Should You Keep Your Couch When You Move To Your New Sarasota Home?

January 23rd, 2015

Should You Keep Your Couch When You Move To Your New Sarasota Home?

Your sofa is a huge investment, both in cost and size. This often leads to the important question: Is it worth it to move your couch to a new Sarasota home?

Here are a few things to consider.

Sofa Size

If you are moving in to a historic Sarasota home, it may be tough for moving furniture. You may not be able to fit your couch through the doorway, stairwell, or landing. Measure the opening and your furniture to make sure they’ll fit.

You should also measure the new room, including the wall or corner where the couch will be placed. If the furniture will sit near a window, make sure the couch isn’t going to block natural sunlight. If any problems occur, you might want to consider purchasing something new.

Old Sofa, New Space

Considering interior design while moving all of your belongings can feel overwhelming, but you need to consider the basics of your new place when it comes to the furniture.

  • Will the new couch look good in your new Sarasota home?
  • Is the shape appropriate?
  • Will the color work with your new color scheme?


Perhaps the most important question to consider is this: If your budget is tight, is your couch nice enough for the room to be designed around it?

Should you reupholster or start over?

If the frame is solid enough, you might consider reupholstering your sofa to meet your new needs.

If you have an antique sofa, it might be a good bet for an upholstering job. Such work can be expensive, but you’ll get an additional 15 years or so from a piece you might use daily.

There may be exceptions if you’re committed to the style of a piece. But overall, you may be better off buying new if you need a change.


If you’re moving, especially a long distance, that couch will cost a pretty penny. But can you afford to buy a new one, after all the expenses associated with moving?

If you don’t want to move your sofa, but don’t have the money for a new one right after you move, consider a used option to tide you over. Check your local Craigslist to search for a used sofa in good condition.

Another option, especially in larger cities with older buildings, is finding a service such as New York’s Couch Doctor, who will take apart a sofa, move it into the building, and reassemble it for a very inexpensive price.

Did Your Make The Right Choice Delaying Purchasing a Sarasota Home?

January 16th, 2015

Did Your Make The Right Choice Delaying Purchasing a Sarasota Home?

There are several people out there who contemplated purchasing a Sarasota home last year, but didn’t. Whatever their reasons were for holding off, let’s look at the pros and cons of waiting.

What happened in 2014?

The 30 year fixed rate on January 2, 2014 was 4.53% as reported by Freddie Mac. Looking at the chart below, your monthly mortgage payment with principal and interest for a $250,000 home would have been $1,271.17.

Even though interest rates have dropped below 4% and ended 2014 at 3.87%, purchasing a Sarasota home now in 2015 has increased by 4.8 percent over the same time according to the Home Price Expectation Survey.

That same exact home appreciated by $12,000 now costs $262,000. The most recent report by Freddie Mac reports the average 30-year fixed rate is currently 3.73%.

Many might say, “Waiting a year was a great decision. I’m saving $60 a month.” And they’d be right! Over the course of a year, they saved almost $800.

But what they haven’t realized is that as the price of the home they purchased went up by $12,000, even if they just put a down payment of 5%, they had to produce an additional $600 at the start of the process. So really, they’ve only saved $129.36 in a year. That number isn’t quite as overwhelming, huh?

Is saving $11 a month really worth delaying purchasing a Sarasota home after you weigh all the benefits that come along with owning a house?

  • Building equity you can borrow against in the future
  • Having a safe, comfortable environment to protect your family
  • Having total control over renovations and upgrades
  • Tax benefits

Bottom Line

Experts are predicting that homes will appreciate by another 4% and interest rates will increase by 1% by the end of 2015. If you are in a position to buy a home right now, contact a local real estate professional and begin the exciting process.

Bradenton Housing Question: What Can You Afford?

December 30th, 2014

Bradenton Housing Question: What Can You Afford?

In 2008, Amy Heckler* and her husband prequalified for a $2 million mortgage. The couple was shocked. They never expected to buy a home that expensive.

So, rather than follow the bank’s lead, the Hecklers sat down and calculated how much they could comfortably pay each month. Instead of shopping for million dollar mansions, the couple looked for a home costing around $500,000 in New Jersey.

“I can’t imagine what our stress level would be or how crazy our lives would be if we had listened to the banks about what we were approved for and bought a $2 million home,” says Heckler, who ultimately purchased a 4-bedroom house for just over $400,000 in Elmwood Park, New Jersey.

A Real Estate Rule of Thumb

When the Bradenton housing bubble burst and lenders started handing out mortgages with their eyes closed, many banks tightened their lending practices. But, five years later, as the Bradenton housing market improved, some banks are once again offering buyers great deals. For buyers who were shunned from the mortgage business for the past five years, the ability to buy is suddenly possible again. But, just because a bank says you can afford a luxurious mansion doesn’t mean it’s a smart financial choice.

“Remember, the bank is in the business of making loans, and they want you to borrow as much as they are comfortable risking on you—and not a penny less,” says Ellen Derrick, a Certified Financial Planner™ with LearnVest Planning Services.

How Much House Should I Buy?

Deciding how much to spend on a Bradenton house isn’t a simple matter. Before you start searching the listings, calculate a realistic budget for yourself.

The general rule of thumb: Mortgage payments should not exceed 28% of your monthly take-home pay, says Derrick. Another way to look at it: The house shouldn’t cost more than two and a half times your annual salary. You should also have enough money set aside to cover six months of expenses.

With interest rates increasing and housing prices skyrocketing in some markets, many buyers are eager to buy now. Buyers are putting down less cash, making it easier in the short term to buy a more expensive home. The average down payment on homes with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 15.78% in January 2014.

“When I hear people say, ‘Yeah, I know I’d have a hard time making the payment, but I just feel like I need to buy something while rates are low,’ I just cringe,” says Derrick. “Just because interest rates are low does not mean you should buy a Bradenton house.”

*Names have been changed to protect the home buyers.

Top 5 Reasons To Buy Parrish Real Estate

December 24th, 2014

Top 5 Reasons To Buy Parrish Real Estate

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants on the reasons Americans feel homeownership is important.

Surprisingly, the top 4 reasons to own Parrish Real Estate cited by respondents were not financial.

1. Owning a home gives you a stable place to raise children and provide them with quality education.

Even those without children at the time of purchasing their home may consider things like school district as a major reason for choosing the location of their home.

2. Owning Parrish Real Estate provides a safe environment.

Owning a home means enjoying comfort and security.

3. It allows you to have more space for your family.

Whether you’re considering having children or an older family member is moving in, having a home that’s large enough is very important.

4. It gives you control over renovations and updates.

Owning Parrish Real Estate allows you the freedom to upgrade appliances, renovate the structure, and even adopt a puppy or kitten as a new family member.

The last reason on the list is the #1 financial reason to buy a home as seen by respondents.

5. Owning a home is a good way to grow your wealth.

If you don’t own a house, you’re still shelling out hundreds or thousands a month for rent. Why not lock in your housing expense now with an investment that will build equity that will help you in the future?

Bottom Line

Whether you are a first time homebuyer or an investor, the holiday season is a great time to consider all the reasons owning a home is a wonderful thing.

Sarasota Homeownership is the Best Way to Build Wealth

December 17th, 2014

Sarasota Homeownership is the Best Way to Build Wealth

In a recent piece created by the New York Times, the article went in to detail on Sarasota Homeownership and Wealth Creation. The housing market has made a significant recovery, not only in sales, but also in the confidence of consumers and experts as an investment.

The article explains:

Sarasota Homeownership long has been central to Americans’ ability to amass wealth; even with the substantial decline in wealth after the housing bust, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, who tend as a group to accumulate little if any wealth.”

Many of what the article said is on track with research that the Federal Reserve has also conducted in their Survey of Consumer Finances.

The study found that the average net worth of a homeowner ($194,500) is 36x greater than that of a renter ($5,400).

One reason for this large difference in net worth is the concept of ‘forced savings’ created by having a mortgage payment. The Times explains more below.

Sarasota Homeownership requires potential buyers to save for a down payment, and forces them to continue to save by paying down a portion of the mortgage principal each month.”

“Even in instances where renters have excess cash, saving a substantial amount is difficult without a near-term goal, like a down payment. It is also difficult to systematically invest each month in stocks, bonds or other assets without being compelled to do so.”

Bottom Line

“As a means to building wealth, there is no practical substitute for homeownership.”

If you are currently renting but highly considering purchasing, meet with a local real estate agent who can explain the benefits of purchasing over renewing your lease.

6 Ways To Increase Your Palmetto Home For Sale’s Living Room

December 13th, 2014

6 Ways To Increase Your Palmetto Home For Sale’s Living Room

We live in an age where every aspect of a person’s home must look spectacular. That includes your television. What are you to do with a giant glossy black screen spread across your living room wall? How do you make such a thing attractive to the eye?

Here are six solutions for integrating modern-day televisions into your Palmetto Home for Sale.


While many like to hang the TV over the fireplace, I don’t think it’s the best placement. Art should hang over a fireplace. A television? Not so much. Plus, in most cases, your television will be hanging much too high. There are exceptions, however, like this ultracontemporary home in Israel in which a freestanding wall accommodates a television and gas fireplace in a very sleek fashion.

Pop Up Pieces

Have you ever thought about a pop up solution? They’re often seen in bedrooms. If you’ve got the cash, you could commission a custom credenza such as the one designed by Australian architect Sam Crawford.

Escape Artist

Rather than employ a painted panel to slide in front of the screen, why not get whimsical? Dublin-based Eoin Lyons Interiors used a digital rendering that disappears behind a wood accent wall with bookshelves, and even incorporates built in seating for when the TV is not in use.

Open Sesame

Traditional custom built-ins still get the job done. Mahoney Architects & Interiors went with simple built-in bookshelves. Bi-fold doors accommodate the large width of the flat-screen television. Nothing is classy when trying to sell your Palmetto home for sale than having built-in items.

Hanging Out

Portico Design Group designed a contemporary family room in Vancouver using white cabinetry and accent panels. Much to my delight, there’s art over the fireplace, with the flat-screen TV hung off to the side. It’s not hidden, but it works.

Gather Around

Finally, for a more casual look, simply affix the TV to the wall, or perch it on a shelf, then create an art collage around it.

Overall, these fixes can make your Palmetto Home for Sale stand out and gather more offers on the table.

Should Your Refinance Your Sarasota Real Estate For A Bigger Mortgage?

December 5th, 2014

Should Your Refinance Your Sarasota Real Estate For A Bigger Mortgage?

An increasing number of homeowners who are refinancing their mortgages want more than a lower interest rate. They want a little extra cash.

In a cash-out refinance, borrowers can withdraw equity from their homes at the same time as they alter the interest rate on the mortgage. The transaction typically gets more popular when home values rise, as confident borrowers look for a way to cover home repairs, reduce debt or pay pressing expenses such as college tuition.

But Sarasota real estate owners should make sure they aren’t leading themselves into a black hole of debt, which could haunt them months or years down the line. They should also consider whether alternative moves might accomplish the same goal for less money.

Lenders completed 243,847 cash-out refinances in the third quarter, up 32% from the prior quarter and up 6% from a year ago, according to exclusive data from Black Knight Financial Services. Cash-out refinances accounted for 31% of all refinancing activity in the third quarter, compared with 18% a year ago. That was the highest share since the fourth quarter of 2008.

The move can be a convenient way to get extra spending money.

Putting the earned money of a cash-out refinance into remodeling your home and upgrading appliances can increase its value and be a huge benefit in the long run, says Stu Feldstein, president at SMR Research.

Banks say some Sarasota real estate owners are also choosing a cash-out refinance to pay off a home-equity line of credit, or Heloc. Payments on Helocs are often interest-only for the first 10 years, before principal payments are also due. The move can make sense if you refinance into a fixed-rate mortgage, because interest rates on Helocs are typically variable, so borrowers could get hit hard if those rates rise.

There are other tempting uses for this money. Using the cash to pay off credit-card debt or other debt can lead to savings, because the interest rate on the new mortgage will probably be lower. This results in extra money to put away.

But be aware of the risks. Borrowers who encounter trouble with timely credit-card payments don’t risk losing an asset, while borrowers who fall behind on home loans risk foreclosure. Take particular caution before using a cash-out refinance for luxury purchases, such as expensive travel.

Borrowers should also check their current interest rate. If they took out their current loan in the past few years, they may already be paying less than 4% on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and could end up with a higher interest rate and larger monthly payments if they refinance now. Also remember closing costs, which are typically 2% of the loan amount on a refinancing, says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at

Another factor to consider: Borrowers who are 10 years into paying down a 30-year mortgage and refinance into another one will once again be making the early payments, which mostly go toward interest charges.

To pay down principal faster, ask lenders to make the new loan for a shorter time span. Many borrowers hesitate to take out a 15-year loan because it often comes with larger monthly payments. But most lenders offer longer options.

Consider taking out a Heloc or a home-equity loan, instead. The interest rates on these loans are usually higher. But because the amount borrowed tends to be smaller, borrowers typically pay less in interest charges than they would on a mortgage. Also, Heloc borrowers only incur interest charges on the amount they draw down.

Refinancing your Sarasota real estate is not something to do over night. You will want to take a closer look at what you are looking to do in the future and if you wish to sell relatively soon. If you have any questions about the real estate values in Sarasota, feel free to contact Team Works Real Estate to have a real estate professional answer all of your questions.

10 Things You Don’t Need To Pack For Your Next Sarasota Home

November 27th, 2014

10 Things You Don’t Need To Pack For Your Next Sarasota Home

Moving to a new Sarasota home is extremely exciting. Whether you’ve signed a lease on a new apartment or closed on your first home, it’s only natural to want to skip straight to the part where you kick back and settle in. Before that can happen, however, you have to get your things safely there. Packing up all of your belongings is stressful, and the task of properly securing everything can be a real hassle. You may not realize you’ve racked up an excessive novelty mug collection until you’re trying to fit them all into a single cardboard box. According to professional organizer Ashley Murphy, cofounder of NEAT Method, a move is your chance to start fresh and get rid of clutter. To help you purge while you pack, we asked Murphy to share the things you can skip while packing up for your next Sarasota home.

1. Expired Items 

Look through everything that can possibly expire — beauty products, medications, and condiments — and throw out anything that doesn’t make the cut.

2. Outdated Garments

The NEAT Method team coined this term to refer to extremely worn and/or stained clothes that, while once in great condition, are past the point of wearability.

3. One-Time Only Clothes

This includes pieces like bridesmaid dresses and old Halloween costumes. If it doesn’t seem likely that you’ll wear something again, it belongs in the donation pile.

4. Repeat Offenders 

Do you have a large collection of black tank tops? Six vases that you never use? You might not realize it until you line them all up, but this is the time to get rid of duplicates.

5. Trivial Keepsakes  

Murphy is often surprised to see how many people won’t part with old greeting cards and wedding invitations. Store only the keepsakes that are very meaningful to you and get rid of the rest.

6. Writing Utensils 

“I’ve come across households that had unknowingly accumulated enough writing implements to supply a school of 300 students,” says Murphy. Stash a few to use later, and throw out the rest.

7. Unused Gadgets 

Think about how many times you’ve used your small appliances and gadgets (the popcorn machine, panini press, or waffle iron). If you don’t use it in your current home, say goodbye. You probably won’t use it in your new home, either.

8. CDs

A digital music library lets you keep all the songs you love but takes up very little physical space. Burn your CDs to your computer, and throw out the hard copies. That way, your entire music collection will be in one place.

9. Magazines and Books 

Donate anything you’ve already read to a local library, nursing home, or family shelter.

10. Borrowed Items

Specify a “returns” bin as you pack, and throw in anything (books, clothes, pots, pans) that should go back to friends and family.

Get rid of all of the clutter and you will see that moving in to your new Sarasota home really isn’t that hard at all!

Spice Up Your Bradenton Home Before Selling It

November 22nd, 2014

Spice Up Your Bradenton Home Before Selling It

If you’re thinking about selling your Bradenton home, you’ve probably thought about spicing up your home to make it more appealing to potential buyers. But beyond the basics of de-cluttering, what can you do to make your home shine without breaking the bank? Below are a few tips from some of our experienced realtors.

Throw Out The Welcome Mat – Seriously.

Many Realtors suggest buying a new welcome mat as a way to make your home feel more fresh. A new coat of paint and inviting flowers by the door also make a great impression. The door should be freshly painted and cleaned. Realtor Sam DeBord of Coldwell Banker advises potential Bradenton homes sellers to pay special attention to the front door. He advises to put a new handle on the front door, a new light over the front door, and new contemporary street numbers near the front door to add appeal without spending a large amount of money. To make your front door really shine, try a new color! Just make sure it matches your home’s paint scheme.

Add Natural Light

Making a home appear spacious and full of natural light is one of the easiest ways to ensure your home is more appealing. Realtor Teri Andrews Murch of Lyon Real Estate recommends giving windows a thorough washing. Pull open drapes for showings, and the home will be brighter. She also suggests changing out light bulbs to incandescent and going for the maximum wattage in the fixture. While you are changing those light bulbs, you might also want to make sure the switch plate covers match the outlets. These small details influence one’s perception of property condition.

Give Your Kitchen Some Love

Kitchens sell homes, says Carrie Abfall of RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals. She advises knob changes or a new faucet to help make an older kitchen look more modern. Abfall also recommends giving your fireplace some special attention.

Don’t Forget The Garage

Potential buyers look everywhere – even the garage. Laurie Davis of Keller Williams Realty has a great suggestion for making your garage look more appealing. First clean it up. Then, go to your local home improvement store and pick up an epoxy floor kit, some wall paint, and sheets of peg board for organizing. A little elbow grease can turn your garage into a cozy space, if you’re trying to sell your Bradenton home.

Signs To Tell That You’ll Love Your Sarasota Neighborhood

November 14th, 2014

Signs To Tell That You’ll Love Your Sarasota Neighborhood

When hunting for a new house, finding a nice Sarasota neighborhood is equally important. When you’re searching in unfamiliar territory, however, it can be hard to figure out if you’ll actually like a neighborhood or not. How will you know if a new area is “the one” or if you’ll be itching to leave soon after moving in?

What do you need to have nearby?

It’s important to brainstorm things that you need close to your home. Do you need to live near a large selection of restaurants? Is it important to you to live near an international grocery store? Think about these things, and pay attention to them when you’re exploring a new Sarasota neighborhood.

Is walking important to you?

For a lot of people, having the convenience to walk to stores and restaurants is extremely important. If walkability index is important to you, check out Walk Score to find a neighborhood that fits your lifestyle.

Do you enjoy a quiet or lively environment?

It’s one thing partying with your friends in a trendy neighborhood on the weekend. It’s an entirely different thing owning a house in that neighborhood. Some things to consider when buying a home are noise level and how crowded the streets tend to be. If you enjoy coming home to a peaceful, quiet environment, you may want to search for a house in a quieter neighborhood.

Do you want to live near your friends?

How busy is your social life? Are you constantly hanging out with friends? If so, you may want to search for a house in a friendly, social neighborhood, or a house that will be easy for your already existing friends to locate.

Does it seem like a place you’d like to live?

Visit your potential  Sarasota neighborhood during different hours of the day to get a feel for the surrounding area. Observe the location, check out crime statistics, research the school district, and chat with a neighbor or two. This way, you can learn a lot about the community before signing on the dotted line.