Jacksonville Real Estate Blog

Three Common Landlord Legal Mistakes

Three Common Landlord Legal Mistakes

Being a landlord isn’t easy. As much as society props up the idea of jumping into real estate as a means of building wealth and passive income, it’s a venture that can quickly become a massive headache if you’re not using a property management company. As if maintaining a property isn’t enough to stress about, … Continued

When a tree falls during a storm….

tree

As we all clean up after Hurricane Matthew the most common question we are getting from tenants and owners is regarding fallen trees. We thought we would clear up a common and often confused question regarding “whose is responsible for the tree?”

The short answer is whosoever yard the tree is in, is responsible. In most cases.

Some people may have a “debris removal” endorsement in your insurance policy and you should contact your insurance company right away. They will instruct you on who will be cleaning up the mess or reimbursement for the damage. The second major exception would be negligence but for our purposes we are discussing post hurricane clean up and most likely negligence would not be involved.

If property damage is involved, whoever suffers the damage should call their insurance company for direction and coverage. Again, whoever suffers the damage should call, NOT whose tree it was.

To be a good neighbor though, its usually in everyone’s best interest to do their part and talk to your neighbors and work the problem together.Remember before you do any tree removal make sure the scene is safe and free of power lines and its usually best to hire a professional tree service.

7 Tips to Understanding and Buying Renter’s Insurance

7 Tips to Understanding and Buying Renter’s Insurance

If you’re like most renters, you’ve probably been ignoring something that you’ve needed for far too long now. That something is renter’s insurance. Since you’re reading this blog post you obviously understand that renter’s insurance is something you need. It’s probably occurred to you that in the face of a tragic event like a fire … Continued

4 ways to get ready to buy your home

4 ways to get ready to buy your home

1. Find out how much home you can afford. Before you do anything else, find out how much home you can afford. To do this, look online for a quality mortgage calculator (Zillow has one that works well). Mortgage calculators show you how much home you can afford based on your income, an average interest rate, and the length of the loan.

You also need to calculate your debt-to-income ratio, which shows the amount of your income that goes toward paying your debts. The higher your ratio, the less likely you will qualify for a home loan. Find out if you can get a mortgage before you begin searching for your dream home. If your debt-to-income ratio is more than 36 percent, you should think about getting out of debt, or at least reducing your debt immediately.

Your credit score also plays a role in your loan eligibility. If you have a higher credit score, you will be eligible for better loan rates. If you have a low credit score, on the other hand, you should first learn how to improve your credit score before you get pre-approved for a loan.

2. Get pre-approved. Take the time to get pre-approved before you begin looking at homes. In fact, many real estate agents won’t work with you until you have received pre-approval for a mortgage. Regardless, you should look to get pre-approved Are You Ready, written on an yellow sticky note on a cork bulletin boardanyway. You might find the perfect home, and then find out the bank denied your loan application. This heartbreaking scenario wastes your time and your agent’s time, too.

Going through the mortgage-approval process can be a frustrating experience, so be prepared. In addition to all of the paperwork, you have to answer a lot of very pointed questions about your income, net worth, and credit worthiness. If you have a 20 percent down payment, a high credit score, and a steady job, then you have a better chance of being pre-approved for a loan.

3. Find a real estate agent. Once you’ve improved your credit score and you know how much home you can afford, you need to find a great real estate agent. Your agent acts as your representative, provides you with information about market prices, and helps you find a home. Finding a real estate agent you can trust can take time. Talk to friends, family, and co-workers for potential referrals, and use your intuition. If you feel uncomfortable with a real estate agent, keep looking.

Take stock of your financial situation, again.By the time you get ready to buy a home, you may be sick of thinking about money. After following each of these steps, look at your available income one more time, and review your short- and long-term financial goals. Ask yourself: Do I really want to invest $100,000 or more into a home? Do I want to stay in this neighborhood, or state, for the next several years? Or do I want to put that money towards some other dream?

4 Ways to Save Money on Utilities During the Summer

4 Ways to Save Money on Utilities During the Summer

1. Replace air filters regularly. If you have a forced air system in your home, you need to keep up with changing filters. Most filters say they last for three months. I find that if you can hear a whistle coming from the filter before the three-month mark, it’s time to change it. Why? Because … Continued

#IPSInvest: Rethinking Real Estate Investing

#IPSInvest: Rethinking Real Estate Investing

Part 1 The Deal “Wintrop House” Our motto at Innovative Property Solutions is “Rethink Real Estate” One of the areas we want to focus on is Real Estate investing. Investing in real estate is often thought of as expensive, complicated, and time consuming but we have streamlined the process. Using technology, personalized strategies and a … Continued

10 Best-Kept Secrets for Selling Your Home

10 Best-Kept Secrets for Selling Your Home

10 Tricks of the trade to help you get top dollar when selling your home Selling Secret #10: Pricing it right Find out what your home is worth, then shave 15 to 20 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids — even in the worst markets — and they’ll bid … Continued