by Karen Williams-deCastro- Broker Associate®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD, CELA, CREN

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…

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by Karen Williams-deCastro- Broker Associate®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD, CELA, CREN

A growing share of home buyers and sellers sat on the sidelines last year as the pace of home sales continued its downward trajectory.1 In fact, since the Federal Reserve began its series of interest rate hikes in 2022, the combination of higher borrowing costs and record-high home prices has fostered the steepest real estate market slowdown since the 2008 recession.2

Priced out of the market, a generation of would-be buyers has been forced to delay their plans for homeownership.3  At the same time, current owners—reluctant to give up their pandemic-era mortgage rates—are waiting to sell, which has resulted in a sharp drop in…

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by Karen Williams-deCastro- Broker Associate®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD, CELA, CREN

It's the most wonderful time of the year. But for many families with festive plans and hectic schedules, it's also the most wasteful.

According to one survey, for example, 60% of respondents admitted to throwing away more than usual during the holiday months as they filled up their trash bins with uneaten food, wrapping paper, gift bags, and commercial packaging.1

The reality is, Americans routinely toss about 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than at any other time of year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.2 In fact, we throw away so much ribbon during the holidays—around 38,000 miles’ worth—that the…

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Buying a new home is one of the most exciting experiences in life. And if you’re like most homebuyers, you’ll be planning your furniture placement and decor before the ink dries on your offer letter. But before you run to the nearest home goods store, take a deep breath. First, you’ll need to delay any major purchases before you close on your new home. A large outlay or additional line of credit could lower your credit score and, thus, impact your mortgage terms.1 Second, moving and closing costs can add up quickly, so it’s important to be strategic with your remaining budget. But don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to save on home essentials, and we’ve rounded up some of our favorites to share…

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

My husband and I recently bought a multi unit here in the Florida Keys. If the prospect of putting your money into tangible assets, such as brick and mortar properties or even some creatively adorned siding, ignites your enthusiasm, you're not alone. 

Real estate investment has consistently ranked as one of the preferred wealth-building methods for Americans. According to Census data, individual investors, not corporations, own more than 70% of single-family rental properties in the country. [1]

Furthermore, Bankrate surveys spanning a decade reveal that Americans have historically favored real estate for long-term wealth accumulation over other investment options. The…

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


Not long ago, home sellers were in their heyday, as historically-low mortgage rates triggered a real estate buying frenzy. However, the Federal Reserve shut down the party when it began raising interest rates last year.1  

Now, it’s not as simple to sell a home. While pandemic-era homebuyers were racing the clock—trying to lock in a low mortgage rate and gain a foothold in the market—current buyers are more discerning. Higher prices and mortgage rates have pushed their limits of affordability, leading them to prioritize cost, condition, and overall value.2

The reality is, home inventory remains low, so most properties will still sell with some basic prep, the…

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

To avoid buyer's remorse, be sure to consider your future self when shopping for a home.

Most new homebuyers don't regret becoming homeowners. In fact, according to a survey by LendingTree, 80% of recent buyers who successfully overcame a challenging housing market say they're glad they found their current homes.1 But that doesn't mean newly-minted homeowners don't have any regrets about their buying choices. 

On the contrary, research shows that even the most-satisfied homeowners would change some aspects of their home purchase if given the opportunity. According to a recent survey by Anytime Estimate, nearly 3 out of 4 buyers who purchased a home in 2021 or 2022 still…

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

ALL BUYERS AND SELLERS in Monroe County, Florida. I am here with an exciting real estate market update for June 2023 for Florida Keys SINGLE FAMILY HOMES for sale! 

 Did you know that currently there are only 5.66 Months Supply of Inventory? Now you do! So what does that mean? That means the market is hot, and properties are moving fast!⚡️ But that's not all, over the last 12 months, Months Supply of Inventory has increased by an impressive +77.43%!

 If you're selling, you'll be delighted to hear that the List to Sold Price percentage is a fantastic 95.2%! This means you can expect to get great value for your property when working with me as your REALTOR®.

 

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


Does your current home no longer serve your needs?

If so, you may be torn between  renovating your existing home, or relocating to a new one. This can be adifficult choice, and there’s a lot to consider—including potential costs, long-term financial implications, and quality of life.

A major remodel can be a major commitment. From hiring contractors to selecting materials to managing a budget, it can take a tremendous amount of time and energy—not to mention the ordeal of living through construction or relocating to a temporary residence.

On the other hand, moving is notoriously taxing. In fact, in one survey, 40% of respondents viewed buying a new home as ”the most…

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

When you are looking at Real Estate, you likely think to yourself: location, location, location. And not many places are more beautiful than the Florida Keys. But ever since the Federal Reserve began its series of inflation-fighting interest rate hikes last year, a new mantra has emerged for a lot of us: mortgage rates, mortgage rates, mortgage rates. 

Higher rates had the immediate impact of dampening homebuyer affordability and demand. But this year, we’re seeing further repercussions. While analysts expected listing inventory to swell as sales declined, instead, homeowners have been pushing off plans to sell because they feel beholden to their existing, lower mortgage…

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