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Claim The Tax $8000 or $6500 Tax Credit - What You Need to Know - 02/28/10 11:17 PM
$8000 Tax Credit Requirements Must not have owned a home in the last three years. $6500 Tax Credit Requirements Must have lived in present home for five of the past eight years, consecutively. Prove it: Property Tax Records, Mortgage Interest Statements, Homeowner Insurance Records, Utilities.For repeat buyers, the IRS is seeking documentation that home buyers have lived in the previous property for a consecutive five of the past eight years. Proof can include property tax records, home owner insurance records, or mortgage interest statements. Stipulations for $8000 Tax Credit and $6500 Tax Credit The Tax Credit works even if you have (4 comments)
The 15th Annual Scottish Highlander Games were held at the Clay County Fairgrounds just outside Green Cove Springs Florida on Saturday, February 27, 2010. Ancient Scottish Games such as Weight over Bar and the Battle Axe Competition were some of the day's fun and authentic activities.
When I think Scottish, I think bagpipes, and they did not disappoint. There were several bagpipe bands, including one from Clay County and one fron St. Johns County - The Ancient City Pipes & Drums.
When I think Scottish, I also think kilts and Clans. The kilts were everywhere, and the (3 comments)
Is he eavesdropping? Just what are they talking about? Is his 'slip' showing or just a fancy kilt and sword? A picture says a 1000 words - candid, capturing the moment. These authentic Scottish costumes at the Military History tents were just the beginning of the festivities at the 15th Annual Scottish Highland Games held at the Clay County Fairgrounds on State Road 16 in Green Cove Springs FL. (14 comments)
What's Not Distressed About A Short Sale? - 02/27/10 11:08 PM
Lenn Harley posted a timely, informative blog - The Latest Word From Lenders About Short Sales - Or Was It? In an effort to normalize the market, the big banks and secondary market are attempting to re-categorizing short sales from distressed properties to regular sales. They expect short sales to be sold at market value and promise propose faster processing and higher commissions in exchange. Here is one of their "new rules:" 3. The lenders are looking for "market offers" and expect the short sale listings to be competitive with regular home owner listings. What's wrong with this picture? (8 comments)
Outer Beltway Hearings for Clay County and St. Johns County - 02/26/10 11:49 PM
Outer Beltway Hearings for Clay County and St. Johns County Don't miss the hearings for the Outer Beltway, a proposed new toll road that would connect Clay and St. Johns Counties from I-10 all the way to I-95 near the St. Augustine Outlets Mall. Public hearings and Presentations: Tuesday, March 2 ~ Clay County Fairgrounds, 2496 SR 16 W, Green Cove Springs Thursday, March 4 ~ Cecil Commerce Center, 12541 Lake Newman St., Jacksonville The hearing opens at 3 PM at the Fairgrounds and 4:30 PM at the Cecil Commerce Center. Hearings have already been held at World Golf Village and (0 comments)
Fleming Island Manager Jeff Fagan has been named Manager of the Year for the entire company of Watson Realty. This is quite an accomplishment and we congratulate him. Jeff competed with over 40 other Watson Realty Managers for the Honor. Mysteriously, the Reader Board was hi-jacked and the announcement is up for all Fleming Island to see! Jeff would never boast about himself, so we have to do it for him! :) Ed Forman, President of Watson Realty, made the formal announcement at our Tuesday morning sales meeting. Congratulations, Jeff! You're a great Manage/Broker and you have attracted a great (1 comments)
Funny Fridays - A Woman's Week at the Gym - 02/25/10 10:59 PM
A WOMAN'S WEEK AT THE GYM It's that time again - Friday! Laugh Out Lout at this one! This is dedicated to everyone who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine.Dear Diary,For my birthday this year, I purchased a week of personal training at the local health club.Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Christo, who identified himself as a 26-year-old (7 comments)
Serendipity. We were scouting locations for the upcoming Ancient City Film Festival (Nov. 2010) with our friend and fellow Realtor/Film Producer cohort Ann, when we wandered into the City Hall of St. Augustine. We snapped a few shots for the Executive Producer, and right as we were leaving, I just wanted to get a quick shot of the entire space. A former hotel, you can just imagine ladies in ball gowns dripping in jewels and gentlemen in their tuxedos meandering around the balconies and waltzing to orchestras. (20 comments)
10 Hot New Home Products - 02/23/10 10:48 PM
Sellers, Buyers and Everyone in between: Michael Bergin has put together a great list of new products that I'll bet you don't know about! Have fun reading and come back and tell us if you actually bought and used any of them. Happy renovating! Via Michael Bergin, Northern Virginia Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES ): The world of home improvement is vast - covering everything from paint to landscaping to a new light fixture. But how to keep up with all the new products? Unfortunately weekly, if not daily, trips to the local hardware store or even the (9 comments)
It's Risky to take Chances With an Unknown Lender - 02/23/10 10:22 AM
It's risky to take chances today with an unknown lender. With the guidelines changing almost daily, it's important to know the financial person at the helm is someone who is going to have the attention to detail and communication necessary for a successful settlement. Work with a Lender with a good track record. Don't just pull someone off the internet. It's risky. It can blow the deal. (8 comments)
Calling all Car Enthusiasts - and yes, that would include my son John - for the 2010 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance held at the Ritz-Carlton on the Island which is 25 minutes north of the Jacksonville Airport, just south of Fernandina Beach. The actual Show Week begins March 12, but the Car Show is March 14. Show Times - 9:30 AM - 5 PM Admission: Adults $50 ($45 in advance) Students 12-18 $20 Children under 12 free with paying adult Some Highlights of the show will include new (2 comments)
If you have Scottish Ancestors, or even if you don't, there is something to enjoy at the Scottish Highlander Games held this Saturday at the Clay County Fairgrounds at 2497 State Road 16 West, near the intersection of County Road 315. The Competitions begin at 9:00 AM; Opening Ceremonies at Noon; Closing Ceremonies at 5:00 PM. See the Web Site for other Times and Events. There is a Pub Crawl for 5 Nights, starting February 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27. An authentic British Double (2 comments)
You Live In A Winter Climate Like Maine..And You Should Wonder About Lake Safety Ice Thickness. - 02/21/10 12:47 AM
I grew up ice skating every day after school in winter. We intuitively knew when the ice was thick enough - except for the day when Stuart fell in when we were playing crack the whip! (That's another story lol). It's not about Florida, but it is a fascinating description of ice safety for those living in winter climates. Via Andrew Mooers | Northern Maine Real Estate / Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY): How much ice is needed to support the weight of one person? The answer according to the American Pulpwood Association is 2 inches for one person on foot. You may (0 comments)
The Main Street Bridge in Downtown Jacksonville Florida is a favorite landmark for photographers. Just today, a local photographer was giving me a tip on how to shoot this bridge at night. The Main Street Bridge connects the North and South banks of downtown. The night lights were added for the Super Bowl in 2005. This shot was taken in front of the Hyatt Regency. The St. Johns River is not very wide at this point, as compared to three miles wide across the Buckman Bridge bordering Clay and Duval Counties. (18 comments)
Hold Hands 4 Haiti ~ Feb. 20, 10 AM on Fleming Island ~ Raised over $25,000 - 02/21/10 12:26 AM
Hold Hands 4 Haiti ~ Saturday, Feb. 20, at 10 am on Fleming Island Raised over $25,000! Thousands of Fleming Island and Clay County residents joined together to Hold Hands 4 Haiti in an effort to feed 1,000,000 Haitians in the devastated country of Haiti. The event had a lofty goal of holding hands from the Drs. Lake bridge to the Black Creek bridge. Volunteers showed up starting at 10 am and at 10:45, everyone held hands. A photographer from the Times Union was among us, along with a plane flying over to videotape the event for Fox News. FISH Ministries (4 comments)
Avoid Foreclosure on Your Eagle Harbor Home by doing a Short Sale - 02/20/10 10:37 PM
Avoid Foreclosure on Your Eagle Harbor FL Home by doing a Short Sale Eagle Harbor FL homeowners are avoiding foreclosure by doing a short sale. Tough economic times means that some Eagle Harbor homeowners must make a difficult decision to sell their home to avoid foreclosure. A pre foreclosure short sale has helped many Eagle Harbor families get out of foreclosure and get on with their lives. A Short Sale is when a homeowner sells their house for less than the mortgage that is owed on it. If there is more than one bank (loan) involved, all the banks must (4 comments)
Fleming Island Florida Home Values - 02/17/10 11:12 PM
There is a reason that it is called the "ART" of appraisal. Looking at Comparable Sales to prepare an appraisal or a Market Analysis can be extremely frustrating, even for Fleming Island homes where almost 300 homes sold during the last year. Looking at a graph of homes sold can look like a roller coaster. Determining the value of a Fleming Island Florida home can be a daunting challenge, even when you know the market. If your home is for sale, or if you are thinking of offering your Fleming Island home for sale, you must be aware of the challenges (4 comments)
515 Palmer St in Green Cove Springs Home for Sale ~ Historic Home - 02/15/10 10:57 PM
515 Palmer Street in Green Cove Springs Home for Sale ~ Historic Home Just down the block from shopping and restaurants, you will find this cozy two-story bungalo at 515 Palmer Street, in the Historic area of Green Cove Springs. This renovated home for sale is offered at $164,900.
Charm abounds in this historic Green Cove Springs Home. With 1820 sq. ft. of heated and cooled space (central heat and air), the home features 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. The Kitchen and baths have been renovated, the ceilings are high, there is crown molding, hardwood floors, updated tile backsplash (5 comments)
As background, Mr. Watson predicted in 2003 that there would be a real estate recession by October 2005. He was 6 months off - by April 2006, the downward slide began. Sitting in the audience the day he spoke his prediction was former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan. Mr. Watson is tapped into the pulse of real estate and the economy in our (2 comments)
Is Your Lender Geographically Competent? - 02/14/10 11:41 PM
When Buyers are qualifying a lender, there is more to consider than the interest rate and lender fees. Those are the obvious items on their list.
What about: Is the lender familiar with the state/area the loan is in? Do they know the customary closing costs?Do they know what is required? Do they know what can be skipped? (survey if no FL Form 9 is required Do they have a good grasp of insurance costs?Do they know how much a survey costs? Do they know how much an appraisal costs? How many loans have they done in your (9 comments)
House Selling Tips - These 7 Items Will Sell Your Fleming Island FL Home - 02/14/10 11:23 PM
Sellers of Fleming Island FL Homes for Sale want to know what they can do to sell their homes. Here are some basic tips that will give you the edge when it comes to selling your home. 1. CLEAN and DECLUTTER. You're moving, right? So start packing. Clear out the closets, the cabinets, the family phots and mementos. Look at the furniture in each room. What can stay? What needs to pay a visit to the garage? Moving some key pieces can make the house look larger and Buyers want a home that feels spacious. Don't forget the CLEAN part. Let (2 comments)
Elevation Certificates - 02/14/10 11:16 PM
ELEVATION CERTIFICATES If you have experienced a delay or near delay of closing because the lender or insurance company is requiring an Elevation Certificate, you know what one is. Usually this happens because it has been determined that the property is in a Flood Zone and will require Flood Insurance. Flood Zone X requires no flood insurance. You may elect to have that coverage if you like and it is less expensive than if you have to have it. Flood Zone A, and Flood Zone AE require flood insurance and an Elevation Certificate will verify that this is true for your (2 comments)
Fleming Island Plantation Homes for Sale - Fleming Island Florida 46 Active 12 Short Sales 9 Bank Owned 46% of all homes for sale in Fleming Island Plantation are Short Sales or Bank Owned. 50 homes have sold since 2/14/09, so there is about a 11 month inventory of homes for sale in Fleming Island Plantation. The best homes at the best price will sell. Currently there are 14 Contracts Pending. 10 of them are Distressed Sales (Short Sales or Bank Owned), or 71%. All but one are under $300,000. Fleming Island Plantation has many amenities, including an 18-hole (0 comments)
Eagle Harbor FL Homes for Sale 84 Active 9 Short Sale 2 Bank Owned 13% of all Eagle Harbor FL homes for sale are Distressed Sales. The market trends are somewhat down from the from the Eagle Harbor FL Homes for Sale July 4 Market Report, which listed 97 homes for sale and 15% were short sales. Active homes for sale in Eagle Harbor are down by about 14%. 97 homes have sold in Eagle Harbor since 2/14/09. This means we have about an 9 month supply of homes for sale if no other homes come on the market. The best (1 comments)
Flagler College was originally a hotel, built by Henry Flagler in 1885-1887 and named the Ponce de Leon Hotel. In 1968, Flagler College opened as an accredited liberal arts institute. The College is on the west side of the St. Augustine Historic district, at Cordova and King Streets. The architecture is world class. This was shot from the front of the Ringhaver Student Center looking east towards the main campus building. (13 comments)
I have a FHA Loan. Can I have two FHA Loans? Important things to be aware of !!! - 02/12/10 10:39 PM
There are times when a borrower may have more than one FHA loan. Jeff Belonger is our resident FHA expert and has written a great post on the subject. Via Jeff Belonger -- The FHA Expert.com -- FHA Loans -- FHA mortgages - USDA loans (Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc): How many FHA Loans can I have?
FHA Mortgages have become increasingly more popular for 2 reasons. You just need 3.5% as a down payment and that many lenders will go down to a 620 credit score. What I am seeing now is the confusion about whether you can have (5 comments)
Granite Kitchen Counters were exactly what this lovely Kitchen needed. A picture says 1000 words - check it out:
Whirlpool Stainless Appliances ~ 42" Raised Panel Cabinets with Glass Insert Display Door ~ Tumbled Marble Backsplash All this Kitchen needed was the Granite Kitchen Counters to pop!
HOLD HANDS 4 HAITI ~ ATTENTION FLEMING ISLAND RESIDENTS! - 02/09/10 12:50 PM
HOLD HANDS 4 HAITI ~ ATTENTION FLEMING ISLAND RESIDENTS! Calling ALL FLEMING ISLAND RESIDENTS - you can do something to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Hold Hands 4 Haiti is coming to Fleming Island! Saturday, February 20, 2010 10:00 AM Hold Hands from Doctor's Lake to Black Creek
Join us as we symbolically hold hands from Florida to Haiti, from Fleming Island to Gressier. Your tax deductible gift will go directly to feed, heal and clothe the Haitian people so devastated by the recent earthquake. FISH Ministries is sponsoring the event. They have been involved in Haiti for (0 comments)
This is what can happen when everyone in a transaction is working together. The Sellers were educated about current market conditions, supply and demand, and were willing to price their home to the market to receive maximum number of showings - opportunities to sell their home. The Sellers did every single detail that we discussed, down to stripping wallpaper in a bathroom and painting. They also ordered granite that was installed today, three days after we received a contract. They decluttered (5 comments)
Our Fleming Island yards have really taken a beating this winter. This morning we woke up to frost on our roof and crunchy grass as we waved good-bye to my visiting sister and her husband. In February? Isn't Spring right around the corner? Never fear, there is a local business that can take the brownish blahs right out of your yard. Forever Green Grass will transform your lawn from the winter doldrums to the envy of the neighborhood. According to their web site, the spray lasts for up to (4 comments)
Frank and Sharon Alters - Team Alters - were named Top Producer at the Fleming Island Office of Watson Realty for the month of January 2010. This followed their being named Top Lister for the month of November 2009. Frank and Sharon would like to thank the wonderful Buyers and Sellers we work with who help us reach our goals and beyond. We really appreciate the opportunity to help you with your real estate needs. If you are thinking of Buying or Selling, why not work (3 comments)
Orange Park residents have a great opportunity to make a difference in the future of Jacksonville and the entire Northeast Florida Region by supporting our Jacksonville Jaguars. How can we do that? Buy tickets and fill the stadium next year and beyond! Tony Boselli is leading the way with myteamteal.com
Team Teal is sponsoring a gathering this Thursday evening, February 11, at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Express on Wells Road. The event is free to the public. If you are seriously interested in helping the Jaguars (0 comments)
Fleming Island residents have a great opportunity to make a difference in the future of Jacksonville and the entire Northeast Florida Region by supporting our Jacksonville Jaguars. How can we do that? Buy tickets and fill the stadium next year and beyond! Tony Boselli is leading the way with myteamteal.com
Team Teal is sponsoring a gathering this Thursday evening, February 11, at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Express on Wells Road. The event is free to the public. If you are seriously interested in helping the Jaguars (2 comments)
Seller Tips - Hospitality Helps Sell A House - 02/07/10 11:04 PM
Hospitality helps sell a house. The little things that Sellers can do to make a Buyer feel welcome and at home when looking at their house do make a difference. Fleming Island residents with homes for sale can take a tip from our Sellers who just sold a home after 5 days on the market. Coffee and home made baked cookies and drinks entice Buyers to relax and spend more time looking at the home.
The smell of baking is irresistible when walking in a home. Imagine the Buyers' delight when there are cookies to go with that heavenly scent. (0 comments)
George Phillips, an elderly man, from Meridian, Mississippi, was going up to bed, when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the garden shed which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things. He phoned the police, who asked "Is someone in your house?" He said "No," but some people are breaking into my garden shed (12 comments)
All Brick Home in Julington Creek Your new Julington Creek home is waiting - just step inside this all brick former model in the lovely Creekside neighborhood. The fenced, .38 acre wooded lot backs to conservation and has plenty of room for a pool. This home has 4 Bedrooms, 3 Baths and 2423 sq. ft. of living space.
High ceilings, Crown Molding in every room, Triple Crown in Formal Living Room and Dining Room, Hardwood floors, and upgraded Ceramic Tile floors (5 comments)
THE POWER OF ACTIVE RAIN - 02/03/10 11:42 PM
When my Broker mentioned Active Rain to me in 2007, there is no way I could have comprehended The Power of Active Rain. In fact, it took losing a $500,000 Buyer to jolt me into the realization that there might be something to this 'blogging' thing. After about six months of learning, head spinning, commenting and posting, my first lead contacted me in March 2009. He bought a house - almost a $500,000 house! He has referred me to a colleague who is moving here. What I knew about SEO could be placed in that last paragraph before joining Active Rain. (7 comments)
Stop The Banks! The Banks Are Trying To Change The Foreclosure Process! - 02/03/10 10:08 PM
Every citizen in Florida, especially anyone in the real estate business, and Fleming Island residents who are in danger of foreclosure, needs to know about this bill that is trying to pass in the Florida legislature. The purpose is to change Florida from a judicial to a non judicial state. This would mean less rights for homeowners when they are in trouble financially. Please read this post and contact your lawmakers and stop this in its tracks! Via Nestor & Katerina Gasset Realtors® Wellington Florida Luxury Homes (International Properties and Investments, Inc.): Stop The Banks! The Banks' Lobbyists Are Trying To Change The (3 comments)
Florida Home Ownership Promotes The Economy - Task Force created by Gov. Crist - 02/02/10 10:04 PM
Our Governor has taken steps to deal with the increased foreclosures in our state. Fleming Island real estate won't be as affected by these steps as some areas, as our foreclosure rates are under 7% of all real estate for sale. As a state, one out of every 95 houses in Florida were in some stage of foreclosure, and we ranked #2 in the country in 2009 for foreclosures. The task force is named Florida Home Ownership Promotes the Economy. Representatives include Tony Hill (D-Jacksonville), other elected representatives, lenders, Bankers, representative from Florida Association of Realtors, Chief Financial Officer of (3 comments)
FHA suspends anti-flipping rules - 02/02/10 01:05 PM
This is a practical, no cost move that will help sell some of the excess inventory in the Jacksonville FL real estate market. It may be a boost for some Fleming Island FL homes for sale as well. Via Michael Urbanski (USHUD.com): To boost the residential foreclosure segment of the housing market, FHA has suspended its anti-flipping rules beginning today, Feb. 1. The move will help lower-income and first-time buyers as well as real estate investors while encouraging activity in communities especially hard hit by the housing slow down. The FHA 90-day flipping rule was a response to fraudulent quick flips that would (3 comments)
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