My First...

There is something special about a 'first'... your first date, a first kiss, a babies first steps. All an occasion for joy and celebration. As agents, we are lucky enough to be a part of a huge 'first' for several of our clients.. their first home! 

Each month we will sit down with someone near and dear to chat about a few of their 'firsts'. First up, Erica Baker, one of our own agents here in the Root office. 

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What is your first memory of 'home' as a kid? 

I remember the day that my baby brother came home from the hospital. We had just moved out of base housing into a home in Riverside. I was four years old... all the sudden I had a new room, then all of the sudden there was a crib in it. But the moment he came home, I was hooked. My parents would let me sleep in the crib with him.


When was your first time moving out of your parent's home? 

I was 21, and a girlfriend and I found a rental literally one street over from my parent's house. It was a cute little two bedroom, one bathroom in Riverside - we would hit up yard sales and resale shops to decorate it. We had a lot of fun making it our own. 

When was your first big trip away from home? 

When I was 17 I went to California and spent a week in LA with a group of friends. We did all of the typical and quintessential tourist stuff. It was great, but what I realized was that I tend to get homesick when I am not around things or people that are familiar. I wasn't necessarily homesick for a place, but homesick for that feeling of comfort and belonging. I've traveled countless times since that first trip, and it really depends on who I am with and the energy we have together, whether or not I get homesick.

What is your dream First Home? 

I would have a hard time picking between Riverside or a place at the Beach! I know I would never want a lot of land, just a small yard for the dog. Pretty much anything by Joanna Gains, honestly, would be a dream come true.

Thanks for sharing a few of your firsts, Erica! 

Summer time, and the home buying is easy

Summer is here!  Sunshine, the beach, and frosé may come to mind, but did you also know that this is the busiest season in real estate?  Here are a few tips to help our summertime (and anytime) home buyers:


Tip: Get excited! This process can be stressful and hard at times, but at the end of it you are a HOMEOWNER.

After you do your happy dance, it’s best to find a realtor and commit to them. Your agent will take time to learn what you are looking for and dedicate their time exclusively to your wants and needs, so it’s essential to have a working relationship with someone who understands what you are looking for, as well as the market.  

Tip: Talk to a lender.  

Not sure who to contact?  We have recommendations for you!  We’ve worked with many a lender and have narrowed down the best + brightest to share with you.  Once you find the best fit, it’s time to get pre-approved.

Tip: Be an educated buyer.

The web can be a good resource, but your greatest resource is your agent.  We use MLS for accurate information about listings and have experience to help guide you through this process.  Please use the internet to learn everything you can (the more you know!), but please rely on + trust in your agent’s expertise.

Tip: Get a home inspection.

We can’t stress this enough.  Once you go under contract, get an inspection by a licensed home inspector (we have recs for those too).  This is likely to be your biggest investment, so you need to know what you are buying!

Tip: Get home insurance.

Shop around to find the insurance company that fits your needs.  Your lender will require this plus it’s beneficial to you to protect your home. And are you surprised to hear that we have recs here as well?  

The Root Path to Home Ownership

The Root Path to Home Ownership

Drinks with... Liz!

Each month, Root Realty sits down with a mover-and-shaker, someone who is cool, captivating, and a consistent contributor to our Jacksonville community! We bring their favorite drink and a list of questions, and at the end we cheers to the city we love. 

This month we sat down with Liz Grebe, Marketing Manager for Riverside Arts Market . 

Whatcha drinkin’?


Coppertail Brewing Co. Independent Pilsner from Tampa. They have the most gorgeous branding, their labels look like they match their building.

What do you love most about Jacksonville?

I love that there is such a great community here. It is such a big town with a small town feel, and there are so many people here trying to improve the community. It’s a great thing to watch and be a part of.


Would you rather be be told you were forbidden to drink iced coffee from Brew (with agave!) OR be told you can never have Bold City Beer again?

Oh god. Probably the coffee. I don’t like this game.

Oh you don’t like this game? Well what about this question then… would you rather lick an armpit after a marathon or eat your own earwax every day for a year?

Why are you making me do this?! I would probably lick an armpit bc that’s a one time deal. Once and done.  


Who are you Jax role models and why?

My get shit done girl, Lisa Goodrich. Not only is she a mentor of mine, she’s also a good friend. Lisa is very involved in the arts, and she has a ton of passion projects that devotes her time to that.

I also have a great group of friends that are all doing different things for the Jax community--business owners, event planners, all on the same page, asking themselves, “How do we make the city cooler with events we do?”

What does the word ‘home’ mean to you?

Home could mean a lot of things, but I keep coming back to the same answer… home is the safe place where I can run around naked.


Do You Really Need a REALTOR®?

YES!  And here's a few reasons why...

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1We are experts. This is what we do all day, every day.  The real estate world is constantly changing, so even if you have purchased or sold a home before there is bound to be something new to learn.  We continually attend trainings and take courses to ensure we understand every aspect of buying or selling a home, including laws and regulations.  We know the best way to price your home, as we take more variables into account than a zestimate or other online sources, making your home value as accurate as possible.  We are familiar with closing costs + loan procedures and can guide you through each step of the home buying process. 

2Negotiation skills! "Top producing agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled."  We love you, promise, but we look at this as a business transaction and we don't let our judgement get clouded with emotions.  We strive to do everything we can to negotiate in your best interests.  

3We have access to vendors.  Can you google "painter" or "lawn care"?  Sure you can, but have you worked with them before?  Do you know the quality of their work?  We can provide access to almost any source you need with confidence.  We work with the most talented lenders, inspectors, + home improvement pros in the industry.  Let us connect you and see if you would be a good fit together! 

4We can't lie to you.  REALTOR®s are bound by a code of ethics that prohibits us from doing so.  If you are working with someone who is not an agent, they may not be disclosing everything or telling you the whole truth about a property, which can lead to BIG problems after you move into your new home.  I know what you're thinking, of course an agent can lie--we are human after all, but the truth is that we rely on referrals for business, and we aren't going to be successful if we aren't trustworthy.  You can rely on us to be honest with you throughout the whole process. 

5Marketing Power! In most cases, a home won't sell on advertising alone. We network frequently to meet contacts to help sell your home or find out about off market + upcoming listings.  We have a large social media presence and use professional photography to ensure your home is marketed to the right audience so that it will sell quickly.  

Buying and selling a home can be complicated, but with a REALTOR® it doesn't have to be.  This is our specialty, let us help you!

P.S. -- Click on the links above to see even MORE reasons why you should buy or sell a home with a professional.