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Julie Bentley
REALTOR®, GRI, U.S. Military on the Move® Certified Military Specialist, Senior Real Estate Specialist®, LeadingRE Marketing Specialist, LeadingRE Relocation Specialist, LeadingRE Sales Specialist, LeadingRE Service Expert, e-PRO®, C2EX
Cell: (904) 576-0706
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Just For Fun

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September
19

toy house in grass

As of this very moment there are 6,039 houses, condos and townhomes listed for sale in the Northeast Florida MLS. Those numbers can be deceiving though; many of the houses are either in the process of being built to sell, or will be built upon request. I'm a bit of a numbers and stats geek and spent a decadent half-hour poring through our MLS to come up with the following totally irrelevant facts about the 4,668 actual existing homes for sale,

Least Expensive: At just $24,990, the least expensive listing is a small (572 sq ft) home on less than ¼ acre. The home is no longer safe to enter, and the value is in the land and "treasures inside…if you are a picker this one could be a gold mine." It was listed about 2 months ago and the list price has been reduced by $10k since then. Any pickers out there?

Most Expensive, Largest and Most Bedrooms:  Not surprisingly, the most expensive listing is also the largest and has the most bedrooms (11) and baths (13 full, 3 powder rooms). It's a 15,600+ sq ft oceanfront estate with a spa wing, owner's wing, garages for 10 cars, indoor & outdoor pools, 2 cabanas and a walkover to cross the dunes and immediately step onto the beach. Interested? It can be yours for $16,960,000.

Longest On the Market: This one has a FINISHED BASEMENT! Excuse my excitement but in almost 11 years in real estate this is the first northeast FL home I've seen with a finished basement. And I've only seen one with an unfinished basement. This 5,412 sq ft riverfront home has 4 bedrooms, 5 full baths and 2 powder rooms and has been listed for 845 days. The price? $2,795,000.                         

Millionare's Club: Of the 4,668 available properties, 389 are listed for at or more than $1,000,000, and 76 are listed at or below $100,000. What a difference a zero makes!

Smallest House: If you count a hunting cabin that has water and electricity but is not permitted, the smallest home is 360 sq ft. Since that's an "illegal" house per county building requirements, we'll move on to one that is almost 10% larger. Just listed a few days ago, the smallest home currently on the market is a 1br, 1bath house of 396 sq ft. The price is $55,000 and the tenants living there have a lease until June 2023.

Even with these options and everything in between, the greater Jacksonville area continues to be a seller's market. Will your home be on the next list of superlatives I post? It can be. It's Your Move!®

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels

Julie Bentley has been a licensed Realtor® in northeast Florida since 2012. She has helped hundreds of sellers and buyers attain their real estate goals and would love to help you too .You'll find her bio and contact info here.

January
13

[This blog was originally published in January, 2013]

A brief phone conversation with my mother, about golf, gave me reason to believe that my father would find a way to cope in his newly-dark world.

My father is a strong, proud man who worked his entire life to provide for his family. He and my mother raised four children and have always been actively involved in the lives of their grandchildren and in their community.  I've often told people that my dad's greatest joys in life are his family, his well-kept home and gardens and his good health.  When my family made our annual visit to New England to visit my parents last summer all of their children and most of their grandchildren were able to gather to celebrate Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary. During that same visit my dad and I played a round of golf together as we had been doing at least once a year over the past twenty years.

man on golf course holding clubSuddenly and unexpectedly, late in the summer my father experienced a brief illness that left him completely blind. One week he was working, tending to his home and gardens, enjoying catch and Frisbee with his grandchildren and participating in a weekly golf league. The very next week he was completely blind. While his health crisis passed, his loss of vision was permanent.

The loss was devastating.  My dad, one of the most active and independent people I know, was suddenly and completely reliant upon other people to do things as simple as putting toothpaste on his brush, choosing clothing, answering the telephone and finding his way around the home he had lived in for almost five decades. His life was forever changed and while he remained upbeat and positive with his family and friends, we all knew he was suffering. When I spoke with my parents during this time I could hear uncertainty, fear and sadness in their voices.

I planned a trip home to visit with and help my parents. A few days prior to my trip I summoned up the courage to ask my dad if he would go out on the golf course with me. I told him we would take a cart instead of walking, and because he knows the course so well I thought he may enjoy being on it and having me describe where we were and how well (or poorly) I was hitting the ball. When Dad politely declined, saying it was just too soon for him, I understood completely. In fact I was even a bit relieved as I had been nervous that if he had accepted my invitation, seeing my father in such a vulnerable and helpless position on the golf course might be more than I could handle.

The night before I left for my trip my mother called to say that my father had changed his mind and wanted me to bring my golf gear. Dad had decided he might want to get out on the golf course after all, and that it might be good for both of us. That was the exact moment I knew that my father would adapt to his blindness and not let it defeat him. Things were, in fact, going to be okay.

Just a few weeks after he lost his vision, I played a round of golf  with my courageous blind father. We were on a course he had played hundreds of times and he kept his bearings the entire time. On long holes he would tell me what tree or other landmark to aim toward; on fairways if I described a nearby tree, water hazard or stone wall he could tell me how far I was from the green. For most holes I would drop a ball near where I landed on the green, get him lined up with his putter, then crouch near the cup and talk so he could aim toward my voice. On a par-3 hole I teed up a ball for him and aligned him with the green. After a few unproductive swings he connected his club with the ball and drove it just short of the green. My dad may be blind, but he is no quitter.

My father would love to be able to see once again, even if for only a few hours. He has dreamt of regaining his vision for a day and of all the things he would look at. Nobody can give him the gift of sight again but his blindness has made it clear for all of us to see how love, courage and perseverance can win the round every time.

June
15

I was certain that I knew just what to expect. As a hospice volunteer I had spent countless hours with people who, in the final days and weeks of their lives, reflected on their life's work, their families and loved ones and the paths they had traveled. I had been briefed of the fact that thirty year old Juan had arrived at the suburban nursing home from the gritty streets of crime-ridden Paterson, NJ. On the way to meet him for the first time I prepared myself for his anger, frustration and self-pity.

empty hospital bedWithin minutes of our first meeting Juan told me that several years as an intravenous drug user had caught up with him, he was homeless and he was dying of AIDS. He had no other visitors: his wife and children had abandoned him when he became ill and his friends on the streets couldn't find a way to get to him. It seemed that Juan had little in his life to console him and I resigned myself to the fact that the best I could do was to distract him from his misery while we visited.

I could not have been more wrong! Juan was lonely, very sick and elated. Accustomed to living on the streets, he couldn't believe he was now in a warm, safe room. When he felt up to it he would take a long, hot shower, and he often marveled at the fact that he could order all of the meals and snacks he wanted. Juan spent much of each day telling staff members and other patients how lucky he felt to be in this place. He called friends and boasted of his good fortune. Juan had gone to the nursing home to die, and while there he found unfamiliar comfort, dignity and peace. He lived his final days on earth with glee and gratitude.

I only knew him for a few months, many years ago, but I often think of Juan and what I learned from my time with him. Juan unknowingly showed me over and over again that one's reaction to an experience is shaped largely by their own frame of reference. More importantly, he showed me that joy can be found in unexpected places if you choose to look for it. 

 



Julie Bentley lives and sells real estate in Northeast Florida. One of the most instrumental parts of her job is helping her customers set and manage their expectations of the home-selling and home-buying process. Fortunately for her customers she has been refining that craft for many years. www.juliebentley.com

February
25

My dog has been sniffing around on this planet for 13+ years now. If he could give advice about my real estate career I bet he wouldn't have to look any further than the dog park to come up with these treats:

  • Greet everyone you encounter. Be exuberant if that is your personality but more importantly be genuine. The more dogs you meet, the more opportunities you will have. But when you are both sniffing around to get to know one another don't overwhelm your new friend; let him learn what you have to offer without being in his face about it.
  • Dig! And when you think you've found what you were looking for dig some more. Keep digging until you can't possibly go any deeper. Then you'll know you've done your very best work.
  • You can hang with the big dogs as long as you play nice. The park isn't just for the intimidating dogs that make a lot of noise - even they appreciate the energy and innovation that the little guys bring to the park.
  • You can't always operate on your own timeline. Your people have schedules and commitments too and sometimes –okay, many times - you just have to accommodate them agreeably, whether you like it or not.
  • It is possible to teach an old dog new tricks and your people will love you for it. Why did anybody ever think experienced dogs (or agents) can't learn, adapt and become even more valuable to their people as a result? That's nonsense.
  • You will have some dog days and when you do it's okay to plop yourself down and surrender. Tomorrow will bring another opportunity to run in the park!

dog onyx sprawled on tile

February
25

When I think of all the books still left for me to read, I am certain of further happiness. –Jules Renard

 Prologue

I love books but don't take time to read or listen to them as often as I'd like. Not only do I have unread books on my bookshelves (actual and virtual), I also have a running list of books I want to read. I started the list many years ago and it continues to grow longer, never shorter.

That's about to change, though, as I embark on a 12-Month Reading Challenge. Beginning in March 2021 I intend to read at least 12 books over the next 12 months. Reading the books won't be difficult for me; my challenge will be exploring different genres than I usually read.

Will you join me? This is just for fun; no pressure, no judgment and you choose the book you'd like to read for each category. I'll be posting updates of my progress on my Facebook page (JulieBentleyRealtor or whatever). I would love to hear what YOU are reading and get your book recommendations there as well.

I hope to hear from you in March, the first Chapter of our 12-month story.

 

Since 2012 Julie Bentley has been reading real estate contracts, surveys, title search results, inspection reports, mortgage documents, home listings, disclosures, etc. While that serves her well in her job as a Realtor, she's really looking forward to mixing that up with some pleasure reading in this challenge.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 09/24/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 09/24/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of GAMLS (last updated Sat 09/24/2022 7:14:32 PM EST) or Stellar MLS (last updated Sat 09/24/2022 7:13:24 PM EST) or SPC MLS (last updated Sat 09/24/2022 7:15:41 PM EST) or Martin MLS (last updated Sat 09/24/2022 7:12:10 PM EST) or Indian River MLS (last updated Sat 09/24/2022 7:09:22 PM EST) or Daytona MLS (last updated Sat 09/24/2022 7:15:19 PM EST) or New Smyrna MLS (last updated Sat 09/24/2022 7:18:14 PM EST) or Northeast Florida MLS (last updated Sat 09/24/2022 7:17:45 PM EST) or Beaches MLS (last updated Fri 09/23/2022 4:00:16 PM EST) or BORMLS (last updated Sat 09/24/2022 7:18:31 PM EST) or Golden Isles MLS (last updated Sat 09/24/2022 7:15:46 PM EST) or Gainesville MLS (last updated Wed 10/06/2021 8:39:37 PM EST) or Amelia/Nassau MLS (last updated Sat 09/24/2022 7:15:16 PM EST) or Dixie Gilchrist Levy MLS (last updated Sat 09/24/2022 7:17:12 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Watson Realty Corp., REALTORS ® may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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