From the down payment to closing costs to property maintenance, we've rounded up all the costs involved with buying a home.
“Can I afford a home?” may seem like an overwhelming question, but really, there are just two major types of expenses you have to consider: upfront and ongoing costs. Here’s a breakdown of each, so you can figure out how much you’ll need — and if you’re ready to get going.
What to consider when asking, “Can I afford a home?”Upfront costs
This’ll vary, too. If you have a green thumb, a ladder, and spare time, you might only need to budget for materials. Or you may want to leave it all to the pros. For each home you consider, you’ll want to eyeball the property and get an estimate for maintenance services or for the tools you’d need for a DIY home project.
Staging a house helps buyers imagine themselves living in it.
If you want to sell your home faster, staging a house may help. Staging a house gets your place showroom-ready and allows buyers to imagine themselves living there. Home buyers are used to seeing picture-perfect houses—in person, on home decorating shows, and in online listings, so learning how to stage a house can make a big difference when selling.
What does staging a house mean? Staging a house is the process of strategically arranging furnishings and decor to make a house look its best while selling. This may involve paring down and refreshing your own belongings, or moving all of your own stuff out and renting furniture and decor.
Here’s how to stage a house.
8. Add little extras.
Once you’ve learned how to stage a house and yours looks perfect, add some finishing touches inside. People love to see fresh flowers in vases, a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter, and folded towels in the bathroom. If you’re living in your home while selling, you can keep your nice extras in a closet so they’re ready to go quickly when your real estate agent calls to say a buyer is on the way.
Thinking of moving to Florida? You’re not alone. Every year, the Sunshine State attracts thousands of newcomers to its sandy shores – and it’s not hard to see why. From the lack of state income tax to the sunny weather, there are plenty of reasons to love calling Florida home. Its diverse population, delectable food and many theme parks and attractions also make it a particularly interesting place to live. Here are 10 reasons why you should consider moving to Florida today.
10 reasons why moving to Florida is a great idea
1. The majority of the year is sunny and warm
Why are so many people moving to Florida? For the weather, of course! With more than 200 sunshine-filled days a year, Florida offers newcomers exceptionally warm and sunny weather. Despite the hot and humid summers, Florida seasons tend to be mostly mild and warm. Those living in the southern portion of the Sunshine State will likely never need more than a sweater during the winter. With so many warm and sunny days a year, residents can spend less time indoors and more time outdoors exploring all that Florida has to offer.
2. There’s no state income tax
Looking to save more money on a monthly basis? Consider moving to Florida. While the majority of U.S. states require residents to pay state income taxes, the State of Florida does not. Fortunately for Florida residents, this lack of income tax allows them to save more of their hard-earned money for fun activities, vacations and belongings.
3. The beaches are fantastic
Life really is a beach in Florida. Residents have access to some of the world’s best and most beautiful beaches right outside their doors. Well-known and award-winning beaches in Florida include Sarasota’s Siesta Public Beach, which was named the number one beach in the U.S. by TripAdvisor, Clearwater Beach, Pensacola Beach, Delray Beach, St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, Panama City Public Beach, Grayton Beach and St. George Island – just to name a few.
4. There’s plenty of cultural diversity
There’s no other state quite like Florida when it comes to cultural diversity. Throughout the state, you’ll find people of every age, religion and background imaginable, making it one of the greatest melting pots in the country. In addition to those who are born and raised in Florida, many residents include snow birds and transplants from different states who have moved for the weather, job opportunities and tax benefits. Given its coastal location, Florida also attracts a large Latino population. The state’s diversity is without a doubt one of the reasons why Florida is such an interesting place to live.
5. Locals receive discounts to a number of attractions
There’s a major benefit to living where others vacation. From Walt Disney World in Orlando to The Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, hundreds of Florida attractions and hotels offer resident-only discounts and bargains throughout the year. The majority of deals are available during the late spring, summer and early fall months when tourism slows down.
6. There’s so much to do outdoors (and indoors!)
There’s no shortage of things to do in Florida. Thanks to the 200-plus days of sunshine a year, residents are able to spend much of their time outdoors partaking in everything from water sports to cultural experiences. Popular water activities in Florida include swimming, boating, scuba diving, paddle boarding and fishing. Residents also have easy access to a number of attractions such as Disney World and Universal Studios. Miami’s many art deco inspired hotels and restaurants, along with the city’s annual Art Basil event, offers plenty to do as well.
7. Living in Florida won’t break the bank
Looking to get more bang for your buck in terms of housing and day-to-day services? Move to Florida. While the cost of living in Florida’s major cities, such as Miami, can be on the higher end, the majority of areas throughout the Sunshine State are very affordable compared to many other U.S. states. According to AreaVibes, the overall cost of living in Florida is one point lower than the national average. Goods and services, healthcare, and housing in Florida all fall below the national average.
8. The sports culture is intense
From professional sports to college sports, Florida offers some of the best sports teams in the country to cheer on. While most states have one or two professional football teams (or none!), Florida has three. Florida also offers two professional baseball teams, two professional basketball teams and two professional hockey teams. Popular teams in the state include the Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccanneers, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins and more. College’s such as the University of Florida and Florida State University also offer their own teams for students and alum to rally around.
9. The food and drink are delectable
From its famous stone crabs to its locally-made craft brews, Florida is home to a plethora of delectable dining options. With its many climate zones and thriving farms, it’s a mecca for fresh produce such as its world famous oranges, sugarcane, tomatoes, watermelon, avocados, strawberries and more. The state’s heavy Cuban influence also makes it a popular place for empanadas, Cuban coffee, sweet plantains and other Cuban delicacies. Florida restaurants serve plenty of Island-inspired and Caribbean-style foods such as Key Lime Pie and coconut shrimp as well. No matter where you are in Florida, you’ll be able to find fresh and tasty fare nearby.
10. You can vacation where you live
If you live in Florida, you’ll never have to travel for vacation again. The state’s many beaches, theme parks and attractions mean there are hundreds of vacation (read: staycation) options for you – all within a few hours drive. From the secluded sandy beaches along the Gulf Coast to the family-friendly theme parks of Disney World, there’s no shortage of fun and exciting places to visit in your own state.
When it comes to selling a home, the dream scenario is to complete the transaction as quickly as possible while still getting the full asking price. Of course, home sales don’t always work out this way. Occasionally, a house languishes on the market, prompting price reductions that erode profit margins. Such scenarios can be frustrating, to say the least. With that said, there are steps to take to maximize the odds of selling your home quickly — and getting the desired dollar amount. Here are some tips:
Thinking about moving but wondering what your current home is worht? Click the link to find out your home's value, its free!