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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

7 Out Of The Box Activities To Do In Northeast Florida

 

You know by now that there are a lot of things to do in Northeast Florida. You can head to any of the area’s beautiful beaches or check out some of the many alligators that live in this part of the state. But if you’re looking for unique ways to spend a couple hours or a couple days, here are seven out of the box activities to do in Northeast Florida.

7. Chamblin Bookmine

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Chamblin Bookmine has been selling new, used, and rare books in Northeast Florida for so many years that it’s practically an institution – especially because their inventory is comprised of over two million novels. Spend a few hours getting lost in the world of literature at either of the two locations, you won’t be disappointed.

6. Treaty Oak

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The Treaty Oak is a live oak tree that boasts as many limbs as an octopus and is believed to be over two hundred years old. It’s a historic monument thanks to a fabricated story that claims a treaty between the Americans and the Indians was signed underneath this old tree. Now you’re able to visit it anytime in Treaty Oak Park. Make sure you bring your camera because you’re going to want to Instagram this feat of nature.

5. Sweet Pete’s

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Sweet Pete’s is a fully functioning candy factory with retail areas that sell handcrafted quality chocolates and over a thousand different types of candy. Not only does this factory have its own restaurant, bar, rooftop patio, and dessert bar, it also features classes that teach the art of candy making, with hands-on interactive and informative sessions. You’re bound to be in for a sweet afternoon at Sweet Pete’s.

4. Abandoned Annie Lytle Elementary School

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The Abandoned Annie Lytle Elementary School that used to be full of students is now full of ghost stories and overgrown vines. Rendered inconvenient to get to and noisy due to the highways that were built in the 1950s, this spooky spot has been abandoned since 1960. Yet there’s still something alluring and interesting about it, head on over to Chelsea Street to get a good look at this place and you’ll see what we mean.

3. Braddock Blueberry Farm

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Check out Braddock Blueberry Farm for your fix of fresh locally grown blueberries. Nothing beats picking your own fruit and bringing them home in your own containers. The best part is that this amazing farm is close by, so you don’t have to go far to get fresh fruit and vegetables from hardworking, friendly people.

2. Mandarin Park

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Mandarin Park, located in the Mandarin section of Southeast Jacksonville, is a unique place to bring a picnic – especially if your picnic includes oranges. This part of town is known for the Mandarin oranges that were grown in the area back in the 1800’s. The area’s residents had input on the design of the park and its facilities, which is why there are nature trails, a pier, a boat ramp, and of course an excellent picnic area.

1. Diamond D Ranch

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If you’re interested in horseback riding, there’s no beating Diamond D Ranch. They offer guided trail rides around their five hundred acres or through the Jennings State Forest. It’s fun for beginners and advanced riders alike, with the option of riding for an hour or two – or even doing a trail ride that lasts either half a day or a full two days!

 

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6 Reasons Raising a Family is a Good Idea in Northeast Florida

Choosing where to put down roots and raise your children can be one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make, luckily you can’t go wrong settling down in Northeast Florida. Aside from the lack of snow days and the proximity to Disney World, here are six reasons why raising a family is a good idea in Northeast Florida.

6. Family-Friendly Activities

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There are so many things to do in Northeast Florida, especially for kids. Whether you’re in the mood for adventure, ran out of activity ideas on a rainy day, or are in need of a relaxing afternoon at the beach – Northeast Florida has got you covered. You and your children will never grow bored.

5. Sense Of Community

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The diverse sense of community that you’ll find in this area of the state is unbeatable. You know you’ll be living in close proximity to good people who will be supportive neighbors and will make you and your family feel safe, something that is important to all of us.

4. Family-Oriented Neighborhoods

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Because you’re living in neighborhoods that boast like-minded people and other young families, your children will have other kids to play with. And because of the high number of children in the area, there’s more of a focus on family-oriented shops and restaurants. Northeast Florida offers quiet residential areas that have that suburban feel, even in the bigger cities.

3. Education

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The high test scores and comfortable class sizes in public schools and the percentage of neighbors with college and graduate degrees are strong indications of the importance of education here. Ensuring your children can attend a school with a happy learning environment is easy if you’re choosing to settle down in the Northeast Florida area.

2. Low Cost Of Living

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Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

The thriving job market here means securing work so that your family can live comfortably. The cost of living is also very low in Northeast Florida, living in this area costs a fraction of what it would cost to live in other parts of the state. There’s also the added bonus that house prices are down and rent is much lower than the national average.

1. Location Location Location

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Settling down and starting a family anywhere in Florida would be nice, but in the Northeast, you’re getting the best weather, you’re close to everything you would need or want, and you have the best beaches – all a short walk or drive away! It really doesn’t get any better than Northeast Florida when it comes to putting down roots.

 

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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Supports Dreams Come True

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty is well-known for helping people fulfill their dreams of homeownership. The company is also recognized for its commitment to the community, devoting time and financial resources to a wide variety of charity organizations with an emphasis on organizations that benefit children and families.

Dreams Come True

For four years, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty has supported Dreams Come True, Northeast Florida’s only locally based nonprofit dedicated to using the power of a dream to bring hope and joy to local children battling life-threatening illnesses. The company’s relationship with the nonprofit started with a single donation that quickly developed into an ongoing commitment.

“We are truly honored by the support we receive from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty,” said Dreams Come True Executive Director Sheri Criswell. “Community support is vital to our ability to use the power of a dream to bring hope and joy to a child with a life-threatening illness. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty has been an incredible blessing to the work of Dreams Come True, helping us stay true to our commitment to never turn down an eligible child.”

Beginning in 2013 and in honor of the company’s 25th anniversary, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty made a commitment to provide ongoing support to Dreams Come True. To date, the company has donated more than $150,000 to the nonprofit organization by contributing a portion of the proceeds from every completed home sale. Company leaders and associates are enthusiastic about supporting Dreams Come True.

“We are honored and privileged to celebrate our success by supporting Dreams Come True and its mission to fulfill the dreams of children with life-threatening illnesses,” said Broker/Executive Vice President Christy Budnick, who serves as secretary on the Dreams Come True Board of Directors. “We truly appreciate the support we receive from our valued customers and our passionate team to help make dreams come true for many deserving local children.”

Dreams Come True

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty provides more than financial support to Dreams Come True. The team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has turned out in numbers to support Dreams Come True’s Dream Day, an annual parade and superhero fantasy experience that celebrates 50 special children, also known as brave Dreamers. Dream Day is part of Dreams Come True’s Special Times program. While the children served by Dreams Come True can only receive one dream, Special Times provides the child and his or her family ongoing opportunities to momentarily forget the realities of a life-threatening illness. The real estate company also donated hundreds of backpacks filled with school supplies to Dreams Come True during its annual Backpack Challenge

“Our company is deeply committed to community service and we are thrilled to provide ongoing support to Dreams Come True,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Founder, President and CEO Linda Sherrer, who has been named Chair of Dreams Come True’s “Walk, Run and Roll” event on Sept. 28, 2018, at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. “This organization provides many uplifting special events to deserving children and their families, reminding them they are special and loved.”

To learn more about Dreams Come True, visit http://ift.tt/1cd2KVv or call (904) 296-3030.

For more information about buying or selling a home, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty at (904) 296-1906 or visit http://ift.tt/1fEO8HN.

Photography:

  1. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty’s Ann King and Josh Cohen took part in the Dream Day Dreamers Parade.
  2. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty came out in numbers to support Dreams Come True of Jacksonville’s Dream Day 2017. From left, Sam Heinemann, Jeff Heinemann, Art Gerspacher, Josh Cohen, Stephanie Lancer, Michael Barbieri II, Marisa Mariano, Ann King, Shelby Heinemann, and Mallory Heinemann. The Princess is Melanie Lawson from WJXT News4Jax.

About Dreams Come True

In 2016, Dreams Come True fulfilled the dreams of 181 children on the First Coast who have been battling life-threatening illnesses or conditions. Founded in 1984, Dreams Come True is the only 100 percent community donor-funded nonprofit that grants the dream of every First Coast child who has a life-threatening illness and brings hope and joy throughout their medical journey.  Dreams Come True has fulfilled the dreams of more than 3,600 children in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia since its inception.

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Friday, 11 August 2017

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Collects Record 1,151 Backpacks for Local Children

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty collected a record 1,151 backpacks filled with school supplies for Northeast Florida children during its 18th Annual Backpack Challenge. Last year, the company collected a then-record 1,011 backpacks for local children during the Backpack Challenge.

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The backpacks and school supplies collected by the real estate firm during the campaign were donated to students throughout Northeast Florida via Dreams Come True, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice – Office of Prevention, Orange Park Junior High School, BEAM – Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry, Mayport Elementary School, Operation New Hope, Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida, Crookshank Elementary, Osceola Elementary and Charles E. Bennett Elementary School.

“We are filled with gratitude to all of our Realtors, employees and clients for ensuring that so many local children have the supplies they need for educational success,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Founder, President and CEO Linda Sherrer. “The Backpack Challenge is an event our team looks forward to participating in every year and we are very proud of their efforts.”

During the campaign, backpacks and school supplies were collected at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty offices throughout Northeast Florida. The backpacks were purchased for students in kindergarten through grade 12, and filled with school supplies, such as pens, pencils, paper and notebooks.

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“Words cannot express how much we appreciate the numerous donations and generous support we received from our team members and the community during the Backpack Challenge,” said Broker/Executive Vice President Christy Budnick. “We know that beginning the school year with a new backpack filled with supplies makes a difference in the lives of children living in our communities, and this effort helps us accomplish that goal.”

For more information about Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty, visit http://ift.tt/1fEO8HN.

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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Home Buyers Beware – Hackers Targeting Real Estate Transactions with Wire Fraud Scheme

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Recommends Vigilant Awareness to Protect from Becoming a Victim

Protect Against Wire Fraud

It is more important than ever to be vigilant about your personal financial information. Con artists are out to get your money and they are also out to destroy the American Dream.

Wire fraud is a growing issue for consumers and financial institutions involved in real estate transactions. Cyber-criminals have turned to wire fraud as a way to steal money from a home buyer during a real estate closing. Here is a typical scenario:

The homebuyer receives an email, which appears to be from the real estate company or the title company, regarding funds to be wired to an account for settlement. The email is actually from a sophisticated hacker posing as a representative from the real estate or title company. The hacker has broken into an email account to obtain information and has been monitoring the account to determine the time of a real estate closing.

The fraudulent email may look legitimate but it’s a scam. The email often will contain changes or new wiring instructions or routing information, and it will request that the buyer send transaction-related funds accordingly.

“We are advising everyone to beware of cyber-fraud,” said James Lamphere, Vice President, Title & Escrow, HomeServices of America. “Before wiring any funds, call the intended recipient at a number you know is valid to confirm the instructions. Any request to change wire instructions at or right before closing should be suspect.”

Lamphere, a member of the American Land Title Association (ALTA) who serves on several leadership committees, recently shared the association’s strategy and consumer alert awareness campaign. ALTA is working with lending and real estate industry groups to increase awareness about wire fraud, identify and promote industry best practices to deter wire fraud and advocate for steps the government can take to protect people from hackers.

“The sad truth is preventing these devastating crimes is extremely difficult,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Founder, President and CEO Linda Sherrer. “That is why awareness is the first and best approach.”

Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty and its partners, including Gibraltar Title Services, LLC, are alerting homebuyers at the outset of the transaction to never open unsolicited links or attachments. Gibraltar Title Services General Manager Alan Copertino and Associate Counsel Dennis Luettich recommend buyers avoid sending any sensitive financial information by email and to use an independently verified phone number to confirm wiring instructions for their money deposit or down payment.

“Wire fraud is a growing problem in real estate and it is incumbent upon us to make sure our clients’ information is secure,” said Broker/Executive Vice President Christy Budnick. “We want to do everything we can to reduce the risk of our customers becoming victims.”

According to the FBI, the number of wire fraud scams reported by title companies to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) increased 480 percent in 2016. The FBI said that wire fraud scams have been reported in all 50 states and in 131 countries. Victim complaints filed with the IC3 and financial sources indicate fraudulent transfers have been sent to 103 countries. Criminals sought to steal roughly $5.3 billion through this fraud.

Some buyers who have fallen for this real estate closing wire fraud scheme have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to a thief. The Washington Post has reported losses ranging from $30,000 to $130,000.

If you wire money into a wrong account, the bank will not reimburse you. There is usually no recourse to get your money back. Those funds may be lost forever to a cyber-criminal who may or may not live in the United States.

For safety and protection, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty recommends consumers adhere to the following precautions:

  • Never send any sensitive financial information via email, including banking information, routing numbers or PINs.
  • Prior to wiring any funds, contact the intended recipient via a verified phone number and confirm that the wiring information is accurate.
  • Do not rely on telephone numbers or website addresses provided within an unverified email.

“Closing on a new home should be a celebration,” Budnick added. “Our goal is to make sure it doesn’t turn into a nightmare.”

For more information about buying or selling a home, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty at (904) 296-1906 or visit http://ift.tt/1fEO8HN.

Safety Tips for Buyers and Sellers

Protect Yourself from Becoming a Wire Fraud Victim 

  • Call, don’t email: Confirm all wiring instructions by phone before transferring funds. Use the phone number from the title company’s website or a business card.
  • Be suspicious: It’s not common for title companies to change wiring instructions and payment info.
  • Confirm it all: Ask your bank to confirm not just the account number but also the name on the account before sending a wire.
  • Verify immediately: You should call the title company or real estate agent to validate that the funds were received. Detecting that you sent the money to the wrong account within 24 hours gives you the best chance of recovering your money.
  • Forward, don’t reply: When responding to an email, hit forward instead of reply and then start typing in the person’s email address. Criminals use email address that are very similar to the real one for a company. By typing in email addresses you will make it easier to discover if a fraudster is after you.

Source: American Land Title Association (ALTA)

Written by Clockwork Marketing

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Friday, 28 July 2017

7 Food Trucks Everyone in Jacksonville Has to Try

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Catwalk photos / Shutterstock

The food truck scene in Jacksonville is booming, with popular spots that are showcasing numerous eclectic eats from all over the world. Whether you’re in the mood for tacos, pizza, or anything else in between, there’s a food truck in Jax that’s waiting for you to track them down. Here are seven food trucks that everyone in Jacksonville has to try.

7. Fusion

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Fusion is a fitting name for a food truck that features Indian, Thai, and Mediterranean cuisine. Their ‘Drunken Noodles’ dish, comprised of rice noodles that are sautéed with a sweet and spicy sauce, garlic Thai chili, onion, bell peppers, bean sprouts, and basil. Their beef and lamb gyros are also popular menu items. You’ll be satisfied regardless of what you order.

6. Eddis & Sons

It’s about to go down #foodbeast #yasss #hungry #eddisandsons

A post shared by RozayJ82💕💖👯💁😑😂😘 (@rozayj82) on Nov 17, 2016 at 6:42pm PST

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Eddis and Sons specializes in legendary steak sandwiches and hoagies. Whether or not you’re from Philly, you’ll appreciate the food this truck is serving up. Go for the ‘Classic Cheesesteak’ made with hand cut steak. Or try something different, like ‘The Jawn’, a veggie sandwich featuring wheat protein, mushrooms, and roasted peppers.

5. Mr. Taco

thank u so much for everything u do. really love & admire ur work bro 💯hit my line let’s link

A post shared by Liz ☯ (@lizziebowlson) on Jul 8, 2017 at 10:11pm PDT

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If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food on the go, look no further than Mr. Taco. This food truck has you covered if you’re craving tacos, burritos, quesadillas, ensaladas, tostadas, nachos, or fajitas. The options are endless, so we won’t judge you for ordering a few items off of their menu.

4. Pie95

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Pie95 is the pizza lover’s dream food truck. ‘The Bianca’ has toppings like mozzarella cheese, garlic, oregano, and lemon zest. ‘The Salad’ does something a little different with mixed greens, onions, cherry tomatoes, parmesan, and balsamic. All made on drool-worthy thin and crispy crust. You can even build your own pie!

3. JoyShtick

Coolest food truck ever…YOU CAN PLAY MARIO, GUYS!!!

A post shared by 😽Kat🌻 (@kitkatandkaboodle) on Apr 6, 2017 at 8:58am PDT

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JoyShtick is a video-game themed food truck, offering up good food at great prices. The menu is extensive and fun, with dishes like fried buffalo cauliflower, chicken tenders breaded with cool ranch Doritos, and a ground chuck and bacon patty on a roll with pepper jelly and arugula.

2. The Happy Grilled Cheese

The Happy Grilled Cheese is a crowd favorite in Jacksonville. Your go-to comfort food comes in many different varietals at this food truck. The ‘Apple Swiss Melt’ is comprised of Swiss cheese, apples, and grilled onions. While the ‘Crunch Melt’ boasts American and cheddar cheeses, mac and cheese, bacon, and potato chips!

1. What’s The Catch?

We’d like to wish a very Happy Mothers Day to this hot momma right here @raleyyy is the mom we all need 😆 enjoy your day. We love you 💜

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If you love seafood, you’ll love the What’s The Catch? food truck. Located in Jacksonville Beach, their delicious tacos feature grilled grouper, fried shrimp, Ahi tuna, or catfish. Speaking of catfish, this joint is known for their Southern fried catfish. It’s a must-try!

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