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And WHY you should care….


Oh, the stories we all hear about how terrible landlords can be – and some of them probably are.  At Golden Realty though, we’re lucky to be able to work with a lot of owners who are not only really great people – they’re really great landlords too!  Since February is the “month of love” we would like to share with you the Top 3 Ways to Make Your Landlord Love You!


  1. Landlords are People Too! First and foremost, keep in mind that landlords are people too.  They have every day problems in life just like everyone else.  We don’t all have all of the same problems of course, but problems aren’t unique to any one person or family.  And, it’s a bit pointless to try to compare one person’s problems with another’s – each person is wrapped up in their own world including their own problems, and they all seem important.  If you had a chance to get to know your landlord, you’d find that he or she is just another person on this planet trying to make it through a day in the best way possible.  The thing about landlords though is that they seem to have some power over tenants.  In reality, that’s not quite true.  A deal between a landlord and a tenant is just that – both parties have made an agreement and both parties have certain obligations to live up to.  For the most part, tenants find that as long as they live up to their end of the bargain, landlords will too.


  1. Don’t be Late! Oftentimes, just like tenants, landlords have financial obligations that are time sensitive – like mortgage payments on the property a tenant is living in.  That means your landlord may be counting on your rent payment so that he or she can turn it around to pay the mortgage payment for the property you’re living in.  You didn’t think the landlord got the property for free did you?  Perhaps a few lucky landlords inherited property or otherwise came into a windfall, but most didn’t.  They’ve worked hard all their lives to provide for themselves and their families and the property they own is very important to them.  You likely have one payment to make on time – your rent.  Landlords on the other hand have a whole set of property obligations to deal with and pay on time, for example, mortgage payments, insurance premiums, real estate taxes, maintenance, etc.  So, bottom line, paying your rent on time will be one of the best ways to create goodwill with your landlord.  Plus, you’ve probably heard the old saying, “what goes around comes around.”  In this case, that could mean that if you are ever facing a dire situation where you just can’t pay your rent on time, your landlord is going to be much more understanding and willing to work with you if you have a good history of paying on time and in full.


  1. Show a Little Love! Houses, apartments, condominium units – they all need plenty of on-going care and maintenance in order to keep them in good shape day after day and year after year.  The care and maintenance of rental units is a two-part obligation.  As a tenant, depending on what you negotiated in your rental agreement, you may be responsible for some part of the care and maintenance of the unit you live in.  Sometimes it is as simple as just not doing any damage to the unit beyond normal wear and tear.  Other times, a tenant is responsible for the care and maintenance of certain parts of the property and perhaps even certain appliances.  On the other hand, landlords are usually responsible for the structure itself as well as major components of the structure.   If something needs repaired, tenants should always let the landlord know about it.  However, if a tenant has any particular skill with doing such repairs, the landlord may be more than willing to work out a mutually beneficial deal that will save everyone time and money.  Always ask permission first before making any repairs or changes as the landlord may have particular reasons for doing things another way.  Alternatively, it doesn’t take a lot of skill or knowledge to do a few little “extras” that may create goodwill with your landlord.  For example, there are little things that a person living in a rental unit sees on a daily basis that are easily repaired or maintained without much energy or expense.  Letting your landlord know that you did a few tiny little “extras” around the house from time to time can go a long way toward creating good will – and that can come in handy when you really need it!

New Year, New Decision: Renting vs. Owning – Parts 3 and 4

PART 3:   Advantages of Owning a Home





  1. Investment. When you rent, every single monthly rent payment is simply gone.  You’ll never have a chance to see that money again.  On the contrary, when you pay a monthly mortgage payment, that is an investment that has the potential to be worth something in the future.  Although the value of that investment is subject to a lot of variables, including some you can’t control, at least there’s a chance you get some return on your investment.  Hopefully, when you sell your home someday, some of that investment will be cash in your pocket.  In other words, if you own a home vs. renting, at least you have a shot at getting some of your money back someday.


  1. Equity. As you make your monthly mortgage payments, and as house prices rise with inflation, you build equity.  A simple explanation of equity is the amount of money your home is worth over and above what you owe on your mortgage.  There are two main ways you can convert equity into cash: sell your home and keep the profit or refinance and take cash from the refinance.


  1. Income Tax Deductions. Current income tax codes allow you to deduct payments made for interest paid on a home mortgage as well as the expense of real estate taxes.  The tax code thus encourages home ownership vs. renting.  These deductions can represent a significant tax savings for you which means more money in your pocket.


  1. Have it Your Way. A renter is usually strictly prohibited from changing anything about a rental property – can’t paint, can’t put in a divider wall, can’t knock out a divider wall, can’t replace or refinish cabinets, can’t do this, can’t do that, can’t, can’t, can’t!  When you own your own home, it’s just the opposite – you CAN!  Do it YOUR way – paint it, remodel it, decorate it, move it, just imagine what you can do and then – DO it!




PART 4:   Plan to Own a Home – No More Renting!


If you’ve ever thought about owning a home, or if you’re thinking about it now, here is the FIRST thing to do:


CALL US!  At Golden Realty we’ll help you take the first steps to evaluate where you are, and where you need to be.


You may be closer than you think to home ownership – or you may have a lot of planning ahead of you – but you can do it.


GET A FREE EVALUATION OF YOUR CURRENT SITUATION.   That’ right – FREE.  If you decide to buy a home, we hope you’ll work with us – but there’s no obligation.


At the end of this article, there is a list of things to think about (if you haven’t already) when it comes to buying a home.  But in order to develop a clear PLAN to buy a home, and make sure you take appropriate steps to complete the plan, and end up being a Homeowner, has to start with where you are now.   Most of that has to do with finances – how much home can you afford?  Should you make a move now or should you wait six months or a year?  What assets and resources do you have?  In other words, where do you even start?

ANSWER: Start with our FREE evaluation.  All you need to do is contact us at 239-455-1003 and we’ll get you set up and get you started.



Things to Consider when Buying and Owning a Home


  1. What real estate agent should I work with. Easy Answer: Contact Golden Realty!!! [contact click]
  2. Location
  3. Price
  4. Amenities
  5. School District
  6. Commuting
  7. Earnest Money
  8. Contract Negotiation
  9. Inspections
  10. Loan Terms
  11. Escrows
  12. Down Payment
  13. Appraisals
  14. Closing Costs
  15. Moving Costs
  16. Property Taxes
  17. Insurance
  18. Utilities
  19. Furnishings
  20. Repairs


That’s a good start.  Sounds like a lot.  But DON’T WORRY.   Our free evaluation is designed to help you get a good start on all of it.  Contact us TODAY!

New Year, New Decision: Renting vs. Owning – Parts 1 and 2

Golden Realty – The Answer to Buying or Selling Property


PART 1:   Disadvantages of Renting a Home


Even if you’ve thought about making the big switch from renting a home to owning a home before, it’s time to think about it again.  The start of a new year is always a good time to look back and re-evaluate where you are now, and where you want to be at the end of another year.


In this two part series, we’ll contrast the advantages of renting a home with the advantages of owning a home.


Disadvantages of Renting


On the other hand, there are some very definite disadvantages to continuing to rent vs. buying a home.   Other than personal satisfaction of knowing that you have achieved what has long been known as the “American Dream” of home ownership, there are distinct advantages to owning a home.  Advantages include:


1. Monthly Rent Payments Are Gone. When you rent, every single monthly rent payment is simply gone.  You’ll never have a chance to see that money again.  On the contrary, when you pay a monthly mortgage payment, that is an investment in a tangible asset that can, at least potentially, return to you someday when you sell your home.  In other words, at least you have a shot at getting some of your money back someday.


2. Don’t Have It Your Way. Whatever your rental looks like when you move in, is likely what it should look like when you move out.  Landlords do not generally allow renters to change anything – even a simple paint color, let alone anything else.


3. Improvements Belong to the Landlord. Let’s say you are allowed to improve the rental property you’re living in – at your own expense.  You may enjoy the improvement while you live there, but you can’t take it with you.  When you leave, you leave your improvement and the money you spent on it with the property.


PART 2:   Advantages of Renting a Home


Advantages of Renting


There are no doubt advantages to renting – if you don’t mind being at the mercy of a landlord you probably don’t know and who probably doesn’t know you.  Most landlords are good people who have simply chosen to own rental property as a way to earn income – just like you chose your own job or career or investments as a way to earn income.   But, bottom line, landlords expect a monthly rental check and if you don’t pay the rent, most landlords want you out – now – no matter how good a renter you’ve been in the past.   Worse yet, in most states, it’s much easier for a landlord to evict a person than it is for a bank to foreclose on a delinquent homeowner which leaves renters a lot less time to remedy life’s problems.


Nonetheless, most renters continue to rent for two main reasons:


1. Mobility. Simply put, a person who rents isn’t tied down to living in one place for longer than the term of a lease.    As long as you can find another place to rent, that you can afford, you can move frequently for whatever reason you have at the time (new job, different school district, better location – whatever the reason).


2. Maintenance Responsibility. Usually, renters have little or no responsibility for major maintenance or repairs, provided of course, that you’ve negotiated a favorable lease in that regard.  Renters are sometimes surprised when they don’t closely read or understand their own maintenance or repair obligations under a lease – and, in this instance, what you don’t know can hurt you.  In general, however, renters are not responsible for major maintenance or repair problems such as roof repairs, or replacement of major appliances  (such as air conditioners, furnaces, refrigerators, stoves), nor are renters responsible for dwelling insurance or real estate taxes.  (Well, not exactly anyway – these all get paid by the landlord – using the rent payments received from renters!)


Other advantages of renting (vs. buying) a home include: liquidity (cash is not tied up in a big investment in real estate), no big down payment (even a deposit plus first month’s rent is usually less than a down payment on a mortgage), decreasing property values don’t diminish investment, and renter’s insurance is much less expensive than homeowner’s insurance, to name a few.


Check back soon for the next portion of this series NEW YEAR – NEW DECISION: RENTING VS. OWNING where we will cover the Advantages and Disadvantages of Owning a Home.