Posted in From Your Realtor, Jacksonville, FLA, Northeast Florida, Your Realtor

Home buying trends in 2017

Bigger backyards and updated kitchens

Super-sized dream homes are not exactly what potential buyers are dreaming about this spring. But they are looking for bigger backyards, updated kitchens, and ranch-style homes, according to realtor.com’s latest home buyer survey.

Features that buyers are looking for this spring (according to realtor.com)

  • Ranch-style homes led shoppers’ rankings of desired home styles with 42% of shoppers looking for a ranch home.
  • All age groups are looking for some combination of a backyard, garage and updated kitchen. Younger home buyers are particularly excited about finding a large yard and, and living in a good school district.
  • Privacy ranks as shoppers’ top goal for buying, largely driven by buyers over age 45.
  • 80% of shoppers ranked the kitchen as one of their three favorite rooms in a home, followed by master bedroom (49%) and living room (42%) among most age groups.
  • Shoppers over age 45 are looking to downsize, and cited planning for retirement as their primary motive for finding a new house.
  • Among younger buyers, many of whom are buying starter homes, 40% were looking for townhouses and row houses.
  • As shoppers age, however, that number declines and single-family homes are a clear preference. The older an age group is, the more likely they are to prefer a single-family home.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating–or buying.

This trend towards a not-too-big, single-family ranch-style home with an updated kitchen and a big backyard played out in a multiple offer, full price sale after being on the market for only one week!

4885 Susanna Woods Ct., Jacksonville, FL 32257 packs a lot of living into 1,900 square feet. Not too big, not too small–just right. This ranch-style with a huge yard, updated kitchen, is located in the Mandarin area of Jacksonville, Florida. Making it convenient to everything, while being nestled away from it all on a cul-de-sac lot. There’s sun, poolside, where you want it, and shade, from mature trees, where you need it—which, by the way, can help lower your electric bill.

ranch-style 3/2 pool home
UNDER CONTRACT in 1 week: 4885 Susanna Woods Ct., Jacksonville, FL 32257 3 bed, 2 bath pool home on huge cul de sac lot for $270,000 (MLS#875902)

 

Posted in Buying Your Home, From Your Realtor, Jacksonville, FLA, Neighborhoods, Northeast Florida, Picture This, Real Estate

Finding an extraordinary home: 4 answers to your questions

6090 Shadehill Rd., Jacksonville, Florida 32258

Finding an extraordinary home: 4 questions

1. Where on earth can I find a house with four sizable bedrooms and three full bathrooms for $267,000?

Right here in Bartram Springs, Jacksonville, Florida. 6090 Shadehill Road, Jacksonville, Florida, 32258. You’ll find this just might be your dream home, 2,231 square feet with 4 sizable bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, and tons of unique and hidden storage places. Like a Harry Potter closet under the stairs (with a light!); and built-in overhead storage in the two-car garage; there’s even a cozy window seat in the owners retreat with more hidden storage space! I could go on and on about this home’s storage, its multiple walk-in closets, linen closet, and large coat closet, but…you get the picture.

2. What is the most important thing to consider when buying a home?

Location – Location – Location. Period. So, let’s start here: this 4 bed/3 full bath immaculate Bartram Springs home is situated on an estate-sized 70-foot lot, nestled between conservation preserves. Most comparably-sized homes in the area are positioned on smaller, 40, 50, or 60 foot lots. So, this fact makes this home potentially a better investment option for you. Why? Because most of the homes on 70-foot lots like Shadehill Road are larger and have a higher market value of well over $300,000. So? It’s better to be the prince or princess on a street of kings and queens! Plus, it is a rare find when a home faces a conservation preserve, and backs up to one.

3. How can I get the biggest bang for my buck?

Fact: You will pay more per-square-foot for a newly constructed home. It’s important to crunch the numbers. But do that later, because I’ve already done it for you here. This home is already updated, so you’ll save thousands of dollars going forward. Inside and out, this home has been professionally painted. Saving you upwards of $10,000! Additionally, the exterior siding/stucco has been replaced; effectively turning the clock back on its exterior age to day one–which means BRAND NEW!

A few other valuable bonuses:

  • Screened patio, private backyard, 6-foot wood fencing
  • New sod and concrete curb edging to keep landscaping and mulched beds looking great
  • Stacked stone accents, rain gutter system, and window shutters
  • An elegant eight-foot tall front door

The carpeting is brand new–never lived on. Again, saving you a few thousand clams. And, the first floor has hardwoods and 18-inch tiles set on the diagonal. Another expensive upgrade. And, there are wood blinds, ceiling fans, new designer light fixtures, stainless steel appliances, new stainless steel kitchen faucet, and a brand new dishwasher! These all add to the list of upgrades you won’t have to spend your cash on after you move in.

And let’s face it, this home is super charming, isn’t it? Besides location, curb appeal is a very important factor to consider. First impressions really do matter. And aside from this home’s amazing curb appeal, you will be investing in one of the best locations in the community. It’s uncommonly delicious to be able to sit on your front porch or your back patio and enjoy wooded, conservation preserve views.

4. Why is this house so special?

Well, if you’ve been house-hunting, you know what I mean here — you just know when you know.

You pull into the driveway, get out of your car, and your heart flutters a little. That’s it. That’s the moment of … Have I actually found it, my new home?

Just imagine for a second, you…entertaining…at your house-warming party, perhaps? Moving through your kitchen to your dining room where guests are commenting on your beautiful new home. People are wandering through rooms, gazing through windows at the trees outside. Wondering how much you paid for all of this. Someone flips on the fireplace from the nearby rocker switch, and you hear an OMG! coming from your family room. And you smile while the gas fireplace warms the room…

Then, as more friends gather around your kitchen island, and remark about this incredible home you were so lucky to find, you tell them about your super easy-to-clean solid surface Corian counters with the all-in-one sink, and how it’s actually a more hygienic counter top option, because it doesn’t harbor bacteria. “There are no nasty crevices and caulked edges where creepy crud likes to live,” you tell your house guests…

Then, after everyone leaves, you curl up by the fire, and watch a movie–with surround sound, of course. After awhile, you make it upstairs to your owner’s suite, passing beneath the tray ceilings and recessed lighting, on the way to your master bath with its double vanities. You smile at yourself in the bathroom mirror before climbing into bed. You fall asleep quickly and dream about resort amenities: multiple swimming pools, brand new fitness center, Food Truck Fridays, and a dog park with a lake–wait, there’s a new puppy in this dream? You have that feeling that you are falling (in love). When suddenly, you wake up and realize…

You are home.

Buyers (and Sellers) Be Aware!

Top 10 defects found during home inspection*

  1. Foundation and drainage issues
  2. Unprofessional (un-permitted) electrical work
  3. Minor roof leaks
  4. Heat and A/C maintenance issues
  5. Homeowner repairs that are un-permitted
  6. Structural settling
  7. Plumbing problems
  8. Water and/or air intrusion
  9. Crawl space or attic problems like mold or pest damage
  10. Upgrades, remodel, or repair work in which no permit was pulled (like a garage conversion into a bedroom).

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, getting a home inspection is key.

  • For sellers, getting a pre-sale inspection will help you in preparing your home for sale, and help you avoid any surprises that may pop up once you receive an offer from a buyer.
  • For buyers, getting peace of mind, gaining knowledge about the home you plan to invest in, and negotiating repair costs with the sellers can be a huge help!

 

* “Top 10 defects” provided by Mark Riccaboni, Licensed Home Inspector with The Whole Story Home Inspection LLC.

Posted in Buying Your Home, From Your Realtor, Jacksonville, FLA, Neighborhoods, Northeast Florida, Real Estate, Selling Your Home, Tips and Info

DIY: easy curb appeal in a weekend

What’s black and white and the perfect shade of blue?

This adorable and freshly painted home! It’s located in quaint St. Nicholas in Jacksonville, Florida. Only a mile from San Marco’s restaurants and shopping, and a six-minute drive to downtown Jacksonville. Built in 1938, this house has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, indoor laundry, original hardwood floors, and brand new stainless steel appliances.

A minor make-over

An example of a few easy updates that add to a home’s curb appeal: New shutters; updated color on the front door; and of course, shiny new house numbers.

Front door color from Home Depot: “Big Surf”, M-460-3U, Card CB-4

parakeet blue
How can you go wrong when nature is your inspiration?

BEFORE: House was plain with no shutters, a tired red door, and worn gold house numbers.

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AFTER: Black shutters, super fresh coastal-blue front door, and brushed nickel house numbers.

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If you’re looking for a home in the St. Nicholas area (Jacksonville, FL) and would like information about this Coming Soon listing, contact me!

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Posted in From Your Realtor, Northeast Florida, Real Estate, Selling Your Home, Tips and Info, Your Financing

Moving on up?

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It’s a good time to sell for move-up buyers

Many growing families are in a housing sweet spot right now. And this may continue into the first part of 2017.

Mortgage rates are expected to edge up soon, but are still low by historical standards. If you have equity in your current home, this is the perfect time to trade up into a larger one and use the money from your home sale for your next down-payment.

Housing supplies in the $500,000 to $750,000 range have increased nearly 8 percent. So there are more choices in these higher price ranges.

To move on this, get your financing in order quickly. The record-low mortgage rates in 2016 aren’t expected to last much longer.  I’ve read that average rates may be rising by a half a percent in 2017.  Though rates remain low, any increase makes a mortgage less affordable.

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For example, if rates jump from 3.7 percent to 4.2 percent on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, it would mean an $864 rise in annual payments on a $250,000 mortgage!

 

Source: “The One Big Real Estate Trend You Need to Understand in 2017,” Fortune (Nov. 27, 2016)

Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty – Town Center, Jacksonville, FL

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Kicking off Thanksgiving! Thankful for good food to eat, great people to work with, and my realtor life, which I’m thoroughly enjoying.

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Dee Kassenoff, Realtor
dee@yourhomeinsight.com
(904) 638-3243

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Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty – Town Center
7741 Point Meadows Dr., Ste. 101
Jacksonville, FL  32256

 

Posted in Jacksonville, FLA, Neighborhoods, Northeast Florida, Real Estate, Your Realtor, Your Schools

A rare find: 14510 Starbuck Springs Way

NOTE: SOLD in 39 days!

Enjoy the show!

Perfectly situated

  • A 5 bed/4 bath, 3,359 square foot home with an upstairs bonus room, guest or teen suite.
  • An over-sized 3-car garage with built-in storage.
  • Yard that’s large enough to build a pool, with plenty of yard to spare.
  • Move-in-ready; painted, repaired, re-carpeted, worry-free, clean and updated; luxurious, spacious, tasteful & full of unexpected surprises, like rounded drywall corners, a custom wine closet, and a 1-Year Home Warranty!
  • Within a 10 to 20 minute drive of just about everything, or a short walk from all the great amenities that Bartram Springs has to offer (including an A-rated school, Bartram Springs Elementary).
  • Perfectly situated on a large cul-de-sac lot, and at a price that keeps you cool, even in this hot summer market.

A rare find

It’s hard to find 5-bedroom homes in this price range $360,000 to $365,000 in the Jacksonville (Duval/St Johns) area that are located on a cul-de-sac. This home is a rare find!

A few benefits of a cul-de-sac:

  • decreased through-traffic and
  • increased property value

Come see this great neighborhood and make 14510 Starbuck Springs Way your new address.

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Posted in Jacksonville, FLA, Northeast Florida, Real Estate, Tips and Info

Jacksonville, one of the best cities for making new friends!

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St. Johns Town Center, Jacksonville, FL

According to the May 2015 AARP Bulletin Real Possibilities, in their story, The Most Livable Places at 50+,  Jacksonville ranked 4th in the U.S. among large cities where residents look out for family and neighbors, join civic groups, vote in high numbers, and have easy access to the digital world.

Community characteristics like housing, neighborhood, transportation, health, engagement and opportunity were determined to be the most important in AARP’s Livability Index survey of 4,500 Americans 50 and older. And the results are in: Jacksonville is one of the best cities for making new friends!

Looking for a new owner

My sign needs a yard, a good home, and a caring owner.

SOLD

It’s such a good sign—housebroken, quiet, low maintenance, and will happily greet you.

Previous owner kept it for 30 days, but had to say good-bye after we, my sign and I, sold her house in the Thornewood community of Mandarin, Jacksonville, Florida.