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. 18, 2021

1052 Bonita Dr

New on the market and ready for you! This well-maintained home offers 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and over 2300 square feet of living space. The home has a new roof, HVAC replaced in 2018, Water Heater 2014, new paint, and a large backyard. Located in Chandelle, this home will surely be at the top of your list!



Nov. 17, 2021

Downsizing in Retirement? Have a Plan in Place to Make it Happen

As you moved through your working years and climbed your way up the corporate ladder, monetary success and material possessions went hand in hand. As the promotions piled up and the raises continued to grow, you accumulated more and more stuff, moving into bigger and bigger houses just to hold it all. But now you are getting ready to retire, and you are anxious to tap the home equity you have worked so hard to build.

Downsizing into retirement is one of the most popular ways to save for the rest of your life. Selling the dream home that once housed a growing family and buying another, more modest, residence could add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your nest egg and make your retirement savings stretch much further.

Even so, downsizing into retirement will not just happen; you need to plan carefully to make the next phase of your life a successful one. Here are some steps you can take to make downsizing easier as your retirement date moves closer.

Compare Square Footage for Your Current and Proposed New Home

Your new home will be smaller than your current one; that is what downsizing is all about. Even so, it is important to quantify that size difference, as that will make the rest of the planning process much easier.

If you already have a condo or similar accommodations picked out, check the square footage and compare it to your current residence. If you are still shopping for a new home, you can estimate based on the sizes of the houses you have been touring.

Take Inventory of Your Possessions

Once you have the new and old square footage figures in place, you can start planning for which possessions you will be keeping and which ones will soon be finding new homes. It may take some time, but this exercise is well worth the effort.

Armed with a list of your possessions and information about the square footage of your new residence, you can start to compile a list of the items currently in your home. Once that inventory has been compiled, you can make a list of the items you want to sell, donate or give away to friends and family members.

Talk to the Proposed Recipients

Now that you are ready to downsize into retirement and shed your extraneous, it is time to talk to proposed recipients of your largesse. This is an important step, since your loved ones may have different ideas when it comes to the furnishings and home décor you currently own.

You may think that your kids have been eyeing that amazing antique desk for years, or that your grandkids cannot wait to get their hands on that massive sofa. But what if they have other home décor plans, ones that do not include those gifts? If you want your downsizing to be successful, you first need to make sure the intended recipients want the items you will be giving away.

If they do not, having another plan in place will be critical. This is especially important if you want the furniture and home décor to stay in the family.

Invest Your Real Estate Profits

Now that you have rehomed, sold or otherwise disposed of your extraneous possessions, it is time to enjoy the fruits of all that hard work. Downsizing your possessions is a vital first step toward beefing up your retirement nest egg, so you can truly enjoy this new phase of your life.

Once your dream home has been sold and the new home has been acquired, it is time to invest the proceeds in a way that will preserve its value while providing the income you need in retirement. If you are not already working with a financial advisor, you might want to hire one to help you deal with this sudden windfall.

As you move into retirement, you might want to move in a more literal sense. Moving into a smaller and more affordable home in retirement is a popular way to make those limited retirement savings stretch further, and the steps outlined above can help you make it happen.


Posted in Real Estate News
Nov. 17, 2021

908 Bartow Ave For Sale

New on the market and sure to catch your eye! This home has 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths and a great outdoor space that can be used year around. Fully renovated kitchen and a new roof coming soon! Dont miss it! Call today for your showing appointment - 850-232-3722

July 14, 2021

Happy Birthday Pensacola!

I't Pensacola's Birthday.

Everyone who lives or vacations in Pensacola, Florida, knows it is special. Yet, for the curious, there are many unknown facts about Pensacola and its history to be discovered. On July 17, Pensacola will celebrate its 200-year anniversary as part of the United States. To celebrate, below are some lesser-known facts about this historic city.

1. The history of Pensacola can be traced to when it was first sighted by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513.  

2. Pensacola was originally pronounced Panzacola. This name was told to Spanish military officer Juan Jordan de Reina by local Native Americans in 1698. Panzacola is thought to be the name of that local tribe.

3. The white sand beaches in Pensacola and surrounding coastal areas get their color from fine ground quartz crystal. The crystal comes all the way from the Appalachian Mountains by way of a river. It spreads out in the Gulf of Mexico and ends up on the beaches from Panama City to Eastern Alabama.

4. The world’s largest artificial coral reef is off the coast of Pensacola. The USS Oriskany aircraft carrier sits in its final resting place 28 miles off the coast. It is nicknamed “The Great Carrier Reef” and is a renowned deep-water dive site. 

5. For those considering calling Pensacola home, the city boasts the shortest average commute time in the country at only 19 minutes, has a 5.80% lower cost of living than the U.S. national average, and has approximately 220 sunny days per year!

Posted in Pensacola News
July 4, 2021

3/2 Pool Home on Quiet Cul-de-sac

Great brick home on a large cul-de-sac lot. Large backyard with inground pool. Newer Appliances, HVAC, and Roof!


Click Here For More Info

May 29, 2021

Perdido Key RV Cottages

2021 is being called by some, “The Year of the RVer.” RV sales hit an all-time high in 2020, according to the RV Industry Association. A common buyer request received by Dawn Marino and The Marino Team is the desire to own a piece of land near the beach where one can accommodate their RV. However, local zoning restrictions only allow RVs in designated RV Parks. 

Now there is a new option in Perdido Key! 

Perdido Key RV Cottages

Eighteen brand new RV cottages are to be constructed just off the intercoastal waterway, near Perdido Key Drive. At last, there is an option to own a piece of land that offers perfect accommodations for you and your RV!  These 800 square foot cottages will be luxuriously appointed with granite counter tops, plank wood floors, and stainless-steel appliances. Each will have a rooftop observation deck and a large carport to cover your RV. 

These RV cottages will be situated in an ideal location. The Perdido Key Oyster Bar & Marina is a very short walk away. The Sunset Grille and Holiday Harbor Marina are about a half mile away. These cottages are listed at $249,000. This type of opportunity does not come around too often. If you love RVing and the beach, this could be your little piece of paradise!

Posted in Perdido Key Homes
April 30, 2021

Planning On Buying A Vacation Home?

These Are 4 Things You Should Keep In Mind A vacation home can be a fantastic investment. If there's an area that you go to every year for vacation, then purchasing a vacation home may be more sensible than always having to find a place to rent. Having your own vacation home means that you never have to plan that far ahead since you won't have to deal with finding and booking a place to stay ahead of time. However, before you decide to invest in a vacation home, there are a few things that you should consider. The following are four tips to keep in mind when buying a vacation home.

1. Spend some time in the area - If you've been vacationing in the area in which you plan to purchase a vacation home for a few years already, then you probably already know that you'll make plenty of use out of your vacation home. However, if you've never been to that ski village or that beach town where you are planning to buy a vacation home, you should be sure to spend some time there first to make sure that you actually enjoy the area. You don't want to end up with a vacation home that you never use because you go tired of its location.

2. Understand the costs of owning a vacation home - A lot of buyers don't understand that the costs of owning a vacation home are often different than that of owning a primary residence. First of all, you're still going to have to pay for utilities, landscaping and maintenance costs even if you're not there. And don't forget that you're going to need to furnish it as well unless you don't mind spending your vacation in an empty house. Additionally, your homeowners insurance is probably going to be higher since there's more risk associated with insuring a house that's not occupied for most of the year. In fact, you'll probably want to hire a local property manager in order to maintain your vacation home throughout the year if you're not going to be there most of the time.

3. Consider renting out your vacation home - One of the ways that you can make up for the cost of the vacation house is by renting it out. In fact, rental income can allow you to build equity and let you pay the mortgage off early. Be sure to speak about the ability to rent the vacation home out with your real estate agent. Understand that even though this is a great way to recoup some of the money that you are putting into buying the property, renting it out will require a lot of responsibility on your part -- you will be the landlord, after all. You should also be aware that many of the people that will want to rent out your vacation home will want to do so during peak holiday times, which means you may not be able to spend some of those holiday vacations in your vacation home if you're renting it out.

4. Don't forget about accessibility - Your vacation home may be a dream house in an absolutely gorgeous piece of beachfront property, but if it's all the way across the country, then you probably won't be heading out there for a long weekend any time soon. If your vacation home is within the state you live in -- or within a day's drive at least -- you'll probably make more use out of it. Also keep in mind that the further away it is, the more it's going to cost to get there.

A vacation home can be a great investment for you and your family. However, before you go out and purchase a secondary property to be used as your vacation home, be sure to keep these four tips in mind. The last thing you want to do is end up with a vacation home that you never use, after all.

Posted in Real Estate News
April 18, 2020


In this age of science and technology, it is difficult to wrap your brain around a global pandemic. Yet, here we are living a scene of what would appear to be straight out of a movie. There is no doubt, the world is full of uncertainty and is experiencing unprecedented times. In every situation, there is a silver lining. This one is no different. There is much good that has come from this ordeal. We have pulled together as a community, as a state, and as a country. Our front-line workers are getting recognized for the heroes they’ve always been. We have all realized the importance of our family and friends. We have a better understanding of what’s important. We have a newfound appreciation for taking the time to enjoy a bike ride or a walk with your dog. We have adapted and survived. It is amazing how fast life can change. Enjoy the moment, whatever the moment may be.

From my family to yours, stay healthy, stay happy, and stay safe.


Dawn Marino

Boat near shore

Video Call

Time at the park

Blue Angels

Flora-Bama beach

Time at home on the deck



Perdido Bay

Palms on the bay

Sunset on the bayou

Posted in Real Estate News
April 17, 2020

How Social Distancing Might Delay a Home Sale

How Social Distancing Might Delay a Home Sale

Real estate traditionally has been more a "people" business than a technology business, but with advances in recent years, tech has certainly established its place in the industry.

During trying times that require social distancing or sheltering in place, those tech tools can be saviors. Buyers can virtually tour homes via the internet, make offers, and apply for home loans online. All parties involved can sign documents electronically and sometimes even get documents notarized remotely.

All those things are components of most home sales. Having the means to do them online allows for real estate deals to continue, even during social distancing. But that doesn't mean it's all going to be smooth sailing. Here are some ways social distancing could delay a home sale.

Reduced staffing and hours of operation

When companies are attempting to keep fewer people in the office, or workers are out for extended periods of time, or even if a business just cuts its hours, work can take longer. It's a matter of fewer people doing the same amount of work with less time each day to do it. Backlogs can happen.

A good example might be the mortgage business. When very low interest rates hit, there are surges in demand for refinancing that can come right as companies find themselves shorter-staffed. As long as fewer people are working, or working shorter hours, in banks and title companies, there could be delays in home sales.

Home inspections

Home inspections are especially tricky during a time of social distancing. Unlike a buyer on a virtual tour, a licensed home inspector is required to physically be in the home they're inspecting. That can cause some hiccups.

For example, a seller might not want a stranger in their home. On the other hand, maybe not every home inspector wants to go poking around in a stranger's house, which may or may not be properly sanitized.

Most real estate agents have pre-written addendums - some issued by the state - that cover any delays in a sale related to public health or social distancing. Some homebuyers might forego their right to a home inspection, and some sellers might agree to one so long as the inspector is the only person in the home and is properly equipped with safety wear. If not, a delay in the sale can be addressed with an addendum to the contract with neither party penalized.

When a home inspection is done, the inspector could do a virtual walkthrough with the buyer and/or provide them with more visual results (pictures and video) in their report than they would in normal times.


Real estate appraisals are typically done in person as well, but there's more leeway for appraisers than there is for inspectors.

For one, the Federal Housing Finance Agency in March 2020 allowed for appraisals without necessarily requiring an appraiser to look at a home's interior. The term "drive-by appraisal" has been around for years, but it's more literal when people are under stay-at-home orders.

And even in normal times, not every appraisal includes an interior inspection. In markets that are very active, it's not difficult for appraisers to ascertain a home's value using mostly a computer, because there are plenty of comparable recent sales. But in slower markets, or for homes with unique features, an appraiser or lender might not be comfortable with an appraisal that doesn't include an in-person look at a home. That sort of circumstance could also delay a sale's closing.

Again, a proper addendum to the sales contract should be able to satisfy all parties involved should such a delay occur.

The bottom line

Technology has advanced enough in recent years to help real estate adapt to a period when face-to-face interaction is limited. While not every step in the home process can be automated, the result during social distancing could be delays at certain steps in the homebuying process, but safety measures alone should not grind a home sale to a halt.

Posted in Real Estate News
Feb. 27, 2020

Can You Predict the Best Time to Sell Your Home?

Best time to sell your home

There are many life events that can make it time to sell a home. A job change, a child on the way, or even a failing marriage can nudge homeowners to sell relatively unexpectedly.

Still, there are would-be home sellers who can choose when to put their home on the market. Of course, any seller is looking to get the most money they possibly can for the home they are selling and they want to sell it as quickly as possible. So they might wonder: "When is the best time to sell?"

If you are lucky enough to choose when to put your home on the market, here are some things to consider when it comes to timing.

'Tis the season

Traditionally, spring and early summer have been the times when more homes hit the market. There are reasons for this, one of them being that families with children want to be in their new home before a new school year begins. Also, winter weather can make it a little more difficult to show your home in the best light.

But the internet has kind of changed things. More potential buyers begin their home search online, so they are armed with information before ever setting foot inside homes for sale. They're not necessarily traipsing in and out of cars, physically visiting house after house. That means that home searches can start at just about any time of the year. Weather is less a factor.

It is still generally true that there are more buyers out shopping in the spring and summer than in the winter, but if you live in a very competitive market, it might behoove you to put your home up for sale before winter is over, when there's likely less competition among homes for sale.

Markets can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood

The saying "all real estate is local" still holds true, and it's getting more hyper-local than ever. Information you can find online might indicate that there's a lot of buyer activity in your county or even zip code, but in your neighborhood, that might not be the case.

Homebuyer activity and closed sales can literally vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. An online search could tell you that your zip code has a lot of closed transactions, but they might not be exactly where you live. The homes around the corner from you could be the ones selling like hotcakes.

It is probably best to talk to a local real estate professional to determine what kind of demand there really is for homes in your specific area. The higher the demand at any given time, the better your home-selling prospects will be.

Keep an eye on mortgage rates

In the last 12 years or so, interest rates on mortgages have been at or near historic lows. It is not going to last forever, though, and homebuyers tend to become more active when they think that rates could start creeping up.

If you are thinking of selling, it is responsible to keep an eye on the financial markets. If there's a sign that mortgage interest rates are set to rise, it's likely that real estate markets will see an uptick in buyers. The more buyers there are in the market, the better the prospects are for you to sell your home quickly and for top dollar.

The short answer about timing the market is that you can't expect to ever do it perfectly, just like you can't "time" the stock market. But if you're considering selling your home, you'll want to put it on the market at a time when there is less competition from other sellers and more buyers are actively searching for homes. Keeping your finger on the pulse of market indicators and talking to a local real estate professional should help you toward that goal.

Posted in Real Estate News