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The Practical Side To Finding Your Dream Home

row of colourful houses

We all have the idea of finding a dream home. When you’re young, you’ll often think about your future and when you do, you will visualize a home. And what you actually visualize will often be very personal.

What you consider to be your dream home will be so different from what your friends or family may see as their dream home.

So, you have this image in your mind, and it’s really exciting. You know exactly what you want, and you know what style of home you want to live in as your end goal. But, then you have to make sure that you are actually able to find it. And so sometimes, it’s just not about having this dreaming your mind, but it’s about breaking that down and then being able to find the home in real life.

And this is usually the point that freaks people out!

If you start to think about looking for your dream home, and you start to realize how enormous this really is. And it can put you off from starting. But you have to realize that looking for homes for sale and starting the search for what you really want, doesn’t have to be huge.

Instead, it can just be something that you break down into practical, more manageable steps and start to work on. And you really do have to get practical if you’re going to make this happen. So here’s how to do it.


So first of all, you’re going to want to go back to the idea of visualizing again. This is always where you should start, so that you can start to get a real sense for what it is that you want. If you start this process before you go back to the vision board, then you will find that you may not get things right.

But this time, you really need to make sure that you get serious and even start to note down what you’re picturing.

Start Compiling Ideas

Now, even when you’re not visualizing what it is that you’ve always wanted, you’re then going to want to start pulling some ideas together in real life.

So grab yourself a notebook or get a vision board and then start working on real-life practical ideas. And this is not just noting down the key features of your visions, but actually going beyond that so you’re getting a fuller picture. Because sometimes, you only visualize set things. So when it comes to getting serious, you have to fill in the blanks.

Start To Look

So then, when you’ve been able to get some initial ideas down, it’s helpful to start looking and seeing what’s available. So start your property search without any expectations. Just start to see what options are available to you right now.

Consider A Fixer Upper

When you are looking at places that could become your dream home, make sure that you’re using an open mind. Because you may not always want to go with somewhere that is entirely finished and ready for you to move into.

Instead, you may find that you need to get yourself a fixer-upper and some contractors and then turn a place with potential into your dream home.

Or Building Yourself

So as a step on from that, you could also look to build you own place.

Sometimes, you just won’t find that you’re able to find what you’re looking for on the market. And this then means that actually building your own home is going to be how you get that dream place into real life. So maybe to actually make this happen on a practical level, you have to create it from the ground up.

Think About Different Areas

So next, one thing that you should keep in mind, is that you should look into different areas when you’re trying to find the right home – whether it’s fully finished, a fixer-upper, or even a plot of land.

So just push your boundaries a little bit. Try to look in different areas to see what kind of places are available to you.

Be Flexible

As a step on from that, it’s also going to help you out if you can just be flexible with what you’re looking for. Now, this doesn’t mean compromising everything that you want, but just being a bit more open-minded about what’s available.

Sometimes, you may find that consider other ideas or different features that could end up making your dream home even better than you thought it could be.

Be Okay With Renovations

So, one thing that you actually have to be okay with during this journey, is renovation work.

This may not be at fixer-upper level or even building from scratch, but if you do find a place that is all finished that you want to customize a little, you will find that it can really help you to get it right and bring your dream home alive.

Plan Out The Financials

And as you’re being practical, you really need to make sure that you’re planning out the financials as much as possible. Think about how much you can afford to put towards this – or on the flipside, what it will actually cost and that you then need to save for. This is the only way you can bring it to life.

Get The Design Right

And finally, you’re then going to want to make sure that you’re thinking about all of the design details. Because for a lot of people, when you’re thinking about your dream home, you see a lot of the design details.

So when you’re thinking about renovations or anything like that, just make sure that you know what kind of decor you want. For that reason, and because this is your dream or ‘forever home’, you may find that it’s a great idea to work with an interior designer. And then, you should find that it’s super easy to bring your dream home to life.


Top Tips On How To Secure Your Next Home Fast


The property market can be tough when you’re a buyer, especially when there’s a competitive market and perhaps very little available. Here are some top tips on how to secure your next home fast.

Get To Know Your Agents

Agents will likely be dealing with plenty of buyers on a daily basis, so it’s important to build a relationship with the agents you work with to find your property.

Having an agent on your side can often work in your favor when it comes to bidding for the property. They’ll be more inclined to give you insight knowledge on what the sellers are after, and they will hopefully also be able to give you a heads up on how popular the property is that you’re viewing, i.e if anyone else has viewed it and is planning on putting in an offer.

So approach every agent with a smile! Agents will also be more inclined to tell you about how the current market is doing, although Aubrey Ferrao is an example of how property can sell fast!

Have Your Solicitor Ready

It’s always useful to make sure you have organized your solicitors and if you already have one, make sure they’re aware that you are looking to buy a property and let them know when you are putting in an offer. It enables them to be aware of the work for them that might be coming in fairly soon. The quicker your solicitors can jump on it the better as it helps speed up the process, which is good for all parties involved.

Secure Your Mortgage

You’ll likely have experience of securing a mortgage already, but you should make sure that your lender is aware that you are looking to move home and that all is ok to transfer the current mortgage over from your old place to a new one. This means that you avoid any nasty shocks from happening as you’ve covered all the bases prior to searching for a new home. Set up a meeting with your lender as soon as you are thinking of buying another property.

Meet The Owners

Just like the relationship you build with an agent, you should also get an opportunity to meet with the current owners of the house you’d like to buy. This might not happen the first time around, as usual, the owners will leave the property to let you walk around freely.

However, it might be worth setting up a second visit but have the owners present so that you can ask them a few questions and express your love for the property. Playing on their emotions is a great way of helping you stick in their minds if they end up getting more than one bid on the property.

Buying a property is a very exciting experience, but it can have many ups and downs. It can certainly feel a bit like an emotional rollercoaster. However, what is meant to be will be, so don’t feel too downhearted if an offer falls through or a house you liked is no longer on the market.

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7 Things to Remember When Choosing a Home For Your 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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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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