Central Florida Real Estate and Community News

Oct. 28, 2023

Home Prices Are Not Falling


Some Buyers and Sellers are probably a little freaked out about home prices, and guess what? We have the media to thank for that. Over the past year, there’s been a bunch of buzz saying home prices were about to come crashing down. And let’s be real, that kind of talk is going to spark fear.

But here’s the deal: it’s our job to cut through that noise and share the real story. Here’s what you need to know about what’s really happening with home prices today.

Data shows home prices are not falling

Late last year, some housing experts projected a 2023 crash in home prices. The media hyped up these forecasts with doom and gloom headlines.

This made some people put their plans to move on hold for fear home values would come tumbling down like they did in 2008. It’s our job to use data and visuals to show you that didn’t actually happen.

Let’s clear the air and get to the facts. Despite the media’s stormy predictions, home prices didn’t crash – not even close. The real data tells a different story.

Take a look at this graph showing three trusted sources, and you’ll see that prices bounced back quickly after experiencing only minor declines last year (see graph below):

This proves the declines we did see weren’t dramatic but were short-lived. As Nicole Friedman, a reporter at the Wall Street Journal, explains it:

Home prices aren’t falling anymore. . . the residential real-estate downturn is turning out to be shorter and shallower than many housing economists expected. . .”

Basically, the worst home price declines are behind us. Nationally, home prices have rebounded and are still rising.

The slow return to seasonal normality

Home prices follow a predictable seasonal trend and that trend is what’s starting to happen this year.

Just like the changing of the seasons, the housing market has its own cycles. To get a clear picture of what’s normal for the market, let’s go back in time for a moment.

Check out the graph below – it’s based on Case-Shiller data from 1973 to 2022 (unadjusted for seasonality). It’ll help you explain how home prices usually change throughout the year:

At the beginning of the year, home prices grow, but not as much as they do in the spring and summer markets. That’s because the market is less active in January and February since fewer people move at that time of year.

As the market transitions into the peak homebuying season in the spring, activity ramps up, and home prices go up a lot more in response. Then, as fall and winter approach, activity eases again. Price growth slows, but still typically appreciates. That’s what we’re starting to see – deceleration of appreciation, not depreciation.

Now, look at this next graph. It takes the graph from above on the long-term trend and adds in the latest numbers available for this year. That way it’s even easier to tell the story. The black bars represent the average home price movement over 49 years, while the green bars show what’s happening this year:

Prices are still going up, just a bit slower. Sometimes the media gets it wrong, thinking slower growth means prices are dropping.

That’s not true – it’s just that appreciation is happening at a more typical pace.

Bottom Line


The sky isn’t falling. The media may have stirred the pot, but we possess the tools to tell the real story, based on data and facts – not fiction.

Let us ensure that you understand the true state of the housing market and move forward with confidence.

Want to take a deeper dive into why home prices aren’t falling?

Check out our latest Monthly Market Report for free so you have the latest data and insights to back it up. That way you’re always able to calm any fears and address any concerns you may have.

April 28, 2023

How to Upsize Your Home to Make Way for a New Home Business


How to upsize your home to make way for a new home business

How to Upsize Your Home to Make Way for a New Home Business

Starting a home business is a great way to make extra income and pursue your passions. But if you’re looking to start a business from home, you may need more space than the average home provides. In this blog post, we’ll break down how to upsize your home in order to accommodate a new business.

Know What You Can Afford

The first step in upsizing your home is researching what kind of house you can afford. You’ll want to look into potential mortgages and prices of existing homes that are within your budget. Knowing what you can comfortably afford will help you narrow down the types of houses available and make better decisions as you search for the perfect one.

Determine What You Need

Next, think about what type of home would best suit your needs. If you plan on running an in-person business out of the house, then you’ll need extra square footage for an office or conference area. If your business will be mostly online, having access to reliable internet service is essential. Whatever it is that your business needs, make sure that the house can provide it before committing to buy.

Find Out If You Can Legally Do Business in the Area

One factor that many people don’t consider when starting a home business is zoning laws in their area. Some cities have restrictions on what businesses can operate within residential areas. Before purchasing property, make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations to ensure your business falls within the guidelines of the area. Failing to do so will potentially lead to costly fines or problems down the line.

Lock Down Your Business Registration

Once all the necessary research has been done and the house has been purchased, it's time to register your company with the state using a formation service. Many businesses opt to file for LLC formation on their own or through a formation service to avoid costly lawyer fees. It is essential to check the rules and regulations in your new state before proceeding.

Choose Property That Needs Little to No Repair

To avoid any costly repairs right after moving into the new house, it's ideal to find a low-maintenance home. Minor repairs such as painting walls or replacing carpeting might be necessary, but any potential issues won't become a major problem if already living there and working from home full time. Investing time into finding the right house can prevent financial difficulties later on.

Get Legal Advice Before Purchasing Property As-Is

It's always important to consult with a lawyer before buying any property so they can help explain any legalities surrounding real estate purchases and advise buyers on how best to proceed with their purchase agreements when buying "as-is." An experienced lawyer will also be able to answer questions about specific laws in different states related to purchasing property for use as a place of residence and/or business operations.

Draw People Into Your Business

Finally, once everything else has been taken care of and set up properly, create an eye-catching website for your business. Infographics on your website will draw visitors' attention and engage them. You can either hire a graphic designer to make one for you or customize a free template with your own text, colors, background, and design elements. Knowing how to make an infographic and having the right tools is key to adding one that will be effective at engaging visitors.


Purchasing a larger home in order to accommodate starting a new home business isn't something everyone considers but it certainly makes sense if space is an issue. Hopefully, this blog post gave you some insight into how they can go about taking this route.


Ready to find the perfect home for your family and business? Reach out to The VIP Home Team!

Posted in Upsizing Your Home
Nov. 8, 2022

Pre-Approval Is a Critical First Step on Your Homebuying Journey?

Mortgage Application Approved - Pre-Approval Process
If you’re planning to buy a home this year, one of the first steps on your journey is getting pre-approved. Especially in today’s market when mortgage rates are higher than they were just a few months ago, getting a mortgage pre-approval can be a game changer. Here’s why.

What Is Pre-Approval?

To better understand why pre-approval is key, it’s important to know what pre-approval is. The Mortgage Reports explains it like this:

“When you’re ready to take the leap into homeownership, your first step is mortgage preapproval. . . . A mortgage preapproval is when a lender determines you’re qualified for a home loan. Your preapproval letter shows the maximum loan amount you’re approved for (your home buying budget), as well as the specific interest rate and loan term you can expect.

As part of the pre-approval process, a lender will look at your finances to determine what they’d be willing to loan you. From there, your lender will give you a pre-approval letter to help you understand your true price range and how much money you can borrow. That can make it easier when you set out to search for homes because you’ll know your overall numbers. And with mortgage rates rising and impacting affordability, a solid understanding of your numbers is even more important.

Pre-Approval Can Signal You’re a Serious Buyer

Another added benefit is that pre-approval lets the seller know you’re qualified to buy their house. A recent article from realtor.com notes:

“. . . getting pre-approved can actually improve your chances of falling into the sellers’ good graces, and you’ll want to get it done as early as you possibly can in the home-buying process.”

Even though bidding wars are easing this year as the market shifts, preapproval is still an important part of making a strong offer. It can help a seller feel more confident because it shows you’re serious about their home and that you’re a qualified buyer.

Bottom Line

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is critical. It helps you better understand what you can borrow and shows sellers you’re serious about purchasing their home. Connect with a local real estate professional and a trusted lender so you have the tools you need to succeed as a homebuyer in today’s market.

Nov. 7, 2022

Pros and Cons of Aging in Place

Featured image: a woman aging in place

Planning your retirement days on time is a great way to explore your options and ensure you’ve got the best option there is. One of the concepts that stand out these days is aging in place. Seniors often opt for this retirement scenario, as they feel most comfortable in their own homes, and it can be challenging to switch the familiar environment for something else. Familiarity is probably the strongest factor that makes aging in place so attractive for many older adults, and in this article, we’ll find out everything about it. Here are the main pros and cons of aging in place that you should know before making the best decision for your retirement days.

Aging in place as a concept

The idea of aging at home or commonly known as aging in place, is embraced by more than 70 percent of older adults. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), aging in place is defined as the ability to line in your own home and community and feel safe, independent, and comfortable. This decision isn’t affected by your income, age, or ability – you just want to be at your own home. Indeed, there are advantages and disadvantages to this concept, and you should be aware of all of them before making this important decision.

a senior woman cooking with a girl

Spending your senior days at home may be the right thing to do.

Advantages of aging in place

Let’s begin this article on a positive note. There are numerous advantages of aging at your home, and we’ll remind you of only the important ones.

The feeling of being at home

Probably the most important advantage is undoubtedly the feeling of being at home. You’ve spent years in this house or apartment and know everything about it. The sense of belonging is difficult to leave behind and move to another place. Aging at home gives you the feeling of familiarity, stability, and safety, which is the biggest reward for your mental health. Aging in place also means begin familiar with your neighborhood, the people around you, and the local amenities you’ve been using for years. This makes people feel a lot more peaceful and secure compared to moving and adapting to a new location.

Belonging to the community

Unfortunately, moving to an institution for seniors can feel pretty isolating. Moving away from your neighbors, friends, or family can make seniors feel deserted and lonely, even with all the people around. That’s why aging in place looks like a better solution. If you’re surrounded by the people you love, why not stay there as long as you can? Aging in place reduces the sense of isolation and ensures you or your beloved senior stays in a good mood for as long as possible. However, it can happen that a senior lives in their home with not so many people around – their friends may have passed away, and a favorite neighbor moved. This is when a senior living community seems like a better idea – being surrounded by people of similar ages and interests can be pretty refreshing.

Making necessary home adjustments is a lot easier

Living at your home gives you the flexibility to make all the necessary adjustments that aging requires. These include installing additional handrails, remodeling the bathroom for increased safety, installing additional lights, and more. You can personalize your home according to your needs and, of course – your budget. Such adjustments and overall maintenance can be costly, so if your financial situation allows it, staying at your home can be a lot easier. However, some seniors find it hard to deal with the upkeep of their homes, as it requires both energy and money. If that becomes an issue, then maybe a smaller home or a senior community is a better option.

Disadvantages of aging in place

Surely, all the options have their pros and cons. There are some cons of aging in place you should be aware of before making the decision.


If a senior lives alone in their home, they might often spend days lonely. Isolation is a common problem for seniors who decide to age at home, especially if their family members don’t live nearby. Living in a senior community can be a great way to make new friends and have a lot of fun with people who are the same age.

Loneliness is a common issue for seniors – choose the best place to age to avoid it. a senior celebrating his birthday alone

Loneliness is a common issue for seniors – choose the best place to age to avoid it.

It becomes more difficult to maintain a home

Homeownership comes with several responsibilities, and maintenance requires energy, time, and money. Many seniors find it difficult to clean their homes efficiently but also do necessary repairs and pay bills. Also, if a senior requires some kind of special care, providing necessary conditions at home can be quite costly.

No supervision

Supervision is essential for seniors who may show signs of illness such as dementia, sight decline, etc. Living alone makes it impossible to notice the signs and provide the necessary treatment. This makes a living on their own quite dangerous, so living with proper medical specialists is advised rather than aging at home.

Moving tips for seniors

After reviewing all the pros and cons of aging in place, you may decide that it’s safer and easier to downsize or move somewhere where you’ll have all the help and care you need. In that case, ensure the relocation process is as smooth and secure as possible. If you are hiring moving services in Florida, they can help you with everything, so you do not need to lift a finger. From packing your belongings safely to getting assistance from the pros, make sure you explore all the options and ensure the safest relocation for yourself or your beloved senior. Frauds are, unfortunately, the reality of the moving business, so it’s important to know that the team you trust is reliable and professional.

a senior woman using a mobile phone

Research all the secure moving options to choose the team that will make the relocation as easy as possible.


Is aging in place the best option for you?

You can see that aging in place has both advantages and disadvantages. For some, staying at home is the best possible solution, whereas others will find that selling their home is the right thing to do.

That’s why the final decision will depend on your needs, plans, as well as your budget. Consider all the factors before you decide to create the safest and most comfortable conditions for the life of a senior.


When it's time to consider you options schedule your discreet call here: https://calendly.com/paulfed/30min

We look forward to assisting you!

Oct. 18, 2022

10 Best Places to Invest in Real Estate in Florida at the Moment

a person using a magnifying glass to find the best places to invest in real estate in Florida on the map

Real estate investment has always been one of the most profitable financial ventures. Investing in a property can bring many benefits, such as regular cash flow, building equity, tax relief, and more. At the same time, the state of Florida has been one of the most common options for people who want to move for work, retire or travel. Florida’s real estate market is one of the hottest in the country. Therefore, it’s time to connect the dots. Investing in a property in Florida is one of the best things you can do now. But what is the best location to start hunting for a perfect property? That is the guide you need – here are the top ten places to invest in real estate in Florida at the moment, with no regrets.

What makes Florida so unique?

When you’re ready to invest, picking the right location can determine the amount of success. Florida seems the safest option, and there are several reasons for it. The Sunshine State has been a popular choice among investors because:

        Its booming job market brings many new people to the state each year, increasing the demand for rentals and property sales. The population growth is the factor you shouldn’t overlook – a couple of hundreds of people move to Florida every day.

        It’s tax heaven – Florida is one of the best tax-friendly states in the country, which can make your investment a lot more profitable.

        It’s a perfect place to call home – more people work from home these days, so they make sure the place they live can give them a comfortable lifestyle. Florida’s climate and quality of living standards indeed make it a top choice.

        Affordability – Florida’s real estate enjoys low property prices compared to other locations in the country. Also, you can expect lower mortgage rates than the national average.

The Sunshine State undoubtedly has a lot to offer, and you shouldn’t think twice about whether or not you should pick this state for your investment. However, the thing you need to think about is the location of your property. Here are the top choices regarding the best real estate locations you can find here.

holding a small home in hands

Where to invest? Top 10 places to invest in real estate in Florida

1.      Tampa

With so many people moving here for work, it’s no wonder Tampa belongs to this list. It has a fast-growing population and home prices below the national average. What’s more to look for?

Tampa by night

Tampa is undoubtedly one of the best places to invest in real estate in Florida – explore its options. 

2.      Royal Palm Beach

The whole Palm Beach country seems like a great place to look for an investment property. Royal Palm Beach is one of the best locations to consider, as it still has a lot of growth room, and it’s not as expensive as other, more popular locations in this county.

3.      Orlando

Orlando is a big city, yet people look for more rental properties daily. Its population is increasing by about 2%, which tells you that investing in an Orlando property will not be a mistake. You can choose some of the city's hottest areas, such as College Park, Thornton Park, Lake Nona, and Metrowest, and pick the one that can offer you property within your budget.

4.      Sarasota

Located just south of Tampa, Sarasota has all the right to belong on the list of the best places to invest in real estate in Florida. Rising prices and higher demand, along with its growing population, indicate that we’re talking about one of the healthiest markets in the state.

5.      Miami

When we talk about the most remarkable places in Florida in any context, we can’t forget to mention Miami. People come to Miami to be at the center of all events related to technology, finances, and the retail industry. This results in a hot real estate market you shouldn’t be afraid to jump in!

6.      Jacksonville

Another gem in the real estate world – Jacksonville is undoubtedly one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. People move here for work and its affordability and high standard of living. Both rent and purchase prices are increasing, making it a great investment place.

7.      St. Augustine

If you’re looking for a place to invest in a short-term rental, St. Augustine is the place to look for it. It is a popular travel destination, and this city always lacks great short-term rentals for visitors.

8.      Coconut Creek

Located in Broward County, the home of some of the best investment properties in Miami, Coconut Creek presents one of the best places to live in Florida. Most residents own their homes, so if you’re investing in upgrading and reselling, this is a place to go. However, be sure to investigate all the investment opportunities in the area, making sure you pick the one that fits your needs and possibilities.

9.      Fort Myers

The most decisive advantage of investing in Fort Myers is its affordability. However, its booming economy makes Fort Myers more and more popular these days, making it easy to rent or sell a home. Many students are looking for a home, and young professionals are moving here to build a career.

10. Ocala

Another Florida tourist destination and a perfect place to invest in a rental – Ocala is undoubtedly one of the best places to look for an investment property. Its market thrives daily, with prices increasing and demand growing as well.

a couple holding house keys

Know why you’re investing and what’s your goal – it will be easier to find the right property. 

It may seem like a hard decision, but choosing the best place to invest in real estate in Florida is actually not difficult. The reason is that there are plenty of great locations in the Sunshine State, which makes it hard to fail. Choose the most suitable market, do all the necessary research and make a financial plan before investing your money into a property. Even though Florida is undoubtedly a favorable real estate destination, don’t forget to consider all the necessary factors before taking this step.


Oct. 11, 2022

The Cost of Waiting for Mortgage Rates To Go Down

The Cost of Waiting for Mortgage Rates To Go Down | MyKCM

Mortgage rates have increased significantly in recent weeks. And that may mean you have questions about what this means for you if you’re planning to buy a home. Here’s some information that can help you make an informed decision when you set your homebuying plans.

The Impact of Rising Mortgage Rates

As mortgage rates rise, they impact your purchasing power by raising the cost of buying a home and limiting how much you can comfortably afford. Here’s how it works.

Let’s assume you want to buy a $400,000 home (the median-priced home according to the National Association of Realtors is $389,500). If you’re trying to shop at that price point and keep your monthly payment about $2,500-2,600 or below, here’s how your purchasing power can change as mortgage rates climb (see chart below). The red shows payments above that threshold and the green indicates a payment within your target range.

The Cost of Waiting for Mortgage Rates To Go Down | MyKCM

As the chart shows, as rates go up, the amount you can afford to borrow decreases and that may mean you have to look at homes at a different price point. That’s why it’s important to work with a real estate advisor to understand how mortgage rates impact your monthly mortgage payment at various home loan amounts.

Are Mortgage Rates Going To Go Down?

The rise in mortgage rates and the resulting decrease in purchasing power may leave you wondering if you should wait for rates to go down before making your purchase. Realtor.com says this about where rates could go from here:

“Many homebuyers likely winced . . . upon hearing that the Federal Reserve yet again boosted its short-term interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point—a move that’s pushing mortgage rates through the roof. And the already high rates are just going to get higher.

So, if you’re waiting for mortgage rates to drop, you may be waiting for a while as the Federal Reserve works to get inflation under control.

And if you’re considering renting as your alternative while you wait it out, remember that’s going to get more expensive with time too. As Nadia Evangelou, Senior Economist and Director of Forecasting at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

“There is no doubt that these higher rates hurt housing affordability. Nevertheless, apart from borrowing costs, rents additionally rose at their highest pace in nearly four decades.”

Basically, it is true that it costs more to buy a home today than it did last year, but the same is true for renting. This means, either way, you’re going to be paying more. The difference is, with homeownership, you’re also gaining equity over time which will help grow your net worth. The question now becomes: what makes more sense for you?

Bottom Line

Each person’s situation is unique. To make the best decision for you, let’s connect to explore your options.



Oct. 6, 2022

If You’re Thinking of Selling Your House This Fall, Hire a Pro


If You’re Thinking of Selling Your House This Fall, Hire a Pro

If You’re Thinking of Selling Your House This Fall, Hire a Pro

Today’s market is at a turning point, making it more essential than ever to work with a real estate professional. Not only will a trusted real estate advisor keep you updated and help you make the best decisions based on current market trends, but they’re also experts in managing the many aspects of selling your house.

Here are five key reasons why working with a real estate professional makes sense today.

1. A Professional Follows the Latest Market Trends

With higher mortgage rates and moderating buyer demand, conditions are changing and staying on top of the latest market information is crucial when you sell.

Working with an expert real estate advisor helps ensure you can stay updated on what’s happening. They know your local area and follow national trends too. More importantly, they’ll know what this data means for you, and as the market shifts, they’ll be able to help you navigate it and make your best decision.

2. A Professional Helps Maximize Your Pool of Buyers

Your agent’s role in bringing in buyers is important. Real estate professionals have a large variety of tools at their disposal, such as social media followers, agency resources, and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to ensure your house is viewed by the most buyers. Investopedia explains why it’s risky to sell on your own without the network an agent provides:

“You don’t have relationships with clients, other agents, or a real estate agency to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home. A smaller pool of potential buyers means less demand for your property, which can translate into waiting longer to sell your home and possibly not getting as much money as your house is worth.”

3. A Professional Understands the Fine Print

Today, more disclosures and regulations are mandatory when selling a house. That means the number of legal documents you’ll need to juggle is growing. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains it best, saying:

“Selling a home typically requires a variety of forms, reports, disclosures, and other legal and financial documents. . . . Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved in a real estate transaction; you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.”

A real estate professional knows exactly what needs to happen, what all the fine print means, and how to work through it efficiently. They’ll help you review the documents and avoid any costly missteps that could occur if you try to handle them on your own.

4. A Professional Is a Trained Negotiator

If you sell without a professional, you’ll also be solely responsible for all the negotiations. That means you’ll have to coordinate with:

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent, who will use their expertise to advocate for the buyer
  • The inspection company, which works for the buyer and will almost always find concerns with the house
  • The appraiser, who assesses the property’s value to protect the lender

In today’s changing market, buyers are regaining some negotiation power as bidding wars ease. Instead of going toe-to-toe with all the above parties alone, lean on an expert. They’ll know what levers to pull, how to address everyone’s concerns, and when you may want to get a second opinion.

5. A Professional Knows How To Set the Right Price for Your House

If you sell your house on your own, you may be more likely to overshoot your asking price. That could mean your house will sit on the market because you priced it too high for where the market is now. Today, pricing a house requires even more expertise to ensure you get it right. NAR explains it like this:

“A great real estate agent will look at your home with an unbiased eye, providing you with the information you need to enhance marketability and maximize price.”

Real estate professionals know the ins and outs of how to price your house accurately and competitively. To do so, they compare your house to recently sold homes in your area and factor in the current condition of your home. These steps are key to making sure it’s set to move quickly while still getting you the highest possible final sale price.

Bottom Line

Whether it’s following local and national trends and guiding you through a shifting market or pricing your house right, a real estate agent has essential insights you’ll want to rely on throughout the transaction. Don’t go at it alone.  If you plan to sell your house, let’s connect.

Sept. 30, 2022

Why Buying a Home May Make More Sense Than Renting

Why Buying a Home May Make More Sense Than Renting 

why buying makes more sense than rentingSome Highlights

  • If you’re trying to decide whether to rent or buy a home, consider the advantages homeownership offers.
  • Buying a home can help you escape the cycle of rising rents, it’s a powerful wealth-building tool, and it’s typically considered a good hedge against inflation.
  • If you’re ready to take advantage of the benefits of homeownership, let’s connect to explore your options.
Sept. 20, 2022

Setting a Budget for Buying Your First Home

Use this guide on setting a budget for buying your first home


For many of us, buying a home is a dream come true. After years of living with your parents or moving from one place to another and paying rent, it’s great to have your own space finally. However, this might just be the most significant financial investment you’ll ever make. So, you should be financially and mentally prepared for this. As you probably know by now, buying real estate is very expensive. And you shouldn’t expect home prices to drop any time soon. Therefore, you should start saving well in advance and prepare for all additional costs. Use this guide on setting a budget for buying your first home. It will help you avoid major mistakes and unpleasant surprises.


The first step in setting a budget for buying your first home is determining what you want

It’s never too early to start preparing to buy your first home. It’s highly recommended to start a few years before buying. This will enable you to save more money and find your dream home. And determining what you want is the first step toward achieving this goal. Here’s what you should look into:


      The location is probably the most crucial aspect to consider when buying your first home. Choose a city and then start researching the neighborhoods. Look for places with low crime rates in the area, close access to public transport and shops, and good school districts. All these things make for a friendly and safe neighborhood to live in and also increase property value.

      The amenities are also extremely important. You have to be specific about what you want because the amenities significantly impact home prices. Therefore, you should decide how many bedrooms you want and what home features you’re looking for.


The patio and backyard of a house.

One of the first steps in setting a budget for buying your first home is getting specific about what you want; for example, a house with a patio and a backyard.

Once you have an idea regarding the location and the type of home you’re looking for, you should do some research on market prices for homes that match your description. This way, you’ll have a realistic perspective on how much money your first home will cost. Of course, market prices fluctuate in time, but it’s still helpful to know what you’re getting yourself into. Plus, if the prices are much higher than expected, you can reconsider some of the amenities.


Determine how much it will cost

Another essential step in setting a budget for buying your first home is determining how much it will cost. Yes, you’ve researched market prices, but that’s only part of the equation. You have to take into account many additional costs to make sure you can afford to become a homeowner.


Before becoming a homeowner

Buying a home entails many costs, and you must be prepared. Otherwise, you might end up overspending and unable to afford to live in your new home after you buy it. Here are some of the costs you should factor in:


      The down payment is one of the most expensive parts when buying a home. Of course, this varies depending on your credit history and mortgage type. But you can expect to pay somewhere between 3% and 20% of the home price. However, even if you are required to pay less than 20%, paying more is better. By spending at least 20%, you’ll avoid the costs of Private Mortgage Insurance.

      The closing costs are something many first-time home buyers fail to take into account. These can include appraisal fees, surveys, title searches, etc. You should expect to pay around 2% to 5% of the home price in closing costs.


Once you become a homeowner

Many people make the mistake of thinking they are done spending once they sign all the paperwork to become owners. But this is not the case. Firstly, you need to carefully inspect your new home to determine what repairs and updates you must make. Then, assess the costs of remodeling and decide what you can afford. After all, you can take care of non-essential renovations once you’ve had some time to save up.


A couple doing home repairs and updates.

Factor in the costs of home repairs and updates.

Once your home is ready, it’s time to move in. And here comes another set of additional costs. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving locally or long-distance. It will still cost you money. And no, doing it by yourself is not an option. You’ll have to make a lot of trips to transport everything and gas is expensive. You might hurt your back from all the heavy lifting, resulting in medical expenses. And you can damage some of your belongings during transport, which entails replacement costs. So, save money with expert help when moving and hiring moving services.


So, you finally settle into your new home, and the only thing left to worry about is the monthly living costs and mortgage payments. Well, not so fast! You’ll also have to pay property taxes and homeowner’s insurance as a homeowner. Moreover, if you’re upsizing, then the utility bills will also cost more. Plus, you should consider setting up an emergency fund. Because things always break when you least expect them to.


Start saving

So, now that you know how much money you’ll need to buy your first home, it’s time to start saving. Firstly, you should decide on a fixed monthly amount that will go into your savings account. Secondly, you should think about cutting down some of your expenses. Every small amount counts. So, stop ordering in and start cooking more often. Limit your outings to one day per week. And if you need to socialize more, just invite your friends over for movie night.


A pink piggy bank for saving money.

Once you set a budget for your first home, you must start saving.

Final thoughts

As you can see, buying a home is a big investment. Therefore, you should plan for it well in advance. Start with this guide on setting a budget for buying your first home and go from there. And don’t get discouraged by all the costs you failed to consider. Now that you have all the information, you can start saving for your dream home.






Aug. 11, 2022

Home Features Seniors Should Look for in Florida

An elderly woman washing vegetables in the sink.
Featured image.
Alt-tag: An elderly woman washing vegetables in the sink.

Life expectancy in the United States is rising. From 2018 through 2060, the population of Americans 65 and older will grow from 52 million to 95 million, the Population Reference Bureau estimates. We need more ways to help the elderly stay healthy and independent as the population ages. The notion of universal design, which attempts to make items and buildings accessible to individuals of various ages, abilities, and other qualities, is here. To promote "aging in place," universal design has many components that support the idea that is allowing elderly people to remain at home for as long as possible benefits their quality of life. Aging-in-place, on the other hand, necessitates homes that can accommodate our evolving needs. Here are the home features seniors should look for in Florida.


Good lighting

Low illumination and small windows that don't allow enough light may be acceptable to certain people. However, elderly downsizers should prioritize finding a home with various light sources. A dark home might become dangerous for its occupants as they grow older. It's vital to detect obstacles of all sizes, even if they're as small as a pair of shoes. A well-lit interior and large windows that allow natural light to penetrate are two of the most essential home features seniors should look for.


Lower countertops and kitchen cabinets

The kitchen is integral to each home, regardless of age or income level. Elderly and others with limited mobility can fully participate in food preparation if the counters are a few inches lower than the standard height. Additionally, the sharp corners pose a threat to the elderly, especially after moving to a new place. Many moving services advise considering lower countertops when relocating to a new home. So, before a reliable team can handle it, round out all the corners and edges of the kitchen counters. In the event of a fall, lessening the number of 90-degree angles could protect you from bruising and other injuries. Additionally, older folks and others who rely on a wheelchair or mobility scooter may appreciate the convenience of lower cabinets with pull-out shelves, "lazy Susan" corner cabinets, and easy-pull handles.

Better baths

The bathroom is one of the most dangerous places in the house, especially for the elderly. That's why the most crucial home features seniors should look for are right here. Look for grab bars near the toilet or in other places of the room where assistance is needed. For those who can't have a step-in shower due to mobility issues, installing grab bars will help them get in and out of the shower. Remember to check for stability of the grab bars, though! Many homeowners will put their best foot forward during an open house, but some will just make the bathroom look accessible without actually attaching the grab bars to the wall.

 Additionally, if you're concerned about scorching yourself in the shower, a pressure-balanced control can help your out. And, it will do the same thing for you at the sink! Also, consider the shower head- with limited mobility, it's easier to use a handheld shower head than a fixed shower head.


High-volume sound systems

Hearing loss is typical as we age. That's why one of the home features seniors should look for is the sound system. The doorbell must be audible in every room; therefore, an intercom that is also a doorbell is necessary. A phone with adjustable volume control and a large numerical keypad can help people with visual, hearing, or dexterity challenges.

Home automation

As we age and get a little bit forgetful, we may leave the lights on or the faucets running. An appliance monitoring system may be used by anybody, even from a distance, to shut off the appliances. The system also notifies the user if any unexpected activity is seen. A smartphone app may be used to manage smart lighting, allowing older people to avoid having to turn the lights on and off themselves manually. It is also possible to control smart blinds with smartphones for seniors who have difficulties reaching or standing up on their own.

It is also possible to cut energy use and utility costs by using smart thermostats and lighting. To save money and protect your loved ones, you may set timers for your lights so that they turn on and off only when you wish. Auto-opening doors and cupboards may make life easier for those who use walkers or crutches.

Tabletop height plug points

Older people with back pain may find that plug points located at tabletop height instead of one foot from the floor make it easier to connect or disconnect electrical devices. Installing these, especially if you're retiring up, can become quite a hassle pretty quickly. So tabletop height plug points are definitely one of the home features seniors should look for.


Easy entry

In a senior's home, the main entry should not have any steps if at all possible. The doorway and the hallway should be at least 3.5 feet wide. This is to make it easier for wheelchair users to get around. Placing a bench near the entryway can make it more welcoming. While unlocking the main door, you can use this to put whatever you have in your hands down. Sitting while tying or untying your shoelaces is also an option with a bench.

Non-slippery floors

Despite the apparent dangers of slippery floors, other parts of the home pose a simial threat. For example, rugs! You can place non-skid mats under area rugs to make the floor more slip-resistant. Trip points like thresholds should be eliminated or reduced in height if possible. Another thing to consider is the type of carpeting. Low-pile carpeting is best for folks who use walkers because the walker won't get caught in the deep pile and risk a fall.

Final words

As more and more people opt to age in place, these residences must satisfy their specific requirements. We hope our article has helped you learn about the home features seniors should look for.