The great house hunt – are you analytical or a big picture person?

ANALYZEYou’ve just gotten a great job in Jacksonville, FL and you’re ready to make the move to the largest land mass city in the United States! That’s right, Jacksonville, FL is BIG. Generally speaking, it stretches from Orange Park on the West Side of the city to Ponte Vedra Beach (ocean front) on the East side! There are lots of areas that you might want to consider home including Orange Park, Ortega, Avondale, Riverside, Downtown, San Marco, Deerwood, Deercreek, Jacksonville Golf and Country Club, Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra — whew! That’s a lot to consider!

You’ve surfed the web and decided that you really love the historic district of Avondale and are ready to find your dream home. We all know that finding the perfect place will be a compromise. Sadly, nothing is perfect. I’m not, you’re not and the house you’re going to buy isn’t. So, you WILL have to make trade-offs. What will yours be? One house will have a perfect kitchen and another will have a incredible master bathroom with jacuzzi tub and steam shower. Yet another may have a huge yard and finally there’s the one with the great garage. But guess what? You can’t find ONE HOUSE that has all those features but you’ve still got to find a place to live — so what to do?

Generally speaking, you can change the house but you can’t change the location! This is an important thing to remember when looking for your house. Don’t get too bogged down with trying to find the perfect house — chances are, it’s not out there. Consider the BIG PICTURE and find one that’s close enough and in a great location — you’ll be glad you stopped obsessing and just made a decision! Move in, be happy and move on with your life!


Park Lane ExteriorWe recently listed a fantastic condo at the Park Lane building in Jacksonville FL’s Riverside neighborhood. Riverside is walking neighborhood with a great park (Memorial Park) designed by the sons of New York’s Central Park (Frederick Law Olmstead) creator.

The 2BR, 1.5BA unit has tall ceilings, wood floors, butler’s pantry, separate dining room, extra large kitchen with laundry closet, coffee bar and lovely little fire escape where you can keep your potted plants. The 1,313 square foot unit has a wonderful feature — a “flow through” view with the St. John’s river in the front and the vibrant comings and goings of Riverside in the back. Whether you’re just starting out or looking for a pied a terre, this would be perfect!

Small Memorial park with soccer players

view of fire escape & Riverside from 6A

Is Ortega really like Mayberry RFD?

map1Last year at a Sunday School class, I heard someone refer to Ortega (in Jacksonville, FL) as a little like Mayberry RFD. What they meant was that Ortega really is a small town where everyone knows each other and neighbors  look out the window to keep a watchful eye out for what your kids are up to. Little children have lemonade stands and bake sales (and people stop to buy some!) and there’s a tiny little village with an old time pharmacy and lunch counter (yes, that’s right, a lunch counter!). The pharmacy will even deliver your prescriptions — not too manyof those around!

st marks day schoolFrom many parts of the neighborhood, the kids ride their bikes to school (St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School) and some walk to church (also St. Marks) on Sundays when it’s not too hot. Ortega has everything you might want in an old fashioned neighborhood. Large yards, nice people, kids riding their bikes and local parks where people throw in a fishing pole.

imagesIn an ever changing world, Ortega represents some old fashioned values. In a world of the Blackberry, FedEx, flat screen tv’s and things that go fast, Ortega harkens back to a slower and more friendly pace. Neighbors come by to share the bounty of their fruit trees (oranges, lemons and even a few grapefruits) and bake casseroles for their friends who are sick or have experienced a loss.

The houses in Ortega range from multi-million waterfront homes on Ortega Blvd. to two story brick colonial homes in Ortega Terrace to little wood frame cottages along McGirts Blvd. To see a list of homes for sale in Ortega, click here. There’s something for everyone here so jump on your bike and have a look.