30a holiday events

Holiday Events on 30A

30a holiday events30A celebrates the holiday season like no other! Check out these awesome events happening in December!


Merry Little Christmas Concert

When: Thursday, December 12, 2019

Where: Grayton Beer Company

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.


Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

When: Thursday, December 12, 2019

Where: Emerald Coast Theater Company

Time: 7:30 p.m.


Ice Skating Extravaganza

When: Friday, December 13, 2019

Where: The Village of Baytowne Wharf

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.


Holiday Pop-Up Shopping Event

When: Saturday, December 14, 2019

Where: Rosemary Beach

Time: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Christmas Candlelight Tour and Open House

When: Saturday, December 14, 2019

Where: Eden Gardens State Park

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Daily Until February 1, 2020


Baytowne on Ice

When: Daily through February 1, 2020

Where: The Village at Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin

Time: Varies

If you are thinking about buying (or selling) in the 30A area, contact me!


John Laforte, REALTOR®

With Berkshire Hathaway Home Services,

Beach Properties of Florida

Phone: 850.865.5225

Email: 30AJohn@gmail.com

Investing on 30A

The 30A area is a great place to invest in a rental property. In fact, I have personally invested in a vacation rental in the area and have been very happy (and profitable). Investing in real estate can be daunting. Most of the time, the investor doesn’t live in the area they are purchasing in, so firsthand knowledge of the area is lacking. Here are some things to consider when purchasing an investment property outside of your local area.

  1. What kind of investment are you making? Real Estate investing can mean a residential rental, vacation rental, or even flipping a house. Each of these is a very different type of investment and it is important to know the benefits and potential drawbacks of each before starting the home search. Once you have decided what kind of investment you want to make, you can start focusing on locations that have a “market” that fits your goals. For instance, the 30A area is a prime spot for vacation rentals. The beaches, amenities, and local events draw droves of tourists who want the luxury and charm 30A offers.
  2. Your REALTOR® is your biggest resource. Your REALTOR® should be knowledgeable in the area in which you are investing. This can help you find exactly what you are looking for and narrow down your search to communities that fit your needs and wants. The 30A communities are all exceptional, but each offers something different when it comes to design, walkability, amenities, and rental income potential.
  3. Market Reports are your friend. Market reports contain valuable information concerning the housing market, demographics, and more. These reports are essential for real estate investors. You can see the latest Market Report for 30A here.
  4. Viewing listings in person or no? Sometimes real estate investors live hundreds of miles away from where they are investing and traveling frequently to view listings in person just isn’t an option. These real estate investors sometimes depend on their REALTOR® to view the properties for them, send video walk throughs, or narrow down potential properties so that the investor can see as many homes that fit their needs as possible in only one trip. Whether you will be viewing homes in person, or not, making a list of must haves, wants, and wish list can really help find your dream home faster.

Investing in real estate was a great move for me and my family. If you, or anyone you know, is thinking about investing in real estate, contact me to find out why the 30A area is a great place to invest in a vacation rental.


John Laforte, REALTOR®

With Berkshire Hathaway Home Services,

Beach Properties of Florida

Phone: 850.865.5225

Email: 30AJohn@gmail.com

Why I Chose a 30A Vacation Rental as My First Real Estate Investment

When I first visited the 30A area, I knew it was somewhere special. My family and I were in awe of the scenery and welcoming feeling in each place we passed through. Everyone we encountered was friendly and you could sense the pride they had in their community. We started thinking that 30A would be a great place to purchase a vacation home for our own use and to rent out.

brakish water in south walton 30a

I had always been interested in investing in real estate but wasn’t entirely sure where I wanted to start. Once I saw the 30A beaches, I was sold and knew that I wanted to see them again and again. The beauty of the turquoise waters and pristine white sand are the main reason why vacationers flock to 30A. The beaches are clean, safe, and less crowded than most Florida beaches.

The beach wasn’t the only reason though. One of the most unique things about the 30A area is that there are about 25,000 acres of protected forest, wetlands, and rare dune lakes to explore. There are not many places you can find beautiful beaches and so many opportunities to be engulfed in other natural environments too. The rare coastal dune lakes grabbed my attention because they are only found in a handful of places in the world. Dune lakes are a natural phenomenon where fresh water meets saltwater, separated only by a natural berm of sand. When it rains heavily, the waters mix and create a brackish ecosystem where both fresh and saltwater species can survive.  All year long you can find nature lovers and families visiting the South Walton 30A corridor to see the rare dune lakes.


With all the 30A area had to offer I only had one more thing to really consider, the return on investment. Every real estate investor wants to find a home that builds equity while it brings in rental income. I started researching and found that the home values in the 30A corridor have good appreciation that is normally higher than national averages.  I also took into consideration that approximately 40% of the 30A area is protected, which “tips” the scales when considering supply and demand. There is only so much land available to develop, and that supply is being reduced as the area continues to grow. The notion that 30A, even if every inch of developable land is developed, will not be another overdeveloped and overcrowded beach destination, made it even more attractive to me.

beach pic from 30a

In addition, I looked at the data regarding visitors by season. The 30A area really sets itself apart when it comes to attracting vacationers, and not just during the Summer months. As with most beach destinations, Winter months are the slowest, but 30A hosts many events during these months that entice tourists to make a trip. The 30A Songwriters Festival is one of these events, and it draws visitors and artists from all over the country. So, while 30A has the same slower seasons, they have more to offer year-round than other beach destinations.

Who I would be renting to was also important to me. Renting out a home means opening yourself up to the possibility of damages to your property caused by renters. This isn’t something often encountered by those who rent to vacationers (more so applies to residential), but I wanted to know about anything that could even remotely affect my investment income. So, I looked at the data on visitor demographics for 30A. I found that 30A was mostly a family vacation destination, but also attracted young professionals and retirees. These were exactly the type of renters I wanted.

Current Spring 2019 tracking data from Downs & St, Germain Research, shows the same is still true. The typical vacationer is 51 years old. The top reason for visiting is family vacation. Even during Spring Break, while nearby Panama City Beach and Destin tend to attract the lively college crowd, 30A is mostly filled with families. For your first rental property, having responsible renters is priceless! This is true for residential and/or vacation rentals in my opinion.

I have been extremely happy with my 30A real estate investment (see my vacation home here!). So happy that my family and I are already looking at purchasing another. If you are interested in investing in a luxury beach property on 30A, having a Realtor who knows the local area is a must. I pride myself in providing knowledgeable service to those looking to buy or sell a home in the 30A area.

John LaForte , Realtor

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida

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