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Financial Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Home

Posted on January 25, 2023 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (38)

Buying a home may be an exciting and terrifying experience all at once. Finding the right house is not enough; you also need to shop for the best mortgage. Due to rising national housing prices and little availability in many local markets, it may be challenging to find an affordable home while trying to find all themistakes to avoid when buying a home. So we will help you by listing some of the most serious mistakes people commit while buying a home.

You should start an approval process as early as possible

We realize how exciting it is to start looking for a new house immediately, but it could be a big mistake to jump the gun on a mortgage application without getting pre-approved. Prospective home buyers can avoid many issues if they take the time to apply for clearance in advance. Getting pre-approved is the quickest and most straightforward way to know how much house you can afford. Even if you're confident you have a handle on all the costs associated with homeownership, now is not the time to make any mistakes. Maybe getting in touch with an agent could help.

Getting preapproval from a mortgage lender sets a budgetary ceiling for the buyer, ensuring they don't stretch themselves too thin. In addition, sellers are more likely to take a bidder seriously who has obtained the necessary authorizations. While prequalification can give you an idea of how much house you might be able to afford, it doesn't give you the assurance of actually buying the house. Preapproval is another service that lenders offer after verifying some of your financial data.

Make sure to identify your price range

If you want to have a horrible start on your home-buying trip. Make sure to look at listings that are out of your price range. A higher risk of foreclosure is associated with purchasing a home that is too expensive for your current financial situation. When negotiating with your lender, keep in mind that your monthly mortgage payment shouldn't eat up more than 25-30% of your take-home pay. Also, make sure to factor in any necessary extras, such as PMI, when calculating your budget. And if you are working with a realtor. Then this is one of the first things you should ask your realtor. That way you won't waste time on unnecessary expensive houses.

Getting New Credit when you can't afford it is a big mistake

Home buying can be slowed or even derailed if you open new lines of credit at any point. Credit card debt and loan applications have a snowball effect on credit scores, which can delay a purchase indefinitely. Lenders are likely to reevaluate your mortgage approval and default risk if you apply for new credit because of the impact on your debt-to-income ratio. At the same time, you wait for your application to be processed. Other, more eager buyers go ahead of you in line and purchase the goods or services you were hoping to obtain. Our friends at Archstone Behavioral Health note that many people can't stop getting credit while being in dire situations already. Credit can be a good thing, but you should be careful, as with all things. Don't get in over your head.

Lack of enough home insurance coverage is one of the mistakes to avoid when buying a home

Although it is common awareness that a home is a valuable asset that needs protection, underinsurance is still a common problem. A homeowner's insurance policy covers your home, belongings, living expenses, and liability for injuries or damage to those on your property in the event of a disaster. Consult with your insurance agent regularly to be sure you have adequate protection against flood and earthquake risks. You should also inspect the homes thoroughly. Have a home inspection checklist. In case the house passes with flying colors, then maybe that insurance won't need to be used, which is for the best, obviously.

Know what your options are for a down payment

The amount you have for a down payment will dictate the kind of mortgages you can apply for. For a traditional mortgage or a home equity line of credit, the down payment requirement is 20%. (HELOC). You may qualify for a high-ratio mortgage with just a 5% down payment. Like all others with a smaller down payment, this mortgage requires default insurance. This premium can be paid up-front, but more commonly, it is rolled into the principal loan amount. Explore these weblogs to get more information on the options available to you. With a 401(k) or IRA as a down payment, you can buy a home with no money down.

Not saving enough for a down payment

A failure to make a sizable down payment is a common mistake when getting a mortgage. In general, a percentage below 10% is extremely inadequate. Most people don't make a 20% down payment on a house, contrary to common assumptions. It is said that the typical homebuyer needs more than seven years to save up for the 20% down payment required to purchase a home with a median value. The typical down payment for a first-time buyer is 5%, as reported by the National Association of Realtors.

Not Budgeting for Closing Costs

The fees and expenses incurred at closing on a home purchase are known as "closing costs." Fees like these include things like title insurance, appraisal costs, and legal representation. Many people who purchase their first home are shocked to learn that the closing costs might total thousands of dollars. When buying a home, it's crucial to set aside money for closing costs. In order to avoid any surprises at closing, it's important to acquire a good faith estimate of closing costs from your lender. Also, shop around and see what different lenders charge for closing costs.

Make sure not to buy a home without a previous inspection

Buyer takes on more risk when they purchase a home without having it inspected first. Without an inspection, you'll have little leverage to ask the seller to make repairs or accept any compromises. Investing in a home inspection is a safe bet that will save you a lot of money in the long run by warning you of any potential disasters in your dwelling. Still, there's a footnote to this mistake that's worth considering.

When competing with multiple other offers in a seller's market. It's common practice for buyers to forego the inspection contingency in hopes of strengthening their position. Discuss your options with your broker to find the one that works best for you in order to mistakes to avoid when buying a home.

Not Considering the Total Cost of Ownership

Many buyers think about the initial purchase price, not the entire ownership cost. A property's price includes mortgage payments, insurance premiums, and repairs. These expenses can quickly add up to thousands of dollars over a decade, making homeownership unattainable for many.

This is one of the mistakes to avoid when buying a home. So, think about the long-term costs of owning a home as you shop around. Before making a final decision, it's essential to research the tax and insurance costs associated with home ownership in the area. Think about how old the house is, how it looks, and how much it could cost to maintain.


Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts


Hottest Florida Real Estate Markets for 2022

Posted on March 31, 2022 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (176)

While we all feared that COVID-19 would slow down the real estate economy, nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to Florida real estate. In fact, during the past couple of years, some of the most thriving US markets were in Florida. Therefore, it should come as a surprise that this year holds great potential for all those who wish to invest in the Sunshine state. To help those investors out, we will give you our rundown of the top Florida real estate markets for 2022.

Top Florida real estate markets for 2022

Before we start, it is essential to note that these are merely suggestions based on marketing research and prior real-estate trends. As such, we recommend that you use them as a starting point for further market research, not as an end-all. If you have any specific questions about a particular market, know that topagentrebate.com is more than happy to connect you with an experienced agent from your area. That way, you can get valuable info firsthand and learn whether the local market seems like a worthwhile investment.

Cape Coral

Let's start our list with one of Florida's economically strongest and fastest-growing markets. Cape Coral stands as a clear choice for real estate investment - especially if you have a decent budget and are ready for a quick buy. The median sold home price in Cape Coral is around $404.5k. In October 2021, it was $244k. Therefore, it is easy to see how lucrative this area can be for real estate investors. The main reasons for such a substantial increase are the availability of high-paying jobs and notable improvements in living conditions. Nowadays. Cape Coral holds tremendous housing opportunities for both young families and single professionals.


While not as fast-growing as Cape Coral, there is one word that summarizes Jacksonville pretty well. And that word is stability. Namely, among all the Florida markets, Jacksonville stands as the most stable. Comparing the ongoing median home sold value of $280k to that of October 2021, $225k, there isn't that much increase. At least when compared to Cape Coral. But, if you value a safe investment over a promising one, Jacksonville is the place to check out. During the past years, the cost of a home has done nothing but rise. And seeing the steady increase in population, there is every indication that investing in real estate will continue to be lucrative. So, whether you plan on selling or renting, know that Jacksonville is a smart choice.


As it is now, Pensacola doesn't have terrific employment rates. In fact, most estimates put them below the US average. Meanwhile, the median sold home price has risen from $250k in October 2021 to $269k today. So, what's going on? Well, this factor alone should highlight the idea that Pensacola is a terrific place to live - especially for families. The abundance of good schools, healthcare facilities, family-oriented entertainment, and cultural diversity is why people are moving to Pensacola as we speak. Even Best Movers in Florida are surprised at how many people ask them to refer a reliable Pensacola moving company.


Orlando is another easy choice for Florida’s real estate investment in 2022. Both the real estate market and the job opportunities have thrived in the past couple of years, and there is every indication that they will continue to do so. With fast-growing companies like VRIZE and Solarmission, Orlando stands to welcome an increasing number of young professionals. And while there are a couple of Miami neighborhoods that exclusively house young professionals, Orlando has no shortage of young talent. This alone should give you an idea of the rate of development that Orlando is experiencing. The current median home sold price is $330k. In October 2021, it was at $317k. So, while there it is not fast-growing, Orlando is definitely lucrative when it comes to real estate investment.


As one of the more surprising entries on our list of hottest real estate markets in the Sunshine State, Tallahassee stands as a decent real estate market in the modern Florida landscape. If you plan on living there, know that it has excellent job opportunities, schools, and health facilities. If you are looking to simply invest, know that the Tallahassee real estate market has been on a steady rise. The median home sold price was $169k in October 2021. While the ongoing price is $215k. So, compared to other markets that we've listed, this one is not only stable but also fairly inexpensive.

The problem is that, just like many communities across Florida, Tallahassee is a "seller's market" at the moment. Properties are selling in less in a day, and this extends to all price ranges. So, there's a lot of insecurity. And, in all the rush and the push, you must be ready to act quickly and firmly. For that same reason, it's best to look for a reliable team to help you out ahead of time if you plan to move there.

Port Charlotte

To finish off our list, we will give you one of the most popular markets for retirement homes. Namely, Port Charlotte stands as a clear choice for those that see Florida as their retirement state. The increase from $269k from October 2021 to $305k today should give you an idea of how well Port Charlotte is doing when it comes to real estate. And if you plan on renting before you move in at your old age, know that there is hardly a better choice.

Final thoughts

To properly understand Florida real estate markets for 2022, we suggest you also research Florida real estate in general. Some local market trends are simply symptoms of a broader trend that impacts the whole state. At the same time, others are more specific to the local area and stand to change based on factors that only affect it. The more you understand what impacts the real estate market of an area, the better you can predict whether the market will be lucrative. So, do yourself a favor and get an idea of what Florida is like before researching specific markets.


Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts


Best Miami Neighborhoods to Invest In

Posted on March 11, 2022 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (2)

We are all used to Miami welcoming both young professionals and families looking to make their lives better in some way. But, as you can probably tell, Miami can be a great place to invest in. And not even the recent pandemic has slowed down the Miami real estate market. In fact, it only continues to advance. But, if you’re investing, you need to be prepared. As the good old real estate mantra states, location is crucial when you're going for such a big purchase. And, putting your finger on the map of Miami and choosing the neighborhood isn't going to cut it. In order to get your money's worth, you need to be aware of the best Miami neighborhoods to invest in. Luckily, we are here to help.

Our pick of the best Miami neighborhoods to invest in

Before we start our list, it is worth noting that investing in real estate requires ample research. Before making your choice, you need to outline what type of real estate you want to invest in and how you will finance your investment.


With that in mind, we would advise you to take our list as more of a friendly suggestion than an outright recommendation for investment. If you need further help, we will happily connect you to a Miami realtor. That way, you can consult a local expert. Now, let's see what Miami has to offer when it comes to real estate.


If you plan on making your money from rents, Wynwood is an obvious recommendation for real estate investment. Compared to other Miami neighborhoods, Wynwood has comparatively low purchase costs. But, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is currently at around $3200. This, as you can imagine, is nothing to scoff at. Make the right call, and you can return your investment within a couple of years. And seeing that new condos are constantly being built and new people are moving in, there is every indication that this trend will continue. The one thing we would recommend is to understand what home improvements most people expect. That way, you can make the most out of your investment.

Little Haiti

Neighborhoods with a cultural background tend to present a decent real estate investment. Notable cultural events tend to draw in the more educated crowd. And such a crowd doesn't shy away from buying and renting in these neighborhoods, especially during their youth. If this sounds like your cup of tea regarding investment, Little Haiti is the neighborhood to check out. With its Caribbean heritage, it holds a distinct style and vibe when it comes to Miami neighborhoods. This makes it an ideal housing choice for both Caribbean ex-pats and people who enjoy the Caribbean culture.


Not to repeat ourselves, but it truly doesn't take much experience in real estate to learn that it is all about "location, location, location." Therefore, once you consider that Edgewater is near Design District, Wynwood, and Park West, it should become clear why we've featured it on our list. The great thing about it is that it is still in development. Therefore, there are plenty of investment opportunities, although they aren't cheap. If you find the right Realtor, they will advise you on the best next step depending on your needs and wants. But know that whether you consider renting or flipping your property, know that you stand to earn a lofty sum if you opt for Edgewater.

Downtown Miami

Downtown Miami holds excellent potential for investment, regardless of whether you buy an apartment or a house. As for apartments, you can easily make money from renting. More and more young professionals are moving to downtown Miami each day to enjoy the vicinity of the Miami nightlife. And young families are looking to purchase homes in the quieter residential areas. So, once you decide what works for you in terms of investing in real estate, know that Downtown Miami is an excellent place to start your search.

Midtown Miami

When it comes to up-and-coming Miami neighborhoods, Midtown Miami most certainly stands out. With great restaurants and numerous cafes and outlets, Midtown Miami holds terrific investment potential. More and more people realize how great living in Midtown can be, which is why real estate prices are constantly on the rise. Therefore, if you choose to invest in Midtown Miami, we advise that you do so as soon as possible and with your eyes wide open.

Miami Design District

Since it is one of the more luxurious Miami neighborhoods, many people seem to stay away from Design District when it comes to investing. But, for those who can afford it, investing in the Design District can be incredibly profitable. There are plenty of art galleries, modern restaurants, and high-end fashion retailers rushing to situate themselves in the Miami Design District. The district itself is constantly expanding, so we strongly advise you to at least check it out and quickly turn your investment into reliable passive income.

Buena Vista

While on the subject of passive income, Buena Vista can also be a good idea. While it is not as expensive as the Design District, it still holds great investment potential. Since it is located close to Biscayne Bay, Little Haiti, and Downtown Miami, Buena Vista is a terrific place for rentals. According to Pro Movers Miami, more and more young professionals move to Buena Vista simply to make use of its great location. So, if you have some extra funds, investing in a home for a rental can be a solid plan.

Northeast Coconut Grove

Gentrification has done its fair share in Coconut Grove. Before, it was a known gathering place for Florida hippies. Now, it is filled with bars, ristorantes, and luxury hotels. Fortunately for you, this also made Coconut Grove a terrific place for real estate investment in Miami. Especially the Northeast part. The housing is close to local colleges and universities, so it should be pretty evident to whom you can rent your property.


The last on the list of our best Miami neighborhoods to invest in is the most sought-after neighborhood for young professionals. Namely, if you are a 20 something-year-old person that just moved to Miami, then Brickell is the place to be. All the reasons mentioned above (nightlife, location, neighbors) are in effect here. So, if you are looking to invest in order to rent out to young professionals, this place is an obvious choice.


Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts


What Are The Taxes On Selling a House In New York?

Posted on February 23, 2022 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (12)

Before you decide to sell your house in New York, it makes sense to research the accompanying taxes and fees you may need to pay. Most sellers’ principal concern is how they should price the home. That is why most sellers seek the help of a real estate agent that has experience with listing in their market. Yet, apart from finding the best Realtor, you should also consider other expenses you might be subject to, such as your real estate agent's commission, applicable taxes, and fees. To make an informed decision, we are going to give you a run-through of the taxes on selling a house in New York, as well as valuable pointers on how you can make the most out of the sale.


What taxes do I need to pay when selling a house in New York?

Capital gains taxes in New York

This is the first tax you need to watch out for before putting your New York property on sale. Capital gains are the combined profit you stand to earn when your real estate agent closes the purchase. In other words, it is the difference between the asking price or the negotiated selling price and the final purchase price.


Next to capital gains, you should also consider the compensation your real estate agent is entitled to. After you pay the taxes, your real estate agent takes a percentage of the profit you have agreed upon.


Fortunately, you can keep part of the commission by working with Top Agent Rebate that will get you back as much as 15% of the commission after the closing costs are settled.

What influences the capital gains taxes in New York?

A couple of factors and conditions will influence the capital gains tax. For example, the percentage will vary depending on the property's condition. It can also change depending on whether the buyer is a legal US resident. Other influencing factors include deductions due to fees you have to pay for the loan application and closing costs.


If you put aside these factors, the capital gains tax for legal US residents in New York is around 15%. If the house is in the New York City area, you will have to pay an additional 10%. Make sure you report the capital gains tax appropriately. You should find it in your IRS form listed under Schedule D.

Are there any exemptions to the capital gains tax in NY?

In some cases, you are eligible to qualify for an exemption. If the house you put up for sale was your primary residence for two years in the last five years, the capital gains tax cannot be higher than $250,000 for an individual. If you are selling your home as a married couple, then the capital gains tax cannot exceed $500,000.


Accordingly, it makes sense to make your New York property your primary residence for at least two years before the sale. This will allow you to reinvest the capital into other expenses that await you after the sale, such as relocation costs. Many people think that they can save money by relocating themselves, but according to Clean Cut Moving, DIY relocations end up more expensive. There is no compensation if anything happens to your belongings, and no one can precisely calculate the value of the time you would lose.

Tax exemption due to unforeseen circumstances

You also qualify for a tax exemption if you have to sell your home due to unavoidable or unforeseen circumstances. These range from personal reasons such as divorce, death, health problem, job loss, or promotion to situations you have no control over, such as natural disasters, abuse, or terrorism.


Furthermore, if you served in the Army, Navy, or National Guard, you can fulfill the two-year primary residence condition for reducing your capital gains tax responsibilities within a 10-year time period instead of five.

A tax exemption based on the value of your new home

Finally, if you purchase your new home at an equal or higher price within 180 days after selling your New York property, you can ask for an exemption by filing the respective form with the IRS so that your new purchase is registered. Note that your new property must be in one of the continental US states. In any case, you can find out more about valid reasons for receiving a tax exemption in the IRS Publication 523.


If you need help with relocating from NYC, make sure you hire a moving service that can assist you in the process as soon as you sell your house.

Non-US Resident Real Estate Seller Tax

If you are a non-US resident selling a New York property you owned for over a year, you are subject to withholding for tax purposes amounting to 30% of the selling price. New York state withholds 6.85% of the price, while the IRS takes 10%.


Your real estate agent must forward the given amount to the IRS within 20 days after the closing date. One way to dodge paying the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) is to sell the house through your Limited Liability Company (LLC) since this tax applies to individuals only.

Mortgage Tax Advantages in New York

If you purchase a new home in New York, you can use mortgage tax advantages. More specifically, the interest you have to pay will be tax-deductible. In sum, the amount that gets taxed will be lower. However, be sure to consult a tax professional to find out more about the limits, details, and conditions related to this advantage and other taxes on selling a house in New York.


Taxes on Selling a House in New York Made a Bit Simpler


Nothing is simple and easy when it comes to taxes on selling a house in New York. Therefore, it is always advisable to work with reliable professionals who can guide you and ensure you don't make any costly mistakes. While a real estate agent's commission will take a portion of your profit, the help they can provide is invaluable. Plus, you can lower this cost thanks to the rebate you can get.



Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts


Complete guide to selling your inherited house in Florida

Posted on January 31, 2022 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (19)

There is a lot of stress involved in selling your inherited house in Florida. When you inherit a property, you want to make the best decisions for yourself and your family. It all comes down to finding the best way to sell the house.

There are a lot of possible solutions at your disposal. We will look at all of them today to help you make the right decision according to your situation.

Let's talk about the probate process first

Before you can even think of selling the home, the probate process needs to be complete. This is the technical process of passing the ownership onto you from the deceased or another person.

Since many people want to buy a perfect winter home in Florida, you will probably want to rush this in hopes of selling the house fast. However, you need to take this process one step at a time.


A good thing to know is that you don't need to go through the probate process if:


• the name on the deed of the property is of the deceased and their spouse;

• it's in the name of people titled "Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship";

• the ownership of the home was in a trust that passes the rights upon death automatically;


You will need to go through this process if the deed of the property is only in the deceased's name.


To learn what name is on the deed, you can search online for a digital version of the official county records and check it yourself. Keep in mind that some counties do not have digital versions for records older than 20 to 30 years. In this case, you will need to go to the office and ask for it.


Finally, the probate process starts as soon as a last will and testament are sent to the clerk of court. This happens within ten days of the person's death. If there is no will, you will need to file a petition of administration to start the process.

Different ways of selling your inherited house in Florida

Once you become the property owner, you can start the selling process. There are a couple of different approaches you can take:


• you can hire a real estate agent;

• sell the home yourself;

• sell the home to a professional home buyer;


There is also the option of renting the home.


Working with a real estate agent

A real estate agent is the best option for selling your home. They know the market, speak with a lot of buyers daily, and they can help you get the price you want.


However, not all real estate agents are equally good. You can always run into a scammer. Or the real estate agent's commission is too high.


Luckily, there is one fantastic option to consider. Some companies work with licensed real estate agents and can get you a portion of the commission back at the closing of the deal. This is an excellent option if you wish to save some money.


Sell the place yourself

Another option to consider is selling the home yourself. The DIY strategy is not for everyone. There are many legal things to think about, and there is no one to help you out with the paperwork. We spoke with the Best Movers in Florida, a database that communicates with many moving companies in the area. Per their experience, a lot of their clients want to sell on their own but change their minds later when they realize the complexity of the task.


However, if you know a lot about the home selling process, it is a good idea to do it yourself. This way, you don't have to think about paying the real estate agent's fee. But, if you do decide to go with an agent, it is recommendable to look for one that gives you a percentage of the commission back, as we suggested earlier.


Sell your home to a professional home buyer

Just like there are companies that can connect you with the real estate agents that give a rebate on the commission, there are companies that buy properties and resell them later. They are known as professional home buyers.


One of the main reasons to pick this option is that selling a home this way is quick and easy. Furthermore, if you are selling a home with unpermitted work, they will still buy it without any questions! Usually, these types of homes go for a lower price, and it is sometimes hard to find a buyer. If the previous owner did not have permission for any remodel they did, that could become quite a problem.


That's why professional buyer companies are definitely a choice to consider!


What to do if you decide to rent the place?

If you are still unsure about selling your inherited house, you can always rent it for some time. One of the options is to find a family that will live there. The other option is to consider renting your home to agencies like Airbnb or Booking. This is an excellent way to earn money if you don't plan to live there yourself. And, you still get to keep the house, so you can sell it later if you wish.

If you decide to rent the place, it is a good idea to get yourself a storage unit. Find the right solution, because you will need to store some stuff away. You need to tidy up the place, change the furniture, and make it presentable. That's why a storage unit is essential - you can store any items that you don't want to sell or keep in the house.

The conclusion

As you can see, selling your inherited house in Florida can be done in many ways. It is up to you to pick the option that suits you best. Our recommendation is to go with the real estate agents that can get you a rebate on their commission. Best of luck with finding a buyer!

Meta description: Here is a guide on selling your inherited house in Florida. Find out everything you need to know and start the process now!


Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts


Renting vs. buying in Austin

Posted on December 31, 2021 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (2)

One of the most difficult decisions to make is whether to buy a home or rent one. The real estate market in Austin has its ups and downs, and the prices constantly change. That's why we need to discuss renting vs. buying in Austin. Before you decide, you need to understand the market and figure out what is best in the long run.

Understanding the buyer/seller market

When it comes to buying a home, understanding the market makes all the difference. There are a few essential terms to look at:


• buyer's market;

• seller's market;

• comparative market analysis;


A buyer's market favors those who are making a purchase. The equity is lower, and you can find good houses at affordable prices.


A seller's market is the exact opposite. The price of the homes goes up, and you can make more money by selling a house. If you want to buy a home instead of renting one, the first thing to ensure is that you are buying in a buyer's market.


Finally, you also need a comparative market analysis. This step is essential both for buyers and sellers. If you find a house you want to buy, compare its price with other homes on the market in the same area. This will tell you how the cost of the property compares to others. If you find that the price is too high, renting might be a more suitable option.

The benefits of renting

To compare both options, we need to first look at the advantages and disadvantages. One of the biggest advantages of renting is that you have flexibility. You are not tied to a location, and you can always change it. We spoke with a couple of moving companies in the area to better understand whether more people are moving into a rented place or a house they bought. According to the experts at Heavenly Moving and Storage, many people are moving to rented apartments at top locations precisely because they cannot afford to buy.


Furthermore, you know exactly how much your monthly expenses are as a renter. Sure, the rent may go up, but that does not happen every month.


Another benefit is that you don't have to worry about major repairs. The owner handles all fixes around the house, as long as you do not cause them.

Are there any disadvantages to renting?

Potential evictions are one of the worst drawbacks of renting. It sometimes happens that the landlord decides to either find someone else or move back into their place. The rent can go up when you cannot afford it, which can be another reason for eviction.

Furthermore, you cannot choose your neighbors when renting. Whoever is in the building is who you are stuck with. That can be the luck of the draw, so have that in mind.

Finally, instead of paying rent, you could be paying your monthly mortgage for the new home. Many people say that paying rent doesn't get you anything. You spend all that money, and you are left with nothing in the end. It is better to instead purchase a home and pay off the mortgage.

Why you should consider buying a house

A house is a long-term investment. Just because of that, it is definitely worth going for it. We already mentioned how paying rent does not get you anything in the long run. Even though purchasing a home is more expensive, you are taking care of one of the most critical decisions in your life.

Sure, the market sometimes plays against your financial capabilities. However, there are ways to save up some money and get a good deal, even in a seller's market.

One of the ways is to find a real estate agent through a real estate referral company. Not only will you find experts for the area in question, but you can also get a rebate in the amount of 15% of the real estate agent's commission. That's an excellent way to reduce homebuying expenses.

Are there any downsides to buying a house in Austin?

The downsides always exist. However, they depend on how you look at the situation. For example, many experts claim that it is better to rent a home because the interest rates are currently high. While that is true, you never know when the rates will go down. And you cannot predict that the rates will not go up again. Waiting for the perfect conditions is a good idea, but it can waste a lot of time.


Another thing to consider is what kind of home you want to buy. For example, buying a home with unpermitted work may create difficulties in the future. Those houses are cheaper, but for a reason.

Inspect before buying

One way to solve many unknowns and make an informed decision is to do a home inspection before buying. People are often reluctant to purchase a property because they are afraid of making wrong financial decisions. For example, if you spend a lot of money on a home that you need to remodel top to bottom, you might regret making this deal.


Luckily, a home inspection takes care of that. If you are worried about whether you have found the right house or not, a simple assessment will make it clear.

Find qualified movers

Whether you decide to rent or buy a home in Austin, you will need movers. There are multiple benefits of hiring full-service movers, and one of the most important ones is that you don't have to focus on organizing your relocation. The movers will do all the heavy lifting for you.

Renting vs. buying in Austin - what is the verdict?

It is challenging to discuss renting vs. buying in Austin. There are a lot of factors to consider. However, one thing is always true. If you have a stable income, you should buy. There is no reason to miss an opportunity to purchase the home of your dreams. Opportunities are everywhere around you; you just need to find them. Do it with the help of the right people!


Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts


Buying the Perfect Winter Home in South Florida

Posted on December 20, 2021 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (3)

Purchasing a second home is something many people only dream of. However, for those who are lucky enough to call this their reality, many obligations come with the privilege. Buying the perfect winter home in South Florida is a dream come true. Nevertheless, make sure to understand all that it entails so that you can sort everything out in time to enjoy your new getaway spot.

Be honest with yourself about what you're looking for

One of the biggest mistakes people unconsciously make while buying the perfect winter home in South Florida is not being honest with themselves. You need to thoroughly and in detail think about every little aspect and sort out your expectations. Ideally, you'll do this before hiring an agent to guide your purchase. Being direct and honest will, simply put, raise your chances of getting it.

What's your budget?

Of course, the most important factor that'll decide how you'll buy the perfect winter home in South Florida is your budget. Make sure to do your research and inform yourself of everything you'll need to fulfill to qualify for a second home purchase in SF. Currently, the market in South Florida is pretty tight and strict. Future homeowners need to not only be pre-qualified but also pre-approved. What's more, the chances are that you'll need to compete for a home you're interested in, so it's best to set up your boundaries straight away.

Being thoroughly familiar with your budget and what you should expect given the particular market will set you up for success. The second step you should take is discussing this with your RE agent and your lender. Typically, getting approved for a second home is preconditioned by having a 10% to 20% down payment. This is because banks find the purchase of a second home generally riskier.

Best locations for a winter home in South Florida

Although you won't make a mistake no matter where you find a winter home in SH, you should try to look for the perfect spot before you begin your search for properties. Here are some great options that people love both during the winter days and over the summer.


● Miami

● Fort Lauderdale

● Sarasota

● Naples

Get connected with the best RE agent

During this project, the best decision you'll make is hiring a real estate agent. It's also a decision that could make or break the whole thing, so you need to choose carefully. Seeing how there are many potential candidates in SH, you should try to vet them. The best way to be sure that you've found a reliable company is to get some help for your search.

How we can help

If you wish to get started and find a home quickly, you'll need to have a good team by your side. This will not only save you time, but it'll save you money as well. We are one of the leading companies that specialize in RE referrals. What this means is that, once you've given us all your information, we'll find the best possible agent for you and connect you with them. However, that's not all. Our affiliation has made it possible for you to get a 15% rebate which will save you quite a bit. You can then put this money back into your home and spruce it up or spend it in whichever way you deem fit.

Buying the perfect winter home in South Florida long distance

If you decide to purchase a home in SF long distance, some potential difficulties could arise. However, stating this alongside your information will give us some time to find you a RE agent experienced with long-distance work. From there on out, they'll guide you through the necessary steps.

Additional things agents can help with

Of course, the agents that we find will do much more than just find you a home. We connect people with top real estate agents so that their home purchases can go smoothly and without any fuss.


● Estimating the costs

Whether you're wondering about taxes on second homes or another financial aspect of a home purchase, your RE agent has seen it all.

● Get you a better deal

Depending on your priorities and goals regarding your home purchase, your RE agents will strive to get you the best deal there is.

● Sort out all the paperwork

The tedious paperwork is the last thing anyone wants to deal with while buying the perfect winter home in South Florida. You won't have to do anything but sign if you have a trustworthy agent by your side.

Pack your things and move

Whether you're relocating to South Florida for the winter or longer, you'll need to move your belongings. Luckily, hiring professional packers to help you pack your possessions in no time and transport them shouldn't be a problem.

Hire a home inspector

Of course, once we've connected you with the perfect RE agents, they'll find your future winter home quickly and efficiently. Nevertheless, you should always have your home thoroughly inspected before making any final decisions. What's more, ask your agents to help you find a trustworthy home inspector since they surely have great connections.

Hire the right movers

Florida offers great moving companies that you can consider for this job. According to Nationwide Moving Services, hiring an adequately licensed moving broker will save you a lot of stress during your relocation. If you hire movers who understand your needs and know how to fulfill them, you won't have a worry on your mind.

Rent out your home over the summer

If you're buying the perfect winter home in South Florida merely to use it over winter, why not profit from it during the summer? There's no place more versatile than Florida when it comes to seasons. If this is something you're considering, you'll have no problem renting it for a fair price.


Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts


Guide for first-time homebuyers in North Carolina

Posted on November 23, 2021 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (2)

Buying your first home is, at the same time, an exciting and very stressful event. North Carolina offers plenty of opportunities for the first home purchase. Since you probably have many questions and concerns, we have prepared a handy guide for first-time homebuyers in North Carolina. Check it out!

What down payment programs can you use?

Most first-time homebuyers usually go with the usual 20% down payment. You have been saving money for quite some time, and now is the right moment to use it. However, there are other options worth considering. What if you don't have to spend 20%?

Conventional 97 loan allows you to put a 3% down payment if you have a credit score of at least 620. You can also stop paying mortgage insurance after a couple of years.

You can also apply for an FHA loan. In this case, your down payment is 3.5%, which is a bit higher. However, the credit score is lowered to only 580. Another difference is that you are bound to pay for mortgage insurance unless you switch to a different loan, move your home, or pay off the loan.

USDA loan requires zero down payment and a credit score of 640. This loan is for homes in rural areas, designed for low to moderate-income buyers. Mortgage insurance rates are low.

Another loan that does not require a down payment is a VA loan. However, it is only for veterans. The required credit score is 620, and there is no mortgage insurance after the deal is closed. If you are eligible, this is the best option.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency also offers a program for first-time homebuyers. They encourage the hiring of housing counselors that will guide you through the entire process. This costs a bit more, but you don't have to worry about the process because you get a full education on home buying.

Look for a quality real estate agency

Real estate agents work on commission, but they are very useful when it comes to buying your first home. One of the benefits of working with a real estate agent is that you get access to exclusive listings of homes that have yet to reach the market. You can be the first one to look at them and decide whether to buy or not.


Furthermore, a real estate agent will finish all the paperwork and help you close the deal quickly. Another huge benefit is that you can actually get a part of the commission back at the closing, and here is how!

Some real estate agents offer 15% of the commission back

Looking for an excellent real estate agent can be a challenging and lengthy process. Furthermore, since you are a first-time homebuyer, you won't even know how to recognize a good real estate agent when you see one. Luckily, there are companies that connect buyers and sellers with real estate agents. On top of that, through them, you get 15% of the commission back at the closing of the deal. This is a fantastic opportunity that you should not miss. Buying a first home is very expensive, and any amount of money you can save will help you in the future.

Apply for North Carolina first-time homebuyer grants

Another way of financing the first home purchase is through various grants. These advantage loans will help you get a bonus from $5000-$8000, depending on the grant you apply for.


Each of the grants also comes with some requirements. You can get the grants only if you are eligible.

Median down payments across North Carolina

Depending on what NC city you choose, the down payment changes accordingly. For example:


• Raleigh first-time homebuyers will pay a 3% down payment of around $10,500 and a 20% down payment of approximately $70,900;

• If you are buying your first home in Charlotte, the 3% is $10,800, and the 20% is $71,900;

• Greensboro is a much cheaper option with a 3% down payment of only $6,800 and 20% at around $45,600;


Do thorough research before you pick the city where you want to buy your new home. Although the location is vital, you also need to consider your budget.

Do a home inspection before buying

Do not make the mistake of buying a home without doing a home inspection first. This is an essential step because it protects your investment. A lot of homes are in dire need of a remodel. Unless you are ready to pay a lot more money to renovate the house top to bottom, it is best to inspect. This can lower the price, which will work to your advantage.


This is where your real estate agent might help. They have a lot of connections and can find an appraisal person as well. It is worth paying a little extra if it gets you a better deal for your first home.

Start preparing for your relocation

Even though you are still not done with the home purchase process, it is a good idea to start preparing for the relocation on time. If you have never moved before, you will need a lot of guidance on packing and organizing everything. Supreme Movers offer an abundance of free guides and tutorials on packing, best moving practices, and valuable tips and tricks. Educate yourself about the relocation before you actually start doing anything.

That's how first-time homebuyers in North Carolina should look for a house

Hopefully, you will find this guide useful. It is aimed at first-time homebuyers in North Carolina, and it should help you better understand your options. Once you find a real estate agent, ask them any questions you have. They will provide all the answers and get you closer to your dream house in record time!


Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts


Selling or Buying a Home with Unpermitted Work

Posted on October 20, 2021 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (2)

Practicing real estate ventures is something that many know nothing about. Either purchasing or selling a home can take quite a bit of your energy and patience. However, since many have gone through it before you, you'll be able to learn from their mistakes and avoid making your own. Selling or buying a home with unpermitted work is not a very common occurrence. Nevertheless, sometimes it's necessary and unavoidable. It can take a toll on your home insurance and your right to demand repairs if need be. If you're selling a home, having unpermitted work can make it hard. Let's see some particularities about such a process and how you should go about it.

Selling or buying a home with unpermitted work - what does it mean?

Unpermitted work is any work done on a home without the approval that the city must give. This can entail that the city does not know about the work done or finds it improper and will not stand by it. If you wish to add to something in your home, you must seek permission to do so. Those who don't end up conducting unpermitted work to see the venture through. They do this either out of lack of information and knowledge or because they know they won't get the permission to carry on with what they have in mind, so they disregard the city's opinion.

This is precisely why you should get a home inspection before purchasing a home. You never know whether someone has documented all the work they've done to their property or not. Additionally, the process could get tangled and messy, whether you're selling or buying a home with unpermitted work.

Should you purchase a home with unpermitted work?

Of course, at a single glance, purchasing a home with unpermitted work is a terrible idea that you should avoid at all costs. Since the quality of such work varies greatly, you never know what you'll find. It can even be dangerous for you and your family to reside there. Especially if you run into unpermitted work that concerns the home's foundation or its faulty wiring, the threat could be grand and even life-threatening.

Aside from these dangers, you could also end up with quite a lot of debt if you have to invest in repairs once you've bought the home. Financing these issues and paying for all that goes alongside it can take out a considerable chunk of your budget.

Local governments could also meddle in your case if you've purchased a home that has unpermitted work. They have the right to demand that you remove it, which is also a lot of work.

Hire a top real estate agent to help you

Although buying or selling a home with unpermitted work isn't highly recommended, no one has the right to stop you. If you do this, it's best to have top-notch real estate agents on your side. Make sure to look for an excellent real estate company with your eyes wide open.

How we can help

We are the leading real estate referral company throughout the United States. Our primary mission is to help buyers, sellers, and real estate agents find their best match. Simply put, we provide buyers and sellers with top real estate agents that are the best in their field. They're all checked-out, reliable, and experienced. However, there's an important detail that sets us apart from other referral companies. We've found a legal loophole that makes it possible for you to get a chunk of the referral fee back instead of it all going to Park Place. Of course, our real estate agents are compensated fairly as well. This makes what we do a win, win, win situation.

Hire a moving company

Aside from hiring reliable real estate agents that we'll be happy to provide, you'll also need a reliable moving company to help you with that part of the equation. As consultants at Cross Country Moving Group advise, professional movers will do wonders for your schedule as they are experienced and well-versed in all sorts of relocations. This means that you'll be able to relax and focus on other essential things.

How hard is it to sell a home with unpermitted work?

Although the negotiation process can be tough enough on its own, things are even further complicated if you're selling a home with permitted work. If you're an owner of such a home at the moment, there are some things you could do. Firstly, you need to ask yourself how much you can set aside for the necessary project that's ahead.

● Get the needed permits in a retroactive manner

● Sell your home in its current condition

Safety first

Seeing how you're selling or buying a home with unpermitted work, you'll need to amp up your other safety measures. Other than keeping yourself and your family safe, you'll also need to protect your belongings. The best way to do this is to find storage that you can utilize for a certain amount of time. Ensure that you're looking for storage through reliable sources and that you're not falling for a scam. Luckily, you should have no trouble finding a quality facility in Florida that you can utilize.

Lying shouldn't be an option

Whatever you end up doing, know that selling or buying a home with unpermitted work should never prevent you from being upfront and honest. Especially if you're selling a home in this condition, you should clearly state your intentions and be upfront about any possible damage and the overall quality of the work that's been done. Of course, the best course of action would be to take the legal, moral, and honorable path and fix any unpermitted work that your property has undergone over the years.


Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts


How real estate rebate bans harm consumers

Posted on September 27, 2021 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (16)

A real estate rebate is a percentage of the agent's commission that the agent returns to the client. Some companies have a set amount no matter how much the property costs, while others calculate the rebate based on every deal. It is essential to know that not all countries allow real estate rebates. In fact, they are illegal in some states. Today we want to talk about how real estate rebate bans harm consumers and how that affects the entire real estate market.

How does real estate commission work?

To better understand why rebate bans harm consumers, let's start from the beginning and see how real estate agents are compensated. The job of a real estate agent is to help both buyers and sellers to complete the deal as quickly as possible. They are here to make things easy, help prepare the paperwork, and lead both sides through the process. They make money by charging a commission. Most real estate agents take a percentage of the total price, and some charge a flat rate.

What is the role of a real estate rebate?

The main reason why real estate agents started offering rebates is to gain new clients. It is not easy to stand out in the real estate market, especially when the competition is fierce.


The rebate is a percentage of the commission they charge to the client, and they usually give it back when the deal is closing. You can look at a rebate as a form of credit for closing the deal. As such, you can only spend it on paying closing fees:

• transfer or escrow fees;

• to buy mortgage points;

• pay appraisal fees;

• loan origination fees.

It becomes obvious how valuable a rebate is. It helps the consumer to pay for expenses and save some money.

With that in mind, if you are selling or buying a property, it is best to find real estate agents that will give you a rebate at closing.

Which states do not allow rebates?

If we look at how the rebate is used, it makes no sense to make it illegal. However, not all states allow it. States that prohibit the use of rebates are:

• Alaska;

• Kansas;

• Oregon;

• Mississippi;

• Alabama;

• Louisiana;

• Oklahoma;

• Iowa;

• Missouri;

• Tennessee;

For example, if you plan to relocate to Louisiana, you are probably looking for affordable ways to handle tasks related to this move. If a rebate was possible, you could use it to cover closing expenses and save money for the relocation. However, because rebates are banned in Louisiana, you cannot use this option.

Why is rebate banned?

Simply speaking, a rebate ban is just another way to inflate the costs of real estate services. Consumers now have to pay thousands of dollars more to close the deal.

Another consequence is that there is no more competition on price between real estate agents; they are all forced to charge the same amount. At the same time, consumers are forced to pay the same inflated fees.

How to find real estate agents that offer rebates?

States that do allow rebates have a more flexible real estate market. Because real estate agents offer additional refunds, there is no monopoly over the price. It is in their best interest to provide the best terms to their clients.

An excellent way to find a real estate agent that offers rebates as high as 15% is through a company that connects buyers and sellers with real estate agents. They will do all the research and connect you with the best people in the area while ensuring that you get your rebate at closing.

If we consider how many real estate agencies there are, this is an excellent option. It frees the time you would otherwise have to spend researching and comparing agencies to find the one that meets your requirements. This way, you can relax, and the right person will come to you!

Real estate rebate bans harm consumers and affect the housing market

With the ban on real estate rebates, the housing market will quickly start to change. The prices can only go up because there is no competition between the agencies. They will have to look for other ways to attract new clients.

Another danger is that the percentage of bought and sold properties for these states might go down. People will look for better opportunities where they can get their rebates and save money. The moving industry has been very busy for the past two years, and there are no indications that it will slow down. People will move in search of a better opportunity, and that includes better buying terms.

As for people that already own properties in the states where rebates are banned, there is a chance that they might have to sell for a lower price. If the buyers go elsewhere, the market will have to adapt and find a new way to get them back. Lowering the costs is the first thing that comes to mind.

It is obvious that real estate rebate bans harm consumers, both sellers and buyers. In the end, even the real estate agencies might face the fact that the number of clients is dropping down. They can either lower their commission, which is not productive or move to a market that allows rebates. That can spell doom for any market hit by this ban.


Written by: Lisa Roberts with US Moving Experts