Home Buying on the Emerald Coast: Where to Begin

florida real estate on the emerald coast

The Emerald Coast is an attractive place for investing in a home. With such great tourism, home sales are steady and promising. Once you fall in love with the area, it seems like no other place can quite compare. For those who are ready to take the next step and invest in a property on the Florida Panhandle, we are here to let you know what to do before beginning the home buying process.

1. Understand the area. Although it is helpful to have previous experience visiting the Emerald Coast, it is important to know the different communities and their respective demographics. When investing any property, you will want to be aware of which communities are more tourist driven and which neighborhoods are filled with a majority of locals. If you are investing in a rental property, you will most likely want a home located in a tourist area nearby other renters. This will enhance the tourist experience for your renters and assure that local families are not disturbed. For home owners who will be living in the area long term, it may be a good idea to live in neighborhoods along side other home owners in the area for similar reasons.

2. Research the associated costs. Every community on the Emerald Coast is a great place to live, but depending on your budget, you may find that some neighborhoods and communities have more taxes or fees than others, higher or lower costs per square foot, rental property management fees and more. Knowing all of the potential costs associated with your specific needs is a great way to help your realtor work with you and your budget in a more effective way, delivering better results.

3. Choose a strong real estate partner. You will want to work with a real estate agent or company who knows your areas of interest well and is knowledgable about the pros and cons and ins and outs of your search area. HCB Realty Advisors are committed to helping you in any way you need, listening to your wants and needs and creating solutions that work for you. We are responsive communicators with premium credibility, a proven methodology, and extensive experience working on the Florida panhandle. Reach out today and let us help you find your new home. 

Ken Spivey, the Pilot

Ability +  Preparation + Integrity +  Relationship = Service

This is more than just a string of buzz words. Service is at the core of Ken Spivey’s life. His family and friends will attest to his desire to serve others. Throughout is professional life as an Air Force instructor pilot, as a pastor, as a small business owner, as a hospice chaplain, and as a realtor; the desire to meet the needs of others has been Ken’s motivation! A phrase in the snack bar at his first Air Force squadron has shaped his life through the years—“If you see something that needs doing, DO IT!”

Without ability and preparation, though, service accomplishes little. Likewise, accomplishments without integrity may be quite costly! All these are key components of great real estate service; and they come down to having a close relationship with his clients. Ken recognizes that every transaction is a business deal; but behind every deal are real people, each looking for financial benefit! His goal is to help each side experience victory, whether buying or selling a “starter home”, or engaging in a multi-million dollar venture!

Every client is a unique individual, with unique real estate goals/needs. Ken wants each client to realize they are valued first and foremost as an individual. He treats every client with equal value, and brings the best of his ability and preparation to every transaction. Always with integrity as the foundation, he takes time to get to know his clients’ goals, building a relationship that allows him to serve every individual with excellence!

About Jimmy Sharpe—The Coach

After playing football for the University of Alabama and graduating, Jimmy’s first job was as an assistant coach for Coach Paul Bryant at the University of Alabama. He was there 16 years as a player and assistant coach. During the time Alabama won 4 National Championships and 8 SEC championships. He was instrumental to the beginning of the “Wishbone Offense”.

He left Alabama to become the Head Coach at Virginia Tech. Following some good years and some tnot so good years in Blacksburg, Jimmy moved on to several other coaching stops. Mississippi State, Pittsburg, Memphis State and finally to the USFL, Memphis Showboats.

In 1989, Jimmy and his lovely wife, Anne moved to Destin, Florida and began to look for an opportunity, for the next career. Through former relationships and local networking, the Coach became involved with several local real estate developers. He found his experience and skill set fit in quite well with these new opportunities. He discovered that whether in the past or in the present, he was building something tangible, putting people together, and working together to achieve a goal.

In 1992, Coach Sharpe obtained his Florida real estate Broker’s license and officially started his second career. Along the way, he has worked for or collaborated with…
  • JAS Realty, Broker
  • Kelly Plantation, original sales director
  • Emerald Bay, original sales director
  • Emerald Lakes, developer, 253 single family homes
  • Bella Vita, developer, luxury condo, Blue Mountain Beach, non-rental
  • Emerald Lakes Commercial, developer

Then in 2012, Rupert Phillips invited Jimmy Sharpe to. join his HCB Advisory Group team to give some much needed special attention to overseeing and growing the real estate company. He currently serves as a broker for three divisions of Phillips Capital Partners—HCB Advisory Group, HCB Realty Advisors, and Halifax Homes Realty.

Meet Mary Washburn

Selling Specialist
Listing Specialist

Born and raised on the coast I have a strong background in Real Estate. Starting my career in 2002  I have sold Residential property and also have a strong background in commercial and investment property.   My passion for Real Estate and making sure my clients end up with the best result are what I strive for.  I pride myself on not just being a real estate agent but being a realty advisor.  Whether it is buying or listing your home on our beautiful panhandle I promise to give my clients 100 percent of my time and concern.