Friday, July 31, 2009

Fernandina Beach Pictures

Some of my better photos.

John Holbrook - Realtor
Prudential Chaplin Williams Realty
Ocean Park
I have a closing today on a 2 bedroom Ocean Park unit with an excellent view of the Main Beach area of Fernandina Beach. There is a community pool and spa on site. Units include a one car garage. The property borders Fort Clinch State Park and has wonderful sunset views. There are 2 bedrooms and 2 baths with plenty of storage areas. Laundry room is inside the unit and a full balcony is a great spot for entertaining.

John Holbrook - Realtor
Amelia Island Plantation
I will be showing several houses on the Plantation later today. One of particular interest is 49 Sea Marsh Rd. It is a single story home with golf and lake views that has plenty of room for a pool. Property has been listed since last fall and is currently being marketed for $699,000. There are 3 bedrooms and 3 baths with 3030 sq ft of living space. Needs some renovated but like evrything in this market, the price is negotiable. Call me for a personal tour. John Holbrook - Prudential Chaplin Williams Realty 904-415-0171

Thursday, July 30, 2009

John's Jottings - Just went to a great show at the Amelia Island Community Theatre. Great preformance by the 2 person cast and many, many laughs.

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks

by Richard Alfieri
Lilly Harrison has retired to Florida and decides to expand her circle of interests by signing up for a course of six dance lessons in six weeks, in the privacy of her own home. When dance instructor Michael Minetti arrives for the first lesson, the sparks and banter fly as these two strong personalities clash

Antagonism between the two gives way to compatibility as they swing dance, tango, foxtrot, and cha-cha in this touching comedy that proves that compassionate friendships can develop between the unlikeliest of people.

John Holbrook 904-415-0171 Realtor

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mortgage Rates
Early in the week, a forecast from the Fed that inflation should remain low for the next couple of years moved mortgage rates lower. The economic news later in the week was less favorable for mortgage rates, however. Strong earnings reports produced a rally in the stock market, which pushed mortgage rates higher. In the end, mortgage rates finished the week essentially unchanged.

In testimony before Congress on Tuesday, Fed Chairman Bernanke provided an update on the Fed's outlook for economic conditions. Of note, Bernanke predicted that inflation will not be a concern any time soon, which was good news for mortgage rates. While he expects economic growth to turn positive later this year, he suggested that the labor market may be weak for several years. As a result, the fed funds rate will likely remain near zero for "an extended period".

The June Existing Home Sales report contained positive news for the housing market. In June, Existing Home Sales rose for the third straight month, climbing 4%. The inventory of unsold existing homes fell to a 9.4-month supply from a 9.8-month supply in May. The national median home price rose 4% from May. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), home sales were helped by the first-time homebuyer tax credit and "historically high affordability conditions".

John Holbrook - Realtor 904-415-0171 Fernandina beach, FL 32034

Sunday, July 26, 2009

John's Jottings - Enjoyed a great meal on Amelia Island last Friday night at Bonito Grill. Located on Center Street in downtown Fernandina Beach. Their menu goes beyond great sushi and they have a wonderful selection of main courses. I opted for the U-10 scallops and jasmine rice which was cooked to perfection. Wine was delicious and the saki hit the spot as well. John Holbrook - Realtor 904-415-0171

Bonito Grill and Sushi
614 Centre Street
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

Phone: 904.261.0508
Serving: Lunch, Dinner
Busy week on Amelia Island. Completed the sale of a new ICI house at North Hampton, worked on three new contracts and showed about 25 homes this week. Sale prices seem to have made a slight downward tick in the last few weeks as the inventory still remains high as some sellers are getting anxious. John Holbrook - Realtor 904-415-0171 Chaplin Williams Realty.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bear sighted on Amelia Island

By Michael Parnell, News-Leader

At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday the bear was spotted walking on the bike path/sidewalk at Summer Beach on the Amelia Island Parkway. A quick turn around and the bear was in hiding again. Photos by Robert Fiege/News-Leader
A black bear has been sighted several times this week on the south end of Amelia Island. There is little threat to public safety, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Wednesday.

The bear has been sighted near Amelia City, the Waterwheel Gallery, Osprey Village and, about 8:48 a.m. Wednesday, at Burney Park south of American Beach.

"We put public safety first and the bear second," but "it has shown no signs of nuisance or aggression," said Rebecca Shelton, FWC wildlife assistance biologist.

"We have a very gentle, curious, tender black bear here."

Shelton reminded it is unlawful to shoot a bear. "Black bears are protected," she said.

Shelton also noted, "We've never had a documented human attack by a bear in the state of Florida."

State wildlife officials are monitoring the bear's movement and expecting it to leave the island soon. To report a sighting, call the wildlife alert hotline at 1-888-404-3922.

"It either crossed the bridge or swam here," Shelton said, and she expects it to swim or cross back. "They have a very strong homing instinct, and they will head for home."

This is the black bear's natural habitat, Shelton reminded. "It's a rare opportunity to see wildlife in their natural habitat."

According to FWC officials, the bear has been reported in the North Florida area for several weeks. They believe it is a bear relocated from Palm Beach County on June 24. He was released in Pinhook Swamp, in the northern section of Osceola Wildlife Management Area in Baker and Columbia counties, on June 25. He has been averaging between three and five miles a day.

This is mating season and Florida black bears are more active, looking for mates. "In addition to looking for a mate, the bears are also searching for food sources within their home range," Shelton said.

"Problems arise when bears have access to food sources such as pet foods, garbage, barbecue grills, bird seed or livestock feed. Bears learn very quickly to associate people with food," Shelton said. "Black bears normally are too shy to risk contact with humans, but their strong food drive can overwhelm these instincts."

Residents can help this bear "move on" so it does not become a problem. Properly storing or securing garbage and other attractants is a proven method of discouraging bears. Birdfeeders and grills should be stored in a secure place, such as a garage or a sturdy shed. Garbage should be placed outside on morning of pickup rather than the night before.

"Another way people can help is to feed pets indoors or bring in dishes after feeding," Shelton said. "Keep barbecue grills clean, and store them in a secure place. Picking ripe fruit from trees and picking up fallen fruit removes another food source."

Relocating the bear is not a good option, because there are few places to relocate bears where they will not encounter people.

"Many people wonder why we 'simply' don't move the bear to another area," Shelton said. "The problem with that is bears have a rather strong homing instinct, and moving bears exposes them to increased potential for vehicle collisions and often puts them in another bear's home range."

Another important reason for not relocating bears is that it requires chemically immobilizing the animal.

"This subjects the bear to additional stress with no guarantees of how it will react around people before it goes to sleep or how it will handle the administered drug," Shelton said.

If residents see a black bear, they should remain calm. "Don't run away. Walk calmly toward a building or vehicle and get inside," Shelton said. "If you have children or pets, bring them inside, too. You also can encourage the bear to leave. Bang pots and pans, or blow an air horn or whistle. The more stressful a bear's encounter with you, the less likely it is to come back."

If a bear is in a tree, leave it alone. Remove people and dogs from the area. The bear usually will come down and leave after dark when it feels safe.

For more information, visit
Looked at a great property on the Amelia Island Plantation today. It was at 8 Dunes Court and had 4 bedrooms and 4 baths with approx. 2700 square feet. There 4 levels with a one car garage and storage space on the ground floor. The second story has 3 bedrooms and a full view of the ocean, golf course and sand dunes. On the third fllor is the main living space with diningroom, livingroom, wet bar, landing and full kitchen. The ceilings are about 11 feet in height. The deck/patio is large enough to have a full outdoor entertaining area. Plenty of light and storage as well. The top floor is reserved for the master suite, oversized bath and separate sitting area complete with floor place and two decks. Great opportunity for the right buyer. These units rarely hit the market. Call for a personal tour. John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island 904-415-0171

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Provided by Alan Vanderheiden At Regions Bank on Amelia Island.

New government regulations for mortgage loan transactions have recently been enacted. These new regulations are designed to give the customer additional time to make informed decisions but they will increase the time it takes to process and close a loan. They take effect July 30. Here’s a brief overview.

· Borrowers must receive a copy of their appraisal at least 3 business days prior to closing. This is not too big a deal. Most appraisals are completed in time to meet this deadline.
· Mortgage disclosures have to be received by the customer 3 business days after an application is made. No fees (appraisal or application) can be collected until the customer has received their initial disclosures. Again, not too big as this happens in the first week of application
Here’s the biggie. If the APR on the TIL changes more than .125% on a fixed rate loan or .25% on an ARM from the rate on the initial disclosure, a new TIL has to be sent to the customer and we wait three more business days to close. For example, if the closing date gets moved from the last few days of the month to the first few days of the next month, the pre-paid interest will be much higher and the APR will adjust outside the limits. A new disclosure will have to be sent and we wait three days. If an interest rate lock or re-lock effects the pricing of the loan the APR can increase…a new disclosure will have to be sent and we wait three days. If the loan amount changes it can effect the APR….a new disclosure will be sent and we wait three days.

John Holbrook - Realtor 904-415-0171

Friday, July 17, 2009

Amelia Island Plantation - Fireworks go off every time I close a property sale on the Amelia Island Plantation or at least that's the feeling I get. Residential home to be built by Brylen Homes and custom designed by architect Randy Rice. Low country style with screened pool and outdoor kitchen highlight this home. John Holbrook - Realtor Selling homes and condos on the Amelia Island Plantation.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jacksonville, FL – Lack of Confidence Offsets
Attractive Affordability
(5,135 single-family permits in 2008, 18th largest market in the country)
Traffic declines, despite attractive affordability. Buyer traffic declined again in June,
coming in below agents’ expectations for this time of year as our traffic index fell to 30
from 39 in May (any reading below 50 suggests traffic below agents’ expectations). Agents
said demand for foreclosures continued as these properties present attractive
opportunities for buyers, but there appears to be little activity outside of the distressed
market. Agents also noted the tax credit for first-time buyers is helping affordability further,
but that the increase in mortgage rates in June seemed to offset the benefits from lower
prices and the tax credit.
Distressed sales continue to weigh on home prices. Home prices fell further in June as
foreclosures and short sales continued to make up the majority of sales, according to the
agents surveyed. Our home price index increased to 20 in June from 7 in May but remains
well below a neutral reading (any reading below 50 indicates lower home prices over the
past 30 days). Not helping the matter, inventory appeared to increase modestly in June, as
our home listings index fell to 40 from 50 in May (readings below 50 suggest an increase
in listings). Weaker demand and higher inventories resulted in a longer time needed to sell
a home – a negative indicator for future pricing trends – as our time to sell index slipped to
40 in June from 43 in May, below a neutral reading of 50. We expect further price declines
in the coming months.

John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, 904-415-0171

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday Caravan for the Prudential Office.
1) 1583 Canopy Lane located in Parkway North for $489,900. Three bedrooms and 2 baths. 2870 square footage and back to a beautiful pond. Located on the south end of Amelia Island and walking distance to the City Golf Course.
2) 2835 South Fletcher is a 2 bedroom beach house with rooftop deck that has a great view across the street of the Atlantic Ocean. Light and bright inside and a rear fenced back yard for the kids. Beach access is just across the street.
3) 404 Georgia Ave has hard wood floors and an oversized lot. Walk to the beach from this neighborhood community. Newer home with an open floor plan and rear lania. Priced at $399,000.

These homes are easy to show! Call for an appointment. John Holbrook - Realtor 904-415-0171
Calendar of Events
Coming up at the Amelia Island Chamber

July 14-20
Business After Hours, July 16
"Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks," July 17
Principles of Power: Power Vinyasa Workshop, July 18
"Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks," July 18
Get the 411 on Disaster Preparedness, July 20
Small Business Development Center Mobile Assistance Center, July 20
School Supply Drive, July 20
July 21-27
School Supply Drive, July 21
Public Affairs Committee, July 22
School Supply Drive, July 22
School Supply Drive, July 23
"Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks," July 23
School Supply Drive, July 24
"Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks," July 24
School Supply Drive, July 25
"Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks," July 25
Move in the Park - "Popeye," July 25
"Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks," July 26
School Supply Drive, July 27

Thanks John Holbrook - Realtor in Amelia Island, FL 32034

Monday, July 13, 2009

Looking for a little exercise to stay active in the Fernandina Beach, Florida area? Just finished some short field soccer at the North Hampton field. We play Mondays from 6 to 8 o'clock and the ages and talent cover a wide range. I was on the losing side tonight in a heated battle that ended 10-9 after about an hour and a half of play. We can always use a few more subs. Come on out next week! John Holbrook Realtor 904-415-0171
Amelia Island Plantation listing -1364 Shipwatch. Direct views of the Atlantic Ocean from the livingroom and balcony of this 3 bedroom/3 Bath unit. Tastefully decorated and currently on the rental market. Priced at $985,000. John Holbrook - Realtor Prudential Chaplin Williams Realty 904-415-0171.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

John's Jottings - I had a great dinner at Ciao Italian Restaurant in Fernandina Beach on Friday night. Located just off Island on the north side of A1A, they are open nightly for dinner. We began the evening with some baked brie, arugula salad and fresh bread. For the main course, I had the evening special of baked veal with penne pasta. My dinner partners opted for the fresh shrimp and scallops with pasta as well as the homemade sausage. We had a bottle of Chianti off the wine list. Everything was delicious! I highly recommend a visit if you are looking for a restaurant in the Amelia Island area. John Holbrook - Realtor 904-415-0171
Another day in North Hampton. 4 homes on the list today. The former model on Napeague with 4500 sq ft and more upgrades than you can imagine. Eastport Home with outdoor lania and one of the best golf course views in the community. It has 4 bedrooms, wood floors, fireplace, and is located on a cul-de-sac. Bostickwood home on a preserve lot featuring one level living. Priced at $310,000 and includes the golf club initiation fee. John Holbrook - Realtor 904-415-0171

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Open house today in North Hampton. located in Fernandina Beach, the North Hampton community has approx. 600 homes with a community golf course, pool, recreation fields, and clubhouse.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Prudential Chaplin Williams Realty will be actively involved in the selling and marketing of Oyster Bay Harbours under a new agreement with the developer. Oyster Bay is located just west of Amelia Island in Fernandina Beach, Florida. The new marina has boats slips available and direct access to the St Mary's River and Intracoastal waterway. There is a community pool at the new clubhouse as well as dining facilities and great group events. Lots start at about $125,000. Houses run from the $400's to over a million. Currently the developer is working on several multi- level villas near the marina with exceptional views of the marsh and beyond. John Holbrook - Realtor 904-415-0171

Thursday, July 9, 2009

John's jottings - Looking for people in the Amelia Island area who are interested in going to see the Jacksonville Suns minor league baseball team play in Jacksonville on Monday August 17th. It's a night game and I have a great deal on tickets and bus transportation ($20 total) or just tickets for $5 a piece. John Holbrook - Realtor
John's jottings - House of the day today is 1611 Geddes Lane in the cottage district of Amelia Park in Fernandina Beach. Priced at $300,000 with granite counters, wood floors, custom fireplace mantle and screened front porch. mls 47926. Not many properties sold in the last week but lot 57 at Brady Point for $105,900 was a deal. It is a large wooded lot with ties to the Amelia Island Plantation. Still continue to see good buys for those looking to get into the Amelia Island real estate market. John Holbrook - Realtor 904-415-0171

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

On a hot streak. Who says the market is slow. Summer is heating up on Amelia Island. Our office has 15 properties under contract and I am happy to add another one to the mix. 2 bedroom condo at the Amelia Surf and Racquet. Listed for $475,000 and right on the ocean. Great rental history and near the Amelia island Ritz Carlton. Thanks to all those who showed the property. John Holbrook - Realtor 904-415-0171

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just sold in Otter Run, 3/2 with pool and on the lake. Property is in Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034. Sales price $217,500. John Holbrook - Realtor 904-415-0171

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Just finished a full Island day consisting of horseshows on the beach, plenty of sun and lots of fireworks.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Closed 7/2/09 4949 Spanish Oaks on the south end of Amelia Island for $335,000. Great buy for a 4 bedroom home that is around the corner from the Ritz Carlton and the Atlantic Ocean. Open floor plan, large yard, and bonus room in the Ocean Walk neighborhood. John Holbrook - Realtor 904-415-0171

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Florida’s $8K program effective today.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – July 1, 2009 – Florida created a program to help first-time homebuyers get their federal tax credit early, allowing them to use up to $8,000 toward a downpayment. The effective date for the program is July 1; however, it will probably be another few weeks before the funds are available. John Holbrook - Realtor