Residential Real Estate News, Reviews, Things To Do, Events, Neighborhood Information and Market Updates by Wes and Nicole Benwick

Nov. 5, 2018

Ways to Avoid Cooking for Thanksgiving!

I fully admit it....I do not like to  So once Halloween is over, and everyone is ready for turkey day, I begin thinking where can we go that won't require me to be in a kitchen all day..

Full disclosure-I am also not a big fan of the "traditional" food served at Thanksgiving. (I feel the jaws dropping as you read that...)

SO, what can people like myself do if they don't want to cook? 

Back in the day NO place was open for Thanksgiving Day-you best be ready to cook at home or go to someone's home who was. Now there are a multitude of restaurants open on Thanksgiving. *Check your favorite because they will likely have shorter/different hours. 

Ok, so going out is a bit too "un-holidayish" ....what else can I do?

Why not order your entire dinner? You order it, pick it up, bring it home...VOILA! Dinner is served and you haven't spent a day in the kitchen!

Some good places to check for a tasty turkey meal are...

1. Matthews (this place ROCKS!) check out their menu here!

2. Whole Foods-who doesn't like Whole Foods? Check out their turkey menu!

3. Publix also offers a great meal to go! 

4. Cracker Barrel! Another gem where everyone likes the taste of home...

5. If you live in Jacksonville and haven't drooled when someone mentions Cinotti's     Bakery, you haven't lived. Check out their Thanksgiving menu!!!


Do you feel too guilty ordering the ENTIRE meal from a restaurant? I don't know why (haha) but if you are some other options...

If you are in between wanting to order a whole meal or just order the food and do some of the prep work, Williams-Sonoma is an excellent choice....

Everyone's go to for meat would definitely be Honeybaked Ham! If you are in charge of the main dish and want it ready to roll, click here!

At Copelands you can pre-order a CAJUN turkey and pick it up when you want to!


I know just that....but it's now ok to get some help if you don't like to cook or don't have the time to prepare a full meal for your family.  

This is the season to be thankful, so if you want to help others who may not be able to give their family a dinner for Thanksgiving, please click here to donate to the Salvation Army.

From our home to yours...Happy Thanksgiving!!!










Oct. 24, 2018

What Can Adults Do for Halloween?

Halloween is not all about the kids--check out the many things adults can do to celebrate Halloween!!

Here are some things to do during this Halloween Season!!

1. Whiskey Jax Beaches --I mention this first because Wes will be the DJ that night! Come see us and have some fun!! Costumes are a must! 70s 80s and 90s music! (Isn't that the best decades for music??) *Halloween night 10/31


2. Whiskey Jax Baymeadows-This location is having a COUNTRY music Halloween Party and costume contest!! 8p-12m *Halloween night 10/31


3. Laugh Lounge is a comedy club that is going to have a show from 8p-10p then an after party till 2am!  *This one is on Sunday 10/28.


4. Myth is holding a Purge Halloween Party with a $1000 costume contest!!! 10p-2a *Halloween night 10/31


5. CALLING ALL LADIES! How bout an All Male Review? (not sure how it relates to Halloween but...) Magic Mike style at Cuba Libre! *Friday Oct. 26  Now on Saturday night there WILL be a costume and Halloween party...;)


6. Also at Myth, check out another Halloween Bash! This one is *Saturday 10/27. THE place to be after the big game. $500 costume contest!!


7. Fright Night Bar Crawl!! Free drinks and drink specials as you hit a few of the bars!! *Saturday 10/27


8. The Haunted Brewery at Anheuser Busch! (This one is fun for all but it is somewhere to go if you are an adult! See if YOU can kill all of the zombies in the zombie hunt!! Take a group of friends! *Friday 10/26


9. If partying for a purpose is more your style, head to Costumes & Cocktails Fundraiser at The Ritz Theatre. DJ & Karaoke! Proceeds benefit youth summer programs and after school programs. *Friday 10/26 7p


10. Have you been to XO?? They are having a costume party too! Live music 8p-10p and a DJ 10p-2a! *Halloween night 10/31 at 8p.


JACKSONVILLE! There is SO much to do in this city for Halloween no matter how you like to celebrate! Enjoy and be safe! Always take an UBER or LYFT if you plan to drink!!!!

Oct. 15, 2018 the Movies??

Who knew Jacksonville Florida was a movie mecca?? Ok, well it's not exactly Hollywood, but did you know there have been a number of movies (& a few television series!) that have been filmed here?

Here are the movies that were shot here and the number after the description is not the amount the movie brought in at the box office, but the local economic impact in millions these all had to our wonderful city.

Recount  this 2008 movie is about the 2000 presidential election between Bush and Gore starring Kevin Spacey and Denis Leary  $3.3M

The Year of Getting to Know Us  the 2008 comedy drama film starringTom Arnold, Sharon Stone, Jimmy Fallon, and Lucy Liu $1.4M

Lonely Hearts    this 2006 film was based on the Lonely Hearts Killers of the 1940s. It stars John Travolta, Selma Hayek, James Gandolfini, & Jared Leto.  $1.8M

Sunshine State  this movie was made here in 2002 and was a comedy with Angela Basset and Edie Falco about a Florida island taken over by country club developers. $3.5M 

Basic  made in 2003 this movie is about a special ops mission in Panama with John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson. $7.1M

Manchurian Candidate this 2004 film with Denzel Washington and Liev Schreiber is a story about the Gulf War and is a political thriller. $1.2M

GI Jane the Demi Moore movie about a navy woman and  the integration of women into the services. $8.3M

Tigerland  back in 2000, this movie came out about the year 1971 and the Vietnam War starring Colin Farrell. $3.2M

Pointman this TV series this came out in 1994 and was about an investment banker who was being framed for fraud. $3.4M

Safe Harbor in 1999 this series came out about a sheriff trying to raise his three sons after his wife dies. $4.1M


Jacksonville is such a large and wonderful city we are almost surprised with our gorgeous beaches and cityscape more movies haven't been filmed here; so we look forward to more!

Oct. 9, 2018

Days vs. Dollars

Is there a correlation between the number of days a home is on the market and its price?

There are a multitude of factors that go into the sale of a home. The first thing we think of is "location", and yes, that is a huge part in how quickly a home sells. There are other parts to consider also, condition of the home, supply and demand, listing price of the home (is it priced too high or below market value), time of year, etc.!

But, one factor that we took a hard look at was the correlation between days on the market and the price of homes. Do homes that are less expensive sell faster? Do homes that are very expensive (and out of most of our price range!) sell more slowly?

Here's the deal..

I looked into the sold price of homes in one-hundred thousand dollar increments in Duval County only for one month September 9th, 2018- October 9, 2018.. Here is what was found:


*As you can see the days on the market increase as the price does, except in the case of the $700k-$800k where the number of days dips down by about eleven.

One interesting thing to note is I checked on the comparison of home prices of $500-$600k in Duval vs Nocatee. I did this because Nocatee is obviously one of the fastest growing areas in St. Johns County and wondered if it impacted Duval home prices in that range. The average home price in Nocatee is in that range as well. As I thought, Nocatee homes in that price range sold on an average of 48 days; about half of the time it took to sell a home in Duval County.

So, wherever your home falls in the price ranges above, you can see the average number of days you can expect it to be sold. This is NOT inclusive of course as mentioned above, with location, inventory of homes, condition, etc. so be sure to contact us for a detailed report on your home and what you can expect.

As a seller you really NEED to have an expert who knows the market in your area well. Call us and let us show you how we can help.

Sept. 20, 2018

Party Shack Tailgate Village at TIAA Bank Stadium

Looking for the best tailgating experience before, during and after a Jaguars football game?  Airstream Ventures, LLC has partnered with the Jaguars and to bring a unique and exciting option to Jacksonville..

For more information visit

Posted in Things To Do
Aug. 6, 2018

Things to Do at Least Once in Jacksonville!!

Jacksonville Florida--the LARGEST city in the United States and has a median age of around 35. With those two facts alone there should be a LOT of things to do here!! 


So there?

Yes, and you need to check out this list of all sorts of activities to do whether you are visiting or live here in our wonderful city!!

At the top of the list of great things we have are these.....

1. Cattyshack-this is one cool place. Go beyond the zoo and get up close and personal with the animals here!

2. Riverside Arts Market-check out art, a farmers market, and more! Every Saturday from 10a-3p.

4. The Jacksonville Zoo-our zoo is top notch! Come see all Jacksonville has to offer with our beautiful animals here!

5. Hanna Park-hike and bike here at the spacious and wonderful park with a playground and camping!!

6. MOSH-check out OUR museum of science and history with a planetarium along with special events!

7. Jax Ale Trail-like beer? Go on this tour of seven breweries and drink on!!

8. Our Beaches-Jacksonville can brag about our beaches because our 22 miles of sand is top notch! Here are a list of the top 9 ...

9. Mayport-here we have a naval station and lighthouse or ride a horse on the beach!!

10. St. Augustine-there is SO much to do in St. Augustine, no wonder it's a huge attraction to the nation's oldest city. Check out the fort, shopping, dining, horse carriage rides, trolley tours, too much to even list!!

11. San Marco is a great area of Jacksonville with cute shops and dining. Check out The Grape & Grain for a great place for intriguing drinks and live music. My personal favorite? The cuisine at Matthews is unreal. Your taste buds will dance with joy. Like museums? Check out The Cummer Museum! If you love the theatre check out Theatre Jacksonville!

12.The St. Johns Town Center is a wonderful shopping adventure with Nordstroms, Dillards, and most popular stores. The "town center" also boasts a multitude of restaurants.


Obviously there is SO much more to do here than we could ever write! Enjoy our city if you live here or are visiting Jacksonville Florida!!

July 20, 2018

Labor Day-What is it About?


We all know Labor Day for most means, a day off and to celebrate...labor? But...where did Labor Day come from?

When did Labor Day begin?

Labor Day falls on the first Monday of every September. It is celebrated in the United States and is to celebrate the labor movement, or employees in America. It began in the late 19th century out of an organized movement and it quickly turned into a national holiday around 1882. In New York, unions were formed and they chose that day to have a parade to show support for those in unions. The workers' pay was docked that day! The event caught on and in a span of about five years, four more states had declared this day Labor Day. Two men are praised with creating the holiday, but it is not known which one can truly take the credit. It was made official as a federal holiday by Grover Cleveland in 1894, even though many states already had the holiday.

Labor Day has spread to mean less parades and more festivities depending on where you live. It also has become synonymous with the ending of summer.

Sooooo, can you wear white after Labor Day?

Well, can you? This goes back to the old Victorian era when you would go to the country cottage for the summer and take your light/white, summery clothes there and leave your "city" clothes behind. Back then you dressed in specific clothes for practically every occasion, so once you "left" the cottage in the country, you also "leave" your summer clothes to prepare for fall.

Here in Florida, we really do not adhere to this "rule" because of our weather. Most other areas of the country also stopped obeying this fashion rule. 

One more fun fact is that Labor Day is a huge retail sales day. In fact it is the second largest to ...Black Friday. 

Have a wonderful Labor Day!









July 17, 2018

In the Mood to Give?

What does the word "charity" mean to you?  

The true definition of charity is an organization set up to provide help and raise money to those in need. It also means, the voluntary giving of help..something in this day and age we ALL need to do a little more of.

Can you name some of our local charities here in Jacksonville? Whether you have a soft spot for animals, children, the elderly, or anything else, there is probably a charity here for you!

1.What charities are there here in my city?

  A. Children-If helping children is your passion, check out these charities.

Dreams Come True

Boys and Girls Club of NE Florida

Big Brothers Big Sisters Of NE Florida

Boselli Foundation

Voices for Children of the First Coast

Ronald McDonald House Of Jacksonville

 B. Elderly-for those of you who prefer to put your time &/or money into our aging generation 

Aging True 

Builders Care Mission

Seniors on a Mission

C. Animals-awww, who doesn't love to help animals?

Humane Society

Animal Care and Protective Services

No-Kill Jacksonville

ASPCA-American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals


There are SO many charities it would be an exhaustive list--and that is a good thing!  


*How can I help?

The two obvious ways to help are to click on the websites and either donate your money or some time. Involve friends, put it out there on your social media. Start a trend! 

We have all become so deprogrammed from being social IN person. Be THAT person to help turn it around and get others involved in your good deed. Grab your kids, your relatives, your co-workers, and help.



We all can make a difference!

June 28, 2018

I Need to Rent-Do I Use a Realtor??

Should I Contact a Realtor if I am Renting?

Great question-and one we get asked a lot. There are a few things to know about using a Realtor if you rent.

1. Realtors use the MLS (multiple listing service) to search for rentals just like homes for sale. Is every home rental on the MLS? No. The homes for rent are only the ones a brokerage is managing. We don't have "special access" to Craigslist or the rentals that are done by the owners of the home. 

2. Can a Realtor help me find an apartment rental? We do not deal in apartment buildings that you would go on site and view. They have onsite people specifically on site to help you with floor plans and options.

3. "I can't get a Realtor to call me back about a rental!" Some Realtors do not prefer dealing in rentals at all. That's ok, because there are a lot that do. 

4. As Realtors who want to educate people, we all have heard that renting is "throwing" money away you won't ever see again. Before signing a lease to rent, really consider speaking with a lender. Talking to an educated person on what your options are may surprise you. You may think you have no money or the right credit score, but its best to know your options. If you are interested in speaking to someone to see what your options are, here is a list of good lenders click here.

5. Another option to consider is a lease-purchase. What is that? Well, it's like rent-to-own. A lease purchase is when you lease a home but part of the money each month goes towards the purchase of the home. When the purchase price of the home is fulfilled, you gain title and the home is yours. It's a great option for a lot of people who can't come up with a down payment at the time.

6. A great company we love is Home Partners of America. HPOA for short. This company has homes in their program that you rent and then in 3-5 years can buy! You rent in one year terms, and can do that for up to five years. Contact us to see how it works and how we can help!!




May 30, 2018

Where Can Kids Eat FREE in Jacksonville?

Summer is here, so where can you save some bucks and have your children eat for free?


Applebees-$1.99 kids meal dine in all day (limit 3 per one adult)

Steak-n-Shake-kids eat free one free kids plate per $8 spent


European Street Cafe Beach Blvd-one free kids meal per adult entree & beverage

Dicks Wings University Blvd kids eat free with each adult entree

Aw Shucks Oyster Bar-one free kids meal per adult entree 4p-close

Mama Fu's Asian House-one free kids meal per adult entree & beverage

Woodys BBQ-free kids meal with adult entree 2p-close

Burgerfi-kids under 12 eat free with adult purchase

Cross Creek Steakhouse-kids eat free with adult entree 

Fionn MacCools-in Nocatee-kids eat free with adult entree purchase

Mims Cafe-kids eat free all day with adult entree


Players Grille kids meals 1/2 off 

Regency, Southside, Hodges, and Mandarin Ale House-one free kids meal per adult entree purchased

Gators Dockside-one free kids meal per adult entree from 6p-830p

Moes-kids eat free with adult entree

Beachside Seaside-kids eat free with adult basket all day

Cross Creek Steakhouse-kids eat free with adult entree 

Dennys-kids eat free 4p-10p

Hurricanes in San Marco-kids eat free with adult entree 3p-11p

IKEA-kids eat free with adult entree all day

Mims Cafe-kids eat free all day with adult entree

Noodles & Company-kids eat free with adult entree 5p-8p


Brucci-Beach Blvd-2 free kids meals per adult entree 5p-9p

Beachside Seaside-kids eat free with adult basket all day

Mims Cafe-kids eat free all day with adult entree

Skate Station-all you can eat pizza and skating! 630p-9p $8


Zaxbys-one free kids meal with adult entree

Mims Cafe-kids eat free all day with adult entree



Mims Cafe-kids eat free all day with adult entree



Dennys-kids eat free 4p-10p

The Loop Pizza & Grill-12 and under eat free with adult entree purchase *check your specific location

Steak-n-Shake-kids eat free one free kids plate per $8 spent


**Brusters every day if you are under 40" you get a free ice cream with purchase of another ice cream treat (*your dog too!!) ***