Posted in Real Estate, Selling Your Home, Tips and Info, Your Home, Your Life, Your Realtor

Front Doors

Doorways, portals and passageways

Doors and doorways have been symbolic across cultures for as long as history has been recorded. A door is both an entrance and an exit, so it has been associated with portals and passageways on many levels. On a metaphorical level, a door can become an entrance to nearly anything. Doors hold the essence of mystery. Potentially, anything might lie beyond the closed door.

Even if we see the door only as an entrance or exit, we are still going through a type of transition each time we enter or leave. Whether we realize it or not. We are faced with a choice when we face a closed door. We can accept the invitation to move forward, into change. Or, we can decline it based on something that turns us away.

Judging a house by its front door

A poorly maintained door can be a drain on the positive vibe of a home. And, have a negative impact on the person approaching it; indicating problems within the house that require attention. In short, even though we like to think the proverbial “don’t judge a book by its cover” idiom is the way we should act, we still can’t help but judge a house by its front door — and we shouldn’t. It’s a part of our biggest investment!

The front door frames our first impression of a home. And impacts our frame of mind, our mood, and our attitude. It affects how we feel at the start of our day and at the end of it when we return home.

Adding a positive vibe to your daily transitions

For a positive impact on the daily transitions in and out of your home, make sure your front door…

  • is clean or freshly painted
  • is a color that you like and are comfortable looking at every day
  • is proportionate in size to your house
  • is surrounded by a clean frame
  • catches the attention of the eye
  • is properly maintained, and quiet (no creaking or squeaking)

Coming Soon: Bartram Springs Home for Sale

PS. If you’re looking to buy a Bartram Springs home with an impressive and eye-catching 8-foot front door that opens to a warm, inviting, and spacious home with 4 beds, 3 full baths, a separate office, salt-water pool, energy saving features, and upgrades like brand new bamboo wood flooring, brand new quartz counters and brand new stainless steel appliances, it will be listed this week. And showings will begin Thursday, October 19th.

Bartram Springs, Jacksonville, FL 32258
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.

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


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!

Call Me Graphic

Mortgage first: 4 tips before you shop for your home


Don’t wait until after you find a home

Shopping for a home (and a mortgage) is sometimes stressful enough. You don’t want to jump through too many hoops, feel out of control, or be left with buyer’s remorse because you felt rushed. To ensure a positive experience versus unmet promises, you’ll want to:

  1. Investigate mortgage options before your home search–you’ll be glad you did. 
  2. Plan ahead and do your research–so you’re not rushed to shop for a good option.
  3. Gather more than one quote–to compare and decide between multiple quotes from lenders.
  4. Select on a lender’s merits–don’t just base your decision on price or affiliation.



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

Moving on up?


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.


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)

Posted in Jacksonville, FLA, Real Estate, Your Realtor


Dreaming about a new home? Or, thinking of selling your house? Or, just need advice on where or how to begin? With a consultative approach (versus a sales approach) I’ll guide you through your home listing, buying, staging or re-design process with knowledge, thoughtfulness, and the utmost professionalism.

headshot-w-shadow-border-and-colorHi, I’m Deanna (Dee). Thanks for stopping by. I’ve built this great site to go hand in hand with my real estate and re-design business in Jacksonville, Florida.

Start here, if you want to know a little more about who I am, why I enjoy Realtor life, and how I can help make your move less stressful.

Contact me and let’s make your homeownership dreams a reality.

Deanna “Dee” Kassenoff
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty
(904) 638-3243



  • REALTOR® – only members of the National Association of Realtors who adhere to a strict CODE OF ETHICS can use this term.
  • Member Northeast Florida Association of Realtors
  • Member Florida Association of Realtors
  • Member National Association of Realtors
  • Certified Nocatee Agent
  • Certified in Home Staging and Re-Design


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.


Posted in Buying Your Home, For Your Home Life, Real Estate, Selling Your Home, Tips and Info, Your Realtor

Smart Homes: Top 5 Trends

Smart Home Trends

Smart home technology is becoming more mainstream. If you’re selling your home and want to catch a smart buyer’s attention, consider adding smart home features.

So what constitutes a smart home?

Here are the top five trends:

  1. Smart homes will be the new normal.
    Batteries in the garage for electric cars. Smart lighting, temperature control, and appliances.
  2. Smart staging will re-imagine home staging.
    Light bulbs that stream music, and thermostats that adjust the temperature when you walk in room.
  3. Smart phones are your smart home remote control.
    Smart phones are remote controls. 62% of real estate professionals say that buyers want to control their home from their smart phone.
  4. Brands will continue to integrate.
    The smart home industry is working to make all the pieces fit together, meaning that products will be able to talk to each other.
  5. The smart home will become the connected home.
    Having smart appliances that make your life simpler, or controlling lights and temperature when you’re away from home.

Source: The Top Five Trends in Smart Home Innovation – Coldwell Banker Blue Matter