can't find the fire. This is the crowd deep inside running the dem campaigns......even DWS is back in business after rigging the dem primary against Bernie and even Bernie is keeping his mouth shut now.....wonder where he got the 600,000 for that third vacation home on a lake he just bought? He has never had a real job, is a lifetime politician and a socialist who believes he should give everything away to the less fortunate. Interesting how easily a self proclaimed devout socialist can be bought. Oh, I got it......Bernie is going to share his three houses with the homeless this winter........that's itttttt. The good news is I really think Bernie would have killed Trump ..... against Hill the Trump has a chance.....slim and none and slim done left town......I hope slim decides to come back in early November. I would love to admit I was wrong for the first time ever. RT
August 29, 2016 Those of you who follow these reports from time to time may remember me saying business was fairly slow in the price ranges above 300,000 early in the year. By June that trend was blown out of the waves. Properties over 300 into the 500s have exploded. We have sold someting like close to 5 million in condos on the beach this summer lowest price was 369,000 others were in the mid 400s up to mid and upper 500s! Most buyuers were cash. Those who wanted financg had as much as 50% down. This activity folks is not flipper activity. These are real people with real money. Many told me they cashed out of the stock market with recent highs. I am scratching hard as I can to get some listings, I am down to nearly zero. I listed a nice 4br house two blocks off the beach in the mid 500s two weeks ago and it sold in ten days....cash buyer. I listed three Barefoot Trace ocean fronts and all three sold within 30 days, I sold somebody else's listing there too. Two of the three deals were cash the other had a ton down for financing. No brainer for the bank. The two Sand Dollars we were working on both sold and closed out, one was cash the other 50% financing....another no brainer for the bank. The only listing I have left that is a good one has been hard to show because it is constantly booked with renters, so is my ocean front house for sale. I think the market is going to remain strong though the rest of the year but I also think the price bubble will not continue to expand....its time for a new leveling out on prices for awhile. During the crazy price increases, they were aided by stupid lending policies that allowed prices to spiral out of control. Today people are working with their own money and do not jump at anything at any price figuring they will simply walk away from it if things go bad. Today those types can't get loans and thats fine. I hollered several years ago that banks and the feds were being crazy not loaning solid people money on solid properties. I also predicted it would straighten out and it has....finally. the banks figured out they were missing slam dunk loans being made by private money. I made a couple myself, unfortunately those mortgages got paid off quickly. Those were 50% loan to value deals banks wouldn't take. I took'em no problem and I got paid off early....damnit......I liked those payments coming in. My cash in the bank is languishing.
Politics: Okay, gasoline is still around 2.00 and as I have always said how goes gasoline so goes the real estate market...gas is cheap and the real estate market is on fire......why is gasoline so cheap? Easy answer folks, its an election year. If I owned the pump I would make it cheap right now and make sure the democrats stayed in control of the White House....if gas was back to 4.00 plus it would give the repubs plenty of ammo and probably get the dems beat. After the election and Hillary's victory, watch gas take off my friends.....it happened four years ago six months before obamas re election prices started falling, its happening this year.....the history is clear, the reasons obvious to meeeee the one who knows all sees all. Oil runs this country, big oil wants democrats in office to hold down production and prices up. Ihave had an over balance of oil stocks for over 30 years and I have done very very well with them and I still have them. Those oil guys are smart, real smart. You may remember I predicted Hillary would win no matter what a year ago....I still stand by that one. I only pray we can hold onto the house and senate, that is going to be tough. Hillary is protected by obama, comey, lynch..really the only threesome you need.....and all the newspapers and networks for insurance..... except Fox. She will win, Trump shot his foot a bunch but it doesn't matter the fix was in a long time ago and you heard it right here a year ago and I am repeating again. Meanwhile I think I'll just go find something to sell. RT
August 8, 2016 Contrary to past performance business is busy. Many agents tell me they have people looking but not much for sale. I had a one hour open house at Barefoot Trace this past Saturday and 7 serious lookers showed up some with their brokers. We got one offer don't know if it will fly or not but we shall see. The brokers who came in had people seriously looking at everyting available ocean front on the beach which is rare for August. Usually this is back to school time of year. The new Sea View housing development is almost ready to start building single family homes here on the island. It is the next to last such development. One more has been approved and that's it folks! Call me for onfo on both I have the inside track. Another interesting tidbit....renters traditionally are long gone by now and we are rental dead....not so this year....I think older couples and people without kids in shool have figured out they can get cheaper rates in August and September. The house next door to me on the beach wasn't booked at all for Aug and Sept a few weeks ago. The rates fell about 50% and voila! Totally booked through October.
Politics: I am afraid Trump has stepped in it too many times to recover but we shall see. I was in Ohio last week and talked to lots of young people in the Columbus area. I always take my own polls. I was amused to hear 20 somethings telling me they were going to vote for Trump! Of course they were white males and were working. I have no idea what those of color are going to do. So, obama says America did not pay ransom for the Iranian held hostages. That my friends is high grade BS but you know that I am preaching to the choir. Too bad somebody didn't call me for advice......they said we owed Iran 400 million back for planes and weapons not delivered 35 years or so ago. I would have said okay we are even for the hostages you held for over a year during Jimmy Carter years.....OR....OR.....I would have said "oh yes we still have those planes and guns the Shah paid for way back when......we will load them up and send them right over, they were buried up in red tape" I would have sent a bunch of old Phantoms and rusted out carbines and old wet ammo that the 400 million was supposed to purchase 35 years ago. Case solved debt paid. RT
July 18, 2016 As predicted business has slowed considerably on the beach scene, it always does this time of year. People who wanted to purchase a property to use for the summer have either done so or are going to wait till fall maybe. Everything on the beach below 600,000 is selling if priced properly, we just got an offer this morning on a 1.3 listing at Ocean Gate. Have no idea if the low offer will fly or not its up to the owner. I have not yet made a hurricane prediction this year.....I do not like the fact the water is warm, very warm....that ain't good. The last few years the water has been cool so I predicted no canes and I was right. This year the great one is keeping his mouth shut for a while longer while we watch the Pacific get churned up big time. I will say this about the beach weather....almost zero rain the past three weeks and hot temps with wind from the south. That also lends to my leeriness about canes this year.
More political commentary? but of course! FBI director Comey.....did anybody scream when he said the FBI did not ask Hillary to testify under oath? If they do not get her to swear on her testimony do you think she will tell the truth? She won't even tell the truth when under oath I guess so he probably didn't bother. We now know for a fact she lied to congress under oath but nobody is going to worry about that. Okay......here is what bothers me most about the whole thing. I think our government has been lieing to us for years.....all the way to the White House. Kind of like Russia did during Kruschev days kind of like North Korea does to its people today.....they think they are being told the truth but they are not. How do we know our government is not lying to us too? The network media prints and broadcasts as gospel anything the administration releases. Hells bells folks, they may be importing isis soldiers in here by the thousands for all we know with nice fresh pass ports and citizenship papers for all we know. I worry a lot these days about what Washington is telling us and trust none of it. I guarantee you either obama or Hillary had something on FBI director Comey and played that card at the last minute. He in turn put the muzzle on all the FBI people on the inside.....obama played a gotcha card on justice roberts too just before the obamacare supreme court decision. I saw Scalia interviewed after the vote and he was shocked that roberts changed his vote overnight. Why else would roberts have done so? Scalia knew something happened but did not elaborate. There are lots of people out there who don't want Trump......I gotta tell ya, if we are going to wipe the slate clean and get out some new chalk that is the only way my friends, the only way. Hillary is part of the corruption from way back and will slip right into obama's chair, it will fit perfectly. prediction: the DNC and Hillary commercials to come will feature the Goldwater killer.....they will depict Trump as one ready to nuke anybody and everybody. They will have ads like the Goldwater killer back in the 60s, their playbook is a good one and the people swallow every time. RT
July 7, 2016 Political fireworks! I watched the hearings this morning with great interest, but only the republican committee questions, all the dems did was hail the decision and asked no pertinent questions kind of like a filibuster of sorts trying to bore us to sleep. Anyway, it still appears to me the fix was in from the get go I don't care how "honorable and unbiased the director of the FBI is supposed to be." I was especially interested in one question: Did Hillary lie to you? No. Did you ask her if she sent any classified emails on her server? No. She said over and over publicly she never sent classified emails on her personal server......director: We cannot address public announcements only FBI testimony. Now, folks how the hell can Hillary lie to the FBI if they don't ask the question?????? Why didn't they ask the question? Fix. plain and simple. Am I a Hillary hater? No. I just don't like people who are always in that gray area. The Clintons have operated in the gray since their Arkansas governor days and still are and the two lawyers are still getting away with Lord knows what. There is lots of smoke here with this FBI "investigation" and we are getting most of it blown up our rear ends. 52% of the American voting public eagerly sucks up that smoke every day. Romney said 47% was in the tank 4 years ago, its now 52 my friends and getting worser. rt
July 5, 2016 The best fireworks displays were on the beach last night. Not exactly lawful but kids and grand kids in houses, rental houses and condos up and down the beach got their kicks. They were all bombed out by 10:30 thank goodness so us old folks could go to sleep. Business continues to be good, anything priced right sells on the beach right now. I got a contract done on a Sand Dollar Saturday. It was priced right and the buyers had been looking for awhile wanting a top floor, done deal, book it Dano.
Politics: I hate to say I told you so on this one.....I told you so over a year ago, I told you so in the fall, I told you so during the primaries, I told Bernie, I told you so last week......THE FBI WILL NOT RECOMMEND CHARGES AGAINST HILLARY......I hate it when I am right. The fix was in a long time ago. Hillary told obama if she goes down she takes him with her. If anybody believes any of this high grade BS about the FBI is independent, non political.....has great integrity....yada yada yada......common mannnn. If they ask for indictment for criminal negliagence (which is exactly what they described in their press conference this morning) the administration would gut the FBI one way or another....heads would roll, retirements would go up in smoke....oh, obama would never do that.....maybe not, but his handlers who will end up in the Hillary camp, would. I predicted the fix was in over a year ago, it was obvious when bill had a closed door meeting with the AG, then the AG refused to recuse herself.....it was obvious when obama planned an Air Force One ride to Charlotte last week they ALL KNEW THE FIX WAS A DONE DEAL....all of them. They have been laughing about the pundits predicting criminal charges the past 12 months. obama and Hillary both GUARANTEED a long time ago no wrong doing would be found...... All Fox or CNN had to do was call meeeee.......the one who knows all sees all well before it happens. Hillary will be your next president and the corruption in our federal government will continue on steroids for the next 8 years. You best pray the repubs hold the house or senate......either one will stiff arm craziness at the federal level for a little while at least. Am I upset? nooooo, I knew what was going to happen all along. I hate it when I am right. RT
June 22, 2016 Wow, time flies when you are busy and have we been busy. One of our agents has been moaning since January that every deal went bad, buyers and sellers fighting and walking away.....nothing going right. As in life, everything has a cycle I have no idea why (imagine that the great one is at a loss). Anyway, I told her over and over that's just the way it works and when her luck turns it will turn sharply. Remember the deal where old folks told you "the sun don't shine on the same dog's ass every day." As of yesterday Delilla's run of good luck making deals for buyers and sellers totalled between 3 and 4 million dollars worth she says .... she hasn't had time to total it......everything she touches works out just fine. That folks, is just way this business works. Me? I have now a total of 3 count'em 3 Barefoot Trace contracts working....two are in the final days before closing one is starting. Only one Barefoot sold last year and I didn'tsell it. This year I have sold every single Barefoot deal. Three! I have several other condos under contract, just closed one yesterday, a couple of serious customers looking at ocean front condos and a real good bite on our Ocean Front House listing.....all this since April. This is a ton of business just for our little office.....we are the little engine that could. If the big chain houses did a proportional share relative to what we do they would have billboards up bragging about their hundreds of millions in sales this year.
So,how are prices doing? Actually rather steady no big moves up or down.....I think people who have been "thinking about it" are realizing we are due for a move up and I think so too. Right now the prices are still relatively flat to January prices which is not a bad thing. Rental condos on the beach are still showing impressive returns in the 5-7% triple net range not counting appreciation if buyers are looking for properties that help carry themselves. There is no such thing as a rental property that pays for itself. If somebody tells you that.....run, they obviously once worked at the White House.
Speaking of politics: I have been rather quiet the past six months or so but how about the White House and their flat out lies to the American press and public? Greta has been railing how stupid do they think we all are? Folks, the general population of America is stupid and dumb both. Just watch Waters once in a while....he swears he doesn't hunt the dummies down they are everywhere around us. The obama administration appears to me like a foreign dictatorship that the rulers control the tv, control the narrative....much like North Korea I would say , and the people think it is the truth. Like the Japanese leaders told their people that if they didn't fight to the death the Americans would kill and eat them.....the people believed it. Our people are swallowing the crap from obama just as bad. The AG strikes out words used by the Orlando killer relating to allah, isis, etc. That was the coup de gras (is that green?) when they struck out allah and replaced the word with God. They have fed the press and public so much crap the past 7 years and have gotten away with it, they thought they could go this far. Next thing you know they will say the Orlando killer was a Christian on a crusade! The press would probably believe it too! So, we ask why is the administration become so deceiptful, flat out lying about terrorists over and over. Lying about the economy over and over? All I can figure is this: perhaps the doubters were right...perhaps the administration is islamic....obama was raised a muslim.....when did he convert to Christianity? Has he denounced radical islam? nooooo. Could he be on a mission to lay the ground work for islam to infiltrae the U.S. totally? Could be my friends, why is he and the administration around him importing people from muslim countries in her by the thousands weekly....yes, weekly. According to Fox news which is probably the only press not eating the obama spoonfed crap says 500 Syrians were brought in the day after Orlando and a stepped up effort is underway to bring more faster. All I can say is , if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, ...........RT
June 7, 7:30am, 2016 Storm? What storm? Ever since I have been in this business I have told potential purchasers of property in the immediate St Augustine/Crescent Beach area that storms just seem to pass us by. I tell my friends all over the country who call worried about storms approaching I'll tell you when to worry. Now for a fact areas south of us and north of us got clobbered, mostly trees coming down on power lines. I have not seen any roofs blown off or homes blown away. A few trees tragically fell on some homes, injuries are still unknown if any. That said, I was up and down most of the night. At Crescent Beach we got winds about 20-25mph much less than the average thunder storm......we got what I would classifyu as "good rain" at times but nothing resembling a down pour. Most of yesterday (Monday) all we got was a drizzle. This morning at 7:30 the sun is shining....there are clouds about but not a drop since Midnight so far. My yard and flowers are smiling.
Meanwhile, business is starting to slow on the condo front.....it usually does by early June, the rush is over to buy something for the family for summer but we will continue to move along okay I think. Houses are still on fire with people wanting to relocate to our area. One of our agents listed a nice smaller house about 2300 sq ft in a good subdivision for over 500 thousand....it sold in half a day after the sign went up for full price cash. People had been waiting for just such a house in just such a neighborhood. They want it for winter months. We just put a lower priced condo on the island under contract. We listed it 3 weeks ago had numerous offers finally got a full price deal from young people wanting to live there. It's not a water front complex but just a block away from the beach. The beat goes onnnnn. RT
MAY 20, 2016 Folks Ronnie is done complaining about a slow market and stagnant prices......all of a sudden the condo market is on fire and going up in value due to high demand and low inventory. I will not brand the market as crazy yet but it is brisk to say the least. Just give me a view and a flat and an elevator and I'll get you a sale at full market price. I just put a Sand Dollar under contract this week, I have several offers promised on two other listings.....but promises from rookie agents are common we shall see. I learned a long time ago until somebody signs the line they are just sashaying around...is that spelling right? Houses are on fire too....finally we are seeing activity on ocean front houses....there are good buys right now....okay so there are two....the rest are dumps priced at a million plus. So, we ask why is this happening? The tail end of the boomers are retiring they have money, they want nice stuff for their last quarter simple as that.
Hey, you Texicans..... better listen up. now is the time to sell that condo and get that ocean front house....right now not a couple of months from now....Hillary could still win.
Speaking of politics, the flurry of political emails are flying like sparrows heading to Mexico.....most are funny and sadly most are true like the one with a picture of Nixon....he says I erased 18.5 minutes of tape....Hillary erased thousands of emails, got our people killed in Benghazi, has pocketed millions tax free through a "foundation," has sold influence for 30 years....and they called me a crook? Now think about it folks, what Nixon and his henchmen did was child's play at most.....today it is chapter one in the political playbook. I will keep harping on this.......because I am always right.......right? Hillary will not be indicted. All this so called thousands of man hours by the FBI team of hundreds of agents is all a smoke screen so they can eventually say, see! We spent years and millions investigating and we find no wrong doing case closed. It will look great on the headlines. Hillary will not go down because if she does she has told obama she will take him with her. obama owns the FBI and the Justice Dept. Do you think all those people no matter how honorable they are, will risk their jobs and retirement over this? Not on your life and you can book it Danno. p.s. if one person did blow the whistle on the scam investigation who would report it? FOX? Right. The guy would wind up at a Circus wearing a top hat. RT
May 11, 2016 Crazy is the only adjective I have right now for this market . In the past 3 weeks I have been involved in 6 deals and only one.....count it one.....came to fruition.....and that one was a full price cash offer on the property before it was officially listed for sale. I happened to be talking to the listing agent mussing about how my recent offers got out bid and properties were selling for full price or above. He had just what one of my clients was looking for, she took one look and took it at the ask. TYhe other five deals I had five different clients making offers and all five we got aced out by full price offers and once the offer went above the asking price. So what gives? I keep getting one common denominator. Zero interest rates on people's cash in the bank. Next, they do not trust the Wall Street Casino and want something more stable and predictable. Next thing I hear is they can get enough rental income to cover expenses easily and even pocket up to 5-6% on their purchase price. This applies to quality beach front properties both houses and condos. The return is shrinking a bit beause prices are rising quickly right now. This is the first spurt I have seen in nearly 12 months and it is happening in the 250-400 thousand property value sector. We are not seeing this big uptick in the over 400 thousand properties yet but we are seeing sales doing well in the 400-500 range. Now here's a crazy story. A unit was rumored to be coming for sale (I'll not tell the complex or players because it is still up in the air) in a popular complex, it was a a premium unit......top floor corner.....south corner....the best corner in this particular complex. I am absolutely sure it will appraise in the 475,000 range top price for a 2/2...top top top dollar. I had a client wanting it and offered 500 cash quick close, within 24 hours there were 3 offers on the table before it went on the open market. 500 cash, 527 financing, 540 financing. I asked the listing agent to keep me posted I was sure the finance deals would not fly. After 4 weeks the first one did not fly as I suspected. We went back in with 500 cash.....this mind you my friends is still 25 over appraisal in my opinion. The second offer at 527,000 was accepted by owner and it is now grinding along. I do not think it will even come close to appraising but we shall see. Meanwhile, my client is pissed off. This is typical right now. I had a seller's agent commit to an offer of 310,000 on an ocean view 2/2 at another complex said the owner had signed off on it and was sending back that day. Meanwhile, she got aother offer for 340,000 and decided to go back on her word, tear up the contract and accept the new offer. My client thinks I dropped the ball. I did not, I was lied to. This is growing thin with me these days. Too many new agents who have no clue what they are doing, have no directions from a higher up and their word is worthless. This business relies a lot on personal guarantees the paperwork has been signed and on the way....that is now out the window with these new people. I hate it.
Politics: i still predict Hillary will be your next president but........I m beginning to believe it could ....mayyyybe......happen that Trump can win. Here's the wild card. Hillary's people have wrapped up the nomination despite the fact Bernie is winning winning winning......the votes don't matter , the fix is in. Hillary will be the nominee.....Bernie's people may be so pissed off they mayyy vote for Trump.....mayyyybe....Trump will use the same Wall Street against Hillary that Bernie is using right now. BUT my friends just like the 2012 election, the dems are masters at cheating on the national vote just like their primary deal......they know how to get absentee ballots in mass and filled out well in advance.....they know how to bus thousands or people around to various voting stations to vote multiple times......for Trump to win it will take a miracle....he will have to win the true vote 60-40 to have a chance. RT
April 25, 2016....my goodness how the market can turn on a dime! We have been fairly slow since the first of the year, inventory has been low, actually an ocean front condo or ocean view condo has been scarce, only a few for sale. So, here we go. Start first with a Capt Quarters I had for sale for a year....a dated but clean 2/2 ocean view flat with an ask of 295,000. On the same day....same day I swear.....we got three, count'em.... three offers! One day! It went to high bidder at 292,500 cash,sold and closed quickly. Then I had a client make an above the current value offer on a Barefoot Trace condo, ocean front corner so it is unique but will never appraise for more than 475,000 in my opinion.....our offer was 500 and so help me there were three offers made on it in 24hours....went under contract at 530 something I was told by listing broker. This past weekend there was one...only one Summerhouse ocean front for sale at 370,000 I showed it Thursday, wrote a nice cash offer at 360 on Friday. The listing broker informed me there were two more offers coming and the owner was going to choose one.....we lost out.....one person from the get go bid full price cash close quick....was it under priced? nooooo it was market priced in my opinion. It had been for sale over a year but the market caught up to it......nothing else for sale and all of a sudden the price looked pretty good. I was told that a real estate broker bought it.....cash......now, in light of that one is for sale in building three for 425,000!
So, what is going on? several things in my opinion. We are closing in on summer and buyers want to purchase before summer so the kids or grand kids can come visit so there is a little urgency right now and that will continue through end of May. Two, there is still no inventory to speak of and if it is a good view it is rare and will attract a lot of attention and three, all of a sudden there is a sense amongst buyers that prices are going up and the last three deals I hae been working on the past two weeks proves that point. These are not flippers making the offers these are cash buyers and users. Flippers use other people's money so if the deal goes south they just stick the bank with it.
Have you ever watched on TV the real estate show that features a couple shopping for a house in some exotic place like Hawaii, or Puerto Rico....Bermuda, Alaska....yada yada.....they usually look at three properties then make their mind up which one to try to buy....the realtor shows all three and all the details yada yada.......I met a broker who actually was one of the agents showing such in St Augustine! I have never seen the episode yet but it will replay I am sure. I asked him if it was for real, I had my doubts. He said it is all staged. The lookers have already bought something and they re-enact the whole thing .....look at a couple of comps then choose one they already bought. It is fake based on true events but they want you to believe it is real time....the show is interesting I'll give them that but as usual do not believe reality TV. There is only one expert you can rely on....meeeeeeee the one who knows all sees all predicts all and suspects all.
Many of you keep asking for my political predictions. I still say Hillary will be your next president, obama has her back she will not be indicted no matter what. FBI will have to water down investigation or all will risk being fired, Atty General will not indict obama will not let that happen. Remember I said Hillary has already told obama if she goes down she will take him with her simple as that. Republicans are in disarray as usual, the dems walked Trump right into the abortion trap.....as usual....been doing that for 40 years over and over again.....you see, Republicans tend ot think for themselves this is why there are so many different opinions within the electorate and the party....dems tend to be followers,whatever the party boss says that's what they do and how they vote. The house and senate same same...the repubs have different ideas amongst themselves and disagree all the time, while the dems simply ask the leader how to vote, then go back to the fund raising room. Simple as that folks. RT
April 18, 2016 Okay ok I hear you.....all three of my regular fans have been wondering what is going on, I haven't posted anything in weeks. I've been more than busy with non work related activities since it is the annual wishing season and lookie-loo season. Wishing season is people shopping for beach properties wishing they could get the property for what they could have a year ago and wishing the owners would sell for what the buyers want to pay. It just doesn't often work that way. I just closed on an ocean view condo Friday that we were asking 295,000 for it. It was on the market for nearly 9 months then all of a sudden we had THREE OFFERS IN ONE DAY! Sure, we had no less than 6 offers in that 9 months but we turned them all down. Finally people quit wishing and realized we had it priced to current value....and it was. The final price was within 1/2% of the asking price. Do I deserve a medal? Nooooo why should I be praised for selling a property for what it is worth?
Her is something interesting if anybody cares.....all of a sudden there is a big choice of ocean front houses on the market. I have one for sale next door tomy house. It is marked to true market value but the wishers are offering one million instead of the 1.385 it is worth. The owner may be flexible a bit but 30% off replacement value? common mannnnn. Other houses priced at a million nobody wants....they are a wreck and should be scrapped so you are buying a lot....a lot....as in vacant lot not a large quantity. No wonder the English language drives foreigners nuts.....one word can mean lots of different things.....there I go again....a lot as in land, a lot as in a quantity.....go home get outa my house the whole lot of you. Lots....like i gots lots of those cat eye marbles they're 5 cents a sack down at Webbs Five and Dime. Take "red" I read the book, she's a red head, he's a red...as in communist....its red as in a republican state, its a red crayon....red can mean lots of things....there's that lot again.....meanwhile back on radio road......
I am seeing lots of owners of properrties wanting more than they are worth right now on the beach and in housing developments then again I see houses in small developments priced rather reasonable. You tell me.....let's take a house at Marsh Creek just down the road on the island inside a gated golf course community...you do not have to play golf to be there , there are no special fees just a nice upscale housing community. Average vacant lot today is around 200 thousand, you might think thats a lot. Average new construcion on a 2500 sq foot house today is around 140 a square foot.....you might think thats a lot but we are talking about driveway, landscaping, interior trim above average, irrigation system.... there are lots of things people forget about a contractor only tells you it costs to build the house not to get it move in ready. Now we are at $550,000 and the average house at Marsh Creek is now around 500 so you get a ten percent discount for "used" that's about right don't you think? Owners wanting to sell are asking 600 for such....common mannnn....mark it to market and it will sell. There is a beautiful piece of propety at St Augustine Beach that is now being developed it will be the last housing development on the island....its 3 blocks off the beach and has huge oak trees, cedars and other native species....the lots will be large, the houses nice size and it will be selling soon....call me about that Ronnie 904-501-1010. You can reserve a lot and you do not have to build till you are ready and you can use any builder you want. It will be first class all the way.
Best buys on the beach right now regardless of price? Sand Dollar top floor 3/2 large oceanfront condo $569,000 and a Barefoot Trace 2/2 1400 sq ft ocean front great complex $469,000. A Summerhouse 2/2.5 oceanfront townhouse for $369,000 these are he best three deals on the beach right now today.
Politics: The passing of Judge Scalia while obama is president , and with the high liklihood hillary will follow him, obama that is.....Scalia's death could very well be the biggest and worst tragedy in the history of this country....talk about the country going to hell in a handbasket.....but its our own fault. Republic conservative presidents have appointed judges we all thought were conservatives......but ended up being liberals. I guess its fair to say its hard to find a conservative lawyer anywhere but Scalia was. I do not think conservative constitutionalists have a chance at all......we will end up with a left wing supreme court who will slowly and surely rewrite the constitution and change us into Denmark or Norway.....or Belgium. all beautiful places but famous for nothing the past 50 years once they became socialistic they sunk into the abyss of tulips.....their citizens are stuck in "average" people from those places have told me its nearly impossible to become wealthy through hard work so everybody is happy to just exist peacefully. Which is fine if you are made that way. If you are reading this you are not average nor is it written by average. Average do not live on the beach or near the beach it takes hard work to get here.
Prediction: Hillary will not be indicted. I guarantee you she told obama if she goes down she takes him with her. He will not let the FBI nor justice dept take her down. One way or another she will be found innocent of any wrong doing without due process. Also, she will cake walk into the White House.....guaranteed. Romneys 47% is now 55% maybe even sixty. You my friend are working to pay for two others and thats just the way it is but at least you an work your way to where you want to be if you want to be there....if you want to do a lot of hard work.....a lot. RT
Feb 16, 2016 Man has this been a cold winter or what? I have seen more days with temps in the 50s and 60s windy, cloudy.....so much for a balmy December. January and early Feb was the pits. Today its 70 the way its supposed to be this time of year. Business? Relatively slow on the beach. Most properties for sale are also rented and this unseasonal weather has people not wanting to shop a lot. I had a world famous race car driver come up from Daytona today to look at one of our ocean front listings. He was quiet rather shy I think but I know he is a beast behind the wheel. Could be he thought I would ask for an autograph or drool over him or something, I am sure he gets a lot of that. Sometimes famous people don't realize I live on the beach of the rich and famous and I am used to celebrities. I find most of them are just regular people who are good at something that pays big. I have played golf with famous people every one of you would recognize in a second if you saw the picture or read the name. Anyway if he guys something he will surely add big time to the lore of Crescent Beach celebrities who hide out here on the greatest beach in America. Market wise for houses, they are still selling rather well not hot but steadily. People come people go but most stay until one spouse gets sick or dies then the other usually heads back home. That is the usual story, nobody leaves until it becomes tough to live here alone but some stay. The last piece of sizeable vacant land on the island just sold. The developer is a friend of mine and he will build 73 homes on the 40 acres. He has promised me first shot at selling a handfull of lots.......we shall see if that happens. Prices will be roughly 200 for big lots with big trees here on the island and lots of community amenities. No, not on the beach but about 3-4 minutes from the beach via automobile, 10-15 by cycle or 30 on foot.
politics: I have written for years the real estate market will revolve around gasoline prices, everything revolves around gasoline prices. We are at a new low for the 2015/16 gas glut era....on the island its 1.61 a gallon.....I just went through my January fuel bill and it was roughly a thousand dollars cheaper than last year...that is huge. Am I feeling good? Not particularly.....the anomaly is low oil prices have trashed the stock market. I have always been heavy in oil stocks according to my broker but I have always done very well with them....dividends are very good but I keep getting bad bad news about oil companies because of the low price for oil. I am not worried about it much cause I still say the world runs on oil and will in my lifetime......one day some kid will figure out cold fusion that will power cars, power plants and rocket ships....it will happen but is a long way off most likely. I still think we need the pipeline, I still think we need fracking......for the first time in a long time we can do without OPEC. And for the first time in a long time I laugh at the OPEC hard asses fighting with each other and cutting each other's throats with prices and production.
The candidates? I think the dems will still nominate Hillary no matter what....I think Obama has her back and will not let the justice department indict her....absolutely not....why? Because if they do, she will rat out Obama and take him down with her. No way he will let the justice dept indict her....no way my friends. The repubs? I liked Trump at first and still do but am growing weary of his insults against the others....he doesn't have to do that and he is getting on my nerves doing it. I do think he is nasty enough to handle Hillary, I do not think Jeb can handle her he's toonice a guy like Mitt and same for John who also got drummed by the dems...both were just nice people who couldn't stoop to being down and dirty. Hillary will take them to the trenches whoever them is and I think only Trump, Cruz and Rubio can sand up to her and the dems.....I do have my doubts whether any of them can beat Hillary though......I think the fix is in. The dems had the fix in for Obama and now know how to do it and are not afraid to do it simple as that. One thing or sure, we will find out soon enough whether all this hot air is just that. I predicted the winner in the last 6 presidential races correctly and I stand by Hillary to win the big deal at this time. RT
January 12, 2016 man, is the end of football season great or what!!!? The wildcard ames were great.....unless of course you are a Bengals fan or a Viking man.....you ain't doing so good. Last night's college final was great. A good friend texted me last night before the game asking what the Great One was seeing and how was I betting? I replied I did not bet, just couldn't give Clemson's quarterback 7 but was pretty sure Bama could get it done. 45-40 Bama, this my friends is perfection in prognosticaiton once again. Okay so what's going on in the real estate business? Actually we are fairly busy despite the fact its freezing the past couple of days. The high today is supposed to be only 62....brrrrrdamnit. I personally now have 4 closings in the hopper right now which is very good for January in any economy. Oiur agengs are busy too. We are not getting rich because the majority of properties are priced in the 200-300 thousand range right now that is still the hot spot....to get rich we need to average 500 thousand.....I think in 2015 my average deal was around 350 across the board. That said I have seen some beach houses priced around a million sell, I have a client right now looking in that price range. I think the stock market going in the tank has something to do with that too. Big money is on the sidelines and they are looking at property on our beach which is about as solid a play as you can make. My clients who have sunk big money into beach houses and expensive condos have done very very well renting their properties on a weekly basis the past few years. Those who chose wisely .....taking my advice of course.....have reported average returns in the 5-7% range which beats hell out of the market or cd returns.
Best deals on the beach right now? I have showed some good stuff this week, there is a beach house 3/2 for under a million that isn't a bad deal, there is a 4br ocean front with a pool for 1.6 that is a good deal, I showed a couple of condos that my looker loved priced at 480 and 600....we will see if they like enough any of these to make an offer. Listings are becoming extra hard to get now. When times were tough listings were everywhere and I sold'em all. Now all the burger flippers who have gotten a license are trying to get listings too. I think I'm getting too old to fight total green horns for listings I just don't have what it takes to lie to customers to get a listing.....that is what happens when desperate people compete with you, you either play like them or let lots of opportunities go and hope you get a shot later after they can't sell it at a crazy price.
Shelf life of a house off the island is now very short....I listed a nice house in a 5 year old development off island last week and already have a near full asking price offer this morning which will be signed. It's a fair price and nice house and the first people who looked took it but that said they had been shopping for weeks and liked this house most because the owner had all the upgrades and the place was like new. This is an indication of why our county is the fastest growing in Florida right now. The good news is the huge explosion is of island, our traffic is increasing significantly at times because off island people come over here for dinner, to the beach and sightsee which is fine no problem there at least they go home so my water pressure doesn't get too low......yes, I can tell how many people are on the island by the water pressure in my shower. Winter renters this winter have been slow to show up I guess because of warm weather up north but as cold as it is up there now and everywhere I suspect they will show up in a week or so. RT
DECEMBER 18, 2105 As the world tumbles......at least that's the way it should read these days.....But first a recap on what's been going on the last 30 days. This is traditionally the slow time of the year as I said last month. However, we have muddled along and closed on 3 condos priced at close to 400 each, I personally have a contract to close in January at 415 on a condo, and just put a really nice vacant lot on the waterway under contract at 390 cash. It should be the last decent property priced under 400 in the forseeable future. So my friends, the only conclusion can be that business is relatively good for the time of year and the fact that inventory is very scarce. I scanned the condo market this morning for at least two clients wanting to buy and trust me on this, the choices are very very narrow. There are only about 4 on the entire beach I can truly recommend as being good buys....there are no more steals unless that once a year steal comes on the market which it will eventually, always does happen. It's usually an out of town broker or an agent who sells mostly houses that gets a listing on a condo and has no real clue what it should be worth....that happens rarely regularly......okay, what I mean is with certainty every six months or so it happensn so that is rare but predictably regular. I tell my clients who want nothing short of a steal and don't care where it is just to sit tight and when I blow the horn bring your checkbook the next day.
Predictions for 2016: It's an election year, the stock market will yo-yo all year, rightnow I am pissed off at my republican congress over the spending bill today. They are letting the tail wag the dog, the democrats are calling all the shots because the republicans don't want to be blamed for shutting down the government.....ask any citizen with half a brain and they will all tell you shut it down! When it was shut down before all they did was close some parks and put a fence around the Washington monument which was obama petty stuff.....the hell with it....shut it down if the dems won't vote for something reasonable don't matter who gets blamed....voters will forget about it by November anyway, they always do. They have already forgotten Hillary's arrogance and incompetence. Yes, she is smart....I'll give her that ..... she gets away with most anything that a normal person would be crucified for. Too bad she doesn't have a boyfriend stashed somewhere....wonder whyyyy? I think the economy in general will be slow , I think the hike in interest rates is much adoo about nothing......it can go up 10 times that much before it has an effect on anything.....and that would be minimal for this market. We are still seeing 75% of all purchases cash, the ones financing can pay cash too if they want to. St Augustine at the beach is bulletproof these days interest rates be damned. Politically, the great one predicted ob ama would win last time when all the paid pundits said Romney would win......I was right again......I predict Hillary will be your next president I don't care who the repubs or teas throw out there. She is a dead lock. Romney's 47% in the tank for any democratic nominee is now around 53% in my estimation and growing. Ilike what Charles Barkley said (no, I am no Barkley fan) .... but he did say one thing that makes sense "poor people have been voting for democrats for 50 years and they are still poor" True, but poor is relative Charles......those folksk you are talking about get all the food they can eat, drive fairly new cars, live in free dumpy housing, don't work and get free medical......I think the poor are doing pretty damned good. If I had no ambition either I would vote dem too! About the real estate market in 2016? The great one who knows all sees all before it happens tells you this today a week before Christmas......oil controls the world....it is 35 dollars or so a barrel today, even I think that's cheap.....we have all been riding around with half a tank waiting for gas to drop below 2.00 and it will.....but it won't be long before we ride with full tanks again.....I think prices will start back up after winter. I have always said cheap gasoline makes for a happy citizenry and is great for business and an overall warm fuzzy feeling.....I do belive the oil companies are way too smart way tooo biiiig to let gasoline stay at 2 bucks....ain't gonna happen and I have put my money where my predicitons are with my stock broker. I think the real estate market here will continue to fluorish with new construction we have new houses going up all over the island, literally dozens under construction today. That will contiue in 2016 until we run out of lots which are rapidly disappearing....rapidly. I have a friend who bought a lot back during boom time anguishing how it fell 60% in value ..... its already back 50% from the low and I think it will fetch what he paid for it within 24 months and grow from there simply from demand and availability.....the longer he sits on it the longer it the more people will be wanting it. Condos will be slow in 2016 because today's owners are not under water anymore, there is no urgency to sell anymore. the usual reasons will put condos on the market slowly but they will come. Thank you very much for a great 2015 everybody and Merry Christmas! RT
NOVEMBER 21, 2015 Normally November is a dead month for sales especially when there is very little inventory such as this year. Nearly every listing we had this year is now sold and new ones are hard to come by. We have a few new listings on the beach but very few and just today one went under contract at Windjammer and people are all over the others. Earlier this week or Colony Reef went under contract! Nationwide the predictions are for a national slowdown in existing home sales and existing condo sales. I cannot argue with that right now, but I tell you it has zero to do with interest rates going up. I think the NAR and others are throwing up a smoke screen trying to convince DC that if interest rates go up the housing market will crash.......that my friends is high grade BS.....the very best stuff. Interest rates are so low they could increase 50% and still be cheap. Cheaper than when I built my first house in 1975! That my friends was 40 years ago and I was glad to get 8 1/2% interest rate on my house. Okay, so I only borrowed 35 grand, building was cheap back then. Today it would cost 200 to build the same house but still, at 41/2% that's very cheap for a house payment. So gasoline is cheap right now......I don't think so.....$2.10 a gallon ain't that cheap mannnnn. I remember buying gas for 19 cents a gallon for my motorcycle 50 years ago now that was cheap. I could take my 35 cents lunch money get a gallon of gas on the way to school still have 16 cents left and I would leave school and go to Ballard's store and get a giant grape soda and a moon pie and still have money left. I remember when gasoline went to 50 cents a gallon everybody was up in arms saying they were going to quit driving and when smokes went to 50 cents a pack all my buddies said they were quitting. None did. Anyway, the only thing that keeps nagging at me is the deficit and the fact the feds keep printing money devalueing our savings which aren't earning a dime. I had a CD mature this week and they offeed to renew it on a five year deal for 1% !!!! I told them stuff it, I'll go spend it or put it into oil stocks. Everybody on Walstreet says oil is going cheaper and maybe it will......but trust the one who knows all and sees all.....oil ain't gonna stay cheap. Just like housing and condos.....I still think they are relatively cheap with lots of room to grow in value. Why? Because for the first time in my lifetime you can still buy a rental property for cash and triple net 3% plus on it. Never before the last couple of years could you do that. I have a couple of clients who bought rental condos on the beach 4 years ago and even 2 years ago and they are netting 7% after all the smoke clears. That is amazing.....and a helluva lot better than the bank paying 1%. The property will grow in value while your cash is shrinking in value. This my friends is why our market here will not crash and burn again, this is why people will continue to shop and buy here. We are an island of plenty and still only a few know it which is a good thing. I can stil get out of my driveway at 9am, I can still cross the street without sprinting....no, I can't sprint anymore but I can trot! I was at the grocery store last night and didn't have to stand in line......the northern onslought has not occured yet....not enough snow yet....but just like oil will go up, the snow will come down and they will be here and be bringing their cash with them. Welcome all.....we don't want any refugees unless they bring the cash with them and they are all welcome if they can pay their own way and at the beach everybody pays his own way, I haven't seen a government credit card ever.....ever at the grocery store here....somebody maybe slipped one by the one who knows and sees all but they had to be fast my friends fassssst. Best sleeper deals on the beach right now for investors wanting to park some cash and watch the nut grow? Summerhouse is my sleeper of the month. Ocean Village Club is waking up and prices have climbed significantly the past year not shot up but gone up steadily. Barefoot Trace across from our office is an excellent buy for the money and there are several for sale. Houses on the beach have quieted down when the prices went back over 1.2 for the most part. Several new ones are being built a couple need tearing down and will be soon I am quite sure when somebody buys the property for the dirt on the beach. Politics: I at one time did not believe that obama was a muslim and that was all hype from the right.....now, i am not so sure. His endless efforts to unstabalize the U.S. make me wonder real hard what his real motive is. He wants to let disgruntled Mexican soldiers into the Alamo! He wants to let Dracula in the back door of the blood bank......he wants to let the fat lady work at Dairy Queen.....commonnnnn. We as a country have to be either nuts or muslims to let muslim refugees into this country at this time.....its crazy. Political correctness be damned this whole thing is going to bite the next generation in the arse guaranteed you can book it Danno print this and tape it to the fridge for the kids to see......we just think central americans and mexicans are a problem......I do not think they come even close to what problems America will have with muslims from Africa and the middle east in the near future. Hispanics don't wantto blow us up! Can you believe it will be the French who lead the march in the middle east? Can you believe that? obama has devalued our national strength so that France is leading the charge? France never beat anybody at a war except once according to my Italian buddy....he said the French once beat up on the Italians after Rome fell......they lost all othe other wars they were in. BUT I do not lose sight of the fact it was France who helped our ancestors defeat the British.....it would have hapened sooner or later but the French helped our boys out a long time ago and we should help them now, but obama does not want to lead the charge against the muslim terrorists and slaughter machine.....why? our military people on TV who aren't afraid to speak (mostly retired guys) all swear our military people are ready willing and able to engage. So why does our president sit idly by and let the terrorists get stronger to come after us and announce they are coming! When I was a kid, If the neighborhood bully said he was coming after me from across the street I would grab Richard next door and we would sneak around the block across the streat and two on one beat up ole Larry in his own back yard every time before he caught me alone outside. He finally quit being the bully especially after I got to about 11 years old, grew as big as Larry was and could handle him myself. obama will dilly till we take a big nasty hit guaranteed in our own front yard.......I am not sure he is not a muslim at heart. enough about all that I'm getting pissed off again. I think I'll just go hit some balls. RT
October 21, 2015 and let the good times roll!!!! We are on the way to our second best year in history for sales. 2015 is and has been truly hard to describe. No, it is not flippers.....we are selling properties on this island to users, investors, people scared of the stock market and moving their money into rental properties on the beach. Average return? 3-4% triple net. However, that does not include potential appreciation so that is the wild card. History tells us 3-5% a year is about right around here so good guesses are about 6-9% return annually.....IF.....IF.....YOU pick the right property. We give buyers all the information and they choose for themselves whether it is a good deal for them or not. Prices are still dribbling upward at a slow but sustainable pace which in my opinion is good. I do not want to see a roar upwards like we had during the crazy times then a big bust. We are finally seeing rentals slowing down on the island too now that bike week in Daytona is over. Right now today we have the fourth day of a northeaster blowing about 15-20 knots it was over 30 knots two days ago so I suspect its about over no big deal though, temps have been great in the low 70s. So now, what do I think the future will bring? My crystal ball is a bit cloudy right now.....gasoline is still cheap, the experts say it will remain cheap for years to come......that my friends is my cue to go buy some oil stocks, I already have some that have suffered lately in price but dividends are still very good. As long as gas is under 2.50 a gallon good times will keep rolling but I have my doubts. i have it on good authority the big boys are busy buying up the little guys when the big four gets their hands on 90% of the supply what do you think is going to happen? I still do not believe the feds will raise interest rates any time soon, obama would not allow it during his stay. Whether you want to believe it or not they answer to obama just like the justice dept, the military, hillary, joe the whole crew. The Bengazi hearings will be tomorrow with Hillary on the stand.....will the committee find out why the military was ordered to stand down? nope. THAT is the only question I have is why did they not even try.....I know full well no general or admiral sat back that night and said ahhhh nothing we can do......not one.....they were all told to sit still and shut up....but by whom? That my friends is what the great one wants the rest of the world to hear......I know exactly who said no attempt at rescue....no attempt at a jet strafing or bombing the perpetrators.....somebody wants me to belive we could not deliver so much as a firecracker to Libya from somewhere in six hours? Common mannnnnn. Okay so it was a long shot maybe at worst.....why not try? Tryyyyy? Somebody told the generals and admirals no action was to be taken......was it Hillary or barack? one of the two or both maybe.......people know who let those guys get killed and why but nobody's talking yet. It will come out one day but no time soon I guarantee you. It's like the old mobsters they stay shut till they are 80ish then start talking when the bad guys are all dead. RT (UPDATE DAY AFTER HEARINGS: TOLD YA, NOT ONE MENTION OF WHO WAIVED OFF HELP TO THE GUYS AT EMBASSY....ZIP ZERO NADA.....TOLD YA.....FROM THE ONE WHO KNOWS ALL SEES ALL WELL BEFORE IT HAPPENS OR IN THIS CASE DOESN'T HAPPEN RT)
Oct 6, 2014 update: Hurricane? what hurricane? I will admit this has been the rainiest past 6 months since I was 12 roughly 50 plus years ago when it rained every afternoon and ruining our little leage baseball games. Business is still good. Actually the best fall we have ever seen. The pundits and prognosticators say the housing bubble is going to burst again and soon. That may be so but not in this market. St Augustine and our beaches are bullet proof right now and here's why. Buyers are paying cash, or they are puting down huge downpayments and are totally qualified. We are not getting crazy speculators who can't afford to pay for the property if things go bad......THAT my friends is what makes the difference.....a biiiiig difference. So are houses hot? Hotter than a fever in a fire house. Are condos hot? not as warm as houses.....condos have flattened our since spring and remain flat which is fine.....huge increases are not good for the market I like a slow stead increase in the single digits each year. Now that summer is over we are in a vacationer lull, I didn't have to stand in line at the grocery yesterday and that is a big deal trust me on that. Us locals do not fuss about the lines during "season" but we sure appreciate a down time for a month or so. Stay tuned....gas is still cheap so business shall continue to be goooood! Hurricane? What hurricane?
political: I see by the news cigarette sales have shown a spike in sales of recent....duhhhh what happened? give refugees and immigrants a check when they come in and they run straight to the nearest weed store simple as that folks. To us old guys, weed means tobacco but you know that you just forgot. RT
Sept 10 update: Below you will see I was touting a new listing at Ocean Sunrise we think is a good opportunity and fair price.....the third person to look at it put it under contract. We now have over 3 million in properties under contract in the past several weeks, quite spectacular for a small outfit like us. We must do something right. Another listing of ours went under contract today! Stay tuned folks, nuthin but the hits! They just keep n comin' So what's the drift today? I see traffic is still busy on the roads around here despie the fact this is not the high rental season but suddenly this year the so called slow rental season is still busy. Several of our listings are booked right now.....very very different from years past. An ocean front house i hae for sale is rented every weekfrom nowuntil the end of October! Nov and Dec even have a week already booked.....this my friends is rarer than a raw steak. Grocery stores on the island are busy too. Okay what's that got to do with anything? The grocery store my friends is Ronnie's barometer as to how many people are around. It indicates rental volume and I think it now indicates an increase in permanent residents on the island instead of half seasonal only. I think many people who have purchased homes the past ten years are starting to retire and move here full time. I see it everywhere.
Weather: This has been the rainiest year in 15years by my rain guage......my guage is a five gallon bait bucket in my boat.....I have to empty it every week. usually keep a gallon in the bottom of it all the time so it doesn't blow out going down the road now it has enough water in it every few days to fill up a small camel. Hurricanes? What canes? Every time Jim Santori packs up his blue suit and gets an airplane ticket the storm turns north or blows out. All the action so far is in the Pacific. We will get one to south Fla or the Keys or the Fla Panhandle or maybe Texas or Louisnana sooner than later but I still do not think we will have much to worry about. In fact I am amused that people don't een ask me about hurricanes any more.....its been ten years now and nothing but some big thuder storms here and there......the lake I grew up on 50 miles west of here was 6o feet deep in the west corner and about 18-20 ft in the middle.....last year a tall indian could walk across it and not get his shorts wet. My brother who still lives there tells me it is now about 10 feet deep in the middle and the sand bars are gone under water. His dock even has a little water under it for the first time in 15 years that's a lot of rain folks....a lot. The lake is still ten feet below the level it was 50 years ago but ten beats two every time.
Politics: So, what are we going to do with all the refugeees from Syria? I guarantee you most are Muslims and I guarantee you obama will open the flood gate and I further guarantee you 99% will still be on welfare 10 years from now. None will want to be in the military none will want real jobs. It is not in their culture. Travel over there and you are beseiged with beggars they're like flies around a cow patty. I ask you one question. What would you do if some crazy group got organized in America, let's say skin heads or motor cycle gangsters or something like that don't matter what color, supposed they got big time organized and started killing people all over the place and taking people's homes and taking over land and food, everything. Would you simply grab a bag and run to Canada or Mexico? I don't think so. It would be one helluva fight. Young people, middle aged and us old folks would take up arms and it would be a fight to the death and we would win......absolutely would, no matter what. In the middle east its different, somebody takes a pot shot at the crowd and everybody runs and scatters.....in America the crowd will return fire. Unless of course barack and or bernie start taking our guns. They will try folks, they have been trying for years and shall continue to try and if it ever gets close to confiscation time that will get ugly too guaranteed. I read somewhere a long time ago that in WWII the Japanese leaders wanted to invade the west coast of America and a general educated here said wait a minute boys.....no way, we would get slaughtered before we got half a mile inland......every man there has a gun and knows how to use it....THAT was why they did not attempt to land on America soil land that is the only reason......the citizenry was well armed and the Japanese general knew it because he went to school here.
Prediction: as long as gasolin is still around 2.20 a gallon everybody is happy to watch the presidential political sparring .....its actually fun and a total joke to me. We oughta pass a law nobody can announce to run till Jan of the election....this is stupid a year and a half in advance of the election. I think the scariest thing about what has happened so far is Bernie. A self pronounced socialist is leading the democrats......scary to me we have enough dumb bunnies in any party or segment of this country who identify with a socialist. Scary man, scary. I have a friend from Germany who owns a huge business in Tennessee. He came over when he was 19 in the mid 50s. He built his business from the ground up. He tells me his brother in Germany is retired and lives a "comfortable" retirement but has nothing compared to my friend. My friend says in Germany or most any country over there you are born into affluence and it is nearly imossible for a man to start and build a business....impossible......Germany is fairly socialist I am told. If you want to be comfortable and not work too hard then socialism is for you. If you want to own property, a big house, a farm, travel, have a nice car, have nice stuff.......socialism is not for you and neither is bernie.....he will be step one towards getting more socialists inside our government.....obama has done enough damage don't you think? RT.
Sept 1, 2015 I am pleased to report business is still doing above average for this time of year. During the last 2 weeks we have had nearly 2 million in sales go under contract. Two houses and two condos. I was on vacation for a week but with my trusty Apple lap top and not so trusty IPhone I was able to put three properties under contract. My listing at Spanish Trace Condos went under contract finally, it has been a tough show since it is rented nearly every week but a buyer with cash stepped up and said we'll take it! It is a good deal for buyer and seller which in my opinion equates into a fair deal. We have a deal working on our new listing at Ocean Sunrise too. I hope by the time of my next posting it will also be under contract. I have told many clients talking about listing their properties with me if you mark it to market it will sell and they do. It is nearly impossible to hang a crazy price out there and get people to look at a property. People today have somany tools at their disposal with this blasted internet thing. I gotta say 75% of what they see and read is baloney......no no not here.....I'm 100% prime......where all the garbage comes from is these clearing houses that stockpile information from statistics and then equate that into values. For example, how does the internet know the diference between a great remodel that is pristine and an el cheapo remodel that is merely lipstick on the pig? they don't know the difference my friends they do not know. I had to laugh at myself the other day, I listed our condo we own on the gulf with an agent in that area and I started telling him we had the best location in the complex (we had first pick when it was built in 07 and we picked what we think is the best location) ...then I had to stop and bite my lip.....of course I think ours is the best.....just like all my clients......every owner thinks he has the best view, the best floor, the best remodel.......and so it goes.
As for houses I notice Marsh Creek homes are on the march, from just 3 years ago the lowest priced patio homes were in the upper 200s and lower 300s. Today the lowest priced homes are in the lower to mid 400s. Several are under contract at this time. If someone is looking for a home on the island priced under 300 they are very very scarce.
How bout the stock market? Has it been crazy or what? I had a buyer four weeks ago tell me he was going to cash out his mutual fund and buy Q14....I said okay good choice. Two days later he calls and cancels the deal .... he said his broker told him he was crazy to convert 250 grand from mutual funds to a Florida Condo generating 30 grand a year in income and a five percent a year growth trajectory.....Florida Condos are dangerous investments he was told......how's he doin? Back in 99 I had a famous football coach call me from San Diego and tell me he was going to buy an ocean front lot down the street from my office, I said fine its a million dollars he said fine. Next day he cancels said his broker pitched a fit and told him he had to stay in tech stocks. That lot toay is still worth over a million well over......his techs got wiped out less than a year later....wiped out over and gone adios via con Dios.
obama has kept a low profile lately visiting Africa and going on world tour......thank goodness, hope he buys a home over there or Hawaii. Gasoline keeps falling and should continue to fall if the Iran deal goes through. They can pump like crazy and sell to whoever that is probably the only good hting about it. $2.17 today. I just hope the Iran deal doesn't blow up in Israel's face. Isn't Trump's rhetoric on international and domestic problems refreshing? Regardless what you think of him I am thrilled somebody has the guts to talk what we all think but nobody ever says.....this my friends is why he is doing so well.....Trump is brash enough and unafraid.....he is merely repeating what we all talk about around the dinner table and voters are responding , this is why his numbers keep climbing. Trump is not afraid to lose....how many times does a team lose the game playing soft defense at the end of the game......you can't be afraid to lose and Trump ain't skeered. I have always been a political observer for fun and I take my own polls all the time. I had a guy at a marina last week pumping gas into my boat tell me he was a Trump man.....he said we've tried all the life time politicians.....let's try a business man huh? I smiled and said okay fine with me. Trump cuts across all lines. I like Carson, Fiorina and the Texican senator but I don't think they can beat Hillary head to head.....Trump has a chance.....30-30 chance.....the others have zero. Can you even fathom 30 some percent of democratic voters will vote for that Sanders guy a pronounced socialist? This my friends is the real crisis......what our educational system has done to us.....socialists running the school and college systems have bred an entire generation of socialist attitudes. I don't think it will change either.....conservatives won't ....don't..... take the time to teach. Socialist countries are interesting in a way....everybody is above poverty but below average on our scale......then there is the elite who is super wealthy. Ask anybody who grew up in France or Germany the past 40 years they will tell you quickly you cannot rise financially in those countries unless you are born into it there is no self lifting there everybody is middle class not born into it. I my friends prefer to be upper as long as i can and our system allows me to do so.....I can also be average if I want to tooooooo and maybe I will be one of these days if the socialists have their way. obama is a socialist......we saw that one coming he just didn't announce it like Sanders has but he paved the way for a Sanders. Beware my friends, beware. No liberals read my teachings so I haen't cost myself a customer here at all. Average middle class people can't afford to own at the beach but they can afford to rent from you above average owners and that is the way it works.....average folks are happy, rich folks are happy.....I am happy ...either way...RT
August 18, 2015 This time of year we usually see a lag in business but not so in 2015. We are still seeing condo shoppers and house shoppers every day. I think many of the shoppers right now are checking the landscape, scratching, sniffing, wishing and some are actually making offers but not a lot. Most offers though, are serious offers. In the past few days we put two houses under contract one in the 300 range the other about 600 both are cash buyers and end users. Speculators don't shop with us much because we tell them the truth, there are no more steals on a regular basis. Every blue moon, there is a disressed sale but if and when it occurs there are sharks everywhere and even we have a few buyers in our back pocket who will pounce with cash, if the deal is right. Best deals right now? Hmmmmmm I gotta give the nod to Ocean Village Club Q14 at 269,000.......Captains Quarters 319 priced at $319,000.....a new listing we have at Ocean Sunrise a 3/2 ocean front beauty for $549,000. Houses? There is one in the Atlantic View area that is a big one priced in the upper 500s its tall and does not have an elevator so you gotta be tough to buy that one. The stock market is on the slide I think because of oil staying in the low 40s which is good for you and me, good for real estate but not good for stockers. Gasoline today is 232 a gallon, which I think is rather cheap and as long as it stays cheap I think business will stay good. My guru on Wall Street says oil will dip into the 30s by October especially with Iran coming on line big time selling zillions of barrels on the open market soon. When it goes into the 30s I think I'll buy some more oil stocks they pay good dividends and the obama crowd hopefully is on the way out and as prediced a long time ago by meeeeeee.....the one who knows all sees all.....battery cars are not the answer. Not until they , whoever they are, come up with batteries with a lot more power and stamina than what we have now. We have seen huge improvements but not good enough for cars. Remember when the first cell phone batteries died after 30 minutes? I had a flip phone and 6 batteries for spares had one on charge all day at all times. Today my iphone battery will last almost all day but by 5 it is about shot. yes, business is good and I'm on the fone all day with texts, emails and calls.....how on earth did we do business back in the olden days without cells? Quite well I think, wished we could all do away with them and go back to secretaries leaving notes on your desk asking you to call back tomorrow.....that system worked quite well didn't it? I hate instant gratification. Yes, I saw the cell thing coming like a freight train from day one. My wife and I actually got in the cell business in the early days when a phone was the size of a suitecase, We quit when flip phones were beginning to be phased out....phone company couldn't stand it that we were out sellling their own company store in town so they cut our commissions ot the point it wasn't worth it any more but man we made a killin while the sun shined. I remember going to a phone company meeting when they introduced the "Merlin" a gadget that would send a wireless fax from your hand......they cost 500 bucks. I looked at that thing and said no way, it ain't gonna sell and I bought none, zero. In six months they couldn't give one away and shucked the whole project....they worked but why send a stupid fax off the phone when you could call somebody? And I could have the secretary at the office send the fax from there on my 800 dollar fax machine. Stupid but some engineer thought it would be great. They never bothered to consult their ace sales people like meeeeeee I coulda saved them millions. Enough stories. POLITICS: Everybody keeps saying Trump will burn out and crash but he keeps rising in the polls. It's cause he talks about what the rest of us talk about around the kitchen table and everybody else is afraid of offending somebody. If he wins, it could mark a complete political revolution. I look forward to seeing what happens I am not sure the liberal press can stop the Trump freight train, not even the Grand Old Party can stop it right now and they are trying. This is going to be a fun election I hope it continues for at least another year before it is settled. Hillary? I dunno, it depends on whether obama calls off the dogs for her or not. I think if her emails incriminate obama he will call off the dogs and silence everybody but if not, then lelt it roll.....i still gots no problems with joey. He might be fun if in the race. Rt
August 9, 2015 Last week saw one contract collapse when a lender to a buyer on one of our listings scared the buyer off telling them condos in Florida were bad investments so they withdrew. Interesting how out of state banks know more about investments in Florida than we do. We have closed on over 40 condos and houses this year to dumb buyers I guess. In other news we just listed a rare of the rarest. A house in St Augustine Beach on one of the alphabet streets, F street. One of the most desired neighborhoods in the entire island area. Just 4 blocks straight shot walk or bicycle ride to the beach walkover at the ocean end of F street, a 2000 sq footer 3 br 2.5 baths. Offered at $359,000 contact us from anywhere on this website for more details and pics see a few pics on our home page. We did close on a nice 3br condo this past week and have two more to close this week. Business is not fast but not slow either it is clicking along this week and a half at a sustainable and manageable pace thank goodness. How bout the so called debate? My wife described it perfectly that it was not a debate, how can you have a 10 man debate.....it was a very good question and answer session. Donald didn't do himself any favors. My pick of the lot right now is Kasich.....I like that guy and I think he has the smarts and experience to do what we need to do and he can bite the right bullets. I am still rooting for Joe ..... anything to stiff arm Hill one more time. Oh yes, we did put another condo at Beacher's Lodge under contract over the weekend.....another dumb buyer I guess.....good thing he didn't talk to his bank and is paying cash. My perspective is that if a person has big cash or 50% down for a loan they are usually smarter than the bankers giving them dumb advice. I once had a banker tell me I couldn't afford to buy a house on the beach back in 1996 and I had half down......I went across the street and the other banker told me sign right here son we will have your loan papers ready in a few days. That house was shortly paid for in full after I went back to work full time....about 3 years it took I think. Since then it has gone up in value 400% even after the crash of 07-08. It ain't worth what it was at the top, but its worth 4 times what we paid for it.....mayyyybe 5 times. That first banker that told me I was stupid to buy the house and I couldn't afford it is no longer a banker......hmmmmmmmm......guess his superiors were pretty smart huh? Noooo not picking on banks I just get steamed when they tell our clients stupid information.....absolutely ridiculous.....50% down, golden credit and buying a condo is a bad thing to do.......go figure. RT
August 4, 2013 So what's the word from the herd? Welllll inventories of condos are way down, inventories of houses anywhere near the beach or on the island are at a 6 year lowwwww. Another one of my listings went under contract over the weekend at Captain's Quarters. See my comments on July 21. We are still getting lookers wanting a "bargain" or wanting to buy something for what they were selling for two years ago. I am afraid that only happens in the stock market. if you wait long enough that crazy stock may take a dive and you can get it for what you should a got it for several years ago....who's on third? I think the next listing of ours to get picked off will be Spanish Trace a beautiful 2/2 townhouse that has elevator access to the front door and if you can't climb the inside stairs you can walk out the front door and ride up to the top floor and walk in the other front door to the bedrooms. Sounds crazy but it works, the HOA added the elevator some years after the place was built. At 269,900 it is a pretty good deal for a nice remodel and a view. Current owners are wanting to move into something larger since their family got larger.
There is a lot of action going on with ocean front lots and houses.....lots of lookers.....I call most of them wishers.....I sold two ocean front houses last year and one ocean front lot and I am just one old fat guy at a small time brokerage so some of the wisdhers are buyers. I have had several calls on an ocean front beauty 4br we have for sale but no real bites at 1.65 There is a pretty good deal just north of that one for 995.
We are listing a very rare 3/2 at St Aug Beach about 4 blocks off the beach. It is a straight shot up the street to the beach access. Big beautiful trees, attractive house, it's no spring chicken but it has been fairly updated, 2000 sq ft. Beautiful neighborhood. Approx ask price is $349,000 will let you know when final decision is made.
New condo listings are extremely hard to come by. I worked hard on getting listings when nobody wanted one because nothing was selling a few years ago. I did good cause when the tide turned I had the inventory. Now, all the brokers are after listings because surf's up! Owners have a short memory of who was working listings real hard during hard times and many opt today for promises that can't be kept when listing their property with newbies who have no clue just say anything to get a listing, butttt that is the nature of the business. If you hire an amateur you get an amateur performance.
Politics: Trump is refreshing even if many think he's a side show. Christie has no chance, Bush is a great guy I have met him many times and he is a nice person and was well liked by all as governor of Fla but I do not think he is mean enough to beat Hill just like Mitt simply wasn't mean enough. McCain wasn't mean enough either. Over is the day that nice guys who are honest can win.....over and gone. obama has seen to that and his methods shall survive for decades to come as long as they contiue to work. Waters swears he does not hunt out the loonies he says they are everywhere and I believe him. Anybody with half a brain is working while the loonies he talks to are wandering around aimlessly on the street......no surprises there...and....and they vote! I like Rick but nobody from Texas is electable these days I don't think. Remember, Mitt was right when he said 47% were in the tank for the dems.....I suspect its 52 or more now if you are not a socialist you can only hope they are too dumb to go vote or the dems don't get somebody to go vote for them. Oh yeah, I like Kasich a lot but I don't think he has a chance either to get the nomination. I can't wait for the debate ......can't wait......I never watch those things they are usually boring but with Trumper on the stage I can't wait to see what he does. I suspect all the others will be sniping at him and he will come back hard. I do think he's mean enough to take down Hill though.....only time knows my friends only time knows. RT
July 21, 2015 Things are slowly starting to quiet down as we close in on the end of school vacation in early August. Or, it could simply be there just isn't a lot to sell. Inventory is still very tight. We just listed a top floor premium oceanview 2/2 at Tradewinds for $274,900 its a flat with elevator service. We also have a beauty at Captains Quarters with good views on the third floor for $319,000, elevator service from the parking garage. We have a beautiful Spanish Trace ocean view 2/2 for $279,999 fully furnished and dynamite rental. Speaking of rentals, the rental agents tell me after a record breaking occupancy this past winter and spring, this summer smashes all former rental records as well. I see tags from all over America at the grocery store. I go there at least 4 times a week. I have seen Wyoming, Alaska and even Colorado this summer not to speak of all the midwest, southeast and northeast states as well. There is no secret anymore. St Augustine and our beaches have been discovered. The good news is this: We have no room to expand, no high rises, no new developments bigger than just a handfull of houses on the island......we are virtually built out. I have started to see some old junkers being torn down though and thats a good thing they can only be replaced with same same only newer.
Market prediciton: I profess to know all, see all and tell all regarding this market and where it is going and when. I am rarely wrong. I still say the entire real estate market is tied not to interest rates (our buyers pay cash for the most part) but to gasoline prices. Gasoline has held steady around $2.50 and as long as it does so I think the country will continue to do well for the most part. The real estate market here is doing good and I see about a 2-3% increase in real selling values on the beach in homes, lots and condos this year so far. For the rest of the year maybe a tiny tick up maybe not.....kind of like the weather 50% chance of rain today means 50% chance it ain't gonna rain a drop. I predict a banner 2016 market......I really do. Last year in 2014 we saw a 20% jump then a flattening this year, we will be due for a 5-10% increase in 2016 in my opinion, let's just wait and see huh? Oh, why you ask????......lack of inventory period......we have people wanting this and that.....it isn't for sale but it will be so stay tuned and hang on to your hat folks demand is ahead of supply and that can only mean one thing. So why haven't prices jumped big time? Simple answer: because those who cannot afford property at the beach can't get zero down loans to try and flip the property. Buyers today have the dough or they have the credit, therefor no crazyiness built on a mountain of cards like last time.
Politics: Personally I like what Trump says, I am happy to hear somebody who is not afraid to be politically incorrect....kind of like meeeee. Would Trump make a good president? Who knows? I've had it with Harvard law students educated by people who never have run a business or held a real job. Look at what the Ivy League has given us as of late. Anybody with half a brain is unelectable, Trump probably is too.....I know if he goes independent , which scares me to death, it will hand the White House over to the Clintons. Some have said well, if we get Hillary we get Bill too.....nope, Bill will be running all over the place giving million dollar speaches from Air Force One that is all we will get of him. Is Trump my true get on the band wagon pick? I dunno. The McCain flap started with McCain talking bad about Trump then Trump fired back with a bad swing....he should have kept his mouth shut but couldn't stand it. Trump will have to learn to be a teeeny weeeny bit political.......do not step on vets period. McCain is not a bad guy but he ain't a rocket scientist either....he was a brave man no doubt about that. I've read the accounts he was a hero after being captured. Trump should apologize to McCain and let it be. McCain was a lousy opponent for Obama period let it go at that and John you keep you mouth shut too. RT
July 17, 2015 There simply are not enough hours in the day these days. We have closed on over 3 million dollars worth of condominiums on the beach this month already with several more to go. Just closed another this morning. We are a small office.....me, Ronnie and one other full time agent Delilla. Can you imagine what we would do if we had 50 agents and hundreds of listing like the chain offices? Hah! the deal is efficiency. those huge offices have people stepping all over each other practicing. Only a handfull of good agents reside at the big chains. Most really good agents go out on their own or at small offices like ours and that would be meeeee. Ok enough gloating. Here's our problem.....listings.....ain't none. We put our Windjammer under contract two weeks ago and we have three, count'em three more buyers wanting one and guess what. Zero Windjammer units for sale at any price with any office. Zero. that is the story that plays over and over. If you have a condo listing that is priced right it will goooooooooo and go quickly.
One client told me a month ago "you have the best listings on the island period and we have looked at everything" I told them yes I knew that and in that month they mostly all sold. Our best one left is Captain's Quarters 319 for $319,000 a very good view, flat, furnished nicely, parking garage. We had a contract on it....yes, we did but the buyer had an unexpected health condition pop up out of nowhere and was forced to cancel the contract and our owners graciously allowed the buyer to do so which was the right thing to do.
bottom line right now? The market is not on fire....it would be if we had anything to burn.....true for sale inventory on the beach is at a 7 year lowwwwww.......maybe 8 years. If you are a buyer and you want to try and grinch out a rose in the thorn ;patch call me and let's talk. Good deals are out there you just gotta go scratch them up and get help from the best. That would be us. Ronnie contact us
June 24, 2015 And the beat goes onnnnn, yeah the beat goes onnnnn........Here it is practically fife and drum day and the market is still goooood. We did have two deals crash since the 12th but the rest are holding strong two closings coming up late this week. Both buyers actually requested to move up the closing date so they could get in their new condos for the 4th. Houses have cooled off a bit since prices escalated about 20% over the past 12 months but that's okay they were way under priced now the housing prices are about right with the times in my opinion. Many condo owners still want way more than market for their condos but the ones pricing to market are seeing difinitive action no doubt about it. Best deal on the beach? I have no idea, imagine that. I may have to say an ocean front house actually.......there is a Barefoot Trace ocean front for 440 now down from 480 so it is ripe to be picked off....not my listing but if you are a potential buyer call me....just in case you don't have my number 904-501-1010.....you'd think i was Dick Morris huh? What ever happened to him anyway. Reckon he pissed off the Fox people always hyping his books and website......"Bill, I talked about that very subject yesterday at dick morris dot com" The way he pumped his writings and stuff reminds me of meeeee. He shoulda been payin Fox! I hope he comes back on I miss the guy, I miss Bob Beckel too believe it or not.....he was a great punching bag on The Five.....absolutely hilarious. Anyway, back at the beach, it is not a buyers market it is not a seller's market....I can say for the first time in a long time we have a good healthy fair market. Stay tuned, summer sales doldrums are right around the corner....always happens about late June. Ocean Village Club is my "investor's best pick" still.....with Summerhouse now coming in a very close second. We finally have a bank that will write Summerhouse loans if you have good credit and 20% RT
June 12, 2015 The first part of 2015 we saw sales fairly brisk in January and February then in March the entire market fell on its face. Ronnie predicted it would get better but wasn't sure when. I felt there was some pent up anxiety about the real estate market and the stock market and the overall economy nation wide and since Crescent Beach and St Augustine Beach is an international destination for buyers and visitors we are directly affected by forces from afar despite the fact we are the most stable real estate market in the country and we were the most stable during the worst of times from 2007-2013. Our prices started bumping up October of 2013....you could feel the activity increasing and it has been at a steady busy pace ever since with a lull here and there like this past spring. Fast forward to mid May 2015......we were all sitting around wondering if we would sell any of our listings, we felt we had the best ones on the beach despite the fact we are a small independent brokerage.....then bang! We put 9 properties under contract inless than 3 weeks. This is an unheard of pace for us.....or anybody else around here. Three this week! People form everywhere left the wire at the same time, swooped down and started writing offers. Prices are not crazy and are not jumping as a result and this is a good sign. all buyers we are associated with are real buyers and end users not speculators.
Anastasia, Sand Dollar III, Ocean Village Club, Windjammer all went under contract within the past couple of days. What a week, I will spend the entire weekend sorting through the paperwork and getting it organized.....what a good problem to have huh?