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IN DECEMBER’S ISSUE EXPERT ADVICE ON SELLING YOUR HOME DURING THE HOLIDAYS EXPERIENCE NIGHTS OF LIGHTS YOUR WAY 5 HOT TIPS TO HELP LOWER YOUR HEATING BILL



DE C E M B E R

2021

IN YOUR CORNER 5 HOT TIPS TO HELP LOWER YOUR HEATING BILL

COMMUNITY PROPERTY EXPERIENCE NIGHTS OF LIGHTS YOUR WAY

FEATURE STORY EXPERT ADVICE ON SELLING YOUR HOME DURING THE HOLIDAYS

LIVING LARGE HOLIDAY PRESENCE

MARKET UPDATE CURIOUS IF PRICES ARE UP? WHAT’S THE MARKET DOING? WE’VE GOT ANSWERS!

KID’S CORNER PREVENT A HOLIDAY DISASTER AT HOME WITH THESE 5 MUST READ TIPS

CBV CARES LEADING THE WAY IN OUR COMMUNITIES

The cover image was photographed by JESSICA JOHNSTON.

©2021 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. A Realogy Company. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated. Coldwell Banker, the Coldwell Banker Logo and “We Never Stop Moving” are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.


Tips to Help Lower Your

Insulation

Bill A

It seems that once the temperature drops, everyone tries to balance staying warm with keeping their heating bill costs at a plateau (no easy feat). However, there are certainly ways to help keep the temperatures outside and the money inside your pocket, where it belongs. For those of you from the North, thinking we live in Florida, there is no winter- we locals who are freezing in 45-degree weather disagree. Try implementing a couple of these tips into your routine and see how making such minor tweaks can add up to significant results!

The following is a guest post by LINDSAY LISTANSKI originally published on Blue Matter, Coldwell Banker’s Blog. Edited by Chelsea Cornelius.

This, of course, is a top factor in determining your home’s temperature year-round. Think of insulation like wearing outerwear: a light windbreaker isn’t going to keep you warm and snuggly in the winter’s temperatures. But a high-quality parka will keep you better prepared to weather any condition. Consider having your insulation looked at by a professional and replaced if need be. This will save you on your winter heat bill and the sweltering summer bills too! B

Utilize Ceiling Fans Fans aren’t just for staying cool in the summer months. If you live in Florida, you probably have a ceiling fan in every room. Consider adjusting them to rotate clockwise if they are not already. The clockwise rotation will pull cold air up and trap heat in the room.

Turn Down the Thermostat Lowering your thermostat 10-15 degrees before leaving for work can help to save 10 percent by year-end on your heating bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. No sense keeping the house nice and toasty if no one is in it! Now, don’t go too crazy with that amount you drop that thermostat. You don’t want your heater to have to work twice as hard to get the temperature back up to the temperature you prefer when you get home.

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Swap Out Your Décor Windows are known to release massive amounts of heat. But it’s not their fault; they are technically holes in the wall—combat window drafts by switching up your interior design. You most likely favor thin, barely-there curtains that really just diffuse the light. Switch things up by selecting thick and heavy drapes in the winter; consider ones that match your holiday décor. Transitioning your curtain fabrics is a tried-and-true way to keep the warmth in your home from escaping.

Bedding A few years back, a friend of mine recommended that I try out a heated mattress cover or a heated blanket. She said they were relatively inexpensive and would totally keep me warm throughout the night. I took her up on the suggestion and ever since have coveted the moments I get to spend in my toasty bed. It’s a great way to stay warm without having to turn up the heat in the entire house. Alternatively, consider swapping out your thin linens for a heavier weight sheet and a cozy down comforter. Down is considered by many to be the most effective insulator. You can decide the fill power you need, or if you are morally opposed, you can choose a down alternative. The alternative may not have the same insulation power, but we live in Florida, so we don’t really have the freezing temperatures other places have to fend off. E

Photography provided by the following in order of appearance, Jessica Johnston(A), Erik McLean(B), Zac Gudakov(C), and Sidekix Mix(D), Chastity Cortijo(E), and Dan Lefebvre(F).

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Experience

Nights of Lights Your Way

The following is a post by Chelsea Cornelius.

Nights of Lights has been a tradition in the City of St. Augustine for the last twenty-eight years, and the gorgeous glow that falls over the whole city entices visitors from around the world to visit Northeast Florida from November to January. The twenty-eight-year tradition of lighting up the city came from its Spanish roots. During colonial times, it became very popular to place a candle in the windows during the holidays to honor lost loved ones and traveling family members, to show their gratitude for a miraculous life event, or for many Christians, it symbolized their celebration of Christmas. Today the beautiful Spanish-style architecture and all that surrounds it are covered in more than 3 million lights. Consider making visiting the Nights of Lights part of your holiday traditions this year in any of these following ways that will work best for you.

Take a Tour If you are new to the Nights of Lights or just love having the full tourist experience, then a tour is just what you need. There are several tour options available whether you prefer land, sea, or even air. That’s right, you can take a helicopter tour, a trolley, or a train tour of the lights. The train or trolley are your best options if you want to get into the festive spirit, and they also give you the most in-depth tour of the 20 blocks. Reservations and ticket blocks are a must if you’re going this route, otherwise, you’ll spend more time waiting around than on the actual tour. The Ripley’s Red Train Tour is a similar experience with a fully narrated experience that takes you around all of the great spots around the city.

By Boat As mentioned earlier, you can see the Nights of Lights by boat tours too. If you are a sea lover or just want a peaceful cruise along the Matanzas, this is an excellent option for you. These tours are more for a mature audience, so leave the kiddos with the sitter and enjoy a night on the water, enjoying the fantastic views and their reflections dancing along the river. Several companies offer tours, from BYOB group tours to a more lavish luxury yacht with a chef preparing a full meal for you.


Horse-drawn Carriage What can be more festive than going to Nights of Lights? How about taking a tour in a horsedrawn carriage with your closest friends or family? They have romantic rides for two or Grinch, Scrooge, or Santa themed tours- you can take your pick. Pick up some chocolates and wine right next to the departure point and enjoy the ride. Don’t forget a cozy blanket and maybe your umbrella too, our weather can be unpredictable, so it’s best to be prepared.

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The old-fashioned way, by foot. Going by foot is a great way to take everything in without a full-on tour experience. It’s more for the experienced Nights of Lights goer who doesn’t need the guided tour or just those of us who don’t want a guided and scheduled experience. Find a parking spot near King St, and you’ll find this area is very walkable. You can meander around the main square, Flagler College, follow George Street, and maybe you’ll find yourself enjoying the lights from the restaurant you discovered on your walkabout.

All images were provided by St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches VCB, FloridasHistoricCoast.com


BLUE MATTER

Expert Advice on Selling

Your Home During the

Holidays

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The following is a guest post by LINDSAY LISTANKSI originally published on Blue Matter, Coldwell Banker’s Blog. Edited by Chelsea Cornelius.

Selling a home during the holidays can feel like a challenge. From winter weather to deciding whether to decorate or not, there are certainly some obstacles. Here is excellent advice from the experts from our global network of Coldwell Banker agents, brokers, and offices.

Keep It Classic “Should I decorate for the holidays?” This is an extremely common question for home sellers. It may be a family tradition to “deck the halls” across every square inch of your house, but it may be better to scale back if you are trying to sell your home. When selling a home, it’s essential to present it in a way that others can see themselves living in. “We encourage sellers to still decorate (if that’s their thing), but not Griswold style decorating…. keep it simple and classy. Mostly keep the walks clear and maybe add a spot for shoe removal just inside.” –Coldwell Banker Terre Haute B

Use the holidays to create warmth in your home. “I think lights and color can warm anyone’s heart,” says Heather Ostrom, a Realtor® with Coldwell Banker Sun Ridge Real Estate in Roseville, CA. With the right touch, holiday decorations can create an emotional attraction for a buyer to your home. A cold, undecorated house can’t compete with one that has the fireplace roaring, the smell of fresh-baked cookies, and elegant yet festive décor.


Less Is More

The holidays can be hectic, meaning time normally spent cleaning may be spent at the mall and holiday gatherings. It is important to stay on top of keeping your house clean and tidy, especially if you decide to decorate. Andrea Geller, a Realtor® with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Chicago, says she loves holiday decorations, but to a point. “However you decorate, don’t distract prospective buyers from the space,” she advises, explaining that holiday decorations can cause clutter, which could potentially make a room or space look smaller. “Be sure to hide wires from holiday lights. Stick with decorations that aren’t covered in glitter and decorate with intention” -Andrea Geller Since we live in Florida, we luckily don’t have to deal with snow. However, our winter can still be a wet season. It is a good idea to consider asking visitors to remove their shoes or put covers on, so you don’t have slippery floors and stained carpets. Create an adorable or chic spot for shoes with a seasonal mat. Your Coldwell Banker Vanguard Agent will handle the showings and let other agents know to respect your request. C


Stay in Season One area where you likely won’t want to display holiday decorations: your listing photos. Jessica Edwards, an agent with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage in Wilmington, N.C., says holiday decorations can unintentionally date a photo, especially if the house is still on the market after New Year’s passes. “Keep it very classic and neutral, and if you put a tree where a chair or table typically goes and then jam the table or chair elsewhere in your house for a few weeks, you should ask a neighbor or friend to stick it in their house, so you don’t have extra furniture cluttering spaces or taking up more space” –Jessica Edwards

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While experts advise against decor in listing pictures, open houses are a totally different game. Open houses are the perfect time to create an experience for your visitors. Work with your Coldwell Banker Vanguard Agent to help your guest enjoy a day in your holiday life. The right ambiance can allow any buyer to visualize themselves in the home with their own families. “[Listing] photos should NOT have decor because that could date them. Open houses MUST have holiday decor!” –Brenna Lee Roth-Miller

Photography provided by the following in order of appearance. Libby Penner (A), Spacejoy (B), Eugene Zhyvchik (C), Todd Trapani (D), Genevieve (E), Spacejoy (F), and Johnson Johnson(G).


Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty’s Video Tour While pictures of a property are great, a slideshow of pictures does not make a video tour. Most companies rely on photos alone, Coldwell Banker Vanguard Agents know the impact and need in the market for a real Walk-Thru Video Tour. The number of homes sold sight-unseen from digital listings has drastically increased. Make sure if you are selling your home, you are partnering with a Coldwell Banker Vanguard Agent who has a 90-second walk-thru tour of the entire property provided on all qualifying listings. Although you are creating a digital experience for potential buyers, stick with the expert advice for photos and apply it to your video tour too. Suppose there is any possibility your property won’t be sold by January. In that case, you don’t want to have to redo photography and video because the festive stockings and tree have become a red flag for buyers that your house isn’t selling. If you’re considering selling your house this season, you should do two things. First, keep those decorations in the box the day after Thanksgiving. Second, call your Coldwell Banker Vanguard Agent today, so they can get your listing process started!

www.cbvhomesearch.com G


BLUE MATTER

A

Guest Post written by Tracy Ellison and Jennifer McGuire originally posted on the Coldwell Banker blog, Blue Matter. Jennifer McGuire is National Director of Creative Content at The Studio. Tracy Ellison is a creative content writer for The Studio, providing insightful information and ideas to enhance the art of living, with a background as an advertising photo stylist, designer, artist and copywriter.

‘Tis the season to deck your halls and ring in the holidays with festive sophistication – and not necessarily with all the bells and whistles that come with it. There are subtle ways to sing the season’s praises and embrace its beauty while still maintaining an air of elegance and decorative flair.

A Hue or Two. Begin by choosing a color theme and keeping it to one or two hues for a consistent, overall holiday presentation. Complement your current interior design color choice for a decidedly defined ambiance. And keep decorations to an impressive few, instead of filling up every open space with a multitude of festive accents – sometimes more can be less of a good thing.

Elements of Surprise. Let everyday items

take a holiday and welcome in seasonal magic by swapping out regular items like welcome mats, door wreaths, pillows, and throws for festive ones. But beware, holiday kitsch can run amuck at the height of the season. Sure, novelties can be fun, but they’re best reserved as a single conversation starter or in rooms where the kiddos tend to hang out. Photography provided by the following in order of appearance. Shche Team (A), Spacejoy (B), Spacejoy(C), Camylla Battani (D), Olena Sergienko (E), and Eclectic Louise de Mirande (F).


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Twinkle in Their Eyes. Draw attention

with a dazzling display of monotone lights both inside and out for maximum impact and a cohesive look to your holiday décor. Remember that lighting is a mood maker and can create an inviting experience. Whether you add warmth to a room with wick-burning or battery-powered candles or low-watt amber glass and vintage Edison bulbs, thoughtful lighting adds the perfect touch when celebrating the coziness of the season. C

Tie It All Together. For a professional, polished

look, keep your theme consistent by repeating key elements of your holiday décor in all the rooms of your home. If you’re planning on wrapping gifts that will be on display, match the wrapping paper to your decorations. Weave the same color or patterned gift ribbon throughout your home, from packages and wreaths to centerpieces. Indulge your olfactory sense – introduce a favorite scent that will linger from room to room and further enhance the allure of the season through fragrant candles, infused oils, or even the earthy essence of cinnamon sticks simmering in a pot of boiling water. D

As the song says, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, so share in the enchantment of the season. Make your home just as magical. Sprinkle in a bit of your own fairy dust to make an intriguing statement with a nod to your traditions but in your own inimitable style. E

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Market Update October 2021

Want the latest market data when it’s available? Ask your agent if they are a part of the MLS MARKET UPDATE program.


According to the most recent NEFAR press realease, “Although the bidding wars that drove up housing prices in Northeast Florida this summer have cooled somewhat, the region’s hot residential market shows no signs of diminishing, even as temperatures outside are becoming colder.”

What does this mean for BUYERS?

As prices continue to rise, if you are in the market for a home you will need to be aggressive with your offers. Luckily buyer fatigue has caused the competition to be less intense that it was this summer. Your best bet is to work with a Coldwell Banker Vanguard Agent to help guide you through the process.

What does this mean for SELLERS?

Seller’s Market is here to stay this holiday season and fortunately for you sellers, the inventory continues to be low. Those wanting to hold off on selling until the new year will allow your home to stand out if your selling this season. Speak with your Coldwell Banker Vanguard Agent about your real estate goals today.

www.CBVHomesearch.com


Prevent a Holiday

Disaster at Home with These Must Read Tips 5

The following is a guest post by Laura McHolm, NorthStar Moving Co-Founder, originally published on Blue Matter, Coldwell Banker’s Blog. Edited by Chelsea Cornelius.

There is no ignoring it now. The twinkling trees, tinsel, and….attractive trouble are all around. Whether you are singing “Feliz Navidad” or “Dradle, Dradle, Dradle,” we can all agree this is one of the most wonderful times of the year, BUT it’s also filled with hidden dangers for your children. So, don’t let all the sparkle distract you, be sure to keep an eye out for festive trouble. That’s why I called upon an expert to guide us through all of the dangers our holiday décor and holiday foods can create for our little loved ones. The child safety experts at Boo Boo Busters talk Santa safety with five key tips to keep your children safe:

1. The Christmas Tree: We are all conscious of hanging the fragile or sharp ornaments up top to keep them out of reach of

those curious hands, but have you thought about where you place your tree? Positioning is always important; think about fire safety. Keep your tree more than 48 inches away from any open flame (including candles and the menorah.) When decorating your perfectly chosen greenery, it’s best to use plastic hooks instead of metal. Lastly, KEEP IT WATERED! A dry tree is a dangerous tree. Follow the instructions for watering the tree so it can last as long as your holiday season lasts. Also, consider buying a real live growing tree in a pot, it’s a greener, earth-friendly solution, and the tree can become part of your family traditions.

2. Frosty’s Scarves: A strangulation hazard is anything that can be made into a loop and placed around a child’s neck; this includes scarves. Since your little elves need to stay warm, let’s take scarves off the strangulation list by making them safe by simply tucking the ends inside your child’s jacket. Oh, so fashion-forward, and the scarf can’t get caught on anything. Whew, problem solved. 3. Miniature Décor: Choking hazards are everywhere this time of year; they disguise themselves

as decorations and holiday cheer. A good rule of thumb is that a choking hazard is anything that can pass through an unobstructed toilet paper roll holder. Now is the time to scan the environment to see what’s around each and every corner. Remember, it’s not always just your house that needs your safety check—visiting the grandparents, other families, and friends who might be inadvertently unaware of what is or isn’t safe for your kids. Say Ho Ho NO! to decorations within your child’s reach. Snow villages, nativity scenes, and light up and display decorations with lots of small pieces, electrical cords, and even batteries can easily be pulled out and end up in your cherub’s mouth. Lighted garland adorning the staircase or the mantle where the stockings will be hung with care can also create dangerous scenarios. Bowls of candies, nuts, and little yummy things are often put out for grazing. Even though they are edible, it doesn’t make them safe for a baby or small child. Place these delicious favorites higher than a child can reach. Lastly, although it may not be a choking hazard, put mistletoe on your priority watch list. This pretty little smooch maker may have fun motives, but everything else about it says keep away. It’s about as toxic as a plant can get, berries, leaves, and all. No one knows what your kids can get into better than you do.

4. All That Glows: We all have that part of us that wants to light the house up like Clark Griswold, but let’s try to keep those little admirers in mind when powering up. Secure lights in place with clips, not left dangling where a child can reach. Using staples to attach lights can also be dangerous: they can cut through the cord without you even knowing it and cause a short or spark, leading to a potential fire. Take extra care when using extension cords to power up those giant blow-up dradles or reindeer dancing in the front yard. Secure them with stakes so they can’t create a potential tripping hazard. Put the lights on a timer, so they turn on when you want them to and turn off around bedtime. Mother earth and your neighbors will both thank you. Nothing like a silent glow-free night.

5. Ringing in the New Year:

Last but not least, New Year’s Eve! Party favors, noisemakers, and poppers are fun (and equally annoying) but can also be very dangerous. Check when purchasing noisemakers and party favors to see if they could be potential choking hazards. Poppers and silly string should be used with adult supervision. Poppers should never be popped in the vicinity of someone’s face, and silly string should never be used near an open flame. Photography provided by the following in order of appearance. Arun Kuchibhotla(A), Humphrey Muleba(B), DRZ(C), Tyler Delgado(D), and Chrisiatn Bowen(E).


GUIDING

YOU HOME

Since 1906


“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness you are able to give.” -Eleanor Roosevelt The colder weather and the holiday season have arrived, and it brings out the giving spirit in our Coldwell Banker Vanguard Agents! They have been very busy hosting events and getting donations to CBV Cares and the Northeast Florida charities this past month. The Avondale Office presented checks to three different organizations. First, the Jacksonville Humane Society was presented with a check for $500. The funds will provide care for the over 900 cats and dogs sheltered each year. The Office also presented a check for $500 to First Coast No More Homeless Pets, and these funds will help struggling families afford veterinary care for their furry family members. Last but not least, the Avondale Office presented a check to Memorial Park Association for $500. These funds will be allocated to the landscaping expenses required to keep the historic district’s gem, Memorial Park, looking beautiful. The Beaches Office hosted their Thanks-In-Giving event on November 4th. This event hosted two great non-profits, Mission House and Rethreaded. The Agents and Realtors from the Beaches Office collected and donated an abundance of cozy clothing for Mission House. Just in time as the cold weather arrives, the clothing will be given to families or individuals suffering from homelessness. Rethreaded had a Pop-up shop in the event with all proceeds going back into the non-profit that helps human trafficked victims get back into the workforce and create new lives. The Beaches Office is partnering with NEFAR’s Hunger Fight Pack-A-Thon for their next event, Wednesday, December 1st, from 9 AM - 12:30 PM at the Adam W. Herbert University Center at the University of North Florida. They will be assisting in packing 75,000 meals that will feed struggling families and children in Northeast Florida.

A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800) 435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. The State of Florida registration number for CBV Cares, Inc. is CH61481.


The Fleming Island, Keystone, and Oakleaf Offices hosted a Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament on October 7th. Thanks to the office’s generous partners at Bank of England, Head Moss Fulton Griffin Law, and 210 Home Warranty, they were able to raise over $1,500 to benefit local charities. The Mandarin Office presented a check to Safe Haven Ministries for $1,000 to help with refugee assistance. Safe Haven Ministries is an emergency safe shelter that helps individuals or families fleeing domestic violence. They offer refuge and hope to residents and non-residents with an array of services. The St. Johns Office gave a grant of $950 to the First Tee of North Florida on November 9th. First Tee of North Florida is a non-profit that utilizes golf to help teach children life skills, including inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience. The Town Center Office helped sponsor the 4th Annual Cornhole Classic Tournament benefitting the Special Olympics of Florida on October 16th. David Israel helped coordinate the event with the Special Olympics of Florida. He also presented an additional check of $500 at the Cornhole Classic. The sponsorship donations and 14 teams were helping to raise funds for the Special Olympians of Florida. Fortunately, the Town Center Office’s previous contribution is allowing all funds raised to go directly to the Special Olympians with little to no cost for the non-profit. To nominate a favorite charity or organization that is near and dear to your heart, contact your CBV agent for more information.

Head Moss Fulton Griffin Law


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OUR PROMISE We will take the stress out of your transaction and your closing will be a celebration, not a relief. We will add education to each customer so that you leave your transaction knowing every detail, and not asking “what did I just sign?” We will communicate with every party in the transaction in real time, clearly, and effectively. We will work harder than any title company you’ve ever seen.

ABOUT US “Closing Bear launched in June, 2019, and has quickly become the fastest growing title company in Jacksonville. By infusing modern technology and practices into an age-old industry, Closing Bear has positioned itself as the most innovative company in its market.” —Innovate Jacksonville

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