Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Amelia National

Amelia National Golf & Country Club

By: John Holbrook

Amelia National is geared to those well acquainted with the finest private golf clubs. The community features an 18-hole course of stellar natural beauty designed by Tom Fazio, designed for Championship play, yet forgiving enough for the nonprofessional to enjoy again and again. A par 72 with tee positions ranging in length from 7,166 yards to 5,198 yards.

Amenities include:

- An eight acre practice facility with a driving range, practice bunker, chipping and putting greens.
- Private golf instruction with a knowledgeable and experienced PGA teaching staff.
- Three lighted hard tru tennis courts.
- Stunning new French Provincial Clubhouse designed especially for the camaraderie that is a grand tradition among private golf clubs.
- Fitness center with Lifefitness State-of –the-Art equipment with integrated LCD TV monitors.
- Resort style pool set among lushly landscaped gardens is a delightful place to meet friends, neighbors or just send the kids for the afternoon.

Featured Builders:

- ICI Homes. Since its founding in 1980, ICI Homes mission has been to provide home buyers with the highest quality craftsmanship, innovative designs, and personal service, at the best possible value
- Morrison Homes. Building a new home is an exciting experience. Morrison Homes also believes it should be an enjoyable experience from the start until the new home is finished. Morrison Homes is an award winning, national home builder that creates beautiful homes showcasing quality construction and value.
- David Weekley Homes. You won’t find another builder who values imagination more than David Weekley Homes. Homebuyers work directly with a builder to ensure that their needs are met. The company’s focus is giving its customers innovative design, a long list of choices to personalize their homes, and inspired service.
- American Homebuilders. Their mission and that of the company is to provide comfort and value for their home buyers. In 2006, American Homebuilders introduced the Woman-Centered Home. This new concept in home design and construction presents four unique home comfort zones.

Presented by John Holbrook - Realtor
10 best places for house bargains

ORLANDO, Fla. – Feb. 12, 2008 – The best place to get a bargain on a home is an area where there is healthy job growth and more houses available than people to buy them.These are markets “where you have high inventories but pliable borrowers, with lenders willing to deal,” says Anthony Sanders, a professor of finance at Arizona State University.Forbes magazine went looking for markets where the damage from risky lending hasn’t been as dramatic as in some parts of the country and where employment growth will burn off an over-abundance of inventory quickly.Here are the magazine’s 10 best cities for bargain house hunters.

1. Salt Lake City, Utah. Developers have gotten ahead of the demand, but the city is adding jobs more quickly than practically any place else in the country.

2. Raleigh, N.C. Another place where building got ahead of the curve, but the economy is expanding quickly.

3. Orlando, Fla. This part of the state had fewer speculators than Miami and Tampa, and it’s adding jobs faster than those cities as well.

4. Charlotte, N.C. The financial industry is moving here, adding jobs, but the inventory of unsold homes is still significant.

5. Phoenix. This city had a high foreclosure rate, but the economy is growing and people are still moving here in large numbers.

6. Seattle. The city’s port has profited from the weak dollar, but the housing price growth has slowed.

7. Las Vegas. This market was hit hard by foreclosures, but the growing economy makes the huge inventory less toxic than it is many places.

8. Jacksonville, Fla. The foreclosure rate is slower than the rest of the Florida cities, making the large inventory likely to improve.

9. Richmond, Va. There is only one foreclosure per 1,103 households here (compared to 1 in 33 in Detroit). Still, there are plenty of homes on the market.

10. Houston. Homes in Houston have long been a bargain. While there have been plenty of foreclosures, the population and the economy are expanding.

Source: Forbes, Matt Woolsey (02/07/08)© Copyright 2008 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

John Holbrook
Prudential Chaplin Williams Realty

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

January 2008 Housing Stats

Nassau County Closed Sales MLS Stats as of 2/5/08

Jan 2006 Jan 2007 Jan 2008
Homes 68 55 25
Condos 27 10 5
Lots 18 5 4

B of A Monthly Real Estate Agent Survey
Traffic Aided by Lower Mortgage Rates and Home Prices, Buyers Still Cautious

Affordability tends to drive sales activity; mortgage rates are critical. We
believe that affordability is the key determinant of sales and that the downturn in
sales activity since mid-’05 was driven by the lack of affordability as home prices
and mortgage rates both increased and limited the pool of potential buyers. We
think the improving affordability will translate into better sales activity as the year

Pricing pressure continues as a result of high inventory levels. Our price index
increased modestly to 20 in January from 18 in December (readings below 50
indicate sequentially lower prices). We think these price declines are likely to
continue throughout ’08 based on the high level of existing home inventory, but
think the better affordability may help to limit the declines.

Jacksonville, FL – Few Transactions, Concentrated Among
Aggressively Priced Homes

Little incremental change as bargain hunters circle but few others dare to step in.
Our traffic index was essentially unchanged in January at 35.1 from 32.8 in December,
still below agents’ expectations (readings below 50 suggest traffic below agents’
expectations). Similar to last month, several agents saw higher call volume and
showings than in the fall, but only on homes with sharply reduced pricing. “Price adjustments
have brought out more buyers looking for deals.”Still, most agents remain cautious as
lending conditions remain challenging and buyers fear further price declines given the
huge oversupply of homes for sale.

Prices continue to spiral lower. Price declines showed no signs of slowing in January,
as our price index came in at 17.1 (from 11.3 in December), far short of a neutral
reading Agentssaw a large increase in short sale and foreclosed properties coming onto the market with huge price reductions, but with little demand inventories continued to build (in
contrast to the normal seasonal decline in January). Our home listings index increased
to 38.9 in January from 27.6 in December, with readings below 50 indicating rising
inventory. We think inventory will continue to climb through spring as more
foreclosures hit the market, leading to additional severe price declines throughout the year.

Key Factors for Florida Growth

Worth The Read

Let’s take a look at some of the opportunities and positive indicators for the future of Florida’s real estate market.

Long-term economic and demographic trends continue to favor Florida. By 2010 it has been forecast that Florida will be the third most populated state in the country. Florida’s population is expected to increase about 75 percent by 2030. Florida demonstrates a long history of strong growth. It has been one of the 10 fastest-growing states in the U.S. for each of the past seven decades, and often it has been in the top four, according to census data. Population growth will continue to provide a foundation for other economic growth such as new jobs and growing incomes. All of which is good for real estate.

People are continuing to move here. It’s estimated that 1,000 people move here every day (, “Florida Quick Facts”). No wonder Florida’s population has grown 13.4% since 2000, compared to only 6.4% for the rest of the country, according to census data.
Five of the top 15 cities in the Milken Institute’s 2007 “Best Performing Cities” survey, which looks at sustainable economic growth, are in Florida, including the No. 1 city, Ocala. A total of 13 Florida cities are in the top 50.

Low unemployment. Almost 120,000 jobs were created in Florida in the year between August 2006 and August 2007. Florida’s unemployment rate has hovered at or under 4% for a long time; and was 4% in August 2007, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Department of Labor. That not only puts it well below the national unemployment average, it also is the lowest unemployment rate among all ten of the most populous states.
Jobs are plentiful, and that trend will continue. A recent study by Bizjournals called “Where the Jobs Are” found that 7 of the hottest 15 job markets are in Florida.

Let’s take a look at the weather. If you think the hurricanes we experienced are going to have long-term effects on the Florida real estate market, consider this tidbit from Fortune Magazine. It recently reported, “Economists and geographers who have studied how natural disasters affect real estate values have generally found there to be no lasting impact.” Example #1: When Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston, S. C., home values were actually higher one year later. Example #2: That same year, 1989, a huge earthquake made big news in San Francisco, and the same thing happened—house prices went up.

Grant Thrall, a professor of what’s called Economic Geography, explains this phenomenon this way—residents move away and home prices fall only when natural disasters start becoming regular occurrences in an area, not when they happen periodically. And while the hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005 may still be fresh in our minds, the fact is, historically it was a fluke. Eight storms hit the Florida mainland in those two years. But if you look back at the 50 years prior, only six Category 3 or higher storms hit the Florida mainland in half a century.
Gov. Charlie Crist, state lawmakers and business groups are committed to finding real solutions to the escalating costs and shortage of property insurance in Florida, as well as much-needed property tax reform. Florida Realtors will continue working closely with lawmakers to help resolve these complicated issues and keep the state’s economy moving forward. For example, 2007 FAR President Nancy Riley sits on the governor’s property tax reform commission, and 2005 FAR President Frank Kowalski served on the governor’s insurance reform commission.
Interests rates currently are still low, on a par with interest rates in the 1960s. And thanks to the Fed’s recent rate cut, we’re already seeing lower rates on home equity and mortgage loans, including jumbo loans. The Fed’s action effectively increases the number of homebuyers able to make a purchase, which should increase demand, and also help support home prices. Home prices continue to stabilize, inventory is plentiful and homebuyers have lots of options.

Homeownership has value: Realtors believe… and research supports that belief … that homeownership provides a variety of benefits, tangible and intangible, to the community as well as the individual homeowner.

Studies show that home equity is still the largest single source of household wealth, both for the individual homeowner and for homeowners as a group. Home value is the most important single aspect for homeowners.

Owning a home leads to increased personal well-being. Research shows that people who own their own homes tend to show higher levels of personal esteem and life satisfaction, which in turn helps to make homeowners and their children more productive members of society.
Studies show that children raised in homes owned by their families are more likely to stay in school and more likely to graduate high school. They’re also shown to have a higher lifetime annual income.

People who own homes have a strong financial stake in what happens to their community and tend to become more involved in community and civic affairs. Studies show that homeowners also interact with their neighbors to gain wider influence over their neighborhoods and communities.

Homeowners join up to 41 percent more civic and/or nonprofessional organizations than renters, such as the PTA or Scouts; vote in local elections 15 percent more often; enhance their neighborhoods with gardens 12 percent more often; attend church about 10 percent more often; and have a 3 percent greater chance of being interested in public affairs.
2007 Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR) President Nancy Riley says, “Florida Realtors know buying a home is a very personal investment – an investment in a family’s future. Although research shows it is the largest single investment most families make and helps to provide security for the future, owning a home isn't just a financial investment. Ownership is about having a place to call home: a place where families build a future and become part of a community.”

Over the past five years, the average homeowner has seen an increase of 50 percent in value, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Here in Florida, the statewide median home price has shown an increase of 52.5 percent from November 2002 to November 2007, according to FAR records. NAR housing industry analysts project that prices will rise about 2 percent next year, and in coming years, average home price appreciation should return to historical averages of around 6 percent.

Florida is a great place to live and work. According to Enterprise Florida Inc., the Sunshine State has one of the nation's strongest tourism industries; it is fourth in the nation in high-tech jobs; is the third largest exporter of high-tech goods and services; and is ranked as one of the best states in the nation to be an entrepreneur.

Orlando-based economist Dr. Hank Fishkind recently said in several media reports he believes that “the worst of the so-called housing crisis has probably been mitigated by the actions of the Fed. Recovery will take a while, but it has begun.” Another economist, Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors, predicts that the Florida housing market will get stronger in 2008 and will be booming again by 2010.

And let’s not forget the things that brought people to Florida in the first place, and will continue to attract them – beautiful beaches, fabulous weather and a friendly business climate, with no state income tax. It’s no wonder that Florida’s combination of temperate climate, outstanding recreational amenities and economic opportunity has consistently put us at the top of Harris Poll’s “most desirable places to live” survey.

North Hampton Golf Rates 2008

2008 North Hampton Membership Rates

Full Golf Membership:

Full Golf Single-$2,640 per year or $220 per month
Full Golf Family-$3,360 per year or $280 per month
Senior Single-$2,280 per year or $190 per month
Senior Family-$3,000 per year or $250 per month
Junior Single-$2,280 per year or $190 per month
Junior Family-$3,000 per year or $250 per month
*all rates are plus tax

Initiation Fee: Single: $4,500 plus tax
Family: $6,000 plus tax
Associate Full Golf Membership:
Associate Single-$2,160 per year or $180 per monthAssociate Family-$2,940 per year or $245 per month*all rates are plus tax**This type of membership is subject to time restrictions
Full Golf Membership Benefits:Cart Fee Golf $20 for 18 Holes, $11 for 9 Holes both plus taxUnlimited Range Balls, with special Member Practice TeeEligible to compete in all club tournaments and leagues200/0 off Non-Sale Apparel in Golf Shop20% off Meals in Morgan's GrilleFree Handicapping Service

Golf Social Membership:
Golf Social Single-$600 per year or $50 per month
Golf Social Family-$780 per year or $65 per month
Play for the Guest of Member Rate. Unlimited Range Balls. Eligible to compete in most club tournaments and leagues

2008 Membership Fee Schedule:Full Golf Member 18 Hole Member Cart Fee-$20Full Golf Member Twilight or 9 Hole Cart Fee-$11
Full Golf Member 18 Hole Reciprocal Cart Fee-$25 Handicap Service-$35 (Annual Fee) Golf Social Play Rate and Guest of Member Rate-30% off of Resident Rate
Range Plan-will now be included in the Golf Social Membership
All of the above dues and cart fees will be subject to the appropriate sales tax.

Monday, February 4, 2008

North Hampton Home with Pool!
List Price - $479,000
Stunning 4 bedroom/3 bath home with 2371 square feet on almost an acre of property. Located in a private cul-de-sac in the North Hampton community. Enjoy the Lofton Creek Outpost for fishing and kayaking as well as the Arnold Palmer Signiture designed golf course. Open floor plan for this home features a family room with hardwood floors, crown molding, fireplace and plenty of light.
Call John Holbrook - Realtor for more info or to personally view this home. 904-415-0171
Search the local Amelia Island, Yulee and Fernandina Beach properties at

Mariner's Walk - South end Amelia Island

Mariner's Walk Condo
1773 Mariner's Walk Unit 928 - $314,900
Newly listed condominium with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Extensive tile throughout, granite countertops and new rear deck. Short walk to the beach. Convienent location on the south end of Amelia Island. Close to the Ritz Carlton and Amelia Island Plantation.
Contact John Holbrook - Realtor for more info 904-415-0171