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Pensacola Beach Surfing Santa Christmas Parade Today!
Trish Sarfert, Serving military & civilian relocations! (Coastal Realty Experts)

Don't miss the annual Pensacola Beach Surfing Santa Christmas Parade today at 2:00!  The parade travels down Via de Luna (near Springhill Suites), ending at the Gulfside Pavillion, where Santa will spend some time finding out who's been naughty or nice!  Bring the kids for this great holiday tradition.  The Pensacola Beach parade is typically much more low key than the large Downtown Pensacola parade (held last night).  The crowds are smaller, and there are fewer floats, so it's good for the short attention spans of younger kids.

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Trish Sarfert, Broker Associate, GRI

Danley Realty, Inc.

850-449-0908 cell




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The Oil Spill - We're Gonna Be Okay
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul)

I read an article today that said...Pensacola Beach

... well, wait a minute. These days, you can find an article that says pretty much anything you want it to say. I get that. So as I paraphrase from this article, please be assured that I realize it's only one man's (or woman's) opinion and that there are a gazillion other opinions out there; many of which contradict this one.

Okay, back to...

I read an article today that said we're gonna be okay. By "we're" the author of the article meant the residents of the Gulf Coast specifically (including the critters) as well as the world at large. This oil spill will not be the end of life as we know it and if we're moderately patient, we WILL see life return to normal in a reasonable amount of time.

The basic premise of the article was that Mother Nature is amazingly resilient. She has an incredible ability to heal herself, even as we guests on her planet try harder and harder to knock her down. Her timeline may not be our timeline, but yes, we'll be okay.

I'd like to expand upon that to say that Human Nature is also amazingly resilient. Yes, while we're waiting for Mother Nature to do her thing, many human beings will suffer. Jobs and rental income will be lost, family businesses will go out of business and lifestyles will be compromised. But we human beings will pull through. We always do.

We're gonna be okay.


p.s. went to the beach yesterday after a week away and there wasn't any oil at all. Just a bunch of seaweed and shells. If you've been needing a beach vacation, but dread the crowds - come on down - no crowds here! Airfares are CHEAP too!


It's Here! Sell with Soul Updated in 2015!










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Send the Clean-Up Crews Home (WARNING! Non-PC Post About the Oil Spill!)
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul)

Clean up crews

There's a thought that's been rolling around in my head the last few weeks. And I am going to proclaim right here, right now, on July 12, 2010, that I believe this thought will be the prevailing opinion soon, although many probably won't agree with me today. 

What's my thought? Thanks for asking, I'll tell you.

I think we should stop cleaning up the beaches. Send the clean-up crews home. Let the oil pile up, if that's indeed what it does, and let Mother Nature do her thing.


See, here's the thing. When you see those reports on The Weather Channel, CNN or your local news about the ugly nastiness on the Florida beaches, realize that the news crews select the most oil-infested section of beach they can find to report from. And yes, at the time of the report, it is nasty. But come back the next morning, or maybe even later that day and you know what? Much of that oil is gone. Not cleaned-up, mind you, but washed back to sea. And then you know what else? It comes back; maybe at the same beach, maybe half a mile down the way.

In fact, you can walk up and down the beach at any given time and find some beaches littered with tar balls and other practically tar ball-free. Walk that same stretch the next day and you'll find a different pattern of oil/no oil depending on the winds and tides.

So, why am I saying we should stop picking it up? Couple of reasons.

First, it costs money to clean it up - lots and lots of money. Yeah, I know we all want BP to pay and pay and pay, but should we really be wasting their money just to punish them? Let's be practical and realize that BP does not have a bottomless pocket and if they run out of money, no one wins.

Second, it's questionable whether the clean-up efforts are doing any good at all, and some say they're doing more damage than good. Now that much of the onshore oil is in the form of little oil pebbles (as opposed to dog-poop-sized tar balls), it's tough to imagine that it's even possible to clean it up and I wonder how much of the current clean-up efforts are purely for show.

Actually, I don't wonder; I have inside information from a reliable source that even though some are beginning to question the practicality of the clean-up efforts, no one is willing to say it out loud for fear of the public outcry.

So, I'll say it. Out Loud. Let's stop cleaning up the beaches and focus our time, money and energy on keeping the crap OFF the shore.

Let Mother Nature do her thing. She's actually quite competent and might do a far better job than we are.


It's Here! Sell with Soul Updated in 2015!










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Pensacola Beach, Summer 2010 - The Truth About Oil on the Beach
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul)

Pensacola Beach - Pre-Oil

Since I live here on beautiful (yes, it's still beautiful) Pensacola Beach, I'm often asked what it's "really" like. Is the media exaggerating... or underplaying the truth? Is there REALLY oil on the beach? Does it stink? And from those who have summer vacation plans here - Should I cancel?

Well, I have nothing to gain or lose from telling you the truth. You aren't renting a condo from me, so I have no motivation to downplay the reality of the situation (not that the local property managers are doing this, but it's human nature to wonder). Nor am I an activist hoping to further my cause by making it sound worse than it is.

I'm just a regular person who walks on the beach, eats at the restaurants, swims in the water and breathes the air every single day.

"Is there really oil on the beach?"
Yes, there really is oil on the beach. Not the sort of oil you might be envisioning - it's not sludge that you have to wade through like a shallow La Brea Tar Pit or anything, but at this point, it's impossible to avoid. When it first came ashore back in June, it was mostly dog-poop-size globs affectionately known as "tar balls" that tended to cluster in certain areas one day and others the next. But there were still stretches of seemingly oil-free beach, and the tar balls were easy to step around.

However, in the last week or two, that's changed. The dog-poop-sized globs are now pebble-size and are pretty much everywhere. Oh, there are still the larger blobs, and even some cow-patty-size ones, but they aren't as prevalent as the pebble blobs.

If you'd never heard of the oil spill, and never before seen the white beaches of the Florida Panhandle, you might not even see anything amiss at first. But yes, there is definitely oil on the beach.*

"Oil on feetCan I still walk on the beach?"
Yes. You may get oil on your feet (DON'T touch it with your hands - it's icky), but it comes off fairly easily with soap and water. It doesn't hurt or sting or smell (see below); I walk on the beach twice a day and still enjoy the heck out of it. 

"Does the air smell bad?"
No, surprisingly, it doesn't. As far as I can tell, the oil has no smell at all. When I step outside my door in the morning, I just smell flowers and salt air, and it's every bit as exhilarating as it's always been.

That said, there have been a few days where there IS a toxic smell in the air, but it doesn't seem to be related to the oil on the shore; I assume it's the wind bringing in fumes from the oil burning offshore. It doesn't last; if you do run into a stinky day, just pretend it's pouring down rain, stay inside and watch movies. It'll pass.

"Is it safe to swim in the Gulf?Tarballs in the surf"
I don't know. I do swim when the water looks clear, but I can't swear it's a good idea. When I can see tar balls in the surf, I stay out - mainly because I can't stand the thought of getting that stuff in my hair. However, the other side of the island - the Santa Rosa Sound side - has nice little beaches and a great beach atmosphere, so if you're nervous about swimming in the Gulf, trot on over the other side and enjoy the Sound.

"Jennifer, be honest with me - is it still pretty?"
Yes. It's still pretty. Not AS pretty as it was, but still more beautiful than just about any other beach I've been on (and that's a lot of beaches). The water is still clear and emerald green, the sunrises and sunsets still spectacular, and the sand is still white, although not as startling white as before. If you happen to go to a beach that is covered with nastiness and/or clean-up crews, just relocate down the way a bit and it's likely you'll find one that's not.

Sunset on the Santa Rosa Sound*Conditions change day to day, even hour to hour. One beach might be nearly pristine in the morning, gunked up in the afternoon, and then clean again at sunset. Another beach a mile to the east might be gunky at sunrise, clean at noon, and still clean at sunset.

"Should I cancel my Pensacola Beach vacation?"
I can't answer that for you. If you come, I think you'll have a fine time and maybe even feel as if you were a part of history. You'll enjoy a resort vacation, in the height of the season, without the stress of the traditional high-season crowds. You can get a waterfront table on a Saturday night. You can probably get a Gulf-view room for a fraction of the cost it was last year or will be next year. You may not need a reservation to rent a wave-runner or go parasailing. You won't have to sit in traffic for hours getting on or off the Island.


And of course, if you come, you can buy me a Bushwacker... or two.



Have other questions I can answer for you? Just ask!

* Okay, so I wrote this blog yesterday afternoon intending to post it today. Later I went for my regular sunset walk and was stunned to find that there was NO oil on my beach. None. Zippo. Apparently, the winds are carrying the mess west over the next few days, so the beach is clean. Which has inspired a follow-up blog which will very likely raise a few eyebrows. Goody.


It's Here! Sell with Soul Updated in 2015!










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Oil Spill And Gulf Coast Property Values
Sandy Blanton, Pensacola Real Estate- #1 in 07null- 09null (Pensacola Real Estate - Team Sandy Blanton Realty, Inc.)


We're all aware of the thousands of barrels of crude oil are pouring into the gulf every day from ruptured lines. The spill is still miles from our shores but what many people don't know is that the local housing market is already feeling the effects. We live in an area where property values are dependent on access to our white sandy beaches and anything that threatens that has to be taken into account. Part of what we sell is the lifestyle of living on or near the beach.

10 Calle Traviesa is a Team Sandy Blanton exclusive listing located in the Lago Bonita subdivision on East Pensacola Beach. This home is a perfect example of how the oil spill is already taking a toll on the Pensacola Beach housing market. Once the seller, who lives out of state, got wind of the oil spill she immediately dropped her price to $125,000.  Not only is that $20,000 off the previous list price and the lowest price on Pensacola Beach but at just under $110 per square foot, this home is priced at nearly what the current owner paid in 2001 and one of the lowest prices per square foot in the last 10 years! The new price is significantly lower than offers we received on this home just a couple weeks back.  We're very optimistic and working hard to sell this home and we have had some recent activity, but it's still available.

We still meet homeowners who refer to home prices in "pre-Ivan" and "post Ivan" terms referencing the dramatic rise and eventual fall of prices after Hurricane Ivan in 2004. We think it's possible that owners of beach property will look back at this oil spill and do the same. There's really never been anything like so all we can do is assess the situation and take all the factors into account. We have to consider the loss of jobs for local fisherman and people that work on the beach or rely on its' resources that may have to find other jobs in town or relocate. We also expect a lot of coastal homeowners may have difficulty making mortgage payments when they're faced with loss of rental income from properties which are rarely vacant during the summer season. This could create a whole new wave of distressed property owners which could lead to more foreclosures and short sales which will only aid in decreasing prices. The question isn't if coastal property values will continue to drop but how further will they drop, and long will they stay depressed once the oil is factored into the already declining waterfront market?
No one knows for sure. We do know this crisis is making for some great opportunities for potential buyers in the meantime. Now may be the time to invest in that beach property you always wanted but couldn't afford at the escalated prices we saw just a few years back.

Sandy Blanton

Team Sandy Blanton Realty

Pensacola's #1 Realtor in 07', 08' and 09'. "I'm Not Bragging, I'm Applying For A Job. I Want Your Referrals!"

Check Out Our Websites - and

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Pensacola Beach Photos
Robin Sherman, Search Pensacola Homes, For Sale - Pensacola FL Neighborhoods ( - Grand Points Realty)

Pensacola Beach Photos

It's been a while since I have posted anything about Pensacola Beach so I think it's time! The summer is behind us, the vacationers - for the most part - have left our tiny strip of white sand beach fronting the Gulf of Mexico. Our real estate sales have slowed as they normally do until the spring when this beautiful island, population roughly 3,000 souls, is once again discovered by those seeking paradise (Or at least warm sandy beaches!). So, I'd like to share, via photos, some of the things I love most about the beach:

A Surfer Hits the Waves on Pensacola Beach


Pensacola Beach Photos - I can't think of much that is more fun than watching the surfers catch the waves. Unless maybe it is actually surfing the waves.

Pensacola Beach is the home to a dedicated group of surfers who you can find, regardless of weather, honing their craft in the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Of course, our waves aren't big, but what better place to learn to surf and WOW what scenery.



Quietwater Beach on Santa Rosa Island


Pensacola Beach Photos - And then there is sailing.

Quietwater Beach on the north side of Santa Rosa Island provides the perfect sheltered harbor for sailing, kayaking, wind surfing, swimming . . . in short, any and all of the "quietwater" water sports.

And there are plenty of restaurants and bars on Quietwater Beach, so you are only steps from good food, drink and music.

This is generally a quiet, family beach. Until, that is, Blue Angel weekend when hundreds of boats crowd the Quietwater Beach area in search of the PERFECT spot to raft up and watch the hometown heros' spectacular show.


Pensacola Beach Photos - And here's "You Know Who" with her big catch for the year, a 16-plus pound red snapper. I can't say you are assured of a big Robin's Big Catch - Pensacola Beachcatch like this, but I've been pretty fortunate! Snapper, grouper and amber jack are plentiful off our island.

There are a number of charter boats leaving Pensacola Pass every day for their favorite fishing spots. Hop aboard and see what you catch!


Bands on the Beach - Pensacola Beach










Tuesday evenings May through September, you can find an enthusiastic crowds with their lawn chairs, coolers and dancing shoes (or flip flops) taking in the free Bands on the Beach concert at Casino Beach in the heart of Pensacola Beach. From blues to rock to island sounds and even hip hop, the bands play on!

Juanas on Navarre Beach


Pensacola Beach Photos - While not technically on Pensacola Beach (Juanas is on Navarre Beach at the east end of Santa Rosa Island), Juanas Pagoda serves the MEANEST sticky buns in Northwest Florida. These buns are gigantic - and truly sticky.

When I'm feeling really frisky and in need of a great breakfast treat I actually ride my bike down the island, through the National Seashore, to Juanas. You can sit out on their deck overlooking the Santa Rosa Sound if you arrive sweaty like I usually do, or you can dine inside in air-conditioned comfort. With the exception of Sunday morning, the line isn't usually too long!



National Seashore, Pensacola Beach

 Pensacola Beach Photos

An early morning group ride down Santa Rosa Island through the National Seashore. Suppose they stopped at Juanas for the buns?

What a great venue for riding. J. Earl Bowden Way has just been repaved and has a great bicycle shoulder.

The National seashore is also my favorite place for snorkeling, swimming, beachcombing, birdwatching and on-shore fishing.

Fishing in the National Seashore


Pensacola Beach Homes





Then there are the gorgeous beach homes. From the island's original 1950s concrete block homes to Gulf front mansions, Pensacola Beach boasts a variety of housing styles and options.

Pensacola Beach Condos



Pensacola Beach Photos

While a single family home appeals to many, the amenities found in the many beach condos appeal to others. Me, I like them ALL! As the saying goes, "If you're lucky enough to be on the beach you're lucky enough!"

Quietwater Beach on Santa Rosa Island




 Pensacola Beach Photos

Colorful beach floats line the shops at Quitewater Beach.

Want a dinosaur float or will a dolphin make you feel like a real sea creature? No problem, you will find them all on the Boardwalk!


Pensacola Beach Restaurant Crabs



Pensacola Beach Photos

There are PLENTY of wonderful seafood restaurants on Pensacola Beach.

Crabs at Casino Beach is just one of my favorites.

Guess what sea creatures they serve most?




And finally, the thing I love absolutely love most about Pensacola Beach:

Sunset on Santa Rosa SoundPensacola Beach SunsetThe Truly Amazing Sunsets! Or as we like to say, "Wine Time."


See ALL Pensacola Beach Homes For Sale!

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Pensacola Beach Welcomes Bands on the Beach
Robin Sherman, Search Pensacola Homes, For Sale - Pensacola FL Neighborhoods ( - Grand Points Realty)

Pensacola Beach Gulfside Pavilion


You know it's almost summer when it's time for the Tuesday evening Pensacola Beach ritual Bands on the Beach!

This Tuesday, May 5, marks the start of the 2009 Bands on the Beach series with Wildwood, a group regionally knows for their rock, blues, Beatles tunes and reggae rhythm. The free concerts are hosted by the Santa Rosa Island Authority at the Gulfside Pavilion on Pensacola Beach and run through September 22.

Put on your flip flops and bring a chair. The concerts are family friendly and usually draw a crowd of 1,000 to 2,000. Picnic baskets and coolers are the order of the day!

For a schedule of this season's Bands on the Beach go to and click on the Events button just below the tiny blue crab. See you at the beach!

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