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Earl Anderson
Trower Realtors, Inc.
Phone: (432) 664-5042
EMAIL AGENT
Common first-time homebuyer mistakes you can avoid

New Home Vs Resale, Which is Right For You


Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Faster


Should You Sell or Rent Your Family House?


An elderly couple sitting on a bench and thinking about retiring in Florida.

It is a wide-known fact that retirees adore Florida as a perfect place to live, relax, and enjoy after a long work-life spent in freezing states up north. The Sunshine State offers diverse advantages that are so appealing to everybody, not only this specific group. However, before you pack for your big move and become a genuine Floridian, you have to solve a very difficult and yet highly important dilemma. What is the right thing to do with your family house you currently occupy? Should you sell or rent your family house? We have examined all the vital factors that might affect your decision. Here are our findings.

When is renting your family house a good idea?
One of the alternatives prior to retiring in Florida is renting your family 
house. While this is not an intelligent choice in all circumstances, some factors can turn it into a reasonable decision. Here is a list of the most important ones:

  • When the current value of your home is not satisfying. – Every sale aims to make a considerable profit. The real estate market often changes, and selling your family house during the period when the prices are decreasing is a bad decision. Instead, it is much better to be patient, rent your home, and get income in regular monthly intervals. Once the real estate prices go up and your house gains value, you can start looking for the best strategy to market your home and attract buyers.


Renting your family house is a better option when the prices on the real estate market are decreasing.

  • If you need to pay off the mortgage for your Floridian home. – Reducing financial risk is crucial when you have a mortgage to pay off. It is in your best interest to reduce any potential financial risks, especially if your retirement savings are not considerable. Receiving monthly rent from your tenants can help significantly in this field.
  • You are still indecisive whether you want to move to Florida for good. -  If you are not completely positive about your decision to make Florida your permanent home, keeping your family house is a smart option. While some people enjoy changing the environment from time to time, others consider homesickness a serious burden to handle. Belonging to the latter group means that renting your family house is much more convenient.

When should you opt for selling your family house?
Selling your home comes with numerous benefits, especially when you are satisfied with its value on the real estate market. Here is a short summary of the main factors that will make selling your home an option to go for:

  • You cannot handle being a landlord. Being a landlord is quite demanding, emotionally draining, and complicated at times. While some tenants are perfect and cause no problems, there are those which can make you eliminate this option immediately. When you have to manage those who do not pay the rent regularly, or destroy your property, you will more willingly choose to sell your family house that deal with these inconveniences on a regular basis. Considering the fact that you are planning on living in Florida, a remote rental brings its own set of distant issues.
  • High expenses. – Whether you have tenants or not, there is a wide range of expenses inflicted on you. You will have to provide considerable financial means to pay for the landlord insurance, maintenance, repairs and replacements, property taxes, and many more.
  • You are making Florida your permanent home. – If you have no intention of returning to your former family house but you have decided to make a complete change in your life, selling it is a reasonable option. The profit of your sold property will help you considerably with the initial expenses following your move.


If you are making Florida your permanent home, selling is the best option.
 

  • You need a vast amount of money for future investments. – Once you choose Florida for your new home, you might need the money you will invest in a new property like a beach home, for example. It sounds tempting, indeed.

 

Retiring in Florida – where to live?
Choosing Florida as your retirement destination will bring you immense joy and happiness. Florida has a lot to offer, regardless of a person’s age. However, some places are more attractive than others for sure. So, what are the most convenient cities for retirees? Here is our selection:

  • Coral Gables – This city in Florida is the first pick of a great majority of retirees. It offers a safe, slow, and calm lifestyle everybody enjoys immensely. Interestingly, it has the spirit of Miami but is much more peaceful. If you choose this city as your new home destination, you can find affordable moving assistance for your move in Coral Gables quite easily.
  • Fort LauderdaleIf you like art, this is the city for you. It boasts a very lively arts scene and numerous attractions. The pleasant climate is yet another advantage.


Fort Lauderdale is yet another city you can choose when retiring in Florida.
 

  • Pompano BeachIts beach is beautiful, the climate is soothing, and the population is diverse.  The only disadvantage Pompano Beach has includes a slightly higher crime rate. If you still choose it for its qualities, Pompano Beach professionals can help you relocate in no time.
  • Hialeah – This is one of the biggest cities in the Sunshine State. Horse lovers consider it very attractive due to Hialeah Park, where horse races take place. The population is multicultural and very friendly towards newcomers and foreigners.
  • Cape Coral This is a city that offers an opportunity to have a very active lifestyle with a lot of various forms of fun. Golfers like it very much because it has several golf courses at their service. Moreover, nature and parks are beautiful and provide genuine pleasure for nature lovers.

Conclusion 
Retiring in Florida has proven to be an excellent decision according to a vast number of retirees. To make a final choice on whether to sell or rent your family house, you need to analyze a few factors of key importance. Only this way will you avoid making a serious mistake with some serious consequences. Take as much time as you need and then opt for either looking for tenants or exploring tips for selling your home. Hopefully, you will make the right decision.


Home Warranty Plans and How They Work


Electrician fixing electrical system is covered by home warranty plans.

Home warranty plans are one-year contracts that cover home systems and some major appliances against damage that inevitably occurs due to normal wear and tear. They cover repair service or replacement when a home system or appliance is broken down beyond repair.

Home warranty plans

Just like with home insurance, there are different home warranty plans (HWP) depending on the level of protection you think you might need. Conveniently, plans are fully customizable as they are meant to apply to each specific home. These plans are highly beneficial whether you are buying or selling your home. They will reassure the buyer and eliminate potential disputes with the seller after the purchase. Note that it is quite simple to transfer the home warranty plan to the new owner.

What does home warranty cover?

Normally, the most basic plans cover breakdowns of electrical and heating systems, plumbing, and air conditioning. Bear in mind that not even all basic plans are the same. It is advisable to call an HWP issuer and inquire about coverage in detail. Aside from home systems, HWP also covers certain home appliances. Premium plans usually cover appliances that are not normally a part of the basic home warranty plan and thus cost extra.


To have your warranty claim approved, your home system or appliance must be properly installed, maintained, and used.
A plumber making repairs in the kitchen.

A home warranty is a great bonus for those purchasing a new home for the first time. Even though both homebuyers and sellers benefit from the home warranty, buyers should be a bit more careful. Most warranty plans do not cover pre-existing issues. The only way to make certain there won't be additional repair costs upon moving in is to conduct a home inspection with the help of a certified expert.

How do home warranty plans work?

Just like a home insurance claim, a home warranty claim starts with an issue. Filing a claim with the warranty company is a straightforward process. Their contact lines are normally open every day and their customer support is easily accessible. Depending on the issue, the warranty company will select a  service provider they have an agreement with, who will, in turn, appoint a technician to your case. The technician will contact you to schedule a meeting, come to diagnose the problem, and fix it on the spot unless they need to order and wait for a specific part.

Home warranty costs

Depending on the plan, a monthly fee ranges between 45 USD and 55 USD and rises with every added appliance. If the repair is approved by the warranty plan issuer, they will bear its costs. However, you will have to pay the trade service call fee directly to the contractor. Service fee is commonly paid only once, upon the first visit, if technicians need to come to your home several times for the same issue. Service fee varies and can be between 50 USD and 100 USD.


Usually, if the service fee is high the plan price is lower and vice versa.
A wallet covered with measure tape.

Just like you'd normally request a moving quote from evolutionmoving.com before you move out,  you are advised to ask for a quote from the home warranty company. Checking all details of the agreement before you sign the contract is a necessity and shouldn't be taken casually. After all, the warranty contract lists all the details of the warranty plan, including coverage and costs.

Claims might get denied

It may happen that upon assessment, a warranty claim gets denied. This happens in the case of

  • improper installation, use or maintenance
  • violation of the building codes or permits
  • an issue caused by a pre-existing condition.

As mentioned earlier, home warranty plans cover only damage that occurred due to normal wear and tear over time. If the system or the appliance is not installed or maintained properly or has signs of inadequate use, the warranty provider will not bear the costs. Additionally, all components of your home systems must comply with local regulations.

Warranty vs. insurance

Home warranty plans are compatible with home insurance plans. Each provides what the other does not. For example, home insurance covers structural damage to your home, theft, damage due to fire and natural disasters. On the other hand, a home warranty plan covers expensive repairs or replacements of home systems and appliances broken down due to normal use.


Home insurance covers you against theft. A home warranty covers you if your security system malfunctions.
A security camera on a brick wall.

While lenders require home insurance before they issue a mortgage, a home warranty is entirely optional. Even though local relocation in Texas can be fast and cheap, don't disregard the benefits of home warranty plans and savings they can make.

Benefits and downsides of home warranty

The biggest benefit of home warranty plans is that they can cover everything that home insurance doesn't. Peace of mind doesn't have a price. With the seller's warranty plan purchased, the only remaining thing is to start packing for the relocation to your new home.

Pros

Aside from the service fee, the monthly (or annual) plan covers very expensive repairs and replacements. Even with a premium plan that goes around 600 USD annually, homeowners can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on repairs. Moreover, the warranty company becomes a focal point for homeowners and service providers. The process of filing a claim and the search for reliable and licensed technicians is made faster and simplified. There aren't any hidden fees. A free quote is provided in advance and coverage and prices are documented in a contract.

Cons

On the other hand, the home warranty doesn't cover your home entirely as insurance does. For every system or appliance not covered by the basic warranty plan, you would need to pay an additional monthly (or yearly) fee. You don't get to choose who will conduct repairs. However, if you're not satisfied with the quality of the repair, you can file a complaint to the warranty issuer. Lastly, it may happen that the warranty wasn't needed. Thus, purchasing a warranty plan should be a good investment only if your house is older.


Moving tips after buying a new home

Moving to a new place is full of bitter-sweet emotions. It is good as much as it is bad, according to many people who have already done this before. It is good because you are turning a new leaf and start fresh somewhere completely new. But, it is bad because you have to say goodbye to everybody and everything you love. Moreover, the entire process of preparing for the move to a newly-purchased home can sometimes be daunting. Yes, we all know how expensive, and both time and energy-consuming process of relocation can be. But, do not worry, we are here to help you out. Keep on reading if you want to find out the best moving tips after buying a new home.

Have a Family Meeting First

Many people look at this step as a completely redundant and irrelevant one. But, when things start going wrong and people are clueless about what to do next, many realize that this step was actually necessary. There are many new home buyers’ mistakes you can avoid as long as you communicate and prepare on time. So, assuming that you have bought your new home by now, start your moving preparations by having a family meeting.  Call the entire household and start making plans. It is of key importance that everybody is on the same track. It is also a good idea to split chores and responsibilities at the beginning so that there will be no confusion later on. Put everything on paper! Discuss every detail of the move with your household members. Moreover, do not limit yourself to having only one of these meetings, have a lot of them. You will see how much easier your relocation will be.


Having a family meeting is a must!

Hire a Moving Agency

While having your family meeting, you should also discuss whether you want to do everything by yourselves or to hire help. Yes, the first option is cheaper, but it will last longer and it is going to be complicated, especially if you have to move in a hurry or you have to move with small children, for example. So, do yourself a favor and right after buying a new home - find a reliable moving agency. If you start looking for it ahead of time, you will actually be able to get a lot of discounts and save money. Moving experts such as Verified Movers can do everything moving-related - so you can use your time doing something more important. They will bring their own packing materials, pack and unpack the boxes, load and unload the moving truck, do all the heavy lifting, and most importantly - they will make sure that your belongings arrive at your new home safely and on time.

Get Blueprints of Your New Home

Do not start with sorting out and packing your items just yet. First, you need to get blueprints of your new home. There, you will see the rooms’ layout and actually see how much space you are working with. That way, you will know exactly what to pack and what to leave behind. Just think about it, if you pack everything you own and spend a lot of money on it, you will have to get rid of many of those things if your new home is smaller than your current one. This is especially important if your new home is, for example, in Texas and you plan on relocating to Texas from another state. Interstate relocations can be really expensive. So, do your best to be prepared and informed about everything. By having the blueprints, you will know exactly what to pack and what to leave behind, as well as what needs to be remodeled after you move in.


Having blueprints of your new home can help both you and your movers.

Clean and Declutter

Another important thing that you have to do before you move out of your current home is to clean and declutter it. As mentioned previously, moving is expensive and you cannot relocate every little knick-knack you own. It will cost you a fortune. So, after you’ve checked the blueprints of your new home, declutter your current one according to those plans. If you have big pieces of furniture that cannot fit into your new home, get rid of them. The same goes for all other things in your home. Start cleaning and decluttering room by room – consider this one of the best moving tips after buying a new home. For example, get a few boxes and start sorting through your items like this:

  • Keep Box - here you can put items that you plan on taking with you. This can also be a great way to start the process of packing for the big move.
  • Donate Box - here you should place all the items that are in good condition, but you do not want to take them to your new home.
  • Sell Box - this is a great way to earn some money. Sell some items online, or organize a yard sale.
  • Throw Away Box - if you have some items that are broken, damaged, or completely useless, just get rid of them.


Cleaning and decluttering is a very important step in any type of relocation. A woman cleaning, representing moving after buying a new home 

Take Care of All the Paperwork

This is probably the most complicated and, at the same time, the most boring part of moving after buying a new home. But still, it is something that has to be done. So, start by collecting all the necessary paperwork you need for selling your current home and preparing to move to your new home. This process tends to last for a couple of weeks, even months, so do not wait until the last minute as a lot of things can go wrong. Then, when you are ready to move in, start transferring your utilities. Moreover, do not forget to get all your medical records, dental records, your children's school reports, pet's papers, the documents from your previous work and so on. Put all these documents in a folder, and make sure not to lose them.


A small wooden toy house, representing the most common first-time homebuyer mistakes.
Common first-time homebuyer mistakes you can avoid

Let’s face it - purchasing your own home is no easy business. There are quite a lot of factors to consider while you’re making such a decision. And on top of that, many smaller calls to make simultaneously. Once you get into the nitty-gritty of the process, it isn’t difficult to get overwhelmed and make a couple of crucial mistakes. Especially if this is your first home purchase, you’ll need to be extra careful. Don’t worry though, we’re here to help you remain vigilant during all of that. We’ve listed out some of the more common first-time homebuyer mistakes and ways to avoid them. So read on, and enjoy!
 

Bad timing

As we’ve already mentioned above, deciding to buy your own home for the first time is a pretty monumental decision. After all, this is quite a big financial commitment. And it’s not something you want to get into lightly, by any measure. While you may already know the needed steps you have to take on the road to homeownership, not completing them in the right order is one of the most common first-time homebuyer mistakes out there.

A suburban house at dusk.
Take care of your mortgage before browsing houses!

Sure, you want to relocate to your new home as soon as possible. But you don’t want to hire a moving company like Small World Moving TX before first buying your home, for example. Figuring out the right schedule for everything is pretty crucial, so make sure you think things through first. This can be especially important in regards to your financial situation.
 

Not securing a mortgage first

Speaking of common first-time homebuyer mistakes related to your finances, here’s the most crucial one: not thinking of your mortgage on time. In fact, you’d be surprised how many people start browsing homes before even thinking about their mortgage. And trust us, you don’t want to begin looking for houses before you take a meeting with a mortgage lender first. That way, you’ll know just how much money you can spend on a home; you’ll save a lot of time, effort and disappointment by not browsing homes you can’t realistically afford.

Plus, there are practical reasons for this as well. In bigger housing markets, you’ll find that the housing inventory may be tight. Especially when demand is high and the supply of available properties is low. In that situation, you’ll be facing fierce competition from other homebuyers. And in such a situation, you may prove to be willing to stretch your housing budget to obtain the desired property. Or, you may lose a property simply because you haven’t been preapproved for any mortgages. That’s why the browsing of homes comes after the mortgage if you want to follow our advice.

Make sure you get a completely underwritten preapproval before falling in love with a gorgeous home in the neighborhood of your dreams. That kind of preapproval gives sellers the signal that you’re a pretty serious buyer, whose personal finances can muster a loan successfully.
 

Only speaking with one lender

This one is crucial among the common first-time homebuyer mistakes. When you’re looking for a mortgage lender, there’s one important thing: not going with the first lender you meet. Sure, they may actually offer great rates, and it may be worth your while. But before accepting that offer and buying a home, you want to speak to a couple of other mortgage lenders first. See if you can get a better offer, and test the waters before diving in. If you don’t do this, you risk leaving a sizable sum of money on the table, for no good reason.

A calculator and a bill, next to a pen.
Speak to different lenders to get the best rates!

If you manage to find a proper mortgage loan officer, they’ll have a careful look at your situation, and be able to give you a good understanding of your options when it comes to home purchasing. Which is precisely why you want to shop around, and have a talk with at least three different officers before settling on one. Compare the different loan terms they give you, and the rates and fees. Also, make a note of how responsive they are towards their customers; this also counts for a lot.
 

Stay in your financial lane

Once you start browsing homes, one of the most common first-time homebuyer mistakes is not being realistic. As in, falling in love with a home that is realistically out of your reach. That’s why people can overextend themselves when it comes to mortgage payments; causing years of discomfort and financial issues down the line. Obviously, this is something you desperately want to avoid. But how can you make sure that you don’t become too burdened with a mortgage on a particular home?

A luxury house with a pool.
Don’t buy a home you can’t afford!

If you’re asking us, when you apply for your homebuyer’s loan, don’t just take the maximum loan that you are eligible for. Just because you can take a $300,000 mortgage doesn’t mean you actually should. Because you might not be able to afford the monthly payments that come with it. So, focus on what your monthly installments will be instead. And don’t buy more house than you can pay off, without damaging your personal finances!
 

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, you may have already surmised what the most important factor is, when it comes to common first-time homebuyer mistakes. Primarily, you need to think through every step of the way, in advance. When it comes to purchasing real estate, you have to be absolutely certain about every single choice you make.



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