January 2017

Found 10 blog entries for January 2017.

Aerial picture of the Cantonment plant

At about 7:30 pm on Sunday, January 22, 2017, residents of Cantonment, Florida and some people as far away as Santa Rosa County heard a large explosion, followed shortly by a shower of slimy black soot. The nearby International Paper plant on Muskogee Road had exploded, emitting a concoction of water, wood fibers, and pulping liquor into the air and which later fell on people's houses, cars, and yards. Emergency responders arrived at the plant shortly after, quickly ascertaining the safety of all employees and workers before turning to the site of the explosion. At the plant, only one building sustained structural damage on multiple stories while the rest of the area was deemed safe.  Fortunately, no one was around and no was was injured.

A

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Growth along the Alabama & Florida Gulf CoastAs we have recently seen, Gulf Shores, Alabama is becoming a more and more popular choice for potential home buyers, vacationers, and investors. As the word gets out, there has been a gradual increase in the number of tourists, who come here for both the beautiful white-sand beaches and to stay in some of the Gulf Coast's most popular rental condos. This increase in tourism and the popularity of staying in a rental condo versus a hotel makes Gulf Shores particularly appealing to potential investors.

People flock to the Gulf Coast for spring break, summer break, or just to enjoy the sunshine after a long winter. October is typically one of the last months of the year that sees a large influx of tourists to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. In October

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Aerial view of the presidential vacation condo in Hawaii

Just before the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, the Obama family took their traditional winter vacation to Hawaii. President Obama was born in Honolulu in 1961, spent much of his childhood on the same island, and the area continues to be a favorite retreat for the entire Obama family. Between 2008 and 2011 and again in December 2016, the Obama family has favorite the Plantation Estate, part of Paradise Point at Kailua Bay on Oahu. This sprawling retreat, also known as the Obama Winter White House, commands spectacular view of the ocean, a number of luxurious amenities, and a high degree of security for vacationers. Paradise Point is about 25 minutes away from Honolulu and the nearest airport and within easy walking distance of some of the most

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Aerial view of Gulf Shores golf courses and condos

Cotton Creek Estates is located near the Emerald Greens Golf Course. These are townhome-style condos and amenities here include a clubhouse and outdoor pool. The Gulf Shores Public Beach and the Hangout are about ten minutes way.

Cypress Point is located on the Craft Farms Golf Course just minutes from the Gulf Shores Hangout and public beach access. Craft Farms offers great shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities in one of the most popular golf communities in Baldwin County.

Emerald Greens is a golf course condo complex off of hwy 59 in Northern Gulf Shores, AL.  The condos have a short golf course, sit directly next to Craft Farms and various shopping outlets, theaters, restaurants and other amenities.  The beaches and Gulf Place is

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Aerial view of downtown Gulf Shores ALWell, the gig’s up. Word’s out. We’ve been discovered.
Gulf Shores was just named on Trip.com’s list of the top ten 2017 Rising Star Destinations for the USA. Gulf Shores, Alabama is second only to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Once a hidden gem in the area known as the “Emerald Coast”, Gulf Shores is quickly becoming the hottest beach getaway in the country. Is it really such a surprise, though? Those of us familiar with Gulf Shores know that this place has so much more than meets the eye. I mean, yes, the beaches are spectacular, the water is warm, and the Gulf-front condos here offer first-rate service and amenities, but that’s just barely scratching the surface of all that Gulf Shores has to offer.
First off, the culture. Ever heard the phrase “southern

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On January 9, less than two weeks before he would have to leave office, former President Obama made the decision to make a cut to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance premiums by a quarter of a percent, citing the current financial stability of the insurance fund. The cut would have taken effect on January 27, 2017 and was set to save new homeowners hundreds of dollars every year ($500 on a $200,000 home) and enable thousands of people to buy their first home. Within one hour of his presidential inauguration, President Donald Trump effectively halted these cuts and they are now "suspended indefinitely".

Mortgage rates have been rising lately, with the current rate on a 30-year fixed loan being 4.09% (one year ago it was 3.81%)

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Fort Morgan is an unincorporated community just west of Gulf Shores, Alabama. This area, as we have discussed in another blog post, has a long and rich history as home to Fort Morgan, which served as a defensive point for Mobile Bay starting in the early 19th century. Today, the quiet beaches along the Fort Morgan peninsula serve as a respite from the heavily tourist-filled areas of downtown Gulf Shores. Wildlife preserves and refuges, museums, golf courses, homes, and condominiums can all be found here, but much of the peninsula is protected and, therefore, undeveloped.

Gulf Shores is hugely popular as a vacation destination. For decades, the tourism industry has really kept Gulf Shores alive and, thanks to new developments and plans for major

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New rendering of Gulf Shores' planned mixed-use hotel in downtown

(Photo - City of Gulf Shores)

In early January 2017, the city of Gulf Shores made an exciting announcement about a new development that may be coming to the West Beach area of Gulf Shores. The development team is being led by Ron Durham and architect Mack McKinney and plans include a huge 240-room full service hotel with a spa and meeting facilities on site. The hotel will sit on two acres across the street from the public beach access and the Gulf Shores Hangout. This hotel will be an anchor for a large mixed-use development with retail shops, a restaurant, and a huge third-floor pool deck facing the beach below. The project will cost $80 million, but it can be expected that it will draw in a number of new tourists to the area and help boost the

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Mobile AL Battleship and downtown

Visitors to the Eastern Shore area may have spotted the large battleship sitting on the opposite shore in Mobile, Alabama. The USS Alabama (BB60) is the sixth United States Navy ship to be named after the state of Alabama and it has been operating as a museum in Mobile Bay since 1965. Part of the Battleship Memorial Park, the USS Alabama sits near the submarine USS Drum and a museum with over twenty-five aircraft. There are memorials for the Korean and Vietnam Wars that visitors can view after exploring the USS Alabama.


The USS Alabama was commissioned in 1942 and went on to serve in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters during World War II. In 1945, the USS Alabama was used to transport American servicemen in the Pacific back to the United

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2017 Mullet Toss - April 28th - 30th.  The Flora Bama sits on the Alabama / Florida state line and hosts one of the world's largest beach parties every Spring.  Find helpful info for the closest condos to the Mullet Toss and local info for the coastal areas of South Alabama and Northwest Florida.

 Aerial view East of Flora Bama / Mullet Toss site

Aerial view of the condos East of Flora Bama with labels and links

 Aerial view West of Flora Bama / Mullet Toss site

Aerial view West of Flora Bama and labels for the closest condos

          Every year, thousands of people from all over the United States gather along the Florida-Alabama state line for the famous Flora Bama Mullet Toss. Now, if you think that means there’s a bunch of people throwing around mullet wigs, you’re in for a big surprise. A mullet is a common species of fish in the Gulf of Mexico, and

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