Buying Tips

Purchasing a new home in Nocatee’s Coastal Oaks

Posted on by Lisa Barton

Looking for a new home in Nocatee? You might want to consider Coastal Oaks, which is Nocatee's premier gated community. Toll Brothers, a national builder with an excellent reputation, is building single family homes in Coastal Oaks. Many new home buyers are attracted to Coastal Oaks because, in addition to Nocatee's extensive amenities, this neighborhood offers its residents a swimming pool, fitness center, sports fields, tennis courts and a playground. 

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New Neighborhood in Nocatee: The Outlook at Twenty Mile

Posted on by Lisa Barton

There's a new community in Nocatee! Twenty Mile Drive - The Outlook offers peace and tranquility in a beautiful old Florida setting. Twenty Mile works in the history of the area with its rustic touches as seen in the split-rail fences and nature all around. Buyers looking to build a new home can choose from an assortment of water and preserve lots to suit their individual needs. 

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Plantation at Ponte Vedra Open House This Weekend!

Posted on by Lisa Barton

Every wonder what's going on behind the gates of the Plantation at Ponte Vedra Beach? This weekend, the Plantation will be hosting its Spring Community Open House on Sunday, May 1st from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. You'll be able to view 31 homes for sale in the Plantation with prices ranging from $489,500 to $1,899,000. You'll also be able to experience the Plantation's new amenities park which includes a croquet lawn, state of the art playground, and fitness center. The Plantation's newly renovated Beach House will also be open from 5:00-6:00 for complimentary drinks and hors d'oeuvres. The views of the ocean from the Beach House are awesome -- make sure you don't miss that!

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New Home Buyer Do’s and Don’ts

Posted on by Lisa Barton

When buyers find their dream home they get both excited and overwhelmed by the buying process. Whether you are a First Time Home Buyer or an experienced executive there are a few important things to keep in mind when purchasing your new home:


  • Create a long-term budget. It doesn’t matter if you are buying a $100,000 starter home or a $1,000,000 beachfront property – know your limits and financial obligations before you engage in the buying process. Talk to a Mortgage Broker to get  pre-approved. Talk to your Financial Advisor to set goals and make sure you are making the right investment before you jump in.
  • Be sure you have already saved your earnest money or down payment and have it in your bank account. You can’t pull it out of a sock!! If it is going to be a gift from someone you lender will need to know in advance. 
  • Get all your assets in the one place. Once you get approved for a mortgage and have a contract in place it is not the time to move monies around in accounts, make large unexplained deposits or move around stocks or investment dollars.  Get things lined up before you begin the process. 
  • Once you have a contract in place go “credit quiet”. Our mortgage expert says that means that things go in a hold position. Do not incur any new credit. Period.


  • It is easy to get excited and want to go crazy getting ready for the new house – resist the urge to Buy! Buy! Buy! Do not order new furniture and create a credit account at a furniture store. Do not order custom blinds and drapes and open a credit card before closing. These are all important details to remember because they can affect your ability to borrow for the mortgage and receive the final approval that you need for closing day.
  • DON’T QUIT YOUR JOB!!! Might sound silly but it is imperative to stay in the current position you were when you were approved. If you make an application for a mortgage, and use supporting income from your existing employment, you will need to be actively employed in the position on the day of closing. Some mortgage companies will even verify employment shortly before closing. 
  • Don’t go buy a new vehicle! If you go finance that new truck or luxury vehicle between the signing of the contract and closing day it could have serious consequences on your borrowing capabilities. You can pick your new vehicle out but don’t arrange finance until after your close. Leave the car in the show room until then!
  • Don’t apply for new credit cards! No retail store cards, no Visa, no Mastercard, no Discovery….you get the picture?  See above Dos – go “credit quiet”.

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Holiday Home Sales in Jacksonville

Posted on by Lisa Barton

I had a wonderful experience this Friday morning talking with Nikki Kimbleton with Jacksonville's Channel 4 News. The TV station asked me to discuss about how the recent hike in interest rates might effect potential home buyers' ability to make a new home purchase. We also talked about whether or not it's a good idea to search for a new home during the holidays. Here are some of our main talking points:

  • When the Federal Reserve increases interest rates, those changes don’t usually effect mortgage rates immediately. And, interest rates are only one factor in people’s decision to buy a home — many other factors are important too. 
  • The changes in interest rates might effect adjustable rate loans (APR) right away if those loans are scheduled to re-set.
  • Interest rates for mortgages are anticipated to creep up slightly in 2016 and 2017, but remain remarkably low when you consider the big picture. Rates haven’t increased in over 10 years — so we actually have a whole generation of home buyers who are accustomed to really, really low mortgage rates. 

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