July 1st, 2020 - COVID-19 Update on 30A
30A is bustling with people, families making memories, and summer vacation seemingly continuing as usual with a few restrictions and the mask in more confined spaces and stores that require it. As we venture into July 4th weekend and into uncharted waters with COVID-19 and rising cases - there are a few takeaways and observations I'd like to share so far:
- The real estate market here is as hot as I've ever seen it (8+ years experience) and COVID-19 has indeed sparked quite the real estate boom here at the beach in South Walton. During the first quarantine, thousands of would-be 30A beach goers sat at home while hundreds of 30A property owners visited their beach homes and enjoyed the time away from the city for an extended vacation. As thousands began to realize the opportunity before them (working remotely + live at the beach possibility) - properties have began to come off market at a faster pace.
- Gov. Desantis says he does not plan on "shutting" things down again. We will see. What we do know is that while much of life has opened up, places that derive most of their sales from alcohol have been shut back down again - for obvious reasons and disrespect of social distancing via lack of judgement via intoxication.
- In many ways, the movement has already began -- people, businesses, and investors have seen the value in working remotely, lowering overhead, and purchasing property in a unique, beautiful, relatively low population-density vacation haven like 30A. I believe we will continue to see 30A and South Walton develop (hopefully in the best ways) with full time residents purchasing properties in the $300,000 - $1,200,000 range, vacation homes in all ranges, and investors/high net-worth buyers driving the $5,000,000 - $15,000,000+ market.
As of the first week of June 2020 on 30A...
Seaside has re-opened and Gov. Desantis has issued "Phase 2" of the COVID-19 reopening plan, allowing most businesses here on 30A to reopen to some level of substantial normalcy. Almost all restaurants are open (operating at 50% inside capacity - and taking advantage of the loophole allowing outside seating... many outdoor patios are expanded, with seating even out in the parking lot.) Beaches and vacation rentals are open to a large degree. Seaside, for example, has taken measures to ensure social distancing is more than just a suggestion. To use the beach in Seaside, you'll now have to check-in and have a space assigned to you.
Life has resumed to a definite degree of "back to normal" in many ways. While there are obvious signs of the virus's impact with signs reminding us to keep our distance, and even some restaurants and coffee shops still operating on a to-go, or pickup only fashion -- many have forgone the mask (except while grabbing groceries or in confined spaces), and have to be reminded to keep their distance as they crowd together with family and friends.
This summer on 30A will be one for the books, and one to be cautious with. As the news transitions to other important topics unfolding - keep in mind that hundreds of thousands of people from all over the US will be visiting our beaches. Stay safe, be smart.
We look forward to serving you in any and every way we can here on 30A. The real estate market is rolling and strong -- people are not only flooding in as vacation home buyers, but also permanent and second home buyers as the quarantine time has taught many of us that working remotely is a definite possibility.
As of May 19th, 2020 - 30A short-term vacation rental ban has been lifted, and most all beaches here on 30A are open. Note: Seaside will open on May 29th under limited conditions.
Beaches are OPEN
Vacation rentals are OPEN
Restaurants are OPEN, operating at 50% & social distancing
More details can be found at visitsouthwalton.com
On May 1st 2020, the Beaches of South Walton (30A) were reopened to the public under social distancing and special ordinance guidelines. But what about vacation rentals? What about all the restaurants and businesses? Here's a quick Q&A to shed a little light on what's happening on 30A during this time:
Are Short Term Vacation Rentals Open & Available? NO. (Not yet)
Allowed Visitors to the Area and Beaches - Locals and Actual Property Owners
Are Restaurants Open? Yes, many. Operating safely at 6ft distances and cautiously at 25% capacity.
- Resource: Visit South Walton & local news WEAR TV (See links at bottom)
Disclaimer: At Live 30A Real Estate, we love our beaches and our unique community. But, we love our people much more - please consult CDC resources and warnings, as well as take all necessary precautions to protect your family, friends, others, and self until COVID-19 is no longer a public threat. May God protect and bless you.
On Thursday, April 23rd 2020 - The Walton County, FL (where the beloved "towns of 30A" are located) County Commissioners voted to draft an ordinance to reopen all Walton County beaches May 1st 2020. The Ordinance is expected to be drafted, voted, and approved on Tuesday April 28th 2020. Source: WEAR, see footnotes
The Expected Rules for "Phase 1" of 30A Beaches Being Opened:
Beach Open Sun-up to Sun-down.
Social Distancing 6 feet or more.
Any State Executive Orders Must be Followed.
No Beach Vendors (chairs, umbrellas, etc.)
After 2 Weeks, re-evaluating the results
No Groups Larger than 10
Approved Activities: walking, boating, biking, jogging, fishing, paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, surfing, swimming, and sunbathing.
What does this mean for my Summer Vacation or 30A Vacation Rental?
We don't know yet, but are expected to have much more information after May 15th (when the two week studies have been completed from "phase 1" reopening of the beaches). With the virus still strongly affecting parts of the United States, the spread of the virus is still a strong possibility and cautions should be taken to prevent the spread. It is still unsure whether vacation rentals will be open as beach chair companies and beach services will not be available -- there is also considerable debate whether is would be prudent or wise to allow others into your vacation home at this time.
We understand that income is needed and will be urgent as time passes to keep your beach investments. Rental income will come, people will book, and life will return to normal -- you may even recoup many of your lost income later in the year or next Spring. In the meantime, get creative, work with lenders if needed, enjoy your property if you can, and maybe even move forward a few of those fixer-upper projects if time and money allows it.
If we can help in any way - whether it's providing market information, handymen or interior designer contacts, or evaluating the value of your home and creating a custom marketing plan for your home to get it sold for you - we are here to help.
If you are a buyer questioning whether you should buy now or wait - we'd love to chat. Based on your needs and style, there are great points to each approach.
Together we can make a lasting impact. Each 30A home sale generates a profit that is re-invested into changing lives in Nicaragua, Locally, and around the world. See more Here
* As more information becomes available and true, we will share more.Posted by Jon Lyons on