St. Augustine is a special little town known for its Spanish architecture, history, shopping and outstanding restaurants. Davidson Realty’s Graphic Designer Matt Burkhart and I recently took a trip to the oldest city in search of the best happy hour spots in town. Luckily for us, the locals were happy to point us to the three best places to stop and wet your whistle during the day!

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Sep
 
21
 

New construction is booming throughout Northeast Florida and has left buyers with an important decision to make: buy a new home or a previously owned home. We recently sat down with Bank of England Production Manager Troy Silhan for tips to help homebuyers understand the differences in the buying process and how to avoid issues.

According to Troy, the buying process is essentially the same from pre-approval through closing, but there are a few distinctions. His advice is to follow a few simple guidelines: determine your priorities early, utilize a Realtor’s expertise and thoroughly understand the contract.

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Jun
 
22
 

In this day and age it is easy to manage nearly every aspect of life on our own. However, home sellers are finding many more cons than pros emerge when they consider selling their own home. Back in 2005, 13% of sellers sold their home as a FBSO (For Sale By Owner). Fast forward 10 years and FSBO homes accounted for just 8% of home sales in 2015 (source: National Association of Realtors).

Sherry Davidson, President of Davidson Realty, helped shed light on why this is the case. “Sellers are realizing the drawbacks outweigh the advantages when they list a FSBO,” said Sherry. “In general, we are seeing FSBO homes stay on the market longer and end up selling for less than homes sold with the assistance of an agent who knows the market, appropriate pricing and property marketing techniques.”

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Attention neighborhood Realtors! Davidson Realty is hosting a Realtor training on Thursday, June 23rd from 4 to 5:30 pm to help agents better understand TRID (TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule). The presentation will take place at Davidson’s World Golf Village office, located at 100 East Town Place, St. Augustine 32092, and focus on crucial changes affecting Realtors and their customers.

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May
 
31
 

If you’ve ever applied for a mortgage, you undoubtedly asked a lot of questions. Troy Silhan knows all too well that answering borrower questions is vital to an open, productive lending process. And as Bank of England Mortgage Production Manager and Davidson Realty’s resident mortgage expert, he has the answers.

“Because of ever changing lending regulations, market adjustments and so on, it’s not uncommon for borrowers to have a long list of questions – even those who have purchased several homes,” said Troy. “This is a big investment, so it is important to understand each step throughout.”

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If your mom is anything like mine, you find it very hard to pick the perfect gift to show just how much you appreciate and love the woman who gave you life! You could go the easy route and stick with something you know she’ll love like spa services, an upscale restaurant gift certificate, a handwritten note, something made by the grandkids or maybe switch it up this year! Believe it or not there is still time…

Gift Ideas:

Shop local! What about a custom frame to go with the new photo of the grandkids (or in my case granddogs)? Check out MFrames on Etsy. MFrames are custom, handmade picture frames and home goods that are affordable, unique and thoughtful. You can even have them engraved! Skip the shipping and pop over to the shop to pick your frame up before Sunday.

TPC tickets! Even if your mom isn’t the biggest fan of golf, THE PLAYERS Championship is a must-see social event. The tournament runs from May 10 – May 15 and all different types of tickets are available from Stadium Passes (with access to more than 19 on-site public venues, local food and beverages, rope-side access to your favorite players and much more) to Family Plans and The Blue Room Passes.

Events:

Take advantage of everything going on in World Golf Village and St. Augustine on Sunday and spend the day with mom!

Mother’s Day Buffet at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort – Get the family together between 11 am and 3 pm. Check out Renaissance’s Facebook Page for the brunch menu. RSVP at (904) 940-8696.

Mother’s Day Brunch at the King & Bear Clubhouse – Reservations required! Members pay $29.95 and non-members pay $34.95 with kids under 12 at $14.95 each (kids 5 and under are free). Contact Ursula Howard at (904) 940-6207 for menu details and to reserve your seats!

Special Mother’s Day Champagne Carriage Ride for Two – The Tasting Tours is offering a very special 3-hour Mother’s Day food and wine tasting extravaganza via horse-drawn carriage on May 7th and May 8th (including champagne and flowers)! The tour is $139 per person and includes VIP boarding, champagne, fresh flowers, 3 hours of food and wine, 4 to 5 food and/or wine tasting venues, wine to enjoy on the carriage and a guided tour of historic St. Augustine.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

 
 
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Apr
 
26
 

I recently caught up with Troy Silhan, Production Manager and resident mortgage expert for Bank of England. He works with many local homeowners and was happy to provide major tips on what NOT to do before and during the loan process. The obvious list of problems to avoid includes pay your bills on time, save for a down payment, and so on. Here are some tips you might not have thought of:

1. DON’T change your name.
Regardless of the occasion (marriage or divorce), make sure not to change your surname when applying for a mortgage. As Troy says, “If you applied for a mortgage as Ms. Jones, then became Mrs. Smith, there is additional paperwork and things to do to make sure you are, in fact, one in the same person.” Your loan officer can let you know when you’re cleared to make the change!

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Almost 10 years ago, the U.S. housing market turned downward and many Americans lost their homes to foreclosure. As a result, these families moved to rental homes, apartments and condos, waiting for the right time to buy again.

Now that the market has recovered, “boomerang buyers” as they’re called, are returning to the market ready to jump back in. However, many others still don’t know if they’re financially ready.

Bank of England Production Manager Troy Silhan recently explained how boomerang buyers can know when they’re ready, as well as what they can expect in this new market.

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Mar
 
14
 

It’s almost time to throw on your “Kiss me I’m Irish” t-shirt and find your nearest watering hole to enjoy a green pint! St. Patrick’s Day is this Thursday and what better way to celebrate than with some festive treats even the most inexperienced cook could whip up in the kitchen. I think we can all agree when I say thank God for Pinterest!

To start, I found some great green treats to share with co-workers in the office or to make with your kiddos. Check out the easy six-step, 10-minute recipe for St Patrick’s Day Muddy Buddies (a fun Irish twist on trail mix). And, while you are whipping up the Muddy Buddies, enjoy some Shamrock Punch! The only ingredients needed are a carton of Lime Sherbert and a 2 liter of Gingerale. Another great holiday snack to try is Lucky Leprechaun Treats. Lucky Leprechaun Treats are green rice crispy treats with lucky charms mixed in! Delicious!

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The Holiday of Love is right around the corner and you probably aren’t any closer to figuring out the perfect way to “woo” your significant other. It’s tough coming up with new ideas every year. Mashable says the seven most popular Valentine’s Day gifts in the US are greeting cards, candy, flowers, an evening out, jewelry, clothing and gift cards. I guarantee you she doesn’t want a box of chocolates or a teddy bear that says “I love you” and he doesn’t want a tie. Let’s think outside of the box!

Groupon: Honestly Groupon has some GREAT deals/packages going on for Valentine’s Day. Search Valentine’s Day Jacksonville or St. Augustine and you will come across spa packages, Cigar Samplers, more than 50% off diamond stud earrings, discounted getaways, nights out and more! You can even have delicious Omaha steaks delivered to cook her/him a romantic meal.

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