Grand Opening! New Gym in Carillon Beach

No more EXCUSES! Brand new gym in Carillon Beach, is open 24 Hours a day!  Perfect for those of us who would rather be outside while the sun is shining.

Paradise Fitness invites beach residents to come celebrate with them as they host a GRAND OPENING in Carillon at 105 Carillon Market Street in Panama City Beach on August 8th, starting at 4 pm.  Guests will enjoy complimentary food and beverages, tours of the facility and an opportunity to fellowship with one another.

With a newly renovated 2200 square  foot health facility, Paradise Fitness has everything you need for a full body transformation, including:

Life Fitness Cardio Equipment

Free Motion Tread Climber

Life Fitness Strength Equipment

Free Weights and more.

Paradise Fitness monthly members enjoy a 24/7 gym membership, while others can enjoy the flexibility of daily and weekly membership passes. A friendly staff member is always available from 9 to 5 pm daily.  According to one of the owners, Rod Perkins, Paradise wants to take a holistic approach to health, striving to “provide all the tools needed to maintain and improve your overall health.”

Rod and Angela Perkins along with Adam and John Chatterton opened Paradise Fitness in the beautiful Carillon Beach area this past May of 2013. The foursome have always been passionate about fitness and thrilled they can now share it with others in the Panama City Beach area.

Join Paradise Fitness August 8th at 4 pm and find out how to “Stay Fit in Paradise.”

You can find them on FACEBOOK or give them a call at 850-588-7300 for more information.



Buying a Home? Why the FHA Loan is No Longer the Low Down Payment Loan of Choice

This the second article in a series discussing the ins and outs of the best mortgage loan products available for home buyers.  Last week, the USDA Rural Housing Loan was featured.

The FHA loan was once a very popular and useful loan for helping first time home buyers achieve their dreams of home ownership.  “Was” is the key word though because this loan is no longer the loan of choice for most home buyers.

First let me explain why the FHA loan has become the dinosaur of mortgage loans, and then I will explain what is the new best loan with a low down payment that can be obtained anywhere, regardless of whether it is in the City limits or not (see last week’s article about USDA loans).

Due to substantial losses taken during the economic recession and housing crisis, the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) had to increase its revenues to keep operating and attempt to avoid  a taxpayer bailout.  FHA makes its money by insuring loans which in turn allows mortgage lenders to grant loans over 80% loan to value.  In short, the FHA (backed by the U.S. Government) stands behind the loan, allowing lenders to loan home buyers up to 96.5% of the cost of the house.  Without this guaranty, lenders will not loan more than 80% of the cost of a home, eliminating many potential home owners from being able to buy.  After all, how many buyers have an extra $40,000 to put down on that $200,000 house?

For its most popular loan, the 3.50% down 30 year fixed rate mortgage,  FHA now charges 1.75% up-front Mortgage Insurance (MI) and an additional 1.35% annual MI based on the outstanding loan balance.  This annual MI expense used to drop off after the loan reached around 78% loan to value and home owners could request its removal after only 5 years.

However now, FHA borrowers must pay this MI for the full 30 years of their loans even when the loan to value is less than 50%, even when it is less than 10%.  On a $200,000 house the cost of the up-front MI would be $3,377.50 and the beginning monthly MI cost is $215.46 or $2,585 in just the first year.

The FHA loan was designed with a noble cause in mind: to make home ownership more affordable.  Yet now when compared side by side against the USDA Rural Housing Loan and the Conventional Loan with 3% Down, FHA is the most expensive loan option available.

There are a few scenarios where it does make sense to get an FHA loan:

  • If the buyer has had a bankruptcy and/or foreclosure within the past 7 years. Conventional financing requires a 7 year period to have passed, but FHA’s waiting period is only 3 years.  I recently closed a loan where FHA granted an exception and allowed the loan to be made less than 3 years from the foreclosure date (but greater than two years) due to extenuating circumstances.
  •  Manufactured Home Loans. The only mortgage loan product I have available for a manufactured home is an FHA Loan Product.  This is a lower cost loan than other financing for manufactured homes through finance companies.
  •  Refinancing? FHA offers some higher cash out refinance options than conventional loans and also FHA has a Streamline refinance where the home owner can get the benefit of a lower rate without having to have an appraisal completed on the house. This is very useful for those who home value is under water.

If you cannot qualify for a USDA Rural Housing loan due to income or property location eligibility reasons and want a low down payment loan, the Conventional Loan with 3% down is a better and lower cost option than the FHA loan.  I’ll feature this product in my next post.

You are welcome to email specific questions to me at, call me at 850-866-2963, and also visit my website at

Mike Tarleton
Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer
Bank of England
850-866-2963 (Cell)
706-888-0980 (Cell / Text)

NMLS: 264821
Logos with pic


An Amazing Bayfront Home in St. Andrews!

Hot Deal #1 Custom built home on St. Andrews Bay w/boat lift-$779,000

4BD/2BA with 2300 sq ft, gourmet kitchen w/upgraded SS appliances
Beautiful tile work throughout, large master retreat, incredible views
Outdoor living at its best with large porches overlooking in ground pool/spa
(Courtesy of Beachy Beach Real Estate)

Hot Deal #2 Bid-a-Wee home just short stroll to deeded beach – $359,900

Huge open living area with large kitchen & breakfast area, separate den
Offers 1st floor master BD, 3 additional bedrooms upstairs, tons of storage
In ground pool w/screened enclosure, 3 CAR GARAGE – great home!
(Courtesy of Beachy Beach Real Estate)

Hot Deal #3 Incredible Wild Heron condo in The Courts – $305,000

Pristine 3BD/3-1/2BA with 2500+sq ft, 1st floor master suite, hardwood floors
Beautiful natural stone & rock tile work in baths, open customized kitchen
Amenities include gated community, pools, kayaks, nature trails, etc.
(Courtesy of Beachy Beach Real Estate)

Garage Sale To Benefit Beach Care Services August 3rd



Beachy Beach Real Estate is hosting a Garage Sale Saturday August 3rd from 8 am to 2 pm at their old location at 22600 Panama City Beach Parkway, next to Cerulean Interiors, just east of the Publix at Carillon Beach.

All proceeds from the sale will go to benefit the work of Beach Care Services, a charitable organization of “locals helping locals” that provides short term emergency assistance to families in need in our area.

Everyone is welcome to come and shop and enjoy some refreshments and FREE goodies from Beachy Beach while supplies last.  If you have any items you would like to donate to the sale, please email: or give the office a call at 850-233-4351.



Buying A New Home? Which Mortgage Loan is the Best?

Are you in the market to buy a house?  What kind of mortgage loan do you want? The best loan with the lowest rate of course. That is an easy answer. What is not so easy is determining the ins and outs of the various products available. It all depends on several things:

  • How much are you paying for your home?
  • What down payment are you able and willing to make?
  • Where is your home located? Certain products have geographical restrictions like the USDA Rural Housing loan.
  • Do you have VA loan eligibility?
  • Are you buying a home that will need a Jumbo loan?
  • Are you buying a stick-built or manufactured home?

There are so many variables and loan products, each with its own pros and cons that it quickly becomes a mind boggling process.  Over the next few weeks I will feature a different mortgage loan product and discuss the ins and outs of each.  You are welcome to email specific questions to me at and also visit my website at

This week’s featured mortgage is the:

USDA Rural Housing Loan

The Good:

  • This loan offers 100% financing for qualified buyers.
  • It is a government backed loan which means the interest rates are normally lower than conventional loans.
  • This loan is geared towards borrowers with low to moderate income levels.
  • This loan is a lower cost loan when compared side by side with the FHA loan.

The Bad:

  • The property you are buying must be located in an area deemed eligible by USDA and they did not create this program for city slickers.  If you are buying in Bay County there is a good chance the house is eligible.  Areas which are eligible are typically located outside the city limits, but you can find a link to the eligibility maps here:
  • USDA also has a maximum income limitation to qualify.  It’s not just your income but the income of everyone that resides in your household whether they are on the loan or not (even the teenage part-time worker).  The link posted above will take you to a page that you can input your information to see if you are eligible based on your income and household information.
  • The loan has to be underwritten twice, once by the lender which is usually a 3-4 week process, and then again by the Statewide USDA office. Currently the Florida USDA office in Gainesville is telling lenders to expect 30-40 days for files to be underwritten. That makes the total process start to finish around 60-70 days.
  • Does the house you are buying have a pool? If so, USDA will not finance any value to be given to the pool.  It’s not that a USDA cannot be made if there is a pool but the house must appraise on its own merit with no value given to the pool.

The Ugly:

  • Since I moved to PCB, I have run across several service members that were made USDA loans rather than VA loans and are now trying to refinance to lower their rates.  Had these people taken out VA loans rather than USDA loans when they bought their houses years ago they would now be much better off because they could refinance them more easily. I’ve seen people with higher rate USDA loans not be able to refinance to lower their rates for a variety of reasons such as (1) they are now making too much money and are over the income limitation threshold, (2) they no longer live in the house (military tend to move every few years), (3) they have married and the household income is too high and over the threshold limit, etc…  However, this should not scare anyone from getting a USDA loan now. There is not much likelihood that rates will ever be this loan again and especially.


One important thing to consider is that while the USDA loan does offer 100% financing, it does not provide financing for closing costs and pre-paid items like insurance and property taxes.

Despite a few items to consider, the USDA loan is still a great loan, especially if you want no down payment.  It is a much better and less costly loan than the FHA loan.  USDA charges an up-front Funding Fee of 2% which is financed into your loan and also charges 0.40% that is paid monthly included in your payment amount. Compare with FHA’s monthly mortgage insurance cost of 1.35% this is definitely the way to go if you and the house you are buying meet the qualifications.

Mike Tarleton
Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer
Bank of England
850-866-2963 (Cell)
706-888-0980 (Cell / Text)

NMLS: 264821
Logos with pic

Beach Boutique Opening to Benefit Beach Care Services


Local Small Business, Miss Lori’s Boutique hosts Grand Opening Celebration Tuesday, July 23rd from 4 to 6 pm at her shop and is donating 5% of all sales to Beach Care Services.

A former Georgia girl, Lori who now calls Panama City home has found a way to connect her love of fashion, finding a good deal and helping putting a smile on other women’s faces with her new business on Thomas Drive, Miss Lori’s Boutique.  Lori now being a local herself was inspired by Beach Care Services’ motto “Locals helping Locals” and wants to make sure she is doing her part in her community.

Beach Care Services helps local residents who are in need of short term emergency assistance when life throws them curve balls, and being a single mother herself, Buckalew is no stranger to life’s everyday challenges.  She hopes that her business can not only help her make her own way, but be a vehicle to help others.

Lori Buckalew, has admitted to being addicted to the feeling she gets when one of her shoppers “walks out with a smile and feeling like a million bucks.”  Lori recognizes that many women in our area have a taste for designer labels but can’t afford the price tag that comes with it, a fact that moved her to offer designer resale items at her store Miss Lori’s Boutique, as well as new accessories and gifts.

Most of the items on consignment are pre-loved, but are in very good shape and no one would be the wiser, she says!  Lori also has a flair for arranging her pieces so shoppers can get ideas for their own wardrobe.  She loves putting an outfit together and is always eager to help her customers find an ensemble that works for them.  Customers can come play “dress up”, as she lovingly calls it, Monday through  Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm.

Residents are encouraged to come by Tuesday the 23rd for the Grand Opening Event from 4 to 6 pm at  2429 Thomas Drive.  There will be great deals, a wine tasting with light eats, giveaways and most importantly, a chance to support a local business owner as she supports Beach Care Services.

For more information, visit their Facebook page  or give Lori a call or text at 850-774-6572.

For more information about Beach Care Services, visit their Facebook page or their website at


IdeaCamp is Back at g.Foley’s Next Week

The PCB Chamber of Commerce IdeaCamp is back on at g. Foley’s next week and will explore a topic that effects all of us, Real Estate in our area.

On Thursday, July 25, the Beach Chamber’s IdeaWorks Committee will hold an IdeaCamp “Think Tank” at g.Foley’s restaurant on 23rd Street in Panama City. This fun, interactive “idea-share” takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. This IdeaCamp is presented by Southwest Airlines, hosted by the Bay County Association of Realtors, and sponsored by Edward Jones and Emerald HR Solutions.

“IdeaCamp is about the coming together of the business community in a professional, interactive setting,” says IdeaWorks Chairman David Balmer, regional director of Dale Carnegie of the Emerald Coast. “People are hungry for information and connecting with other business professionals. Our locations are always good! Great venue + great topics + great speakers = IdeaCamp.”

This unique IdeaCamp will examine several home-buying and home-selling scenarios. The topic, “What does Perspective have to do with Real Estate?” will be covered in this interactive panel discussion.

The panel consists of six Real Estate professionals that will share their practical knowledge with IdeaCamp guests as well as answer questions.

Panelists include David Bowers, a builder with Art Construction of NW FL; Matt Kelley, an inspector with North Florida Home Inspections; David Merrick, an appraiser with Brightway Insurance; Jim Kochevar, a lender with Giles Appraisal Group; Darla Fontenot, an insurance representative with Suntrust Mortgage; and Maureen Richardson, a title representative with Setco Services.

Cost to attend IdeaCamp is free for Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce members and $20 for non-members. For more information, call the Beach Chamber at (850) 235-1159.

BEWARE – Panama City Beach Rentals Craigslist Scam

Craigslist scams were something I once regarded as a mythical event often heard about, but never seen. However, right now, as we speak, there are several vacation rental scam postings for Panama City Beach on Craigslist currently taking thousands of dollars from potential guests, tarnishing our image in Panama City Beach as a safe destination, ruining vacations and causing harm to the integrity of credible locals. In this post, we’re going to talk about what to look for in a scam posting, share some links of definite scams and possible scams and talk about how you can prevent being scammed yourself.

I know, I know. I’ve been very MIA for the last few months. I’ll address that in another post later on, which will share what I’ve been up to and where we’re going with PCBDaily in the future. But today, I wanted to talk about something very important that has been affecting our Panama City Beach Vacation Rental company the last several weeks.

What some of the scams look like.

The particular property of ours that is being used for their scam is one of our Penthouse condos. It’s attractive for the scammer to use because it’s large, very desirable and would be considered an easy rent if put at a low price (half what we actually charge). This particular property has been booked through October for months, and since availability is tight this summer, an open property is very alluring to potential guests.

Here is this property’s page on our website.

When I was originally authoring this post, I was planning to link to the scammers post on Craigslist, but it has finally been removed. If it comes back up again, I’ll post a link so you can help us click Prohibited.

In the scam listing, they just copied our text and used it verbatim in addition to using our pictures. All of it they got right from our website.

In the listing, they provide no contact information, just the ability for the potential guest to send an email to the person who listed it (1st red flag).

When you reply to the listing, you’ll get an email from the scammer usually within a few hours stating the property is available, even though it’s July (2nd red flag).

When you inquire for more information, they’ll provide you with very little and when you ask for a phone number, they’ll either give you a Skype number or an obscure US number or they’ll offer no number at all (3rd red flag). And if you get them on the phone, they’ll likely sound foreign. Numerous victims have told us this particular scammer is from Australia.

In addition, this particular scammer is actually using my first and last name on his fabricated rental agreement and has told some, via email, that they are me.

If you decide to rent the property, they’ll want deposit payment through PayPal (4th red flag). They will send you a PayPal invoice and you’ll pay them that way. I’m not completely certain of the international security of PayPal so I’m not sure how they are getting away with this, but this is how they are doing it.

Side note: I’ve had several mention that they use PayPal as a means of accepting payment.  I want to stress that if someone wants you to pay with PayPal, that shouldn’t be an immediate reason to run away.  However, it should be a flag for you to ask more questions and make a greater attempt to validate the rental property and the person renting the property.   

Other ways I’ve identified suspected scam postings is by looking at listings for condos in resorts that I know do not allow dogs or cats (most of them) as regulated by their HOA. All of the scam postings I have found, the scammer states that dogs or cats are ok. This is an extra check-box you have to check when you put up the listing. They are checking this box intentionally in hopes of luring a greater number of people into their trap.

Things you can do to prevent being a victim.

First off, anything you find on Craigslist for rent, please proceed with absolute and complete caution. There are things you can do to protect yourself.

1 – Ask for a phone number and talk to them.

There are some legitimate people trying to rent their property on Craigslist, and those people will be willing to talk to you over the phone to rent their property. Ask for a phone number and call them. Ask them questions about the property, ask them about the area, and get a feel for who they are. A good way to figure out if they are legitimate is ask them questions about the area only a local or someone who travels to the area frequently would know.

2 – Ask for references.

We are a member of the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce. Anyone can call them and verify our membership. They can call the local Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and verify our business that way.

Additionally, if you’re talking to someone about their property, ask them for other local business or personal references. It’s important to ask them for local references that have a local phone number (850). The more well known the references the better.

I know or know of most businesses in the area and I have a vast, deep network of acquaintances in Panama City Beach. If you are having trouble vetting a rental, just call me anytime and I’d be glad to help.

3 – Only pay with a major credit card over the phone.

Lastly, use the protection that likely comes with your major credit card. Issuers like Discover and American Express are widely accepted and offer unparalleled consumer protection if something goes afoul. Additionally, a scammer will not be able to take your credit card payment as they don’t have a US merchant account because it would provide a clear paper trail back to them. If they demand payment via PayPal, Money Order or Cashier’s Check, run away and keep looking.

I understand some individual property owners may not be able to accept credit cards, and this will affect them negatively, but this is one of the important safeguards that you as a consumer should hold dear and not go beyond the protection of.

Side note 2: I understand your comments in that as an individual property owner, PayPal is one of the easiest ways to accept credit cards or online payments.  Again, this isn’t meant to affect you in a negative way.  But, as a consumer, the safest way to pay would be to use your major credit card since you are likely to be able to dispute the charges if something goes afoul. 

For those that have found the perfect place and PayPal is the only way you can pay for it – ask lots of questions, do everything mentioned here to validate the property and the person renting it, listen to your gut, and you should be just fine. 

What you can do to help.

The only way to stop the scammers from posting in our area is to become such a pain in the butt that it’s not worth their hassle anymore. Craigslist will automatically remove a posting if it is flagged enough times. You can flag a listing by clicking on the Prohibited link at the top.

I have an account at (free), which is an if/then website that will take an action (something that happens) and create a trigger (do something based on that action). I have a “recipe” created that will send me a text alert whenever a new posting is put up on Craigslist based on specifications that I defined.

Here is a link to my recipe – you can click on it, create a free account and activate the recipee to get the alerts as well.


Whenever you get an alert, just click on the link, and if it has “P C B L P Penthouse” in it, then it’s a scam – click Prohibited.  This is one of my properties that is regularly being used in this scam.

Additionally, you can post links to other listings that come up that you suspect are scams in the comment section of this post and we can all look at them and decide together if they are scams.

If you’re a property manager or property owner, regularly check Craigslist for your properties.  Setup a few search alerts through IFTTT and watch diligently.  Additionally, if you have a property that has been used as a scam, take the headline of that scam listing and use it to create your own listing with “BEWARE” or “SCAM” at the beginning.  Then explain in the listing what is going on, that it is a scam and who to contact directly for questions (provide phone number).

Please watch Craigslist for scams, please help us shut these scammers out and please be careful if you are trying to rent through Craigslist.

If Honey Boo Boo Can do it…Emily Can!


Emily Edwards is the daughter of local Bay County residents, Keri and Allen Edwards and she needs your help to get her to her next pageant!

I wanted to share this because I know we have many families that many of our PCB Daily readers  know what it feels like to feel the financial crunch of sending children to activities.  Growing up, though we did not have a lot, I was very blessed to be a part of a great church and school system that often helped families that needed help so their kids would not go with out.

I can not tell you how blessed I was to be able to attend choir trips, youth group ski trips, and other competitions and life changing events through out my childhood and adolescence thanks to the generosity of others. So that is why I wanted to share Emily’s story, even if the next competition is literally just around the corner.  In fact, the next event is this upcoming Thursday, July 11th.

Emily is new to the competition arena, but in just six months of pageants has been very successful and discovering she comes alive on stage!

When she is not on stage, she enjoys spending time with her family and animals and loves watching Sponge Bob like other young kids her age.

This past May, she participated in the Florida Miss American Royalty pageant program state pageant where she was crowned Little Miss and was awarded the opportunity to go to the national competition.

Emily is proud to be going to represent her home town of Panama City Beach. I told her mother, Keri who was a classmate of mine in school and works at the local branch of Centennial Bank, I would share her daughter’s story.

Unfortunately, her family is still a little short of the money money needed for Emily to go and represent for the “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches”, about $500. I personally am going to make a donation after I post this and invite all of our fellow school mates to pitch in!

Donations can easily be made using Pay Pal, by sending to:

Now let’s go help this local little star represent at the Nationals for the American Royalty Program Pageant and  bring that national title back to Panama City Beach.

If Honey Boo Boo can do it….Emily can!