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Welcome to your one stop shop for real estate information in Northeast Florida. Here you will be able to find valuable information on Houses, Homes and Real Estate for Sale in Jacksonville, St Augustine, Nocatee & Ponte Vedra, Orange Park, Fleming Island, Middleburg and all over Duval County, Clay County, Nassau County and St Johns County Florida. We also have pages of helpful information for buyers and sellers plus you can review Client Testimonials about how we have helped others achieve their real estate goals.

Looking for your next home? You can view an up to date list of properties in our saved searches and even create your own and save them. If you are considering New Construction Homes for Sale or Pool Homes for Sale....we have quick links to both by county, area and zip code --> or tell us about the home you are looking for so we can set up your personalized search to keep you updated as fresh listings hit the market.  We also have important information for First Time Home Buyers and there are still down payment assistance programs available for those who are interested.  FYI - We will not share or sell your personal information and our team of experienced buyer agents will help secure your next home at the best possible terms and help get you to closing on time.

If you're considering selling your home, nothing is more important than knowing what it's worth. We are happy to provide a free market analysis using comparable sold listings to help you determine where you would want to list your home.

Most importantly we don't sell houses....houses really sell themselves.  Our job is to educate so YOU can make informed decisions.  Whether you are buying or selling, you will know when it's right~!  

We are Full Time Team of 5 Star Zillow Agents - don't hesitate to contact us day, night or even weekends.

We are just a text, email or phone call away and we would enjoy helping if you will allow us to :-)

 

 

First Coast Home Hunters Blog

'Secret' Way to Lower Mortgage Payments

Home owners can trim their monthly mortgage payments by “recasting” or “re-amortizing” their loan, without having to refinance and face hefty closing cost fees, experts say. When recasting, the borrower pays off a lump sum of the loan’s principal and then resets monthly payments at the loan’s original interest rate and terms.

Here’s one scenario: $230,449 is left on a 30-year fixed rate loan for a $300,000 mortgage taken out at 7.93 percent in 1995. The borrower pays $20,000 toward the principal and asks the lender to reamortize their payments over the remaining 15 years of the loan. The monthly payment then drops by $52, from $2,187 to $2,135 per month. ($100,000 toward the lump sum would save $730 a month.)

Since borrowers are not asking for a new loan, they will not have to pay closing costs or submit to another credit check. (Note: “Recasting” is often used in the mortgage industry to refer to interest rate resets on adjustable-rate mortgages. In this case, the interest rate and loan term remain the same. ) “People don’t really know about it, but it’s become more common recently,” Alan Rosenbaum, founder and chief executive of the Guardhill Financial Corporation in New York, said about recasting. Borrowers who just make extra payments toward the loan’s principal but do not ask the bank to recast the loan will keep monthly payments the same and just shorten the overall time it takes to pay off the loan. Recasting, on the other hand, reduces the principal but then, in turn, lowers monthly payments and interest over the life of the loan. Some recent buyers may find recasting a good option, particularly when it makes little financial sense to refinance so soon after purchasing a home but are expecting a large sum of money. For example, buyers who expect to receive a tax refund or other substantial money after closing on their property, such as proceeds from the sale of another property or stocks, may want to look into recasting to lower monthly payments, says Edward Ades, the owner of Universal Mortgage in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Homes for Sale in Clay County Florida in Orange Park and Fleming Island

If you are considering a home purchase in Clay County Florida you are probably focusing on areas like Orange Park, Fleming Island or Middleburg.  Clay County has a lot to offer being on the St Johns River with boating and fishing galore but if you are someone who likes to keep your feet on the ground there are a lot of rural areas with homes with land and more elbow room.  Of course, Clay County also has its luxury homes in communities like Eagle Harbor and Eagle Landing or Orange Park Country Club.

There are also quite a few new construction homes for sale in communities like Oakleaf Plantation, Forest Hammock, Eagle Landing, Fleming Island and even some New Construction Homes in Middleburg~!  There are communities with low hoa fees and no cdd fees that still have community pools and things to do and there are also several communities with grand amenities with everything you can imagine from large pools with waterslides to athletic fields for soccer or football...they even typically have basketball, tennis and exercise rooms for those that prefer to do their exercise in the comfort of air conditioning. 

We have quick links to things like new homes or Pool Homes for Sale by area, zip code and community.

If you are a 1st Time Buyer there is a tax credit avaialble for you guys!  A First Time Home Buyer is anyone that has not owned a home in the past 3 years.  This is the best program i have seen in my 10+ years of helping buyers~!

Another big plus for Clay County is how much of the area is USDA Eligible.  USDA Eligible Homes are home that are in the areas where you dont need a down paymemt and can get more home for your money with low mortgage insurance.

Tell us about the home you are looking for and we will load you up with info and homes to review.

First Coast Home Hunters Team :)

Homes & Real Estate for Sale in St Johns County

If you are considering Homes and Real Estate for Sale in St Johns County Florida we have many custom searches to make viewing these easy (St Augustine, World Golf Village, Nocatee, Ponte Vedra, Ponte Vedra Beach, St Johns & the County Road 210 Corridor.) You can even view homes by price range, area or just view Foreclosures, Short Sales, Waterfront Homes, New Construction Homes or just Pool Homes for Sale in St Johns County. We even have presorted pages of homes for sale in 32080, 32081, 32082, 32084, 32086, 32092, 32095 and 32259.

Saint Johns County is a growing area of the First Coast and the county offers amazing public schools and tons of things for locals and tourists to do for fun.  There are loads of tourist attractions in St Augustine with the Lighthouse, Castillo de San Marcos, The Original Fountain of Youth, Ripleys Believe It or Not and St George Street (Visa Alley)....plus lets not forget the miles of beautiful beaches along with the intracoastal waterway and the St Johns River where surfing, boating and fishing are daily activities.

If you are considering a house or home for sale there are some major things to consider.  The USDA Property Eligibility Maps will be changing on October 1st.  Much of the St Johns Area of St Johns County will be in-eligible after that date but for now we can still use these loans.  If you or someone you know is considering a home purchase in Northern St Johns County let us know and we can help find a home now or show them what areas will still be eligible come Oct 1.

If you are considering a New Construction Homes for Sale in St Johns County its important to know that builders dont put all their inventory onto the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) so many can fly under the radar.  Let our team of experienced buyer agents know about the home you are looking for and we will gather a complete list of the builder inventory for your review.  Also, we have had great success negotiating all the closing costs, prepaids and even many of the finishing touches into our buyers contracts.  Things like blinds, refrigerator, washer, dryer, garage door opener, fences and even screened porches.  I know you might think some of these things should be included with any new home but they are not always included automaticall so we try to get all the bells and whistles so you can worry about other things once you move into your NEW HOME~! 

If you are a First Time Home Buyer (this is anyone who has not owned a home in the past 3 years) you could be eligible for the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.  This is by far the best program for first time buyers i have seen in my real estate career.  If you or someone you know is considering a home purchase in the next 6 months let them know to check on this tax credit or tell us who they are and we will help them navigate this proces and get them with a lender that is signed up with this program.

Finally, as a buyer, Realtors work for you for free.  Typically sellers pay the real estate brokers for both the seller and the buyer.  So whether its us or someone else why not have an expert in your corner?

Let us know how we can help and have a good day :)

First Coast Home Hunters Team

Buyer Agent in Jacksonville, St Augustine and Orange Park, Florida

Many people dont realize it but as a buyer Realtors typically work for you for free.  Thats right, as a buyer you can get free help navigating the home buying process from an expert.

When a seller hires a Realtor to "List" their home they agree to pay X% to the listing brokerage.  The listing brokerage agrees to pay part of their commission to the buyers agent.  So as a buyer you dont typically have to pay any real estate commissions. 

Now, when you decide to sell its going to be costly. Most of the time a sellers costs are 6-8% before paying any of the buyers closing costs.  So if you add some help for the buyer a seller could be looking at 9-11% of the sale price.  OUCH!

This is what makes a good buyers agent most important.   Finding the right home at the right price so you dont outgrow your home and need to move quickly is key to not having to go through the painful selling part of home ownership. 

If you are considering a home purchase in Northeast Florida - St Johns County, Clay County Nassau County or Duval County - we would enjoy the opportunity to join your home hunting team. 

Since its usually free....whether its us or someone else, why not have an expert buyer agent in your conrer?

Homes for Sale in Julington Creek and St Johns, FL

If you are looking at homes for sale in St Johns, FL and Juington Creek Plantation Area of St Johns County there are some great options to consider.  Many people love this area for its strong schools and beautiful scenery along the St Johns River and Julington Creek which give area residents many fun things to do in the sun like boating, fishing and well....just plain old relaxing!

Some communities with new construction still being built are Durbin Crossing, Aberdeen, Reserve at Greenbriar, St Johns Forest to name a few.  We can typically negotiate the builder to pay all the closing costs and also work in the important things you might need to finish the house off and reduce your after closing list!  Things like blinds, refrigerator, washer & dryer, garage door opener and more.

One new road that should be coming to the St Johns area is State Road 9B - Supposedly it will be called I-795 once the St Johns Portion is complete. 

We would love to join your homehunting if you will allow us to~!

Rob/Kris and The First Coast Home Hunters Team

VA Loan Tricks for Buyers

Hello everyone :)

Over the years lenders have taught us some great tricks when writing our Purchase Contracts for our Veterans using VA Loans.

It is possible in a VA Loan to pay of some of the buyers debts.  NO - this is not like the old days of anything goes Actually (to my knowledge) VA Loans are the only loans that allow this type of thing,.  Generally 2-2.5% of the purchase price can go to any debbt the buyer has....including a break the lease fee.  

Also, if a veteran is 10% disabled they can get out of the VA Funding Fee COMPLETELY.   This saves 2.15-3.3% of the loan amount. 

If you or someone you know is a veteran and would like a Realtor who knows how to maximize their position let us know.  We will help negotiate the best terms possible on a purchase in Jacksonville, St Augustine or Orange Park, FL.

Check out our old blogs for details on teh First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit that can go WITH a VA Loan~!

Rob/Kris and the First Coast Home Hunters Team

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

I know we have talked about this before BUT its the best thing I have ever seen for 1st Time Buyers. 

A FIRST TIME BUYER IS ANYONE who has not owned a home in the past 3 years.

The tax credit is up ro 2,000 per year for up to 30 years as long as you keep the original loan and still reside in the home as your primary residence. 

Most people would get the full 2,000 per year.

There are some income restrictions - from what i have read if you have 1-2 people in your household you can have up to 76,000 of household income.

If you have 3+ in your household you can make around 89,000 per household.

There is no special loan you only have to get your loan from a lender who is signed up so their consumers are eligible to receive it.

This is only for people who close on their home in the calendar year of 2014.  Please share!

USDA Eligibility Maps Changing

Not sure if everyone knows but USDA changed their eligibility maps last October....BUT then in early 2014 they reversed the decision.  So we now have the opportunity to still do 100% USDA Loans in Areas like St Johns, FL which encompasses Julington Creek Plantation, Durbin Crossing and Aberdeen - to name a few (32259) and Oakleaf Plantation Area which encompasses Oakleaf Plantation, Eagle Landing and Forest Hammock (32065) or Fleming Island (32003) - There are other areas that will be affected as well but the important thing to think about is IF you are interested in a home purchase in any of these areas the time to use a loan with no downpayment is running out. 

Generally the income for a household is around 76,000 to be eligible.  We are told the maps will be changing oficially again in October.  If you are considering a home purchase in Clay, Nassau or St Johns County please speak with an expert to see if this change will affect you loan options~!  If you know someone this could affect please share...

We are here to help if/when you have any qustions....

Very Useful Household Tips~!

1) Flies or bees bothering you? Spray them with hairspray and they will take a quick dive.

2) Sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed.  (hmmm...)
 
3) Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs  to.
 
4) For icy doorsteps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't refreeze. (Wish I had known this for the last 60 years)!
 
5) Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag dipped in baking soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is)!
 
6) Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE)! Rubbing alcohol on paper towel.
 
7) Whenever I purchase a box of SOS Pads, I immediately take a pair  of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would be much more economical. And now a box of SOS pads lasts me indefinitely! In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get sharpened this way!
 
8) Opening brand new jars can be a feat in itself. Well, I have found way to make it the easiest thing to do. Instead of banging a jar of jam, pickles, etc., with a knife until it loosens up, I simply reach into the drawer and pull out the handy nutcracker. It adjusts to the size of the jar and I simply give it a good twist and off pops the lid!
 
9) Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little peroxide on cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works every time!
 
10) Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks. Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don't wash windows on sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.
 
11) Spray a bit of perfume on the light bulb in any room to create lovely light scent in each room when the light is turned on. Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels and linens.
 
12) Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 2 hours prior to burning.
 
13) To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!
 
14) To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to boil on stovetop.
 
15) Spray your Tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won't be any stains.
 
16) When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.
 
17) Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
 
18) When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness.
 
19) Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
 
20) Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes  for future use in casseroles and sauces. (What leftover wine?  LOL!)
 
21) To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.
 
22) Ants, ants, ants everywhere ... Well, they are said to never cross chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.
 
23) Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.
 
24) When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, and then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly an easily.
 

Carpet Cleaning Tips

Carpet Cleaning Tips
Vacuum your carpet at least once a week, even if it doesn't look like it needs it.  The dust, and dirt, gets ground into the carpet and will slash the fibers. Have  your carpets professionally cleaned at least once a year (every 4 months is preferable)  Hire someone or Do it yourself.

Always try to remove carpet stains as soon as possible. You have a better chance at removing the stain than if you wait longer. Never use ammonia or soap on carpets  because they contain alkalis, which harm the fibers and fade the colors. Use a clean  cloth, such as a towel, to soak up liquids. Use a spatula to scoop up semi solids. Sponge  the area lightly with water, or a soapless lather cleaner. Do not rub too hard. Start  cleaning at the outer edge of the stain, then work inward. Don't use too much water.  You can use a hair dryer or electric fan to help dry the area when done.

Got ink on your nice carpet? Don't panic. Blot up the ink with a cloth or blotter. Next, take a sponge and wet it with a solution of Lysol and Water (ratio 1 teaspoon  Lysol to 1 Quart water)  Gently sponge area till ink is gone. Get clean sponge and rinse with water and then dry.


Did puppy have an accident? Sponge the area with a solution of 1/2 cup of white  vinegar in a quart of warm water. May need repeat application.

Chewing gum stuck on carpet? Rub the area with ice cubes till gum is ice cold.  Scrape up with a spatula. If stain is still there, you can try using a dry cleaning fluid.

Nail Polish spill? Use nail polish remover, but apply with an eye dropper.  Wait a few minutes, and wipe with a clean, dry cloth.

Kids leave a red lollipop to melt on your carpet? Or a popsicle? Remove the food item,  then sponge with warm water. If this doesn't work, take a teaspoon of very mild detergent  (like ivory snow or dreft) and mix in a 1/2 pint of water. Sponge this on with lukewarm water.

Cigarette burns: Clip the ends of the blackened tufts. Rub the spot with water and a soapless cleaner.
Carpet Cleaning Tips
Vacuum your carpet at least once a week, even if it doesn't look like it needs it.  The dust, and dirt, gets ground into the carpet and will slash the fibers. Have  your carpets professionally cleaned at least once a year (every 4 months is preferable)  Hire someone or Do it yourself.

Always try to remove carpet stains as soon as possible. You have a better chance at removing the stain than if you wait longer. Never use ammonia or soap on carpets  because they contain alkalis, which harm the fibers and fade the colors. Use a clean  cloth, such as a towel, to soak up liquids. Use a spatula to scoop up semi solids. Sponge  the area lightly with water, or a soapless lather cleaner. Do not rub too hard. Start  cleaning at the outer edge of the stain, then work inward. Don't use too much water.  You can use a hair dryer or electric fan to help dry the area when done.

Got ink on your nice carpet? Don't panic. Blot up the ink with a cloth or blotter. Next, take a sponge and wet it with a solution of Lysol and Water (ratio 1 teaspoon  Lysol to 1 Quart water)  Gently sponge area till ink is gone. Get clean sponge and rinse with water and then dry.


Did puppy have an accident? Sponge the area with a solution of 1/2 cup of white  vinegar in a quart of warm water. May need repeat application.

Chewing gum stuck on carpet? Rub the area with ice cubes till gum is ice cold.  Scrape up with a spatula. If stain is still there, you can try using a dry cleaning fluid.

Nail Polish spill? Use nail polish remover, but apply with an eye dropper.  Wait a few minutes, and wipe with a clean, dry cloth.

Kids leave a red lollipop to melt on your carpet? Or a popsicle? Remove the food item,  then sponge with warm water. If this doesn't work, take a teaspoon of very mild detergent  (like ivory snow or dreft) and mix in a 1/2 pint of water. Sponge this on with lukewarm water.

Cigarette burns: Clip the ends of the blackened tufts. Rub the spot with water and a soapless cleaner.
 
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