At Home with CBV Life Magazine Master 2021

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The cover is an image from photographs by Erica Marsland.

IS IT TIME TO Rightsize


The following is a guest post by ALICE GARWOOD on Blue Matter, the Coldwell Banker Blog. Edited by CHELSEA CORNELIUS.

Does your home still fit your needs, or is it time to think about the benefits of buying a new one as you enter the next phase of your life? Whether you’re an empty nester with rooms that are no longer used or need more space to raise your growing family, “rightsizing” – finding a home that’s the ideal size for your current lifestyle – may be the best option. As more inventory hits the market, it is a great time to consider your options and reach out to your Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Agent to talk about your options.

Assess Your Living Space. Before deciding whether to rightsize, take stock of your everyday life and ask yourself a few questions, including: · Are some areas of the house, like formal living and dining rooms, rarely used? · Is a dedicated office a must? · Do you want a hobby area or kids’ playroom? · Is your kitchen too big or too small? · Is the garage the right size? · Do you prefer a large yard or a cozier outdoor living space?

Look to the Future. If you decide it’s time to make a move, consider your current lifestyle as well as potential changes in circumstances that could occur in the next few years to determine what size home is best. Maybe you’re planning to have more children, retire in a few years or anticipate an aging parent moving in with you. While you might not need extra space right away, you could see needing it in the near future.


Great Layout vs. Square Footage. Getting hung up on a property’s square footage could mean missing out on your dream home, especially in today’s highly competitive market. Suppose a house or condo has the number of bedrooms, baths, kitchen, and amenities you want, but its square footage is somewhat less than you envisioned. In that case, it still may be worth considering if it has a well-designed layout that uses space efficiently.

Review Your Finances. Whether you’re looking to downsize or up-size, how much you can afford extends beyond the monthly mortgage, tax, and insurance payments. Relocating from a sizable residence to a condo or townhome – perhaps in a maintenance-free community with amenities – could mean significantly higher HOA fees and require you to buy new furniture that fits smaller spaces, while a bigger house will have higher utility costs and need additional furnishings to fill extra rooms. Regardless of your reason for wanting to move, a Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty agent has the tools and resources to help you sell your current home and find a new one that’s just right for you.


Florida offered an impressive natural backdrop that many Hollywood films began to utilize in the late 1930s. These films include but are not limited to; Six Tarzan films, The Barefoot Mailman, Jupiter's Darling, and scenes from a number of other movies and television programs that were filmed at the springs during this time period. Revenge of the Creature, the sequel to the hit monster flick Creature from the Black Lagoon, was filmed at the Silver Springs in the pristine Florida summer of 1954. In Revenge of the Creature, starring John Agar and Lori Nelson, the Gill Man is captured and studied before eventually escaping. Director Jack Arnold and the cast and crew traveled to Silver Springs and Marineland Studios in St. Augustine for filming. At Silver Springs, Florida native Ricou Browning also reprised his role as the Gill Man for the underwater scenes. The following was written by Vincent Picard. Source: Florida Memory. "The Creature Returns to Florida." Floridiana, 2020.

Photography provided by the following in order of appearance. NICK FEWINGS(A) and the State Library and Archives of Florida, (B, C, and D).


Filming underwater presented many challenges for the cast and crew. Since Browning would have to hold his breath for the entirety of the scene, he

received direction and rehearsed on land before anyone got into the water to film. Once the director was ready to shoot the scene, the cameras were sealed in their waterproof cases and placed in the water with two or more divers. Then it was time for the actors to get in the water. Browning, in his rubber Creature suit, would be rowed to the filming location at the springs, get in the water, and dive under with a safety diver nearby to assist. The camera crew and safety divers were equipped with air tanks for long-term underwater breathing. Between takes, Browning used an air hose to breathe underwater, a technique he learned from famed swimmer Newt Perry. Filming in Florida wrapped up a few weeks later, and the movie was released in early 1955. This movie sequel, unfortunately, wasn't received as well by audiences and critics as its classic predecessor was. However, this is just one of the many movies that called Florida's natural environment home and began to create the idyllic image of Florida on the silver screen which many people still think of to this day.


TO-D Os:



Home Checklist 2.Trim dead tree limbs

The following utilizes guest posts by LAURA GASKILL entitled, To-Dos: Your October Home Checklist and SCOTT SAPORITO, CRS, ABR, entitled, Sellers Can Hurt Their Sale: 5 Ways This Happens, orignally posted on Blue Matter, the Coldwell Banker Blog. Written By Chelsea Cornelius.

Schools are back in session, the farmer's markets are bustling, and the cozy comforts of home beckon — it's almost October. Make the most of this month's bountiful harvest, get some exercise exploring the pumpkin patches in the brisk air, and button down your house in preparation for Florida winter. Then sit back, relax, and warm your hands around a mug of hot apple cider or hot chocolate. Fall is here.

1.Edit the House. The time is now to edit your home before the holidays. The holidays can mean an even more cluttered home, extra people coming to visit, and often more gifts to fill your space. To make quicker work of collecting all of the unnecessary items in your home, consider what you use every day, every week, and never use. Take the time to organize what works best for you and get rid of the rest. Instead of just chucking in the landfill, consider selling items or sourcing companies that take second-hand clothing, toys, etc.

Dead limbs are more likely to fall during hurricane season, and heavy storms, making them a potential safety hazard. Have an arborist inspect and trim large trees. Remember, Florida's hurricane season lasts until the end of November. Avoiding potentially catastrophic damage to your home from a massive limb falling is always a smart plan. Check with your Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Agent for who they would recommend for the job. We have a great network of professional experts in every field related to the home.

3. If you haven't already, clean gutters, downspouts, & the roof. Wait until most of the leaves have fallen to schedule a rain gutter cleaning. Inspect gutters and downspouts for cracks and loose parts and make repairs as needed. Don't forget your roof, either. Remove any debris and make sure there aren't any exposed areas. If you do find something, determine whether you can make a minor patch or if you need a professional to assess damage and make the repairs. You don't want water damage to occur because you have neglected your roof.


4.Neaten up the mudroom. The back-to-school (and work) flurry can leave the mudroom looking as if a hurricane hit it. Take some time to regain sanity — sort through papers and put away stray summer items and extra coats. Clean the floors and invest in a new doormat if needed. Keep a recycling basket near the entrance to make sorting mail and school papers easier, and dedicate a tote or bin for items that need to be returned (like library books).

5.Keep seasonal decorating low-key with natural finds. Pumpkins and gourds, fresh heirloom apples, quinces, pomegranates, figs, and fall foliage all make for wonderfully simple decor. Bring in cut branches from your yard, stop by a pick-your-own farm or scoop up fall's bounty at a farm stand. If you're selling your home, make sure these elements are subtle and minimal. A million pumpkins and gourds in your listing photos can date your home if your home is still on the market in December.

6.Maintain your wood stove or fireplace. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, it's essential for safety that you have it serviced before lighting the first fire of the season. If you haven't done so already, schedule an appointment to have your chimney inspected and, if necessary, cleaned. See if you can combine a chimney sweep with any other services. Several companies and handymen will combine services with power washing or dryer vent cleaning as long as the technicians are certified in all areas. Why not save some hassle of multiple vendors and money by finding a company that can tick off several of your October checklist items during one appointment?

7.Check safety devices. Since October is also fire safety month, it is a great time to test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house and replace batteries as needed. Check the expiration date on the kitchen fire extinguisher and replace it if needed. Some local fire departments can inspect and service fire extinguishers. Call your local station to see if they charge or offer this service for FREE. Additionally, check the fire safety plan you have set up and review it with your family members.


8. Start a gift list. It may seem like the holidays are a long way off — but that's why it pays to start getting organized now. Start a list of everyone you plan to give gifts to this year. Then, as ideas strike, jot them down on your list. You can also use your list to keep track of a holiday gifting budget. And if you want to make any gifts by hand, October is a great time to get started — handmade gifts always seem to take longer to make than expected.


9. Cover or store outdoor furniture and grills. Florida's mild fall and winter means outdoor grilling and gatherings are commonplace. If you plan to leave your patio furniture or grill outside through the fall and winter, inspect their covers well and stow them beneath an overhang that will protect them from rain. Even though we live in Florida, covering your grill between uses is a good idea to protect the finish.

10. Change your filters. Go through the home and change all of the filters, including water and AC. It's a great time to do so after our sweltering summers put the AC units to the test. There are companies that can do this for you and also check the heating and cooling elements for a fee. It is a great time to have things checked in case your AC unit needs repairs or to be replaced. You'll either be able to have it repaired or now have time to budget to get the AC replaced well before the sweltering temperatures return. Don't forget your dryer filter or dryer vent, either. Dryer vents left unchecked can and do cause fires that homeowners can easily avoid with proper maintenance.

Ticking these items off your list is a must if you live in Florida, but especially if you are in the midst of or considering selling your home. Any home will eventually sell, but if a seller wants to maximize their profits from the investment in their home, they must maintain it properly. Even small things can have a larger negative impact on the buyer. When a buyer notices a minor problem, they immediately ask themselves, "What else have they not taken care of?" Usually, buyers will want more of a discount on the price of the house than what it would cost to take care of the issue. Not every home has to be in perfect condition to sell for top dollar, but it certainly does help. In addition to making sure you maintain your home this October, you MUST do these four things if you are selling or thinking of selling your home.

1. Do Trust Your Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Agent


If you don't trust your agent it creates an interesting dilemma. A homeowner who hires a real estate agent to assist with the sale of their home has already decided that the agent is an expert in their field. Sellers can hurt their sale by not considering the advice of their agent when it comes to pricing strategy, staging, and marketing. The great thing about Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Agents is they are experts and have access to the latest market statistics and an entire marketing department at their disposal.

2. Listen to Your Coldwell Banker Vanguard Agents List Price

Many home sellers can hurt their sale by insisting on overpricing their home because they have to sell it for a certain amount. The key thing to remember here is that the price a seller wants to sell their home will not determine its value for a buyer or for the ultimate judge of the value of a home, the appraiser. Many home sellers have asked to list the home at a higher price just for a short time to test the market. This is not a good strategy because a listing typically gets more interest from the market in the first three to four weeks. If the home is overpriced, most buyers will skip over it in favor of more realistically priced options. Reach out to your Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Agent for a no-cost market analysis of your home to see where you fit in this changing market.

3. Think Like a Buyer Sellers must think like buyers in order to be successful at selling their home. A buyer will compare all of the homes that are in their price range, the location they want, in the condition they want, and have the features they want. A seller's home has to become the most attractive option to the buyer; if it is, the seller will receive an offer. The first impression your home makes is online. Ask your Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Agent how they are able to ensure all of their listings make the best first impression to secure offers.

4. Leave the Showings to the Experts Sellers can hurt their sale by insisting on being at all the showings, and they don't even realize it. Sometimes their agent may be too polite to tell them to leave their own home, or the seller may think no one could possibly know their home better than they do. This can cause so many problems that it should be an article by itself. A seller doing this can negatively affect their negotiating power, keeps their agent out of the communication loop, and could open them up for legal liability. The best option is to let the experts do what they do best. At the end of the day, this goes back to trust when you choose a Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Agent. You can be confident that they have everything under control. This will allow you to enjoy the selling process a bit more and allow them to take care of every detail from listing to closing without worry. So, after you have completed your October checklist, or before, reach out to your Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Agent so you can sit back and relax, enjoying the lazy fall days as they sell your home. Photography provided by the following in order of appearance. Evan Leith(A), Paige Cody(B), Samira Rahi(C), MK(D), Erica Marsland(E), and Arthouse Studio(F).






The following is a guest post by KRISTINA SMITH on Blue Matter, the Coldwell Banker Blog. Edited by CHELSEA CORNELIUS.

Whether on television, at an open house, or on the pages of a magazine, we’ve all seen stunningly outfitted estates that deliver a true wow factor – and listing price – that properties without staging just cannot match. Buyers quickly fall in love with homes that have a strong character while wordlessly conveying the lifestyle they would enjoy if they lived there. Before listing your property, consider that proper staging is one of the most important factors in enhancing your home’s appeal and most flattering features. B

First Things First In order to entice potential buyers, you must think outside the box – but to start, examine what needs to be done to get your home in showplace shape. Check under older carpets for lovely hardwood, survey the ceiling for cracks or leaks to seal, consider having the pool or tennis court resurfaced, and focus on boosting your curb appeal. Once your home is a clean slate, you are ready to begin.

Neutral Rules When using achromatic tones on painted walls and furniture, ensure that the staging pieces do not distract from the form of the home. When staging for luxury, color psychology can signal buyers that they’re working with a discerning seller who has elevated the home to its full, indulgent potential. In the world of interior design, fashion, and luxury vehicles, neutral colors have always made a recognizable statement of power, sophistication, and confidence. Once you’re prepared to stage your home, you’ll want to highlight those qualities with the crème de la crème of design – blacks, grays, and whites. While buyers will always notice houses with splashy displays, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will find them appropriate for their tastes. Staging experts often use furniture, rugs, and paint in neutral hues (also consider beige and pale, cool colors) to help buyers overlay their own creations onto the scene and more easily discover the home could be the perfect fit.

Character Is King Often, a seamless introduction to the home involves pairing décor with architectural personality. Envision how Old-World pillars and stonework are beautifully complemented by gold-framed art and Turkish rugs, and contemporary interiors effortlessly show off leather, wool, or velvet furnishings and unique accents as statement pieces. When hiring an interior designer to get the job done, seek out a professional with not only expertise but also an imaginative mindset. Now to address spatial issues. For smaller sitting rooms, offices, or charming nooks, instead of cluttering the area to make it appear as if much can be done with the layout, ensure that each piece has room to breathe and directs attention to the space itself. On the other hand, if you have a cavernous room, think about creative ways to section it off and separate it into more manageable areas with rugs or furniture in unique arrangements.



Attractive Accents While a visually busy room is an easily avoided faux pas, keep in mind that going completely neutral is not the answer either. In order to strike that oh-so-delicate balance between sensible furnishings and handsome décor, decorate with stylish accents that lend a perfect finish to any lifestyle. Any artwork should be minimal and tasteful, so buyers can picture how they will customize the space, and personal items like family pictures or sports memorabilia should be stored. When a buyer enters your front door and explores the home room by room, they’ll be thinking about how they will personalize it with their own touches and how much of a transformation might be needed to get it suited for them. With beautiful furnishings in place and just the right level of flair, they won’t have to work very hard to visualize their new life – and that gets them one step closer to making your house their new home. Photography provided by the following in order of appearance. Alona Gross(A), Sand Atkinson(B), Jake Goossen(C), and Sidekix Media(D).


Market Update August 2022


$358,740 AUGUST 2021


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

“Moving into fall 2022 we continue to see the residential real estate market, which includes single-family homes, condos, and townhomes, continue to moderate and normalize,” said NEFAR 2022 President Mark Rosener in NEFAR's latest press release. “While still an 18% increase year over year, the median price in our sixcounty market has shown mild fluctuations month to month of between $350,000 and $365,000 since March. This indicates that the dramatic increases that were seen during the pandemic are coming to an end." he said.

What does this mean for BUYERS?

Contact your Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Agent to find out who the experts are you need to talk to and for help finding out what you need to get into your next home. They can also let you know what programs you might qualify for to ease the burden of higher interest rates and soaring home prices.

What does this mean for SELLERS?

Although markets are shifting, inventory is still low and it will continue to be a sellers market for some time. Using a quality agent you can trust is imperative to the successful sale of your home. Your Coldwell Banker Vanguard Agent handles the selling process and protects their customers, bringing you the best offers that ensure the sale goes through with due diligence and care.

Northeast Florida's real estate market is ever-changing, just as the leaves fall every year. Our Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Agents have been busy sewing seeds in both real estate and with nonprofits within our communities. Building and nurturing those relationships throughout the year creates bountiful harvests for both the customers they serve and their communities, too. The Ponte Vedra-Beaches Office visited the New Dawn Ministry in downtown Jacksonville to see the many ways they serve the homeless by providing food, clothing, and assistance to gain lost documents needed in order to gain employment, etc. In addition, of late, it's appeal time, and the office has been focusing on gaining CBV Cares Pledges and donations from their Realtors to help in the offices continued support of area nonprofits. A special thanks in particular to large donations from Realtors Gerry Williamson and Jeanie Leapley, who each pledged $500 in support of Beaches CBV Cares! The Ponte Vedra-Beaches Office also received pledges and donations from many others and recognizes they are not able to continue their support of the area's homeless and other nonprofit efforts without their valued donations. The Ponte Vedra-Beaches is also planning their upcoming events—WARM CLOTHING DRIVE, an event that benefits the homeless beginning in October at their Sales Meeting through their traditional THANKS IN GIVING celebratory Thanksgiving dinner in November at the Ponte Vedra-Beaches Office. In December, they are also planning to participate in NEFARS's HUNGER PACK AT UNF to help feed needy families of NE Florida and support Mission House's 25TH ANNIVERSARY-SILVER BELLS-fundraising Gala to be held at the Glass Factory. The Fleming Island / Oakleaf Offices gave grants this month to nonprofits throughout their community that totaled $6,000. One of those donations went to Fund2Play, Inc. Fund2Play is an organization that donates funds to deserving families for youth sports expenses. This allows qualifying kids all over Jacksonville the opportunity to experience all the benefits that youth athletics provides, including comradery, life lessons, a sense of commitment, responsibility, and teamwork. A check presentation was made to Fund2Play at the office's quarterly BINGO fundraiser. BINGO is coming up at Eagle Landing on October 4th, and a POKER TOURNAMENT is also taking place on October 13th. All net proceeds will benefit CBV Cares. For more information about getting in on the October fun contact your Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Agent. The Mandarin Office is hosting their 3rd LEFT, RIGHT, CENTER GAME NIGHT this month to raise funds for CBV Cares. They also just approved a donation of $1,000 for the With Love Charity, who will be using our donation to make Golden Hero Boxes which will be distributed to children with cancer.


The St. Johns Office donated $600 to the St. Johns Council on Aging for their upcoming MOBILITY WEEK event. The St. Johns Council on Aging helps improve the lives of seniors and their caregivers. The funds the St. Johns Office provided will help purchase two rollators with seats and an adult bicycle. They also donated $750 to St. Johns Tech High School PTO. Their BACK TO SCHOOL event ensures that enrolled students in need receive a free backpack, school supplies, and more to help families offset the cost of preparing to return to school. To nominate a favorite charity or organization that is near and dear to your heart, contact your CBV agent for more information.

SP O O KY Fun Activities

Whether you and your family love getting dressed up in matching costumes or not, here are a few fun activities around Northeast Florida for you to add to your calendar this year.

The following is a post by Chelsea Cornelius


35th Annual Spooktacular The Jacksonville Zoo turns into one of the most enchanting places in Northeast Florida during the month of October for a night of fun and chills for the whole family. Families are encouraged to dress in costume and explore all of the mythical creatures, yummy treats, and decorated paths. October 14-16, 20-23, and 27-31 from 5:30PM -9:30PM.

Northeast Florida Fair

Join in on the fall fun between October 8th through 23rd with rides, animals, contests, games, and so much more. Head to the Nassau County Fairgrounds in Callahan, Florida.


Annual Halloween CARnival

Drop in or drive up in your golf-cart and join in on the fun at this “drive-thru” Halloween CARnival. This FREE event at Baptist HeathPlace at Nocatee includes treats, giveaways, themed stations, photo ops, and Halloween music. The CARnival takes about 15 minutes for you to venture through and there will also be costume and golf cart contest competitions. Winners will be announced on October 31st and prizes can be picked up at Baptist HealthPlace at Nocatee.

Trick or Treat on the Avenue October 28th from 4PM to 6PM enjoy some spooky fun in Historic Avondale. This family event will feature costume contests, haunted houses, and Trick or Treating too! Photography provided by the following in order of appearance. Connor Baker(A), and Jeremy McKnight(B).

Closing Bear is a fast-paced title company that offers title insurance and closings for anyone buying or selling real estate. Simply put, Closing Bear does all the paperwork when someone buys or sells property...but they do it better than anyone else.

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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