Real Estate Information Archive


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Most expensive homes in Fort Walton Beach

by Karen Dishner

In the next few weeks we’ll be doing our own little take on that 80’s show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. (Wikipedia tells me it actually ran until 1995. Did you realize it ran well into the 90's? I sure didn't.) We’ll be blogging about some of the most expensive homes currently for sale along the Emerald Coast! So read the next few posts in the voice of Robin Leach…Today, we’re looking at the Top 5 most expensive homes currently for sale in Fort Walton Beach (as of April 12, 2017). Interestingly, not one of them is on the beach. Take a look:


# 5 903 Santa Rosa Boulevard – Okaloosa Island, $1,250,000

This is one of my favorites. It has gorgeous views of the Santa Rosa Sound! You can sit on your patio off the enormous master suite and watch the boats go by. Or you can hop in your own boat and take off from  your dock with a boat lift that can handle up to 16,000 lbs! 903 Santa Rosa Boulevard also has one of the biggest pools on Okaloosa Island.



# 414 Sleepy Hollow Road – Mary Esther, $1,450,000

This is what nearly one and a half million dollars gets you in Mary Esther. Over 7,000 square feet! The views of the Santa Rosa Sound are phenomenal. My personal favorite little touch is the black and white tile in the foyer.



# 3124 SW Miracle Strip Parkway – Fort Walton Beach, $1,550,000

One of three penthouse units at Presidio Yacht Club. On the 16th floor with 12 foot ceilings, you can bet your views from this unit are spectacular!



# 23 Garniers Post Road – Garniers Bayou, $1,699,000

I am about 95% certain I saw this house on Airbnb one time. I went back to that site to try to rent Fort Walton Beach’s 2nd most expensive home, but I couldn’t find it again. Oh well.. Anyway, this home is pretty amazing. It sits on its own little peninsula. 4 bedrooms and amazing views from all of them.



# 1471 W. Miracle Strip Parkway – Mary Esther,  $2,999,000

There aren’t too many pictures to peruse on this listing. The sellers had an estate sale a few months ago, and I was able to get a peek inside. It was AMAZING!! It was like stepping back in time. The home was built in 1926. Exposed wood throughout and incredible views of the sound. I did snag a pretty cool Billy Bowlegs poster at that sale. It had been rolled up in its shipping tube since it was ordered in 1978 from the original artist. 


So those are the 5 most expensive homes for sale in Fort Walton Beach! Got some extra cash burning a hole in your pocket? Call the Gilliland Team, and we'll be happy to show you one of these! Or any other property you want to see! Since Jim Gilliland sells the Panhandle, and not JUST Fort Walton Beach, our next blog post will be on the most expensive homes in Destin. Keep an eye out!

The Breakers of Fort Walton Beach

by Jim Gilliland


Anybody who knows me knows I LOOOOVVE The Breakers of Fort Walton Beach. Any given Saturday, if Alabama football isn’t on, you can find me on the beach at The Breakers. The units are spacious. The property has some of the best pools on the island. There’s a fantastic gulf-side grilling area. These are grills you actually want to use, not those dirty grills tucked away in a parking garage or next to the dumpster like at a lot of other rentals. The Breakers has an in-house 24 hour front desk, so if there is ever a problem, help is right there! Among the amenities are a very nice fitness facility (I’m in there every morning!), shuffleboard, and a really nice party room. The Breakers of Fort Walton Beach is my favorite property on Okaloosa Island.  I’m not alone in feeling that way either; according to TripAdvisor, The Breakers of Fort Walton Beach is the # 1 property in the Fort Walton Beach Specialty Lodging Category – beating out Waterscape, Destin West, and every other condo on the Island!


I have sold more units in there than any other agent. I know that property better than anybody else in town. The developer even calls me with questions about the property! If you are interested in buying or selling a unit at The Breakers, give me a call! I can answer any question you may have about The Breakers! Check out their website here: 



The last few blog posts have focused on waterfront properties. While 501 Fallin Waters isn’t waterfront, the neighborhood is. Since we will be hosting an open house there this weekend, I thought I’d take a minute to tell you a little about this great home and neighborhood.


Fallin Waters is situated right on the Santa Rosa Sound, and has a FANTASTIC private community dock with boat slips available. When we were out there taking photos there was a couple kayaking in the sound, and another gentleman out cleaning his boat. You really can enjoy the Florida life here. Fallin Waters features a great little community park area with a fire pit, picnic area, and volleyball. The Fallin Waters waterfront gazebo is actually in one of the photos on our homepage –

The house itself is awesome. Absolutely no detail was overlooked in the design. The builder of the community actually built this home for himself. The kitchen has instant hot water. The huge master bathroom has a steam shower. The home has a sound system installed. There are two master closets, a nice little office, new paint, a brand new roof, and so much more! If you get a chance, stop by our open house this Sunday to check it out!



Sunday, May 15, 2016

1 PM – 4 PM


501 Fallin Waters Drive

Mary Esther, FL 32569

blu on Okaloosa Island

by Jim Gilliland

Have you heard about the newest waterfront development coming to Okaloosa Island? It’s called blu, and it is going to be GORGEOUS. The Gilliland Team has partnered with the developers to bring you the opportunity to be one of the first to call blu home. I’ve seen the plans and the renderings, and let me tell you, it’s going to be amazing. The balconies are going to be nice and big - at least 10 feet deep and 29 feet wide. blu is going to be a gated property. There will be two huge gulf front pools and a state of the art fitness center. I think my favorite feature will be the Gulf-side fire pit. There’s nothing like sitting around a hot fire with a cold drink listening to the waves and the banter of friends.  If you’re interested in finding out more about blu on Okaloosa Island, give us a call!


790 Santa Rosa Blvd, # 207 at The Islander Beach Resort

by Jim Gilliland

Continuing our blog posts on waterfront properties, today we’re going to share a little about The Islander Beach Resort. Longtime residents of Fort Walton might walk into the lobby of the Islander with a weird sense of déjà vu. That’s because it used to be home to Jamaica Joe’s, a popular restaurant and bar on Okaloosa Island. Our marketing director used to work at the Islander, and she mentioned that every couple of weeks or so, someone would walk in to the lobby to check in, stop and take a look around with a puzzled look on their face. She could tell that they were trying to figure out exactly why/when they had been in there before. Inevitably, it was because they had spent some time at the bar at Jamaica Joe’s.

From a 1985 article in the Sun Sentinel:  “in Fort Walton Beach there`s the very popular Jamaica Joe`s at the Islander Beach Resort on Santa Rosa Boulevard, reminiscent of something romantically tropical in the islands. Jamaica Joe`s at this time of the year is packed elbow to elbow with those lining up for the best happy hour munchies on the Emerald Coast. Those who stay for dinner dig into a good assortment of steaks or the Steambucket for Two, a collection of just about everything from the deep.”

These days, the Islander is popular with vacationers. The property has a large gulf front pool, heated seasonally, beach service, and fitness facility. Unit 207 is a 1 bedroom, 2 bathroom coastline view unit. The Islander has some of the larger one bedroom units on Okaloosa Island. In addition to the living room, there is a separate sitting room, which means the unit can comfortably sleep 6, whereas most one bedroom units can only sleep 4. This extra space and the lower rental price of a coastline unit means these one bedroom units at the Islander are a great value for renters. Because they stay rented, they are also a great value for investors. Take a look!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

by Jim Gilliland

Locals in this area know that May and October are the BEST months to be here at the beach! The weather is perfect, and tourist season hasn’t really kicked in to high gear so traffic to and fro is a breeze. High temperatures range from 75 to 85, with lows only about 62-70 and the humidity isn’t out of control. The Gilliland Team was out at the beach this past weekend for Mother’s Day. The water was crystal clear! Emerald water, green flags, and a high of 79! It was a great reminder of why we live here, and we are so lucky that we do! 

It's a great time to sell in South Crestview!

by Jeremy Fretwell, Broker/Owner RE/MAX Gulf Coast

As your neighborhood real estate expert, I just wanted to share an article from with you and give you my opinion as it relates to South Crestview.

The first point in the article talks about inventory and how it is shrinking. This is true for our area as well. We have gone from almost 7 months on market to just over 6 months for the last 12 months. I expect to see that number dip under 6 months with the growing demand this spring. The average sale price has increased $3,750 over that same time as well,  and the days on market saw a substantial drop from 145 days to now just 91 days on market.

The second point in the article speaks to what happens with shrinking inventory. Many buyers are being driven to new construction. We aren’t seeing this trend in South Crestview, mostly because there aren’t many lots left on which to build. I am finding that existing sellers are enjoying more activity due to a lack of new home inventory. This is not the case in North Crestview, so being in South Crestview is a big benefit at present.
The third point of the article speaks to the benefit of purchasing over renting due to the high demand for rental property. After the Great Recession many homeowners were caught up in the aftermath and lost their good credit. The result has been a new influx of renters. This has caused rental prices to skyrocket in the area, driving renters into home ownership in an effort to balance their monthly budget.

I see a great year for my sellers in South Crestview due to these developing factors. If you are thinking of selling your home please let me know and we can set up a no-obligation meeting to discuss your options and current home values.

Here is a link to the article posted on

The Dangers of Overpricing Your Home

by Jim Gilliland

When choosing a real estate agent to sell your home, it’s tempting to go with the one that wants to list it for the highest price. Don’t do it! Experienced Realtors will tell you that listing your home at the right price from the very beginning is crucial to getting it sold the fastest and for the highest price. Research consistently shows that over-pricing your home, and then continually dropping the price while the home sits on the market for days to months leads to the home selling for much lower than it would have had it been priced appropriately for the market to begin with.

There are several factors that explain why that is. Overpricing can scare off good buyers before they even have a chance to see your home. Good agents can tell when a home is overpriced and can steer their clients in another direction. Overpricing a home will also cause the days on the market to just go on and on. Buyers are suspicious of homes that have seemed to sit on the market for too long. Overpricing will also lead to your home not showing up in the searches of qualified buyers. If you price your home at $275,000, but you would be happy to accept $250,000, you have just eliminated your home from any search in the $225-$250k range.

When choosing an agent, make sure that you don’t just go with the one that offers to list your home at the highest price. Make sure you go with one who fully explains how he or she got to their price, and can explain to you exactly what the market will bear. 

Good news for rental property owners!

by Jim Gilliland

Do you have rental property in our area? Or have you thought about buying an investment property to rent out? According to a new report from RealtyTrac, Okaloosa County has the # 5 best rental market IN THE NATION for renting single family homes to millennials. In all of the top 15 counties, the millennial share of the population increased at least 10 percent between 2008 and 2013, and annual wage growth outpaced annual rental rate growth.

 "Rapidly rising home prices and tepid wage growth have dampened single family rental investment returns and growth potential in many markets, but there are still plenty of solid opportunities available for real estate investors willing to cast a wider geographic net," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac. "Rents are rising faster than median home prices in 45 percent of the markets analyzed -- indicating continued strong demand for rentals in those markets -- while annual wage growth is outpacing rent growth in 43 percent of the markets -- indicating room for rising rental returns in those markets.”

 Several members of the Gilliland Team here have rental properties. If this is something you are considering, give us a call, and we can point you in the right direction!


Thinking about buying a vacation rental?

by Jim Gilliland

Hello Internet! We’re going to get the blog rolling again here at RE/MAX Gulf Coast Realty. With a combined 154 years of Real Estate experience, we have lots to say, so let’s jump in!

Today we’re going to talk about vacation rentals. Specifically, things to consider when purchasing a second home that you plan to rent out.  If you are in the market for a vacation home that you expect will pay for itself on the rental market, there are several things that you need to think about. Below are just a few:

Location – The old adage “location, location, location” has stuck around for a reason. You’ll be visiting your vacation property yourself from time to time, so make sure you love the location.

Some communities and properties have restrictions on short term rentals, so make sure to thoroughly check that out. For example, Bella Riva – a beautiful complex on Okaloosa Island – will only allow rentals that are 7 nights with a Saturday to Saturday stay. And did you know that if you own a house on the north side of Santa Rosa Boulevard on the Island, that you can’t rent your property for stays of less than a month? Make sure to do your research on rental restrictions!

Price vs Cash Flow – The sale price is only part of what you’ll need to spend. There will most likely be a monthly HOA fee, utilities, advertising costs, fees to have the property cleaned between renters, added insurance costs…and the list goes on! Make sure you have accounted for everything when you consider the price.

It’s also important to be realistic in your expectations for rental income. Take into account slow seasons and periods of time where your property could sit unoccupied.

Personal Use – How do you intend to use the property? This goes back to what I mentioned about location. Make sure you love the location! Also, a one-bedroom unit might have a great ROI, but if you’re a family of 6, it might not be the best move. Return on your investment is good, but only one aspect of the whole thing. Consider how you intend to use the property yourself.

Just a few thoughts! We’re going to be updating the blog more regularly, so check back with us in a few days!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 10




Contact Information

Photo of Jim Gilliland Real Estate
Jim Gilliland
RE/MAX Gulf Coast Realty
28 Walter Martin Road NE, Suite A
Fort Walton Beach FL 32548
Office: (850)243-2220
After Hours: (850)864-7459
Fax: (850)664-6068