by Karen Williams-deCastro- Realtor®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD

Our nation is in the midst of a serious housing crunch. Last year, a lack of inventory and soaring prices left many would-be homebuyers feeling pinched. But now, with interest rates climbing, many of them are also feeling desperate to lock in a mortgage—which has only added fuel to the fire.1


Fortunately, if you’re a buyer struggling to find a home, we have some good news. While it’s true that higher mortgage rates can decrease your purchasing budget, there are additional ways to compete in a hot market.


Yes, a high offer price gets attention. But most sellers consider a variety of factors when evaluating an offer. With that in mind, here are five tactics you can…

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by Karen Williams-deCastro- Realtor®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD


We’re still in a seller’s market, but that doesn’t mean your home is guaranteed to easily sell.1 If you want to maximize your sale price, it’s still important to prepare your home before putting it on the market.


Start by connecting with a real estate agent as soon as possible. Having the eyes and ears of an insightful real estate professional on your side can help you boost your home’s appeal to buyers. What’s more, beginning the preparation process early allows you to tackle repairs and upgrades that can increase your property’s value.


Use the checklist below to figure out what other tasks you should complete in the months leading up to listing your home. While…

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 by Karen Williams-deCastro- Realtor®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD


The annual inflation rate in the United States is currently around 7.5%—the highest it has been since 1982.1 It doesn’t matter if you’re a cashier, lawyer, plumber, or retiree; if you spend U.S. dollars, inflation impacts you. 

Economists expect the effects of inflation, like a higher cost of goods, to continue.2 Luckily, an investment in real estate can ease some of the financial strain. 

Here’s what you need to know about inflation, how it impacts you, and how an investment in real estate can help. 

 

WHAT IS INFLATION AND HOW DOES IT IMPACT ME? 

Inflation is a decline in the value of money. When the rate of inflation rises, prices for goods and services…

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by Karen Williams-deCastro- Realtor®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD

There’s a lot to consider when selling your home, from the market and appraisals to where you’ll go next. Don’t forget, however, that design is also a key factor. It’s often one of the first things buyers notice when they walk into a home, and it’s also a detail that you, as a seller, can easily control.


According to Realtor.com’s 2022 housing market forecast, home for-sale inventory will increase from last year, as will the projected number of overall sales.1 This means, if you’re looking to sell in the near future, now is the time to consider how you can stand out.


Updating your home design is one way to do that. Changes like new security features or upgraded…

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 by Karen Williams-deCastro- Realtor®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD

Last year was one for the real estate history books. The pandemic helped usher in a buying frenzy that caused home prices to soar nationwide by a record 19.9% between August 2020 and August 2021.1


However, there were signs in the fourth quarter that the red-hot housing market was beginning to simmer down. In the month of October, only 60.3% of sales involved a bidding war—down from a high of 74.5% in April.2 While this trend could be attributed to seasonality, it could also be a signal that the real estate run-up may have passed its peak.

 

So what’s ahead for the U.S. housing market in 2022? Here’s where industry experts predict the market is headed in the…

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by Karen Williams-deCastro- Realtor®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD

Every year, whether you celebrate or not, it seems the holidays and other events  sneak up on us—and every year, that brings with it the dreaded-last minute gift panic. Finding a present that hits all the right notes can be surprisingly stressful, even when it comes to people you’ve known for years.

But have no fear! I’ve lined up a list of unique gifts for every “type” on your list. And since I work in real estate, they’re all centered around home life. From the coffee snob to the sports enthusiast, these presents are the perfect way to bring beauty, function or a touch of whimsy to your loved one’s home this holiday season.

 

FOR THOSE WHO ARE ALWAYS IN THE…

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by Karen Williams-deCastro- Realtor®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD

Homebuyers today are facing a huge dilemma. There simply aren’t enough homes for sale.1

It’s come to our attention that some of our past clients, friends, and (gasp!) even extended family members believe that we only assist clients who are shopping for resale homes. Some have even purchased a property directly from a home builder with no professional representation. While we don't have national home builders in our market here in the Florida Keys, I have the capacity to help you buy or sell a home, no matter where you live due to strong relationships with REALTORS® around the world. So perhaps this information can still help. 

Nationwide, there were 1.27 million…

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6 Hacks to Save Money on a Bathroom Remodel

by Karen Williams-deCastro- Realtor®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD

 

 

We are currently in the midst of  designing a remodel for our Primary Bedroom Suite. One thing is for sure: bathroom remodels can be pricey. Just like everyone else, we really wanted to get the most bang for our buck. In this article, real estate professionals share a handful of ideas to upgrade a bathroom without committing to a total remodel. Click on the link to find cost-effective, small solutions to make a bathroom look more luxurious.

Do you have questions about buying or selling a home? Please feel free to contact me. Let's chat! 

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by Karen Williams-deCastro- Realtor®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD

 

There are so many REALTOR®'s and Real Estate Agents out there, that it can be difficult to decide who to choose when you decide to purchase a home. It needs to be someone:

  • that you can trust has YOUR best interest at heart;
  • who LISTENS when you talk;
  • patiently takes you through the steps of purchasing your home;
  • who knows the market and knows what is available in it;
  • who puts your needs far ahead of theirs;
  • and more.

When you work with an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designee (like myself), they can help you find the right property, navigate negotiations, inspections, paperwork, and more.

Click here to learn how an ABR® can be…

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by Karen Williams-deCastro- Realtor®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD

According to the FBI, more than one million burglaries are committed in the United States each year, with victims suffering an estimated $3 billion in combined property losses.1 Fortunately, there are some proven tactics you can use to decrease your likelihood of a home invasion.

Most burglars won’t go to extreme lengths to enter a residence. They are looking for easy access with minimal risk. A monitored security system can be an effective deterrent—homes without one are 300% more likely to be burglarized—but it isn’t the only way to protect your property.2 The strategies below can help to maximize your home’s security and minimize your chances of being targeted by…

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