Christmas tree safety!

It’s the holidays. Lets talk about Christmas tree safety and how to keep your holiday plans from going up in smoke.

To raise awareness please take a moment to review this facts about holiday home fires.

Facts about home holiday fires
  • One of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
  • Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 32 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 143 total reported home fires.
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four Christmas tree fires.
  • The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve.
  • Candles start two out of five home decoration structure fires.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

Here are some tips to keeping your home and your tree safe this holiday:

 

 

  • Natural trees should be cut at a 45 degree angle at the base and place in water.
  • Place tree away from sources of heat.
  • Use non-flammable decorations.
  • Inspect lighting for frayed wires and other defects before use.
  • Do not leave lights on unattended.
  • Keep natural tree stands filled with water at all times.
  • Promptly discard tree when it becomes dry.
For more information please visit: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/

6 Red Flags When Shopping For A Home

    When shopping for a home some people may get caught up in the excitement of finding the place you will call home that you may miss some of the typical warning signs. Here are 6 red flags you may want to ask about.

1. Poor neighborhood maintenance

In our market we have a lot of neighborhoods with a homeowners association. Before you enter the home take a second to look at the neighborhood. If you see a lot of homes for sale or with boarded up windows you may want to investigate the neighborhood maintenance & HOA financials.

2. Missing Shingles

According to HomeAdvisor the average cost of roof installation is $7,300 and while you may not be an expert missing shingles are easy to spot and roof replacement could eat into your savings.

3. Standing water / Inadequate drainage

When you’re walking along the exterior of the home look for standing water. When a home doesn’t have adequate drainage you may face serious problems down the road and not to mention it attracts bugs.

4. Uneven Foundation

We all know that a good foundation is important in every aspect of life and real estate is no exception. Look for sagging or sloping rooms this could be the beginning of foundation issues. Check out Ramjack’s Blog for more information on foundation warning signs.

5. Fresh paint in one area

Fresh paint in home a good thing, but in some cases if only one area is painted it may be a result of recent repairs. Consult the seller’s property disclosure and investigate recent repairs.

6. Bad Smells

If during your showing you are greeted by a not so friendly smell it may be worth investigating.  This could be a sign of a sewer issues if your home inspector doesn’t know the source consider bringing in a plumber.

These warning signs may help you stay away from potential problems, but I recommend strongly always get a professional home inspection.

 

 

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5 Monthly Maintenance Tasks Every Homeowner Should Do.

When you purchase a home most often new homeowners think about the financial obligation they have to their mortgage company, but often over look the time and effort necessary to maintain your new home.

Here are 5 monthly maintenance tasks every homeowner should do.

Inspect and/or change HVAC filter.

Many people will argue that you need to change your air filter monthly, but some people would say that every other month is acceptable. I suggest you inspect the filter and if the filter is dirty replace it.

 

Clean Kitchen Sink Disposal

You can buy a variety of cleaners for your disposal, but the internet suggests that baking soda and ice cubes will do the trick.

 

Adjust Lawn Sprinklers

This is a task that can be taken care of once and you’re good, but you want to make sure that the sprinklers are not spraying water on your walls, sidewalks, or driveway. The water can stain on your concrete and dampen wood. Wet wood attracts termites!

 

Check Your Fire Extinguisher

Often people do not have a fire extinguisher in the home at all and if you don’t have one get one. If you do have one check the fire extinguisher for wear and tear, it’s that simple. Note: Fire extinguishers have expiration dates and typically last around 5 to 10 years. 

 

Test Smoke Alarms

Most smoke alarms have a test button. If the test button doesn’t work replace the batteries. If replacing the batteries don’t work replace the alarm.

 

Home maintenance is essential and should be at the forefront of your mind.

For more information & to search for homes click here.

 

 


Happy 50th Anniversary: Federal Fair Housing

Reaching your 50 year anniversary is a big milestone in any case, but in real estate this may be one of america’s best anniversaries.

On April 11, 1968 the Fair Housing Act was enacted into law, recognizing that property rights should not be abridged because of discrimination, based on race, color national origin or religion.
The Fair Housing Act was amended in later years to prohibit discrimination based on gender, disability and familial status, and to increase enforcement of the law.

Fair housing has made us stronger in a lot of ways. Acknowledging this will continue to honor those who fought to make fair housing possible. Progress has been made and lets celebrate that.

Happy Anniversary!

Check out this cool video from The National Association Of Realtors.


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Hosting Free Shredding Event and Food Drive on Jan. 27

Image result for berkshire hathaway st augustine

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty proudly announces Shredding Hunger, a free shredding event and food drive. The event is Saturday, Jan. 27, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, at the company’s Murabella office located at the Shoppes at Murabella.

          Community members are encouraged to bring their personal documents and sensitive materials, which will be securely shredded during the event free of charge. The company is requesting everyone bring a non-perishable food donation in addition to their shredding materials. All food donations will go to Our Lady of Good Counsel Food Pantry in St. Johns County.

“Identity theft and fraud are serious problems that can be avoided if you securely dispose of sensitive and personal documents,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Broker/Executive Vice President Christy Budnick. “We want to protect our clients and the community as a whole from the risk of identity fraud.”

The Murabella office is located at 196 Capulet Drive, near the intersection of State Road 16 and Pacetti Road/World Golf Village International Parkway.

“We are grateful to be able to offer these important services to the community we serve,” said Ann King, broker/manager of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty’s St. Augustine and Murabella offices.

In St. Johns County, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty also operates a full service branch office in the SeaGrove Town Center on Florida A1A in St. Augustine and a satellite office at Villages of Seloy, a ’55 and up’ community.

More information about Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty is available at www.FloridaNetworkRealty.com.


The 6 Best Beach Side Camping Site In St Augustine

With summer underway I thought it might be a good time to talk about the unique summer experience of  beach side camping. Camping is enjoyed by many each summer, but camping by the beach is definitely something any camping buff should experience. There are many campgrounds, RV parks, cabin rentals and campsites available in Saint Augustine. Vacationers can enjoy recreational activities and connect with the nature they enjoy while visiting historic St.Augustine. Here are a few of my favorites!

1. North Beach Camp – 4125 Coastal Highway (A1A), St. Augustine, Florida 32084

Image result for north beach camp st augustine

North beach camp is located North of downtown in the Vilano Beach area.  The campsite is 30 heavily wooded acres between the intracoastal and the Atlantic Ocean.

The park is equip for RV’s, Tents, And even offers cabin rentals.

 

2. Anastasia State Park – 300 Anastasia Park Rd, St. Augustine, FL 32080

Image result for anastasia state park sign

The campground contains 139 campsites, for RVs and tents. Located within the beautiful maritime hammock and just a short walk or bike ride from the beach. Certain sites are paved and have accessible picnic tables and grills. The state park is full of wild life and is very family friendly.

 

3. St.Augustine Beach KOA – 525 W Pope Rd Saint Augustine, FL 32080

Image result for saint augustine KOA

The St.Augustine Beach KOA offers Camping Cabin, RV Site or Tent Site. You can take a 3/4-mile walk to the ocean or enjoy on-site amenities, including a pool, fishing pond, paddleboats and “Kamp K9”, where your pup can run and play.

 

4. Ocean Grove RV Resort – 4225 A1A South St. Augustine Beach, Fl

Ocean grove RV  resort is a full service RV resort. At the resort you have many amenities like year round swimming, putt putt with to many more to list. The park only a short walk to the beach.  Off site ocean grove has a service center and RV super store.

5. Bryn Mawr – 4850 A1A South, St. Augustine Florida  32080

Photo of Bryn Mawr Ocean Resort - Saint Augustine, FL, United States. Bryn Mawr Ocean Resort, aerial view, 1/14/2012

Bryn Mawr ocean resort is 238 campsites, two pools, and direct ocean front. This resort is strictly meant for RVs. The draw to this RV resort is that it is directly on the ocean. You walk over one of the boardwalks and put your feet in the sand.

6. Devils Elbow Fishing Resort –  7507 A1A South • St. Augustine, FL 32080

Devil’s elbow fishing resort is a cabin rental resort. You are right on the intracoastal many of the cabins have a view.  South of St.Augustine this resort is a unique way to relax. If you are feeling a bit of leisure boating the resort offers boat rentals.

 


Hurricane Season!

Image result for hurricane preparation

 

2017 Hurricane season is among us. I thought this might be a good opportunity to offer a few tips to help you be more prepared during Florida’s storms.

First, to be more storm ready you will want to create a Home Emergency Plan. Make sure each member of your family is aware of the home emergency plan and review it often.

Here are a few things to consider when creating a home emergency plan.

  • How a severe storm could impact your home
  • The location of exit points in the house
  • Where to go if you need to evacuate
  • How to stay in contact if you’re separated from each other
  • Requirements for those with medical conditions or special needs
  • What to do with any pets
  • What to include in your Home Emergency Kit
  • Whether your insurance is adequate and current

Secondly, you will want to put together a Home Emergency Kit. In your home emergency kit you’ll want at least 3 days worth of supplies, all your paperwork, and the ability put together a 14 day supply whenever necessary. Click here for a basic supply list.

Lastly, you’ll want to prepare your home. Make sure you do routine maintenance on your home and educate yourself.

General home maintenance

  • Check your roof regularly to make sure it’s in good condition
  • Keep gutters, downpipes and drains clear
  • Remove tree branches that are close to your house
  • Fix any corrosion, loose fittings and rotting or termite-affected timber
  • Secure loose items around your property

General home safety preparations

  • Ensure your home, contents and car insurance is adequate and current
  • Identify the safest room in which to shelter during a storm
  • Learn how to safely turn off your power, water and gas
  • Keep water containers, a camping stove and fuel safely on-hand

For more information on hurricane preparedness visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php

 

Hope this helps.


St.Augustine Taste Good – Les Petits Pleasures

Breakfast is the most important part of the day. What comes before the most important part of the day is decided where to eat! St.Augustine has an abundance of local restaurants and naming them all in one post would be quite the undertaking. I’ll start with one of my recent favorites and periodically share some others.

Les Petits Pleasures

Yes it’s needs to be bold.

Recently I discovered Les Petits Pleasures a french restaurant in the plaza on the corner of A1A Beach Blvd [SR 312]  and A1A. I’ve been here several times for breakfast, and shamefully admit not once for lunch. If the quality is the same at lunchtime as it is for breakfast you won’t be disappointed.

The restaurant has a traditional french feel that can be quite immersive. You hear soft french music playing, as you sit in room filled with french decorations.

No automatic alt text available.As I sit in the restaurant for breakfast the trend of foods purchased is evident. The Omelette Croissant. As a french restaurant I’d expect the croissants to be good, but theirs are great. With the omelette croissant you get to choose to fillings and those are paired with two eggs. When I had mine it wasn’t short of amazing. Of the times I’ve had their french toast it was perfect every time.

Aside from breakfast and lunch the restaurant has a variety of pastries made fresh daily.

Below is a copy of their menu I found on their Facebook page.


St.Augustine Real Estate Vicariously – My First Post!

    Hey! Welcome to my real estate blog. I don’t want this to be a traditional real estate blog. I want to this blog to focus on a variety of topics from real estate tips & frequently asked questions to my favorite parts about St.Johns County. [St.Augustine] I’ll take the opportunity in this first blog post to introduce myself. Most of you reading this when I post it already know me, but if you’re reading this sometime down the road it might give you a better understanding of who I am.

My name is Justin Petrucci I am an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty. I’ve lived in Florida since I moved here from New Jersey when I was 6 years old. I’ve spent the majority of my summers on St.Augustine beach and like many of you I was also drawn to all of what St.Augustine has to offer. Now I spend most of my time helping clients find a home in one my favorite cities in Florida. When i’m not “Working” [When you do something you love it doesn’t feel like work at all] I spend most of my time with my family trying to experience something new. Whether it be trying that new restaurant, finding a place to hear live music, or going off the beaten path to find something fun.

Throughout my day to day its not uncommon for clients to ask me questions about my personal life. [What did you do before you were a real estate agent? Why did you become a real estate agent? How did you choose which company you wanted to work for?] I’m sure at some point you’ve wondered the same. Prior to joining Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty I was working as a licensed insurance agent for one of the top 10 insurance companies in America.After leaving the insurance industry I made the decision to become a licensed real estate agent because the idea of being my own boss was very appealing. Since then i’ve learned that being in real estate is more than just unlocking a door and showing them around. It’s becoming a resource and guide for the biggest purchase in a person’s life. Choosing the right brokerage was the easy part. Since I began working in high school I was always drawn to companies that held themselves to a higher standard of business. It was a simple choice to join the best brokerage in North East Florida. [That statement may be subjective]

If you have any questions for me I would be happy to answer them.

I look forward to being your first choice in real estate.