Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Flood Insurance Rates about to Skyrocket?

Flood Insurance Rates about to Skyrocket?

John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, FloridaCell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Average Days on the Market [INFOGRAPHIC]

Average Days on the Market [INFOGRAPHIC]

John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, FloridaCell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Characteristics of Mentally Strong People

1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves Mentally strong people don’t sit around feeling sorry about their circumstances or how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their role in life and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair. 2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power They don’t allow others to control them, and they don’t give someone else power over them. They don’t say things like, “My boss makes me feel bad,” because they understand that they are in control over their own emotions and they have a choice in how they respond. 3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change Mentally strong people don’t try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to adapt. 4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control You won’t hear a mentally strong person complaining over lost luggage or traffic jams. Instead, they focus on what they can control in their lives. They recognize that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude. 5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone Mentally strong people recognize that they don’t need to please everyone all the time. They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary. They strive to be kind and fair, but can handle other people being upset if they didn’t make them happy. 6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks They don’t take reckless or foolish risks, but don’t mind taking calculated risks. Mentally strong people spend time weighing the risks and benefits before making a big decision, and they’re fully informed of the potential downsides before they take action. 7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past Mentally strong people don’t waste time dwelling on the past and wishing things could be different. They acknowledge their past and can say what they’ve learned from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future. 8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over Mentally strong people accept responsibility for their behavior and learn from their past mistakes. As a result, they don’t keep repeating those mistakes over and over. Instead, they move on and make better decisions in the future. 9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success Mentally strong people can appreciate and celebrate other people’s success in life. They don’t grow jealous or feel cheated when others surpass them. Instead, they recognize that success comes with hard work, and they are willing to work hard for their own chance at success. 10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure Mentally strong people don’t view failure as a reason to give up. Instead, they use failure as an opportunity to grow and improve. They are willing to keep trying until they get it right. 11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time Mentally strong people can tolerate being alone and they don’t fear silence. They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to be productive. They enjoy their own company and aren’t dependent on others for companionship and entertainment all the time but instead can be happy alone. 12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything Mentally strong people don’t feel entitled to things in life. They weren’t born with a mentality that others would take care of them or that the world must give them something. Instead, they look for opportunities based on their own merits. 13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results Whether they are working on improving their health or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time. John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hispanic Population Growth

John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Great Real Estate Agents - Amelia Island

Qualities of a Great Real Estate Agent 55. Work with a Realtor and be sure that Realtor represents your interests, not the Seller. – Marty Martinez 56. Make certain that you have a buyer’s agent to represent your best interests. – Cynthia McKenna 57. Make sure that whoever you are working with is someone you can trust and that will put your interests in front of their own. If they care enough, they will ask you lots of questions! – Steven Pagano 58. Be absolutely certain that you align with the right real estate broker and loan officer. A good real estate team will help a buyer purchase a home that fits well within their budget. – Randy Schulenburg 59. All Realtors are not created equally and should hire a professional, competent and knowledgeable Realtor that can explain the process. – Alexander Vazquez 60. Work with an agent close to or within your market area, as their experience on local market trends is invaluable. Also ensure that their agent is a full-time agent. – Alfred Saiz John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Financing a Home - Amelia Island

Find Out How Much Financing You’re Eligible For 29. Do not look for a home for the amount you are qualified to buy with your mortgage agent. Ask him to tell you how much you can buy based on the mortgage amount you are comfortable paying every month. – Charles Miltenberger 30. Have a good conversation with a loan officer or mortgage broker to check all the options regarding financing. – Ximena Alzate 31. It’s essential to get pre-approved for a loan. – Laurie Shapiro 32. Know your finances and speak to a lender first. – Sheryl Dicarlo 33. There are a lot of opportunities out there for financing, no matter your credit score. – Ronnie Sanchez John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Choosing the right Home - Amelia Island

How to Choose the Right Home 23. Choose the property according to your needs. – Nefer Londono 24. The most important thing when buying a home is location, location, location! – Jeffrey Fairchild 25. Love what you buy. – Anita Zubov 26. When you feel the feeling of finding your dream, act quickly. – Jay Talenda 27. Take the time to search for a home that suits you and meets your personal/financial needs. – Carlos Armas 28. Buy the “most house” that you can comfortably buy, and, even perhaps, push yourself to the limit of your pre-approved amount. Thus, you will be satisfied with your purchase for a longer period of time. – Charles Lipford John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Educate yourself - Fernandina Home Market

Educate Yourself on Local Market Conditions 15. Interest rates are still low. – Tatiana Guila 16. Buyers have to be aware of market conditions. – Margoth Sinclair 17. You will probably move in the next seven years, so make sure to think about resale value in the near future. – Barry Krupp 18. The market hit its bottom last year. So far, this year’s prices are up by about 10 percent since last year’s and home values are continuing to increase. – Martin Miller 19. The market is shifting, so you have to be aggressive with your home search because properties are selling quicker with multiple offers. – Alice Green John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Rent or Own - Amelia Island

Consider if It Is Better to Rent or Own 11. Don’t forget that rent is a variable,; it will likely be much higher five years from now. – Daniel Locascio 12. The real estate market has made it cheaper to own than rent. – Darryl Williams 13. Know the trade offs of renting verses owning. – Ajay Jagga 14. When considering your price point, start with the amount of rent you are paying now, not necessarily what the bank/mortgage company says they will loan you. – Debra Grog John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Home Buying tips - Amelia Island

How Much Can You Afford? 6. Have a budget. It may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many first-time home buyers don’t know how much money they have to spend on their new house. – Walter Black 7. Figure out your personal budget to determine how much you can truly afford, then get pre-qualified and compare the amounts. Use the lowest of the two. – Jorge Fernandez 8. Purchase a home that you can afford. – Reynalda Chavez 9. Keep your mortgage within your budget and find a neighborhood that has amenities that will fit your needs. – Daniel Sompolski 10. Protect yourself: Get pre-qualified for a mortgage so you don’t spend more than you can afford for a home. – Anthony Leone John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Home Buying tips - Amelia Island

Set Your Expectations 1. Set the correct expectations. Take out a blank piece of paper and write out your wish list. – Dulce Monahan 2. There is no such thing as the perfect home, but there is a home that is perfect for you. – Sheena Weatherly 3. Make sure you know what you want before starting the buying process. – Ashly Haley 4. Be prepared! Have a list of your “wants” created, and all your financial documents lined up with the lender so you know how much buying power you really have. – Stacey Rider 5. Be patient and realistic when looking for your first home. It is important to find a home within your financial position at the time of purchase. Remember, your first home most likely won’t be your last. – Kyle Seyboth John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Friday, November 8, 2013

30 year mortage rate average 4.16%

WASHINGTON – Nov. 8, 2013 – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly last week but remained near historically low levels. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.16 percent from 4.10 percent last week, which was the lowest level in four months. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.27 percent from 3.20 percent. Rates have been falling since September when the Federal Reserve surprised investors by continuing to buy $85 billion a month in bonds. The purchases are intended to keep long-term interest rates low.
Slower hiring in recent months has many analysts predicting that the Fed will maintain the current pace of the bond purchases into early next year, which should keep mortgage rates low for the time being. The recent drop in mortgage rates could help boost home sales, which slowed in September after rates reached their highest averages in two years. The decline in sales has also affected price gains. Real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that a measure of U.S. home prices rose only slightly in September from August, a sign that prices are leveling off after big gains earlier this year. To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount. The average fee for a 30-year mortgage rose to 0.8 point from 0.7 point. The fee for a 15-year loan was unchanged at 0.7 point. The average rate on a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 2.61 percent from to 2.64 percent. The fee remained at 0.5 point. The average rate on a five-year adjustable mortgage was steady at 2.96 percent. The fee edged up to 0.5 point from 0.4 point. AP Logo Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Freddie Mac Update

Fannie, Freddie move closer to repaying bailouts WASHINGTON – Nov. 8, 2013 – Federal taxpayers have nearly recouped their $188 billion investment in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants taken over by the government in 2008. Third-quarter profit rose sharply at both companies, each reported Thursday, letting Freddie Mac finish reimbursing taxpayers for its bailout and bringing Fannie within about $2 billion of repaying what it received. Their recovery owes much to an improving housing market, legal settlements and tax benefits. Fannie said net income more than quadrupled compared with last year’s third quarter, reaching $8.7 billion. Freddie said it earned $30.5 billion, as a $6.5 billion operating profit was combined with a $24 billion tax benefit. Freddie said it will be profitable enough over time to eventually use all of the massive tax benefits it built up while losing tens of billions of dollars during the financial crisis. Freddie said it will finish reimbursing the government for its $71.3 billion bailout by year’s end, including a $30 billion payment it will make by December. The total of its payments will exceed the amount it received from the Treasury by $9 million. Fannie said it will pay $8.6 billion in December, leaving it about $2 billion short of the $116.1 billion it got from the government. The milestone in the USA’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis comes as a rising housing market has put Fannie and Freddie, which are still in federally supervised conservatorships, back on their feet. Fannie and Freddie together buy or guarantee most U.S. mortgages, and by taking them over, the government has expanded its role in housing since the crisis. Ideas for how to eventually replace them with a system that relies more heavily on private capital are still at an early stage. Fannie’s and Freddie’s agreements with the Treasury call for them to gradually shrink their operations. For now, the two entities will keep operating under 2012 agreements with the Treasury Department that require them to pay much of their profits as dividends to the government. That means taxpayers will begin reaping multibillion-dollar returns by next year. The requirements will be reduced gradually until 2018, reflecting the Obama administration’s intention to phase out Fannie and Freddie’s role in the market. Already, payments from the two government-sponsored enterprises reduced the 2013 federal deficit by more than $140 billion. “It’s going to challenge the convictions of policymakers about reforming Fannie and Freddie,” said Tim Rood, a former Fannie executive who is a partner at a Washington-based consulting firm that helps businesses work with the mortgage entities and the government. “You can have all the principles in the world, but with legislators flipping couch cushions looking for change, it’s hard to shoot the two-headed monster that’s spitting out $10 bills.” Copyright © 2013 USA TODAY, Tim Mullaney John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Big Break Comes to Florida - Amelia Island Plantation

The First Coast finally gets a Big Break. Golf Channel’s popular reality show, which offers participants a chance to play on professional tours if they survive a series of skills challenges, wrapped up 11 days of filming its 21st edition on Thursday at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. “Big Break: Florida” is the third to be filmed in the Sunshine State but the first outside Central Florida. “Big Break: Reunion” aired in 2007, from the Reunion Resort in Orlando, and “Big Break: Disney” was shown in 2009 from the Disney World Resort courses. The cast for this edition of the Big Break is all-female, which historically draws the highest ratings — hardly surprising since 74 percent of Golf Channel viewers are male. The identify of the cast will remain secret until a preview show on Feb. 5. The premiere will be Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. Golf Channel spokesman Jeremy Friedman would say only that the cast of 12 is made up of a mix of budding professionals and players attempting to get back to the pro ranks. They were selected from an initial lot of about 3,000 applicants. John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Amelia Island Tourism - Visitor Count

Tourism to Amelia Island is on the upswing. In fact, the resort and hotel locations have drawn more visitors in the past year than ever before, a new study shows. For the first time, more than 500,000 visitors stayed in resorts and hotels along the Nassau County coast, according to research conducted by Research Data Services Inc., which tracks tourism trends. In total, 504,300 tourists paid for overnight lodging on Amelia Island between Oct. 1, 2012 and Sept. 30, 2013. That’s a 9.7 percent increase over the previous fiscal year, a news release issued Tuesday stated. “Florida tourism as a whole is on the upswing,” said Danny Leeper, chairman of the Amelia Island Tourist Development Council. “But Amelia Island continues to outperform destinations throughout the Southeast thanks in large part to the outstanding efforts of the TDC and its marketing team and tremendous support from local industry partners.” John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Virtual Tour - Amelia Island Home

John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email:

Going Green

Looking to reap the rewards of going "green" at home? The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) has created a comprehensive list of federal and state incentives, including tax credits, deductions, and rebates. Visit for more details. For all of us, saving money should be a top priority. Please let me know if you have questions or need assistance. It would be a pleasure to help. John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email: