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Budget-Friendly Tips to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal
Tanya Douglas
Curb Appeal

Budget-Friendly Tips to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal



When selling your home, curb appeal matters a lot. It is the first impression that the potential buyers will have of it, and investing in your house's exterior can have a great return on investment once you successfully sell it. However, it is a general opinion that any renovations of that nature are relatively expensive, but that doesn't have to be the case. Improving your home's curb appeal doesn't have to break the bank; you must know the right strategy. That's why we at Heth Realty Inc. want to share the best budget-friendly tips to boost your home's curb appeal.


Painting your front door is a smart thing to do 


Painting your whole house is the best way to increase your home's curb appeal. However, giving your house a new coat of paint can be costly, so many of us should know that just painting your front door can boost the looks of our place. Painting your front door is a great way to add some personality and improve the curb appeal of your home; make sure you choose a high-quality exterior paint that's designed to withstand the elements. Also, remove the doorknob, lockset, and other hardware from the door. Then, clean the door thoroughly to remove any dirt or grime.

Experts at peakservices.com recommend that we consider the color of our home's exterior and choose a color that complements it accordingly. You can also choose a color that adds contrast to make your front door stand out. You can also and the door lightly to remove any rough spots or imperfections and apply a coat of primer to the door to help the paint adhere better. By following these simple steps, you can transform the look of your home's exterior with just a little bit of pain, making it one of the best budget-friendly tips to boost your home's curb appeal.



Boost your home's curb appeal by adding plants 


Adding plants is a great way to enhance your home's curb appeal, and it doesn't require a significant investment at all. Firstly, choose plants that are well-suited to your climate and the amount of sunlight your front yard gets. It would be best to choose plants that complement the color of your home's exterior, but you can still mix plants with different colors, textures, and heights to create visual interest. Choose a spot in your front yard to make a focal point with plants, such as a flower bed or potted plants. Constantly water your plants and prune them as needed to keep them looking healthy and vibrant. Regarding budget-friendly tips to boost your home's curb appeal, this is our favorite because you can let your creative side dictate the best approach. This tip is super easy to follow; you can use it to increase the curb appeal of your rental properties, too, without major expenses.


Clean driveway and walkway are essential 


Power washing your driveway and walkway is a great way to improve your home's curb appeal. You can rent a power washer from a home improvement store or borrow one from a friend or neighbor. Before starting:


  1. Move any items, such as cars or patio furniture, from where you'll be power washing.
  2. Use a broom to sweep the driveway and walkway to remove loose dirt or debris.
  3. Apply a detergent designed for use with a power washer to the driveway and walkway.
  4. Follow the instructions on the detergent's label.


When you complete all these steps, you must use the power washer to spray the driveway and walkway with water. Move the nozzle back and forth in a sweeping motion to remove dirt and grime. Remember to be careful with this; you can easily damage your driveway and walkway. If done correctly, pressure washing will give your home's exterior a fresh, clean look that will improve your home's curb appeal.


New lighting will make a difference


Adding new lighting is one of the best budget-friendly tips to boost your home's curb appeal. Installing outdoor lighting can not only enhance the appearance of your home's exterior but also improve its safety and security.  Before you start, consider what you want to achieve with your outdoor lighting. Do you want to highlight your landscaping, illuminate your walkway, or deter intruders? This will help you decide where to place your lights and what lighting to use. Place your lights strategically to achieve the desired effect. For example, place path lights along your walkway to guide visitors to your front door. Install floodlights above your garage or backyard to deter intruders. Use accent lights to highlight your landscaping or architectural features.

One thing we also recommend is the use of solar-powered lights are a cost-effective and eco-friendly option. They absorb sunlight during the day and use it to power the light at night. You can find solar-powered lights in various styles, from path lights to floodlights. If you are renting a property, younger tenants will be delighted to see this change as it gives your home a modern look.


Your landscape needs to be perfect 


Cleaning up your landscaping is an affordable and effective way to improve your home's curb appeal. The first step in cleaning up your landscaping is removing weeds, dead plants, and debris. This will instantly make your yard look neater and more attractive. Overgrown plants can make your yard look messy and unkempt. Prune them back to a manageable size to create a more polished appearance. Edging your lawn can give it a clean, finished look. You can use a simple spade or an edging tool to create a clear boundary between your lawn and garden beds. Hardscaping elements, such as a walkway, retaining wall, or patio, can add structure and visual interest to your yard. You can use materials like stone, gravel, or concrete to create a durable and attractive feature.


By following these budget-friendly tips, you can clean up your landscaping and enhance your home's curb appeal without breaking the bank. Every penny of investment in increasing the looks of your property will be worth it, as it increases the chances of a successful sale by a lot. So, give your landscaping a tidy appearance by following our tips.


It doesn't cost a fortune to increase the curb appeal of your home, and in this article, we wanted to give you the best budget-friendly tips to boost your home's curb appeal. Hopefully, these will help you in your effort to make your house beautiful and find a buyer in no time.


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Meta: Increasing the curb appeal of your home is essential when it comes to selling it. In this article, we want to share with you the best budget-friendly tips to boost your home's curb appeal.




The Biggest Reasons to Move to Jacksonville in 2023
Tanya Douglas
Moving to Jacksonville

The Biggest Reasons to Move to Jacksonville in 2023


Alt: A view of Jacksonville and its river and bridges

When moving locally or across state borders, it is essential to consider your destination carefully. That is no small task; many factors make up an excellent moving location. Although everyone is different, some places in our country stand up as ideal destinations for moving to. If moving to the Sunshine State sounds tempting, you will be pleased to know that Jacksonville is one of the best destinations a mover can choose. We recommend the Gateway to Florida as your new home for many reasons. And that's why we at Heth Realty would like to share with you the most significant reasons to move to Jacksonville in 2023.

The weather in Jacksonville is just right

If you come from the northern parts of The U.S., you might be a little tired of freezing temperatures, gloomy winters, and dark. Well, Jacksonville can help you bring your mood up with its weather, with most days of the year being sunny and warm, which is essential if you want to use its beautiful beaches. Jacksonville has weather that you will quickly adapt to, with little extremes. However, summers here can get hot, but it's never unbearable due to the breeze from the sea. So, don't worry about exhausting summers; you will enjoy Jacksonville even on its hottest days. Mild winters are also one of the reasons to move to Jacksonville, They are short, and the temperature is rarely below freezing, so northerners won't even notice it.

However, a move to Jacksonville might seem too long and challenging, especially if you are from the northern parts of the U.S. This shouldn't be a reason not to choose Jacksonville, and experts at Best Long Distance Movers advise looking for movers that can make long distance moving easy. So, long distances shouldn't bother you at all.

Jacksonville is an affordable city

One of the reasons to move to Jacksonville is its affordability. Despite being a big city, the prices don't reflect it, with Jacksonville's cost of living being 7% below the national average. This difference became much more noticeable when you compare it with other large cities, for example, the neighboring Miami. Jacksonville is 17% cheaper than the Magic City, with salaries being almost similar. One of the many reasons to move to Jacksonville if you are considering Florida as your destination, but also if you prefer big cities because Jacksonville is one of the most affordable ones in our country.

Finding an affordable living space in Jacksonville is also an easy task. Renting is a good option when considering the price difference between it and Miami, for example. The monthly rent in Jacksonville is around $1500; in Miami, you will spend $2300 on average. But what if you want to purchase your place? The average price for a home in Jacksonville is around $312 000, which is much more affordable than the half-million dollars you would need to get a house in Miami. Jacksonville is a winner for affordable cities, and you will be thankful for that after your move.

Jacksonville is a lot of fun

When choosing where to move, you consider many factors, and how much fun it can offer is one of them. Thankfully, there are many reasons to move to Jacksonville, like it is the perfect place for outdoor activities that you enjoy, and with its weather, you can remain active for almost a whole year. First of all, Jacksonville has many excellent beaches. Jacksonville beach is perfect if you love surfing, Neptune beach if you prefer relaxing walks, and Atlantic beach is ideal for recreational activities. While this sounds great, Jacksonville has a lot more to offer; Little Talbot Island State Park is a great location to escape more touristy areas of the city and is excellent for hiking or camping.

If you love biking, Jacksonville is a great place, as its surroundings are fantastic to explore on the bike. So it also goes hiking; there are plenty of places in its proximity where you can go. Also, suppose you love doing sports outside. In that case, you will be delighted to know that Jacksonville, with its many sunny days, allows you to play it for most of the year if this sounds like a good reason to move to Jacksonville, even if Florida is a long distance away from you, you should start looking for reliable movers that can make sure your move as easy as possible. After all, if Jacksonville sounds like a perfect place for you, nothing should stop you from moving here.


The city of strong economy and quality education

If you want more reasons to move to Jacksonville, its strong economy and quality education might interest you. If you are looking for a job, especially if you are a millennial, then the Gateway to Florida is a place to be. Not only is there a booming tech sector, but the healthcare centers are also a part of its strong economy. So, if you are looking for a job that fits your needs, choose Jacksonville. Jacksonville has been ranked as one of the best places for job seekers in our country, and the recent pandemic hasn't stopped its growing economic strength either.

If education is essential to you, you should know that Jacksonville has the best-rated public schools in the country. You can find A-rated schools all around the city. So if education is a factor in choosing your moving destination, Jacksonville can offer a lot. Also, there are many nationally recognized private schools, so if you are looking for private education, you will have incredible options.


Jacksonville is a serious contender for anyone looking for where to move. It has many factors going for it, and many people have recognized that, which is why the city is expanding annually. So, if you want a new place to call home, move to Jacksonville, as it will welcome you with open arms.

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Meta: Looking for reasons to move to Jacksonville? Here are the best things about moving and living in this beautiful city.



How to Deal with Stress and Anxiety When Buying a Home
Tanya Douglas
Buying a House

How to Deal with Stress and Anxiety When Buying a Home


Finding and purchasing a new home is an exciting and thrilling event. But it's also a tremendous life change. Whether you're buying a home for yourself or your first rental property in Jacksonville, Florida, your life will be different. So, you want to make a good choice, find the right home, and get the best price. In addition, you probably hope it will all happen smoothly and effortlessly. A tall order, isn't it? While your wishes may come true to a degree, it's more likely than not that you'll encounter some obstacles or problems along the way. And the main thing is to stay calm and react in a constructive way. It may seem complicated at times, but this approach will benefit you and ensure you make the best decisions. The last thing you want is your anxiety to turn this wonderful event into something out of nightmares. Here are some excellent ideas on how to deal with stress and anxiety when buying a home!

Assess your budget first

Our wishes may fly high, but in reality, we have to work within our possibilities. Purchasing property is undoubtedly an investment. However, nothing will give you more stress and anxiety than overstepping your budget. This is especially true if you're buying your first rental. There are many things a new landlord must know, but setting your budget limit is the priority. So, dive into your finances first and consult your lender about your options. That way, you'll avoid stretching yourself too thin and getting too many headaches down the road.

Make a list of must-haves and dealbreakers

Next, consider what you absolutely must have in your new home. What are your priorities? Is it the home office? Maybe a large, modern kitchen? Consider the neighborhood, too. For example, if you have a young family, you want a pleasant family neighborhood with good schools, playgrounds, and other amenities. Different people will have different needs and desires, but making a list of must-haves is essential.

Likewise, make a list of all your deal-breakers, too. Is it the lack of space? A small backyard? Also, finding the most beautiful home for you, your three dogs, and a cat won't be much good if you don't live in a pet-friendly area.

Making these lists helps you narrow down your search criteria and focus on homes that will be the right match for your lifestyle.

Plan ahead to avoid stress and anxiety when buying a home

We feel most stressed when something unexpected happens. Our anxiety peaks when we need to make sudden decisions or when an unexpected delay puts a spoke in our wheels. The best way to prevent something like this from happening is to plan ahead.

A detailed to-do list and a carefully arranged timeline can do a lot to prevent unpleasant surprises. You can even try to anticipate possible issues and come up with solutions just in case. That way, you'll know what to do even if something unplanned happens and disrupts your schedule or plans.

Deal with stress and anxiety effectively

Sometimes, no matter how much we plan, stress gets the better of us. And this is especially true when something critical is happening in our lives. Purchasing a new home is one such occasion. In such situations, people often rely on prescribed medications to relieve the tension.

If you already suffer from anxiety, you may be familiar with benzodiazepines. While they can help you relax and relieve stress, they can also be dangerous and lead to addiction. In such cases, it's vital to recognize the issue and find adequate help. Florida treatment centers can help you overcome the problem. However, there are a few other things you can do to keep your anxiety levels low and keep the stress away when purchasing a new home.

Share how you feel with your loved ones

A lot of how we feel when making an important change comes from the inside. So, stress and anxiety when buying a home are not always the result of actual events. Maybe you're afraid of how you're going to adjust to your new home or maybe even a new city. You may worry about many things even though they're not likely to happen. When you feel like that, there's no better solution than to confide in the people you love. They'll listen to you and show their compassion and support.

Find the time for little things you enjoy

Similarly, buying a new home and moving to a new place is a busy time—so many calls and meetings. So many things to plan, take care of, supervise, and do. It's easy to plunge into it all and forget to take care of yourself. However, making a large purchase is also a process that takes time. As a result, it can become an overwhelming experience and cause you a lot of stress and anxiety when buying a home.

Keep in mind that you're in control. Rushed decisions usually end up being bad decisions. So, take a deep breath and give yourself some time every day to enjoy your usual activities. Even 15-30 minutes a day will help you relax and recharge. Jogging, reading, listening to music, playing with a pet, or anything else you love doing - daily self-care will help you stay calm and feel refreshed.

Surround yourself with experts

If you're buying a home for the first time, whether residential or rental, you probably lack the knowledge and experience. For that reason, don't hesitate to get in touch with experts. Professional real estate agents will help you find your ideal home without the hassle and guide you through the whole purchasing process. There is a lot of paperwork, legal know-how, and negotiations you need to go through. Experienced pros will offer you advice when you need it. And if you're feeling stressed or anxious about not understanding something, they'll be there to offer their knowledge and reassurance.

Change your mindset

Lastly, do your best to be positive and optimistic. Instead of thinking about everything that might go wrong, focus on all the things you're looking forward to. Enjoy the process, and prepare yourself for both the good and the bad. Every obstacle can be overcome with a calm head and patience.

Final thoughts

You may experience a lot of stress and anxiety when buying a home. Luckily, there are many things you can do to prevent it - from thorough preparation and hiring experts to focusing on self-care and positive thinking. With the right attitude, you'll be able to overcome all obstacles and enjoy your new home in years to come.


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Buying a home is enjoyable, but it can be a challenging process, too. Check out these ideas for overcoming your stress and anxiety when buying a home!



Pros and Cons of Renting with Roommates
Tonya Douglas
Renting with Roommates

Pros and Cons of Renting with Roommates

Featured image

Alt-text: Three people behind boxes for moving in.

Having roommates can be a blessing or a curse, depending on one’s personal preferences and lifestyle. One of the main factors determining the success of your cohabitation with another person is that person’s personality. But, let’s put that aside for the moment because even when you find yourself a roommate that matches your social needs perfectly, there will still be reasons why living with that person is a good idea and vice versa. So, to help you make up your mind and not make a mistake, here are the pros and cons of renting with roommates.  

Pros of renting with roommates

            The costs of living are significantly smaller

                Sharing a home with someone means sharing the costs of living as well. That is the first thing that comes to mind when discussing the pros of having a roommate. When that time comes for a landlord to collect rent, it is much easier if you are not the only one to dig into your pocket for it. Bills are also easier to digest when you only have to cover half of them. All that makes your life a lot less stressful. Unplanned house expenses of the tenants are also more bearable when shared. So, opting for cohabitation with someone instead of flying solo is much cheaper. 

Caption: One of the biggest advantages of renting with roommates is that you get to share the living expenses.

Alt-text: A woman counting money.

            You always have company

This one is for those that hate being alone, and those are usually people that have siblings and large families. When you live alone, there’s a chance you will start experiencing some degree of depression and melancholy. Nowadays, we constantly read about attacks on women and break-ins, which can cause fear of being home alone. Having company means a lot in those situations as it can contribute to feeling much safer. Most of us usually pick a good friend for a roommate, so whenever we feel down, that person can offer a friendly conversation or a shoulder to cry on. Socializing has been proven to help people through rough times, so this point in favor of renting with a flatmate is essential. 

            The chores are split in half

Another beauty of having a roommate is that you don’t have to do all the tedious work around your home. As you get to split the expenses, you get to split the chores too. Maintaining a home is highly tedious for many, so this argument is persuasive. Also, errands require some time which none of us is willing to waste on such a tedious activity. Getting to do only some of them is more comfortable and a lifesaver in situations when you have other important stuff to focus on.

Caption: All those tedious house chores become easier to finish when you don’t have to do them all by yourself.

Alt-text: Two people cleaning a home together.

            Having a roommate is great preparation for a life with a partner

Life with a roomie can be an excellent boot camp for your future life with a partner. It will teach you a lot about how to behave in such a situation and what mistakes you shouldn’t make in the future. Many people’s relationships fall apart once they start living together, and practicing beforehand may only do good for you and your future romantic relationship. After all, if you and your roommate conclude you shouldn’t live together anymore, you will tell each other why. That will probably not end your friendship, but you can dwell on what the other person told you, see your mistakes, and not let them happen again. You will learn to live with people this way and save your future relationships from falling apart due to problems with living together.

Cons of renting with roommates

            You have to adapt your habits to another person

No matter how great your roommate may be, this person probably has some annoying habit you will have to tolerate. And guess what? You do too! When you live alone, you can practice your little rituals all you want, but living with another person requires you to adapt your behavior so you don’t irritate or disturb them. When you move to an apartment together, all may seem to go well. You may organize to settle in with ease; you may even get along great in the beginning. But the truth is that sooner or later you will find out things about each other you will not like.                 

            Privacy is lost to a degree

Unless you decided to rent a huge place where you and your flat buddy can be separated by a room or two, your privacy is going to be degraded to a degree. Your dirty laundry will sooner or later be seen by your friend, for example. They will soon learn about your way of life, including the tidbits you might not want to share so eagerly. Your phone conversations will be overheard, and some of your secrets too. Sharing the bathroom can be tricky for introverts, yet everyone with a roommate needs to get used to. 

Finally, your other friends will have to regularly encounter your roommate, and so will you when it comes to your roommate’s friends. Sometimes one wants a bit of peace, yet your roomie might be in the hang-out-with-buddies mood. All in all, you can’t expect too much alone time when you live with someone.

            It’s harder to study when there is noise around you

Those with siblings might not find this argument as relevant as single children. In general, most people prefer silence when they are studying. Although it is financially far better to rent with a roommate than alone, you must consider whether it wouldn’t adversely affect your studying. If living with someone becomes an obstacle to getting a degree, financial factors do not justify it. Of course, if the apartment you are renting, for example, has a room you alone will be spending time in, it is a different matter altogether.

Caption: Studying can be challenging when your roomie is making noise around you.

Alt-text: A man sitting next to a laptop on the sofa and studying from a book.

Bottom line

As you can see, there are plenty of pros and cons of renting with roommates. All you need to do is analyze them all and see how they apply to your lifestyle. With a bit of well-placed self-analysis, you will choose what’s best for you and enjoy what the future has in store.

Meta description: Renting with roommates has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some to consider when making the decision that is right for you.

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Tanya Douglas
7 Easy Rental Upgrades

7 Easy Rental Upgrades for Florida Tenants

Making a rental more comfortable is somewhat challenging considering the circumstances of living in one. You do not own the place, after all, which means you will need to approach the job differently. In order to help you out, we’ve prepared 7 easy rental upgrades for Florida tenants!


Put up some decorations

The first of the easy rental upgrades for Florida tenants is simply putting up some decorations. Carefully. Finding the rental of your dreams is much more complicated when many landlords deny you the right to make any changes to your property. To the point that even a fresh layer of paint is something that needs to be carefully deliberated and negotiated over. After all, in their eyes, any changes to their property might well make it less appealing to future tenants. However, few argue against decorating, which often allows you to turn a soulless rental into a good home. An excellent example of what can be done is using adhesive tape, and similar, which does not leave marks or leaves quickly cleaned marks to put up art that is not framed. The lighter weight makes this feasible.


Bathroom improvements

A surprising number of easy rental upgrades for Florida tenants can be eked out in the bathroom while following our previous observations about landlords disliking permanent changes. You can put up a shower dispenser. Or you can replace the shower head with something newer and more luxurious while saving the old one. You can install a light fixture that connects to an outlet and is easy to take down if you need to brighten up the place. And, of course, shower curtains are easily replaced, and old ones are kept in storage once you are ready to move out. The added benefit of all these improvements to your rental is that you can take them with you once you are prepared to leave! This means any investments you put into them are investments into your future instead of the rental’s improvements.


The advantages of peel-and-stick floor tiles

Many tenants have been bemoaning the fate of living in a rental with lousy flooring. Or just plain ugly flooring. However, trying to change out your rental’s flooring, especially without explicit approval and cooperation from your landlord, is a relatively quick way to get evicted from your rental. So, typically, you would be rather stuck. However, with peel-and-stick floor tiles added to the equation, this situation becomes an opportunity to take advantage of one of the easy rental upgrades for Florida tenants. One is particularly important considering Florida’s weather and its lovely tiles. This type of tile can be applied to any existing flooring and will not damage it. They are also easy and quick to install, and you can do it yourself in just a couple of hours! Still, they can’t be reused, which is their one flaw.


The amazing power of plants

You wouldn’t believe how much plants can brighten your space and make it nicer. First, we must consider that green is one of the most calming colors. It is extremely relaxing for people’s eyes, and if you suffer from eye strain due to your work, it will help out a lot. Then, there’s the fact that they freshen up the space if adequately taken care of! Finally, they are relatively easy to look after, even in a small apartment. Of course, the one downside is that you will need to look into hiring local movers in Florida since a team can help you out with moving out your plants without damaging them. While moving on your own guarantees that at least some harm will come to your previous plants.


Getting the right storage bins

If you are worried about lacking enough storage space in your rental, don’t be! There are effortless ways to get around this, and it’s all about finding the proper storage containers. First, we have storage bins designed to easily slip under a bed and protect the contents from dust, and then, there are stackable, transparent storage bins that you can easily stash away in a cupboard or a wardrobe. Finally, there are lean storage containers that can be slipped between different pieces of furniture. Imagine having one you can put between your freezer and countertop. And that will perfectly protect all your cutlery or similar stored inside! If you are hesitating on whether renting is better than owning due to storage space concerns, this will likely help out a lot, too.


The appeal of a better bed

Few landlords will argue about you replacing pieces of furniture that came with the rental as long as what was there is properly transported away and stored. And the most important thing to replace is the bed! It can be downright impossible to sleep nicely in an old, lumpy bed. At best, it will be annoying and uncomfortable. At worst, you’ll wake up every morning feeling like someone had broken your back repeatedly overnight. So, do consult with your landlord, but plan for a bed replacement quickly if one is needed!


Light switches and outlets

The final of the easy rental upgrades for Florida tenants is another you likely want your landlord’s agreement for. Now, note it should not be difficult to get it. After all, replacing old light switches and outlets is something in their interest, too. If only because of safety concerns. Doubly so because they tend to be overlooked often, and look scuffed and battered even if most of the rental looks relatively fresh. Of course, unless you’ve done it before, it is best to get a professional to do this for you. It is quick and cheap, so don’t worry about the price, either!


Final word

Following our advice on the 7 easy rental upgrades for Florida tenants, you should be able to significantly improve your rental! Of course, if you have any doubts at any point, it is best to consult your landlord and see if he gives you the go-ahead.


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Check out our list of the 7 easy rental upgrades for Florida tenants so you can start working on making your own rental feel more like home!



rental upgrades for Florida tenants


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7 Great Reasons to Retire in Jacksonville, FL
Tanya Douglas
Retire in Jacksonville, FL

7 Great Reasons to Retire in Jacksonville, FL

After spending many years working hard and providing for your family, the time has come for you to finally get some well-deserved rest. Retirement should be a golden period of your life. It is supposed to be all about relaxing and enjoying yourself. But your enjoyment will depend on where you find a home to spend your retirement. It can be quite a tough decision. Mainly because not every city is suitable for retirees. There are specific criteria a place has to meet to be considered an adequate retirement destination. One of those cities is Jacksonville, Fl. Here are some great reasons to retire in Jacksonville, Fl, to help you decide if this is the place for you!


Top 7 reasons to retire in Jacksonville, FL

These reasons aren't just great for retirees but also for anyone wishing to start a new life somewhere. Jacksonville is so great that many people have decided to move to Florida from another state and hire interstate movers in recent years. The professional team will make it so you can get here with ease and with no stress. Here are some benefits to consider if you want to move to Jacksonville for retirement or other reasons:


  • Good healthcare
  • Great food
  • Balanced weather
  • Fun social life
  • A lot of entertainment
  • Low cost of living
  • Beautiful beaches

Good healthcare

When you reach a certain age, easily accessible and affordable healthcare is a must. Spending your retirement in a city without adequate medical care is a terrible idea. And your health should always be a priority. What if you have an emergency, but the nearest hospital is hours away, or you must go to a completely different city? Thankfully in Jacksonville, you won't have any such troubles.


Healthcare in Jacksonville offers anything a retiree might need. Jacksonville has the best hospitals in Florida and, of the highest-ranking hospitals, the Mayo clinic. They have incredible general surgeons ready to help you with any issues. Then there is UF Health Jacksonville, a highly respected hospital that also excels in the education of future healthcare professionals.

Great food scene

Retirement is the time when we are supposed to enjoy ourselves, and that enjoyment involves excellent food. And in Jacksonville, the food scene is very much alive and vibrant. It combines traditional southern comfort food and incredible dishes inspired by other cultures. The local cuisine is one of the most appealing parts of Jacksonville. And the great thing is that this is all very affordable to citizens.


There is something to satisfy everyone's tastes. You should visit the incredible Black Sheep restaurant if you want farm-to-table southern food. Or, if you prefer French cuisine, there is the Restaurant Orsay or Hawkers Asian for Asian food enthusiasts. It's nice having to go somewhere and celebrate the crucial moments in life. Wedding anniversaries, family birthdays, taking your grandkids to a fun lunch, etc.

Good weather

Good weather is essential for a city to be a good place for retirement. You don't want to spend your time locked in the house because there is a storm outside or it's freezing cold. Thankfully Jacksonville passes this test smoothly. While it is not exactly Miami, the weather in Jacksonville is very pleasantly balanced. The summers are warm and long, so you have enough sunny days to take walks or some light hiking. The winters can be arid and cold but are short. Having a climate that is balanced and has no extreme changes is incredibly important. And it is really good for your health.

You will have a fun social life

A thing that often plagues retirement years is loneliness and isolation. But just because you are of a certain age doesn't mean you shouldn't have a fun social life. It is vital for your mental health. And because Jacksonville is such an affordable place, many retirees live there. And it won't be hard to find them. There are many places in Jacksonville where you can socialize with your peers, like Senior Services Division. They provide necessary care for older individuals in Jacksonville but also organize fun events and create opportunities for retirees to spend time together.

Entertainment opportunities

As mentioned, you will have a lot of free time in retirement. So naturally, you will want some entertainment to fill it up. And Jacksonville has got it all. There is the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, filled with incredible animal and plant species that will make a memorable and fun trip with your grandkids.


There is no shortage of museums either. At the top is MOSH, or Museum of Science and History, which has one of the largest planetariums in the entire USA. An incredible place for all space fanatics. Or you can visit the Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens, filled with beautiful European-inspired gardens. And, of course, don't forget to stop by the famous Florida Theatre, which hosts many entertaining events every year.

The cost of living

One of the most important reasons to retire in Jacksonville, Fl, is the low cost of living. According to Best Cross Country Movers experts, that is the number one reason people decide to make a cross-country move. And the cost of living in Jacksonville is 8% lower than the state average and 7% lower than the national average.


Housing is incredibly affordable in Jacksonville, 14% lower than the national average, and most people in Jacksonville own their homes. Another great thing is that transportation is 16% lower than the state average and 17% lower than the national average. Food and other goods are lower than the national average as well. All in all, Jacksonville is incredibly affordable, and you can spend your retirement without worrying about finances.

Beautiful beaches

In addition to being affordable and lively, Jacksonville is also magnificent. And that is also important when choosing where to retire. A lot of that beauty is there thanks to the Atlantic Ocean. Jacksonville is filled with beaches, where you can spend your days walking and enjoying the sun and the beautiful Atlantic. Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Neptune beach are some of the best. And you can even fish on the Jacksonville Beach pier without acquiring a license. And what retiree doesn't like fishing?


In conclusion

As you can see, there are many great reasons to retire in Jacksonville, Fl. It's a beautiful city with outstanding housing, low cost of living, high-rated healthcare, and so much entertainment. Perfect for retirees but also one of the best places to live in the entire country.


Meta Description:
Is your retirement approaching? Then read our article the learn about some great reasons to retire in Jacksonville

reasons to retire in Jacksonville


Emma Williams
Nursing Homes in Florida

Nursing Homes in Florida

For seniors, Florida offers routinely pleasant weather and the chance to live among similarly aged individuals: The state has a population of over 21 million people, and 20.9% of them are 65 years of age or above. Another perk of living in Florida is access to its strong medical facilities. Standouts include the Mayo Clinic's Jacksonville campus, which houses a stroke care team, and the University of Florida Health network, which employs geriatric care specialists. Additionally, Florida's lack of state income tax means that funding sources such as retirement plans, pensions and Social Security benefits go a bit farther.

Some of Florida's older adults reside in nursing homes, which cater to individuals who need around-the-clock care. In nursing homes, residents receive attention from therapists, licensed nurses and visiting doctors. Staff members also help with personal care and medication management, and activities take place for residents.

The rest of this guide covers the cost of nursing home care in Florida and nearby states. It also gives a rundown of Medicaid in the state, certain nursing home regulations and several resources for Florida's older adults. It concludes with a look at Florida's Area Agencies on Aging and its Social Security and Veterans' Affairs offices.

Why Jacksonville is Perfect for Young Professionals
Tanya Douglas
Why Jacksonville is Perfect for Young Professionals

Why Jacksonville is Perfect for Young Professionals

Jacksonville is the most populous city in the state of Florida. And at 874.46 sq mi, it is also its largest city. It has a mild climate with around 250 sunny days a year. You can enjoy the sun at some of the sandy beaches along the Jacksonville shoreline, which is the longest shoreline in the state. Jacksonville is also the home of the largest urban park system in the nation. These are just some basic facts to get us introduced to Jacksonville. While beautiful beaches, great neighborhoods, and parks are great, it’s the economy, education, housing, and career opportunities that are going to be the main focus of this article. We are going to explain why Jacksonville is perfect for young professionals.

Some of the reasons why Jacksonville is perfect for young professionals

While there are many reasons why Jacksonville is so great, we are going to explore the main ones, from housing to entertainment. And according to experts at bestmoversinflorida.com, the number of people moving to Jacksonville is only growing over the years.

  • Cost of living
  • Job market
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Entertainment

Low cost of living

The first thing that makes Jacksonville perfect for young professionals is the low cost of living. The cost of living in Jacksonville is about eight percent lower than the average in the USA. This is great for young people who are at the beginning of their professional careers and cannot yet afford to live in very expensive cities. One of the critical factors in Jacksonville is that the price of transportation is lower by as much as 16 percent than the average in Florida and 17 percent than the average in the USA. The situation with healthcare is equally good, where the price for medical services is 14 percent lower than the state average and 16 percent lower than the national average. The cost is also lower than the state average for food, utilities, goods, services, etc.

Booming job market

Another thing that makes Jacksonville so appealing to young professionals is the abundance of job opportunities. Especially white-collar ones. The primary industries in Jacksonville are financial services, advanced transportation, and logistics, health and biomedical, advanced manufacturing, IT, etc. So there is something for everyone. It is a fast-growing city with a booming job market. Just this year, Jacksonville was rated 5th hottest job market in the United States by the Wall Street Journal. In the last ten years, job growth in Jacksonville has increased by 12,9 percent. Some of the highest-paying jobs in Jacksonville are surgeons, financial managers, dentists, chief executives, and financial and sales managers. When you pair an incredible job market with a low cost of living, it is no wonder why Jacksonville is one of the fastest-growing cities in America. Experts predict that by 2060 Jacksonville’s population will grow from 1,658,800 to 2,536,200.

Great education

For young professionals, education is also very important. And thankfully, in Jacksonville, there is a great public and private school system. And Jacksonville has some of the top-rated public schools in Florida. There are 189 public schools (some of the best are:  Julia Landon College Preparatory & Leadership Development School and James Weldon Johnson College Preparatory Middle School) and 133 private schools. But the most important for young professionals are opportunities for higher education. If they want to continue their higher education in Jacksonville, they are in luck. There is the Florida Coastal School of law, which offers Juris Doctorates and specialized law certificates. Then there is Edward Waters College, Jacksonville State University, etc. So, Jacksonville is great for those who were born there and are going through the public school system, and are on their way to becoming young professionals. And it is also great for those who moved to Jacksonville to continue their education (doctorates and specialized certificates).

Affordable housing

One more reason why Jacksonville is perfect for young professionals is the affordable housing market. The prices on the Jacksonville housing market are 17 percent lower than the national average. Even though lately, housing prices have gone up all over the country, Jacksonville stayed one of the most affordable cities. There are great opportunities for those who want to own their house and those who prefer renting. The number of those who own property and rent is pretty even. Fifty-six percent of the population in Jacksonville owns the property and forty-four percent rents. That’s because rent in Jacksonville is one of the lowest in the area. According to experts, the best neighborhoods in Jacksonville for young professionals are:

  • Atlantic Beach
  • Neptune Beach
  • Avondale/Riverside
  • Jacksonville Beach

And if you are looking to find the right team to move you to Jacksonville for your residential move, you don’t have to look too far. There are many useful companies in Jacksonville that will help you with residential moving and looking for movers.

Good entertainment

Even though housing, job opportunities, and education are essential, they are not everything in life. For young people, it is also important that a city offers some entertainment—and Jacksonville definitely does. No matter what area of Jacksonville you are in, there is something to do.  There is the Jacksonville Jazz festival that’s organized every Memorial Day weekend. Then there is Jacksonville's Autobahn Speedway for those who love indoor go-kart racing. Of course, one of the top entertainment spots in Jacksonville is the iconic Florida Theatre. Here you can catch performances by some of the most popular comedians, actors, and musicians of today.

In conclusion

Hopefully, now you understand why Jacksonville is perfect for young professionals. As you can see, many factors make this city so appealing. From affordable housing, various job opportunities, a booming market, and excellent education to great entertainment, there is everything young career-driven people could possibly need. But Jacksonville is not good just for them; it is a great city for everyone. From those who want to raise a family there to those who want to spend their retirement there. So it’s no wonder why so many people have chosen this city as their new home in the last ten years.

Meta Description: Are you interested in moving to Jacksonville? Find out why Jacksonville is perfect for young professionals!

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Should you allow pets in your rental property?
Tanya Douglas
Pets in a rental property

Should You Allow Pets in Your Rental Property?


Allowing pets in your rental property provides you with a large pool of possible tenants but also introduces new concerns. As a result, landlords who rent to someone with pets must prepare, create regulations and restrictions, and draft a pet agreement. If you're asking yourself, "Should I accept pets in my rental property?" you've come to the right place.


Having a higher rent is always a possibility

Allowing pets in your rental property (especially large dogs) when few houses in your community are pet-friendly could fetch you a higher rate. It may provide an advantage over the competition if a selection is made between your home and a similar one that does not allow cats/dogs. Today, millennials make up the majority of property buyers and renters in the US, and they love their pets. Renting such a residence is so uncommon, so you appear to be a reasonable person for allowing it. This may increase your tenant's regard for your property.


Do your homework before deciding on the type of pets you are allowing on your property

Bear in mind which types of pets are considered coming to your property. Always know what kind of tenants you're dealing with. People are unwilling to give up their pets to relocate. This year, more than 70% of US households (approximately 90.5 million homes) own a pet. You will be able to find the best fit for your property while allowing them to join. Ask yourself: 

  • What kind of pets would be the best to have in my rental property?
  •  Is it better to have an inside or an outside pet?

If any possible tenants express their interests, you can do a couple of things about your rental property.


Make their life a bit easier

Your new renters probably used to live in bad conditions, so now, choosing a more furnished rental will make their transition smoother. They won’t have to perform any hard lifting or worry about where to store everything. If you want to rent unfurnished, you will need to remove the majority of your belongings. In that scenario, it is preferable to seek reputable moving services to receive all of the assistance you require.


Look from all perspectives and feel free to ask more questions

Request that you meet the pets in their current residence. Pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, and German shepherds are the breeds that most landlords forbid. These breeds are seen as more aggressive than others. Start with the basics, such as What is the type of your pet or How many pets do you have? While going through your standard motion of screening tenants, feel free to ask them couple more questions. If they turn out to be the perfect kind of tenants you want, our friends at miamimoversforless.com will gladly help you with getting your home rent ready.


Taking a good look at pets can tell you everything

Certain dogs are faster to train. Excited and joyful dogs, for example, are easier to train, whereas afraid and nervous canines are more difficult to do so. Age was also found to be associated with trainability. Dogs become somewhat set in their ways after that, so looking at them can tell you almost everything that you are looking to find out.


Should charging deposits and rents also include pets

If you decide to have pets in your rental property, now you can charge more money – but be sure fees are already a part of the agreement. They cover any pet damage, and you can also set a pet deposit and pet rent.

  • This is a refundable fee when the tenant signs your lease. It ranges between 40 and 85 percent of your agreed rent. On the plus side, you can charge an additional pet deposit for each pet living at your property.
  • Pet rent is a monthly fee that is included in the rent. It usually costs between $10 and 50 dollars per month (per pet). Check with your local renter laws to see if you can charge pet rent.

You will be protected while choosing to include a monthly pet fee (or one-time pet fee) in case the pet causes some kind of damage or you need to clean the rental property before someone new moves in

Pets are part of our family

Nowadays, pets are considered family members, so one of the first things that should be done is to ensure that your soon-to-be tenants accompany them. If any of them is not accustomed to traveling, they should get used to it first by making small destinations. On the actual day of the big move, they need to ensure that the entire experience is easier on their pets.


You may encounter some disadvantages after allowing pets on your property

While there are numerous advantages to letting your tenants have their animals involved, there are also some concerns that landlords should be aware of. Damage to your property is one of the most typical issues. We all heard the same stories about landlords allowing tenants to bring only one pet. Later on, this leads to even more animals moving in with them. Ultimately, this results in long-term damage, disruptions, and financial troubles for you. After a family vacates the property, you must thoroughly clean it.


Storage fees are not expensive

The furniture cannot be kept in the rental property, so the landlord needs to make it ready for renting. This means that you must make storage arrangements for it. For example, if you grant appropriate permissions and the renters prefer to utilize their pillows, cushions, and bedframes, it is up to you to relocate and store. Any associated costs are the tenants' responsibility.


How to manage your approach to challenging tenants

This is not a simple task. Being a landlord means you still have a lot of responsibilities to the property your rent to someone. Communication is key. Always have that in your mind when dealing with difficult tenants. As we mentioned, several benefits and risks are associated when allowing their additional family members. Most of them don't have more than two or three pets involved, but it's recommended that you have some limit.


Final thoughts

A completely furnished rental may appear attractive, but it offers both advantages and disadvantages. Going for the option of allowing pets in your rental property can open your doors to countless possibilities.


Meta description: When choosing between furnished and unfurnished rentals, it’s necessary to determine whether you should allow pets in your rental property.

Fall Maintenance Tips for Florida Landlords
Tonya Douglas
Fall Maintenance Tips

Fall Maintenance Tips for Florida Landlords


Autumn is a beautiful time of year, but it can also be stressful for Florida landlords. Maintenance in this period can be a great idea if you plan to find tenants for your rental home in Florida. If you're unsure where to start, take a look at some of our fall maintenance tips that will help you update your rental property.

Clean up the yard

A big part of your fall maintenance is cleaning up the yard. You should remove all leaves and other debris from the yard and trim back any overgrown bushes or trees. Clean out any gutters, check for broken sprinkler heads, and inspect the roof for loose shingles or leaks.

If you do find any leaks, you should repair them as soon as possible. If there are any loose shingles, it may be a good idea to have them replaced before winter comes around again.


Check your gutters

One of the most important things you should know as a landlord is whether your home is waterproof. Once you check your gutters and they're not in good condition, they could be letting water get into your home. When the leaves fall from trees during the fall season, these leaves will clog up your gutter and cause damage to the shingles on the roof.

To save yourself from having to replace an entire roof or repair costly damages caused by leaks inside of your home, all you need is a good set of gutter guards at each corner of every gutter line.


Clean your air conditioner filters

A dirty air conditioner filter can lower your unit's efficiency, causing it to work harder and use more energy. This is true even if you have a newer, high-efficiency AC system. The key here is to clean the filters regularly, so they're not clogged with dust and dirt, reducing airflow by as much as 50 percent!

Clean air conditioner filters help protect your HVAC system by keeping out any large particles that may damage the internal components of your AC unit. If needed, you can always replace your HVAC system with a new one. A clean filter will keep everything running smoothly for years to come.


Check your appliances

Fall is a great time to ensure that all your appliances are working properly. You don't want to get new tenants in and then discover there is no dishwasher or dryer, or worse, the stove doesn't work! In case you need to relocate some appliances to your new home, you can always find all the help you need online. For example, a reliable moving service in Jacksonville can be the best solution when moving heavy inventory out of your home.


When it comes to updating your appliances, consider replacing the refrigerator and freezer units if needed. If you have an older model refrigerator and freezer, it will likely be on its last legs by now. Consider replacing it with newer energy-efficient models that use less electricity, which means paying less money at the end of every month for utilities.


Consider installing a smart thermostat

If you're not already using a smart thermostat, it's time to consider installing one. Smart thermostats control heating and cooling systems in your rental property. Installing them will not only be a plus when it comes to renting price, but these will also help you form a good relationship with your tenants. People who rent your apartment will be grateful for a smart heating and cooling system in their new home. You can control these thermostats with a smartphone or tablet, which means you can turn them on before you leave the house and turn them off when you get home after work.


The benefits of installing a smart thermostat are numerous. They save energy by automatically adjusting themselves based on preset temperature settings. Also, these thermostats allow landlords to monitor their energy use throughout the year. This way, you can always know how much money you've saved by using one device instead of traditional dials or knobs.


Be well-prepared for autumn and winter in Florida

If you are a homeowner, you can't expect your tenants to take care of it as well as you would. Take a look at a few more things you should consider as a landlord in Florida.


Check the Weather Forecast

If you're a Florida landlord, you must know how to stay prepared for all types of weather. The weather patterns in Florida can be unpredictable, so it's best to keep an eye on forecasts and take measures accordingly.

Check Your Insurance Policy

It's also important to check your current insurance policy before the cold weather hits and ensure that it covers any possible damage caused by freezing temperatures or snowfall. If not, speak with an agent about purchasing additional coverage for the winter months as soon as possible, so there aren't any surprises when a tenant calls asking for help fixing their roof after a heavy storm passes through!


Prepare for moving out of your home

Before you find suitable tenants, you will have to pack and organize your move. On websites like verifiedmovers.com, you can find plenty of moving companies to choose from, but also find tips on planning your relocation. Once you decide to move, make a list of furniture pieces, appliances, and other things you want to leave for future tenants to use. Make sure to declutter the rest of your belongings and find the right packing supplies for them.



Key Traits of a Good Property Manager
Tanya Douglas
Good Property Manager

Key Traits of a Good Property Manager


If you have decided to educate yourself in property management, a great place to start is to learn the key traits of a good property manager. This will give you a proper vision of what your goals should be and where to start the education process.

Generally speaking, owning commercial real estate is a great way to diversify an investment portfolio, establish passive income and develop wealth long-term. However, owning such property is only the beginning. After becoming a landlord, it is time to start management of the property. And this can sometimes be overwhelming. Working with agitated tenants who have a problem with their property, such as a water leak, or tenants who are late paying rent, can be time and energy-consuming. Of course, there is also regular maintenance to arrange and schedule. This is why most experienced CRE investors decide to work with the best property managers.


Develop Market Knowledge


By knowing and understanding the local market, you will be able to choose the right types of amenities that pander to the tenants who are most likely to occupy your building. Some examples would be:


•  Keeping up with the accessibility options of the neighborhood;

•  Installing strong security if crime rates are high in the area;

•  Building a small outdoor play area for children if your building is in a family residential area;

•  Investing in an indoor pool area if the temperatures rise significantly in certain months of the year (This mainly applies to wealthier gentrified neighborhoods).



Aside from that, setting appropriate lease terms and conditions is also dependent on knowing what the market will bear. The same goes for the signing of various construction or service agreements.


A Good Property Manager Gives Good Recommendations


Another part of developing market knowledge is creating good business relationships. Any good property manager must have good working relationships with vendors and various services related to this type of work. This is because these relationships will likely be able to save time and money. Knowing whom to contact when a product or service is needed and giving recommendations to tenants is very important. People will appreciate good advice a lot. These relationships might also help you be able to negotiate lower rates or use discounts.

An excellent example of this would be recommending good local moving services. As a new tenant just moving in, a property manager who knows what they’re doing should be able to give you the names of local moving services, which will provide you with all the help you may need.


Focus on details


An excellent property manager must be able to focus on details. The ownership of a property is a genuine business. This means that every single penny must be accounted for and documented. The ability to keep records and financial reporting skills are a must-have. When it is time for taxes, youll be very happy to have these detailed documents.


Good Property Managers Give Quick Responses


The ability to reach a property manager quickly and efficiently is essential to every tenant, but only if the property manager themself are responsive. Returning phone calls and emails in a timely fashion is imperative if you want to be an excellent property manager. Another potential benefit of responding quickly to your tenants is that this practice usually attracts good-quality tenants.

Emergencies always require an immediate response. If you want to keep the people and property safe, it is absolutely imperative to do this. Whether the situation is an emergency or not, failure to respond in time can be a big turn-off for both tenants and CRE investors. And this can result in your work portfolio being tarnished, or in a worst-case scenario; you could be fired.


A Good Property Manager Has a Professional Manner


You can use many descriptive phrases to characterize someone as a professional. A combination of these qualities and the others we mention in this article is what makes a truly experienced property manager.

Some qualities to look for are:


  • A balance of confidence and humility
  • General competence
  • Willingness to learn
  • Respectfulness
  • A good listener
  • Reliability
  • Ethicality
  • Friendliness.


In the experience of experts from Cross Country Moving Group, there is a common problem with people deciding to move out very soon after moving in. The most common reason for this occurrence is that they dont feel comfortable with the property manager. This is why they advise building relationships with tenants aside from just having a professional manner if your goal is to be one of the best property managers.


Have a Good Balance Between Patience and Aggressiveness


This trait is an example of the proper professional manner of a good property manager.

Property management can sometimes be extremely stressful. A property manager needs to have a great deal of innate patience. This trait will come in handy with contractors who are behind schedule, unruly tenants, and investors who can sometimes have unrealistic expectations.

Being aggressive might seem counterintuitive, given the importance of patience which we just discussed. However, property management really is a balancing act. In most situations, property managers have to be patient. But, on rare occasions, aggressiveness could be required. This could mean tracking down late rent payments or holding a contractors feet to the fire. The ability to be aggressive when necessary is an important quality of any quality property manager.


A Very Important Trait of a Good Property Manager Is Ingenuity


Theres no blueprint or precise recipe for quality property management. Each property you manage will be different. The goals of every investor are going to be at least slightly different. Sometimes, it simply takes a little bit of ingenuity to be able to successfully manage a property. As a property manager, you must be willing and able to think outside the box.


To Conclude


To conclude, we would like to give you one final tip. Investors greatly appreciate a candidate’s commitment to ongoing education when looking for a property manager. The best thing you could do in this regard is to mindfully decide what you read. Reading local news so you can follow neighborhood development trends can be good. However, reading books regarding business education or professional development is the best way to go.

It is impossible to be a “perfect” property manager. Your skills will simply be stronger in some areas of the business than in others. Regardless of your innate talents, however, your long-term goal should be to learn to display these 7 time-tested qualities of a good property manager.




Being a good property manager requires a lot of research. This list of the key traits of one should point you in the right direction.


Focus keyphrase - good property manager

Pros and Cons of Renovating a Rental Property
Tanya Douglas
Rental Property Renovations

Pros and Cons of Renovating a Rental Property



A rental property goes through the same wear and tear process as your home, yet maintaining it requires more thought and care. Many landlords are not sure what the projects bring ROI and what ones they should skip when renovating their rentals. That's why you should give it some thought before your roll up your sleeves. To help you out, we've gathered a list of all the pros and cons of renovating a rental property you should consider and then make the right decision.


Reasons to go for it – benefits of renovating a rental

Let's start this guide on a positive note for landlords. There are several reasons why renovating a rental property is a great idea and helps you maximize the ROI as much as possible.


A nicer rental will cost more

Increasing your rent price is one of the first things you can count on after renovation. When picking a new home, renters know that prices can vary depending on several factors, such as the property's location, size, and, finally, condition. A newly renovated home will undoubtedly cost more, so you can expect that even the most minor project can bring a rental price increase. Finally, when there's more money circling, you are building equity faster, which can only bring positive points to your investment plans.


You can attract better tenants

It's challenging to find a great home to rent, but at the same time, landlords are struggling to find reliable tenants. A renovated, polished apartment will surely attract more responsible tenants willing to pay more to have a nicer home. The property that has been recently spruced up comes with a dose of responsibility for tenants to keep it that way. So, if you're struggling to find people who will stay longer and truly enjoy their home, renovating is one way to do it.


Minimize vacant periods

No landlord likes when their rental is vacant. That's why you should do your best to make your property as attractive as possible. This way, even when a renter leaves it, there won't be long until a new one comes along. Properties in good condition have minimum void periods, another advantage of renovating your rental property.


Make your rental more energy efficient

Specific renovation projects can make your property more energy-efficient, leading to multiple benefits. Firstly, you can reduce bills if you renovate the property and ensure it spends less energy. Next, you can attract high-quality tenants this way – those who care about their home and how they spend money. Finally, you'll make your property more environmentally friendly and ensure that people who rent it are eco-conscious.


Cons of renovating a rental property

Surely, nothing is black and white in real estate. Every project or action has a negative side, so you can expect the same with renovating a rental. You need to consider a couple of downsides before you begin a project to ensure you're doing the right thing.


Unpredicted costs

Even if you plan the renovation to detail, unexpected costs can happen anytime. Renovations are quite unpredictable, and certain projects can entail other work that will cost you more than you predicted. However, you shouldn't be afraid of such things. Manage your renovation budget carefully, and prepare for about 15 percent of extra costs. If you're ready for the process, you can't be surprised a lot, which will make the process a lot easier.


Also, unpredicted costs can include damage that can happen to the items you have on the property. That's why removing all the furniture pieces and other objects away from the construction site is safer. However, consider all the pitfalls to avoid when renting a storage unit to make sure you get the safest and most cost-efficient solution for your renovation process.


It can take away your time

Finances are not the only reason why the unpredictability of renovations is considered a downside. These projects can be time-consuming, which is bad news for people who have work or a big family to deal with. However, these projects pay off, so if you plan them right and work with professionals only. This way, you can reduce complications to a minimum and don't spend too much time.


And remember always to hire only reliable experts for your renovation and moving. Pros from müv | Trusted Florida Movers always advise you to research the people you trust in your home. This ensures the work is done fast and increases the security and quality of services you need.


Big projects mean vacant rental days

When you decide to renovate a property, you'll probably choose to do that when there are no renters. With common complications that renovation projects can include, the renters-free period can be longer than you expected. This means there's no rental income, right? To make this as efficient as possible, be sure to plan large-scale projects to detail and leave nothing to chance. And if you need to do a smaller project around the property, there's a chance to do it while tenants are at your property. However, this doesn't need to be the reason you give up on renovation, especially if the property needs a bit of revamping.


So, what should you do?

Making a final decision when renovating a rental property depends on several factors. Firstly, consider all the pros and cons we mentioned in this guide. These should be your starting point when planning to spruce up your rental. Next, consider the condition of the property, your current tenant situation, and finally – your budget. Once you list all the circumstances and factors that affect your decision, you'll be able to determine if now is the best time to make your rental shine again. If that's not the case, be sure to start making plans for future renovations and make it easier when the time comes to begin a project.


Meta Description: Consider both the pros and cons of renovating a rental property to see if you’re doing the project that best fits your budget.


Furnished vs. Unfurnished Rentals: What to Consider as a Landlord
Tanya Douglas
Furnished vs. Unfurnished Rentals

Furnished vs. Unfurnished Rentals: What to Consider as a Landlord

Every landlord has a dilemma about whether to rent their property furnished or unfurnished. Depending on your choice, you'll enter the market and attract a specific group of tenants. So, if you're still fighting that furnished vs. unfurnished rentals battle in your mind as a landlord - here are some things to consider.

The key difference: furnished vs. unfurnished rentals

We'll get into the question of whether or not landlords need to provide everything. But, we first need to have a look at the fundamental distinctions between the two types of housing arrangements. At first look, the distinction between a furnished and unfurnished space may seem to be self-evident. Nevertheless, that is not always so! For starters - unfurnished does not always imply being empty of all belongings (many first-time landlords have a misconception that it does).

Even if you are renting out a house in its unfurnished form, you should still make sure to include at least the following items in the rental agreement:

  • a stove,
  • refrigerator
  • a washing machine
  • fixtures for the bathroom
  • the carpeting
  • a choice of drapes or shades

Which one is preferable for property owners?

The answer to this question seems to be either black or white. But, it's not quite as straightforward as it may first appear. What the renter wants is much more essential than what you want. If you focus on what they want, you'll always make the right decision as a landlord. After all, the most important thing a landlord wants from a rental property is returns. And you won't receive any if you let your home sit empty for too long!

So, talk to a respected local letting agency to find out where the land sits in your specific location for the sort of property you desire to rent. You will want to showcase the property in a way that is appropriate for the sort of renter that will be living there. 

Moving out is easier

If you used to live in a property you're now renting, the moving process would be easier if you decide to go for a furnished rental. You won't have to do the heavy lifting and worry about where to put all the furniture. However, if you choose to rent unfurnished, you'll need to take out most of your stuff. In that case, it's better to seek reliable moving services to get all the help you need and have a stress-free experience.

The deposit is higher for furnished properties

For instance, in certain jurisdictions, landlords are only allowed to ask for a maximum deposit of a particular amount for unfurnished apartments. At the same time, they may ask for a larger maximum amount for furnished apartments. This safeguards the landlord from the financial burden of having to purchase new or repaired furnishings if they are destroyed.

Price difference 

If you invest more, the returns will be greater. Many people who rent their homes believe that it is money well spent since they are spared the expense of buying furnishings. Sometimes, it doesn't pay off for a tenant to buy their own furniture. According to the experience of experts at promoversmiami.com, the variation in the price will be rather substantial from one location to the next. Also, in many instances, the lease terms for furnished apartments are shorter than those for unfurnished apartments. This is because most individuals searching for an apartment that is already furnished are doing so to find temporary lodging.


It is not unusual for the monthly rent for a furnished apartment to be 20–40 percent more than the cost for an apartment with furniture. The figure will become much higher for stays of less than one month, which are considered short-term.

Different target tenants

Every landlord wants to attract a quality tenant who is responsible and who'll take good care of the property. Because furnished apartments cost more, they naturally attract renters who can afford that. Typically, these tenants are young professionals or young families. Also, some students haven't gathered their belongings. If the rental property is located in a college town or a more urban region, there are probably lots of possible renters seeking such a rental. As a landlord, you might gain from catering to this market. It's good to make the rental more appealing to students and those who live in metropolitan areas.

A damage possibility

Unfortunately, sometimes renters do not take good care of the property and the furnishings. In that case, the landlord will be forced to shoulder a more significant financial burden. The risk of damage increases when an apartment includes furniture. When renting out a furnished property, landlords are more responsible for maintenance and repair. They need to be on the lookout for actual damages as well as stay ahead of usual wear and tear. It's crucial to do a thorough investigation of who you're renting your property to if you want to prevent tenant damages.

Prices paid for storage

If the furniture cannot remain in the rental property, the landlord is responsible for getting it rent-ready. This means it's your responsibility to storage arrangements for it. For instance, if the landlord gives permission and the renters wish to use their mattresses and bedframe, it is the owner's responsibility to relocate the current bed and find a place to store it. The tenants are responsible for paying any associated costs. In a similar vein, maybe you wish to re-carpet or paint the apartment in between tenants. In that case, you are responsible for making arrangements for the furniture to be moved and/or stored so that the work crews may complete their tasks.

Final thoughts

Having a wholly furnished rental seems nice, but it has its pros and cons, just like renting an unfurnished property. There are a lot of things to consider and think about as a landlord. In the everlasting battle of furnished vs. unfurnished rentals, it's important to consider all the factors. Apply them to your situation and then make an informed decision. 

Meta description: There is an everlasting battle in real estate, including furnished vs. unfurnished rentals. So, consider these things before you decide.

Focus keyphrase: furnished vs. unfurnished rentals

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How to Prevent Tenant Damages to Your Rental Property
Tanya Douglas
Prevent Tenant Damage

How to Prevent Tenant Damages to Your Rental Property

Alt-tag: A house for rent sign.

You can indeed earn a lot of money by renting your property to tenants. But, you can also lose a lot of money if those tenants keep damaging your property! So, it just goes without saying that your job as a landlord will be to minimize those damages as much as possible. Don't worry; doing this is possible as there are many things you can do to prevent tenant damages to your rental property! 

The important thing to remember is that you can't expect your property to remain the same (and to have the same value) forever. It is usual for properties to change after all the wear and tear caused by different tenants. However, that doesn't mean you should stop trying to make it extraordinary (especially if that is your only source of income). So, do your best to prevent tenant damages to your rental property as much as possible! Here is how you can do that.

Create a strict lease agreement 

Nobody likes to be strict. But, sometimes, if you want to be respected, you just have to be. The same thing applies to renting out your property. For your tenants to be respectful of your property, you need to ensure they get a strict lease agreement, and more importantly, you must ensure they understand it. That is one of the best landlord tips we can give you! 


For instance, you should specify the tenant's obligations in your lease agreement. Whether that be mowing the lawn, cleaning the pool, or something third - you must write it down. Moreover, write down the things forbidden in your rental property (smoking, having pets, DIY-ing, organizing parties, etc.). 


Of course, you don't have to be too strict if you don't want to, but it is important to clarify things with your tenants immediately to prevent tenant damage to your rental property. 

Tenant screening is a must 

Even if you don't live in the home you rent, it is still your home, and you don't want anything wrong to happen to it. But, it just goes without saying that damages to your property are bound to happen if you have bad tenants. Luckily, there is an easy way to prevent this from happening - do a thorough tenant screening before they call getmovetoday.com movers and move in. 


And, how does one do that? That is, how does one screen or background check the tenants? One does that by asking the potential tenant for a landlord recommendation letter. If the previous landlord says this particular tenant is prone to violation and eviction, that is your red flag. Moreover, another way to screen your future tenant is to check his (or her) credit score. Don't be lazy - you must do all this to prevent tenant damages to your rental property. 

Charge a security deposit 

There is nothing wrong with charging a security deposit! That is one of the best ways to tenant-proof your rental property and ensure its protection from damage! It is simple - all renters want to get their money back. This way, you will be encouraging them not to 'wrong' your home if they want to get a full refund. 


But, keep in mind that you must set the right price for that security deposit. It mustn't be too low as buyers will not care about that money, and thus, they will not care about your rental property. And, it mustn't be too high as buyers will not be able to afford it. The best price should be somewhere around your monthly rent. In other words, if you are charging $1,000 monthly for your rental, you should also charge this amount for your deposit!

Conduct a tenant orientation 

When you find a good tenant, you should conduct a tenant orientation. That means welcoming the tenants on their move-in day. Of course, it is polite to offer help with moving, but most tenants come with professional movers. Moreover, you don't have to worry about damaging the property on the first day - experts can prevent this by handling all the heavy lifting, unpacking, and furniture assembling.


But, once they leave, that is when you should start conducting a tenant orientation. Use this time to show your tenants everything about the property, tell them about essential rental policies, and agree on certain obligations (yours and theirs). Moreover, don't be afraid to emphasize the importance of keeping the property damage-free if they want to get their deposit back. 


Just as previously mentioned, don't worry about being too strict. You need to be if you want to prevent tenant damages to your rental property! Show your renters how serious you are about your property, and they will certainly respect you and your property move. 

Have preventive inspections 

One of the last but in no way the least important things you should do to prevent damages to your rental property is to have a preventive inspection every once in a while. You should do this even if you think you attracted the best renters any renter can have. Don't just meet your tenants on the move-in day and never show your face again. If you do that, you can't blame the tenants for all the damages. Sometimes damages happen on their own, and it is your job to fix them, not the tenants'. 


Regular home inspections will work in your favor. They will show your tenants that you are an earnest landlord and make them think twice before they damage anything on purpose. Furthermore, if something does happen, you will be able to fix it before the damage gets more prominent. So, once a month, or once every three months, call your renters (don't just invade your privacy) and tell them that you want to check the property. 


As you have seen, there are many things you can do to prevent tenant damage to your rental property. You just have to be invested in that property, find good-quality tenants, and set strict rules. 

Meta Description: Looking for ways to prevent tenant damages to your rental property? Look no more – just keep on reading for some good tips and tricks.

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8 Tips for First-Time Landlords in Jacksonville
Tanya Douglas
Tips for Landords

8 Tips for First-Time Landlords in Jacksonville

Renting can be quite a profitable business for those interested in this type of investment. There are slight differences in whether you’re renting an apartment, house, or condo – but general rules apply to all the properties. This can be pretty confusing for those who are jumping into the rental business for the first time. Luckily, we’re here to help you avoid common landlord issues. Here are the best tips for first-time landlords in Jacksonville – make your rental as attractive as possible and have the smoothest relationship with your tenants.

1.Know the local rental regulations in Jacksonville

To avoid potential issues, you first need to know standard local regulations and laws that apply to landlords and tenants. These can vary in different states and cities, so be sure to learn more about being a landlord in Jacksonville. The city is the most populous place in the state of Florida, which is why it’s essential to be familiar with the laws and regulations of the state and of the city itself. For example, some things that Florida’s landlords need to disclose are warnings about fires, radon levels, etc., apart from all the details about the landlord’s true identity, rent, security deposit, etc. Landlords have specific responsibilities as well. These usually include property maintenance, repairs, and ensuring the general safety of the tenants. Make sure you know your rights, too. These apply to the landlord’s entry to the property, moving out notice, and more. Explore all of these to be ready for any unexpected situations with a potential renter.

2.First-time landlords in Jacksonville should get insurance

No matter how nice someone seems, it is vital to protect your property and yourself with the right kind of insurance. Landlord insurance will ensure you’re safe in case of any damage to the property, hazards such as flood and fire, and any legal issues you might have with a tenant. Again, remember to keep your emotions away from this business. Even though you might like someone, it’s essential to protect yourself and be careful about any potential problems.

3.Make sure your lease agreement is complete

A detailed lease agreement is a key to solving issues that often happen between landlords and tenants. Make sure your lease agreement is complete, including all the necessary details that explain the rights and responsibilities of both parties. When making a rental agreement for a property in Jacksonville, be sure to include:

  • Full names of your tenants
  • The exact list of occupants of your property – there should be an occupancy limit to ensure there’s no subletting or more than listed people living on the property;
  • Rent details – apart from the exact amount of the rent cost, include the due date, payment method, late fees, and a grace period if there’s a need for it.
  • The amount and rules about the security deposit
  • Defining month-to-month or fixed tenancy agreement
  • Pet policy – depending on your preferences and the rules of the building/neighborhood, you can define a pet policy and a set of rules in case pets are allowed on the property.

Defining all the details in your lease agreement will benefit both the landlord and the tenant. That’s why you shouldn’t skip this step and ensure all the details are familiar to both parties.

4.Make changes that bring value

It’s not necessary to renovate the whole property to attract tenants. Try to plan renovations long-term, and prioritize those tasks. At first, you can make the changes that bring the most value. These can include repainting, updating the lighting, adding air conditioning, etc. Make sure you know what your target tenants need the most and focus on those updates first. This will make sure tenants recognize you care about their needs. You can also go that extra mile and make their moving experience even better – recommend a trustworthy moving team and help them find reliable Florida movers. You can help them team up with experts that will ensure your tenants move in safely and don’t damage your property in the process.

5.Promote your property for faster and better results

Preparing your property for renting is just one of the steps to success. Another thing you need to do is to market it well, so it attracts the right kind of tenants. Unless you’re lucky enough to immediately get a recommendation for a friend’s friend, or someone you know well, you’ll have to make some effort to find the tenants. Here you’ll need to create a listing that will ensure your property stands out from the rest – a detailed description and professional photos will help. Also, market your property in multiple ways – use local listing sites, spread the word, and share on social media.

6.Checking your tenants thoroughly is one of the best tips for first-time landlords in Jacksonville

The first impressions can be misleading. You shouldn’t sign an agreement with someone you just met. It’s essential to screen your potential tenants, so you can be sure you’ve found someone who will be responsible and take care of your property. Interview to get to know them better, but also look for references that can assure you are dealing with someone reliable. You can also do a criminal background check to be even safer. Finally, a simple check of their finances will tell you if they can pay the rent each month. These simple steps can verify that your new tenants meet your requirements and won’t cause any trouble during the lease.


Remember: always advise your tenants to double-check their moving company in a similar way. Nationwide Moving Services experts recommend getting at least two moving estimates before making the final decision. Trusting someone with your household is a big thing, so it’s crucial to find someone experienced and reliable.

7.Learn how to manage your property

Giving out the keys to your new tenants is just the beginning. Ensure you’ve got the tools to help you run the property’s finances and keep track of all the tenant’s requests. You can use several great rental property management software programs to simplify the process. You’ll get to keep track of both income and expenses, screen your tenants, and not forget about their issues, etc. And the best part is – some of these programs are free!

8.Consider contacting a professional

If the tasks we mentioned earlier overflow your daily schedule, maybe hiring a professional property manager is better. Letting a professional do all the management work is the best for inexperienced, first-time landlords in Jacksonville. If you’re feeling insecure about doing all the tasks, maybe it’s wiser to let someone competent do it for you.


Meta description: Learn how first-time landlords in Jacksonville can begin their rental journey without any issues and manage their new property with success.

7 Reasons Why Renting Could be Better
Tanya Douglas
7 Reasons Why Renting Could be Better

7 Reasons Why Renting Could Be Better Than Buying

Most people deal with this big real estate dilemma once in their lifetime–should they buy a home or rent it out? Even though some find the answer easily, others are not sure which option is best for them. Both homeownership and rentals have pros and cons, and what’s best for you will depend on the particular circumstances you’re in. However, this article will talk about the advantages of renting a home. For those who are not ready to commit, here are the reasons why renting could be better than buying.

1.The flexibility of living in a rental

Buying a home is a huge commitment. Even though you can always sell and buy a new property if you don’t like something about it, it’s not that easy to do. On the other hand, renting gives you more flexibility in location, size of your home, and budget. Over the years, your needs and possibilities may change, so you can change your home according to them. If you want to switch to a more family-friendly neighborhood–rent a place in another location. Got a pay raise–upgrade to a bigger or fancier apartment. Got a new pet–find a pet-friendly home. Renting is a commitment, yet not as strong as purchasing a home. This flexibility attracts many people who love to switch homes, and experience living in different cities and cultures.

2.Finances–how renting could be better than buying

In general, renting is less expensive than homeownership. You don’t need to pay for repairs and maintenance as it is the responsibility of your landlord. Furthermore, you don’t need to pay taxes, which is another advantage of renting a home. Depending on where you live, taxes can be quite burdensome for homeowners, so it’s great if you can avoid them. Also, as there’s no down payment for you, you can save thousands of dollars. Even though you have to pay a security deposit when renting a house or apartment, rentals are still less expensive. Finally, you don’t need to deal with HOA’s fees. These are reserved for homeowners only, so there’s one more reason why renting could be better than buying.

3.Renting saves you time daily

Living in a rented home means more free time. The reason is that you don’t need to deal with regular maintenance and change your schedule for unexpected repairs. Contacting your landlord is all you need to do, which leaves you more time to work, do a hobby or spend time with your loved ones. Rentals give you the opportunity to enjoy a great home, but without too much commitment to its maintenance.

4.You get an advantage at work

Job opportunities often come with location requirements. So, if there are more candidates for a promotion like that, people who rent have a slightly bigger advantage than those who own a home. They can easily relocate wherever necessary and faster meet the requirements of their employer. Let’s say you live in Jacksonville and get an offer to move to another place in Florida. When renting a place, you don’t need to deal with selling your home so you can relocate. You just need to notify your landlord and start looking for a reliable team in the area to help you out. Luckily, Jacksonville offers some high-quality teams, so it won’t be difficult to do this – but you need to do detailed research first.

5.Property decreases in value – you don’t need to worry about that!

This happens all the time in the real estate world–properties’ values increase and decrease depending on many factors. These changes give many homeowners a headache, making them wonder if they’ve made a mistake. On the other hand, renters have no such worries. Your rent cost is fixed and has no connection to the changes in the property’s value. If the rent does change, you can easily switch to a more affordable home.

6.You can enjoy all the nice amenities

When you own a home, you need to purchase all the nice stuff you need–and those are pretty expensive. A washer and a dryer, a pool, a home gym, etc. - all of these are nice to have, yet they are costly to get and maintain. These also represent deadweight capital, which is a downside of owning a home. On the other hand, renters can enjoy these amenities without such worries. Access to such luxuries is a part of living in many apartment complexes, which is another reason why renting is a better idea.

7.No long-term commitment

For some people, the main reason renting could be better than buying is the lack of long-term commitment. Even though many people find homeownership a source of peace and security, others may find this commitment challenging. Also, it’s easier to downsize if you’re living in a rented home. After a while, you may find your home too expensive, or you want to downsize after retirement. It can be tough to break free from a purchased home than leave a rental. Being tied to one place is not for everyone, so it’s wise to consider your lifestyle and long-term plans before making this decision.

Remember: if you need to downsize to lower your living costs, make sure you organize the move according to your budget. Verified Movers suggest you compare multiple moving estimates, so you can choose the deal that offers the best value for money. Different companies offer various services and pricing, so be careful when hiring a team for your move. Compare and analyze their offers to be sure you’ve got the best deal.

The bottom line

The main idea of all the reasons renting could be better than buying is freedom. Freedom to make changes, live carelessly and enjoy your life more. However, these advantages are only worth it if you really enjoy them. Everyone has different lifestyles and preferences, which is why our goals can’t be the same. Take your time to consider all of the factors so you can be sure you’re doing the right thing and wisely invest your money.

Meta: Still not sure how renting could be better than buying? Here are all the reasons that you should go for a rented home.

How to Attract Quality Tenants for Florida Rental Property
Tanya Douglas
Attract Quality Tenants

How to Attract Quality Tenants for Florida Rental Property

Attracting quality tenants is one of the most difficult aspects of being a landlord and managing a rental property. Nonetheless, it is a crucial part of the job. That is why learning effective techniques to attract quality tenants for your Florida rental property is critical. To help you find decent tenants, we've consulted experienced property management professionals and gathered useful tips and advice. Even though finding great tenants won't be easy, if you make sure to follow our advice and prepare well, you'll go through a much smoother process. Now let's get to work!

Why not let professionals help you attract quality tenants for your Florida rental?

The simplest way to ensure your Florida rental is occupied by decent tenants is to get in touch with a full-service property management company and let them handle everything regarding your property. Or, you can only hire tenant placement services if you prefer doing other landlord tasks alone.

Given that property management professionals have extensive experience, they can easily recognize the type of person they're dealing with. Of course, they won't rely solely on their hunch, but they'll also do extensive research and background checks. They will make sure they find responsible renters and leave your Florida rental in nothing but good hands.

Simple ways to attract quality tenants for your Florida rental

Good tenants pay their rent on time and in full, look after your property as if it were their own, and rarely (if ever) violate the conditions of your lease agreement. They are any landlord's dream come true

However, having in mind that roughly a third of households in Florida are renters, it can be quite difficult to find quality tenants among them. This is that much more true if you're planning to do this on your own. But don't worry as it's definitely not impossible, especially if you follow the tips and advice we've gathered from experienced landlords and property managers.

Know what kind of tenant you're looking for 

If you're looking for a good tenant but don't know how to spot one, you could easily lose out. Knowing the qualities of your ideal tenant can help you focus your search. When drafting a listing copy, it offers you a target market to work with.

In general, a good quality renter is one who has never been evicted, has a courteous attitude toward neighbors, pays rent on time, follows lease terms, and has a steady job. You may also prefer a tenant who does not have any pets or who does not smoke. So before you begin the screening process, make sure you have a strong sense of what you want in a tenant, regardless of your needs.

Make your rental more appealing

One of the best ways to attract quality tenants for your rental is to make your rental more appealing by adding different features. This will help your property stand out and appeal to a higher-income demographic.

You can't go wrong with add-ons like heating, dishwashers, stainless steel appliances, built-in wardrobes, and more storage space or lighting. Many quality renters look for these features. Plus, they may also be able to help you raise your rental return as well as the long-term value of your Florida rental property. It's basically a win-win!

On the other hand, you might find great tenants who want to move in with their own furniture and appliances. Given how difficult it is to find quality renters, you should better have a plan for storing furniture and other belongings just in case. The team from 24/7 Logistic Services FL suggests renting a storage unit as the simplest and most cost-effective solution.

Thoroughly screen your potential tenants

It's true when they say we should trust and follow our instincts. However, when looking for someone to occupy and take care of your property, listening to your gut is not enough. A potential tenant can lie on their application or sweet-talk their way onto your shortlist by lying on their application form. That's why it's crucial to thoroughly screen your tenants

Tenant screening is a solid approach to sorting through candidates and identifying potential renters. Make certain to check criminal records and credit reports. It's also a good idea to double-check their employment status. Don't forget to request references and phone previous landlords to get a sense of how they are as renters. While the tenant screening procedure is time-consuming, it is definitely worth the effort.

Listen to the word of mouth

Even nowadays, word-of-mouth referrals are still the most valuable kind of marketing. Friends, family members, or current tenants (if you're already renting) may give your recommendations. You could even give your tenants a reward if they refer someone to you. Typically, renters who are referred this way are of higher quality and stay considerably longer.

Be a great landlord

Now that you've found great tenants, you want to do your best to keep them in your property long-term. So make sure to do your part in the best way possible and be the kind of landlord you would want to have.

For example, you can offer your tenants help with heavy pieces. Or, you can help them find reliable movers to hire and assist with furniture disassembly. This way, when your tenants eventually move out, they'll give you glowing recommendations. Who knows, they might even send their reliable friends coming your way to replace them. 

The bottom line

We won't lie—finding reliable and quality tenants and keeping them in your Florida rental property for a long time is going to be difficult. However, if you follow our tips, we're sure you'll have an easier process as you'll know exactly what to focus on. Or, if you want to do this the simplest way, reach out to Florida's finest property management team and let them take care of everything for you. 

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If you are looking for ways to attract quality and long-term tenants for your Florida rental property, check out our simple tips and advice.



How a Sober Living House Can Add Value to a Neighborhood
Tanya Douglas
How Sober Living House Can Add Value to a Neighborhood

How a Sober Living House Can Add Value to a Neighborhood


There is an irrefutable stigma surrounding sober living homes. And we understand where the fear is coming from. Having a domestic violence shelter in our neighborhood holds an entirely different narrative; our hearts go out to those who suffered greatly at the hand of a barbarous loved one. No wonder Netflix's TV show "Maid" is one of the ten most-watched shows. The injustice enrages us; it makes us want to get up and do something for those who cannot stand up for themselves—all the women, children, and men. We feel compassion for the elderly, we watch Animal Planet with a box of Kleenex, but somehow, someway, when it comes to the ones most in need of our sympathy and support, we pull back, and we shut down. And we discriminate with disgust. Let's not look away this time. This is how a sober living house can add value to a neighborhood.

Your problem is not my problem

Addiction is a problem that affects every one of us on many substantial levels. Drug abuse and alcoholism have always been around as pain relievers, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the collective human psyche has gotten exceptionally frail. And it's getting worse. We witness 95,000 alcohol-related deaths and 100,000 drug-related deaths annually in the US alone. So, if you are a young family relocating to one of Jacksonville's top suburbs, but you happen to learn there's a sober living house in your neighborhood, will you politely turn down the offer and keep on looking?

"US" vs. "THEM"

Sober living houses are almost always located in quiet, low-crime, safe and stable neighborhoods. And for a reason. You could be living in one of the best neighborhoods in Jacksonville with recovering individuals two doors down. Why? Because your contribution as an accepting neighbor is just as meaningful and valuable as the facility itself. Just by not discriminating and showing angst, you show the sober residents they are indeed a part of this world, an equal member of the society. Just by not looking away, you indicate that it's possible to get back (or to move towards) to that healthy life they're missing and possibly once had.

Suspicious minds

  • Oh, that's great, I have a recovery home next door, so I need to have 911 on my speed dial from now on. And maybe get a guard dog.
  • Probably half of the residents are criminals and convicted felons.
  • Drug dealers will be swarming around my home. I need to protect myself and my family.
  • The residents will most likely cause disarray in what used to be a good, low-key neighborhood.
  • The value of my property will decline if I choose to move house.

None of it is true. The more rehabilitated people leave that house, the safer your community becomes.

Things you need to know about SLH

If you can't get your mind around how a sober living house can add value to a neighborhood, we'll go as far as to say it's a legitimate concern. A healthy dose of skepticism is anticipated and welcome. But let's try to debunk common misconceptions and chase your doubts away. According to Bright Futures Treatment Center FL, any residential facility offering non-medical services for recovering individuals is required to own licensure (also claimed by ADP / Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs)

The rules are strict

  1. Random drug tests are mandatory. There is no tolerance related to alcohol and drug use. You're clean, or you're out.
  2. Sober living houses are not rent-free. Residents are expected to participate with rent, utility bills, and groceries. A sense of independence is built by enforcing responsibility, which is necessary for a successful social comeback.
  3. Rules and regulations. There are curfews, only drug-free visitors are allowed during specific visitation hours, and there is no excess socializing.
  4. To get admitted to a sober living house, completing a rehab program is required.
  5. Sober living homes are not homeless shelters. They are more of a bonus quarantine time for the rehabilitated residents to prepare for the "outside" world and get their life back on track.

How SLH adds value

Sober facilities are not shady crack houses. In truth, residential housing has progressed immensely in the past decades. There are some state-of-the-art facilities all across the US. A sober living house doesn't necessarily scream unsightliness. You'd be surprised how pleasant they can be on the eye. The appearance is not what matters, though; it's what they do and who they are: simply a community within a community doing fantastic work for someone in need. When did philanthropy and being humane stop trending?

How it gives back

Alcohol and drug addicts and recoverees are not ungodly creatures. They are simply suffering souls with their self-image bruised, their self-worth annihilated, and only guilt, shame, and remorse to keep them company. Residents of sober living housing haven't targeted your neighborhood to make your life a living hell; they are there to redeem themselves. Give them that chance. Be a good neighbor.

The pilgrimage to society

Do you know why Jacksonville is one of the best places to live in the US? Because recoverees contribute to maintaining that reputation. They successfully integrate back into communities through volunteer work. It's their opportunity to give back to those who accepted and supported them when they were at their lowest. Sober houses often organize community service as it proved beneficial for residents and their neighbors. They assist the elderly and people with special needs, collect trash and keep the neighborhood nice and clean. They trim rose bushes and plant seeds to give your street a vibrant green feel.

What it all comes down to

The problem lies within us if we're still wondering how a sober living house can add value to a neighborhood. Not "them." Spend a little time with one of the SHL residents. Hear their story. It will blow you away (and probably make you feel ashamed for having had a privileged childhood). You have the power to stop the stigma. The biggest value-added to your neighborhood will be the accepting and open You. Most of the SHL residents are benevolent, warm people. By giving them a sense of belonging, you give them what they need the most. Hope.


 Meta description: How a sober living house can add value to a neighborhood: The stigma around sober houses seems insurmountable. Let's prove ourselves wrong.



How to Tenant-Proof Your Rental Property
Tanya Douglas
Tenant-Proof your rental

How to Tenant-Proof Your Rental Property


Investing in real estate is a brilliant move for your future. Regardless of your profession or the economic trends, leasing a property provides you with a constant income. Besides, you can sell that property if you wish to do so. However, having tenants is not as easy as it may seem. It's not just about having a good relationship with them but also about protecting the rental. As a homeowner, you invest a lot of time and money in a property. But since tenants change homes pretty often, they don't take that much care of the rental. So here are some ideas on how to tenant-proof your rental property.

Protect the floors

The floors of a property are always subjected to the most wear. This is unavoidable even in your own home. Nevertheless, as a homeowner, you are a bit more careful. So here’s how you can make your property’s floors tenant-proofed.

1)No hardwood floors

While it's true that hardwood floors look very good and are preferred by most homeowners, they should be avoided in a rental. The reason for this is that they scratch easily. Therefore, when tenants move in and out of the property, you need something that's going to endure. A good choice would be bamboo or faux wood flooring. These options are cheaper and less sensitive - plus, they look good.

2)No carpets

To tenant-proof your rental property, you should avoid carpets. The main reason is that they stain easily and sometimes not even professional cleaners can help with that. And it would be too expensive to change the carpets with every new tenant. Besides, they retain smells and pet fur that can be difficult to remove.


However, if your rental property already has hardwood floors, you should cover them for protection. In such cases, go for dark-colored carpets that can hide the stains. And choose low-grade rugs that are cheap to replace if necessary.

3) Impose felt pads

You should require your tenants to place felt pads on all their furniture. This will protect the floors from all the scratching. To make sure this rule is applied, you can add it to the lease agreement. Moreover, you can stipulate that this is a requirement for the security deposit to be reimbursed.

4) Set a good example

Don't expect your tenants to be aware of all the things that can damage the flooring of a property. However, if you set a good example, they might follow your lead. Before showing off the rental, make a tiny investment in indoor and outdoor doormats, including a shoe rack. When you present the property to potential tenants, please wipe your feet on the doormats, then take off your shoes and place them on the shoe rack. This will make them aware of the no-shoes policy. Of course, this doesn't mean they will comply with it, so you can also add a clause in the lease agreement.


Protect the walls

Walls are the second most important thing to consider when you tenant-proof your rental property. If you have to repair and repaint them every time you get new tenants, you will lose more money than you make. Here are some ideas on how to protect the walls.

1)Consider the type of paint carefully

If you are leasing the property for the first time and are on a budget, you can use the cheapest option: white paint with a flat finish. However, be advised that you will likely have to repaint when your tenants move out. Stains on the walls are unavoidable. Just think of the grease in the kitchen or kids with dirty and sticky fingers. The best solution for this is to choose a glossy finish because it enables you to wash the walls. It's indeed a bit more expensive, but it will save you the money of repainting in the future.

2)Set some rules

Every tenant wants to feel at home. Thus, they are eager to start by decorating a rental apartment to fit their style and preference. However, if you don't want to have drill holes all over the walls at the end of the lease, you should explain the dos and don'ts. For example, you can let them use a few small nails for hanging pictures or artwork because they are easy to fix. But it would be best if you didn't allow them to mount their TV on the wall since it will leave huge holes. You can also add this to the lease agreement.

Protect the rest of the property

While it’s true that the floors and walls are subjected to the most wear, there are other things to consider. So, here are a few things you shouldn’t skip when you tenant-proof your rental property.

1)Your personal belongings

Of course, you have the option of leasing an empty property, but that entails finding long-term tenants. And this is harder to come by. Besides, usually, people rent properties that they used to live in at some point. In this case, you should think about your personal belongings, like pieces of furniture and other things you left behind.


Suppose you have valuable furnishings or other personal belongings that you don't want your tenants to damage. In that case, it would be good to rent a self-storage unit. And don't worry, this option is much cheaper than replacing those valuables. Nevertheless, if you want to rent a self-storage unit for storing antiques, wooden furniture, or artwork, you should know what to look for. In such cases, the storage conditions are essential because humidity and extreme temperatures can damage those items.

2)The installations

Sometimes people forget about the things that are not visible, like the electrical or plumbing installation. But if those installations get damaged, the security deposit won't cover even half of the repairs. Therefore, find some experienced professionals to do regular maintenance and inspection work. This will help you avoid unexpected costs in the future. Not to mention that your tenants will appreciate it as well.


While leasing a property can be very beneficial for your future finances, you should ensure that it doesn't cost you more than you gain. Finding a good tenant is never easy, and sometimes even they have accidents and can damage things. Nevertheless, to avoid as much damage as possible, you can use these preventive measures to tenant-proof your rental property.

Meta description: If you’re thinking about leasing your property, you should also look into protecting it. So, here are some ideas on how to tenant-proof your rental property.

How to Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Tenants
Tanya Douglas
How to Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Tenants

How to Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Tenants

Being a landlord is a walk in the park. You have the property, you have tenants, they make regular payments, and you spend them. Easy. There is nothing to it - except for the fact that there is. This mindset could cost you a lot of time and money. The wiser and healthier approach to this would be to understand that you are the one offering a service. As such, you must maintain a good relationship with the tenant. The most important thing to you as the landlord, probably, is that somebody trustworthy and reliable is staying in your property. Knowing it is being taken care of and that the tenant will pay the rent in time is worth the extra effort. On the other hand, a lack of action on your part attracts a different type of tenant. Here is how to maintain a good relationship with your tenants.


Maintain a Good Relationship Through Maintenance

At the end of the day, what you advertised and what the tenant is paying for is the property and all the utilities that come with the house. Nobody expects that there will never be any maintenance issues, as they come with the territory. Therefore, you should always have a few reliable handymen and vendors among your contact numbers. Furthermore, timing is vital. If a tenant informs you of a situation, be a good landlord and get on the phone ASAP. Minor problems can turn into more costly ones over time, all the while eroding your tenant's trust and good faith. A nice touch would be to follow up with the tenant once the repairs have been done. See if the repair work was up to scratch and see how they are doing.


How to Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Tenants? The same as with any Other Relationship - Communication!

An active line of communication is essential. Tenants need to know they can reach out to you if there is a problem. They also need to know that you will listen. On the other hand, it also means being straightforward when communicating your requirements. As the landlord, you ought to maintain effective communication from the very beginning. If you manage to achieve this, you can expect tenants to offer the same. They will inform you of any problems they notice around the house. Likewise, they will advise you about when they plan to move out in due time.


A word of warning about rent collection, though, make sure you have a system in place for the payments to be made regularly. Yes, a good relationship is advisable, but letting your tenants be late with their rent is not the way to achieve this. Allowing obligations to be skipped is not the cornerstone of good communication.


Clean and Updated

It should go without saying, but keeping the property clean and decluttered sends the right message. It doesn't matter if you plan on clearing everything up right before your tenants move in - they need to see it clean when they first come to visit. Furthermore, sprucing up the place could do wonders for an old property. A fresh lick of paint can do wonders for the interior. If there are clear signs that your HVAC needs replacing, bite the bullet and do it! The indirect benefit is that the tenants themselves are more likely to take good care of a home that has been taken care of by the owner. If you haven't put in the effort, why should they?


Difficult Tenants

Now, not all tenants are born alike. With some, things will be easygoing, but others can be a tad more difficult. You need to be able to handle such situations. Staying calm is essential in these situations. You should never take any comment personally and should confidently approach the problem. Sometimes, you might need to consider legal action, but this is the last resort. Still, you need to know what to do in that sort of situation too. You must learn to solve problems of this nature, as most landlords will find themselves dealing with difficult tenants at some point.



Honesty is the best policy. We've all heard it said and with good reason. Be clear about how you plan to divide the responsibilities. Don't tell them you will cover the utility charges, and then when it's time to pay, tell them this is their expense. Be trustworthy, and don't go back on your word. Sending an e-mail or two once you agree on an issue is also not a bad idea. Having things in writing is always handy should a misunderstanding unfold down the line.


What to do With Your Things?

We talked about the need to declutter and offer a tidy space for your new tenants. There will be things in your property that you need, but your tenants most certainly won't. That grand piano may be a precious family heirloom for you, but to them, it could just represent part of an obstacle course in an overcrowded living room. The best solution would be to find some cheap storage for these possessions. Keeping only those items that are essential could be helpful in this regard. Paying long term can also help reduce costs. If you dig a little, you are sure to find some low budget options out there, and rest assured that all the work one needs to invest in finding a cheap storage unit always pays off!


Happy Tenant Hunting!

There you go, how to maintain a good relationship with your tenants! It mostly boils down to common sense and thinking about how you, yourself, would like to be treated had the roles been reversed. Of course, there are legal aspects to a landlord-tenant relationship you should know about, but you know where to find this information, now don't you? An open and amicable relationship works in everybody's favor, and there is no reason why you cannot create one with your tenants. Once that has been done, well, maybe and only then, being a landlord becomes a piece of cake!

Meta Description:

Being a landlord may seem simple, but there is more to it than meets the eye! Here is how to maintain a good relationship with your tenants.



7 Best Long Distance Moving Companies
Nessa Brown
Best Long Distance Moving Companies

6 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies 2022

Long-distance moves are often complicated and stress-inducing, but they don’t have to be. Our top pick for the best long-distance moving company to help you is International Van Lines.
Home Media March 16, 2022

The moving process can be time-consuming and stressful if you let it, and picking a good moving company requires reading through the fine print.

To provide you with some peace of mind, we at the Home Media reviews team researched the top moving companies in the United States and created this detailed guide on the best long-distance moving companies to help you understand the services, payment process and major benefits of each provider.


6 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies

Here are our top picks for the best long-distance moving companies:

  Superlative Star Rating Link
IVL Insurance Plans
American Long-Distance Moves
Allied Editors' Choice
NAVL Easy Claims Process
JK Financing
PODS Self-Service Mover


International Van Lines

  • Award: Our Pick for Insurance Plans
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Service Model: Full service
  • Founded: 2000

International Van Lines (IVL) started in 2000 as an international moving and logistics company but has provided full-service moving options across the United States and in more than 180 countries since 2004. The company is a carrier for long-distance moves, but it may act as a broker for some moves. In both cases, customers can choose full-service options, such as packing and loading, to create custom moving packages that fit their needs and budget.

If you have particularly expensive belongings, IVL provides some of the most comprehensive moving insurance options on this list.

Pros and Cons of International Van Lines

Offers a discount for active and retired military members
Creates custom crates for TVs and other fragile items that do not fit in standard moving boxes
Fully refunds deposits for cancellations made at least 48 hours prior to scheduled service
Charges a 25% deposit to schedule a move
Uses third-party providers to handle moves in Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington state

IVL International Moves:

All-risk insurance, available to customers with packing services, protects the full value that you claim. Its cost is 4% of the declared value. Total-loss insurance, available to customers who opt to pack themselves, also provides full reimbursement in the event of a total loss and can be purchased for 2% of the declared value.

IVL Domestic Moves:

Its full-value protection plan offers either a $500 and $1,000 deductible. You then pick a coverage cap that covers the actual value of your belongings. If you do not purchase this plan, you receive access to IVL’s limited liability coverage at $0.60 per pound per article. You may also purchase a third-party moving insurance plan.


IVL determines the cost of moves based on the total weight of your belongings and the overall distance of your move. The company accepts checks, credit cards and cash for payment, and it requires an up-front deposit of 25% of your total cost. IVL also offers discounts to military members.

Get a Quote: International Van Lines

To Learn More: International Van Lines Review



American Van Lines

  • Award: Our Pick for Long-Distance Moves
  • Availability: 48 states
  • Service model: Full service
  • Founded: 1967

American Van Lines holds more than 50 years of professional moving experience. From its beginnings in Pompano Beach, Fla., American Van Lines has grown to provide national availability for full-service, long-distance moves. These factors have earned it one of Newsweek’s ‘Best Customer Service’ Awards twice, in 2019 and 2021.

American Van Lines employs full-time movers who hold an average of 10 years of moving experience each. The company also provides training on a regular basis to each worker. American Van Lines’ experienced employees, flat-rate pricing model, award-winning customer service and its contents protection plans make it one of the best options for long-distance moves.

Pros and Cons of American Van Lines

Is a carrier-only moving company, meaning it will not broker your move with a third-party provider
Has moving crews dedicated to handling pianos and antiques
Requires moving crew members to complete annual trainings
Will not guarantee a delivery date without additional payment
Charges a deposit between 10% and 50% to book your move


To provide a binding estimate that does not change over the course of your move, American Van Lines requires either a virtual or in-home estimate. The company considers factors such as the weight of your household goods, special requests and specific moving services you purchase. The company also features a price-matching policy, so gather a few other quotes to give yourself an edge in negotiation. American Van Lines accepts cash, check and credit cards, and it requires a deposit.

Get a Quote: American Van Lines

To Learn More: American Van Lines Review



Allied Van Lines

  • Award: Editors’ Choice
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Service model: Full service
  • Founded: 1928

Allied Van Lines is a licensed, bonded and insured moving broker-carrier and holds more than 90 years of professional moving experience. As a broker-carrier, Allied conducts some moves with its own equipment and team, but it is also able to outsource your move to a partnered company in areas it does not have direct operations.

This makes it an excellent choice for long-distance, international or interstate moves with availability in all 50 states and 130 countries. However, when it acts as the middleman, communication may become difficult.

Though Allied provides high-quality full-service moves, it does offer some DIY options. The company offers a fragile-only packing service and a portable storage container moving service called Allied Express. In addition to these options, Allied provides vehicle shipping, storage services and online resources such as GPS tracking, a moving blog and packing checklists.

Pros and Cons of Allied Van Lines

Offers optional appliance disconnection and reconnection
Provides mobile storage containers similar to PODS that include loading and unloading assistance
Partners with the Salvation Army to transport and donate your unwanted items to the non-profit organization
Requires payments to be made in full ahead of your moving date
Uses third-party providers to handle moves in Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington state


Allied Van Lines calculates your moving cost based on factors such as the total weight of your shipment, the total distance of your move, the services purchased, contents protection plans, any storage services you require and the time of the year.

Allied provides customers with binding estimates after an in-home survey. This means that your moving cost will not change unless you add major items to your inventory. The company offers an online survey tool, which eliminates the need for an in-person visit from a moving coordinator.

Allied offers flexible payment options as it accepts cash, certified checks and credit cards. Best of all, Allied does not require an up-front deposit.

Get a Quote: Allied Van Lines

To Learn More: Allied Van Lines Review



  • Award: Our Pick for Easy Claims Process
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Service Model: Full service
  • Founded: 1933

Based out of Fort Wayne, Ind., North American Van Lines brings more than 85 years of experience to full-service and partial-service moves all across the country. If filing claims during the moving process is a major concern for you, we recommend you look into North American Van Lines. The company provides easily accessible forms for both domestic and international claims across its website.

The company features separate customer support lines for domestic and international moves, and each customer receives a personal moving agent. In addition to these communication perks, North American Van Lines offers a large collection of online tools such as a moving calculator, a space calculator, relocation guides, checklists and assistance with shipping wine collections.

Pros and Cons of North American Van Lines

Has a Not-to-Exceed Pricing package in which actual costs may fall below, but never above, estimates
Provides shipment tracking using its WorldTrac satellite system
Does not require an up-front deposit to schedule a move
Requires payments be made in full ahead of your moving date
Has limited storage options, depending on your location


North American Van Lines creates your moving estimate based on the overall distance of your move, your contents protection plan, the services used and the total weight of your shipment. It also creates a binding estimate for you after a virtual survey is conducted, and it accepts payment in the form of certified checks, cash and credit cards. The company does not require an up-front deposit.

Get a Quote: North American Van Lines

To Learn More: North American Van Lines Review



JK Moving

  • Award: Our Pick for Financing
  • Availability: 50 states*
  • Service model: Full service
  • Founded: 1982

Since 1982, JK Moving has aimed to combine the newest moving technologies and solutions, such as climate-controlled storage and GPS tracking, with reputable customer service. The company engages in sustainable practices, such as recycling its materials, and partners with Habitat for Humanity, the Race for Hope and Fight for Children.

JK Moving employs only drug-tested and background-checked workers who receive annual training in a dedicated facility. In addition, it provides you the option to finance your move. Through a partnership with Enhancify, JK Moving matches customers with lenders, making it possible to pay for moving services over time instead of all at once. Some customers receive rates as low as 0%.** This is a rare offering in the moving industry, but before you agree to financing, you should consider the rate; if you have a poor credit score, you may be subject to a high interest rate, which could leave you paying far more in the long run.

*Local moves available only in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
**Subject to credit approval

Pros and Cons of JK Moving

Has 24/7 customer support, which not all providers offer
Offers in-house financing options with Enhancify
Provides customized coverage plans to protect your belongings
Does not match competitor pricing
Requires a $250 deposit to reserve a moving date


JK Moving packages are customized to fit each customer’s moving needs and budget. Customers receive a personal moving coordinator who will assist them throughout the entirety of their move. This coordinator also helps create a binding estimate, so there are no unexpected costs once your price is determined. JK Moving accepts cash, checks, credit cards and payments through its financing option. It requires an up-front deposit of at least $250.

Get a Quote: JK Moving

To Learn More: JK Moving Review




  • Award: Our Pick for Self-Service Mover
  • Availability: 44 states
  • Service Model: Self service
  • Founded: 1998

PODS, short for portable on-demand storage, provides a different approach to moving than the other companies on this list. Started in 1998 after founder Peter Warhurst watched a boat get lifted by a hydraulic machine, PODS introduced the moving industry to portable storage container moves. This is a flexible way a moving company can help families move long distances.

PODS delivers one of its portable storage containers (or a combination of them) to your home. You then load your belongings at your own pace within a 30-day period, or you can purchase more time. Once your belongings are loaded, you notify PODS when to pick up and deliver your belongings to one of its 230 storage facilities near your new home. The company then delivers your belongings to your new address when you notify it, and you unload them at your own pace.

PODS is our top pick for a self-service mover due to its high-quality containers, positive customer reviews, transparent pricing, flexible payment options and discounts for military service members. Customers also receive options to hire third-party labor and third-party vehicle relocation. Though the company features physical locations in only 46 states, it states that it can most likely help you move wherever you need to go.

Pros and Cons of PODS

Provides containers in three sizes
Allows 30 days for loading and unloading
Offers optional moving crews through third-party providers
Is not available nationwide
Only gives instant quotes for local moves


PODS uses a pay-as-you-go model. Customers pay for certain stages of their move a week in advance, namely drop-off, transport and the second drop-off and final pick-up. Longer-term storage rentals are billed on a monthly basis.

PODS accepts payment in the form of credit card, but it may also accept cash and check payments depending on the location. The company does not charge a deposit for its services, and it features a 10% discount for active military members.

Get a Quote: PODS

To Learn More: PODS Moving & Storage Review



Compare the Top Long-Distance Moving Companies

  Superlative Star Rating Link
IVL Insurance Plans
American Long-Distance Moves
Allied Editors' Choice
NAVL Easy Claims Process
JK Financing
PODS Self-Service Mover


Which Is The Best Long-Distance Moving Company For You?

Each company on this list will bring a different experience to your cross-country move. We named International Van Lines our top pick for insurance plans because you can never be too safe with your household items.

Determine if a full-service move or self-service move better suits your needs, then gather free quotes from at least three different providers to accurately compare costs and service offerings.

You will also want to make sure you can trust the moving company you hire.

To help you determine this, obtain its USDOT number and visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. Input that USDOT number towards the bottom of that page, which will allow you to access the company’s licenses and certifications.



Factors That Influence the Cost of a Long-Distance Move

A variety of factors can affect the total cost of your long-distance relocation, including:

  • How far you are moving
  • The time of year you are moving
  • The size of your move, measured as the total weight of your belongings
  • The size of the moving crew
  • The specific layout of your home, including any narrow hallways, low ceilings or steep staircases that could make moving more difficult
  • Any special handling needed (i.e. for bulky, high-value and/or fragile items)
  • Mileage
  • Gas
  • Any applicable toll charges



Preparing for a Long-Distance Move

An out-of-state or cross-country move requires a lot of advanced planning and organization. It is best to get at least a three-month head start on moving day by creating a master list of the major tasks you need to accomplish.

Major tasks can include:

  • Creating a moving budget
  • Researching moving companies
  • Requesting estimates from multiple moving companies
  • Determining how you and your family will be traveling to your new destination and if you will need a mover that can transport your vehicle(s)
  • Hiring a moving company

It may be helpful to create a “Moving” folder on your computer to keep your notes, moving estimates, receipts and checklists in one place.

In the weeks leading up to moving day, pack items you don’t need and sell or give away items you no longer want. Consider organizing belongings for packing. We recommend creating a detailed list of all belongings you plan to move; in fact, many moving companies will require this before giving you a binding estimate. An accurate inventory will ensure your binding estimate will not change on moving day and will also make it easier for you to review your moving shipment upon delivery to check for any broken or missing items.

Ahead of your move, it is also a good idea to go ahead and contact physicians for copies of any records needed and your homeowners insurance provider to confirm your coverage will transfer to your new location.



Full-Service vs. Self-Service Movers

Other than moving truck rentals, there are two major types of moving companies in the current home movers market. To get a better understanding of what each type of mover entails, read over the descriptions below.

Full-Service Movers

This type of mover is a good option for anyone who wants a moving company to handle practically all parts of their move. A full-service mover offers services such as furniture disassembly, packing, crating, loading, transportation, unloading, unpacking and furniture reassembly.

Often these companies can provide specialty services for difficult and fragile items, such as pianos and antiques. Customers can typically mix and match these services to create partial-service moving packages, which saves some money.

International Van Lines is a great example of a full-service mover that can help with your long-distance move.

Self-Service Movers

A self-service mover is a better option for those looking to save money and those who enjoy taking the DIY approach to things. Self-service movers are also referred to as portable storage container movers.

This service model has the company deliver a portable storage container to your home, and you then load your belongings into that container in a certain time frame. Once your belongings are loaded, you notify the company when to pick up and deliver your belongings to your new home. You then unload the container at your own pace. This option tends to be significantly more affordable than full-service movers.

PODS is an example of a self-service mover.



Long-Distance Moving Companies FAQs










Methodology: Our System for Ranking the Best Long-Distance Moving Companies

We collected data on dozens of moving companies, both full-service and self-service, and created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings, grade each company and provide objective findings to our readers. The end result of weighing a wide range of factors is a cumulative score for each provider.

We called each moving company directly, spoke with representatives to get an in-depth understanding of their offerings and simulated the quote and scheduling process. We also reviewed each company’s contents protection (insurance) plan information in detail, and we closely examined more than 100 customer reviews to understand the customer service experience with each provider.

All company data is monitored on an ongoing basis so that all rankings and information remain up-to-date.

Once we gathered all relevant data, we used the following scoring system to grade each moving company on a 100-point scale:

  • Moving Services (20 points): Does the company provide its services for local moves, interstate moves and/or international moves? The more options available, the higher the score. Points were deducted for any local moving restrictions, such as a minimum mileage requirement or limited availability.
  • Mover Type (3 points): Is the provider a moving broker or a carrier? Given that carriers often offer a more seamless customer communication experience, more points were awarded to companies that act as carriers instead of or in addition to acting as moving brokers.
  • Additional Services (20 points): Services we factored in include packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, vehicle relocation, fragile pack or specialty services and storage service. The more services a moving company offers, the higher the score it received.
  • Insurance Coverage (10 points): If a company offers only the minimum requirement of 60¢ and a full-valuation coverage option, it received a lower score. If the company offers multiple moving insurance options, such as customizable full-value coverage, it received a higher score.
  • Payment Process (20 points): For each payment option the company provides, it received more points. Options include binding estimates or fixed rates, discounts or price-matching policies, credit card payments, cash or check payments and/or financing options. Points were deducted if a company requires a deposit.
  • Availability (5 points): Companies were awarded points based on state availability.
  • Scheduling (6 points): The more scheduling options a company offers, such as online scheduling, over the phone or both, the more points it received.
  • Trailers/Containers (6 points): Companies received higher scores for having a range of trailer or container sizes.
  • Additional Benefits (5 points): What additional benefits do customers receive from the company? Does the customer have access to a moving calculator, GPS or online tracking options, a moving checklist, packing and moving materials and/or a moving inventory app? The more of these options a company provides, the more points it received.
  • Reputation (5 points): We factored in the company’s score on the Business Better Bureau (BBB) and deducted points for any alerts or pending lawsuits.


7 Best Long-Distance Movers
Nessa Brown
7 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies
Top 6 Jacksonville Area Suburbs for Young Families
Tanya Douglas
Top 6 Jacksonville Area Suburbs for Young Families

Top 6 Jacksonville Area Suburbs for Young Families

Jacksonville is the biggest and the most populated city in Florida. It is a hot spot for beach lovers as it is located along the Atlantic shore. There is never a shortage of great activities in the Jacksonville area suburbs. Those who want to live near this great city without being surrounded by crowds have the option of choosing superb nearby suburbs to call home. Make sure to keep reading to learn about our top picks!

Why Pick Jacksonville?

Jacksonville is a family city, and a large percentage of households in the city limits have children. These numbers increase the farther you move away from downtown. With fantastic weather year-round, a thriving economy, and high quality of life, it is no surprise that the area is excellent for families to settle down and raise kids. Young families buying a home in Jacksonville will be happy to have their peers in the neighborhood. Jacksonville also has excellent local schools and shopping options. The urban parks system is the biggest in the United States. The cost of living and the unemployment rate in Jacksonville are lower than the national average.

Making a Long-Distance Move

When you are moving long-distance, you want to be able to settle into your new home quickly. For inexperienced families, it can be quite a task, and hiring a moving company will make your life a lot easier. Even if you have moved more than once, there are many aspects to cover, and you might end up resenting it. Experienced professionals will know all the shortcuts and fastest and easiest ways to take care of your Flofida move.

1.   San Marco

San Marco offers city living at its finest. This historic district has excellent dining options and upscale boutiques. You can relax at sunsets and host family picnics in Riverfront Park. Here you will also find some of the best restaurants Jacksonville has to offer. You can also enjoy a family outing during the San Marco Art Festival held twice a year. San Marco also has a lot to offer to the more urban families looking for an artistic element in the suburbs.

2.   Deercreek

Deercreek is a safe, stable Jacksonville area suburb for families with some of the lowest crime rates in the city. This makes it a great area to raise a family in. The average price of homes in Deercreek is almost 50% higher than in the rest of the city, making it less accessible to first-time home buyers.

If you are in Deercreek with your family, you will have an excellent time being so close to the fantastic beaches. Some of the top activities for young families to enjoy are:

  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Golf

3.   Southside—Affordable Jacksonville Area Suburbs

Young families looking for a more affordable market should take Southside into account. The area has an abundance of grocery stores and a whopping nine parks within a mile radius. The neighborhood was designed with homeowners with children in mind.

Southside is also home to St. Johns Town Center. This enormous open-air lifestyle center offers retail, residential, hotel, and dining options.

4.   Orange Park—The Suburbs for Young Families That Enjoy the Outdoors

If you are not prioritizing being in the center of Jacksonville, think about buying a home in Orange Park. This is a very popular neighborhood for families who love a rural environment. In Orange Park, young families can enjoy the outdoors by going camping, doing water sports, and hiking. The suburb is near St. Johns River, Doctor's Lake, and Black Creek. This makes it ideal for wakeboarding, fishing, and numerous other watersports. Orange Park is 45 minutes away from Jacksonville, but it has all the perks of living in the city. It is also home to Jarboe Park, which is packed with playgrounds, sports fields, and walking trails. With such a wide selection, young families can plan fun activities every weekend.

5.   Oceanway

Oceanway offers more affordable housing for young families looking to move here. This is a very desirable area due to the low cost of living and average prices for riverfront houses. The Oceanway suburban area has access to family-friendly destinations like the Jacksonville Zoo. Oceanway is home to a large shopping center and is one of the fastest-growing areas in the city. This neighborhood has many single-family and upscale homes that will meet all your family's needs. In addition to all the amenities, it also offers various hiking trails and playgrounds for the little ones.

6.   Neptune Beach

This Jacksonville area suburb is one of the most well-known. It is only a short 25-minute drive from the city center. As an oceanfront town, Neptune Beach can be great fun for the entire family. Oceanfront Park is only 30 minutes away. One thing to keep in mind is that this area has higher-than-average home prices. It may not be the most affordable choice for young families, but it certainly is one of the best to enjoy the beach life. The whole family can go fishing, have fantastic seafood, and play golf at the beach golf club.

Additional Fun Activities in the Nocatee Suburb

There are countless options to choose from when it comes to Jacksonville area suburbs for young families. Here are a few more activities to explore in the area:

  1. Nocatee Spray Park—The biggest interactive spray playground in the area. It offers a playground for kids and a bar and grill for the parents to relax and enjoy the day.
  2. Electric vehicle pathways—Nocatee is the first community in the region that is home to pathways created for electric vehicles.
  3. Splash Water Park—Loads of fun for the entire family. There is a lazy river for relaxing for the tired moms and dads. Splash Waterpark offers a big slide tower for the more adventurous adrenaline seekers. It even has its own tiki bar with delightful cocktails.



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House Hunting Tips after you Retire
Tanya Douglas
House Hunting Tips after you Retire

House Hunting Tips for After You Retire

Older couple researching tips for house hunting after you retire