Move Over Summer, Fall Is Officially the Best Time to Vacation

If you were to ask the average person when they think the best time to go on a vacation is, they would most likely say that summer is the ultimate vacation season. After all, summer has been built up as the only proper time to vacation for decades. People grow up used to having the summers off from school, then they enter the workforce and have “summer hours.” There are always a lot of events happening in the summertime, and the warm weather makes it an ideal time to head outdoors.

Despite all this, however, you’re actually better off vacationing in the fall than the summer. The cooler shoulder season has a lot of benefits for anyone who is willing to think outside the box. Here are some of the reasons to consider fall:

Great weather, without the extremes

How much do you really enjoy stretches of 90+ degree weather? How about frequent, severe afternoon and evening thundershowers? Summer weather can be warm and agreeable, but it can also be extremely uncomfortable and unpredictable. If your main reason for vacationing in the summer is the warm weather, you’d be much happier vacationing in the fall. September and even early October still have warm days, but they don’t have nearly as much of the humidity or unpredictability. You can have all of the sunshine and warm temperatures, but none of the stifling heat or dangerous thunderstorms.

See the great attractions without the wait

Have you always wanted to see the Statue of Liberty up close? Do you dream of finally being able to see the Grand Canyon? Do you just want to enjoy the beach or boardwalk? You can easily do all of these things in the summer, but you’re going to be standing in a lot of lines when you do it. Since summer is such a popular season for vacation, every destination is bound to be packed with people. If you go during the fall, you can finally say goodbye to long lines! You’ll be able to see all of your dream destinations, but you won’t have to spend a lot of time waiting to actually experience them.

coastal town in fall

Unbeatable Prices

May to August is officially known as the high season for hotels, resorts, airlines, rental properties, and any business involved in the travel industry. The high season doesn’t just bring a lot of vacationers to various places across the country; it also brings higher prices for travel. Airline tickets and reservation rates drop significantly once the high season is over. Read anything from TripAdvisor or coastal realty services reviews about traveling during the fall, and you will notice how surprisingly cheap everything is.


How a Quality Realty Service Gets Good Reviews

Good realty services aren’t just a fixture of the local business scene, they will also be among the most highly reviewed real estate companies in the area. Glowing reviews, such as those attained by Coastal Realty Services, are not by chance, however—the company will have worked hard to distinguish themselves. So what makes a quality company so different? Here are three ways a company stands above the competition:

Coastal Realty Services -- couple with realtor

By helping to educate customers

Part of a real estate company’s job is to make sure that buyers and sellers are informed, and yet this is the part that trips up so many companies. Sellers need to learn about the market so that they understand what other houses they will be competing with, as well as what market factors (like interest rates and the number of homes available) will affect their sale. Buyers, on the other hand, need to be informed about many of the same factors, but from the perspective of setting a realistic budget and narrowing their search in the appropriate neighborhoods or types of homes.

Ultimately, both buyers and sellers are better able to navigate the real estate process and will feel more comfortable every step of the way if their realtor is working to actively help them become educated as they go. A number of reviews of quality companies specifically mention how agents go out of their way to help clients understand the market and the process. These companies will also keep a frequently updated blog of resource articles to help clients understand every aspect of their purchase or sale.

By knowing the market better than anyone

The bottom line is that a realtor’s ability to deliver value for their client depends on how well they know the market. Locally rooted real estate agencies tend to have a better knowledge of neighborhoods, local economic conditions, and properties available than other companies do. Similarly, more experienced real estate agents will be able to offer more insight and help a client make smart choices along the way. A quality company checks both of these boxes. They’ll often be a local family-owned business that knows the area well and has been in continuous operation for many years.

By offering more

These companies don’t just buy and sell homes; they also offer services such as property management, rentals, and recommendations for inspectors and handymen. That means that they routinely help customers rent properties that aren’t ready to be sold, find rentals in-between houses, and improve homes for sale to get the best price for them.

What do you look for in a realtor?

5 Essential Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Looking to buy your first home? Congratulations! Becoming a homeowner has been a cornerstone of the American dream for a long time now. While buying a home is certainly an exciting milestone, it can also be a bit overwhelming at the same time. Between looking at homes and determining affordability, balancing work and caring for your family, it can be difficult to know exactly which steps to take.

While buying a home can feel like a lengthy process, it will be worth it when you can officially call yourself a homeowner. To help make everything less daunting, the professional staff at Coastal Realty Services reviews five vital tips to help you.

1.  Get Pre-Approved for a Loan

mortgage application

Before even starting to look at homes, you should get an idea of how much a lender will be willing to give you and, thus, the type of price range you’ll be looking at. In this instance, you will have to apply for a loan. Monthly income, student loans, employment, and any debt you have (among other factors) will impact how much a lender will offer. A lender can also help determine the type of loan and interest rate that is best for you based on your situation. A pre-approval will open the door for you, as sellers will see that you are ready to buy.

2.  Determine the Type of Home That Suits Your Needs

Are you looking for a single-family home, a townhouse or a multi-family home? You have many options when searching for a property, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Look around to find a home that is ideal for your family size and which also fits your budget.

3.  Know What Features You Want

In addition to the type and size of the home, determine what features you’d like to have. These include basic desires like a good neighborhood, as well as smaller details such as a garage. You should retain some flexibility in the process, since finding that ideal home that has everything you could dream of can be difficult. You can prioritize the features in order of importance to make the decision easier.

4.  Find an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Buying your first home can be complex, so it’s recommended that you hire an experienced real estate agent. The agent will assist you throughout the process, locating homes that meet your needs and are within your price range, and visiting and inspecting the homes. They will provide their experienced and professional advice with regards to the home and help you choose the one that’s best for you.

5.  Don’t Ignore Closing Costs, Property Taxes, and Homeowner’s Insurance

When you buy a home, keep in mind that the mortgage is only one piece of the entire cost. You also have closing costs, property taxes, and possible homeowner’s association fees to pay for, as well as homeowner’s insurance. Make sure you know how much all of these will cost so that you are financially prepared when you decide to buy.

What New Landlords Need to Know

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way for you to make extra money, without having to do much to earn it? If you have property in a nice area, you could make a significant amount of money by renting it out. An empty home, apartment, or even room could save you some money and help you pay for your vacations, college education for your kids or grandkids, and even your retirement.

Since renting can be so lucrative, some people are ready to post an ad on Craigslist as soon as they snag some property. Renting can provide you with some extra money, but it could cost you more than you’d like if you go about it wrong. When you’re new to the world of property rentals, you may not be aware of some of the realities of the business. Before you list your property, make sure to keep these things in mind.

Image of coastal home

Be familiar with renter/landlord laws

Standard renter/landlord laws and protocol seem like they would be simple, but they vary dramatically depending on where you are. Renters should of course be familiar with the rental laws in the state and locality they’re looking in; however, property owners need to know the laws as well, so that they can protect themselves. You’ll need to know what you’re legally responsible for providing when it comes to lease agreements and how to handle evictions. If you end up making a mistake, you could have an expensive lawsuit on your hands.

Don’t underestimate maintenance costs

How much money will it take to keep your rental property in good condition? Does it need roof repairs or electrical re-wiring? Have you noticed any drafts in your rooms? Do you have a solid heating system? If you’re going to be renting a property, you’re going to have to afford any repairs it may need. Too many landlords and property owners underestimate these costs and end up making a lot less than they originally thought.

Vacant property=money lost

Have you ever heard the saying that time is money? It’s very true in the world of real estate, but not in the way that you’d think. When you decide to rent your property, don’t drag your feet when getting it ready. Every day that you lay down new carpet, paint the walls or are just between tenants, you’re losing money. This is why some people use local property rental specialists to list so that they can find renters fast. If you choose to go this route, make sure that you find a company that is familiar with your area. For instance, if you have shore property, look for coastal realty services and their reviews to see if they’re good.


3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving

Making the decision to move is never an easy one, and its one that can leave you feeling a little conflicted and worried. After all, you’re making a huge life change, and making the wrong choice could have bad consequences for you and your entire family. One thing noticed in Coastal Realty Services reviews is how customers are always grateful with how much help they receive during the home searching and buying process. A great realtor can help you find your next dream home, but before you begin your search for the perfect realtor, there are three things you should ask yourself to ensure you’re ready for the move.moving

Am I ready to devote a lot of time to this move?

Moving can take a lot of time regardless of if you’re moving to another town or another state.   It’s rare for people to be able to take a single day off of work and get everything done in one weekend. Think of this move as a process that will have to unfold over a period of time, and be prepared to have to spend a lot of extra time and energy on it. While there are things you can do to take some extra work off your shoulders, like hiring professional movers, there are still other aspects that take time like home inspections and fixing up before the actual move.

What do I know about where I want to move?

Sometimes people move to an area because the have to for work, and others move because the fell in love with the area after a vacation or reading a bit about it online. However, before you settle down, there are some things you have to know. Do you know about laws in the area that you’re planning on moving into? Do you know what your commute to work will look like? How much do you know about the schools in the area? If all you can say about an area is that it’s nice or that there is a lot to do, you should start to re-think your decision to move.

How will this affect my finances?

The cost of living can vary from town to town, and local and state taxes may be different from what you’re used to. Moving to a new state area doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll end up living somewhere cheaper. If anything many people overestimate the amount they’ll save and end up with much less extra money that they’d originally hoped. Think about your finances carefully and before you settle on moving.

Once you’ve answered these three questions and are ready to make the move, a great realtor can help you find the perfect home to fit your needs.

Traveling in Summer? Why Not Head to Fort Walton Beach?

Summer! It is again the time of year that you go on vacation, often to the beach, and enjoy spending time with family, friends, and sometimes co-workers. Even road trips to new areas can be fun adventures, whether you are driving an hour or six hours away.

So, summer is awesome and taking a trip is one of the most recognized ways of enjoying the seasonal festivities. If you are heading to the state of Florida, then you are particularly in luck. The state has so much to offer visitors, it’s practically impossible to list everything.

Florida beach

First off, where should you go?

After all, Florida is a big state with a large stretch of coastline. However, one place that keeps popping up on everyone’s radar is the city of Fort Walton Beach. Located in Okaloosa County, Florida, this location is sure to please. In fact, Coastal Realty Services reviews this part of Florida as one of the absolute best.

What makes the city of Fort Walton Beach so mesmerizing? Well, for starters, it has been called—and is well-known—as the treasure of the emerald coast. Sounds picturesque, doesn’t it? Why not take your camera and snap some shots of some of the world’s most beautiful scenery?

During your stay at this very incredible spot in the emerald coast, you will spend a lot of time enjoying the great outdoors and other area attractions. In fact, this location offers many things to do, such as the following:

  • Visit Heritage Park and Cultural Center Museum – This park includes a Civil War exhibit, a post office museum, a school museum, and the Indian Temple Mound Museum (which chronicles the history of Native Americans in the area).
  • Play Some of the Links – There are a large number of public golf courses within a fifteen mile radius of Fort Walton Beach, of which some of the most highly rated are the Fort Walton Beach Golf Course, the Indian Bayou Golf & Country Club courses, and the Kelly Plantation Golf Club course. If you’re looking for some family fun, Goofy Golf offers miniature courses in Fort Walton, which have remained a popular pastime for visitors since their opening in 1958.
  • Visit the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge and Zoological Park – This “zoo” is a nonprofit organization dedicated to both conserving wildlife and educating the public. They offer over 35 species of animals to view, including tigers, spider monkeys, llamas, deer, and many more. Visit on Saturdays or Sundays for “Keeper Talks,” where the keepers will provide many fascinating facts about their charges while demonstrating their training.
  • Go to the Beach – The most famous thing about Fort Walton Beach is, well, the beach. It’s even in the name! Enjoy lying on the beautiful white sand and swimming in the emerald waters of the Gulf Coast.

If you do choose to go to Florida, remember to pack the sunscreen, the towels, and the aloe, because you are most definitely going to be spending some time in the sun! If you want a trip that is perfect for family, friends, and everyone else, make sure to look into Fort Walton Beach!