Money Pile 00 dollar bills

cutting-costs-285817925In today’s world, advertisements are being thrown in our face constantly. You can’t look anywhere without seeing advertisements for services that are specifically catered to you. Many of these things are subscription base. So when it comes to cutting costs in your home, this is the first place to look. When things automatically bill, you lose track of what you are paying for. Pull up your last bank statement and credit card statements. Now look over your monthly reoccurring charges. What in there are subscription based services? I did this not long ago and found I was able to save a couple hundred dollars a month by canceling, or even adjusting, my subscriptions!

You have to start by asking yourself what is really important. What are you using? What is beneficial to your life? What makes you happy? Maybe you don’t use all of those streaming services. That shaving razor club you signed up for- are the razors collecting quicker than you can use them? Cut back to every other month. Ask yourself this- are you really using that gym membership? If you are, DO NOT CANCEL IT! I wasn’t using mine. I wasn’t going to start. It was something I had to be honest about with myself and I saved over $30/mo.

When I started looking over what I was paying every month, I starting cutting them down fast! In one day I had canceled 5 services that added up to over $150. That adds up! I was even able to cut my cable. Why? Because I stream everything! Any all of those channels have apps. Now, this isn’t exactly kosher, but I have friends that use my streaming accounts. And I get their cable company login info so I can watch all of those channels streaming. That way I’m not missing anything but saving a ton of cash! I was loving my audible account but I wasn’t using it as much as I should. I fill my time with podcasts anyways and those are free! So it’s gone.

Try this. It takes no time at all. Then comment with what you saved! You may be surprised.



According to a recent 2017-2018 survey, 68% of US households have at least one pet. I definitely fall into that camp. While they can bring us so much joy, let’s not lie to ourselves- they make come with their own set of challenges.

Whether you’re buying a home or looking to stay in yours for a long time, have you ever had to think about how your dogs are effecting your floors? Have cats? When was the last time you had a good looking houseplant? Is your yard suitable for a dog? Do you have a good place for a litter box or does everyone coming into your home end up stepping in some loose litter tracked around by Mr. Fluffy?

pets-lgThese are challenges all of us pet owners face. I’m just going to speak from experience here. We have dogs and cats in our home. Big dogs, at that! I’m always thinking about our floors (which I hate anyways). My back yard looks like it could be a scene in Dune because the grass has all been torn up and looks like a dirt/sand wasteland. And we’ve had to get creative with litterbox placements.

While these things can drive you crazy, step back and look at what you can realistically change and don’t sweat the rest. While a nice ceramic “wood” tile would be nice, I’m not budgeting for that right now. But we have invested in mats for outside the litter boxes to limit the litter that gets tracked around. I’m about to start treating and seeding my lawn with a grass that will stand up to heavy traffic (and energetic 90 lb dogs!).

The lawn has been my sore spot for a long time now. Finally, I’ve done my research and found that I need to begin by prepping the soil properly so I’m going to cut it, water for a couple of days (short time frames but more frequently) and then lay the seed. Seed is cheaper and easier than sod and plugs. And depending on what you get, will fill in just as quick. Bahiagrass is my pick because it stands up to drought, heavy traffic, and will grow the quickest. All wins for me! After they have rooted and reached the height to mow, I can cut back the watering to as little as once or twice a week. Overwatering in Florida can destroy the grass and you’ll end up with dollar weeds which are a pain to get rid of.

What are your pet challenges? Buying or selling anytime soon and have a pet? Leave a comment and let’s talk about it!

Resale vs New Construction


When someone is looking for a new home, I find that a majority of the time they have not considered new construction homes. There are a number of reasons why this is as well as pros and cons to both. Let’s take a quick look!

home-for-sale-clearwaterResale homes are existing homes that a Real Estate agent has listed. You’ll often find them in your online searches on the popular sites such as, Zillow, Trulia, or hopefully you’re doing your searching on*. More on that later, but do remember this. These homes are typically owned by a private owner trying to sell their home for any number of reasons. Resale homes can be in any condition and comes with a lot of unknowns. You never know what’s behind the walls, how the foundation is, or the history of the home. We try and gather as much as we can in a disclosure from the seller and much is revealed during a home inspection, but I’ve been there- something always seems to slip through.

On the plus side, however, these homes may have features you won’t get with a new construction home most of the time- a pool, screened lanai, fenced yard, custom updates, or certain appliances included. There’s also a larger number of floorplan varieties on the market than you’ll find with a builder. Some have larger rooms, some have smaller rooms. Open concept floorplan vs a more segmented floorplan. These can be what win someone over when they are looking for their future home.

New construction homes are often overlooked for a number of reasons but most notably people think it will be more expensive and take too long to build. new-home-construction-palm-coastWho has that kind of time?! Your home has already sold and you need to find a place fast! You don’t have 6 months to search! Well did you know that most builders have brand new homes already built (spec homes) that you can close on in as little as a few days to a couple of weeks? You may have, but you may also notice that depending on the market, they are priced anywhere from a little cheaper to a tiny bit more expensive than an existing resale home. Often times the price difference is not the issue. These homes come with warranties that provide you with piece of mind. You know exactly what you are getting! That alone can be a huge comfort to a home buyer. Now you can build from scratch, of course. Buy some land, design the home with the builder, and they start building when you sign the paperwork. Not a bad idea either!

There are some downsides to new construction through. If you’re buying a spec home they already have built you cannot change anything in the design, just like a resale home. You can do anything you want after you own it, but nothing before. Are you looking for a pool? Chances are, you will have to wait until after the home is built and you take ownership before one can be put in. This is in MOST cases, but not all. It will, however, be a huge cost! If you are building from scratch, the builder probably won’t have every floorplan built as a model for you to see beforehand so you have to hope for the best. You can usually tell from the models that they do have what the construction would be like, though.

So, which is right for you? That’s for you to decide! However, whether you are going resale or new construction, bring an agent along! Most don’t think agents need to get involved in a new construction deal. While it isn’t required, there are benefits to you as the consumer. First- there’s no cost to you. If a transaction occurs, the builder actually pays for the services, not you! Second, having someone there that knows the local builders, the pros and the cons, as well as someone that remembers the little things such as “Was granite standard in the kitchen?” or “What in that model was an upgrade that we would have to pay for?” Have an advocate that can step in and work for you. It can be a huge relief when things start getting stressful!



* is my website with full home search functionality. The benefit is that it is tied directly to the local MLS and is up to date. Many 3rd party sites do not pull data constantly which means what you see may not be accurate. Create a profile and save your favorites as well as your search criteria to be notified when new homes fitting your search parameters hit the market. Give it a try!

Why you shouldn’t miss this blog…

New BlogThe world of Real Estate is something I find exciting but I also understand many find it stressful and confusing. Since this is my career and area of interest, why not share my thoughts, tips, tricks, and compile input from others in related fields to make it easier for you? So that’s what I’m going to do.

Whether you’re selling your home, buying your first or tenth home, selling and buying together, or looking for tips on updating, landscaping, refinancing, or watching your credit score, it will eventually be covered here.

Also, while I’m at it, why not share what’s going on around the community? I live in Palm Coast but work in all surrounding counties, so there is always plenty going on in my footprint. So I’ll bring that to you as well. Perhaps I’ll want to share a rave review of a restaurant.

Have questions? Feel free to ask! Whatever people are talking about or wanting to know, this is where I’ll address it. So check back frequently for new posts and I look forward to the feedback!