Imagine harnessing the power of the sun, slashing your electricity bills, and contributing to a greener planet. Sounds like a dream, right? But wait! Before you jump on the solar bandwagon, it’s crucial to avoid some common pitfalls. Let’s illuminate the biggest mistakes homeowners make when buying solar panels for their houses.

The Solar Panel Revolution: A Story Worth Telling

Homeowners are increasingly considering solar power for their homes due to its numerous benefits, including renewable energy, reduced reliance on fossil fuels, and potential cost savings. However, navigating the complexities of residential solar can be challenging. Without proper knowledge, costly mistakes may occur. Homeowners should educate themselves about solar energy to make informed decisions aligned with their energy needs and financial goals.

What Are the Common Mistakes When Buying Solar Panels?

1. Lack of Research

The family in our story fell into the trap of not researching their equipment thoroughly. Solar panels come in various types and qualities, and it’s essential to understand what suits your home best.

2. Choosing the Wrong System

There are three types of solar systems: grid-tied, hybrid, and off-grid. Each has its pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your specific situation.

3. Misestimating Power Usage

Over or underestimating your power usage can lead to problems. You need to understand your power needs and the amount of sun your house gets, as this will directly impact the cost of your system.

4. Falling for Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)

PPAs are long-term leases, sometimes up to 30 years. These agreements often don’t result in savings for the homeowner and can complicate the process of selling your home.

5. Misunderstanding Net Metering

If you’re trying to sell power back to the grid, you need to understand the specific rules of your local power company. Some companies allow credits to expire at the end of the year or month.

6. Ignoring Roof Age

Don’t install a system on a roof that’s 10 years old or older. You might need to replace your roof soon after installing the system, which would be an additional cost.

The Hidden Value of Solar Panels: A Deeper Dive

With all of those pitfalls to avoid are solar panels worth it? Yes, solar panels are more than just a tool for energy independence and sustainability; they can also significantly impact your home’s value. However, understanding this value and how to maximize it is often overlooked by homeowners, leading to missed opportunities. Let’s explore this further.

The Solar Effect on Home Value

Studies have shown that homes equipped with solar panels typically have a higher market value. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests that “every dollar saved on electrical bills through solar panels can boost a home’s value by approximately $20.” This means that the long-term savings from your solar panels can translate into a substantial increase in your home’s value. However, homeowners often underestimate this potential, missing out on the financial benefits when selling their homes.

The Size of Solar Installations and Home Value

There’s no proven correlation between the size of a solar panel and an increase in a property’s value. The key is to choose a system that generates the right amount of energy for your household. Overestimating your energy needs and opting for a larger system won’t necessarily result in a higher property value. This common mistake can lead to unnecessary costs without the expected return on investment.

Solar Panels and Property Taxes

Solar panels can potentially influence your property taxes due to the increase in your home’s estimated value. However, some states offer solar exemptions or incentives to offset this potential tax increase. Not being aware of these incentives can lead to unexpected costs. Before purchasing solar panels, homeowners must research and understand their local tax laws and incentives to determine the potential impact on property taxes when installing them.

All in all Solar panels have been shown to add value to homes over time. How much value? Depends on your local real estate market. Request an expert home value analysis here.

Solar Panels for Your Home

Q: Can I install solar panels on a new roof?

A: Yes, but you need to wait at least a month or two for the shingles to bond before installing solar panels.

What concerns or questions do you have about installing solar panels at your home? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

At Savvy Homebuyer, we’re committed to empowering homeowners like you with the knowledge to make informed decisions. For more insights on home improvements, real estate trends, and more, connect with us today. Let Savvy Homebuyer be your guide to a smarter home ownership journey.

Furnishing your first home can be overwhelming , not to mention expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. What if instead of spending a small fortune on brand-new furniture at big box stores, you curated and upcycled key furniture pieces to give your home a unique vibe for a fraction of the cost? Welcome to the world of upcycling, your solution to affordable, stylish furniture for your first home.

What is Upcycling?

Upcycling is the art of transforming old or discarded items into something new, useful, and often beautiful. It’s a fantastic way to save money, reduce waste, and add a personal touch to your home. When you upcycle furniture for your first home, you’re not just furnishing a house; you’re creating a unique, cozy space that truly feels like yours.

Why Upcycle Furniture for Your First Home?

Save Money

The most obvious reason to upcycle furniture is to save money. Buying new furniture can be expensive, especially when you’re already dealing with the costs of buying your first home. Upcycling allows you to create beautiful pieces at a fraction of the cost.

Personalize Your Space

Upcycling gives you the freedom to customize your furniture to match your style and the aesthetic of your home. You can choose the colors, finishes, and details that you love, creating pieces that are truly one-of-a-kind.

Environmentally Friendly

Upcycling is also a great way to reduce waste and be more environmentally friendly. By giving new life to old items, you’re keeping them out of landfills and reducing the demand for new products.

Ways to Upcycle

Upcycling furniture offers creative ways to breathe new life into old pieces, reducing waste. Techniques like painting, staining, and reupholstering allow for transformations that refresh the furniture’s appearance and showcase a personal style.

Best Furniture Pieces To Buy Used

After you assess your new space make a list of key pieces you will need to turn your first house into a home. These are the 5 pieces that we think make the best-upcycled pieces:

  1. Dressers: Dressers are a popular choice for upcycling due to their versatility. They can be painted, stained, or even repurposed into different types of furniture like a kitchen island or a bathroom vanity.
  2. Coffee Tables: Coffee tables can be easily upcycled with a fresh coat of paint or stain. Some people also add a glass top or mosaic tiles to give them a new look.
  3. Chairs: Chairs, especially wooden ones, are commonly upcycled. They can be reupholstered, painted, or even transformed into a completely different item, like a bedside table.
  4. Bookcases: Bookcases are great for upcycling because they offer a lot of space for creativity. They can be painted, wallpapered, or modified to serve a completely different purpose, such as a bar or a storage bench.
  5. Desks: Desks, particularly old wooden ones, are often upcycled. They can be refinished, painted, or modified to serve as a vanity or a kitchen island.

Savings of Upcycling vs Buying New

The cost of buying each furniture piece new could rack up quite the price tag. After an already expensive homebuying process, this is often too much for first-time buyers. Luckily there are significant savings to be had by buying used and upcycling key pieces in a home’s furnishings.

Furniture PieceAverage Cost NewAverage Cost UsedPotential Savings
Dresser$150 – $1000+$30 – $200$120 – $800
Coffee Table$50 – $500+$20 – $150$30 – $350
Chair$50 – $500+$10 – $100$40 – $400
Bookcase$50 – $500+$20 – $150$30 – $350
Desk$100 – $1000+$50 – $300$50 – $700
Headboard$50 – $1000+$25 – $200$25 – $800
Total$295 – $3400

How to Upcycle Furniture: A Step-by-Step Guide

So, how do you upcycle? Here are 4 simple steps:

STEP 1: Find Your Piece: Look for old furniture at garage sales, thrift stores, or even on the side of the road. Don’t worry about the color or finish – what’s important is the structure and potential of the piece.

STEP 2: Clean and Prep: Clean the piece thoroughly and make any necessary repairs. Sand it down if needed to prepare it for painting or staining.

STEP 3: Get Creative: This is where the fun begins! Paint, stain, or decoupage your piece. Add new hardware, upholstery, or other details to make it truly yours.

STEP 4: Protect Your Work: Once you’re happy with your creation, seal it with a clear coat to protect it from damage.

Great Places to Find Items To Upcycle

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a treasure trove of used furniture. It’s an online platform where people in your local area post items for sale, including a wide variety of furniture. You can find everything from antique dressers to modern coffee tables, often at very affordable prices. Plus, the platform is easy to use, with search and filter options to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Estate Sales

Estate sales are another excellent source of potential upcycle projects. These sales usually occur when someone is moving or has passed away and their belongings are being sold. You can find quality, well-loved furniture pieces at these sales, often at a fraction of the cost of buying new. Check your local newspaper or online listings for upcoming estate sales in your area.


Don’t underestimate the power of a good curbside find! Many people put furniture out on the curb to be taken away as trash, especially during big item pickup days. This can be a gold mine for upcycles. Always be sure to check the condition of curbside items thoroughly, and remember – one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!

Upcycling Furniture for Your First Home

Q: I’m not very handy. Can I still upcycle furniture? A: Absolutely! Upcycling can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. There are plenty of easy projects for beginners, and you can learn as you go.

Q: Where can I find furniture to upcycle? A: Garage sales, thrift stores, and online marketplaces are great places to find old furniture. You can also ask friends and family if they have any items they’re looking to get rid of.

Q: What kind of paint should I use for upcycling furniture? A: It depends on the look you’re going for. Chalk paint gives a matte, vintage look and doesn’t require a primer, while latex paint is more durable and comes in a variety of finishes.

Your Upcycling Adventure

Now, we’d love to hear from you! What’s one piece of furniture you’d love to upcycle for your first home? Share your ideas in the comments below!

Ready to embark on your homeownership journey? Savvy Homebuyer is your comprehensive guide to homeownership follow for all things home.

Create a sustainable and beautiful outdoor space with drought-resistant landscaping. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using plants that are beautiful but require little water and are low maintenance. We will provide exciting ideas for your yard, and outdoor home design, and offer plant recommendations. Discover how you can use drought-tolerant plants in your landscape for a water-wise and beautiful outdoor environment.

The Benefits of Drought-Resistant Landscaping for Homeowners

More and more homeowners are trading in their lush lawns for more sensible landscaping options. Drought-tolerant landscaping offers numerous advantages for homeowners. By saving water and lower maintenance, it provides a sustainable and less expensive solution. Let’s explore the key benefits in detail.

draught-resistant front landscaping shows pride of ownership for first time homebuyers.

Water Conservation and Cost Savings.

By reducing reliance on irrigation systems, homeowners can significantly lower their water bills. Drought-resistant plants require less water, resulting in long-term cost savings. Additionally, homeowners can lower maintenance costs compared to traditional lawns and plants.

Resilience and Low Maintenance

Drought-tolerant plants exhibit aid in resistance to pests, diseases, and extreme weather conditions. Therefore, this hardiness reduces the need for chemical treatments and lowers the risk of plant loss. This results in an eye-catching landscape with less effort and expense.

drought-resistant landscaping ideas for homeowners.
Colorful drought-resistant landscaping ideas for homeowners.
colorful and drought-resistant low maintenance landscaping ideas for homeowners.

Increased Property Value

Drought-resistant landscaping is gaining popularity among potential homebuyers. A well-designed and water-efficient landscape can increase property value and curb appeal. By using more drought-tolerant plants, homeowners not only benefit their outside space but also enhance the market value of their homes.

These benefits make drought-tolerant landscaping an attractive choice for environmentally aware homeowners looking to save a bit of money.

Which plants are considered drought-resistant?

To create a beautiful drought-tolerant yard we recommend six plants. These plants are perfect for arid conditions and will add a pop of color to your outdoor space.


Known for their shape and beauty, agave plants are excellent choices for adding drama to your outdoor spaces. They require minimal water and come in various sizes and shapes, making them versatile additions to any landscape.


With its wonderful smell and vibrant purple blooms, lavender is a favorite among homeowners. It thrives in dry conditions and attracts bees and butterflies, making it an eco-friendly choice for any garden.

Golden State Poppy

Golden State Poppy: This iconic wildflower is not only requires little water but also adds a splash of color to any outside space. Its golden orange blooms are sure to brighten up your outdoor spaces during the summer months.

Yucca Plants

Known for their architectural beauty and low maintenance requirements. They require little water and can live in extreme weather conditions, making them ideal for creating focal points or borders in your yard.

Red Hot Poker

With its beautiful torch-like blooms in vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, the Red Hot Poker adds a bold and fiery touch to your garden. These plants are perfect to dry weather and attract hummingbirds.


Besides its culinary uses, rosemary is a versatile and aromatic herb that thrives in arid conditions. Its fragrant foliage and delicate blue flowers make it an excellent choice for both decorative and edible gardens.

Looking for more ideas check out the Epic Gardeners’ list of 37 Draught-Tolerant Plants for your home.

Exciting Outdoor Home Design Ideas:

Drought-tolerant landscaping is not only practical but also offers a wide range of design ideas. Here are some ideas to elevate your outdoor home design while saving water.

  • Native Plant Gardens: Embrace the beauty of your region by incorporating native plants into your landscape. These plants are well-suited to the local climate and require minimal watering, making them ideal for outside designs. Explore local plant stores or consult with landscape professionals to identify the native plant species that thrive in your area.
  • Succulent and Cacti Gardens: Succulents and cacti are well known for their ability to store water in their leaves and stems, which makes them perfect choices for drought-tolerant landscapes. Create beautiful arrangements by selecting various colors, shapes, and sizes of these water-wise plants. They add a unique texture and visual interest to any outdoor space.
  • Mediterranean Garden: Draw ideas from the Mediterranean region, known for its hot and dry summers. Incorporating plants such as lavender, rosemary, and olive trees, which are well-adapted to arid conditions. These plants not only provide an enchanting fragrance but also create a serene atmosphere in your outdoor living areas.

All in all, with plants like these that require little water, homeowners can have both a sustainable outdoor space and an eye-catching design. By incorporating drought-tolerant plants into your yard, you can save water, reduce upkeep efforts, and enhance the beauty of your home. Don’t miss the opportunity to create a captivating outdoor environment while making a positive impact on the environment.

Buying your first home in Florida can be an exciting but intimidating experience. Florida, with its diverse housing market and emphasis on outdoor living, can be an especially attractive option for first time homebuyers. So whether you are a local who is tired or renting or are considering a cross-country move buying a home in Florida may be the right move for you. Whether you’re drawn to the sandy beaches of Miami or the bustling city streets of Orlando, this guide will help you navigate the home buying process and make your first home purchase a success.

The Florida Real Estate Market

If you’re considering buying a home in Florida, it’s important to understand the factors that shape the state’s real estate market. Florida’s real estate market is influenced by economic expansion, job creation, population growth, and interest rates. Notably, there has been a surge in people moving to Florida from other states, driving up housing demand.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also changed the market, as more individuals prioritize spacious homes with dedicated offices and outdoor spaces. Furthermore, the demand for second homes and holiday homes has seen a notable increase, particularly in warm climate regions offering outdoor recreation options. As a result, Florida’s real estate market is expected to continue to grow in the next 5-10 years.

Florida Homebuying Process

Get your Home Loan Pre-Approval

The first step to buying a home in Florida is getting qualified for your home loan. This can be a simple and easy process starting with completing our quick Buyer Power Approval™.

Choose an Agent

Once you have your budget and the area then it is time to pick an agent that is an expert in the area. Not all agents are equal which is why we have top local real estate professionals ready to help our Savvy Homebuyers.

Complete this quick questionnaire to be connected with our local expert.

Find A Home

It is important to note that the average homebuyer will tour 13 houses in search of their new home. Your agent will set up showings based on the homes that meet your needs and budget for the area.

Due to limited home inventory, we highly recommend moving quickly if you find a home that interests you.

Write an Offer

The offer sets the terms for the purchase contract. Once you and the seller are in agreement on the price and terms the contract period can start.

Home Inspection

During this time having a professional examine the condition of major property systems like electricity, plumbing, roofing, etc. will save you from buying a money pit.

Home Appraisal

Once the inspection is completed an appraisal is scheduled. The appraiser will confirm the value of the home and make a record for the mortgage lender.

Close and Move into Your First Home

Lastly, you will sign loan documents, wire the down payment and closing costs and close on your first home!

How much home can you afford in Florida cost?

The median home price in Florida is around $300,000, but prices can vary significantly depending on the specific city or region.

Required Down Payment Based on Loan Type

The down payment amount you’ll need depends greatly on the type of mortgage loan you choose. Let’s take a closer look at how much you would need to put down for a $300,000 home with each of the five major loan programs:

Conventional Loan

$9,000 (3.5% down)

A loan that conforms to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s guidelines, including a minimum credit score of 620.

VA Loan

$0 (0% down)

Only available to military service members and veterans who have reached minimum service thresholds. Surviving spouses may also apply.

FHA Loan

$10,500 (3.5% down)

Backed by the Federal Housing Administration. Your credit score may be as low as 580 if you have a 3.5% down payment.


$0 (0% down)

You need to purchase in a designated rural area and have a low-to-moderate income for the area where you’re buying.

No-PMI Conventional Loan

$60,000 (20% down)

If you want to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI) you need 20% down. But you may find lenders that allow you to borrow a second mortgage to bridge the gap between your savings and that 20%.

Estimated monthly mortgage on Florida homes

Savvy Mortgage Calculator



Monthly Mortgage Payment

Florida offers affordable home buying options

When buying a home in Florida, several financial advantages come into play. With no state income tax, residents keep more of their earnings, while the lower cost of living makes housing more affordable. Florida offers diverse housing options for different budgets, along with property tax exemptions. Furthermore, Florida has no estate tax, allowing families to preserve wealth. The market occasionally offers foreclosed properties at discounted prices, adding to the financial benefits of buying a home in the Sunshine State.

Florida First-Time Buyers programs

Florida has taken steps to facilitate homeownership for first-time buyers by creating a range of homebuying assistance programs. The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) has been instrumental in offering statewide programs such as:

Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC)

Florida First

Florida Assist

Florida HFA Preferred Conventional Loan

Florida HFA Preferred PLUS Conventional Loan

First-time homebuyer programs like these have taken significant steps to keep homeownership within reach for Florida residents.

Additional Homebuyer Programs by County in Florida

In addition, numerous counties and cities in Florida have also rolled out their own programs, offering personal support. For example, programs like the Homeownership Assistance Program in Miami-Dade County, the Homebuyer Purchase Assistance Program in Broward County, and the Down Payment Assistance Program in Orange County help relieve financial burdens and guide first-time buyers through the process.

Florida has many popular cities for first-time homebuyers, each with its unique charm and characteristics. Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville are all favorite destinations for those seeking a new home.


Miami has beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. With a bustling cultural scene and diverse population, it’s a popular choice for young professionals. The city has a thriving arts and entertainment scene, with world-class museums, galleries, and theaters.


Orlando, home to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, is a family-friendly city with affordable housing options. The city is also home to world-renowned theme parks, making it a popular place to visit for families looking for fun and entertainment.


Tampa, located along the Gulf of Mexico, is perfect for those who love being outside. The city boasts beautiful beaches, scenic parks, and world-class golfing. Tampa’s downtown area has been undergoing a revitalization in recent years, attracting new businesses and residents to the area.

Panama City

First-time homebuyers are increasingly drawn to Panama City, Florida, due to its unique combination of natural beauty, affordable housing options, and vibrant community. Check out our ultimate guide to buying a home in Panama City.

When you choose a city to buy a home in, it’s important to consider factors such as job opportunities, quality of life, and affordability. Each city has its strengths and appeal, so it’s important to research and visit different cities to find the right fit for you.

Where to Buy a Home on a Budget in Florida

If you’re looking to buy your first home in Florida there are a number of affordable neighborhoods to consider such as Palm Coast-Flagler County, Ocala, and Jacksonville. These areas offer a combination of affordability, amenities, and a desirable quality of life.

Palm Coast-Flagler County

With a variety of neighborhoods, residents can enjoy outdoor activities, including golfing, boating, and exploring nature trails. The area also boasts a strong sense of community and access to amenities such as shopping centers, dining options, and parks.


The city is surrounded by picturesque horse farms and rolling hills, offering a tranquil setting. Ocala’s affordable housing options range from single-family homes to equestrian properties, therefore providing a variety of choices for homebuyers. The area also offers a thriving downtown scene with art galleries, local shops, and dining establishments.


As one of Florida’s largest cities, Jacksonville combines affordability with urban amenities. The city offers a diverse range of neighborhoods, from historic districts to modern suburban communities. With a vibrant arts and culture scene, numerous parks, and miles of beautiful beaches, Jacksonville provides a high quality of life at an affordable cost. The city also offers job opportunities, excellent schools, and a wide array of recreational activities for residents to enjoy.

Why People Are Moving To Florida

In recent years Florida has become a popular place to move to for a number of reasons.

Florida offers a warm climate year-round

One of the primary benefits of moving to Florida is its favorable climate. Known as the Sunshine State, Florida offers a warm and sunny environment for most of the year. The mild winters and long, hot summers make it an ideal destination for those seeking to escape colder climates. The sunshine also promotes an active outdoor lifestyle, allowing residents to enjoy activities like beach outings, water sports, and year-round golfing.

Tax benefits of moving to Florida

Another advantage of living in Florida is its favorable tax environment. The state imposes no personal income tax, which means residents can keep more of their earnings. Additionally, Florida does not tax retirement income, making it an attractive destination for retirees seeking to stretch their savings. The absence of estate tax is another benefit for individuals looking to protect and pass on their wealth. These tax advantages make Florida a great choice for individuals and families looking to maximize their financial resources.

Florida is a Veteran friendly state

Florida is widely recognized as a Veteran-friendly state for several reasons. Its numerous military installations provide job opportunities and a sense of community for Veterans and their families. The state offers tax benefits such as exempting military retirement pay from income tax and giving property tax exemptions for disabled Veterans. Overall, these factors help in making Florida an appealing and supportive destination for those who have served in the armed forces.

In conclusion, armed with these insider tips, you’re well-equipped to navigate the process of buying your first home in Florida. It is important to know that your success and experience as a home buyer will largely be tied to the quality of your homebuying team. Complete your Buyer Powerful Approval to start the homebuying process for Florida and you’ll be on your way to securing your dream home in the Sunshine State.

When it comes to buying a home in the United States, affordability is a top concern for many people. With the rising costs of living, it’s important to know where you can find a good deal on a house without breaking the bank. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the cheapest states to buy a home, what factors influence home prices, regional differences in affordability, and a comparison of the cost of living in each state.

Understanding Home Affordability in the United States

Before we get into the specifics of each state, it’s important to understand the concept of home affordability. Affordability refers to the ability of a household to purchase a home given their current income and expenses. Affordability is affected by a number of factors including interest rates, home prices, and household income.

Home affordability is a major concern for many Americans, especially those looking to purchase their first home. In recent years, the cost of homes has risen significantly, making it difficult for many families to afford a home in their desired location.

How COVID-19 Effected Housing Affordability

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly altered the dynamics of work and migration, leading to a profound impact on home prices across the nation. With the rapid adoption of remote work as a result of lockdown measures and social distancing guidelines, people gained the ability to work from anywhere, unconstrained by geographical limitations.

This newfound flexibility has fueled a surge in national migration patterns, as individuals and families seek out locations that better suit their lifestyle preferences and affordability needs. Consequently, this increased demand for housing in certain areas has resulted in a significant upswing in home prices nationwide.

Regions with desirable amenities, lower costs of living, and a higher quality of life have experienced a particularly pronounced surge in property values as more remote workers choose to relocate there. This shift in migration patterns has not only reshaped the housing market but also sparked a broader reevaluation of where people choose to live, ushering in a new era of geographic mobility and reshaping economic landscapes across the country.

Factors Influencing Home Prices

Home prices can vary greatly from state to state, and even within states, due to a variety of factors. Some of the key factors that influence home prices include:

  • Location: Areas with high demand and limited supply tend to have higher home prices. For example, homes in major cities like New York and San Francisco are often much more expensive than homes in smaller, less populated areas.
  • Economic factors: States with strong economies and low unemployment rates often have higher home prices. This is because people are more likely to have stable incomes and be able to afford higher-priced homes.
  • Interest rates: When interest rates are low, more people are able to afford homes, which can drive up prices. On the other hand, when interest rates are high, fewer people are able to afford homes, which can cause prices to drop.
  • Supply and demand: If there are more buyers than there are homes available, prices are likely to go up. This is often the case in areas with limited housing inventory.

Regional Differences in Home Affordability

Home affordability varies greatly from region to region, with some areas being significantly more affordable than others. Factors that can influence these regional differences include the cost of living, job opportunities, and economic growth.

For example, the cost of living in the Midwest is generally lower than in the Northeast or West Coast. This means that homes in the Midwest are often more affordable than homes in other regions. Additionally, areas with strong job markets and growing economies, such as Texas and Colorado, often have higher home prices due to increased demand.

It’s important to note that while some areas may be more affordable than others, home affordability is still a challenge for many Americans. In fact, according to a recent study, nearly 40% of Americans struggle to afford basic needs like housing, food, and healthcare.

In conclusion, understanding the factors that influence home affordability and the regional differences in affordability can help individuals make informed decisions about where to purchase a home. However, it’s important to remember that home affordability is a complex issue that affects many Americans, and there is still much work to be done to ensure that everyone has access to safe, affordable housing.

Top 10 Cheapest States to Buy a Home

Based on data from the National Association of Realtors, here are the top 10 cheapest states to buy a home:

West Virginia

West Virginia tops our list as the most affordable state to buy a home in the US. The average home price in the state is $169,000, making it an attractive option for those on a budget.


Mississippi is another affordable state, with an average home price of $186,000. The state’s low cost of living and strong job market make it an attractive option for many.


Arkansas has an average home price of $196,000, making it one of the most affordable places to live in the country. The state is known for its natural beauty and friendly communities.


Oklahoma has an average home price of $201,000, making it another affordable option for those on a tight budget. The state’s low cost of living and vibrant culture make it a great place to call home.


Indiana has an average home price of $206,000, making it a great option for those looking for an affordable place to live. With its bustling cities and beautiful countryside, Indiana is a great place to call home.


Ohio has an average home price of $209,000 and is known for its affordable cost of living and strong job market. The state is also home to several major universities and a vibrant arts scene.


Kentucky has an average home price of $220,000, making it an affordable option for those looking to buy a home. The state is known for its horse racing, bourbon distilleries, and beautiful landscapes.


Michigan has an average home price of $222,000, making it another affordable option. The state is known for its beautiful lakes, vibrant cities, and strong manufacturing industry.


Iowa has an average home price of $234,000, making it a great option for those looking for an affordable place to live. With its rolling hills, charming small towns, and strong job market, Iowa is a great place to call home.


Missouri has an average home price of $238,000, making it a great option for those looking for an affordable place to live. The state is known for its beautiful landscapes, vibrant cities, and friendly people.

Comparing the Cost of Living in Each State

In addition to home prices, the cost of living can also vary greatly from state to state. Here’s a breakdown of some of the major expenses that can impact the overall cost of living:

Housing Costs

As we’ve seen, home prices vary greatly from state to state. However, other housing costs can also impact the overall cost of living, including rent, property taxes, and homeowners insurance.

Utilities and Transportation

The cost of utilities and transportation can also vary from state to state. This includes things like gas prices, electric bills, and public transportation costs.

Groceries and Healthcare

Finally, the cost of groceries and healthcare can also impact the overall cost of living. These costs can vary based on factors like local taxes, competition among providers, and state regulations.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an affordable place to buy a home, there are many options to choose from. By understanding the factors that influence home prices and the cost of living in each state, you can make an informed decision about where to invest in your future. Happy house hunting!

Our ultimate summer home maintenance checklist will guide you through the simple steps, to ensure your home stays in optimal condition during the warmer months. With the arrival of summer, it’s the perfect time to address home upkeep tasks and keep your home running smoothly.

Summer months are hard on your home.

In the summer months, your home will meet some of the month harsh conditions. Intense heat, humidity, sun exposure, and summer storms can wreak havoc on your home if not properly cared for.

  1. Intense Heat: High temperatures can put a strain on your home’s cooling system, leading to increased energy usage and potential system failures.
  2. Humidity: High humidity levels during the summer can create the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth, especially in areas with poor ventilation. Excessive moisture can damage wood, walls, and upholstery, leading to costly repairs.
  3. Sun Exposure: Prolonged exposure to intense sunlight can fade and damage exterior paint, causing it to chip, crack, or peel. As a result, UV rays can also degrade roofing materials, leading to leaks and reduced durability.
  4. Storms and Heavy Rainfall: Summer storms, including thunderstorms, hurricanes, and heavy rainfall, can cause damage to roofs, windows, and outside surfaces. Excessive water can seep into the foundation, causing basement flooding or structural issues.

Therefore, properly caring for your home throughout these harsh conditions ensures your home and its systems will continue to work well for you when you need them most.

Summer Home Maintenance Tasks:

  • Power wash the outside of the home
  • Powerwash driveway
  • Repair and repaint any chipped or faded paint
  • Wash windows inside and out for a brighter view.
  • Check for loose or rotted siding on the outside of the home
  • Look for signs of foundation issues (cracks near the home foundation)
  • Look for signs of pest or termite damage
  • Have your air conditioner checked and serviced
  • Improve energy efficiency by checking windows and recaulking seals on doors and windows.
  • Power washing and resealing your deck
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts to prevent clogs
  • Clean faucet traps
  • Clean dryer vent
  • Clean exhaust ducts

Don’t let summer slip away without attending to important home maintenance tasks. All in all, our ultimate summer maintenance checklist will help you stay productive while maximizing your fun in the sun. Stay proactive and ensure your home remains a haven of relaxation and enjoyment throughout the season.

Spring is the Ideal Time for Home Maintenance

Our spring home maintenance checklist will guide you through important areas to focus on, eliminating stress and guesswork. Spring is the perfect time to give your home the care it deserves and ensure its smooth operation throughout the year. With the arrival of warmer weather, take advantage of the ideal conditions for work to be completed around the home.

Preparing Your Home for the Warmer Months

Get your home ready for the summer season by taking a few crucial steps. Start by inspecting and changing the air filters in your HVAC system to ensure optimal performance and air quality. Then check your windows and doors for leaks or drafts to keep your home comfortable and energy-efficient. Additionally, don’t forget to give attention to your outdoor space, such as cleaning gutters, pruning trees, and refreshing your garden.

Exterior Home Maintenance

Firstly, caring for the exterior of your home is crucial as it protects your property from the elements and keeps its structural integrity. Therefore ignoring tasks like roof inspections, gutter cleaning, and window sealing can result in water leaks, mold growth, and damage to the foundation. That is to say, failing to maintain your deck or patio can lead to safety hazards and premature deterioration, limiting their aesthetic appeal and function. By following proper exterior maintenance, you can ensure your home remains secure, works well, and looks good!

Spring exterior home maintenance checklist items include:

  • Inspect and clean the roof, replacing any damaged or missing shingles.
  • Clean and repair gutters and downspouts, ensuring proper drainage.
  • Check windows and doors for leaks or drafts, and seal any gaps.
  • Repair and paint exterior walls to protect and enhance their appearance.
  • Maintain your deck or patio, addressing repairs and restaining the wood if necessary.
  • Trim trees and shrubs, removing any obstructive or hazardous branches.

Landscaping and Lawn Care

Secondly, taking care of your landscape and lawn is a vital part of being a responsible homeowner as it enhances your home’s curb appeal and creates an inviting outdoor space. As a result, neglecting these tasks can lead to overgrown trees and bushes, unhealthy lawns, and potential pest infestations. Without proper care, your property may lose its curb appeal and become prone to soil erosion, weed growth, and drainage issues.

Landscaping and lawn home maintenance checklist items include:

  • Remove debris from the lawn and garden beds.
  • Aerate the lawn to improve air, water, and nutrient penetration.
  • Fertilize the lawn and garden for healthy growth.
  • Trim trees and shrubs that block windows or pose security risks.
  • Plant new flowers or vegetables in the garden for a vibrant outdoor space.

Interior Maintenance

Thirdly, interior maintenance helps keep a comfortable and safe living environment. It is important to know that neglecting tasks such as deep cleaning, replacing HVAC filters, and smoke detector testing can result in poor indoor air quality, lower energy efficiency, and potential safety hazards. As a result, failing to address pipe leaks or electrical system issues can lead to water damage, electrical malfunctions, and costly repairs down the line.

Spring Interior home maintenance checklist items include:

  • Perform a deep cleaning of carpets, surfaces, and living spaces.
  • Inspect and replace HVAC filters for optimal air quality.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace batteries if needed.
  • Check faucets for leaks and repair as necessary.
  • Remove mineral buildup from faucets and showerheads.
  • Inspect electrical systems and appliances for damages.
  • Declutter and organize your home for a fresh and tidy environment.

All in all, without this spring home maintenance checklist, it is easy to forget or overlook items that could create big issues in the future. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to maintain your home with ease and prevent untimely and expensive repairs.

When it comes to finding a place to call home, it can be difficult to decide what is right for you buying vs renting. In this article, we will break down the benefits of being a renter and the benefits of buying a home. By the end of this article, you should have a better idea of what choice is right for you.

Comparing Benefits of Renting vs Buying

Benefits of being a renter.

Flexibility and Mobility

Renting a home is often the go-to option for those who are not yet ready to commit to a mortgage or who are looking for a more flexible living arrangement. When you rent, your living situation is more fluid, allowing you the freedom to move when it best suits you without worrying about the sale of your home. Renting is also beneficial for those who cannot afford the upfront costs associated with homeownership, as you have no down payment to worry about.

Lower Upfront Costs

Another benefit of renting is that many landlords or property management companies offer amenities that are not typically available to homeowners. For example, some rental communities have swimming pools, fitness centers, and community events that are included in the rental price.

Minimal Maintenance Responsibilities

Additionally, renters are not responsible for the cost of repairs or maintenance, as these are typically the responsibility of the landlord.

However, there are also downsides to renting. One of the most significant disadvantages is that you are not building equity in the property. When you rent, you are essentially paying for someone else’s investment, and you do not have the opportunity to build wealth through appreciation. Additionally, landlords can increase the rent at the end of each lease term, making it difficult to budget for the long term.

Benefits of buying a home.

Fixed Monthly Mortgage Payment

While renters are subject to rent increases at the pleasure of their landlords. The majority of homeowners will benefit from a fixed-interest mortgage payment, which means that the monthly payment will not increase over time. While other goods and service cost will continue to rise a level monthly housing payments provides more financial stability than paying rent which increases year over year.

Real Estate Ownership is Proven To Build Wealth

“A monthly mortgage payment is often considered a forced savings account that helps homeowners build a net worth about 40 times higher than that of a renter.”


As a homeowner, you benefit from the value of the home increasing over time. This increase in the amount that is owed on the mortgage and the current value of the home is called equity. There are 3 ways that homeowners can tap into equity to benefit themselves.

Sell and Collect Your Cash

Seel the property to gain access to the equity.

Cash Out Refinance

Refinance your current mortgage for new terms and cash out a portion of the equity in the process.


You can apply for a home equity line of credit which allows you to borrow against the equity of your home.

Tax Advantages

Being a homeowner comes with various tax advantages that can provide significant financial benefits. One key advantage is the ability to deduct mortgage interest payments from taxable income, potentially reducing the overall tax liability. Additionally, property taxes paid on the home can also be deducted, further lowering the tax burden. Homeowners may also qualify for tax benefits related to home improvements, such as energy-efficient upgrades or renovations for medical purposes. These tax advantages can help homeowners save money and increase their overall financial stability.

Control Over Property

Another advantage of buying a home is that you have more control over the property. You can make changes and improvements as you see fit, without having to get permission from a landlord. You can also personalize your living space to your liking, which is not always possible when renting.

What is the right choice for you?

In conclusion, the decision to rent vs buy a home depends on your individual circumstances and priorities. Now that you have a better understanding of the benefits of both here are a couple of questions to ask yourself.

  • Do you have any reason to believe that your income will change negatively and drastically in the near future?
  • How does the cost of renting compare to potential mortgage payments in my desired area? Which option offers better value for my money?
  • Is there room in my budget for the additional costs or responsibilities associated with homeownership? ie home repairs, renovations, and ongoing maintenance?
  • How long do I plan on staying in the area (ideally more than 3 years)?
  • How does owning a home fit into my long-term financial plans?

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