Posted by: North East Florida Beach Homes | April 1, 2012


Leatherback Sea Turtle Gets the Jump on Nesting
It’s not that common to see the nesting tracks from of a 1,000-pound leatherback sea turtle at the
Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. In fact, only 1.28 percent of
turtle nests recorded there are from leatherbacks, compared to 5.04 percent made by green sea
turtles and 93.68 percent by loggerheads. However, to see this happening on March 24 is very
“This nest sighting is the earliest a leatherback sea turtle has nested on the First Coast since the
state began keeping records in 1987. It was definitely a little bit of a shock – I was surprised,”
said Scott Eastman, a DEP biological scientist in Ponta Vedra Beach. “Sea turtle nesting season
officially runs from May to October, though there have been previous sightings of leatherback
nests as early as April 2 in St. Johns County.” Eastman believes warmer ocean temperatures –
about 10 degrees warmer than normal – could be a factor in the early nesting.


The leatherback is the largest and deepest diving of all sea turtles and is listed as an endangered
species. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, leatherbacks
weigh between 700 and 2,000 pounds and reach four to eight feet in length. The nesting
incubation period is typically 80 to 100 days and generally produces 100-115 hatchlings.
During nesting season, there is a Beach Lighting ordinance in coastal communities that consist of
strict guidelines to avoid causing turtles to become disoriented. The ordinance in St. Johns
County, enacted in 1999, includes prohibiting camp and bonfires, tinting windows and replacing
certain lighting fixtures, among other restrictions. Given the early nesting events, residents and
visitors should be mindful of lighting and other beach activities.
GTM NERR staff members are conducting twice-a-week nesting surveys in March and April
that will expand to daily surveys beginning May 1. The nests are marked with bright colored tape and a Do Not Disturb sign. Friends of the GTM reserve is also coordinating an adopt-a-nest program that provides pictures, updates and other information on a nest’s progress with donations going to the reserve.

I have the honor of being the President of the Friends of the GTM Reserve here in North East Florida Beach. Please feel free to contact me about this wonderful slice of paradise where the fresh and salt water combine to create the life rich estuary.

Posted by: North East Florida Beach Homes | January 14, 2012

Vilano Beach Publix Open Today!

Vilano Beach Publix is finally open after 15 years of waiting and working on the project. People from South Ponte Vedra Beach to Vilano to west over the Vilano Bridge in St. Augustine have been waiting for a grocery store nearby.

The Vilano Mainstreet and North Shores Improvement Association committees have been working on revitalizing the Vilano Road area since the bridge to St. Augustine was moved. Our vision has been to create a small seaside community with charm.  This is a town center rather than a shopping center. A shopping center is about products and a town center is about people. This is our town center!

NOW, the Vilano Beach Town Center is alive with people!

Posted by: North East Florida Beach Homes | January 4, 2012


If the house does not appraise, then all of the hard work that we did to prepare the house and negotiate the offer goes to waste. Rick and/or I are at all appraisals for our cusotmers to make sure nothing is missed. Meanwhile, this is good info directly from an appraiser:

Preparing for the appraisal inspection:•Create a detailed list of the recent improvements, which should include the following: when completed, cost of the improvement, before and after pictures if available.
•Make sure each room is accessible; the appraiser is required to inspect each room.
•If there is a crawl space, this area will also have to be made accessible for inspection for an FHA appraisal.
•Give the appraiser room to do their job. Errors are more likely to occur when the appraiser isn’t able to concentrate on their inspection.
•Keep all pets restrained. I’ve been bitten twice by a dog, and once by a cat; the owners had assured me that their pets were friendly-not so much!
•If you live within a development that has a homeowners association, have the name and phone number of the contact person available, along with a fee statement.
•If the appraisal is for an FHA loan, then the area leading to the attic will have to be cleared and made accessible-the appraiser is required to make at least a head and shoulders inspection of the attic area.
•Walk through each room and straighten up as if you were getting ready for company to visit. Appraisers are objective and can look past many things, however, the underwriter reviewing the appraisal photos may feel differently.
•Complete any unfinished projects-most appraisals are done “as is”, and any projects that haven’t been completed, will have to be adjusted for within the appraisal report.
•A copy of any agreements regarding easements (shared driveways and/or garages,etc.) should be made available.
Concerns about value:
For years I’ve been a big proponent of developing a relationship with a Realtor. I’m not talking about a real estate agent who happens to be a relative that lives half way across the state. I’m talking about one that does a lot of work within your neighborhood.

By building a relationship with a professional Realtor (this is all they do and they do it well), they’ll be able to give you great insight as to what’s happening within your neighborhood, and they would be glad to let you know what similar homes are selling for.

Once the appraisal is complete:
You have a right to a copy of your appraisal, so ask for it. If you should find any errors or have any concerns, talk with your loan originator. This is hard for borrowers to understand, being that they paid for the appraisal, but the mortgage company is the appraiser’s client, and they can’t discuss the appraisal with anyone else unless given permission.

Trying to understand an appraisal can be like trying to read the “Dead Sea Scrolls,” so ask questions and get clarification when needed-you paid for it!

Posted by: North East Florida Beach Homes | December 30, 2011

Rick Lofgren & Chris Rich of The St. Augustine Regional (StAR) Council gave of our time on December 23rd to support the St. Johns Housing Partnership “Build a Ramp” program. 

The program is designed to assist those folks that are in need of a wheel chair ramp but can not afford one.  Medicare pays for the wheel chair but not the ramp.  The St.Johns Housing Partnership initiated the program and volunteers such as StAR and other community groups and organizations work together to provide these much needed ramps.

 The St. Johns Housing Partnership is committed to promoting safe, decent and affordable housing inSt. JohnsCounty.  They are able to do this by creating links between the public and private sectors on projects that create housing for low to moderate income housing, rebuild neglected homes and neighborhoods, thus benefiting disadvantaged areas and enhancing community economic and social development. 

 The St. Augustine Regional Council Inc. (StAR) is dedicated to support the preservation and furtherance of the St. Augustine / St. Johns County regional area residential and commercial real estate industry and the public affairs attributable thereto as well as the key measures and issues that will promote the image and advancement of the residential and commercial real estate industry and the community generally.  

Mission:  We are a group of professionals dedicated to promoting our community to individuals outside the region. For more information about StAR visit

Wheel Chair Ramp Build 23DEC2011

Chris, Rick, Barbara & Tim taking a break from helping to build a wheel chair ramp

Posted by: North East Florida Beach Homes | December 30, 2011

New Oceanfront Penthouse For Sale @ Serenata Beach

Beautiful Ocean View!!!!

OCEAN FRONT Serenata Beach Corner Penthouse. Be in awe of the migrating whales from the 3RD FLOOR; the bird’s eye view! Every comfort of home is taken care of with opulence through out. Windows on three sides (with storm shutters) bring in light, breezes and provide views of ocean and Intra-coastal Waterway. Gourmet kitchen with Stainless GE Profile & Monogram appliances, tile floors. Superbly crafted cabinetry and molding throughout. Countertops are all granite or marble. Decadent master suite has whirlpool tub, separate vanities and closets, gorgeous wall finishings and ocean views. HUGE OCEAN FRONT balcony. Lots of storage, underground parking. Quiet pool and walk-over to beach. Serenata Beach Club membership is available. Quality of Life – That’s What it is All About!