Santa Rosa Beach

View of the boardwalk heading towards Santa Rosa Beach


Santa Rosa Beach is one of the panhandle’s most beautiful scenic areas. A series of beaches makeup this stretch of land between Destin and Panama City Beach, first discovered dating back to the 1700s. 

Founded in 1824, Walton County was home to parts of Okaloosa, Holmes, and Washington counties. Having a population of 1,207 in 1830, Walton County was occupied by Muskogee, Euchee, and Creek Indians. Eventually, Santa Rosa Beach was home to buzzing town center called Hogtown Bayou. The town continued to grow as steamboats brought residents in all the way from Mobile, Alabama to Pensacola. Point Washington in Santa Rosa Beach became a small sawmill and timber hub. Today the beautiful Wesley Mansion still stands in Point Washington, being one of the last remaining historic treasures in South Walton. As the sawmill solidified an economy in Santa Rosa Beach, the beaches were beginning to find their own economic value in tourism.

In 1913, The Butler family visited the beaches from the nearby DeFuniak Springs and saw a vision of the future and soon Grayton Beach became the first town among the beaches to blossom what was at the time a budding tourist’s dream. The Butlers “built and rented cottages, sold an occasional lot and operated the town’s general store and a dance hall (site of the present-day Red Bar),” ( Access to Grayton was limited until the 1930s when Highway 98 was built. It was then when business and tourism in Grayton began to flourish. Once Grayton’s economic success took off, other beaches in the area began to boom as well. From the east to the west end of Santa Rosa Beach, a string of sixteen Gulf front beaches each began their own tourism efforts and as a collective, created one of the most beautiful tourism destinations in America. 

Today Santa Rosa Beach as a whole is a laid-back community filled with artistry, live music, popular local restaurants, events for all ages, and of course beautiful beaches, with each beach having its own personality and treasures. While the beaches seem to move from funky to fancy as they move east, they are all laid back and sure to offer a bewitching experience. 

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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.