Many buyers are under the mistaken impression that a condo is a fancy apartment only for rich people. However, condos are becoming more and more affordable, bringing it into the price range of a single-family home. But some of the extras currently being offered to some condo communities in Jacksonville don’t help to dispel the “fancy apartments for rich people” myth.
To take a prime example, Berkman Plaza 2 has been compared to the Ritz-Carlton. The 23-story building which sits alongside the St Johns River will have various luxury amenities such as a concierge service, a marina, heated indoor pool, a putting green, tennis courts and valet dry cleaning.
Then there are the condominiums at Palencia. With price-tags starting in the higher end of $100,000, these condos also have extras such as swimming pools, a poolside family snackbar, tennis courts and golf courses.
Berkman Plaza 2 even has its own guest suites so if residents will have overnight guests, they can reserve a guest suite to offer their visitors their own space. This has been hailed as a unique new idea when considering what new amenities to offer condo residents.
It seems that by buying a condo, the homebuyer is making a statement about the kind of lifestyle they are looking for.
Builders Showcase is reporting that The Strand condominium tower will be completed by “winter 2007″.
The condo tower, which will be located on Jacksonville’s Southbank, will have 28 storeys and one of its biggest selling points is that residents will have an umatched and spectacular view of the St Johns River. You would also be within walking distance of wherever you need to go in Jacksonville, whether it be entertainment, shopping or dining.
You would think that prices for condos in this area would be too expensive and unattainable, thereby making it only possible for the super-rich. Not so! Pricing will start in the $200,000 price range going up to a maximum of around $800,000 if you want a penthouse suite. So, affordable condo living in a prestigious address that is sure to be highly desired and much sought after.
There are 14 differently designed floorplans with up to three bedrooms and two baths per condo. Each condo also comes with a modern kitchen with high quality amenities. Floors are covered with ceramic tiles and carpets and the master bathrooms come with a 42 inch bathtub.
If this sounds like the kind of place you’d want to live in, act now to get more information and to get your name added to the priority list.
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a day of breathtaking sunrises and ocean views. An unattainable dream? Not necessarily if you happen to be living in Hammock Dunes, Jacksonville.
Residents can choose between Tuscany condos or Arezzo condos in the Hammock Dunes community. Described as a “daily beach club experience”, residents will have full use of an “oceanfront entertainment complex” including swimming pools, spas, bars and restaurants. But perhaps the properties’ biggest selling point is its emphasis on privacy - there’s only one residence per floor with a private garage for each home.
Residents will also have the privilege of using the Equity Club next door which features numerous golf courses including two world championship courses.
The promotional piece featured in a November edition of the Jacksonville Times-Union “Builders Showcase” doesn’t mention approximate prices but Hammock Dunes’ official website puts prices at approximately $500,000 per property.
Golf fanatics will be interested to learn that eight new residential floorplans are being offered at Village Square, located within the premier golf community of Palencia, south of Jacksonville. Residents there can live in a relaxed environment, play golf and be within easy walking distance of local amenities.
Village Square will have 24 residential condos which will be placed above 21 office and retail condos and they are all expected to be completed by the spring of this year. The residential condos will feature between one and three bedrooms with a minimum floor-space of 1,227 square feet.
Residents will enjoy fantastic views of the golf course, the tennis court and the swimming pool and of course each resident will have access to each of these facilities.
Each condo comes with its own private gated entranceway and reserved garage parking. Prices start in the $300,000 price area.
Shipyards has been hailed as “Jacksonville’s only urban master-planned community” and “one of the largest mixed-use riverfront developments in Florida”. As of November 2006, the sales center has been open for business.
The Shipyards community is located in the heart of Jacksonville’s sports & entertainment district on the Northbank of the St Johns River. Much has been said about the stunning views from up high in the condo towers such as Building One which is a 38-story glass tower in the middle of the Shipyards community. Shipyards will also be a busy hub for shops, offices and entertainment (Shipyards is a short walk from the Alltel Stadium, the Baseball Grounds and the Metropolitan Park).
Residents in the area will benefit from being close to a busy area of employment, avid book readers will enjoy being close to the Jacksonville Public Library and those fond of culture will love the fact that Shipyards is close to places such as art galleries, museums and theaters.
A river taxi service is even planned to connect Shipyards residents to both the Northbank and the Southbank Riverwalks. The planned marina will have space for 240 boats.
The first 38-story condo tower will have residences with a minimum of one bedroom going up to three bedrooms and prices start at the low-$300,000’s and reach as high as much as $1 million. A one-bedroom residence can be as small as 804 square-feet while a three-bedroom residence can be as much as 3,902 square-feet. So there will be something for everyone in every possible price range.
A new condo community has been set up inside Palencia, which can be found inside the 2,325 acre Hines community in St John’s County, Jacksonville. The community currently consists of five new model homes called La Terraza Condominiums.
Prices start from the low $200,000’s and climb to the $300,000’s with five different floorplans to choose from. Each home is part of a four-storey building with a covered walkway, an elevator and a covered terrace which has an amazing view of a forest or a lake.
Each residence also comes equipped with a private garage, big enough to fit two cars and plenty of storage space.
Some home-buyers like to buy their homes completely finished and some like to buy a home with not much there, which gives them the chance to decorate and style according to their tastes. Now a Jacksonville developer is offering customers the choice.
Hines is developing and building The St John, a 640,000-square-foot, 300-home luxury condo tower which will, when completed, sit on the south bank of downtown Jacksonville’s riverfront. Construction is due to begin this year.
If you are interested in buying one of the homes, you will be given a choice between a designer-ready home and a fully-finished home. As the name suggests, a fully-finished home is completed almost entirely by the developer and the customer that buys it need only make a few choices about the interior.
A designer-ready home on the other hand offers the buyer a big say in the interior design of the home and this option would be useful if you want to design the property to your specific tastes and standards. You can choose the style of wall and floor and you can also choose the material for your kitchen work-tops. In other words, you are being offered a giant slate in which to design your home the way you want it.
Ranging in size from 780 square feet to 3,800 square feet, the homes will start in price from $325,000 up to more than $2 million.
If you have a home which has been on the market for some time, maybe you need to get a realtor to give the place a makeover? Or before you even put your house on the market, have a good hard look at it and let a realtor make the place look inviting and a treat. Welcome to the emerging world of “staging” a property.
With lots of homes on the market, prospective buyers can afford to be picky about what they want and if a room is say cluttered with junk, that can be enough to make them think “no, not this one. Let’s move on”. But if you get your home “staged” beforehand, you could find yourself with a contract to sell your house faster than you think.
“Staging” is basically strategically arranging the components in each room to make the room look asthetically pleasing to potential buyers. This will make them enthusiastic about your home, making them seriously consider buying it. “Staging” can be something as simple as moving the sofa to a different part of the room to make the floor-space look bigger. Or acquiring a small coffee-table with a few small ornaments to give the room a cosy feeling. But you can go much further than that, completely de-personalizing the room, cleaning each room thoroughly to make it sparkle & shine, replacing the furniture, polishing the glass surfaces, replacing the carpets and the curtains…the list can go on and on. So when a potential buyer comes around, all they see are clean, sparkling spacious rooms which they would love to live their life in. Not a dirty cluttered room where they trip over the lawnmower, stumble over the stack of Playboy magazines and smell the spilt beer on the rug from the week before.
Your realtor can help you to modify your home to make it look more attractive and pleasing to visiting viewers. It doesn’t have to take much to change a non-selling home into a hot in-demand home. Just talk to your realtor for ideas or tune into HGTV’s “Designed to Sell” for inspiration.
Plus you can reverse the situation and think to yourself “if I was the buyer looking at my home with a critical eye, what would I find appealing and not appealing? What would turn me off from buying this home?”. Be honest with yourself and you’ll find half the battle to sell your home already won.
A very interesting article, which appeared recently in the Jacksonville Times-Union, illustrates perfectly how homes have changed in the past 50 years - primarily the location of the kitchen - and where it stands in relation to the rest of the home. It’s something important to consider when thinking about buying a property (especially for the first time). Especially if one of you is a housewife and the kitchen would be the center of activity in the house. Where do you want to the kitchen to be and how functional do you need it to be? Kitchens vary greatly in size, shape and function so it helps to have a clear idea in your head before you start viewing homes.
The kitchen used to be a very labor-intensive undertaking with small working areas and everything needing to be done by manual labor but these days, with the advent of modern technology and changing designs & attitudes, kitchen tasks are now much easier than in the past. Machines such as the microwave oven and the dishwasher helps to take some of the load off your hands and house designers are now starting to design the kitchen in such a way as to make the whole room family-friendly and relaxing. It’s not unusual these days to have something like a breakfast bar in the middle of the kitchen to break things up and extra floor space and good lighting makes the kitchen a more pleasant room in which to get your household tasks completed.
Plus you may not immediately think this important but the actual physical location of the kitchen can make all the difference. If you regularly greet guests at the front door, you may want your kitchen at the front of the house, close to the front door so you don’t have to travel so far backwards and forwards all the time. However, if you have children playing regularly in the back-yard, you may prefer your kitchen at the back of the house with a view of the back-yard, so you can do your kitchen tasks and also keep an eye on your children at the same time.
So the important thing is to first assess your priorities and your needs and decide accordingly where you would prefer the kitchen to go. Then you can easily choose more suitable properties to visit which could meet your needs right away. The kitchen will end up being the hub of activity in your new house so it is wise to plan in advance.
An interesting thought popped up when I was reading an article in the Jacksonville Financial News & Daily Record about the Greenleaf Building at the corner of Laura and Adams streets. It was a quote which jumped out at me which read :
Barakat said he will market the building and its floors on a mostly local basis. “Office condominiums are targeted at local businesses,” he said. “A national company is not going to buy a condominium.”
He went on to outline his sales strategy which was that asking a national company to buy a office condo was a waste of time because a national company wants to have the ability and the flexibility to move around and relocate if necessary. But a local company with roots would be most likely to buy than to rent, probably because the employees of the business have local roots and they are not likely to move very far with their business. I was interested to read that you could save as much as $400,000 over a ten year period if you chose to buy instead of rent.