March 6, 2018

Home Maintenance Checklist for This Spring

It’s such a blissful feeling to step into your brand-new home for the first time. In that moment, we forget about all the upkeep and maintenance that comes with homeownership. That realization will come later. Home maintenance can feel overwhelming chore but it doesn’t have to be. Following a regular schedule of preventative home maintenance is a simple and easy way to keep your house in tip-top shape. Just like regular oil changes for your car keep your engine running smoothly, regular maintenance around your house can prevent future disasters. So, what’s the best home maintenance plan? They don’t call it Spring cleaning without reason. Here’s a home maintenance checklist to make sure your home is ready when the high […]
February 27, 2018

Why It’s Time to Seriously Consider South Florida for Your New Home: It’s a great place to live

For more than a century, we’ve been a fast-growing region because the rest of the country (and Canada too) decides to call it quits by February and move somewhere with better weather. In case you needed further encouragement, here’s why Miami should be on your mind: The weather  Sunshine is great for your mood and overall outlook on life. South Florida has plenty of sunshine and warm weather to go around. Florida is known for getting the most hours of sunlight annually of any other state, which can be great for getting things done. What’s more: Miami summers are not as bad as their reputation. Getting a home with tree cover brings the temperature down by 10 degrees or more, […]
February 20, 2018

What You Need to Know About Earnest Money

An earnest money deposit is a huge part of the home-buying process. It can help get you the house you want. With earnest money, you’re telling the seller that you’re serious and committed to buying their house. Without it, you risk losing your dream home to someone who provided earnest money. Earnest money does more than just show your good faith in a transaction; it also helps to fund your down payment. If everything goes as planned, the funds used for your deposit will go toward other closing costs and your down payment. Declaring your commitment to the seller with earnest money lets them know you mean business, so it’s important that you really understand what it is. Here are […]
February 13, 2018

3 Negotiation Tips All Homebuyers Need to Know

Buying a home is all about negotiation. Even though you most likely have a realtor to help you through the process (link to previous blog), you should learn some solid research skills to prepare yourself for the negotiation. When you’re buying a house, you want the best price. To get the best deal on the home you’ve always dreamed of, you need to know how to negotiate, when to stick to your guns, and when to wave your white flag and surrender. Here are some tips to help you master your negotiation skills: Familiarize yourself with the market  The No. 1 rule when beginning the home-buying process is to know your market. You’ll have a better chance at negotiating when […]
February 6, 2018

For Sale by Owner Nightmares That Prove You Need a Realtor

It’s tempting to do everything yourself. The sense of satisfaction of doing it on your own, whether you’re changing your oil or fixing a fence, is meaningful. That’s why I completely understand when people want to sell their house on their own. The accomplishment of securing a contract on your own feels great…but it often doesn’t make financial sense. The commission on selling a home with a Realtor is often 6%, which adds up to $30,000 for a $500,000 house. And while everyone should be keen to save $30k, the reality is that isn’t likely to be what you’re saving. If the buyer is using an agent, you need to cut that in half. What’s more, a good Realtor can often get […]
January 2, 2018

Signs It’s Time to Downsize: Smaller homes are sometimes better

It is tough to decide to move from your home to a smaller one, especially after you’ve watched your family grow up in your home. It’s often the most practical decision you can make. Here are four signs that you’re ready to downsize from your large family home. It’s too much maintenance If there’s a room that no one goes in except to clean it, it may be time to downsize. Large homes are, at times, difficult to keep up. Big homes often come with big yards, which can be an issue, unless you enjoy yard work. Sometimes the maintenance of a large home can leave you feeling worn out and exhausted. When the upkeep becomes too much, living in […]
December 27, 2017

4 Home-Buying Compromises to Avoid: Focus on your needs and stick to them

A wish list helps you focus your search and keeps you from wasting time. As much focus as your wish list gives you, it’s also likely impossible to check off everything that’s on the list. You want to be a little flexible, but there are some things you’ll want to dig your heels in on. Here are some things you should never compromise on when looking for a home. Getting a Fixer-Upper It’s happened before to our clients and it will happen again: going into a search looking for a home with zero projects and falling in love with a fixer-upper. Now, there is nothing necessarily wrong with it, but if you don’t have experience with fixer-uppers, it’s something to […]
December 19, 2017

Hiring a Home Stager? Be Sure to Ask These Questions

In the past, Home Stagers were mostly called-in for vacant homes to help buyers visualize themselves in the home. Over the past few years, we’ve seen that they have become a great resource, especially when you’re trying to sell your home quickly. It’s important to know what to look for when hiring a Home Stager as not everyone who call themselves one is an expert. Here are some questions you’ll want to ask before deciding to work with them. What is your training or work experience? When you’re hiring an interior designer, you should be looking for someone that really understands you and can help make a space your own. When you’re looking for a Home Stager, you should be […]
October 31, 2017

The Essential First Steps for First-Time Homebuyers

Buying a home for the first time can be a stressful, albeit exciting, rite of passage. Knowing what your first few steps should be can tremendously lower the amount of stress you’re probably already feeling. Without any further ado, here’s how we tell people they should start: Get Your Finances in Order When you’re about six months out, you need to start organizing your finances. First, this means checking your credit score and making sure your score is maximized. Creditworthiness is a huge factor in loan approval. Higher credit scores can mean significantly lower interest rates and higher pre-approved values. There are a ton of factors to balance (pay off your balances in full, don’t add debt like buying a […]