Originally, land on Okaloosa Island was "leased" from the Okaloosa Island Authority. The lease was for 99 years with an automatic renewal for 99 years. There is a Brief History of Okaloosa Island on the About Us page. It contains the history of how the Island evolved over the years.
A sample lease for a residential property on the Island is contained in the link below.
In 1995, the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners approved a measure that allowed leaseholders to obtain a "fee simple title" to their property.
Why would you want to convert from a "lease" to "fee simple title"? The primary reason is financing. Most lending institutions, either for a primary mortgage or for re-financing an existing mortgage, do not want to lend money on property that is leased. This makes it difficult to obtain financing when selling or re-financing.
To facilitate this conversion process, the Board of County Commissioners has entered into a contract with Surety Land Title of Florida, LLC. to defray the cost of a title search to confirm record title, legal notice of bid, preparation of quit claim deed, bid fee, title examination, recording and documentary stamp fees.
The process involves the following:
Surety Land Title has a Leasehold Conversion Application package which can be emailed. The package can be viewed using the link below.
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