I Did It Myself

I moved to St. Augustine (for the second time) in June of 2000. We had purchased a lot and had a custom home built that had 4 bedrooms and 3 baths on the main level, along with a bonus and bath upstairs. It had a sunroom area, formal dining, formal living – that we turned into an office and a 3 car garage. We were in a nice neighborhood and had a .5 acre lot that was fenced for the kids and the dog. That home worked very well for us for a lot of years – 17 in fact. We had room for all of our visitors, and for all of the kids’ friends for sleepovers and birthday parties.

Then the kids grew up and went away to college. One even bought her own home with her boyfriend. We were in 3200 sq.ft. of home and only using 2000 sq.ft. of it.

It can be a very difficult decision to move from a home you have lived in for 17 years. I know. We did it. We liked our neighbors and neighborhood, but the home and lot was just more than we needed.

So, we looked for something just a bit smaller in an area that we liked with a smaller yard. You know what? It worked. The home is just the right size for now, but not too big. We don’t have to maintain, heat/cool, and clean more square footage than we are using. The process went fairly smoothly, but not without challenges. Was the house perfect?  No. There were some things that we upgraded or improved. There were some expenses that we did not expect. But, all in all, the experience has been a good one. We love our new home. We are getting to know our new neighbors.  We still have some room for friends and our kids to visit. We made the decision that was right for us, and, you know what? It wasn’t as hard to move from that large home as I thought it would be – and I don’t miss it near as much as I thought I would. I guess we made the right decision!

Think you may be in the same or similar time in your life? Let me know how I can help!

Real Estate is Hard

By saying “real estate is hard” do I mean that marketing and selling real estate is so difficult only a genius can do it?  Um, no, not really!

What I mean is that it can be difficult for the parties involved in a real estate transaction on so many levels.

For sellers, it can be difficult to decide which possessions to keep when trying to declutter and downsize. It can also be difficult to see your home the way buyers will see it, and understand that it may need some tender loving care before marketing it for sale. It can be difficult to get feedback from realtors or buyers that may not be favorable. It can be difficult when you get that first offer and it isn’t quite as much as you had hoped. Lastly, it can be difficult when you are packing everything up and leaving that home that meant so much to you.

For buyers, it can be difficult to understand that maybe the type of home you would love to buy and the type of home you can afford to buy are two different homes. It can be difficult to understand that the market where you are buying may be totally different than the market where you have been living. It can be difficult to find the right home to fit all of your large furniture that you are hoping to keep. It can be difficult to know if the home, neighborhood or area that you are choosing is really the best fit for you and your family.

So, yes, the decisions and transactions in real estate can be difficult and stressful. It is important to do your research, ask questions and ask for help in making those decisions. That process can and should include the right lender and the right realtor to help guide you through the process. Once you have made that decision to downsize and declutter, or that decision that you need to move to a larger home, or you definitely decide on a specific neighborhood, then, all of a sudden, the stress tends to melt away because you know you have made the right choice!  Give me a call and let me know how I can help!

Learn more about neighborhoods in St. Augustine at Single Family Homes and Condominium Communities.

Should I be on the Market During the Holidays?

I know, the holidays are coming – Thanksgiving, then Christmas – or maybe for you it is Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.  Heck, I have even celebrated Boxing Day with friends from England!  There are the parties and get-togethers, there is shopping and gift wrapping, there is decorating, there are guests and family coming and going.  You want to sell your home, but it can be a difficult decision to make.

First, holidays and memories with your family and friends are important.  Don’t stop having those memories and visits just because your home is on the market.  Most buyers looking during the holidays will understand that there are special considerations at this time of the year.  They can look past the extra decorations, but the decorations may add some warmth to the home as well.

Try your best to accommodate showing requests. Think of it this way – a buyer who is looking during the holidays may be a very serious buyer to interrupt their holiday with the additional stress of house hunting.  This does not mean that if a request is made for Christmas Eve at 7:30 you have to show your home.  Just be reasonable and try and work around your holiday schedule.  If you cannot make a specific showing time request, maybe suggest an alternative time – see what you can make work.

Every location can be different, but in the St. Augustine area, we can get a number of visitors to our area during the holiday time frame.  People will come to visit family and friends for the holidays and want to take time for their own home search.  We also get a number of visitors to see our beautiful Nights of Lights celebration and they may decide to view homes while here.  We also get some early snowbirds, who come down from the cold north and may be starting to look for their new home.  So, I do feel it is important that you do not pull your home off of the market during the holidays because you may be missing some potential buyers.

If you need help with the marketing of sale of your home during the holidays, or you are one of those buyers that may need to be completing your home search just let me know how I can be of help!

It is Time for the Backpack Challenge!


Drop-off a backpack filled with school supplies at any of or office locations listed below by July 31, 2018.

Kindergarten – 8th Grade

  • Number 2 pencils
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Pencil Bag or Pencil Box
  • Pens (Blue, Black & Red)
  • Crayons, Colored Pencils & Markers
  • Tissues
  • Eraser & Pencil Eraser Tops
  • Glue Stick/Glue (Elmer’s™ White)
  • Child Safe Scissors
  • Folders with Pockets & Prongs
  • Wide-Ruled paper
  • Index Cards
  • Composition Books
  • Ear Buds/Head Phones (Grades 6-8)
  • 3 Ring Binders & Dividers (Grades 6-8)
  • Scientific Calculator (Grades 6-8)

9th Grade – 12th Grade

Number 2 Pencils or Mechanical Pencils

  • Pens (Blue, Black & Red)
  • Eraser
  • Highlighter Pens
  • Agenda/Student Planner
  • Ruler/Compass/Protractor
  • Pencil Bag or Pencil Box
  • College-Ruled paper
  • Subject Notebook
  • Highlighters
  • USB flash drive
  • Graph Paper
  • 1.5-2” Binder (2)
  • Subject Dividers (8)
  • Scientific Calculator

St. Augustine
112 Sea Grove Main Street, Suite 210
St. Augustine Beach, FL 32080

MuraBella at World Golf Village
196 Capulet Drive, Suite 3
St. Augustine, FL 32092

St. Augustine Nights of Lights

During the Nights of Lights in St. Augustine the town is wrapped in a delightful glow and filled with holiday cheer for both residents and visitors. I have created this collection to showcase this event and provide you with the top websites for more detailed information.

Learn about events, read articles about Nights of Lights and view some pictures shared on social media of the lights, events and scenes at FloridasHistoricCoast.com  and VisitStAugustine.com. For parking and shuttle information see the City of St. Augustine.

Is Spanish Moss Really Spanish?

On my recent visit to the Fountain of Youth, there was some discussion about the Spanish Moss that you see hanging from trees all over the southern United States and specifically here, in beautiful St. Augustine. One of the prettiest streets is Magnolia Avenue leading into the Fountain of Youth. The tree lined street leads to a canopy of branches dripping with Spanish Moss. However, we know that the stuff dripping from the trees isn’t moss and it isn’t Spanish.

If you research it, the true name is usneoides which means “resembling Usnea” and upon further research, Useana is also known as beard lichen. However, the plant isn’t either of those things either – moss or lichen. It is technically a flowering plant (angiosperm) in the family Bromeliaceae (the bromeliads) which grows hanging from tree branches in full sun through partial shade. Read  more: Florida Plant Encyclopedia

So, how did it get its name? Lots of stories are out there. The Native Americans, including our local Timucuan Indians, called it “tree hair,” which, it does resemble hair growing on the trees. The first explorers encountered it as something different and had to come up with a name as well. Since they didn’t tend to like each other, the French called it “Spanish beard” while the Spanish called the plant “French hair.” However, even though our area has dominant Spanish roots, the name that has stuck for the plant is Spanish Moss. The site I found most interesting was 10 Things You Should Know About Spanish Moss.

So, next time someone comments on the Spanish Moss hanging from the tree – -you can mention this little tidbit! And, if you want to find your own home in the St. Augustine area and have your own tree with Spanish Moss, just give me a call!

Magnolia Avenue