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Top 12 Apps for Homeowners and Renters

More than 77 percent of people own a smartphone.1 The average person checks their smartphone 46 times a day, with people under the age of 24 checking it an average of 74 times a day.1 We check it while we’re waiting in line and during our leisure time, whether we’re scrolling through social media, reading emails or getting up-to-date on the latest news.

Smartphones are not only a useful tool for communication. With the following apps, you can get organized (whether you plan to buy or sell), save money, learn about the homes in your neighborhood and get inspired for your next renovation project. If you’re like 81 percent of people, you have your smartphone with you during most of your waking hours; let it help you stay organized and make your life easier.3

Apps For Homeowners: Get Renovation Inspiration

These apps not only offer ideas for your next remodel or home décor project, some of them even give you a preview of what your home may look like once it’s finished. 

1.) Houzz (Free)

The Houzz app is the number one app for home design and it’s no wonder; the app gives you access to all the inspiration, blogs and design ideas from the Houzz site on your phone or tablet. The app features View in My Room 3D, which allows you to view products in your home before you buy. Just take a photo of the space and a 3D version of the product will appear. Browse products, save photos of designs you’d like to view later and connect with local professionals in your area. Whether you’re gathering ideas for your next renovation and décor project or you’re just browsing, the Houzz app will satisfy all your design needs.

(Android, iOS) 

2.) iHandy Carpenter ($1.99)

Make sure the photos, shelves, mirrors and other artwork you hang are even and aligned with this helpful app. It’s an all-in-one tool kit that features a plumb bob, surface level, bubble level bar, ruler and protractor. No need to purchase these tools separately; just hold your smartphone up to the wall and the app will take care of the rest.

(iOS, Android) 

3.) Color911 ($3.99)

If you’re thinking of changing the color scheme of your home or want to find the right shades for lamp shades, rugs or throw pillows to match your vintage sofa, the Color911 app provides pre-selected color palettes to match any color scheme. Take a photo of the room or the furniture and the app will create a custom palette full of complementary colors. Write notes about your palette and organize it all into folders to share with family, friends or your design professional.


Bonus Apps for Homeowners:

AroundMe (Free)

Hungry and looking for a local hotspot? Meeting friends at a coffee shop nearby? Or just need to find the closest ATM? AroundMe allows you to search for the nearest restaurants, banks, gas stations, book a hotel or find a movie schedule close to where you live. Open the app and start learning more about your neighborhood. (iOS, Android, Windows) 

BrightNest (Free)

From keeping things clean to making them colorful, Brightnest, developed by Angie’s List, is loaded with suggestions on how to make your home a better place to live. With categories of customized tips (money-saving, cleaning, eco-friendly, healthy, cooking, and creative) there are plenty of great ways to pull inspiration from the app. BrightNest will help you tackle important home tasks with easy-to-follow instructions, a personal schedule and helpful reminders. (iOS, Android, Web) 

Apps For Sellers: List & Sell Your Home Quickly

Are you a homeowner who is thinking of selling? If you’re preparing to sell, you know there are a lot of tasks to complete before putting your home on the market. These apps help you manage your to-dos so you can list and sell your home more efficiently with fewer distractions.

4.) Homesnap (Free)

Using the Homesnap app, you can snap a photo of any home, nationwide, to learn more about it. When you’re ready to sell, snap a few of the homes in your neighborhood to find out their valuation. This app isn’t perfect, which is why you should always consult with a local real estate agent. However, it can give you a general idea of the value of your home compared to others in the neighborhood. (iOS and Android devices) 

5.) Docusign (Free)

Use the DocuSign app to complete approvals and agreements in hours—not days—from anywhere and on any device. Quickly and securely access and sign any documents. The benefit to using the app (over your desktop computer) is you will receive push notifications when a document is waiting for your signature and you can view and organize all your docs on-the-go. Using the easily downloadable app, receive and sign documents for free. You can receive and sign documents for free, but will need a paid account to send documents; pricing starts at $10 a month. (iOS, Android, Windows, Web).

6.) Wunderlist (Free)

Designed for use on the Web and mobile devices, Wunderlist is a well-designed to-do list and task management program that makes it easy to create a list and add tasks, due dates and reminders. Organize your ideas or focus into separate lists or create tasks within one list. You can also email them with whomever you collaborate, such as a spouse or your real estate agent. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Web)

Bonus App for Sellers:

Real Estate Dictionary (Free)

Not sure what all those industry specific terms mean? We always say “real estate” is like a foreign language and you aren’t expected to know it all. Here you can  search thousands of words and phrases from real estate, mortgage, and financial dictionaries for clear, in-depth definitions. This is a handy app for anyone who’s buying or selling and wants to learn more about the process. (iOS, Android)

Apps For Renters: Get Ready to Buy

Not ready to buy a home just yet? These apps will help you get into the perfect rental while you save money, build a budget and get on track for homeownership.

7.) Mint (Free)

Do you know where your money goes each month? Manage your bills, budget and credit score all in one place. Mint is a free app that helps you view your complete financial picture and track your spending. We recommend this app to anyone, but it’s especially useful for renters who need to crack down on their spending in order to save for a down payment. Use Mint to look for areas you can cut spending in order to save a little extra each month. (iOS, Android)

8.) Acorns ($1 a month to start)

Acorns is modernizing the practice of saving loose change with their automated savings tool. The app rounds up your purchases on linked credit or debit cards, then sweeps the change into a computer-managed investment portfolio. Acorns is free for four years for college students and everyone else pays $1 a month until their account balance hits $5,000, then 0.25% of their account balance per year. This is a useful tool for those who have a hard time saving. (iOS, Android)

9.) Neighborhoods & Apartments

Built for the on-the-go apartment hunter, this app from Walk Score takes the hassle out of finding your next home or apartment and helps you live near the people and places you love. They collect listings from top rental listing sites and we like them because they share how walkable each address is, determined by access to public transit, things to do, bike trails, shorter commutes, etc. (iOS, Android) 

Bonus Apps for Renters: 

Wally (Free)

Wally is a personal finance app that helps you compare your income to expenses, so you can understand where your money goes each month, and set and achieve goals. Wally lets you keep track of the details as you spend money: where, when, what, why, & how much. We love how simple it is to set a personalized savings target and scan receipts. (iOS, Android) 

Credit Karma (Free)
If you’re preparing to buy, boosting your credit score is likely a goal you’ve set. Credit Karma is a free app that allows you to safely monitor your score and receive updates on ways you can improve it over time. They provide financial calculators and educational articles to help you better understand what credit is all about. Check as often as you want, and it doesn’t hurt your score.  (iOS, Android, Web)

Apps for Buyers: Find the Perfect Home

When you’re ready to buy, there are several apps that can help you stay on top of the process. Whether you’re browsing online at different neighborhoods and homes and can’t seem to remember where all your saved data and information went or you want to save an important task or a neighborhood or listing clipped from the Web, these apps help you keep it all straight. 

10.) Dwellr (Free)

Dwellr is run by the U.S Census Bureau and provides demographic information about the neighborhoods you are considering moving to. You get a variety of education/school, real estate, transportation, and population statistics to give you an idea of what it would be like living there. If you want to get the feel of a potential neighborhood, then Dwellr may just be the app to help you find the best home.  (iOS, Android) 

11.) Evernote (Free for the Basic version, $34.99 per year for Plus and $69.99 per year for Premium)

Collect ideas, notes and images in one place to access later on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Categorize your notes so you can find them quickly and easily and share them with others in a group notebook. Add the Web Clipper feature to your browser and clip and save articles, blogs and images from the Web. Whether you’re collecting research on a business idea or you’re looking for inspiration for a home renovation, Evernote can help you keep it all together. (Web, iOS, Android) 

12.) Mortgage Calculator (Free)

There are a lot of free mortgage calculators available for download that will help you quickly determine what your monthly payment will be while you’re house hunting. We recommend picking your favorite and using it to help you shop in your price range. These numbers should be used as a guide, work with your agent and mortgage professional to learn exactly what type of loan you’ll qualify for. (Web, iOS, Android)

Bonus App for Buyers: 

Google Maps (Free)

Google Maps is a must-have for anyone who’s house hunting. When you’re ready to visit a property or check out a neighborhood, you can use Google Maps to give you turn by turn directions to the house. You can use their satellite view to get a good idea how far important things like schools, parks, shopping, bus stops, and restaurants are to a home you are interested in and check out the other houses on the street. (Web, Android, iOS,)

Ready to move beyond the app?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling your home, or know someone who is, keep us in mind because we’re happy to help! Give Beverly and John a call or text to 941-321-3916, or send an email

Source: 1. Pew Research Center, January 12, 2017

  1. Deloitte, 2016 global mobile consumer survey: US edition
  2. Gallup, July 9, 2015




Real Home Value Calculator: Assessed Value vs Market Value

Assessed Value vs. Market Value

Understanding a home’s true market value is about more than pictures, software assessments and price-per-square-foot. Whether you’re a current homeowner thinking of selling or are house-hunting, it’s crucial you understand what factors affect home valuation. By partnering with a local market expert, sellers will avoid pricing their house out of the market (the kiss of death in real estate) and buyers will ensure they get a good deal on their next home.

So, how do you accurately calculate a home’s value? After all, the value a home is assigned by its town or county and the one it’s given when it’s listed are often dramatically different from one another. Which one is accurate and what does it all mean? Read on to learn more.

Assessed Value vs Market Value: What’s the difference?

When it comes to home value, you’ll often hear two terms, assessed value and market value.

A home’s assessed value is often the lower number of the two, and is the value given by your municipality or county. Investopedia defines assessed value as “the dollar value assigned to a property to measure applicable taxes.”1 Although property tax laws vary, assessors commonly arrive at this number by taking into account the following:

  • What comparable/similar homes are selling for in your area.
  • The value of recent improvements.
  • Income from renting out a room or space on the property.
  • How much it would cost to rebuild on the property.

A home’s market value, or Fair Market Value, is the price a buyer is willing to pay or a seller is willing to accept for a property. Skilled real estate professionals, like us,  will arrive at the value using a variety of metrics, including:

  • External characteristics, such as lot size, home style, the condition of the home and curb appeal.
  • Internal characteristics, such as the number of rooms and their size, the type and condition of the heating or HVAC system, the quality and condition of construction, the flow of the home, etc.
  • The sales price of comparable homes that have sold in your area.
  • Supply and demand; that is, how many buyers and sellers are in the area.
  • Location; that is, the quality and desirability of your neighborhood and other community amenities.

Why are these values often so different? An assessor usually estimates your property’s market value during a reassessment or if you make a physical change or improvement to it.2 As a result, a property may not be reassessed for many years. While your home’s market value may fluctuate with the market, your home’s assessed value is more likely to remain steady.3

What Determines a Home’s Value?

You’ve likely heard the motto of real estate: “Location, location, location.” This means a home’s value relies on its location. While the home and structures on the property will likely depreciate over time, the land beneath it tends to appreciate. Why? Land is in limited supply and a growing population puts increased demand on the housing supply. As a result, values increase.4

Other factors that affect your home’s value include the function and appearance of the property, how well the home and other structures are maintained and whether the home is a lifestyle property, such as a ranch style with mountain views or beach bungalow.

Ultimately, the best indication of a home’s value is the overall supply and demand of the market. This is why we recommend you partner with real estate professionals, like us, who take all of these factors—the assessed value, local market conditions, home features and has physically walked through and experienced your home— into consideration to determine the most accurate market value.

How to determine if a property is comparable to yours.

Both assessed value and market value are partially determined by the sales price of similar, or comparable, homes in the area. To determine if a home is comparable to yours, look for the following characteristics:

  • Lot size
  • Square footage
  • Home style or similar architecture
  • Age
  • Location

While you may not find a home with the same exact characteristics as yours, you’ll likely find a few that are close. To account for any disparity, adjust the sales prices of the comparable properties. Look at the differences between your property and the one in question and determine if the differences increased or decreased the sales price and by how much. For example, if your home has two bathrooms and a similar home only has three, estimate how much that extra bathroom increased the sale price of the similar home. The adjusted sale price is the estimation of what the property would sell for if the properties were exactly the same.2

Where can you find comparable sales?

Fortunately, you can find comparable home sales in a variety of places.2

  • Your local assessor’s office is able to provide a list of recent sales you can browse and compare or a sales history of a particular house, home style or neighborhood.
  • Your municipality. Many cities keep local sales information in their offices or post it online.
  • Online databases, such as a real estate database
  • Your local newspapers may offer some real estate information in the form of quarterly sales reports in the business or real estate sections of the newspaper.
  • Contact us. We regularly do Comparable Market Analysis of homes in our local area. Call 941-321-3916

How to calculate your home’s value.

By answering a few questions about your home, property and the local market, you can begin to estimate your property’s value. We’ve also included a worksheet for you below…

Home Value Questions:

When was your home last assessed?

What was its CMA assessment value?

What is your area’s average sales price?

What is your area’s average price/square foot?


  • Is the architecture and exterior structure of the home consistent, superior or inferior to other homes in the area?
  • Does the era or genre (Modern, Victorian, Ranch, Cottage, etc.) add a premium based on current design trends?
  • How does the floor plan and room size proportions of the home compare to other homes on the market?

Interior Structure:

  • How does the kitchen compare to others on the market?
    • Updated or outdated
    • Floor plan
    • Appliance packages
  • How does the Master Suite compare to others on the market?
    • Size
    • First/second floor
    • Updated or outdated
    • Access to Master Bath
  • How does the Master Bath compare to others on the market?
    • Updated or outdated
    • Shower and bath
    • Flooring

Outside Areas:

  • Are there views, outdoor living areas or recreational areas?
    • Pools
    • Ponds
    • Patios
  • How does the landscaping and hard-scaping compare to the market? (e.g., built elements such as walkways, patios, decks, etc.)

Overall Condition of Home

  • What is the level of repair needed to compete with other homes?
  • Does the home need to be staged? How does it show?
  • What curb appeal projects are necessary to be consistent with others on the market?

Beverly and John’s

Home Assessment Worksheet

Home Assessment Worksheet


If you want to accurately assess a home’s value, it’s crucial to know about the market activity of our local area. We can help! Give us a call to get the scoop on the local market.
Call 941-321-3916 or Send us an email at


Sources: 1. Investopedia

  1. New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
  3. Investopedia,


3324 Ramblewood Dr S Sarasota FL 34237- Affordable Villa

Ramblewood Acres Sarasota Florida community pool

SOLD – Comfort You can Afford. Discover Ramblewood Acres – a gated community in Sarasota Florida with an amazing location. Only $117,000

Why Spend Another Winter in the Cold, Snowy Weather?
Ramblewood Acres Clubhouse Sarasota FL
This affordable villa has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and a private back yard. It is awaiting your personal touches.
3324-Ramblewood-Dr-S-# 6B3-sarasota-fl-34237-lr3324 Ramblewood-Dr-S-# 6B3-Sarasota-FL-34237-dining-room-

The living room, dining room and bedroom photos have been virtually staged to give you ideas.

3324-Ramblewood-Dr-S-# 6B3-sarasota-fl-34237-kitchen

3324-Ramblewood-Dr-S-# 6B3-sarasota-fl-34237-mba

For the Fun of Life -Ramblewood Acres offers 3 pools, including one heated pool, tennis, shuffleboard, a fenced play ground, a dog park and a clubhouse with large kitchen, several gathering rooms, fitness room, billiards room, a children’s play room and a library.

The perfect fit for a healthy and active lifestyle

ramblwood-acres-sarasota-fl-clubhouse-fitness room

Ramblewood Acres is so conveniently located. It is just 1.5 miles to downtown Sarasota with all of the cultural events, farmer’s market, restaurants, and shops.

Within 5 miles are an international airport, beaches, golf, museums, boat ramps, theaters performing arts and the new UTC mall.

New College and Ringling School of Art are also very close by.

Call or Text Beverly and John for more information on this property or for help with other properties. 941-321-3916

JUST SOLD – Gorgeous Home in Savannah at Turtle Rock

We just sold this home in 5 days for a price above list price!

Discover the good life in this updated home in Savannah at Turtle Rock in Sarasota Florida. The bright open floor plan provides a wonderful place to come home to. The elegant entry with custom room divider leads to friendly gathering places for family & friends.

This home is ready to move in & enjoy – it is shining & spotless with all the right features. There are 3 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, a grand room, a gathering room, dining area, lanai and 2 car garage. Special touches include crown molding throughout, Plantation shutters, 10’ ceilings, 5 ¼” baseboards, upgraded window & door trim, updated kitchen & baths, & wood floors. The granite counters & gas stove will delight the chef in you.

Unwind and relax on the screened lanai. Exterior features include paver driveway, walkway, tile roof, mature tropical landscaping, storage closet in garage & recent exterior paint. Savannah at Turtle Rock is a maintenance free community.

Turtle Rock is a gated community in the heart of Palmer Ranch. More than half of the neighborhood is set aside as preserved natural space. Turtle Rock has 560 acres with over 300 acres of lakes, preserves, & hammocks. Meet your neighbors at the Lakeside Community Center with swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball, pickleball, & a playground. Turtle Rock is just minutes to area beaches and I-75.

Nearby is Target, Publix, Costco, theaters and other stores. The world-class YMCA Fitness Center is an easy bike ride away. Enjoy all the delights that a care-free home affords those who choose to step into the dream.

Let us help you decide if this is a good time for you to make a move.

7026 Prosperity Cir. Sarasota FL 34238 – Check Out This New Offering Palmer Ranch

Arielle on Palmer Ranch condo for sale

Relax and Enjoy Life!  This 3 bedroom, 2 bath condo at 7026 Prosperity Cir. Sarasota FL 34238 is a wonderful place to come home to.

You will find an updated kitchen with wood cabinets, stainless appliances and solid surface counters. There is a dining area, living room and bonus gathering room located off the eat-in-kitchen. Be sure to notice the interesting curved wall and plant shelves too.

Escape the twirls and stress of everyday life in the community heated pool and spa. Someone else takes care of it and you get to enjoy it.

Pool at Arielle on Palmer Ranch

Pool at Arielle on Palmer Ranch

Pool at Arielle on Palmer Ranch - 7026 Prosperity Cir. Sarasota FL 34238

Pool at Arielle on Palmer Ranch

Pool at Arielle on Palmer Ranch

Then come home and enjoy the beautiful lake view from your lanai at 7026 Prosperity Cir. Sarasota FL 34238

Lake view at Arielle on Palmer Ranch - 7026 Prosperity Cir. Sarasota FL 34238

Lake view at Arielle on Palmer Ranch


Arielle is a quiet, gated community on popular Palmer Ranch with an ideal location. Arielle is situated on 38 acres with 2 lakes and 9 acres of preserves.

Just minutes away is the Legacy Bike Trail, lots of shops, restaurants, world famous Siesta Beach, a fabulous YMCA, golf and interstate access. Sarasota is well known as the cultural capital of Florida and there are endless opportunities of attractions, water sports, and interesting things to see and do.

This condo with it’s new A/C in 2015, Pergo floors, tile roof and your own private garage combine to make a great place for seasonal or year round living. Arielle on Palmer Ranch is pet friendly. The fees include basic cable, water, sewer, landscaping, pool maintenance, gates, roofs, exterior painting and exterior pest control.

List Price – $280,000. Call us today at 941-321-3916 for more information and to arrange a private viewing. Click Here for more photos and map.

So just bring your flip flops and your dreams and be happy.

5070 Hanging Moss Ln. Sarasota FL 34238

Gorgeous home in Savannah at Turtle Rock

Enjoy the video:

Sale Pending – Discover the good life in this updated home located in Savannah at Turtle Rock on popular Palmer Ranch. The bright open floor plan provides a wonderful place to come home to.

Your guests will be welcomed through a beautiful loggia entry. The elegant entry with custom room divider leads to friendly gathering places for family and friends.

This home is ready to move in and enjoy – it is shining and spotless with all the right features.

There are 3 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, a grand room, a gathering room, dining area, lanai and 2 car garage. The third bedroom is currently used as a home office. Offered at $380,000.


Gathering room

Special touches include crown molding throughout, classy Plantation shutters, 10’ ceilings, 5 ¼” baseboards, upgraded window and door trim, updated kitchen and baths, energy efficient gas water heater and wood floors. The granite counters and gas stove in the kitchen will delight the chef in you.

Kitchen at 5070 Hanging Moss Ln

Stunning Kitchen will awaken the chef in you

Unwind and relax on the screened lanai.

Exterior features include paver driveway, paver walkway, tile roof, mature tropical landscaping, new storage closet in garage and recent exterior paint.

Savannah at Turtle Rock is a maintenance free community with just 82 homes. The yard work is taken care of for you and there is a security system available.

Turtle Rock is a gated community in the heart of Palmer Ranch. There is central water, sewer, underground utilities, and recycled water irrigation.

Turtle Rock has bike lanes, sidewalks and nature trails. It is architecturally controlled and deed restricted.

More than half of the neighborhood is set aside as preserved natural space. Turtle Rock has 560 acres with over 300 acres of lakes, wetland preserves, hammocks and buffers.

Meet your neighbors at the Lakeside Community Center with swimming pool, cabana, tennis courts, basketball, pickleball, and a children’s playground.

Community Pool at Turtle Rock

Community Pool at Turtle Rock

Turtle Rock is just minutes to area beaches and I-75. Nearby is the Plaza at Palmer Ranch with Target and Publix and the Westfield Sarasota Square Mall with Costco, theaters and other stores. The world-class YMCA Fitness Center and county park are an easy bike ride away. The school district is the highly acclaimed Riverview high.

One year home warranty included.

Enjoy all the delights that a care-free home affords those who choose to step into the dream!

Our Favorite Sarasota Homes for Sale

We are excited to share the Sarasota lifestyle with you. Here is some information about our favorite Sarasota homes for sale.

You can search for your dream home without even registering. When you find the homes you want to view, call us at 941-321-3916 and we can arrange to show you the homes. We will negotiate for you on your behalf and it does not cost you anything extra.

We are also happy to search for you, if you prefer, once we learn about what is important to you.

Home for sale in Turtle Rock on Palmer Ranch in Sarasota FloridaImagine a huge a variety of housing choices – and that is one of our boasting rights. You won’t have a problem finding a home for your new lifestyle.

Sarasota homes for sale include single family homes in many sizes – some have private pools and some have community pools. Our lives often revolve around outdoor living on our lanai, which is a screened porch.  Our lanais can include a pool and also an outdoor kitchen.

Relax by your own pool

We love lanai living with a sparkling pool

Do you want to have your own yard or be in a maintenance free community where yard maintenance is included? Would you like a gated community with a clubhouse and tennis courts?

Or are you a golfer and have always wanted to be in a golf community? If golf is your thing we have many golf communities to choose from, many with fabulous views.

If you would like to explore new construction – we are the team to have on your side. We both have experience and credentials in new home construction and we can guide you through the process. It does not cost more – builders welcome us – we need to go with you the first time so the builder knows you are being represented.

Outdoor kitchen on the lanai

Outdoor kitchen on the lanai

Would you prefer a condominium where everything is taken care of for you? We have villas that are either attached or detached, condos that are low, mid or high rise, and townhouses.

You will find luxury condos, lavish beachfront mansions, rustic cabins along the Myakka river and everything in between.

Lot sizes often vary by the age of the house. Our older homes were typically built on the larger lots and the newer homes tend to be on smaller lots. We will explore with you what will best fit your new lifestyle.

Empty nesters have many choices based on their preferred lifestyle. Seasonal residents often prefer maintenance free communities so they can come and go as they please. We have 55+ communities for active adults that are loaded with activities, if you choose.

Boaters and sunset lovers have many waterfront options – we have Gulf front homes, homes on the bay, and homes on the inter-coastal, canals and lakes.

Other options for Sarasota homes for sale include homes with walkability, gated communities, country club living, airport communities, equestrian communities and many other lifestyles.

We can help you evaluate what your lifestyle will look like, help you sort through the myriad of choices and help you find the right fit for you.
Give us a call so we can set you up with listing alerts and you will be the first to know when a property comes up for sale that matches your criteria. 941-321-3916

Some of the home styles we offer in the Sarasota area include:

Florida style homes – with a Mediterranean flair
Waterfront homes
Ranch style one story homes
Contemporary style homes
Courtyard homes
Villas – attached and detached
Condos – mid and high rise
Country ranchettes
Golf course community homes and villas
Downtown condos
Homes and condos on our Keys – Casey Key, Siesta Key, Lido Key and Longboat key
Some of the neighboring communities we serve are


Palmer Ranch