The area offers excellent amenities including shopping, restaurants, and water sports such as boating, fishing, surfing, etc. The area is known for its beautiful green/blue water and white sandy beaches. Many owners rent their homes in order to defray a portion of the cost of ownership. Destin is a city that has received strong recognition for being a seasonal resort on the Gulf of Mexico. The area first began developing in the 1970’s. There was a large growth spurt in the mid 1980’s and a second in 1992. This has continued for the last 7 years. Prime season is the summer months.
There are four distinct markets; Holiday Isle, Gulf front along US 98, the Destin Harbor and the residential areas north of US 98 to the Choctawhatchee Bay. US 98 is the main east/west road for the area. Secondary routing is being sought to help ease traffic during peak season periods. There are condominiums and a few residential homes on the beach. A large residential PUD is at the extreme west end. Properties along the Harbor and its’ side canals are made up of condominiums, townhomes and single family homes. Some sections are restricted to single family dwellings only.
The Gulf front along US 98 is primarily high rise condominiums. There is one residential subdivision and a couple of townhome developments. Commercial is along US 98 on both sides.The Harbor adjoins US 98 and is a mixture of condominiums, both low and high rise, commercial and a few homes. The area north of US 98 is secondary commercial along Mountain Drive and a few of the north/south roads, townhomes and lower cost residential properties adjoin that. Higher priced residential areas adjoin the Bay.
The Destin proper setting is between East Pass and the Henderson Beach State Park. Most of the available land has been bought or is committed to some form of new development. The area will be built out in the next few years. Some redevelopment of older buildings has already begun along US 98 and also on the Harbor. There are five retail shopping plazas. Some cater to specialty and higher end retail along the Harbor. Commercial services and businesses are a full complement of uses for this type of environment. There are amusement facilities, restaurants and a theatre complex.
Public beach accesses are limited in number. The Henderson Beach State Park is towards the east. This is the largest public beach. Destin has a general aviation airport, city hall building and recreation facilities. There is an elementary school and a library. The hospital was closed and is being used by private practice doctors. Destin is dependent upon Okaloosa County for police protection. It has its own fire department. Many other services and facilities are available in Ft. Walton Beach, 4 miles to the west.
Destin attracts a regional market buyer for second homes, encompassing the southeastern USA. Most of the beachfront properties are for second home use. There is a growing trend for primary home use with more people choosing to locate here.
The commercial base is expanding to meet the needs of both types of residents. US Highway 98, also known as the Emerald Coast Parkway, is the main commercial and east/west corridor. The Scenic 98 beach road, formerly Old Highway 98, parallels the Gulf and is now a secondary road serving the immediate needs of this and other communities. Crystal Beach, to the east, is like most communities along this 3-mile section that runs from Destin to Frangista Beach.
The predominant value range reflects all properties in the neighborhood. Waterfront and water view homes exceed the predominant value and are expected to be closer to the upper limits for the area. This is normal.