A lot has changed in the last few months, but now could be the best opportunity in years. We asked LAH’s Charley Criswell what trends he’s seeing this year at the beach.

The beaches are back open. As someone who lives there, how has the area adapted to the re-opening?

Tourists were back in full force as soon as the short term rentals were opened up. In addition, the real estate market slowed a little during the shutdown, but activity has picked up dramatically with buyers coming into town.

The economy down there was on fire just a few months ago. What’s the difference between the market now compared to earlier this year?

The local economy as a whole is doing great now that we are opened back up, but the hospitality industry took a pretty good hit over the spring.  Construction and development continued to expand during this period and show no signs of slowing down.

If a buyer is dependent on the rental market, what advice would you give them?

Now is a great time to buy. The combination of low mortgage rates and the increase in price of short-term rentals have made investing in a condo or beach house possible for more people. Short-term rental fees are at an all-time high, and can generate significant rental income all year long.

Where are you seeing most of the buyers coming from?

The majority of buyers are coming from the big cities in the South. We see the most from Nashville, Atlanta, Birmingham, New Orleans, Dallas, and Houston. The Emerald Coast is certainly not a secret anymore.

What’s your advice for someone looking at a single detached house vs. a condo?

The single detached house is a different experience than a condominium for sure. Determining the buyer’s needs and preferences will typically make the decision for them. Condos have more traffic and certainly more rules and regulations, but you can’t beat those gulf views.

Has financing been altered since the pandemic?

The biggest difference has been the lack of funding for jumbo loans. Investors have pulled out since the beginning of the pandemic, so it has been a slow climb back. You can still find jumbo loans offered through some financial institutions, but they are requiring as much as 30% down.

Charley Criswell
Sales Manager - Florida Office
Mobile: 850.842.1481


$749,900   Unit Number F303, Santa Rosa beach • ##837954


Beds: 3 Baths: 3 Sq. Ft.: 1,792  This three bedroom, poolside condo at Adagio has a view of the Gulf of Mexico from its covered balcony. **New interior paint throughout, including all cabinets.** This luxurious unit features ten foot ceilings accented by crown molding, granite counters, stainless steel kitchen appliances that include a gas range, gorgeous travertine floors, and so much more. The spacious balcony offers room to relax while overlooking the pools and enjoying the sea breeze, and is accessed from both the living area and master suite. Adagio is an 11-acre gated complex that boasts wonderful amenities including a gym, meeting room, grills, additional Gulf-front pool, and 600 feet of private beach. The perfect paradise! 2019 Rentals: $42,364.72


$1,129,000   Unit Number 1108, Destin, FL • #846667


3 bed/3.5 Bath  Stunning ‘Castleton’ unit in the exclusive One Water Place in Kelly Plantation. This popular floor plan offers expansive views of the Choctawhatchee Bay and Kelly Plantation’s signature Fred Couples designed golf course all from the wrap around terrace and main living areas. In addition, this beautiful residence has panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico and the city of Destin. Luxurious living at it’s finest in Unit 1108, boasting hardwood and travertine flooring throughout, extensive crown molding, 10-ft ceilings, fireplace and more. The expansive kitchen is a chef’s delight, with gorgeous cabinetry, a large island and Viking appliances. This unit also has two assigned parking spaces in the garage near the elevator, as well as a large, climate-controlled storage unit located right outside.

Want the Best Deal at the Beach? Deal with Someone from Birmingham!

LAH Real ESTATE, headquartered in Birmingham, has an office on 30A. Unlike the faceless international behemoths in the area, LAH offers its local family feel with a genuine interst and knowledge of the area.

Highway 30-A is unlike any part of the country. Each town has characteristics and distinguishing features that separate it from the next. Architecture, nature, city design and landscape all combine to give each area its own unique feeing. From planned communities to older residential towns, 30-A presents a multitude of experiences. However, despite these differences, 30-A is a tight-knit community. The energy and the locals flow from town to town. After all, they are all connected by one simple road.

LAH at the Beach
3648 County Rd 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459