BILL SAVAGE | Orange Park Real Estate, Fleming Island Real Estate, Green Cove Springs Real Estate


Purchasing a home is a life-changing decision. As such, it is important to consider a variety of factors as you decide whether to pursue a residence, and these factors include:

1. Your Finances

Although you may want to buy a house as soon as possible, it is paramount to have your finances in order before you launch a home search. That way, you can avoid the risk of trying to spend beyond your means to purchase a residence.

Oftentimes, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you embark on a home search. These financial institutions can teach you about home financing and explain how mortgages work. Plus, they can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage so you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand.

2. Your Short- and Long-Term Goals

Consider your short- and long-term aspirations before you launch a home search – you will be happy you did. If you analyze your goals, you can see how buying a home helps or hinders your ability to accomplish these aspirations.

For example, if you want to work in a particular city, you may want to pursue homes in or near this city. This will eventually allow you to enjoy convenient access to a job in the city of your choice.

On the other hand, if you want to start a family soon, you may want to consider buying a house that offers immediate access to top schools and parks. You also may want to search for a home that offers a spacious backyard and other family-friendly amenities.

3. Your Family and Friends

If you want to reside close to family and friends, you can map out your house search accordingly. Houses are available in cities and towns nationwide. As a result, you should have no trouble finding a great residence near family and friends any time you decide to launch a home search.

For those who are ready to start a home search, you may want to hire a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can quickly and effortlessly conduct an in-depth house search.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to search for houses in any city or town. First, he or she learns about a buyer's expectations and establishes a personalized homebuying strategy. A real estate agent next helps a buyer search for houses in his or her preferred cities and towns. This housing market professional then sets up home showings and keeps a buyer up to date about open house events. And if a buyer wants to submit an offer to purchase a house, a real estate agent will help him or her do just that.

The homebuying journey sometimes is complicated, but people who consider the aforementioned factors may be better equipped than ever before to determine if now is a good time to purchase a house. And if an individual decides to launch a home search, he or she can work with a real estate agent to achieve the best-possible results.


If you want to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience, it generally is a good idea to establish a property buying plan. That way, you can take a step-by-step approach to make your homeownership dream come true.

As you prepare a homebuying strategy, there are several factors to consider. These factors include:

1. Your Dream Home Definition

There is no one-size-fits-all definition of a dream home. Instead, this definition varies from buyer to buyer. But if you define your ideal residence, you can narrow your house search accordingly.

Think about the features you require from a home. For instance, if you want a house that offers multiple bedrooms, you can search for residences that provide you with the space you need. On the other hand, if you want a home that boasts a deluxe swimming pool, you can search for a residence that offers this feature.

Consider where you want to reside, too. By doing so, you can search for homes in a select group of cities and towns.

2. Your Homebuying Budget

You likely have only a finite amount of money that you can spend on a residence. Thankfully, if you establish a homebuying budget, you can search for houses that fall within your price range.

Oftentimes, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you start a house search. These financial institutions can teach you about a broad array of home financing options.

Don't hesitate to discuss your home financing options with a variety of banks and credit unions, either. If you check out myriad home financing options, you can select a mortgage that complements your finances perfectly.

3. Your Homebuying Timeline

You may want to create a timeline for buying a house. With this timeline in place, you will know precisely how many days, weeks or months you have to find and acquire your dream residence.

If possible, you should maintain a flexible homebuying timeline. There is no telling when problems may arise as you search for your dream house. And if your homebuying timeline is flexible, you can adjust it at any time.

For those who want to streamline the homebuying journey, you may want to employ a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you find a great home at a budget-friendly price. Plus, he or she can offer expert guidance as you craft a property buying strategy.

Also, as you navigate the homebuying journey, a real estate agent will respond to any concerns or questions. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to provide homebuying tips and recommendations that you may struggle to receive elsewhere.

Ready to transform your homebuying vision into a reality? Craft a homebuying strategy today – you will be glad you did. Once you have a homebuying plan at your disposal, you can navigate the property buying journey with poise and confidence.


First-time homebuyers often gravitate to newly-built homes, and for good reason. In a new build, the buyer often gets to choose finishes, fixtures, and flooring. Newer homes have higher energy-efficiency standards and meet up-to-date codes. Most of all, no one else lived there before you. It’s all virgin territory.

Advantages of new builds
Some new builds offer even more customization, letting the buyer participate in design choices, make minor layout changes, and upgrades to appliances, faucets, backsplashes, and lighting.

Another advantage to a newly built home is that no one else has lived in it. This may be especially important to those with pet allergies or other sensitivities. You already know that no dog or cat dander is hiding in the ducts or illness-triggering spice lurks in the range hood.

Often, new homes come with warranties—ranging as high as ten years— providing protection for expensive appliances such as air-conditioning and heating units, water heaters and spa tubs.

Some disadvantages
With all there is to love in a new build, there are a few disadvantages to consider when making your choice.

  • Ongoing construction: if you’re an early buyer in a new development, expect an impact from dust and noise from other homes under construction. Be aware of debris and hazards on new streets from dropped roofing nails to spilled gravel and traffic slowdowns from construction trucks and trailers delivering building supplies and equipment.
  • Fewer neighbors: in a newly developed neighborhood, you might not have neighbors for a while.
  • Limited services: when a whole area is under development, you may need to drive farther to shop, find fuel, or get to basic services like urgent care facilities.
  • Increased assessments: some communities have extra assessments and taxes on developing neighborhoods to repay the city for water and sewer lines, streets and street lights and other city services.
  • Limited landscaping and greenspace: while under development, common-area landscaping, parks, and playgrounds may need to wait for completion of infrastructure, streets, and other necessities. Many new developments have no mature trees or other advanced greenery, so the “feel” is completely different from a mature neighborhood.
  • Schools and libraries may be farther: until the new development needs its own school, the nearest school may be some distance away.
  • Lifestyle limits: restaurants, nightlife, and cultural events may be more difficult to get to.

Before deciding if a new home works for you, talk to your real estate professional about all your options.


Once you’re ready to sell your home, you want to be sure that your home is smelling fresh. There’s a few sneaky odors that can creep into your home for various reasons. The consequences of horrible smells when you’re selling your home are really not good. Read on to prevent funky odors from turning off buyers from your home. 


Food That’s Past Fresh


Whether your garbage disposal is a bit clogged and could use a cleaning or your fridge hasn’t been purged in awhile, these things could be causing a stink. Make sure you stay on top of leftovers and take care of anything that may be in the refrigerator for too long. 


Clean your garbage disposal often. It’s simple to make a “volcano” by throwing some baking soda down there and then pouring vinegar over it, allowing everything in the disposal to bubble up. You can even put a lemon or lemon juice in the disposal in order keep a good smell going.


That Wet Dog Smell


Any kind of animal will leave some sort of odor in your home. Whether you have a dog, a hamster, birds, or cats, you’re going to need to freshen up your space. Keep the litter box changed and add some baking soda for a bit of freshness. Make sure to remove any stains on your carpets or floors as well. If a piece of furniture or a carpet is to blame for the strong odors, you may need to remove that piece from your home completely to get the stench out. 


Your Air Conditioning Smells Bad


Since water can build up inside of your air conditioning unit, sometimes, a bit of maintenance is necessary. AC units must be cleaned regularly in order to keep strange smells away. 


Something Smells Musty


A musty smell usually spells a water leak. Whether it’s in your basement or under your sink, you need to correct leaks in order to get to the root cause of musty smells.


Clean A Carpet With Vodka


You can put some cheap vodka in a spray bottle in order to clean a carpet. This technique can be used for more troublesome areas of the rug. As the alcohol evaporates, so won’t the odors that are filling your home. 


The Air In Your Home Is Stagnant

When the air in your home smells kind of stale, you’ll need to get the air circulation back in the house again. This can be easily remedied just by opening the windows. Even if it’s cold outside, it’s good to get the air circulating in your house again. This simple action effectively changes the air in your home without any fancy chemicals or techniques.


Whether you’re bringing home a new puppy or adopting an adult dog, your new 4-legged friend is sure to be a part of the family. Just as you would when bringing home a new baby, you’ll want to make preparations to your space for both you and your dog’s safety.  You don’t want to overlook anything and then have you or your pet get hurt. As a rule of thumb: Anything that you would protect a baby from you should protect a dog from. These dangers include:


  • Chemicals
  • Prescription medications
  • Small parts that can be ingested
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Hazardous houseplants
  • Chocolate/candy
  • Steep stairways


Keep your furry friend healthy and save yourself from costly vet bills by taking precautions. Simple measures can make a big difference. Safety items that you can use to help protect both you and your pet are:


  • Gates
  • Power strip covers
  • Locks for cabinets
  • Keep pills, candy, and chemicals on high shelves that can’t be reached
  • Cord wranglers


These little devices can prevent your dog from chewing or getting into hazardous things. It’s also a good idea to protect dogs from steep falls on stairways and decks by blocking certain areas off. Since many dogs don’t know what to keep out of their snouts, you want to think like a dog and know that if they can chew it, they will!  


Keep Your Dog Out Of The Trash


Dogs tend to like to see what they can find in the trash. If you get a trashcan that can’t be accessed by dogs, you won’t need to worry. A hidden trashcan in a cabinet or island can help to alleviate this problem. You can also get a can with a lid that can’t be easily popped off.


Keep The Dog’s Access To A Minimum


If your dog is home alone all day while you’re at work you may want to close doors or put up gates in order to restrict the dog to a certain area of the house. This way, the dog will know his place and won’t be able to cause any kind of damage.     

 

Keep Clutter To A Minimum


Clutter is dangerous to both humans and dogs alike. If you know a dog is bound to chew things, put it away! Keeping floors and pathways clean also protects both you and your pet from tripping. Staying organized is also a positive for everyone in the house.  


If you always think with safety in mind when you have a dog, you’ll keep both you and your pet safe in your home the whole year through.   

     




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