Monday Morning Market Report – Week Ending Dec. 27th, 2009

week ending dec. 27th
Click Here to See Graph

Good morning everyone! Today will be my last post for Monday Morning Market Reports for 2009!!

As expected, there were more closings this week than last as everyone rushes to close before the end of the year. By doing so, you can file for Homestead exemption in 2010. 

In order to qualify for Homestead Exemption (read more about Homestead Exemption here), you must reside in the property as of January 1st of any given year. There are usually a flood of closings toward the end of the year as people race to qualify for this classification.

The stats for the week are:
New Listings:   5  (To see the New Listings, Click Here)
Active/Contingent:   0  (No properties were put under contract this week)
Pending Sales:    3    (To see the Pending Sales, Click Here)
Closed Sales:   5  (To see the Closed Sales, Click Here)
Price Reductions:  8   (To see the list of Price Reductions, Click Here)

The “story” of the week is a house that sold for $242,250 at 1342 Wolfe Street. (To see the full details of 1342 Wolfe Street, click here). It was listed with a flat fee MLS service (a glorified for sale by owner) in December of 2008 for1342 wolf street $315,000. It was reduced only once to $299,000 in June of 2009. After it expired in November of 2009, it was listed with a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty realtor at $254,500 — the house sold within 10 days!  This is another example (of thousands just like it) that you are better served to list your property with a realtor if you really want to sell it.

Thanks for reading — I look forward to seeing you here next year and sharing all of the great news that 2010 is sure to bring about real estate in Avondale, Ortega and Riverside.

Tighten Your Belt – Get Your Shoes Repaired instead of Buying New!

Tight budgeting. Upright money.If you’ve bought a house in Avondale or Ortega and you’re wondering where to get your shoes repaired, take a quick drive out Edgewood Avenue into Murray Hill and you’ll find Edgewood Shoe Repair and Momni (Mom and I) Alteration shop located at 1022 Edgewood Avenue S.edgewood shoe repair

In May 2009, Joy Lee and her uncle Ho Jin bought the shoe repair shop from longtime cobbler Kevin Roberts who had been fixing people’s shoes at 1144 Edgewood Avenue for over 15 years.

Ho Jin recently moved to the United States with the intent of sending his children to school here and finding a business to buy. Good with his hands and with some experience as a cobbler in Korea, he “apprenticed” under Mr. Roberts for several months prior to buying the business.

The decision to move across the street was easy as Joy Lee already owned the building at 1022 Edgewood Avenue. She bought it in January 2006 and started a renovation project that took about a year. In January 2007, she leased the space to Sisters Restaurant who occupied the space for about two years. By the time they moved out, she and her uncle were looking for a business to buy, decided to purchase Mr. Roberts shoe repair business and moved it across the street to 1022 Edgewood.

I’ve had several pairs of shoes re-soled and other shoes repaired and they’ve done a great job — their shop is convenient, the quality good and the service friendly.

While you’re in Murray Hill, you might want to drive by this darling house located at 4625 Sappho Avenue. All brick with tall ceilings, a two car garage and located across the street from a beautiful park, this house is a great buy! If you’d like to go take a look just give me a call and we’ll schedule the appointment.

Thanks for reading — join me for my next discussion of things happening in the Avondale, Ortega and Riverside neighborhoods.




The relocated the shop across the street where       had bought a building in       .

Monday Morning Market Update – Week Ending Dec. 20, 2009

week ending dec. 20th blog graphAs the year draws to a close and I review the sales activity for this week it seems that things are pretty quiet. 

There were more new listings this week than last (although two were re-lists) but not as many pending and closed sales. There also weren’t as many price reductions but it would be hard to top the 20 from last week! All in all it appears that last week was busier on all fronts.

There is one unit that I’d like to highlight. It’s a condo foreclosure in a “boutique” Riverside building called The Peacock.  A 1BR/1BA with just under 1,000 square feet, the condo is priced at $74,900. This unit was purchased for $112,000 in 2004.

The Peacock is within walking distance to Riverside’s many restaurants and boutiques and it’s the only condo in Riverside under $100K today. The only other condos in the area under $100K are in Ortega in a building off Timuquana Road. There are two other condos for sale in The Peacock and they are not distressed properties.

The stats for the week are:
New Listings:   8 (2 are re-lists) – To see the list, click here
Active-Contigent:   0
Pending Sales:  3  – To see the list, click here
Closed Sales:   4 – To see the list, click here
Price Reductions:   13 – To see the list, click here

I looked at the history of closed sales at The Peacock (see the full list of closed sales at The Peacock here) to see where the foreclosure is priced relative to some other units that have sold. The last 1BR unit that sold below $80K was purchased for $70K in July 2001.

As always, I keep my eyes peeled for good opportunities — be sure to let me know if there’s something in particular that you’re looking for and I’ll make sure you’re the first one to know about it.

Thanks for reading — please join me next week for my last market update of 2009.

Avondale’s Annual Luminaria Event

luminariaHey – Don’t miss the annual Luminaria Event held every year in Avondale and Ortega. White paper bags filled with sand and little candles line the streets and sidewalks. The scene evokes Christmas and gets everyone in the Holiday spirit. Many local churches will sell the luminaria kits (very inexpensive) and they will also have them for sale at the Riverside Arts Market.

Luminaria – December 19 and 20, 2009

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Riverside Avondale’s beloved Luminaria celebration. To celebrate, we’re expanding the event into a full weekend of community spirit, holiday fanfare and neighborhood fun!

Events for Saturday, December 19th include a Holiday market and entertainment at the Riverside Arts Market, a guided bike tour of the historic district, and a raft of holiday discounts at our local restaurants and businesses.

Sunday, December 20th, will feature a self-guided walking tour of historic churches, a Historic Trolley tour of the Luminaria lights, the ever-popular Luminaria Bike Ride, a live nativity scene and numerous musical performances at area churches, and—of course!—the traditional lighting of the Luminaria lanterns at sundown.

Thanks for reading — please join me for my next adventure in the Avondale, Ortega and Riverside neighborhoods.

Where Can You Buy Great Toys in Jacksonville, FL?

green alligatorLooking for the perfect gift for a little one on your Christmas list? Look no further than a fabulous toy store in The Shoppes of Avondale called The Green Alligator. Brainchild of owner Sandi White, The Green Alligator opened in April 2008 and has been a smashing success from day one. So successul, in fact, that they’ve just opened a second store in Ponte Vedra — just in time for Christmas.

Located at 3581 St. John’s Avenue, the Avondale store is open seven days a week and is chock full of the latest and greatest toys of the season. This year, Sandi says that a few of the HOT toys are the Wobble Board which is a balance and agility game or anything from OGO Sports which are large discs that look a little like mini trampolines. They can be used as frisbees or to play “tennis” of sorts. There’s also a new type of puzzle called WasGig (Jigsaw spelled backwards) where you put the puzzle together from the perspective of a person who’s looking back at you. I know — a little confusing. Do NOT try to do this while drinking wine!

They also have a fabulous game called Banana Grams which is a bit like scrabble but without the board. Instead of building on another players words, you create words with your own letters. The winner is the one who uses all of their letters to make “connected” words and there are no tiles left in the “bone pile” in the middle of the table. We played this game for hours on end over Thanksgiving and it was great!

Sandi will be glad to help you find something for your Christmas list but will also be there year round to help you find birthday gifts for the many children that live in Avondale,Ortega and Riverside.

Thanks for reading. Please join me for my next installment of great places to go in the Avondale, Ortega and Riverside neighborhoods of Jacksonville.

Monday Morning Market Update – Week Ending 12/13/2009

 Week ending december 12 2009With Christmas just around the corner, I’ve gotten behind and am now writing my second Monday morning market report on Thursday — I’ll be sure to get back on track for next week!

The BIG news of the week is that we had very few new listings and more pending and closed sales this week than last. There were also a stunning number of price reductions (20 of them). In order for the market to stabilize, we will need to continue having weeks like this with fewer new listings and more closed sales.

New Listings:    3 ( 1 of the 3 is a re-list-so really 2 new listings)
Active Contingent:    1  – Click here to see this property

Pending:     5 – Click here to see list
Closed:      5    – Click here to see list

Price Reductions:    20 – Click here to see list

A few days ago, I wrote a post titled will the “trade up” market will come back in 2010? In it, I mention two of the closed sales from this week. It shows pictures of the houses and tells the history of what happened with both properties.

The most interesting new listing this week is a luxury condominium (unit 101) in a development called Ortega Landing in Ortega. Originally listed for $1,195,000 when the developement was doing pre-sales, this unit (after successive price reductions) has now re-listed at $875,000. At $875,000 it’s priced at $331 per square foot. A similar condo (Unit 1003) in a nearby upscale building (Villa Riva)  just had a unit sell for $751,000. It was a tad bit bigger at 2,725 square feet and it sold for $275 per square foot.

I was hoping to see one of the 20 price reductions “jump out at me” as something I need to shout out about but most of them were modest (and needed) reductions.

That’s it for this week’s wrap up. Please join me for my next market update on the state of the real estate market in Avondale, Ortega and Riverside!

2009 – Number of Sales Increases by 38% in Riverside

2008 vs 2009 graphThe number of homes sold in Riverside in 2009 has increased 38%. In 2008, there were 34 single family home sales and so far in 2009 there have been 47 closed sales. That’s an increase of 38% – Wow!

In Avondale, the numbers are nearly even with 2008. There were 100 closed sales in Avondale in 2008 and there have been 104 so far this year for a net increase of 4%.

The numbers in Ortega are not as good. In 2008, there were 57 closed sales and so far this year, there have only been 46 for a net DECREASE of 19%.

Another important piece of the picture is to take a look at the total dollar volume of these sales for each neighborhood. Riverside had a nice increase in the number of units sold but the total dollar volume of these sales went down by 4%. So…more houses were sold for less money.
Avondale has a similar story with a net increase of 4% on number of units sold but the total dollar volume for these sales is off 5% so, again, more units (houses) were sold but for less money.Total Dollar Volume Sales 2008 vs 2009

Ortega decreased in both the number of houses sold and the dollar volume of those sales. The number of houses sold is off by 19% from 2008 and the total dollar volume is off a whopping 32%! The graph to the right illustrates these statistics.

That’s all for today — thanks for reading — please join me for my next installment of what’s happening in
Avondale, Ortega and Riverside real estate.

What’s a Pecan Pie Recipe Doing on a Real Estate Blog?

pecan_pieIt’s cold and rainy today in Jacksonville. I’m sitting at the computer, have a warm fire in the fireplace and just finished making a pecan pie. The delicious smell of the pie has begun to waft through the house — what a great way to spend the day!

So what’s a pecan pie recipe got to do with a real estate blog? Sometimes we get so focused on the VALUE of our real estate that we forget to simply ENJOY our homes. 

The Pecan Pie recipe is EASY and Delicious so I hope some of you will try it — perfect for the upcoming holidays. Enjoy one for yourself or make a few extra to take to friends. Let me know how yours turns out.

1 C Sugar
3/4 C White Karo Syrup 
1/2 C butter (1 stick)
3 Eggs
1 C Pecan Halves
1/4 t Salt
1 t Vanilla

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the sugar and Karo Syrup. Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool for about 15 minutes.

 Beat the eggs and gradually add to the cooled butter/sugar mixture. Add the Pecans, Salt and Vanilla. Pour into a deep dish pie shell and bake for 40 – 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Thanks for reading. Please join me for my next blog about real estate (or something related – like baking a pie in your new home) in the Jacksonville area.