Neighborhoods We Love: Atlantic Beach

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One Ocean

If you are looking for a relaxing vacation spot or the perfect staycation getaway you must plan a visit to Atlantic Beach’s One Ocean Resort and Spa. This luxurious resort holds a prime location with it being close to the heart of the quaint Atlantic Beach town center.  One Ocean provides its guests with extravagant suites and amenities for the whole family all while taking in the views of the picturesque Atlantic Ocean. Relax in your private beach getaway with floor-to-ceiling views of the ocean with private white sandy beaches in the foreground. A special feature that One Ocean offers their guests includes the choice to personalize your amenities. This gives guests the option to request any favorite snacks or beverages that will be ready and waiting for you upon your arrival. Once you’re settled in your personalized suite, guests are welcome to utilize the relaxing spa area. The spa features a wide variety of different types of packages including massages and facials among other revitalizing and relaxing amenities. One Ocean holds a prime location with it being close to the heart of the picturesque Atlantic Beach town center. You will not be disappointed with your choice to stay here with One Ocean offering something for everyone whether it be a vacation, staycation, or even a wedding, this resort has the perfect services for you.

 

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The Hotel Palms

You’ll find a private getaway at the Hotel Palms nestled in a quiet part of Atlantic Beach. The Hotel Palms aims to make you feel like an Atlantic Beach local throughout the duration of your stay. One of the features that makes this hotel particularly unique is its wide variety of rooms tailored to fit any type of guest’s desire. Some of these types of rooms include quaint bunk rooms to private beach bungalows and luxurious cabanas. The Hotel Palms specializes in unique amenities for guests to enjoy such as the beer and wine lounge, private courtyard, outdoor courtyard, and beach cruiser rentals just to name a few. Once you’ve gotten acquainted with the hotel, you’ll find that you are within walking distance to the beach and the Beaches Town Center where you can find many different types of local stores. This hotel is perfect for those who want a boutique hotel experience where you are encouraged to explore and participate in the activities just like a local.

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Next, we wanted to highlight a local designer that calls Atlantic Beach home. Elizabeth Sarah works to create unique jewelry for women that acts as an extension of the unique person that they are. Elizabeth Sarah designs all of her pieces with the intention for them to carry on luck, celebration, and love onto its wearer. Elizabeth Sarah has been creating one of a kind jewelry for thirteen years. With each and every piece she works to make her jewelry in the spirit of casual sophistication and products that are high quality with an individual design. The Atlantic Beach inspiration for her jewelry definitely shines through with many of her pieces paying homage to her home with different shades of blues and statement pieces from shells to sharks teeth are incorporated within. This jewelry makes a great gift to take back home, or a perfect present for yourself to remember your visit to this quaint oceanside town.

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Royal Palm village wine and tapas

The Royal Palm Village and Wine Tapas Bar is the perfect place to stop for an intimate wine tasting paired with delicious tapas. This local wine bar offers over 1,200 different types of wine for you to sample, along with fourteen local rotating drafts and over 200 types of craft beer. The motto used by Royal Palm Village is to keep their food and wine as authentic as possible, pouring their heart into the “farm to table” meaning. Their tapas are equally fresh sourcing their ingredients from local vendors and seasonal vegetables. A unique feature of this wine bar is that it offers its vast wine collection at retail prices to their customers, so you will be able to stock up on your own private wine collection! You can find this wine and tapas bar located in a quiet plaza  just a short drive from gorgeous Atlantic Beach.

Local Atlantic Beach expert, Julie Childers, REALTOR® with EXIT 1 Stop Realty, explains the neighborhood and real estate market.

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Atlantic Beach is a quaint beach town on the northeast part of the Jacksonville beaches areas. This highly desired beach is in demand for a number of reasons: the small beach town, the mature trees and friendly neighborhood feel, the fabulous restaurants (some of the best in Jax) and shops, the wide open beach, and the 24 hrs a day dog friendly beach. While these are just a few reasons why families and singles want to live in AB, there are many more and it shows in the real estate market numbers. In fact, people love it so that the amount of homes on the market for sale are down 23% from last year. With an already low inventory market, this drives the competition for homes up in the area. The average sales price in 2019 of an Atlantic Beach home is $577,657. This is a 6% increase over the sale price of homes in 2018. Thus, more people are choosing to stay put in Atlantic Beach…with all the great perks, who wouldn’t!?

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JAX Cooking Studio

The JAX Cooking Studio is here to provide you with the tools to spice up your home kitchen while serving a fun and creative experience to their guests. JAX Cooking Studio offers its guests cooking classes that are open to all levels of cooks. The classes will teach you how to prepare delicious meals without breaking your budget. The classes offer cooking lessons with a wide variety of healthy foods designed to give you the nutrients your body needs without sacrificing taste! Find this Atlantic Beach gem located just minutes from the Jacksonville Beach area.

Johansen Park

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Johansen Park is a beautiful twelve-acre park located in the Selva Marina neighborhood, just blocks from the ocean. This gorgeous area is perfect for a family picnic or a pick-up game of Frisbee or soccer. In the spring you’ll be able to find the local Spring Arts in the Park festival featuring food, music, and art from local vendors. Make sure to mark your calendars in the spring for this family friendly event that occurs on the last Saturday in April from 10am – 6pm. This event is free and open to the public.

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Our favorite Jacksonville DIY Couple

Any HGTV addict will tell you that there is something about couples who DIY and flip homes that is particularly charming. Just try to sit and watch one episode of Fixer Upper With Chip and Joanna Gaines or Flip or Flopped (and the multiple spin offs) during a marathon without wanting to binge watch!

One of the things Top of the Coast is particularly passionate about is DIY home projects and we found a young Jacksonville couple who have turned their love of DIY and real estate into an exciting new business.

After they were married two and a half years ago, Dror and Brooke Mida decided they wanted to start saving up to start a business flipping houses. At the time Mida was a 5th grade teacher and her husband was in flight school. They began saving up and planning ahead for their business which they have now turned into a reality.

“One of the things we’ve always been passionate about together is the real estate industry,” Brooke says. “We had to really kind of pinch our money together really tight and we had to be really committed to our financial goals so we could have that cash to invest in a property. We were very goal oriented and two years into our marriage we finally felt comfortable investing in our first property. We moved back to Jacksonville and Jacksonville has a great market for investors my Dad’s currently an investor in the city and he has a bunch of properties so we leaned on him for his knowledge of the areas as well,” she continues.

Today Dror is a commercial pilot and Brooke sells real estate full time. Brooke explains the process of how her and Dror chose the property they have recently flipped in Murray Hill.

“We chose an area and got a property that literally needed everything…I mean we kind of went in full force…it needed plumbing, electrical…you name it. We are currently working on it together. We do a lot of the work ourselves…the work that’s safe for us to do,” she says.

According to Brooke, Murray Hill is one of the hottest areas in Jacksonville for investors looking to flip houses.

“Our house is in the Murray Hill area close to Riverside. I personally have a passion for that whole area so Riverside, Murray Hill and Avondale… and I think that has been a hot market for a few years and it’s continuing to be and now that trend from Avondale to Riverside over to Murray Hill is kind of pushing that direction. Murray Hill is one of those areas where it’s still a little rough but I think investors are really starting to see the potential there because of its vicinity around those historic districts,” Brooke says.

Brooke has been able to develop an expert knowledge of the market in Jacksonville for real estate investors.

“Where we chose to invest and where our property is lies right on that line [historic Jacksonville districts]…and you have a lot of investors that are pouring into that area and starting to put money into the older properties,” she says.

Brooke says Murray Hill and the surrounding areas is transforming into a hot location in Jacksonville for young professionals and local businesses. This is due in part to investors like Dror and Brooke who are putting time and money into restoring the homes in the area.

“I think  what they are trying to accomplish is to follow in the footsteps of Riverside and kind of become that artistic, young neighborhood where people feel like they can invest in a lot of businesses and we’ve seen some of the restaurants and businesses that are going in there kind of mirror the same vibe as Riverside…so you’ve got local bakeries and bars going in and hip local businesses…so now a lot of people are investing in those historic homes and making them really nice,’ she says.

Brooke has some advice for people interested in flipping homes:

“First of all if somebody wants to get into an investment property that’s something you really have to plan for financially and you really have to be committed to saving for it because you’re not just talking about purchasing the property you have to know what money you need in reserve to fix it,” she says.

Brooke also gives some advice about how to search for the right property to flip,“When you’re looking for a property it’s important to remember you’re going to see something that is very distressed, it needs some love and you have to be able to see past the flaws and have the creativity and ability to say ‘Wow! What can I do?’ and ‘how can i make this my own?’ and you have to love it because you’re going to get down and dirty, you’re going to rip things apart and you’re going to come across things that you didn’t expect,” she says.

Brooke says that it’s also important to be prepared for surprises-her and Dror found this out during their last project.

“When we pulled up some of our laminate floors we found that some of the sub-floors were just rotted and that was something that we didn’t expect but you know that’s why it’s important to have that cash…so you’re ready to say ‘OK. I know that this house needs this, this and this so I have that money saved but then I actually have an additional 25% so if I run into a bump it’s there for me,” she says.

When it comes to how her and Dror split up their DIY duties Brooke says there are certain roles taken on by each of them.

“I’ve leaned on him more for knowledge when it comes to the construction end of things and he’s really leaned on me more for the artistic end of things such as picking out paint colors and putting up back splash against counter tops and knowing they’re good together. I would say that we’re a good team in the sense that we trust one another and kind of lean on each other’s skills,” she says.

 

Brooke explains that her Mom is the inspiration behind many of her home design ideas and that to stay on trend she usually goes online. “My parents have a bunch of properties in Jacksonville and they kind of work the same way as Dror and I. My Mom is really the eye for design. She really inspires me because she can just walk into a space and be like ‘boom! I know what I’m going to do!’ and she can have all the colors picked out and they all go together perfectly and it’s flawless so she really inspired me. There are also so many resources online that I go to stay current on modern design trends,” she says.

One of her favorite modern home design trends is a big, open kitchen. “I know that in the past kitchens weren’t really a focal point- you can see that in older homes, they were kind of a blocked off space…but now people really love having a kitchen as a social space and it opens up into the living area. So one of the things we did in our home is that we knocked down walls to make the kitchen as open as possible and we really incorporated the kitchen into the living space so it’s just a free, open floor plan” she says.

Brooke says she was able to incorporate two of her favorite modern design trends into their Murray Hill project. “As far as color trends are concerned: one of the things that we saw and I fell in love with it because it is very elegant is the color scheme of having light grays on the wall, like a blueish gray with white trim and then gray hues on the flooring. So our flooring is something that is really popular right now- a cooler toned, grayish-brown hardwood that has hints of blue in it as opposed to a more golden hued hardwood floor,” she says.
The Midas are preparing their Murray Hill home to be put on the market and are ready to move on to their next investment property soon in the Murray Hill area. Brooke also focuses on helping other buyers find the right investment property in the city through her real estate business, “Jacksonville is huge and there are so many different neighborhoods that are hot for investors there are other areas like near the airport that are starting to come up too but Murray Hill is where our heart is right now but down the road we may start to move into other areas, too,” she says. 

If you have any questions for the Midas on any of their projects or are looking for more advice about investment properties you can reach Brooke on her Facebook page or shoot her an email at Brooke@thebillsharpteam.com.

Beaches First Time Home Buyer DIY Tips

“It’s my first time owning a home and I couldn’t really afford to get something with all the upgrades I wanted so I found a cute little condo that I saw some potential in that I could make some small updates that I could do myself.”

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My sister Alexa just purchased her first home this summer, a townhouse in Ponte Vedra beach.

Alexa is a modern girl with tastes to match and she wanted that style reflected in her home. She decided that (with a little help from the family) she would fix it up herself before she moved in.

Here is a recap of what she did to easily update her home on a budget and a short timeline. Almost all of the paint, fixtures and materials were purchased at the Home Depot in Jacksonville Beach.

“I had a month before I needed to move in so I had some projects that I knew I could get done in that month and some projects that I knew were on my bucket list but maybe would be kind of further out over the next six months or the next couple of years…so I made a couple of lists like ‘to do before move in’ and a list ‘to do in the first six months’ and a list of ‘dream projects’ just to kind of break down and prioritize things,” she said.

“I started on the bottom floor first. The first thing I had to do was take down all of the vertical blinds because I knew I had to get them down and patch the holes and sand them before I could paint the walls. It was almost like a mini demo where I took out those things- especially from the walls- that I would want to remove so that I didn’t have to mess with it when I was painting later,” she said.

“I then went through the house and patched through any holes that were in the walls and filled in any irregularities and tried to sand them down and make them look nice,” she said. “The next thing I did was clean the whole house because I knew I needed to do that after I sanded the walls. Then we painted,” she said.

“My house was kind of an overall beige-everything was beige in the house so I wanted neutral colors- something that would pop against a white trim…we looked at a bunch of different blues and light grays and settled on a sterling blue that had a little bit of grey in it as the main color of the whole main floor and the stairwell area and the main area upstairs,” she said.

“We wanted to something different for the bedrooms and we actually wanted to do something different in each bedroom but for simplicity we ended up doing a whitish green for both rooms.”

“The bathroom renovation plan didn’t include changing out the tub or the sink. The sink and the countertop all were like a beige color so I needed something that would look fresh with that but not make it look too beige…so I actually did a creamy, whitish beige in the bathrooms just to make it look fresh but also to make sure the things I weren’t changing stood out,” she said.

“I also changed out the mirror in the downstairs bathroom. It came with a basic, builder style mirror and I was able to find a lot of stores that have pretty nice mirrors which were not very expensive. The frame around the mirror really made it pop and look more modern.”

“The bathrooms were dated- especially the faucets and the light fixtures. In the bathroom downstairs I was able to do a light fixture that was kind of nautical-based without being over the top. For the faucets I wanted something that looked really nice and streamlined with not too many flourishes but still nice and heavy duty. There are a lot of swan neck faucets in style but I picked one that could go with everything.”

“ I wanted to use the same faucets throughout. I used the same faucets just to kind of streamline it.”

“The kitchen had already been re-done by the previous owner and it had nickel colored fixtures so I wanted to go with that and stick with that- something that was kind of neutral. So I just picked the most basic ones so they could go with different styles,” she said.

I had to do something different with the lights upstairs because the electrical box where you hook up the fixtures isn’t centered so I needed something with a wider base. What was there before was those really kind of 80’s big globe lights and I thought that really dated the bathroom so I wanted to change it to a light fixture that was kind of plain but cute and wide enough to be centered on the electrical box. I ended up with a four light fixture- I just searched on some of the big home fixture websites and narrowed my parameters. I picked one in that nickel finish in my price range.”

“I did mix it up a little bit downstairs in the dining room area of the house- it’s a kind of smaller area that is sandwiched between the kitchen and the living room and it had a large chandelier type light fixture and I felt like it really overwhelmed the space. Even though it was fairly nice and not dated I wanted to replace it because I felt it was too large for the space. I got a semi-flush mount light fixture which isn’t traditionally in dining rooms but it really fit the height of the room and the space and opened up a lot more head space in there so the whole room looks different than it did. I did veer from the nickel finish there- I chose a bronze finish to make it kind of pop there and standout. The fixture has that farmhouse look that is really popular right now but still simple enough that it would be attractive to prospective buyers,” she said.

“I think it definitely makes it look more modern and youthful. The house was built in the 80’s and it definitely had that vibe. A lot of the fixtures were dated and that was something I first saw when I walked through the home- and it made it look like an old place. Now that those things aren’t there they don’t catch your eye and you’re not thrown off by those when you walk through the house and I think a prospective buyer will now be able to see the house as a whole and not have these things distract from it.”

The basics of a quick DIY on a budget you can learn from my sister are:

  • Make a detailed plan of projects on a timeline
  • A paint refresh goes a long way
  • Updated fixtures can change the look of the whole space
  • Small Details Matter
  • Make the space your own but stick to the basics in case you want to sell in the future
  • If this is your first time buying a simple update like this can make a home in your budget more appealing