Buying and Building

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Buying and building in Bay County has only boomed in the last 10 years and is expected to continue for the next 10 years, but waterfront property is quickly coming to a close with so many of the available lots sold.

Peggy Braa, a realtor with Era Neubauer Real Estate, says she's been in the business for 20 years and what is happening now in the area is really just unbelievable.

“The people that are selling right now, they can't believe how much they can get for their property. I don't think anybody can believe anywhere how much they can get for their property in Panama City right now."

Builder and developer Ron Putnam says there will come a point when the property is gone.

"As quick as you can develop it, it's sold, and houses are pretty much the same. If you build it, it seems like, they will come."

But it's the lack of available waterfront property that is making it even more valuable.

Braa says Lynn Haven is showing growth expanding at the seams and prices are just soaring on the water.

"Right now there's two parcels on the water that are available for $525,000 and $595,000. I mean, we used to pay this for the house and the water. Now it's just the land."

But Braa says those paying for the land are not all locals and the price they see here is better than what they've seen elsewhere.

With the condo boom on the beach, many visit and would rather buy on the outskirts of town, but developer Ron Putnam says they aren't building cheaply.

"Houses are harder, bigger and more expensive. When we moved here, Bay County was still small and most of the houses were rectangular and fairly inexpensive."

Changes aren't new to Bay County, and getting used to the area’s increasing popularity will only continue to change as more people arrive.