Tip for First-time Homeowners: How to Control Seasonal Pests

Tip for First-time Homeowners: How to Control Seasonal Pests

There is a lot to be excited about when you buy your first home. You also have a lot of new responsibilities. Home security is a priority for most homeowners. However, keeping your home safe from potential intruders requires more than just deadbolts or alarms.

No matter where you live, common pests will make your home their home. Knowing when and how pests work will allow you to protect your property and avoid seasonal pest problems. 

protect your home

Like all living creatures, pests seek shelter, food, water, and food. They don’t require a lot of openings. According to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, common mice can fit through openings as small and narrow as a pencil. Spiders and other insects can also enter through cracks less than 1/16 inches. For ants, the most persistent and common household pest, small cracks can be like wide-open doors.

Pest-proofing your property year-round requires a thorough inspection inside and outside, followed by prompt treatment. The following pest-control tips should be included on your list:


  • Yard and garden debris can be used as hiding spots or homes for pests. Clear away leaves around your foundation and clean your gutters. Keep your garage and outbuildings clear of clutter.


  • Seal any cracks or larger openings in the foundation and siding joints. Clear caulk and other sealants can be used to block common entry points such as those around gas and water pipes, telephone lines, cable connections, and windows. Sealing reduces energy consumption, too.


  • Door thresholds and sweeps should be kept tight. Doors at corners are prime areas for pests.


  • To prevent pests and moisture from building up, keep wood landscape mulch away from your foundation. You can deter pests by using stone mulch or fresh cedar chippings.


  • Cut back any shrubs or tree branches that touch your home and trim overhanging limbs. Both are ready to be used by wildlife and insects.


  • Place gutter downspouts to direct rainwater away from your foundation. Moisten, low-lying areas are places where mosquitoes and pests can thrive.


  • To keep unwanted intruders out, cover any vent openings with wire mesh (also known as hardware cloth).

Pest activity is seasonal and has highs and lows. Spring and summer are the peak seasons, so be proactive. Indoor pest problems can be reduced by quickly dealing with them. Pests will seek out warm, dry places or food sources indoors in the event of prolonged drought, cold weather, or prolonged rain.

Keep an eye out for seasonal pest activity as the year progresses

FALL EARLY SPRING gopher mounds

Early pest activity is a sign that rodents are leading the charge. Moles and gophers can decimate lawns, leaving them covered with mounds and tunnels from the beginning of spring through the middle of summer and into autumn. Before the warmer weather arrives, act quickly if you see mole or gopher activity.

Amdro’s line of mole- and gopher control products have effective remedies that prevent damage from escalating. These include Amdro Mole* & Gopher Bait and Amdro Gopher Gasser.



Fire ants can be tackled in spring and fall. Fire ant activity rises as soil temperatures rise in spring. Summer heat slows them down. Once the temperatures drop to moderate levels in the fall, activity peaks. 

Be aware of the harm they do to lawns and the suffering that these stinging insects cause to wildlife, humans and pets if you live in a fire-ant country. Before fire ants become a serious threat, act quickly. The 2-Step Fire Ant Control Method Amdro Kills Fire Ants Yard Treatment.



As spring becomes summer, ants and other outdoor pests become more active. Pest problems can be caused by warm weather, drought, and changes in your lifestyle, like barbecuing. 


Before you have problems, make sure your home is protected from ants and other insects.


Watch out for ant trails in your garden and around your new home as ant activity grows. You can fight ants indoors as well as outdoors with powerful products like the AMDRO Kills Ants product line.

In-ground bait stakes can be used to target outdoor areas. Place bug traps in warm areas behind ovens, refrigerators, and other appliances that emit heat to outsmart indoor insects. Also, place them under sinks or where moisture or wastebaskets can draw ants in.

leaves in gutterFALL CLEANUP

Clear away any leaves that may have fallen from your foundation or gutters before the cold weather arrives. Seal any cracks or holes and keep pests out of your home. If necessary, trim tree limbs or shrubs.

Don’t let pests take over your home. Get an early start with these tips and call a professional pest control service to help you protect your most valued investment.

Growth Forecast in Greenville SC

Growth Forecast in Greenville SC

Growth Forecast in Greenville SC

Greenville SC has been experiencing a lot of growth since it was named the fastest-growing city in America. With a population increase of over 5% and an average home price that is higher than nearby cities, Greenville SC real estate is one of the hottest markets to invest in right now. 

Sellers who are looking to make their move should consider listing their homes or apartments for sale before prices continue to rise. Buyers will be able to find more options because inventory will still be plentiful while housing prices stay competitive with other areas around the country. It might be time for you to list your property!

Auto Manufacturing in Greenville SC

The auto manufacturing industry, especially the BMW manufacturing plant in Greer, South Carolina, is expected to increase from this year up until 2022 by 11%. For those of you interested in auto manufacturing (specifically auto plant jobs) or even auto manufacturing laborers (wages typically range between 10-20 an hour), consider looking into how much money you can make in auto manufacturing.

Growth Forecast in Greenville SC

Residential Real Estate in Greenville SC

The auto manufacturing plants are not the only ones doing well in Greenville, South Carolina. The residential real estate industry there has seen an influx of new residents and also helped out with the increase in job opportunities thanks to the multiple manufacturing plants in the area. 

In fact, homebuilders have noted that building homes for families who work at BMW’s manufacturing plant or even those working for Nestlé have resulted in a population boom since 2000 that has been sustained to this day. It was noted that, even in the agricultural sector where owning a horse property has grown in popularity, growth in Greenville, SC was forecasted to grow by 1.4% steadily until 2022.

Growth Forecast in Greenville SC

Industrial Real Estate in Greenville SC

Industrial real estate is doing well in Greenville, too. The industrial real estate space has helped out in other ways with companies purchasing land to help create more jobs as well as lodging spaces for folks who work in that area or even lodges for visitors.

Growth Forecast in Greenville SC


Real estate isn’t stagnant. In fact, you should see growth by 11% this year and gradually decline to 3%. So whether you’re looking at relocating or staying put, try investing in Greenville , South Carolina if you want that auto manufacturing job. However, plan for the amount of money it takes to live there long-term. If you have questions, contact a reputable real estate agent who has attended real estate school to help you start this journey!

Best Cities in the United States to Own a Horse Property

Best Cities in the United States to Own a Horse Property




Horse Properties

When trying to make a decision on which city is the best city to own a horse property, one should consider all of the reasons why the location is a good choice. One should look at how close it is to major highways, whether there are public transportation options, how many other people and businesses are in the immediate area, and how much the monthly rental fees are. Whether you are planning to buy a farm or one of those professionally managed race horses, these cities have everything that you need.

Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina is easily one of the best cities to own a horse property because it has an abundance of available equestrian properties. The city has an abundance of horse farms and tack facilities that cater to equestrians of all levels. Horse properties in Greenville, SC give you the opportunity to own and raise your own horse or pony so that you can compete in the most prestigious equestrian shows in the nation. 

When looking at the available equestrian properties in Greenville, South Carolina there are two main types of land use. Large tracts of pasture with plenty of room to move and groom are available and many people enjoy the equestrian properties that allow them to take full advantage of the natural beauty found in the mountains. The large variety of pasture land and equestrian properties makes finding the right place to purchase a horse property a snap. You can find both freestanding and mounted tack on a multitude of different locations including free riding and groomed pastures. Many of the horses that are raised on free riding hills have come from young foals that have been hand tied by their mommies after she gives birth and then sent to live at a stable until they are old enough to roam freely on their own. There are also horses that are rescued from abusive situations and are trained to be the perfect companion for those people who love to spend time riding horses.

Another great feature of the Greenville SC area is that the equestrian landscape is vast and varied. The climate is cool and mild and the horses need little maintenance or help when they need it. If you want to own a horse and make sure that the animals get the care and attention that they need while living in the best climate in the world, the Greenville SC area is the perfect place to invest in your new horse property. The large amount of acreage available and the fact that there is no pollution to worry about will give you peace of mind when making your investment decision.

Horse Property Greenville SC

Middleburg, Virginia

Another great city to own a horse property is none other than Middleburg, Virginia. It is considered as one of the best locations to buy and lease a horse. There are many reasons why this city is considered as one of the best places in the world to do business in horse property leasing and buying. One of the main factors that make Middleburg a wonderful choice for horse property is that it has all of the amenities and safety measures needed by the horse owners.

Unlike some of the other places that you might find, Middleburg does not have an excessive amount of horse acreage. This makes equestrian properties much more affordable and accessible. There is also no shortage of room for expansion and growth of the horses or the equestrian businesses associated with them. This is what makes Middleburg the best city in which to buy and lease a horse.

Another reason why owning a horse property in Middleburg is such an excellent option is that the city is served by four major highways and twenty bridges. These highways connect major cities all over the country and offer great scenery in the process. Additionally, the roads head towards Canada and the Atlantic Ocean ensuring easy access to the best horse riding destinations in the world. The beautiful countryside also makes for a fantastic destination for equestrian lovers.

Horse Property Middleburg VA

Woodstock, Vermont

The beautiful town of Woodstock, Vermont is nestled between two mountains and surrounded by a lush green landscape. There are miles upon miles of trails for you and your horse to explore. In addition to this there is an abundance of horseback riding, skating, and carriage rides available. The people of Woodstock are welcoming to visitors from around the world and there is no better place to visit in order to take in all that this beautiful and historic town has to offer.

Woodstock has all the necessities for a comfortable living including a good hospital, grocery store, doctor, and many of the services that you would expect from a small town. With a large population, this city has plenty of job opportunities for those looking to be a horseman or horse breeder and you will not have a hard time finding a job.

Horse Property Woodstock VT

Ocala, Florida

There is a wide range of equestrian properties in Ocala, Florida that will allow you to get out into the open and into the cooling breezes and the cool grass. The climate in Florida over the months of April through September is considered mild with temperatures around seventy-five to eighty degrees, but the warmer months remain much more humid, regularly reaching ninety degrees. If you are looking for a horse property, then the time of year and the type of climate are two of the most important factors that should be considered.

Wellington, Florida

If you are looking for a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere, then Wellington Florida is perfect. You will find that there is everything you would want from an outdoor living space, including amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, you will also find plenty of equestrian properties available that include barns, stables, and horse trailers. Whether you have a large or small horse, you can find a great piece of property to call your own, but make sure you understand your property rights in the state.

No matter what your needs are for owning a horse, Wellington Florida will be able to give you what you are looking for. In Wellington, you will find Wellington horse trailer parks that have a variety of different types of trailers. You will also find equestrian properties that are available for lease. Whether you are looking for a year-round pasture or you are just looking for a place to relax with your horse in the summertime, there is something for everyone in Wellington Florida. With the weather being as hot as it is during the spring and summer months, you will be able to find the perfect place to purchase property for your horse.

Horse Property Wellington FL

Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky is one of the best cities in the United States to own a horse because of many factors. The climate of Lexington is mild to moderately cool. This allows equestrian properties in the city to thrive year round regardless of the temperature. Also, equestrian tenants can enjoy all of the fun activities and competitions that are hosted in the town during the summer. While other cities may have warm days occasionally, they don’t allow as much of a chance for the horse lover to get away from it all and enjoy some horseback riding or trail rides during the spring weather.

Another reason that Lexington is the best city to own a horse property is that the city is full of exciting things to do with regards to horses. The Bluegrass State Park has horse trails where the equestrian trail runners can test their mettle and the riders can also learn about the history and culture of the American southwest. The largest animal shelter in the country is located in Lexington and it is open to people who would like to take part in horse adoption. Also, the Kentucky Horse Park offers horse shows and clinics to educate the public about proper care and grooming of horses. As someone interested in equestrian properties, owning a house on a stable in a quiet and peaceful place is an ideal way to make horse ownership a reality and even make some extra money in the process.

Horse Property Lexington KY

San Antonio, Texas

There are a variety of equestrian properties in the city of San Antonio that are available to the people who wish to invest in them. The competition among the different equestrian property companies has made the prices go down quite a bit. One of the best things about investing in this particular type of investment is that it is a safe bet that the value of the asset will appreciate in the coming years.

San Antonio is the perfect place for horse lovers and investment seekers. There are so many people who visit this part of the country on vacation, seeking to enjoy the warm weather and all that it offers. Investing in the equestrian industry makes a lot of sense because the city of San Antonio is the home of the San Antonio Horse Park, which is considered to be one of the best horse property destinations in the entire United States. The horse property is priced well below market value, which means that if you are willing to invest in it, you will definitely be able to make good returns.

Horse Property San Antonio TX


The top horse places in the United States usually have a lot of land to accommodate the horses and an excellent infrastructure to support them. Some of the professional race horses are treated like celebrities and are even allowed to spend their days and nights at the pool, gym, or whatever they wish. As long as the place provides adequate accommodation and enough horse-related paraphernalia for the horse’s needs, you will be able to give the animal the best of care. You may also hire an equestrian properties manager to take care of other things for you while you keep an eye on the horse.

How Much Property Do You Need to Own a Horse?

How Much Property Do You Need to Own a Horse?

How Much Property Do You Need to Own a Horse

Factors to Consider

As much fun as horse ownership can be, it is also a responsibility that comes with certain limits when you buy horse farms for sale. If you don’t share the property with others or you have no clear way to monitor the horse, then you will need to know how much property the horse is worth. The value of your horse is based on several factors, including its age and breed. The most obvious of these factors is age. Older horses will be harder to own because their value decreases with each year they are aged.



Buying young horses isn’t always a bad thing. They can quickly gain strength and learn to be dependable. Some horses may even excel in competitive events. On the other hand, if you plan on owning horses for long-term purposes, such as competing at the Olympics, then it’s a good idea to go with an older horse. Not only will you get more for your money, you’ll be guaranteed to have a horse that’s ready to compete for your money.


Amount of Horses

When figuring out how much property you need to own a horse, it’s important to factor in how many horses you want to own. The younger the horse, the more time and effort you will need to invest in its care. An older horse will cost less but its responsibilities will increase. This will mean that you’ll need to hire someone to help you keep the horse groomed and to exercise it.

How much property do you need to own a horse
Young happy woman cleaning her horse.

Acres of Property Available

Another consideration is how many acres of property do you have available. The cost of owning a horse can be very expensive and owning equestrian properties can help you manage everything that comes with taking care of horses. Depending on how long you plan to own the animal and whether or not you use it for show or racing events, there are many factors to consider before purchasing a horse. Keep in mind that although you can train a horse, you will need to provide it with a stable and healthy diet. If you have the money to invest, purchasing an Arabian or a Western horse may be the best choice.

Purchasing Horse Related Items

In addition to purchasing a horse, you may also be interested in purchasing other horse related items, such as tack, grooming equipment and jockey equipment. If you are able to acquire the necessary funding and space, then you can easily own multiple horses. This gives you the opportunity to compete in several competitions throughout the year and possibly win the highest prize. It can also help keep you motivated and ready to race whenever the opportunity presents itself.

How Much Property Do You Need to


Once you know how much property you need to own a horse, it’s time to start searching for a horse. You can try looking at local equestrian clubs or search online for online lists of available horses. You should also ask other horse owners what they consider as valuable property. If you are looking to purchase a young animal, try and find one that’s not too old and is still free and clear from any previous health issues. A healthy horse is less likely to develop any ailments, which makes for a more enjoyable horse ownership experience.

Real Estate School: Online or In-Person?

Real Estate School: Online or In-Person?

Real Estate School: Online or In-Person?


You are interested in becoming a real estate agent, but you have no idea where to start or what steps to take to achieve your goals. The first step in becoming a real estate agent, like most careers, is to get the proper education or certification from an accredited real estate school and complete the state licensing exam.

One of the first big decisions you will have to make in starting your real estate career is which school you would like to attend and whether it is more beneficial for you to take classes online or in-person. There are benefits and drawbacks to each, so you will have to analyze which option will help you gain the most success.

One big benefit of online programs is that there is a lot of flexibility around them. It is very likely that you have other responsibilities to take care of while you are completing coursework, such as other work schedules or a family to attend to. Online programs allow you to complete your licensing on your own time and schedule while still being able to carry out your everyday tasks.

Furthermore, it can be a big money saver. Online classes can wind up being less expensive than in-person classes because you will be saving money on the cost of traveling to campus, the cost of a babysitter if you have a family to care for, and the cost of having to ask off of work on the days and times you have classes. 

There are Drawbacks

However, there are drawbacks to doing online schooling as well. You need to take into account which method of schooling will be most beneficial to you in acing the state licensing exam. Although it is tempting to take classes in the comfort of your own home, you must have the self-discipline to log onto the online program and complete the coursework in a timely, efficient manner. You must be able to stay organized, motivate yourself, minimize distractions, and manage your time efficiently. 

Also, there is a lack of face-to-face communication with peers and teachers. Some people benefit more from being able to have discussions with students and teachers throughout a class time or lesson. With online schooling, you still have the ability to communicate through emails or discussion boards; however, you may not get the feedback or answers to your questions as quickly as you would like. There is also a higher likelihood of miscommunication through online mediums since there is no way of indicating tone of voice or body language. 

Online or In-Person


In turn, one of the biggest benefits of getting your education in the classroom is being able to have that face-to-face communication with teachers and other students that want to obtain their real estate licensing. The ability to have that interaction allows you to build relationships and trust with those around you and to obtain answers to your questions in a quicker manner. You may also find that you are able to learn more efficiently in a classroom where you are allowed that clear interaction instead of staring at a computer screen in which you will have to lead yourself in the learning process. 

One drawback is that you will not have that flexibility to complete your coursework on your own time like online real estate courses allow. There will be a limited amount of days and times to choose from when it comes to scheduling your classes, which may cause problems if you have a work schedule or child’s school schedule to work around. You will not be able to work at your own pace so, if you feel like you may be learning ahead or behind the rest of the group, you will more than likely have to stay at the same pace as the rest of the group. 

There is also the additional drawback of the extra costs of travel or time. You will have to account for the money it will take to travel to the campus, whether that be by car or public transportation options, and the cost of taking off of work for those class times or finding childcare while you are in class if needed. 


Remember that requirements for real estate licensing depends on the state that you live and plan to work in. Make sure that you are aware of all state requirements before making your decision and do research on local programs and online programs. For a better idea of what type of education is better for you, ask for recommendations from friends or coworkers, compare the costs of courses, materials, and travel, and assess which aspects of learning are going to be the most advantageous for you to obtain your real estate certification.


Whether you choose to go into the classroom or stay home and take your classes online, you want to make sure that your choice will be the most useful to you in jump starting your real estate education!

Is A Real Estate Franchise Right For You

Explore the differences of a real estate franchise vs independent agents and brokers.

The real estate industry is complex. Aside from trying to increase efficiency, and hiring the right talent, frequently the main reason that brokers hire agents (who directly represent the broker to clients) is due to legal requirements by certain states. Franchising brokers pay for support from their franchisor, where independent real estate brokers have more freedom with fewer resources.

Franchise Brokers and Independent Brokers

Real estate sales transactions include a broad range of moving parts and agencies, such as mortgage lenders, cash buyers, negotiation and settlement of contracts, possible property liens, and stated or unstated contingencies, just to name a few. States want to make certain buyers and sellers of real estate have protections against negligence and fraud. Some states have very tight rules on who is allowed to manage particular parts of the sale, and the most important person in the whole transaction is the selling real estate broker.

Regulations and codes governing the real estate industry frequently change, which lends itself to the real estate brokerage model. A Broker is a real estate agent who has put in the time and education to go from sales agent to company broker. In a sales transaction, agents are merely representatives of the broker, so the broker position is a pretty nice place to be. Successful brokers often have several to hundreds of real estate agents working for them.

It might be tough to picture real estate brokerages with hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of agents, they all are acting on behalf of the broker, who is, legally, the true representative of the client (buyer and/or seller). As far as brokerage models go, there is one for every taste and preference. We have all heard of the big brands like Century 21, Weichert, ReMax, 1 Percent Lists, and others, but what differentiates these franchise brands and your hometown independent Real Estate brokerage? Let’s take a look and try to understand the different pros and cons of independent vs franchise real estate brokers. Knowledge is power, and when you’re in the market to buy a home you certainly want to get the right broker.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Franchise Broker Model

While a broker in private practice is allowed to work alone, they frequently utilize other Realtors to assist with the volume of work that goes into buying and selling homes. Realtors often sometimes cover for each other if one is going on vacation, but needs someone back home to manage their listing. All this is common practice in the industry. It’s not easy to start a brokerage. You have to recruit talent, somehow generate income quick enough to pay the bills, but if an independent naturally grows into this position, it’s often more lucrative than paying dues to a parent franchise company.

Name Recognition

One of the main reasons a broker would purchase a franchise is for instant name recognition. Also, the parent franchise company will often provide support in the form of documentation, training, advertising, legal assistance, and a range of other industry partners and complexities that independent real estate brokers bear the full headache of.

Direct Support

A broker who buys into a franchise should be able to expect a lot of support, lead generation support, and a network of other industry professionals that come into play in various types of transactions. Among these include home inspectors, home appraisers, mortgage brokers, escrow offices (or closing attorneys, depending on the state), and the list goes on. This type of support is invaluable to a new franchise broker just starting out.

Real Estate Agents

Brokers who franchise have a distinct edge over their competition. Their training and support network is likely to be fully developed and structured. Not only do they provide support to the broker directly, they often support the agent in the form of training, tech tools, and marketing and advertising opportunities.

Access to Technology

While technology tools are available to all real estate agents, not everything is cheap. Franchise brokers can often support their agents with tools that translate to a better experience for the customer. Access to proper tech tools can make the difference between a smooth transaction and a very difficult one. Customer service is a big driving factor for referral and return business, so these tools can be invaluable in advancing their career and market dominance.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World

Also known as LeadingRE, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World is a national network of real estate firms, both independent and franchises. These members are held to extremely high and strict standards of real estate in order to maintain their membership.

Independent Broker Pros and Cons

Sometimes more experienced agents will work for a major brokerage for a few years, then step out on their own and launch their own brokerage company. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as one agent constantly beats out all the competition… Those agents can be enticed by keeping their entire commission, and potentially hiring working agents beneath them to generate even more income. Independent brokers may not have the support of a parent franchisor, but they also don’t have their rules to follow, giving them complete creative control to design, structure, and operate their business.

Uniqueness and Individuality

Almost always, a franchise broker has restrictions on how they can operate, how they use the brand name and logo, how they advertise and market themselves… there are usually rules for everything already in place. There is no room for uniqueness or individuality in a franchise. One should be like every other.

Access to Education

A franchise will have every aspect of the business in place up-front, therefore leaving less room for experimentation and trying different techniques for marketing and business in general. Since the independent broker knows he is going up against big franchises, independent brokers often find themselves more involved in community education, such as putting on “first-time homebuyer’s classes and other home-buying seminars or classes.

Higher Commitment

Again, due to the higher operating costs of a franchise, and less flexibility with many factors of the sales process, an independent broker can use his or her own creativity and personal uniqueness to bring a personal experience to the client, even if it means working weekends and after hours!

Market Knowledge

Franchise brokers are often bound to a parent franchisor that isn’t community-oriented, since the brokerage may be based out of the market, or even out of the state. Independent brokers frequently work hard to compete with the franchise powerhouse by developing in-depth knowledge on the local market, and may even be aware of homes coming on the market due to their close interaction with their community.

If you’re trying to decide between an independent broker vs a franchise broker, it’s best to start at the community level. Look for names you’ve seen on for sale signs. Do a google search for local realtors and read reviews. Do your research so that, regardless of who you choose, you feel confident in your decision.

What Do Independent and Franchise Brokerages Have in Common?

Similar to nationwide banks vs your local credit union, they both are different, but have similarities too. Regardless of which model you choose, there will be common threads between both models.

MLS Access

The MLS (Multiple Listing System) is the Realtor database that almost all homes for sale are listed in. Most real estate brokers have MLS access. Those that don’t may have other methods of advertising, they just don’t pay the extra fee or access to the MLS. It isn’t free. Access to the MLS means your agent, independent or franchise, can pull up all of the homes for sale in a given area. Their MLS access and functionality are the same.

Being Professional

Brokerages do compete, but that doesn’t mean they are always cut-throat rivals… although it does happen. But aside from any company affiliation, real estate agents are constantly striving to increase their education, expertise, customer service, and professionalism. Brokerages, whether independent or franchise, are still known to work deals together.

Legal Compliance

Brokers are (or should be) very serious about their legal responsibilities. Regardless of a sales agent’s style or approach, if there is a problem, you can always take the issue to the broker. Remember, the agent is merely representative of the broker, so if you have a problem, take it straight to the horse’s mouth. Responsibility and accountability are taken very seriously in the industry, regardless of the firm you work for.

Professional Development

Real estate agents are always working to improve themselves. It’s not uncommon for agents to pay a real estate coach to train their agents. Agents, too, often attend conferences and ongoing training outside the office to improve their knowledge and overall professionalism.

National Realtor Association

About half of all real estate brokers work for independent brokers, and although NAR (National Association of Realtors) isn’t a brokerage, you can expect agents from all styles of brokerages to be members of this professional association. NAR owns the REALTOR® brand name, and real estate agents who are not members of NAR may NOT refer to themselves as a Realtor. Realtors have further access to a higher level of training and professional development than a non-NAR member. Professional designations such as GRI (Graduate, Realtor Institute, ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative), and CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) are a few examples of professional designations a Realtor can earn and carry throughout his or her career.

Even though a private broker-agent can legally practice as one person, they often have other agents, or licensed or unlicensed assistants working under them to help manage the workload. Building a brokerage from a one-person operation is possible, but certainly not as fast as buying a franchise. This often becomes the decision of that broker looking to strike out on their own… should they try to start their own brokerage from scratch, or is buying into a franchise a better idea. I think a big part of the answer is whether or not the agent is already known through town. It’s a lot easier to open your own brokerage when people know you, but if they don’t, a franchise may be the fastest path to success.

Regardless of their bigger support structure and agent-onboarding procedures, built following the concept of “best practices”, a franchising broker faces fewer obstacles, consisting of greater overhead and less uniqueness. The things that make an independent broker special and of value happens to also be a significant obstacle. There may be fewer resources available, and their real estate agents might not utilize the current technology options to manage their organization.

Being Creative with Real Estate Marketing

Being Creative with Real Estate Marketing

Creativity in the World of Real Estate

Sometimes, budding homeowners have needs or simply “want” things that are, if not outright unusual, quirky to say the least. Realtors, in these instances, have to get creative to find the right properties to match these people’s interests so that they can buy a home with little or no hassle.

Being Creative in the world of real estate
Being Creative in the world of real estate

One Example of Creativity in Real Estate


Let’s say there’s a beautiful NOLA property directly under the path airplanes use to take off and land at a major airport. It might have every amenity possible, but almost no one would want such a home. The creative Realtor, however, might know a deaf client who would love such a home and who would not suffer from the deafening aircraft roar. Likewise, the owner of such a property would probably despair at ever getting a reasonable offer, but the creative Realtor could match buyer and seller together for a distinctly positive result.


Innovative Thinking


Certain clients might have financial difficulties that make their quest to buy a home more stressful than it needs to be. A Realtor should maintain a good relationship with mortgage brokers. There is no “one-size-fits-all” mortgage. All mortgages involve APR, payment amount, and duration of the term, but not all of them have the three in the same balance. Working together, the Realtor and the mortgage broker can devise a loan that meets the client’s needs.


Many sellers will accept conditional offers as long as one of the conditions isn’t, “I have to sell my home first.” In a world where such offers are sometimes swept aside by sellers enamored by people making unconditional offers, the forward-thinking Realtor knows that unconditional offers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

real estate rights
Understanding Your Property Rights in a Real Estate Transaction


Banks may not appraise the seller’s home at the perceived value or, worse, may change the appraisal in midstream. Worst of all, despite a pre-approval, the lender may suddenly decide that the property, for whatever reason, doesn’t “measure up” and rescind the approval. The “unconditional” tag counts both ways. Realtors can leverage these possibilities so that their clients can make conditional offers, even those that require the sale of the buyer’s current home first, that are more likely to be accepted.


Innovative Digital Marketing


With almost everyone that is buying or selling a home using the internet at some point in the process – modern online marketing for real estate cannot be overlooked.  When we look at some of the most cutting edge techniques in modern digital marketing for real estate, the options can be overwhelming and all entail some level of expertise. Some of the more modern digital marketing tactics include:

SEO or Search Engine Optimization

Google Ads for Remarketing to clients that have visited your website

Content Marketing – which includes the creation of original content and syndication of that content

Social Media Advertising – targeting your clients with ads on Social Media.  Social Media marketing is all the rage and there are tons of different ways to leverage social media to market a home or a brand on social media.

YouTube Videos – May Realtors today create videos about real estate and upload them to YouTube to build their brand.  They even have videos advertising digital marketing for real estate.


Choosing the Right Help


Whether clients want to buy or sell a home, the circumstances are never quite the same from sale to sale. Both Realtors and mortgage professionals of all kinds must be flexible and able to think on their collective feet. Potential clients should vet the professionals whom they plan to enlist in their battle against the world of real estate.

The laws of real estate are surely stuffy, lengthy, and cut-and-dried, but that doesn’t mean that the right savvy, quick-thinking, and solution-oriented professional cannot make the process pleasant and successful for all parties involved.

Choosing the Right Agent



Protecting your rights regarding the largest investment most people ever make in their lives is just plain sensible. Don’t be afraid of hiring an attorney to make sure everything goes smoothly. Despite the creativity of ethical professionals, there might be roadblocks, and no one reputable will be upset if you hire an attorney.


The Importance Of Insulation To A Home’s Value

The Importance Of Insulation To A Home’s Value
The Importance Of Insulation To A Home’s Value

What Does Insulation Do To A Home’s Value

When you’re in the market for a home, insulation may not be the first thing to come to mind, but considering its overall role in the home’s ability to provide a comfortable living environment.

And to avoid astronomical heating and cooling bills, checking the insulation of the home must be on the inspection to-do list. The quality of insulation effects the cost of owning a home as a result of the need to heat and cool the building.

For a seller of real estate, it is important to make sure that the place is well insulated as it is a good selling point that add value to the house.

Planning To Buy A Home

Checking on the quality of its insulation is a necessary part the process when buying a home. Unfortunately, it is impossible to look behind walls to inspect for insulation.  

If the owner can provide evidence of the type and “therm rating” of the insulation, that should give you some insight. Sometimes there is a certificate of installation issued by the installing contractor.  

It’s also possible that an older house may have originally had lacked wall insulation, but had it blown in at a later time. .

Two types of insulation that can be personally inspected are floor and attic insulation. Checking the floor insulation makes it necessary to go into the crawlspace or basement but that should be done for other reasons as well.

If the floor is well insulated, there will be sheets of insulation called batts under the floorboards that will be seen. If all you see are the floorboards, then there is no insulation.

Checking attic insulation, likewise, involves going into the attic. If the attic is not boarded over, you will see the blown fiber insulation. It will look like cotton on the attic floor. If all that is seen is wood, wiring, and drywall inside the attic, then there is no insulation.

Planning To Sell A Home

Considering the quality of its insulation when selling a home is important. Selling a properly insulated home is not only a good selling point, but it improves the value of the house as well.

It would be a good idea before putting a house on the market to check its insulation. If you have already improved the quality of the insulation of the house, and provide the buyer with a copy of the certificate of installation that is often issued by the installer.

If one wasn’t given, you may be able to call the installer and ask for one. Most installation companies will send a new one as customer service for free, but occasionally they may charge a nominal processing fee.

When selling a house that lacks proper insulation, consider having it installed. It will increase the value of the property and make it easier to sell.

The increase in value will be more than the price of the work and a good investment. Showing potential buyers certificates of installation and contractor receipts for any work or improvements made to the home can be a big selling point.

When In Doubt, Ask Your Realtor

Both buyers and sellers need to keep insulation in mind. The buyer will get a better and more cost-efficient house. The seller will not only get better value for the house but have a helpful selling point as well.

Insulation is an important part of a cost-efficient home, so as long as both buyers and sellers keep it in mind both will benefit.  If you have questions about insulation in your home buying process, or need help finding the best home for you, discuss it with your Realtor.

Most Realtors will recommend a professional home inspection as part of your buying process, and more information about a home’s insulation can often be found in one of these types of inspections.

How To Protect Your Property Rights

How To Protect Your Property Rights

Protecting Property Rights

real estate rights

Property Rights in the US

Property laws were made to protect the property rights of a person. They gave property owners the power to use, get returns and benefits, protect or give away an extent of land or a building within a set of regulations mandated by law. Property laws in the US have a long history. Lawmakers have continuously made efforts to protect the rights of land and home owners from the drafting of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, all the way up to today.  This is very different than the way real estate is handled, lets say for instance, in Cabo Mexico.


Revolutionary Period


Before laws were framed and just after the American Revolution, there were instances of forcible confiscation of land without legal proceedings from loyalists. Lawmakers realized the need to protect the rights of property owners. The framers of the American Constitution emphasized the importance of property.


James Madison Bill of Rights


James Madison made efforts to protect property while framing the Bill of Rights. While declaring the purpose of government, he stated that government should be exercised for the benefit of the people, including protecting their rights of acquiring and using property.

In the fifth amendment, James Madison added two safeguards that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, and private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. At first this law was applicable only to the federal government but later many states adopted these clauses under the Bill of Rights to protect property owners.


The New Deal


After the Great Depression, the importance of property laws and judgements that focused on the protection of private property declined. This was a result of President Franklin Roosevelt’s program in 1937 where the Federal government promoted public welfare and controlled the economy.


Real Estate Rights Today


The laws of real property protect the buyer and seller of property in the USA today. There are many laws made locally to insure those who want to buy a home or sell a home are not only protected, but the transactions are performed according to law and recorded correctly.

Buyers and sellers of properties consult a real estate attorney or a  title insurance company to make sure that there are no claims on the property by tracing the history of the title and transactions. The title company or real estate attorney will help buyers with mortgage options. They will also ensure that the transaction contract is fair to the seller and the buyer.


Limitations of Rights

In the US, we do implement many limitations of rights on real property.  This is done through zoning and other local and federally implemented rules.  For instance, if your home is in an older city such as Savanna, New Orleans or Boston that has many historically protected properties, you will have additional rules and regulations on what you can and cannot do to your own home.  In addition, if you are buying a waterfront property, they have riparian water rights that you should be made aware of by your Realtor.


Rights of a Buyer


When buyers decide to buy a home, they have legal rights under both federal and state laws. They have the right to be informed about any claim on the title. They have the right to know whether the building has any structural defects. They have the right to know about any property taxes.

They have the right to appraise the house in a fair and neutral manner. They have the right to see or walk through the property before closing the deal. They have a right to know whether the seller has homeowners insurance and other required insurance. They also have the right to refuse or choose a mortgage provider or lender. Buyers have the right to get a market price analysis to compare with similar properties. Before closing the deal, they have a right to obtain copies of the purchase and sales agreement.


The Rights of a Seller


Federal and state laws also give certain rights to home sellers in a property transaction when they decide to sell a home. Sellers have the right to set a reasonable price for their property. They can advertise the property in a forum or a listing. Sellers have the right to work with a property broker or agent. They can provide a home inspection or request one. They can accept or reject offers of buyers and negotiate for a deposit.


From the framing of the constitution, all the way to today, laws and regulations in the US have addressed the importance of protecting the rights of property owners and the need to regulate property transactions.


Don’t Let the Pests Take over Your Home

Don’t Let the Pests Take over Your Home

There are many types of pests that you do not want to invade your home and cause damage. The damage these pests cause can be expensive and dangerous.

Types of pests

You know the saying, “Don’t let the bedbugs bite” well it is true.

Bed bugs do bite; unfortunately, it is often mistaken for spider or mosquito bites, and the bite itches just like other insect bites. It is extremely rare, but in some instances, a person can have a severe allergic reaction to a bed bug bite.

Other types of pests include;

  •    Termites which weaken the structure of the home
  •    Ants
  •    Fleas
  •    Ticks which can carry Lyme disease that is harmful not only to humans but our pets such as dogs and cats
  •    Spiders some of which can be dangerous
  •    Cockroaches
  •    Rodents carry disease conditions as well as fleas

Not all pests are insects so do not forget pests such as snakes, raccoons, birds, and other wild animals.


How to control and get rid of pests

First you will need to determine what type of pest you have; apparently, some are more difficult to spot than others. If you are finding rodent droppings, you apparently have a problem. You canset traps or poison out to get rid of the problem; however, if you have children or pets you should probably stay away from the toxins. Don’t like removing the rodent from a trap? There are now traps that lure the rodent in, and you throw the trap out with the rodent inside so you never must see or touch the rodent. Ant traps work similarly, however; they have poison in then so do keep them out of reach of children and pets.

Control PestsOften it may seem like you are losing the battle when it comes to some of the household pests such as ants and roaches; this is the time to call in pest control. When you call a pest control company, they will come in and do an inspection first. They look for signs of activity, to see what it is you have in your home. Based on that inspection they will recommend ways to control re-infestation once they problem is gone. Once the type of pest has been determined, they will use the proper products and equipment to rid your home of the pest. Depending on the problem you may have to leave your home for a day or two.  

If you are concerned about the effects of the products they use on your children or pets, speak to them to find out how long before it is safe for your children or pets to be on the floor, etc.


Things you can do


  • To keep mice and roaches out of your house do not leave things that they can find to use as a source of food or nesting materials such as cardboard boxes sitting around.
  • Do not store things such as food in bags, purchase plastic containers with airtight lids to save things like cereal, sugar, flour, etc. in the pantry.
  • Keep counters and sink washed and clean of crumbs, grease, and other food sources.
  • You may use your vacuum at least once a week to prevent food crumbs off the floor that could attract things like ants or mice.
  • Keeping things clean does not mean you will never find pests in your home, but it does reduce the number of infestations.
  • Every couple of months, inspect the areas under your sinks, around your toilets and tubs, or appliances such as washers for water leaks that could cause puddles to form in the basement or under your home which could be a water source for insects or rodents.
  • If you do not leave food or water sources for pests, they will move on quickly.

Get Rid of Pests Before Listing Your Home

Nothing will kill a real estate showing faster than the potential home buyer seeing insects or rodents when viewing your home.  Make sure to get rid of the issues well before listing your home for sale.  In addition, make sure that any dead bugs or carcass are removed before putting the house up for sale.  Although this sounds like very basic information, countess homes are put up for sale with dead bugs around after the home has been treated.