Whether you’re selling your home or if you’re looking for a change, these fall renovation projects will breathe some new life into your home and see a return! If you haven’t read the HomeLight Q2 Survey, you may not realize that the renovation project that’ll give you the most bang for your buck is going to be creating a dedicated home office out of any spare space you have. Yes, this project will cost somewhere around $12,000 and you’ll get an 87% return on investment, but because this is something buyers are looking for post-COVID-19, it’s very likely that your house is going to sell a lot quicker than if you didn’t have it. So, if you’re thinking about listing your home any time soon (or you just want to change things up a bit) consider these renovation projects with the best ROI, as per the 2020 Cost vs Value report issued by Remodeling magazine. 1. Remodeled kitchens In any home, the kitchen is probably one of the most used rooms in the house. People congregate there for entertaining, meal times, and even family bonding. With that said, it’s no wonder people want an updated, well-appointed kitchen! Buyers appliances that are energy efficient and stainless steel (naturally). They also want new granite countertops (concrete and marble are good choices as well), shaker-style cabinets, and sleek hardware. Remember, a fully upgraded kitchen will set you back around $23,000 for a modest renovation, but you’ll get 77% of that back when you sell. 2. New vinyl siding Vinyl siding is the standard type of siding on many houses, but over time it can fade and have weather-related damage. Your house will look run down and drab even if the yard looks amazing. Replacing the siding can cost around $17,000 for the average, 1,250 square foot home. Yet, you can expect to see a 77% return, which makes it worth it, in our opinion. 3. Installing energy-efficient windows Installing new windows is the perfect renovation for autumn because it’ll save on the energy bill. The best type of windows to get are low emissivity, simulated divided light vinyl windows painted whatever color matches the existing trim on the house. The new windows can cost about $17,000 depending on how many you’re going to replace, but you’ll get a 72% return on top of whatever you save on energy costs. 4. New garage doors You’d never think that replacing a garage door will pay for itself when the house sells, but it’s a cheap upgrade that gives a 94% return when the house sells. The average cost to install a new door and remove the old is going to be about $3,600 and it adds about $3,400 to the overall value of your home.  5. Boost curb appeal with stone veneers Along with new siding, you can go one step further in boosting your curb appeal, you can also create a beautiful entryway by installing a manufactured stone veneer. Along with boosting curb appeal which will appeal to more buyers, you’ll see a 95% return when it sells. Renovating is no cheap endeavor. You need to set a budget and stick to it, because while you may want the best of the best, it’s going to cost a pretty penny. Plus, there’s no way of knowing if the investment will pay off when you put your house on the market.  We recommend doing a little bit of research before plunging in. Find out what features buyers in your area are looking for and see how it fits into your budget. If you can’t spring for a new hardwood floor, consider laminate. If you can’t replace all of the cabinets in your kitchen, consider switching out the hardware and painting the cabinets. Even the smallest renovations can have a big impact!

These COVID-19 Real Estate trends are here to stay as Realtors, buyers, and sellers adjust to the new normal. The switch to a virtual world has created many opportunities for home buyers and sellers to experience showings and open houses from the comfort of their own home. These trends will help you stay up to date with the current market.

  Wow, the events of 2020 so far have taken the whole world by surprise. Everyone is having to adjust to a new normal, including adding “face mask” to the list of things you need before you leave the house. Phone, Wallet, Keys, Face Mask, Gloves, Hand Sanitizer…. the list goes on, but with all these changes it can be hard to keep up! The shift to a virtual world can leave some people playing catch up as they start using new technology. We are here to help! Having hosted a live open house, we wanted to share some best practices to help you connect with your clients virtually.   Advertise/Invite People to Open House Let people know about your open house so they can share it with colleagues, friends, and family. Virtual open houses are a great way to connect with people from all over the world, so let people know about it! Facebook Live makes it easy to create an event and invite people to it. Invite people via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the event link that Facebook live provides you. Utilize Facebook and Instagram Advertisements that will help you reach your target audience.   Utilize Live Video Live stream video gets more engagement, traffic, and views than competing content. People would rather watch a video they can engage with than read long content. Make sure to upload this live video to Facebook and YouTube. Live video is where the future of marketing is headed so stay ahead of the trends.     Utilize Content on all Channels Live videos can be downloaded and edited after filming and uploading. You can edit short clips to be posted on Instagram and Facebook stories to give your followers a taste of the whole video. After using the live video feature for your open house, film a shorter high-quality walkthrough video to give people a quick tour of the home. Upload the walkthrough video to YouTube, Instagram TV, Facebook, and Twitter.   Practice Makes Perfect Make a practice video first to make sure you know how to use the live video streaming service you choose for the best results. Before filming, research the best social channel to reach your target audience. If you are not a technological guru there are tons of free resources and videos to help you with your first live video. Sometimes having a partner to hold the camera and give insight as a viewer is helpful.   Give a lot of Detail Make sure to provide a lot of detail about features in the home and the surrounding area. Ask your viewers what questions they have during the video and answer them as they appear on the feed. Try putting yourself in your clients’ shoes and answer questions you think they would have such as, “What is the school district like? How close is it to town? What’s the neighborhood like?” Since people are viewing this home through their screen, try to make them feel like they are there with you by answering questions and giving plenty of detail.

How Home Buyers and Sellers Can Prepare Themselves for a Post COVID-19 World   Rearing into 2020, buyers and sellers alike were preparing for a roaring real estate market. According to real estate experts, at the beginning of February, the housing market of 2020 was off to a strong start, perhaps even stronger than last year. Then came the Coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. Whereas back in February real estate agents were expecting a booming year, now 44% (up from 5%) of surveyed agents are expecting a slow year.   On the upside, real estate inventory remains the same. However, Americans nationwide are practicing social distancing measures and are encouraged to avoid gatherings of 10 or more. This might put a stop to certain real estate techniques like open houses and showings. So how can you set yourself up for success?   You don’t have to pause your buying or selling process   As the world adapts, so will the real estate market. Real estate agents have already adapted by conducting virtual tours, digital closing tools, and remote client meetings. However, whether or not you’ll still be able to legally move forward in the selling or buying process depends on where you. Some state and local regulations have frozen all real estate services, while individuals are taking their own precautions.   Talk to your real estate agent about whether or not it’s a smart idea to move forward. If so, there are plenty of ways to safely conduct business. Those buyers and sellers who are more technologically advanced may find it easier to navigate virtual showings, closing tools, and meetings, while those willing to take the proper precautions may still be able to buy or sell a home safely.    Good news for buyers   Whereas 2019 was mostly a seller’s market, the COVID-19 outbreak may shift the curve to a buyer’s market. For those looking to buy in 2020, this is good news. In the past few years, there simply hasn’t been enough inventory for those looking to buy – making sales extremely competitive. However, now that buyers are hesitant to start their search in the midst of a pandemic, those ready to buy in 2020 might be faced with less competition.   Make it personal   Perhaps you were raring into 2020 with good finances, significant savings for your down payment, and a steady income. It’s a smart idea to reevaluate what your finances will look like in the future due to the current economic climate. Are you in an industry that has seen mass layoffs recently? Are you expecting salary cuts due to the current COVID-19 pandemic?    Ultimately, the decision of whether to dip your toes into the real estate market now or wait until 2021 is a personal one. If you were completely prepared to put your home on the market or purchase a new home this year, but you’re unsure what your future holds… it might be a smart idea to wait it out until 2021.    Take precautions    Beyond virtual routes, there are plenty of other ways to prepare. Talk to your agent to see how you could still conduct real estate business safely. Having buyers and agents drive separately, limiting the number of people per your, requiring all participants to wear masks, disinfecting the property before and after tours, and conducting as much business as possible virtually are all good practices.    For more help, contact me your trusted real estate agent in Colorado, and happy house hunting!  

Why We Love Living in Colorado February 15, 2019 By Your Castle Real Estate There is a reason why 700+ dedicated agents spend their days eating, sleeping, and breathing everything Colorado. Actually, there are about a million reasons. Colorado is an amazing state full of… well, everything. Here are a few reasons why we are making Colorado our Valentine this year, and every year for the rest of our lives. The weather in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The Weather! Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… it doesn’t matter, all seasons are our favorite here in Colorado! Spring brings an abundance of wildlife to Colorado, which you can experience at one of our world-class state parks. Although 300+ days of sunshine is more myth than fact, it definitely doesn’t feel like it! The summer season still helps our state rack up an average of  245+ days with sun a year. This makes summer the perfect time to enjoy all of the outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer, including camping, hiking, fishing, biking, and other classic outdoor summer activities! Fall brings apple picking, pumpkin patch visits, and some of the most beautiful fall sights in the country. Winter, of course, is one of our most beloved seasons. Of course, it almost goes without mentioning that Coloradans and other people from all over the world wait all year to enjoy wiling away the winter hours at one of Colorado’s 28 ski resorts. For those who do not harbor a particular affinity for hurdling down a mountain on a long piece of plastic, fear not! There is so much more to do in Colorado during the winter – we have something for everyone! The Scenery! When you think “Colorado”, you likely think “mountains”. You are definitely not wrong. The beautiful Rocky Mountains (pictured above) are the crown jewels of Colorado. Yes, that really is what our view looks like basically all of the time. One of Colorado’s biggest claims to fame — literally — is its 58 fourteeners (peaks exceeding 14,000 feet) (Colorado). This is the most of any state in the U.S. Our state’s most famous peaks hold a beauty that is unmatched, but there is a lot more to Colorado’s good looks than just her peaks. Denver itself has a fun, colorful skyline complete with a theme park and a Ferris Wheel! Denver locals begin their mornings driving towards the city while the bright Colorado sun rises above the silhouette of the Rockies and glistens off of the newly renovated downtown high rises. Yes, that really is what our view looks like basically all of the time. The Entertainment! The local entertainment industry in huge in Colorado! We are lucky to have a multitude of professional sports teams to root for, including professional sports such as basketball, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and rugby. Coloradans love to rally around our local teams, and that becomes most obvious during fall and summer! During football season in the fall, our Broncos play at the Sports Authority field at Mile High stadium. The city is littered with people boasting the team’s signature orange, white, and blue colors. You can tell who is going to a Rockies baseball game in the summer as Coloradans of all ages sport our team’s purple, black, and white colors. Locals love watching our team play at Coors Field on warm summer days! During the 4th of July and a few other scheduled games, Coors Field hosts a post-game fireworks show for free! Aside from sports, Colorado also has a really awesome music scene. We have venues and artists for everyone! The Pepsi Center hosts large shows for big names ranging from Ariana Grande to Bob Seger to Kenny Chesney. We also have a large handful of small but popular theaters that pull in local acts and underground artists. A few favorites are Ophelia’s, The Fillmore Auditorium, and Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Our outdoor amphitheaters attract music lovers from far and wide during the summer, and for good reason! Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater  is the biggest amphitheater in the Denver metro area. Our most notorious concert spot is Red Rocks Amphitheater, one of the most rad concert areas in the world! We’re not sure if we can claim that factually, but it is definitely a widely held belief. The Beer! People moving to Colorado in 2019 and beyond moved here just in time to experience the luxury of being able to purchase Colorado’s delicious full-strength brews in grocery stores for the first time! Colorado has so many beer options, we are not even sure where to begin. This Colorado Craft Beer Map is pretty cool, though. We also have this comprehensive Colorado Brewery List, which covers the 300+ breweries Colorado has to offer. With nearly 100 new breweries set to open across the state in the new future, it’s no wonder Denver has been crowned the “Napa Valley of Beers”. The People! Last, but farthest from the least, Colorado has given us lifelong friends and family! We always receive comments from visitors about how nice everyone here seems to be. With so much sunshine, endless sites to see and activities to keep us busy, it’s hard to not be in a good mood while you are living in the Centennial State! It’s also hard not to be in a good mood while you work at Your Castle! Your Castle is always at the top of our list of reasons why we love Colorado. Our job as realtors allows us to travel around our state and experience all of the aspects of Colorado that we adore so much. We get to work with people every day who love our state as much as we do; we always have an excuse to learn, share, and love more about this incredible state we call home.        

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