Tag: Florida

Parade of Homes Begins Saturday

If you are considering building a new home or enjoy visiting builder models to get fresh ideas on decorating and technology, then get out your walking shoes. The Northeast Florida Builders Association Parade of Homes starts Saturday, April 22.

This annual event has been a tradition since 1954. Today, it spans four counties including St. Johns, Duval, Clay and Nassau. There are 105 models in 75 neighborhoods and thousands of dollars in prizes.

It’s a free event that thousands of people attend. Enter to win a grand prize of a $5,000 outdoor kitchen at any of the models.

The winners of the builder awards are announced in May.

For more information on the Parade of Homes, visit either of these websites or pick up a copy of the Parade of Homes Magazine at area Gate gas stations.






The event ends April 30.

Twin Creeks to feature man-made lagoon


Twin Creeks visual.

It might be miles from the ocean, but a new man-made “crystal blue” lagoon will be called the “Beach Walk” at Twin Creeks Development.

Twin Creeks is a new master-planned development in St. Johns County that will have up to 3,000 houses. It’s on County Road 210 east of Interstate 95. It also will have retail, commercial, office and industrial space.

The lagoon is a highlight of the development in Florida, where homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for water views and water access.

Crystal Lagoons US Corp. is breaking ground on the 14-acre water feature on March 23. That’s when the company plans to release all the details and renderings on the project, according to spokesperson Hanna Thornton.

The company’s website says Crystal Lagoons is an international company with 15 offices around the world. The patented technology allows clear lagoons to create an “idyllic beach lifestyle anywhere.”

The lagoons use technology with custom sanitation and can be salt or fresh water. It can be used for swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, boating and other traditional water activities. The body of water is lined, clear, and free of marine life, but uses fewer chemicals that a swimming pool.

The first lagoon was built in Chile 18 years ago. There are 600 projects in different stages of planning in 60 countries, the company reports. One is in Miami, featuring two 10-acre lagoons.

For now, those curious about the company and other man-made lagoons can check out this YouTube video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb1iVpfpi1M

If you’re interested in buying a home in Twin Creeks, contact one of Menton & Ballou’s team members for more on this project.




A Visit to Cascades, World Golf Village

Each week, agents from Watson Realty Corp. and the Menton & Ballou Team participate in a caravan to view beautiful listings in St. Johns County and Duval County. This week, 15 open houses were staged in Cascades, a 55 and older community in World Golf Village.

A visit to homes in the Cascades neighborhood in World Golf Village revealed a few things.

First, the residents and homeowners take pride in their properties, on the inside and out.

Second, the amenity center offerings are abundant. The Grand Center features an outdoor saltwater pool and spa, plus an indoor saltwater heated lap pool. There’s an arts and crafts room with a pottery wheel, a billiard room with dart boards, a card playing room, a ballroom with dance floor and kitchen, and a bocce ball courts.

And maybe we saved the best for last.

Third, the Homeowner Association Fees provide a lot of value.

The HOA monthly is $358. Here are the many services that are included: lawn cutting, trimming of shrubs, lawn fertilization and pesticide, irrigation water, mulching, home security monitoring, 70 channels of Direct TV, gated entry 24/7 with security staff (7 days per week, from 8 a.m.-6p.m.), fitness/tennis center, full-time lifestyle coordinator, sidewalks for walking and biking, professional management company services.

One final note.

There are NO Community Development Fee in Cascades.

Watson Realty Corp. has many listings in Cascades. Our Menton & Ballou Real Estate Associate John McClure has a listing in Cascades with unique features. The two bedroom/two bath home at 429 North Legacy Trail has an office and water to preserve views both in the front and the back. This is one of less than five homes with this spectacular view. The price is $319,900.

To contact John McClure, his cell is 904-436-1315. Or email JMcClure@watsonrealtycorp.com.


Southern restaurant coming to Nocatee

Biscuits and cornbread. Fish and grits. Cast iron mac and cheese.

If food with a southern kick sounds appealing, then a new restaurant opening in Nocatee’s Town Center is the answer to your culinary dreams.

South Kitchen & Spirits announced it’s opening in a retail building by Skinner Bros. Realty (behind the Dunkin Donuts) in St. Johns County.

The original South Kitchen & Spirits is in Avondale and opened last fall. With 240 seats, its chefs are Brian Siebenschuh and Jason Motley. The menu is described as affordable, with hand-crafted cocktails, beer, and wine, and includes traditional pot pie and bread pudding.

But there are some twists and turns among the rainbow trout and burgers. For inquiring minds, here’s a sample of the existing menu and the prices:


pimento cheese “queso fundido” > 6.95 *

roast pork, mushrooms, cilantro, fresh fried pork rinds & white corn tortilla chips


big superfood salad > 11.95

locally grown kale, chargrilled tempeh, napa cabbage, raw collards, popcorn shoots, pickled edamame, crunchy quinoa, sunflower seeds


Bold City braised beef stroganoff >13.95

hand cut pasta, roasted mushrooms, Duke’s Brown Ale braising jus, cream, fresh herbs, truffle oil


trucker sandwich > 9.95

fried bologna, cheddar, vinegar slaw, french fries (on the sandwich), sesame frybread


Sound like fun? The opening date for the 4,050 square foot restaurant is estimated for December.

St. Augustine Holiday Lights makes world’s top 10 list

When selecting a home, people are attracted to local events and “things to do.” In northeast Florida, the variety is abundant. In fact, St. Augustine is among National Geographic magazine’s best 10 locations in the world to see holiday lights. There’s still time left to check them out.

The Night of Lights kicked off in November ends on Jan. 31, 2017.

The other U.S. city named by National Geographic is Callaway Gardens, Ga.

The St. Augustine festival is 21 years old and features 2 million white lights. They sparkle on the waterfront and down the side streets, with lights strung across the park. It’s a public-private partnership rooted in history.

According to visitstaugustine.com, “Nights of Lights in St. Augustine traces its origins back to the traditional Spanish practice of displaying a white candle in windows during the Christmas holidays. Candles in the window allude to the fact that Mary and Joseph could find no inn that would give them shelter. When the Spanish put candles in their windows, they were symbolically making room in their homes and hearts for Jesus. It also reflects the welcoming attitude of the holiday season, showing that guests are welcome to the home. The stunning lights reflect the city’s 450-year history and illuminate the beautiful cityscape for lasting holiday memories. The city of St. Augustine has been celebrating Nights of Lights for 21 years.

Here’s the National Geographic’s top 10, in no particular order:

St. Augustine, Fla.

Callaway Gardens, Ga.



Hong Kong



Kobe, Japan

Medellin, Colombia

Gothenburg, Sweden


Jacksonville the hottest real estate market to watch

Trulia, one of the most popular residential real estate sites in the United States, has named Jacksonville the hottest market to watch.

Trulia created a list of the top 10 real estate markets poised for growth this year. The results were based on five key metrics, including high affordability, strong job growth, low vacancy rates, and home searches on Trulia. Another element is the population of Republicans, because of the 2016 election outcome.

Trulia is an online residential real estate site for home buyers, sellers, renters and real estate professionals in the United States. It was founded in 2004 and purchased by Zillow in 2014. Here’s what Trulia had to say about number one on the list Jacksonville:

  1. Jacksonville, FL: Jobs and a great location

“Situated on the banks of the St. Johns River and oft-considered part of southern Georgia given its proximity to its northern neighbor, Jacksonville, Fla., has quite a bit going for it. Why is it so appealing? First, there are serious job opportunities. Jacksonville posted a 3.8% job growth rate in 2016, which makes it one of the healthiest markets for employment opportunities in the state. Second, there’s an increasing influx of people — which contributes to the area’s very high ratio of inbound home searches on Trulia by out-of-towners versus outbound searches by locals looking to leave.”

Here’s the entire list of markets to watch in 2017:

  1. Jacksonville, Florida
  2. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida
  3. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida
  4. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  5. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida
  6. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  7. Charleston, South Carolina
  8. San Antonio, Texas
  9. Phoenix, Arizona
  10. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida


Study ranks Nocatee 3rd in Masterplan Communities – Again!

Nocatee continued to be successful in home sales in 2016.

Nocatee is ranked third in the nation in a real estate consulting firm study.

John Burns Real Estate Consulting, LLC, looked at nearly 340 masterplans.

The Top 20 list is ranked by new home sales net of cancellations. Together, the Top 20 sold 14,217 homes in 2016.

Number one is Irvine Ranch in Orange County, California, with about 2,000 net sales. The Villages came in at number 2 just shy of that number. Nocatee in the third spot had 973 in net sales.

Nocatee has been in the third spot for three years in a row, holding the title in 2015 and 2014. In 2013, Nocatee placed fifth. The community was 10th in 2012 and 14th in 2011.

“My wife and I have lived in Nocatee since 2009 when there were only a few hundred homes. It’s been amazing to watch the progress,” said Real Estate Expert George L. Ballou, II co-founder of Menton & Ballou Group, and Broker Associate at Watson Realty Corp.

The Ballous live in Del Webb, Nocatee’s 55 and older community.

Nocatee has 26 neighborhoods and includes a variety of amenities, including a town center, walking trails, new school, clubhouse and lazy river swimming pool. It sits on more than 13,000 acres of northern St. Johns County, near Ponte Vedra Beach.

The complete study on masterplans by John Burns can be found here:


St. Johns Schools Rank Number One, Adding value to homes

The St. Johns County School District ranks number one again in the state.

The data compared statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, public school ratings, and more were included.

The 2017 Best School District ranking can be found here:


This is positive news for residents who already own a home or business in north Florida, and it’s also beneficial for future real estate transactions.

According to REALTOR.com, a number of factors play a role in home selection. The look of the home, the layout, age, and closeness to amenities are key issues. The local school district adds value as well.

A REALTOR study found the population values the “right” school with 91 percent saying school boundaries are important in their search. The complete story can be found here:


With a booming housing industry, St. Johns County recently approved a sales tax to build additional schools in the county. The latest article concerning school building projects in the county can be found here:


Neighborhoods We Love: Palencia

Check out Lisa Menton’s listing in Palencia as it is featured in Watson Realty’s Blog title “Neighborhoods We Love: Palencia”. Lisa’s listing at 126 Senora Ct. is stunningly beautiful! Click HERE to see the blog post!

126 Senora Ct. St. Augustine, FL 32095

Old world meets new in this breath-taking home nestled on a moss draped tree lined cul-de-sac street boasting elegant southern charm. This Cottage Home Company showpiece welcomes you through an arched and elegantly milled foyer, expansive study with tall double doors. Kitchen blends chocolate and white cabinetry trimmed with glass front tops, a farm sink, incredible marble backsplash, custom appliances, casual dining room and family room with fireplace as focal point. Elegant lighting, plantation shutters, wood floors, iron work at stairs. Owner suite is exquisite, transom lighting in bedroom, finished closets. Bath boasts spacious shower, beautiful cabinetry, must be seen. Massive bonus with balcony. Stunning lake view. 3 car side entry, paver drive, expansive covered lanai. A true beauty!



New Nocatee Neighborhood Announced – The OUTLOOK at Twenty Mile!


The Outlook at Twenty Mile joins Nocatee’s Twenty Mile collection of neighborhoods situated among old Florida land and history. The Outlook at Twenty Mile offers a peaceful neighborhood with spacious lots– many with preserve or water views. Builders are now taking reservations and homes start from the mid $300’s.

At The Outlook at Twenty Mile in Nocatee, you can build your dream home amongst history and nature. Twenty Mile is one of Nocatee’s most distinctive communities, with large oak trees, split-rail fencing and a rustic, old-Florida style. Located in St. Johns County in Nocatee’s northeastern corner off of Valley Ridge Boulevard, these highly anticipated neighborhoods are the perfect complement to the the Nocatee lifestyle.

Homes from the Mid $300’s 

CalAtlantic Homes, offers 9 beautiful homes ranging from 2,585 – 3,700  square feet.

David Weekley Homes, offers a variety of plans ranging from 2,521-3,700 square feet.

ICI Homes, offers 5 large floorplans ranging from 3,205 – 4,100 square feet.

Providence Homes, offers 15 homes on a variety of lot sizes (60′, 70′, and 80′)  ranging from 2,473 – 4,200 square feet.




Posted from Nocatee’s Website