Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Interest in Area

With the holidays behind us and Spring on the way, folks are looking for their own special getaways again. Therefore, we are seeing a real upturn in interest in this area after the Fall & Winter slowdown. The recent busy hurricane seasons in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico held some people at bay for awhile, but the past year was scare-free. We haven't seen any serious storm damage in Taylor County since 1993, and that was the fluke no-name storm that came from the west and went all the way up the east coast of the U.S. Interest rates are still good and property prices have gone down, so this is a good time to buy.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

General Information about the Area

Perry is the county seat of Taylor County, which is located in The Big Bend of Florida. The coastal communities of Keaton Beach, Dekle Beach, Ezell Beach, Cedar Island and Dark Island are located on the Gulf Coast, often referred to as Taylor County's "Nature Coast." The Taylor County Beaches are about 18 miles south of Perry. Steinhatchee, a riverside community, is located about 18 miles further south of The Beaches on CR 361, referred to as the "Scenic Coastal Loop." Though Taylor County's coastline is the longest of any county in the State, the majority of of the coast (85-90%) is undeveloped and owned by the State of Florida.

The county is largely rural with approximately 21,000 residents. Visitors find a safe peaceful environment in this friendly, laid-back county with its old historic downtown buildings and quaint little coastal communities. Special attractions, activities and events include the Florida Forest Festival with the World's Largest Free Fish Fry in October of each year; the annual Florida State Blue Grass Festival in April; scalloping in the shallow Gulf flats from July 1 through the first week of September each year; year-round saltwater and freshwater fishing in the rivers, streams and Gulf; and vast acres of natural woodlands for the hunting enthusiast.

The City of Perry is beginning to see some revitalization, with the purchase and renovation of some of the old historic buildings, bringing much-needed new business to the downtown district; commercial development along the major highways; and plans for new residential subdivisions underway.

Development is also planned at the coast adjacent to Dekle Beach, which is to include a 25-acre marina (purportedly the largest marina on the Gulf between the Florida cities of Destin and Tampa), restaurants, hotels, shopping, condos, single-family homes, a heliport, golf course, and more. Permitting for the marina is expected to be complete in December of 2008. There is quite a bit of controversy over this proposed development, with proponents and opponents attending County Commission meetings on a regular basis to debate the merits of the huge project because of the perceived environmental impact on the seagrasses in the area.

This is one of the last developing areas of the state; thus, property prices here are good values compared to most other parts of the state. Property prices in the county and at the coast rose dramatically over the past three years, as they did elsewhere in the state and across the country. However, because of the recent real estate market downturn, prices have dropped accordingly as they have elsewhere. Most customers from out of town, particularly from South Florida, comment that property prices here are excellent values compared to prices for comparable properties further south.