NANCY SCHILD's Blog
If you're wondering whether owning a home in Florida would feel like a "year-round vacation", the answer would depend on many different factors. While it is possible to achieve a lifestyle that approximates that idyllic image, you need to maintain high standards and know exactly what you want.
When house hunting for a Florida home, here are a few ideas worth considering that could make all the difference in your comfort level and long-term satisfaction with living in the Sunshine State.
Swimming pool: Even though the Atlantic Ocean is probably just a stone's throw away, the beach may begin to lose its luster if you go there every day. And sometimes it's just more convenient to step out your back door and take a cool plunge in your own private pool! From a convenience standpoint: There's no need to lug beach chairs, umbrellas, and refreshments to your back yard; everything is already there! If you happen to be able to afford the luxury of a beach-front Florida home, then having a swimming pool will provide you with the best of both worlds.
Proximity to the beach: One of the main reasons people gravitate to a Florida lifestyle is because of the allure of the beach, the ocean waves, and the scenic vistas. When you buy a home that's just a short walk to the nearest beach, then you can leave your car in the garage and be lounging at the water's edge in minutes. If, on the other hand, your home is more than a half hour drive from the ocean, you'd probably end up relaxing at home more frequently and going to the beach less often.
Screened-in porch and/or patio: A good portion of the time, Florida is all about enjoying outdoor living. Having a nicely landscaped, private yard with a spacious porch or patio is sure to enhance your enjoyment of that outdoor space. Screens, ceiling fans, awnings, and perhaps bamboo blinds or shades are a few ideas to consider to help maintain a cooler and more comfortable environment.
Although everyone has different needs and expectations about where they want to live in Florida, location will play a major role in how satisfied you are with your choice. Whether you're looking for beach-front luxury, a lively urban setting, or a quiet neighborhood with a small-town feel, an experienced real estate agent can help you match your requirements with the available real estate inventory in your desired area.
Many homebuyers face an interesting dilemma. On one hand, a broad array of houses is available nationwide, making it easy to find a great residence just about anywhere. Conversely, the housing market remains fierce, and a homebuyer who fails to submit the right offer at the right time may miss out on the opportunity to acquire his or her dream residence.
Ultimately, homebuyers must be ready to submit a fair offer on a house at any time. And even though you may be tempted to submit a proposal that exceeds a home seller's asking price to secure your ideal house, you should try to do everything you can to avoid overspending.
Lucky for you, we're here to teach you the ins and outs of making a reasonable offer on a home. Here are three tips to ensure you can avoid spending too much for a house.
1. Know What to Look for in Your Dream House
The definition of a "dream house" may vary from homebuyer to homebuyer. If you consider exactly what you'd like to find in your ideal home, you'll be able to browse the real estate market accordingly.
Although many great houses are readily available, it is important to keep in mind that no residence is perfect. As such, you should establish lists of must-haves and wants for your dream home and set realistic expectations. This will allow you to compare and contrast homes against your lists, find a residence that meets your expectations and remain calm, cool and collected as you prepare to submit an offer on a home.
2. Get a Mortgage in Advance
Homebuyers can get pre-approved for a mortgage and create a budget before they embark on a search for their dream home.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will require you to meet with banks and credit unions and assess all of the mortgage options at your disposal. In addition, lenders may be able to offer a variety of financing options based on your credit score, annual income and other economic factors.
With a mortgage in hand, you can explore the real estate market and find homes that fall within your price range. Therefore, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be better equipped to accelerate the homebuying process and avoid overspending on a house.
3. Choose the Right Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent may make or break your home search. And with the right real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble finding your dream home in any real estate market.
Your real estate agent is happy to provide tips to ensure you can submit a fair offer on any residence. That way, you can avoid the risk of overspending and improve your chances of acquiring your dream home at a reasonable price.
Hire a real estate agent who possesses comprehensive expertise and great people skills. By doing so, you can work with a real estate professional who can help you acquire your ideal home in no time at all.
If you recently bought or sold a home, you likely need to move quickly to pack up your family's belongings. In fact, you may have only a limited amount of time to get your child's toys packed up and ready to go to your new address.
Ultimately, packing a child's toys can be quick and simple – here are three essential packing tips for toys that every parent needs to know.
1. Make a List of Your Child's Toy Inventory
If your child has a wide selection of big and small toys, you may want to make a list of toys that need to be packed up prior to moving day. That way, you can ensure that all of your child's toys will make it from Point A to Point B.
As you create your list, think about the toys that your child uses frequently. If possible, you'll want to avoid packing these toys until the last possible moment.
On the other hand, you can immediately start packing toys that your child rarely uses. Pack up as many toys as you can, and you may be able to minimize stress as moving day draws closer.
2. Involve Your Child in the Packing Process
Packing can be a stressful process for kids and parents alike. Fortunately, you can involve your child in the packing process to help your son or daughter prep for moving day.
In many instances, children can pack up toys on their own. Kids may require supervision while they pack, but with the help of their parents, these children can get their toys ready for an upcoming move.
With the right approach, packing can be a fun bonding activity for parents and kids. Together, parents and children can pack up toys and other items and ensure all of a family's belongings can safely be transported from one destination to the next.
3. Pack and Label Your Moving Boxes
Parents will want to guarantee that no toys are broken or damaged during a move. As such, it is essential to use bubble wrap, packing paper and other packing supplies to ensure all of a child's toys remain intact.
Furthermore, parents will want to make it easy for kids to find their toys as soon as a family reaches its new address. If you use bright markers to label moving boxes that contain a child's toys, your son or daughter can instantly unpack his or her toys and start getting settled into a new home.
If you need extra help getting ready for a move, you may want to consult with a real estate agent as well. In addition to helping you buy or sell a house, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the best moving companies in your area.
Don't leave anything to chance as you prepare to move to a new location – use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble packing up your child's toys.
Let's face it – clutter is an eyesore that all home sellers can live without. However, removing clutter before you list your house may prove to be difficult, particularly for those with limited time and resources at their disposal.
Fortunately, we're here to help you streamline the decluttering process. That way, you can speed up the process of improving your house's appearance and get your residence show-ready.
To better understand how to effectively declutter your home, let's take a look at three best practices for decluttering:
1. Organize Your Belongings
Old electronics, broken exercise equipment and other items can take up lots of space in your home. If you take a look at all of your belongings, you can differentiate clutter from items that you'd like to keep.
If you haven't used an item in several years or an item simply takes up space in your house, this item likely is clutter. As such, you should eliminate this item from your premises as soon as possible.
On the other hand, items that you use regularly or items that have sentimental value may prove to be keepers. With these items, you should store and maintain them properly to reduce the risk of deterioration.
2. Get Rid of Items That You No Longer Need
There may be a wide range of clutter scattered throughout your house. Although your first instinct might tell you to throw out excess items, it is important to consider whether these items could be sold or donated.
Even though a particular item no longer serves your needs, you may be able to sell this item to the highest bidder. Thus, if you post an item online or host a garage sell, you could earn extra cash by selling your clutter.
In addition, many charities will accept items that you no longer need. If you have excess items that are working properly, reach out to local charities, and these organizations may be able to pick them up at your convenience.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you plan to list your home in the next few weeks, consulting with a real estate agent is ideal. This housing market professional can offer expert decluttering recommendations and help you get your house ready for the real estate market.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you, evaluate your house and learn about your home selling goals. He or she also will explain the home selling process and ensure you know what to expect before you list your residence.
In most instances, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses, notify you about offers on your house and provide various home selling recommendations and suggestions. Plus, if you ever have questions about decluttering your home or other home selling topics, a real estate agent can provide immediate answers.
Simplify the process of decluttering your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can remove clutter from your residence in no time at all.