With long-time resident and local real estate expert, George L. Ballou, II
When my wife Jamie and I moved to Nocatee back in 2009 there were about 500 homes in all of Nocatee spread out over 5 or 6 “neighborhoods”. Each community had their own demographics they were marketing to from condo buyers to single family homes with very specific price ranges they stayed in and one age restricted development.
I think when we moved into Riverwood by Del Webb (now known as Del Webb Ponte Vedra) there were only 117 homes. There was no grocery store yet, the Splash Water Park was just beginning to be built, no gas stations, no banks, no real estate company offices, no doctor offices and just one restaurant. The original residents were “true believers” in what was to come down the road.
Fast forward to 2018 and Nocatee has over 33 communities, just over 6,200 occupied homes (eventually there will be nearly 13,000) with a current population estimated in excess of 18,000. Del Webb Ponte Vedra where we still live has nearly 1,500 homes today and growing. We now have multiple banks, a great grocery store, offices going up everywhere, gas stations, over a dozen restaurants, storage facilities, apartments...we’re building something new every day! Did I mention that we have also built two new schools and probably need a third school already?
Not only did the Splash Water Park get built but it exceeded everyone’s expectations…and Nocatee keeps on evolving! We have added a swim club, pickle ball & tennis courts, dog parks, a fire department, assisted living and independent living facilities, trail systems, fitness centers and numerous boutique shops. Our Farmer’s Market held once a month is now “Huge”! We are also a golf cart friendly community so we can go to the grocery the fun way!
This coming summer our newest water amenity will be opening called the Spray Park, a four-story above ground interactive spray playground — the first and only of its kind in Northeast Florida. In addition, a kayak launch facility will also be opening on the intercoastal waterway just off of Crosswater Parkway in the newly opened southern section of Nocatee.
Location! Location! Location! Nocatee is just 10+ minutes from the ocean & Ponte Vedra Beach shopping and restaurants. Looking down the road we will only be 10 minutes away from the Durbin Town Center being built just west of I-95. We will be close yet just far enough away to avoid the traffic. It will be twice the size of the Town Center in Jacksonville and the first phase The Pavillion will include Bass Pro Shops, Home Depot and a Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Stop by the Nocatee Welcome Center located at the Splash Water Park where all of your questions can be answered. If you are looking for a real estate agent familiar with Nocatee new construction and re-sales call Watson’s Menton and Ballou Group, Watson’s Top Selling Team, at 904-436-1354 and ask for one of our Nocatee Certified Agents…We also live there!
When Founders Lisa Menton and George L. Ballou, II created their real estate group they wanted diverse agents who would be able to meet the needs of buyers. Get to know the agents.
(photo: front second from left)
Resident of Del Webb Ponte Vedra in Nocatee
George (Jamie’s husband and real estate partner) and Jamie have been married for 41 years.They have raised five children – two biological daughters and three adopted sons. She is organized and can wear many hats at once. Now they are blessed to have three precious granddaughters who light up their world.
Jamie has owned, renovated and expanded several homes over the years. She has hired architects, GCs and supervised many residential and commercial projects. She has had the privilege of living in the city, on a farm, on an island off the coast of Maine and now LOVES calling Florida our home.
Jamie has always been an involved community member, fundraiser and has served on several boards. Recently she served for three years on the newly formed Architectural Review Committee in Nocatee, and last year served as chairman. What a great way to learn about your community.
Jamie’s latest passion is painting.
(photo: back center)
Resident of The Greens in Julington Creek Plantation
Dave Kenyon has lived in Jacksonville for 19 years. He is an active member in the community and has contributed in it for 18 years. Dave has raised two children who attended the top rated Saint Johns County Schools.
Dave has been in the customer service business for a career spanning 32 years. Dave has a warm personality, proven work ethics, and loyalty. These characteristics will make you to feel as if a trusted friend is assisting you in the most important financial decisions you will make. He is familiar with all of Jacksonville but concentrates with real estate in Saint Johns County.
(photo: back left)
Resident of The Cascades at World Golf Village
Prior to becoming a realtor, John retired from the Department of Defense as a Regional Federal Manager in 2004 after 35 years of service. A career customer service advocate, John not only managed several customer services groups, he wrote and taught customer service classes across the United States and internationally.
Born and raised in Western New York, John served in the U.S. Navy during Vietnam war. His military service eventually took him to Southern California, where he spent 22 years. He then relocated with his family back to Western New York. Ten years later, his career progression afforded him the opportunity to work overseas, where he spent three years. He and his wife, Kathryn, then relocated to St. Augustine FL in 2001, where they enjoy the company of their two grown sons and three grandchildren.
(photo: back row second from right)
Resident of Willowcove in Nocatee
Born in Philadelphia and a native of Philly’s western suburbs (Valley Forge / King of Prussia), Melissa is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Her career started with HSN (Home Shopping Network) in St. Petersburg, FL as a buyers associate. With an added passion for photography, she then graduated from Moore College of Art with a degree in Digital Media / Web Design and started up her own photography business.
Melissa has been a photographer since 2009. She enjoys learning new photo techniques and technologies, including aerial photography and flying a drone, which has brought a new marketing perspective to the Menton & Ballou Group.
Melissa moved to Ponte Vedra / Nocatee in 2013. She has been the photographer and marketing coordinator for the Menton & Ballou Group since its inception and is also a licensed Realtor.
In her free time, she enjoys relaxing at the beach, swimming, playing pickleball, Crossfit, sewing and spending time with her Yorkie, Archie.
(photo: front row second from right)
Resident of Palencia
Jody is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico and currently reside in St. Augustine, Florida. She has also lived in Amarillo, TX and in Charleston, SC where both of her children were born (Ella, 13 and Colby, 9). She has been married to John Steele for 15 years, an Air Force veteran of over 24 years who is currently with the Jacksonville Air National Guard. She loves living in St. Augustine and feels lucky to have the benefits of a big city so close and she appreciates the quaintness and historical significance of St. Augustine. She enjoys reading, the beach, fishing, monogramming, and decorating her home.
Jody previously worked for Hallmark Marketing as well as in Pharmaceutical sales. She loves real estate and looks forward to helping buyers find a home to make their own memories, as well as helping sellers to bring out the best in their own home for potential buyers. I have bought, sold, and built several homes through the years and I have always enjoyed the process. I look forward to making it a fun and easy experience for my customers.
(photo: back first from right)
Resident of St. Johns Golf & Country Club
From the service to the end results, there truly can be so many things to consider with a real estate transaction. Early in her career as a real estate professional, Stella was told that no two transactions are alike, and she believes this to be true! She says everyone has different timelines, housing needs, financial considerations, etc. So, she makes every transaction is a customized for her clients.
(Photo: back row, first from right)
Resident of Del Webb Ponte Vedra in Nocatee
Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, David Carter has been a long time resident of the North Florida area since 1985. His background includes more than twenty-five years in sales, sales management, and finance. David and his wife Pat, a teacher, reside in Nocatee, the third fastest growing planned community in the United States. It’s a great place to live! He prides himself on his vast knowledge of the new and resale properties in the Nocatee Communities. David and Pat have three children and two grandchilden.
While attending Minnesota State University, David a longtime tennis player, was the 1976 Minnesota State Singles tennis champion. After college he moved to Rochester, New York, where he taught tennis and was the men’s tennis coach for the Rochester Institute of Technology for several years. Today, David still enjoys playing tennis and pickleball (played on a smaller tennis court).
(photo: first row, first from left)
Resident of Palencia
Alexis McDaniel moved to St. Augustine from West Virginia in 2009 and has been engaged in the community since then, with 8 years of volunteerism in the St. Johns County School District. She’s currently the president of the Allen D. Nease High School PTSO and recently served on the county’s calendar committee. Alexis offers great insight into what makes St. Johns County an A-rated school system and how important school selection is for new homeowners.
With a degree in journalism, she started her career as a newspaper journalist and editor. A favorite time in her life was in broadcasting, where she was a news anchor, producer, and reporter. Being involved and plugged into the community has always been important. She was the chairman of a four-day town festival that brought 10,000 visitors to the small town in which she lived. For the past five years, she’s been active with the Palencia Charity Tennis Tournament, which benefits Camp Boggy Creek for disabled and seriously ill children. It’s raised $60,000 to date.
Alexis owns AMAC, LLC, a rental property company that at one time had 22 units. She enjoys exploring the residential real estate market in St. Johns County. She resides in Palencia with her family, including two children, ages 16 and 18. In her free time, Alexis enjoys boating, reading, and traveling.
Resident of Durbin Crossing
Christina is a fourth generation-born Jacksonville native, who has extensive knowledge of the Greater Jacksonville area. She graduated from Barry University, with a degree in Occupational Therapy. Christina has worked in several Jacksonville landmarks, such as Mayo Clinic and Brooks Rehabilitation. She brings over twenty-three years of customer service experience. Christina, and her husband Drew, have four children, all who attend St. Johns County schools. She is looking forward in assisting you with your real estate needs.
by George L. Ballou, II
Watson Realty Corp.
Menton & Ballou
In 2015 I wrote an article for SJM about St. Johns County. Today we revisit the subject as well as the original article;
I am often asked what is it about St Johns County that makes it so special. Why is it the most sought-after location in all of Northern FL. I have been in the real estate business for well over 30 years and no matter where I have lived there is one fact you can take to the bank…wherever you find a highly rated school system you will also find growth, strong property values with greater appreciation potential, people who value education, and a strong economic environment providing a solid tax base. Congratulations once again to St Johns Co. We have been recognized for having the #1 school system in the state of Florida for 2015.
When I deal with buyers who are relocating to our area they show up fully aware of what they want to find and that is a home in the St Johns County school system. This simple fact is what drives everything else in our county. Developers are flocking to SJC with incredible plans to develop and expand places like Nocatee, Shearwater, Markland & Twin Creeks and the foundation for this commitment to our area is the school system! When my wife and I relocated to Florida just 6 years ago from VT along with my daughter and son-in-law they asked me to assist them in finding a home and business location. When I asked my daughter if she had a place in mind she was absolute in her knowledge that St. Johns County was the only option for them. To be honest I asked “where is that” and she quickly rattled off the statistics that every parent seems to know around here…it’s the #1 school system in the state! Prior to moving to Florida my first answer would have been that there is no state income tax in Florida. Leave it to parents to see past that issue to the real heartbeat of a community…schools!
According to the Chief Economist for Realtor.com in 2015 home sales were up approximately 7% from 2014 driven by a 6% increase in resales and a 15% increase in new construction. Once residential growth re-established itself from the desperate times just a few years ago the retail and commercial development followed. These commitments create jobs and new communities and a positive and forward-looking expectation for all and this is especially true in St. Johns County. Everywhere you look roads are being improved, businesses are opening up and new residents are moving in.
The outlook for the future is very positive in our county. Besides our schools we enjoy a unique location to the ocean, river and coastal waterways. In addition, convenient access to major highways for commuting, shopping and enjoying the amenities of our area makes our lifestyle opportunities one to be envied!
In 2017 once again we were the #1 Rated School District in FL? “Rankings are based upon several key factors such as the strength of academics, health and safety, diversity and quality of teachers”!
In real estate, St Johns County single family unit sales for existing homes was up 9.6% and new construction sales were up 18% county wide. This compares to National figures up 1.1% for existing homes and 4.7% for new home starts. St Johns County was recently honored for having 2 of the Top 20 Best Places to Live in FL…Ponte Vedra Beach and St. Augustine! Unemployment for the county for 2017 year end was 2.8%...lowest in the entire state of FL.
As you can see, not much has changed since my article back in 2015…we are still doing great! Oh…we do have one problem apparently…not enough housing inventory!
By George L. Ballou, II
Menton and Ballou Group
Broker Associate at Watson Realty Corp.
I have been in the real estate business for over 30 years. During that time, I have seen astonishing advances in information and communication technology. I remember when fax machines first hit real estate offices
in the mid 1980’s, cell phones as big as your arm, no one had a desktop or a laptop computer, no websites, no Google or Facebook, no emails or texts and so on. Fast forward to today and communication is nearly instant…so why have some things not improved? Perhaps only Sellers and their Agents will be able to relate to this article but I hope it will help everyone see what goes on behind the curtain…
I might have started this conversation by going the long way around the barn but I have something to say about an element of our industry that hasn’t gotten better despite these state of the art improvements… so here is my concern! Anyone who has ever listed their house for sale or been a listing agent knows exactly what I am about to say. One of the worst experiences for a seller is preparing for a showing on their home only to have the agent never show, show up late even after giving them a 1-2 hour window, or finally having them show but then they never respond to requests for Feedback afterward!
The seller has cleaned and straightened up their house, found temporary places for the pets and kids, figured out where to go when it is 95 outside and now is anxiously hoping for a positive outcome. This process begins with the agent showing up when scheduled and then waiting to hear what the buyer had to say about their home. How in this age of instant communication can agents not have the courtesy to at least call and say they are not coming or they are late? How can they never respond to a Feedback Request from the listing agent. The public doesn’t know this but the showing agent gets requests for Feedback electronically every 24 hours for days after the showing…it’s impossible for them to miss. How can this be happening?
I have come to the following unfortunate conclusion; either no one has trained these agents so they don’t know any better or they are in such a panic they may lose a sale they forget they are in charge of this process instead of vice versa. Since 2012 the number of agents in this local market has increased in the MLS by over 60%... almost 3,000 additional new agents! There are too many agents not being trained properly or at all! If I were speaking to a group of fellow agents their defense would be that buyers sometimes say when they get there “I don’t like this house…let’s go to the next house” or “I have 10 houses to show them and there is always something that gets us off schedule” or “My buyers saw so many houses they didn’t really give me any specific Feedback”. I actually had an agent tell me when I finally called him for Feedback “I am busy. Not responding should have told you we aren’t interested”. That’s not how it works!
When a professional agent shows a buyer a home and they say, “I don’t like the house let’s skip it” a well-trained agent handles the situation this way… “These sellers have taken the time to prepare their house for us. Out of courtesy we need to at least go in and take a quick look around…you never know what we might see”. I have never had a customer say no to that comment. Agents often feel that being off schedule is just a given when showing so many houses so we should learn to deal with it! First of all, it’s a fools mission to show buyers so many houses in a day? It is the rare buyer who can remember which house had a horse in the living room once they have seen more than 5-6 houses. If the buyers saw so many houses they couldn’t really give you Feedback then what was the point of showing them so many. This comes down to taking control of the client and the process and doing what is best for them even when they are clamoring for more. You are the trained expert. You have a responsibility to both the buyer and the seller. Every buyer thinks he needs to see as many houses as he can but a focused search based upon interviewing them properly will allow you to reduce the number of “fake” showings to the 5-6 that are actually relevant to what they really want to see. If you have a few 2 story homes booked only to find out once they are in the car they don’t want to see any 2 story houses that situation could have been prevented by doing your homework before you made the schedule out. There is no excuse for this poor level of preparation and service.
Don’t get me wrong, I have made every mistake I have just mentioned and so have some of the best agents I know. However, those who do well in this business and are respected by their peers learned a long time ago to adjust their approach to showing houses so that it becomes less frantic and a more productive experience for everyone involved.
Sellers need to be shown more respect. Buyers are expecting you to take charge. Our industry suffers when we fail to demonstrate our professionalism.
Just sharing a few thoughts….
by Christie Redmer, We Give Realty
DR Horton Homes and Emerald Homes DR Horton Homes condos starting in the mid $100's, and single family homes starting in the mid $200's:
Aberdeen is a master planned community with extensive amenities offering homesites situated around a large conservation area. Aberdeen features resort style amenities and beautiful homes.
single family homes starting in the mid $300's:
Emerald Homes offers luxury homes in the Aberdeen master planned community located in northern St. Johns County with exceptional amenities. Only a few homesites are being offered and most will feature preserve views, lake views, and oversized homesites. Home are surrounded by natural beauty while still being close to all of life’s conveniences.
Arbor Mill at Mill Creek:
Lennar Homes, Vintage Estate Homes, Landon Homes, and Ashley Homes with pricing starting in the high $200's.
This community includes a stunning lake front pool, family picnic area, children’s playground, a bocce ball court, a multi-purpose sports field and access to onsite boat and RV storage, available for residents only, all with no CDD fees!
KB Home and AV Homes starting in the mid $200's/high $200's and Pulte Homes 55+ Active Adult Section Single Family Homes and Low Maintenance Villas starting in the mid $200's. Bannon Lakes is a beautiful master-planned community surrounded by majestic oak trees featuring an amenity center with pool, playground, dog park and more.
Dream Finders Homes, ICI Homes priced from the high $200's . .
Construction of model homes scheduled to begin 2017! Beautiful new Beacon Lake Community coming soon set around the natural beauty of the 43 acre recreational lake, Beacon Lake. Featuring single family homes and townhomes in the Coastal Vernacular architectural style. Amenities planned to include expansive community clubhouse overlooking Beacon Lake, the "Crew House" which will provide kayak, canoe, and paddleboard storage and a launch area making it easy for residents to enjoy Beacon Lake. Amenities will also include 2 pools, splash park, tennis courts, sports fields, spacious fitness center, and dog park.
Dream Finders Homes starting in the low $300's.
The perfect balance between nature and convenience, Cedar Point consists of only 29 homesites. No CDD fees and low HOA fees make this the perfect fit for families looking to stay in a small community setting.
CalAtlantic Homes starting in the upper $300's.
Conveniently located and perfectly planned gated community featuring extensive amenities and beautiful homes with a Mediterranean feel.
Creekside at Twin Creeks:
Lennar Homes, Pulte Homes, Drees Homes priced in the mid to high $200's.
Creekside at Twin Creeks features family friendly homes with fantastic amenities, a variety of floor plan designs, and a convenient location.
Durbin Creek Estates:
Dream Finders Homes starting in the high $200's.
Homes located in the middle of a lush preserve within walking distance to Veteran's Park with no CDD fees and low HOA fees.
Durbin Crossing Village
Center: Dream Finders Homes starting in the low to mid $200's.
Durbin Crossing provides all of its residents with the convenience and luxury of two master-planned, fully appointed amenity centers within walking distance from every home. The two amenity facilities are the center of activity of Durbin Crossing and mirror the beautiful historic style of Colonial Florida architecture.
The Palisades: Express Homes by DR Horton Townhomes starting in the mid $100's.
Maintenance-free living with resort style amenities. Residents will also enjoy access to Durbin Crossing’s 2 amenity centers which offer daily activities, pools, tennis courts, basketball and volleyball courts, kids’ play area, dog walking park, and sports fields.
Riverside Homes, Providence Homes, and Richmond American Homes starting in the high $200's.
Beautiful new St Johns County master-planned community showcases an impressive amenity center, a large lake with a public dock for canoeing, kayaking and more. No CDD fees!
Glen St. Johns:
Richmond American Homes, and KB Home priced from mid $200's.
This exceptional community offers a variety of distinctive floor plans, set on spacious homesites, and no CDD fees. Residents appreciate abundant amenities, including a community pool, playground, and fitness center, all close to I-95.
KB Home starting in the mid $200's.
Quaint, walkable community with only 97 homesites features community pool and numerous green-spaces with mature Oaks. Residents are able to walk to Liberty Pines Academy.
Magnolia Point: ICI Homes prices starting in the high $400's.
Luxury and Estate sized homes in a gated section of one of the most sought after communities in the area featuring over 1,200 acres of natural areas, over 100 acres of ponds, golf course, 2 amenity centers with clubhouses and pools, playgrounds, and more.
Toll Brothers prices starting in the low $400's.
Julington Lakes is a private, gated community showcasing award-winning home designs with lake or preserve views with most homesites. The residents enjoy private walkway to Veteran's Park, resident's clubhouse with pool and fitness area, and walking/biking trails inside the community, all with no CDD fees.
Landon Homes (only prebuilt new homes remaining) offered in the mid $300's to mid $400's.
Quaint enclave of only 34 estate sized homesites set amidst a beautiful wooded preserve.
Dostie Homes, and Pulte Homes starting in the upper $200's.
Community Pool & Cabana with Children's Splash Park, Covered Pavilion with Kitchenette & Picnic Tables, Fishing Pier, Tennis, Basketball & Sand Volleyball Courts, Walking Trails, Multi-Purpose Sports Field, Two Children's Playgrounds, no CDD fees.
Dream Finders Homes, MasterCraft Builder Group, and Riverside Homes from the mid $200's.
Nestled along the picturesque Intracoastal Waterway, Madeira encompasses 1,006 acres including over 600 acres of unspoiled marsh wetlands, a tidal creek, numerous lakes and preserved natural areas laced with ancient live oaks and blossoming magnolias. Old Spanish and Mediterranean designed homes are built on picturesque lake and marsh view homesites.
Arthur Rutenburg Homes, Cottage Home Company, Dream Finders Homes, Providence Homes, Riverside Homes, and Drees Homes starting in the mid $300's.
The Markland community will provide residents with resort-quality amenities including a zero-entry pool framed by cabanas and lounge areas, a fitness center and yoga studio, a gathering and entertainment room, tennis courts, a children’s playground, and an interconnected network of parks and walkways. Beautifully designed homes are situated on over sized homesites.
Mill Creek Plantation:
DS Ware starting in the mid $300's.
Most of Mill Creek Plantation's homesites are on a preserve and/or lake with lake to preserve views, featuring huge Oak trees. The neighborhood is quiet and private, anchored by a cul-de-sac.
Nocatee: Dream Finders, ICI Homes, Del Webb, Mattamy Homes, CalAtlantic Homes, Pineapple Corporation, Cottage Home Company, Toll Brothers, AV Homes, Lennar Homes, Providence Homes, David Weekley Homes, Dostie Homes starting in the high $200's.
The third best selling community in the nation! Nocatee is a vibrant new home community unlike any other on in the area. More than a community, Nocatee is a lifestyle, with amazing amenities and year-round events and activities designed for all ages.
Lennar Homes and Richmond American Homes starting in the upper $200's.
Oakridge Landing is a quiet and secluded neighborhood within walking distance to Veteran’s Park, which offers a skate park, dog park, soccer fields, playground, and basketball courts. Some exceptional features residents are able to enjoy are walking trails, swimming pool, and wooded nature preserves, with no CDD fees.
David Weekley Homes and MasterCraft Builder Group with homes starting in the high $300's.
Oxford Estates is a beautiful natural gas, gated community, close to schools, with walking trails, tot lot, and more amenities to come, all with no CDD fees. Beautiful estate sized homesites and luxurious home designs.
Emerald Homes, Lennar Homes, and Pulte Homes starting in the mid to upper $200's.
Palencia offers homes with upscale features and beautiful designs within walking distance to the 40-acre Village Center and The Palencia Club, with a 33,000 sq. ft. clubhouse and 72-par, 18-hole Arthur Hill-designed golf course. Residents enjoy natural beauty and resort style living near the intracoastal waterway.
Richmond American Homes starting in the mid $200's.
At Park Place in St. Augustine, you'll find inspired floor plans and striking scenery—every homesite backs to a peaceful pond or natural preserve! Those fortunate enough to call this exceptional new community home will enjoy easy access to St. Johns County schools, beaches, golf courses, shopping and major roadways, including I-95.
Preserve at St. Johns:
Dream Finders Homes starting in the mid $300's.
Beautiful new community surrounded by wooded preserve.
Mattamy Homes, Mastercraft Builder Group, Landon Homes starting in the mid $200's.
RiverTown is the only new masterplanned community located along the St. Johns River. It provides access to the St. Johns River and surrounding conservation areas and has the perfect setting for re-connecting with others. The community features adorable cottage style homes and encourages clean, healthy living with miles of hiking trails, running and cycling events, and a world-class clubhouse amenity center which includes pools, fitness center, tennis courts and more.
DR Horton starting in the lower $200's.
Samara Lakes is a family-friendly community with natural landscaping and tree lined winding roads throughout with no CDD fees. Amenities include pool and cabana with lounge area, children’s playground, basketball court, and outdoor recreational fields.
DR Horton-Express Homes starting in the low to mid $200's.
San Salito is a beautiful Mediterranean-style community. Residents will enjoy amazing amenities such as an expansive pool with kid’s splash area, clubhouse, tennis courts, volleyball courts, fitness center, and playground. The community offers affordable homes, amazing amenities, and no CDD fees.
SEDA Construction pricing starts in the high $200's.
This serene community is very private, with only one entrance and many cul-de-sac streets. Residents enjoy the natural surroundings, with winding streets, stunning lakefront lots and pristine conservation lots. No CDD fees!
Mattamy Homes priced from the mid to upper $100's.
The only Townhome Village near World Golf Village is surrounded by nature, and just minutes from shopping, dining, entertainment, and the interstates. Community highlights include a pool and clubhouse as well as several small lakes scattered throughout.
AV Homes starting in the $300's.
Stone Creek is comprised of just 44 wooded estate sized homesites which are located in a private enclave featuring traditional new home designs spanning 2,400 to over 4,400 square feet with expansive front porches with one an d two story plans.
Lennar Homes, Richmond American Homes, David Weekley Homes, Mastercraft Builder Group, and DS Ware and Drees Homes starting in the mid $200's.
Shearwater features 600 acrers which contain preserved wetlands and open space. Residents will enjoy pocket parks, dog parks, 15 miles of walking trails, kayak/canoe launch access and an amenity center featuring tennis courts, two pools, a lazy river and a 7,200+ sq. ft. fitness lodge.
The Reserve at Greenbriar:
Mattamy Homes starting in the low $300's.
This community offers spacious homesites set in a serene location surrounded by preserve. The Reserve At Greenbriar features an oversized amenity area with a community pool, cabana, open recreation space, and wetlands bordering the community.
DR Horton, David Weekley, Providence Homes, and Landon Homes starting in the mid $200's.
Beautiful natural gas community with impressive oak tree hammocks and winding nature trails, TrailMark's architectural design captures Old Florida style and celebrates its authentic North Florida location and history. The planned community amenity center includes a fitness center, lagoon style pool with free-form design and zero entry, pavilion, and a kayak launch located along Six Mile Creek.
Landon Homes, Richmond American Homes, and Maronda Homes starting in the lower $200's.
Located just minutes away from I-95, US Route 1, and beautiful St. Augustine beaches, Treaty Oaks offers a plethora of community amenities and nearby attractions. Residents enjoy a community clubhouse and pool, as well as close proximity to retail shopping and the popular Treaty Park. Choose from several ranch and two-story floor plans.
Lennar Homes, Vintage Estate Homes, Americrest Luxury Homes...Home sales scheduled to begin Fall 2017! Pricing from the $400's.
is a new 3,000 home master-planned community featuring a 14-acre Crystal Lagoon. The beach club will be inspired by high-end Caribbean resorts. The "Beachwalk" section will feature five communities and will also include retail.
Tidewater Homes - pricing by request.
Villa Sovana is a gated neighborhood nestled under old Oak trees and featuring 12 estate sized home sites with beautiful old world Mediterranean charm. Only a few homesites still available.
Lennar Homes starting in the mid $200's.
Windward Ranch provides a charming neighborhood atmosphere with exceptional amenities. The community offers a swimming pool, fitness center and playgrounds. Windward Ranch includes as standard granite countertops, 42 inch cabinets, paver driveway and walkways, home automation and more!
World Golf Village - Legacy Trail:
Emerald Homes starting in the high $200's.
Legacy Trail showcases breathtaking home sites featuring lake and “tee to green” views of the esteemed Slammer & Squire Golf Course. Lawn maintenance is included making Legacy Trail at World Golf Village a low maintenance home choice! New home plans will range from approximately 1800 sq ft to 2600 sq ft and will feature Coastal-themed architectural exterior details, homes with front porches, natural gas appliance options, open plan layouts, large kitchens, spectacular golf views, 2 car garages, and 3-4 bedroom plans. Enjoy this world class community with lower fees than similar communities.
by Linda Ash of Ash & Rose Real Estate
It’s hard to believe the Watson Realty Corp. office in Nocatee has celebrated its one year anniversary. What growth we have seen in the area since our doors opened! It’s also an exciting time to be on the Ash & Rose Real Estate Team! We have over 30 years of business, sales and marketing experience among us, it’s no coincidence we are one of the fastest growing teams at Watson Realty! Our team has been busy in St. Johns County with new construction popping up all around the county. We work with a large number of Millennials, but members of Generation X are really the ones that have been driving the housing market. It’s apparent with many of the new amenity-rich neighborhoods and our highly rated schools, Gen Xers are purchasing homes throughout the county. Gen Xers – adults between the ages of 37 and 51 – make up the second largest share of home buyers, comprising 28 percent in 2016, according to data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market stats for April, 2017 continue to show positive trends in St. Johns County. One of the most impressive increases in the area is the median price per square foot. This April the median price per square foot is $137, an increase of 5.4% over last year. There have been 5,950 closings in our county this April, a 10.4% increase over April 2016 when there were only 5,398 homes closed. Another positive trend is the increase in pending sales. There were 9.1% more contracts written this April (2,112) over April 2016 (1,935). The three year dollar volume of closed sales has continued to rise, April 2015 ($486,854,524); April 2016 ($550,528,301); and this year we have seen an 11.7% increase ($615,183,819).
The inventory of homes for sale in St. Johns County this April was 2,313. This amount is down 5.9% from last April giving Buyers fewer choices. We only have 4.6 months supply of inventory. A balanced market is 5 to 6 months supply. I’m sure we will see this number change with the building we are seeing all around us. Driving west on C.R. 210 between Hwy 1 and I-95, you have surely experienced slowing traffic due to all the road construction. Buyers, including Gen Xers, will certainly want to check out the new Twin Creeks planned development community featuring a 14-acre “lagoon”.– This neighborhood has rights to build 3,000 homes plus mixed use development including retail. Crystal Lagoons US Corp is the company that developed the technology for the lagoon. The clear man-made lagoon called Beach Walk will have sandy beaches and surrounded by shops and restaurants. A variety of homes will be built in front of the lagoon, and others will be within walking distance. It will be an exciting option for our Buyers as it will be totally different from other great new construction neighborhoods in St. Johns County.
Nocatee has announced two new communities: Timberland Ridge and Daniel Park at Town Center. Timberland Ridge (Duval County) will be on the north side of Nocatee and surrounded by preserve and water. Multiple builders will be building homes here, David Weekley, ICI Homes, and Providence Homes. Prices will start in the Low $300’s and range from 2,200 to 3,384 square feet. Watch for models opening in the fall. Daniel Park at Town Center is located in the heart of Nocatee, walking distance from Splash Park, Greenway Trails, the Nocatee Preserve, Town Center Shops and restaurants. Daniel Park will feature homes exclusively by David Weekley from 1,300 to 3,000 square feet, starting from the high $200’s.
In summary, pending sales are up, closings are up, median price per square foot is up, the 3-year dollar volume of closed sales is up and inventory is down. All are positive signs for the St. Johns housing market. If you have questions about the statistics, please give me a call. If you are considering new construction or a resale home in the area, call one of the Ash & Rose REALTORS® to assist you throughout the process.
"Generation X: Buying the Biggest Homes and Biggest Home Sellers," National Association of Realtors Economists' Outlook blog (April 14, 2017)
Jacksonville Business Journal, March 9, 2017 14 Acre “crystal lagoon” set to break ground in March, By Derek Gilliam.
by George L. Ballou, II
Menton & Ballou Group
Watson Realty Corp.
St. Johns is the place to be! Home of the #1 Rated School system in the state of FL & Ranked In Top 10 In The Nation by Forbes Magazine; Rated the Healthiest County In FL by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; 3.6% Unemployment rate / 3.7% Growth Rate In Population According to U.S. Census Bureau Durbin Park to be the largest shopping area in all Northeast Florida: Featuring Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Bass Shops
Even though I am in the real estate business 24/7, like many Realtors and fellow residents, the totality of what is going on in our county sometimes escapes us all. When you add up the numbers of just the major new projects under way and some about to begin the number of new homes coming on the market in the next few years is staggering. Where are all of these new owners going to come from? New residents from outside the county and state? Will St Johns County residents be selling their existing homes along the 210 Corridor, WGV, Julington Creek and Palencia for the new, state of the art developments with exciting new floor plans and amenities? What will be the impact on the re-sale market in these areas? If the last 10 years of growth is any indicator there seems to be room for everyone in this mix of new versus old!
Although it will take many years for all of this to become a reality, a quick look at what is on the horizon in new home starts;
23,722 -Total Residential Units
* Many of these developments have been on the drawing board for several years but they all seem to have gained their stride in a major push to make their plans a reality.
The investment being made by developers is enormous, county funding for roads and infrastructure is in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the need for more schools is already evident and running behind! Job creation could be enormous to service this growing population. It looks like everyone is “All In” when it comes to St Johns County!
by Darin Magee, Owner of Florida Property Detectives
There are many different types of residential home inspections. Many are done at the transfer of a home, some for the seller, and some for the buyer. Other inspections are done for insurance agents. These include a four-point and a wind mitigation; these are how some people qualify for property insurance, and others qualify for property insurance discounts. Additionally, there are the new home construction inspections. These consists of construction monitoring, new construction, and 11-month warranty inspections. With the extraordinary surge in new home construction in northern St. Johns County, these are increasingly popular.
Construction monitoring is different from any other type of inspection. A typical home inspection is a non-invasive visual examination of the house and its components to determine if everything is functioning as intended. Depending on the size of the house it can take just a few hours to complete. Inspectors conducting construction monitoring inspections are following the building process for many months ensuring that everything is either built or installed to code. This can be very helpful for homeowners who don’t live in the area or for those who have little building experience. If you're thinking about hiring one of these inspectors, talk to your builder first. Builders will typically allow an inspector on the work site but usually aren’t thrilled about it. You should look for an inspector who has the insurance that the builder will demand and if possible, for one who has experience as a builder and knows the construction process.
The next variation is the new home inspection. This is done after the construction is finished but prior to the buyer moving in. In many cases it’s in lieu of, or in conjunction with, the buyer’s final walkthrough before settlement. For buyers this inspection provides move in peace of mind; they have assurance that the visible structure, components, and appliances all function as intended. This is a full home inspection and is priced accordingly. One drawback to this type of inspection is the amount of time that some problems can take to surface. If one or more roof component has been installed incorrectly for example, evidence of the ensuing leak may not show up for months. This can lead to costly repairs and headaches down the road.
The last type of new construction home inspection is the 11-month warranty inspection. Although I wouldn’t discourage anyone from having construction monitoring, of the three inspection types discussed here, the 11-month warranty may make the most sense for some people from both a practical and financial standpoint. The advantages are that after 11 months the house has had time to settle and evidence of problems may have appeared. It’s also an advantage that the home owner has had an opportunity to get to know the house. If you decide to go this route, make sure to ask the home inspection company if they have special rates for 11-month warranty inspections; most won’t. In their defense, they charge their full home inspection fee because they're doing their full home inspection, the same inspection they would do for a new buyer who doesn’t know anything about the house they’re trying to purchase. But you do know your home, you’ve lived in it for 11 months so there are many things that the inspector doesn’t have to inspect. For example, you know if your appliances work, you know if your windows go up and down smoothly, you know if your cabinets are missing hardware, and you know if your doors latch properly. You probably don't know if you have problems with your roof that only walking on it can reveal, or what's behind your electric panel cover, or if you have a moisture problem in your attic. An 11-month inspection is more collaborative than any other type of inspection.
Builders aren’t perfect, so regardless of which inspection type you choose, it’s important to have a certified professional inspector (CPI) inspect your builder’s work at some point in the process. Don’t let your builder off the hook. Make sure you get the quality home you deserve.
by Maddie Taylor
In a little over a year, Shearwater has quickly made its mark in the St. Johns County community with its reputation for its connection to nature, community engagement and desire for healthy living. Shearwater has taken the master-planned community to the next level by offering serene resort-style living with 40+ new home designs that can appeal to every preference for style, floor plan and price point.
Steve Leonhirth, who moved to Shearwater with his wife and two children last May says, “Shearwater is a kid-friendly, multi-faceted community that accommodates all ages of life. It’s not a golf community; it’s a community of unity. The trails, the interconnecting neighborhoods via pathways so you don’t have to get on main roads, the amenities center…it’s all here to connect with each other right in our own front yards.”
In addition to the world-class amenities, energetic social calendar, and outdoor adventures, it’s the neighborhoods that define the Shearwater experience. Quality home builders like David Weekley, Lennar, Richmond American Homes, Mastercraft Builder Group, D.S. Ware Homes, and Drees Homes bring their timeless style to create Florida Bungalows, Spanish Craftsmans, Coastal Traditionals, and even Florida Farmhouses. Front porches, walkways and courtyards bring neighbors together, and the varied options for colors, materials, exterior lighting, and landscaping allow residents to express their own individuality while maintaining a harmonious streetscape.
“The Shearwater development, overall, is wonderful and we really like what we are seeing. We are impressed with our builder, but overall we are very impressed with how Shearwater is laying out the whole community”, Steve adds.
Both families and couples enjoy Shearwater’s diverse home sizes, ranging from 1,637 square feet to over 4,000 square feet, with three to five bedrooms, and one- and two-story models. The Springs and North Creek neighborhoods of Shearwater have price points starting in the low $200,000’s; The Trails area of Shearwater begin in the high $300,000’s’ and The Woodlands, Shearwater’s first gated community, features homes starting in the $400,000’s.
Find Yourself at Shearwater with custom homes that fit your style, budget and lifestyle. Spend your days hiking the trails, winding down the water slide, floating down the lazy river, kayaking Trout Creek and soaking up every bit of Shearwater’s resort-style living. Shearwater resident and single father of two, Chris Easterling put it best when he said “You won’t find a better value in the Jacksonville area. From the quality homes by solid builders, to the great schools, the incredible amenities, and how close the community is to so many area activities…you can’t beat Shearwater.”
Come find out why homebuyers are favoring Shearwater over other local communities and you just might find yourself in Shearwater too.
St. Johns Newest Community
Local Authors & Experts for St. Johns Magazine