Jacksonville Real Estate Blog

Refinancing refresher By: Alan Aptheker   It’s been a while since the Federal Reserve unveiled its mortgage refinancing website, “A Consumer’s Guide to Mortgage Refinancing.”  It hasn’t advertised it lately.  Not pointing fingers here, but there’s probably no great clamor from the banks (i.e., the FDIC’s customers) to remind borrowers just how much lower the rates have fallen since 2008. It’s a great resource that has answers to frequently asked questions about the refinancing process. You can determine when refinancing makes sense, what a refinancing will cost, and whether to switch into a different type of mortgage: federalreserve.gov/pubs/refinancings/default.htm
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First Watch Mandarin Jacksonville

By: Alan Aptheker

When I’m in Orlando for more than a day, there are two places I must go to eat: First Watch and Toojay’s, (more about Toojay’s later. I’m heavily lobbying for one in Jax but have had no success). We have a burning need for decent breakfast places in San Jose and Mandarin. The only First Watch I’d ever encountered was in Orlando, and I could swear it was locally owned and operated. It had that familiar, welcoming feel from the waitstaff. The quality of breakfast and brunch food could give the Metro Diner a run for it’s money -- it’s that good. And even though folks from far and near (including me) will still frequent the Metro in San Marco,  it’s great to have the bar for quality breakfast food raised in Mandarin. I wish I’d known

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  Yes, Jacksonville is at the low end with respect to best performing housing markets. Here’s the lemonade: Because Jacksonville’s rank is low, we’re ranked #8 on the top 10 list of cities in the US where it’s cheaper to buy than rent.   Trulia reports it’s cheaper to buy than rent in 74 percent of 50 major U.S. cities, including Jacksonville. Trulia’s price-to-rent ratio uses the median listing price divided by annualized median rent. Ratios 15 and under mean that it’s less expensive to buy than rent. Jacksonville’s  buy/rent ratio: 8. Ratios that are 20 or higher means that renting is a bargain in that city.    Top Ten Places in the US where it’s cheaper to buy than rent, in order of low to high buy/rent ratio: Las Vegas (6) , Detroit…
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Jacksonville on Top Ten lists

We saw the housing report. We beat out Detroit as the worst housing market now, but there’s good reason to believe we’ll find the bottom soon. But if you’re going to talk about being the worst, we should talk about what we do best. Here’s where we showed up in the some formidable top ten lists:  view list after the break...

  • Jacksonville was named the nation’s third least expensive city to launch a corporate headquarters (BizCosts.com - 2011) 
  • Florida’s public school system ranks among the top 5 in the nation (Education Week – 2011)
  • Jacksonville ranked No. 3 on the list of “Best Cities to Work” (Careerbliss.com - 2011)
  • Jacksonville ranked ninth best U.S. Shopping City (Forbes – 2010)
  • Jacksonville is ranked No. 1 on
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Seasons 52 Jacksonville FL

With the Opening of Seasons 52 at the St. John's Town Center, Jacksonville joins Orlando and 19 other large metro areas where Darden Restaurants operates all of it's six brands: Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and LongHorn Steakhouse.  Operating under it's Specialty Restaurant banner are the Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52.  Seasons 52 will open this fall, and in addition to it's seasonally rotated menu (hence the name), it's one of the few Darden properties that is "specialty-marketed" as a true venue for social and business events.

You may not know the name, but you know their brands. Darden is headquartered in Orlando, and lays claim to being the world's largest full-service restaurant company. It's history dates back to 1938, when

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