by Erin Salem
on Monday, October 29th, 2018 at 12:01pm.
What's the first thing buyers look for when they're searching for a new home? Home prices.
It's the most obvious answer because most of us have a budget we must keep our monthly expenses under. While buyers are typically accurate with what they can afford, they miss the mark when it comes to understanding how much a home actually costs. They leave out figures like taxes, which are often applied to their monthly payments. They leave out home owners' insurance and home owners' association fees, also billed monthly. And they don't take into consideration the ongoing maintenance costs that come with owning a home (often because they were previously renting and weren't responsible for those fees!).
When you begin your home search, get in touch with a Realtor who can better help you estimate what you're actually able to afford in a monthly mortgage payment!
Where do you think Jacksonville is rated nationally with retirees? Our guesses were over the 100 mark, but as it turns out Jacksonville is actually rated #24 in the nation for retirement cities. When we talked out the reasons why this might be, we came up with a few justifications. Erica Jolles, RTR Realtor, mentioned Mayo Hospital here in Jacksonville. One of the most highly sought after hospitals in the southeast, Mayo undoubtedly has a draw for those retirees concerned about healthcare. Cost of living in Jacksonville is also far below the national average, and also below the average of much of South Florida, where most people first thin when they think of retirement communities. The last point Howard brought up was temperature: the average temperature in Jacksonville is 79 degrees. While 2018 feels like it pushed that average up, it's still cooler than must of South Florida!
As the holidays approach, Howard brought up the number of break-ins and thefts that happen around this time of year. With the advent of social media, folks post their gifts like new TVs and other electronics, jewelry, and grills. Howard noted that this is basically like advertising to thieves the number of options they have to choose from when burgling your home! Beyond keeping your new gifts off of social media, keep them off the table. That's right! Work hours are the number one time thieves attempt break-ins, and they do it after they've scoped out the joint. If they see your iPad on the breakfast table through the window, odds are they know right where to go when they break in. Also, keep those hedges and bushes below window-level. For years we heard tall hedges against the house keep people from seeing it, but anymore they actually serve as camouflage for thieves casing your house. Trim them down and keep them at least 12 inches from your house.