Northeast Florida Real Estate and Community News

Feb. 8, 2019

7 Reasons to Own A Home

1.      Tax benefits.
The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home.

2.      Appreciation.
Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in value. In fact, median single-family existing-home sale prices have increased on average 5.2 percent each year from 1972 through 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.  The recent housing crisis has caused some to question the long-term value of real estate, but even in the most recent 10 years, which included quite a few very bad years for housing, values are still up 7.0 percent on a cumulative basis. In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 10 to15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing.

3.      Equity.
Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.

4.      Savings.
Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.

5.       Predictability.
Unlike rent, your fixed-rate mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will likely increase.

6.      Freedom.
The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle.

7.       Stability.
Remaining in one neighborhood for several years allows you and your family time to build long-lasting relationships within the community. It also offers children the benefit of educational and social continuity.

Posted in Buying a Home
Jan. 25, 2019

Don't Forget! File for Homestead Exemption


Florida residents are eligible for Homestead Exemption on their primary home, condominium, co-op apartments and certain mobile home lots. The exemption removes $25,000 off the assessed value of an owner-occupied residence and could provide up to another $25,000 additional exemption of assessed value over $50,000. (This additional exemption does not apply to school millage.) Not only does the homestead exemption lower the value on which you pay taxes, it also limits future annual increased in assessed value to 3% or less.

You can file in person, online, or by mail before March 1st.


For further information:

Duval County:   

St Johns County:

Clay County:


What to bring:

To complete your DR-501 Application, you will need:

·         Recorded Deed or Tax Bill in the applicant’s name

·         Florida Driver’s License or Florida Identification Card with the homestead address

·         Social Security Number for each applicant. (If you are married, Florida law requires both spouses provide a social security number even if both do not live at the homestead property and only one is applying for exemption)

·         Florida Voter’s Registration for each applicant if applicable, you may be required to provide the following additional documentation:

o   Proof that you are a United States citizen

o   Resident Alien Card or proof that you are the parent of a minor child born in the United States who is a U.S. citizen and who lives on the property

o   Mobile Home Registration(s) or Mobile Home Title(s)

o   Copy of the Trust (if the property is held in a trust)

In addition to the proof of Florida residency, you must be residing on the property as your primary residence as of January 1st. Social Security numbers are required for all owners and their spouses making application, even if the spouse does not  own and/or reside on the property.


Still have questions? Give us a call anytime at 904-465-3397.

Posted in Community News
Dec. 11, 2018

4 Holiday Decorating Styles to Sleigh Your Holidays

Time to deck the halls! The Cindy Gavin Team loves helping you find homes that match your life with your style and the same goes for holiday decorations. How would you describe your holiday decorating style? We’ve rounded up four styles that are sure to bring comfort and joy to you and yours this Christmas season. Let us know in the comments which one is your favorite!

1. White Christmas
The monochromatic aesthetic of a white, Christmas-themed holiday decor is sophisticated and elegant. To fend off the critics who think the style is too cold, add in some blankets, fluffy pillows and comfy rugs. Flocked trees, which are making a comeback, are a perfect complement to this style.


2. Traditional
If you’re more of a holiday purist, decorating with traditional Christmas decor helps bring the holidays home. The reds and greens of the season make a space feel warm and joyful. Traditional decorations are often timeless, so don’t feel guilty about splurging on pieces that you love to display year after year. Candles, bells, candy canes and garland are the classics that work well if this is your decorating style. Going traditional doesn’t mean you have to have a real tree — artificial trees are more cost-effective and (some would argue) don’t take anything away from the traditional Christmas spirit.

3. Rustic
You already brought the outdoors inside when you picked out a Christmas tree — so, go ahead — continue the theme and create a rustic Christmas wonderland. Texture is important to a rustic style — wood, wool and burlap offer a neutral palette to layer in natural elements. Feeling crafty? Try building this DIY advent tree.

4. Colorful
Time to get merry and bright. Colorful Christmas trees and decor bring whimsy and cheer to the holidays. You can stick with one color or go all out by mixing color schemes together. And what about a rainbow Christmas tree? This decorating style has no rules – it’s all about having fun.

Article from RE/MAX Blog

Posted in Community News
March 28, 2018

5 Home Projects to Tackle this Spring

Spring means the weather is (hopefully) warming up. It’s the perfect time to get ahead on home maintenance. Here are a few projects to focus on during a spring fling of home repair.


1. Wash away the winter

Power washing your home's exterior not only adds to its sparkle, but also blasts away any potentially damaging mold and mildew. Rent a power washer at your local home improvement store and hit your siding, deck and driveway.


2. Check your AC

Scheduling a tune-up for your cooling system now can save you big bucks in the long run. Change your AC filter and schedule a pro to come check your system before contractors get busy during the summer.


3. Go with the flow

Pull out a ladder and unclog gutters. While you’re up there, check that they're connected securely.


4. Bask in the sun

Catch some rays – and brighten your home – by cleaning your windows, inside and out. Use a squeegee instead of paper towels to avoid looking out through a filter of streaks and lint.


5. Hit the fridge

The dust and grime that collects on your refrigerator's coils forces it to use more energy to cool. Cleaning coils is easy with your vacuum's hose attachment. Then, enjoy efficiently-made ice cubes in a cocktail after all your hard work.


And don’t forget to add a paper drink umbrella!

What else can you be doing to help your home sell quickly and at the right price? Reach out to us, and we’d love to share other ideas.

Posted in Real Estate News
March 16, 2018

4 Signs To Go With A Pro

Don’t Push Your Luck - 4 Signs To Go With A Pro

Even with St. Patrick’s Day, finding the right place to call home requires more than luck. It requires the skill and insight of a professional. If you're in the process of buying a home, here are 4 signs for when it's time to call in an agent.

1. You realize the inaccuracies of the internet

While you can view tons of listings online, not all of the information is accurate or up-to-date. You'll find outdated comps, conflicting forecasts and different ratings. With access to the MLS and insight on properties about to hit the market, a Realtor can provide the latest and most accurate data.

2. You're juggling a hectic schedule

You don't need to spend time sorting through listings and contacting sellers. An agent will do the research on your behalf to find the homes that best fit your needs and price range.

3. The biggest thing you've negotiated lately was your kids' bedtime (and you lost)

As professional negotiators with years of experience, Realtors know how to create, present and negotiate the best offer. Remember, you'll be going up against another professional negotiator: the seller's agent.

4. You’re unfamiliar with a neighborhood

A local agent can give you the scoop about market developments and changes that you won’t find online. He or she will also analyze the context of larger forces that could impact the future value of a home.

Don’t push your luck in your home search. We're happy to help you eliminate the unknowns and variables – so you can find your perfect place.

Posted in Selling Your Home
March 8, 2018

Your Northeast Florida Open House Guide for March 10th & 11th

While viewing pictures of properties online can be entertaining, there's nothing quite like seeing your future home in person.

We don’t want you wasting your time searching multiple sites or driving around looking for open house signs. 

Instead, check out these four open houses we’ve put together for you:


#1 - 3770 Julington Creek Road

Jacksonville, FL 32223

Open House: Sunday, March 11th 1-3pm


Property Details: 

Price: $749,000

Beds: 4

Baths: 4

Square Feet: 3,980

Year Built: 1984

Area of Town: MANDARIN

Lot Size: 1 ACRE

School District: Duval/Mandarin

MLS #: 923812


#2 - 412 Labarre Court

St Johns, FL 32259

Open House: Sunday, March 11th 1-3pm


Property Details:  

  Price: $580,000

Beds: 5

Baths: 5

Square Feet: 4,365

Garage: 3

Year Built: 2005

Area of Town: ST. JOHNS

School District: ST JOHNS

MLS #: 925030


# 3 - 10920 Hamilton Downs Ct. 

Jacksonville, FL 32257

Open House: Saturday, March 10th 1-3pm & Sunday, March 11th 1-3pm

Property Details: 

Price: $260,000

Beds: 3

Baths: 2

Square Feet: 1,788

Garage: 2

Year Built: 1999

Area of Town: Mandarin

School District: MANDARIN/DUVAL

MLS #: 921817


#4 - 213 Bridgeport Lane

Elkton, FL 32033

Open House: Sunday, March 11th 1-3pm


Property Details: 

 Price: $234,900

Beds: 3

Baths: 2

Square Feet: 1,654

Garage: 2

Year Built: 2014

Area of Town: ST. JOHNS COUNTY

School District: ST. JOHNS COUNTY

MLS #: 920692


Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 14, 2018

Have You Filed for Homestead Exemption?

Homestead Exemption


What is homestead exemption?

A homestead exemption is a property tax discount often given to someone who owns a property and who lives in it as their primary residence. The Exemption can provide a substantial savings on your property taxes. 


Homeowners must file an initial application, and as long as the property remains their primary residence, the exemption will automatically renew each year. A renewal notice will be mailed to you each year in January. It is the responsibility of the owner to notify the Property Appraiser of any change in their exempt status.


To qualify you must be (as of January 1st)

~A legal Resident of the United States

~Hold Legal or Beneficial title to the property on which you are applying

~Making the property your permanent legal residence


When should you file?

~From the time you receive your deed to March 1st 2018 is the regular filing time for the current tax year 2017


How to file?

~In person, online or by mail


For further information :

Duval county:    

St Johns County: 

Clay County:

Posted in Real Estate News
Feb. 6, 2018

5 Things You Should Love About Your Home Before You Commit

You swoon at the curb appeal and your heart flutters at the sight of the kitchen countertops, but is the home you're considering buying really The One? Before you make an offer, be sure you love these five, hard-to-change things about your potential new place.


1. Square footage


Too small and you may quickly outgrow your new space. Too big can mean unnecessary energy bills and money spent furnishing space you never use. Aim for "just right."


2. Drive time


Be sure your daily commute won't leave you sitting in traffic, rethinking your relationship with your house. Consider driving to work from your potential home a couple times during rush hour to make sure you know what you're getting into.


3. Walkability


Being able to stroll to shops, restaurants, parks and public transportation can really boost your quality of life. If it's important to you, check out your potential home's official walkability score at


4. Community


Does the neighborhood include features that you feel are critical to your particular lifestyle, like yoga studios, late night takeout options or a safe playground for your kids (or pups)?


5. Planes, trains and automobiles


If you travel frequently, be sure you love how close your potential new home is to the airport, main highways or public transportation. Not a fan of planes flying overhead – or late night trains? Keep that in mind when scoping out areas as well.


If you're crazy about these five aspects of the house, it might really be true love. Make an offer and with luck, you could live happily ever after. Working with an experienced agent can help. Find one here.


Call us to schedule your private showings!

Cindy Gavin Team


Posted in Buying a Home
Jan. 31, 2018

January 2018 Housing Report: 4 Things to Know



December capped off 2017 with record-breaking home prices, speedy sales and low inventory. One thing is for sure is that the real estate market is on fire, and there's no indication the flames will be dying down anytime soon. Here are key points from January's report:


1. Homes are selling fast

In December, homes spent an average of 57 days on the market. That's the shortest time of any December in the report's history.

2. Prices are rising

The median sales price of a home sold in December was $232,500. That's nearly 3 percent higher than the median sales price in December 2016.

3. Inventory continues to shrink

Making sales harder was a low supply of inventory at 3.7 percent — which is the lowest December figure in the nine-year history of the report. That corresponds with a 14.6 percent decline in inventory, lengthening a streak of monthly declines that began in November 2008.

4. Slightly fewer transactions occurred

The overall average number of home sales fell 3.3 percent compared to December 2016, with 39 markets reporting fewer transactions. The end of year is typically a slower selling season, but buyers should still work with their agents to navigate the competitive market. Dig into the details of the January 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report in the infographic below.





Posted in Real Estate News