Ponte  Vedra Beach Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

March 1, 2024

Discover Your Dream Home at 8200 SHADE TREE Court, Jacksonville, FL 32256

Open House by Lois Marris at 8200 Shade Tree Ct Jacksonville FL

8200 SHADE TREE Court, Jacksonville, FL 32256 (map)

OPEN HOUSE: March 2-3, 2024

Are you searching for the perfect blend of luxury, comfort, and nature? Look no further than 8200 SHADE TREE Court, nestled in the prestigious Deerwood Subdivision of Southeast Jacksonville. This stunning 2-story home, boasting 4153 sq. ft. of living space, invites you to experience the epitome of gracious living in a serene and private setting.

Join us for an exclusive open house event hosted by listing agent Krizia Gonzalez and agent Lois Marris of Ponte Vedra Club Realty. Mark your calendars for Saturday and Sunday, and step into a world of unparalleled beauty and tranquility.

A Sanctuary Amongst Nature

As you drive down the picture-perfect driveway, you'll feel the stresses of the day melt away. This immaculate residence, built in 2000, sits on a generous .84 acre lot, enveloped by lush greenery and bordered by a tranquil creek. It's a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a resplendent heated saltwater pool, a patio area perfect for entertaining, an outdoor kitchen for culinary adventures, and a cozy firepit where memories are made under the stars.

Luxurious Living Spaces

Step inside to discover a meticulously updated interior that exudes modern elegance and comfort. The home features 4 bedrooms and 4 baths, including a guest suite for extended stays. With soaring ceilings, abundant natural light, and flexible living spaces, you'll finally have room for all the things you've ever dreamed of.

Indulge your senses in the remodeled master bedroom and bath, complete with smart features, a separate tub, a large tiled shower, and a privacy door for added convenience. Whether you're unwinding after a long day or preparing for a new adventure, this sanctuary is designed to cater to your every need.

At 8200 Shade Tree Court, luxury living extends beyond the elegant living spaces into specialized areas designed to enhance your lifestyle. Imagine the convenience of working from home in the meticulously crafted home office, where productivity meets tranquility amidst the serene surroundings. Need to unwind after a long day? Step into the dedicated exercise room and rejuvenate your body and mind with a personalized workout session. For those cherished moments of entertainment and relaxation, indulge in the state-of-the-art theater room, where every movie night becomes an immersive cinematic experience. View more photos here.

Unbeatable Location and Amenities

Conveniently located in Southeast Jacksonville, this home offers easy access to St. John Town Center, major highways, and all the amenities the city has to offer. With the beach just 20 minutes away, you'll find yourself torn between exploring the vibrant city life and basking in the serenity of your own backyard oasis.

Additionally, residents have the option to join the prestigious Deerwood Country Club, which offers a clubhouse, fitness center, golf course, tennis courts, and future pickleball courts. It's the perfect blend of luxury living and community camaraderie.

Your Invitation Awaits

Don't miss this rare opportunity to make 8200 Shade Tree Court your forever home. Join us for our open house event on Saturday and Sunday, where you can experience firsthand the unparalleled beauty and lifestyle this property has to offer.

Details at a Glance:

  • Address: 8200 SHADE TREE Court, Jacksonville, FL 32256
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 4
  • Square Footage: 4153 sq. ft.
  • Lot Size: .84 acres
  • Built: 2000
  • Photos here

Open House Details:

  • Saturday, March 2, 10:00A - 11:30A
  • Saturday, March 2, 1:00P - 3:00P
  • Sunday, March 3, 10:00A - 12:00 N
  • Hosted by: Krizia Gonzalez (LA) and Lois Marris of Ponte Vedra Club Realty
  • 8200 Shade Tree Ct Jacksonville, Lois Marris - Real Estate Agent at Ponte Vedra Club Realty

For more information or to schedule a private viewing, contact Krizia Gonzalez at Krizia.realtor@gmail.com or Lois Marris at loismarris.realtor@gmail.com, 904-373-8033. Your dream home awaits – seize the opportunity to make it yours!

Posted in Open Houses
Feb. 12, 2024

Upgrade Your Home With These 2024 Design Trends

2024 Design Trends

One of the best parts of owning a home is the freedom to make it truly your own with design choices that reflect your personality and lifestyle. Whether you lean toward contemporary design or a farmhouse aesthetic, your home is your canvas.

Even so, it’s always smart to think about the long-term impact those decisions might have on your home’s value. Choosing over-personalized or unpopular materials and finishes could make your home less appealing to future buyers. And selecting out-of-style or overly-trendy elements could cause your home to feel dated quickly.

To help inspire your design choices, we’ve rounded up some of the top trends we’re watching in 2024. Keep in mind, not all of these will work well in every house. If you plan to list or renovate your property, give us a call. We can help you realize your vision and maximize the impact of your investment.

1. Spa-Like Bathrooms

 We could all use a little more relaxation in our lives—so why not bring the spa into your home? In 2024, more homeowners will remodel their bathrooms to turn them into personal oases.1,2

 If you’re undertaking a renovation, consider upgrading fixtures and materials. Handmade tile and custom cabinetry can add a touch of style and luxury. Trade stark whites for warm neutrals to create a more relaxed feel—think light wood tones, creams, and beiges.3 Complete the look with soft ambient lighting from a backlit mirror or pair of decorative sconces.2,3

 If you want to maximize the mind-body benefits of a relaxing bathroom (and have the budget to spare), you might consider installing a steam shower, infrared sauna, or cold plunge tub.3 Not looking to spend as much? Even minor upgrades like a massaging showerhead or heated towel bar can add some pampering to your morning routine.3

 But remember, if you’re modifying your bathroom, it’s always wise to work with experienced and licensed professionals to avoid water damage that could lead to costly repairs. We can refer you to a trusted contractor for help.

 

2.  Maximalism

 In 2024, maximalism is back in vogue, contrasting the neutral aesthetic that dominated design in recent years. While maximalism can be summed up as “more is more,” there’s nothing sloppy or cluttered about this look. Instead, it’s all about intentional curation.4

 Hallmarks of maximalist style include rich and saturated colors, bold wallpaper, statement rugs and furniture, and lots of art. And forget matching—maximalist interiors often include plenty of contrasting colors, textures, and patterns selected to complement one another.4

 If you’re trying to embrace maximalism on a budget, check out thrift stores. They’re often a great place to find unique furniture, colorful rugs, and interesting art or collectibles. Before you invest in rolls of vintage wallpaper, though, it’s important to note—if you plan to sell your home in the near future, the maximalist look won’t appeal to every buyer.

We typically advise sellers to remove clutter and personal items to help buyers imagine their own future lives within the home. Sometimes, that means repainting or redecorating in a more neutral palette. Of course, this shouldn’t stop you from embracing your own style now—just be aware that you may need to walk back your aesthetic prior to selling. We can advise you when the time comes.

 

 

 3. Japandi Style

 Not quite ready to embrace maximalism? Japandi style, which blends Japanese and Scandinavian influences, offers a more subdued approach that still has plenty of character. The look dates back about 150 years to a time when many Scandinavian designers were traveling to Japan for inspiration.5

 Japandi style brings together clean lines, simplicity, and a focus on natural elements and light. It emphasizes the beauty in imperfection, or “wabi sabi,” and a deep connection to Mother Earth. And like Scandinavian decor, the look prioritizes comfort and a sense of sanctuary in the home.5

 Interested in playing with Japandi? Common features include calming color palettes and organic materials like raw wood and bamboo. Try softening harsh edges with softer textures, like cozy blankets and ceramic pieces.

 The look also minimizes clutter, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a minimalist. Instead, Japandi style embraces storage solutions like baskets, folding screens, and sofas with built-in storage to give everything a place.6 If you’d like some help implementing Japandi-style organization in your home, contact us for a list of recommended professionals.

 

 

4. Mixed Metals

Mixing metals used to be a “no-no.” But in 2024, it’s definitely a “yes.”

According to designers, mixing the colors and finishes of metal fixtures and hardware can bring visual interest to a room—as long as you go about it the right way.1,7

The most important rule to keep in mind is to stay away from near matches, like brass and gold—that’s more likely to look accidental than intentional. Instead, go for bold contrast: Think polished nickel and matte black.7

Some designers recommend using each metal at least twice in a room to make it look cohesive. Another good rule of thumb is to stick to two types of metals in a small room and two to three in a larger space.7

Finally, you might think about playing with undertones (brass is warm, chrome is cool) to change the “temperature” of a room. And don’t be afraid of a little shine—many designers predict that a retro, high-polished look will replace matte finishes in 2024.8

Want some help sourcing fixtures and hardware in a variety of finishes? Reach out for a list of our favorite retailers.

 

 

5. Return to Natural Woods

 The all-white kitchen has been ubiquitous in recent years. But in 2024, classic wood cabinetry is back in a big way.9 In fact, industry professionals surveyed by the National Kitchen & Bath Association predict that wood cabinets will be more popular than white in the next three years.10

Natural wood tones offer a sense of warmth and natural beauty.11 And today’s cabinets aren’t anything like the heavy, dated versions of the past. Instead, light to medium versions—like white oak and walnut—and warmer undertones are trending.9 

The addition of wood-grain accents to painted kitchen cabinets—like with a contrasting island or range hood—is another popular option.12  And wood continues to be a favored choice for flooring. A recent survey found that 40% of homeowners opted for either hardwood or engineered wood when renovating their kitchen floors.13

You can also expect to see more wood in bathrooms in 2024. According to Houzz, last year, wood vanities surpassed white in popularity for the first time in recent years, and designers expect the trend to continue.12 While white countertops and walls still dominate bathrooms, a wood-grained vanity brings a relaxed, organic element into the space.

Dreaming about new cabinets or hardwood floors? We’d be happy to share a list of recommended trade professionals who can help.

 

6. Timeless Renovations

In its latest Kitchen Trends Study, Houzz found that “nearly half of homeowners (47%) opt for a timeless design as a sustainable choice during renovations.” Respondents cited long-term cost effectiveness and environmental consciousness as their main motivators.14

In a rapidly changing, technology-driven world, it’s no surprise that homeowners want a nurturing space with lasting appeal—especially if they plan to stay in their homes for years to come.12

Traditional materials and quality craftsmanship lie at the core of timeless design, which some designers are calling “quiet luxury.”15 Think of enduring classics, like hardwood floors, hand-crafted tiles, and marble countertops.12 A timeless color palette will also often include warm neutrals and muted shades of blue and green.15

If you’re thinking about remodeling, it’s wise to incorporate as many classic elements as you can. These stylistic choices tend to hold up well over time, which can prolong the life of your investment and make it easier to sell your home down the road. If you’d like advice on an upcoming project, contact us for a free consultation.

 

BEAUTIFY YOUR HOME WHILE BOOSTING ITS VALUE

If you’re thinking about making design changes—whether that’s repainting or a full remodel—it’s important to be informed about how your choices could impact your home’s resale potential. Buyer preferences can vary significantly based on your home’s neighborhood and price point. Before you begin your project, reach out to discuss your plans and how they could impact the value of your home.

 

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

 

Sources:

1.      HGTV - 
https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/2024-home-and-garden-design-trends

2.      The Spruce -
https://www.thespruce.com/2024-design-trends-8411457

3.      The Spruce -
https://www.thespruce.com/2024-bathroom-design-trends-8380169

4.      Homes and Gardens -
https://www.homesandgardens.com/interior-design/maximalist-decor-ideas

5.      The Spruce -
https://www.thespruce.com/japandi-design-4782478

6.      House Beautiful -
https://www.housebeautiful.com/room-decorating/a45851530/japandi-interior-design-style/

7.      The Spruce - https://www.thespruce.com/4-rules-designers-say-you-should-follow-or-ignore-when-mixing-metals-in-a-room-5199031

8.      The Spruce -
https://www.thespruce.com/2024-lighting-trends-8365056

9.      Good Housekeeping -
https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/decorating-ideas/a45576463/wood-kitchen-cabinet-trend-2023/

10.   Better Homes and Gardens -
https://www.bhg.com/2024-kitchen-trends-840656

11.   Real Simple -
https://www.realsimple.com/2024-kitchen-cabinet-trends-masterbrand-7974600

12.   Houzz -
https://www.houzz.com/magazine/28-home-design-trends-that-will-define-2024-stsetivw-vs~172317389

13.   Houzz -
https://www.houzz.com/magazine/10-kitchen-trends-to-watch-in-layouts-features-and-more-stsetivw-vs~165050822

14.   Houzz -
https://www.houzz.com/magazine/2023-u-s-houzz-kitchen-trends-study-stsetivw-vs~164970160

15.   Better Homes and Gardens -
https://www.bhg.com/quiet-luxury-home-trend-7554026

 

Feb. 12, 2024

Mastering the Crucial First 30 Days

Key to Real Estate Listing Success

Key to Real Estate Listing Success

By Lois Marris

In the ever-evolving landscape of the real estate market, a notable shift has emerged. Gone are the days of lightning-fast sales, where properties garnered multiple offers within hours of hitting the market. Instead, a new reality has emerged, where the days on market are often extended, requiring patience and strategic planning from sellers. Ponte Vedra Beach is now averaging 61 Days on Market, up 59% from a year ago [1]. Despite this shift, the importance of the initial days on the market remains paramount. In fact, these early moments now hold even greater significance, serving as a critical juncture for setting the stage for success and happiness in the selling process. Understanding the evolving dynamics of the market and leveraging the opportunities presented during the crucial first days can make all the difference in achieving a favorable outcome.

Statistical trends reveal two vital aspects of these initial days on the market:

  1. Highest Number of Showings: Your home will receive the most showings during the first 30 days.
  2. Best Chance for a Full Price Offer: The likelihood of securing a full price offer is highest within this timeframe.
  3. Least chance of needing a price reduction: In any real estate market, few homes get their full, original, list price after the first 30 days.

What does this mean for you as a seller in 2024?

It means these first 30 days demand your utmost attention and effort because this window of opportunity won't come again.

There are two primary groups of buyers during this period:

  1. Pent-up Demand Buyers: These are serious buyers actively seeking a home, constantly scouring the internet and attending open houses. They're ready with pre-approval letters and are quick to make offers. Their interest typically peaks within 3-14 days.
  2. New Buyers: These individuals are just beginning their home search journey. While they may not be as urgent as the pent-up demand buyers, they represent genuine interest and potential for your property.

During the first 30 days, your home attracts both types of buyers, driving up demand. However, after this initial period, the pent-up demand buyers may move on to other listings, leaving you with mostly the new buyers entering your market.

Seize the Opportunity

In these early days, leverage the law of supply and demand to your advantage. Ensure your home stands out by:

  • Professional Presentation: Use high-quality photography and ensure your home is impeccably presented online and in person.
  • Pricing Strategy: Price your home competitively based on market analysis. Pent-up demand buyers are savvy and will quickly assess if your home is overpriced.
  • Flexibility: Be open to feedback and adjustments. If your home isn't garnering offers, be proactive in making necessary changes, whether it's in marketing, presentation, or price.

Long-Term Satisfaction

Experience shows that sellers who secure offers within the first 30-45 days tend to have a smoother and less stressful selling process. Avoid the agony of a prolonged listing period by partnering with a reputable real estate agent, pricing your home correctly, and executing a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Feel free to connect with a reliable local agent who can provide expert guidance tailored to your unique requirements. If you're located in the Jacksonville or Ponte Vedra Beach areas of Florida, I'm here to assist you. Whether you're selling in Ponte Vedra Beach or elsewhere, prioritizing thorough home preparation, accurate pricing, and strategic marketing efforts will pave the way for a successful sale.

 

References

  1. Northeast Florida Association of Realtors (2024, February 10). January 2024 Market Review. Www.Nefar.com. Retrieved February 12, 2024, from https://www.nefar.com/market-stats

 

Posted in Seller Tips
Jan. 18, 2024

2024 Real Estate Market Forecast

 

A growing share of home buyers and sellers sat on the sidelines last year as the pace of home sales continued its downward trajectory.1 In fact, since the Federal Reserve began its series of interest rate hikes in 2022, the combination of higher borrowing costs and record-high home prices has fostered the steepest real estate market slowdown since the 2008 recession.2

Priced out of the market, a generation of would-be buyers has been forced to delay their plans for homeownership.3 At the same time, current owners—reluctant to give up their pandemic-era mortgage rates—are waiting to sell, which has resulted in a sharp drop in listings.4

But there may be some relief in sight: In December, the Fed signaled that it was done raising interest rates—and suggested that it could cut rates by 0.75% over the coming year. While mortgages don’t directly follow the federal funds rate, they typically move in tandem—so cheaper home loans may finally be on the horizon.5

Lower mortgage rates should bring some much-needed movement back into the real estate sector. But with a market this fluid, the home buyers and sellers with an edge will be those who proactively leverage a real estate agent’s on-the-ground expertise and stay flexible so that they can quickly adapt to changes.

What does that mean for you? Read on to learn more about the current state of the U.S. housing market, the potential opportunities for buyers and sellers, and economists’ predictions for the year ahead.

 

HOME PRICES WILL REMAIN RELATIVELY STABLE

Not even 8% mortgage rates could bring home prices crashing down in 2023, as some prospective home buyers may have hoped. In fact, on average, U.S. property values ended the year higher—with declines in some areas of the country offset by appreciation in others.6

Prices typically fall when rising interest rates drive down demand. So what’s keeping home values high? Mike Simonsen at Altos Research points to a nationwide housing shortage: “Declining home prices probably require that supply-and-demand imbalance, and what we have is really a balance. There's a balance between low demand and low supply.”7

Analysts expect that equilibrium to continue to prop up home prices in 2024, although the specific forecasts vary. For example, economists at Realtor.com predict that the median home price will fall slightly, by 1.7%, while those at Fannie Mae project modest price growth of 2.8%.6,8

However, experts widely agree: Mortgage rates will be the largest driver of property values. If rates fall faster than expected, more buyers will enter the market—which could send home prices soaring higher.

What does it mean for you? There’s no evidence that home prices are headed for a major decline. So if you’re ready and able to afford a home, this is a great time to test the waters. The best bargains are often found in a slower market, like the one we’re experiencing right now. Contact us to discuss your goals and budget. We can help you make an informed decision about the right time to buy.

 

And if you’ve been waiting to sell your home, this could be your year. Price growth has slowed, so now is the time to maximize your equity gains while minimizing your competition. Contact us for recommendations and to find out what your home could sell for in today’s market.

 

 

MORTGAGE RATES SHOULD FINALLY TREND DOWN

The best news we've got incoming for 2024? The extra-high mortgage rates that have weighed heavily on the real estate market may finally be headed south.

At its December meeting, the Fed signaled that the worst is likely behind us and that it expects to cut its overnight rate in 2024. Analysts predict that mortgage rates will fall in lockstep.5

“Given inflation continues to decelerate and the Federal Reserve Board’s current expectations that they will lower the federal funds target rate next year, we likely will see a gradual thawing of the housing market in the new year,” said Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sam Khater following the announcement.9

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has already declined from an October high of around 8%, and analysts at Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and Realtor.com all forecast that rates will trend down this year, ending 2024 closer to 6%.7

However, it’s not all good news: It appears that the days of 3% mortgage rates are firmly behind us. “As long as the economy continues to motor along, the new normal of higher rates is here to stay,” explains Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.4 So, when it comes to a home loan, borrowers may need to adjust their expectations.

What does it mean for you? If you're a prospective home buyer, declining mortgage rates could give you the opportunity to lock in a more affordable monthly payment. And if you purchase before the market reheats, you could secure an especially good deal. To find the lowest rate, it pays to compare lenders. Ask us to refer you to a mortgage broker who can help you shop around for the best option.

 

Sellers also have reason to celebrate buyers' lower interest rates: As the barriers to entry to the housing market decline, they could enjoy more or better offers. Reach out to discuss how we can help you maximize your home’s sales potential.

 

 

LOWER RATES WILL BRING SOME BUYERS AND SELLERS BACK TO THE MARKET

Over the past couple of years, higher mortgage rates have cooled home buyer demand. They’ve also delayed the plans of many home sellers, who have been reluctant to trade in their current mortgages for loans that are several points higher.

With so many market participants playing the waiting game, the real estate sector has slowed significantly. National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun estimates that the number of existing home sales fell by 18% last year following a 17% decline in 2022.10

However, as financing costs tick down, sales volume is expected to rise. “Lower mortgage rates would help spur home sales activity, which [is] expected to increase in 2024 compared to 2023,” explains Selma Hepp, chief economist at CoreLogic. “Declines in mortgage rates will drive more sellers to trade their existing home and help add much-needed inventory to the market, leading to more transactions.”4

There’s also evidence that the patience of holdout home buyers may be waning, despite higher borrowing costs. A recent survey by Bank of America found that the number who are willing to wait for prices or mortgage rates to decline before making a purchase fell from 85% to 62% in just six months.11

“When it comes down to it, if buying a home is your goal and within your budget, the best time to buy is when you're ready financially and you can find a home that fits your needs,” Matt Vernon, head of consumer lending at Bank of America, advised in a recent release. “Even in the current interest rate environment, there are clear benefits to purchasing a home and beginning to build equity.”11

What does it mean for you? If you’ve been waiting to buy a home, you might want to consider purchasing before the competition picks up. Pent-up demand could bring a flood of buyers back into the market as mortgage rates decline. Contact us if you’re ready to begin your home search.

 

If you’re hoping to sell this year, you may also want to act fast. An increase in listings will make it harder for your home to stand out. We can help you chart the best course to maximize your profits, starting with a professional assessment of your home’s current market value. Reach out to schedule a free consultation.

 

 

THE HOUSING SUPPLY SHORTAGE WILL PERSIST

Will home buyers who are eager for options have more homes to choose from this year?

Yun thinks so. He believes sellers will soon grow weary of waiting to list. “Pent-up sellers cannot wait any longer. People will begin to say, ‘life goes on,’” the NAR economist speculated at a November conference. “Listings will steadily show up, and new home sales will continue to do well.”10

But not everyone agrees. Economists at Realtor.com forecast that inventory could drop by as much as 14% this year. The decline in existing homes for sale has been compounded by a persistent shortage of new construction, with single-family housing starts falling 10.3% in 2023 and 11.2% in 2022.6

Even so, newly-built homes are playing an increased role in easing the supply crunch, accounting for around one-third of all homes for sale in 2023—which was twice the historical average.12 But new construction alone isn’t expected to fill the inventory gap.

According to First American Financial Corporation’s Chief Economist Mark Fleming, the U.S. currently has a shortfall of around one million homes, and conditions won’t ease until individual owners re-enter the market. “Only when more homeowners decide to sell, and then buy again, will housing supply and the pace of sales return to anything resembling normal.”13

What does it mean for you? Inventory remains tight, but buyers can benefit from the search expertise of a real estate professional. We can tap our extensive network to access off-market and pre-market listings while helping you explore both new construction and existing homes in our area.

 

While sellers will continue to benefit from the low-inventory environment, they should be prepared to compete against brand-new homes. We can help you prep your property for the market and highlight the features most likely to appeal to today’s buyers.

 

 

WE'RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU

While national real estate forecasts can give you a “big picture” outlook, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we know what's most likely to impact sales and drive home values in your neighborhood. As a trusted partner in your real estate journey, we'll keep our ears to the ground so that we can guide you through the market's twists and turns.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2024, contact us now to schedule a free consultation. Let’s work together and craft an action plan to meet your real estate goals.

 

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

 

Sources:

  1. CNN - https://www.cnn.com/2023/10/19/homes/existing-home-sales-september/index.html
  2. Goldman Sachs - https://www.gspublishing.com/content/research/en/reports/2023/10/23/2d814362-a656-4cb3-8586-bea8591188e3.html
  3. ABC News - https://abcnews.go.com/US/millennials-priced-homeownership-feeling-pressure/story?id=105032436
  4. Bankrate - https://www.bankrate.com/real-estate/housing-market-2024/
  5. CBS News - https://www.cbsnews.com/news/interest-rates-are-paused-heres-why-thats-good-news-for-homebuyers/
  6. Realtor.com - https://www.realtor.com/research/2024-national-housing-forecast
  7. NerdWallet - https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/mortgages/2024-homebuying-trends-property-line-november-2023
  8. Fast Company - https://www.fastcompany.com/90991612/home-price-2024-outlook-fannie-mae
  9. Freddie Mac - https://freddiemac.gcs-web.com/news-releases/news-release-details/mortgage-rates-drop-below-seven-percent
  10. National Association of Realtors - https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/nar-chief-economist-lawrence-yun-forecasts-existing-home-sales-will-rise-by-15-percent-next-year
  11. Bank of America - https://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/content/newsroom/press-releases/2023/12/bofa-report-shows-fewer-prospective-homebuyers-willing-to-wait-f.html
  12. Marketplace - https://www.marketplace.org/2023/11/27/mortgage-rates-new-home-sales/
  13. First American - qhttps://blog.firstam.com/economics/whats-the-outlook-for-the-housing-market-in-2024
Dec. 9, 2023

Celebrate Sustainably: 5 Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Holiday at Home

Lois Marris Real Estate Holiday Home Decor Tip 1

It's the most wonderful time of the year. But for many families with festive plans and hectic schedules, it's also the most wasteful.

According to one survey, for example, 60% of respondents admitted to throwing away more than usual during the holiday months as they filled up their trash bins with uneaten food, wrapping paper, gift bags, and commercial packaging.1 

The reality is, Americans routinely toss about 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than at any other time of year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.2 In fact, we throw away so much ribbon during the holidays—around 38,000 miles’ worth—that the discarded material could easily run more than one and a half times around the Earth.3

As our holiday schedules grow busier, many of us also forget to take simple steps at home to shrink our carbon footprints or prepare for a more energy-efficient winter.

Luckily, it’s not that hard to shift our habits and plan for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly celebration. Here are five ideas for ringing in the holidays this year without overstressing Mother Nature

 

1. PREP YOUR HOME FOR WINTER

Depending on the amount of time and resources you have available, you could cut your carbon emissions significantly this season just by winterizing your home. 

Investing in a more sustainable way to warm up your surroundings—such as a geothermal heat pump or solar heating—could be especially impactful if your current HVAC is underperforming and you can afford a more expensive system.4 Replacing old appliances or things like chronically leaking windows with newer, more energy-efficient solutions can also save you money over the long term.5 Plus, you may be able to claim a federal energy-efficient tax credit for up to 30% of your investment.6

You don't necessarily have to spend a lot upfront, though, to prep your home for winter. Even simple tweaks—such as sealing windows and doors or upgrading to more energy-efficient window coverings—can lower your energy consumption and reduce your carbon footprint.7

Incorporating environmentally healthier habits into your routine can also make a meaningful difference. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, for example, dialing back your thermostat by as little as seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day can trim up to 10% from your bills.8

Consider a home energy assessment to help you pinpoint what needs fixing. Depending on your comfort level, you can audit your home's energy efficiency yourself with the help of the Department of Energy's DIY Guide.9 Or you can hire a professional, such as a home energy auditor or weatherization contractor.10 Call us for a recommendation or personal referral.

 

2. DECORATE SUSTAINABLY

Decking your home's halls is one of the jolliest seasonal activities of all. There's something special about gathering 'round with friends and family and relaxing in the comforting glow of a festively decorated space.

But since so much of the holiday-themed decor that's sold in stores is notoriously disposable, it can be a challenge to spruce up your home sustainably. Cheaply produced and rarely recyclable, store-bought decorations are often made with plastic, Styrofoam, and other environmentally unfriendly materials that can crowd landfills for generations.2

Luckily, you don't have to trade style for sustainability when making your holiday decor. Thrifting is still in vogue, so consider crafting new and on-trend decorations out of secondhand finds or upcycling items already in your closet.

For example, you could transform an ill-fitting sweater into a holiday-themed pillow, turn teacups into candles, or turn leftover shipping boxes into creative decorations. Alternatively, natural decor foraged from your yard—such as dried leaves, flowers, pinecones, and branches—can make for especially beautiful wreaths and centerpieces.

If you do purchase store-bought decor, proactively look for the most environmentally friendly options. LED lights are now ubiquitous in stores and use far less energy than incandescent versions.11 Similarly, if you celebrate with a Christmas tree, think twice about choosing an artificial option. Plastic trees may be reusable, but natural trees are generally thought to have a smaller carbon footprint.1

Lois Marris Real Estate Holiday Home Decor Tip 2

3. CUT BACK ON HOLIDAY SHOPPING 

Shopping online or at the mall may be convenient, but it can be costly for the environment. The greenhouse emissions from shipping and transportation alone add up fast, as do the emissions that are produced when an item is first made. According to the online consignment and thrift store, thredUp, 4.5 billion pounds of carbon emissions could be saved if every American bought just one used item instead of new this year.12

Splurging on brand-new products also makes it more likely that the gently used but still functional items that you've got at home will wind up in the trash.

Rather than buy new, check vintage stores and consignment shops for unique gifts that you and your recipient can both feel good about. According to research by thredUp, most people are open to receiving gently used presents, especially if they're socially conscious members of Gen Z.12 Alternatively, consider regifting items that you haven't used, upcycling something you own, or try crafting gifts by hand.

Giving away special experiences, such as concert tickets or community memberships, may also be an eco-friendlier option. So is donating to a favorite charity in a gift recipient's name or offering gifts of time, such as promising to help a loved one clean out their garage or fill their freezer with home-cooked meals.

Research shows that gift recipients often value thoughtful gifts with sentimental value, especially if they're homemade or nostalgic or will provide them with a unique experience.13

And if you prefer to buy something tangible, look to local businesses that source or manufacture their goods nearby. Craft fairs and community markets are a great place to start. Or, give us a call and we’d be happy to share a list of our favorite local stores, depending on the type of gift and your budget. We make an effort to patronize the independently-owned shops and restaurants around town and would love to share our recommendations.

 

4. GREEN YOUR HOLIDAY DINNER

Do you hail from a family of passionate carnivores? If so, trading your meat for a vegetarian option may seem like a step too far—especially for a holiday dinner. 

But swapping your meat for beans isn't the only way to “'green” your holiday meal. For example, you can consciously source your meat from ethical sellers, prioritize local producers for seasonal sides, and serve enough filling vegetables to satisfy a large portion of your appetite.14

You can also minimize food waste by planning ahead so that you don't cook more than necessary. Check out the Natural Resources Defense Council's dinner party “Guest-Imator” to help you narrow down how much food you and your guests will actually need.15 In addition, consider using the USDA's FoodKeeper App to help track safety recalls and set up calendar reminders for expired food.16

Once you're finished eating, clear the table immediately and either freeze the leftovers you'd like to keep or send guests home with reusable containers. Or, if you have untouched food that's still whole or in unopened packaging, take it to a local food bank or homeless shelter. Here is a list of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beach area food banks.

Lois Marris Real Estate Holiday Decorating Tip 3

5. DONATE OR RECYCLE WHAT YOU CAN

Once the festivities are over, the real work on behalf of Mother Nature begins. This is the time when taking a few minutes at the end of your holiday celebration to swiftly collect wrapping paper and ribbons, unwanted packaging, and other discarded items can make a real environmental difference by reducing what you send to landfills. Your goal should be to reuse what you can and compost or recycle what's left over.

For example, if you upgrade any electronic gadgets over the holidays, you can conserve resources and limit pollution by donating or properly recycling your old versions. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated that recycling a million laptop computers could help save the energy equivalent of 3,500 homes' annual usage of electricity.16 Similarly, the EPA says that recycling one million phones can help salvage 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium.17 In Jacksonville, contact sensiblerecycling.com to recycle old computer equipment.

It can also help to reimagine new ways to make old traditions more eco-friendly. For instance, if lighting candles is part of your holiday celebration, consider choosing beeswax candles this year instead of the typical paraffin wax, which is a petroleum derivative. Not only are they cleaner burning and less toxic, but the leftover wax is biodegradable and can be composted, unlike traditional candle wax.18

There are also plenty of earth-friendly ways to dispose of a natural Christmas tree without kicking it to the curb. Trees that are sent to landfills release a potent greenhouse gas called methane.19 So, it’s important to properly dispose of a live tree, if you have one, so it can be recycled or composted. 

 

BOTTOMLINE

We can still celebrate a fun and festive season without draining our community’s resources or sending leftovers to the landfill. And remember, we’re here to lend a helping hand, now or in the new year. This is the perfect time to strategize your next move or set some real estate resolutions with personalized guidance from an expert. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation.

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs. 

Sources:

  1. Eco Watch -
    https://www.ecowatch.com/sustainable-decor-winter-holidays.html
  2. Architectural Digest - https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/best-holiday-and-seasonal-decor-for-the-environment
  3. The New York Times -
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/18/style/zero-waste-holiday.html
  4. Environmental Protection Agency -
    https://www.epa.gov/burnwise/heat-pumps
     
  5. U.S. Department of Energy - https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/articles/appliance-and-equipment-standards-fact-sheet
  6. IRS -
    https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/energy-efficient-home-improvement-credit
  7. Energy Star -
    https://www.energystar.gov/saveathome/seal_insulate/sealing_window_door
  8. U.S. Department of Energy - https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/programmable-thermostats
  9. U.S. Department of Energy -
    https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/do-it-yourself-home-energy-assessments
  10. Kiplinger - https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/real-estate/t029-s001-12-ways-to-prepare-your-home-for-winter/index.html
  11. U.S. Department of Energy - https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/articles/reduce-waste-and-save-energy-holiday-season#
  12. Thred Up - https://newsroom.thredup.com/news/thredup-releases-thrift-for-the-holidays-report-revealing-that-new-waves-of-consumers-are-planning-to-gift-secondhand-this-year
  13. The Conversation - https://theconversation.com/the-4-biggest-gift-giving-mistakes-according-to-a-consumer-psychologist-195169
  14. Popular Science -
    https://www.popsci.com/story/diy/sustainable-holiday-strategies/
  15.  Natural Resources Defense Council -
    https://savethefood.com/guestimator
  16. USDA -
    https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2018/10/04/usda-updates-foodkeeper-app-include-new-food-items
  17.  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency -
  18. https://www.epa.gov/recycle/electronics-donation-and-recycling  CanICompostIt.com -
    https://canicompostit.com/candle-wax/
  19.  CNN -
    https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/25/us/real-or-artificial-christmas-tree-climate/index.html
Nov. 26, 2023

35 Tips to Furnish Your New Home for Less

 

35 Ways to Furnish Your New Home For Less - Lois Marris, Ponte Vedra Club Realty

35 Tips to Furnish Your New Home for Less

 

Buying a new home is one of the most exciting experiences in life. And if you’re like most homebuyers, you’ll be planning your furniture placement and decor before the ink dries on your offer letter.

But before you run to the nearest home goods store, take a deep breath. First, you’ll need to delay any major purchases before you close on your new home. A large outlay or additional line of credit could lower your credit score and, thus, impact your mortgage terms.1 Second, moving and closing costs can add up quickly, so it’s important to be strategic with your remaining budget.

But don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to save on home essentials, and we’ve rounded up some of our favorites to share with you.

 

PRIORITIZE WHAT YOU REALLY NEED BEFORE YOU START SHOPPING

 According to Home Advisor, the national average cost to furnish a new house is $16,000, but it can easily soar higher.2  That’s why we recommend starting with a thorough assessment of what you already have and what you actually need to start life in your new place. Here are some steps to help you prioritize your purchases and keep spending in check.

 

       Make a list of everything you need. Going room by room could help you brainstorm—for example, you might list items ranging from a mattress to blackout curtains for your new primary bedroom.

       Inventory what you already have. Cross the big (dining table) to the small (kitchen knives) off your list as you go.

       Divide the remaining items into three groups: things you need right away (a mattress), items you’d like to have in the near future (a coffee table for your living room), and pieces that can wait (an area rug).

       Calculate your budget. Figure out how much money you’ll have available for immediate purchases after the sale has closed, and start researching the items on your priority list to understand how they’ll fit into your budget.

       Don’t rush the process. Bringing older items to your new space doesn’t mean you need to keep them forever. Consider hanging onto pieces that can tide you over for a year or two until your bank account has recovered from the costs of a home purchase.

 Before you start shopping, make sure you know which appliances and fixtures are included with your home purchase. We can inform you of the standard contract terms when you’re making an initial offer and note any additional items that you would like to request.

 

TIME YOUR PURCHASES TO MAKE THE MOST OF SEASONAL SALES

Did you know that some home items predictably go on sale at certain times of the year? If you can wait to buy these pieces when prices are lower, you could save significantly. Here are some of the best times to buy household essentials:3,4

       Bedding and linens: January

       TVs: Black Friday/Cyber Monday and late January (before the Super Bowl)

       Furniture: February and August, as well as Black Friday, Memorial Day, and Labor Day

       Large appliances: Labor Day through October

       Small kitchen appliances: May

       Mattresses: Holiday weekends, especially Memorial Day, Labor Day, and 4th of July

       Vacuum cleaners: April

       Tools: June

       Outdoor furniture: August through October

 

Generally speaking, holiday weekends (as well as #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday) tend to be great times to find deals. If the item you’re looking for is seasonal—like patio furniture or holiday decorations—waiting until the end of that season usually pays off.

 

FIND ALTERNATIVE SHOPPING SOURCES

 Can’t wait for a sale? It’s time to think outside of the box (the big-box stores, that is). There are plenty of surprising places to find great furniture and houseware deals.

 

       Check out overstock and liquidation stores. These stores purchase items other retailers haven’t sold and offer them at a steep discount. The inventory can be hit or miss, but you can often get a great deal if you find what you’re looking for.5

       Try private membership/warehouse stores. Retailers like St John’s Town Center Costco and Sam’s Club often have great deals on home goods. If you’re not already a member, ask family or friends if they are willing to take you to look around before you commit.

       Consider open-box items.  When buyers return items like furniture or electronics, retailers can’t always sell them as new, even if they haven’t truly been used. Look online for open-box deals from retailers like Wayfair and Amazon Warehouse or visit local retailers to see what they have in stock.

       Give scratch-and-dent appliances a chance. These appliances are brand new but sold at deep discounts because their external packaging was damaged. Typically, this means that flaws are purely cosmetic—but it’s always possible that the merchandise has suffered more serious damage. So, be sure to check out the appliances carefully and ask about included warranties.6

       Expand your window treatment search. Window treatments can be surprisingly expensive, but it’s often possible to save by buying off-the-shelf offerings in standard sizes. I use often use Jacksonville’s IKEA window treatments to affordably stage a home. They have a good selection of curtain and other window treatments. If you need a custom size or material, consider ordering online from a discount supplier and installing them yourself.

       Shop secondhand. In addition to thrift stores and garage sales, Facebook Marketplace and local consignment stores are all great places to find deals in our area. Consider joining a Jacksonville or Ponte Vedra Beach area Facebook “SWIP SWAP” group to find people selling furniture as well as garage sale notices. Check out  Luxury for Less in Ponte Vedra Beach, Bryson’s Furniture Consignment and Clearing House Furniture Consignment in Jacksonville, FL.

Are alternative shopping sources still a stretch for your budget? Check out local Freecycle or “Buy Nothing” groups, which are often hosted on Facebook. Participants offer big and small items they no longer need—everything from furniture to clothing hangers—for free to other members.7,8

 

DON’T BE AFRAID TO NEGOTIATE FOR A BETTER DEAL

Many people don’t realize that prices for home goods, from furniture to appliances, are often negotiable. While asking for a discount can be intimidating, it’s common practice in many industries, although more so at independently owned stores than chains. Here are a few tips:9,10

 

       Comparison shop before you walk into a store. If you can find a lower price for the same item elsewhere, many retailers will match it.

       Ask the store associate or manager for the best price available. They may be able to offer additional discounts or coupons.

       If you can pay in cash, ask if you can get a discount for doing so. The seller may be happy to offer a small price reduction to avoid paying processor fees.

       Call ahead to ask about applicable discounts. Some retailers offer price reductions for active military, veterans, teachers, first responders, or senior citizens on certain days or times of the year.

       Point out scratches or dings to the sales associate. They may be willing to offer a discount to compensate for the imperfection.

       Ask about floor models. Many stores offer these pieces at a lower price, even if they’re in like-new condition.

 

After you’ve negotiated a killer deal, don’t forget to ask for free or discounted delivery! Sometimes furniture and appliance stores will offer complimentary delivery or installation if you spend a certain amount or purchase multiple items.

 

MAKE THE MOST OF REWARD PROGRAMS AND COUPONS

Every penny counts when you’re on a budget—and spending a little extra time maximizing reward programs and discounts is usually worthwhile.

 

       Sign up for a change of address kit with the United States Postal Service. You’ll need to do anyways to forward mail to your new address, and it comes packed with valuable coupons.11

       Make sure you never miss a sale.  Sign up for your favorite retailers’ email lists and follow them on social media for discounts and sale alerts.

       Take advantage of loyalty programs. If you’re making a big purchase or getting multiple items from one store, ask about free loyalty programs. Signing up often comes with an introductory coupon.

       Consider store credit cards (carefully). Store credit cards can offer significant discounts—but only charge items you can pay off right away to avoid interest, and never open new lines of credit until your home purchase is complete, since it can affect your credit score.

       Enroll in coupon and cashback programs. When you’re shopping online, programs like Rakuten and Honey can help you find coupon codes and give you cash back on purchases.

 

While you’re at it, why not set up a housewarming registry?12  You can share the link with family and friends if they ask what you need—and you can also use it to score discounts. Many stores offer a percentage off to help you buy unpurchased items on your registry.

 

GET CREATIVE

If you want to avoid a cookie-cutter home aesthetic—and save a few bucks—try reimagining your existing furniture and how it could fit into your new space. Here are a few of our favorite strategies.

 

       Repurpose what you have. Instead of buying a new item to fit a specific purpose, ask yourself if you can use what you have in a different way. For example, repurpose an old dresser as a television stand or use a mismatched dining chair in your home office.

       Upgrade existing items. Sometimes, a new coat of paint or varnish, or simply swapping out drawer pulls and handles, can lend a new lease on life to an old piece of furniture. You can also keep this strategy in mind if you see second-hand items that would be just right if they were a different color or had nicer fixtures.

       Reupholster instead of buying new. If you have a tired-looking sofa or chair that’s still comfortable and stable, think about getting it reupholstered in new fabric instead of replacing it.

       Get handy. Building furniture is certainly not for everyone, but with some basic tools and help from the internet, you may find that simple items like headboards are well within your grasp. You might also be able to repair pieces you already have and avoid shopping altogether.

 

Do-it-yourself projects can be fun, but they aren’t for everyone. If you’d like some professional help, reach out for a list of our recommended service providers.

 

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

We know budgeting for a new home can be overwhelming, and we want to make the process easier for you. If you’re considering a home purchase in the Jacksonville Beaches or Ponte Vedra Beach areas, we can advise you on a realistic budget and help you review your options. We can also offer insights on other financial considerations and programs and incentives that can help make homeownership more attainable. Reach out for a free consultation – Lois Marris, Ponte Vedra Club Realty, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, call Lois, email Lois.

 

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

Sources:

1.       Bankrate -
https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/avoid-mortgage-closing-missteps/

2.       Furniture Bank -
https://www.furniturebank.org/how-much-does-it-cost-to-furnish-an-apartment/  

3.       US News -
https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/saving-and-budgeting/articles/the-best-time-of-year-to-buy-everything

4.       NerdWallet -
https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/finance/wht-to-buy-every-month

5.       Business Insider -
https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/strategies-to-save-money-on-furniture-for-my-new-home?r=US&IR=T

6.       CNET -
https://www.cnet.com/home/kitchen-and-household/buy-scratch-and-dent-appliances/

7.       Real Simple -
https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/green-living/buy-nothing-groups

8.       Freecycle -
https://www.freecycle.org/

9.       Consumer Reports -
https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2013/08/how-to-bargain/index.htm

10.    Realtor.com -
https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/furniture-stores-money-saving-tricks/

11.    The Krazy Coupon Lady -
https://thekrazycouponlady.com/tips/money/usps-moving-coupons

12.    Taste of Home -
https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/housewarming-registry/

Oct. 8, 2023

Is the Landlord Life for You?

Ready to be  Landlord in Ponte Vedra Beach?

        Income Properties Are Trending,

But Is Landlord Life for You?

If the prospect of putting your money into bricks and mortar, or maybe some stylishly painted siding, excites you, welcome to the club. Real estate investment has always been a favorite among Americans for growing wealth, with over 70% of single-family rental properties owned by individual investors, not corporations, according to Census data.¹ Bankrate surveys spanning a decade have consistently shown Americans favoring real estate for long-term wealth building over other investment options. Bankrate's latest survey, for instance, highlights the strong return on investment real estate can offer, especially for those willing to hold onto a property over time.² It's also a popular choice to hedge against inflation since rental income and property values typically rise in line with overall prices.³

As higher interest rates nudge potential homebuyers out of the market, a fresh wave of "mom and pop" investors is eyeing the burgeoning rental market as a potential goldmine.⁴ There's also a growing interest in buying homes for both living and renting, particularly among budget-conscious buyers looking to supplement their mortgage payments.⁵

But how can you determine if you're cut out for real estate investment opportunities? Here are three signs that owning a rental property could be the right path for you:

1. You're a Homebuyer Who Wants Help Covering the Mortgage

If you're seeking a creative way to buy a home without breaking the bank, "house hacking" might be the solution. It's gaining popularity among first-time homebuyers and budget-conscious investors alike. House hacking essentially involves buying a home to live in while renting out a portion of it to one or more tenants. ⁵ This approach is often easier to enter than traditional real estate investing since it typically requires a lower credit score and a smaller down payment to qualify for a mortgage. In some cases, government-backed mortgage programs can even allow you to buy a primary residence with little to no money down.⁶ In contrast, buying a non-primary residence might necessitate a down payment of 15% to 25% to qualify for a loan.⁷

With house hacking, the rent you collect each month can help cover your mortgage and other homeownership expenses. Depending on your arrangement, you might also save on utility bills by splitting costs with your tenant or including a portion in their monthly rent. An added perk of house hacking is that it comes with certain tax benefits and deductions available exclusively to landlords.⁸ When you're ready to embark on your search, we can assist you in finding a property tailored for house hacking, whether it's a house with living space over the garage, a multifamily unit, or a home with ample outdoor space for an accessory dwelling unit or garage apartment.

Ponte Vedra Beach offers an intriguing house hacking alternative. Many individuals in this area choose to acquire a second home that can be rented out when they're not using it. This option particularly appeals to those with plans to eventually retire in Ponte Vedra Beach, as the rental income generated during their absence helps cover the expenses of their second home. If this idea captures your interest, it's crucial to ensure that you buy in a community that welcomes rentals. In Sawgrass Country Club, for instance, most properties allow weekly rentals. The Breakers Condominiums, offering oceanfront 2–3-bedroom units, permit short-term rentals. Meanwhile, Beach House condos come with a minimum rental period of 30 days, and many associations stipulate minimum rental durations of 7-12 months. If you'd like to explore this type of house hacking further, please don't hesitate to reach out to us for additional information.

2. You're an Investor Looking for Steady and Reliable Income

If the idea of having a live-in tenant doesn't appeal to you but you still desire an extra income stream, a dedicated long-term rental property might be a better fit. Apart from providing monthly income, owning a rental home can diversify and stabilize your investment portfolio over the long haul, helping you build wealth.⁹ Historical data from the Federal Reserve demonstrates that real estate owners have thrived, with median home values nearly tripling in three decades. During the pandemic-era real estate boom, average home prices surged by almost 50% in just two and a half years.¹⁰ Florida has been a “go-to” destination the past several years and demand for Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach and Ponte Vedra remains high.

However, predicting appreciation rates can be challenging, so it's wise to invest in a property that generates positive cash flow. This means the rent you receive exceeds your expenses, ensuring you pocket money each month, even if the property's value takes time to appreciate. While today's higher mortgage rates may pose challenges, investing isn't limited to cash buyers. In fact, nearly 60% of real estate investors currently secure loans to finance their purchases, according to economist Thomas Malone at CoreLogic.⁴ Furthermore, smaller investors are stepping in to meet the demand for rental housing as many prospective buyers remain priced out of the market.⁴

If you're interested in exploring opportunities for a residential rental property that's both budget-friendly and attractive to renters, feel free to reach out with your questions or to schedule a complimentary consultation. In Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, you'll find a variety of affordable single-family home neighborhoods, including charming communities like Dolphin Cove, Wellington by the Sea, and De Leon Shores. Additionally, the proximity of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville opens up opportunities for rental homes in the Isle of Palms area, providing a comfortable alternative to hotels for visiting staff and patients seeking the comforts of a home during their stay.

3. You're an Experienced Investor Looking to Maximize Your Potential Returns

Another increasingly popular method for generating income from an investment property is converting it into a short-term vacation rental. However, be cautious as this strategy can be riskier due to tighter rental restrictions in some municipalities and market oversaturation in others¹¹,¹².

That said, if you're an experienced investor with the ability to handle some uncertainty, investing in a short-term rental might be a viable option. With the right property, you could earn significantly more by renting it short-term on platforms like Airbnb compared to having a long-term tenant.¹¹ To make this strategy work, you'll need marketing skills, hospitality know-how, and business acumen. Alternatively, you can enlist the services of a professional property manager but be sure to account for the cost in your budget.

The vacation rental market enjoyed a boom during the pandemic, leading to some inexperienced investors finding themselves overwhelmed. This presents an opportunity to acquire these properties, provided you have sufficient capital and a willingness to learn the ropes.¹² We can assist you in identifying opportunities in our local market, or if you're considering investing in another area, we can refer you to an agent for guidance.

In Conclusion

Real estate investment can be an excellent way to build long-term wealth and generate extra income. To make the most of your investment, it's essential to have a strategic approach. Give us a call for a consultation, and we can discuss your goals and budget. We'll help you pinpoint neighborhoods with strong income potential, identify homes suited for renting, and brainstorm the best investment strategy for your unique situation.

 

 

Before you take the plunge, make sure you can answer “YES.
to these three questions:

 

 

  1. Are you ready to be a landlord?

 

Owning a rental property can take a lot of time and energy. You're not just buying passive income, you're also building sweat equity since the time you spend maintaining, marketing, and managing your rental can add up quickly. So be prepared to do some soul-searching to ensure you’ll not only flourish as a landlord, but actually enjoy it.

If you want to invest in real estate but aren’t prepared to put in the day-to-day effort required, we can refer you to a property management service for help.

 

  1. Can you afford to invest in real estate?

 

The last thing you want is to get over-extended with your new real estate venture. Besides the cost of purchasing the property, you’ll need to consider additional expenses, like property taxes, insurance, administrative costs, and maintenance and repairs. You will also need a cash reserve for unexpected issues or potential vacancies.

We can help you run the numbers to determine whether you can charge enough rent to offset your expenditures.

 

  1. Have you found the right income property?

Even if you’ve got your finances in order and are emotionally ready to invest, your success as a landlord will also depend on the property you buy. The criteria for a good rental home and a good family home are often different, so it’s important to lean on professionals for advice.

We can help you find an ideal rental property, taking into account your budget, risk appetite, and investment goals. If you decide to invest in a different area, we'll connect you with an agent who's more plugged into that community. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation.

 

 

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

Sources: 

1.      PR Newswire - https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/census-data-show-individuals-continue-to-own-largest-share-of-single-family-rental-homes-301725024.html

2.      Bankrate -
https://www.bankrate.com/investing/survey-favorite-long-term-investment-2022/

3.      Forbes -
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2022/04/14/why-income-generating-real-estate-is-the-best-hedge-against-inflation/?sh=1081ce921746

4.      MarketWatch -
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/another-challenge-for-homebuyers-more-investors-are-snapping-up-homes-and-40-of-them-are-using-cash/ar-AA1foWSB

5.      Realtor.com - https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/on-the-house-house-hacking-your-way-into-your-first-home/

6.      NerdWallet -
https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/mortgages/government-home-loans

7.      LendingTree -
https://www.lendingtree.com/home/mortgage/down-payment-for-rental-property/

8.      Quicken Loans -
https://www.quickenloans.com/learn/house-hacking

9.      Investors Business Daily - https://www.investors.com/etfs-and-funds/personal-finance/rental-properties-investing-experts/

10.   St. Louis Fed FRED Economic Data -
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MSPUS

11.   Story by J.P. Morgan - https://story.jpmorgan.com/real-estate-news/thinking-about-investing-in-short-term-rentals-heres-what-to-know

12.   Skift -
https://skift.com/2023/07/21/short-term-rental-saturation-leads-to-a-correction-and-lots-of-home-sales/

Posted in Buyer Tips
Oct. 1, 2023

October Maintenance Checklist for Florida Homes

October Home Maintenance Plan

October Maintenance Checklist for Florida Home and Condo Owners:

Get Ready for a Cozy Winter

Hello, Floridian homeowners and condo dwellers! October is here, and it's time to transition your home from the hot, humid summer into the cooler months ahead. In this blog post, we'll walk you through essential maintenance tasks to ensure your property remains in tip-top shape. Whether you reside in a picturesque Ponte Vedra Beach condo or a cozy home in the Jacksonville area, these tips will help you prepare for the upcoming season.

1. Seal the Fort Against Water Damage and Pests

As the temperatures drop, you'll want to make sure your home is sealed tightly to keep water damage and unwanted critters at bay. Check for any cracks or gaps in your windows, doors, and foundation. Seal them with weatherstripping or caulk to prevent drafts and water leaks. This not only keeps your home cozy but also saves on heating costs.

For our friends in Ponte Vedra Beach, where ocean proximity might make you more susceptible to moisture, pay extra attention to these areas. I recommend investing in storm shutters or reinforced windows if you haven't already. These can provide extra protection against heavy rains and hurricanes, and they are great for resale value.

2. Flooring, Countertops, and Cabinetry TLC

October is an ideal time to assess the state of your flooring, countertops, and cabinetry. Florida's high humidity can take a toll on these surfaces, so it's crucial to address any issues promptly.

Inspect your flooring for any signs of water damage or wear and tear. Whether it's hardwood, tile, or carpet, addressing problems now can prevent more extensive issues later on. If you notice any damaged or loose tiles, consider having them replaced.

Similarly, check your countertops and cabinetry for water stains, swelling, or mold growth. If you see any damage, take action to repair or replace as needed. A little TLC now can save you from more extensive and costly renovations down the road.

3. Call in the Exterminator

Florida's warm climate makes it an inviting place for insects and pests year-round. However, as the weather cools down, many of these critters seek refuge indoors. To prevent unwelcome infestations, it's wise to schedule an appointment with an exterminator. They can help you identify and eliminate any potential pest problems inside and around your home.

A professional pest control service will tailor their approach to the specific pests common in your area. As a trusted real estate expert in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL area I highly recommend this as a proactive measure to protect your investment and maintain a pest-free home.

4. Don't Forget Your HVAC System and Vacuum Cleaner Filters

Your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system works hard to keep you comfortable, and it needs regular maintenance. October is an ideal time to change your HVAC filters. This ensures that your system runs efficiently and keeps the air in your home clean.

Additionally, don't forget about your vacuum cleaner. If you're not already in the habit, make it a point to change or clean the filters every three months. Clean filters ensure your vacuum performs optimally and helps maintain better indoor air quality.

Remember, these maintenance tasks not only enhance your comfort but also protect your valuable property. If you're in the Ponte Vedra Beach area, consider reaching out to me, Lois Marris of Ponte Vedra Club Realty, for more local insights and real estate expertise. Stay warm and worry-free, Florida homeowners!

 

Sept. 22, 2023

7 Tips to Attract the Best Offer

7 Tips to Attract the Best offer for Your Home

Top 7 Tips To Attract the Best Offers for Your Home

 

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Posted in Seller Tips
Sept. 2, 2023

3376 Lighthouse Pointe Ln Open House

Open House at 3376 Lighthouse Pointe, Jacksonville, FL

OPEN HOUSE: 1:00P - 3:00P, Saturday, Sept 2, 2023 

Looking for a stunning waterfront townhome in east Jacksonville? Look no further than 3376 Lighthouse Pointe! This end unit townhome is a real gem, situated on a larger than normal lot by the intercoastal waterway, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the area's marshes, sailboats, birdlife, and magnificent sunsets.

More Photos - 3376 Lighthouse Pointe Ln, Jacksonville, FL

Not only is the exterior of this townhome absolutely gorgeous, but the inside is just as stunning. Outside, a new pavered driveway will soon be installed. Inside, the current owners have spared no expense in outfitting the exceptional gourmet kitchen with the best appliances, including lighted wood cabinetry with self-closing drawers, Bosch and Jenn Air appliances, and a large prep island. The kitchen's large windows also maximize the stunning view of the water, making it the perfect place to prepare meals and entertain guests.

This property features four bedroom suites, ensuring maximum privacy for a house full of guests. The top floor living and dining area is accessible via elevator or stairs and features vaulted ceilings filled with natural light, giving it an open and airy feel. The first-level guestroom, currently used as an office, has a full bath, making it ideal for guests or as a home office. The second level has a spacious owner's suite, laundry, and another bedroom and bath. The bottom level offers the potential for multi-generational living, with a fourth bedroom/flex space, full bath, and lanai with its own private entrance.

But that's not all! The property's location is also ideal, with easy access to the intercoastal waterway, three miles to the beach, and popular restaurants such as Taco Lu's and Dockside Seafood Restaurant within two miles. If you're working or visiting the Mayo Clinic, you'll also appreciate the short three-mile commute.

If you're excited about the idea of living in Lighthouse Point, you won't want to miss the chance to see this stunning waterfront townhome for yourself. The open house is happening on Saturday, May 6, 2023, from 10 am to 1 pm, so mark your calendar! And, if you're interested, be sure to ask about the Preferred Membership for the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club and The Lodge & Club, which adds to the luxurious lifestyle this townhome provides. So what are you waiting for? Come check out 3376 Lighthouse Pointe Ln and experience luxury living on the water!

Details for 3376 Lighthouse  Pointe

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Posted in Open Houses