New Spaces, New Ventures: Setting Up Your Home Business While Moving

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By Alice Robertson

Embarking on the dual journey of relocating your home and starting a home-based business can feel like steering through uncharted waters. It’s a voyage filled with both daunting challenges and unique opportunities, each demanding your attention and resilience. This article, courtesy of, serves as your navigational guide. Use these insights and strategies to flourish through the complexities, turning obstacles into stepping stones for success.

Space Matters: Crafting Your Ideal Home Office

Assessing Space Requirements

As you embark on this venture, remember that the physical space of your dream is a canvas for your entrepreneurial spirit. The dimensions of your home office are not merely about space, but a nurturing ground for your business aspirations. Choose a home where your business can operate efficiently today and has the potential for growth tomorrow.

Local Laws and Your Business

Understanding zoning laws is crucial for the longevity of your home-based business. These laws dictate what activities can occur in your home, impacting your business operations significantly. Familiarize yourself with these local regulations to ensure your business is compliant and primed for success in its new environment.

Visualizing Success: Designing Your Workspace

Your office layout is a critical component of your daily efficiency. A well-designed floor plan using digital tools can optimize your workspace, aligning it with your business processes. Think of it not just as an arrangement of physical space, but as a strategic design for productivity and success.

Juggling Unpacking and Professional Duties

Achieving a balance between setting up your home and running your business is essential. Strategically allocate time to unpack and settle in, while also dedicating efforts to maintain your business momentum. This approach is more than managing time; it’s about orchestrating a harmonious start to your new chapter.

Laying the Foundations of Your Home-Based Business

The Backbone of Your Enterprise: Business and Marketing Plans

Your business plan is a living document that encapsulates the essence of your business. It should be adaptable, reflecting the unique characteristics of your new market and environment. Continuously refine this plan to ensure it aligns with both your long-term vision and the realities of your new locale.

The Digital Transition: Securing Your Documents

In today’s digital-first landscape, ensuring the mobility and security of your business documents is crucial. Converting crucial documents into PDF format ensures they’re both accessible and secure. Embrace this digital transition; you can create a PDF online to fortify your business’s operational agility and responsiveness. And the proper tool will let you convert, edit, reorder, and change the sizes of files in a single interface.

Establishing Your Business Presence

Choosing a P.O. Box for your business address is a strategic move for maintaining privacy and enhancing your professional image. This decision goes beyond mere convenience; it invests in your business’s public persona and operational efficiency. A P.O. Box provides a stable and professional point of contact for clients and associates.

Investing in the Right Technology

Investing in the right technology is a foundational step for any home-based business. Assess and invest in tools and software that align with your specific business needs. This means going beyond the basics and carefully selecting technology that enhances your productivity, connects you with clients, and keeps you at the forefront of industry trends.

Your journey to establish a home-based business in a new location is a tale of resilience and adaptability. Remember that meticulous planning coupled with the ability to pivot is crucial. Embrace this opportunity to reinvent your living space and professional life. The time to act is now—launch your home-based business and turn your new house into a home of success!


What to Expect When You Leave the City For A Small Town

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By Marie Villeza

Relocating from the bustling environment of a big city to the tranquil setting of a small town is a significant life change. It’s important to understand the unique aspects and lifestyle changes that come with small-town living. This transition can offer a refreshing change of pace and a new perspective on life. In this article, courtesy of Buy Sell Invest, you’ll discover what to expect and how to adapt to life in a smaller community.

Embracing a Slower Pace

Adjusting to the relaxed pace of life in a small town may take some time if you’re used to the city’s hustle and bustle. You’ll find that life moves at a more leisurely pace, which can significantly reduce stress and improve your quality of life. This slower pace allows for more personal time and opportunities to enjoy simple pleasures. Embrace this change as a chance to unwind and decompress.

Limited Services and Amenities

Be prepared for the fact that small towns often lack 24-hour stores, a variety of specialty restaurants, and other amenities you might be accustomed to in a city. You might need to travel to a nearby city for certain services or goods, so plan accordingly and look for apps that can help. This limitation can be an opportunity to explore local businesses and support the community. Adaptation and flexibility are key in adjusting to the limited services available.

Starting a Business in a Small Community

If you’re considering starting a business in a small town, it’s crucial to develop a comprehensive business plan. Your plan should include a clear company description, a detailed sales strategy, an organizational structure, funding sources, and financial projections. Understanding the local market and consumer needs is vital. Research and planning will increase your chances of success in a smaller market.

Building Community Connections

In small towns, community connections are more intimate and significant. Take the time to meet your neighbors and participate in local events. Getting involved in community activities is a great way to build relationships and feel at home. These connections can lead to a supportive and enriching social life.

Transportation Challenges

Public transportation options in small towns can be limited or non-existent. You might need to rely on a personal vehicle more than you did in the city. Plan your transportation needs in advance and consider alternative options like biking or carpooling, which are both eco-friendly options. Understanding these limitations will help you adapt to the transportation realities of small-town life.

Job Prospects in Smaller Markets

Job opportunities in small towns might be more limited, especially in specialized fields. You may need to broaden your job search or consider remote work options. Networking within the community can also uncover job opportunities that might not be advertised. Keep an open mind and be prepared to explore different career paths.

Online Education for Career Advancement

Securing an online degree is becoming increasingly vital for career progression in the fast-paced and evolving job environment, notably in the information technology field. These programs are designed to prepare graduates for a wide range of IT roles, equipping them with the latest skills and knowledge. The flexibility of online education allows you to balance your studies with work and personal commitments, making it a practical choice for continuing education. Additionally, the diverse curriculum and specialized courses available online provide an opportunity to specialize in areas that are in high demand in the IT industry.

Entertainment Options

Entertainment options in a small town might be different from what you’re used to in a city. While you might not find large theaters or a variety of nightlife spots, there are often local events, outdoor activities, and community gatherings. Explore and discover what your new home has to offer in terms of entertainment and hobbies.

Moving from a big city to a small town is a significant transition that requires adjustment and an open mind. Remember that this change offers the opportunity for a more relaxed and community-focused lifestyle. Embrace the potential for a fulfilling life in your new small-town setting, where you can enjoy the benefits of a close-knit community and a slower pace of life.

Ready to start a real estate search in a new town? Get in touch with the team at Buy Sell Invest today!

Learn How To Turn An Investment Into A Dream Rental

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By Marie Villeza

As a property owner, it is important to quickly find new tenants for your investment property. However, if your rental property is not attractive, your potential tenants may search for other options. Hence, it is crucial to concentrate on making your rental property more appealing to renters. In this article, which has been shared below by Buy Sell Invest USA, we will present you with ten tips to transform your investment property into a desirable rental that will entice tenants and yield high rent.

What Goes Into Running A Rental Property

Running a rental property is not all about collecting rent. You’ll need to keep up with property maintenance, respond to tenant complaints, keep track of expenses, and much more. To make your rental property more appealing to potential tenants, have a solid plan in place that includes all the necessary details of running the property.

Update The Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of every home, and an outdated or poorly designed kitchen can turn off potential renters. Consider upgrading the appliances, cabinets, countertops, lighting, and backsplash. This will not only enhance the appeal of your rental property, but it will also increase the value of the property.

Have Everything Professionally Cleaned

A clean and tidy rental property sends an immediate message to potential tenants. It shows that you care about the property and your tenants’ comfort. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to thoroughly clean the property before placing it on the market.

Offer Extra Storage Space

Having adequate storage space is a must-have for all rental properties. If your rental property does not have enough storage space, consider investing in additional storage options. Adequate storage space will not only benefit your renters but will also increase your property’s appeal.

Provide Pet-Friendly Features

More and more renters are moving with pets, and they are looking for pet-friendly rental properties. Consider providing features such as a fenced yard, pet doors, and designated pet play areas. These can help attract a pool of potential renters to your property.

Offer Outdoor Amenities

Aside from the interior of your rental property, it’s worth improving the outdoor area too. Incorporating features like a furnished patio, potted plants, and an outdoor grill can produce a serene and comfortable environment for your occupants. Augmenting the exterior appeal of your rental can add value and attract potential tenants.

Ensure Easy Accessibility

Accessibility is critical when it comes to rental properties. Ensure that your rental property is easily accessible to your tenants, especially for those with disabilities or mobility issues. Make sure that there are accessible pathways, ramps, and handles in bathrooms and other household areas. If you need to make renovations to your home to accommodate accessibility, be sure to work with trusted contractors.

Provide High-Speed Internet

In today’s digital age, high-speed internet is a basic necessity. Most renters expect high-speed internet to be included in their rent. This can make your rental property stand out and appeal to young professionals and students.

Keep All Rental Documents Digitized using PDF tools

Keeping all rental documents digitized is a smart decision that can save time and effort for both landlords and tenants. One of the best ways to do this is to convert your file using PDF tools. This makes it easy to edit, share and store the documents securely while ensuring that they are always up-to-date. And if you run into any problems and your goal is to rotate a PDF, there are tools to help with that, as well! With digital documents, landlords can access important rental agreements, notices, and other documents with just a few clicks, without the hassle of managing paper documents.

Forming Your Rental Company As An LLC

Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your rental property. LLCs offer personal asset protection, limit your personal liability, and can help you manage your taxes better. Forming an LLC can also add credibility to your rental property, showing your tenants that you are committed to your business and take your rental property seriously.

Owning an investment property is an excellent opportunity to generate passive income, but it comes with responsibilities. Making your rental property appealing to potential tenants is crucial to ensure a steady flow of rent and maximize your returns. By implementing the ten tips we’ve discussed above, you can make your rental property a dream rental that will attract quality tenants and generate top rent.

Buy Sell Invest USA is here to help you learn more about real estate investing. Call (803) 221-3296.

Beyond the Basics: Advanced Tactics for Successful BRRRR Investing

By Marie Villeza

Real estate investments have long held allure for their potential returns and
tangibility compared to other forms of investment. Among the various strategies
one can employ in this sphere, the BRRRR—Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat—
stands out for its comprehensive approach to maximizing profits. In this detailed
guide from , the discussion centers around the principles
and tactics that can enhance the efficiency and profitability of using the BRRRR
strategy, without compromising on authenticity.

Scout for Properties with Untapped Value and Growth
Finding undervalued properties is pivotal to the success of the BRRRR strategy,
as lower acquisition costs lead to higher returns. A detailed evaluation that
considers elements like location and condition is crucial in this hunt. For ​
example, a savvy investor increased a property’s value substantially by focusing
on cosmetic updates in a suburban home that was initially priced well below
market rates.

Target Emerging Neighborhoods
Identifying up-and-coming neighborhoods serves a dual purpose. On one hand,
properties in these areas are likely to be more affordable, aiding in the “Buy” part
of the BRRRR strategy. On the other, the property’s value is likely to rise more
quickly as the neighborhood gains popularity. This is critical for the “Refinance”
and “Repeat” stages, as higher property values enable you to pull more money
out for your next investment. For example, investing in a neighborhood right
before a new public transport link was announced enabled one investor to benefit
from a sharp rise in property values, while another found value in a formerly
industrial area undergoing transformation into a residential zone.

Acquire Proficiency in the Regional Property Market
Being attuned to the intricacies of your local real estate market can be a game-
changer. This knowledge enables better timing of when to buy, rent, and sell,
helping to further maximize profits. Even understanding the seasonal ebb and
flow of property prices can offer advantages, allowing you to buy low and sell
high. An investor who understood the seasonal slow-down in a college town was
able to acquire properties more affordably during the lull and rent them when the
demand surged with the academic calendar.

Embrace Digital Transformation for Streamlined Operations
Digitizing essential documentation is often the best solution for maintaining an
organized and efficient approach to the BRRRR strategy. The use of tools such as
PDF converters can revolutionize the handling of important contracts, permits,
and other vital paperwork. By transforming these documents into a digital format,
one gains the advantage of easy accessibility, streamlined sharing with
stakeholders, and secure storage. This practice not only conserves time but also
augments the overall professionalism of the investment operation, positioning
you for better success in the real estate market.

Prioritize Crucial Renovation Activities
Budget limitations are often a reality in the investment world. When it comes to
the “Rehab” part of the BRRRR strategy, prioritizing tasks is crucial. Focus first on ​
the renovations that will significantly enhance the property’s value . If a budget
crunch arises, this approach offers the flexibility of selling the property sooner
while still making a profit. For example, modernizing kitchens and bathrooms
often yields a higher return than other kinds of improvements, making them
priority targets for rehab.

Exercise Diligent Project Oversight
Effective management of timelines and budgets is non-negotiable for the
success of a BRRRR strategy. Monitoring ongoing costs and progress against the
project schedule can prevent expensive delays and cost overruns. It’s a balancing
act that requires attention to detail, allowing you to adapt to unexpected
challenges while keeping the project on course for profitability.

The BRRRR strategy in real estate is a multifaceted approach that requires more
than a simple adherence to its five main steps. A blend of smart choices, regional
market understanding, efficient management, and the right technological tools
can turn it into a powerfully effective investment strategy. By focusing on
properties with untapped value, emerging locations, local market trends,
organizational efficiency, prudent rehab prioritization, and diligent management,
an investor can truly optimize the BRRRR strategy for substantial, authentic

For your best resource for buying, selling, and investing in real estate and
mortgage notes, visit today!

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Navigating the Challenges of Relocating to a New State with Your Furry Friends

Image by Samson Katt Pexels

By Marie Villeza

Moving can be a stressful experience for anyone, but it can be even more challenging when you have pets to consider. Whether you’re relocating for work or personal reasons, taking your pets along with you requires careful planning and consideration. Here are some tips to help make the process go smoothly.

Need to relocate quickly? can buy your home as is. Contact us for a cash offer!

Find a Pet-friendly Home

One of the first things you’ll need to do when moving with pets is finding a new home that allows them. This may require some extra effort on your part, as not all landlords or property managers are open to having animals on their premises. Start by doing research online and looking for rental listings that explicitly mention being pet-friendly. You can also reach out to local animal shelters or rescue groups for recommendations.

Hire Pet-Friendly Movers

The next step is finding movers who are comfortable working around animals. Not all moving companies allow pets on their trucks, so it’s important to ask about this before booking their services. Look for companies with experience handling animal transport and who have positive reviews from other pet owners.

Invest In Top-Rated Gear and Accessories

For the most innovative gear and accessories, invest in top-rated products that are personally vetted by experienced professionals. Product reviews from vets can provide valuable insight into potential investments and help you make a savvy decision when it comes to accessorizing your lifestyle. Making sure that your gear and accessories are high quality ensures you have products that are built to last.

Learn How to Safely Transport Your Pet

Transporting your pet safely requires some basic knowledge of animal behavior and physiology. Dogs should always wear seat belts or be secured inside carriers while riding in cars, anc cats should be confined inside carriers at all times. If you’re flying with your pets, look into airlines’ specific policies regarding animal travel beforehand. Some airlines only allow certain breeds or sizes of dogs onboard; others require health certificates or proof of vaccinations before allowing animals on flights.

Update Your Pet’s ID Tags and Microchips

Before moving day arrives, make sure your pets’ identification tags are up-to-date with accurate contact information. If they don’t already have microchips implanted, now is a good time to get this done as well. Microchips provide an additional layer of protection in case they get lost by allowing vets and shelters to scan them for identifying data if they become separated from their families.

Find a Veterinarian

Once you’ve settled into your new home, one of the first things you should do is find a local veterinarian who can provide routine checkups and medical care as needed. Ask your current vet for referrals or research online to find nearby clinics. You may even want to consider visiting a few options before deciding on one so you can get a feel for the staff and atmosphere of each place.

Commit to High-Quality Dog Food

Finally, remember that maintaining good health starts with proper nutrition. A high-quality dog food that’s air fried provides essential proteins without adding unnecessary fat content. Air-dried dog food has many benefits, including a longer shelf life, fewer additives and preservatives, and a more natural flavor that dogs are likely to enjoy. The air drying process also produces a crunchier texture and retains more of the nutrients found in fresh ingredients. Give this a view to learn about different options.

Moving across state lines is never easy – especially when you have four-legged companions coming along for the ride. But with careful planning ahead of time (and some helpful tips), it doesn’t have to be overwhelming either. By finding a new home where both you and your pet will feel welcome, investing in quality food and gear, and finding a trustworthy veterinarian, you and your pets can enjoy a smooth transition.

A Starter Guide to Getting and Managing Your First Investment Property

By Stacey Curiel

If you’re looking for a passive income stream, you might consider an investment property. You can rent it out to long-term tenants or short-term vacation-goers. This can be a great way to collect regular revenue without too much effort. That said, when you’re first getting an investment property off the ground, a lot of work is required. Here, Buy Sell Invest USA provides some insights into acquiring and managing a successful investment property.

Pick the Right Location for Your Investment Property
Location is a key factor when investing in property. If you’re planning to rent to vacation-goers, for example, you want to get the property in a place that has tourist attractions. If you want to rent long-term to families, other factors like school districts matter. Stessa has a roundup of the best U.S. cities for rental property investments, from Ocala, Florida, to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Understand What Makes for a Profitable Investment Property
Location is just one factor that makes an investment property a good bet. Other considerations include growth potential, the property’s condition and monetary value, and current market trends. If you’re having trouble finding the perfect investment property, a realtor can help. A real estate agent will know what neighborhoods are up-and-coming and will be able to negotiate a good deal for you.

If you want to learn from the professionals, check out Real Estate Pros Radio featuring Dawn M. Adams from Buy Sell Invest USA. She and Chad and Larry Jordan address all sorts of topics relating to being successful in real estate investing.

Figure Out Your Financials for Buying Property
When buying a property, odds are you’ll need a mortgage. Getting pre-approved for a home loan can help make you look like a serious buyer and improve your odds of quickly getting the house you want. When applying for a mortgage, get a head start by gathering the documents you need. Experian has a roundup of paperwork to collect, including recent pay stubs, W-2 forms, bank statements, and investment account statements.

Address the Administrative Side of Your Property Business
Treat your investment property like a business. First, educate yourself about the tax obligations that come with renting out property. Next, set up a limited liability company, LLC, to manage your rental income. An LLC helps to protect your liability, safeguarding you and your assets against potential litigation. You can avoid costly lawyer fees and use a formation service to set up an LLC.

Spruce Up Your Property to Make it More Marketable
The property you buy probably won’t be immediately rental-ready after you buy it. For example, it may require some basic repairs before you can market it to potential tenants. Beyond essential fixes, there are also additional steps you can take to spruce up the property and make it more appealing. Examples include adding a fresh coat of paint and updating the lighting.

Start Marketing Your Property to Get Your First Tenants
Once your property is rental-ready, it’s time to find your first tenants. Marketing is essential. RentPrep provides a guide to marketing rental properties, like partnering with local realtors. Also, make sure you’re appealing to your target audience. For example, if you’re trying to attract long-term renters like families, you probably want to highlight assets like a big backyard for kids to play in and a great school district.

Develop a Plan for Managing Daily Operations
An investment property doesn’t run itself. You’ll need to take care of basic maintenance, for example, and find tenants. If you opt for short-term vacation rentals, you also have to handle turnover between guests, which could include cleaning and repairs. If you don’t want to manage all these details yourself, enlist the services of a property management company to help stay on top of things.

You should also protect your investment by getting a home warranty quote. You may think that the homeowner’s insurance you have is enough, but it won’t cover repairs on or replacement of larger appliances and systems, like your HVAC unit or plumbing. A warranty can protect you from large, unexpected expenses, especially if you own an older property. Look for a policy that covers the specific items that are most likely to go out in your building.

Do Your Research and then Get Started
An investment property can be a great way to earn extra money, but it requires effort to set up. Taking care of essentials, like establishing an LLC and investing in a home warranty, can help you avoid stress down the line. But be mindful of the overall financial investment, and make sure that you are adequately prepared to invest. Once you have everything laid out, then enjoy the excitement of managing your first property!

Photo credit Pixabay at pexels

Flipping Houses to Pay for College

By Marie Villeza

Education can be incredibly expensive, and borrowing money to pay for college is not always the best option. As Investopedia can confirm, student debt is a national-level crisis that you want to steer clear of, if at all possible. Debt can be stressful, requires many sacrifices, and pushes back major life milestones.
What, then, should you do if you’re an adult hoping to go back to college? You could save up to pay for your degree in cash. And to make said cash, you could potentially flip houses. House-flipping can be incredibly profitable – a 22-year-old managed to rake in $300,000 with house-flipping recently – and typically has a high ROI. While you may or may not be able to make a six-figure income, you could at least save enough to pay for a degree.
Below, Buy Sell Invest USA explains house flipping in detail below:

Are you equipped to be a house flipper?
House-flipping sounds simple – you find a fixer-upper, fix it up, and sell it for a profit. It’s much more involved than that, though. First, it requires serious technical skills. For instance, you need to be good at construction (or know suitable contractors) to renovate a house. Second, it can be risky. You need to find the right house in the right location, while navigating challenges like bad weather or truant contractors, to turn a profit.

Last, it’s running a business. You have to work hard and wear many hats, from product development (remodeling the house) to sales (marketing it to potential customers). You don’t necessarily need to know everything from the get-go, but a background in construction or business administration can help. In all cases, a willingness to learn is essential.

Market conditions are everything
When it comes to house flipping, location is king. You should aim to flip a house in a popular neighborhood as opposed to a remote destination. Market conditions will affect your eventual profit. For instance, is the property market hot? Are contractors readily available and willing to work with you on your house-flipping project? Research the market thoroughly and run the numbers before buying a place.

Paying for flipping: Mortgage or cash?
House flippers aim to follow the 70 percent rule to turn a profit. That means you shouldn’t buy a home for more than 70 percent of its after-repair value (ARV), which Bob Vila can explain further. This doesn’t always make purchasing a fixer-upper via mortgage feasible, especially as you pay many expenses (like closing costs) out of your own pocket. There are a few other ways to house flip without cash that you could look into.

Improvements to attract buyers
To make your house sell faster, and for more, it’s crucial you make improvements buyers would want. This could be functional as well as cosmetic upgrades. For instance, outdoor seating areas that allow homeowners to be close to nature are all the rage recently. Modular kitchens are a classic, popular option. Aim to make just enough improvements to make the property extra attractive, without investing too much time (or money).

Marketing your property
Marketing could make or break your business. Good marketing is essential for raising your profile and helping you win trust. Furthermore, it can make your property more attractive. Some suggestions are creating listings with high-quality pictures, getting a business website, getting on social media, and running advertising campaigns (offline and online).

Building a team you can trust
Working with professionals will make house flipping easier – you can’t do everything alone. For instance, you could build up a team of contractors, handymen, cleaning crews, and other workers to work with you. Having a good realtor in your corner can help you find excellent properties, not to mention get up-to-date info on the market. You could find someone to help you run your business (if you’re flipping multiple properties). You can reach out to the experienced Buy Sell Invest USA team for tailored assistance with anything real-estate related.

Going back to school while house flipping is possible
If your business takes off, it’s possible for you to go back to school while still house flipping if you pursue an online program. Online programs allow you to study at your own pace, making it easier to run a business while still keeping up with your studies. Also, they are typically more affordable than in-person learning. If you pick a business degree, you could learn valuable skills in accounting, business, communications, or management that would stand you in good stead in your business (or help you find a different career). You can earn a business bachelor’s degree via an accredited online school.

The average profit for a house flip for a $250,000 house is $37,500, which is enough to cover the cost of an educational degree in many schools. Do your research, run the numbers, and have a good house-flip strategy in place that accounts for challenges to succeed with your budding house-flipping venture.
Image via pexels

Renovating Your Home? This Can Help

Photo by Blue Bird via Pexels

Article By Marie Villeza
So, you’re thinking about renovating your home. Whether you want to update the finishes, reconfigure the layout, or add some more square footage, there’s a lot to consider before starting any type of home renovation. From finding experienced and reputable contractors to arranging your home office, here are some things you should think about before embarking on a home renovation project, courtesy of

1. Learn the Different Types of Home Renovations
There are many different types of home renovations, from small projects like painting or installing new light fixtures to major additions or gut renovations. It’s important to do your research and understand the different types of renovations so that you can make sure you’re getting exactly what you want and need. Not sure where to start? This guide covers the different types of home renovations in detail.

2. Find Experienced and Dependable Contractors
One of the most important aspects of any successful renovation is finding experienced and dependable contractors who can do the job right. Once you’ve decided on the scope of your renovation, take the time to interview multiple contractors and get detailed estimates before choosing who you want to work with. Here’s a checklist for finding the best contractor for your home renovation project.

3. Organize a Schedule and Target Dates
No matter how big or small your renovation is, it’s important to create a schedule and target dates so that everyone involved knows what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. This will help keep your project on track and ensure that it is completed promptly.

4. Know How You’ll Finance Your Renovation
Before starting any kind of home renovation, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how you will finance the project. Will you take out a loan? Use savings? Or finance it with a credit card? There are pros and cons to each option, so be sure to do your research before making a decision.

5. Understand What Apps Your Contractor Might Use
Estimating apps are becoming increasingly popular among contractors as they provide an easy way to create accurate estimates for materials and labor costs. If your contractor is using one of these apps, be sure to ask them how it works so that you can understand the estimated costs for your project. Professionals such as electricians need to be able to estimate the job before they start it. Good estimating software can make this process much easier for professionals. If you’re planning on renovating your home, be sure to ask your electrician if they would like to use estimating software for electricians. While it may cost you a little bit extra upfront, it will certainly pay off in the end.

6. Arrange Your Home Office
If you’re planning on working from home during the renovation, it’s important to set up a dedicated space for yourself so that you can be productive (and stay out of the way of the contractors!). Here are some tips on how to set up a temporary home office during a renovation.

7. Explain Your Plans Carefully
Once you’ve made all the decisions about your renovation, it’s important to explain them clearly (and in writing!) to your contractor so that there is no confusion about what needs to be done. After all, even small miscommunications can lead to big problems down the road!

8. Secure a Home Warranty Upon Completion
A home warranty is an insurance policy that protects your home and its systems from defects or malfunctions for a certain period of time (usually one year). If something goes wrong after your renovation is complete, having a home warranty in place will give you peace of mind knowing that it will be covered by insurance.

With a little preparation and organization, you can have a stress-free home renovation. Follow our tips to design your home office space, and get familiar with the types of apps or software used by contractors. By taking these steps, you’ll be ready to tackle your next home renovation project head-on!


By Gregg Pechmann

Smart home technology has been around for the past decade. However, many of these smart home products were just plug-and-play devices, such as smart speakers, that didn’t deliver the true, connected smart home experience that is available today. But thanks to the adoption of those plug-and-play devices, home buyers are now willing to pay for true smart home solutions that enhance their lifestyle. Here are the key features of smart home systems that are becoming as desirable as the latest countertops and luxury bath fixtures.

Interoperability. Every part of a true smart home system needs to work well with the other parts of the system. The key is that every part, from lighting to HVAC to AV, is part of the same smart home ecosystem, or is from a third party that partners with that ecosystem.

Interfaces. Devices in a smart home system can have a variety of interfaces. There could be a voice user interface—VUI—or a graphical user interface—GUI—such as buttons on a touchscreen. What’s important is that adjusting any part of the connected home should be easily understood by a variety of users. Or an interface might be customized to different people using it at different times, in different rooms.

Automation. These capabilities make smart home living magical—shades opening and closing for cooling, heating, and privacy; hearing your favorite playlist on smart home speakers when you come home; having your indoor lighting adjust to the daylight outside.

AI and Machine Learning Capabilities. Machine learning is the technology that enables devices to log your behavior and adjust their settings accordingly—smart thermostats are a popular example. AI (artificial intelligence) is the technology that allows devices to learn, think, and make predictions. This could be a smart thermostat that would see you put on a sweater and then raise the temperature a few degrees. With these kinds of capabilities, it’s good to reassure buyers that a connected home isn’t a spying robot—it’s only as “smart” as it has to be.

Aesthetics. Smart home technology that’s visible should be pleasing to the eye—flush-mounted speakers, well-designed keypads, flat-panel TVs doubling as digital art displays, for example.

A Hard-Wired Backbone. Many smart home installations can run on Wi-Fi from a single modem-router. Wi-Fi is fine for smartphone and laptop connectivity, and for smart home systems in smaller properties. In larger homes, however, installing a hard-wired backbone is a good idea. These are cables running to wireless access points that result in smoother connectivity. A hard-wired infrastructure also provides a backbone for future system upgrades and property expansions.

An Integrator. This professional knows how to spec, install, and service robust, reliable smart home systems and how to keep them secure. Make sure the smart home system was done by an integrator who is available if needed in the future.

Image: Pexels (Andrea Piacquadio)

Make A Go Of Investing In A Vacation Rental

By Marie Villeza

Families are taking vacations like never before. Buying a vacation rental is a popular investment option for so many reasons. The demand is high – and it’s an investment that will let you show your creative side. Don’t take the leap as an investor without a few considerations. Here’s some advice from Buy Sell Invest USA.

Know the vacation rental market.

The vacation rental market is distinct from ordinary real estate. Where one focuses on buyers, sellers, or long-term rentals, this is a more fast-paced exchange where listings go quickly and the asking price is almost always on an upward trajectory. Go into the market armed with an awareness of how the market fluctuates by season, and how to set your rates accordingly. You’ll need a digital marketer or you may want to partner with a rental agency to get the word out. Today, most people simply list on Airbnb or other online short-term rental listings.

While an Airbnb-type listing is enough for most property owners, a vacation rental agency can deal with cancellations and quick turnarounds, property upkeep, insurance requirements, and customer service.

Know your budget.

Before investing in a vacation property, set a budget. You don’t want to purchase a rental that you can afford only if you experience high demand and no unforeseen costs. Instead, brainstorm a few with worst-case scenarios. The terms of the loan can vary, but a 20% down payment wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. Add to that fresh paint, landscaping, any repairs–and the property may not make a profit for quite a while.

In addition to insurance on the rental property, you may want to consider forming an LLC. Not only will an LLC help protect your personal finances from liability if anything happen to your business, but it also gives you some advantages during tax season. An LLC is just one more financial safeguard that makes it possible for you to feel comfortable renting out the property.

Choose the property.

Clearly, location is a primary consideration here. The rental property you want should be in close proximity to area attractions, whether this means an easy walk to the beach, a great mountain view, or an easy subway trip to a downtown show or museum. Every state has places to vacation. A rental with more regional appeal may not stay booked, but it might be purchased for a bargain.

The property itself should be in good condition, so you can focus your attention on updating it with desirable aesthetics and amenities, instead of on dealing with structural or practical problems. Thankfully, researching is much easier in the Internet age, and finding a prime property and learning about all the different things you need to do to purchase it requires a lot less work than it once was.

Upgrades to make your rental more appealing.

Renters are attracted by a space that looks clean, new, and up to date. A rental that is filled with dated-looking carpets and dingy furniture will be off-putting no matter how desirable the location. Also, consider attractive amenities to include in the rental. Renters will be looking for things like a full-service kitchen, great television and entertainment systems, and good internet — perhaps even extra attractions like a game room or pool table.

You’ll put more than a little of yourself into the place, and you’ll have to be sure to reserve a few weeks per year for your own family. A vacation rental is an investment that will almost always be in demand, and one that will continue to grow in value. The best part is that it’s an investment you’ll get to share with others. When the checks come in, it will be good to know the renters enjoyed their stay.

Ready to invest in a rental property? Ready to sell? For a cash offer with no repairs necessary, contact Buy Sell Invest USA or tall/text Dawn Adams at (803) 221-3296 or (208) 757-1788.

Image: Pexels