Monday, August 29, 2016

Planning For Hurricane Season: Your Evacuation Plan

We're at the peak of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Did you know that 2005 was the last time a hurricane made landfall in our sunshine state? Most hurricanes since have dissipated or downgraded to a tropical storm or depression by the time they've made landfall, or made landfall in other states. However, this year it seems we have more tropical disturbances with the threat of a hurricane running high. So with that in mind we want to remind everyone of the tips that provides in case of a hurricane or disaster in our area that leads to evacuating... 

First and foremost.. Have a plan.
Develop a family hurricane preparedness plan before an actual storm threatens your area. If your family hurricane preparedness plan includes evacuation to a safer location, then it is important to consider the following points:

  • If ordered to evacuate, do not wait or delay your departure. 
If possible, leave before local officials issue an evacuation order for your area. Even a slight delay in starting your evacuation will result in significantly longer travel times as traffic congestion worsens. 

  • Select an evacuation destination that is nearest to your home, preferably in the same county, or at least minimize the distance over which you must travel in order to reach your intended shelter location. 
In choosing your destination, keep in mind that the hotels and other sheltering options in most inland metropolitan areas are likely to be filled very quickly in a large, multi-county hurricane evacuation event.

  • If you decide to evacuate to another county or region, be prepared to wait in traffic. The large number of people in this state who must evacuate during a hurricane will probably cause massive delays and major congestion along most designated evacuation routes; the larger the storm, the greater the probability of traffic jams and extended travel times. If possible, make arrangements to stay with the friend or relative who resides closest to your home and who will not have to evacuate. Discuss with your intended host the details of your family evacuation plan well before the beginning of the hurricane season.

  • If a hotel or motel is your final intended destination during an evacuation, make reservations before you leave. 
Most hotel and motels will fill quickly once evacuations begin. The longer you wait to make reservations, even if an official evacuation order has not been issued for your area or county, the less likely you are to find hotel/motel room vacancies, especially along interstate highways and in major metropolitan areas.

  • If you are unable to stay with friends or family and no hotels/motels rooms are available, then as a last resort go to a shelter.  
Remember, shelters are not designed for comfort and do not usually accept pets.  

  • Make sure that you fill up your car with gas, before you leave.

We hope that you all stay safe this hurricane season!

Stay Humble & Kind

  There is a song on the radio you may have heard by Tim McGraw. The song conveys a simple message, but one that serves as an age-old reminder to us all.

  Lori McKenna is a critically-acclaimed artist in her own right, but she's also one of Nashville's most sought-after songwriters. "Humble and Kind" sprang from McKenna's concern over raising her younger children in the age of cell phones and social media, and hoping they understood the proper way to treat others. Hill was the first major commercial artist to cut McKenna's songs, and as a result, "If I write something I'm proud of, I think, 'I wonder if Faith or Tim would like this?'" she admits. "And so I sent it to him, and the fact that it worked out in the end still kind of amazes me. Faith and Tim with their kids and me and my husband with our kids, we're in the same little world of sending your kids off. So it just sort of hit him the way it hit me, and then the way he sings it is just - I feel like he wrote the song with me, the way he sings it." The singer's Everyman quality allows him to relate to his audience in a different way than some other entertainers. "He's really a regular guy, Tim... I think that's why everybody loves Tim's singing, because he sings it like he's singing it for you, not singing it at you." If you haven't heard the song yet, its worth a listen. In the meantime, visit: to see how this song inspired a community movement. You just might need a box of tissues.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Real Estate: Internet vs. Agent

In a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, an important fact was discovered:  a whopping 92% of consumers use the Internet for real estate searches. Of course, the Web is a great place to start your search and discover lots of facts. But if you are considering selling or buying, you really need our team to help you with the process. No web browser can help with the most critical aspects of your search and the transaction. So here are: 

THE PRICE - When calculating a listing price, we consider various factors: general local market, specific community market, latest buyer preferences, surrounding area and activities, and specific property amenities. Every home is unique, and we know how to extrapolate a fair pricing range. Internet-based home values are not usually accurate and could be costly for both sellers and buyers. The factors that help us estimate prices are not part of the pricing algorithm of these web estimators.

THE MARKET – If you are a seller, online marketing is valuable, but we have years of networking experience and a substantial database that could bring potential buyers to the table. If you are a buyer, we can tap into our network for potential properties before they hit the MLS or real estate websites. 

THE NEGOTIATION - Having an experienced, professional negotiator drive your transaction can be vital to reaching a fair price for the property you're buying or selling. A website can give you an estimate of how much a property should cost, but it cannot evaluate whether that's a good price or not. We can.

THE PROCESS - If you are a buyer, we can provide you with a list of providers who will help you with anything from lending to inspections. If you are a seller, we will advise you as the buyer works through the many facets of their due diligence. 

The web is a vital source of information for consumer buyers and sellers. But the Sold in Paradise Team will interpret the data and bring real life to the table. Shoot us an email! 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Meet Melissa!

If you are a regular follower of ours then you already know we have a new Team Member. But for those of you who missed it... Meet Melissa!

Melissa Waddell has joined us as our Marketing Director. Always seeking inspiration from the incredible surroundings we live in, she has a knack for capturing the simplistic beauty the coast has to offer. Creative vision in photography and design, balanced with hard work and talent make for terrific marketing operations. For her creative vision, we love Melissa! We featured her in our July Newsletter, but in case you missed it, here's a little bit about her. Being an introvert she loves to work behind the scenes, but with our negotiation skills we were able to draw an introduction out of her so that you can put a face and story behind the name:

" Hi there. My name is Melissa Waddell. I'm newly married to the love of my life, my greatest inspiration and support, Brandon. Cliche' and cheesy, but oh-so-true. I've lived here on the Emerald Coast for 19 years, and there's not a day that goes by that I'm not absolutely grateful for it. I come from an incredible family. One of six children, to two of the most amazing people on earth. My Mom & Dad are always encouraging me to cultivate my creative passion, and have instilled the importance of hard work and integrity from a young age. My brothers and sisters are beyond amazing, my team mates in life offering support and encouragement always. Anyone who knows me well, knows that my husband and my family are my heart.

   Living here on the coast offers so many amazing things. There is nothing better than having my feet in the sand or being able to take in the amazing views around me from atop a Yolo Board (though I am still working on my balance.)

   Photography has always been a passion of mine, and what better backdrop than this beautiful place we live in. Another passion of mine: Food! Even though we are a smaller-than-most community, the food is amazing, and the selection of craft beer is spectacular! My very favorite time of year falls around October when it starts to cool off and Baytowne Wharf holds their annual Beerfest. It's a family tradition to go together every year. Great memories!

   I'm so grateful to Debbie & Jay for bringing me on board as the Marketing Director for the Sold In Paradise Team. It's so exciting and inspiring to be able to work alongside them and assist people in finding their paradise! "

Looking Forward,
Melissa Waddell