7 Weekend Projects to Boost Your Property Value

Whether you’re putting your home on the market in a few weeks or a few years, strategic upgrades can make all the difference. But you don’t have to embark on a major remodel to make a significant improvement.

Even minor updates can have a big impact on your home’s aesthetic, and certain renovations can even boost its future sale price. From curb appeal to interior updates, here are seven weekend projects that will enhance your home’s current charm and long-term value.

1. Freshen Your Front Door

Is your front door looking a little tired? A new coat of paint can make your home more inviting to today’s guests and tomorrow’s buyers.

But before you grab that paintbrush, think carefully about your choice of hue. According to a recent study, the color of your front door can boost—or lower—your home’s sale price by thousands of dollars.1

Cement gray, for instance, was found to decrease purchase offers by an average of $3,365. Going too bold can also deter home shoppers. The safest bets? Classic black or a mid-tone brown are proven winners.1

Need help choosing the perfect paint or stain for your front door? We’d be happy to offer advice or refer you to a design professional for assistance.

2. Upgrade Your Hardware and Lighting

It’s easy to overlook dated cabinet pulls or dingy light switches in your own home. But those seemingly minor details can leave a bad impression on visitors.

Swapping out old hardware for modern alternatives can easily and affordably elevate your space. New cabinet handles, for example, are relatively inexpensive and require just a few minutes and a screwdriver to install. To maximize the longevity of your update, consider classic shapes and finishes like brass knobs or nickel cup pulls.2

Take a look at your light fixtures, too. Try replacing an out-of-style chandelier with a more contemporary option. Even just updating your lampshades and lightbulbs can create a brighter, more welcoming space.  Additionally, many experts agree that high-quality lighting can show off your property’s best features when it comes time to sell.3

Uncomfortable changing a light fixture yourself? Contact us for a referral to a licensed electrician for help.



3. Update Your Bathroom Fixtures

Bathrooms can show their age quickly, but a few inexpensive updates can take years off in just a few hours. And since many buyers will be more drawn to a home that feels clean and modern, even small changes can make a big difference.

According to one study, for every dollar you spend on minor cosmetic upgrades—like swapping out the bathroom mirror, upgrading hardware, or refinishing cabinets—you’ll see a $1.71 increase in your home’s value.4

Bathroom hardware is a great place to start. Consider updating your faucets and showerheads (we recommend lower-flow options to save money and the environment), and don’t forget about towel racks, toilet paper holders, and any other fixtures that look worn or discolored.5

If you want to stay on-trend, the most popular faucet finishes are currently black, nickel, and pewter. Spa-like upgrades, like steam showers and rain showers, are also in high demand.5,6

If your existing vanity is in poor condition, installing a new one is a slightly bigger project, but it has a huge impact on the look and feel of the room. Reach out for a list of retailers who carry high-quality but affordable prefabricated options.

4. Give Your Kitchen Cabinets a Makeover

The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home, so it’s no surprise that an updated kitchen is a top priority for current homeowners and potential buyers alike.7,8

If your kitchen cabinets are from another era, that’s probably the first place you’ll want to start.

Fortunately, you don’t need to commit to the hassle and expense of installing new cabinets if your current ones are in good shape. Instead, consider painting them.

Not only is it more affordable and eco-friendly than replacement, but Better Homes and Gardens reports that this option typically offers a greater return on investment.9 When it comes to choosing the right color, warm neutrals and shades of green and blue are especially on-trend.10

Thinking about painting your cabinets yourself? Be sure to plan in advance and block out at least a couple of days for the project. You’ll need to take off all your cabinet doors and hardware and thoroughly cover your kitchen appliances and counters. You’ll also need to wait for the doors to dry before reassembling your kitchen.11

If you’re not confident in your painting skills, hiring a professional will still be far less expensive than installing new cabinets. We’re happy to refer you to capable painters in our network.

5. Look at Your Landscaping

First impressions matter, and putting some work into your home’s exterior can make a big difference in how your guests and neighbors view it. Curb appeal can also make or break a potential buyer’s perception of your home—and significantly impact their offer.

According to HomeLight, buyers will pay 7% more, on average, for a home with good curb appeal. And in some areas, the return on investment for improvements can exceed 300%.12

One of the best ways to improve curb appeal is through landscaping—and it doesn’t have to be elaborate. First and foremost, focus on keeping things neat, tidy, and welcoming. Mow your lawn, refresh any mulch, prune overgrown shrubs, and add pops of color with flowers. To take things up a notch, add outdoor lighting and plant perennial flowers along the sides of your walkway.

When you’re ready to get started, reach out for a list of our favorite local garden centers where you can find all the necessary supplies.



6. Refinish Your Wood Floors

For many buyers, wood floors are a huge selling point. Unfortunately, they also tend to get scuffed and worn over time, especially if you have kids or pets.

The good news? If your wood floors could use a touch-up, it’s well worth the time and cost. According to the National Association of Realtors, it’s the project that pays off the most in terms of resale value, with an average 147% return on investment.13

If you have a few days to devote to your floors, you can rent the necessary equipment from a local hardware store. While you’re there, pick up some basic supplies, like a putty knife, paintbrushes, sandpaper, and stain.14 And if you want to modernize your space, opt for a lighter wood tone, which is the current trend.15

Of course, we’re also happy to provide the names of trusted professionals who can tackle the work for you.

7. Clean or Replace Your Grout

Let’s face it: Whether it’s on a kitchen floor or a bathroom wall, grout gets grimy over time, even with regular cleaning. Fortunately, refreshing your grout is a relatively simple and affordable project that can yield impressive results.

According to Apartment Therapy, grout that’s in poor condition is often one of the first things a potential buyer notices when they tour a bathroom.16 Fresh, clean grout, on the other hand, makes your bathroom sparkle—and that can pay off in a big way in terms of buyer’s perceptions.

If your grout is simply stained, a focused cleaning session can make a big difference. Try a specialized product or a simple mix of baking soda, water, and hydrogen peroxide.16

If the grout is cracked, crumbling, or stained beyond repair, it’s time to replace it. Luckily, the right tools make that a very doable DIY project, even if it can get messy—and it’s a lot easier and less expensive than retiling.17

No time to tackle it yourself? Reach out for a recommendation of a pro who can help.



Embarking on home improvements can be exciting, but it’s essential to choose projects that align with your goals, budget, and skill level. Whether you’re preparing to sell your home or simply want to enhance its value, there are projects to suit every homeowner.

If you’re unsure where to start, don’t hesitate to reach out for personalized advice and recommendations. With the right approach, you can unlock your home’s full potential and enjoy the rewards for years to come.

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.



  1. Zillow – https://www.zillow.com/learn/what-color-paint-front-door/
  2. Martha Stewart – https://www.marthastewart.com/kitchen-hardware-trends-8563764
  3. The Spruce – https://www.thespruce.com/expert-home-lighting-tips-8302722
  4. Zillow – https://www.zillow.com/learn/roi-for-bathroom-remodel/
  5. Forbes – https://www.forbes.com/home-improvement/bathroom/easy-quick-bathroom-updates/
  6. Real Simple – https://www.realsimple.com/nkba-bathroom-design-trends-2024-8403788
  7. Houzz – https://www.houzz.com/magazine/2024-u-s-houzz-and-home-study-renovation-trends-stsetivw-vs~174492310
  8. National Association of Realtors – https://www.nar.realtor/magazine/real-estate-news/survey-buyers-judge-a-home-by-its-kitchen
  9. Better Homes and Gardens – https://www.bhg.com/kitchen/remodeling/planning/kitchen-upgrades-cost-value/
  10. House Beautiful – https://www.housebeautiful.com/room-decorating/colors/g46105350/kitchen-paint-color-trends-2024/
  11. HGTV – https://www.hgtv.com/design/rooms/kitchens/best-way-to-paint-kitchen-cabinets
  12. Homelight – https://www.homelight.com/blog/what-upgrades-increase-home-value/
  13. National Association of Realtors – https://www.nar.realtor/magazine/real-estate-news/stub-for-148394
  14. Architectural Digest – https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/refinishing-hardwood-floors
  15. Houzz – https://www.houzz.com/magazine/5-new-trends-in-flooring-for-2024-stsetivw-vs~173560747
  16. Apartment Therapy – https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/outdated-bathroom-features-37131219
  17. Better Homes and Gardens – https://www.bhg.com/how-to-regrout-tile-7554710

Mid-Year Market Update for 2024: What Buyers and Sellers Need to Know

Last December, when the Federal Reserve projected a series of benchmark rate cuts in the coming year, some analysts speculated that mortgage rates—which had recently peaked near 8%—would fall closer to 6% by mid-2024.1,2,3 Unfortunately, persistent inflation has delayed the central bank’s timeline and kept the average 30-year mortgage rate hovering around 7% so far this year.2

While elevated mortgage rates have continued to dampen the pace of home sales and affordability, there have been some positive developments for frustrated homebuyers. Nationwide, the inventory shortage is starting to ease, and an uptick in starter homes coming on the market has helped to slow the median home price growth rate, presenting some relief to cash-strapped buyers.4

There are also signs that sellers are adjusting to the higher rate environment, as a growing number list their properties for sale.4 Still, economists say a persistent housing deficit—combined with tighter lending standards and historically high levels of home equity—will help keep the market stable.5

What does that mean for you? Read on for our take on this year’s most important real estate news and get a sneak peek into what analysts predict is around the corner for 2024.


At its most recent meeting on May 1, the Federal Reserve announced that it would keep its overnight rate at a 23-year high in response to the latest, still-elevated inflation numbers.6

While mortgage rates aren’t directly tied to the federal funds rate, they do tend to move in tandem. So, while expected, the Fed’s announcement was further proof that a meaningful decline in mortgage rates—and a subsequent real estate market rebound—is farther off than many experts predicted.

“The housing market has always been interest rate sensitive. When rates go up, we tend to see less activity,” explained Realtor.com chief economist Danielle Hale in a recent article. “The housing market is even more rate sensitive now because many people are locked into low mortgage rates and because first-time buyers are really stretched by high prices and borrowing costs.”7

Many experts now speculate that the first benchmark rate cut will come no sooner than September, so homebuyers hoping for a cheaper mortgage will have to remain patient.

“We’re not likely to see mortgage rates decline significantly until after the Fed makes its first cut; and the longer it takes for that to happen, the less likely it is that we’ll see rates much below 6.5% by the end of the year,” predicted Rick Sharga, CEO at CJ Patrick Company, in a May interview.8

What does it mean for you?  Mortgage rates aren’t expected to fall significantly any time soon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should wait to buy a home. A drop in rates could lead to a spike in home prices if pent-up demand sends a flood of homebuyers back into the market. Reach out to schedule a free consultation so we can help you chart the best course for your home purchase or sale.




There is a silver lining for buyers who have struggled to find the right property: More Americans are sticking a for-sale in their yard.9 Given the record-low inventory levels of the past few years, this presents an opportunity for buyers to find a place they love—and potentially score a better deal.

In 2023, inventory remained scarce as homeowners who felt beholden to their existing mortgage rates delayed their plans to sell. However, a recent survey by Realtor.com shows that a growing number of those owners are ready to jump in off the sidelines.10

While the majority of potential sellers still report feeling “locked in” by their current mortgage, the share has declined slightly (79% now versus 82% in 2023). Additionally, nearly one-third of those “locked-in” owners say they need to sell soon for personal reasons, and the vast majority (86%) report that they’ve already been thinking about selling for more than a year.10

Renewed optimism may also be playing a part. “Both our ‘good time to buy’ and ‘good time to sell’ measures continued their slow upward drift this month,” noted Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan in an April statement.11

However, the current stock of available homes still falls short of pre-pandemic levels, according to economists at Realtor.com. “For the first four months of this year, the inventory of homes actively for sale was at its highest level since 2020. However, while inventory this April is much improved compared with the previous three years, it is still down 35.9% compared with typical 2017 to 2019 levels.”4

What does it mean for you?  If you’ve had trouble finding a home in the past, you may want to take another look. An increase in inventory, coupled with relatively low buyer competition, could make this an ideal time to make a move. Reach out if you’re ready to search for your next home.

If you’re hoping to sell this year, you may also want to act now. If inventory levels grow, it will become more challenging for your home to stand out. We can craft a plan to maximize your profits, starting with a professional assessment of your home’s current market value. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.


Homebuyers struggling with high borrowing costs have something else to celebrate. The national median home price has remained relatively stable over the past year, due to sellers bringing a greater share of smaller, more affordable homes to the market.4

In addition to offering cheaper homes, a recent survey found that home sellers are also adjusting their expectations when it comes to pricing. In many regions, just 12% anticipate a bidding war (down from 23% last year) and only 15% expect to sell above list price (versus 31% in 2023).10

But buyers shouldn’t expect a fire sale. According to Realtor.com’s April Housing Market Trends Report, “On an adjusted per-square-foot basis, the median list price grew by 3.8%, as homes continue to retain their value despite increased inventory compared with last year.”4

Dr. Selma Hepp, chief economist for the data firm CoreLogic, projects that home prices will keep rising at a gradual pace through the rest of 2024. “Spring home price gains are already off to a strong start despite continued mortgage rate volatility. That said, more inventory finally coming to market will likely translate to more options for buyers and fewer bidding wars, which typically keeps outsized price growth in check.”12

What does it mean for you?  An increase in more affordable housing stock is great news, especially for first-time buyers. And with home values expected to keep rising, an investment in real estate could help you build wealth over time. Reach out to discuss your goals and budget, and we can help you decide if you’re ready to take your first step on the property ladder.




Surveys show that the American dream of homeownership is alive and well, despite the financial challenges. In fact, a recent poll by Realtor.com found that 55% of Millennial and 40% of Gen Z respondents believe that now is a good time to buy a home.13

According to Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan, buyers are starting to adapt to the new economic reality. “With the historically low rates of the pandemic era now firmly behind us, some households appear to be moving past the hurdle of last year’s sharp jump in rates, an adjustment that we think could help further thaw the housing market. We noted in our latest monthly forecast that we expect to see a gradual increase in home listings and sales transactions in the coming year.»

The Realtor.com study also revealed that even a small drop in mortgage rates could give a big boost to homebuyer demand and affordability. In fact, 40% of the buyers polled would find a home purchase attainable if rates fall under 6%, and an additional 32% plan to enter the market if rates dip below 5%.13

But waiting for rates to drop isn’t the only approach that Americans are using to afford a home. A survey by U.S. News & World Report found that determined homebuyers are employing a variety of strategies, including shopping multiple lenders (52%), purchasing discount points to lower their rates (36%), and opting for adjustable-rate mortgages (36%). More than three-quarters of today’s buyers also hope to refinance to a lower rate in the future.14

Despite the obstacles, these respondents remain steadfast in their desire to own a home, listing financial benefits, stability, and more space as their top motivations for wanting to buy.14

What does it mean for you?  If you’re dreaming of a new home, let’s talk. We can help you evaluate your options and connect you with a mortgage professional to discuss strategies you can use to make your monthly payments more affordable. And remember, in many cases, you can refinance if rates drop in the future.

If you have plans to sell, it will be crucial to enlist the help of a skilled agent who knows how to maximize your profit margins and draw in qualified buyers. Reach out for a copy of our multi-step Property Marketing Plan.


While national housing reports can give you a “big picture” outlook, much of real estate is local. And as local market experts, we know what’s most likely to impact sales and drive home values in your particular neighborhood. As a trusted partner in your real estate journey, we can guide you through the market’s twists and turns.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2024, contact us now to schedule a free consultation. Let’s work together and craft an action plan to meet your real estate goals.

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate for advice regarding your individual needs.


1. CBS News – https://www.cbsnews.com/news/federal-reserve-rate-decision-pause-december-13/
2. Bankrate – https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/historical-mortgage-rates/
3. Fannie Mae – https://www.fanniemae.com/media/50096/display
4. Realtor.com – https://www.realtor.com/research/april-2024-data/
5. Bankrate – https://www.bankrate.com/real-estate/is-the-housing-market-about-to-crash/
6. NPR – https://www.npr.org/2024/05/01/1248454950/federal-reserve-inflation-interest-rates
7. Realtor.com – https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/will-the-fed-cut-interest-rates-2024-housing-market/
8. The Mortgage Reports – https://themortgagereports.com/32667/mortgage-rates-forecast-fha-va-usda-conventional
9. Fast Company – https://www.fastcompany.com/91106568/housing-market-inventory-rising-across-country-maps
10. Realtor.com – https://www.realtor.com/research/2023-q1-sellers-survey-btts/
11. Fannie Mae – https://www.fanniemae.com/research-and-insights/surveys-indices/national-housing-survey
12. CoreLogic – https://www.corelogic.com/press-releases/corelogic-us-annual-home-price-growth-slows-still-up-by-over-5-february/
13. Realtor.com – https://www.realtor.com/research/america-dream-survey-feb-2024/
14. US News &World Repor https://money.usnews.com/loans/mortgages/articles/2024-homebuyer-survey

The Ultimate Relocation Guide: From Finding a House to Feeling at Home

Architectural Digest recently declared “Americans are restless” after a survey found that 55% of adults “are moving, plan to move, or want to move” in 2024. The top reasons included: increased affordability; desire for safety; and closer proximity to work, family, or friends.[1]

If you’re one of those millions of Americans yearning for a change, this guide is for you. In it, we’ve outlined six steps to make your move easier. Our hope is to alleviate some of the hassle of relocating—so you can focus on the adventure ahead!


When planning a move, deciding where to live is key. When evaluating your options, start by considering proximity to work, friends, family, and schools. Test the commute during rush hour and check public transport availability. You’ll also want to ensure affordability and safety and visit neighborhoods to assess the and amenities. Or, if you prefer, simply give us a call to discuss your needs and aspirations, and we’d be happy to provide our recommendations of neighborhoods that may be a good fit for you.


The next decision you’ll need to make is whether you want to rent or buy a home. Renting can be a good option if you’re new to town, especially if you’re still saving up for a downpayment. But, if you want to avoid multiple moves—and you’re financially able—there’s no reason to delay the benefits of homeownership. If you decide to buy and you choose us to represent you, you can rest easy knowing that we will be there for you throughout the entire journey, working hard to make the experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.


If you already own a home, you’ll also need to start the process of either selling it or renting it out. In many cases, our clients choose to sell so that they can use the equity in their current home to make a downpayment on their next one. We can offer tips and create a plan to maximize your sale price. For a thorough breakdown of the strategies we use to get you the most money for your home sale, ask us for a copy of our Property Marketing Plan.


When prepping for your move, there’s a lot to do besides packing. If you will be using a moving company, you’ll need to research and price your options. Don’t forget to arrange to have your utilities turned off or transferred into the new homeowner’s name. Finally, if you will be leaving friends or family behind, you’ll want to schedule get-togethers before your departure. Feel free to reach out for referrals to moving companies, packing services, housekeepers, or any other resources that will make your move easier.


Don’t forget to plan ahead for your arrival at your new home, as well. Make sure you arrange for your utilities to be turned on and submit a mail forwarding request to the postal service. To prepare for the first night in your new home, consider packing an “Open Me First!” box that contains all your essentials (think toothbrush, towels, bedsheets). Finally, create a list of restaurants to try and places to visit around your newly purchased home. If you’re relocating to our area, reach out for a list of recommendations.


If you have children, we typically suggest that you start by unpacking their rooms first. Seeing familiar items can help ease their transition. Pets can also get overwhelmed by an unfamiliar space. Let them adjust to a single room first before opening up the entire home. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. Make an effort to get to know your new neighbors. Once you’ve developed friendships and a support system within your new community, it will truly start to feel like home.


We specialize in assisting home buyers and sellers with a seamless and “less-stress” relocation. Along with our referral network of moving companies, contractors, cleaning services, interior designers, and other home service providers, we can help take the hassle and headache out of your upcoming move. Give us a call or message us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation!

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.


1. Architectural Digest

Now’s a Great Time To Sell Your House

Thinking about selling your house? If you are, you might be weighing factors like today’s mortgage rates and your own changing needs to figure out your next move.

Here’s something else to consider. According to the latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) from Fannie Maethe percent of respondents who say it’s a good time to sell is on the rise (see graph below):

No Caption Received

Why Are Sellers Feeling so Optimistic?

One reason why is because right now is traditionally the best time of year to sell a house. A recent article from Bankrate says:

“Late spring and early summer are generally considered the best times to sell a house. . . . While today’s rates are relatively high, low inventory is still keeping sellers in the driver’s seat in most markets.”

These are the seasons when most people move. That means buyer demand grows. And because there still aren’t enough homes for sale to meet that demand, sellers see some serious perks. According to Rocket Mortgage:

“Homes that are listed at the end of spring and the beginning of summer typically sell faster at a higher sales price.”

What Does This Mean for You?

More sellers are coming to realize conditions are ripe for a move. And that’s one reason why we’re seeing more homeowners put their homes up for sale. If you think you might want to get in on the action, it’s a good idea to start preparing.

A local real estate agent can help you get your house ready by offering advice on how best to fix it up and make it appealing to buyers in your area.

They also know if you list during the peak buying seasons of spring and early summer, you might sell quickly and for a higher price.

Bottom Line

If you list during the spring and early summer, you might sell your house quickly and for a higher price. When you’re ready to make the most of today’s seller’s market, let’s get in touch.




6 Strategies to Save on Home Insurance Premiums

From wildfires to floods, the past few years have brought a historic number of devastating climate and weather events to the United States. In 2023 alone, there were 28 individual weather-related disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damages each.1 

These events triggered a huge influx of home insurance claims, and analysts expect the increase in both catastrophes and claims to continue. Adding to the problem, construction labor and supply costs have risen, making it more expensive to repair affected homes. Consequently, home insurance rates have surged: In 2024, Bankrate reports, premiums are already up an average of 23%, following double-digit increases the previous year.2,3 

In disaster-prone regions, the situation is even more challenging. Some insurers have pulled out of risky areas entirely, and many of those that still offer policies in high-risk areas have doubled or even tripled their premiums.4

For most homeowners, comprehensive home insurance coverage is crucial for financial security—but massive rate increases can turn a once-affordable home into a financial burden. They can also pose a serious challenge for sellers. A home insurance policy is typically required to get a mortgage, and, in some hard-hit regions, we’re seeing sales fall through or homes sit on the market because insurance policies are unattainable or too expensive.5,6

But don’t panic! While these broader trends may be out of your control, there’s still plenty you can do to save. Here are our top six strategies to slash insurance premiums while maintaining the protection you need. 



Getting multiple quotes is a smart move for many major purchases, including home insurance. We recommend reviewing at least three estimates before you commit to a policy. You can get quotes either by reaching out to insurers directly or by working with an independent insurance broker.7 You’ll need to provide detailed information about the property you’re insuring and your claims history.

Make sure you read policies carefully before you choose. Sometimes, a policy can look like a better deal at first glance but turn out to have important coverage gaps. Be sure to consider how much the policy will pay out to repair or replace your home and review caps on personal possession and liability claims. It’s also smart to read reviews from policyholders (Trustpilot is a good place to start) and ratings published by organizations like the Better Business Bureau and J.D. Power. 

For help choosing the right policy, reach out to us for a list of trusted insurance professionals.



The size of your deductible—which is the amount you pay before your insurance coverage kicks in on a claim—is a major factor in your insurance cost.

A low deductible, such as $500, comes with higher premiums, while a higher deductible, like $2,500 or even $5,000, costs less on a monthly basis. In some cases, you may be able to customize your coverage further by designating a different deductible for certain kinds of claims, such as those caused by named storms or natural disasters. 

If you are confident that you have enough in savings to cover that initial outlay if needed, choosing a higher deductible can help you save significantly over the long term. According to Nerdwallet, raising your deductible from $1,000 to $2,500, for example, could save you an average of 11% each year.8



Insurers want to get as much of your business as possible, so most offer significant discounts if you bundle your home and auto insurance, meaning that you package the two policies together. With some insurers, you can get even higher savings by bundling more than home and auto—RV, boat, jewelry, and life insurance are potential options to consider. 

According to US News and World Report, insurers typically offer customers who bundle home and auto insurance 10-25% savings on monthly premiums. This approach also has other advantages: It cuts down on your paperwork, and in some cases—like if a storm damages both your home and car—you may be able to pay just one deductible instead of two when you file a claim.9 

However, before you sign on the dotted line, remember strategy #1 and be sure to shop around. In some cases, bundling isn’t the cheaper option, and bundling deals vary between companies. It’s also critical to carefully check that the bundled coverage offers everything you need.



Did you know that being a nonsmoker might qualify you for a home insurance discount?8 Some insurers offer some surprising incentives for policyholders who pose a statistically lower risk of filing a claim. In the case of nonsmokers, that’s because of the decreased risk of a home fire.

Many carriers also offer discounts to military-affiliated families, homeowners in certain professions, such as teachers or engineers, or recent homebuyers. Sometimes, you can also save by opting for paperless billing or paying your premiums for a full year upfront.10 

Since available discounts vary significantly between insurers, the best strategy is to simply ask a representative for the full list of available discounts so you can see what cost savings might be available to you. 



Worried that your premiums will rise significantly in the future? Try to avoid making a claim unless truly necessary. Many insurers offer discounted rates to policyholders who go a certain number of years without filing a claim, and filing multiple claims typically results in large increases.10 If you file too many, you may even risk nonrenewal of your policy.11

Since the cost of even a small premium increase can add up significantly over time, if you have minor damage to your home—for example, if a few shingles blew off your roof in a windstorm—it may be a wiser long-term financial decision to pay out of pocket instead of filing a claim. 

If the cost of the repair is less than your deductible, it never makes sense to file, and if it’s just slightly above your deductible, it’s also usually best to pay for the repairs yourself. Additionally, always be sure to review your policy before you make a claim. Even claims that are denied can count against you, so it’s not worth filing if the damage is clearly excluded from coverage.11 

If you find yourself in this situation, feel free to reach out for a list of reasonably-priced professionals who can help with home repairs.



Insurance premiums alone may not be the deciding factor for a home improvement project, but it’s important to know how renovations could impact your rates—for better or worse.

For example, some upgrades and repairs can reduce your premiums by making your home safer or less prone to certain types of damage. These include:12

  • Upgrading your electrical system
  • Updating your plumbing
  • Installing a monitored security system
  • Adding a fire sprinkler system
  • Replacing the roof

On the other hand, some upgrades can raise premiums significantly, either because they increase the value of your home (and therefore the cost to replace it) or because they pose a hazard. These include:12

  • Installing a swimming pool or other water features
  • Building an extension or expanding your living space
  • Upgrading materials, like flooring or countertops
  • Adding a fireplace or woodstove

Whether or not your planned renovations are on either of these lists, it’s wise to inform your insurer about changes you make to your home—otherwise, you may risk gaps in coverage. And you’re always welcome to check with us before you begin any home improvement project to find out how it could impact the value and resale potential of your home.


BOTTOMLINE: Protect Your Investment Without Sacrificing Enjoyment of Your Home

Getting the coverage you need for financial security without overpaying can be a tricky balance, especially in today’s environment. But remember, while it’s important to find the best deal you can, home insurance isn’t an area to skimp on. 

For advice on your specific risks and the type of coverage you need, we recommend consulting with a knowledgeable insurance professional. We’re happy to connect you with a trusted adviser in our network. And if you’re considering a home renovation, feel free to reach out for a free consultation on how it might affect your property value (and your premiums). 


The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial, legal, insurance, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.



  1. Climate.gov –
  2. Bankrate –
  3. Policygenius –
  4. CNN –
  5. BBC –
  6. US News –
  7. Nerdwallet –
  8. Nerdwallet –
  9. US News and World Report –
  10. Marketwatch –
  11. Bankrate –
  12. Bankrate –

Downsize Your Home, Rightsize Your Life: How to Choose the Ideal Smaller Home

When you’ve lived somewhere for many years, it can be tough to say goodbye. But if you (or a loved one) currently have a home that is bigger than necessary or is too high maintenance, it may be time to trade unused square footage for a smaller, more manageable space. 

Take it from the downsizers who’ve been there: Although living small might require some adjustments, it can also be liberating––especially if you’re in a stage of life where past responsibilities have given way to new possibilities and adventures.  

In fact, many downsizers report feeling invigorated by the change, according to real estate journalist and author Sheri Koones. “It scares people to think of moving into a smaller space,” said Koones to the Associated Press. “But every single person I interviewed who has made the transition says they are so happy they did.”1

The key is to find somewhere you can live well and move around comfortably, without feeling overly restricted. If you like the idea of aging in place or are already in your golden years, you may also want to look for signs that a new home can conveniently age with you. 

With that in mind, we recommend focusing your search around three key factors: desired lifestyle, optimal design, and long-term accessibility. Read on for specific tips, then call us for a free consultation. We can help you identify the types of homes that are best suited to living large with less.


Do you have a loved one whose housing needs have changed?
Share this information to help start a conversation about the benefits of downsizing.



The best part of downsizing is the lifestyle you unlock when you trade square footage for convenience. With fewer chores and home maintenance tasks to worry about, you can instead channel your energy into other pursuits. 

For example, instead of spending your afternoons working in the yard or cleaning, you can catch up on the news, read a bestseller, start a new craft project, or pursue other hobbies. You may even be able to travel or spend more time with friends and family. 

Research shows that individuals over the age of 65 report more life satisfaction when they have the opportunity to spend time around children, talk with friends, socialize in community centers, volunteer, or engage in hobbies. But that can be hard to do regularly when you’ve got a home that needs constant attention or you live far from your community.2

As you compare potential homes, keep in mind the type of lifestyle you envision. Do you plan to travel? If so, a home with extra security, such as a condominium or gated community, may give you some welcome peace of mind. Or do you plan to have friends and family stay overnight? In that case, you may want to look for a floor plan with flex space or a property that has access to separate guest suites. 

Alternatively, a senior community that offers catered meals and housekeeping may be a better choice if you or a spouse need extra support. 

Action item: Grab a pen and take some time to envision what your ideal future might look like. Write down the activities and hobbies you hope to add to your life or continue with going forward, as well as the chores and responsibilities you’d love to drop. We can use those answers to help shape your house hunt.



Even though your new home will be smaller, that doesn’t mean it has to feel cramped. As Koones explains, “The key is to have a home that is efficiently designed, both in terms of energy use and in terms of space.”1 

Look for features that can help make a space feel bigger, like high ceilings, large windows, and an open layout. 

Built-in shelving that extends all the way to the ceiling can also make a small room feel more expansive by helping to draw the eye upward. The same goes for highly placed window treatments and striped or mural-style wallpaper, says interior designer, Kati Greene Curtis. “You’ll feel like you’re walking into the scene,” said Curtis to the Washington Post.3 

Efficient layouts with flexible, multi-purpose rooms and few, if any, hallways work especially well for small-scale living. You can also limit dead space in a home by steering clear of layouts with awkward corners, unusable nooks, and other space-eating design elements. 

In addition, look for features that support a simpler, lower-maintenance lifestyle, such as easy-care floors, durable countertops, and bare walls with little, if any, crown molding. 

Don’t write off a home too soon, though, if it feels narrow or congested because of outdated design or poor staging. Cosmetic issues that visually shrink a space are often easy to fix. 

For example, you can instantly make a room feel bigger just by painting it a lighter shade. Adding mirrors and swapping out heavy curtains for sheer ones can also be effective. Plus, utilizing multipurpose furniture with hidden storage is a great way to maximize space. 

Action item: Make a note of your must-keep furniture and other items. Then pull out a measuring tape and write down the dimensions. Once it’s time to visit homes, we’ll have a more accurate sense of what will fit and how much space you’ll need.

To get your creative juices flowing, you may also want to flip through some design magazines that specialize in compact living or catalogs that feature space-saving furniture and accessories. If you give us a list of your favorite features, we can use it to pinpoint homes that are a good match. 



Buying a home that you can age well in can be a great way to boost your health prospects and happiness. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), homeowners who age in place instead of in an institutional environment not only save money over time, they also enjoy greater health and emotional benefits.4 

Aging in place is also popular. According to survey findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, the vast majority of adults between the ages of 50 and 80 would prefer to age in their own homes.5

But even though many adults want to age in place, only 34% of surveyed adults currently live in a home with the features to make it possible.5 

If you’re already in the second half of your life, then it’s smart to prioritize accessibility now, even if you’re highly mobile. 

Choosing an accessible home will improve your odds of staying put for longer. Plus, you never know when you might need an accessible light switch, handrails in the bathroom, or a seat in the shower, says Sheri Koones. “Yes, older people with disabilities need them, but even younger people break a leg skiing, or have situations where they want a barrier-free shower.”1  

As you consider your options, try to imagine what your needs might be as you get older and be proactive in identifying potential obstacles, recommends the National Council on Aging (NCOA).6 

For example, a single-level home or one with wide enough stairs for a stair lift or access to an elevator may be a more practical choice than a home with lots of narrow stairs. Alternatively, a home with at least one ground-level bedroom and bathroom may also work well for you. 

Consider your needs outside the home, as well: If you frequently visit the doctor, grocery store, or community center, for example, then you may benefit from choosing a property nearby. 

Action item: Review the checklist below, adapted from the National Institute on Aging’s home safety worksheet, or download the full version from the agency’s website.7 Highlight the items that are most important to you. We can reference these guidelines as we consider potential homes and suggest ways to adapt a property to meet your current or future requirements.



☐ If a walker or wheelchair is needed, can the entrances to the house be modified — perhaps by putting in a ramp to the front door?

☐ Are there any tripping hazards at exterior entrances or inside the house?

☐ Are the hallways and doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair if needed?

☐ Does the home have at least one ground-floor bedroom and bathroom?

☐ Are there any staircases, and if so, could they accommodate a stair lift?

☐ Is the house well-lit, inside and out, particularly at the top and bottom of stairs?

☐ Could handrails be installed on both sides of the staircase?

☐ Is there at least one stairway handrail that extends beyond the first and last steps on each flight of stairs?

☐ Are outdoor steps sturdy and textured to prevent falls in wet or icy weather?

☐ Are there grab bars near toilets and in the tub or shower?

☐ Have a shower stool and hand-held shower head been installed to make bathing easier?

☐ Is the water heater set at 120° F to avoid scalding tap water?

☐ Are there safety knobs and an automatic shut-off switch on the stove?

☐ Have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms been installed near the kitchen and in all bedrooms? 

☐ Are there secure locks on all outside doors and windows?



You don’t have to compromise on comfort to downsize successfully. We can help you strategize your next move and identify the best new home for you—whether that’s a smaller home for rent or another one to call your own. We take pride in offering a full-service real estate experience and assisting our clients through all stages of the real estate journey. And we’ll go the extra mile to maximize your current home’s sales price so that you’re set up for financial security.


The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.



  1. Associated Press (AP) –
  2. Healthcare (Basel) –
  3. Washington Post –
  4. HUD User –
  5. National Poll on Healthy Aging –
  6. National Council on Aging (NCOA) –
  7. National Institute of Health (NIH)  –

Upgrade Your Home With These 2024 Design Trends

One of the best parts of owning a home is the freedom to make it truly your own with design choices that reflect your personality and lifestyle. Whether you lean toward contemporary design or a farmhouse aesthetic, your home is your canvas.

Even so, it’s always smart to think about the long-term impact those decisions might have on your home’s value. Choosing over-personalized or unpopular materials and finishes could make your home less appealing to future buyers. And selecting out-of-style or overly-trendy elements could cause your home to feel dated quickly.

To help inspire your design choices, we’ve rounded up some of the top trends we’re watching in 2024. Keep in mind, not all of these will work well in every house. If you plan to list or renovate your property, give us a call. We can help you realize your vision and maximize the impact of your investment.


      1. Spa-Like Bathrooms

We could all use a little more relaxation in our lives—so why not bring the spa into your home? In 2024, more homeowners will remodel their bathrooms to turn them into personal oases.1,2

If you’re undertaking a renovation, consider upgrading fixtures and materials. Handmade tile and custom cabinetry can add a touch of style and luxury. Trade stark whites for warm neutrals to create a more relaxed feel—think light wood tones, creams, and beiges.3 Complete the look with soft ambient lighting from a backlit mirror or pair of decorative sconces.2,3

If you want to maximize the mind-body benefits of a relaxing bathroom (and have the budget to spare), you might consider installing a steam shower, infrared sauna, or cold plunge tub.3 Not looking to spend as much? Even minor upgrades like a massaging showerhead or heated towel bar can add some pampering to your morning routine.3

But remember, if you’re modifying your bathroom, it’s always wise to work with experienced and licensed professionals to avoid water damage that could lead to costly repairs. We can refer you to a trusted contractor for help.



      2. Maximalist Decor

In 2024, maximalism is back in vogue, contrasting the neutral aesthetic that dominated design in recent years. While maximalism can be summed up as “more is more,” there’s nothing sloppy or cluttered about this look. Instead, it’s all about intentional curation.4

Hallmarks of maximalist style include rich and saturated colors, bold wallpaper, statement rugs and furniture, and lots of art. And forget matching—maximalist interiors often include plenty of contrasting colors, textures, and patterns selected to complement one another.4

If you’re trying to embrace maximalism on a budget, check out thrift stores. They’re often a great place to find unique furniture, colorful rugs, and interesting art or collectibles. Before you invest in rolls of vintage wallpaper, though, it’s important to note—if you plan to sell your home in the near future, the maximalist look won’t appeal to every buyer.

We typically advise sellers to remove clutter and personal items to help buyers imagine their own future lives within the home. Sometimes, that means repainting or redecorating in a more neutral palette. Of course, this shouldn’t stop you from embracing your own style now—just be aware that you may need to walk back your aesthetic prior to selling. We can advise you when the time comes.



      3. Japandi Style

Not quite ready to embrace maximalism? Japandi style, which blends Japanese and Scandinavian influences, offers a more subdued approach that still has plenty of character. The look dates back about 150 years to a time when many Scandinavian designers were traveling to Japan for inspiration.5

Japandi style brings together clean lines, simplicity, and a focus on natural elements and light. It emphasizes the beauty in imperfection, or “wabi sabi,” and a deep connection to Mother Earth. And like Scandinavian decor, the look prioritizes comfort and a sense of sanctuary in the home.5

Interested in playing with Japandi? Common features include calming color palettes and organic materials like raw wood and bamboo. Try softening harsh edges with softer textures, like cozy blankets and ceramic pieces.

The look also minimizes clutter, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a minimalist. Instead, Japandi style embraces storage solutions like baskets, folding screens, and sofas with built-in storage to give everything a place.6 If you’d like some help implementing Japandi-style organization in your home, contact us for a list of recommended professionals.



      4. Mixed Metals

Mixing metals used to be a “no-no.” But in 2024, it’s definitely a “yes.”

According to designers, mixing the colors and finishes of metal fixtures and hardware can bring visual interest to a room—as long as you go about it the right way.1,7

The most important rule to keep in mind is to stay away from near matches, like brass and gold—that’s more likely to look accidental than intentional. Instead, go for bold contrast: Think polished nickel and matte black.7

Some designers recommend using each metal at least twice in a room to make it look cohesive. Another good rule of thumb is to stick to two types of metals in a small room and two to three in a larger space.7

Finally, you might think about playing with undertones (brass is warm, chrome is cool) to change the “temperature” of a room. And don’t be afraid of a little shine—many designers predict that a retro, high-polished look will replace matte finishes in 2024.8

Want some help sourcing fixtures and hardware in a variety of finishes? Reach out for a list of our favorite retailers.



      5. Wood Cabinetry And Accents

The all-white kitchen has been ubiquitous in recent years. But in 2024, classic wood cabinetry is back in a big way.9 In fact, industry professionals surveyed by the National Kitchen & Bath Association predict that wood cabinets will be more popular than white in the next three years.10

Natural wood tones offer a sense of warmth and natural beauty.11 And today’s cabinets aren’t anything like the heavy, dated versions of the past. Instead, light to medium versions—like white oak and walnut—and warmer undertones are trending.9

The addition of wood-grain accents to painted kitchen cabinets—like with a contrasting island or range hood—is another popular option.12 And wood continues to be a favored choice for flooring. A recent survey found that 40% of homeowners opted for either hardwood or engineered wood when renovating their kitchen floors.13

You can also expect to see more wood in bathrooms in 2024. According to Houzz, last year, wood vanities surpassed white in popularity for the first time in recent years, and designers expect the trend to continue.12 While white countertops and walls still dominate bathrooms, a wood-grained vanity brings a relaxed, organic element into the space.

Dreaming about new cabinets or hardwood floors? We’d be happy to share a list of recommended trade professionals who can help.



      6. Timeless Renovations

In its latest Kitchen Trends Study, Houzz found that “nearly half of homeowners (47%) opt for a timeless design as a sustainable choice during renovations.” Respondents cited long-term cost effectiveness and environmental consciousness as their main motivators.14

In a rapidly changing, technology-driven world, it’s no surprise that homeowners want a nurturing space with lasting appeal—especially if they plan to stay in their homes for years to come.12

Traditional materials and quality craftsmanship lie at the core of timeless design, which some designers are calling “quiet luxury.”15 Think of enduring classics, like hardwood floors, hand-crafted tiles, and marble countertops.12 A timeless color palette will also often include warm neutrals and muted shades of blue and green.15

If you’re thinking about remodeling, it’s wise to incorporate as many classic elements as you can. These stylistic choices tend to hold up well over time, which can prolong the life of your investment and make it easier to sell your home down the road. If you’d like advice on an upcoming project, contact us for a free consultation.




If you’re thinking about making design changes—whether that’s repainting or a full remodel—it’s important to be informed about how your choices could impact your home’s resale potential. Buyer preferences can vary significantly based on your home’s neighborhood and price point. Before you begin your project, reach out to discuss your plans and how they could impact the value of your home.



The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.



  1. HGTV –
  2. The Spruce –
  3. The Spruce –
  4. Homes and Gardens –
  5. The Spruce –
  6. House Beautiful –
  7. The Spruce –
  8. The Spruce –
  9. Good Housekeeping –
  10. Better Homes and Gardens –
  11. Real Simple –
  12. Houzz –
  13. Houzz –
  14. Houzz –
  15. Better Homes and Gardens –

Are More Homeowners Selling as Mortgage Rates Come Down?

Real Estate Forecast: For Home Buyers and Sellers in 2024

Your 5-Step Strategy for Smart Downsizing

In the vibrant Miami real estate market, downsizing doesn’t mean downgrading. Whether you’re adjusting to a new life stage, managing a property post-divorce, or seeking the simplicity of a low-maintenance lifestyle as you age, Miami offers a variety of smaller homes and condos that could better fit your evolving needs.

Embracing the Upside of Downsizing in Miami

  1. Set Your Vision and Understand Constraints Kick-off your Miami downsizing journey by defining what you want in your new abode. Is being near Miami’s sun-kissed beaches a must? Do you crave a hassle-free condo lifestyle with luxury amenities? Or perhaps a cozy bungalow in a peaceful, walkable neighborhood? Consider your mobility needs and healthcare accessibility, especially if you’re navigating life changes such as divorce or retirement.
  2. Discover Your Ideal Miami Sanctuary Armed with your wishlist, it’s time to explore Miami’s real estate landscape. Our expertise spans from the heart of downtown to serene gated communities, ensuring you find a space that resonates with your desires. We can connect you to exclusive listings, from modern apartments to charming townhomes, ensuring a match that reflects your taste and necessities.
  3. Strategically Market Your Current Property As you contemplate your move, we’ll craft a personalized plan to market your current property. Our approach intertwines comprehensive market analysis, strategic pricing, and a dynamic advertising campaign across digital platforms and local networks, enhancing visibility to potential buyers.
  4. Declutter with Purpose Simplify your transition by sorting through your belongings well in advance. Embrace the Miami lifestyle by choosing decor that complements your new, easy-to-maintain space. We can provide resources to help you sell, donate, or pass on items, ensuring your move is as streamlined as your new home.
  5. Leverage Professional Assistance Downsizing can be daunting, but you’re not alone. Whether it’s professional organizers or a specialized senior move manager, there’s a network ready to support you. If finances are a concern, we’ll discuss leveraging your home’s equity to facilitate a smooth transition.

Is Your Current Residence Holding You Back? If you’re contemplating a lifestyle that aligns more closely with your current needs, let’s connect. We’re dedicated to guiding you through the Miami real estate market to a home that promises more freedom, more joy, and a perfect fit for your next chapter. Contact us for a personalized consultation and discover the full potential of downsizing in Miami.