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Refresh Your Open-Concept Design Plan for the New Year

Open concept design gained popularity in the 1990s and continues to dominate the residential design and new home construction market. Whether you’re remodeling your older home or simply reviving a newer home, the new year is a great time for a refresh.

What is Open-Concept Design?

Open-concept design incorporates an open floor plan for the main areas of the home, including the kitchen, living room, and dining room. The construction of the open area uses heavy support beams instead of interior load bearing walls.

Top Tips for Open-Concept Design

Designing an open-concept home requires a plan to create consistency and purpose in the space. While any design style works with open floor plans, it’s best to stick to one design vision. Otherwise, the space loses the coherent feel desired with an open-concept design.

Define Each Space

Most open-concept floor plans include a kitchen, dining, and living room area. While the kitchen is a set space, the other spaces usually have more flexibility. Add comfort and style to your home by defining each distinct space. 

Area rugs delineate open spaces. Add a rug under the dining room table and in the main floor space of the living room. Also, group furniture to create separate zones.

Select Complementary Colors and Textures

Color plays an essential role in home design. Work with harmonizing colors. Choose a color palette that enhances your style. Then, choose complementary colors for each space. A slight change in color for each area aids in defining the separate spaces.

Stick with textures that blend well together. For example, select curtains in complementary textures, colors, and style to create cohesion. Likewise, select rugs that aren’t the same in size and pattern, but match in style and texture. 

Choose Furnishings that Maximize Space and Function

As we mentioned, furniture grouping defines the space. You also want to choose furniture that fits your functional needs. If you have a family with seven people, don’t buy a table that sits only six. 

Be deliberate in your choices to create a home that brings comfort and ease to your life. Consider furniture with dual purposes, like an ottoman with storage. This maximizes the usefulness of your open floor plan.

The Benefits of Open Concept Design

The goal of open-concept floor plans is to create a feeling of expanded space. The rooms flow into each other for improved movement between each space. Plus, open floor plans let more natural light in because of the lack of interior walls.

Open floor plans are great for entertaining. You have a larger space for people to gather. For open-concept homes that open to a back patio or porch, you have even more space to work with.

Because of the popularity of open-concept design, you add value to your property and increase its resale desirability. Overall, open floor plan homes make a smart investment.

Breeze Helps Homebuyers Find the Best Floor Plan for Your Needs

At Breeze Homes, our floorplans include open-concept designs for optimal function and maximization of the space. We work with each new homebuyer to select the best floor plan for your budget and lifestyle. 

Contact us to plan a visit to one of our open-concept homes.

CategoriesLiving the Breeze Life

Jacksonville is a Great Place to Buy a Home

Whether you are relocating from a different area or upgrading from renting to owning, Jacksonville is a great place to buy a new home. Even though Jacksonville is the largest city in the continental United States, covering 840 square miles, there are pockets of communities throughout the city that cultivate a hometown feel.

At Breeze Homes, we love Jacksonville and are proud to offer homebuyers a quality selection of neighborhoods and home designs conveniently located throughout the city. Jacksonville is perfect for first-time homebuyers or families looking for an affordable home.

In many major cities in the United States, homeownership can feel out of reach. In Jacksonville, you’ll find options at every price range to make buying a home accessible. You can make your dream of homeownership a reality in an outstanding location.

Top Reasons Why Jacksonville is a Great Place to Buy a Home

If you are considering purchasing a home in Northeastern Florida, Jacksonville offers many reasons to put this city at the top of your list. It’s a vibrant and diverse city offering something for everyone.

Affordable Home Prices

Compared to other major cities, especially beachfront locations, Jacksonville has relatively affordable home prices. You’ll find many options for first-time homebuyers in locations throughout the city. 

A Growing City

Jacksonville is a city that continues to grow and thrive. It offers employment opportunities, new neighborhoods and plenty of entertainment and amenities for the entire family. 

Lower Cost of Living

According to Zillow, the cost of living in Jacksonville is 10% below the national average. This makes Jacksonville a reasonable choice compared to many other major cities with much higher costs of living. 

Beautiful Beaches

Jacksonville has miles of beaches to enjoy, including Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach. If you love fun in the sun and sand, you’ll find countless beach activities to enjoy.

Abundant Outdoor Recreation

Along with many miles of beaches, Jacksonville is home to a large variety of parks, trails and other outdoor spaces. Enjoy fishing, hiking, boating, golfing, swimming and much more.

Family-Friendly Atmosphere

Families with children will find a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Jacksonville has a large selection of kid-friendly entertainment, including the Jacksonville Zoo and public parks.

Quality School Options

From preschool through post-graduate education, Jacksonville offers a variety of public and private school options. In fact, Jacksonville is home to nationally ranked high schools. 

Variety of Neighborhoods

Find the right neighborhood to fit your needs and budget. You’ll find homes in all categories from urban vibes to small-town charm. Whether you’re a recent college graduate or long-time retiree, Jacksonville has a place for you to call home. 

Wonderful Weather

Florida is known for its outstanding weather. Jacksonville is no exception! The warm climate and proximity to the ocean make Jacksonville comfortable all year round.

Make Jacksonville Your Home

Unlike many Florida cities, Jacksonville doesn’t feel like a tourist destination. Instead, it feels like home. You have access to big city amenities, like fine dining, professional sports and convenient air travel without losing a sense of community.

 

Contact Breeze Homes to schedule a visit to one of our communities or to discuss how we simplify the homebuying process.

 

CategoriesUncategorized

Why Now is a Great Time to Buy a New Home

 

Many people dream of owning a new home. Even in the face of the unprecedented challenges of 2020, you don’t need to wait to make that dream a reality. In fact, home feels more important now than ever.

Breeze Homes make home buying attainable whether it’s your first home or a move from your current home. As a local Jacksonville homebuilder, we’re invested in our local communities and helping our neighbors make their dreams come true. 

Benefits of Buying a New Home Now

Low Mortgage Interest Rates

Currently, mortgage interest rates are at near all-time lows. These low rates make home ownership a viable option for more people. When you combine the current low interest rates with our cost-effective approach to buying a home, it’s easier to find a price to meet your budget in one of our new home communities.

Rising Home Prices

Despite other challenges in the economy, home prices remain strong around the country. In addition, market indicators predict a continued rise in home prices. While this is good news for the housing market, buyers don’t benefit by waiting to purchase. In fact, waiting to buy a new home will likely cost more in future years.

Low Market Inventory

Like with low interest rates, housing inventory rates continue to reach record lows. Especially in the mid-range or more attainable housing price ranges, supply is limited. Now is a great time to sell a home. If you currently own your home, it’s likely to sell quickly and for a strong price. This is wonderful news if you desire to purchase a new home but need to sell your existing home first.

Rising Rental Rates

In response to the low housing supply, rental rates have increased in recent years. If you’re currently renting, you can expect your monthly rent to go up over the next few years. When you own a home, you gain equity as the home appreciates. Instead of throwing money away each month, you build wealth with homeownership.

Peace of Mind

Take away the uncertainty about where you’ll live. People who rent typically move more than people who own their homes. When you own, you have peace of mind that you control when you move. You don’t have to deal with the changing owners or management companies of a rental. Instead, you determine your future. 

The Importance of Home

With the ever-changing restrictions and regulations due to the pandemic, most people are spending more time at home. With increased numbers of people working from home while children do on-line learning, you need space for your family to function. Families need to work, learn and play all at home. It’s more important than ever to have a home you love.

Make a Move Today

Don’t let fear keep you from purchasing a new home. We work with homebuyers to simplify the homebuying process. We take the stress out of buying a home by eliminating common issues, like high closing costs, large down payments and long wait times to move in. 

Contact Breeze Homes today to make your dream of owning a new home a reality.

 

Categoriestips & tricks

10 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

 Purchasing a new home is an exciting time, but purchasing a first home is a dream come true! At Breeze Homes, we help first-time homebuyers throughout the homebuying process to make your transition as a new homeowner as seamless and stress-free.

Our team has a few go-to tips to help first-time buyers like you prepare, search and close on a new home.

Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

 

  1. Save Before You Buy

The cost of owning a home is more than the initial home buying process and paying your monthly mortgage. When you move from renting to owning, you become responsible for repairs and upkeep. It’s important to have money set aside to cover these expenses. For example, you may need to purchase a lawnmower or pay for utility costs that were previously included in your rent.

  1. Improve Your Credit Score

While we work with our preferred lenders to offer our homebuyers a smoother approval process without high closing costs and down payments, a good credit score still improves your interest rate. Paying your bills on time and paying down debt helps boost your credit score. 

  1. Get Pre Approved

The mortgage pre-approval process demonstrates your potential to receive a loan for a home within a specific price range. Additionally, a preapproval letter shows sellers you are serious about buying. Sellers often require a preapproval letter when you make an offer to buy a home. In most cases, pre-approval letters expire after 60 to 90 days.

  1. Determine Your Budget

The preapproval process helps determine your budget because it shows the amount a lender will allow you to borrow. However, you may have a higher or lower budget based on your specific financial condition and goals. For example, you may receive preapproval for a higher amount than you want to spend. It’s okay to stay in a lower price range than your pre-approval amount.

  1. Determine the Type of Home You Want to Purchase

Before you begin your home search, decide if you prefer to purchase an existing home from an individual or a new home from a home builder. A new home offers the benefits of the newest features and technology. Plus, new homes are move-in ready when you close. At Breeze Homes, we build new homes at prices first-time homebuyers can afford and offer the support you need to successfully close. 

  1. Understand Your Priorities in a Home

Take the time to make a list of the specific features you want in a home. Break the list down into “must-have” and “nice to have” items. This process allows you to narrow your search. For example, do you prefer a ranch model over a two-story home? Do you need a home office or a specific number of bedrooms? These items could be essential. Whereas features like hardwood floors or a lanai may be less important.

  1. Look at Multiple Properties

You may fall in love with the first home you see, but it’s smart to look at multiple properties before you make a home buying decision. By looking at several models, you can truly determine what home works best for you and your family. After all, your first home is likely the biggest purchase you’ve made. You want to be confident in your decision.

  1. Take Your Time

Buying your first home is a big decision. We never make homeowners feel rushed in the process. If you like one of our finished homes, you can move in more quickly. However, you may also choose to wait and build a new model to your specifications. We want you to find the home of your dreams. 

  1. Purchase the Right Home Insurance

Mortgage lenders require homeowner’s insurance. A crucial step is to work with your insurance provider to curate a policy that’s perfect for you. Make sure you select a plan with a deductible you can afford. Plus, you want a policy that protects your interests. Read the fine print so you don’t have any surprises if you ever need to file a claim.

  1. Understand the Closing Process

We want to make closing on your first home simple. The best way to stay on track to closing is to submit the necessary documents and follow every step to a T. Your mortgage lender requires specific proof of your financials and other details, like insurance. Make sure you have what you need before the closing date.

Find Your First Home from Breeze Homes

Breeze Homes makes homebuying attainable, which is perfect for Jacksonville’s first-time homebuyers. Contact us to tour one of our neighborhoods and find your dream home.

CategoriesLiving the Breeze Life

5 Hot Happy Hour Spots for Jacksonville Residents

Foodies rejoice! Most people love to eat, but for some, it’s an experience unlike any other. Foodies often seek out their favorite cuisine, trying new locations or enjoying fusions of their favorite meals. Lucky for them, the food scene has grown over the last several years in cities across the country, Jacksonville included.
Whether you’re looking for great priced appetizers, a specialty cocktail or a nice craft beer on your way home from work, you’re sure to find places to celebrate your culinary tastes in Jacksonville, not far from your new home at Sarah’s Landing. Here are some of the hottest happy hour spots you can add to your list to try out.
The Volstead is located in Jacksonville’s downtown area, and is a popular prohibition era style speakeasy. Get a cocktail, relax with friends and enjoy the jazz club vibe. They have drink specials on happy hour, so be sure to stop in for a unique post-work drink experience.
Element Bistro in downtown features locally sourced produce, craft cocktails and an array of healthy, handmade small plates and entrees. Happy hour specials include $5 cocktails to accompany your after-work snack or dinner.
For those craving a margarita after leaving the office, there are several options but Burrito Gallery has some popular house margaritas to go with chips and salsa, burritos, tacos and more. Enjoy the patio and street side vibe with friends or coworkers.
Change pace from street side at Burrito Gallery to rooftop views with Black Sheep Restaurant. Modern cuisine from the American south is created from locally sourced ingredients, and the rooftop lounge is a great place to grab an evening drink.
Engine 15 Brewing Company has 50 types of craft beer on tap. Head over to Jacksonville Beach for an evening of sampling craft beer flights, like blondes, IPAs and saisons. After trying this one, be sure to check out the other breweries on the Jax Trail Ale.
While these aren’t the only five happy hour spots, they are some of the popular ones to try new things, have new experiences and enjoy time away from the office with coworkers. Give them a try on your way home from work sometime, and check out some of the other great restaurants, bars and lounges Jacksonville has to offer.
Live at Sarah’s Landing
Are you looking for a new home in Jacksonville? Sarah’s Landing is located in the westside of Jacksonville with easy access from Interstate 10 and 295. Enjoy a nearby park for tennis, baseball, trails and playscapes for the whole family’s enjoyment. The experienced agents at the Edge Group at Keller Williams is here to help you find the perfect fit for your new home in our neighborhood. Contact us today to learn how to get started with our simple home buying process.
CategoriesLiving the Breeze Life

Activities for Family Fun in Jacksonville

As you contemplate big life changes, like moving or buying a house, you consider the impact on the entire family. When you have children, a lot changes – and looking at houses may take a different approach with little ones than if your kids are grown or not yet born. When you seek a new home, you want to be sure there are good schools and plenty of activities for your kids to do in the area. If you’re looking at Cedar Bay homes or other areas in Jacksonville, here are several activities and places you can plan some fun family days.
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens: The zoo has 2,000 animals and the gardens feature more than 1,000 types of plants, so everyone can learn about plants and animals from around the world. Take a ride on the zoo’s train, ride the carousel and feed the giraffes at Giraffe Lookout.
Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park: The oceanfront park has miles of hiking trails, over a mile of beach, a splash park for kids and a lake for family kayaking or fishing. You can even camp if your family wants a night or two away from everyday life.
Museum of Science & History: Everyone can have fun and learn something new at the museum in downtown. With the area’s only planetarium, learn about space and the stars. Learn about the human body or visit the lagoon area to see a giant snapping turtle. With hands-on learning opportunities, your kids will be excited to soak up the new knowledge.
Adventure Landing: This adventure park is at Jacksonville Beach and has enough activities you can spend an entire day here. Go karts, mini golf, laser tag and an arcade make for fun for the entire family, and when the weather is warm, be sure to check out the Shipwreck Island waterpark where everyone can enjoy time on the lazy river and waterslides.
Jacksonville Beach: Even with so many great attractions, you don’t have to spend money to have fun. Jacksonville Beach allows your family to build sand castles, splash around in the water and enjoy lazy afternoons sprawled out, enjoying each other’s company in the sunshine.
Cedar Bay by Breeze Homes
In the northside area of Jacksonville, Cedar Bay is a growing neighborhood within easy driving distance to the beaches and downtown. Each home is designer improved and has an easy buying process, so you and your family can get started on the next chapter of your lives as homeowners. Contact our experienced, friendly agents to learn how you can get started with the home buying process.
CategoriesLiving the Breeze Life

Top 5 Jacksonville Beaches to Spend the Afternoon

As you plan your afternoons or weekends, hitting the beach may be on your list of leisure activities for yourself, your group of friends or your family. But living in Florida, and particularly in Jacksonville, you have so many options for where to spend your time! What are the best beaches, when there are so many choices to consider? Here are five of the top Jacksonville beaches for your next out of town visitor or just an afternoon of free time.
American Beach: As part of the state’s Black Heritage Trail, the beach is quiet and removed from the hustle and bustle of Amelia Island. Escape the tourist crowd and enjoy fishing, swimming and surfing, or just lay on the beach and build sandcastles as a family.
Atlantic Beach: Relaxing beaches popular with locals and tourists alike, beach goers can surf, cycle or enjoy parks and golf courses. There is also interesting history, as its believed to be the first year-round Native American settlement in North America.
Fernandina Beach: As the northernmost beach, Fernandina is on Amelia Island near Jacksonville. It’s a great place for shopping, seafood, arts and crafts, as well as live music and playgrounds, providing fun for the whole family.
Jacksonville Beach: This beach has a lot of facilities and activities to offer beach goers. With a fishing pier, golf course, and great waves, there are so many ways to keep active at Jacksonville Beach. Enjoy the sunshine with all the amenities you could want nearby.
Neptune Beach: Situated between Jacksonville and Atlantic beaches, the small community of Neptune Beach gives you space to unplug and relax. With incredible sunsets and sunrises and a laid-back atmosphere, you can just lay on the beach or enjoy boutique shops and delicious food.
Live at Townsend Village by Breeze Homes
If you want to live in a great location near the water, the designer-approved homes in the Northside area are near schools, Jacksonville University, Tree Hill Nature Center and more. Townsend Village gives homeowners an easy home buying experience, giving you a less stressful option when searching for your next Jacksonville house.
Friendly, experienced agents will walk you through the entire process and help you understand where you are in the home purchase experience. Get in touch today to learn how you can be a proud new owner of a Townsend Village home.
CategoriesLiving the Breeze Life

7 of the Most Beautiful Golf Courses in Jacksonville

Florida is often known for its sunny afternoons and beautiful beaches, but it can also be a great vacation spot or home to avid golfers and outdoor enthusiasts. In fact, Jacksonville has more than 20 golf courses! Hit a round then check out the Jax Ale Trail for a post-course drink. With so much to do and see, you won’t get bored at the same course day after day. Here are some of the most beautiful courses in the Jacksonville area.
Ocean Links Golf Course
This course is known for its five oceanfront holes, 10 holes with lagoons or wetlands and six miles of natural sand dunes. It’s located at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Amelia Island.
Players Stadium Course
This course features the most photographed hole in the world, with the island green on the 17th hole. At the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, golf surrounded by lagoons and trees.
Ocean Course
With the first island green and 101 sand bunkers, this course features beautiful views and challenging shots. Visit the course at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Lagoon Course
Like the Ocean Course, this course is at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, but it features lagoons and lakes at 11 holes, with pine and palm trees linking the course.
Oceanfront Links Course
A challenging course with water on 12 holes and three holes along the Atlantic, you may be able to spot whales, dolphins, eagles and other wild animals at this course at Hammock Dunes Club in Palm Coast.
Queen’s Harbour
With 1,000 acres of tidal marshlands and oak trees, bordered by the Intracoastal Waterway and overlooking a freshwater marina, this course offers plenty to see at Queen’s Harbour Yacht & Country Club in Jacksonville.
Live at Sarah’s Landing
Are you looking for a new home in Jacksonville, where you can be near work, school and golf courses?
Sarah’s Landing is located in the westside of Jacksonville with easy access from Interstate 10 and 295. Enjoy a nearby park for tennis, baseball, trails and playscapes for the whole family’s enjoyment.
The experienced agents at the Edge Group at Keller Williams is here to help you find the perfect fit for your new designer approved home in our neighborhood. Contact us today to learn how to get started with our simple home buying process.
CategoriesLiving the Breeze Life

Free Fun in the Jacksonville Area

Are you trying to save money for a big vacation, a new car or just to have a rainy day fund? Don’t worry! Living on a budget so you can save some extra funds doesn’t mean you need to do away with your social life and fun activities. There are plenty of fun, free activities in Jacksonville that you can head out the door and explore.
Riverside Arts Market: As Florida’s largest, weekly free arts festival, this market happens every Saturday from March to December with local vendors, fresh produce, live entertainment and more for you and you friends or family to wander around every week.
Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens: Check out one of the most visited museums in the Southeast for Free Tuesdays, every Tuesday evening, or on the first Saturday of the month.
Jacksonville Jazz Festival: Jazz musicians from all over the country converge on Jacksonville for Memorial Day weekend for a free jazz fest with several stages of music.
Museum of Science & History: Learn from their core exhibits and special traveling displays. While there is an admission fee most days, there are the occasional special events where free admission happens, so be sure to check their site and social media for free days.
Kingsley Plantation: Part of the National Park Service, the plantation offers visitors a chance to view a plantation house and learn about all aspects of life in eighteenth and nineteenth century Florida by touring 20 slave cabins, the plantation’s gardens and the house itself.
Beaches Museum & History Center: This free museum allows visitors to learn about the railway system, music, the boardwalk and how Hurricane Dora impacted the area.
Outdoor Recreation: If you enjoy sports like basketball or soccer, running and hiking along trails or biking beneath tree canopies, parks throughout the region and trails around the area can provide hours of free, fun entertainment.
Jacksonville Farmer’s Market: Wander around the oldest farmers market in Florida, where you can get your weekly produce if you want – or just spend some time outside with your loved ones.
Townsend Village by Breeze Homes
The designer-approved homes in the Northside area are near schools, Jacksonville University, Tree Hill Nature Center and more. Townsend Village gives homeowners an easy home buying experience, giving you a less stressful option when searching for your next Jacksonville house. Friendly, experienced agents will walk you through the entire process and help you understand where you are in the home purchase experience. Get in touch today to learn how you can be a proud new owner of a Townsend Village home.
CategoriesLiving the Breeze Life

Top Parks Near River Hollow

Parks have long become a part of many people’s lives, giving everyone an opportunity to spend time outdoors and get some much-needed exercise. Because of how ingrained in our culture parks are, there are many parks in every city to explore and enjoy. If you are looking for a new place to call home with plenty of outdoor space to run and play – for you, your dogs, your kids, or the whole family – there are many great parks in the Northside area, where River Hollow is located.
Oceanway Park: For numerous activities including soccer, tennis, basketball and swimming, Oceanway Park has just about everything you need. A place for kids and families, everyone can find an outdoor (or even indoor!) recreation activity they enjoy. Have a family picnic or just enjoy the outdoors.
Sheffield Regional Park: This park features small ponds for fishing, trails for walks and runs, sports fields for a pick-up game, and even a skateboard park. It gives everyone a chance for a good workout and to get some energy out in a large open space not far from home.
Memorial Park: Founded in memory of Floridians who lost their lives in World War I, this park is located along the St. Johns River, offering views as visitors walk along the paths of the 6-acre park. People are often found fishing or doing yoga through the park.
Lonnie C. Miller Park: This park is over 100 acres, which offers everyone in your family the chance to participate in their favorite activities. With a playground for the kids, you can have a family picnic with the grills and picnic tables, or take a stroll along the paths.
Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens: Woodland trails, a two acre lake, and sloping hills give you and your guests a chance to explore the more than 100 plants that are labeled along the way. Three miles of trails allow you to learn and enjoy the views, while taking in some fresh air. It’s free admission most days, with donations requested to cover operation costs.
River Hollow by Breeze Homes
As you search for the next place to call your home, visit River Hollow to see how this community can be the right fit for you. Near Broward River in the Northside area, River Hollow is near the beaches and downtown, with easy access to Jacksonville University and River City Marketplace. The buying process is simple for these designer-approved homes. Get started today by talking to a friendly, experienced agent who can walk you through the entire home buying process.