Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Nov. 2, 2023

Unlocking the Power of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs): A Game Changer for Homebuyers and Homeowners

Are you on the hunt for a home that fits your budget, or perhaps you're already a homeowner with evolving needs? Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) could be the answer to your housing dreams. In this blog post, we'll explore what ADUs are and how they can make a significant difference in your life as a homebuyer or homeowner.

What Exactly Are ADUs? ADUs, also known as Accessory Dwelling Units, are small residences that share a single-family lot with a primary dwelling. These standalone living spaces typically feature a kitchen or kitchenette, a bathroom, and a sleeping area. ADUs can take various forms – they may be located within, attached to, or detached from the primary residence. They can be created out of existing structures, like a garage, or built from the ground up.

The regulations surrounding ADUs can vary depending on your location, so it's essential to consult with a local real estate professional to understand the specifics in your area.

The Advantages of ADUs ADUs come with a host of benefits for both potential homebuyers and homeowners. Here are some of the standout advantages:

1. Living Close but Separate: ADUs offer the perfect solution for those who want to live in close proximity to their loved ones while maintaining separate living spaces. Whether it's for keeping an eye on childcare or simply enjoying each other's company while having privacy when needed, ADUs are a great option. You can explore buying a home with an ADU or adding one to your existing property, enabling independent living for family members.

2. Aging in Place: For older individuals who want to be near their loved ones, ADUs provide a unique opportunity. This setup allows seniors to enjoy independence while having the support of family members when required. If you have aging parents and wish to have them close by, consider a home with an ADU or building one on your property.

3. Affordable to Build: Due to their smaller size, ADUs are generally more cost-effective to construct than larger, standalone homes. Building an ADU can also boost your property's overall value.

4. Generating Additional Income: If you own a property with an ADU or decide to build one, it can become a source of rental income that can contribute to your mortgage payments. While traditionally ADUs were tied to the primary residence, some states are changing this rule, allowing more flexibility in usage. To explore your options, it's advisable to work with a professional who can provide guidance.

As Scott Wild, SVP of Consulting at John Burns Research, highlights: "It’s gone from a small niche in the market to really a much more impactful part of new housing."

In Conclusion ADUs present exciting opportunities for both homebuyers and homeowners. If you're intrigued by the potential of ADUs, it's a wise move to connect with a local real estate professional who can guide you through local codes, regulations, and available ADU options in your specific market. Don't miss out on the incredible benefits that Accessory Dwelling Units can bring to your housing journey.

Posted in General Articles
Oct. 23, 2023

Understanding Home Price Trends: What You Need to Know

If you've ever dreamed of buying your own place or selling your current house to upgrade, you're likely familiar with the rollercoaster of emotions that changing home prices can stir up. It's a journey filled with financial goals, doubts, and a dash of anxiety that many have experienced. But if you've put off your plans to move due to concerns about home prices dropping, it's time to put those worries to rest. The truth is, home prices are not on a downward spiral; in fact, they're heading in the opposite direction.

Home Prices Are On the Rise

National data from several credible sources clearly indicates that home prices have been consistently increasing throughout this year. Take a look at the graph below for a visual representation:

The graph illustrates the situation. In the first half of 2022, home prices experienced a significant surge, as shown by the green bars on the left side of the graph. These increases were striking and unsustainable.

Subsequently, during the latter half of the year, prices underwent a correction and started to dip slightly (highlighted in red). However, these minor declines were shallow and short-lived. Unfortunately, the media heavily focused on these drops in their headlines, which led to widespread fear and uncertainty among consumers.

The Uncovered Truth

What hasn't received enough attention is the fact that in 2023, home prices are once again on the upswing, but this time at a more normal and sustainable pace (as indicated by the green bars on the right side of the graph). Following the period of excessive price gains and the necessary corrections in 2022, the return to a more typical rate of price appreciation this year is excellent news for the housing market.

Orphe Divounguy, Senior Economist at Zillow, explains the trajectory of changing home prices over the past 12 months:

"The U.S. housing market has surged over the past year after a temporary hiccup from July 2022-January 2023... That downturn has proven to be short-lived as housing has rebounded impressively so far in 2023."

What's Ahead for Home Prices?

It's essential to note that home price appreciation typically begins to ease up at this time of year. As that happens, there's a potential risk that the media may misinterpret slower price growth (a deceleration of appreciation) as falling home prices (depreciation). It's vital not to be misled – slower price growth is still growth.

Why Are Home Prices Increasing?

One significant reason for the resurgence in home prices is the persistent shortage of available homes for sale relative to the demand from prospective buyers. Higher mortgage rates, while moderating buyer demand, also discourage homeowners from selling and losing their current low mortgage rates to secure a higher rate for their next home.

As a result, both buyers and sellers have been affected by higher mortgage rates, influencing the supply and demand balance in the housing market. Freddie Mac elaborates on this:

"While rising interest rates have reduced affordability—and therefore demand—they have also reduced supply through the mortgage rate lock-in effect. Overall, it appears the reduction in supply has outweighed the decrease in demand, thus house prices have started to increase..."

How This Impacts You

For Buyers: If you've been delaying your home purchase due to concerns about a potential drop in home values, the knowledge that home prices are on the rise should offer you peace of mind. Buying a home can provide you with an opportunity to own an asset that typically appreciates over time.

For Sellers: If you've been hesitant to put your house on the market because of worries about fluctuating home prices, now may be an excellent time to collaborate with a real estate agent and list your property. Recent data supports the notion that home prices have turned in your favor.

Bottom Line

If the fear of declining home prices has been holding you back, you can take solace in the data, which indicates that home prices are increasing across the country. To get a clear picture of how home prices are evolving in your local area, consider working with a trusted local real estate agent. Don't let misleading headlines influence your decisions; make informed choices based on the real state of the market.

Posted in General Articles
Oct. 13, 2023

Home Prices Are Not Falling

In the latter part of last year, the housing market was rife with projections of an impending crash in home prices for 2023. Media outlets widely circulated these forecasts, painting a picture of doom and gloom in the housing market. If this left you questioning your plans to buy or sell, here's the truth you need to know.

Home Prices Never Crashed

First and foremost, let's dispel the myths. Despite the ominous headlines, the actual data reveals that home prices displayed remarkable resilience and performed far better than the media portrayed. Take a look at the graph below for a clearer picture:

This graph draws on data from three reputable sources, clearly illustrating that prices have already rebounded after experiencing only minor declines on a national scale. This is a far cry from the catastrophic crash that many articles were predicting.

The declines that did occur, marked in red on the graph, were neither severe nor prolonged. As noted by Nicole Friedman, a reporter at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ):

"Home prices aren't falling anymore... The surprisingly quick recovery suggests that the residential real-estate downturn is turning out to be shorter and shallower than many housing economists expected..."

Despite sensational media coverage about home prices taking a hit, the slight correction that did happen is now a thing of the past. In simple terms, the data proves that home prices aren't falling anymore – in fact, they're on the rise.

What's on the Horizon for Home Prices?

The consensus among experts is that home price growth will continue in the coming years, returning to more typical levels for the market. This implies that we'll still see home prices appreciate, albeit at a slower pace than in recent years – and that's a positive development.

Certain news sources may interpret slowing home price growth as another downturn and publish stories that suggest prices are falling again. Unfortunately, the return of such misleading headlines is impacting the sentiments of homebuyers. This can be observed in the Consumer Confidence Survey from Fannie Mae, as shown in the graph below:

While the percentage of Americans anticipating price drops has been gradually declining this year, recent Consumer Confidence data shows a slight uptick in this perception, as indicated in red on the graph. This is somewhat surprising, given that the actual home price data points to an upward trend. It underscores the influence that media coverage still exerts on public opinion.

Don't Fall for the Headlines

The bottom line is that, despite what the media might suggest, the data shows that home prices aren't falling anymore. So, don't let sensational headlines intimidate you or put your plans on hold. Rely on a trusted real estate professional who can cut through the noise and provide you with accurate information about what's truly happening in your local housing market.

Remember, in the world of real estate, data speaks louder than headlines

Posted in General Articles
Oct. 4, 2023

Is Real Estate Investment Right for You? 3 Signs You Should Consider Income Properties

        Income Properties Are Trending, But Is Landlord Life for You?


If the thought of investing your money into brick and mortar—or perhaps some stylishly-painted siding—excites you, join the club. 


Investing in real estate has long been one of Americans' favorite ways to grow their wealth. In fact, over 70% of single-family rental properties are currently owned by individual investors rather than corporations, according to Census data.1


Moreover, a decade's worth of Bankrate surveys has found that Americans often prefer real estate for long-term wealth building over other investments. According to Bankrate's latest survey, for example, Americans have historically embraced real estate, in part, because of the strong return on investment it can offer—especially to investors willing to stick with a property over time.2 It’s also a popular way to hedge against inflation since both rental income and property values tend to rise in tandem with overall prices.3


Now, as higher interest rates continue to push priced-out homebuyers to the sidelines, a new crop of “mom and pop” investors are eyeing the mushrooming rental market as a potential goldmine.4 Interest in buying a home to both live in and rent is also on the rise, especially amongst cash-strapped buyers looking to supplement their mortgage payments.5


But how do you know if you’re well-suited to take advantage of these real estate investment opportunities? Here are three signs that owning a rental property could be right for you.





If you're looking for a creative way to buy a home without overspending, “house hacking” could be the answer. Increasingly popular with first-time homebuyers and budget-conscious investors, house hacking simply means buying a home that you intend to live in while renting out a portion of it to one or more tenants.5


House hacking also tends to be easier to break into than traditional real estate investing since you don't need as high a credit score or as large a down payment to qualify for a mortgage. In fact, some government-backed mortgage programs will let you buy a primary residence with little to no money down.6 Buying a home you don't plan to live in, by contrast, may require you to put down as much as 15% to 25% to qualify for a loan.7  


If you house hack, the money you collect for rent each month can help cover your mortgage and other homeownership expenses. Depending on your setup, you may also be able to save on utility bills by splitting them with your tenant or tacking a portion onto their monthly rent. Another major advantage of house hacking is that it entitles you to certain tax benefits and deductions available only to landlords.8


When it's time to start your search, we can help you find a property that's ideal for house hacking, such as a house with a walkout basement, a multifamily unit, or a home with enough outdoor space to build an accessory dwelling unit or garage apartment.





If you’re not crazy about the idea of a live-in tenant but still desire an additional stream of income, a dedicated long-term rental property could be a better option for you. Besides the monthly proceeds, purchasing a rental home can also add diversity and long-term stability to your investment portfolio and help you build wealth over time.9


According to data from the Federal Reserve, real estate owners have historically prospered. In early 2020, for example, the median home was worth almost triple what it was 30 years prior. Then, during the pandemic-era real estate boom, average home prices grew at an especially frenzied clip, climbing by nearly 50%, on average, in just two and a half years.10


However, the rate of appreciation can be hard to predict, so it’s prudent to invest in a property that also offers positive cash flow, which means the rent you take in exceeds your expenses. This strategy helps to ensure that you’ll put money in your pocket each month, even if the property’s value takes time to grow.


While today’s higher mortgage rates can make it more challenging for landlords to turn a profit, investment opportunities aren’t reserved for cash buyers. In fact, currently, almost 60% of real estate investors take out a loan to finance their purchase, according to Thomas Malone, an economist at the real estate data firm CoreLogic.4  He also notes that more small investors are stepping in to meet demand for rental housing, which has grown since many would-be buyers remain priced out of the purchase market.4


If you want to explore opportunities for a residential rental property that's good for your wallet and attractive to renters, we can help. Reach out with questions or to schedule a free consultation. 





Another increasingly popular way to draw income from an investment property is to convert it to a short-term vacation rental. But beware: This strategy can be riskier as some municipalities have tightened rental restrictions and others are suffering from market oversaturation.11,12


With that said, if you're an experienced investor who can afford to take on some uncertainty, then investing in a short-term rental could make sense for you. 


If you find the right property, for example, you could earn significantly more renting it short-term on a platform like Airbnb than if you rented the home to a long-term tenant.11


The key is to keep it occupied as much as possible at a premium nightly rate. To do that, you’ll need some marketing savvy, hospitality skills, and business acumen. Of course, you can always hire a professional property manager, but you’ll need to factor the cost into your budget.


The vacation rental market enjoyed a boom during the pandemic, and some inexperienced investors are finding they bit off more than they can chew. As a result, there's an opportunity to snap up some of these properties, but you'll need some cash on hand and a willingness to learn the business.12


We can help you scout opportunities in our local market or, if you’re interested in investing in another area, we can refer you to an agent there for assistance.





Investing in real estate can be a great way to build your wealth long-term and earn some extra income. But to make the most of your investment, it pays to be strategic. 


Call us for a consultation so we can discuss your goals and budget. We'll help you discover neighborhoods with the best income potential, point out the homes most suited to renting, and help you brainstorm the best investment strategy for you.  




Before you take the plunge, make sure you can answer “YES” 
to these three questions:



  1. Are you ready to be a landlord?


Owning a rental property can take a lot of time and energy. You're not just buying passive income, you're also building sweat equity since the time you spend maintaining, marketing, and managing your rental can add up quickly. So be prepared to do some soul-searching to ensure you’ll not only flourish as a landlord, but actually enjoy it. 


If you want to invest in real estate but aren’t prepared to put in the day-to-day effort required, we can refer you to a property management service for help. 


  1. Can you afford to invest in real estate?


The last thing you want is to get over-extended with your new real estate venture. Besides the cost of purchasing the property, you’ll need to consider additional expenses, like property taxes, insurance, administrative costs, and maintenance and repairs. You will also need a cash reserve for unexpected issues or potential vacancies.


We can help you run the numbers to determine whether you can charge enough rent to offset your expenditures.


  1. Have you found the right income property?

Even if you’ve got your finances in order and are emotionally ready to invest, your success as a landlord will also depend on the property you buy. The criteria for a good rental home and a good family home are often different, so it’s important to lean on professionals for advice. 


We can help you find an ideal rental property, taking into account your budget, risk appetite, and investment goals. If you decide to invest in a different area, we'll connect you with an agent who's more plugged into that community. Reach out today to schedule a free 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.     PR Newswire -

2.     Bankrate -

3.     Forbes -

4.     MarketWatch -

5. -

6.     NerdWallet -

7.     LendingTree -

8.     Quicken Loans -

9.     Investors Business Daily -

10.   St. Louis Fed FRED Economic Data -

11.   Story by J.P. Morgan -

12.   Skift -

Posted in General Articles
Sept. 14, 2023

Why Real Estate Investing Makes (Dollars and) Sense



Turn on the television or scroll through Facebook, and chances are you’ll see at least one advertisement for a group or “guru” who promises to teach you how to “get rich quick” through real estate investing. The truth is, much of what they’re selling are high-risk tactics that aren’t a good fit for the average investor. However, there is a way to make steady, predictable, low-risk income through real estate investing. In this blog post, we’ll examine the tried-and-true tactics that can be used to increase your income, pay off debt … even fund your retirement!





One of the basic principles of real estate investment lies in this fact: everyone needs a place to live. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent Consumer Expenditures Survey, housing is typically an American’s largest expense.1


But there are other reasons why real estate is a great investment choice, and we’ve outlined the top five below:


1. Appreciation

Appreciation is the increase in your property’s value over time. History has proven that over an extended period of time, the value of real estate continues to rise. That doesn’t mean recessions won’t occur. The real estate market is cyclical, and market ups and downs are natural. In fact, the U.S. housing market took a sharp downturn in 2008, and many properties took several years to recover their value. However, in the vast majority of markets, the value of real estate does grow over the long term.


The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which tracks U.S. residential real estate prices, released its latest results on August 29 with the headline “National Home Price Index Rises Again to All Time High.”2


Source: ZeroHedge3


While no investment is without risk, real estate has proven again and again to be a solid choice to invest your money over the long term.


2. Hedge Against Inflation

Inflation is the rate at which the general cost of goods and services rises. As inflation rises, prices go up. This means the money you have in your bank account is essentially worth less because your purchasing power has decreased. 


Luckily, real estate prices also rise when inflation increases. That means any money you have invested in real estate will rise with (or often exceed) the rate of inflation. Therefore, real estate is a smart place to put your money to guard against inflation.


3. Cash Flow

One of the big benefits of investing in real estate over the stock market is its ability to provide a fairly steady and predictable monthly cash flow. That is, if you choose to rent out your investment property to a tenant, you can expect to receive a rent payment each month. 


If you’ve invested wisely, the rent payment should cover the debt obligation you may have on the property (i.e. mortgage), as well as any repairs and maintenance that are needed. Ideally, the monthly rental income would be great enough to leave you a little extra cash each month, as well. You could use that extra money to pay off the mortgage faster, cover your own household expenses, or save for another investment property.


Even if you only take in enough rent to cover your expenses, a rental property purchase will pay for itself over time. As you pay down the mortgage every month with your rental income, your equity will continue to increase, until you own the property free and clear … leaving you with residual cash flow for years to come.


As the owner, you will also benefit from the property’s appreciation when it comes time to sell. This can be a great way to save for retirement or even fund a child’s college education. Purchase a property when the child is young, and with a little discipline, it can be paid off by the time they are ready to go to college. You can sell it for a lump sum, or use the monthly income to pay their tuition and expenses.


4. Leverage

One of the unique features that sets real estate apart from other asset classes is the ability to leverage your investment. Leverage is the use of borrowed capital to increase the potential return of an investment. 


For example, if you purchase an investment property for $100,000, you might put 10% down ($10,000) and borrow the remaining $90,000 in the form of a mortgage.


Even though you’ve only invested $10,000 at this point, you have the ability to earn a profit on the entire $100,000 investment. So, if the property appreciates to $120,000 – a 20% increase over the purchase price – you still only have to pay the bank back the original $90,000 (plus interest) … and you get to keep the $20,000 profit. 


That means you made $20,000 off of a $10,000 investment, essentially doubling your money, even though the market only went up by 20%! That’s the power of leverage. 


5. Tax Advantages

One of the top reasons to invest in real estate is the tax benefit. There are numerous ways a real estate investment can save you money each year on taxes:



When you record your income from a rental property on your annual tax return, you get to deduct any expenses associated with the investment. This includes interest paid on the mortgage, maintenance, repairs and improvements, but it also includes something called depreciation. 


Depreciation is the theoretical loss your property suffers each year due to aging. While it’s true that as a home ages it will structurally need repairs and systems will eventually need to be replaced, we’ve also learned in this post that the value of real estate appreciates over time. So getting to claim a “loss” on your investment that is actually gaining in value makes real estate an appealing investment choice.


Serial Home Selling

Even if you’re not interested in owning a rental property, other types of real estate investments offer tax advantages, as well. Generally, when you own an investment property you pay a capital gains tax on any profits you make when you sell the property. 


However, when you sell your principal residence, you are exempt from paying taxes on capital gains (up to $250,000 for singles and $500,000 for couples). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) only requires that you live in the house for two of the previous five years. That means you can purchase an investment property, live in it while you remodel it, and then sell it for a tax-free profit two years later. This can be a great way to get started in real estate investing.


Section 1031 Exchanges

In addition to profiting off of your personal residence tax free, it is possible to sell an investment property tax free if you do it through a 1031 Exchange. If structured properly, the IRS Tax Code enables an investor to sell a property and reinvest the proceeds in a new property while deferring all capital gains taxes.


Tax-Deferred Retirement Account

It’s a common misconception that you can only purchase financial instruments (i.e. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.) through an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401(k). In actuality, the IRS allows individuals to invest retirement funds in real estate and other alternative types of investments, as well. By purchasing your investment property through an IRA, you can take advantage of all of the tax savings these accounts offer.


Be sure to consult a tax professional regarding all tax matters related to your real estate investments. If structured correctly, the profits you earn on your real estate investments can be largely shielded from tax liability. Just another reason to choose real estate as your preferred investment vehicle.





While there are numerous ways to invest in real estate, we’re going to focus on three primary ways average investors earn money through real estate. We touched on several of these already in the previous section.


1. Remodel and Resell

HGTV has countless “reality” shows featuring property flippers who make this investment strategy look easy. Commonly referred to as a “Fix and Flip,” investors purchase a property with the intention of remodeling it in a short period of time, with the hope of selling it quickly for a profit.


This is a higher-risk tactic, and one for which many of the real estate “gurus” we talked about earlier claim to have the magic formula. They promise huge profits in a short amount of time. But investors need to understand the risks involved, and be prepared financially to cover additional expenses that may arise. 


Luckily, an experienced real estate agent can help you identify properties that may be good candidates for this type of investment strategy… and help you avoid some of the pitfalls that could derail your plans.


2. Traditional Rental

One of the more conservative choices for investing in real estate is to purchase a rental property. The appeal of a rental property is that you can generate cash flow to cover the expenses, while taking advantage of the property’s long-term appreciation in value, and the tax benefits of investing in real estate. It’s a win-win, and a great way for first-time investors to get started. 


And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, rents for primary residences have increased 21.9 percent between 2007 and 2015 as demand for rental units continues to grow.1


3. Short-term Rental

With the huge movement toward a “sharing economy,” platforms that facilitate short-term rentals, like Airbnb and HomeAway, are booming. Their popularity has spurred a growing trend toward dual-purpose vacation homes, which owners use themselves part of the year, and rent out the remainder of the time. There are also a growing number of investors purchasing single-family homes for the sole purpose of leasing them on these sites.


Short-term rentals offer several benefits over traditional rentals, which many investors find attractive, including flexibility and higher profit margins. However, the most profitable properties are strategically located near popular tourist destinations. You’ll need an experienced real estate professional to help you identify the right property if you want to be successful in this highly-competitive market.





We’ve all heard stories, or maybe even know someone, who struck it rich with a well-timed real estate purchase. However, just like any investment strategy, a high potential for earnings often goes hand-in-hand with an increase in risk. Still, there’s substantial evidence that a well-executed real estate investment can be one of the best choices for your money.


Purchasing a home to remodel and resell can be highly profitable, as long as you have a trusted team in place to complete the remodel quickly and within budget … and the financial means to carry the property for a few extra months if delays occur.


Or, if you buy a house for appreciation and cash flow, you can ride through the market ups and downs without stress because you know your property value is bound to increase over time, and your expenses are covered by your rental income.


In either scenario, make sure you’re working with a real estate agent who has knowledge of the investment market and can guide you through the process. While no investment is without risk, a conservative and well-planned investment in real estate can supplement your income and set you up for future financial security.


If you are considering an investment in real estate, please contact us to set up a free consultation. We have experience working with all types of investors and can help you determine the best strategy to meet your investment goals.



1.     Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey Annual Report  –

2.     S&P Dow Jones Indices Press Release –

3.     Durden, T. (2016 November 29). US Home Prices Rise Above July 2006 Levels, Hit New Record High [blog post] ZeroHedge  –

Posted in General Articles
Sept. 9, 2023

Debunking the 2023 Housing Market Hype: Why Home Prices Are Holding Strong

Have you been losing sleep over the headlines that predicted a massive drop in home prices in 2023? You're not alone! But guess what? Those headlines missed the mark, and we're here to set the record straight. The housing market is still going strong, and we'll show you why.

Expert Home Price Forecasts: Then and Now

Let's start by looking at what the experts were saying last year compared to their recent forecasts. Initially, the predictions were gloomy, with many expecting home prices to plummet. However, if you check the latest projections, you'll notice a significant shift. All the experts have revised their forecasts, indicating either stability or positive growth. Talk about a turnaround!

Why Are Home Prices So Resilient?

So, why didn't we witness the housing market crash that some feared? Well, according to Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, one key factor is long-term, fixed-rate debt. It acts as a shield against payment shocks, inflation surges, and helps keep U.S. home prices relatively stable.

A Look Forward to Get Ahead of the Next Headlines

Prepare yourself for more misleading media coverage in the coming months. As the housing market naturally slows toward the year's end, home price growth will also decelerate. But here's the crucial point: this slowdown isn't the same as a price drop. Think of it as a market cool-off period after a hot summer. Prices may not rise as rapidly, but they aren't falling.

Bottom Line: Don't Believe the Hype

Headlines have an impact, even when they don't align with reality. Despite the media's gloomy predictions about falling home prices in 2023, that scenario didn't play out. To navigate the housing market's twists and turns, it's wise to connect with a real estate agent—a trusted resource armed with reliable data. Don't let sensationalism steer your decisions; stay informed with the facts.

Posted in General Articles
Sept. 1, 2023

Top 7 Tips To Attract the Best Offers for Your Home

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 right price, and a good real estate agent. But owners who go the extra mile are more likely to sell faster and for a higher amount.

If you have plans to sell your home and want to net the most money possible, this list is for you. Here are our top seven strategies to attract the best offers and maximize your real estate returns.



Many homebuyers hire a professional to complete a home inspection before they close. But did you know that a seller can order their own inspection, known as a pre-listing inspection, before they put their home on the market? 

Having a pre-listing inspection on hand and ready to share shows interested buyers that you’re committed to a transparent transaction. This can help you market your home, strengthen your negotiating position, and minimize roadblocks to closing.3 

Of course, it’s always possible that a pre-listing inspection—which looks at the home’s major systems and structures, among other things—could turn up a significant problem. This does carry some risk, as you’ll be required to either fix or disclose any issues to potential buyers. However, in most cases, it’s better to know about and address deficiencies upfront than to find out mid-transaction, when it could cost you more in the form of concessions, a delayed closing, or a canceled sale.

We can help you decide if a pre-listing inspection is right for you. And if it identifies any concerns, we can advise on which items need attention before you list your home.



Embarking on major renovations before putting your home on the market doesn’t always make financial (or logistical) sense. However, certain upgrades are more likely to pay off and can help elevate your home in the eyes of buyers.

For example, refinishing hardwood floors results in an average 147% return on investment at resale and new garage doors typically pay for themselves.4  Similarly, research shows that professional landscaping can boost a home’s value by as much as 20%.5

Often, even simpler and less expensive fixes can make a big difference in how your home comes across to buyers. A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color, modern light fixtures and hardware, and new caulk around the tub or shower can help your property look its best.5  

But before you make any changes to your home, reach out. We know what buyers in your neighborhood are looking for and can help you decide if a particular investment is worthwhile.



To get standout offers, you need potential buyers to fall in love with your home—and they’re much more likely to do so if they can envision themselves in the space. 

That’s where home staging comes in. Staging can include everything from decluttering and packing away personal items to bringing in neutral furniture and accessories for showings and open houses. 

According to the National Association of Realtors, home staging can both increase the dollar value of home offers and help a property sell faster. In fact, 53% of seller’s agents agree that staging decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market, and 44% of buyer’s agents see higher offers for staged homes.6 

There’s plenty of strategy and research behind the process, so it’s smart to consider a professional. Reach out for a connection to one of our recommended home stagers who can help your property show its full potential.



While it’s tempting to list your property at the highest possible price, that approach can backfire. Homes that are overpriced tend to sit on the market, which can drive away potential buyers—and drive down offers.7  

Alternatively, if you price your home competitively, which is either at or slightly below market value, it can be among the nicest that buyers see within their budgets. This can ultimately lead to a higher sales price and fewer concessions.

To help you list at the right price, we will do a comparative market analysis, or CMA. This integral piece of research will help us determine an ideal listing price based on the amount that comparable properties have recently sold for in your neighborhood.

Without this data, you risk pricing your home too high (and getting no offers) or too low (and leaving money on the table). Combined with our local market insights, we’ll help you find that sweet spot that will attract the best offers while maximizing your profit margin.



Sometimes, sweetening the deal with buyer incentives can help you get the best possible offer. Incentives are especially helpful in the current market, when many buyers are struggling with affordability and concerned about their monthly payments. 

Options that can pay off include:

  • Buying down their interest rate – You can pay an upfront sum to reduce the buyer’s mortgage rate. This approach can save far more than that cost over the life of the loan, meaning it’s worth more to the buyer than a simple price reduction.8
  • Offering closing cost credits – You might pay a set amount or a certain percentage of the buyer’s closing costs.
  • Paying HOA costs – You could cover homeowner association or condominium fees for a set period of time.
  • Including furniture or appliances in the sale – If your buyer is interested, throwing in the furniture or appliances that they want and need can make your property more appealing. 

Buyer incentives vary and valuing them can get complicated. We’re happy to talk through the options that might make sense for you. 



Gone are the days when it was enough to put a “for sale” sign in your yard and place a listing on the MLS. A strategic marketing plan is now essential to get your home in front of as many interested and qualified buyers as possible. 

The truth is, buyers who don’t know about your house can’t make an offer. That’s why we utilize a multi-step approach to marketing that starts with identifying your target audience, effectively positioning your home in the market, and communicating its unique value. We then use a variety of distribution channels to connect with potential buyers and performance-based metrics to monitor and improve our campaign results.

Our proven approach can have a big impact on the success of your sale. Reach out to learn more about our multi-step marketing plan and discuss how we can use it to generate interest and offers for your home.



To get the best offers possible, you need a real estate agent who knows your area inside and out. 

Any agent can pull comparable sales data, but in a quickly-evolving market, even the latest comps can lag the current market reality. We have our fingers on the pulse of the local market because we’re working directly with sellers like you. We also represent local buyers who are active in the market, searching for homes like yours.

That puts us in an ideal position to help you price your home for a quick sale and maximum profit. And since we hear first-hand what local buyers want, we can help you prep your home to broaden its appeal and highlight its most-coveted features. Additionally, we can use our extensive network of local agents to solicit feedback and get your home in front of more potential buyers. 

All of these factors can add up to a significant difference in your profit: In 2021, the typical home sold by owner went for $225,000 compared to a median price of $330,000 for agent-assisted home sales.9



Are you ready to get a great offer for your home? Our multifaceted approach can help you maximize your real estate returns. Reach out for a free home value assessment and customized sales plan to get started!


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. U.S. Bank -
  2. National Association of Realtors -
  3. Bankrate -
  4. National Association of Realtors -
  5. Bankrate -
  6. National Association of Realtors - 
  7. The Balance -
  8. U.S. News & World Report -
  9. National Association of Realtors -
Posted in General Articles
Aug. 30, 2023

Home Buying 101: Dodging Regrets and Saving Those Benjamins!

Attention, aspiring homeowners! We know that buying a home is like juggling financial fireworks, and nobody wants to end up with their fingers singed by overspending. But fear not, we've got the top-secret playbook to help you steer clear of the dreaded overspending trap. Buckle up, folks, because we're about to unveil the three mighty tips that'll keep your wallet plump and your regrets at bay!

Tip #1: The Mortgage Power Move 💸 You know what they say, fortune favors the prepared. And in the world of home buying, that means getting preapproved for a mortgage before you even dip your toes into the house-hunting pool. Why, you ask? Well, it's simple – this little preapproval gem lets you know the treasure chest of funds you have to play with. Armed with this knowledge, you can scout for homes that are comfortably within your reach, waving goodbye to the temptation of overspending.

Tip #2: The Rate-Saving Quest 💸 Picture this: you're a savvy treasure hunter, searching for the best lender rate like a modern-day Indiana Jones. Why? Because nabbing a few rate quotes from different lenders is like striking gold! Those small percentage points can stack up to thousands of saved dollars over the long run. So, put on your explorer's hat and embark on a rate-shopping quest – your wallet will thank you.

Tip #3: The Budget Battle Plan 💸 Sure, you've got your mortgage payment lined up, taxes and insurance penciled in, but have you given thought to the silent assassins of your budget – maintenance and repair costs? Remember, owning a home isn't all sunshine and rainbows; there's the occasional leaky roof or grumpy water heater to contend with. So, when crafting your budget, make like a superhero and account for these unforeseen expenses. You'll not only dodge financial bullets but also maintain your peace of mind.

The Grand Finale: A Regret-Free Home Journey! Before you dive headfirst into the whirlwind of home buying, arm yourself with these three turbocharged tips. Overspending is a beast that we're here to slay. Whether you're a seasoned buyer or a first-timer, these tactics will keep your finances in check and your regrets at bay. Dive into our latest blog post to unearth even more wisdom and start your home journey on the right foot!

Posted in General Articles
Aug. 28, 2023

Unlock Home Buying Success: Why DIY Isn't the Way to Play!

Hey there, future homeowners! We get it, the thrill of the hunt, the excitement of finding "the one." But hold your horses before you dive into the wild world of home buying solo! If you're thinking about flying solo without an agent by your side, here's a friendly reminder: it's like swimming with sharks wearing a blindfold. Yep, it's a bad idea. Buckle up, folks, because we're about to break down why you need a real estate professional on your team.

Avoid the Real Estate Jungle – Choose Agent Representation! Listen up, intrepid home seekers! Before you venture into the real estate jungle, take a moment to think about agent representation. It's like having a GPS guide through a labyrinth – except this GPS doesn't lead you to dead ends. With an expert by your side, you'll navigate the twists and turns with confidence. Plus, you won't end up in any shark-infested waters. Win-win, right?

Here's the Lowdown: Why Go Pro? Let's put it simply: going pro pays off. Real estate is a battlefield filled with jargon, negotiations, and paperwork that could give a Ph.D. holder a headache. A professional agent not only speaks the language but also knows the ins and outs. Think of them as your personal bodyguard in the real estate arena – they'll shield you from potential pitfalls and guide you toward a victorious home purchase.

Free Consultation? Yes, Please! Picture this: a one-on-one consultation with real estate wizards who've got your back. Your home buying journey deserves the VIP treatment, and a free consultation with seasoned experts is just the ticket. No obligations, no strings attached – just pure guidance and wisdom. Why settle for mediocrity when you can have excellence?

Ready to Connect? Want to take the plunge and make your home buying dreams come true? Look no further! Connect with the amazing duo that is Jonathon & Stephanie Mansmann of The Tesla Agents at JPAR Gulf Coast. These real estate superstars are more than just names; they're your allies, your experts, and your go-to guides in this exciting adventure.

The Finale: Your Ticket to Home Buying Triumph So, folks, there you have it – the ultimate truth about home buying. DIY is for crafting projects, not real estate endeavors. Team up with professionals like Jonathon & Stephanie Mansmann, and you'll be on the fast track to owning your dream abode. Don't let the sharks of uncertainty and paperwork bite – get a real estate lifeguard instead! Reach out today and let the journey begin.

Posted in General Articles
Aug. 24, 2023

7 Common Homebuyer Regrets (And How To Avoid Them)

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 have a few regrets.2 

Some question their decision to move to a neighborhood they still don’t love. Others wish they had been less picky about where they lived so they could have paid less. Many are afraid they overspent or think they sacrificed too much in their rush to buy a home. 

Here are some of the most common homebuyer regrets we see, along with our professional advice on how to avoid them.


REGRET #1: Spending More Than Necessary 

No one wants to overpay for their new home purchase (and, luckily, with the right guidance, doing so is avoidable). But even if you’ve secured a winning purchase price, there are still plenty of ways to accidentally overspend. 

One of the most common ways to overpay? Choose the wrong mortgage. In fact, in today’s higher-rate environment, this can be one of the riskiest mistakes a new buyer can make. 

According to a recent survey, for example, nearly three-quarters of homebuyers leave money on the table by not bothering to shop around for the best rate.3 And research by LendingTree suggests that buyers in major metro areas lose an average of $63,151 over the life of their loan just by picking the first mortgage they’re offered.4

Lesson Learned:  As long as you stick to what you can afford, buying a home can be a boon for your financial health. The longer you live in it, for example, the more your home is likely to appreciate in value and boost your long-term savings. 

But to get the most value from your purchase, it’s worth your time to compare financing options and shop around for the best deal. We also recommend getting a mortgage pre-approval before you start your home search so you know what’s within reach. We can refer you to one of our trusted lending partners for help.


REGRET #2: Rushing Into a Home Purchase

In a competitive housing market, it’s often necessary to act fast to secure a home. But don’t let a need for speed tempt you into making an offer before you’ve thought through or fully vetted a new property.   

Rushing into a home purchase isn’t just risky, it’s also one of the most commonly cited sources of homebuyer regret. According to Anytime Estimate, for example, more than 1 in 4 homebuyers felt remorse over how quickly they sped through the home buying process.2 

Getting swept away by your emotions can also lead to buyer’s remorse. If you’ve found a home you love and are competing with other buyers, it can be tempting to overlook key details or bid more than you can afford. That’s one reason it helps to have a skilled professional by your side to calmly guide you through the process and ensure you act with reason, rather than emotion.

Lesson Learned:  Buying a home is exciting. But if you don’t keep your emotions in check or act too impulsively, you could make poor choices in the moment that are hard to undo later. 

To avoid making last-minute decisions that could backfire, know what you want, what you need, and what you can afford before you start your home search. We can help you set priorities so you’ll be able to move forward with confidence when the time is right.


REGRET #3: Miscalculating the Costs of Homeownership

Though real estate is a great long-term investment, it can be pricey in the short-term, often surprising homeowners who aren’t prepared for it. According to some estimates, for example, annual maintenance could cost as much as 1% or more of your home’s purchase price.5 Some buyers also forget to factor in additional ownership expenses, such as property taxes, insurance, and repairs.

Failing to think through the costs of homeownership is one of the most common sources of homebuyer regret. According to Anytime Estimate, for example, nearly half of the homebuyers who regret their purchase said they underestimated how much they would spend to live in it.2

However, some homes cost more to live in and maintain than others. So even if you’re certain that you can afford the average cost of homeownership, that doesn’t necessarily mean that every home in your price range will fit neatly into your budget. For example, very old homes with unique maintenance requirements could be extra pricey to keep up. Similarly, homes with high HOA or condo fees could also eat into your monthly budget. 

Lesson Learned:  A home should help you build your wealth, not drain it. So it’s important to factor in all the potential costs of living in a home—not just obvious ones like your mortgage payment and taxes. To ensure you don’t get overextended, add up your estimated maintenance and repair costs, as well as any miscellaneous expenses that are unique to a particular home. 

We can help you with these estimates—and, if needed, present you with some less-costly alternatives.


REGRET #4: Underestimating the Time Required To Maintain or Renovate a Home

One of the most joyful aspects of homeownership is getting to relax in a home that’s all your own. But if a home is too high maintenance, then you may not have time to savor it. 

Many homeowners love to spend their weekends puttering in their gardens or undertaking home improvement projects. But if that’s not you, then you may not like living in a home with a big yard or with high-maintenance features, like a pool.

According to a survey by Hippo, for example, 47% of homeowners who feel some regret about their home purchase complain that too much maintenance and upkeep is required.6 

Similarly, buyers who purchase fixer-uppers are often surprised by how much time it takes to rehab their new homes. Although buying a fixer-upper is a great way to save on the purchase price, you could come to resent it if it eats up all your free time.

Lesson Learned:  Renovation and maintenance projects are often time-consuming and stressful. So beware of committing to a property that requires too much of your attention if you don’t have the time or patience for it. With that said, home improvement projects can also bring a lot of joy and satisfaction to owners who like rolling up their sleeves.

We can talk through the realities of homeownership with you and help you choose a property that will fit your personality and schedule.


REGRET #5: Ignoring or Skipping a Home Inspection

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a home. Sometimes, buyers will agree to skip a home inspection to sweeten their offer in a competitive market. They may also be tempted to pinch pennies since they’re already facing a large outlay. However, if you skip out on a home inspection, you could come to regret it.

When you hire a home inspector, you get a professional, in-depth examination of the property’s structures and systems before you buy it. It’s a worthwhile investment that can save you money in the long run, either by warning you away from a bad purchase or by providing a list of deficiencies you can use to negotiate with the sellers. 

But even the most thorough home inspection isn’t going to be worth much if you don’t take the time to carefully consider it. If at all possible, make sure you’re on-site during the inspection so you can observe and ask questions. And don’t forget to re-evaluate any repairs that the seller agrees to make to ensure they’ve been properly completed prior to closing.

Lesson Learned:  A home inspection can reduce your risk and save you money in the long run. But to maximize its effectiveness, you will need to be an active participant in the process.

We’d be happy to share a list of experienced and trustworthy home inspectors in our area. And when the inspection report is complete, we can help you decide if the purchase is worthwhile and negotiate any relevant seller concessions and repairs.


REGRET #6: Choosing a Home That Doesn’t Fit 

Homeownership is often a better investment if you’re willing to stay put for at least five years.7 But if your newly purchased home isn’t a good fit, then you may not want to stick around that long. 

Many homeowner complaints come down to simple lifestyle issues: Although a mismatch may seem small at first, the problems can magnify if you make so many compromises that they interfere with your quality of life.

Or, sometimes homebuyers can fall in love with a beautiful home and forget about practicalities. For example, a stunning kitchen can’t replace a needed bedroom or bathroom. And a sparkling pool may sit empty if the home requires a lengthy commute to your office.

Make sure you set some guardrails during your home purchase so you don’t over-compromise or accidentally prioritize your wants over your needs.

Lesson Learned:  When you’re dealing with limited inventory or a fixed budget, it may be necessary to sacrifice some items on your home wish list. But if you fail to secure your must-haves, you could come to regret your home choice.

We can help you avoid an ill-fitting home purchase by working with you to set (and stick to) priorities and parameters before you begin your search. 


REGRET #7: Purchasing Without Professional Help

Another path to homebuyer regret? Foregoing the expert guidance and market insight that you can only get from a licensed real estate agent.

Buying a home without professional representation can be extremely risky. Therefore, it’s no surprise that 86% of buyers enlist the help of an agent when purchasing a home. And the vast majority find their assistance to be invaluable: 89% say they would use their agent again or recommend them to others.8

Real estate is hyperlocal and extremely fluid—especially these days when the market is in constant flux. So it pays to have a knowledgeable expert by your side who can guide you through an often-complicated process. 

We can help you avoid expensive mistakes that could lead to buyer’s remorse, all while making your home purchase as seamless and stress-free as possible. And since the home seller typically pays our commission, there’s no added expense for you!

Lesson Learned:  When you work with a real estate agent, you benefit from a wealth of expertise and on-the-ground insight that you can’t get anywhere else. We’ll help you steer clear of the missteps that so many homebuyers make, so you can focus on enjoying your new home instead of questioning your choices down the road.

The best part? Since the majority of home sellers pay us a commission at closing, in most cases, we offer our invaluable guidance and assistance at no additional cost to you!



No one wants to look back on their home purchase and realize they made a big mistake. We can help you avoid the pitfalls so you can buy with confidence. To learn more about how we work to ensure our clients’ satisfaction, reach out today to schedule a free 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. LendingTree –
  2. Anytime Estimate –
  3. Zillow Home Loans –
  4. LendingTree –
  5. CNBC –
  6. Hippo –
  7. –
  8. National Association of Realtors –
Posted in General Articles