Finding the perfect home comes with plenty of exciting decisions for your family to make. Shearwater, a master-planned community, was meticulously designed for today’s way of life with every family in mind. As one of the fastest-growing communities in St. Johns County, Shearwater continues to meet the needs of current and future residents, while remaining true to its vision of fostering healthy living, community engagement and a connection to the outdoors. So, why make the move?
Just 20 minutes from Florida’s Historic Coast, Shearwater is located in the heart of St. Johns County within close proximity to everyday conveniences such as grocery stores and schools, as well as a variety of cultural, sport and entertainment opportunities in two major cities: Jacksonville and St. Augustine.
Shearwater is just down the road from Johns Creek Center and another growing retail shopping center, the Pavilion at Durbin Park. Shearwater residents can easily access these commercial retail centers which includes numerous well-known stores such as Walmart, Home Depot and Publix. The area continues to grow even more with lifestyle retailers, restaurants and entertainment options.
Jacksonville is a metropolis where you can cheer on sports teams like the Jaguars and the Icemen or enjoy world-class entertainment at venues like the Florida Theatre, Daily’s Place, Jacksonville Veteran’s Memorial Area or the Jacksonville Symphony Hall. And experience the arts at the Cummer Museum or the Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s a dynamic city with major employment hubs, international transportation and logistics, 22 miles of beaches and a burgeoning culinary scene.
St. Augustine is a seaside community that blends historic ambiance with thoroughly modern shops, restaurants and more. At this staycation destination, just down the road from Shearwater, residents are able to visit iconic monuments and museums while experiencing recreation at some of Northeast Florida’s favorite culinary spots, attractions and world-class golf courses.
School is back in session and Shearwater’s students will continue to access excellent schools. St. Johns County was recently rated by Niche as the #1 Best School District in Florida according to Niche’s 2020 Best School Districts. Shearwater’s youngest residents are zoned for the following schools: Timberlin Creek Elementary, Switzerland Point Middle School, and Bartram Trail High School.
Timberlin Creek Elementary, is located within the Shearwater community – just a short walk away for residents and their children.
Switzerland Point Middle School serves grades 6-8 and seeks to empower all students with a passion for learning and deep empathy for others.
Bartram Trail High School offers students the choice between a curriculum or specialized training tailored to each student’s interests and aptitudes.
Shearwater is committed to providing its residents with the very best in world-class amenities. The Kayak Club, Shearwater’s amenities epicenter, includes a large clubhouse, an expansive Fitness Lodge, lap pool, resort-style pool, the longest lazy river in Northeast Florida, “The Perch” 3-story waterslide tower, playground, sports fields and four illuminated Har-Tru tennis courts.
Residents can begin their days running or jogging the 15 miles of trails throughout Shearwater before heading over to The Hub, a Wi-Fi café within the Kayak Club. The Hub serves grab-n-go food items as well as provides a gathering space for residents to spend time with neighbors.
The Falls neighborhood recently debuted several new amenities, including Falls Park; the Falls loop trail that enhances the community’s already robust trail network; Shearwater’s first dog park, which includes one fenced park for large dogs and one for smaller dogs; and a community garden for residents to plant flowers, herbs and vegetables year-round.
Falls Park, Shearwater’s newest and most expansive park, is centrally located in the heart of Shearwater and offers four-acres worth of outdoor opportunities including a lake overlook pavilion, shaded picnic pavilion, a tot lot, an event lawn and multi-purpose paved pathways.
The Shearwater lifestyle is more than just great amenities, it’s about bringing those amenities to life by integrating them with a variety of activities that bring neighbors closer together. As the full-time Lifestyle Director for Shearwater, Dylan Read leads the community’s unique approach to lifestyle programming and activities. From day one, Read works with Shearwater families directly to develop events and activities that fit their interests, ranging from casual coffee dates and specific fitness classes to community concerts and holiday events.
Find the Home for You
Finding a home that meets your family’s unique preferences, lifestyle and budget can be challenging, which is why Shearwater, the master-planned community in St. Johns County, was meticulously designed for today’s way of life. In addition to its resort-style amenities, robust social calendar and connection to the outdoors, Shearwater offers a variety of innovative home designs to satisfy the needs of your modern family – whether you are empty nesters, a growing family or living in a multi-generational home.
Pew Research Center released a report in 2018 showing almost 1 in every 5 Americans lives in an environment with multiple generations. As lifestyle trends have shifted toward keeping multiple generations under one roof, Shearwater shifted with them, prioritizing function without sacrificing form.
The beauty of multi-generational homes is the flexibility each family is afforded. This is a great option for families with children who just graduated from school yet need time before venturing off on their own. Aging family members who can no longer live on their own can also move in without feeling burdensome or invasive. Living with more family members may just be the best financial option for some, or perhaps this lifestyle is a cultural tradition.
No matter your family’s unique makeup, Shearwater offers diverse home sizes. Homes range from 1,637 square feet to over 4,000 square feet, with three to six bedrooms, and one- and two-story models. Varying home designs and prices are offered in each of Shearwater’s distinct neighborhoods: The Cove, North Creek, The Trails, The Falls and The Woodlands, Shearwater’s gated community.
In addition to homes, Shearwater recently opened the Cove, its first neighborhood of one and two-story townhomes
The Cove features David Weekly Homes townhomes that were designed with both the individual and the family in mind. Future homeowners have the option between three different floor-plans ranging in size from approx. 1,574 – 1,817 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 2-2½ baths. One and two-story plans are available. Each home includes a 2-car garage, 9-10 feet high ceilings, private entry and open-concept living spaces throughout. The goal with each of these townhomes is to create a no maintenance lifestyle, perfect for active families.
The first and smallest option is The Barnes, a single-story townhome with an open living room, dining room and kitchen featuring extra windows. This plan is perfect for individuals with aging family members who may not be able to tackle the stairs every day, but still want to be included in daily festivities.
The Alton is the largest of the three plans. It is a two-story townhome with an open living room, dining room and kitchen on the first floor and two bedrooms, a bathroom, the laundry room and the owner’s retreat on the second floor. This plan will keep all family activities downstairs and is best for families who enjoy having guests over for dinner and social events.
Finally, The Megan embraces some of the finest features from both the Barnes and Alton plans. It is a two-story townhome with an open great room on the first floor and the kitchen with owner’s retreat on the second floor, featuring optional balconies.
These designs are just a sample of the possibilities you have with Shearwater. Whether you are living as a single professional, downsizing, or you are purchasing a home to raise your children, picture yourself spending time on hiking the trails, attending community events or floating down our lazy river. The house is just one piece of what makes Shearwater home!
for more information visit Shearwater.com
An Interview with Melissa Glaslow, Director of Economic Development in St Johns County
by Christine Durkin
SJM: Looking at the exponential growth in the area’s residential communities these past couple of years, can we expect similar expansion in retail and commercial?
MELISSA: Whenever a residential market experiences this level of growth, the commercial side of things will inevitably follow. What’s been happening is typical in that commerce gauges critical mass, counting “rooftops” if you will, to determine and anticipate demand. What we see now is the commercial side really coming online, as well as the infrastructure to support it.
SJM: Can you tell us about some of the highlights of incoming commercial development?
MELISSA: Durbin Park, on Racetrack Road and St. Johns Parkway, is the largest commercial development underway at this time. Walmart opened there late last fall, and Home Depot is expected to open in March. There are another twenty retail stores slated to open later this year, including a Cinemark movie theater.
There will also be a commercial component in tandem with the continued residential expansion at Beachwalk. More than 1 million square feet is being designated for retail and even some industrial development. (This area is also close to announcing a new grocery store, but has not yet formally announced any retailers or commercial tenants in the development as of the time of this writing.)
Earth Fare grocery store will anchor the coming development on the NW corner of CR 210, and St. Johns Parkway, across from Publix. Sleiman Brothers is building the Shoppes of St. Johns Parkway. They expect construction to be underway this spring, and anticipate opening by end of 2019.
Another development, The Forum at Greenbrier, on CR210 has recently cleared property on the south side of CR 210, East of St. Johns Parkway, on the opposite corner of The Shoppes of St. Johns Parkway.
SJM: Can you talk about some of these infrastructure initiatives, such as roadways underway to support the ongoing expansion?
MELISSA: We’ve seen roadways being modified and expanded to support not only our internal transportation needs, but to ensure more fluidity in entering and exiting the area via I-95 and other major thoroughfares.
A case in point is the area where 9B joins St. Johns Parkway, heading south. The roadway currently dead ends at CR 210, but will ultimately connect with SR 16.That next segment is already underway and is expected to open this year.
SJM: What about schools?
MELISSA: St. Johns County is proud to offer the best schools in the state, and more schools are on the way. According to the St. Johns County School District, “with the approval of the ½ cent sales tax in 2015 dedicated to our school district, three schools were proposed to be constructed with those funds. They have since opened all three, including two in northern St. Johns County.”
The St. Johns County School Board opened two new K-8 schools in northern St. Johns County for the 2018-2019 school year. Palm Valley Academy is located in Nocatee at 2135 Palm Valley Road, Ponte Vedra, Florida 32081 and Freedom Crossing Academy is in Aberdeen located at 1365 Shetland Drive, Saint Johns, Florida 32259. The new schools will relieve overcrowding for kindergarten through eighth grades in northern St. Johns
County. For more information, visit http://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/newschools/info//
SJM: The availability of quality healthcare is also a concern in areas of such rapid residential growth. What is underway or planned to help ensure area families have easy access to healthcare?
MELISSA: According to the Jacksonville Business Journal, Flagler Hospital recently purchased 4 acres for their Flagler Health Village at Nocatee. This facility will include a 30,000 square foot building encompassing family practice, pediatrics, specialty care, women’s health care and other community services. Construction is slated to begin this spring, with an opening date planned for summer 2020.Flagler has a similar development under construction in Murabella due to open in 2019.
Also in late 2018, Baptist Health purchased 12 acres in Nocatee for a healthcare campus and groundbreaking is planned for early 2019. According to the Florida Times-Union, as part of the new development, Baptist plans relocate its primary care office in Nocatee Town Center to the new location about two miles away. They also plan to offer extended hours and expanded team of caregivers at this location.
by Nikki Lyn Holm, The Coastal Home Group (Keller Williams Jacksonville)
“Real Estates cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.”
Speaking of good investments, as an agent who loves, lives in, and assists many people in buying and selling their homes in St. Johns County, I would agree: This market is hot! The number one driver for people moving here is the well known and respected school system of St. Johns. Check this site out for more information: https://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/
In our county last year, we had 6,709 total closed sales in 2018, and over 30% were a result of the new home construction boom. Almost 20% of these sales were condos and townhomes. The new home construction market is receiving 98.4% of their original list price. Clearly a sign of strength, demand, and market confidence.
Four "Fun Facts” for future buyers and sellers:
Although buyer enthusiasm has slowed down a bit through the winter months, our biggest challenge as a housing market, is to clarify the misperception that buying now is potentially the "height of the market.” The spikes and drops from the Federal Reserve have left many consumers more cautious and concerned. However, in reality, if lenders continue to act on the conservative and responsible side, we should see more homes becoming available. Ultimately, there should be a leveling out in our marketplace, which would result in a more balanced market shift. If the economy continued to thrive, and rates can hold firm, we will see consumer confidence and activity improve for 2019.
*Statistics derived from NEFAR
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.
Local Authors & Experts for St. Johns Magazine