MARK PRIDEAUX | Jacksonville Real Estate, Jacksonville Beach Real Estate, Ponte Vedra Real Estate


When moving with children, or with family planning in mind, house hunting goes beyond finding the right house. You want to also find the right neighborhood and community to raise your child in. You want to find the right place for your child to happily and safely grow up.

Here's your guide to choosing the best neighborhood for your kids.

When you start house hunting draw up a list of towns and neighborhoods that catch your eye.

Having a list of priorities will help to make the house hunting process in each neighborhood much easier. Decide on your top 3 neighborhoods and towns in addition to your non-negotiable house features.

Many couples start to be researching the town’s schools. Look into the budget, what extracurricular activities are available, and if there are any recent news articles profiling the school.

Don’t just look into the kindergartens and elementary schools - look at the middle and high school as well. What are their reputations?

Visit the community center and library to find out what groups and activities are available. This is a great place to find out how involved the community is. Pick up any local newspapers or magazines and spend time flipping through the pages.  

Search Meetup.com and local Facebook groups to see what kind of involvement community members have. This is also a great way to connect with other parents and ask them any questions you might have.

Take a drive through your potential neighborhoods at different times of the day. This will help you to see what each neighborhood has to offer. Are there lots of younger children at pickup and drop off times at bus stops? Or are there older children riding their bikes around?

Are there playgrounds and parks within walking distance? If your child is in extracurricular activities, or you plan for them to be, are there dance or martial arts academies with good reviews in the area?

It’s also important not to discount the importance of proximity to family and friends. We’ve all heard the saying it takes a village to raise a child. Keep distance and travel time from family in mind when making your choice.

Take the future cost of raising a child into consideration while drawing up your budget. Finding the right neighborhood and community is a process of checks and balances. You might have to be willing to compromise in some areas to check off those non-negotiables. This could look like finding a slightly smaller house in a nicer neighborhood or living further away from the city.

Knowing what your priorities are before you begin house hunting and what to look for in each neighborhood will make the process much smoother. It can be a lot of pressure to find the perfect home but when we define our own version of perfect things can fall together much more easily.


Buying a house can be a stressful process, especially when you’ve found your dream home and have put in your bid. While it’s easy to spend all of your spare time worrying endlessly if your bid will be accepted it won’t get you any closer to hearing that “yes”. Here are five things you can do instead of worrying and will help relieve stress instead. Read a book - Immerse yourself in another world by picking up a book. Spend some time browsing the shelves of your local library or bookstore for something that catches your eye. If you aren’t normally a reader choose a genre similar to your movie tastes or ask a librarian for a recommendation. Meditate - I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times before. Every time the topic of lowering stress come up you are sure to have meditation suggested as a combative tool. But it’s so widely recommended for good reason! Science has proven that meditation really does lower stress levels. With its popularity comes a plethora of options for you to experiment with. You can try in-person classes, apps, or CDs. There are even many different ways to meditate so find what works for you and keep practicing. Exercise - Exercise may not be everyone’s favorite past time but it is an excellent way to lower stress. Don’t worry this doesn’t mean you need a gym membership or to spend hours lugging weights around. Walking, dancing and even vigorously cleaning can all count as exercise if they raise your heart rate. You can even think of it as prep for move in day. Spend time with friends - Gather a group of friends together to catch up over brunch or go out on the town for the night. Either way, you will have a blast spending time with those you care about and lowering your stress levels. Social engagement is an important facet of human life and when you gather a group of friends there is almost a guarantee for some laughter. And yes, laughing really does help you reduce stress! Get outside - Spending time in nature is a guaranteed way to destress with endless possibilities. You can go for a hike, ride a bike, spend time on a boat, at the beach or in your own backyard. You also have the added benefit of the ability to combine this tip with any of those given above. Lay out a blanket to sit on to read or meditate, gather a group of friends for a game of kickball, or go for a run as a group or by yourself. Waiting to hear if your bid on your dream home has been accepted can be a stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be. By spending your time engaging in activities that help lower your stress levels you will not only keep yourself from worrying but also do yourself some good too. Whether you choose to snuggle up with a good book or go out on the town with some friends you’ll be glad you gave yourself some downtime before move in day!

If you recently bought or sold a house, you may have only a short amount of time to pack up your belongings and get your family ready for moving day. As such, you'll need to tell your children about your upcoming move to ensure they can prepare accordingly.

Ultimately, informing your kids about your move can be difficult, especially for families that have lived in a particular city or town for many years. Lucky for you, we're here to help you minimize the stress commonly associated with telling your kids about moving day.

Here are three tips to ensure you can stay calm, cool and composed when you inform your kids about your decision to relocate.

1. Speak with Your Kids As Soon As Possible

The longer that you wait to tell your kids about your move, the tougher it will become to break the news to them. Thus, as soon as you decide to purchase or sell a home, you should tell your kids.

Remember, the sooner you speak with your children, the sooner they can start planning for the future. You also can discuss any moving concerns with your kids and ensure they can receive your full emotional support as moving day approaches.

2. Plan Ahead for Your Family Discussion

In most instances, kids will have lots of questions about your decision to move. As a parent, it is your responsibility to dedicate the necessary time and resources to respond to all of your kids' queries.

Consider your children's perspective before you inform your kids about your decision to buy or sell a house – you'll be glad you did. If you plan ahead for a discussion with your kids, you may be able to anticipate potential questions and be ready to provide thoughtful responses.

3. Be Honest

No parent has all the answers, all the time. And if you face children's questions about your move and are uncertain about how to respond to them, you should not hesitate to speak from the heart.

It may be impossible to have answers to all of your kids' questions about an upcoming move. However, if you're honest with your children, you can provide them with plenty of support throughout the moving cycle.

When it comes to discussing an upcoming move with kids, both parents and their children may get emotional. Fortunately, parents and children can work together to support one another and ensure all family members can reap the benefits of a successful transition to a new address.

Lastly, if you need extra help as you get ready to discuss an upcoming move with your kids, you can always consult with a real estate agent. In addition to helping you navigate the homebuying or home selling process, a real estate agent can provide honest, unbiased recommendations about the best ways to inform your children about your decision to buy or sell a residence.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can take the guesswork out of telling your kids about your upcoming move.


There are so many factors that go into buying a home. How much money do you have saved up? What is your debt amount? Hw much money do you make each month? Can you afford the neighborhood that you’d like to live in? All of these questions are swirling around the minds of all first-time homebuyers. Did you know that how long you have been at a job is just as important as your income as a factor in getting approved for a mortgage? 


Your ability to repay is why the lender is looking at so many different numbers and factors about your financial situation. Employment overall plays a large stake in the mortgage application. Lenders will look at your past employment history along with the job that your currently have. They are also concerned with your future employment status. Your lender will get an idea of your overall plan for your career and employment through looking at your history. 


As a first-time homebuyer, you most likely don’t have the employment history of more seasoned homebuyers. Generally, most people who are buying a home for the first time are pretty young in their careers. As a rule of thumb, lenders will look at your employment history over the past two years. The lender wants to see your industry focus. Maybe you have stuck with one career direction, or maybe you have hopped around a bunch. As a hint, jumping around from job to job and field to field doesn’t look very good to mortgage lenders. Job floaters tend to appear as if they have no plans for the future. 


Good Career Moves


Staying a software engineer, but moving from the medical industry to the financial industry is an acceptable and smart move in the eyes of lenders. Yet, leaving your stable job in accounting to pursue a career in acting would not be looked upon favorably in the eyes of a mortgage lender.


It doesn’t matter how much money you have saved up, often, without employment history, a lender may not consider you as a dependable buyer. Your lender wants to see that your income is stable for a period of at least three year’s time.


Income Matters 


You won’t have the same work history as a first time homebuyer as you would if you were a bit more seasoned. When lenders look at your income history, not having a lot of work history can be a detriment to many factors. If your income is an annual salary, for example, your lender will divide that salary by 12 in order to get a monthly income. If you haven’t been at the job for a full year or took a pay cut during times of training, those numbers will be affected.


For hourly employees, overtime may be a problem as it may not be factored in with the equation if there isn’t a history of at least two years on the job. 


While it isn’t impossible to buy a home with a short employment history, it’s advisable to wait until you have some significant time under your belt before you dive into the home buying process.


If you think your bathroom needs some major renovations, but you aren’t sure you can foot the bill for a full bathroom makeover, there’s good news. While a complete bathroom overhaul can be one of the most expensive projects in your home, little changes can make a big difference. Read on for tips on how to give your bathroom a boost without taking out a large loan or losing the use of your bathroom. 


Add Storage To Your Shower


Doing something as simple as adding shelving to your shower can make it stylish. There are many different inexpensive, easy to install corner shelves for the tub that not only add storage to the bath but make everything look neater and more attractive too. Some shelving even connects with the twist of a rod- no drilling required!


Add Some Art


Those souvenirs that you bring back from vacation don’t need to go to waste. Use them as art for your wall. You can use frames or shadow boxes to display some of your favorite memories from vacations past. Even fun pieces of art that you love can be a grand addition to any bathroom. Make the loo a peaceful little getaway! 


Change Up Your Shower Curtain


This sounds so simple but can make one of the biggest impacts on your bathroom. Your shower curtain brings a dramatic effect to your room because it is a focal point.


Put In Some Storage 


Your bathroom can become more functional if you add some storage to the room. If the bathroom appears less cluttered, you’ll have more room to store things and feel better about the room. Shelving is such an easy thing to put up and it adds a lot to a room. Shelves can even make the room look bigger! It’s simple to store things that you want to keep out of the way but need in reach.



Paint


There’s nothing that brightens up a room quite like paint. It’s the first thing that any interior decorating expert will tell a homeowner looking to bring a new vibe to their home. You don’t even have to paint every wall in the bathroom. Just an accent wall will do wonders. 


Add Plants


Nothing brings great feeling to a room like greenery. Plants bring oxygen to a room and make you feel happier when you’re in that space. Science has even proven it! There’s probably no more appropriate place in a home for plants than the bathroom. The moisture and warm environment is a favorable growing condition for many varieties.   

 





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