Category Archives: blog

Exterior Remodeling

remodelRemodeling recently reported the results of their 2013 study that showed exterior projects yield the most return on investment. This is primarily because such projects instantly increase curb appeal and most projects are relatively inexpensive. Both nationwide and in the South Atlantic (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Delaware), the two projects that yielded the biggest return were front door replacement and a deck addition. In fact, upgrading the front door with a 20-gauge steel entry door yielded 85.6% return on investment, while a deck addition added a 77.3% return on investment. A garage door replacement and minor kitchen remodel came in third and fourth place at 75.7% and 75.5%, while adding an attic bedroom came in fifth at 72.9%.

Equestrian Neighborhoods in Gainesville

Gainesville features a number of equestrian communities. These communities are scattered throughout Gainesville and cater to every horse lover’s needs. The list of prominent horse neighborhoods in Gainesville include Farms of Kanapaha, Padera, Wyngate Farms, The Trails, Hayes Glen, Tomoka Hills, Stonegate, Charleston, Wyndsong Manor, Foxridge, Steeplechase Farms, Thousand Oaks, Alachua Highlands, and Millhopper Road Estates.

Farms of Kanapaha:

kanapahaThis 640 acre, gated community offers country privacy with an easy commute to any major Gainesville destination. There is a wooded horse trail wrapped around the entire community for resident use. Most homes in Farms of Kanapaha have detached horse barns and ample pasture space for frolicking horses. Housing prices in Farms of Kanapaha currently range from the $479Ks to the $1.2Ms. HOA fees are $250 yearly. Schools Zoned for Kanapaha Farms include Idyllwilde Elementry, Kanapaha Middle, and Gainesville High School. Kanapaha Farms is located off Archer Road, three Miles to I-75.

Hayes Glen:

hayesThis highly desired equestrian community has one-of-a kind, custom built homes in a county setting. Lot sizes range between two and seven acres and include traditional, contemporary and ranch style homes. Horses are the focus of this neighborhood and the architecture, fencing and landscape reflect this passion throughout the community.  The prestigious homes in this community range in price from $499K to $635k.


Lake Alice and Bat Houses

bat 1Lake Alice is a small lake on the University of Florida campus. It is known for being a wildlife hot spot- and is home to animals including alligators, terrapins, and a colony of over 100,000 bats.

When visiting Lake Alice, you should start at the Baughman Meditation Center. Located on the shore of Lake Alice, this beautiful Gothic-inspired structure is open to the public. Take a few moments to simply admire the architecture of the building. The Baughman Center offers breathtaking views across the lake, and you can experience several forms of wildlife from this point. There is nature trail around the lake. The trail starts off as a dirt path and leads to a heavily wooded area, you can see massive trees and lovely forest wildlife. The path turns into an elevated boardwalk that takes you through a wetlands area, where you can experience cypress and cedar trees by the lake. The trail will fork, with one path leading to an overlook of Lake Alice. The trail ends where you entered, and you can pass the University of Florida Bat House, where over 100,000 bats live and take flight every day at sundown. There are park benches provided, so you can enjoy the amazing feat of this bat colony taking flight.

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The University of Florida Bat House began when a colony of bats decided to find shelter on university property after their home had been destroyed in a fire. Campus officials responded by creating the bat houses. Since then, the bat house has not only grown in popularity with the bats, but also with people- and it has become a large attraction on campus. The most common species living here is the Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis), the Southeastern bat (Myotis austroriparius) and the Evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis). The colony usually fully emerges after a 15-minute period after sunset!

Lake Alice is not only one of Gainesville’s trademark attractions, but also a nature-lover’s paradise. There were previous plans to drain portions of Lake Alice for additional student parking, and also plans to remove the bat structures for new student housing. Any plans to disrupt the beauty and ecology of Lake Alice have been successfully protested by the students to keep this unique ecosystem healthy and alive.

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