Search for a Home in Destin or Niceville - A Realtor's Story - Part 3

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Niceville Florida home search
Third in a Five Part Series
Being a Destin Realtor with over 20 years experience, it’s good to go through the home selling and buying process every once in a while. This is the third in a five part series describing my recent journey.
Having decided to move, then deciding to buy a home before selling the original, the search for a new home began. The “search” is my field, being as OCD on research as I am. One of the key criteria in my new home search was “privacy”. Never again did I want a home where the adjoining lot owner could build an edifice and take down every tree. The other criteria were location, age, size and price. And my strange minor requirements, such as not having the kitchen sink on the other side of the breakfast bar.
Home searchIt’s true that over 90% of buyers start their home search online. That’s what I did. I scoured the MLS every day for six weeks. I would look at every lot or house with my target criteria that was already for sale, new to the market or back on the market – online.  I went a little above and below my price range. I looked a little outside my top locations, Niceville and Destin Florida. I would pull the aerial of the lot from the Okaloosa Property Appraiser website to check the adjoining pieces – to see if there was the privacy I wanted. On some lots I would do a FEMA flood zone search. I would look at all the online photos. I must have looked at a few hundred properties in this manner. (Yes, I am nuts!)
My husband and I only drove to four lots. We eliminated those. Some were too "downhill", one was in a flood prone area and one gave us a lot of bug bites! For houses, we only made appointments to see three over the course of the search. One was quite an experience, where the owner was home during the showing. The last house, however, was “the one”. I remember when it came on the market. Location? Check! Price? Check! Size? Check! I looked at the aerial and plat from the property appraiser website. There was an unbuildable public marshland behind and to one side, and the house was situated deep and private at the end of a cul-de-sac . I grabbed my friend and drove off during work to see the vacant house. 
When I pulled in the driveway  - I knew! This was it! The trees were sixty feet high. The driveway, 100 feet long. It was private. When I walked inside - I knew! The inside felt “right”.  It had a huge open living room with a high ceiling, an open dining area and a sunroom beyond. The kitchen had an adjoining breakfast room with a vaulted ceiling. It would need major updating to make it perfect for my style (much later blog), but I was excited. I called my husband and told  him he had to see it immediately. He liked it, too. I even showed my builder, Felix Beukenkamp. "Can you remodel it for us?” “Of course!”, he said. We wrote the offer.... just before my back surgery.
The next part of the adventure.... Writing the Offer

It's Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy:

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, has been featured in "Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine" and "Florida Realtor Magazine".  She sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Panama City Beach, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field. 
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"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Wendy Rulnick, Broker/Owner Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Call Wendy Rulnick 1-850-650-7883 ext 204

email property searches and community info


Wendy Rulnick is the marketing choice for sellers on the Emerald Coast who want to list and get their homes and condos sold in Destin, Sandestin, Bluewater Bay, Santa Rosa Beach, 30-A, Watercolor, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Seacrest Beach, Kelly Plantation, Regatta Bay, Destiny and more.

Rulnick Realty



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Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

That "ping" thing is universal...we do always know when we see the property for "us".

Jan 19, 2013 01:06 AM #1
Rhonda Burgess Howse
Your Rutherford County Real Estate Expert - Smyrna, TN

Congrats on finding the perfect property.  It has taken me months to find my last 2 houses. 

Jan 19, 2013 02:18 AM #2
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

OK, I'm now hooked.  Waiting for the rest of the story.

Jan 19, 2013 08:14 PM #3
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Li - Part of me was afraid I've never feel "it", but mostly I "knew" I would!


Rhonda - My husband says I don't breathe until I complete a task!  Thank you, it was pretty fast, actually!


Gabe - If feels cathartic to write these.  It was an emotional process for me.

Jan 19, 2013 10:06 PM #4
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

I've got to go back and read the previous posts.  This reminded me of the excitement of finding the perfect home, that feeling is the same all over.  Home buyers in Destin and Niceville will find this most helpful and keep them optimistic through the process!

Jan 20, 2013 08:04 PM #5
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Laura - It was fun, exciting, scary and nerve-wracking at the same time.

Jan 20, 2013 10:00 PM #6
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"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"
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