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Buying a Home

Neighborhood Choices: To Go Deed-Restricted or Not?

How do you feel about matching mailboxes? How about cars parked in lawns?

Questions like this may seem silly but are very important as choosing a neighborhood you feel comfortable with is one of the first steps of the home-buying process. Your Realtor will help you narrow down areas that may be a fit for you, and one of the main criteria we use is whether you prefer to be in a neighborhood with deed restrictions or not. For the purposes of this discussion we will focus on only single-family homes. It is a safe assumption that 99% of condos in our area rank HIGH on the Restrict-o-Meter.

Other areas of the country do not necessarily have this differentiation, and if they do it is often not as pronounced as it is here in ...

Home Buyer's Guide to Home Warranties

Home Warranty Information GuideOne of the nice perks of buying a new home is the home warranty. Having a home warranty policy can give homeowners assurance that if something in the home breaks down, the warranty may pay to repair or replace it. For new home owners, who are often strapped for cash, the home warranty can be a serious advantage at a crucial time. This guide will tell new homeowners everything they need to know about the home warranty.

For informational purposes only. Always...

How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

Tips for Finding the Right Real Estate AgentHome buyers and sellers often have their sights set on the next step on their real estate journey—whether that be discovering the house that has everything in their dream neighborhood or selling their property in a matter of hours for higher than asking price. These are important real estate goals, but the first step isn't scanning the online listings or getting a market analysis performed on a home. It's actually hiring a real estate agent, and not just any agent. Buyers and sellers need the right agent to meet their needs and achieve their goals.

Here's how to choose the best real estate agent,...

Is It Better to Rent or Buy a Home?

Is Renting or Buying a Home the Better Choice?Some renters are building up a nest egg in order to make a down payment to buy their first home. On the other hand, there are homeowners looking to downsize and reduce their maintenance obligations by renting. According to one study, more than a third of families rent their home. There are pros and cons to either situation, in addition to unique challenges that apply to renters and...

Is Buying a Condo Right for You? 3 Key Considerations Before Investing

How to Decide if Buying a Condo is Right for YouBuying a home is an exciting time, but deciding what kind of home to invest in can be confusing. After all, there are several things considerations when buying a condo or a single-family home to keep in mind. Because they offer owners the ultimate in convenience in many aspects, condo ownership can certainly have its privileges. However, one should carefully consider these pros and cons of buying a condo before making a final decision.

Condominium Maintenance: Convenient or Cumbersome?


5 Steps to Take to Buy a Home

Your Guide to Home BuyingPurchasing a home can be more time-consuming than home buyers realize, which can be a surprise during a transition period. While it's impossible to eliminate the stress entirely though, buyers can cut down on the uncertainty if they take it one step at a time. Before a buyer even sets foot in an open house, consider the following tips before mapping out the first move.

Loan Shopping

The lender a buyer chooses has a lot to do with how their home ownership experience will go. Buyers can start with their personal bank, but it helps to get a few quotes for comparison. No matter which financial...

A Beginner's Guide to Down Payments

Homebuyer's Guide To Down PaymentsThe down payment is usually the single biggest factor for how much a person will spend on their home over time. But while most people know that their ideal number should be at least 20% of the total price of the home, fewer and fewer buyers actually have those types of funds amassed at the time of purchase. Add in home inspection costs and property taxes, and it becomes clear why close to 55% of all buyers can't quite hit that number. See what the options are for homeowners who may not be able to put down 20% on a conventional...

7 Tips For Packing For the Big Move

7 Ways to Prepare for Moving DayWhen it comes to the big move, packing is an equally big job that takes a lot of time and preparation. Fortunately, there’s a few tricks out there for homeowners to use to help make packing a little more manageable. Here are seven tips for packing to move to a new home that any homeowner can use. 

1. Start Packing Early

As soon as the homeowner is sure they’re going to put the home up for sale, they should start packing their things away. Not only does this mean they’ll...

What to Know About USDA Loans

What to Know About USDA LoansIndividuals who cannot make a large down payment and who prefer to live outside of urban areas such as Downtown St. Pete may want to look into USDA home loans. This type of home mortgage product makes homeownership more accessible for those interested in living in rural areas. Approved applicants can put zero down and move into their first home. This is an exciting prospect for many who many not be able to get approved for a conventional home loan.

Understand more about USDA home loans and requirements today.

USDA Home Loan Overview