Welcome to the Perdido Key Lifestyle Blog!

Perdido Key Lifestyles

I hope you'll find my news items interesting and helpful to your real estate needs. Let me share my knowledge of the Perdido Key area with you! Check in for updates and news.

Looking forward to talking with you!

Dawn Marino

Dec. 7, 2022

Holidays at the Beach!

Holidays at the Beach!

Maybe you are here for the holidays, or maybe just dreaming about being near the beach; Pensacola, Perdido Key, and Orange Beach do not disappoint! All three locations are hosting fabulous family-friendly events to help celebrate the season. Mark your calendar, grab a friend or family member, and see why our beach towns are the place to be for the holidays!

Pensacola Winterfest

This downtown series of holiday events include three different themed trolley rides (The Polar Express tour, The Grinch tour, and The Scrooge tour). Check out the video trailers for the tours in the link below! The tours run from December 9th through the 24th, and purchasing tickets in advance is recommended as tours do sell out. There are also photo opportunities with Santa and the Grinch. Reserve your time in advance.

Pensacola Winterfest 🎭 Christmas Fun for Everyone!

Flora-Bama Santa Drop, Make it to the Line Run/Walk, and Christmas Potluck

Flora-Bama has something for everyone during the holiday season! On December 10th Santa skydives to the beach at Flora-Bama and sits for pictures (and requests)! There will also be crafts, games, and live music. Santa visits and the activities are all FREE!

Saturday, December 17th is the annual “Make it to the Line Run/Walk.” There is a 4-Mile Run and 1- Mile Fun Run. The entry fee is $30, and part of the proceeds go to the local Secret Santa program benefitting families in need.

At noon on Christmas Day, Flora-Bama hosts their annual Christmas Potluck. This event is free to attend. Our local service members and veterans are honored and served first. Of course, Flora-Bama will have live music playing in several parts of the venue as well.

FLORA-BAMA SANTA DROP (florabama.com)



The Wharf – Orange Beach

The Wharf in beautiful Orange Beach, Alabama, has a December calendar full of holiday events and activities! From now through January 16th, go ice skating by the beach! The rink is open most days, and admission includes a skate rental.

On a few special nights, Holiday Horse & Carriage Rides will be offered along The Wharf Main Street. The remaining dates are December 9th, 11th, and 16th. The cost is $25 for a carriage for up to six adults.

The Wharf will once again offer train rides via the North Pole Express Train. The train will run from December 10th and December 17th through the 24th. The cost is $6 per passenger. Of course, Santa will also be at The Wharf on December 10th, as well as from December 16th through the 24th. Photo package costs vary.

The Wharf | Upcoming Events (alwharf.com)

Posted in Florida News
Oct. 20, 2022

Top 5 Mistakes People Make When Investing in Real Estate

Top 5 Mistakes People Make When Investing in Real Estate

Many people have come to believe that investing in real estate is a proven way to make money. However, there are many risks involved in real estate investing, and if you're not careful, you could find yourself losing a lot of money. This blog post discusses the top five mistakes people make when investing in real estate so that you can avoid them.

1. Not Doing Your Research

One of the biggest mistakes buyers make when investing in real estate is not doing their research. There are many things to consider when purchasing a property, such as the location, the condition of the property, and the potential rental income. If you don't take the time to do your research, you could end up with a property that doesn't appreciate in value or that is difficult to rent out. Taking the time to learn about the real estate market and doing your research before making any decisions is crucial to success as a real estate investor.

2. Overpaying for a Property

Another mistake people make is overpaying for a property. When you overpay for a property, you immediately put yourself at a disadvantage because you have less equity in the property and will need to generate a higher return just to break even. Not only that, but you also increase your risk of defaulting on your loan if the market turns and your rental income doesn't cover your mortgage payments. To avoid overpaying for a property, do your homework and know what the property is worth before making an offer. Work with a qualified real estate agent that can help you assess the value of the property and negotiate a fair price. And don't be afraid to walk away from a deal when the price isn't right. There are always other opportunities out there.

3. Not Keeping Up with Maintenance and Repairs

One of the most common mistakes investors make is failing to keep up with maintenance and repairs. Investing in real estate is a big commitment, and it's important to remember that your property is a long-term investment. That means you need to be prepared to budget for ongoing maintenance and repairs. Whether it's fixing a leaky roof or repainting the exterior of your property, neglecting to keep up with repairs can quickly eat into your profits. In addition, if you're planning on renting out your property, neglected maintenance and repairs can result in unhappy tenants who are reluctant to renew their lease.

To avoid costly mistakes, it is important to do your homework before investing in real estate. Once you've found the right property, be sure to consider the cost of ongoing maintenance and repairs when creating your budget. By doing so, you can help ensure that your real estate investment will be a profitable one.

4. Not Hiring a Professional Inspector

One of the more critical steps in purchasing a home is to have it inspected by a professional. A home inspector will look for any potential problems with the property, from structural issues to plumbing and electrical problems. However, many homebuyers try to save money by skipping this step. This can be a huge mistake, as an inspection can uncover serious problems that would otherwise go unnoticed. In some cases, these problems can be expensive to remedy, and they may even make the property uninhabitable. As such, it is always worth the investment to hire a professional inspector before making an offer on a home.

5. Not Getting Professional Help

Another mistake people make when investing in real estate is not getting professional help. Real estate can be a complex investment, and there are many things that you may not know about. Working with a qualified real estate agent or investment advisor can help you avoid making costly mistakes. These professionals can offer valuable insights and guidance putting you on the path to success.


Investing in real estate can be a great way to make money, but it is important to do your research and avoid making common mistakes. By following these tips, you can enhance your chances of success in the world of real estate investing.

Posted in Real Estate News
Aug. 14, 2022


Lovely Lost Key 2 bedroom 2.5 bathroom townhouse is now available. This furnished end unit is the perfect second home for your beach getaways or it can be added to your rental property portfolio. Lost Key has amazing amenities and is sure to please all!


Posted in Perdido Key Homes
June 27, 2022

The Facts About As-Is Home Purchase Contracts

The Facts About As-Is Home Purchase Contracts

As-Is home purchase contracts differ depending on who drafts them. A Realtor's contract may be significantly different from one an attorney writes. However, the as-is provisions are likely very similar. The majority of as-Is contracts favor the seller by shifting the entire responsibility for paying some fees and potential costs to the buyer. Does this mean a buyer should refuse to submit an as-Is contract if requested by the seller?


The answer to that question is "it depends." If it's a seller's market with few available listings, sellers can make any demand they wish. No matter what conditions they set, there will be a host of potential buyers lining up to make an offer. People have to live somewhere, and if there's not much to choose from, they will take what they can get.


A buyer's market has the opposite dynamics. When there's a large inventory of available homes, buyers call the shots. If they don't like a particular seller's demands, they can move on. Sellers know this and may not be as willing to require an as-is offer.


The most significant difference between the two contracts involves determining which party pays for repairs and building permits. Repairs might include items such as replacing appliances or fixing a broken window. There may also be a separate section covering the cost of repairs for damage caused by wood-destroying organisms such as termites. In an As-Is contract, the buyer pays for both types of repairs and the cost of opening and closing permits. A standard contract allows the buyer to include a seller-paid maximum dollar amount or percentage of the estimated costs to resolve repair and permit issues. Of course, anything is negotiable. The seller can present a counteroffer with a lesser amount for stated repairs, including $0.00 in seller contributions.


One common misconception among buyers is that an as-is contract doesn't allow home inspections. This shouldn't be true. If it is, find another attorney if you're using a customized document and not a Realtor form. As-is buyers should be entitled to have a home inspection and to cancel the offer for any reason within a specified timeframe. An as-is offer shouldn't bind them to purchase a house that needs repairs. It should state that if repairs are necessary, they are the buyer's responsibility.


Don't be afraid of signing an as-is contract. In fact, you should expect that requirement in a seller's market. Offer a price that takes into account the amount that you'd expect to pay for repairs after your initial visit. If the home inspection uncovers unexpected expensive damage, let the seller know, and you might be able to work something out. If not, cancel the contract within the allowable timeframe.


Posted in Real Estate News
June 27, 2022

Red, White, and Blues Celebrations!

Along the emerald coast, there is always something to celebrate! July is packed full of celebrations and a favorite month for visitors and residents alike. Fourth of July celebrations begin on July 1st, and the patriotic celebrations continue through the end of the Blue Angels Pensacola Beach Air Show on July 9th!

From Orange Beach, AL, to Pensacola, FL, here is a cheat sheet to all the fun!

OWA in Foley kicks off the July events with festivities for the whole family, July 1st through July 3rd. Their patriotic fireworks show will occur on July 2nd at 8:50 pm. 4th of July Weekend Party – OWA (visitowa.com)

The Wharf has a July calendar packed with events, including tons of live music, family activities, and a 5k! On the 4th of July, they will have an Independence Day Street Party from 5-9 pm. The Wharf | Upcoming Events (alwharf.com)

The Flora-Bama gets their party started on Saturday, July 2nd at 8 am with The Freedom Run, a patriotic 4-mile run/walk. They follow this up with a bikini contest in the afternoon and fireworks that evening. FLORA-BAMA FREEDOM RUN (florabama.com)

Some local resorts are also hosting their own fireworks shows! In Orange Beach, Turquoise Place will have a fireworks show on the evening of the 4th, and Perdido Beach Resort will host a fireworks show and party on the 2nd. The Perdido Beach Resort event is open to the public. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and there is a limited quantity. Perdido Beach Resort | Independence Day Celebration

The best event is the last event! The famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels host an airshow annually over Pensacola Beach in July. This year’s events will take place from July 6th through the 9th. Thousands of spectators watch from the beaches and from boats. Here is a link the start times and more: Santa Rosa Island Authority | What’s Happening Blue Angels (visitpensacolabeach.com)

Gather your family and friends and grab your red, white & blue apparel! Join the parties this July along the beautiful emerald coast!

Posted in Florida News
May 28, 2022

SeaSpray Unit 203

Beautiful second-floor unit for sale at SeaSpray. This updated 2 bedroom, gulf front unit sits directly on the Gulf of Mexico and has extensive updates. Great second home or beach rental. 

Posted in Perdido Key Condos
May 10, 2022

How to Spot an Awesome Real Estate Agent

The Marino Team, Awesome agents

Are you needing the services of a real estate agent, but don't know which professional to hire? Are you confused by the multitude of agents in your area and narrowing down your choices to just one agent? Picking the proper professional for your real estate needs doesn't have to be an overwhelming task. Bear the following tips in mind and spotting an awesome real estate agent will be made easier.

Response Time

Try reaching out to a number of real estate agents via their advertised phone numbers to see how quickly they respond. The sooner a real estate professional gets back to a potential lead, the likelier it is they will be responsive to your queries should you hire them.

Socially Savvy

Another way to check a real estate agent's responsiveness is to reach out to them on social media. Tweet at them or leave a query on their Facebook page and monitor how long it takes for them to respond on social media. If a real estate professional has automated their social media networking, they may be slow to respond. Look for a real estate agent who invests time in social networking and offers a personal touch instead of automated posts.

Website Quality

Review the websites of potential real estate professionals you are thinking of hiring. If their website looks like it was designed back in the eighties and has never been updated, chances are good their grasp of new, modern real estate technologies isn't going to be stellar. You want to work with a real estate agent who is up-to-date on the latest tools and technologies, not someone who is still using a Palm Pilot to communicate with clients. The quality of a website says a great deal about the pride an agent takes in their real estate services.

Blog Banter

When you are thinking of hiring a real estate agent, you want to be sure they know their industry. Posting quality content on their blog on a frequent basis helps real estate agents showcase their expertise. If an agent you're thinking of hiring doesn't have a blog or hasn't posted in months, you might want to think twice about hiring them to help you buy or sell a home.

If you want help learning how to spot an awesome real estate agent, these four factors should be top-of-mind. Understanding which characteristics are essential for a top-performing real estate professional can help make your hiring decision easier. Pay attention to the above-listed signs and there's a good chance you'll find the perfect professional to assist with your real estate needs.

Posted in Real Estate News
March 28, 2022

5 Things Real Estate Agents Wish Buyers Wouldn't Do

When you're on the hunt for a new home, a buyer's agent is indispensable. They represent your interests in the transaction, not those of the seller. They have an expert's understanding of market trends and can communicate with the seller's agent to gain valuable insider information on any property you're interested in. As far as real estate goes, they're an angel on your shoulder.

So, the last thing you want to do is put a strain on your relationship with them. Unfortunately, many prospective buyers unknowingly make their agent's work harder and potentially even get in the way of securing a successful home purchase. Here are five things your real estate agent wishes you wouldn't do.

1. Asking to View Properties Without Mortgage Preapproval

When you're perusing the latest listings online and see something you like, it's tempting to call your agent and view it before talking to a lender. Your agent might acquiesce once or twice, but soon they're going to ask you to secure mortgage preapproval. Mortgage preapproval shows that your credit and financial standing have been evaluated by a lender and you've gotten the green light to get a mortgage. Not only does this tell the agent, who works strictly on commission, that they aren't wasting their time, it makes your offer much more attractive to the seller.

2. Getting Hung Up on Minor Details

First impressions make big impressions. That's why realtors encourage homeowners to stage their homes for tours rather than leave them as-is. However, not every homeowner can or wants to take this advice, which means you're going to see homes with cluttered kitchens, purple walls and children's toys covering the floor. Your agent really needs you to look past these to the big picture. Rejecting a home because it needs to be repainted or has unattractive light fixtures is very frustrating for them, since these are easy and inexpensive fixes. Remember, they know what you're looking for and they showed you this house because they believe it will work for you.

3. Working with Multiple Agents

Sometimes your agent isn't available at exactly the moment you want to see a house. Calling another agent instead is unfair to both agents. As mentioned, real estate agents only earn money when you buy. If your agent has put in time and effort to work with you and yet you use another agent out of impatience or disregard, you're essentially stabbing your agent in the back. If you do this and your agent finds out, expect to be politely dropped. You should only move on to a new agent if your current agent is genuinely a bad fit and you need to end the relationship.

4. Dragging Your Feet

You've found a home you like at a price you can afford. It checks all the boxes and you've expressed interest. But you're afraid to commit so you don't make an offer. This is likely going to frustrate your agent, who knows that great houses can get snapped up quickly by qualified buyers who aren't afraid to pull the trigger. In a seller's market houses can literally sell within hours, sometimes sight unseen! While it's understandable that you don't want to make the wrong decision, consistently waffling when presented with good opportunities wastes both of your time.

5. Making Unjustifiably Low-Ball Offers

You want to score a deal. Everyone understands that. But putting in an offer far below asking price without good reason slows everything down at best and costs you the house at worst. The homeowner may be good-natured and make a counteroffer but unless the house has major problems that were only uncovered during the home inspection, it won't be anywhere close to your low-ball bid. If you then counter with another lowball number, you'll risk alienating the seller and driving your agent nuts. Listen to their advice and put in an appropriate bid.

You probably know what it feels like to work with someone who doesn't value your time or respect your knowledge. It makes you not want to work with them at all. Don't do this to your agent, who is there to make sure you find the house of your dreams at a fair price. Trust their guidance.;

Posted in Real Estate News
March 28, 2022

The Blue Angels Are Back

Blue Angels are back

The Boys (and Girls) are Back in Town! (Cue the music!)

The 76th season of amazing U.S. Navy aviation is underway this month! Our favorite local celebrities, The Blue Angels, have begun practicing their incredible formations and maneuvers over our beautiful Emerald Coast area. The Naval Aviation Museum has opened the flight line behind the museum to view the practices. The gates open at 9:30am and take off is 10:30am. Only Department of Defense ID Card holders (active duty, retirees, and their families) and their guests, as well as Veterans that possess a Veterans Health Identification Card from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs can enter the Navy Air Station Pensacola at this time, but the aircraft can be seen for miles around!

Consider watching them from Gulf Islands National Seashore, Big Lagoon State Park, or Fort Pickens (just West of Pensacola Beach). The beaches along Perdido Key also have great views of the ariel action. Practices are scheduled mid-week and occur through early November. See you on the beach!

2022 Practice Schedule:

March: 22, 23*, 29, 30*

April 5, 6*, 12, 13*, 20*, 26, 27*

May 3, 4*, 10, 11, 17, 18

June 1, 8*, 14, 15*, 21, 22*, 28, 29

July 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27*

August 2, 23, 24*, 30, 31

September 7*, 13, 14, 20

October 12*, 18, 19*, 25, 26*

November 1, 2*, 8, 9

*Indicates Blue Angels Autograph Sessions

Posted in Pensacola News
Feb. 11, 2022

Winter Vacations in Florida - Be Prepared

Winter Vacations in Florida

A trip to Florida in the depths of winter is often just the thing to warm up your bones and get you through to spring. You may have visions of lying on the beach or playing in the surf, but remember that Florida has its seasons, too. Be prepared for whatever your Florida vacation brings your way by following a few tips.

Flight Problems

While it may be sunny and warm in Florida, your home state could be in the middle of a blizzard that cancels flights or causes significant delays. It's a good idea to use your carry-on bag to bring along items you may need if forced to spend the night somewhere due to a weather-related delay. Items may include toothbrush, hair accessories, make-up, change of clothing and medications. Make sure you have phone numbers with you to notify hotel reservations, house sitters or airport pick-ups.

Cool Periods in Florida

Though Florida is known for its year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, cold fronts do dip down from the northern states in large weather patterns that cause overcast skies and temperatures sometimes into the 40s. Pack sweatshirts, fleece jackets and long pants to ensure that you are ready for whatever fluctuations occur. Even if the air is cool, you can still enjoy beach time, walking, shell-collecting and taking photographs. The brisker weather can be perfect for enjoying other activities, such as visiting museums and historical sites in the area or enjoying a nature hike in a wooded area filled with native Florida plants. Many people find that golfing is the perfect activity for days of cooler temperatures.

Wear Your Sunscreen

Although the winter months are the "dry season" in Florida, you may encounter some cloudy days. Don't think the sun's harmful rays disappear when there is heavy cloud cover or cool temperatures in Florida. Sun-sensitive individuals can still get a nasty burn. Infants and small children can be particularly vulnerable. Bring your sunscreen and wear it faithfully even on cloudy days.

Boating During the Winter Months

Florida winters are generally free from rainstorms, but boaters may find that weather patterns produce strong winds on the water. Always check the weather forecast before you set out for a day of boating. Most Florida resort areas offer boat rentals with navigation maps of the area. Stick to designated areas to avoid low water levels during the dry season and the danger of running aground.


Winter fishing in Florida offers some of the best catches of the year. Snook, spotted seatrout, redfish and flounder can be found in abundance. Sheepshead may be biting when no other species will. Black drum and Spanish mackerel are also available during the winter months. Surf fishing is a popular option, but the water may be brisk, as low as 55 degrees in the northern part of the state and in the 70s in the southern section, so have dry clothing available when you get out of the surf.

Posted in Florida News