A home inspection is usually one of the final stamps in the path to selling a house. Here in Lakeland, FL, buyers traditionally put in offers to purchase a home, but almost every one of those offers will likely be contingent on the results of a home inspection. Most often, the responsibility for arranging and paying for this home inspection lies with the homebuyers. However, a home inspection can also give a home seller great information that is useful in making a fast, competitive sale. 

Let Us Explain

Recent trends have seen some buyers submitting offers that entirely waive the home inspection contingency. This is primarily because the current housing market has been historically competitive, and buyers may begin acting from a place of desperation. We truly do understand the concern and powerful emotions behind this. However, most experts still do not recommend that buyers waive their inspection, and neither do we. Logic should take precedence here. Unfortunately, we expect this trend will likely continue to happen for the foreseeable future. 

As a seller, you may actually relish the idea of buyers waiving their home inspection. Surely it’s a natural instinct, but we recommend some pause and reflection. Put simply, home inspections reveal defects with the dwelling. When homebuyers waive their home inspection, there is a higher chance that expensive repairs or even dangerous conditions may not be discovered until it’s too late. That can be a risk for both buyers and sellers. 

It is the prepared seller who is equipped with a recent, independent home inspection report that can help assuage some of these fears. If you want to make repairs to your property before listing it to sell, this home inspection report can also help tell you where to start. Even if you are not looking to repair issues, at least knowing them – and then researching how much they cost to fix – can give you an edge in future negotiations. This is good for everyone, and can help sellers make a faster, more competitive sale.

Avoid Surprises

A home inspection is an opportunity to uncover any defects at the home. A home inspector has a long list of things to check to ensure there are no issues. The professional will examine the home exterior and interior, and provide a written report showing the findings. For a seller, this makes you aware of any issues that need to be fixed prior to selling the house, and you can avoid any surprises that may arise in the buyers inspection process. 

You Have Options

If issues are found during the inspection, you can choose to make any necessary repairs on your own schedule or you can disclose them upfront to the buyer. If you choose to disclose the issues, this can help prevent the buyer from demanding you make the repairs later.

Compare Reports

Thankfully, the traditional approach isn’t going away either. Most buyers will still have their own inspection performed during the buying process. When sellers choose to do their own home inspection before selling, they may be able to compare their inspection report to that of the buyer. While the inspection reports will likely not be an exact match, it’s a good idea to look for any major differences that could end up costing you big.

Contact Whitt Inspections, LLC to Schedule Your Home Inspection

Getting a home inspection before listing your house for sale can save you time, money, and hassle during the selling process – no matter the competitive market trends. It can also help speed up the buying process and make for a smoother transaction. At Whitt Inspections, LLC, we proudly offer professional inspection services and will deliver an unbiased home inspection report that helps prepare everyone for success.

You’d be surprised at how many people look for tips on how to paint a room. It may seem pretty straightforward, but it’s actually really easy to screw up.

Just by missing one step in the process, you could end up spending more money on paint and more time on the project. Next thing you know, your weekend DIY home makeover turns into a month-long endeavor.

So what exactly do people get wrong about painting their interior walls? There are questions like how many gallons does it take to paint a room? To prime or not to prime? Which order do you paint a room?

Plus, if you’re just moving into your home, you’re probably looking for paint that lasts. That’s why you don’t want to pick up any old brand of paint at Home Depot. Nothing at all against big orange, but knowing the type of paint, brushes, and primer you’ll need for this project is key for a flawless paint job.

We won’t get overly technical. Instead, let’s just walk through the steps on how to paint a room (properly), plus some extra tips you probably didn’t consider.


5 Steps On How To Paint a Room Properly 

How many gallons to paint a room

You’re eager to splash some fresh colors on your walls we get it. But without accurately prepping your interior walls, you may not get the look you were going for.

If your plan is to paint this weekend, the best use of your time is to slowly prep throughout the week so that you’re ready for the Big Painting Day when it finally comes.

Step 1: Move Your Furniture

It may not be ideal to have your bedroom furniture displaced in the garage or family room, but it’s only for a few days! Do it. And cover your floors.

You could also opt to cover your furniture. But do NOT trust that you’ll just be extra careful we promise it will go wrong. 

Moving your furniture entirely will help you see blemishes on your walls, and it will make it easier to cover your floors. Plus, you’ll be able to measure your space more accurately.


Once you move your furniture, measure the room’s length and width. Then use this formula to calculate the square footage:

Length x Width= Feet Squared 

(Example: 10 ft x 10 ft= 100 square feet)

If you have a room that isn’t perfectly square or rectangular, you can find the total area by adding the square footage of the walls that make up the room. Here are some instructions on how to calculate odd room dimensions

You’ll need about a gallon of paint for every 400 square feet. So if you’re painting a room that is 800 square feet, you should pick up at least two gallons of paint.

Step 2: Clean, Caulk, and Covers

Whether this masterpiece is taking place in the living room or the bedroom, you should thoroughly inspect your walls before picking up your paint. 

With furniture out of the way, you’ll be able to see any scrapes or dents. For blemishes, all you need to do is wipe them off with soap and water. For dents or holes, you’ll need to buy some something to repair those with. This stuff is pretty good; it dries in minutes, and it’s only four bucks at Target!

While you’re at it, make sure to remove all the outlet covers for a truly blank canvas. 


Step 3: Sand and Tape

One of the best tips on how to paint a room really well is to sand it. In fact, you probably don’t even need to use a primer if you have good quality paint and use two coats.

However, if you’re painting over a semi-gloss or gloss paint, you should at least put some sandpaper to it and give it some “teeth.” It’s also worth “dry dusting” the walls to get rid of the sanding dust. 

Now it’s time to break out the painter’s tape! We recommend painting the ceiling first, so secure the tape at the top of your wall at the very edge of your ceiling. If you’re not painting the ceiling, then tape off the trimmings using a good painter’s tape

We also recommend taping around your outlets so that you do NOT paint inside the outlets or switches. That’s a BIG no-no, and potentially dangerous!

Step 4: Prime Time

This is one of our favorite tips on how to paint a room because it can save you money.

The most popular misconception we see from DIY painters is that you have to prime before painting walls. As we mentioned, primer isn’t inherently necessary for painting a room, contrary to popular belief. 

There are only a few instances when you’ll need to prime beforehand:

  1. You’re going from a dark to light color
  2. The paint you’re going over is glossy
  3. Your wall is porous (e.g., you have thirsty, unpainted drywall or plaster walls)
  4. The wall is stained or has an odor 

For example, if you’re going from white to Ultimate Gray and you do a quick wash of your drywall, you don’t need to waste time or money on priming.

Step 5: Paint Day

Now that you’ve taken progressive steps, you can rest assured that you’ll get the paint job completely done this weekend!

Another common question we see is which order to paint a room. Here’s our suggestion:

  1. First, paint the ceiling (if you’re painting it at all).
  2. Next, paint the trim (a.k.a “cutting in”).
  3. Then, paint the walls with the most real estate using a roller paintbrush. Use light pressure to paint from top to bottom.


3 Extra Tips On How To Paint a Room

Which order to paint a room

Some people ultimately decide to hire professional painters because they have a few tricks that seem to get the job done faster. And well professionally. 

But we decided to give you a few tips on how to paint a room that are trade secrets (so, don’t tell anyone we told you)!


Tip #1: The Importance of Properly Prepping 


As you can tell from the steps on how to paint a room, a proper prep should usually take longer than the actual painting itself.

At least, if you want a good result. 

And if you want your paint to last for years to come, we recommend doing at least two coats of paint. This prevents “Flashing” or “Holiday-ing” (a common, unofficial trade term), which refers to a bad paint job where you can see a bit of the old paint color underneath.

Tip #2: “Cutting In” 

This is just a fancy term for detailing at the edges of your paint job. 

Cutting in is probably the most frustrating part of painting because it requires painting a straight line (such as the line between your wall and ceiling or two different wall colors).

The best way to cut in is to use a manual brush. Get the best brush you can afford for this. Try to refrain from painting the edge of your walls with a roller brush. Instead, use a stiff-bristled, angled brush to get those precise details.

Here’s a terrific video with visual tips:

Tip #3: Keep the Brush Moving

People like to dip their brush into the paint can and brush it along the side to eliminate the extra paint. After all, who wants paint splatter to end up all over the floor?

However, the better, more professional practice is to dip your brush into the paint and then pat the brush on the edge of the can to remove the excess paint. Then, quickly bring your paintbrush to the wall and keep it moving. This saves you from having to constantly dip your brush into the can, and it helps you achieve a more even paint job. 

When you’re cutting in, the consistent movement helps you achieve that straight line. It also helps to use a “W” pattern with rollers to get the room painted faster and more consistently. 


Tip #4: Types of Paint Sheens

Ok, we said 3 extra tips, but you’re getting 4 instead. Who doesn’t like a little lagniappe?

So finally, let’s talk about the types of paint sheens you have at your disposal. It can be overwhelming so let’s look at the most popular options for interior walls:

  • Flat/Matte Paint: This paint hides more imperfections, but they scuff and rub away easily if you try to clean it too vigorously. You’ll notice that the interior paint (ceilings and walls) on new construction is almost always “flat” for this reason. A little tradesperson trick!
  • Sheen/Glossy Paint: Glossier paints are easier to clean but are shiny and show more imperfections in the wall. However, they hold up better to moisture.

Then there are options such as eggshell sheen (great for interior walls), satin (best used in kitchens and bathrooms), and semi-gloss for casings (i.e., baseboards, trim moulding, etc.).

Benjamin Moore has an excellent guide for choosing paints based on which room you’re painting.


The bottom line when it comes to tips on how to paint a room: try to choose the best quality paint and brushes that you can afford and never skimp on good prep!

Is it time for your home inspection? Contact us for a quote!

You’re finally thinking about moving to your dream home in Florida. As much as it really IS paradise down here, there are a few things about moving to Florida that homeowners don’t expect.

Moving from one state to another is never easy. The good news is, you’ll probably get to purge a lot of your Northern belongings because there are things you simply don’t need here in the Sunshine State (like scarves).

But aside from lightening your wardrobe, is there anything else you should be aware of? We’ve met many Northerns who book it down to Florida just to escape the cold. They don’t realize that while you may not have to shovel your driveways anymore, you still have home care responsibilities that are pretty unique to Florida homeowners.

So, let this be your official Moving To Florida Guide, where we go over the pros and cons, the real estate market, and home essentials.


Moving To Florida: Pros and Cons


If you’re debating whether or not Florida should be the place you call home, then it’s natural to want to make a Pros and Cons list.

But we decided to do the brunt of the work for you!

Here’s what you need to know about moving to Florida— the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Weather… Kind of

Florida is notorious for its year-round tropical weather. And even though right now you may laugh at the Floridians who bundle up when it’s 65 degrees, we can guarantee that this will be you in the future.

Just give it a year.

Besides this chilly weather that you’ll have to deal with 4-weeks out of the year, there’s also summertime. Summer months in Florida can get up to 90 degrees with a heat index of 103-110 degrees. It may not sound that different from what you’re used to, but there really is nothing quite like the Florida heat.

Be prepared to stay mostly indoors from June-September. When you get your home inspected, make sure the AC unit is in good condition because your electric bill will take a hit if it’s not.

The Entertainment

No matter where you are in Florida, you’ll always have something to do. Between the beaches and springs, you can experiment with just about any water activity (highly recommend tubing and kayaking, by the way).

This is also why you want to make sure you have a big enough garage or storage space in your new home. There are actually rules to follow when it comes to storing boats, jet skis, and even paddleboards in your front yard.

There’s also plenty to do for food and craft brew junkies with small mom and pop businesses on the rise. Of course, you also have theme parks and nightlife cities like Miami to really fill your entertainment needs.

A con to living in the Florida entertainment-centric cities: locals still have to pay tourist prices.

The Cost of Living

One of the biggest perks to being a Florida resident is not having state income taxes. However, there are other costs of living that are particular to Floridians. For example, your insurance rates will likely be higher than what you’re paying now. There’s also flood insurance to consider if you’re living on the coast.

Here’s more data about the cost of living in Florida.



Moving To Florida Checklist


Alright, so it looks like there are more pros than cons when it comes to moving to Florida. So what’s the real first step in finding where you’ll settle down?

We usually get to work with new Florida homeowners after they’ve gone through this checklist, but here’s what we recommend based on the conversations we’ve had with our customers!

1. Check the Market

The price of a home in Orlando can be mind-blowingly different from a house in Lakeland (despite the fact they’re neighboring cities).

We know most people will only check the real estate market once they decide on a city with the best schools and entertainment. We suggest looking into those neighboring cities if you want to pay a fair price. You may want to be right next door to Disney World, but you can easily get a nicer and more family-friendly price in Altamont Springs, which is only a 45-minute drive to the parks!

Here are a few market guides about a few of our favorite Florida cities:

2. Get Pre-Approved and Find an Agent

Homes are being snatched up in literal hours. Time is of the essence in the 2021 Florida real estate market, so make it count. Once you know where you want to live, find a local agent and work on getting pre-approved. This might mean taking steps to improve your credit score, determining a down payment (20% is the norm in Florida), and saving for moving expenses.

Once you know your budget, look online to find a few choice homes and their price range. Then, it’s time to get pre-approved! Don’t even think about making a special trip down to Florida to look at houses without this letter.

When you finally have your pre-approval letter, you’ll be equipped to find your dream home and get your offer accepted.

3. Make Multiple Offers

Speaking of, if you think you’ll be moving to Florida in just a few short months, you might want to rethink your timeline.

Because the market is so competitive, your agent may suggest making offers on multiple homes. That way, if one offer gets denied, you still have a few options on the table.

4. Get an Inspection

A Florida home inspection is vital, especially if you’re new to the Sunshine State. Your home inspector will let you know:

  1. If your AC unit is in good condition (a must for those Flordia summers)
  2. The age of your roof
  3. Whether or not the home needs a new paint job (especially if its stucco)
  4. Pool/spa and irrigation conditions

Florida’s weather can really affect the condition of your home, so knowing the ins and outs of its overall condition can really save you money in the long run. Here are some questions your should ask your Florida home inspector.

5. Pack Accordingly 

If your offer is accepted and you’ve passed the home inspection stage, then congratulations you’re officially moving to Florida!

It’s time to ditch the snow boots for flip flops and get rid of your spare snow tires. Here’s a short list of things you’ll need now that you’re moving:

  1. Flip flops
  2. Ceiling/standing fans
  3. Blackout curtains
  4. Sunpass
  5. Garage storage containers
  6. One of these things for your car
  7. Hurricane shutters

Side note: If you’re moving to Florida from New York or somewhere else where public transit is popular, you’ll definitely need a car. Our public transportation system is basically nonexistent.

More Moving To Florida Guides:

According to US Census data from 2019 and 2020, Polk County is one of the fastest growing metro areas in the entire country.

The New York Times broke down data from the Census and found that Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL was tied for the 2nd fastest growing metro with Boise, Idaho. No surprise that Austin, TX took the top spot.

You’ve heard of the Grammy’s Artist of the Year, the Oscar’s Film of the Year, and Time magazine’s Person of the Year— but do you know about the 2021 Color of the Year?

This tradition goes back decades. Pantone, a New Jersey company that started as a printing service in the early 1950s, made a name for themselves with their Pantone Matching System (PMS).

You may recognize their innovative system if you’ve recently made a trip down the paint aisle at your local hardware store. PMS presents customers with a color-coordinated booklet with more than 500 color swatches to choose from. If you’re looking for red paint for your new accent wall, Pantone is the reason why you’ll know whether you’re looking for more of a Chilli Pepper Red than a Ruby Red. 

The demand for this simple concept was, unpredictably, overwhelming. By the 80s, Pantone began working with Adobe and Microsoft to help give their users an unlimited way to design. 


Why Home Buyers and Sellers Should Care about the Color of the Year


So why does anyone pay attention to this company’s color of the year? 

Well, because they’ve turned this tradition into a million-dollar marketing gimmick.

Each year, Pantone introduces its new “official” color of the year. The Pantone Color Institute’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, decides the color (or colors) every year.

And the 2021 Pantone Color of the Year award goes to Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow. 



When Did Pantone Start Color of The Year?


Pantone began publishing a color of the year in 2000. The first nominee, Cerulean, celebrated the new millennium with this calming, powered blue. 

Each color of the year loosely ties with color psychology. According to Eiseman, the reason they choose this particular shade of blue is because it, “brings a sense of peace and tranquillity to the human spirit.”

Think about it: what scenes do you imagine when you see this color? Perhaps you see yourself walking along a Florida beach or enjoying the outdoors near a lake or spring. Blues bring about feelings of relaxation, reminders of adolescence, and even symbolizes manners of empowerment.

In the years since, colors have ranged from 2006’s Sand Dollar to 2016’s duo winners, Rose Quartz and Serenity. The colors essentially “set the tone” for the upcoming year. 

And since 2020’s color of the year, Classic Blue, was a hard miss (the color represents dependability and reassurance), we can only hope that the 2021 color of the year is more telling of the future ahead of us. 

Even if you’re not interested in the meaning of colors, you’ll still see Pantone’s color of the year play out into marketing around the globe. These colors become popular players in everything from fashion and footwear to home decor and automobiles. 



The 2021 Color of the Year


Pantone announced two contenders for their 2021 color of the year: Illuminating 13-0647 and Ultimate Gray 17-5104. 

These colors represent resilience and hope for our future. On choosing these two colors, Eisman noted they are “Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic… We need to feel encouraged and uplifted, this is essential to the human spirit.”

Because of last year’s disparaging views, Pantone decided to choose two colors that represent different things and yet, mold well together. 

“The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one.”


Ideas For How To Incorporate These Colors Into Your Lifestyle


While Pantone isn’t the only company to claim their own 2021 color o the year, it’s certainly the most popular. Because so many consumers will be seeing this color this year, it’s a smart move to incorporate these hues into your own home— especially if you’re looking to sell.

So whether you’re planning on putting your home on the market this year, or you simply want to impress your guests with your contemporary style, here are five ways you can use Pantone’s 2021 color of the year into your life:

1. Accent pieces

Not everyone is a fan of bright yellow, but it’s a nice way to make your place look lively. So start small. Look for a gray throw blanket with hints of that Illuminating yellow in its design. Then, place it at the end of your bed or across your couch for an easy accent decoration.

Yellow framed pictures, kitchen utensils, and small yellow vases or flowers are also easy ways to bring some modern color into your home. 

2. Couch

If you’ve been thinking about refurbishing 6your home this year, keep an eye out for that Ultimate Gray color. 

You’ve probably noticed that grays and whites have been the epitome of modern design these last few years. So sofas, coffee tables, and dressers in this shade of gray will be easy to come by. 

If you’re feeling particularly bold, why not try to find an armchair or a full love seat in Illuminating yellow? This bold pop of color can really play into the psychology that your home is up-to-date, fresh, and ready to buy.

3. A garden 

For spruced up curbside appeal, think about planting a garden under your front window sills. Sunflowers, daffodils, and tulips are all terrific light yellow colors that coincide with the 2021 color of the year. 

And forget the mulch— that Marsala color is so 2015. 

Instead, ease your garden around a pool of Ultimate Gray pebbles or rocks.

4. New comforter 

Looking for a more private way to plant these colors into your living quarters? Try out a new comforter for your primary or guest bedrooms. Go for the gold with a bright Illuminating yellow bedspread, or keep it sleek with a gray comforter with the yellow accent pillows. 

5. Appliances

What color are your kitchen appliances right now? We’re willing to bet they’re either white, black, or gray.

If they’re gray, then you have significantly more remodeling money in your pocket. However, homeowners see black and white appliances of the 1990s and early 2000s as outdated. Think about getting that gray appliance upgrade if you really want your home to feel updated and ready to sell.

Retro home decor lovers can rejoice as well— bold color appliances were a hit back in the 1940s (and much more durable, too). See if you can find an antique yellow refrigerator to add some life back into your kitchen!

Or you can always settle for a nice yellow toaster. 


Are you looking to buy or sell your home? Make sure we inspect it first! Contact Stephen of Whitt Inspections to set up your inspection date.