As the tar balls on the sugary-sand beaches here are being cleaned up, and crude oil spills into the Gulf of Mexico, real estate investors are capitalizing on the dipping property values.

Brokers, timeshare owners, and residents alike are expressing their need to sell in online Florida real estate forums where potential investors are finding partners from across the country. Timeshares owners and vacationers alike are hesitant to invest in something that they may not get to enjoy. 


As the tar balls on the sugary-sand beaches here are being cleaned up, and crude oil spills into the Gulf of Mexico, real estate investors are capitalizing on the dipping property values.
Brokers, timeshare owners, and residents alike are expressing their need to sell in online Florida real estate forums where potential investors are finding partners from across the country. Timeshares owners and vacationers alike are hesitant to invest in something that they may not get to enjoy. 
An investor from Memphis, Tenn., who purchased fourteen properties just this week, is on the hunt for more, he said. It is clear the market is in his favor.
Vacationers are waxing nostalgic about the paradise, even as they soak up the sun and surf.
“I was glad I got to come down and enjoy this before it’s gone, but it’s sad to think about what’s beneath the water,” said Byron Magee of Jackson, Miss., a native of New Orleans.
Gabriel Thompson, of Atlanta, Ga., watched as his son Marqiel boogie boarded along the shore.
“[The oil] hasn’t impacted my family’s vacation other than having to call the kids out of the water for them to lay soakers,” he said.
But who knows what the impact of the oil will be in a week or next year.
Area residents are thinking along those same lines. Many are giving up long time homes that have become unaffordable. The housing market has continued to fluctuate since the market's crash in 2007. Home values, which shrank to forty to fifty percent of what is owed on them, are now facing the 2010 hurricane season and the looming oil spill.
The locals are ready to move on, and investors offer a way out. They will hold on to the properties for a few years and sell the homes at double or triple the price paid.
Despite the tar balls, the beaches are still open for now, but they are heavily trodden by the cleanup crews in orange vests. A few members of the crew spoke anonymously, describing the tedious task of picking tar balls up and bagging them by hand. Another employee of the BP subcontractor P2S said cleanup efforts were going well.
The oil spill is affecting not only fisherman, vacationers, and resorts, but local businesses and residents who are eager to relocate, leaving behind a way of life that no one is certain will return to normal. Far more than just an environmental disaster, the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will be felt in dozens of ways in the coming months, and possibly years.