About Us

Rebecca Cooper, MD, JD, CPI, founded The Homestead Advantage to team up with seniors so they can stay safely, comfortably and autonomously in their homes for as long as they choose.

As a physician, attorney and certified residential home inspector, Dr. Cooper recognizes the difficulties seniors face in maintaining their homes, particularly in making sure repairs and upgrades are done by reputable and skillful craftsmen.

Dr. Cooper purchased her own home from Millie—an elderly homeowner whose husband had died two years earlier after a protracted illness. Millie loved her home—she and her husband Mike had lived there for 20 years. They had decorated it themselves and cared for the day-to-day maintenance themselves until Mike got too sick and Millie became too frail to do even simple tasks like changing the air conditioning filter, which was too low or the smoke detector battery, which was too high. Their children lived several states away and when they visited, Millie and Mark wanted to spend time with them, not ask them to fix things. Their handyman had retired, and they did not know how to find a trustworthy replacement. So, their beloved home suffered: rotting siding went unnoticed, the gutters filled with debris, moldy and rusty sink faucets sat untouched, running toilets wasted water, light bulbs stayed burned out and water intrusion into the living room began to cause mildew in the wrinkling carpet. Their home was unsafe. After Mike died, Millie’s children convinced Millie to move to an independent living facility closer to them. She felt that she had no choice.

Millie had no choice. But you do! Thanks to Dr. Cooper’s experience with Millie, The Homestead Advantage was born. Our team has over a 20 year combined experience in caring for people and their homes. The Homestead Advantage relieves you of the burden of home maintenance and will make sure your home stays healthy and safe, so you can age in place for as long as you chose!

Our Story

The Homestead Advantage was born after Dr. Cooper purchased her own home. The previous owner, Millie, was an elderly homeowner whose husband had died two years earlier after a protracted illness. Millie loved her home—she and her husband Mike had lived there for 20 years. They had decorated it themselves and cared for the day-to-day maintenance themselves.

After 20 years, Mike got too sick and Millie became too frail to do even simple tasks like changing the air conditioning filter, which was too low, or the smoke detector battery, which was too high. Their children lived several states away and when they visited, Millie and Mike wanted to spend time with them, not ask them to fix things. Their handyman had retired, and they did not know how to find a trustworthy replacement.

Millie and Mike’s beloved home began to suffer. Rotting siding went unnoticed, gutters filled with debris, sink faucets that were moldy and rusty sat untouched, running toilets wasted water, light bulbs stayed burned out, and the wrinkled living room carpet became mildewed from water intrusion. Their home was unsafe.

After Mike died, Millie’s children convinced her to move to an independent living facility. She didn’t want to leave her beloved home, but she felt that she had no choice. When Dr. Cooper bought the house and saw its condition, she realized how much Millie could have benefited from a trustworthy person who could take over the burden of her home maintenance.

In renovating the house, Dr. Cooper discovered how much she enjoys discovering how things work in a home, being able to detect potential problems, and finding solutions. What’s more, Dr. Cooper has always sought opportunities to help others. She realized that helping seniors maintain, repair, and renovate their homes would be just as rewarding for her personally as for the those she might help. So, thanks to Dr. Cooper’s experience with Millie, The Homestead Advantage was born!

By the time Millie had to sell her home, she had no choice. But you do! Our team has more than 30 years of combined experience in caring for people’s homes. We will take over the burden of your home maintenance and make sure your home stays healthy and safe, so you can stay home for as long as you choose and enjoy the activities you love in your own neighborhood and with your own friends!

Our Team

Rebecca Cooper, MD, JD, RGC.

Rebecca Cooper, MD, JD, RGC is the founder and president of The Homestead Advantage. She is a licensed General Contractor and Certified Aging in Place Specialist who is dedicated to assuring that homeowners can enjoy and stay safely in their own homes for as long as they choose.

For over 30 years, the Jacksonville community has trusted Dr. Cooper to be their children’s doctor. Now, since 2016, Jacksonville has trusted her to be their home’s “doctor” as she helps seniors maintain, repair, and renovate their homes.

In her spare time, Dr. Cooper enjoys working at Habitat, visiting assisted living residents, gardening, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

  • Licensed General Contractor
  • Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist
  • Beaches Habitat Board of Directors 2018
  • Beaches Habitat Volunteer
  • MD: State University of New York-Downstate
  • JD: University of Florida
  • BA: Princeton University
  • Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership Board
  • Rotarian
  • Board Certified in pediatrics
  • Board Certified in neonatal – perinatal medicine
  • Member – Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine
  • Board Certified in integrative and holistic medicine
  • Northeast Florida Pediatric Society Primary Care Physician of the Year --2010
  • Member – Florida Bar
  • Duval County Medical Society Judicial Committee

Humberto (Herb) Demello

Born in Dartmouth, MA of Portuguese parents, Herb has always loved learning!

Herb started his professional career as a certified industrial sewing machine mechanic and also as an automotive mechanic but soon expanded his interest to the overall maintenance field. For 18 years, he implemented and managed the preventative maintenance program and overall cost savings program at the largest food manufacturer in the country.

After moving to Florida, Herb continued his work doing construction and painting work with a major renovation company as well as providing all of the home management, repairs and renovations for several residential and commercial rental units.

In his spare time Herb loves to travel and explore new areas! He spends time with his family and dog while working on projects and improving his OWN homestead! The Homestead Advantage is thrilled to have Herb on our team!

Monica Batista, BSW

Hailing from Massachusetts, Monica has always been a “people” person!

Monica obtained her degree in human services and social work and she subsequently trained in crisis intervention. Monica has extensive experience working with elderly clients! As the executive assistant to Dr. Cooper, Monica assures that every client gets the services they need in a prompt and efficient manner. Monica works tirelessly to make The Homestead Advantage run seamlessly! In addition to working fulltime in the medical service field, Monica also works part time in the retail industry!

In her spare time, Monica enjoys exploring new places, trying new restaurants and spending time with her friends and family. She has recently enjoyed working with her new puppy Lucy in obedience training. The Homestead Advantage is fortunate to have Monica on our team!