Florida Real Estate

 

“Florida is where the sun shines”- you must have heard this several times. Moderate/warm climate, famous beaches and entertainment venues really make Florida real estate very attractive. So that means Florida real estate or buying a house in Florida is really good for someone who wants to escape the vagaries of weather elsewhere in America and also add to his/her enjoyment through the Miami beach and Orlando theme parks.
However, Florida real estate is also attractive for real estate investors i.e. people who would like to treat Florida real estate as an investment avenue for making profits. With the property prices rising as much as 25%, Florida real estate makes investment sense too. That is one reason why Florida real estate is so sought after. If you wanted to look for a really good deal in Florida real estate, you should start with looking for places that are still in their development phase i.e. places where the real estate prices are not so high but are expected to go up in the years to come. This is generally a good option for people who are looking to pick up Florida real estate as an investment option. This is also good for people who are looking for Florida real estate or a house in Florida to live in by themselves but don’t mind a bit of inconvenience that is generally associated with a newly developed (rather developing) area. As far as looking for Florida real estate listings is concerned, you first need to decide on what location in Florida is suitable for you. Again, this will depend on your reason behind going for Florida real estate. If you are going for Florida real estate purely for investment purposes (i.e. you don’t actually want to live in there), then you should really be looking for places where the prices are significantly low but are rising or expected to rise in near future. One indication for expected price rise is the influx of a lot of businesses in the area. Industry/business generally propels development in the area and hence causes the real estate prices to go up (and that would be true for Florida real estate too). Of course, distress sales, public auctions, bank foreclosures are like evergreen opportunities that are available in any place at any time and you should always explore them. If you are going for Florida real estate for personal use, then you would be looking at a number of different factors which would basically be related to your convenience and quality of life.
So Florida is where the sun shines and that is also making Florida real estate shine.

 

How To Prepare Your Home For The Fall Season

It’s about that time again! The crisp/cool air, countless beautiful shades of colors, and plenty of enjoyable evenings around the bonfire await us. Yet, amidst all these great things, there are certain preparations that you need to be aware of when getting ready for the fall season as well.
As a homeowner, it’s important that you take certain steps in order to protect your home’s condition and also your wallet. So let’s explore 5 key areas that you ought to review over the upcoming weeks to be fully equipped for what lies ahead:

  • Routine furnace maintenance: Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment for your furnace. While trying to juggle work obligations, kids, school, chores, and much more, this is one of those areas that can easily be overlooked.

    But a couple hundred dollars now is much more reasonable than a few thousand later. Keep your furnace in good working condition and make sure you’re prepared for the colder temperatures.

  • Clean off your roof: As the leaves begin to fall, it’s important that you protect your roof from unnecessary moisture. Take the time to clean off any debris that builds up before the winter months and ensure that your roof is patched from any basic wear and tear.

    This will be especially vital when winter snow begins to accumulate. Also, clear out your gutters and scan the area around your chimney as well. If there seems to be any places where water could leak in than it may be time to call a professional.

  • Prepare Your Pipes: First of all, don’t forget to unscrew any hoses or nozzles attached to the outside faucets. For those who are using underground sprinklers, take the time to push out any remaining water from the summer. Also, cleaning your septic system may be beneficial before the temperatures hit freezing.
  • Basic Crack Repair & Landscape: For those who have minor sidewalk or concrete damage, now may be a good time to fill some of those areas with something like Quikrete to avoid further damage. This can help to keep water and moisture out, especially once snow hits. Also, make sure to clear out the areas around your house where leaves have fallen, and cut back any other trees or shrubbery.
  • Insulation & Energy Efficiency: This can be a huge money waster! For those who are rarely at home and constantly on the run, you may want to consider investing in a programmable thermostat. This can save you hundreds of dollars alone by cutting back on unnecessary energy costs. Especially with the rise in most utilities costs, this should certainly be considered.

    Also, are there areas around your windows, doors or elsewhere that may be allowing draughts to enter your home? Consider either having these places sealed or maybe investing in some new materials. Depending on how long you plan to live at your current residence, the cost could certainly be justified.

Hopefully you have found these 5 tips to be helpful and informative. Please visit us again soon, as we update our website with other useful tips on a regular basis.

3 Things To Consider Before Listing As FSBO

If you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, you may feel inclined to list it as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) before working with a Realtor. For many, this is considered one good way to cut back on costs and possibly earn a little more profit on the sale.
However, there are certain aspects you may want to consider before going down this path. Statistically, over 80% of FSBO’s end up being listed with a Realtor at some point. Therefore, it pays to take the time to fully assess whether or not this is the right plan of action for you.

Properly Marketing Your Property

First of all, listing a home for sale can be a very time consuming and difficult process. Unfortunately, this typically is not as easy as posting a sign in the yard and setting up a classified ad in the local newspaper. There is certainly a lot more than meets the eye.
For instance, many FSBO websites will tout that you can obtain a wide exposure to buyers nationally, but this pales in comparison to the results that you can expect from big named sites like Realtor.com, which only agents can post to.
Next, your agent will have a lot of expertise with implementing online real estate marketing strategies that will gain you a ton of locally targeted searches. And in fact, nearly 90% of all searches for real estate related inquiries start online.
Realtors will also have a strong network of both agents and buyers that they work with on a regular basis. This is a business where it pays to network. More contacts equals greater exposure.

Asking Price & Showings

For starters, a lot of FSBO’s will start at the wrong asking price. This is by far one of the most important factors that goes into marketing your home, so you want to do this properly off the bat. But, without being fully invested in your local market and understanding the current trends, it can be difficult to price the home accurately.
As alluded to in section one, selling a home can be a lot of work. Most individuals these days have to juggle a full time job, family obligations, recreational activities, household chores, etc. Where do you find the time for fully investing into the sale as well?
When the opportunity would arise for interested parties to view your property, you would need to schedule individual showings, open houses, inspectors, appraisers, etc., while also trying to stage and maintain your property’s appearance. Miss out on a good opportunity for matching schedules and you can quickly lose interest.

Negotiations & Contracts

If you get to the point where you negotiate with a buyer, it is much more difficult to handle this aspect without a qualified agent. Selling your home can be a very emotional undertaking, so it is easier to set unrealistic expectations, or to even concede on more than necessary when you don’t have a 3rd party buffer.
During most real estate transactions, both the buyer and seller will typically have a set of concessions and contingencies. For a majority of buyers, they will expect to have some type of a financing, inspection and/or termite contingency.
This is set up for their protection, in order to complete their due diligence on the home before moving forward to closing. If other issues are found, this may even been grounds for further negotiation or eventually walking away from the deal.
Or you will be expected to lower the price, fix the issue or offer a concession on something else in order to alleviate the problem. Likewise, you want to ensure that the buyer is not overstepping their boundaries or that you are pressured into giving away more than is reasonable.
In summary, it’s worth taking the time to carefully consider these 3 areas before making any final decisions. If you still decide to take the FSBO route, we sincerely wish you great success. Also, please feel free to share our information with a friend and to bookmark our page for future reference as well!

Investing in Real Estate vs. Stocks

When it comes to investing in land/real estate or stocks, there is no one size fits all. Although both vehicles have proven over the long run to provide excellent returns when handled properly, each person will have their own unique goals, risk tolerance, and capital that they are willing to spend.
Additionally, this is where a financial planning specialist may offer useful insights as well. You may have heard the advice to not put your eggs all in one basket. Therefore, it may even be beneficial to consider pursuing both forms of investments to better leverage your profits.
So our goal is to offer an overview of both sides of the coin in order for you to start forming your own opinion. All in all, it is most important that you proactively take your financial future into your own hands and only pursue the path that you feel will be the best for you and your family.

Benefits of Investing in Land or Real Estate

Many very successful people started out their investing careers in real estate. Plus regardless of what happens in the economy, it is factual that people will always need a place to live. Homes very rarely decrease in value when they are well maintained and purchased correctly.
In addition, land can be an extremely lucrative investment since the world’s population continues to increase, and as a result the demand for land used by residential, commercial and retail entities is always on the rise as well.
With real estate you are offered something that is tangible and can be easier to calculate your due diligence. In other words, after reviewing the property specs with appraisers and inspectors, you have a fairly good idea of what you are getting into.

Downside of Real Estate Investments

First of all, there is typically a lot more time and energy invested in managing your investments. Whether you are renting your property out to tenants or keeping your lots clean and free of debris and coding violations, this is something you will be much more actively involved in.
Next, real estate always has some sort of cost involved. Regardless of what you decide to do with your properties, you will still be responsible for taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs/maintenance and possible a host of other expenses. Plus you can end up overspending and losing your shirt.
Finally, you have to have the proper investment strategy in place. Although real estate has historically been a strong hedge against inflation, you always need to consider your own local trends so you can properly leverage your investments to realize a strong ROI.

Benefits of Investing in Stocks

Unlike real estate, this is an investment that can be essentially placed on autopilot. Aside from keeping an eye on your portfolio for rises and dips, you can leave the management and operation of each entity up to the professional staff. You own a piece of each company without having to work for it.
Even with the Great Depression and other scares that we have witnessed over the last century, stocks have historically proven to be the best return on investment for those who hold on through the tough times and invest their returns properly.
Additionally, it typically doesn’t take a huge upfront investment to get involved in the market, and this is very beneficial for those who don’t have a lot of cash on hand. As long as you choose the right companies, earnings will continue to increase. Selling your stocks is also infinitely easier than listing a property or land for sale as well.

Downside of Stocks

On the other hand, the greatest benefits of stocks can sometimes be the most detrimental weaknesses. For example, though you do not need to actively invest sweat into each company, you are also leaving your finances in the hands of a management team that dictates how things operate.
Therefore, if business takes a nosedive so do your stocks. Some will recover while others may crash and burn. Also, this can be a very emotional game. Especially for those who are getting closer to retirement, the couple scares that we have witnessed in the last decade caused many people to pull out at huge losses.
Finally, stocks can be a lot more unpredictable, especially if you are jumping on the bandwagon of rising trends or promising starter companies. Though some may end up being a homerun, you are always listening to the speculations of gurus or your own gut feeling. Alternatively, real estate can typically be more accurately measured.
In conclusion, it important that you take the time to assess the investment opportunities that are available to you before making any decisions. It is important to look out for your financial future and well being, and we’re here to support you along the way.
If you need more information about how you can get started investing in real estate or land, and want to discover the options available in our local area, take the time to contact us today. We look forward to doing business with you!

Make A Wise Real Estate Purchase

In this video we explore some tips for making a wise real estate purchase.

  • Save For A Big Down Payment
  • Don’t Overextend Yourself
  • Consider the Work Involved
  • Really Shop Around

Get Pre-Approved

Before you even start shopping for a home, you’ll want to be sure you have financing in place to make your next purchase.
Getting a “pre-approval” from a reputable lender is one of the first steps in your home shopping process.
Watch this video for more details:

7 Tax Benefits Of Owning Real Estate

There are so many advantages to purchasing your own home. For instance, it offers the pride of ownership, provides an overall sense of accomplishment, and is a place where you and your family will build many lasting memories. Among others, real estate opens the door to many tax benefits as well. Let’s discover some of the following ways that owning a home/s can help to create a tax shelter.

  • Mortgage Interest & Points: If mortgage debt is $1,000,000 or less, married couples filing jointly can deduct the full amount of their interest. Otherwise, those filing separately can write off up to $500,000 worth. This also includes second homes or adjacent land to your main residence. Points on either a home purchase or refinance can also be deducted, but these must be amortized for the latter.
  • Property Tax Deductions: All state and local taxes regardless of how many properties you own can be deducted, up to the alternative minimum tax required by law. Funds that are held in escrow accounts can only be written off once the taxes are paid.
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): A portion of PMI can also be deducted if household income is less than $109,000 per year or $54,500 for those filing separately.
  • Interest On Home Equity Loans: As long as you have the necessary equity in your home to secure the required debt, you can write off the interest on a loan of up to $100,000 for those who are married filing jointly, or $50,000 when submitted separately.
  • Working From Home: That’s right! Even those who use a portion of their home for work purposes are able to deduct a percentage of the home’s depreciation, utility/maintenance costs and insurance. This is one you definitely want to review with your tax professional to make sure you are getting the maximum available to you.
  • Home Maintenance Interest: This is a tricky one, as you can write off the interest on any capital improvements made to your home, which will increase value and/or prolong the life of your home. This includes certain types of restorations or additions made to the home with no cap on the investment. However, you will not be able to deduct minor patching or cosmetics made to the home.
  • Capital Gains/Selling Costs: As long as you have lived in your primary residence for at least 2 of the last 5 years, you are permitted to sell your property for up to $500,000 of profit for married couples filing jointly, or $250,000 for singles with absolutely no tax penalties. However, if you end up selling for an amount above either threshold, you can subtract the amount of closing/selling costs that you incurred from your total gain. Those who fall outside of the 2 out of 5 year limitation may be granted an exception given certain unique circumstances such as health problems, relocating for work or other such occurrences.

Therefore, it pays to consider the benefits of homeownership and to discuss with your tax professional what you may qualify for. Especially for those who are entertaining the thought of buying instead of renting, it is very important to consider the long-term impact that owning real estate can have on your overall financial future. There are advantages whether you are buying for yourself or investing in properties for additional income. Contact us today using our information above to start exploring what options may be available for you!

College Grads – Consider A Future In Real Estate!

If you’re approaching the end of you college career, you may be starting to consider some potential options for employment. Since the current job market isn’t the best, so many students are getting their degrees only to go back to working in a position like serving tables.

Unless graduates move onto either a masters or doctorate program in a more specialized field, competition for undergraduates is becoming fiercer than ever. In addition, many students struggle with finding direction or a career that they can be passionate about.

Whether you are on the way to earning your diploma or want to begin your professional career, becoming a Realtor could be the answer you are looking for. Let’s review some of the top benefits to earning your license as a real estate professional:

1. Total Freedom – One of the main reasons that people start a career in real estate is the flexibility it offers. If you are a highly motivated, self starter than you could have what it takes to be successful in real estate. It is a perfect path for those who have an entrepreneurial spirit.

First, you have the ability to set your own hours. You can work as long as you like and when the time comes to take a vacation with the family, you won’t have to push through all the red tape only to be denied by HR.

Next, this isn’t a restricted desk job either. If you choose to work from home or from your mobile office, you won’t have the requirement of checking in everyday. In essence, you are your own boss and you get to call the shots!

2. Perfect for Tech Savvy Individuals – If you are under the age of 30 and own a mobile phone, ipod, personal computer, etc., then you have what it takes to crush it in real estate. This is where the future of real estate marketing is headed.

It is estimated that nearly 90% of people start their search for real estate online. There are so many ways to apply your skills using mobile technology, affiliate marketing, blogging, social networking, etc., that gives you a distinct advantage over many “old school” professionals who have adapted to traditional methods.

You can bypass the entire learning curve of implementing these concepts to promote your business, make contacts with professionals and potential customers, and quickly become a big player in your local market.

3. High Earning Potential – What you are able to put into a real estate career is exactly what you’ll get out of it. Instead of working for a set paycheck, you can determine to double or even triple what most students are earning on average today within a short time period. That’s the beauty of commissions.

Additionally, since you probably have very few debts or family responsibilities holding you down, you will have ample time to establish yourself as a well known authority in the area. Overtime, many of your efforts can be set to autopilot as you build up referral sources and establish solid marketing avenues.

You will gain a strong feel of what percentage of prospects and contracts it will take to earn a commission. And there are dozens of niches you can become a specialist in, which can lead to even bigger paydays.

4. Working With People – If you like talking with and meeting new people, then this is one of the best careers available to you. Not only will you have the pleasure of working with others on a daily basis, but you will also be able to meet some highly influential people in other verticals.

It pays to have friends in high places, and simply by investing time in helping others will provide you the opportunity to build a powerful professional network. You will also be able to fine tune your people skills and learn others that are so valuable to succeeding in the real world.

5. Learn How To Buy/Sell/Invest – Regardless of what is happening in the economy, real estate is one of the top proven strategies for building wealth and a retirement fund. Did you know that many Realtors also invest in their own properties as well?

You will be able to acquire invaluable skills that will teach you all about the buying and selling process. Additionally, you will attain a working knowledge for your local area and will know where and what the best deals are. Working as an agent is a fast track to succeeding with real estate investments as well!

Thus, there are unlimited possibilities for personal growth and success as a real estate professional. If you have been feeling frustrated or unsure what your next step is after college, then it may be time to invest in your future as a licensed Realtor.

We are here to support you throughout this process and to get you started on building a promising future. It is out desire that you realize your full potential. Contact us @ 813-863-5917 right now using the information provided above to discover what possibilities are available to you!

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