Real Estate News

Insurance Tips for Florida Homeowners during Hurricane Season

Posted on by Lisa Barton

Hurricane Season Insurance Checklist

Hurricane season officially began June 1st.  You may have mapped out your evacuation route but have you reviewed your insurance coverage to make sure you are properly protected? Here are a few things to consider:

Homeowners Coverage

Check your policy limit; is it enough to rebuild your home?  Remember, the real estate value of a house is not the same as the cost to rebuild.

Consider these homeowners coverages and check your limits:

  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost – pays the full amount to rebuild your home whatever the ultimate cost.
  • Ordinance and Law Coverage – pays a specified amount for rebuilding to new building codes, should your community adopt stricter codes. Older homes may need more coverage.
  • Coverage for screened enclosures - Some companies include this coverage, others may add it by endorsement. Make sure you know what coverage you have and what limit applies.
  • What is your deductible - this should be is stated in your policy. Policies often have different deductibles for hurricanes and all other perils.

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Spring 2015 Ponte Vedra Beaches Home Market Report

Posted on by Lisa Barton

Spring is in the air, and this year the strong wave of homebuyers arrived early. In Northeast Florida closed sales in March were up 18% in units year over year, and March pendings are up a whopping 29.8%.

As a firm, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty closed 49% more units in March 2015 versus March 2014. These numbers are very strong. The environment for a purchase or sale is appealing right now based on the interest rate factor, which is keeping the cost of home ownership low while prices improve from their recession levels. The housing market continues to drive economic recovery, as the peripheral results of real estate transactions are job creation and the introduction of more money into local communities.

The First Coast Beaches (Ponte Vedra Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Jacksonville Beach) residential market remains healthy, and our amenities continue to expand. As for the challenge of continued stability for the housing market, the solution remains additional inventory. Simply put, more listings.

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2014 Real Estate Update for Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beach

Posted on by Lisa Barton

In our last market update—Third Quarter 2014—we summarized national and local trends and indicated that there was quiet optimism about the real estate market outlook for Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach. With another quarter behind us we confirm the view that our local market is indeed normalizing with rapid price gains now behind us.

According to the Northeast Florida Multiple Listing Service, overall there were only minor changes in key real estate market indicators for the Jacksonville Beaches 2013 versus 2014: 

  • New listings were up 2% to 1697 in 2014 versus 1664 last year.  
  • Total sales dropped by 10% from 1278 to 1150, 2013 vs. 2014, respectively.  
  • However, the months of inventory supply increased only 3.4%, to 4.5 months. We consider six months supply of inventory to reflect a balanced market—and none of our four markets is currently at that level, suggesting we're in what would be considered a sellers market.
  • Median sales prices (including all Beaches areas) were virtually unchanged (down 0.6%) from $293,348 to $291,528.  
  • New home construction continues to be very strong across all our markets, and particularly in the Nocatee area. Nocatee is the third fastest growing residential community in the US—and that growth is evident not only in the number of homes sold, but also in the commercial real estate development that is underway.

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New Home for Sale in TPC

Posted on by Lisa Barton

We just listed a beautiful pool home in Sawgrass Pointe, an upscale neighborhood in Sawgrass Players Club (TPC). This lovely TPC home for sale has 6 bedrooms and 5 bedrooms and 4000 square feet of living space.

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Real Estate Assessment vs Appraisal: What Home Buyers Need to Know

Posted on by Lisa Barton

If you're considering buying a home or if you're already a homeowner in the Jacksonville area, it's important that you understand the difference between the assessed and appraised value of a property. The valuation terms appraisal and assessment are often confused. While both define and measure the worth of a home, each is used in differenct context.

Appraised value is important with regard to the sale or refinance of a property. The goal of a licensed appraiser is to estimate the true market value of a property. Generally this is done on behalf of a lender before a mortgage loan can be approved in order to protect the lender's investment. The appraiser completes a thorough examination of the property to arrive at the value, often conducting a physical inspection of the home and comparing the house to other similar homes in the neighborhood and/or surrounding neighborhoods. This information enables the appraiser to provide an expert opionion regarding the property's value.

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New Homes for Sale in The Plantation at Ponte Vedra

Posted on by Lisa Barton

The Plantation at Ponte Vedra Beach, one of the most exclusive golf and country club neighborhoods in Ponte Vedra Beach, has just announced that construction will begin soon on the last available lots in the neighborhood. Elacora, a national home builder has been chosen to build 24 new homes in The Plantation. These new construction homes will range in size from 2600 to over 3800 square feet with prices beginning in the mid-$600,000s. 

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Real Estate Market Report for Ponte Vedra Beach and Jacksonville 3rd Quarter 2014

Posted on by Lisa Barton

The real estate market in Ponte Vedra Beach, Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Beaches continues to change and improve. The national housing trends also bear watching. The news is good across major economic indicators as the housing market continues its recovery since bouncing off the bottom in March 2012. 

Some of the real estate highlights include:

  • Housing prices continue to improve year-over-year albeit at a slowing pace from the double digit improvements experienced in 2013 and early 2014. Price gains have been steadily slowing since December, and the latest S&P/Case-Shiller report issued on 10/28/14 (two month lag time) showed that U.S. single-family home prices gained just 5.1% over prices one year earlier.
  • Groundbreaking on new homes was up 17.8% year-over-year in September, a 6.3% increase over the prior month.
  • In September, existing home sales hit their fastest pace so far for 2014.
  • As of August 2014, average home prices across the U.S. are back to their spring 2005 levels for the National Index.

The above data appears to indicate that the market is normalizing with rapid price gains now behind us and slow, but steady, growth in front of us. 

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Changes to Flood Insurance in Florida: What Homeowners Should Know

Posted on by Lisa Barton

Storms over the last two decades have brought on a considerable amount of flooding throughout the state. It is not only the coastal cities that have seen the flooding. The coastal areas are the ones that people assume are associated with flood insurance. However, even areas more inland are experiencing floods where it is not uncommon to see seven inches or more of water after a single day’s worth of rain.  

FEMA has created new maps in the past year that have taken effect. These new maps are placing more areas into flood zones and that’s creating the need for more Florida flood insurance. Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida is one such area that has seen a significant shift in the flood areas. Those that are in flood areas are identified by risk. The higher level risk areas are forced to purchase flood insurance additional to what their Florida homeowner’s insurance policy offers because of the zoning.

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