Shawn and Julie Hyland | Naples Real Estate, North Naples Real Estate, Bonita Springs Real Estate


If you want to purchase a home, it pays to establish a homebuying budget. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and narrow your search for your dream house.

Now, let's take a look at three best practices to help you create a homebuying budget.

1. Look at Your Finances

Your finances will play a major role in your ability to purchase a home. Thus, you should evaluate your current financial situation closely so you can map out an effective homebuying journey.

Request a copy of your credit report – you'll be glad you did. You are eligible for a free copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) annually. Take advantage of this complimentary perk, and you can gain deep insights into your outstanding debt.

If you have outstanding debt, try to pay this down as much as possible. That way, you can boost your credit score, which ultimately will help you improve your chances to acquire your ideal residence.

2. Meet with Banks and Credit Unions

When it comes to buying a home, meeting with banks and credit unions usually is a great idea. That way, you can learn about your home loan options and get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Apply for a mortgage from several banks and credit unions. Then, you can receive various mortgage quotes and select one that suits you perfectly.

Also, don't hesitate to ask plenty of questions during a lender consultation. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage professionals – all of whom are happy to help you make an informed mortgage decision. Therefore, if you're unsure about whether to proceed with a 15- or 30-year mortgage or can't decide between an adjustable- or fixed-rate mortgage, you can ask these mortgage professionals for expert advice.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A homebuying budget is tricky to establish on your own, especially if you are entering the real estate market for the first time. Fortunately, a real estate agent can help you plan ahead for all stages of the homebuying cycle.

During a real estate agent consultation, a housing market professional will learn about your homebuying goals. Next, this professional will help you establish realistic homebuying expectations and ensure you can discover a great house at a budget-friendly price.

Of course, let's not forget about the world-class support that a real estate agent provides after you kick off a home search, either.

A real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about open houses and offer homebuying recommendations and suggestions. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to help you get the best price on a house.

Ready to begin your search for your dream home? Use the aforementioned best practices, and you can craft a homebuying budget and start your homebuying journey.


If you want to achieve the best-possible results when you sell your luxury home in Tampa Bay, Fort Lauderdale or any other Florida city or town, it helps to prepare for the property selling journey. In fact, if you know how to educate buyers about your Sunshine State luxury residence, you may be better equipped than other home sellers to enjoy a fast, profitable property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you teach buyers about your Florida luxury home.

1. Craft an Effective Home Listing

A home listing often serves as the starting point of a house search. If you allocate time and resources to create an engaging and informative listing for your Florida luxury residence, you may be able to stir up lots of interest in your house.

As you craft a listing for your luxury home in Miami, Jacksonville or elsewhere in Florida, think about what makes your residence unique. That way, you can highlight any amenities or features that may help you differentiate your Sunshine State luxury residence from comparable properties.

You should always be honest in your home listing too. If you provide buyers with accurate information about your Florida luxury residence, you can help them determine if your house matches their expectations.

2. Promote Your Home Online

Facebook, Twitter and other social networks make it easy to share details about your Florida luxury home with property buyers in the Sunshine State and beyond. Thus, after you create a home listing, you may want to use it to promote your Sunshine State luxury residence online.

Also, it may be beneficial to include high-resolution images of your Florida luxury home in your social media posts. These images will enable you to show off the beauty of your Florida luxury residence and may help your house make a positive first impression on buyers.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you want expert support as you try to teach buyers about your Florida luxury home, it may be helpful to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will do whatever it takes to inform buyers about your Sunshine State luxury residence. As such, a real estate agent may help you streamline the Florida luxury house selling journey.

A real estate agent will learn about you and your Florida luxury home selling goals and help you plan accordingly. Therefore, if you want to sell your luxury home in Orlando, a real estate agent may promote your residence to buyers who are interested in owning a premium residence near Disney World. On the other hand, if your goal is to sell your Clearwater luxury house as quickly as possible, a real estate agent can help you do just that.

Teach buyers about your Florida luxury home – you'll be glad you did. If you take advantage of the aforementioned tips, you can educate buyers about your Sunshine State luxury residence and speed up the property selling cycle.


To succeed in the real estate market, a home seller must understand what it takes to promote his or her residence to potential homebuyers consistently. However, transforming this dream into a reality can be exceedingly difficult, particularly for a home seller who is listing a house for the first time.

So what does it take for a home seller to succeed in any housing market, at any time? To find out, let's consider the home seller's perspective and look at three steps that home sellers can take to get the best results during the property selling journey.

1. Examine the Housing Market

Today's housing market may change tomorrow. As such, an informed home seller must go above and beyond the call of duty to understand real estate market trends. By doing so, a home seller can map out his or her property selling journey accordingly.

Take a look at the prices of available homes that are similar to your own. That way, you can better understand how your residence stacks up against the competition.

Don't forget to check out the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town as well. With this housing market data, you can find out whether you're preparing to enter a seller's or buyer's market.

2. Perform a Home Appraisal

You might think that your home will sell just days after it reaches the real estate market. Conversely, most homebuyers might disagree, especially if you failed to maintain your house's interior and exterior over the years.

Ultimately, a home appraisal allows you to learn about your house's strengths and weaknesses. This appraisal enables a property inspector to review your home's interior and exterior. Then, the inspector will provide you with a report that you can use to see whether your residence is housing market-ready.

If you find that your home is in need of serious improvement, there is no need to worry. Instead, you can dedicate the necessary time and resources to upgrade your residence's interior and exterior before you list your house.

On the other hand, if a property inspector gives your home positive marks across the board, you may be ready to add your residence to the real estate market right away.

3. Meet with a Real Estate Agent

No home seller should be forced to enter the housing market alone. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent to guide you along each stage of the property selling journey.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home in any housing market – without exception. He or she will set up home showings and open houses, promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers and negotiate with property buyers on your behalf. As a result, you can streamline the process of getting the best price for your residence.

Want to add your house to the real estate market? Now that you know all about the home seller's perspective, you should have no trouble optimizing the value of your home.


Essential oils are catching on as a natural way to spruce up your home. However, many people are unaware of the full array of uses for essential oils in the household.

In this article, we’ll cover some of those uses that you may not have heard of, and give you some tips on which essential oils are the best to use.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are the result of distilling large amounts of herbs, spices, or other plant-based materials. There are dozens of essential oils commercially available and they all emit strong aromas that can be used in multiple ways.

When buying oils, it’s important to check the labels to make sure you are buying 100% pure essential oils. Many companies dilute their oils in a carrier oil such as olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil. While this isn’t inherently bad, it does probably mean you’re getting less for your dollar due to being diluted.

Aside from smelling nice, essential oils are often used for aromatherapy and other medicinal uses. However, be aware that they are not intended as a treatment for any medical condition.

Similarly, some oils might cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. So, be careful when spraying them in the air or using them on your skin if you think you might be allergic to a certain oil.

Which oils are best for use around the home?

There are dozens or even hundreds of essential oils that have various scents and uses. However, some are more pleasant and suitable for the home than others.

The main essentials that serve a number of uses around the home are:

  • Lavender

  • Lemon

  • Tea Tree

  • Peppermint

  • Pine

  • Lemongrass

  • Patchouli

  • Bergamot

  • Eucalyptus

  • Tangerine

There are various kits available online that include some or all of the oils listed above, or you can buy them individually from retailers.

Household uses for essential oils

There are many uses for essential oils around the home. They include:

  • Used as an air freshener with an oil diffuser. These diffusers humidify the air while diffusing the oil into the room, resulting in a pleasant aroma.

  • Mixed with water or alcohol to make a fabric spray. You can find several formulas for creating a fabric spray. However, the easiest way to quickly freshen up the sofa or carpet is to mix 10% oil to 90% water or ethanol and put the mixture into a spray bottle.

  • As a natural cleaning product. Lemon, lime, lavender, and peppermint all make great additions to a homemade cleaning solution. Diluted with water and vinegar, many essential oils can be used to freshen up a countertop or scrub a sink.

  • Spruce up your clean laundry/linen. You can put a couple of drops of lavender onto a damp washcloth and put this in your dryer with your clothes to give them a nice fragrance. This works particularly well if you use unscented laundry detergent. However, be sure not to go overboard--essential oils are strong and some can cause skin irritation.

  • Refrigerator deodorant. The best way to get rid of the smell of a refrigerator is to give it a thorough cleaning. But afterward, help keep it smelling clean longer by putting several drops of lemongrass into a small bowl with baking soda. Stir the baking soda on occasion to release the lemongrass fragrance.


If you've decided to put your home on the market, one important thing to keep in mind is that perception is everything -- or close to it, anyway!

The impression you make on prospective buyers can either help seal the deal or break it, depending on whether that impression is positive or negative.

The visual aspects of your home often have the strongest impact on what prospects think of your house, but three other senses can also influence buyer decisions.

The sense of smell: Without getting too specific, there are a variety of unpleasant odors that can quickly sour a prospect on the possibility of making an offer on your home. In many cases, there's justification for a sudden loss of interest. A musty smelling basement, crawlspace, or attic, for example, implies problems with water seepage, plumbing leaks, or mold. That musty odor is unpleasant and gives buyers the (accurate) impression that there are air quality issues in the house.

Pet odors can be another major turnoff, especially if the people touring your home have allergies or sensitivity to certain odors. Strong or artificial odors of any kind, including room deodorizers, overuse of commercial cleaning solutions, and scented garbage bags can also be objectionable and suggest that you're trying to cover up odors.

On the other hand, you've probably heard stories about home sellers and agents who create pleasing fragrances by brewing a fresh pot of coffee, baking a loaf of aromatic bread, or preparing a fresh batch of blueberry muffins or chocolate chip cookies shortly before a house tour is scheduled. While it may be impractical to do that every time, it is a strategy worth experimenting with! The simple act of infusing your kitchen with enticing aromas can help make your home more attractive, inviting, and appealing. Fresh flowers are another nice touch that can enhance the ambiance of your home.

The sense of touch: Probably the main thing you would want to avoid in this category would be allowing countertops or floors to feel sticky, gritty, or wet to the touch! Many people will take notice of how clean (or unclean) your house looks, smells, and feels, and they will undoubtedly deduct "points" if countertops, bathroom fixtures, and floors aren't immaculate. Perfection is not necessary, but the appearance of cleanliness is! As mentioned earlier: Perception is everything!

The sense of hearing: Some noises you can fix; others are beyond your control. Squeaky hinges and dripping faucets are a relatively easy fix, while street noises, barking dogs, and loud neighbors are much more difficult -- if not impossible -- to regulate!

The bottom line, of course, is to control what you can, put your best foot forward, and hope for the best when it comes to noises in the neighborhood!




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