Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Heritage Landing at World Golf Village is a great family community

Are you looking for an active, strong family oriented community that is zoned for the great St. Johns County schools, then Heritage Landing is worth checking out. During most family holidays, like 4th of July, Superbowl, New Year's Eve, you can find families gathering on many cul-de-sacs. On Halloween, the trick-or-treaters are everywhere, requiring you to stock up on treats to not disappoint. There are so many kids of all ages in this neighborhood that your children will find and form great relationships and the amenities are geared towards kids and families having a camp theme. The walking and jogging trails are great for connecting with the unspoiled outdoors and you can see residents taking full advantage of them daily.
This community is definitely for people who appreciate spectacular amenities and enjoy the great outdoors. The $5 million "Camp Heritage" Amenity Center is the community's unique cornerstone. There, residents are pampered with a wealth of resort-style amenities including a spacious clubhouse featuring a state-of-the-art fitness facility, designated bath houses and a catering kitchen. The outdoors is celebrated through Camp Heritage's interactive camp area, which features a storytelling pavilion with a campfire ring and movie screen, volleyball and bocce ball courts, a fishing pier, an event lawn and an open pavilion with a cozy fireplace and verandas. Camp Heritage's water amenities include a sixlane, heated competition pool, a "swimming hole," a sugar-sand beach and fun pools. For more daring swimmers, there's Lookout Tower, one of the tallest waterslides in Northeast Florida. Heritage Landing encompasses 680 unspoiled acres near the juncture of Six Mile Creek and the St. Johns River.
Residents are able to take advantage of all that World Golf Village has to offer—two world-class golf courses, a posh spa, playgrounds and sports fields, as well as an IMAX Theater. There are at least 2 buses for just Nease High School. There is also a new retail town center planned for the I-95/International Golf Pkwy cooridoor.
Click here for link to the Heritage Landing website and here for the Newsletter. Contact me for more information on New Homes and Resales in this wonderful community (starting in $150s). As a resident, I can truly say it's a really great community to live in.

Dawn Spencer, Realtor
Magnolia Properties

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Want Jacksonville Real Estate Info?

Visit Trulia for blogs, Q&A forums and how to infomation relating to home buying/selling or just general related info.

Adopt your pets!

Since the holidays are fast approaching, I thought it was a good time to remind everyone that adopting an animal from your local shelter or animal control facility will bring you more joy knowing you saved a life.  I adopted Sugar last year after my 1st dog, Stormy passed away from old age.  Sugar was at St. Johns Animal Control Pet Center and was very sick with a fever and runny nose.  They were going to put her to sleep.  She was microchipped, but didn't have current address updated.  She has turned out to be a wonderful addition to our family and gets along well with my other dogs (Shelby, Kobe, Stacey, & Molly).  All it took was 1 visit to my vet (Herschel Animal Clinic--the best) and for under $100 we were able to save her from distemper. So remember... don't contribute to the overpopulation by buying from puppy mills and spay/neuter your pets.  Save a life this holiday season!

Have Home Prices Stablized in Jacksonville Area?

There is not any way to know if home prices have bottomed. That being said, we do know that the prices now are very low and reasonable, therefore it is a good time to buy. Remember owning a home is a long term investment and historically has been a good investment. There are tax benefits as well. With the current Tax Credit extension, buyers moving up or first-time buyers now have a really good opportunity for a great buy. The headlines in the Times Union today (11/24/09 Business Section: Home prices see an upgrade in 1 month) point to an increase of 5% in Median home prices and it was reported that there seems to be a trend for lower priced homes heading back up. Also, specific neighborhoods that are in popular areas or school zones are showing more signs of improvement.  (Greenland Chase, Greenland Cove, Aberdeen, Durbin Crossing are a few examples) This may be a great time for home buyer looking to move up into a larger home (or smaller home) or into a better school zone to seriously consider selling and purchasing new construction to have an opportunity to purchase as these still great prices and sell their home during construction.

Arbor Glade off St. Augustine Road by Beazer is closing out with 2 homes left for a bargain (under $300k and they are negotiable).
Richmond American and Magnolia Homebuilders are building in the popular Greenland Cove.
Providence is building in Greenland Chase and has been very successful this year.
New community off Philips Hwy near Kensington is Las Calinas. This is a great ground floor opportunity to purchase in St. Johns without CDD and low HOA fees ($150 last time I checked), but with excellent amenities that include: Swimming pool with cabana, Tot Lot playgrounds with slides , Rec center with BBQ grill, Basketball court, tennis court, sand volleyball court, Fishing pier with covered ramada.  This neighborhood also connects to Kensington and Palencia. Beazer is building in this community, click here for info. Holder Johnson is another builder within the community.

These are just a few of the great opportunites to buy New Construction in the Jacksonville area.  Contact me for more info about these or new subdivisions in other parts of Jacksonville and St. Augustine.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Successfully Sell Your Home

Here are a few tips to successfully sell your home in this tough market.

Interview Realtors and look for a Realtor that is willing to give you constructive criticism:
  • On the market condition in your area to determine the right listing price
  • Suggests low cost solutions for de-cluttering and presentation
  • Have them define for you the marketing approach they will be using

The right listing price is very important and if not set accurately you could loose the buyers that are looking and ready to purchase now. Your Realtor should take a walk thru of your home and give you an analysis of the homes appeal (good and bad) from a buyers perspective and let you walk thru the homes of your direct competition so you will be better informed.
Declutter, declutter, declutter.... I can't emphasize this enough, you want your rooms to look larger, including closets and this also allows the buyer to better picture themselves there.
Fresh paint (neutral colors) really livens up a room and gives the home a clean, fresh appearance.
Clean driveway and sidewalks and freshen up landscape by adding mulch and annuals.
Good Luck!




Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended and Expanded

Now that the tax credit has been extended and expanded there will be a whole new group of people that can take advantage of the great buying opportunity. This is especially true for families needing to expand into a larger home. Yes, your home may not sell for as much as it would have a few years ago, but you will also have more buying power and possibly a tax credit to help negate some of those losses. Homeowners who put large down payments or have owned their homes for over 10 years and need more room, can take advantage of this great buyers market to move up into a larger home or preferable school zone.

I can help maximize your current homes value by providing low cost solutions to make your home more marketable and sell quickly, even in this market.

Click here to see what a Realtor can do for you.  Click here to see the Homebuyer Tax Credit Changes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

House Hunting Checklist

  • Establish your housing budget by reviewing your debt vs. income.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan by a lender.
  • Start researching neighborhoods and home prices.
  • Find a Realtor who is familiar with your desired area.
  • Start house hunting, and be proactive about it.
  • Focus on the parts of the house you cannot change.
  • Ask plenty of questions when looking at potential homes.
  • Make an offer based on comparable sales and your Realtor's advice.
  • Be prepared to negotiate, and have a plan for doing so. Your Realtor can give you up-to-date info on trends in the area or if offers have already been registered for the property.
  • Get the home inspected after your offer is accepted, ASAP. This is one of the most critical steps. Even new home construction should be inspected before closing, don't let the builder talk you out of it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Why should you use a Realtor to purchase a new home?

The advantages of having a Realtor® help you purchase a new home are the same as those for purchasing a resale home:
  • Knowledge of the market
  • Help in finding the perfect home quickly
  • Expertise in contract writing/negotiation
  • Closing assistance

The builder has a professional representative watching out for his/her needs, and you need the same expert representation. Your Realtor® will get to know your needs and wants and help find that perfect home and also provide valuable information on what to watch out for.

Buying a new home is a little more difficult and time-consuming than buying a resale. As a Realtor® I have experience working with builders and have access to a database of information about subdivisions, floor plans, etc. I am also familiar with new home warranties and builders purchase contracts for all the builder in the area. It is very important that your interests be professionally represented when you are entering into a contract for a new home. These transactions are complex and the contract details must be exact in order to protect you and to ensure you get exactly the home you want!

Is there any advantage to not using a Realtor® to purchase a new home?
No. There is no financial advantage for you to buy directly from the builder. Builders have a “single-price” policy, meaning you will be charged the same price whether your interests are represented by a Realtor® or not. Just as in any resale, the Seller pays your Realtor’s fee. Magnolia Properties does not charge buyers Transaction fees.

Greenland Chase, good value

Greenland Chase is a popular new neighborhood in Jacksonville, FL. Providence Homebuilders has many energy efficient floor plans to choose from and they are selling quickly here. It seems the low HOA fees, central location, great schools, and beautiful lots are driving the sales here. If you don't want to be so close to I-95 they also have a community off Hood Road, Emily's Crossing. Feel free to contact/email me about these communities.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jacksonville, FL Real Estate Market Update

It seems the market may be starting to heat up here in Jacksonville, FL. I spent the weekend showing homes in several new subdivisions in the Mandarin area and there were many buyer there looking. If those translate into sales that will be good for our local market and home prices.

Remember if you are a first-time buyer, there is up to $8,000 Federal Tax Credit available, but home must close by November 30, 2009 to be eligible.

Some basic qualifications for the tax credit are:

  • To qualify as a “first-time home buyer” the purchaser or his/her spouse may not have owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase.

  • The buyer's income—single buyers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000—may receive the maximum tax credit. Some buyers may still be eligible for the credit. The credit decreases for buyers who earn between $75,000 and $95,000 for single buyers and between $150,000 and $170,000 for home buyers filing jointly. The amount of the tax credit decreases as his/her income approaches the maximum limit. Home buyers earning more than the maximum qualifying income—over $95,000 for singles and over $170,000 for couples are not eligible for the credit.

  • The credit is for 10% of the purchase price, up to $8,000 (also depending of the income limits noted above)

  • The buyer does not need to repay the tax credit, if he/she occupies the home for three years or more. However, if the property is sold during the three-year period, the credit will be recouped on the sale.

Click here to out more information about the $8,000 Federal Tax Credit.

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