Patrick Degnan | Palm Harbor Real Estate, Tarpon Springs Real Estate, Dunedin Real Estate


f you are on the fence about buying a fixer-upper house, you may be wondering if it’s as affordable as you think it might be. Depending upon what needs to be done in the house and how extensive the projects are, you may be in over your head buying this type of home. Here’s a few things that you should consider before you buy a fixer-upper:


Can You Do Any Of The Work Yourself?


If you watch any television remodeling show, you think that remodeling can be done in an hour. They make it look so easy! Too bad it isn't like that in real life. If you attempt a job, and it takes longer than it normally would, that can set you back on dollars. Even worse, if you can’t complete the job yourself, you may need to hire someone to finish it, which will cause you to incur unexpected costs. Ask yourself the following questions before you decide to undertake your own home improvement projects in a fixer-upper home:


  • Do You Have The skills? 
  • Do you have the time to complete the job? 
  • Will doing the repairs stress you out? 
  • will you be happy if the results are less than professional? 
  • Do you actually want to do the job yourself? 


Before You Make An Offer, Price Out Repairs


Before you even make an offer on a fixer-upper home, make sure that you find contractors and price out the repairs that the home will need. If you do decide to do the work yourself, make sure that you price out the supplies that you’ll need. No matter what you decide to do for your repairs, you should add an additional 10-20% on to the estimated costs for other unforeseen problems.   


Don’t Forget About Permits


You’ll need to check out the permit costs for any and all repairs. Doing work without a permit may save you money, but it could cause problems once you try to resell your home. Contractors can arrange the permits for you. Getting these permits can be a time consuming matter and frustrating at times, so be prepared to go through some paperwork when you start the repair process. 


Understand The Cost Of Major Structural Work


If the home needs major structural work, it’s a good idea to hire a structural engineer for a few hundred dollars in order to inspect the home before you even put in an offer. This way, you can be confident that you have everything budgeted properly and understand the full extent of the problems. 


Generally, it’s not a great idea to purchase a home that needs major structural work unless you fall into the following categories:


  • You’re getting a great discount
  • You understand all of the problems that you’re facing in the home
  • You know for sure that the problem can be fixed
  • You have an estimate for the repairs
  • You know how you’re financing the repairs
  • You have the budget to complete all of the repairs. 


There’s a lot to consider when you’re buying a home that needs significant repairs. It can be a great bargain if you have the budget and the will to complete the projects at hand. Just know what you’re getting into when you buy a fixer-upper home!   


Adding your Florida residence to the local housing market should be simple. However, home sellers who are hoping to maximize the value of their house will need to plan ahead to ensure they can generate plenty of interest in their residence.

What does it take to list your Florida home on the local real estate market and optimize your residence's value? Here are three tips that every home seller needs to know before adding their Florida residence to the local housing market.

1. Hire a Real Estate Agent.

A real estate agent offers expert guidance, and as such, will ensure your home listing is shared with a large group of potential homebuyers throughout Florida. Plus, this professional will be ready to respond to any of your concerns or questions throughout the home selling process, guaranteeing you can receive plenty of support as you sell your residence.

With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble promoting your residence to a broad array of homebuyers. Your real estate agent will work with you, learn about your home's strengths and weaknesses and highlight your residence to the right group of homebuyers consistently.

Perhaps best of all, your real estate agent works for you and will keep your best interests in mind. Thus, you and your real estate agent can discuss the pros and cons of various home selling strategies and work together toward a common goal: optimizing the value of your residence.

2. Set a Fair Price for Your Home.

Let's face it – the Florida real estate market is filled with many great homes. To ensure your home stands out from the crowd, you'll want to establish a fair price that makes your residence attractive to homebuyers. At the same time, you don't want to lose money, so you'll want to set a price that allows you to maximize the value of your house.

Review the Florida real estate market closely and evaluate homes that are similar to your own. By doing so, you can better understand the price range of similar homes in your area and price your residence accordingly.

Also, don't forget to rely on your real estate agent for help with pricing your residence. This professional will be able to help you differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one and determine the right price for your residence based on the current market conditions.

3. Get Your Home Ready for Showings.

How does your home's front lawn look? And does your home's interior need to be revamped? Ultimately, you'll want to spend some time examining your home's exterior and interior to ensure your residence looks amazing inside and out.

Committing even a few hours each day to cleaning your Florida residence can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. And if you can transform your home's exterior and interior, you should be able to generate lots of interest in your residence.

Use the aforementioned home selling tips, and you can boost your chances of maximizing the value of your Florida home.


What happens after a home seller rejects your offer to buy his or her home? Ultimately, there are many questions to consider in this scenario, including:

1. Why did the home seller reject my offer?

A home seller may reject an offer for a number of reasons. And if you work with a real estate agent, you may be able to gain insights into a home seller's decision.

Typically, your real estate agent will submit an offer to a home seller on your behalf. This real estate professional also may work directly with a home seller's real estate agent. As a result, your real estate agent may be able to find out why a home seller rejected your proposal.

2. Is there anything else I could've done?

Were you an informed homebuyer? If so, you've probably done everything you could to submit a proposal that would meet or exceed a home seller's expectations.

In most instances, an informed homebuyer will go above and beyond the call of duty to submit a competitive offer from the get-go. He or she will understand the ins and outs of the housing market and prepare an offer accordingly.

Furthermore, an informed homebuyer will learn about the condition of a home and the prices of comparable residences in the same city or town. By doing so, he or she will be able to differentiate a seller's market from a buyer's one.

An informed homebuyer also will do everything possible to avoid a "lowball" proposal.

If a homebuyer submits a lowball offer, a home seller is likely to dismiss his or her offer immediately. In addition, this homebuyer risks missing out on the opportunity to purchase a great home.

3. What should I do next?

After a home seller rejects your proposal, you can submit a new offer to the home seller. Or, you can always continue to browse the housing market. Regardless of which option you select, it is important to stay optimistic.

Remember, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Much in the same vein, you're sure to find a terrific house that satisfies your lifestyle and budget needs if you continue your home search.

When it comes to discovering the right home at the right price, hiring an experienced real estate agent is paramount.

An experienced real estate agent will work with you throughout the homebuying process. He or she will learn about your homebuying needs and budget and ensure you can check out a broad array of high-quality residences.

Moreover, an experienced real estate agent will take the guesswork out of buying a home. This real estate professional will keep you up to date about new houses as soon as they become available, set up home showings and much more. That way, you can accelerate the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Employ an experienced real estate agent to help you with your home search – you'll be thrilled you did. An experienced real estate agent will make it simple for you to find a stellar residence that you can enjoy for years to come.


When it comes to moving, how do you pack up food and ensure it will safely make it from Point A to Point B? There are many challenges associated with packing and storing food while you move. Fortunately, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of packing up food so that you can enjoy it once you reach your new home.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can quickly and effortlessly pack your food and transport it to a new address.

1. Get Rid of Any Expired Food Items

Go through your pantry and remove any expired or soon-to-expire food items. That way, you won't have to worry about transporting these items to your new address on moving day.

In addition, you should try to eliminate food waste. For soon-to-expire foods, consume them before it's too late. Or, you can always offer these items to friends or family members.

2. Pack Fragile Food Items Carefully

Flour, sugar and other fragile food items likely require extra attention when you pack. If you dedicate the necessary time and resources to pack fragile food items carefully, you can eliminate the risk that these items could leak or spill while you're moving.

Heavy-duty, sealable containers are ideal for storing fragile food items. These containers usually are easy to find at supermarkets and retail outlets and will ensure your food items will remain safe and secure at all times.

Furthermore, don't forget to cover salt and pepper shakers. Place a piece of masking tape over the top of these shakers, and you can prevent the shakers from spilling out.

3. Use Appropriate Moving Boxes

Moving boxes come in many sizes, and when you're packing food items, you'll want to use the right-sized boxes. By doing so, you may be able to store various food items in the same box – something that may help you unpack quickly once you reach your final destination.

In most instances, small and medium-sized moving boxes are perfect for food items. These boxes offer plenty of space. Plus, with the right-sized moving boxes in hand, you may be able to avoid the temptation to stuff too many heavy food items into a single box.

If you need additional support with packing food items or other belongings, you may want to discuss your options with a professional moving company. This business employs friendly, knowledgeable staff members who can help you prepare for moving day.

Lastly, it never hurts to collaborate with a real estate agent, either. In addition to helping you buy or sell a house, a real estate agent can offer recommendations about moving companies in your area. Therefore, a real estate agent can provide extra help as you search for ways to streamline the moving process.

Simplify the process of moving your food items from one location to the next – use the aforementioned tips, and you can ensure all of your food items will arrive intact at your new address.


A condo offers a great opportunity to enjoy a comfortable living space without the hassle of home exterior maintenance. As such, many property buyers are exploring condos in cities and towns nationwide.

However, buying a condo sometimes can be tricky, particularly for property buyers who are unfamiliar with the real estate market. Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of purchasing a condo.

Let's take a look at three questions that condo buyers need to consider before they purchase a property.

1. Am I ready for condo life?

Owning a condo and owning a home are two very different things, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

Like a homeowner, a condo owner has a property to call his or her own. But a condo community usually has a homeowners' association (HOA) in place that manages exterior maintenance and other tasks. This association also establishes rules and regulations that all condo owners must follow; otherwise, property owners may face fines.

Before you purchase a condo, it is paramount to prepare for condo life as much as possible. To do so, you may want to consult with friends or family members who have resided in condo communities over the years. These loved ones can share their condo living experiences with you to help you better understand what life will be like as a condo owner.

2. How much can I afford to pay for a condo?

Although you know that you'd like to purchase a condo, you still need to find out how much you can afford to pay for a property. Fortunately, banks and credit unions are available to help you determine how much you can spend on a condo.

Consult with several banks and credit unions to explore all of your home financing options. Then, you can select a mortgage that matches your expectations.

In addition, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start your condo search. If you enter the real estate market with a budget in hand, you can narrow your condo search and speed up the property buying process.

3. Do I need to employ a real estate agent?

Ultimately, a real estate agent is a must-have for any condo buyer, at any time. This housing market professional can teach you the ins and outs of real estate and ensure that you can make an informed condo purchase.

A real estate agent strives to provide you with an outstanding condo buying experience. To accomplish this goal, he or she will work with you, learn about your condo buying goals and help you plan accordingly.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is unafraid to be honest. He or she will offer condo buying recommendations and suggestions as you check out a variety of properties. This housing market professional is happy to respond to your condo buying queries as well.

Streamline the process of buying a condo – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can move closer to acquiring an outstanding condo at an outstanding price.