Thursday, January 26, 2017

Adding 500 jobs to Jacksonville

Formativ Health is adding 500 jobs to Jacksonville.  Formativ, a management services company focuses on Practice Management and end to end Revenue Cycle by integrating technology-enabled Patient access, Revenue Cycle management, Practice Operations and Advisory Services with the goal of allowing providers more time and focus on patient care.

The company plans to begin hiring immediately so they are both trained and prepared for an April launch.

JAX Chamber was given much credit in helping to attract the management in choosing Jacksonville as the company's destination. The Chamber worked very hard to close the deal and the CEO was convinced.  The CEO also highly credits the city's enthusiasm and noted what a positive environment he found when visiting the Jacksonville area.  

We wish Formativ a warm welcome!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Few Facts That Have Contributed to Jacksonville's North side Increasing Economic Development

Jacksonville's North side has seen it's share of ups and downs during the past few decades.  The area has struggled with higher than normal unemployment, higher crime rates and stagnate property values, just to name a few of the reasons why this section of the city has remained dormant.

Little by little, the area has witnessed pockets of sizable growth, while still facing many of these uphill challenges.  In the late 80's(1989), the Dames Point Bridge was completed, connecting Arlington to the North side and making it much easier for residents on both sides of the St Johns River to commute and connect.

JaxPort continued in it's development and now is one of the busiest ports on the eastern sea board.  Over 65,000 employees are impacted from the business derived from the cargo and business that comes through JaxPort each year.

Downtown Jacksonville  

The Jacksonville International Airport is also located in Jacksonville's North side.  The airport has also expanded extensively over the years.  As a result, the North side has strategically evolved a hub for maritime, air and ground shipping that is now making it a very desirable areas for major companies to consider when relocating to the southeast or gateway to Florida.

Most Recently (after 7 years of discussions and negotiations), Amazon decided to choose a prime location in the emerging section of Jacksonville's North side, very close to Pecan Park Rd.  Amazon will employ around 1,500 employees with both full time salaried employees and competitive hourly wage positions.  Something the North side has needed for decades.  

Shortly after the purchase and benefits of choosing the North side location, Amazon once again chose Jacksonville to add a second fulfillment center which should add an additional 1,200 jobs to the area.  The 2 separate facilities will create close to 2,700 jobs n the Jacksonville area and is considered to be one of the largest single employers to create such expansive growth in our city.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Jacksonville Plans to Update it's Promotional Strategy to Attract Increased Tourism and Interest in JAX

As The Greater Jacksonville area and The beaches have enjoyed continued growth and national attention, the city is exploring new ways to update the growing trend of  the Jacksonville and Beach communities to thrive with increased tourism and the growth in our city.  During the past several years, Jacksonville has enjoyed admired growth in population, tourism and business.  With that, it is the city's role to stay ahead of the curve and continue to promote the vast and diverse amenities that make this area a great place to both visit and live.  The Visitors and Convention Bureau.

                                                  Breathtaking areal view of Jacksonville

In my opinion, Jacksonville's Visitors campaign needs to catch up with the sheer growth that it has found itself in.  In addition, to updating their planning for continued visitors and conventions, Jacksonville has just recently been ranked as one of the top 3 cites to live in the US in 2017.     (Forbes)  These were the findings of Forbes, Trulia and Zillow.

Of course, their are a vast list of reasons as to why Jacksonville finally hit the map as a top US destination, just as Jacksonville as an equally vast list of amenities and diversity for all who spend time here and realize just how much that anyone can find when exploring the Greater Jacksonville and Beaches communities.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Jacksonville's growing Town Center area

As the St. Johns Town Center continues it's rapid expansion, another 45 acres of the central area has now been designated for additional apartments, commercial development and retail space.

With out a doubt, developers and interests in this section of Jacksonville has created a significant draw to the area for both business, entertainment and residential communities.

The development has planned to create 400 new residential units on close to 20 acres of the site and may develop an additional 400 units(based on demand), or add commercial/retail sites for residents living in The Hanover Town Center.  The Jacksonville Planning committee will be meeting next week to review plans for the future of this next big phase of The Town Center  area.

The Hanover Co.  is based in Houston TX and is well known for developing and managing multifamily properties.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Revival of Jacksonville's Greater Arlington Area- Regency Square Mall

In almost every corner of neighborhoods throughout the country, we all have witnessed to some degree, a rebound or "revival"  of what once was a great area that slowly deteriorated and found it's way back.  Of course, as a witness to many neighborhoods and areas that have become sought after areas, many challenges and opportunities are clearly observed during the transition process.  

I personally have seen the optimism and those who are considered winners or losers as a once blighted or challenged area evolves and develops.  During the past few years Arlington(a large swath of the Greater Jacksonville area has seen it's share of up's and downs).  Given the sheer size of
Arlington, I do not suggest that my comments reflect the entire designated area, but many will agree that a large section has experienced problems including increased crime, stagnate property values, and commercial businesses who have bypassed the area for newer and more sought after sections of the city.

One example is the Regency Square Mall area.  In the 60's thru early 80's, this area represented a major draw of shoppers, employment, residential housing and entertainment.  Many middle class families lived in nearby sections of Arlington, where homes were plentiful and was considered a well respected section of Arlington.  By the late 70's, the area appeared to be in decline.  The following years and decades continued to show that the area was in decline and many businesses and homeowners left the area for newer sections that were expanding and offering newer and safer communities to live and work.  the suburban sprawl was in full force and as a result, both businesses and residents were leaving the area.

THE REVIVAL..........

As Jacksonville has evolved and is now ranked as one of the top cities by Zillow for both affordable and quality living,  investors are quickly moving to identify areas within the Greater Jacksonville area and the Beaches.  Investments that will most likely add to the value and shift many borderline, or once blighted areas are now becoming sought sections of this city.  

Regency Square Mall is a perfect example of a central key investment at the very core of the Arlington area that will have profound changes.  In the 70's, residents from every area of Jacksonville knew this to be the very center of the city.  Today, thanks to investors with deep pockets, it represents yet another shift in where real estate investments are being made and the impact they will provide to both Arlington and Jacksonville.  Single family homes in the nearby area are also increasing in value.  both investors and home buyers are returning to the area.

In summary, as it has been stated in previous articles about the area "the rise and fall" of  Regency Square Mall. In my opinion,  a great deal of investment is now pouring into the area and while it may not be an overnight (short term) success, I am hard pressed to deny that this is an excellent area for medium to long term investment and growth.

"Wind Tree" Clean energy from France

Great concept !

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Forbes: Jacksonville #2 city Americans moving to

 Click on the picture to see the video from First Coast News Jacksonville Florida
                                     Click above to watch the video from First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-  Forbes magazine says Jacksonville is the #2 city in America that people are moving to. The magazine cites low unemployment (4.4%) and a low cost of housing as the primary reason people are choosing to move to this area. The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce boasted about the ranking on their Facebook page.

Monday, January 2, 2017

17 Critical Thoughts Concerning Real Estate for 2017


1.  "Price it right...sell it fast!"  Overpricing often leads to much angst for all parties. This can be avoided, if a property is priced to sell.

2.  "Do your homework"  Know your property's value. so that you have an objective number in mind. It's okay to challenge that value with a potential broker/agent. A well informed seller are often the best sellers to work with.

3. "Declutter the interior" Home Staging- Whether or not you decide to stage your home is your decision. you need to create an inviting curb appeal.  Walk through the property as if you were the buyer. Keep what works and store, or remove the rest.

 Staging 101 with "The Staggers" from HGTV

4. "Let it Go" While it can be difficult for sellers, try to detach, as much as possible, your emotional connection to the property. Try to view it from the eyes of the buyer. The Broker/Agent can convey the personal history, and add the nuances that ultimately add value to the property. A skilled agent will ask for this insight as a selling tool, and share it when appropriate. This concept is often referred to "Story Telling".  Every seller/buyer is different. It is our job to highlight your property in the best way to the most suitable buyer.

 The Psychology of Buying and Selling Real Estate

5. "Collaborate" with your agent and strongly consider his/her suggestions. Our goal is to optimize each showing. Leveraging our knowledge with every buyer, as it pertains to the features and benefits of your property are critical in making a lasting impression, and getting a reasonable offer.

6. "Cyber Security"- In today's world of internet hacking and fraud, making sure that all funds "both buyer and seller" are secure is critical. When working with a broker/agent, make sure to ask about the relationship they have with the closing attorney or title company. Has there been a problem or issue with funds transfer in the  past? If so has it been corrected?  Many firms are now updating software to make sure that funds are not diverted, and the loss of funds will not occur.  Unfortunately, in today's world this occurs, and unknowingly the transfer never makes it to the account of the closing office. Fortunately, reliable closing professionals now recognize this issue and are taking measure to ensure the safe transfer of funds. Make sure that your closing office have those measures in place.

 Cyber attacks on Real Estate Professionals, What’s Next?


7. "Do your research!"  Create your own checklist of what you are looking for.  Your agent should provide value added insight during your search, but with the depth knowledge that you have available on the internet, get a head start.  This extra work on your part may open new ideas and properties that you may have never considered.

8. "That is our job" Remember that you should be working with an agent that understands your wants, needs and nuances.  If you feel that they are trying to push product to close a sale...find another agent that understands who you are and what you are looking for.  

9. "Know your price range" before you begin making that initial search.  Most sellers now require some of pre qualifying/approval prior to taking an offer very seriously (if at all).  This is so important for all parties involved. The purchasing process can be daunting, and having the assurance that a buyer is pre approved, or qualified can be a great asset.

10. "Do your pre financing homework"  Just because a lender advertises a very low rate, does not mean that it is the best option for you.  Many variables are attached in the form of fees and add on's that can affect the bottom line.  Make sure that you work with someone someone who understands your situation and knows which loan options make the most sense for you.

11. "Get your property inspected" Make sure to have property inspections included in your offer.  With new homes, this may not be a big issue, as they often a offer warranties, but some builders have been called out on shoddy construction. I never hear of buyers complaining about the benefits of home/property inspections. This is even more critical with older homes. Sellers may not be aware of forthcoming problems, or worse yet, covered them up.  Again, in my opinion, always get your property inspected by a qualified home inspector.  Most lenders will require this, but some cash buyers purchasing "as is" need to adhere to this option as well.

12. "Settlement" - Once the closing has occurred, you should have an agreement for the move in/out already in place.  I have found that it is most helpful to have the agents involved post closing to make sure that neither party is left to fend for themselves just in case of an unexpected delay or confusion in communications. It happens!  There is nothing worse than having representation and feeling that your trusted agent just took their commission and ran post closing.  Sometimes, the smallest changes can create unnecessary friction between a buyer and seller.  When either cannot reach their respective agents, many times something so insignificant can be overblown.

Additional THOUGHTS

13. "Think before you sink" While real estate has historically moved at a slower pace, both in purchase and selling, as well as value changes, the past decade has certainly been a game changer with many winners and losers during this time period.  My suggestion, "Think before you sink". As markets continue to change (in many cases at a faster pace), in most situations, rushing can work against you.  Their are many variables that may require a fast decision such as an auction, fix and flip and distress related sales.  As most of us realize, markets are local in nature and typical home sales are rarely overnight.  Not to say it doesn't happen (especially in hot markets), but most buyers and seller should have time to think things through.  After all, this is usually one of the biggest investments that you will make.

14. "Location, Location, Location" -  I have heard that phrase my entire real estate career and while the definition may have expanded, the concept is key.  Whether you are seeking a home in an "up and coming neighborhood", moving to a city/area that has been defined as a high growth area, seeking properties in prime locations, or finding that one deal in an otherwise much better neighborhood.  The "location" theory continues to play a key role in many real estate transaction.  Think about what and where is important for you.  Have your realtor research value shifts, and that might impact your decision making. Whether you are buying or selling, location will come up during the sales conversation.

15. "Owning vs.Renting" - Years ago, the goal was always home ownership.  That equation has changed for many.  This is due to  multiple factors  including: affordability, mobility, flexibility, etc.  For the most part, buyers and sellers know when it is time either by choice, or other issues that determine whether or not to buy or rent. Whether you are moving up, downsizing, moving across the country or just experiencing a new area in your journey, today,  buying and renting can provide options for both the short and long term.  My personal philosophy is "you will know when it is right".  They both offer very different benefits.  It really is important to consider the options and benefits when making a purchasing or decision to sell.

16. "Real Estate Investing" -  Real estate investing can prove to be a very rewarding experience for so many.  At the same time, it's not for everyone.  For investors, building a portfolio that they can fall back on later in life, or simply buying, holding and flipping in a few short years can yield great returns.  As you think about your investment portfolio, or are considering real estate investing for the first time, like every investment, do your homework, and understand what you are getting into. It can be an excellent strategy if you enjoy real estate as an investment alternative.

17. "Happy Real Estate Buying and Selling for 2017!" My goal was to provide all parties with a list of suggestions for 2017.  This by no means covers the full menu of options, responsibilities, decision making or legal aspects in the buying or selling real estate.  I only hope it provides some insight as you move onto the new year and real estate decisions are a part of your new years objectives.  I hope you have a healthy and prosperous 2017 💰🔑💲🏡🚚🎈😄.