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13 Good Reasons to Relocate to Florida

Florida

Florida is the third largest state by population, despite being the 22nd by geographical size. This is because so many people have made the decision to relocate to Florida over time.

But why Florida?

Well, as one of the southern-most states, it enjoys great weather. But that’s just the start of the list. Here are 12 reasons you should consider buying a property and moving to Florida yourself.

1. The Climate

Let’s kick off with a little about the climate of Florida.

It’s only just a little north of the Caribbean sea. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that weather tends to be on the warm side.

It also shares a latitude with very dry Northern African countries like Algeria. Lay back on a sunbed and soak up some rays.

But being on the coast, there’s enough cooling humidity to make it a comfortable temperature much of the year. And there’s always the AC when it gets a little too warm!

Just make sure you take good care of the garden in the height of summer.

2. So Much Wildlife

The first animal people tend to think of (besides Mickey Mouse) when talking about Florida is the alligators.

However, Florida is also home to armadillos, white-tailed and Key deer, fox squirrels and so much more. And in the water, you’ll find dolphins, turtles, rays, and otters.

In fact, ecologists say Florida as a state falls into the category of ‘endemism’, which means it has many unique species living there. The state Wildlife Commission has a list of all the animals you should seek out in this great part of the country.

3. Disney World

That famous mouse is back. We don’t suggest making it a regular trip if you live in the state, as it can be quite an exhausting, if exhilarating, day out.

But as a special treat, there’s a choice of four large parks owned by Disney, which all operate in the Orlando area. Those four are:

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Epcot
  • Hollywood Studios
  • Animal Kingdom

These are the largest, but there are actually many Disney-themed parks in the same area. These include water parks and resorts.

4. Other Theme Parks

While Disney World is definitely the most famous of all Florida’s theme parks, the fantastic weather makes it the perfect place for this type of business to set up shop.

Be sure to take the time to visit Universal Studios, and its sister park Universal’s Island of Adventures.

There’s also Busch Gardens in the Tampa Bay area, SeaWorld, Legoland Florida – and too many other parks scattered around the state to name here.

5. The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Pristine waters, exotic mangrove swamps, and one of the warmest welcomes in the State await you.

Hit up a rum tour and enjoy the local restaurant scene. Hire a boat for the day and enjoy a fishing trip. And for a cultured day out, be sure to swing by Ernest Hemingway’s old house.

This is now a museum, where visitors can explore where the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning writer worked. It’s now home to around 50 polydactyl cats – each has six toes on their feet. They normally have five at the front, four at the back.

These cute (but lazy) cats are all descendants of Hemingway’s own polydactyl cat, Snow White.

6. Key Lime Pie

The Florida Keys have a gift for anyone living in the state, regardless of whether or not you take a visit.

Key lime pie, fresh as you like, made with the bittersweet juice of the beautiful limes named for the Keys.

It’s a simple recipe, but once you’ve had it this fresh, imitations will never taste the same.

7. Golf as Far as the Eye Can See

Keen golfer? You’ll be pleased to hear that there are over 1,250 golf courses in Florida. That’s more than any other state.

It’s also been said to have the ‘most golfiness‘ of any state, by experts citing the “terrific facilities and superb weather nearly year-round.”

So you’ll never be short of a place to play a round or two.

8. Low Taxes

There’s no state income tax in Florida, and a low sales tax too.

Overall it has the second-lowest state taxes per head.

While this might change in the future, right now this makes Florida an excellent place to live, work, and buy property.

Of course, you can’t escape federal taxes. But the low state taxes make a great difference to the amount of cash you have in your pocket after payday.

9. Low Cost of Living

The low sales tax is one of the reasons behind the generally low cost of living in Florida.

Yes, this will vary depending on whether you’ve chosen to live in a Miami apartment or a St Pete’s suburb, but by and large, it’s a cheap place to live. And the wages are relatively good in most parts of the state too.

The average annual income in Tampa, for example, is around $80,121. While monthly rent is just $1,344 and annual necessities cost $23,035.

In the shops, and the restaurants, expect to find affordable food – and travel costs aren’t too bad either.

10. The Seafood

The seafood in Florida is unbelievable.

It’s of such high quality, fresh from somewhere along the 8,436 miles of coastline bordering the state. The best thing about Florida in this respect is that on one side is the cold Atlantic, the other, the warmer Gulf of Mexico.

This means that there’s an astonishing variety of seafood available year-round. If you’re looking to try something new, this list sets out most of the things you’ll want to try after you move to Florida.

Otherwise, just listen to the recommendations made by your server or the chef. They’ll be only too pleased to share their love of Florida seafood with you!

Seafood lovers should head to the Royal Palm Beach Seafood Festival. Here, you’ll enjoy langoustines, shrimp, lobster, crab, fish, and many more surprises.

11. Water Sports

A haven for water sports, Florida is home to boaters, jet-skiers, windsurfers and loads of other water sports fanatics, taking to the shores of the Sunshine State to cool down.

It’s the perfect place to learn how to do any of these things. Buying a boat is often the first major purchase people make once they’ve settled into their new homes after they relocate to Florida.

The financial crisis caused boat numbers to briefly dwindle, but there are now nearly 1,000,000 boats in the state again.

Once you’ve got one of these, the next step is to grab yourself a pair of water skis, a wakeboard – or for the less ‘extreme’ boaters amongst us, a towable donut. Or just a fishing rod and gear for lazy days at sea.

Here’s a thought – perhaps you should even consider buying a home right on the waterfront, with its own jetty or dock?

12. NASA Lives Here

You don’t have to visit the ISS to wonder at the universe beyond our planet.

Head to Cape Canaveral instead. This is home to the Kennedy Space Center, a NASA visitor center for the curious.

But better than this, it’s home to a major NASA launch site, on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – right near the Kennedy Space Center

If there’s ever a rocket going up when you have time to make the trip, even better. Just book a room ahead of time – the town gets packed quickly! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many, and no one who sees this sight forgets it quickly.

13. Sports Fan?

Sports fans will find lots to enjoy in Florida, such as the Daytona 500 which is held annually at the Daytona International Speedway.

There’s also NBA and NFL teams who’ve made their home here, like the Miami Dolphins and Orlando Magic.

There are also great facilities throughout the state for fans who want to take part in the sport themselves at an amateur level.

Looking to Relocate to Florida?

Thinking about making the move to Florida? This company will help you to find a property that suits your needs. They’ll also walk you through everything you need to know about moving to the state.

We hope your move to Florida goes smoothly. Even if it gets a little stressful on the move day, just remember – you’ll be sipping on that ice cold Florida OJ before too long.

More About Florida Property

Looking for more advice on property before you relocate to Florida? We can help you.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying your first home or you’re moving for the hundredth time.

Check out the rest of our blog for great advice on financing, buying, and maintaining your home.

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7 Things to Remember When Choosing a Home For Your Family

family

Finding a good home is not as easy as some make it out to be. There are so many factors that you have to take into consideration and so many things that can go wrong. That is why it is so important to take the time to consider everything and not make any rash decisions.

Here are 7 things to remember when choosing a home for your family:

1.  Your budget

Purchasing a family home is one of the most important investments you will ever make. That is why it is so important that you carefully consider whether it fits into your budget. Once you identify a house, know how much you need to pay upfront and how much the monthly mortgage payments will be.

2.  Location

Once you choose a house, you cannot change its location. That is why you need to ensure that the location you choose has all the amenities your family requires. If you are searching in the Georgia area, you might want to check and see which Savannah neighborhood is right for you. Check out all the local schools, health centers, play areas and parks. Also, make sure that the area is safe enough to raise a family in.

3.  Choose the right mortgage lender

Many people are not aware that they can save a lot of money in mortgage rates just by choosing the right lender. Visit several lenders and see who has the best offer. If you don’t understand the costs and fees involved in calculating your mortgage, find someone to guide you through the process.

4.  Inspect the home before making a decision

One thing about inspecting a home is that you are highly likely to find one or two issues that need fixing. While some may not ultimately influence your decision to buy or not, some may just be too major to ignore. The last thing you want is to purchase a home only to find problems that prove impossible to fix.

5.  Ask many questions

Your realtor is there to answer all your questions. Asking questions and getting answers equips you to make the right decision. If you have the right real estate agent, there are so many important things you can learn about what to look for when acquiring a home.

6.  Availability of maintenance services

You need to know who to call when your toilet gets backed up or the roof starts to leak. Having a few maintenance companies that can come in on short notice will make life very easy for you and your family. You may also want to know what the maintenance charges are.

7.  Get organized

Having all your affairs in order ahead of time makes it very easy to make your move once you identify a home you like. If you are not sure what you need, ask your real estate agent, mortgage provider and solicitor to provide you with a list of what they need.

While all these factors are important, your instinct also plays a big part when buying a home. Since there are so many people out there trying to make money off you, it is important that you carefully consider everything you are told and if possible, seek a second opinion.

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Didn’t Think of That: 5 Important First Time Home Buyer Questions You Can’t Forget to Ask

home

Approximately 33 percent of home-buyers in the U.S. were first-time buyers in 2018.

Buying a home for the first time can be a scary prospect because there are so many questions to ask about this process.

Read on the find out the essential first time home buyer questions that you need to ask before you buy.

First Time Home Buyer Questions You Need to Ask

Buying a home will probably be one of the most financially costly decisions you make, but it’s also a great investment.

If you are a first-time buyer and you’re nervous about purchasing a home, make sure you do your research and ask the relevant questions.

1. Are You Ready to Buy?

Up first on home buyer questions is: are you ready to buy?

Purchasing a house can be expensive – you don’t just have to think about the price of the house and the mortgage rates. You also need to consider the cost of maintenance, closing fees, furniture, and so on.

Work out your financial situation. Do you have enough money coming in? Have you got enough money for a down payment?

2. What Kind of Mortgage Can You Afford?

Next on the list of questions for first-time home buyers is: what kind of mortgage can you afford?

Working out how much money you have for a down payment is essential for understanding how much you can afford.

Lenders expect between five percent and 20 percent of the loan. It depends on the loan type and different lenders, so do some research to find a loan and down payment that suits you.

3. Do You Have an Emergency Fund?

Still focusing on the financial side of buying a house, you need to ask yourself if you have an emergency fund and/or savings.

If you have been renting up until now, your landlord would pay for maintenance and repairs. When you own your own home, you are responsible for any repairs, so make sure you have some savings.

There are a number of questions to ask a realtor when buying your first home, which might help you from having any nasty fees. For example, you may want to know what’s included in the price.

There are also many checks you can do, such as getting a homebuyer survey done on the property and having a plumbing inspection before you buy a home.

4. Questions to Ask Your Realtor When Buying

When you’re looking around a house, make sure you ask your realtor any questions about the property.

Essential questions to ask include: why the previous owners are leaving, how long the house has been on the market, what is included in the price, will the owners accept a lower offer, etc.

5. What Type of Insurance Do You Need?

Finally, make sure you research the different types of insurance you need. Home insurance covers your possessions if they are stolen or damaged.

You can also get insurance to cover any external or internal damage that might happen to your house, such as a fallen tree or floods. Make sure you do some research to find the best deals and coverage.

For more information on buying a home for the first time, click here.

Research, Research, Research

Follow our guide on the first time home buyer questions to ask. And remember, the more research you do, the more prepared you’ll be for buying your first house.

Check out the latest housing news articles for more tips and information!

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Who Is The Real Estate Agent Working For?

dealing with real estate agents

Dealing with a listing agent, either as a vendor selling a property, or as a prospective buyer, keen to purchase, can be challenging and stressful.

So how do you find out who the real estate agent is working for, and how can you protect your interests in the property?

In this article, we will look at your options as a vendor selling your home and also what you can do as a prospective purchaser.

What you may not know is not all real estate agents are honest some go rogue, and work outside the rules at their client’s expense.

Over the years, agents have been reported to authorities, for all sorts of dodgy activity. The most common include: encouraging vendors to sell their property for less than market value and persuading motivated buyers to pay more for a property than it’s worth.

Vendor Relationship

When you’re the vendor who has engaged the Agent, most likely you believe you’ve chosen well and your agent is working for you not a prospective purchaser so it would be a shock to learn otherwise.

In most situations this is the way it works, however not always and too often the agent’s own personal agenda gets in the way of doing the right thing and playing the rules.

Property market conditions can and do change the motivations of all parties involved in property sales.

Therefore as the Vendor you need to make sure you have gone the extra mile in your agent selection process. Where the market is in the property cycle does impact on the well-being of the agents and their actions accordingly.

Boom

In a buoyant property market, sales prices are rising, and there are lots of listings, therefore even the less successful agents can make a living during this phase. This usually means they’re not desperate for the sales commission, so arguably you can probably escape a bad deal being done during the boom.

Slump

In a slump there are generally less property listings as property owners hold until the market turns and they can get a better price. Agents that are less successful can go weeks if not months with a sale and it’s during the tough times that desperation can make some people take extraordinary risks. Vendors need to know markets can change quickly, so it’s your job to choose your agent and their agency wisely.

Research

Do your research on the agent and their agency every time you sell a property. Ask better questions when you’re interviewing them. Seek to learn what they are good at, how they plan to market and sell your property. What you’re looking for is non standard sales speak. They should also have come prepared so they can show you their success with selling properties similar to yours.

Market Knowledge

Most important is sounding out their knowledge of the market’s phase in the property cycle and their specific local knowledge of listings and sales. Here are a few questions:

  • How well do they know their area and what’s happening in it?
  • When did they last sell a property similar to yours?
  • How long did it take?
  • What could be done to shorten the time your property is on the market?

Strategy and Plan

Finally as a vendor, make sure the agent’s goals for your house sale align with your own. An agreement needs to be reached between you and the agent on the condition of your property, and the expected sales price. Agents may suggest some cosmetic work, to modernise or refresh the property. Painting walls, home staging and maybe landscaping to create a welcoming entrance.

Condition of the property

At the same time the agent should be able to give you a guesstimate on how much you need to spend and how much more profit is likely to achieve due to the investment. Of course you’re not going to hold them to it and you’d get quotes from the service providers doing the work, but this extra input does separate the good from the average or extraordinary from the ordinary.

Marketing

Understand how your home will be marketed, both offline and online. Review the marketing copy and photos, and make sure it’s what you expect from it. Remember the plan is to get your home sold, in good time for the right price.

Prospective Purchaser Relationship

From a purchaser’s prospective it’s best to assume the listing Agent is working for the vendor not you. Their commission comes from the property sale and it is the vendor that has chosen the agent over his or her peers. This doesn’t mean you’ll have no influence, remember the property cycle does change how an Agent may interact with purchasers. Quieter times call for a different approach therefore know where the market is in the property cycle.

Market Conditions

What happening in the area you are looking to buy a property? Not all cities or regions are in the same phase of the property cycle.

Property sales prices can be going upwards in one city (boom phase) and dropping in another area (slump phase). So it’s important to know what’s happening where you’re looking to buy as well as have a broader view of the national and global environment. Consider everything that may change the stability of the house price so you can purchase well.

Property Sales Analysis

‘Knowledge is power’ and you can use it before you deal with listing agents.

Do your research before you find the home you want to buy.

The more you understand the local area and recent sales activity as well as what’s on the market for sale; the easier it is, to make sure you pay the right price irrespective of whom you deal with as part of the sales process.

Buying a home is a big ticket item so it’s not the time to be seen as a novice. Yes, it may be your first home purchase but you can be confident when you know what’s happening.

Finally, always seek professional legal advice and it’s always a good idea to communicate with your accountant too before you sign an agreement to buy a property.

Summary

Being a vendor or a buyer is no guarantee you’ll be on the right side of a property deal.

The more you know about the property market, and your own circumstances, the more confidence you will have in making the right decision. The aim is to avoid asking the question: Did my agent just rip me off?

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Top Reasons to Move to Texas

street

Texas is a great state to live in for many reasons. If you are in the process of deciding which state you’d like to live in and are weighing all your options let this article help. One of the main things you will learn is the cost of living in Texas is still relatively inexpensive compared to other parts of the USA.

Ross Quade owner of Austin based New Listing Alert explains, “Texas has some wonderful opportunities for people looking to relocate. A good real estate professional can help match the best neighborhoods with your budget.”

Job Market

The economy in Texas is sizzling. Texas is still producing lots of jobs, and the unemployment rate is currently at 3.7% which is near the lowest ever. Construction and the financial sectors are reliable indicators of the overall job marketed in Texas. The Midland area of Texas has one of the lower unemployment rates in all of Texas so if you are looking to relocate that is one area you should consider.

The Food

Is there better food on the planet than in Texas? Whether it is Tex-Mex or BBQ, the great state of Texas delivers. Places like Franklin Barbecue in Austin and Lockhart Chisholm Trail BBQ in Lockhart are Texas traditions. People wait in long lines just for a chance to eat and these places.

Throughout the state, there are plenty of good spots to eat at. In Texas, you don’t need a list because every city and town has one to two go-to locations. Some of these are what you’d call a hole in a wall.

State Income Tax

There are seven states within the United States that have no personal income tax. This is a huge advantage especially for those that make a considerable amount of money. Compare that to states like California where the average state income tax is 6% with the top end of 12%. As you can see moving to Texas from California would nearly pay for your mortgage alone.

Inexpensive Land

Over the past seven years, the price of land in Texas has been going up. The good news is Texas has plenty of land and on the overall scale of things, the price for the land is still relatively low. On average the total cost of the land for a house is around 20%. This varies from city to city but as you can see the land is still very affordable.

Lots of Activities

No matter where you live in Texas there are so many activities you can do and most all within a day trip. Some of the more popular destinations are the Riverwalk in San Antonio, the Space Center in Houston, the Texas State Capital in Austin, and the world-famous Forth Worth Zoo.

If sports are more your thing, there are major sports franchises located near all the large cities. Football is by far the number one watched sport in Texas. Many support their hometown high schools whether they have kids playing or not. The NFL has two major teams with The Cowboys and the Texans.

If you are more of a basketball fan, you have three NBA teams in the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, and the Dallas Mavericks.

In addition to sports teams, you can find plenty of hiking, camping, fishing, and other outdoor activities in Texas.

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How To Buy A Property In Slovenia

Slovenia

Is visiting Slovenia on your bucket list?

This Balkan country is known for its beautiful mountains, with ski resorts, lakes, and ancient architecture. It’s no longer the best kept secret of Europe and many visitors go a step further, and buy a home for their own use exclusively or to use for their holidays and when not in use, rent out on platforms like AirBnB.

While many countries are tightening the rules around home ownership by offshore residents, in Slovenia, it’s not such an ordeal. They’re still welcoming the offshore investment and hence it’s a popular country for homeowners and also tourist now there’s a lot more accommodation available.

Buying A Property In Slovenia Made Easier

In 2004, Slovenia joined the EU, and it meant EU citizens had equal rights to home ownership as its countrymen. In addition to its members there are three other countries that get the privilege.

Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway are not in the EU but they’re part of the European Economic Agreement or EFTA and this membership allows its citizens the same equal opportunities as their EU neighbours, including freedom of travel, improved residence and employment terms.

With more movement of people, Solvena’s property has been in hot demand, and not just from EU residents but also from citizens of other countries, many as far away as Australia and New Zealand.

Displaced citizens and their descendants, mainly due to the world wars have been keenly researching their ancestral lines to find a way to secure the many benefits of a EU passport. EU member, Lativa was very successful with hundreds of exiles and their descendants secured dual citizenship, which has in turn opened up the treasure trove of the EU, including the purchase of real estate.

Foreigners can also get their pocket of land in Slovenia when they can prove there’s a reciprocal beneficial interest e.g. prove a Slovenian citizen can buy property in country X, then the citizens of country X can also buy property in Slovenia as well.

And if that doesn’t work the next way in is to have a business in Slovenia or be married to a Slovenian national.

As the saying goes: Where there’s a will there’s a way. 🙂 It pays to understand the process and make sure you’ve got all the paperwork required. Property transactions and the legalities vary in all countries. Get legal advice and contact your team of locally based advisors so you know where you stand before signing a real estate sale and purchase agreement.

The Attraction of Slovenia

Slovenia is considered a safe country. In fact it’s one of the safest in Europe. It has a strong growing economy and stable modern democracy. These are the conditions that appeal to entrepreneurs keen to grow startups. With more business, there will be more demand for workers and no shortage of interest. Accommodation is key to house a growing population, so investment in property and business is a must. Solvenia is definitely ‘open for business’.

The natural landscape and architecture is similar to its neighbour, Austria. The country also borders, Hungry, Croatia and Italy.

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Move Where? 4 Key Factors to Help You Figure Out How to Decide Where to Live

choosing the right mortgage broker

Moving regularly ranks as one of the most stressful life events a person can experience.

No matter how excited you might be to start over in a new place, chances are you’re also experiencing a lot of anxiety surrounding your move. For example, you might be wondering how you’re supposed to choose the right place to live.

Finding the right location is essential if you’re going to be happy in your new home. Not sure if you’re making the right decision?

Here are some factors you should consider when you’re trying to figure out how to decide where to live.

How to Decide Where to Live

Whether you want to move to a new city or across the country, there are lots of things to take into account when choosing the location of your new home.

Here are some of the most important things to consider:

1. Tax Burden

There’s a lot of variety in tax rates (and not just property tax rates) depending on which stay you choose to call home.

For example, some states, like Alaska and Oregon, do not charge sales tax. Other states, including Texas, Wyoming, and Washington, do not collect individual income taxes.

If you want to reduce the amount of money you pay each year in taxes, you might want to consider moving to one of these states.

2. Job Opportunities

Of course, you also need to make sure you’ll have opportunities to work in your new city or state.

Before you make a decision, spend some time researching the job markets in the area you’re considering. Take into account differences in salary in different locations, too.

3. Crime Rates

Nobody wants to live in an unsafe area.

Research the crime rates in the state, city, and neighborhood you’re considering before deciding whether or not it’s a good fit for you.

There are lots of online resources that let you look up the number of crimes that have occurred in a particular area, as well as the type of crimes that took place.

4. Cost of Living

Last, but certainly not least, you’ll need to take the cost of living in a particular area into account.

Will your current salary allow you to live comfortably? What kind of house or apartment will you be able to afford? How much do things like gas, groceries, and electricity cost in this new area?

Consider all these factors before you decide whether or not you can afford to live in a specific city.

Find Your Dream Location Today

As you can see, there’s not exactly a simple answer when you’re trying to figure out how to decide where to live. But, if you keep these essential factors in mind, you’ll likely find the process to be a lot easier.

Do you need more help planning your big move? Are you unsure of what to look for in a home or how to get the best price on a house?

Whatever information you need, we’ve got it covered in the buy section of our blog. Whether you want to buy a condo or a multi-family home, check out this section for all kinds of helpful advice.

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