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Jacksonville Real Estate Blog

Fun Facts: Harriett Slept Here

Harriet Beecher Stowe

In the 1870s and 1880s, Harriet Beecher Stowe and her family vacationed in what is now North Mandarin, on their St. Johns River estate. While living there after the Civil War, Stowe wrote Palmetto Leaves, arguably an eloquent piece of promotional literature directed at Florida's potential Northern investors at the time. The book was published in 1873 and describes Northeast Florida and its residents.  In 1870, Stowe created an integrated school in Mandarin for children and adults. This predated the national movement toward integration by more than a half century.


"Flopping" is a type of Short Sale fraud that can victimize home sellers and mortgage lenders. It’s an especially egregious scam because it can be pulled off by deceitful homebuyers with the assistance of the very few, dishonest real estate agents out there. In the interest of informing our clients, and those of the 99.9% of agents out there who are honest, reputable Realtors®, here’s how it works.

Rivertown St. Johns

St. Johns
master-planned riverfront residential development, has launched a full court press to boost their online presence, with a full blown web redesign and social media push to promote the 4,170-acre community.

The new features streamlined navigation, easy to use for future homebuyers researching the community. The new site provides a wealth of resources for homebuyers, including builder profiles and home site maps, lifestyle information, community resources, and news and events. There’s all the information that homebuyers consider when purchasing a home, from school zones and proximity to shopping and entertainment to builder information and community amenities.

RiverTown has also launched a Facebook community page, with photos of the community, construction progress, event listings, community updates and important announcements.  more after the break.


Real Estate Misconception, Mystery and Myth

Three false assumptions we make about real estate. Some things we just know to be true, can either be a misconception, a mystery or a complete myth. 

Real Estate Misconception, Mystery and Myth, in that order.
My old boss told the same joke a thousand times. We got so sick of it, it actually hurt to laugh. Here it is: If it walks like duck, and talks like a duck, it could be a goose. [laughter].  She was trying to tell us not to be so quick to assume. (Why didn’t she just say that). Here are three assumptions, one of each type: a misconception, a mystery and a popular myth.

Misconception: a foreclosure is a bargain. It’s an easy way to get a house for a steal.
Many foreclosures cannot even be viewed by the public. If they are, you may find a hostile homeowner at the door to greet you. Typically, there’s a big repair bill in your future, and if you can’t even get inside to see the extent of the broken or damaged mechanical systems, your estimate for the cost of repairs may not even come close. Good rule of thumb -- bid 70% of the market value, and rely on a reputable Realtor®  to tell you what that is. There could be liens, from the HVAC company, the roofer, etc., and you must pay them to clear title.  Continued after the break..

Machine Gun Kelly

The history of the Ortega includes a number of interesting characters, some more dubious than others: Famed botanist William Bartram; highwayman and cattle rustler Daniel McGirtt; and Don Juan McQueen, who attempted to establish a plantation on his 1791 Ortega land grant, but was forced to leave due to attacks by Georgians from the north and French armies to the south.  Gangster George "Machine Gun" Kelly and his wife were rumored to be the mysterious couple who abruptly left their rented Ortega Grand Avenue home hours before a midnight police raid in 1933.

Selling Home in the Holidays

So they tell me that after December 15, we might as well shut out the lights. 

Who’s going house hunting when we’re on holiday stress steroids from Thanksgiving , to Black Friday, through Cyber Monday – all the way until the ball drops. I have my house perfectly staged 10 and a half months out of the year. Now I’m bringing in the stockings for Santa, the tree for the kids, and all that mistletoe. Buyers will recoil in horror. I’ll delist it – take it off the market. But what  if I get an anxious seller with a full price offer? I’d really rather not have to pack before Christmas morning anyway. But the kids will turn into little ax murderers, and the judge might find it justifiable homicide. A serious dilemma? A very wise, and experienced realtor I know says, maybe not.

Patrice Simmons Bloom Realty AgentWelcome Patrice Simmons! Bloom Realty's newest addition has spent virtually her entire career working across the spectrum of banking, finance, mortgage, investing and real estate. “I like problem solving,” says Patrice, “putting together the right financial products, mortgages, investment properties and homes with the right people, and taking them through the process.”  Patrice has a passion for building trust and long term relationships with her clients, which is why we’re thrilled to have her join Bloom Realty. She hails from Houston, Texas, and now calls the Northside of Jacksonville home.  “I’m very interested in the Historic Districts of Jacksonville,” she says. Patrice brings her special talents to Bloom Realty as a long time expert in pre-foreclosures, rehabbing of properties and and creative financing. “This is really a niche for me – it’s a skill set that I’ve developed over many years in the business – really analyzing a property, and determining what is needed to get it back on the market, and sold.” Her specialties include creative financing vehicles such as mortgage assignment, lease option solutions, or as Patrice puts it, “whatever it takes to get my client into the right home, with financing that gets them closer to their dream.”  

No Winter Wonderland in Jacksonville?  Bah . . . Humbug

You have several options. One could be the 5th annual Winter Wonderland  ice skating and snow spectacular at  the St. Augustine Amphitheatre 1340 A1A South, Nov. 26 through Jan. 1. It features North Florida’s first outdoor skating rink and various winter attractions including a Blizzard Bounce House and obstacle course, Elf Village, a S’mores pit, visits with Santa, the Frost Kingdom Express Train, reindeer games, sleigh rides and other winter-themed fun. Hours are 5 to 10 pm Monday through Friday, and 2 pm to 10 pm Saturday and Sunday, beginning Nov. 26. (School holiday hours, Dec. 17 through Dec. 30 are 2 pm to 10 pm).  Continued after the break.

Fun Facts: Hollywood East

Hollywood East

In the early 1900s, Jacksonville was home to more than 30 movie studios. At that time, movie makers needed natural sunlight—and lots of it—to make films. The industry was centered in New York and New Jersey, and their gray, overcast winters meant a virtual shut-down for months at a time. The Jacksonville studios churned out hundreds of silent films until filmmakers discovered Southern California, and the rest is Hollywood history.

QR = Quick Response, and  it’s Quickly Catching On

Remember “Call us now!”  Well here we are at “Scan me!”  The QR Code is clearly beyond the early adopter stage.  QR codes have that “it” factor today in real estate. You’re  a real estate consumer,  and if you were interested in learning more about a house for sale, and the flyer box is empty, or there is no on-site information (flyer boxes are becoming more rare, by the way)., scan it, and see what you get. Many consumers are carrying the internet on their smart phones, so why not use it? Another great example of great use of a QR code -- you walk into an open house, you’re greeted by the realtor, and you want to look around and get a feel for the place. The property brochure on the dining room table has a QR code. Use that to access and view the floor plan,  features the agent may not have time to show you, as he or she is helping other visitors. Technology – embrace it.  It’s here to stay. 


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