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Must-Know Negotiation Tips for Getting a Fair Price on a Home
Tanya Douglas
Selling a home

Must-Know Negotiation Tips for Getting a Fair Price on a Home


Buying a house and saying goodbye to your old home is a significant step for many individuals and families. It's a process that involves careful planning and financial consideration. The challenge often lies in navigating the real estate market and ensuring one is not overpaying for a property. Getting a fair price on a home is crucial to maintaining a sound financial future. With the correct strategies and information, homebuyers can approach this task more effectively. This article aims to provide readers with clear, actionable tips to help them navigate the complexities of home buying and ensure they're getting a fair deal.


Understand the Market


Understanding the market is an essential first step for prospective homebuyers. Before even considering making an offer on a property, it's crucial to have a comprehensive grasp of the local real estate landscape. This means researching recent sales in the desired neighborhood to get a clear picture of average home values. By performing a comparative market analysis, buyers can gain insights into the ongoing trends and the direction in which the market is headed. It's also beneficial to determine the current market status: Is it a buyer's or seller's market? This distinction will play a pivotal role in a buyer's negotiation power. Being informed and understanding market dynamics ensures buyers are well-equipped to make educated decisions.


Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage


Obtaining a pre-approval for a mortgage is more than just a preliminary step; it's a strategic move in the home-buying process. A mortgage pre-approval not only provides clarity on the budgetary constraints and the maximum amount a bank is willing to lend but also showcases a buyer's seriousness and creditworthiness to potential sellers. In competitive real estate markets, having a pre-approval can set a buyer apart from others, making their offer more attractive. Furthermore, it provides a solid foundation for financial planning, ensuring buyers don't overextend themselves or face unexpected financial strains.


Work with an Experienced Realtor


Choosing to work with an experienced realtor can significantly enhance the home-buying experience. Realtors, with their expertise in the housing market, bring an in-depth understanding of property values, market dynamics, and negotiation tactics to the table. They can offer guidance on what constitutes a fair price in a specific neighborhood, ensuring buyers are not overpaying. Furthermore, realtors are adept at identifying things to negotiate that may go unnoticed by the untrained eye. Their network and familiarity with the market can also lead to exclusive listings or insights, potentially giving buyers an edge.


Know When to Compromise


The art of negotiation often hinges on the ability to compromise, especially when it comes to real estate. For homebuyers, it's essential to differentiate between the "wants" and the "needs." While certain features of a house might be desirable, they might not be essential. By being open to compromise on some of these "wants," buyers can find themselves in a stronger negotiation position and might find getting a fair price on a home easier. Before embarking on the search, it's beneficial for buyers to list out their non-negotiables. Knowing these crucial points can streamline the decision-making process and avoid being swayed by non-essential features.


Use Home Inspection to Your Advantage


A home inspection, often seen as a routine step, can be a powerful tool in the negotiation process. By conducting a thorough inspection, potential issues, both minor and major, are highlighted. These findings can serve as leverage points during negotiations, effectively helping you get a fair price on a home. For instance, if the inspection reveals a faulty roof or plumbing issue, buyers can request repairs or a reduction in the property's price.

However, it's essential to differentiate between major structural problems and minor cosmetic issues. While major problems can and should be used as negotiation points, minor issues can sometimes be overlooked for the right price. Ultimately, a detailed home inspection ensures buyers make a sound investment and provides them with the ammunition they need to negotiate a fair deal.


Be Patient and Avoid Emotional Buying


Patience is a virtue, especially in the realm of real estate. The excitement of buying a new home can sometimes overshadow the importance of making a calculated decision. While feeling emotionally attached to a potential new home is natural, separating emotion from the transaction is imperative. Emotional buying can lead to overlooking potential flaws or overpaying. It's often beneficial to take a step back and assess the situation objectively.

Moreover, playing the waiting game can sometimes lead to a better deal. Properties that have been on the market longer might have sellers more willing to negotiate. Practicing patience and avoiding emotional decisions places you in a more advantageous position, ensuring you get the best value for your money.


Always Be Willing to Walk Away


One of the strongest stances a homebuyer can adopt is the willingness to walk away from a deal. While it can be challenging, especially when one feels invested in a particular property, it's crucial to recognize that the housing market is vast, with numerous options available. If a deal doesn't align with a buyer's criteria or budget, it's better to step back rather than force a compromise that might lead to regret later on. Demonstrating a readiness to walk away can also be a strategic move in negotiations when getting a fair price on a home. Sensing the potential loss of a sale, sellers might be inclined to reconsider their position and offer more favorable terms. Ultimately, having the confidence and resolve to walk away ensures buyers retain the upper hand in negotiations.


Closing the Sale and Making the Move


After successfully closing the sale on a new home, the next significant phase is the move. Transitioning from one residence to another is a monumental task that requires careful planning and organization. Whether you're relocating within the same city or moving across state lines, the logistics involved can be complex. Take, for example, a move from Texas to Florida. Such a long-distance relocation would demand considerations about transporting belongings safely, adjusting to a new climate, and perhaps even navigating different state regulations or norms. In these scenarios, seeking professional help and hiring movers can be invaluable. These experienced pros can make the process smooth when moving from Texas to Florida. Their expertise ensures that every aspect is handled efficiently, from packing to transportation, allowing you to settle into your new home easily.


Wrapping Up


In the multifaceted home-buying journey, preparation and informed decision-making are the cornerstones of success. By delving deep into market understanding, aligning with experienced professionals, and mastering the art of negotiation, prospective homebuyers can optimize their chances of getting a fair price on a home in a safe neighborhood. As you venture into this significant financial and emotional endeavor, always remember to prioritize clarity over haste. Take the lessons shared in this guide to heart, and approach each step with diligence and foresight. Your dream home isn't just a property; it's a space where memories will be made and futures built. With the right strategies and mindset, you can make that space truly yours at a price that feels just right.




Unlock home-buying secrets with must-know negotiation tips, all to help make sure you are getting a fair price on a home.


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The Ultimate Guide to Assessing a Neighborhood Safety
Tanya Douglas

The Ultimate Guide to Assessing a Neighborhood Safety

In the quest for a new place to reside, assessing safety stands as an essential priority. The concept of a secure environment is paramount, shaping the overall living experience. As you embark on this journey, understanding the various facets contributing to a secure setting becomes vital. Crime rates, local law enforcement, well-lit surroundings, community engagement, education quality—all these elements intertwine to create an environment where one can thrive confidently. Exploring these factors in-depth aids us in making an informed decision regarding your future residence. The goal is to foster a sense of security that extends beyond the confines of your home, encompassing the entire surroundings. Whether it's for your family or for your investment, delving into these considerations allows you to be a proactive participant in your safety. So, let's dive into the interesting process of assessing a neighborhood’s safety.

Crime Rates and Statistics

Delving into a neighborhood's safety journey begins with deciphering crime rates and statistics. These numbers paint a vivid picture of the community's security landscape. By scrutinizing data on various types of crimes, you gain insight into potential risks and trends. Whether it's petty theft or more serious offenses, these statistics are your compass in navigating safer havens. Think of them as cautionary tales, guiding you away from risky territories and toward secure environments. With this knowledge in your arsenal, you're equipped to make informed decisions about where to lay down your roots. Remember, behind every statistic lies a story, and deciphering these narratives can lead you to a peaceful sanctuary.

Lighting and Infrastructure

In pursuing a safe neighborhood, the importance of proper lighting and solid infrastructure cannot be overstated. Well-lit streets and public spaces create an atmosphere of visibility and deter potential wrongdoers. Adequate infrastructure maintenance not only prevents accidents but also discourages criminal activities. These elements aren't just functional; they contribute to a sense of security. Imagine strolling down well-lit paths, knowing the environment itself is working to keep you safe. When assessing a potential area, pay attention to these subtle yet impactful details. They're the unsung heroes that quietly ensure your peace of mind, enhancing the overall safety of your chosen locale. In the intricate dance of urban planning, lighting and infrastructure play leading roles in creating a secure stage for your life to unfold.

Strengthening Community Security with Neighborhood Watch Programs

Neighborhood watch programs enhance safety. Residents actively participate, creating a collective shield against potential threats. Through mutual vigilance and open communication, these programs foster a sense of shared responsibility, making the community less susceptible to crime. By working together to monitor and report suspicious activities, neighbors contribute to a secure living environment. Such programs deter potential wrongdoers and build a strong bond among residents, forging a safer and more cohesive community.

Unlocking Safety Through Neighborhood Resources

When evaluating the safety of a neighborhood, the presence and quality of its resources offer insightful clues. A well-equipped community, encompassing essential services like moving companies, dry cleaners, vets, hospitals, and various shops, often speaks volumes about its safety. This isn't merely about convenience; it's a testament to the local commitment to residents' well-being. Consider the significance of hospitals and clinics within close proximity. They indicate a focus on residents' health, suggesting a safer environment where prompt medical attention is readily accessible. As bestmoversinflorida.com advises, the presence of reliable moving companies, in particular, demonstrates not only local demand but also a secure, well-connected community. In essence, neighborhood resources mirror a community's dedication to its residents' comfort and security.

Promoting Safety with Well-Maintained Public Spaces and Parks

Public spaces and parks contribute to safety by fostering community engagement and interaction. These well-kept areas indicate a neighborhood's commitment to a secure and inviting environment. When a community invests in its public spaces, it sends a message that safety and quality of life are priorities and that this is a good place to live. The presence of clean, accessible parks not only encourages outdoor activities but also discourages potential criminal activity. Residents often gather in these spaces, forming connections that further enhance the sense of security. As you assess a neighborhood, pay attention to the condition of its public spaces and parks. They're not just recreational spots; they're indicators of a thriving community that values safety and shared well-being.

Education Quality: A Pillar of Neighborhood Safety

The quality of local schools directly impacts a neighborhood's safety. Strong educational institutions engage the community, creating an environment that discourages criminal activity. Engaged students and parents often correlate with reduced crime rates, as active involvement fosters a sense of ownership and accountability. When evaluating a neighborhood's safety, consider school ratings and community involvement in education. A strong educational foundation shapes young minds and contributes to a secure environment where families can thrive without compromising safety.

From Safety Assessment to Seamless Move

The principles for evaluating the safety of a neighborhood are universal, transcending geographical boundaries. Whether in Jacksonville, Florida, New York, Virginia, or any other place, these standards hold true. Once you've meticulously examined crime rates, local resources, community engagement, and other vital factors, the assurance of a secure environment takes root. With the puzzle of safety pieced together, your focus turns to the next exciting chapter: the move. In Jacksonville, for instance, a secure neighborhood becomes your canvas for a fresh start. All that remains is to get in touch with nearby pros and make your move safe as well. These professionals understand the area intricately, helping you relocate smoothly and seamlessly into your chosen abode. Your journey toward a safer, happier life finds its culmination in your new neighborhood, where security and the promise of a bright future converge.

In Conclusion

In summary, thorough research paints a comprehensive picture of a neighborhood’s safety. Each factor contributes to the larger security canvas. Armed with this guide's insights, you can make informed decisions. As you consider potential neighborhoods, remember that safety is not a singular aspect but a mosaic woven from various elements. You gain a holistic understanding of the security landscape by meticulously assessing crime rates, community engagement, infrastructure, education, and resources. This holistic approach ensures that your choice is not only a practical one but also a safe and fulfilling one. So, as you embark on your journey to find the perfect place to live or invest, keep in mind the importance of considering multiple factors. Your peace of mind and the security of your loved ones are worth every effort.



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6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Location for Your New Home
Tanya Douglas
Buying a new home

6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Location for Your New Home

When it's time to say goodbye to your home, choosing a location for your new home becomes one of the most critical decisions in the home-buying process. It goes beyond mere aesthetics or the physical attributes of the house itself. This choice can significantly shape your lifestyle, daily routines, and overall happiness in the years to come. After all, a home is not just a place to reside; it's a launching pad for every aspect of your life.

Top 6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Location for Your New Home

The location of your new home can also have far-reaching implications for your financial health. Property values, taxes, cost of living, and the potential for future growth in the area can greatly affect your wealth over time. Therefore, it's crucial to make a well-informed decision considering many factors, not just the immediate appeal of the house itself or its price tag.


Dealing with stress and anxiety when buying a home is natural, but selecting a great location can alleviate some of those concerns. A well-chosen neighborhood has the potential to foster future growth, not only for your family but also for your professional endeavors. With access to good schools, your children can benefit from excellent educational opportunities, setting the stage for success. Moreover, living close to thriving business centers can enhance your career prospects, making the daily grind more manageable and fulfilling. Thus, when choosing the location for your new home, one must consider the long-term effects on various aspects of life.

Safety and Crime Rate

An essential aspect to consider when selecting the perfect location is the safety and crime rate of the area. This factor is key in ensuring a peaceful and secure living environment. Investigating local crime statistics and trends before making a final decision is vital, as these can greatly influence your quality of life, sense of comfort, and even property values over time. Luckily, various tools and resources are available to aid in this investigation. NeighborhoodScout, City-Data, and local police department sites offer detailed crime reports and safety information. These resources allow you to examine and compare crime rates, types of offenses, and even specific crime hotspots within a neighborhood.

Proximity to Work and Schools

When considering a location, the proximity to work and schools holds immense significance. Ideally, you want to minimize commuting time daily, freeing up more hours for personal pursuits, relaxation, or quality time with family. Extended commute times can eat into these precious hours, leaving you exhausted and less productive overall. Moreover, the impact of commuting isn't just about time. It can also significantly affect your stress levels and overall well-being. Lengthy, traffic-filled journeys to and from work or school can create unnecessary daily stress, affecting mental health and family dynamics. For children, a school close to home can provide additional benefits, such as fostering a sense of community and enabling participation in after-school activities.

Accessibility to Amenities

Ease of access to key amenities plays a pivotal role in your everyday comfort and convenience. These amenities might include shopping centers for daily needs, healthcare facilities for emergencies and regular check-ups, and parks and recreational facilities for leisure and exercise. Being near such amenities reduces the effort and time spent on these essential tasks, making your daily routines more efficient. A neighborhood rich in amenities not only offers convenience but significantly contributes to improved living conditions. For instance, living close to parks and recreational facilities provides physical activity and social interaction opportunities, promoting healthier, more active lifestyles.

Cost of Living and Property Value

To ensure a well-informed decision, gather essential information from your agent and ask pertinent questions before buying a home. Understanding the local cost of living is crucial, encompassing housing costs, groceries, utilities, healthcare, transportation, and local taxes. High living costs may strain your budget and lead to financial stress, so assess these factors to make a sustainable choice for your financial well-being. Moreover, inquire about property value trends in the area. A location with a history of steady property value appreciation can yield substantial returns in the long run, making it a wise investment choice for your future.

Neighborhood Character and Community

A crucial, often overlooked aspect when picking a location is the character of the neighborhood and the sense of community it provides. It's important to feel comfortable and integrated into the local social fabric. Factors such as neighborhood demographics, noise levels, community events, and local activities play a key role. You'll want to choose where to thrive and be part of the community. After all, your neighbors and the overall community vibe can greatly influence your satisfaction and sense of belonging in your new home.

Future Growth and Development

In your pursuit to avoid home buyer's remorse, it's vital to factor in the future growth and development prospects of the location of your new home. Keep an eye out for upcoming infrastructure projects, new businesses, or residential developments, as they can greatly enhance lifestyle amenities and boost property values over time. However, changes might also present challenges, such as increased traffic or altered neighborhood dynamics. Therefore, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the planned growth and development in the area is crucial.


Choosing the location for your new home can play a pivotal role in shaping various aspects of your life, from safety and convenience to financial stability and community connections. Evaluating factors such as safety, crime rates, and future growth and development is essential for making a well-informed decision. As you embark on this journey, consider your priorities and lifestyle needs. Strike a balance among these factors to find the perfect location that feels like home. Happy house hunting!


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Creative Ways a Fence can Enhance Your Outdoor Space
Tanya Douglas
Ways a Fence can Enhance Your Outdoor Space

Creative Ways a Fence Can Enhance Your Outdoor Space

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Alt-tag: A fence with climbing flowers, one of the ways a fence can enhance your outdoor space

Lots of people see fences as a somewhat dull addition to their yards. Sure, you need one, but does it contribute much to your outdoor space? Well, it could if you knew how best to approach the subject! Because of this, we’ve made a guide on creative ways a fence can enhance your outdoor space.

The style of the fence

The first way a fence can enhance your outdoor space is by matching its style to the overall design of your home. After all, a fence can be made in many ways and out of a slew of different materials. As such, it can cause either clash with your home’s design horribly or uplift it to look even better! The best example is how well your fence matches with your outdoor furniture. If you plan things out properly, they will ideally match each other in material and style. Just imagine a classy wooden table and chairs with lovely, beige cushions on top of them all, surrounded by a tall privacy fence that protects you, maybe provides a bit of extra shade, and perfectly fits with the theme!

Caption: If your fence is old, you might want to take it down and get a new one!

Alt-tag: An old fence

The color of the fence

Of course, a fence can enhance your outdoor space because it is so customizable even after you build it. If you are unhappy with your fence style but don’t want to pay too much to have it taken down and rebuilt, giving it a new coat of paint is a decent choice.  Almost all fences you can get installed can be customized this way, and it is both cheap and easy. It won’t take longer than a couple of hours of work, and it’s even a perfect DIY project for you and your kids. You’d get to spend some time with them, and they’d get all messy and enjoy themselves in a way only kids with paint can. The maintenance of a fence painted this way is not particularly difficult either. You’ll just need to occasionally refresh the paint job.

Consider adding vines or crawlers to your fence

Another thing you may want to do with your fence is to add vines or crawlers to it. Imagine what your yard would look like with beautiful climbing roses adorning your fence! Even letting vines grow over your fence adds a lovely dose of extra greenery, making your yard look classier. Now, there is a slight disclaimer here. While the growth will cover your fence, covering some of its faults and maybe even reinforcing, wooden fences can start decaying due to the conditions created by plant growth coming in contact with wood. So, it might take a bit more work to keep it in good condition. However, if you have a stone or metal fence, then this is pretty much a non-issue.

The different kinds of fences

When they hear the word ‘fence,’ most people immediately think about a privacy fence or a fence that wraps around the entire property and separates it from the rest of the street. However, you can effectively use many fences to separate parts of your yard. That is especially useful if you have a large yard and need to use parts of it for a specific purpose. For example, you might have a garden, but your kids or pets keep getting into it. A relatively short fence can effectively keep them out and improve your yard’s functionality. Also, you can use a part of your yard for parking.

Let your kids contribute

When discussing changing the color of your fence, we mentioned getting your kids involved. However, if you have the correct type of fence, you can go further! Tall, plain privacy fences made of wood might seem underwhelming at first. However, they offer a perfect canvas for your kids to express their creativity! Kids love drawing on walls or other areas that would feature their drawings more permanently and will often get in trouble as they grow up. So, why not let them have fun drawing on the fence instead? You’d see how a fence can enhance your outdoor space and make precious memories. And your kids get their urges to scribble on your walls out of their systems! Everyone wins, and it costs you nothing but the paint the kids use.

Caption: A fence can also be cleaned of the drawings relatively easily.

Alt-tag: A plain wood fence

Give your fence additional functionality

One of the best ways a fence can enhance your outdoor space is by providing extra space or functionality. Some yards are small, and you can’t fit a proper shed or similar. However, if you add shelving or hangers to your fence, it can be a perfect place to put away tools and gardening equipment. If your yard is large, you have more fun with the fence! You can get a custom fence and equip it with birdhouses or bird feeders. That would allow you to relax on your porch and admire all the birds that come to visit. You can add cup holders or armrests if you have your desk and other outdoor furniture near your fence.

Caption: Birds are entertaining to watch, and the additions are not too heavy, even for old fences!

Alt-tag: A bird on a fence

Improving your yard further

With our guide on creative ways a fence can enhance your outdoor space, you can make your fence a lot more interesting and useful. Of course, if you want the best effects, you must style your yard, so all its parts come together. If you coordinate your fence, outdoor furniture, and other factors, you’ll have a unique outdoor space to enjoy!

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Meaningful Ways to Say Goodbye to Your Home Before Selling
Tanya Douglas

Meaningful Ways to Say Goodbye to Your Home Before Selling

If you want to properly close an old chapter of your life and welcome a new one, sometimes you need some help! So, let’s go over some of the meaningful ways to say goodbye to your home before selling.

Take a moment to reflect

When preparing to say goodbye to your home before selling, it's crucial to take a moment to reflect on the cherished memories and experiences you've had within its walls. So, set aside a quiet space where you can sit comfortably and let the nostalgia wash over you. For example, recall the countless moments of joy and laughter shared with your furry companions, the wagging tails and gentle purrs that filled the rooms. Express your gratitude for the safety and comfort your home provides, giving you and your pets a loving environment to thrive. As you reflect, take note of the unique features that made you love your home, such as your cozy and quiet bedroom, a spacious backyard, or even a cozy nook for your furry friends to relax in. This will make all the nice and fuzzy memories come rushing it!

Organize a farewell gathering

When it's time to say goodbye to your beloved home, organizing a farewell gathering can be a great idea. It’s a nice, heartfelt way to bid adieu to cherished memories and create a lasting sense of closure. So, invite your close friends, family, and neighbors who have shared in the joys of your home. Gather in a warm and inviting atmosphere, reminiscing about the laughter, celebrations, and moments of togetherness that filled the space! Furthermore, encourage everyone to share their stories and anecdotes, highlighting their unique experiences within your home. Consider setting up a memory jar or guestbook where guests can write down their memories and well wishes. This will serve as a beautiful keepsake to revisit in the future!

Capture the essence of your old home with photography

One powerful way to say goodbye to your home before selling and preserving its essence is by capturing it through photography. After all, photography not only serves to preserve memories but also can improve your wellness and mood! As you navigate your home, photograph its unique features, favorite rooms, and cherished nooks. Pay attention to the details that make your home special, such as the cozy reading corner or the sun-drenched kitchen! By focusing on these elements, you can evoke the emotions and memories associated with your home. And looking back at these photographs later can evoke a sense of nostalgia and boost your mood, allowing you to relive the happy moments you experienced within those walls. So, grab your camera or smartphone and start snapping away to capture the essence of your home, preserving its spirit.

Write a heartfelt letter

When it's time to part with your old property, writing a heartfelt letter can be a deeply meaningful way to express your emotions and bid farewell. Address the letter directly to your home, pouring out your gratitude and fondness for the memories created within its walls. Recall the special moments, the laughter, the tears, and the milestones that unfolded in each room. Share your hopes and well wishes for the home's new owners, wishing them the same joy and love you experienced. Finally, express your appreciation for the shelter and comfort your home provided, acknowledging its role in shaping your life. As you pen your thoughts, let your emotions guide your words. This will truly allow your letter to become a keepsake that encapsulates your unique connection with your home.

Create a time capsule

Creating a time capsule before selling your home can be a fun and sentimental activity to preserve precious memories. And, as the moving experts from relosmart.asia wisely point out, this allows you to sort through your belongings and declutter before the move, too! So, gather significant items and mementos that hold sentimental value, such as photographs, handwritten notes, or small tokens that represent special moments in your life. Furthermore, include a personal letter, perhaps the exact one we previously advised you to write. Finally, bury or store the time capsule in a safe place, ensuring it will remain undisturbed until it's discovered.

Explore the neighborhood one last time

Before bidding farewell to your home, take the opportunity to explore the neighborhood one last time. And, of course, take the time to savor the sights and sounds that were a part of your daily life. Take a leisurely stroll through the streets, noticing the charming houses, the friendly faces, and the local spots that hold sentimental value. Visit the park where you spent countless afternoons or the café where you enjoyed your favorite cup of coffee. Or even engage in conversations with neighbors and shop owners, expressing your gratitude for the community that welcomed you with open arms! By immersing yourself in the neighborhood one last time, you can create lasting memories and a sense of closure.

Pay tribute with a charitable act

As you prepare to leave, consider engaging in a charitable act that positively impacts your community. For example, donating unwanted items to local charities helps declutter your space and benefits those in need. You can also support community organizations in your home's name, whether by volunteering your time, making a financial contribution, or organizing a fundraising event. By giving back, you honor the memories and experiences your home provided. While also making a difference in the lives of others! So, this act of kindness doesn’t only help you say goodbye on a positive note. It also allows you to leave a lasting legacy in your community.

Plant something new

When it's time to say goodbye to your home before selling, consider planting something as a symbol of fresh beginnings. So, choose a meaningful plant or tree that resonates with you and represents your aspirations for the future. Whether it's a vibrant flower or a sturdy tree, nurturing and watching it grow can serve as a reminder that new adventures are awaiting you in your next home. As you dig a hole and carefully place the roots of your new plant, visualize letting go of any attachments or regrets associated with your current home, too. Embrace the opportunity to create new memories and forge a connection with your new surroundings. This process can even motivate you and help you avoid home buyer remorse!

Moving on from your past home to your future

Having gone over the meaningful ways to say goodbye to your home before selling, we hope you found something that resonated with you. Everyone deserves to close a chapter of their life properly, and neglecting to do this can cause problems later, too!

Mistakes to Avoid When House Hunting with Pets
Tanya Douglas

Mistakes to Avoid When House Hunting with Pets

Finding the perfect home for ourselves is thrilling, but what about our furry companions? House hunting with pets requires a whole new level of consideration to ensure their comfort, safety, and well-being. Unfortunately, many pet owners make common mistakes during this process, leading to unnecessary stress and difficulties. Avoiding these pitfalls is crucial to make your house-hunting experience smoother and more successful. We'll cover everything from overlooking the importance of pet-friendly neighborhoods to disregarding essential safety features.

Not Researching Pet-Friendly Neighborhoods

One crucial mistake many pet owners make when house hunting is failing to research pet-friendly neighborhoods. It may seem insignificant, but this oversight can have significant consequences for your four-legged friend. Before settling on a new location, take the time to understand its pet-friendliness.

Are there nearby parks or spaces where your pet can roam and play? And are pet-friendly establishments such as groomers, pet stores, or veterinary clinics in the area? Don't overlook the importance of local regulations as well; some neighborhoods may have restrictions on pet ownership or specific breed limitations. By neglecting to research these aspects, you may find yourself in a less accommodating community for your furry companion.

So, grab your laptop and start digging. Explore online forums, chat with local pet owners, and consult reliable resources to ensure that the neighborhood you choose is welcoming and suitable for your pet's needs. Remember, a pet-friendly neighborhood isn't just about you—it's about creating a happy and fulfilling environment for your beloved companion.

Forgetting About Accessibility To Veterinary Care

Next, forgetting about accessibility to veterinary care is a grave mistake that should never be overlooked when house hunting with pets. Like humans, pets require medical attention and regular check-ups to stay healthy. Before finalizing a location, consider the proximity and accessibility to veterinary clinics. Is there a reliable and reputable veterinary practice nearby?

Imagine the stress and inconvenience of traveling long distances for routine appointments or emergencies. If your pet is stressed out by traveling, avoiding this mistake is especially important. Furthermore, you should ensure your pet isn’t stressed out while moving to your new home. As Brooklyn Movers New York advises, you can make moving with pets easier for everyone in several ways. For instance, you can give your pet familiar blankets and toys while they are in the vehicle.

Overall, ensuring that your pet has quick access to quality veterinary care is essential for their well-being. Additionally, take into account the availability of after-hours emergency services. Accidents and health issues can occur at any time, and having immediate access to veterinary care during such times is vital. Don't wait until an emergency strikes to realize that the nearest veterinary clinic is miles away.

Always Assess the Property’s Sustainability for Pets

It's easy to get caught up in the aesthetics and overlook the practical aspects. Take a step back and consider the layout and size of the property. Will your pet have enough space to move around comfortably? Are there any potential hazards, such as toxic plants or open staircases?

Remember, your pet's safety should be a top priority. Don't just focus on the interior; evaluate the outdoor areas. Is there a securely fenced yard where your pet can play and exercise? Are there any escape routes that need to be addressed? Pets have different needs; a small apartment might suit a cat, but a dog might require a spacious backyard.

If you neglect to assess the property's suitability, you may find yourself in a situation where your pet feels cramped or exposed to potential dangers. So, during your house visits, pay attention to the interior and exterior spaces, envisioning how your pet will navigate and thrive within the environment.

Another Mistake Is Disregarding Noise Levels

When you live with pets, disregarding noise levels is a mistake that can greatly impact your pet's comfort when house hunting. Pets, especially those with sensitive hearing, can be greatly affected by excessive noise. It's important to pay attention to the environment surrounding the property. For example, is it located near a busy road or a construction site?

Consider how these noises affect your pet's stress levels and overall well-being. Loud and constant noise can cause anxiety and distress in pets, leading to behavioral issues or health problems. Take a moment to listen for any potential sources of disturbance, such as nearby train tracks or noisy neighbors. Remember, what may seem like a minor annoyance to you could be a constant source of stress for your furry friend.

Prioritize a peaceful and quiet environment to ensure a harmonious living experience for you and your pet. If possible, visit the property at different times to better understand the noise levels throughout the day. By being mindful of noise factors, you'll create a tranquil haven where your pet can relax, unwind, and enjoy their new home to the fullest.

Overlooking Safety Features When House Hunting With Pets

That is a critical mistake that many pet owners make when house hunting. Getting caught up in the excitement of finding a beautiful home is easy. However, the well-being of your furry friend should always come first. Don't neglect to check for pet-friendly safety features. Start with the fencing—ensure it's secure and tall enough to prevent your pet from escaping.

Look for any potential hazards, such as exposed electrical wires or toxic substances within reach. Pay attention to the flooring as well. Opt for pet-friendly materials that are easy to clean and won't cause slipping or injuries. Consider the layout of the property. Are there any dangerous areas or sharp corners that could pose a risk to your pet? Additionally, evaluate the windows and doors. Are they secure and properly screened to prevent accidental escapes or injuries?

Once you move into your new home, your pet will be eager to explore the new surroundings. So, it’s important to ensure these surroundings are safe and comfortable. If you are looking for ways to help your dog adjust to a new home, you can make your furry friend feel comfortable in many ways. Most importantly, spend as much time with them as you can. That and their favorite blankets and toys can help them tremendously.

Summing Up The Mistakes To Avoid When House Hunting With Pets

Overall, house hunting with pets requires careful consideration and avoidance of common mistakes. Remember, our pets rely on us to provide a nurturing home that meets their needs. So, take the time to evaluate each potential property with their well-being in mind. Avoid the temptation to rush through the process and instead focus on finding a place where you and your pets can thrive. If you avoid these mistakes and make informed decisions, you'll lay the foundation for a harmonious and joyful living experience with your beloved companions.


Meta: Avoid common mistakes when house hunting with pets. From neighborhood research to safety features, ensure a happy and pet-friendly home.

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Warning Signs You Need a New Real Estate Agent
Tanya Douglas
Warning Signs You Need a New Real Estate Agent

Warning Signs You Need a New Real Estate Agent


Welcome to our blog post, discussing the warning signs you need a new real estate agent. Buying or selling a property is a significant endeavor, and having a reliable and competent agent by your side can make all the difference. In this article, we will highlight the key indicators that suggest it's time to reassess your current agent-client relationship and consider finding a new real estate agent who can better meet your needs and goals.

Lack of Communication

Effective communication is crucial throughout the real estate process, as it ensures a smooth and transparent experience. Your agent should prioritize responsiveness and keep you informed at every stage. Also, there should be things to negotiate with your real estate agent. However, there are warning signs to watch out for that indicate communication issues. Firstly, unresponsiveness can be a red flag. If your agent consistently fails to promptly return your calls, emails, or messages, it may indicate poor communication skills or a lack of dedication. Secondly, a competent agent should regularly update property listings and market conditions. If your agent fails to keep you informed, it can lead to frustration and missed opportunities.

The lack of clarity in explaining complex terms and procedures is also concerning. Your agent should be able to explain them clearly and ensure you have a thorough understanding. If you find their explanations confusing or inadequate, it might be time to seek a new agent. Lastly, a good agent listens attentively and understands your needs and preferences. If your agent consistently fails to grasp your needs or doesn't prioritize them, it may be a sign that they are not the right fit for you. Remember, effective communication is a key pillar of a successful agent-client relationship.

Inexperience or Overconfidence

Experience plays a vital role in the real estate industry. An experienced agent brings knowledge, expertise, and a deep understanding of the local market. Here are warning signs that indicate inexperience or overconfidence:

  • Limited knowledge: An inexperienced agent may lack comprehensive knowledge about the local market, including property values, market trends, or relevant laws and regulations.
  • Unrealistic promises: Beware agents who make unrealistic promises or inflate property prices to entice clients. Such overconfidence can lead to disappointment and wasted time.
  • Ineffective negotiation skills: Negotiation is a crucial aspect of real estate transactions. An inexperienced or overconfident agent may struggle to negotiate effectively on your behalf or provide strategic guidance. After all, a real estate agent should have basic property management education.

Poor Availability or Commitment is one of the most common Warning Signs You Need a New Real Estate Agent

An agent's availability and commitment are vital for a successful real estate experience, ensuring that your needs are met, and your goals are achieved. However, there are warning signs to watch out for that indicate a lack of availability or commitment. Firstly, frequent cancellations or rescheduling appointments without a valid reason can be disruptive and unprofessional. It hampers your plans and raises concerns about the agent's reliability. Secondly, difficulty scheduling property viewings or attending inspections can indicate poor organization or a lack of dedication. A reliable agent could be better and make this process smooth and convenient for you.

Lastly, a lack of effort in marketing your property or actively searching for suitable listings can leave you feeling unsupported and hinder your progress. Proactive marketing and an active search are essential in the real estate journey. If your agent fails to demonstrate dedication or effort in these areas, it may be time to consider finding a new agent who will prioritize your needs. Remember, a committed and available agent ensures a smooth and successful real estate transaction.

Misalignment of Interests

Aligning interests between you and your agent is crucial for a successful real estate transaction. Look out for the following warning signs you need a new real estate agent:

  1. Pushing for properties or deals that do not match your preferences or requirements: Your agent should respect your preferences and focus on finding properties that align with your needs. If they consistently push for properties or deals that do not match your criteria, it may be a sign that their interests are not aligned with yours.
  1. Prioritizing personal gains over your best interests: A reliable agent should prioritize your best interests above their own. If you notice them pushing for transactions that benefit them more than you, it's a warning sign that their motivations may not align with yours.
  2. Failing to disclose conflicts of interest: Transparency is essential in any client-agent relationship. If your agent fails to disclose conflicts of interest, such as representing both the buyer and seller in a transaction without your knowledge, it can lead to a breach of trust and compromise your interests.

Lack of Support or Resources

It is important to be aware of warning signs that indicate a lack of support or resources. Firstly, if your agent has inadequate support staff or a limited network of professionals, such as inspectors, lenders, or attorneys, it can result in inefficiencies and challenges. Collaborating with a team of competent professionals is essential for a seamless experience. Secondly, your agent should have the tools and technologies to facilitate an efficient transaction process. If they lack essential resources or fail to provide access to these tools, your ability to make well-informed decisions may be hindered. Finally, a competent agent should be able to offer comprehensive guidance and recommend reliable service providers when needed. If your agent fails to provide this assistance, it may impede your progress and limit your options. Access to comprehensive support and resources greatly enhances the overall experience of buying or selling a property.

For example, in a situation where you want to relocate and move your entire business there at the same time, things can get complicated. Maintaining a good relationship with a real estate agent and committing 100% to keep your business intact and the move going smoothly is hard. In this regard, zaptmovers.com advises that safely relocating business equipment is one of the most important steps. That way, you will give yourself peace of mind and be able to more easily spot warning signs you need a new real estate agent if they exist.

Final words

In summary, paying attention to the warning signs you need a new real estate agent is crucial. Throughout this blog post, we discussed various warning signs you should not overlook. Finding a reliable and competent real estate agent is essential for a successful buying or selling experience.


Meta Description: Is it time to part ways with your real estate agent? Discover the warning signs you need a new real estate agent.

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Biggest Benefits of Selling Your Home Discreetly
Tanya Douglas
Biggest Benefits of Selling Your Home Discreetly

Biggest Benefits of Selling Your Home Discreetly

In today's real estate market, the concept of selling a home discreetly is gaining momentum. Homeowners are increasingly opting for this approach to protect their privacy, streamline the selling process, and retain a higher level of control over the transaction. In this article, we will explore the significant benefits of selling your home discreetly and why it is becoming a preferred choice for many sellers.

Maintaining privacy

Privacy is a paramount concern for homeowners when selling their properties. Traditional home selling methods, such as listing on public platforms, can expose personal information to a wide audience. Selling your home discreetly allows you to shield your private life from prying eyes. By keeping your sale under the radar, you can avoid unnecessary public exposure and protect your personal information. Take a look at a few ways you can maintain privacy while selling your home:

  • Work with a trusted real estate agent who specializes in discreet home sales.
  • Keep the sale off public listing platforms and avoid posting photos or detailed information online.
  • Use word-of-mouth or personal connections to reach potential buyers discreetly.
  • Request non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) from interested parties to protect your personal information.
  • Schedule private showings by appointment only, limiting access to your property.
  • Avoid staging your home with personal items or identifiable features that could compromise your privacy.
  • Communicate with potential buyers through encrypted messaging platforms or secure channels.
  • Consider using a pseudonym or anonymous email address during the initial stages of the sale.
  • Restrict access to your property's address and maintain confidentiality during negotiations.
  • Maintain discretion when discussing the sale with friends, family, or neighbors to minimize public attention.

Streamlined selling process

Discreet home selling can significantly expedite the process. Instead of dealing with numerous showings and open houses, you can focus on negotiating directly with interested parties. By engaging with serious buyers who are pre-screened and genuinely interested, you can save time and energy that would otherwise be spent on less qualified prospects. This streamlined approach allows you to efficiently manage the sale and move closer to closing the deal.

In addition, the discreet home selling process also provides an added layer of privacy and security. With fewer public showings, you can maintain a sense of confidentiality and limit the exposure of your property to a select group of potential buyers. This not only protects your personal space but also ensures that only those genuinely interested in your home have access to it, increasing the likelihood of finding the right buyer quickly. With a streamlined and discreet selling process, you can navigate the real estate market with ease and confidence.

Higher level of control

Selling your home discreetly offers homeowners increased control over the entire transaction. When selling publicly, you may be subject to the demands and conditions of potential buyers or real estate agents. This can also disrupt the process of selling and slow down the process. In contrast, discreet selling empowers you to set your own terms and conditions. You can dictate the timelines, negotiate on your terms, and have a greater say in the final outcome. This control can lead to a more satisfactory and financially advantageous sale.

Minimizing disruptions

Traditional home selling methods can often disrupt your daily routine. Constant showings, open houses, and the need to keep your property in pristine condition can be both time-consuming and stressful. Discreet selling minimizes these disruptions by working with a smaller pool of serious buyers. Instead of accommodating endless showings, you can focus on qualified prospects who have demonstrated genuine interest. This approach allows you to maintain your daily routine, reduce stress, and avoid unnecessary interruptions.

Tips for moving after selling your home

Once you have successfully sold your home, the next step is to prepare for the move. One crucial aspect is to ensure you get the materials you need for packing and organizing your belongings. Make a checklist of essential packing supplies such as boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and markers to label your boxes. Gather these materials in advance to avoid last-minute scrambling and to ensure a smooth transition to your new home. Properly packing and organizing your belongings will make the moving process more efficient and help protect your items during transportation.

Avoiding public listings

One of the main drawbacks of listing a home publicly is the potential security risks and unsolicited inquiries it may attract. Discreet selling eliminates these concerns by bypassing public listings altogether. Instead of broadcasting your property to the masses, you can directly approach a select group of potential buyers who are genuinely interested. This approach minimizes the risks of exposing your property and personal details to unknown individuals.

Avoid open houses

Avoiding open houses is another aspect of achieving privacy when selling a home. This not only simplifies the selling process but it allows you to pack easier and more efficiently. Just as the experts from Manhattan Movers NYC suggest, it’s best to pack before any buyers come to see the property. Whether you plan to hire packers or do it yourself, you will have more comfort during this process if you don’t organize staging and open house viewings.

Selling your home discreetly - preserving property value

Public listings can sometimes impact the perceived value of a property. When a property is publicly listed for an extended period, it may create an impression of desperation or a need for a quick sale. Discreet selling helps preserve the exclusivity and desirability of your property. By targeting a select group of potential buyers, you can maintain a sense of exclusivity and negotiate from a position of strength. If you need to sell and buy a home at the same time, this can potentially lead to securing a higher selling price and maximizing the value of your property.


Selling your home discreetly offers many benefits that cater to the needs and preferences of many homeowners. By prioritizing privacy, avoiding public listings, streamlining the selling process, retaining control, minimizing disruptions, and preserving property value, discreet selling provides a more favorable selling experience. If you value your privacy, seek efficiency, and desire a higher level of control over your home sale, consider the benefits of discreetly selling your home. Embrace this approach and experience a more private, efficient, and rewarding selling process.

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7 Tips to Avoid Home Buyer's Remorse
Tanya Douglas
Buyer Remorse

7 Tips to Avoid Home Buyer's Remorse

Home purchasing is one of the most significant decisions you will ever make. You are choosing a space to turn into your haven, where you will make memories. But what happens when the euphoria of signing on the dotted line becomes a gnawing sense of regret? This scenario is common, but you can avoid it with careful planning and wise decision-making. While buying a home is an exciting milestone but a complex process that requires serious consideration and diligent preparation. This article will help you make the right decision by providing seven essential tips to avoid home buyer's remorse.

Don't rush it

It is easy to fall into the trap of wanting to move quickly, especially when you find a property that seemingly checks all your boxes. First-time buyers, in particular, might feel pressure to rush into homeownership due to external influences like escalating rent prices, the fear of missing out on a deal, or even the well-intentioned advice of friends and family. However, if you act hastily, you overlook important details about the property, the neighborhood, or the mortgage terms.

By taking your time, you allow yourself to gather all the necessary information, thoroughly inspect the prospective properties, and consider all the financial implications. Additionally, you manage stress and anxiety more successfully by allowing more time to think and decide. This deliberate approach enables you to make a confident, well-informed decision you will feel good about in the long run.

Stick to your budget to avoid home buyer's remorse

Setting a budget and adhering to it is fundamental in the home-buying process. Knowing your financial limits will help narrow your options and focus your search.

Overspending on a house can put you in a precarious financial situation. It can lead to an imbalance in your finances, leaving your home poor — a situation where a large portion of your income goes towards your housing expenses, leaving little for savings, emergencies, or even day-to-day living expenses.

To establish your budget, start by analyzing your income, savings, and monthly expenses. Consider all costs associated with home ownership, such as down payment, closing costs, monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs. A rule of thumb is that your monthly housing expenses should not exceed 30% of your gross monthly income.

Prioritize your needs

In the context of home buying, needs are the non-negotiable features and characteristics your future home must possess. These might include the number of bedrooms, the location, proximity to work or schools, or accessibility features, among others. Conversely, wants are additional features or amenities that would be nice to have but aren't essential, like a swimming pool or a walk-in closet. One effective strategy is to make a list where you clearly define your "must-haves" and "nice-to-haves." This approach will help you focus on what truly matters to you and prevent you from being distracted by a home's appealing but non-essential features.

Prioritizing your needs over your wants can result in greater long-term satisfaction with your home purchase and help you avoid home buyer’s remorse.

Do your research

To begin with, delve into the specifics of the property. Learn about its history, structural integrity, previous owners, and potential issues. A professional home inspection can be an invaluable resource in this regard, revealing any hidden problems and helping you avoid costly repairs in the future.

Next, turn your attention to the neighborhood. Visit at different times and days of the week to get a feel for the area. Consider the noise level, traffic, and overall safety. Talk to potential neighbors if possible — they can provide firsthand insights about living in that community. That is especially important for young families – your new neighborhood should meet everyone’s needs.

One of the most effective ways to conduct this research is online. Many real estate websites offer comprehensive information about properties and neighborhoods. Social media communities and online forums can also provide valuable insights. However, don't discount the benefits of physically exploring the area and talking to residents.

Consult with professionals

Real estate agents are your allies in the house-hunting process. They have an in-depth understanding of the market, can help identify properties that meet your criteria, and guide you through the complexities of the buying process. They know the key things to negotiate and can ensure you get the best deal possible and help you navigate contracts and paperwork.

Financial advisors, on the other hand, can provide expert advice on budgeting and financing your home. They can help you understand different mortgage options, evaluate the potential financial implications of your purchase, and guide you toward making financially sustainable decisions in the long run.

Experts at Number 1 Movers Canada suggest planning the move. Ensure you are well prepared once the house is bought and ready to nestle in. Hiring a professional moving company can help ensure an easy and smooth transition.

These professionals provide insights and perspectives you might have yet to consider, helping you avoid mistakes and regret.

Consider long-term viability

When considering the growth potential, think about whether the house can accommodate any plans you have for expansion or renovation. Also, think about the home's potential resale value. While you might be buying intending to stay for the long haul, life can be unpredictable, and it is prudent to consider what selling the house might look like. Factors influencing resale value include the location, the quality of local schools, the crime rate, and the overall state of the housing market. Buying with resale in mind can ensure you are making a sound financial investment.

Remember to consider any future lifestyle changes that might affect your satisfaction with the home. Considering how well the home will fit with your lifestyle, not just now but in the future, is crucial to avoid home buyer's remorse.

Trust your instincts

Trusting your instincts can play a significant role in choosing a home you will love and appreciate for years.

Intuition, or "gut feeling," can provide valuable insights beyond what logic and research reveal. It is that indescribable sense of comfort or discomfort when walking into a home. You might step into a house that ticks all the boxes on your list, but something doesn't feel right. Conversely, a place might lack some of your "wants," but walking through the front door feels like home.

Trusting your instincts doesn't mean throwing logic and reasoning out the window. Instead, it is about striking a balance between the two. And once you move in, be free to include some small rituals to bring good luck to your new home and ensure you start on the right foot.

Final thoughts

Buying a home is one of the most significant decisions you will make in your lifetime; understandably, the process may feel overwhelming. However, with careful consideration and strategic planning, you can navigate this journey with confidence and avoid home buyer's remorse.

Meta description: Here are seven great tips to help you make the best decision when buying a house and avoid home buyer’s remorse!

8 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Summer Weather
Tanya Douglas

8 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Summer Weather

As summer approaches, it's time to prepare your home for the upcoming season's weather challenges. Taking proactive steps to ready your home ensures that it can withstand the scorching heat waves, severe storms, and other elements associated with summer. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with eight essential tips to prepare your home for summer weather. Implementing these measures allows you to maintain a comfortable, functional, and safe living environment throughout the summer months.

Check and Maintain Your Cooling System

Before the sweltering heat takes hold, ensuring that your cooling system is in top shape is crucial. Clean or replace the air filters to optimize their performance and improve indoor air quality. Consider scheduling professional maintenance to inspect the system, address issues, and ensure maximum efficiency. Starting the summer with a well-maintained cooling system can beat the heat and enjoy a comfortable living environment. This is also important for the following fall maintenance, as proper care of your HVAC will help you in the heating season too.

Seal Air Leaks

To maintain a cool and energy-efficient home:

  • Identify and seal air leaks.
  • Check around windows, doors, and other openings for gaps or cracks that allow cool air to escape and hot air to seep in.
  • Apply weatherstrip or caulking to seal these areas, reducing energy waste and keeping your home comfortable during summer's sweltering days.

Inspect and Clean Gutters

Prepare your home for summer storms by ensuring your gutters are properly functioning. Remove leaves, debris, and blockages to prevent water buildup and potential damage to your home's foundation. Regular gutter maintenance allows for proper drainage during heavy downpours, reducing the risk of water-related issues.

Check and Repair Roofing

Inspect your roof for damaged or missing shingles, cracks, or leaks. Addressing these issues before summer storms will prevent water damage and maintain the structural integrity of your home. Consider scheduling a professional roof inspection to identify and fix potential issues, giving you peace of mind during inclement weather.

Trim Trees and Shrubs

Before summer storms strike, the pros at promoversmiami.com recommend trimming trees and shrubs near your home to minimize the risk of branches falling onto your property. Strong winds can cause branches to break and potentially cause damage. By trimming overgrown branches and maintaining a safe distance from your home, you can protect both your property and your family's safety.

Create Outdoor Safety Measures

With longer daylight hours and pleasant weather, you'll likely spend more time outdoors during the summer. Ensure your outdoor spaces are safe and enjoyable for you and your family. To prevent accidents, start by inspecting and repairing damaged walkways, steps, or handrails. Install adequate outdoor lighting to illuminate pathways, entrances, and patio areas, enhancing visibility and deterring potential intruders.

Consider adding features such as motion sensor lights or a security camera system to provide extra protection for your property. Additionally, if you have a pool, make sure it complies with safety regulations, including installing a fence and gate with a self-closing latch. These features will not ruin your home value and are highly sought after, so it’s a worthy investment!

To enhance comfort, create shaded areas in your outdoor spaces. Install awnings, umbrellas, or pergolas to provide relief from direct sunlight and create cozy spaces for relaxation and entertainment. You can also incorporate outdoor fans or misting systems to cool the air and make your outdoor experience more enjoyable during hot summer days.

By implementing outdoor safety measures and creating comfortable spaces, you can fully embrace the joys of summer, whether hosting gatherings, enjoying a quiet evening on the porch, or simply basking in the beauty of your outdoor oasis.

Prepare for Power Outages

Summer storms can lead to power outages, so being prepared is wise. Keep essential supplies on hand, including flashlights, batteries, a battery-powered radio, and a fully stocked emergency kit. Consider investing in a portable generator to provide temporary power during outages, ensuring the comfort and safety of your household.

This is especially important if you're trying to move during the summer. One of the best stress-free moving tips when planning a smooth process is planning for power outages. These can significantly slow down your moving process, so make sure to prepare in advance.

Protect Against Pests

Summer brings an influx of pests, such as mosquitoes, ants, and flies. To protect your rental:

  • Take preventive measures against these unwanted visitors.
  • Seal cracks and crevices, install screens on doors and windows, and eliminate standing water to minimize breeding grounds.
  • If needed, consult with professional pest control services to effectively manage and prevent pest infestations, creating a pest-free home environment.

Get your home ready for the summer

In summary, to prepare your home for summer weather, it's essential to address key areas of maintenance and protection. Check and maintain your cooling system for optimal performance, seal air leaks to improve energy efficiency, and ensure your gutters are clean and functional. Conduct a thorough inspection of your roof and address any issues promptly. Trim trees and shrubs to minimize the risk of damage during summer storms. Therefore, you can plan a smooth process by decluttering, organizing, and hiring reliable movers. Prepare for power outages with essential supplies and consider investing in a portable generator. Lastly, protect your home against pests by sealing entry points and eliminating potential breeding grounds.

Following these eight essential tips, you can proactively prepare your home for summer weather, creating a comfortable, functional, and safe living environment. Whether braving the heat waves or weathering summer storms, these steps will help you enjoy a worry-free summer. Stay proactive, plan ahead, and make the necessary preparations to ensure your home is ready to embrace the joys and challenges that summer brings.



If you need some tips on how to prepare your home for summer weather, make sure to read our comprehensive guide!


Tanya Douglas
6 projects that can ruin your home's value

6 Projects That Can Ruin Your Home's Value

One of the advantages of buying a home is the freedom to make it your own. Building a home to your specifications may make it much more comfortable to live in, whether you're starting from scratch or updating an older home to make it more modern and functional. However, unless this is your forever home (and remember that the status of a forever home can change in an instant due to a job relocation, a change in marital status, and a variety of other unforeseen factors), it is wise to consider how your design decisions may harm the value of your home and cause potential buyers to underbid or pass on purchasing your house. Here are projects that can Ruin your home's value.


Why do potential homebuyers dislike a particular project?

The primary consideration in every home improvement project must be whether the finished product will attract buyers. Considering the general public's tastes and preferences is crucial if you plan on selling your home soon. Although a pool may seem like a fantastic addition to a home, some buyers may be put off by concerns about the cost of maintenance and the potential for accidents. A step after selling your house is finding the right team for your relocation. Knowing how to choose residential movers is essential. Therefore, pick according to your needs and budget. The right moving team will help you pack, move, and unpack your belongings efficiently and safely.


Projects that could negatively impact your home's value include the following:

Weird Tiling

Tiling, in particular, can decrease a home's value if you do it in a way that makes it too unique. The flooring of a house is a significant selling point for many buyers. Putting in tile or wood flooring might improve a home's resale value unless you get the buyer who's into the '50s diner look and puts in black and white tile. According to them, here is where coolness culminates. Demanders will remove this before they make an offer since they see it as an unnecessary distraction.

A simple white tile floor and a rug with the required pattern are good options if you worry about making mistakes with tiles. Moreover, you may save money by installing new flooring alone instead of hiring a professional.


Adding too much extra space

Excessive expansion is one of the most common projects that can ruin your home's value. Too much square footage is often added by homeowners wanting to increase their property's worth. If you add too much square footage to your home, it may feel cramped and off-kilter. Due to an out-of-proportion addition, an unbalanced property with an excessive addition may lose value. You should concentrate on including only the required quantity of room since increasing the space in your home beyond what is necessary for how you live is pointless.


Making use of a garage for other purposes

A garage gym could seem like an excellent idea for someone who likes to work out. The parents of a recently returned millennial may view their son's or daughter's decision to convert the garage into an apartment as an attempt to minimize expenses. However, prospective purchasers may have different opinions.

Garages are more critical to homebuyers than fitness facilities or extra bedrooms because they require a place to park their cars and keep their possessions. Consider how easy and cheap it will be for buyers to remove your garage conversion before doing so.


Beautiful but messy trees

Trees are crucial to any landscape, so do your homework before planting anything. We advise residents to watch for any trees with leaves or blossoms that might cause a mess in the yard. Constant leaf rain is hardly something that will entice a prospective purchaser. When October arrives, kids will simply know it will be difficult.

Avoid oak, female Ginkgo biloba, sweet gum, locust tree, and Eastern white pine. These unsightly trees may detract from your curb appeal, and removal can be costly, depending on the size of the tree. Choose a different tree, such as an Eastern red cedar, crepe myrtle, or Colorado blue spruce.


Strong paint colors

Another one of the projects that can ruin your home's value is painting. Although painting is a cheap and easy home improvement, prospective buyers probably won't want to put in the effort. The value of your home will drop if you paint the inside or outside in colors that stand out from the rest of the palette. The public probably won't share your enthusiasm for reds, purples, and dark blues. Neutral colors are now trending in interior design, and if you choose to go against the grain, you may turn away buyers who otherwise would have paid top dollar for your home.

That is a common mistake that many homeowners make. Your home is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay, so splurging on a fancy coat of paint might scare off potential buyers or cause them to offer less than the asking price.


DIY projects that were not put together properly

Some well-planned and carried-out DIY projects could save you money and add to the value of your home, such as winterizing water pipes. You should make a second check to ensure that you have followed all the necessary steps before declaring a project to be "completed." Check that you have everything you require before beginning the job and that you are familiar with what has to be done to avoid the appearance of further work that needs to be done as a result of improvements that are not up to par, which might bring down the value of your house.




Be mindful of the choices you make while making renovations to your property. Some home renovations may seem like a good idea at the time, but they might cost you money in the long run if they reduce the value of your house. This blog looked at six projects that can ruin your home’s value. By putting off these projects, you may ensure that your home will always be desirable to buyers and will preserve its worth over time.


Kw: projects that can ruin your home’s value
Some projects may increase their sale value immediately, while others may decrease it. Here are 6 projects that can ruin your home's value.

Key Things to Negotiate When Buying a Home
Tonya Douglas
Key Things to Negotiate When Buying a Home

Key Things to Negotiate When Buying a Home

People who are good negotiators can save a lot of money when purchasing a home. Sometimes a seller is willing to agree to share the costs you, as a buyer, would otherwise pay on your own. But the problem is usually that the buyers are not aware of the potential of negotiation and don’t know what to ask for. Here are the key things to negotiate when buying a home that could make your purchase even more successful.

The price a home is listed at may not be final

The first thing to negotiate that most are aware of is the price. Almost every buyer lists their home at a price slightly above what they are willing to accept. But unless you ask about the price reduction, no one will offer it to you. Write down all the negative features you’ve noticed to be more convincing. No property is ever perfect, not even newly built ones. Point out how much that would take you to correct and how much time it would cost you.

The properties that have been on the market for a bit longer offer the greatest chance of a price reduction. Another point that could work in your favor would be offering to pay for the home as-is, with the seller having no obligation to do any additional work. There’s always a chance of a seller being dead set on its original price, but you should try to negotiate it anyway.

The closing costs are one of the things to negotiate when buying a home

The closing costs can catch you off guard, especially if you are a first-time buyer. It can be hard to realize halfway through the sale that you should have put aside a certain amount of money for that. However, with good negotiating skills and some luck, the buyer can convince the seller to pick up part of these costs or even all of them. The seller may be anxious to move on from this property, creating good conditions for you as a buyer to ask for this concession. Even if you have prepared the funds for these final costs, it would be great if you could redirect them elsewhere. 

Home warranty premium is another useful item to negotiate

A home warranty is an excellent investment but not something everyone knows about. This specific insurance covers the costs of replacing and maintaining appliances and systems around your home. Various home warranty plans cover more or less of the items mentioned above, upon which the premium for them depends. This item can be one of the things to negotiate when buying a home.

You can get the seller to pay for the first year of the home warranty, which will ensure that you don’t have to pay for any potential breakdowns. Professionals at Master Moving Guide say you can use the extra money you save to hire movers who would help you immensely. Home warranty premium may not be too much for the seller, but it is a very useful security measure for you.

Necessary repairs

After the inspection, it will become clear what needs repairing. The costs of these repairs can be very high and unavoidable. Some of the repairs are small and can be done in a budget-friendly way, such as those that have to do with the home’s curb appeal. But there are those, such as a bad roof or some other structural problem, that are quite costly. With such serious repairs needed, you can ask for a property price reduction. Otherwise, you can ask the seller to perform those repairs in exchange for paying the asking price of the property. There’s a good chance one of those two options will be accepted.

The move-in date can be flexible and more to your needs

Negotiating the move-in date is quite normal. Many sellers need some more time to vacate, and that provides the opportunity to reduce the price. You, as a buyer, grant the seller a few more months to finalize all their affairs before they move out. Even looking for a moving company to do a long-distance relocation can take time, and many find those experts necessary for long-distance moving tips and to arrange a smooth process. In exchange, the seller may reduce the home’s price a bit.

Also, you may be the one that needs time. For example, you may be locked in a lease agreement that takes several more months. That may deter you from making an offer until your lease is out. But some sellers may even be willing to buy your way out of the lease, only if you ask them to. You would be surprised how many of them are in a hurry to sell and would do a lot to speed things up.

If you like the furniture, you can talk to the seller about it being included

The furniture may or may not be part of the deal. In reality, everyone knows that selling second-hand furniture can be tricky. It usually takes time, and rarely can you find someone to offer a price that will cover the actual value of it. All that provides an opportunity to ask for the furniture to be part of the deal. If you are buying a home you want to put out for lease, having it furnished in advance is a big bonus. As many tenants are looking for already-furnished homes, yours would give you a good start on the rental market.

Final thoughts

When it comes to the key things to negotiate when buying a home, the most important piece of advice is to give it a shot. You will never get anything unless you ask for it. Being informed is very important here as well. You may have a good chance of saving thousands only if you know what to ask for. Therefore, analyze the aforementioned negotiating items and proceed with your house hunting.

Meta Description: Here are the key things to negotiate when buying a home that can make a big difference in how much you will spend on the whole project.

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Budget-Friendly Tips to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal
Tanya Douglas
Curb Appeal

Budget-Friendly Tips to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal



When selling your home, curb appeal matters a lot. It is the first impression that the potential buyers will have of it, and investing in your house's exterior can have a great return on investment once you successfully sell it. However, it is a general opinion that any renovations of that nature are relatively expensive, but that doesn't have to be the case. Improving your home's curb appeal doesn't have to break the bank; you must know the right strategy. That's why we at Heth Realty Inc. want to share the best budget-friendly tips to boost your home's curb appeal.


Painting your front door is a smart thing to do 


Painting your whole house is the best way to increase your home's curb appeal. However, giving your house a new coat of paint can be costly, so many of us should know that just painting your front door can boost the looks of our place. Painting your front door is a great way to add some personality and improve the curb appeal of your home; make sure you choose a high-quality exterior paint that's designed to withstand the elements. Also, remove the doorknob, lockset, and other hardware from the door. Then, clean the door thoroughly to remove any dirt or grime.

Experts at peakservices.com recommend that we consider the color of our home's exterior and choose a color that complements it accordingly. You can also choose a color that adds contrast to make your front door stand out. You can also and the door lightly to remove any rough spots or imperfections and apply a coat of primer to the door to help the paint adhere better. By following these simple steps, you can transform the look of your home's exterior with just a little bit of pain, making it one of the best budget-friendly tips to boost your home's curb appeal.



Boost your home's curb appeal by adding plants 


Adding plants is a great way to enhance your home's curb appeal, and it doesn't require a significant investment at all. Firstly, choose plants that are well-suited to your climate and the amount of sunlight your front yard gets. It would be best to choose plants that complement the color of your home's exterior, but you can still mix plants with different colors, textures, and heights to create visual interest. Choose a spot in your front yard to make a focal point with plants, such as a flower bed or potted plants. Constantly water your plants and prune them as needed to keep them looking healthy and vibrant. Regarding budget-friendly tips to boost your home's curb appeal, this is our favorite because you can let your creative side dictate the best approach. This tip is super easy to follow; you can use it to increase the curb appeal of your rental properties, too, without major expenses.


Clean driveway and walkway are essential 


Power washing your driveway and walkway is a great way to improve your home's curb appeal. You can rent a power washer from a home improvement store or borrow one from a friend or neighbor. Before starting:


  1. Move any items, such as cars or patio furniture, from where you'll be power washing.
  2. Use a broom to sweep the driveway and walkway to remove loose dirt or debris.
  3. Apply a detergent designed for use with a power washer to the driveway and walkway.
  4. Follow the instructions on the detergent's label.


When you complete all these steps, you must use the power washer to spray the driveway and walkway with water. Move the nozzle back and forth in a sweeping motion to remove dirt and grime. Remember to be careful with this; you can easily damage your driveway and walkway. If done correctly, pressure washing will give your home's exterior a fresh, clean look that will improve your home's curb appeal.


New lighting will make a difference


Adding new lighting is one of the best budget-friendly tips to boost your home's curb appeal. Installing outdoor lighting can not only enhance the appearance of your home's exterior but also improve its safety and security.  Before you start, consider what you want to achieve with your outdoor lighting. Do you want to highlight your landscaping, illuminate your walkway, or deter intruders? This will help you decide where to place your lights and what lighting to use. Place your lights strategically to achieve the desired effect. For example, place path lights along your walkway to guide visitors to your front door. Install floodlights above your garage or backyard to deter intruders. Use accent lights to highlight your landscaping or architectural features.

One thing we also recommend is the use of solar-powered lights are a cost-effective and eco-friendly option. They absorb sunlight during the day and use it to power the light at night. You can find solar-powered lights in various styles, from path lights to floodlights. If you are renting a property, younger tenants will be delighted to see this change as it gives your home a modern look.


Your landscape needs to be perfect 


Cleaning up your landscaping is an affordable and effective way to improve your home's curb appeal. The first step in cleaning up your landscaping is removing weeds, dead plants, and debris. This will instantly make your yard look neater and more attractive. Overgrown plants can make your yard look messy and unkempt. Prune them back to a manageable size to create a more polished appearance. Edging your lawn can give it a clean, finished look. You can use a simple spade or an edging tool to create a clear boundary between your lawn and garden beds. Hardscaping elements, such as a walkway, retaining wall, or patio, can add structure and visual interest to your yard. You can use materials like stone, gravel, or concrete to create a durable and attractive feature.


By following these budget-friendly tips, you can clean up your landscaping and enhance your home's curb appeal without breaking the bank. Every penny of investment in increasing the looks of your property will be worth it, as it increases the chances of a successful sale by a lot. So, give your landscaping a tidy appearance by following our tips.


It doesn't cost a fortune to increase the curb appeal of your home, and in this article, we wanted to give you the best budget-friendly tips to boost your home's curb appeal. Hopefully, these will help you in your effort to make your house beautiful and find a buyer in no time.


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Meta: Increasing the curb appeal of your home is essential when it comes to selling it. In this article, we want to share with you the best budget-friendly tips to boost your home's curb appeal.




The Biggest Reasons to Move to Jacksonville in 2023
Tanya Douglas
Moving to Jacksonville

The Biggest Reasons to Move to Jacksonville in 2023


Alt: A view of Jacksonville and its river and bridges

When moving locally or across state borders, it is essential to consider your destination carefully. That is no small task; many factors make up an excellent moving location. Although everyone is different, some places in our country stand up as ideal destinations for moving to. If moving to the Sunshine State sounds tempting, you will be pleased to know that Jacksonville is one of the best destinations a mover can choose. We recommend the Gateway to Florida as your new home for many reasons. And that's why we at Heth Realty would like to share with you the most significant reasons to move to Jacksonville in 2023.

The weather in Jacksonville is just right

If you come from the northern parts of The U.S., you might be a little tired of freezing temperatures, gloomy winters, and dark. Well, Jacksonville can help you bring your mood up with its weather, with most days of the year being sunny and warm, which is essential if you want to use its beautiful beaches. Jacksonville has weather that you will quickly adapt to, with little extremes. However, summers here can get hot, but it's never unbearable due to the breeze from the sea. So, don't worry about exhausting summers; you will enjoy Jacksonville even on its hottest days. Mild winters are also one of the reasons to move to Jacksonville, They are short, and the temperature is rarely below freezing, so northerners won't even notice it.

However, a move to Jacksonville might seem too long and challenging, especially if you are from the northern parts of the U.S. This shouldn't be a reason not to choose Jacksonville, and experts at Best Long Distance Movers advise looking for movers that can make long distance moving easy. So, long distances shouldn't bother you at all.

Jacksonville is an affordable city

One of the reasons to move to Jacksonville is its affordability. Despite being a big city, the prices don't reflect it, with Jacksonville's cost of living being 7% below the national average. This difference became much more noticeable when you compare it with other large cities, for example, the neighboring Miami. Jacksonville is 17% cheaper than the Magic City, with salaries being almost similar. One of the many reasons to move to Jacksonville if you are considering Florida as your destination, but also if you prefer big cities because Jacksonville is one of the most affordable ones in our country.

Finding an affordable living space in Jacksonville is also an easy task. Renting is a good option when considering the price difference between it and Miami, for example. The monthly rent in Jacksonville is around $1500; in Miami, you will spend $2300 on average. But what if you want to purchase your place? The average price for a home in Jacksonville is around $312 000, which is much more affordable than the half-million dollars you would need to get a house in Miami. Jacksonville is a winner for affordable cities, and you will be thankful for that after your move.

Jacksonville is a lot of fun

When choosing where to move, you consider many factors, and how much fun it can offer is one of them. Thankfully, there are many reasons to move to Jacksonville, like it is the perfect place for outdoor activities that you enjoy, and with its weather, you can remain active for almost a whole year. First of all, Jacksonville has many excellent beaches. Jacksonville beach is perfect if you love surfing, Neptune beach if you prefer relaxing walks, and Atlantic beach is ideal for recreational activities. While this sounds great, Jacksonville has a lot more to offer; Little Talbot Island State Park is a great location to escape more touristy areas of the city and is excellent for hiking or camping.

If you love biking, Jacksonville is a great place, as its surroundings are fantastic to explore on the bike. So it also goes hiking; there are plenty of places in its proximity where you can go. Also, suppose you love doing sports outside. In that case, you will be delighted to know that Jacksonville, with its many sunny days, allows you to play it for most of the year if this sounds like a good reason to move to Jacksonville, even if Florida is a long distance away from you, you should start looking for reliable movers that can make sure your move as easy as possible. After all, if Jacksonville sounds like a perfect place for you, nothing should stop you from moving here.


The city of strong economy and quality education

If you want more reasons to move to Jacksonville, its strong economy and quality education might interest you. If you are looking for a job, especially if you are a millennial, then the Gateway to Florida is a place to be. Not only is there a booming tech sector, but the healthcare centers are also a part of its strong economy. So, if you are looking for a job that fits your needs, choose Jacksonville. Jacksonville has been ranked as one of the best places for job seekers in our country, and the recent pandemic hasn't stopped its growing economic strength either.

If education is essential to you, you should know that Jacksonville has the best-rated public schools in the country. You can find A-rated schools all around the city. So if education is a factor in choosing your moving destination, Jacksonville can offer a lot. Also, there are many nationally recognized private schools, so if you are looking for private education, you will have incredible options.


Jacksonville is a serious contender for anyone looking for where to move. It has many factors going for it, and many people have recognized that, which is why the city is expanding annually. So, if you want a new place to call home, move to Jacksonville, as it will welcome you with open arms.

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Meta: Looking for reasons to move to Jacksonville? Here are the best things about moving and living in this beautiful city.



How to Deal with Stress and Anxiety When Buying a Home
Tanya Douglas
Buying a House

How to Deal with Stress and Anxiety When Buying a Home


Finding and purchasing a new home is an exciting and thrilling event. But it's also a tremendous life change. Whether you're buying a home for yourself or your first rental property in Jacksonville, Florida, your life will be different. So, you want to make a good choice, find the right home, and get the best price. In addition, you probably hope it will all happen smoothly and effortlessly. A tall order, isn't it? While your wishes may come true to a degree, it's more likely than not that you'll encounter some obstacles or problems along the way. And the main thing is to stay calm and react in a constructive way. It may seem complicated at times, but this approach will benefit you and ensure you make the best decisions. The last thing you want is your anxiety to turn this wonderful event into something out of nightmares. Here are some excellent ideas on how to deal with stress and anxiety when buying a home!

Assess your budget first

Our wishes may fly high, but in reality, we have to work within our possibilities. Purchasing property is undoubtedly an investment. However, nothing will give you more stress and anxiety than overstepping your budget. This is especially true if you're buying your first rental. There are many things a new landlord must know, but setting your budget limit is the priority. So, dive into your finances first and consult your lender about your options. That way, you'll avoid stretching yourself too thin and getting too many headaches down the road.

Make a list of must-haves and dealbreakers

Next, consider what you absolutely must have in your new home. What are your priorities? Is it the home office? Maybe a large, modern kitchen? Consider the neighborhood, too. For example, if you have a young family, you want a pleasant family neighborhood with good schools, playgrounds, and other amenities. Different people will have different needs and desires, but making a list of must-haves is essential.

Likewise, make a list of all your deal-breakers, too. Is it the lack of space? A small backyard? Also, finding the most beautiful home for you, your three dogs, and a cat won't be much good if you don't live in a pet-friendly area.

Making these lists helps you narrow down your search criteria and focus on homes that will be the right match for your lifestyle.

Plan ahead to avoid stress and anxiety when buying a home

We feel most stressed when something unexpected happens. Our anxiety peaks when we need to make sudden decisions or when an unexpected delay puts a spoke in our wheels. The best way to prevent something like this from happening is to plan ahead.

A detailed to-do list and a carefully arranged timeline can do a lot to prevent unpleasant surprises. You can even try to anticipate possible issues and come up with solutions just in case. That way, you'll know what to do even if something unplanned happens and disrupts your schedule or plans.

Deal with stress and anxiety effectively

Sometimes, no matter how much we plan, stress gets the better of us. And this is especially true when something critical is happening in our lives. Purchasing a new home is one such occasion. In such situations, people often rely on prescribed medications to relieve the tension.

If you already suffer from anxiety, you may be familiar with benzodiazepines. While they can help you relax and relieve stress, they can also be dangerous and lead to addiction. In such cases, it's vital to recognize the issue and find adequate help. Florida treatment centers can help you overcome the problem. However, there are a few other things you can do to keep your anxiety levels low and keep the stress away when purchasing a new home.

Share how you feel with your loved ones

A lot of how we feel when making an important change comes from the inside. So, stress and anxiety when buying a home are not always the result of actual events. Maybe you're afraid of how you're going to adjust to your new home or maybe even a new city. You may worry about many things even though they're not likely to happen. When you feel like that, there's no better solution than to confide in the people you love. They'll listen to you and show their compassion and support.

Find the time for little things you enjoy

Similarly, buying a new home and moving to a new place is a busy time—so many calls and meetings. So many things to plan, take care of, supervise, and do. It's easy to plunge into it all and forget to take care of yourself. However, making a large purchase is also a process that takes time. As a result, it can become an overwhelming experience and cause you a lot of stress and anxiety when buying a home.

Keep in mind that you're in control. Rushed decisions usually end up being bad decisions. So, take a deep breath and give yourself some time every day to enjoy your usual activities. Even 15-30 minutes a day will help you relax and recharge. Jogging, reading, listening to music, playing with a pet, or anything else you love doing - daily self-care will help you stay calm and feel refreshed.

Surround yourself with experts

If you're buying a home for the first time, whether residential or rental, you probably lack the knowledge and experience. For that reason, don't hesitate to get in touch with experts. Professional real estate agents will help you find your ideal home without the hassle and guide you through the whole purchasing process. There is a lot of paperwork, legal know-how, and negotiations you need to go through. Experienced pros will offer you advice when you need it. And if you're feeling stressed or anxious about not understanding something, they'll be there to offer their knowledge and reassurance.

Change your mindset

Lastly, do your best to be positive and optimistic. Instead of thinking about everything that might go wrong, focus on all the things you're looking forward to. Enjoy the process, and prepare yourself for both the good and the bad. Every obstacle can be overcome with a calm head and patience.

Final thoughts

You may experience a lot of stress and anxiety when buying a home. Luckily, there are many things you can do to prevent it - from thorough preparation and hiring experts to focusing on self-care and positive thinking. With the right attitude, you'll be able to overcome all obstacles and enjoy your new home in years to come.


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Buying a home is enjoyable, but it can be a challenging process, too. Check out these ideas for overcoming your stress and anxiety when buying a home!



Pros and Cons of Renting with Roommates
Tonya Douglas
Renting with Roommates

Pros and Cons of Renting with Roommates

Featured image

Alt-text: Three people behind boxes for moving in.

Having roommates can be a blessing or a curse, depending on one’s personal preferences and lifestyle. One of the main factors determining the success of your cohabitation with another person is that person’s personality. But, let’s put that aside for the moment because even when you find yourself a roommate that matches your social needs perfectly, there will still be reasons why living with that person is a good idea and vice versa. So, to help you make up your mind and not make a mistake, here are the pros and cons of renting with roommates.  

Pros of renting with roommates

            The costs of living are significantly smaller

                Sharing a home with someone means sharing the costs of living as well. That is the first thing that comes to mind when discussing the pros of having a roommate. When that time comes for a landlord to collect rent, it is much easier if you are not the only one to dig into your pocket for it. Bills are also easier to digest when you only have to cover half of them. All that makes your life a lot less stressful. Unplanned house expenses of the tenants are also more bearable when shared. So, opting for cohabitation with someone instead of flying solo is much cheaper. 

Caption: One of the biggest advantages of renting with roommates is that you get to share the living expenses.

Alt-text: A woman counting money.

            You always have company

This one is for those that hate being alone, and those are usually people that have siblings and large families. When you live alone, there’s a chance you will start experiencing some degree of depression and melancholy. Nowadays, we constantly read about attacks on women and break-ins, which can cause fear of being home alone. Having company means a lot in those situations as it can contribute to feeling much safer. Most of us usually pick a good friend for a roommate, so whenever we feel down, that person can offer a friendly conversation or a shoulder to cry on. Socializing has been proven to help people through rough times, so this point in favor of renting with a flatmate is essential. 

            The chores are split in half

Another beauty of having a roommate is that you don’t have to do all the tedious work around your home. As you get to split the expenses, you get to split the chores too. Maintaining a home is highly tedious for many, so this argument is persuasive. Also, errands require some time which none of us is willing to waste on such a tedious activity. Getting to do only some of them is more comfortable and a lifesaver in situations when you have other important stuff to focus on.

Caption: All those tedious house chores become easier to finish when you don’t have to do them all by yourself.

Alt-text: Two people cleaning a home together.

            Having a roommate is great preparation for a life with a partner

Life with a roomie can be an excellent boot camp for your future life with a partner. It will teach you a lot about how to behave in such a situation and what mistakes you shouldn’t make in the future. Many people’s relationships fall apart once they start living together, and practicing beforehand may only do good for you and your future romantic relationship. After all, if you and your roommate conclude you shouldn’t live together anymore, you will tell each other why. That will probably not end your friendship, but you can dwell on what the other person told you, see your mistakes, and not let them happen again. You will learn to live with people this way and save your future relationships from falling apart due to problems with living together.

Cons of renting with roommates

            You have to adapt your habits to another person

No matter how great your roommate may be, this person probably has some annoying habit you will have to tolerate. And guess what? You do too! When you live alone, you can practice your little rituals all you want, but living with another person requires you to adapt your behavior so you don’t irritate or disturb them. When you move to an apartment together, all may seem to go well. You may organize to settle in with ease; you may even get along great in the beginning. But the truth is that sooner or later you will find out things about each other you will not like.                 

            Privacy is lost to a degree

Unless you decided to rent a huge place where you and your flat buddy can be separated by a room or two, your privacy is going to be degraded to a degree. Your dirty laundry will sooner or later be seen by your friend, for example. They will soon learn about your way of life, including the tidbits you might not want to share so eagerly. Your phone conversations will be overheard, and some of your secrets too. Sharing the bathroom can be tricky for introverts, yet everyone with a roommate needs to get used to. 

Finally, your other friends will have to regularly encounter your roommate, and so will you when it comes to your roommate’s friends. Sometimes one wants a bit of peace, yet your roomie might be in the hang-out-with-buddies mood. All in all, you can’t expect too much alone time when you live with someone.

            It’s harder to study when there is noise around you

Those with siblings might not find this argument as relevant as single children. In general, most people prefer silence when they are studying. Although it is financially far better to rent with a roommate than alone, you must consider whether it wouldn’t adversely affect your studying. If living with someone becomes an obstacle to getting a degree, financial factors do not justify it. Of course, if the apartment you are renting, for example, has a room you alone will be spending time in, it is a different matter altogether.

Caption: Studying can be challenging when your roomie is making noise around you.

Alt-text: A man sitting next to a laptop on the sofa and studying from a book.

Bottom line

As you can see, there are plenty of pros and cons of renting with roommates. All you need to do is analyze them all and see how they apply to your lifestyle. With a bit of well-placed self-analysis, you will choose what’s best for you and enjoy what the future has in store.

Meta description: Renting with roommates has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some to consider when making the decision that is right for you.

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Tanya Douglas
7 Easy Rental Upgrades

7 Easy Rental Upgrades for Florida Tenants

Making a rental more comfortable is somewhat challenging considering the circumstances of living in one. You do not own the place, after all, which means you will need to approach the job differently. In order to help you out, we’ve prepared 7 easy rental upgrades for Florida tenants!


Put up some decorations

The first of the easy rental upgrades for Florida tenants is simply putting up some decorations. Carefully. Finding the rental of your dreams is much more complicated when many landlords deny you the right to make any changes to your property. To the point that even a fresh layer of paint is something that needs to be carefully deliberated and negotiated over. After all, in their eyes, any changes to their property might well make it less appealing to future tenants. However, few argue against decorating, which often allows you to turn a soulless rental into a good home. An excellent example of what can be done is using adhesive tape, and similar, which does not leave marks or leaves quickly cleaned marks to put up art that is not framed. The lighter weight makes this feasible.


Bathroom improvements

A surprising number of easy rental upgrades for Florida tenants can be eked out in the bathroom while following our previous observations about landlords disliking permanent changes. You can put up a shower dispenser. Or you can replace the shower head with something newer and more luxurious while saving the old one. You can install a light fixture that connects to an outlet and is easy to take down if you need to brighten up the place. And, of course, shower curtains are easily replaced, and old ones are kept in storage once you are ready to move out. The added benefit of all these improvements to your rental is that you can take them with you once you are prepared to leave! This means any investments you put into them are investments into your future instead of the rental’s improvements.


The advantages of peel-and-stick floor tiles

Many tenants have been bemoaning the fate of living in a rental with lousy flooring. Or just plain ugly flooring. However, trying to change out your rental’s flooring, especially without explicit approval and cooperation from your landlord, is a relatively quick way to get evicted from your rental. So, typically, you would be rather stuck. However, with peel-and-stick floor tiles added to the equation, this situation becomes an opportunity to take advantage of one of the easy rental upgrades for Florida tenants. One is particularly important considering Florida’s weather and its lovely tiles. This type of tile can be applied to any existing flooring and will not damage it. They are also easy and quick to install, and you can do it yourself in just a couple of hours! Still, they can’t be reused, which is their one flaw.


The amazing power of plants

You wouldn’t believe how much plants can brighten your space and make it nicer. First, we must consider that green is one of the most calming colors. It is extremely relaxing for people’s eyes, and if you suffer from eye strain due to your work, it will help out a lot. Then, there’s the fact that they freshen up the space if adequately taken care of! Finally, they are relatively easy to look after, even in a small apartment. Of course, the one downside is that you will need to look into hiring local movers in Florida since a team can help you out with moving out your plants without damaging them. While moving on your own guarantees that at least some harm will come to your previous plants.


Getting the right storage bins

If you are worried about lacking enough storage space in your rental, don’t be! There are effortless ways to get around this, and it’s all about finding the proper storage containers. First, we have storage bins designed to easily slip under a bed and protect the contents from dust, and then, there are stackable, transparent storage bins that you can easily stash away in a cupboard or a wardrobe. Finally, there are lean storage containers that can be slipped between different pieces of furniture. Imagine having one you can put between your freezer and countertop. And that will perfectly protect all your cutlery or similar stored inside! If you are hesitating on whether renting is better than owning due to storage space concerns, this will likely help out a lot, too.


The appeal of a better bed

Few landlords will argue about you replacing pieces of furniture that came with the rental as long as what was there is properly transported away and stored. And the most important thing to replace is the bed! It can be downright impossible to sleep nicely in an old, lumpy bed. At best, it will be annoying and uncomfortable. At worst, you’ll wake up every morning feeling like someone had broken your back repeatedly overnight. So, do consult with your landlord, but plan for a bed replacement quickly if one is needed!


Light switches and outlets

The final of the easy rental upgrades for Florida tenants is another you likely want your landlord’s agreement for. Now, note it should not be difficult to get it. After all, replacing old light switches and outlets is something in their interest, too. If only because of safety concerns. Doubly so because they tend to be overlooked often, and look scuffed and battered even if most of the rental looks relatively fresh. Of course, unless you’ve done it before, it is best to get a professional to do this for you. It is quick and cheap, so don’t worry about the price, either!


Final word

Following our advice on the 7 easy rental upgrades for Florida tenants, you should be able to significantly improve your rental! Of course, if you have any doubts at any point, it is best to consult your landlord and see if he gives you the go-ahead.


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Check out our list of the 7 easy rental upgrades for Florida tenants so you can start working on making your own rental feel more like home!



rental upgrades for Florida tenants


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7 Great Reasons to Retire in Jacksonville, FL
Tanya Douglas
Retire in Jacksonville, FL

7 Great Reasons to Retire in Jacksonville, FL

After spending many years working hard and providing for your family, the time has come for you to finally get some well-deserved rest. Retirement should be a golden period of your life. It is supposed to be all about relaxing and enjoying yourself. But your enjoyment will depend on where you find a home to spend your retirement. It can be quite a tough decision. Mainly because not every city is suitable for retirees. There are specific criteria a place has to meet to be considered an adequate retirement destination. One of those cities is Jacksonville, Fl. Here are some great reasons to retire in Jacksonville, Fl, to help you decide if this is the place for you!


Top 7 reasons to retire in Jacksonville, FL

These reasons aren't just great for retirees but also for anyone wishing to start a new life somewhere. Jacksonville is so great that many people have decided to move to Florida from another state and hire interstate movers in recent years. The professional team will make it so you can get here with ease and with no stress. Here are some benefits to consider if you want to move to Jacksonville for retirement or other reasons:


  • Good healthcare
  • Great food
  • Balanced weather
  • Fun social life
  • A lot of entertainment
  • Low cost of living
  • Beautiful beaches

Good healthcare

When you reach a certain age, easily accessible and affordable healthcare is a must. Spending your retirement in a city without adequate medical care is a terrible idea. And your health should always be a priority. What if you have an emergency, but the nearest hospital is hours away, or you must go to a completely different city? Thankfully in Jacksonville, you won't have any such troubles.


Healthcare in Jacksonville offers anything a retiree might need. Jacksonville has the best hospitals in Florida and, of the highest-ranking hospitals, the Mayo clinic. They have incredible general surgeons ready to help you with any issues. Then there is UF Health Jacksonville, a highly respected hospital that also excels in the education of future healthcare professionals.

Great food scene

Retirement is the time when we are supposed to enjoy ourselves, and that enjoyment involves excellent food. And in Jacksonville, the food scene is very much alive and vibrant. It combines traditional southern comfort food and incredible dishes inspired by other cultures. The local cuisine is one of the most appealing parts of Jacksonville. And the great thing is that this is all very affordable to citizens.


There is something to satisfy everyone's tastes. You should visit the incredible Black Sheep restaurant if you want farm-to-table southern food. Or, if you prefer French cuisine, there is the Restaurant Orsay or Hawkers Asian for Asian food enthusiasts. It's nice having to go somewhere and celebrate the crucial moments in life. Wedding anniversaries, family birthdays, taking your grandkids to a fun lunch, etc.

Good weather

Good weather is essential for a city to be a good place for retirement. You don't want to spend your time locked in the house because there is a storm outside or it's freezing cold. Thankfully Jacksonville passes this test smoothly. While it is not exactly Miami, the weather in Jacksonville is very pleasantly balanced. The summers are warm and long, so you have enough sunny days to take walks or some light hiking. The winters can be arid and cold but are short. Having a climate that is balanced and has no extreme changes is incredibly important. And it is really good for your health.

You will have a fun social life

A thing that often plagues retirement years is loneliness and isolation. But just because you are of a certain age doesn't mean you shouldn't have a fun social life. It is vital for your mental health. And because Jacksonville is such an affordable place, many retirees live there. And it won't be hard to find them. There are many places in Jacksonville where you can socialize with your peers, like Senior Services Division. They provide necessary care for older individuals in Jacksonville but also organize fun events and create opportunities for retirees to spend time together.

Entertainment opportunities

As mentioned, you will have a lot of free time in retirement. So naturally, you will want some entertainment to fill it up. And Jacksonville has got it all. There is the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, filled with incredible animal and plant species that will make a memorable and fun trip with your grandkids.


There is no shortage of museums either. At the top is MOSH, or Museum of Science and History, which has one of the largest planetariums in the entire USA. An incredible place for all space fanatics. Or you can visit the Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens, filled with beautiful European-inspired gardens. And, of course, don't forget to stop by the famous Florida Theatre, which hosts many entertaining events every year.

The cost of living

One of the most important reasons to retire in Jacksonville, Fl, is the low cost of living. According to Best Cross Country Movers experts, that is the number one reason people decide to make a cross-country move. And the cost of living in Jacksonville is 8% lower than the state average and 7% lower than the national average.


Housing is incredibly affordable in Jacksonville, 14% lower than the national average, and most people in Jacksonville own their homes. Another great thing is that transportation is 16% lower than the state average and 17% lower than the national average. Food and other goods are lower than the national average as well. All in all, Jacksonville is incredibly affordable, and you can spend your retirement without worrying about finances.

Beautiful beaches

In addition to being affordable and lively, Jacksonville is also magnificent. And that is also important when choosing where to retire. A lot of that beauty is there thanks to the Atlantic Ocean. Jacksonville is filled with beaches, where you can spend your days walking and enjoying the sun and the beautiful Atlantic. Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Neptune beach are some of the best. And you can even fish on the Jacksonville Beach pier without acquiring a license. And what retiree doesn't like fishing?


In conclusion

As you can see, there are many great reasons to retire in Jacksonville, Fl. It's a beautiful city with outstanding housing, low cost of living, high-rated healthcare, and so much entertainment. Perfect for retirees but also one of the best places to live in the entire country.


Meta Description:
Is your retirement approaching? Then read our article the learn about some great reasons to retire in Jacksonville

reasons to retire in Jacksonville


Emma Williams
Nursing Homes in Florida

Nursing Homes in Florida

For seniors, Florida offers routinely pleasant weather and the chance to live among similarly aged individuals: The state has a population of over 21 million people, and 20.9% of them are 65 years of age or above. Another perk of living in Florida is access to its strong medical facilities. Standouts include the Mayo Clinic's Jacksonville campus, which houses a stroke care team, and the University of Florida Health network, which employs geriatric care specialists. Additionally, Florida's lack of state income tax means that funding sources such as retirement plans, pensions and Social Security benefits go a bit farther.

Some of Florida's older adults reside in nursing homes, which cater to individuals who need around-the-clock care. In nursing homes, residents receive attention from therapists, licensed nurses and visiting doctors. Staff members also help with personal care and medication management, and activities take place for residents.

The rest of this guide covers the cost of nursing home care in Florida and nearby states. It also gives a rundown of Medicaid in the state, certain nursing home regulations and several resources for Florida's older adults. It concludes with a look at Florida's Area Agencies on Aging and its Social Security and Veterans' Affairs offices.

Why Jacksonville is Perfect for Young Professionals
Tanya Douglas
Why Jacksonville is Perfect for Young Professionals

Why Jacksonville is Perfect for Young Professionals

Jacksonville is the most populous city in the state of Florida. And at 874.46 sq mi, it is also its largest city. It has a mild climate with around 250 sunny days a year. You can enjoy the sun at some of the sandy beaches along the Jacksonville shoreline, which is the longest shoreline in the state. Jacksonville is also the home of the largest urban park system in the nation. These are just some basic facts to get us introduced to Jacksonville. While beautiful beaches, great neighborhoods, and parks are great, it’s the economy, education, housing, and career opportunities that are going to be the main focus of this article. We are going to explain why Jacksonville is perfect for young professionals.

Some of the reasons why Jacksonville is perfect for young professionals

While there are many reasons why Jacksonville is so great, we are going to explore the main ones, from housing to entertainment. And according to experts at bestmoversinflorida.com, the number of people moving to Jacksonville is only growing over the years.

  • Cost of living
  • Job market
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Entertainment

Low cost of living

The first thing that makes Jacksonville perfect for young professionals is the low cost of living. The cost of living in Jacksonville is about eight percent lower than the average in the USA. This is great for young people who are at the beginning of their professional careers and cannot yet afford to live in very expensive cities. One of the critical factors in Jacksonville is that the price of transportation is lower by as much as 16 percent than the average in Florida and 17 percent than the average in the USA. The situation with healthcare is equally good, where the price for medical services is 14 percent lower than the state average and 16 percent lower than the national average. The cost is also lower than the state average for food, utilities, goods, services, etc.

Booming job market

Another thing that makes Jacksonville so appealing to young professionals is the abundance of job opportunities. Especially white-collar ones. The primary industries in Jacksonville are financial services, advanced transportation, and logistics, health and biomedical, advanced manufacturing, IT, etc. So there is something for everyone. It is a fast-growing city with a booming job market. Just this year, Jacksonville was rated 5th hottest job market in the United States by the Wall Street Journal. In the last ten years, job growth in Jacksonville has increased by 12,9 percent. Some of the highest-paying jobs in Jacksonville are surgeons, financial managers, dentists, chief executives, and financial and sales managers. When you pair an incredible job market with a low cost of living, it is no wonder why Jacksonville is one of the fastest-growing cities in America. Experts predict that by 2060 Jacksonville’s population will grow from 1,658,800 to 2,536,200.

Great education

For young professionals, education is also very important. And thankfully, in Jacksonville, there is a great public and private school system. And Jacksonville has some of the top-rated public schools in Florida. There are 189 public schools (some of the best are:  Julia Landon College Preparatory & Leadership Development School and James Weldon Johnson College Preparatory Middle School) and 133 private schools. But the most important for young professionals are opportunities for higher education. If they want to continue their higher education in Jacksonville, they are in luck. There is the Florida Coastal School of law, which offers Juris Doctorates and specialized law certificates. Then there is Edward Waters College, Jacksonville State University, etc. So, Jacksonville is great for those who were born there and are going through the public school system, and are on their way to becoming young professionals. And it is also great for those who moved to Jacksonville to continue their education (doctorates and specialized certificates).

Affordable housing

One more reason why Jacksonville is perfect for young professionals is the affordable housing market. The prices on the Jacksonville housing market are 17 percent lower than the national average. Even though lately, housing prices have gone up all over the country, Jacksonville stayed one of the most affordable cities. There are great opportunities for those who want to own their house and those who prefer renting. The number of those who own property and rent is pretty even. Fifty-six percent of the population in Jacksonville owns the property and forty-four percent rents. That’s because rent in Jacksonville is one of the lowest in the area. According to experts, the best neighborhoods in Jacksonville for young professionals are:

  • Atlantic Beach
  • Neptune Beach
  • Avondale/Riverside
  • Jacksonville Beach

And if you are looking to find the right team to move you to Jacksonville for your residential move, you don’t have to look too far. There are many useful companies in Jacksonville that will help you with residential moving and looking for movers.

Good entertainment

Even though housing, job opportunities, and education are essential, they are not everything in life. For young people, it is also important that a city offers some entertainment—and Jacksonville definitely does. No matter what area of Jacksonville you are in, there is something to do.  There is the Jacksonville Jazz festival that’s organized every Memorial Day weekend. Then there is Jacksonville's Autobahn Speedway for those who love indoor go-kart racing. Of course, one of the top entertainment spots in Jacksonville is the iconic Florida Theatre. Here you can catch performances by some of the most popular comedians, actors, and musicians of today.

In conclusion

Hopefully, now you understand why Jacksonville is perfect for young professionals. As you can see, many factors make this city so appealing. From affordable housing, various job opportunities, a booming market, and excellent education to great entertainment, there is everything young career-driven people could possibly need. But Jacksonville is not good just for them; it is a great city for everyone. From those who want to raise a family there to those who want to spend their retirement there. So it’s no wonder why so many people have chosen this city as their new home in the last ten years.

Meta Description: Are you interested in moving to Jacksonville? Find out why Jacksonville is perfect for young professionals!

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Should you allow pets in your rental property?
Tanya Douglas
Pets in a rental property

Should You Allow Pets in Your Rental Property?


Allowing pets in your rental property provides you with a large pool of possible tenants but also introduces new concerns. As a result, landlords who rent to someone with pets must prepare, create regulations and restrictions, and draft a pet agreement. If you're asking yourself, "Should I accept pets in my rental property?" you've come to the right place.


Having a higher rent is always a possibility

Allowing pets in your rental property (especially large dogs) when few houses in your community are pet-friendly could fetch you a higher rate. It may provide an advantage over the competition if a selection is made between your home and a similar one that does not allow cats/dogs. Today, millennials make up the majority of property buyers and renters in the US, and they love their pets. Renting such a residence is so uncommon, so you appear to be a reasonable person for allowing it. This may increase your tenant's regard for your property.


Do your homework before deciding on the type of pets you are allowing on your property

Bear in mind which types of pets are considered coming to your property. Always know what kind of tenants you're dealing with. People are unwilling to give up their pets to relocate. This year, more than 70% of US households (approximately 90.5 million homes) own a pet. You will be able to find the best fit for your property while allowing them to join. Ask yourself: 

  • What kind of pets would be the best to have in my rental property?
  •  Is it better to have an inside or an outside pet?

If any possible tenants express their interests, you can do a couple of things about your rental property.


Make their life a bit easier

Your new renters probably used to live in bad conditions, so now, choosing a more furnished rental will make their transition smoother. They won’t have to perform any hard lifting or worry about where to store everything. If you want to rent unfurnished, you will need to remove the majority of your belongings. In that scenario, it is preferable to seek reputable moving services to receive all of the assistance you require.


Look from all perspectives and feel free to ask more questions

Request that you meet the pets in their current residence. Pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, and German shepherds are the breeds that most landlords forbid. These breeds are seen as more aggressive than others. Start with the basics, such as What is the type of your pet or How many pets do you have? While going through your standard motion of screening tenants, feel free to ask them couple more questions. If they turn out to be the perfect kind of tenants you want, our friends at miamimoversforless.com will gladly help you with getting your home rent ready.


Taking a good look at pets can tell you everything

Certain dogs are faster to train. Excited and joyful dogs, for example, are easier to train, whereas afraid and nervous canines are more difficult to do so. Age was also found to be associated with trainability. Dogs become somewhat set in their ways after that, so looking at them can tell you almost everything that you are looking to find out.


Should charging deposits and rents also include pets

If you decide to have pets in your rental property, now you can charge more money – but be sure fees are already a part of the agreement. They cover any pet damage, and you can also set a pet deposit and pet rent.

  • This is a refundable fee when the tenant signs your lease. It ranges between 40 and 85 percent of your agreed rent. On the plus side, you can charge an additional pet deposit for each pet living at your property.
  • Pet rent is a monthly fee that is included in the rent. It usually costs between $10 and 50 dollars per month (per pet). Check with your local renter laws to see if you can charge pet rent.

You will be protected while choosing to include a monthly pet fee (or one-time pet fee) in case the pet causes some kind of damage or you need to clean the rental property before someone new moves in

Pets are part of our family

Nowadays, pets are considered family members, so one of the first things that should be done is to ensure that your soon-to-be tenants accompany them. If any of them is not accustomed to traveling, they should get used to it first by making small destinations. On the actual day of the big move, they need to ensure that the entire experience is easier on their pets.


You may encounter some disadvantages after allowing pets on your property

While there are numerous advantages to letting your tenants have their animals involved, there are also some concerns that landlords should be aware of. Damage to your property is one of the most typical issues. We all heard the same stories about landlords allowing tenants to bring only one pet. Later on, this leads to even more animals moving in with them. Ultimately, this results in long-term damage, disruptions, and financial troubles for you. After a family vacates the property, you must thoroughly clean it.


Storage fees are not expensive

The furniture cannot be kept in the rental property, so the landlord needs to make it ready for renting. This means that you must make storage arrangements for it. For example, if you grant appropriate permissions and the renters prefer to utilize their pillows, cushions, and bedframes, it is up to you to relocate and store. Any associated costs are the tenants' responsibility.


How to manage your approach to challenging tenants

This is not a simple task. Being a landlord means you still have a lot of responsibilities to the property your rent to someone. Communication is key. Always have that in your mind when dealing with difficult tenants. As we mentioned, several benefits and risks are associated when allowing their additional family members. Most of them don't have more than two or three pets involved, but it's recommended that you have some limit.


Final thoughts

A completely furnished rental may appear attractive, but it offers both advantages and disadvantages. Going for the option of allowing pets in your rental property can open your doors to countless possibilities.


Meta description: When choosing between furnished and unfurnished rentals, it’s necessary to determine whether you should allow pets in your rental property.

Fall Maintenance Tips for Florida Landlords
Tonya Douglas
Fall Maintenance Tips

Fall Maintenance Tips for Florida Landlords


Autumn is a beautiful time of year, but it can also be stressful for Florida landlords. Maintenance in this period can be a great idea if you plan to find tenants for your rental home in Florida. If you're unsure where to start, take a look at some of our fall maintenance tips that will help you update your rental property.

Clean up the yard

A big part of your fall maintenance is cleaning up the yard. You should remove all leaves and other debris from the yard and trim back any overgrown bushes or trees. Clean out any gutters, check for broken sprinkler heads, and inspect the roof for loose shingles or leaks.

If you do find any leaks, you should repair them as soon as possible. If there are any loose shingles, it may be a good idea to have them replaced before winter comes around again.


Check your gutters

One of the most important things you should know as a landlord is whether your home is waterproof. Once you check your gutters and they're not in good condition, they could be letting water get into your home. When the leaves fall from trees during the fall season, these leaves will clog up your gutter and cause damage to the shingles on the roof.

To save yourself from having to replace an entire roof or repair costly damages caused by leaks inside of your home, all you need is a good set of gutter guards at each corner of every gutter line.


Clean your air conditioner filters

A dirty air conditioner filter can lower your unit's efficiency, causing it to work harder and use more energy. This is true even if you have a newer, high-efficiency AC system. The key here is to clean the filters regularly, so they're not clogged with dust and dirt, reducing airflow by as much as 50 percent!

Clean air conditioner filters help protect your HVAC system by keeping out any large particles that may damage the internal components of your AC unit. If needed, you can always replace your HVAC system with a new one. A clean filter will keep everything running smoothly for years to come.


Check your appliances

Fall is a great time to ensure that all your appliances are working properly. You don't want to get new tenants in and then discover there is no dishwasher or dryer, or worse, the stove doesn't work! In case you need to relocate some appliances to your new home, you can always find all the help you need online. For example, a reliable moving service in Jacksonville can be the best solution when moving heavy inventory out of your home.


When it comes to updating your appliances, consider replacing the refrigerator and freezer units if needed. If you have an older model refrigerator and freezer, it will likely be on its last legs by now. Consider replacing it with newer energy-efficient models that use less electricity, which means paying less money at the end of every month for utilities.


Consider installing a smart thermostat

If you're not already using a smart thermostat, it's time to consider installing one. Smart thermostats control heating and cooling systems in your rental property. Installing them will not only be a plus when it comes to renting price, but these will also help you form a good relationship with your tenants. People who rent your apartment will be grateful for a smart heating and cooling system in their new home. You can control these thermostats with a smartphone or tablet, which means you can turn them on before you leave the house and turn them off when you get home after work.


The benefits of installing a smart thermostat are numerous. They save energy by automatically adjusting themselves based on preset temperature settings. Also, these thermostats allow landlords to monitor their energy use throughout the year. This way, you can always know how much money you've saved by using one device instead of traditional dials or knobs.


Be well-prepared for autumn and winter in Florida

If you are a homeowner, you can't expect your tenants to take care of it as well as you would. Take a look at a few more things you should consider as a landlord in Florida.


Check the Weather Forecast

If you're a Florida landlord, you must know how to stay prepared for all types of weather. The weather patterns in Florida can be unpredictable, so it's best to keep an eye on forecasts and take measures accordingly.

Check Your Insurance Policy

It's also important to check your current insurance policy before the cold weather hits and ensure that it covers any possible damage caused by freezing temperatures or snowfall. If not, speak with an agent about purchasing additional coverage for the winter months as soon as possible, so there aren't any surprises when a tenant calls asking for help fixing their roof after a heavy storm passes through!


Prepare for moving out of your home

Before you find suitable tenants, you will have to pack and organize your move. On websites like verifiedmovers.com, you can find plenty of moving companies to choose from, but also find tips on planning your relocation. Once you decide to move, make a list of furniture pieces, appliances, and other things you want to leave for future tenants to use. Make sure to declutter the rest of your belongings and find the right packing supplies for them.



Key Traits of a Good Property Manager
Tanya Douglas
Good Property Manager

Key Traits of a Good Property Manager


If you have decided to educate yourself in property management, a great place to start is to learn the key traits of a good property manager. This will give you a proper vision of what your goals should be and where to start the education process.

Generally speaking, owning commercial real estate is a great way to diversify an investment portfolio, establish passive income and develop wealth long-term. However, owning such property is only the beginning. After becoming a landlord, it is time to start management of the property. And this can sometimes be overwhelming. Working with agitated tenants who have a problem with their property, such as a water leak, or tenants who are late paying rent, can be time and energy-consuming. Of course, there is also regular maintenance to arrange and schedule. This is why most experienced CRE investors decide to work with the best property managers.


Develop Market Knowledge


By knowing and understanding the local market, you will be able to choose the right types of amenities that pander to the tenants who are most likely to occupy your building. Some examples would be:


•  Keeping up with the accessibility options of the neighborhood;

•  Installing strong security if crime rates are high in the area;

•  Building a small outdoor play area for children if your building is in a family residential area;

•  Investing in an indoor pool area if the temperatures rise significantly in certain months of the year (This mainly applies to wealthier gentrified neighborhoods).



Aside from that, setting appropriate lease terms and conditions is also dependent on knowing what the market will bear. The same goes for the signing of various construction or service agreements.


A Good Property Manager Gives Good Recommendations


Another part of developing market knowledge is creating good business relationships. Any good property manager must have good working relationships with vendors and various services related to this type of work. This is because these relationships will likely be able to save time and money. Knowing whom to contact when a product or service is needed and giving recommendations to tenants is very important. People will appreciate good advice a lot. These relationships might also help you be able to negotiate lower rates or use discounts.

An excellent example of this would be recommending good local moving services. As a new tenant just moving in, a property manager who knows what they’re doing should be able to give you the names of local moving services, which will provide you with all the help you may need.


Focus on details


An excellent property manager must be able to focus on details. The ownership of a property is a genuine business. This means that every single penny must be accounted for and documented. The ability to keep records and financial reporting skills are a must-have. When it is time for taxes, youll be very happy to have these detailed documents.


Good Property Managers Give Quick Responses


The ability to reach a property manager quickly and efficiently is essential to every tenant, but only if the property manager themself are responsive. Returning phone calls and emails in a timely fashion is imperative if you want to be an excellent property manager. Another potential benefit of responding quickly to your tenants is that this practice usually attracts good-quality tenants.

Emergencies always require an immediate response. If you want to keep the people and property safe, it is absolutely imperative to do this. Whether the situation is an emergency or not, failure to respond in time can be a big turn-off for both tenants and CRE investors. And this can result in your work portfolio being tarnished, or in a worst-case scenario; you could be fired.


A Good Property Manager Has a Professional Manner


You can use many descriptive phrases to characterize someone as a professional. A combination of these qualities and the others we mention in this article is what makes a truly experienced property manager.

Some qualities to look for are:


  • A balance of confidence and humility
  • General competence
  • Willingness to learn
  • Respectfulness
  • A good listener
  • Reliability
  • Ethicality
  • Friendliness.


In the experience of experts from Cross Country Moving Group, there is a common problem with people deciding to move out very soon after moving in. The most common reason for this occurrence is that they dont feel comfortable with the property manager. This is why they advise building relationships with tenants aside from just having a professional manner if your goal is to be one of the best property managers.


Have a Good Balance Between Patience and Aggressiveness


This trait is an example of the proper professional manner of a good property manager.

Property management can sometimes be extremely stressful. A property manager needs to have a great deal of innate patience. This trait will come in handy with contractors who are behind schedule, unruly tenants, and investors who can sometimes have unrealistic expectations.

Being aggressive might seem counterintuitive, given the importance of patience which we just discussed. However, property management really is a balancing act. In most situations, property managers have to be patient. But, on rare occasions, aggressiveness could be required. This could mean tracking down late rent payments or holding a contractors feet to the fire. The ability to be aggressive when necessary is an important quality of any quality property manager.


A Very Important Trait of a Good Property Manager Is Ingenuity


Theres no blueprint or precise recipe for quality property management. Each property you manage will be different. The goals of every investor are going to be at least slightly different. Sometimes, it simply takes a little bit of ingenuity to be able to successfully manage a property. As a property manager, you must be willing and able to think outside the box.


To Conclude


To conclude, we would like to give you one final tip. Investors greatly appreciate a candidate’s commitment to ongoing education when looking for a property manager. The best thing you could do in this regard is to mindfully decide what you read. Reading local news so you can follow neighborhood development trends can be good. However, reading books regarding business education or professional development is the best way to go.

It is impossible to be a “perfect” property manager. Your skills will simply be stronger in some areas of the business than in others. Regardless of your innate talents, however, your long-term goal should be to learn to display these 7 time-tested qualities of a good property manager.




Being a good property manager requires a lot of research. This list of the key traits of one should point you in the right direction.


Focus keyphrase - good property manager

Pros and Cons of Renovating a Rental Property
Tanya Douglas
Rental Property Renovations

Pros and Cons of Renovating a Rental Property



A rental property goes through the same wear and tear process as your home, yet maintaining it requires more thought and care. Many landlords are not sure what the projects bring ROI and what ones they should skip when renovating their rentals. That's why you should give it some thought before your roll up your sleeves. To help you out, we've gathered a list of all the pros and cons of renovating a rental property you should consider and then make the right decision.


Reasons to go for it – benefits of renovating a rental

Let's start this guide on a positive note for landlords. There are several reasons why renovating a rental property is a great idea and helps you maximize the ROI as much as possible.


A nicer rental will cost more

Increasing your rent price is one of the first things you can count on after renovation. When picking a new home, renters know that prices can vary depending on several factors, such as the property's location, size, and, finally, condition. A newly renovated home will undoubtedly cost more, so you can expect that even the most minor project can bring a rental price increase. Finally, when there's more money circling, you are building equity faster, which can only bring positive points to your investment plans.


You can attract better tenants

It's challenging to find a great home to rent, but at the same time, landlords are struggling to find reliable tenants. A renovated, polished apartment will surely attract more responsible tenants willing to pay more to have a nicer home. The property that has been recently spruced up comes with a dose of responsibility for tenants to keep it that way. So, if you're struggling to find people who will stay longer and truly enjoy their home, renovating is one way to do it.


Minimize vacant periods

No landlord likes when their rental is vacant. That's why you should do your best to make your property as attractive as possible. This way, even when a renter leaves it, there won't be long until a new one comes along. Properties in good condition have minimum void periods, another advantage of renovating your rental property.


Make your rental more energy efficient

Specific renovation projects can make your property more energy-efficient, leading to multiple benefits. Firstly, you can reduce bills if you renovate the property and ensure it spends less energy. Next, you can attract high-quality tenants this way – those who care about their home and how they spend money. Finally, you'll make your property more environmentally friendly and ensure that people who rent it are eco-conscious.


Cons of renovating a rental property

Surely, nothing is black and white in real estate. Every project or action has a negative side, so you can expect the same with renovating a rental. You need to consider a couple of downsides before you begin a project to ensure you're doing the right thing.


Unpredicted costs

Even if you plan the renovation to detail, unexpected costs can happen anytime. Renovations are quite unpredictable, and certain projects can entail other work that will cost you more than you predicted. However, you shouldn't be afraid of such things. Manage your renovation budget carefully, and prepare for about 15 percent of extra costs. If you're ready for the process, you can't be surprised a lot, which will make the process a lot easier.


Also, unpredicted costs can include damage that can happen to the items you have on the property. That's why removing all the furniture pieces and other objects away from the construction site is safer. However, consider all the pitfalls to avoid when renting a storage unit to make sure you get the safest and most cost-efficient solution for your renovation process.


It can take away your time

Finances are not the only reason why the unpredictability of renovations is considered a downside. These projects can be time-consuming, which is bad news for people who have work or a big family to deal with. However, these projects pay off, so if you plan them right and work with professionals only. This way, you can reduce complications to a minimum and don't spend too much time.


And remember always to hire only reliable experts for your renovation and moving. Pros from müv | Trusted Florida Movers always advise you to research the people you trust in your home. This ensures the work is done fast and increases the security and quality of services you need.


Big projects mean vacant rental days

When you decide to renovate a property, you'll probably choose to do that when there are no renters. With common complications that renovation projects can include, the renters-free period can be longer than you expected. This means there's no rental income, right? To make this as efficient as possible, be sure to plan large-scale projects to detail and leave nothing to chance. And if you need to do a smaller project around the property, there's a chance to do it while tenants are at your property. However, this doesn't need to be the reason you give up on renovation, especially if the property needs a bit of revamping.


So, what should you do?

Making a final decision when renovating a rental property depends on several factors. Firstly, consider all the pros and cons we mentioned in this guide. These should be your starting point when planning to spruce up your rental. Next, consider the condition of the property, your current tenant situation, and finally – your budget. Once you list all the circumstances and factors that affect your decision, you'll be able to determine if now is the best time to make your rental shine again. If that's not the case, be sure to start making plans for future renovations and make it easier when the time comes to begin a project.


Meta Description: Consider both the pros and cons of renovating a rental property to see if you’re doing the project that best fits your budget.


Furnished vs. Unfurnished Rentals: What to Consider as a Landlord
Tanya Douglas
Furnished vs. Unfurnished Rentals

Furnished vs. Unfurnished Rentals: What to Consider as a Landlord

Every landlord has a dilemma about whether to rent their property furnished or unfurnished. Depending on your choice, you'll enter the market and attract a specific group of tenants. So, if you're still fighting that furnished vs. unfurnished rentals battle in your mind as a landlord - here are some things to consider.

The key difference: furnished vs. unfurnished rentals

We'll get into the question of whether or not landlords need to provide everything. But, we first need to have a look at the fundamental distinctions between the two types of housing arrangements. At first look, the distinction between a furnished and unfurnished space may seem to be self-evident. Nevertheless, that is not always so! For starters - unfurnished does not always imply being empty of all belongings (many first-time landlords have a misconception that it does).

Even if you are renting out a house in its unfurnished form, you should still make sure to include at least the following items in the rental agreement:

  • a stove,
  • refrigerator
  • a washing machine
  • fixtures for the bathroom
  • the carpeting
  • a choice of drapes or shades

Which one is preferable for property owners?

The answer to this question seems to be either black or white. But, it's not quite as straightforward as it may first appear. What the renter wants is much more essential than what you want. If you focus on what they want, you'll always make the right decision as a landlord. After all, the most important thing a landlord wants from a rental property is returns. And you won't receive any if you let your home sit empty for too long!

So, talk to a respected local letting agency to find out where the land sits in your specific location for the sort of property you desire to rent. You will want to showcase the property in a way that is appropriate for the sort of renter that will be living there. 

Moving out is easier

If you used to live in a property you're now renting, the moving process would be easier if you decide to go for a furnished rental. You won't have to do the heavy lifting and worry about where to put all the furniture. However, if you choose to rent unfurnished, you'll need to take out most of your stuff. In that case, it's better to seek reliable moving services to get all the help you need and have a stress-free experience.

The deposit is higher for furnished properties

For instance, in certain jurisdictions, landlords are only allowed to ask for a maximum deposit of a particular amount for unfurnished apartments. At the same time, they may ask for a larger maximum amount for furnished apartments. This safeguards the landlord from the financial burden of having to purchase new or repaired furnishings if they are destroyed.

Price difference 

If you invest more, the returns will be greater. Many people who rent their homes believe that it is money well spent since they are spared the expense of buying furnishings. Sometimes, it doesn't pay off for a tenant to buy their own furniture. According to the experience of experts at promoversmiami.com, the variation in the price will be rather substantial from one location to the next. Also, in many instances, the lease terms for furnished apartments are shorter than those for unfurnished apartments. This is because most individuals searching for an apartment that is already furnished are doing so to find temporary lodging.


It is not unusual for the monthly rent for a furnished apartment to be 20–40 percent more than the cost for an apartment with furniture. The figure will become much higher for stays of less than one month, which are considered short-term.

Different target tenants

Every landlord wants to attract a quality tenant who is responsible and who'll take good care of the property. Because furnished apartments cost more, they naturally attract renters who can afford that. Typically, these tenants are young professionals or young families. Also, some students haven't gathered their belongings. If the rental property is located in a college town or a more urban region, there are probably lots of possible renters seeking such a rental. As a landlord, you might gain from catering to this market. It's good to make the rental more appealing to students and those who live in metropolitan areas.

A damage possibility

Unfortunately, sometimes renters do not take good care of the property and the furnishings. In that case, the landlord will be forced to shoulder a more significant financial burden. The risk of damage increases when an apartment includes furniture. When renting out a furnished property, landlords are more responsible for maintenance and repair. They need to be on the lookout for actual damages as well as stay ahead of usual wear and tear. It's crucial to do a thorough investigation of who you're renting your property to if you want to prevent tenant damages.

Prices paid for storage

If the furniture cannot remain in the rental property, the landlord is responsible for getting it rent-ready. This means it's your responsibility to storage arrangements for it. For instance, if the landlord gives permission and the renters wish to use their mattresses and bedframe, it is the owner's responsibility to relocate the current bed and find a place to store it. The tenants are responsible for paying any associated costs. In a similar vein, maybe you wish to re-carpet or paint the apartment in between tenants. In that case, you are responsible for making arrangements for the furniture to be moved and/or stored so that the work crews may complete their tasks.

Final thoughts

Having a wholly furnished rental seems nice, but it has its pros and cons, just like renting an unfurnished property. There are a lot of things to consider and think about as a landlord. In the everlasting battle of furnished vs. unfurnished rentals, it's important to consider all the factors. Apply them to your situation and then make an informed decision. 

Meta description: There is an everlasting battle in real estate, including furnished vs. unfurnished rentals. So, consider these things before you decide.

Focus keyphrase: furnished vs. unfurnished rentals

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How to Prevent Tenant Damages to Your Rental Property
Tanya Douglas
Prevent Tenant Damage

How to Prevent Tenant Damages to Your Rental Property

Alt-tag: A house for rent sign.

You can indeed earn a lot of money by renting your property to tenants. But, you can also lose a lot of money if those tenants keep damaging your property! So, it just goes without saying that your job as a landlord will be to minimize those damages as much as possible. Don't worry; doing this is possible as there are many things you can do to prevent tenant damages to your rental property! 

The important thing to remember is that you can't expect your property to remain the same (and to have the same value) forever. It is usual for properties to change after all the wear and tear caused by different tenants. However, that doesn't mean you should stop trying to make it extraordinary (especially if that is your only source of income). So, do your best to prevent tenant damages to your rental property as much as possible! Here is how you can do that.

Create a strict lease agreement 

Nobody likes to be strict. But, sometimes, if you want to be respected, you just have to be. The same thing applies to renting out your property. For your tenants to be respectful of your property, you need to ensure they get a strict lease agreement, and more importantly, you must ensure they understand it. That is one of the best landlord tips we can give you! 


For instance, you should specify the tenant's obligations in your lease agreement. Whether that be mowing the lawn, cleaning the pool, or something third - you must write it down. Moreover, write down the things forbidden in your rental property (smoking, having pets, DIY-ing, organizing parties, etc.). 


Of course, you don't have to be too strict if you don't want to, but it is important to clarify things with your tenants immediately to prevent tenant damage to your rental property. 

Tenant screening is a must 

Even if you don't live in the home you rent, it is still your home, and you don't want anything wrong to happen to it. But, it just goes without saying that damages to your property are bound to happen if you have bad tenants. Luckily, there is an easy way to prevent this from happening - do a thorough tenant screening before they call getmovetoday.com movers and move in. 


And, how does one do that? That is, how does one screen or background check the tenants? One does that by asking the potential tenant for a landlord recommendation letter. If the previous landlord says this particular tenant is prone to violation and eviction, that is your red flag. Moreover, another way to screen your future tenant is to check his (or her) credit score. Don't be lazy - you must do all this to prevent tenant damages to your rental property. 

Charge a security deposit 

There is nothing wrong with charging a security deposit! That is one of the best ways to tenant-proof your rental property and ensure its protection from damage! It is simple - all renters want to get their money back. This way, you will be encouraging them not to 'wrong' your home if they want to get a full refund. 


But, keep in mind that you must set the right price for that security deposit. It mustn't be too low as buyers will not care about that money, and thus, they will not care about your rental property. And, it mustn't be too high as buyers will not be able to afford it. The best price should be somewhere around your monthly rent. In other words, if you are charging $1,000 monthly for your rental, you should also charge this amount for your deposit!

Conduct a tenant orientation 

When you find a good tenant, you should conduct a tenant orientation. That means welcoming the tenants on their move-in day. Of course, it is polite to offer help with moving, but most tenants come with professional movers. Moreover, you don't have to worry about damaging the property on the first day - experts can prevent this by handling all the heavy lifting, unpacking, and furniture assembling.


But, once they leave, that is when you should start conducting a tenant orientation. Use this time to show your tenants everything about the property, tell them about essential rental policies, and agree on certain obligations (yours and theirs). Moreover, don't be afraid to emphasize the importance of keeping the property damage-free if they want to get their deposit back. 


Just as previously mentioned, don't worry about being too strict. You need to be if you want to prevent tenant damages to your rental property! Show your renters how serious you are about your property, and they will certainly respect you and your property move. 

Have preventive inspections 

One of the last but in no way the least important things you should do to prevent damages to your rental property is to have a preventive inspection every once in a while. You should do this even if you think you attracted the best renters any renter can have. Don't just meet your tenants on the move-in day and never show your face again. If you do that, you can't blame the tenants for all the damages. Sometimes damages happen on their own, and it is your job to fix them, not the tenants'. 


Regular home inspections will work in your favor. They will show your tenants that you are an earnest landlord and make them think twice before they damage anything on purpose. Furthermore, if something does happen, you will be able to fix it before the damage gets more prominent. So, once a month, or once every three months, call your renters (don't just invade your privacy) and tell them that you want to check the property. 


As you have seen, there are many things you can do to prevent tenant damage to your rental property. You just have to be invested in that property, find good-quality tenants, and set strict rules. 

Meta Description: Looking for ways to prevent tenant damages to your rental property? Look no more – just keep on reading for some good tips and tricks.

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8 Tips for First-Time Landlords in Jacksonville
Tanya Douglas
Tips for Landords

8 Tips for First-Time Landlords in Jacksonville

Renting can be quite a profitable business for those interested in this type of investment. There are slight differences in whether you’re renting an apartment, house, or condo – but general rules apply to all the properties. This can be pretty confusing for those who are jumping into the rental business for the first time. Luckily, we’re here to help you avoid common landlord issues. Here are the best tips for first-time landlords in Jacksonville – make your rental as attractive as possible and have the smoothest relationship with your tenants.

1.Know the local rental regulations in Jacksonville

To avoid potential issues, you first need to know standard local regulations and laws that apply to landlords and tenants. These can vary in different states and cities, so be sure to learn more about being a landlord in Jacksonville. The city is the most populous place in the state of Florida, which is why it’s essential to be familiar with the laws and regulations of the state and of the city itself. For example, some things that Florida’s landlords need to disclose are warnings about fires, radon levels, etc., apart from all the details about the landlord’s true identity, rent, security deposit, etc. Landlords have specific responsibilities as well. These usually include property maintenance, repairs, and ensuring the general safety of the tenants. Make sure you know your rights, too. These apply to the landlord’s entry to the property, moving out notice, and more. Explore all of these to be ready for any unexpected situations with a potential renter.

2.First-time landlords in Jacksonville should get insurance

No matter how nice someone seems, it is vital to protect your property and yourself with the right kind of insurance. Landlord insurance will ensure you’re safe in case of any damage to the property, hazards such as flood and fire, and any legal issues you might have with a tenant. Again, remember to keep your emotions away from this business. Even though you might like someone, it’s essential to protect yourself and be careful about any potential problems.

3.Make sure your lease agreement is complete

A detailed lease agreement is a key to solving issues that often happen between landlords and tenants. Make sure your lease agreement is complete, including all the necessary details that explain the rights and responsibilities of both parties. When making a rental agreement for a property in Jacksonville, be sure to include:

  • Full names of your tenants
  • The exact list of occupants of your property – there should be an occupancy limit to ensure there’s no subletting or more than listed people living on the property;
  • Rent details – apart from the exact amount of the rent cost, include the due date, payment method, late fees, and a grace period if there’s a need for it.
  • The amount and rules about the security deposit
  • Defining month-to-month or fixed tenancy agreement
  • Pet policy – depending on your preferences and the rules of the building/neighborhood, you can define a pet policy and a set of rules in case pets are allowed on the property.

Defining all the details in your lease agreement will benefit both the landlord and the tenant. That’s why you shouldn’t skip this step and ensure all the details are familiar to both parties.

4.Make changes that bring value

It’s not necessary to renovate the whole property to attract tenants. Try to plan renovations long-term, and prioritize those tasks. At first, you can make the changes that bring the most value. These can include repainting, updating the lighting, adding air conditioning, etc. Make sure you know what your target tenants need the most and focus on those updates first. This will make sure tenants recognize you care about their needs. You can also go that extra mile and make their moving experience even better – recommend a trustworthy moving team and help them find reliable Florida movers. You can help them team up with experts that will ensure your tenants move in safely and don’t damage your property in the process.

5.Promote your property for faster and better results

Preparing your property for renting is just one of the steps to success. Another thing you need to do is to market it well, so it attracts the right kind of tenants. Unless you’re lucky enough to immediately get a recommendation for a friend’s friend, or someone you know well, you’ll have to make some effort to find the tenants. Here you’ll need to create a listing that will ensure your property stands out from the rest – a detailed description and professional photos will help. Also, market your property in multiple ways – use local listing sites, spread the word, and share on social media.

6.Checking your tenants thoroughly is one of the best tips for first-time landlords in Jacksonville

The first impressions can be misleading. You shouldn’t sign an agreement with someone you just met. It’s essential to screen your potential tenants, so you can be sure you’ve found someone who will be responsible and take care of your property. Interview to get to know them better, but also look for references that can assure you are dealing with someone reliable. You can also do a criminal background check to be even safer. Finally, a simple check of their finances will tell you if they can pay the rent each month. These simple steps can verify that your new tenants meet your requirements and won’t cause any trouble during the lease.


Remember: always advise your tenants to double-check their moving company in a similar way. Nationwide Moving Services experts recommend getting at least two moving estimates before making the final decision. Trusting someone with your household is a big thing, so it’s crucial to find someone experienced and reliable.

7.Learn how to manage your property

Giving out the keys to your new tenants is just the beginning. Ensure you’ve got the tools to help you run the property’s finances and keep track of all the tenant’s requests. You can use several great rental property management software programs to simplify the process. You’ll get to keep track of both income and expenses, screen your tenants, and not forget about their issues, etc. And the best part is – some of these programs are free!

8.Consider contacting a professional

If the tasks we mentioned earlier overflow your daily schedule, maybe hiring a professional property manager is better. Letting a professional do all the management work is the best for inexperienced, first-time landlords in Jacksonville. If you’re feeling insecure about doing all the tasks, maybe it’s wiser to let someone competent do it for you.


Meta description: Learn how first-time landlords in Jacksonville can begin their rental journey without any issues and manage their new property with success.

7 Reasons Why Renting Could be Better
Tanya Douglas
7 Reasons Why Renting Could be Better

7 Reasons Why Renting Could Be Better Than Buying

Most people deal with this big real estate dilemma once in their lifetime–should they buy a home or rent it out? Even though some find the answer easily, others are not sure which option is best for them. Both homeownership and rentals have pros and cons, and what’s best for you will depend on the particular circumstances you’re in. However, this article will talk about the advantages of renting a home. For those who are not ready to commit, here are the reasons why renting could be better than buying.

1.The flexibility of living in a rental

Buying a home is a huge commitment. Even though you can always sell and buy a new property if you don’t like something about it, it’s not that easy to do. On the other hand, renting gives you more flexibility in location, size of your home, and budget. Over the years, your needs and possibilities may change, so you can change your home according to them. If you want to switch to a more family-friendly neighborhood–rent a place in another location. Got a pay raise–upgrade to a bigger or fancier apartment. Got a new pet–find a pet-friendly home. Renting is a commitment, yet not as strong as purchasing a home. This flexibility attracts many people who love to switch homes, and experience living in different cities and cultures.

2.Finances–how renting could be better than buying

In general, renting is less expensive than homeownership. You don’t need to pay for repairs and maintenance as it is the responsibility of your landlord. Furthermore, you don’t need to pay taxes, which is another advantage of renting a home. Depending on where you live, taxes can be quite burdensome for homeowners, so it’s great if you can avoid them. Also, as there’s no down payment for you, you can save thousands of dollars. Even though you have to pay a security deposit when renting a house or apartment, rentals are still less expensive. Finally, you don’t need to deal with HOA’s fees. These are reserved for homeowners only, so there’s one more reason why renting could be better than buying.

3.Renting saves you time daily

Living in a rented home means more free time. The reason is that you don’t need to deal with regular maintenance and change your schedule for unexpected repairs. Contacting your landlord is all you need to do, which leaves you more time to work, do a hobby or spend time with your loved ones. Rentals give you the opportunity to enjoy a great home, but without too much commitment to its maintenance.

4.You get an advantage at work

Job opportunities often come with location requirements. So, if there are more candidates for a promotion like that, people who rent have a slightly bigger advantage than those who own a home. They can easily relocate wherever necessary and faster meet the requirements of their employer. Let’s say you live in Jacksonville and get an offer to move to another place in Florida. When renting a place, you don’t need to deal with selling your home so you can relocate. You just need to notify your landlord and start looking for a reliable team in the area to help you out. Luckily, Jacksonville offers some high-quality teams, so it won’t be difficult to do this – but you need to do detailed research first.

5.Property decreases in value – you don’t need to worry about that!

This happens all the time in the real estate world–properties’ values increase and decrease depending on many factors. These changes give many homeowners a headache, making them wonder if they’ve made a mistake. On the other hand, renters have no such worries. Your rent cost is fixed and has no connection to the changes in the property’s value. If the rent does change, you can easily switch to a more affordable home.

6.You can enjoy all the nice amenities

When you own a home, you need to purchase all the nice stuff you need–and those are pretty expensive. A washer and a dryer, a pool, a home gym, etc. - all of these are nice to have, yet they are costly to get and maintain. These also represent deadweight capital, which is a downside of owning a home. On the other hand, renters can enjoy these amenities without such worries. Access to such luxuries is a part of living in many apartment complexes, which is another reason why renting is a better idea.

7.No long-term commitment

For some people, the main reason renting could be better than buying is the lack of long-term commitment. Even though many people find homeownership a source of peace and security, others may find this commitment challenging. Also, it’s easier to downsize if you’re living in a rented home. After a while, you may find your home too expensive, or you want to downsize after retirement. It can be tough to break free from a purchased home than leave a rental. Being tied to one place is not for everyone, so it’s wise to consider your lifestyle and long-term plans before making this decision.

Remember: if you need to downsize to lower your living costs, make sure you organize the move according to your budget. Verified Movers suggest you compare multiple moving estimates, so you can choose the deal that offers the best value for money. Different companies offer various services and pricing, so be careful when hiring a team for your move. Compare and analyze their offers to be sure you’ve got the best deal.

The bottom line

The main idea of all the reasons renting could be better than buying is freedom. Freedom to make changes, live carelessly and enjoy your life more. However, these advantages are only worth it if you really enjoy them. Everyone has different lifestyles and preferences, which is why our goals can’t be the same. Take your time to consider all of the factors so you can be sure you’re doing the right thing and wisely invest your money.

Meta: Still not sure how renting could be better than buying? Here are all the reasons that you should go for a rented home.

How to Attract Quality Tenants for Florida Rental Property
Tanya Douglas
Attract Quality Tenants

How to Attract Quality Tenants for Florida Rental Property

Attracting quality tenants is one of the most difficult aspects of being a landlord and managing a rental property. Nonetheless, it is a crucial part of the job. That is why learning effective techniques to attract quality tenants for your Florida rental property is critical. To help you find decent tenants, we've consulted experienced property management professionals and gathered useful tips and advice. Even though finding great tenants won't be easy, if you make sure to follow our advice and prepare well, you'll go through a much smoother process. Now let's get to work!

Why not let professionals help you attract quality tenants for your Florida rental?

The simplest way to ensure your Florida rental is occupied by decent tenants is to get in touch with a full-service property management company and let them handle everything regarding your property. Or, you can only hire tenant placement services if you prefer doing other landlord tasks alone.

Given that property management professionals have extensive experience, they can easily recognize the type of person they're dealing with. Of course, they won't rely solely on their hunch, but they'll also do extensive research and background checks. They will make sure they find responsible renters and leave your Florida rental in nothing but good hands.

Simple ways to attract quality tenants for your Florida rental

Good tenants pay their rent on time and in full, look after your property as if it were their own, and rarely (if ever) violate the conditions of your lease agreement. They are any landlord's dream come true

However, having in mind that roughly a third of households in Florida are renters, it can be quite difficult to find quality tenants among them. This is that much more true if you're planning to do this on your own. But don't worry as it's definitely not impossible, especially if you follow the tips and advice we've gathered from experienced landlords and property managers.

Know what kind of tenant you're looking for 

If you're looking for a good tenant but don't know how to spot one, you could easily lose out. Knowing the qualities of your ideal tenant can help you focus your search. When drafting a listing copy, it offers you a target market to work with.

In general, a good quality renter is one who has never been evicted, has a courteous attitude toward neighbors, pays rent on time, follows lease terms, and has a steady job. You may also prefer a tenant who does not have any pets or who does not smoke. So before you begin the screening process, make sure you have a strong sense of what you want in a tenant, regardless of your needs.

Make your rental more appealing

One of the best ways to attract quality tenants for your rental is to make your rental more appealing by adding different features. This will help your property stand out and appeal to a higher-income demographic.

You can't go wrong with add-ons like heating, dishwashers, stainless steel appliances, built-in wardrobes, and more storage space or lighting. Many quality renters look for these features. Plus, they may also be able to help you raise your rental return as well as the long-term value of your Florida rental property. It's basically a win-win!

On the other hand, you might find great tenants who want to move in with their own furniture and appliances. Given how difficult it is to find quality renters, you should better have a plan for storing furniture and other belongings just in case. The team from 24/7 Logistic Services FL suggests renting a storage unit as the simplest and most cost-effective solution.

Thoroughly screen your potential tenants

It's true when they say we should trust and follow our instincts. However, when looking for someone to occupy and take care of your property, listening to your gut is not enough. A potential tenant can lie on their application or sweet-talk their way onto your shortlist by lying on their application form. That's why it's crucial to thoroughly screen your tenants

Tenant screening is a solid approach to sorting through candidates and identifying potential renters. Make certain to check criminal records and credit reports. It's also a good idea to double-check their employment status. Don't forget to request references and phone previous landlords to get a sense of how they are as renters. While the tenant screening procedure is time-consuming, it is definitely worth the effort.

Listen to the word of mouth

Even nowadays, word-of-mouth referrals are still the most valuable kind of marketing. Friends, family members, or current tenants (if you're already renting) may give your recommendations. You could even give your tenants a reward if they refer someone to you. Typically, renters who are referred this way are of higher quality and stay considerably longer.

Be a great landlord

Now that you've found great tenants, you want to do your best to keep them in your property long-term. So make sure to do your part in the best way possible and be the kind of landlord you would want to have.

For example, you can offer your tenants help with heavy pieces. Or, you can help them find reliable movers to hire and assist with furniture disassembly. This way, when your tenants eventually move out, they'll give you glowing recommendations. Who knows, they might even send their reliable friends coming your way to replace them. 

The bottom line

We won't lie—finding reliable and quality tenants and keeping them in your Florida rental property for a long time is going to be difficult. However, if you follow our tips, we're sure you'll have an easier process as you'll know exactly what to focus on. Or, if you want to do this the simplest way, reach out to Florida's finest property management team and let them take care of everything for you. 

Meta description:

If you are looking for ways to attract quality and long-term tenants for your Florida rental property, check out our simple tips and advice.



How a Sober Living House Can Add Value to a Neighborhood
Tanya Douglas
How Sober Living House Can Add Value to a Neighborhood

How a Sober Living House Can Add Value to a Neighborhood


There is an irrefutable stigma surrounding sober living homes. And we understand where the fear is coming from. Having a domestic violence shelter in our neighborhood holds an entirely different narrative; our hearts go out to those who suffered greatly at the hand of a barbarous loved one. No wonder Netflix's TV show "Maid" is one of the ten most-watched shows. The injustice enrages us; it makes us want to get up and do something for those who cannot stand up for themselves—all the women, children, and men. We feel compassion for the elderly, we watch Animal Planet with a box of Kleenex, but somehow, someway, when it comes to the ones most in need of our sympathy and support, we pull back, and we shut down. And we discriminate with disgust. Let's not look away this time. This is how a sober living house can add value to a neighborhood.

Your problem is not my problem

Addiction is a problem that affects every one of us on many substantial levels. Drug abuse and alcoholism have always been around as pain relievers, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the collective human psyche has gotten exceptionally frail. And it's getting worse. We witness 95,000 alcohol-related deaths and 100,000 drug-related deaths annually in the US alone. So, if you are a young family relocating to one of Jacksonville's top suburbs, but you happen to learn there's a sober living house in your neighborhood, will you politely turn down the offer and keep on looking?

"US" vs. "THEM"

Sober living houses are almost always located in quiet, low-crime, safe and stable neighborhoods. And for a reason. You could be living in one of the best neighborhoods in Jacksonville with recovering individuals two doors down. Why? Because your contribution as an accepting neighbor is just as meaningful and valuable as the facility itself. Just by not discriminating and showing angst, you show the sober residents they are indeed a part of this world, an equal member of the society. Just by not looking away, you indicate that it's possible to get back (or to move towards) to that healthy life they're missing and possibly once had.

Suspicious minds

  • Oh, that's great, I have a recovery home next door, so I need to have 911 on my speed dial from now on. And maybe get a guard dog.
  • Probably half of the residents are criminals and convicted felons.
  • Drug dealers will be swarming around my home. I need to protect myself and my family.
  • The residents will most likely cause disarray in what used to be a good, low-key neighborhood.
  • The value of my property will decline if I choose to move house.

None of it is true. The more rehabilitated people leave that house, the safer your community becomes.

Things you need to know about SLH

If you can't get your mind around how a sober living house can add value to a neighborhood, we'll go as far as to say it's a legitimate concern. A healthy dose of skepticism is anticipated and welcome. But let's try to debunk common misconceptions and chase your doubts away. According to Bright Futures Treatment Center FL, any residential facility offering non-medical services for recovering individuals is required to own licensure (also claimed by ADP / Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs)

The rules are strict

  1. Random drug tests are mandatory. There is no tolerance related to alcohol and drug use. You're clean, or you're out.
  2. Sober living houses are not rent-free. Residents are expected to participate with rent, utility bills, and groceries. A sense of independence is built by enforcing responsibility, which is necessary for a successful social comeback.
  3. Rules and regulations. There are curfews, only drug-free visitors are allowed during specific visitation hours, and there is no excess socializing.
  4. To get admitted to a sober living house, completing a rehab program is required.
  5. Sober living homes are not homeless shelters. They are more of a bonus quarantine time for the rehabilitated residents to prepare for the "outside" world and get their life back on track.

How SLH adds value

Sober facilities are not shady crack houses. In truth, residential housing has progressed immensely in the past decades. There are some state-of-the-art facilities all across the US. A sober living house doesn't necessarily scream unsightliness. You'd be surprised how pleasant they can be on the eye. The appearance is not what matters, though; it's what they do and who they are: simply a community within a community doing fantastic work for someone in need. When did philanthropy and being humane stop trending?

How it gives back

Alcohol and drug addicts and recoverees are not ungodly creatures. They are simply suffering souls with their self-image bruised, their self-worth annihilated, and only guilt, shame, and remorse to keep them company. Residents of sober living housing haven't targeted your neighborhood to make your life a living hell; they are there to redeem themselves. Give them that chance. Be a good neighbor.

The pilgrimage to society

Do you know why Jacksonville is one of the best places to live in the US? Because recoverees contribute to maintaining that reputation. They successfully integrate back into communities through volunteer work. It's their opportunity to give back to those who accepted and supported them when they were at their lowest. Sober houses often organize community service as it proved beneficial for residents and their neighbors. They assist the elderly and people with special needs, collect trash and keep the neighborhood nice and clean. They trim rose bushes and plant seeds to give your street a vibrant green feel.

What it all comes down to

The problem lies within us if we're still wondering how a sober living house can add value to a neighborhood. Not "them." Spend a little time with one of the SHL residents. Hear their story. It will blow you away (and probably make you feel ashamed for having had a privileged childhood). You have the power to stop the stigma. The biggest value-added to your neighborhood will be the accepting and open You. Most of the SHL residents are benevolent, warm people. By giving them a sense of belonging, you give them what they need the most. Hope.


 Meta description: How a sober living house can add value to a neighborhood: The stigma around sober houses seems insurmountable. Let's prove ourselves wrong.



How to Tenant-Proof Your Rental Property
Tanya Douglas
Tenant-Proof your rental

How to Tenant-Proof Your Rental Property


Investing in real estate is a brilliant move for your future. Regardless of your profession or the economic trends, leasing a property provides you with a constant income. Besides, you can sell that property if you wish to do so. However, having tenants is not as easy as it may seem. It's not just about having a good relationship with them but also about protecting the rental. As a homeowner, you invest a lot of time and money in a property. But since tenants change homes pretty often, they don't take that much care of the rental. So here are some ideas on how to tenant-proof your rental property.

Protect the floors

The floors of a property are always subjected to the most wear. This is unavoidable even in your own home. Nevertheless, as a homeowner, you are a bit more careful. So here’s how you can make your property’s floors tenant-proofed.

1)No hardwood floors

While it's true that hardwood floors look very good and are preferred by most homeowners, they should be avoided in a rental. The reason for this is that they scratch easily. Therefore, when tenants move in and out of the property, you need something that's going to endure. A good choice would be bamboo or faux wood flooring. These options are cheaper and less sensitive - plus, they look good.

2)No carpets

To tenant-proof your rental property, you should avoid carpets. The main reason is that they stain easily and sometimes not even professional cleaners can help with that. And it would be too expensive to change the carpets with every new tenant. Besides, they retain smells and pet fur that can be difficult to remove.


However, if your rental property already has hardwood floors, you should cover them for protection. In such cases, go for dark-colored carpets that can hide the stains. And choose low-grade rugs that are cheap to replace if necessary.

3) Impose felt pads

You should require your tenants to place felt pads on all their furniture. This will protect the floors from all the scratching. To make sure this rule is applied, you can add it to the lease agreement. Moreover, you can stipulate that this is a requirement for the security deposit to be reimbursed.

4) Set a good example

Don't expect your tenants to be aware of all the things that can damage the flooring of a property. However, if you set a good example, they might follow your lead. Before showing off the rental, make a tiny investment in indoor and outdoor doormats, including a shoe rack. When you present the property to potential tenants, please wipe your feet on the doormats, then take off your shoes and place them on the shoe rack. This will make them aware of the no-shoes policy. Of course, this doesn't mean they will comply with it, so you can also add a clause in the lease agreement.


Protect the walls

Walls are the second most important thing to consider when you tenant-proof your rental property. If you have to repair and repaint them every time you get new tenants, you will lose more money than you make. Here are some ideas on how to protect the walls.

1)Consider the type of paint carefully

If you are leasing the property for the first time and are on a budget, you can use the cheapest option: white paint with a flat finish. However, be advised that you will likely have to repaint when your tenants move out. Stains on the walls are unavoidable. Just think of the grease in the kitchen or kids with dirty and sticky fingers. The best solution for this is to choose a glossy finish because it enables you to wash the walls. It's indeed a bit more expensive, but it will save you the money of repainting in the future.

2)Set some rules

Every tenant wants to feel at home. Thus, they are eager to start by decorating a rental apartment to fit their style and preference. However, if you don't want to have drill holes all over the walls at the end of the lease, you should explain the dos and don'ts. For example, you can let them use a few small nails for hanging pictures or artwork because they are easy to fix. But it would be best if you didn't allow them to mount their TV on the wall since it will leave huge holes. You can also add this to the lease agreement.

Protect the rest of the property

While it’s true that the floors and walls are subjected to the most wear, there are other things to consider. So, here are a few things you shouldn’t skip when you tenant-proof your rental property.

1)Your personal belongings

Of course, you have the option of leasing an empty property, but that entails finding long-term tenants. And this is harder to come by. Besides, usually, people rent properties that they used to live in at some point. In this case, you should think about your personal belongings, like pieces of furniture and other things you left behind.


Suppose you have valuable furnishings or other personal belongings that you don't want your tenants to damage. In that case, it would be good to rent a self-storage unit. And don't worry, this option is much cheaper than replacing those valuables. Nevertheless, if you want to rent a self-storage unit for storing antiques, wooden furniture, or artwork, you should know what to look for. In such cases, the storage conditions are essential because humidity and extreme temperatures can damage those items.

2)The installations

Sometimes people forget about the things that are not visible, like the electrical or plumbing installation. But if those installations get damaged, the security deposit won't cover even half of the repairs. Therefore, find some experienced professionals to do regular maintenance and inspection work. This will help you avoid unexpected costs in the future. Not to mention that your tenants will appreciate it as well.


While leasing a property can be very beneficial for your future finances, you should ensure that it doesn't cost you more than you gain. Finding a good tenant is never easy, and sometimes even they have accidents and can damage things. Nevertheless, to avoid as much damage as possible, you can use these preventive measures to tenant-proof your rental property.

Meta description: If you’re thinking about leasing your property, you should also look into protecting it. So, here are some ideas on how to tenant-proof your rental property.

How to Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Tenants
Tanya Douglas
How to Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Tenants

How to Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Tenants

Being a landlord is a walk in the park. You have the property, you have tenants, they make regular payments, and you spend them. Easy. There is nothing to it - except for the fact that there is. This mindset could cost you a lot of time and money. The wiser and healthier approach to this would be to understand that you are the one offering a service. As such, you must maintain a good relationship with the tenant. The most important thing to you as the landlord, probably, is that somebody trustworthy and reliable is staying in your property. Knowing it is being taken care of and that the tenant will pay the rent in time is worth the extra effort. On the other hand, a lack of action on your part attracts a different type of tenant. Here is how to maintain a good relationship with your tenants.


Maintain a Good Relationship Through Maintenance

At the end of the day, what you advertised and what the tenant is paying for is the property and all the utilities that come with the house. Nobody expects that there will never be any maintenance issues, as they come with the territory. Therefore, you should always have a few reliable handymen and vendors among your contact numbers. Furthermore, timing is vital. If a tenant informs you of a situation, be a good landlord and get on the phone ASAP. Minor problems can turn into more costly ones over time, all the while eroding your tenant's trust and good faith. A nice touch would be to follow up with the tenant once the repairs have been done. See if the repair work was up to scratch and see how they are doing.


How to Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Tenants? The same as with any Other Relationship - Communication!

An active line of communication is essential. Tenants need to know they can reach out to you if there is a problem. They also need to know that you will listen. On the other hand, it also means being straightforward when communicating your requirements. As the landlord, you ought to maintain effective communication from the very beginning. If you manage to achieve this, you can expect tenants to offer the same. They will inform you of any problems they notice around the house. Likewise, they will advise you about when they plan to move out in due time.


A word of warning about rent collection, though, make sure you have a system in place for the payments to be made regularly. Yes, a good relationship is advisable, but letting your tenants be late with their rent is not the way to achieve this. Allowing obligations to be skipped is not the cornerstone of good communication.


Clean and Updated

It should go without saying, but keeping the property clean and decluttered sends the right message. It doesn't matter if you plan on clearing everything up right before your tenants move in - they need to see it clean when they first come to visit. Furthermore, sprucing up the place could do wonders for an old property. A fresh lick of paint can do wonders for the interior. If there are clear signs that your HVAC needs replacing, bite the bullet and do it! The indirect benefit is that the tenants themselves are more likely to take good care of a home that has been taken care of by the owner. If you haven't put in the effort, why should they?


Difficult Tenants

Now, not all tenants are born alike. With some, things will be easygoing, but others can be a tad more difficult. You need to be able to handle such situations. Staying calm is essential in these situations. You should never take any comment personally and should confidently approach the problem. Sometimes, you might need to consider legal action, but this is the last resort. Still, you need to know what to do in that sort of situation too. You must learn to solve problems of this nature, as most landlords will find themselves dealing with difficult tenants at some point.



Honesty is the best policy. We've all heard it said and with good reason. Be clear about how you plan to divide the responsibilities. Don't tell them you will cover the utility charges, and then when it's time to pay, tell them this is their expense. Be trustworthy, and don't go back on your word. Sending an e-mail or two once you agree on an issue is also not a bad idea. Having things in writing is always handy should a misunderstanding unfold down the line.


What to do With Your Things?

We talked about the need to declutter and offer a tidy space for your new tenants. There will be things in your property that you need, but your tenants most certainly won't. That grand piano may be a precious family heirloom for you, but to them, it could just represent part of an obstacle course in an overcrowded living room. The best solution would be to find some cheap storage for these possessions. Keeping only those items that are essential could be helpful in this regard. Paying long term can also help reduce costs. If you dig a little, you are sure to find some low budget options out there, and rest assured that all the work one needs to invest in finding a cheap storage unit always pays off!


Happy Tenant Hunting!

There you go, how to maintain a good relationship with your tenants! It mostly boils down to common sense and thinking about how you, yourself, would like to be treated had the roles been reversed. Of course, there are legal aspects to a landlord-tenant relationship you should know about, but you know where to find this information, now don't you? An open and amicable relationship works in everybody's favor, and there is no reason why you cannot create one with your tenants. Once that has been done, well, maybe and only then, being a landlord becomes a piece of cake!

Meta Description:

Being a landlord may seem simple, but there is more to it than meets the eye! Here is how to maintain a good relationship with your tenants.



7 Best Long Distance Moving Companies
Nessa Brown
Best Long Distance Moving Companies

6 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies 2022

Long-distance moves are often complicated and stress-inducing, but they don’t have to be. Our top pick for the best long-distance moving company to help you is International Van Lines.
Home Media March 16, 2022

The moving process can be time-consuming and stressful if you let it, and picking a good moving company requires reading through the fine print.

To provide you with some peace of mind, we at the Home Media reviews team researched the top moving companies in the United States and created this detailed guide on the best long-distance moving companies to help you understand the services, payment process and major benefits of each provider.


6 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies

Here are our top picks for the best long-distance moving companies:

  Superlative Star Rating Link
IVL Insurance Plans
American Long-Distance Moves
Allied Editors' Choice
NAVL Easy Claims Process
JK Financing
PODS Self-Service Mover


International Van Lines

  • Award: Our Pick for Insurance Plans
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Service Model: Full service
  • Founded: 2000

International Van Lines (IVL) started in 2000 as an international moving and logistics company but has provided full-service moving options across the United States and in more than 180 countries since 2004. The company is a carrier for long-distance moves, but it may act as a broker for some moves. In both cases, customers can choose full-service options, such as packing and loading, to create custom moving packages that fit their needs and budget.

If you have particularly expensive belongings, IVL provides some of the most comprehensive moving insurance options on this list.

Pros and Cons of International Van Lines

Offers a discount for active and retired military members
Creates custom crates for TVs and other fragile items that do not fit in standard moving boxes
Fully refunds deposits for cancellations made at least 48 hours prior to scheduled service
Charges a 25% deposit to schedule a move
Uses third-party providers to handle moves in Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington state

IVL International Moves:

All-risk insurance, available to customers with packing services, protects the full value that you claim. Its cost is 4% of the declared value. Total-loss insurance, available to customers who opt to pack themselves, also provides full reimbursement in the event of a total loss and can be purchased for 2% of the declared value.

IVL Domestic Moves:

Its full-value protection plan offers either a $500 and $1,000 deductible. You then pick a coverage cap that covers the actual value of your belongings. If you do not purchase this plan, you receive access to IVL’s limited liability coverage at $0.60 per pound per article. You may also purchase a third-party moving insurance plan.


IVL determines the cost of moves based on the total weight of your belongings and the overall distance of your move. The company accepts checks, credit cards and cash for payment, and it requires an up-front deposit of 25% of your total cost. IVL also offers discounts to military members.

Get a Quote: International Van Lines

To Learn More: International Van Lines Review



American Van Lines

  • Award: Our Pick for Long-Distance Moves
  • Availability: 48 states
  • Service model: Full service
  • Founded: 1967

American Van Lines holds more than 50 years of professional moving experience. From its beginnings in Pompano Beach, Fla., American Van Lines has grown to provide national availability for full-service, long-distance moves. These factors have earned it one of Newsweek’s ‘Best Customer Service’ Awards twice, in 2019 and 2021.

American Van Lines employs full-time movers who hold an average of 10 years of moving experience each. The company also provides training on a regular basis to each worker. American Van Lines’ experienced employees, flat-rate pricing model, award-winning customer service and its contents protection plans make it one of the best options for long-distance moves.

Pros and Cons of American Van Lines

Is a carrier-only moving company, meaning it will not broker your move with a third-party provider
Has moving crews dedicated to handling pianos and antiques
Requires moving crew members to complete annual trainings
Will not guarantee a delivery date without additional payment
Charges a deposit between 10% and 50% to book your move


To provide a binding estimate that does not change over the course of your move, American Van Lines requires either a virtual or in-home estimate. The company considers factors such as the weight of your household goods, special requests and specific moving services you purchase. The company also features a price-matching policy, so gather a few other quotes to give yourself an edge in negotiation. American Van Lines accepts cash, check and credit cards, and it requires a deposit.

Get a Quote: American Van Lines

To Learn More: American Van Lines Review



Allied Van Lines

  • Award: Editors’ Choice
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Service model: Full service
  • Founded: 1928

Allied Van Lines is a licensed, bonded and insured moving broker-carrier and holds more than 90 years of professional moving experience. As a broker-carrier, Allied conducts some moves with its own equipment and team, but it is also able to outsource your move to a partnered company in areas it does not have direct operations.

This makes it an excellent choice for long-distance, international or interstate moves with availability in all 50 states and 130 countries. However, when it acts as the middleman, communication may become difficult.

Though Allied provides high-quality full-service moves, it does offer some DIY options. The company offers a fragile-only packing service and a portable storage container moving service called Allied Express. In addition to these options, Allied provides vehicle shipping, storage services and online resources such as GPS tracking, a moving blog and packing checklists.

Pros and Cons of Allied Van Lines

Offers optional appliance disconnection and reconnection
Provides mobile storage containers similar to PODS that include loading and unloading assistance
Partners with the Salvation Army to transport and donate your unwanted items to the non-profit organization
Requires payments to be made in full ahead of your moving date
Uses third-party providers to handle moves in Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington state


Allied Van Lines calculates your moving cost based on factors such as the total weight of your shipment, the total distance of your move, the services purchased, contents protection plans, any storage services you require and the time of the year.

Allied provides customers with binding estimates after an in-home survey. This means that your moving cost will not change unless you add major items to your inventory. The company offers an online survey tool, which eliminates the need for an in-person visit from a moving coordinator.

Allied offers flexible payment options as it accepts cash, certified checks and credit cards. Best of all, Allied does not require an up-front deposit.

Get a Quote: Allied Van Lines

To Learn More: Allied Van Lines Review



  • Award: Our Pick for Easy Claims Process
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Service Model: Full service
  • Founded: 1933

Based out of Fort Wayne, Ind., North American Van Lines brings more than 85 years of experience to full-service and partial-service moves all across the country. If filing claims during the moving process is a major concern for you, we recommend you look into North American Van Lines. The company provides easily accessible forms for both domestic and international claims across its website.

The company features separate customer support lines for domestic and international moves, and each customer receives a personal moving agent. In addition to these communication perks, North American Van Lines offers a large collection of online tools such as a moving calculator, a space calculator, relocation guides, checklists and assistance with shipping wine collections.

Pros and Cons of North American Van Lines

Has a Not-to-Exceed Pricing package in which actual costs may fall below, but never above, estimates
Provides shipment tracking using its WorldTrac satellite system
Does not require an up-front deposit to schedule a move
Requires payments be made in full ahead of your moving date
Has limited storage options, depending on your location


North American Van Lines creates your moving estimate based on the overall distance of your move, your contents protection plan, the services used and the total weight of your shipment. It also creates a binding estimate for you after a virtual survey is conducted, and it accepts payment in the form of certified checks, cash and credit cards. The company does not require an up-front deposit.

Get a Quote: North American Van Lines

To Learn More: North American Van Lines Review



JK Moving

  • Award: Our Pick for Financing
  • Availability: 50 states*
  • Service model: Full service
  • Founded: 1982

Since 1982, JK Moving has aimed to combine the newest moving technologies and solutions, such as climate-controlled storage and GPS tracking, with reputable customer service. The company engages in sustainable practices, such as recycling its materials, and partners with Habitat for Humanity, the Race for Hope and Fight for Children.

JK Moving employs only drug-tested and background-checked workers who receive annual training in a dedicated facility. In addition, it provides you the option to finance your move. Through a partnership with Enhancify, JK Moving matches customers with lenders, making it possible to pay for moving services over time instead of all at once. Some customers receive rates as low as 0%.** This is a rare offering in the moving industry, but before you agree to financing, you should consider the rate; if you have a poor credit score, you may be subject to a high interest rate, which could leave you paying far more in the long run.

*Local moves available only in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
**Subject to credit approval

Pros and Cons of JK Moving

Has 24/7 customer support, which not all providers offer
Offers in-house financing options with Enhancify
Provides customized coverage plans to protect your belongings
Does not match competitor pricing
Requires a $250 deposit to reserve a moving date


JK Moving packages are customized to fit each customer’s moving needs and budget. Customers receive a personal moving coordinator who will assist them throughout the entirety of their move. This coordinator also helps create a binding estimate, so there are no unexpected costs once your price is determined. JK Moving accepts cash, checks, credit cards and payments through its financing option. It requires an up-front deposit of at least $250.

Get a Quote: JK Moving

To Learn More: JK Moving Review




  • Award: Our Pick for Self-Service Mover
  • Availability: 44 states
  • Service Model: Self service
  • Founded: 1998

PODS, short for portable on-demand storage, provides a different approach to moving than the other companies on this list. Started in 1998 after founder Peter Warhurst watched a boat get lifted by a hydraulic machine, PODS introduced the moving industry to portable storage container moves. This is a flexible way a moving company can help families move long distances.

PODS delivers one of its portable storage containers (or a combination of them) to your home. You then load your belongings at your own pace within a 30-day period, or you can purchase more time. Once your belongings are loaded, you notify PODS when to pick up and deliver your belongings to one of its 230 storage facilities near your new home. The company then delivers your belongings to your new address when you notify it, and you unload them at your own pace.

PODS is our top pick for a self-service mover due to its high-quality containers, positive customer reviews, transparent pricing, flexible payment options and discounts for military service members. Customers also receive options to hire third-party labor and third-party vehicle relocation. Though the company features physical locations in only 46 states, it states that it can most likely help you move wherever you need to go.

Pros and Cons of PODS

Provides containers in three sizes
Allows 30 days for loading and unloading
Offers optional moving crews through third-party providers
Is not available nationwide
Only gives instant quotes for local moves


PODS uses a pay-as-you-go model. Customers pay for certain stages of their move a week in advance, namely drop-off, transport and the second drop-off and final pick-up. Longer-term storage rentals are billed on a monthly basis.

PODS accepts payment in the form of credit card, but it may also accept cash and check payments depending on the location. The company does not charge a deposit for its services, and it features a 10% discount for active military members.

Get a Quote: PODS

To Learn More: PODS Moving & Storage Review



Compare the Top Long-Distance Moving Companies

  Superlative Star Rating Link
IVL Insurance Plans
American Long-Distance Moves
Allied Editors' Choice
NAVL Easy Claims Process
JK Financing
PODS Self-Service Mover


Which Is The Best Long-Distance Moving Company For You?

Each company on this list will bring a different experience to your cross-country move. We named International Van Lines our top pick for insurance plans because you can never be too safe with your household items.

Determine if a full-service move or self-service move better suits your needs, then gather free quotes from at least three different providers to accurately compare costs and service offerings.

You will also want to make sure you can trust the moving company you hire.

To help you determine this, obtain its USDOT number and visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. Input that USDOT number towards the bottom of that page, which will allow you to access the company’s licenses and certifications.



Factors That Influence the Cost of a Long-Distance Move

A variety of factors can affect the total cost of your long-distance relocation, including:

  • How far you are moving
  • The time of year you are moving
  • The size of your move, measured as the total weight of your belongings
  • The size of the moving crew
  • The specific layout of your home, including any narrow hallways, low ceilings or steep staircases that could make moving more difficult
  • Any special handling needed (i.e. for bulky, high-value and/or fragile items)
  • Mileage
  • Gas
  • Any applicable toll charges



Preparing for a Long-Distance Move

An out-of-state or cross-country move requires a lot of advanced planning and organization. It is best to get at least a three-month head start on moving day by creating a master list of the major tasks you need to accomplish.

Major tasks can include:

  • Creating a moving budget
  • Researching moving companies
  • Requesting estimates from multiple moving companies
  • Determining how you and your family will be traveling to your new destination and if you will need a mover that can transport your vehicle(s)
  • Hiring a moving company

It may be helpful to create a “Moving” folder on your computer to keep your notes, moving estimates, receipts and checklists in one place.

In the weeks leading up to moving day, pack items you don’t need and sell or give away items you no longer want. Consider organizing belongings for packing. We recommend creating a detailed list of all belongings you plan to move; in fact, many moving companies will require this before giving you a binding estimate. An accurate inventory will ensure your binding estimate will not change on moving day and will also make it easier for you to review your moving shipment upon delivery to check for any broken or missing items.

Ahead of your move, it is also a good idea to go ahead and contact physicians for copies of any records needed and your homeowners insurance provider to confirm your coverage will transfer to your new location.



Full-Service vs. Self-Service Movers

Other than moving truck rentals, there are two major types of moving companies in the current home movers market. To get a better understanding of what each type of mover entails, read over the descriptions below.

Full-Service Movers

This type of mover is a good option for anyone who wants a moving company to handle practically all parts of their move. A full-service mover offers services such as furniture disassembly, packing, crating, loading, transportation, unloading, unpacking and furniture reassembly.

Often these companies can provide specialty services for difficult and fragile items, such as pianos and antiques. Customers can typically mix and match these services to create partial-service moving packages, which saves some money.

International Van Lines is a great example of a full-service mover that can help with your long-distance move.

Self-Service Movers

A self-service mover is a better option for those looking to save money and those who enjoy taking the DIY approach to things. Self-service movers are also referred to as portable storage container movers.

This service model has the company deliver a portable storage container to your home, and you then load your belongings into that container in a certain time frame. Once your belongings are loaded, you notify the company when to pick up and deliver your belongings to your new home. You then unload the container at your own pace. This option tends to be significantly more affordable than full-service movers.

PODS is an example of a self-service mover.



Long-Distance Moving Companies FAQs










Methodology: Our System for Ranking the Best Long-Distance Moving Companies

We collected data on dozens of moving companies, both full-service and self-service, and created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings, grade each company and provide objective findings to our readers. The end result of weighing a wide range of factors is a cumulative score for each provider.

We called each moving company directly, spoke with representatives to get an in-depth understanding of their offerings and simulated the quote and scheduling process. We also reviewed each company’s contents protection (insurance) plan information in detail, and we closely examined more than 100 customer reviews to understand the customer service experience with each provider.

All company data is monitored on an ongoing basis so that all rankings and information remain up-to-date.

Once we gathered all relevant data, we used the following scoring system to grade each moving company on a 100-point scale:

  • Moving Services (20 points): Does the company provide its services for local moves, interstate moves and/or international moves? The more options available, the higher the score. Points were deducted for any local moving restrictions, such as a minimum mileage requirement or limited availability.
  • Mover Type (3 points): Is the provider a moving broker or a carrier? Given that carriers often offer a more seamless customer communication experience, more points were awarded to companies that act as carriers instead of or in addition to acting as moving brokers.
  • Additional Services (20 points): Services we factored in include packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, vehicle relocation, fragile pack or specialty services and storage service. The more services a moving company offers, the higher the score it received.
  • Insurance Coverage (10 points): If a company offers only the minimum requirement of 60¢ and a full-valuation coverage option, it received a lower score. If the company offers multiple moving insurance options, such as customizable full-value coverage, it received a higher score.
  • Payment Process (20 points): For each payment option the company provides, it received more points. Options include binding estimates or fixed rates, discounts or price-matching policies, credit card payments, cash or check payments and/or financing options. Points were deducted if a company requires a deposit.
  • Availability (5 points): Companies were awarded points based on state availability.
  • Scheduling (6 points): The more scheduling options a company offers, such as online scheduling, over the phone or both, the more points it received.
  • Trailers/Containers (6 points): Companies received higher scores for having a range of trailer or container sizes.
  • Additional Benefits (5 points): What additional benefits do customers receive from the company? Does the customer have access to a moving calculator, GPS or online tracking options, a moving checklist, packing and moving materials and/or a moving inventory app? The more of these options a company provides, the more points it received.
  • Reputation (5 points): We factored in the company’s score on the Business Better Bureau (BBB) and deducted points for any alerts or pending lawsuits.


7 Best Long-Distance Movers
Nessa Brown
7 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies
Top 6 Jacksonville Area Suburbs for Young Families
Tanya Douglas
Top 6 Jacksonville Area Suburbs for Young Families

Top 6 Jacksonville Area Suburbs for Young Families

Jacksonville is the biggest and the most populated city in Florida. It is a hot spot for beach lovers as it is located along the Atlantic shore. There is never a shortage of great activities in the Jacksonville area suburbs. Those who want to live near this great city without being surrounded by crowds have the option of choosing superb nearby suburbs to call home. Make sure to keep reading to learn about our top picks!

Why Pick Jacksonville?

Jacksonville is a family city, and a large percentage of households in the city limits have children. These numbers increase the farther you move away from downtown. With fantastic weather year-round, a thriving economy, and high quality of life, it is no surprise that the area is excellent for families to settle down and raise kids. Young families buying a home in Jacksonville will be happy to have their peers in the neighborhood. Jacksonville also has excellent local schools and shopping options. The urban parks system is the biggest in the United States. The cost of living and the unemployment rate in Jacksonville are lower than the national average.

Making a Long-Distance Move

When you are moving long-distance, you want to be able to settle into your new home quickly. For inexperienced families, it can be quite a task, and hiring a moving company will make your life a lot easier. Even if you have moved more than once, there are many aspects to cover, and you might end up resenting it. Experienced professionals will know all the shortcuts and fastest and easiest ways to take care of your Flofida move.

1.   San Marco

San Marco offers city living at its finest. This historic district has excellent dining options and upscale boutiques. You can relax at sunsets and host family picnics in Riverfront Park. Here you will also find some of the best restaurants Jacksonville has to offer. You can also enjoy a family outing during the San Marco Art Festival held twice a year. San Marco also has a lot to offer to the more urban families looking for an artistic element in the suburbs.

2.   Deercreek

Deercreek is a safe, stable Jacksonville area suburb for families with some of the lowest crime rates in the city. This makes it a great area to raise a family in. The average price of homes in Deercreek is almost 50% higher than in the rest of the city, making it less accessible to first-time home buyers.

If you are in Deercreek with your family, you will have an excellent time being so close to the fantastic beaches. Some of the top activities for young families to enjoy are:

  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Golf

3.   Southside—Affordable Jacksonville Area Suburbs

Young families looking for a more affordable market should take Southside into account. The area has an abundance of grocery stores and a whopping nine parks within a mile radius. The neighborhood was designed with homeowners with children in mind.

Southside is also home to St. Johns Town Center. This enormous open-air lifestyle center offers retail, residential, hotel, and dining options.

4.   Orange Park—The Suburbs for Young Families That Enjoy the Outdoors

If you are not prioritizing being in the center of Jacksonville, think about buying a home in Orange Park. This is a very popular neighborhood for families who love a rural environment. In Orange Park, young families can enjoy the outdoors by going camping, doing water sports, and hiking. The suburb is near St. Johns River, Doctor's Lake, and Black Creek. This makes it ideal for wakeboarding, fishing, and numerous other watersports. Orange Park is 45 minutes away from Jacksonville, but it has all the perks of living in the city. It is also home to Jarboe Park, which is packed with playgrounds, sports fields, and walking trails. With such a wide selection, young families can plan fun activities every weekend.

5.   Oceanway

Oceanway offers more affordable housing for young families looking to move here. This is a very desirable area due to the low cost of living and average prices for riverfront houses. The Oceanway suburban area has access to family-friendly destinations like the Jacksonville Zoo. Oceanway is home to a large shopping center and is one of the fastest-growing areas in the city. This neighborhood has many single-family and upscale homes that will meet all your family's needs. In addition to all the amenities, it also offers various hiking trails and playgrounds for the little ones.

6.   Neptune Beach

This Jacksonville area suburb is one of the most well-known. It is only a short 25-minute drive from the city center. As an oceanfront town, Neptune Beach can be great fun for the entire family. Oceanfront Park is only 30 minutes away. One thing to keep in mind is that this area has higher-than-average home prices. It may not be the most affordable choice for young families, but it certainly is one of the best to enjoy the beach life. The whole family can go fishing, have fantastic seafood, and play golf at the beach golf club.

Additional Fun Activities in the Nocatee Suburb

There are countless options to choose from when it comes to Jacksonville area suburbs for young families. Here are a few more activities to explore in the area:

  1. Nocatee Spray Park—The biggest interactive spray playground in the area. It offers a playground for kids and a bar and grill for the parents to relax and enjoy the day.
  2. Electric vehicle pathways—Nocatee is the first community in the region that is home to pathways created for electric vehicles.
  3. Splash Water Park—Loads of fun for the entire family. There is a lazy river for relaxing for the tired moms and dads. Splash Waterpark offers a big slide tower for the more adventurous adrenaline seekers. It even has its own tiki bar with delightful cocktails.



Meta description: If you are thinking about moving to Jacksonville this year, take a look at our top 6 Jacksonville area suburbs for young families.



House Hunting Tips after you Retire
Tanya Douglas
House Hunting Tips after you Retire

House Hunting Tips for After You Retire

Older couple researching tips for house hunting after you retire