Every home sale transaction has a lot of moving parts. Builders, lenders, inspectors, appraisers – anyone involved with the transaction—has their own guidelines and processes that need to be followed. With so many details to keep track of, it’s easy for home buyers to get tripped up.
Hurricane season in Florida is a bit like being a Chicago Cubs fan…you prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. So with the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season fast approaching, it’s important that Florida homeowners be prepared. [Read more...]
“Cheaper” and “ocean” are two words you don’t typically hear together, especially when you’re talking about real estate. But my interest was piqued recently by a blog post from Margaret Goss, a Realtor® serving the exclusive North Shore area of suburban Chicago.
Her blog post is titled, Lakefront Homes in Winnetka—More Expensive than Living on the Ocean, and it turns out it’s pretty accurate, especially from a Ponte Vedra Beach point of view. [Read more...]
Many years ago, my sister had a Chicago apartment as close to the El as the one Elwood Blues inhabits in this scene from The Blues Brothers. Her apartment was nicer, and considerably more spacious, but from her back room, I swear you could open the window and almost touch the train tracks.
She got used to it. And we got used to stopping every 8 – 10 minutes into a phone conversation to let the train go by. Point is, it was just one imperfection (albeit a large, noisy, rumbling one) at a property that had lots of other things going for it. It was less than a block from Wrigley Field. You had your choice of a ton of great bars and restaurants, every night of the week. And, obviously, it was close to public transportation.
In our market, homebuyers (or their agents) will often request that a home seller provide a home warranty as part of the sales contract. It’s like an insurance policy for some of the bigger ticket items in a home that you wouldn’t want to fail. For instance, home warranties for existing homes typically cover mechanical systems and appliances, and, in our market, at least, can be purchased for around $400 or less (depending on the home). [Read more...]
Quick, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Florida? A lot of people will answer the beach (and, yes, some will say Disney or Daytona). But I’d guess most people visiting Florida think about visiting the beach, whether it’s down south in Miami or the Keys, or on the panhandle in Panama City Beach or Destin.
Not coincidentally, when people think of waterfront property in Florida, they’ll often think of the beach, as well. But here in Northeast Florida (Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Augustine, etc.), there are plenty of options for homebuyers beyond just the beach/oceanfront. [Read more...]
Instead of taking my cue from The New York Times this week, I’m tracking to @YahooHomes and seeing what we can get in Northeast Florida for around $200,000.
Can you find a home you’d like priced at $200,000? See these homes for sale across America yhoo.it/YFo0tZ
— YahooHomes (@YahooHomes) February 2, 2013
Once you’ve lived in one place a while, it’s easy to fall into a rut. Autopilot is your default mode as you run from the office, to the kids’ schools/activities, the grocery store, etc. It gets so bad that you can’t even join in on the snarky criticism of Apple maps because, well, you don’t need maps where you’re going.
Well, for me, that’s about to change. My resolution for the new year is to explore more of Ponte Vedra, Jacksonville and St. Augustine than I already know. And maybe spend a little more time in some familiar, but rarely visited, places.
Case in point…I live a matter of miles from the beach. Yet I only tend to see it if I’m showing an oceanfront house or condo. The view from the decks of these properties is great. But I’m committed to getting my toes in the sand, and the surf, a bit more than usual in 2013.
I’ve seen a lot of great shows already in and around Jacksonville and St. Augustine. The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is a great outdoor venue, and I’ve been able to see national acts like Wilco, the Decemberists, Blondie and Devo. And the Times-Union Center and Florida Theatre are both venerable old venues that I’ve visited on quite a few occasions.
This year, however, I’d like to expand my horizons at places I’m familiar with (Jacksonville Symphony at the Times-Union Center is calling my name, I believe), and ones I’ve not gotten to yet (Ponte Vedra Concert Hall and downtown music spots like Jack Rabbit’s come to mind).
And while a more traditional new years resolution is to eat less, I’ll take the contrarian approach and vow to eat more. Well, if not more, maybe better. There have been quite a few good restaurants popping up in and around Ponte Vedra, Jacksonville and St. Augustine. Pele’s Woodfire was a highlight of 2012. But it’s time to find some more favorites, and I may start with Black Sheep in 5 Points. Regardless, I hope to get out and experience more of the great food and atmosphere that northeast Florida establishments have to offer.
Are there great places in your hometown that you take for granted, yet never seem to get to? Tell me about them in the comments and let’s commit to getting out to support the great local businesses that are in every community.
For most of my life, the holiday season has been measured in wind chill and snowfall amounts. To be sure, holidays in the Midwest and New England, where I’m from, have quite a different vibe than holidays in Ponte Vedra, Florida.
“Good bones.” It’s a phrase that’s used a lot to describe a structurally sound, usually older and somewhat unique home that, to put it gently, needs a little work. Maybe the kitchen and baths need updating. Maybe it could do with an addition. Whatever the case, the FHA’s 203(k) loan program has helped a lot of people purchase, and renovate, homes with “good bones”.