Realty One Group Inspiration
Richard Vaughn

As economic indicators from the stock market to the real estate market continue to feel the effects of COVID-19-related shutdowns, the question of economic recession has become not so much a matter of “Will it happen?” as “When will it happen?” While in classic terms a recession is only official after two quarters of declining economic growth, the current uncertainty makes a recession likely, if not inevitable.

At the same time, real estate listings are still going on the market and fielding multiple offers. Virtual showing platforms have experienced exponential growth. In short, the buying and selling of real estate continues apace, with many agents facilitating an end-to-end, contact-free experience to ensure their clients’ safety and comfort.

Whether you are a buyer looking for a new home or a homeowner considering listing your home, it’s important to make smart decisions now in order to weather whatever comes next. Here are some ways to ensure that your home is a financial asset and not a liability as we enter the new normal.

Prioritize equity building
If you are considering buying a home, it’s essential that you put together the most generous down payment possible. Many lenders have already tightened their lending guidelines, making larger down payments a must. Setting aside money for new furniture or landscaping? Put that off in favor of bulking up your down payment now.

Once you buy, go through the home inspection report and look for repairs and upgrades suggested that will immediately add value to your home. Invest in cost-effective improvements that make the home itself worth more and contribute to increasing equity.
If your income has remained stable, put off discretionary spending in favor of adding to your emergency savings and making extra payments to the principal on your mortgage. This may also be a good time to create the ability to tap into your home’s equity through a HELOC (home equity line of credit). While you don’t want to use those funds today, they may come in handy down the road in the event of a temporary financial setback.

Create rental potential
If you have reason to believe that your income could be reduced or interrupted in the future, now is the time to consider whether you have a space that could affordably be converted into a rental property. A garage apartment, in-law or au-pair suite, guest house, or carriage house may allow you to create an additional revenue stream that you can apply to paying your mortgage each month with minimal initial investment.

If you are a single homeowner, now is the time to consider taking in a roommate in order to share expenses and put more money toward your mortgage principal. If you’re just beginning the buying process, you may want to prioritize properties with investor potential, like duplexes, triplexes, and quads, or properties with guest quarters and separate entrances. This type of potential helps you build a revenue stream that can help to support you through any future economic downturns.

Shop home warranties
If you are experiencing job loss or a reduction in income, an unexpected expense like a roof repair or HVAC replacement could be the difference between keeping your head above water and drowning in debt. If you don’t already have a home warranty, begin shopping around and find one that offers you protection from unforeseen expenses.

If you are a buyer, consider asking for a home warranty as part of your purchase. This will offer you added peace of mind and help you avoid unexpected surprise costs during your first year of home ownership. Set aside funds to pay your deductible in case you have to make a claim against your home warranty coverage.

Consider refinancing
Early COVID-19 motivated interest rate drops led many homeowners to rush into refinancing—and caused a glut in applications that temporarily slowed down the refinance market. Now, however, it may be time for you to talk to a lender about your options and whether refinancing makes sense for you.
By lowering your payments through an interest rate reduction, you may be able to make your home more affordable each month. Alternatively, if your income appears to be holding steady, explore the possibility of refinancing into a 15-year mortgage rather than your current 30-year. This will allow you to build equity faster — offering an additional hedge against recession.

Consult on smart improvements with your real estate professional
If you are currently a homeowner, sit down with your real estate professional and talk about the current market. Consider what improvements you can make that are affordable and value-added. These can increase your home’s value and add equity you can tap into in the event of a financial downturn.

Your real estate agent or broker knows the difference between must-have, nice-to-have, and no-big-deal home improvements. There’s no point in spending your resources on designer trends that do nothing to improve your bottom line.

According to a recent study from Remodeling magazine, the top five least expensive home repairs with the biggest return on investment (ROI) include:

*Steel Entry Door Replacement (68.8% ROI)
*Garage Door Replacement (94.5% ROI)
*Expanded Entrance (53.3% ROI)
*Manufactured Stone Veneer (95.6% ROI)
*Vinyl Siding Replacement (74.7% ROI)

By working with your real estate professional, you’ll learn what updates and upgrades buyers in your market are looking for right now—and what makes the difference when you’re looking to increase your home’s price and marketability. You’ll also avoid pricing yourself out of the market with over-the-top updates that will never provide sufficient return on investment.

If you’re like most Americans, a home is your single biggest investment. Make it count by keeping an eye on the bottom line and seeking out expert advice. Social distancing means we’re all spending more time at home—so it’s time to put that home to work for you.

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Richard Vaughn - Agent with Colonialtown Realty


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What my clients are saying  

"Richard's experience allowed him to point out items that required my attention in order to get top dollar for the property. That coupled with his knowledge on the neighborhood and his marketing/showing experience enabled the property to sell in it's first weekend on the market for well above market value. I would highly recommend Richard Vaughn if you want top dollar quickly for your property."


~ Todd S

We are extremely pleased that we chose Richard Vaughn as our realtor to sell our home. He was very knowledgeable in advising us as we prepared our house to be placed on the market. He was a wealth of information whenever we needed anything from the very beginning to the closing. He went way beyond expectations in assisting us with what could have been an HOA nightmare. His responsiveness to every detail and issue was exceptional. We highly recommend Richard Vaughn and would definitely use him again ourselves.


~ Pattie Smith

Richard is a great realtor - very knowledgeable and willing to go that extra mile to help you out in any way possible. he has sold a house to me and also helped me sell one. If you are looking for a home to buy or have one to sell, he is your guy.


~ Angela Turrentine

Richard was extremely knowledgeable about the local market and landscape. He is truly a professional’s professional. He went above and beyond at ever turn and was spot on with the market advise he gave me and I thank him and totally appreciate everything he has done to make my selling experience a good one. His marketing was exceptional and honest. He is highly recommended.


~ John Casson

Richard Vaughn is an incredible Realtor. He made sure we were updated and informed every step of the process. He also went out of his way in recommending professionals to help in other areas we were not experts in. They all lived up to the expectations set by Richard as well. I have already recommended him to a friend who is in the market.


~ Joe Denave

Richard was a joy to work with selling my home. Always kind and a smile on his face. I would recommend him to anyone that is looking for a good realtor.


~ Donna Russell

He is very kind hearted person who helped me and my wife a lot anybody would be lucky to have him as a realtor. He helped us look for a house for months always doing the best he can and it’s much appreciated


~ Marlon Barberena

Richard sold our house when other agents couldn’t. He went above and beyond to market our home and found a qualified buyer. He used his expertise and keen eye to recommend areas that we needed to improve in order to sell the house faster, and it worked. He was always available and made it his personal mission to get our house sold. He kept us informed throughout the process through email, texts, and phone calls. If you ever need an agent, Richard is the one!


~ Matt Clinger

"We enjoyed working with Richard. He was thorough, professional and caring. He showed great understanding of our needs and his determined approach was second to none. We would work with him again in a heartbeat and would thoroughly recommend him to anyone." Harpinder Chauhan


~ The Chauhans

Richard is an excellent realtor. He went above and beyond his call of duty. He didn't give up when I wasn't satisfied with some of the homes we looked at. He would just send me more and I would also find some and he made sure I was able to go see them even though they weren't on his website. He helped us find the perfect house. There was a few kinks but he took care of them. He gave extra time even after the sale to make sure everything was finished. If I sent an email, text or called him I got an immediate respond. I WOULD TELL EVERYONE I KNOW THAT IS LOOKING FOR A REALTOR TO CALL RICHARD whether they are buying or selling - HE IS THE MAN.


~ Alice White

Richard Vaughn did a great job selling our home. We were trying to sell our home on our own, but Richard called us and set up an appointment to discuss our home and the real estate market of our area, Winter Park. He was very informative, and not pushy. Over time, we decided to give Richard a try. It was listed right around a hurricane, and we had relocated to another state. Richard moved patio furniture and made sure our home was presented well for possible buyers. He held open houses multiple times, and was able to sell our home pretty quickly in the time frame we had given him. We would recommend Richard for anyone looking to sell their home.


~ Elizabeth Ledford

Patient and friendly, he was on the top of any deal when I ask for a showing, also he can help you to find a good loan and insurance if needed but I prefer to do my own homework.


~ Mohamed Abd el rahman

After meeting with 6 other realtors we finally lucked out by finding Richard Vaughn! He listened to our requests and lead us to different things that were still in our taste as well as budget. Super patient and not pushy. He is informative and kept our expectations realistic. Easy to contact and gave honest feedback. We feel that if we didn't use his advice when making the offer we would not be homeowners today. We would easily recommend him to all of our friends and family!


~ Maurine Sylverain

Richard was a great asset to have in my first time home buying experience. From the very beginning he was extremely accommodating to my last minute requests for showings, even going so far as to take my friends to see new listings at my request when I was out of town. I never felt pressured to act quickly and felt like I had someone on my side every step of the way. Being new to the process I had quite a few questions. Richard was knowledgeable, but more importantly honest when he did not know an answer and was happy to get back to me with the correct answer. Thanks again Richard.


~ Tyler Pyle

Richard was amazing! Our first ever real estate experience wasn't as seamless as we had hoped for, but Richard was by our side, helping us through the entire process. Without Richard, we may have given up on the house of our dreams, but with all of his help and "can-do" attitude, we persevered and are comfortably moved in to our new home! I would absolutely recommend Richard to anyone!


~ Overstreet

We were first time home buyers in the Orlando area so we selected the Mainframe Real Estate Team based on reviews we saw online and we were so lucky to have chosen them. We worked with Richard Vaughn and he was wonderful! He had a great knowledge of the surrounding area and knew exactly what we were looking for. He was very responsive to our needs and was always available when we needed him to be. Anyone looking to purchase a home would be lucky to work with Richard.


~ Mr. Stower

I happened across Richard when I was looking for another Realtor and what an amazing find! He's a breath of fresh air, He listens to your wants and needs, he's patient and kind, honest and very down to earth. He's not one to pressure you and however many houses it takes to find the one that's right for you. He will be right by your side through every one of them. Richard is incredibly knowledgeable and if he doesn't know an answer, he finds it. Richard will guide you through the entire process to the very end. My Husband and I HIGHLY recommend Richard Vaughn! We couldn't be happier.


~ Nicki "Goose" Heasley

Richard was very professional and attentive to all our needs. He provided excellent customer service and clearly explained the process of buying a home. Mr. Vaughn provided excellent referrals that did not disappoint. Richard Vaughn is highly recommended. The Browns


~ The Browns

Extremely helpful through the whole stress home buying process. Always there when we had questions, always answers our calls. Very knowledgeable of the home buying process. Made the entire process as enjoyable as it could be. :3


~ Gensler - Childer

Richard was a great help in selling our home. He brought his designer wife over who made some suggestions regarding staging our home, colors, etc., and after that our home sold. Richard also has a great rapport with the other agents and helped make this closing possible. I would definitely recommend Richard.


~ The Burtons

The closing on 2032 Illinois Street was the culmination of working five months with Richard Vaughn as my listing agent. I was quite pleased with the outcome on a number of fronts, and he has my full recommendation as an agent. Richard was a tireless advocate, undeterred, an exceptional problem solver and maintained a positive outlook despite some substantial obstacles we faced through the closing. He wasn’t afraid to spend countless hours to get the job done, keeping all parties calm, and he never passed the buck. And I would be remiss to add that I received a very strong value for the property – one 18 months prior I didn’t think was possible. The home was well marketed on a number of media platforms, and had strong interest from the moment the sign went in the ground. We were under contract within 3 weeks from listing – a time period that included both Christmas and New Years. I cannot recommend him more highly.


~ Marshall Hood

My wife and I were looking for property in FL. Moving there has been our goal for retirement. Our request to Richard was to own a property on or very near a lake, since we both love jet-skiing, sailing etc. We've been very happy with Richard's help and expertise. We'll be Floridians - soon!


~ The Veleys

I feel that we got Top Dollar for our home. Richard positioned us to get 8 offers for our home after only 2 days on the market. It was an all-around great experience with an all-around great realtor!! Trustworthy and smart and if he can sell our home in two days obviously he is diligent!!!!


~ Jessica Beman

Dear Richard, Thank you so much for your assistance in helping us find and purchase the home for our daughter! We could not have been happier with the service that you provided for us. My wife, Susan, and I have bought and sold homes in the past but this was our first experience with buying what turned out to be investment property. After letting you know what we were looking for in a property, you were able to put together a list of houses that met our requirements. Incredibly, we found the perfect property in only 4 days and closed on it the following month! You were able to guide us though all of the details of purchasing investment properties – and there were a lot of details to attend to before closing! We would (and will) recommend you to family, friends, and anyone else that we hear might be looking to buy or sell a house. Thanks again! Sincerely, Darrell Johnson


~ The Johnsons

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