Recent home sale

I recently conducted  this home sale on Ruckel Drive in Defuniak Springs, FL.  Should you live in this area and are looking either to buy or sell property there  please call Andy Roberts with NextHome Bayside Realty at 256-508-3087.  I would be delighted to assist you.


255 ruckel dr




Song of the Panhandle

Riding around in our automobile

eating a blizzard while holding the wheel

The rain has now gone the sky has turned blue

Got no worries and nothing to do.

Waiting for the morrow, a brand new day,

working and living in the same old way.

Eviction Writs of Possession Halted

Attached is an article which appeared in Florida Realtors that should be of concern to landlords in Florida:

Fla. Courts Stop Writing Eviction Writs Until April 17

A landlord may win an eviction case, but an order that suspends many court operations until April 17 means the necessary confirmation documents won’t be issued.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Because the novel coronavirus continues to spread throughout the state, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady issued an administrative order extending the suspension of jury trials and other in-person court proceedings through April 17. That order includes the issuance of a writ of possession that property owners need to have in hand before a sheriff will evict a tenant.

If a county or city bans evictions, it applies to the actions by the sheriff’s office only. However, even in areas where evictions have not been banned, a local sheriff needs a writ of possession from a court for authorization to evict. This current delay temporarily ends the issuance of any writ of possession, effectively ending new evictions if a writ has not already been issued.

“This order suspends the issuing of writs of possession by the clerks of courts,” says Florida Realtors Associate General Counsel Meredith Caruso. “A judgment may be issued in the landlord’s favor; however, the landlord won’t be able to get the writ needed.”

Canady’s order Tuesday extends deadlines in previous administrative orders aimed at complying with health officials’ recommendations to curb COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus.

“We are all facing an unprecedented challenge,” Canady said in a video message released Tuesday. “The pandemic is now affecting everyone. We are living our lives in a way that none of us would have contemplated a few short weeks ago. … (The pandemic) “presents an extraordinary challenge for the legal system.” he added.

The chief justice’s order extends an earlier suspension of a variety of court procedures, including speedy trial rules. The order directs state courts to “cancel or postpone court proceedings other than essential and critical proceedings,” unless chief circuit judges determine that they can be conducted remotely. The order also includes other measures designed to minimize face-to-face contact in court proceedings, including suspending some notarization requirements.

© 2020 Florida Realtors®

Hints on Disinfecting

Hints on Disinfecting

The familiar household products of bleach and alcohol are among the best disinfectants.  Simply use rubbing alcohol that contains a 70%  solution or make your own bleach solution by the following recipe:  5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water, or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water and plan to leave it on the surface for 10 minutes to assure its effectiveness.

Be sure to work in a properly ventilated area when mixing bleach and remember that it will discolor clothing.  Be sure and check these and other bottles for their own instructions.

A Gray Day

A Gray Day

The sun has not come out this livelong day,
Instead clouds have hidden it’s face away.
The soaking rain drops tho have been few
But imminent damp has hampered the view.

Living in paradise what you want to do
Is go outside and wander for a block or two.
To live in the sunshine, breathe the air that’s pure,
To see all creation and feel your life’s secure.

Gray days interfere with the lives of men
Bringing regret for deeds they cannot mend.
Thoughts of loved ones never to see again
And longing for touch from a vanished hand.

Tomorrow the cloudy shroud will be gone.
Life will leave each to bear burdens alone.
Unless they are few then he will dance
Celebrating the sun and giving thanks.

Retired in paradise

I am retired in paradise just sitting on my screened-in back porch watching the sun slowly going down between the pines. The air is calm with a hint of chill signaling the night that is to come. The day has been a busy one filled with tasks only retired people do except for three hours devoted to learning to sell real estate. Life is good when you live in Florida and have bid good-by to cold weather, snow and the stress of having to make a living. Given my extremely humble beginning there is no way I could have imagined being retired in a paradise like this. I have to thank all those who helped me along the way,  and my wonderful wife of 48 years for this outcome and also the Lord who has allowed me the longevity to enjoy it all.

FYI, Freeport, Florida, is beginning to show signs of expansive growth. Here in Hammock Bay there are many new apartment buildings that should be ready for occupancy by spring break and ground has been broken for new homes in a gated subdivision called Vineyards situated right smack in the middle of the total Hammock Bay development. The year 2020 may prove to be the best year for the panhandle since 2008. To be a part of this success story contact me at 256-508-3087 or at NextHome Bayside Realty about homes or land available in the immediate area. You, too, could be living in paradise and enjoying the saltlife.



Texting while driving law

For your information and as a public service, here is a  reminder courtesy of Florida Realtors of the State of Florida law regarding texting and the use of hand held devices while driving:

Texting while driving

It’s been illegal to text while driving in Florida since July 1 – but on Jan. 1, 2020, officers will stop writing warnings and start writing tickets. A first offense is $30; a second is $60 ($158.18 with court costs) if it happens within five years.

While texting was a secondary offense in the past, officers can now stop a driver who is otherwise obeying traffic laws if they’re seen texting.

In addition, motorists can’t use phones for texting or any reason, including hand-held talking, when driving in school and work zones. While hands-free talking is allowed in cars equipped with the skill, officers can stop drivers if they see a phone in a motorists’ hand.


Vineyards, new gated subdivision in Hammock Bay

The new year in Freeport, Florida, is already beginning to show signs of expansive growth. Here in Hammock Bay there are many new apartment buildings that should be ready for occupancy by spring break and ground has been broken for some new homes in a gated subdivision called Vineyards situated right smack in the middle of the total Hammock Bay development.

The reported population of Hammock Bay has already risen to more that 4,000 as contrasted with the City of Freeport which has a reported population of about 3,000. More accurate  numbers are or may be available online for your consideration as mine  are only estimates based on local advertisements. The residents are taking an active part in community life especially the school system which have shown great improvement in the past 3 years or so.l

The year 2020 may prove to be the best year for the panhandle since 2008. To be a part of this success story contact me at about homes or land available in the immediate area. And BTW, Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year to you and yours from me and NextHome Bayside Realty in Freeport.


Wage Growth Eclipses Mortgage Rate

In case there is any doubt about how well the economy is doing under the present administration consider the following and try to remember what your wage growth was and what homeownership was like back in 1972.

“Wage Growth Eclipses Mortgage Rate – First Time Since 1972”

If the trend continues, it will empower more current renters watching their paychecks rise to save for a down payment and transition into homeownership.

NEW YORK – In October, wage growth eclipsed mortgage rates for the first time since 1972. The U.S. Department of Labor reported that average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees rose 3.8% in October on a year-over-year basis. Meanwhile, Freddie Mac data show that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was about 3.7% in October.

A year ago, before the Fed began easing, mortgage rates were closer to 4.9%. Experts note that if those trends continue, the combination will limit the debt burden for American households by keeping the share of would-be home buyers’ wages being spent on interest payments under control.

Meanwhile, economists J.W. Mason and Arjun Jayadev said U.S. household leverage rose from about 75% in 1983 to 160% in 2008, a trend that was finally arrested by the collapse of the housing bubble and ensuing financial crisis. They argued in a 2015 paper that the primary cause of the increase in household debt relative to income over that period was Fed policy, which kept interest rates well above the rate at which wages were growing.

According to Srinivas Thiruvadanthai, director of research at the Jerome Levy Forecasting Center, “The nominal interest rate has been higher than wage growth for a long time. If this is to be sustained it would be a positive development in setting the bottom 50 or 60% of the population on a sustainable footing.”

Source: Bloomberg (12/06/19) Boesler, Matthew

© Copyright 2019 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Closing Costs

December is traditionally a month during which new home buyers are searching for new homes due to job transfers, mid-term school transfers and other events that dictate this end of the year is the best time for the move. To that end the issue of closing costs are always at on the front of everyone’s mind. Florida Realtors has published a buyer’s guide on the various closing costs on a new home to simplify the mystery of all those charges that can be overwhelming and it can be seen in the current issue of the Florida Realtor Magazine at www,

Holiday Season


Today they officially began the Holiday Season in Freeport by hanging Christmas decorations while Thanksgiving is still more than a week away.  Perhaps this should be called merchandiser’s season instead.  To be truthful the weather here has recently been more like December than November anyway.

I have been witnessing a large influx of people from other states and not just temporary northern snowbirds.  They are coming from Texas and as far away as Iowa as well looking for better weather the panhandle has to offer and just maybe escaping their political system in their present state IMHO. Local builders cannot keep up with the demands and a house normally sells as soon as the foundation is laid.  The effect of Hurricane Michael on Panama City and further east has left a shortage of skilled craftsmen in our area.  Notwithstanding, Freeport and Walton County are the fastest growing city and  county in the State of Florida which is also among the fastest growing states in America.

If you are contemplating moving to this area or buying a vacation property, please give me a call.  You will love it here.

Andy Roberts, Realtor

With NextHome Bayside Realty

66 Highway 20 E

Freeport, FL32439


photo cutout 2 (2) for email


Veterans Day

Yesterday the little town of Freeport FL held its annual Veterans Day celebration. What a surprise to see almost the entire town turn out to listen to patriotic songs, to listen to speeches praising the native sons who served and are still serving in out military service and to dedicate monuments in their honor including war dogs.  Of course Eglin Air Force Base is only about 30 miles away and it is obvious that many military retirees live in Walton County including Freeport.  It is also equally obvious that this is a republican area of Florida populated with patriots who love and support the fundamentals on which this country was built.