The Monarch Group Real Estate Blog

The Monarch Group Real Estate Blog

Kitchen Remodels & ROIs: What Buyers Are Looking for Today

In 2017, a minor kitchen remodel offers the 4th best return on investment (ROI) out of any home improvement projects, so when doing so, it’s important to do it right. Since the kitchen is likely one of the first things potential buyers see when going through your home on an open house or showing, it’s easy to see how making a good impression with your kitchen can help sell your home quicker and for more money. However, you do want to be sure not to overdo it. As a general rule, don’t spend more than 10% of your home’s value and prioritize projects that will as value without putting a dent in your wallet.


For kitchen improvements to help sell your home quicker, look at things that will increase visual appeal such as backsplashes, appliances, and cabinets. A backsplash can brighten a kitchen and make the kitchen seem cleaner. New appliances will keep buyers from having to purchase them on top of purchasing their new home. (In most cases, stainless steel are the best in terms of upkeep and visual appeal). Cabinets can make the kitchen seem cleaner, newer, and show...

Projects to Boost Your Home's Value

Whether you’re looking to sell or just sprucing up your place, there’s some projects you can do around the house to boost the value of your home and help you when it comes time to list.

Kentucky Realtor magazine conducted a survey in spring of 2017 of consumers, industry professionals, and real estate agents on what projects can boost a home’s value and by how much. Results are listed below, with curb appeal projects such as new doors, windows, and siding showed a higher return on investment (ROI).


Top 10 projects with greatest ROI:

-Attic Insulation (Fiberglass)

-Entry Door Replacement (Steel)

-Manufactured Stone Veneer

-Garage Door Replacement (“Upscale”)

-Minor Kitchen Remodel

-Entry Door Replacement (Fiberglass)

-Garage Door Replacement (“Midrange”)

-Window Replacement (Vinyl)

-Window Replacement (Wood)

-Grand Entrance (Fiberglass)


Bottom 10 projects with lowest ROI:

-Bathroom Addition (“Midrange”)

-Backup Power Generator

-Backyard Patio

-Deck Addition

-Bathroom Addition (“Upscale”)

-Bathroom Remodel

-Major Kitchen Remodel

-Master Suite Addition

-Bathroom Remodel


These are important to pay attention to if you’re looking at an addition, replacement, or remodel because what you’re putting money into now, may or may not give back when you go to sell. Consider what you want in your home right now, what you can afford, and what makes sense.


For more information on these lists and companies that can help you with replacements, remodels, or additions, contact The Elizabeth Monarch Group or visit our website at If you are looking to buy or sell, call us at 502-371-1155.


The Great Outdoors: Small Projects to Make Your Outdoor Space Feel Bigger

For many buyers this time of year, an appealing outdoor space is much of an asset in potential properties. And in this country’s culture, outdoor entertaining is a large part of peoples’ summer and fall activities. When it comes to selling your home, a piece of staging that may get overlooked is that of the outdoor spaces of your property. Some buyers may look for smaller spaces for less upkeep, and some may look for larger spaces for room for grilling and sports! Whatever it may be, there are some small projects you can do to open up your patio, deck , or backyard to increase appeal to potential buyers.


Tipping the Scale

As with any staging project, decluttering is a good place to start! This is important to keep in mind because overcrowding a small space with too much décor or furniture can make it feel even more cramped. It’s crucial to pay attention to the size of the outdoor space when deciding what furniture to include and what plants may fit well. Make sure that tables and chairs are of a suiting size and that plants aren’t blocking any architectural features such as an outdoor fireplace or patio door.


Focal Points & Reflections

In smaller spaces, it may benefit you to select a certain feature as a focal point. For example, focus on arranging furniture, plants, and other...

Seller Staging Basics: What You Can Do on a Budget & How it Can Help You Sell Your Home

When it comes to selling, a big word many sellers hear is “staging”. And afterwards come many questions. What is staging? Do I have to hire someone to do it? Why do I even need to stage my home? Staging can be influential in selling your home and it doesn’t have to be a long process that breaks the bank!

What is Staging?

Home staging is when you prepare your home for sale both inside and out, focusing on the appearance and atmosphere it creates for the potential buyers. Staging is like putting on your home’s best outfit for picture day. When adding small touches to your home before listing it, staging helps the potential buyer get the feel that it’s more than just a building for sale, but a home. A place where they can live and raise a family, bond with roommates, or entertain on holidays.

Benefits of Staging

Like I said, staging can be influential in selling your home. Ask yourself, “Would I buy my home as it is now?” If the answer is “no”, then staging can help change the answer to “yes”. Going through the staging process will help you pack up for moving, de-clutter and organize, and gather items for sale or donation prior to leaving, smoothing out the transition process. Staging will also make your home look its best for photos, videos, open houses,...

Summer Spruce Up: Easy Home Improvements for the Whole Family

With summer come barbecues, deck parties, gardening, and lots of outdoor fun! The summer is also one of the biggest times for both indoor and outdoor home improvement projects. But with kids, working on home projects can be challenging. How do you include the kids without making a mess or sabotaging the outcome? Here are some simple, fun, family-friendly projects you can enjoy with kids of all ages this season!



When it comes to painting, many fear the involvement of kids or even teens. Paint is a semi-permanent improvement that can easily be ruined by lack of attention or unexpected messes. However, there are some tips and ideas that can make painting a stress-free experience for everyone involved!

Involving children in painting can actually be very advantageous. While the adults and taller kids paint higher up the walls or on ladders, the smaller kids can work on the lower part of the wall. To prevent messes, always prepare and protect. Prepare by teaching the kids how to use paint brushes and rollers. You can even tape out certain areas in fun shapes across the wall to keep the kids painting in certain areas and make it more fun! Protect by dressing everyone in old clothes, taping off crown molding and fixtures, and laying plenty of drop cloths and plastic to save the floors from accidental messes.

You can also try painting other non-traditional surfaces for more fun and flair! If you have concrete or outdated linoleum...

Rising Mortgage Rates: What it Means for Buyers

After historically low rates in the past few years, back in March, Federal Rates increased. With this, mortgage rates started to increase as well. When hearing this, some buyers may be scared to venture into the market to look to purchase a new home, but it’s not all bad. There are a few things that you need to know, as a buyer, about the effects of the risen mortgage rates.

In March of 2016, rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage were at 3.68%. In March of 2017, rates for the same 30-year fixed mortgage were at 4.21%. At this 4.21% rate, buyers will pay about $57 more per month compared to 2016. This will also make it harder to refinance. When mortgage rates dropped in the past years, many people took advantage of refinancing and locked in amazingly low rates. Today, it would be hard to knock off a ½%. However, about 55% of mortgage applications in late November of 2016 were form refinancers, according to Mortgage Bankers Association. So if you didn’t take advantage of refinancing with the historically low rates in the recent years, you should do it now, as they very well may continue to increase.

As Bill Banfield of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans says, higher rates could translate to the expectation that growth, wages, and home prices will continue to increase. It could also translate to the expectation that the home inventory shortage will continue. All of which we have been seeing lately.

With these higher rates and lower inventories, it can be very scary and tricky to try and navigate the market as a buyer. When it comes to looking for a new home, it’s best to hire a licensed Realtor with good experience and great success rates to help you through the process. The Elizabeth Monarch Group is the team that you want to help you with the buying process!

If you’re in Louisville or surrounding areas, The Elizabeth Monarch Group is the team of experienced Realtors that you need! Whether you’re buying or selling, The Elizabeth...

Selling Your Home to a Family Member: Tips to Ease the Process

There’s a noticeable difference between selling your home to a stranger and selling your home to a family member. A difference that you might not quite recognize until you are in the process of doing so. It can be fun and exciting for the family, but also awkward and uncomfortable at times. Here are some great tips on smoothing out the process and making this transition a bit easier.


Tip #1: Hire a Professional Title Company

It’s always important to usea professional title company in real estate transactions and in this specific situation, they also act as amutual third party between family members. The title company will help with important documents needed for the transaction and work alongside your Realtor towards closing to make sure both buyer and seller are happy.


Tip #2: Put It All in Writing


Buying in a Seller's Market: 3 Mistakes to Avoid

If you’re currently looking to buy a home, you’ve probably noticed the current state of the real estate market. Prices are up, inventory is down, and properties are being sold in record time! It’s a seller’s market out there, and it can be tricky navigating it. As a buyer, there are some very important things to know when house hunting today that can smooth out the process majorly. I read one of the latest Zing! blogs by Quicken Loans and learned a lot from Maegan Wyrzykowsi about what to avoid as a buyer in this current market. Most may seem like common sense, but can also be easily forgotten in the shuffle.


Mistake #1: Skipping Preapproval

As Maegan points out, skipping preapproval can be a horrible mistake as a buyer in this seller’s market. Preapproval essentially tells your agent what you can afford and tells the seller that there is a lender willing to back your offer. Generally, getting a preapproval letter is the first thing you should do and always have on hand when looking to buy. If you’re competing with another potential buyer, having a preapproval letter will help put you ahead of the game. As a general note, most preapproval letters are valid for up to 90 days, so keeping up with these and getting updated ones is important. You can contact us for our list of Trusted Affiliates who can help you with your preapproval.


Mistake #2: Offering Low...