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

It’s not easy being a first-time homebuyer right now. Not just in the Florida Keys, but everywhere. At the end of last year, housing affordability hit an all-time low.(1) Additionally, mortgage rates have risen significantly since 2021, while inventory remains tight for many property categories, but especially for starter homes. Even lower-priced condos are harder to snag these days, as investors and downsizers muscle out first-timers by offering stronger, often cash-heavy bids. (2)

In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, only 26% of last year’s homebuyers were first-timers—the lowest share on record and down from 34% a year prior. This underscores…

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

Keeping a clean and orderly home is a challenge for many of us. Between busy work schedules, social obligations, and family commitments, it’s tough to keep up with daily chores—let alone larger seasonal tasks.

The effort is worthwhile, however. A sanitary environment can keep you and your family healthier by minimizing your exposure to germs and allergens.1 Plus, researchers have found that organized, uncluttered homes have quantifiable mental health benefits, too, including reduced stress, improved emotional regulation, and increased productivity.2

The reality is, we enjoy our homes more when they are in good order. It’s much easier to relax without piles of unopened…

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

When it comes to listing their home, most home sellers want three things: 1) to make a lot of money, 2) to put in minimal time and effort, and 3) to sell quickly. But the reality is, selling a home is rarely that simple. And homeowners who try to do it themselves—or receive bad advice—can end up stuck (months later) with a property that hasn’t sold.

If that’s you, don’t panic! We’ve outlined the top five reasons a home doesn’t sell—and action steps you can take to overcome each of these issues.

Not sure why your property didn’t sell? If you’re not already working with an agent or your listing has expired or been withdrawn, give us a call! We’d be happy to offer a…

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 by Karen Williams-deCastro- Realtor®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD
Over the past few years, many of us have spent extra time at home—and that means we appreciate the personal design touches that make a house cozy and comfortable more than ever. Some of us have adapted our dwellings in new ways, from creating functional home offices to upgrading the appliances we use most.

But while it’s important to make your home your own, it’s also smart to think about the long-term impact your renovations could have on its value. Choosing highly-personalized fixtures and finishes can make it harder for future homebuyers to envision themselves in the space. Even if you don’t plan to sell your home soon, investing in popular design choices that are likely…

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

Last year, one factor drove the real estate market more than any other: rising mortgage rates.


In March 2022, the Federal Reserve began a series of interest rate hikes in an effort to pump the brakes on inflation.1 And while some market sectors have been slow to respond, the housing market has reacted accordingly.


Both demand and price appreciation have tapered, as the primary challenge for homebuyers has shifted from availability to affordability. And although this higher-mortgage rate environment has been a painful adjustment for many buyers and sellers, it should ultimately lead to a more stable and balanced real estate market.


So what can we expect in…

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