Buying a Home

A Homeowner’s Guide to Remodeling & Restoring an Old Home

Dealing with home renovations can be a large inconvenience, but it pays larger dividends.

Dealing with home renovations can be a large inconvenience, but it pays larger dividends. After long months of construction, noise, and constant activity, homeowners can finally sit back and reap the rewards of their dream house. Restoring and renovating your home can be an extensive process and, unless you are a contractor by trade or natural handyman, you will likely require guidance along the way. Read below to learn more about remodeling and restoring your old home!

Research and Development

The first thing to do when remodeling and restoring an old home is research. It helps to have a general idea of what tools, appliances, or other materials you will need throughout the process. You also need to research area contractors for jobs you cannot complete yourself. In today’s digital age, this process can easily be streamlined and completed in an efficient manner. Before Google, you would’ve had to venture from store to store to seek out deals! Now, these are often available in many different places, and you could easily find great deals if you look hard enough.

Determine a Budget

An important part of the research process is determining your budget. The renovation process can be costly, and you must meticulously outline your spending and financials beforehand. If you use contractors, architects, or any other outside help, make sure to get written estimates before any work is completed. Simply put, failing to properly budget is a recipe for disaster. Running over budget along the way will make...

5 Easy Home Upgrades

means it’s time to get started on those summer home improvement projects, which can range from very small updates to the interior of your home to major renovation projects, such as remodeling a bathroom or replacing your home’s exterior siding. The weather is starting to get nicer, the sun is shining brighter, and the days are longer, which means summer is right around the corner. For many homeowners, this means it’s time to get started on those summer home improvement projects, which can range from very small updates to the interior of your home to major renovation projects, such as remodeling a bathroom or replacing your home’s exterior siding.

When it comes to making updates to your home in preparation for the summer, large and costly renovations aren’t necessary. You can still make a huge impact by making minor changes to your home that are simple and don’t cost a ton of money. Here are five easy home updates you can make this summer:


Home Maintenance To Do In Each Season

Follow these home maintenance tips to keep your home in good condition through Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.Owning a house is a lot of work. And unlike renting, you can’t call the maintenance man when something needs to be fixed. Therefore it's important to do regular upkeep on your house to keep it in good condition. If you’re new to home ownership or need a few pointers on how to maintain your house, just keep reading.

As tedious as it might be, there is seasonal maintenance that your house needs to get it through the upcoming months. It’ll require some effort on your part, but it’ll ensure that you don’t run into any issues down the line. Moreover, you should enlist the help of a professional for jobs that you can’t do yourself.


The Spring comes after a long winter and will need a bit of repair to get things back to normal.

Clean The Exterior

Spring cleaning isn’t just for the interior of your home. After a long winter, your house might have collected dirt and grime that can damage the paint. Depending on the condition of the exterior, you may or may not need a pressure washer. If there are any hard to clean areas, spot cleaning them with detergent should do the trick.


The Spring is a good time to check the plumbing. Check the pipes for leaks and look under the sinks to make sure there are no issues. Your walls will also show signs of leaks as well; stains and discolorations throughout the house are usually an indication that there’s a problem.


The summer months are all about fun and upkeep on your house should be relatively easy during this time of the year.

Reverse The Ceiling Fans

You want a nice, steady flow of air coming...

5 Technological Innovations in the Real Estate Industry

The real estate industry is an ever-changing field that is constantly evolving. Over the last couple of years, new technologies have emerged, which have had major impacts on the entire real estate industry.

When it comes to the purchasing process in particular, potential homebuyers and agents have an abundance of technological innovations at their fingertips that help to make transactions as seamless and effortless as possible.

Additionally, real estate companies can now deliver more insightful information to the investment community faster than ever before, thus allowing investors to make better purchasing decisions.

The ease technology has brought to the real estate industry has given all who are dealing in real estate a competitive edge.

Below are 5 technological innovations that are revolutionizing the market and creating a significant impact on this industry and real estate professionals, investors, buyers, and sellers.

Let's get started!

Virtual Reality

Imagine yourself standing in the middle of a property that doesn't even exist and you are looking right and left, up and down. Yes! Virtual reality has actually made such a thing possible. Virtual reality in real estate is making the entire purchasing process much more efficient than it used to be. By using VR technology, potential home buyers get to see the actual view from the balcony of their own future property and digitally tour properties from anywhere in the world.

With VR technology, because seeing is believing, virtual reality tours are one of the real estate technologies that improve the overall purchasing process.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality and virtual reality go hand in hand actually. If virtual reality allows potential homebuyers a more personal experience by offering buyers panoramic experiences that better reflect a home’s living space, augmented reality comes in handy when trying to visualize what an empty space...

10 Tips for Buying a Waterfront Home in Tampa

10 Tips for Buying a Waterfront Home in Tampa

Are you looking to purchase a waterfront home in Tampa?

If the answer is yes, you're making a great investment! The Tampa housing market is booming right now and it's a great time to be a buyer.

Buying waterfront property in Tampa is an even better idea, and there are tons of beautiful areas to choose from. In case you didn't know, Tampa is home to Florida's largest port and estuary in the state.

This means that there's plenty of Waterfront property to go around!

If this is your first time buying in the Tampa area or you're new to purchasing a waterfront home, this is some information you need to know before making an offer.

Here are our ten tips to read before you start looking for your dream waterfront home in Tampa, or anywhere else in the world:


7 Tips for Buying Real Estate in Pinellas County

If you like it when math doesn't add up, try this: the County of Pinellas in Florida is only 38 miles long and considered the state's second smallest country, yet it has 4,242 acres of landscape, 4,521 miles of roads, 35 miles of beaches, 588 miles of coast, 43 golf courses, 2,865 shuffleboard courts, and over 40,000 businesses.

With all that space, there is plenty of real estate in Pinellas County to be had.

Whether you want to buy near a beach, forest, or something in between, read these tips before you pack your bags.

7 great tips for buying real estate in Pinellas County, Florida


How Hiring A Realtor Can Make Buying A Home Easier

Did you know to qualify for a mortgage loan, your debt has to be below 43% of your gross monthly income?

This is just one of the many tedious facts to take into account when searching for a new home.

You can make the buying process so much easier by seeking guidance from a qualified professional to help you learn the rules.

Let's take a look at reasons why working with a realtor can make buying a home a breeze.

How Hiring A Realtor Can Make Buying A Home Easier


How To Find A Good Real Estate Agent In Tampa

Even in a lovely city like Tampa, choosing your perfect home means taking many things into consideration. The area has to be to your liking, a good price is obvious, and the property should be in good condition.

But, how can you know you are getting the best possible option?

The right real estate agent in Tampa can help.

Your agent knows the Bay area market like the back of their hand. They can find you the gem you want in Seminole Heights or a beautiful home tucked away in Wesley Chapel.

No matter what your buying or selling goals are, there are a few rules of thumb to follow when choosing an agent.

Here are the seven steps to hiring your next real estate agent in Tampa.

1. Understand the Basics

Your real estate agent can technically be a broker or realtor as well.

What's the difference?

A real estate agent is someone with a license to sell property. The license takes about 100 hours of coursework and a state exam to acquire.

A broker goes a step further in their work and studies. They are licensed to sell property and have real estate agents work under them.

Realtors, though, are at the top of the food chain.

A realtor belongs to the National Association of Realtors and abides by their Code of Ethics. This code contains 17 articles which hold participating professionals to a higher standard in conducting business.

Narrowing down your search for a real estate agent in Tampa can be a much smoother, trustworthy process if you search for a realtor first.

2. Do Online Research

Speaking of narrowing things down, online tools can be of great help.

Skip the Google search and jump on a trusted industry site. These websites can help you look for professionals based in their area, their number of years...

What To Know About Buying New Homes In Tampa FL

It's exciting to buy a new construction home because, well, everything is new! New appliances, a new roof, and you get the be the first to own it. What's not to love?

While buying new homes in Tampa FL can be a great decision for a home buyer, there are a few things you need to know before you sign on the dotted line. Keep reading to make sure you get the most from your new dream home.

Make Sure You Like Where the New Homes in Tampa FL are Located

If you're looking for new homes in Tampa FL, make sure you like the community where it's located before you buy. Perhaps the new community looks amazing and it's even gated. But will that really matter if the surrounding neighborhood is riddled with crime?

Also, make sure you understand the layout of the new community. You don't want to end up buying a home with a great view only to have a new home blocking that view within a few years, or even worse, having your living room looking directly into their bathroom.

If you can, talk to people who already live in the community. See what they like and don't like about living there. Also, just because a neighborhood is considered up and coming doesn't mean it won't take quite awhile for it to change from scary to sophisticated.

The Model Home Won't Be an Exact Replica of Your New Home

New homes in Tampa FL can look beautiful and full of possibilities when you tour the model home. That's because it's designed to make them look as amazing as possible. Check out the model home and you might be surprised to discover there are no doors.

That's because the lack of doors gives the space a feeling of openness. That open feeling may not happen with actual doors on all the rooms. You might also notice that they use smaller-scale furniture to give the viewer a sense of a larger...

Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A House In Tampa

Looking to buy a home in Tampa, FL, but not sure whether you're ready to hit the market?

First things first, congratulations! Buying a home is a huge investment, and a big step toward living the American Dream.

But why Tampa?

Even though the region has experienced its own share of real estate challenges, things are looking up well. In 2016, the market grew by a staggering 15 percent, and prices are forecast to increase by at least 5 percent through 2018. Increasing house prices is a solid indicator of a hot market.

As you set your sights on buying a house in Tampa, we're sharing the top mistakes you must avoid:

Entering the Market without a Real Estate Agent

Look, even if you have bought and sold a couple of houses before, you shouldn't make the mistake of buying a house in Tampa without the input of a competent real estate agent.

Sure, your previous real estate transactions might have gone down well, but every market, and every new buying process, is different.

You never know when a scam lies in wait.

As such, the first thing you need to do is hire a real estate agent, especially one who specializes in the Tampa. The fact that the agent will charge a commission may be off-putting, but there is no need to risk your hard earned money.

Many prospective buyers have lost thousands of dollars trying to act by themselves. Don't be like them.

Losing Focus of the House You Want

We all know how it happens.

You view a couple of houses, and you meet one or two that sweep you off your feet. The kitchens look spectacular, and the backyard? Let's not even talk about the swimming pool.

Subconsciously, you start imagining yourself in either of those awesome pieces of real estate art. And in the process, you lose focus of the features you wanted in your...

4 Ways Technology Is Improving Real Estate

4 Ways Technology Is Improving Real Estate

Virtual Reality Used In Real Estate BrokerageReal estate has always been one of the fastest growing industries. Nowadays, with all the technological advancements, the commercial real estate is about to undergo certain changes. As a matter of fact, technology is already affecting how various businesses operate today. A good example of this is the internet and the way it has brought everyone together online, including businesses.

Real estate is no different, as agencies are starting to see and experience the benefits of operating in the digital world. There are other new technologies that can greatly benefit the real estate industry, and will immensely help out both real estate agents and people looking to buy or rent a property. Here are a few ways technology is improving real estate.

Reaching a wider audience

The internet has greatly improved communication between people. Nowadays, businesses leverage online platforms, such as social media and networks to reach audiences all over the world. Real estate agencies no longer have to focus on the local market or on managing properties in their vicinity. Instead, they can expand their business to cover a wider area and attract customers from around the globe. Also, meeting with clients face-to-face is a thing of the past, since there are many ways to communicate with people online.

That means that real estate agents no longer have to schedule appointments to answer important questions their clients may have. Today, a simple email or a video call will suffice....

7 Tips For Buying Real Estate in Pinellas County

Real Estate In Pinellas County

If you like it when math doesn't add up, try this: the County of Pinellas in Florida is only 38 miles long and considered the state's second smallest country, yet it has 4,242 acres of landscape, 4,521 miles of roads, 35 miles of beaches, 588 miles of coast, 43 golf courses, 2,865 shuffleboard courts, and over 40,000 businesses.

With all that space, there is plenty of real estate in Pinellas County to be had.

Whether you want to buy near a beach, forest, or something in between, read these tips before you pack your bags.

1. Rising Tides

No, we're not talking about the cost of real estate in Pinellas County, but actual water.

Long-time Florida residents will have a wealth of knowledge for newcomers about flood insurance but there's one thing to know: you need it.

No, it's not necessarily required, and in many cases, homeowners can be surprised that they don't automatically have it in place, especially after a storm.

Don't be that person.

Instead, be like the Boy Scouts, and be prepared. Find out if your home is in a high-risk area, which could qualify you for National Flood Insurance. (The good news is, if you're not high risk, you may actually qualify for a lower-cost flood insurance policy offered by the federal government.) 

The idea is, get a policy to protect the real estate in Pinellas County that...

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

Potential homebuyers are always cautioned to be aware of mortgage lending standards and the difficulty they might face when trying to obtain a mortgage. Credit availability is expanding, making it easier to get a mortgage now than it was a year ago. The market is still tight however, and homebuyers should be prepared to shop around until they find a lender who is offering something that will meet the needs of their family.

Mortgage lending companies have high standards so it is important to make sure you and anyone else who will be included on the mortgage have their credit in check. The mortgage market is strict because lenders do not want to be put in a situation where they are forced to repurchase loans that are not paid on. They also do not want to end up in a litigation situation due to loan issues.

What Has Happened to the Number of Mortgages?

Due to the strict nature and requirements of the lending companies, the number of mortgages given out has significantly dropped. A report by the Housing Financial Policy Center at the Urban Institute showed that about 6.3 million fewer mortgages were given out between 2009 and 2015. The reasons behind this statistic are strict regulations and policies. These mortgages would have been granted if the lending standards where more reasonable.

Mortgage companies rely on calculations to determine if a home buyer will become delinquent on their payment. They will not give you a loan if you are too much of a risk for them. Credit history has a huge impact on this decision since lenders can see how often you pay back your debts. The history they receive is extensive. This view into your financial past causes lenders to take less risk when lending to you for your mortgage.

The Effect...

Common Things to Look Out for Before Buying Your Dream Home

Common Things to Look Out for Before Buying Your Dream Home

It is easy to become overwhelmed when you enter the home buying market. Friends, family, colleagues, and even acquaintances will give you their opinions if you are a first time home buyer. While most of them are looking out for your best interest, they are not fully aware of what is happening in the housing market.

It is important for you to be prepared and have your own questions ready. No matter what other opinions you are getting, you are the one buying the home and your comfort level will help make your final decision. Here are three important questions to ask before you purchase a home.

1. Why am I Buying a Home?

Regardless of the finances, it is important to think about what made you want to buy a home in the first place. Usually the reasons don’t have to do with money. Instead, home buyers are focused on how the house will impact their family in the future. A study done by the Joint Center for House Studies at Harvard found there are four reasons people buy a home. Those reasons include schools for your children, a safe environment, more room for your family to grow, and control of your own space.

These factors are the most common reasons people look to buy a new home. When you ask yourself why you are looking to purchase a home, do any of those factors come up? Spend time with your spouse or family members who are involved in this decision and determine why you want a home in the first place. Creating this list will help when searching for a home and can help your real estate agent find the best home for your needs.

2. What is the Trend with Home Values?

Our current economy and housing market is strong. That means home values and mortgage rates are increasing....

Will Increasing Mortgage Rates Impact Home Prices?

Will Increasing Mortgage Rates Impact Home Prices?

There has been some discussion recently on home prices in relation to mortgage rates. Some believe if there is a rapid rise of mortgage rates, home prices should decrease. Logically it makes the most sense for the price of the house to drop when interest rates are rising, but this is not always the case.

This theory of home prices decreasing is typically discussed by future home buyers. As a buyer you would like to think if you are paying higher rates on your mortgage, you should be able to see a decrease in cost somewhere else. Unfortunately, these rates are rising because the economy is in better shape. As the economy succeeds, incomes rise, rates go up, as well as the price of the home.

A recent study by the John Burns Real Estate Consulting found mortgage rates have very little impact on the cost of the home. The housing market and price increases are affected by things like job growth in the area and rising wages. Coincidentally, these same factors are causing the rise in the mortgage rates since people can afford to take out more.

Bottom Line

As the economy progresses and strengthens, mortgage rates and home prices will fluctuate. It is a misconception as rates increase, home prices will decrease. Advances in the economy have shown that rates and home prices are more likely to increase together.