(Cover Shot is the Mouth of the Aucilla River)
After a long hiatus and continuous ribbing from friends and past clients, I am updating my Ramblings. We have given our website a fresh new look courtesy of Summerhill Creative. Thank you, Jeff and Kayla! We started the website landcroc.com back in 2002 I believe. Since then this is about the third time we have updated the site. I have never been one much for tooting my horn or being the pushy salesperson type, but I have always prided myself on having good content and excellent material on our website when it comes to marketing the properties we are trying to sell. I value your input. Please let me know what you like or don’t like on the site and maybe we can fine-tune it a little more. We have always tried to keep the site simple and to the point. Two features of the site I would encourage you to pay attention to are the Multiples Listing Service link at the bottom of the Land Page, Residential Page, and Commercial Page and the Map/Video Link at the bottom of each Property Bio. The MLS link will give you access to every listing in our MLS that has been uploaded by each REALTOR. We (Crocker Realty) can represent or show you any of these listings even though they are listed by other companies. The MAP/VIDEO link in most cases will have a MapRight link with a Video attached that will automatically play once you open the link. The MapRight link is an unbelievable resource for researching properties. Take time to look around on the MapRight page when it opens. You have multiple base maps from which to choose and on each map, you can select different overlays such as flood maps, soil maps, opportunity zones, wetlands, etc. The list of layers you can look at is incredible. Our GA Chapter of the REALTORS Land Institute offered a MapRight course here in Thomasville in 2022.
The Rambling session of the website is just what it says, Ramblings. Not incoherent Ramblings but more like my observations or personal experiences that I think are informative, helpful, or just sometimes amusing. Keep in mind this is not legal or financial advice. I like to think that my background, my education, and my 30 years of being licensed give me excellent insight into working with real estate. Working with Dad, who has been in Real Estate for what seems like forever in Thomasville, has been invaluable when it comes to being able to draw from his experience. I recognize red flags or opportunities and have the knowledge to point them out and make suggestions for buyers or sellers to have a conversation with an attorney, an accountant, a forester, a pond builder, or someone who is professionally trained in an area that I am not. Just last year I was working with a buyer and in our conversations, I learned he was amid an eminent domain sale and would be using those proceeds to fund his purchase. He was going to use a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange to complete the sale. I suggested he talk with his accountant and do some research on a 1033 Tax Deferred Exchange which deals with the Involuntary Conversion of property. He went with a 1033 Exchange. That was REALTORS Land Institute training being used.
On Real Estate:
We are now at Interest Rates that many REALTORS have never seen for real estate. Low inventory for both homes and land has kept our prices and demand strong and for the most part, with very little correction in price despite the high-interest rate. One observation I have made is that in residential sales more buyers are asking for more closing costs to be paid by the seller. Where $2K or $3K may have been a more normal request for sellers to pay, recently I have received more requests for over $10K in closing costs to be paid by the seller. I have conflicting opinions on this, but I will add, in pre-meltdown days you saw many contracts with very little money paid down and buyers asking for money to help with the down payment. There were other factors but ultimately things did not work out so well for a lot of folks back then. You can’t argue that the more you put into something the more committed you are to it.
The phone continues to ring with buyers looking for property. I have always been one of the biggest fans of the Thomasville Area. The Plantations (Built-in Greenspace), the proximity to the Gulf Coast, and a short hop to Georgia’s East Coast are just a few elements that appeal to me that work together to make this a great area to live, work, and play. Apparently, many people must think the same way. The Plantations make up a huge part of Thomas County. I paired a 1908 Historical Map with a Plantation Overlay that really drives this point home in a visual way.
Now that is a good visual representation of Plantations in Thomas County.
We just sold property the other day to someone from California and we had buyers from Islamorada, FL, and Hawaii in the background wanting to move on the property if the contract fell out. This is a scenario in common with other REALTORS as well.
I had a conversation with a Para-Legal the other day from one of our larger law firms and she asked how well our contracts were holding together and offered up that they were having a lot of buyers backing out in the middle or toward the end of the buying process. I told her we were seeing the same thing in our office. Conversations with other brokers confirm the same. This past year and currently, it feels like we are doing twice the work for ½ the production. Back to Inventory, as of 4/8/23, there were 172 residential listings in the Thomasville Area Board MLS. To put that in perspective, there were 488 Active residential listings back on February 2, 2015. Low supply, High Demand. I have attached a graph showing yearly residential sales with data taken from our MLS going back to 2008. Click on the Link Below to see a line graph of residential sales from the Thomasville Area Board of REALTORS. This data is comprised of sales entered by area REALTORS from all the different companies represented in the Thomasville Area Board of REALTORS. Most of the residential sales are in Thomasville/Thomas County.
We celebrated Good Friday yesterday. We will celebrate the resurrection on Easter tomorrow. I remember my pastor from my youth, Mr. Jim Armstrong. I called him Mr. Jim. He and his wife Mrs. Nita are in heaven now. He always had a million-dollar smile, and he would say at Easter, “He is Risen!” and the congregation would reply, “He is risen indeed!” He was a big part of my life growing up. The Bible talks about Love covering a multitude of sins. Jesus being crucified for our sins is just that, Love covers a multitude of sins. Easter is a great time just to let go and just give it all to God! I struggle with trying to maintain control of things I can’t control. I am a Christian and have accepted Jesus as my Savior but I still struggle. But I always know to keep coming back to God. I try to read my Bible like taking vitamins. It helps. As good as the best Christian is, that person is still a sinner and is guilty as anyone else. Jesus gave his life to cover all that sin and guilt; past, present, and future. Sometimes when I get jacked up over problems or over people causing those problems, I must remind myself that Jesus loves that person just as much as he loves me. That gets my head on right. It’s like the preacher says, “The ground is level at the foot of the cross.” My sin is just as bad as anyone else’s sin. We are all the same and Jesus loves us all…equally.
On Hunting and Fishing:
Tall Timbers Research held their GA/FL Turkey Invitational yesterday. Colin and I did not participate this year. I did notice that this year’s winners of both the Main Event and the Adult with the Youth Event, have both purchased farms from Crocker Realty in the past. I still remember the different tracts they purchased. Colin, my son, won the Tall Timbers youth event a few years back and shot his bird with his Granddad’s shotgun. It was his first bird! What a great hunt! Mr. Bellamy of Bellamy Boats of Thomasville, GA allowed us to hunt on his family property. That hunt was with no scouting and no game cameras. How about them apples? Thankful for Mr. Bellamy!
Tall Timbers is a great organization whose efforts benefit the wildlife, the land, and the people of our area. I have attached two documents that Tall Timbers put out on the Aucilla and Ochlocknee Rivers that run through Thomas County. If you have property on either of these two rivers or you hunt or fish on these rivers you should take a look.
Do you want to learn about prescribed fire ecology and what it means to our area? Set up a wagon tour at Tall Timbers, it will open your eyes and make you a believer in prescribed fire and controlled burning.
Jumping to Fly-Fishing! That’s my thing. I took an Orvis Fly Fishing Class back around 1995 at Mays Pond Plantation and later in 1999 earned my Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Fly Casting Instructor certification. I love showing folks how to get their casting on track. I and some buddies are headed to the Everglades next week to camp out on chickees over the water about 30 miles south of Chokoloskee, FL. Tarpon and Snook are the primary targets. This trip is worth putting up with the no-see-ums and mosquitoes. We will be sure to keep an eye out for Pythons! I need to dig out my copy of A Land Remembered and get my mind right. That book is a great read. If you are tied to the land, cattle, citrus, or Florida…you really need to read this Book! Should be required reading for Georgia Land Brokers working with buyers coming out of Florida. My family migrated down into Miami back in the day when that area of Florida was going great guns. My dad was born down there! I actually sold a 500+ acre ranch up here in Boston, GA because the owner’s Mom and My Grandma attended Allapattah Baptist Church together down in Miami way back when. Pretty cool. Pics of Everglades camping adventure from a couple of years back.
I am blessed beyond measure. Charlotte has been helping me at the office while looking for work in the medical field using her coding degree. Emmaline is working at the YMCA and going to school at Southern Regional. It looks like Colin will be attending Mercer in the Fall and he continues to move towards graduation and keeping his part-time job at Onward Reserve in Downtown Thomasville. Kayce continues to be my best friend and I look forward to going places with her…really does not matter where (As long as I can bring my Fly Rod!). She and I did a Road trip to the REALTORS Land Institute National Land Conference last year in San Antonio. We traveled back through Texas, to Natchez, Mississippi, and then back down to Mobile Bay and Fair Hope Alabama! What a great trip. I am blessed.
I am about all Rambled out…..will try to update sooner than later.