Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Amelia Island Second Homes


Amelia Island is a terrific place for a second home or vacation getaway. Real estate prices in Nassau County range from competitive to enviable when compared to other coastal communities. Whether in need of a single family home or a condo, Amelia Island has something for everyone with a variety of price ranges and ammenities. The combination of clean, uncrowded beaches, friendly island hospitality, historic downtown, and world class hotels and restaurants are a rarity. Unlike many other island and resort destinations, the island has its own community hospital and easy access to Jacksonville International Airport.
Local entrepreneurs have had a strong, positive influence on our second home market by creating reliable and simple solutions for those living full time elsewhere and owning locally. Concierge and property management services help ease the hassles and fears of long distance property ownership.
Property managers provide a lengthy list of conveniences and services which include, but are not limited to, house keeping on arrival and departure, hiring lawn, landscape and pool services, handling maintenance and repairs, mail and package delivery and regularly scheduled property inspections. During inclement weather it is reassuring to know that someone is keeping an eye on your home and will not only contact you if needed but arrange for necessary repairs or servicing. Even if the second home in a condominium and has an association caring for the exterior, that obligation usually ends at the front door. Having a reputable and trusted property manager will insure the safety of your interior as well.
Concierge services may include everything from transporation to and from the airport, arranging car rental, restaurant reservations, dry cleaning pick up and drop off, to stocking the kitchen pantry. With an experienced concierge, even tee times, kayak excursions and fishing trips can be waiting for you on arrival.
According to a recent survey, 6.4 million people are currently second home owners and by the year 2010 the number is expected to increase to 10 million. Even in the current real estate market slowdown, Florida continues to be a desirable vacation and retirement destination. Advances in technology and the baby boomer mind set make more frequent vacations and time spent away from work on the increase. Second homes allow an escape from the daily routine, a place to relax with family friends and frequently becomes the primary home at retirement.
Second home ownership can lead to financial reward through long term investment and allows for tax advantages such as mortgage interest deductions. With the recent passage of Amendment 1, Florida second home owners are now receiving some protection from spiking tax increases which could result from future rising property valuations.
The current availability of properties at stabilizing prices, historically low interest rates and all that Amelia Island has to offer makes this a terrific time to make Amelia Island your second home.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Amelia Market News

An Amelia Island networking group called the "Amelia Business Network" has formed a new website to provide market information about Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach and Yulee business markets. You can view information at

International Sales

Canadians, aided by a strong Canadian dollar, were the No. 1 group of international buyers, accounting for nearly a quarter of all foreign buyers in the year ended May 2008. That was nearly twice the share the Canadians represented a year earlier.Florida was the choice for 33 percent of all Canadian purchases in the United States.Mexicans, who were the No. 1 group of international buyers last year, dropped to third place, behind the British and Canadians. Forty-two percent of all British buyers chose Florida.Rounding out the top six were: China, India, and Germany. Buyers from China favored California, which captured 25 percent of their U.S. purchases, but Florida was No. 2 with 11 percent. Fifty-four percent of German buyers picked the Sunshine State.After Florida, other top states for foreign buyers are California, Arizona and Texas.Despite the current downturn, 35.5 percent of Florida Realtors surveyed said their international business has grown in the past five years, the report said. Some 52.6 percent in Florida reported their foreign business remained about the same, and only 11.8 percent indicated foreign business had decreased.Thirty-eight percent of the Realtors thought the weak dollar was having a significant impact on foreign buyers looking in the United States, the study said.But there were also some factors putting the brakes on U.S. purchases. 'While U.S. real estate is still considered a 'safe haven' for foreign funds, there are some perceived impediments to foreign purchases including cost of property, immigration laws, and property taxes," the report said.Copyright © 2008, The Miami Herald, Martha Brannigan. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.