If you are currently renting, you are probably asking yourself every year, should I renew my lease, find another rental, or purchase a home? It helps to understand the true costs of renting vs buying to determine the best decision for you moving forward.

In the past year, both current renters and new renters coming into the market have seen rents go up substantially accordingly to information noted from In fact, three out of four renters who have moved in the past 12 months reported their rent had increased. This speaks to renters renewing their leases as well as new renters coming into the market. And if you look back at historical data, according to the US Census Bureau rents have been rising consistently since 1988.

So, if you’re considering renting as an option in 2023, it’s worth weighing whether this trend is likely to continue. To sum it up/simplify it if you will … if trends continue as they have year after year, you can pretty much bank on the fact that rents will continue to rise. 

Homeownership = EquityValue

These rising costs we are seeing today may just make you reconsider what other alternatives you may have. If you’re looking for more stability, it could be time to make homeownership your goal. One of the many benefits of owning your own home is it provides a stable monthly cost that you can lock in for the duration of your loan. As Freddie Mac says – 4 Benefits for Owning a Home

“Monthly rent payments may increase over time, but a fixed-rate mortgage will ensure that you’re paying the same amount each month. With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate is locked in for the life of loan. Steady payments allow you to budget wisely and make plans for the future.” 

aIf you’re planning to make a move this year, locking in your monthly housing costs for the duration of your loan can be a major benefit. There’s no need to wonder if you will need to adjust your budget to account for any annual rent increases from the landlord. When you are renting, you are building the landlords equity, NOT your own. As a homeowner you are building your own wealth – HUGE benefit! Let me repeat … as a renter you are building your landlords wealth … plain and simple! In fact, the latest Homeowner Equity Insight report from CoreLogic shows the average homeowner gained $34,300 in equity over the last 12 months. With that in mind, as a renter your rent payment only covers the cost for you to live in residence. Whereas when you pay the mortgage on your home, you grow wealth through forced savings that ultimately builds wealth through the equity in your home. 

If homeownership is your goal for 2023 – reach out to me, I would be happy to connect you with one of my recommended mortgage lenders to discuss the possibility, give you the information you need to help you get the process started, get pre-approved and on your way to your journey towards homeownership!


The Key To Your Real Estate Success

Helping buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals


A new year brings new opportunities! Could a move be just up on the horizon for you? If you are pondering that idea of “making a move” there are many things to consider – but one of the first things to take into consideration is your “Why?” Once that is established, everything else will fall into place as it should. We all can agree that there are many emotions that take place when thinking about buying or selling a home, never mind the emotions that come along when one actually goes through the process of buying or selling. I urge you to stay focused on your “Why” – and set your sights on the goal! 

Here are just a few key things sellers should keep in mind once the decision has been made to sell their home … 

Price Your Home Right

As we come out of 2022 and make our way into 2023, we can all very much agree that the housing market shifted as mortgage rates rose … forcing some buyers to go into “wait and see” mode. As a seller, you’ll need to come to terms that the market is not as they were back in 2020-2022 and setting that expectation for yourself and pricing your home appropriately based on where the market is today will be key in getting your home sold for the best value possible. Homes that don’t have any major objections and are priced well should sell quickly. Inventory is still at an all-time low in our area, which is a good thing for the sellers if you’re in the market. Supply & demand is and will always be one of the driving forces in home value, but still and all based upon other factors, such as inflation, mortgage rates, etc., experts say, we won’t see home values rise to levels that we had seen over the last 2 years – which was in the craze of the market … but moreover should hover in/around where they are, but I guess this too will remain to be seen. What I do know is pricing your home correctly is key to getting your home sold for the most value with the most suitable terms. If you price your house too high, you are not going to reach the right buyer, giving them the opportunity to make an offer on your home. If you price your home too low, you are taking the risk of leaving money on the table. As an experienced real estate professional, I can help determine what your ideal asking price should be. 

Keep Your Emotions in Check

Today, homeowners are living in their homes much longer than they have in years past. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average time a homeowner have owned their home has increased from 5 to 10 years. With that in mind, it’s only natural that you become more attached to your home and find “the move” even that much more difficult. It may be that it was the first home you bought or the house where your loved ones grew up, a memorable celebration took place … you get the idea! Every room has memory, and it’s hard to detach from the sentimental value. Remember, stay focused on your “why” and set your sights on the goal! 

Stage Your Home

While you may love your decor and how you’ve customized your home through the years, understand that not all buyers will feel the same way, so neutralizing your design where possible could help appeal to a larger buyer pool. Make sure you focus on your home’s first impression, which in essence is their “first showing”. As NAR says “Staging is the art of preparing a home to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers in your market. Allow the buyers to envision themselves in the space so it truly feels like it is a place that they can call home! 

In case you missed it, here is the 2022 Year in Review Market Watch. Lot’s of good market info and insights! 


The Key To Your Real Estate Success

Helping Buyers and Sellers Achieve Their Real Estate Goals 


While the financial benefit of owning your own home is one to plan and strive for when looking at it from a financial standpoint, just think for a moment about the emotional aspect of homeownership … that value is priceless!   Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, move-up buyer, or you are a buyer looking to downsize, or perhaps you are thinking about your up-coming retirement.   All these scenarios are “new chapters” in life, and all should be celebrated!  

Home can mean something different for each one of us, but the emotional aspect is relative to all.  Think about it … you have been living home with Mom & Dad, trying to save enough money to purchase your very own home, or perhaps you’re a newly married couple living in an apartment, saving what money you can to purchase your very first home together, or maybe your company just offered you the option to work remote, which is great and still popular these days –  but your current home lacks the space needed to work efficiently, or perhaps you are an investor looking to purchase a few properties as an investment for the future – which comes with its own set of emotions – which is another topic for another day.  Whatever the case may be, “Home” will mean something different for each of us … whether a first-time homebuyer, move-up buyer, or a buyer looking to downsize for whatever your reasons … finding that home that will allow you to live your comfortable lifestyle that will work for you and your family … and then calling that house “Your Home,” is priceless!!  Even as an investor, if you are of that certain mindset, and have the capacity to do so – building wealth through real estate is said by many to be the way to go these days … and one still to be celebrated.

First time home buyer – Buying a home is a major milestone in one’s life.  One to be proud of and one to be celebrated. Set your goals, then educate yourself on how to attain them.  Speak to the key people you need to, so they can assist in making that goal your reality. 

Move-up buyer – Your family is growing, and space is getting a little tight.  You’ve been saving all you can in preparation for that day when you can purchase that bigger home, giving everyone that additional space desired to enjoy a happier more comfortable family lifestyle.   Perhaps you are coming from a condo – and now your goal is to purchase a single-family home where the outdoor space is welcomed.  For these reasons, you may be asking yourself, is now the right time to purchase a home with all the goings-on in the world today?   My answer … there is no right or wrong time, it is when the time is right for you.  My advice for you would be speak to a real estate professional to discuss your individual wants and needs.  Then have a market analysis done to determine what your home’s true market value is in today’s market.  Having this information will be helpful in making the decisions that will best work for you.  Depending on when you purchased the home, you may be pleasantly surprised on the amount of equity you hold in your current home.  The equity gained could allow you to purchase that bigger home while keeping within your current budget, all while gaining a more comfortable lifestyle.

Down-sizing buyer – Whether it just makes sense to live in a smaller home … perhaps the kids are grown and flew the coop or, retirement is just around the corner.  This is a chapter many make their plans around and look forward to them as that day finally arrives.  You have worked long and hard through the years, and this chapter is one to be celebrated.  But is now the time to make that move, you ask?  As I had suggested earlier as being a move-up buyer for example, same advice would hold true for a buyer who is looking to down-size.  Knowing the value of your home in today’s market will be a key factor in making your plans.  If you owned your home for a long time, you may be pleasantly surprised of what equity you hold in your home that may just allow you to purchase a smaller home outright if the equity is there.  Speak to a real estate professional to help determine what your true market value is in today’s market, which will help give you some perspective when making these decisions.

Having said all that, purchasing a home may very well just be one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in life – it is also one of the most emotional decisions you will make in life as well.  It is the goal for so many, to one day find that special place that truly makes us feel like “There is no place like home”  … because that is where it all begins!  A place to call HOME allows us to live and grow … to create lasting memories with those we love … all to be cherished for years to come.  


The Key To Your Real Estate Success

Helping sellers and buyers achieve their real estate goals


My wish for you this Holiday Season would be for you to receive the gift of TIME! In today’s world, many of us are guilty in getting caught up in our busy lives that we do not take enough time to share life with the ones we love. Now especially, with the Holiday Season upon us, we have so much more to do, we forget about what’s most important!

Let us not forget that life is too short and that we can’t take back those days of “would have and should have.” Let us remember to live in the moment…. because as we all know, these moments are much too precious to let go by!

So, if there are no other gifts you give this holiday season …. give the gift of TIME, to you and to those you love… sharing good times with your family and friends… for this is a priceless gift that will live in your heart and the hearts of others forever!

Wishing you all Happy Holidays

and a very

Happy and New Year!



Getting Ready For Winter Storms

Before we wrap ourselves up in the holiday craze and cheer of shopping, entertaining, spending time with family & friends, special events, etc.… let’s take a few moments to go through your winter weather checklist to make sure you have yourself covered when the really cold weather sets in, and for the snow that is surely just around the corner. 

Here are just a few things to consider …

Let’s first start off by checking the condition of your snow shovels, gloves, and window scrapers, and replace as needed. If you own your own snowplow, have it serviced, so you know you are ready to go once the inevitable snow falls, and of course make sure you have any oils/additives and gas stored in a safe place ensuring your readiness should the need arise. Store some of your winter weather supplies such as shovels, near the door where you can access them easily in a storm. Mark the sides of your driveway and other key places with reflective poles, to help the snowplow service provider see where the driveway begins and ends – and mark any other key areas that you deem important. Keeping your pantry stocked with food, bottled water, candles, batteries, and flashlights in case of power outages is always a good idea. 

Insulate Your Pipes

Your water pipes are not strong enough to withstand the transition from liquid water to ice. Water expands when it freezes with tremendous force that can overpower your pipes. To prevent this from happening, insulate the pipes in vulnerable areas like unfinished basements or pipes closest to the exterior walls. This foam insulation is extremely inexpensive and could save you thousands of dollars should any of your pipes freeze.

It is also important to drain your outdoor water spickets now, if you haven’t done so already (turn them on for a minute to drain any left-over water left in the pipes.). Once drained, shut it off and close the main shut-off lever for the winter so it will be ready and intact for the spring season.

Change Furnace Filters

This could save you a fortune on your furnace and utility bill, and it will also improve the efficiency of your heating system. Changing the filter is easy, cost-effective, and only needs to be done once or twice a year.

Sweep and Inspect the Chimney

When too much ash, embers, leaves, and other materials clog your fireplace, it poses a risk of chimney fires. It could also prevent smoke from exiting the chimney, meaning that it will only enter your home. You should have your chimney swept once a year to prevent this from happening.

Check Your Roof & Clean Gutters

Hiring someone to check your roof and clean your gutters is a good proactive practice that could lead to a big expense if left undone. If you are able and handy, this certainly is a good do-it-yourself project. 

Rotate Ceiling Fans

TIP! Heat naturally rises toward the ceiling … so during the winter, if your ceiling fans rotate backward – flip that switch … it will gently push cool air upwards, forcing the heated air back down to the floor. This is an especially helpful tip if you have high ceilings.

Check Your Heating System

Maintenance is key to longevity for any system! Make sure that your heating system is running at optimal levels. If you don’t have a heating system service contract with your service provider, you may want to think about doing that. Have your system serviced and cleaned annually – ideally before the winter temperatures set in. The last thing you want, is to have your heating system give you a problem/stops working right in the middle of freezing temps. 

Seal Air Leaks

Seal cracks around doors and windows and add weather stripping where needed. Having a professional do this will yield you the best results. Otherwise, if you are handy … not such a difficult task.  With energy costs going up, up up … this task will help lower your energy bills and will also keep your house warmer in the event of a power outage.

Check/Change Your Detectors Annually

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are important all year round, especially during the cold winter months. Rule of thumb … replace your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries at least once a year, some suggest every 6 months, try to be consistent in your practice. Not fun to be woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of a chirping detector, letting you know it needs a new battery.

Drain The Fuel From Your Small Gas-Powered Engines

Again, maintenance is key … Gasoline doesn’t last forever, it decomposes quickly, which causes the engine to “gunk-up” – and may cause the engine to fail/inability for it to start again come spring when you need it. Look at your small equipment’s owner’s manual for best practices to keep your equipment in good working order so it will last for many years to come.

Check Exterior Landscape

Take a walk around the exterior of your property and look for any broken branches or dying trees that are in close proximity to your home, car, fence, or other valuable property. Intense winds could take out a dying tree with ease, so if you see something, either cut it yourself (if it’s an easy fix) or call in the professionals.


  • Have warm clothes and blankets on hand.
  • Stock Up On Supplies – Having a wide variety of non-perishable food items, drinking water, and first aid supplies on hand can make the uncomfortable “power outage” scenario a little safer and more tolerable.
  • Update your emergency kit. – Be prepared for power outages and other emergencies by making sure your house and car are outfitted with well-stocked emergency kits. The basics include bottled water, a flashlight with extra batteries, a cell phone charger (battery-powered is best), car charges, food, blankets and a first-aid kit. At home, keep essential documents in one easily accessible place.

Note: If you are anticipating a storm and a possible power outage – ensure all devices, and phones have a full charge before the storm hits.

Use Your Fireplace, Wood or Pellet Stove

Of course, if you have a fireplace or wood stove, you are golden. That’s assuming you have your firewood in an easily accessible location. If you’re like me, I have a pellet stove which works great when you have electricity … but having your pellet stove hooked-up to a generator, and bags of pellets on hand which I do – will keep your home warm and toasty in the event of a power outage. It’s all about thinking ahead and being prepared. 

Get a Generator

Lastly, if possible, get a generator … it may just be one of the best investment you’ve made. Word of advice … Don’t wait until the last minute/until the storm is about to hit to decide to purchase one, when everyone is out there looking to purchase one. It’s like an insurance policy – you may need it; you may not need it. But having the peace of mind of having one is priceless!

Note: Just like a car, a generator will not work without the gas needed to fuel it. If you have a generator or are thinking of getting one – make sure you are prepared with all that is needed to run it, storing all including the gas in a safe place.

I’m not sure what the winter months have in store for us … but being prepared can only make it easier. If you or someone you know needs any service providers to help you “get-ready” – feel free to reach out to me. I have a list of Service Providers, that come highly recommended.

Stay warm, stay safe!


The Key To your Real Estate Success

Helping buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals.