My Blog

Increase Your Home's Resale Value and Marketability With These Simple Upgrades





Increase Your Home's Resale Value and Marketability With These Simple Upgrades

Although real estate markets across North America are seeing a slight slow down, there are still plenty of homeowners looking to sell their homes. But what can you do to help make your property stand out? Simple home improvements and renovations are an easy way to boost your property and capture the attention of buyers across the board. Invest in your home's appearance by prioritizing some of these simple renovations/upgrades to help increase your home's marketability and overall value when it hits the market.


Garage Door Replacement

For those homeowners with a garage, an outdated or broken garage door can be an appeal killer to potential buyers. The good news for sellers is that a garage door replacement in 2022 has the highest return on investment (ROI) for remodeling projects at 93.3%. The benefits of replacing your garage door are two-fold: not only does it help with your home's overall curb appeal, a new garage door can increase your home's security, is more energy efficient, and newer models come with features to protect people and animals from accidental injury.

Entry Door Replacement

Another project that can help boost your home's curb appeal and overall market value is replacing the entry door. One of the most important aspects of your home is the front door as it's the first thing buyers look at as they walk into the house. Broken, dented, and decaying doors can immediately sour a potential buyer's interest, so making the small investment in a new door is a great idea if your home is sitting on the market. 2022 numbers have "entry door replacement" at a ROI of 63.8%, meaning it's a sound investment if your property needs a boost with buyers.


Not every seller has a yard, but for those that do, investing in landscaping is an easy way to boost your home's overall appeal and capture the eye of potential buyers. Across North America, agents have reported buyers attaching more value to a home if the yard is landscaped. NALP members and REALTORS in NAR's 2018 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features ranked a standard lawn care service as the number one project that appeals to buyers, and that landscape maintenance and tree care recovered 100 percent of the costs at the time of sale. Depending on the size of the yard, sprucing up your property's landscaping can be a good way to boost value and help develop more interest in your listing.



Minor Kitchen Remodel

Kitchens are one of the most used rooms in a house, and many buyers want to see functional and good looking kitchens in the properties they choose to view. If your kitchen is outdated, a minor kitchen remodel could help boost your home's value and overall appeal. Minor kitchen remodels can include replacing cabinets and countertops; replacing cabinet and drawer fronts; updating hardware; replacing appliances; installing a new sink and faucet; installing new flooring; and aesthetic changes like new paint and trim. The name of the game is minor changes - there's no need to take out walls or break your bank account. A simple kitchen refresh can catch the eye of many potential buyers, and at over 70% ROI, this is a great option for those sellers looking to make their home stand out.

Window Upgrades

Windows are an important part of any property, and if your home has old windows, it's possible they could be dissuading buyers from looking at your house. While windows can be an expensive update for those properties with tons of windows, they do have an excellent ROI (67.5%) and they come with a number of benefits: enhanced home security and safety, improved energy efficiency, noise reduction, and improved overall curb appeal. Windows can be a big decision when it comes to renovations, but they will absolutely appeal to buyers and help your home sell.

New Siding

Siding can really make or break a home, and for some buyers, homes with old, decayed, warped, or just odd siding can immediately make them skip a showing. Just like replacing windows, replacing siding isn't 'cheap' - it's an investment, especially for those with big homes. But new siding comes with a number of benefits: a high ROI (68.3% for fiber cement; 67.2% for vinyl), increased curb appeal, improved energy efficiency, and overall longevity (vinyl siding can last between 20-40 years, and fiber cement siding can last up to 50 years). New siding is a great selling point and highly marketable.

With real estate markets slowing down, for some owners it may feel like their home will never sell. Sometimes the homeowner needs to help the process. Upgrades can certainly help boost a home that's been sitting as well as help add to the resale value of the home. If you have questions on what you can do to help boost your property, contact me.



Prepping Your Yard For Fall

Real Estate Advisor October 2022.

Prepping Your Yard for Fall

With the changing of the seasons and cooler temps right around the corner, now is a great time to prepare your yard for the fall and winter months. Even if you don't live in an area prone to cold or harsh climates, the tips below are useful for any person with a place to call home.


Fertilize Lawn

Like all living things, lawns need food all times of the year. Before it gets super cold out, apply fall lawn fertilizer to help prevent winter damage. Not sure what to get? Your local gardening center can help you find the perfect fertilizer for your climate zone and yard type.

Drain Garden Hose/Sprinkler System

Colder months can do a number on hoses and sprinkler systems if water freezes in them. Now's a great time to drain and store garden hoses. If your area is prone to freezing temps, drain any exterior pipes and install insulating covers on outdoor spigots.


Clean Gutters

Gutters can get full very quickly with leaves and other tree debris; they can also cause major issues if they freeze while full. Take the time to check your home's gutters and downspouts. Once all the leaves have fallen, clean the gutters out to avoid drainage issues in the winter months.


Plant Spring Bulbs

If you know you'd like some color in the spring, now is an excellent time to plant spring bulbs! Depending on your climate and plant hardiness zone, there's optimal planting times in the fall for spring bulbs. Plan and plant now so you can enjoy the fruits of spring in the new year.

Bring Plants Inside

If you live in an area prone to the cold, now is the time to bring those perennials inside that need protection from lower temps and bad weather. Take care as to do it gradually and early in the season so as to avoid shock and possibly losing your plants.


Check Windows and Doors for Leaks

Ensuring your home is energy efficient is important for any homeowner. Whether it's holding in the AC, or holding in the heat, now is the time to ensure your windows and doors are leak free. Re-caulk windows and exterior door trim, and install new weather stripping, door seals, or draft stoppers to your exterior doors to ensure your home remains nice and comfy.

The changing of the seasons is always a great time to go over home tasks and compile a list of anything that may need fixing or replacing in the future. Whether you're preparing your home's exterior or interior, tasks and maintenance are always guaranteed when it comes to homeownership. If you have questions on how to keep your property in tip-top shape, please reach out:


September Is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month


September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and HUTCH4HOME has gone full GOLD! Because we know that 30 days of awareness isn’t enough for the kids, we support this cause all year long. Here are a few of the ways we love to give back and support children and families through local events.

This month Joni Hutchinson is riding in the Great Cycle Challenge for cancer research. This is her 5th year taking the challenge to raise money for childhood cancer research. Thank you for donating and sharing my post about this! With your support, she doubled her fundraising goal! Thank you!

I am training to run the Des Moines IMT 1/2 Marathon for Team Children’s Cancer Connection. You can find out more about this event, sign up to run, or volunteer here… Team-CCC

Several of you may remember Ava through her love of the Children’s Cancer Connection. Here is her story from the Des Moines Register and a very special interview with Keith Murphy during RVTV 2017. The Children’s Cancer Connection shared this article about Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the many ways to GO Gold if you are interested in learning more.

A few weeks ago, we sponsored the 6th annual Ava’s Birthday Blood Drive with Life Serve Blood Center. Ava chose this opportunity as one of her last wishes to give back to those in need. Here’s a fun fact about that day: They used special bags during the collection in order to harvest the platelets for cancer patients! Hosting a blood drive is a very rewarding experience! One donation can save up to 3 lives!!

Also in August, we collected wish list items and pop tabs for the Des Moines Ronald McDonald House. That little piece of metal really adds up. The Des Moines House notes they take in about $3000 from pop tabs. We stayed at the Rochester House for several months in 2009, which is where we started collecting. They make about $10000 to $15,000 per year. We also stayed for a short time in Atlanta and they note on their website that they have raised $156,944 since 1998 from POP TABS! Our next future goal is to host a meal at the DSM House. I will keep you posted in case you want to join us or learn more about the experience.

This year I became a Miracle Agent for RE/MAX. Through the Miracle Home program, I donate to give back and help ensure that every child in our community who needs care has a chance at the best care possible. This is a full circle experience for me since I made my first donation in 2007 before I could even imagine having a sick kid to the present day where I am giving back knowing all too well what impact the Miracle Network has on families like mine.

Other upcoming events this year include the Festival of Trees and Lights; this event supports Child Life services for children in the hospital. We love seeing all the creative talent that goes into this fundraiser. Another fun holiday event is Jolly Holiday Lights to support the Make a Wish foundation which is working hard at its vision of giving children renewed strength to fight their illnesses, bringing families closer together, and uniting entire communities. Early next year is St. Baldrick’s in Bondurant. We absolutely love this event and the talented organizers who work hard to put on and grow this event year after year. St. Baldrick’s is the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research grants. Our team Ava’s Way a.k.a. Strength for Ava has taken part since 2008.

Thank you for all the support over the years! There are so many significant causes in the world to love and support, so we are grateful and honored that many of you have gone GOLD not just in September, but also throughout the year! If you are interested in learning more about these organizations or others that are not listed here, let me know. We are relentlessly passionate about giving back and being a light to those in need. 


The Hutchinson's featured in Bondurant Living Magazine


Download and read the article here at >>> 

Bondurant Living Magazine

bond live mag.JPG                             bond live mag 2.JPG

The Benefits of a Master-Planned Community




Real Estate Advisor April 2022.

The Benefits of a Master-Planned Community

Master-planned communities - communities that have been planned to include housing and the necessary amenities to support a community - have become increasingly popular throughout North America. No longer just for those 55+, master-planned communities have come to offer a number of benefits for buyers of all ages, especially for those looking for community, convenience, and a sound investment.

New Construction Apartment Building.


Master-planned communities are not a new concept; they've been around for decades. Many 55+ communities were the original master-planned communities, designed to provide amenities and activities for retirees or snowbirds. Arizona, Florida, and Nevada are well-known for their planned communities, with many popular and sought-after subdivisions and neighborhoods. Not surprisingly, the concept caught on across North America and more and more states and provinces are seeing a rise in these communities.

In recent years, the communities have been strategically designed to provide all the necessary amenities for everyday living: diverse housing, retail (grocery stores and restaurants), gyms and community clubhouses with pools, trails for hiking and biking as well as green spaces and parks. Newer communities even include schools to attract families. Convenience is a huge part of a master-planned community and one of the biggest draws to buyers.

Runners on a path with walkers and other people around the path.


For many buyers, finding a community that will support them is a top priority, and a huge draw of a master-planned community is the sense of community it offers. From a variety of events hosted for residents to walking groups, farmers markets and other recreation opportunities, master-planned communities afford residents the ability to reach out and interact with their fellow neighbors on a regular basis. Master-planned communities are great at creating and fostering an atmosphere of inclusion, providing multiple ways for neighbors to connect and become friends.

A park-playground in a neighborhood community.


Not all buyers are alike, but there are many that look for a home in a well-kept and maintained community. In master-planned communities, the community as a whole relies on a homeowner association (HOA) to enforce association rules and bylaws. Master-planned communities are known for their maintenance - many employ outdoor maintenance companies for year-round upkeep of public green spaces and parks. But yards and green spaces are not the only things an HOA governs - they also ensure the community stays safe and the exterior of the homes is consistent throughout all the different neighborhoods.

Some people may not see an HOA as a benefit, but for those that appreciate and value a community that is maintained and runs well, the association is a great asset to the neighborhood and the owners within it.

A man and woman shaking the hand of their real estate agent.


Most home buyers and real estate investors hope their property will increase in value each year, and in a strong real estate market that's generally the case. Yet, as we've seen, no country is immune to dips in its real estate markets. Homes in master-planned communities have actually been known to keep their value or see less of a decrease in value in a poor market. Being a part of a large community can actually add stability to resale values of the properties even during an economic downturn. For many, they may be investing in the community by buying a home there, but they're also investing in their future.

Master-planned communities are becoming more and more popular, and it's not a mystery as to why. With a number of benefits to buyers and owners, a master-planned community can be a great place to live, especially if you want to get as much as possible out of your neighborhood and community. If you have questions about master-planned communities or about the local real estate market, reach out:! You can also find all active homes for sale and even more information about the local real estate market on my website: Don't hesitate to contact me!

Real Estate Buying and Selling Mistakes




Real Estate Advisor April 2022.

Mistakes Buyers and Sellers Regret Making

Mistakes happen, even in real estate. Although it may be one of the biggest investments a person can make, both buyers and sellers can and do make mistakes. Take some time to learn from the mistakes of others so you can avoid them in your own real estate journey.

For Buyers

Picking the Wrong Location

For many buyers out there, buying a home or property can come with a lot of forgiveness. When a buyer is in love, they have the uncanny ability to forgive a property's perceived faults. Noise? Forgiven. Bad location? Forgiven. Not enough amenities? Forgiven. One of the most important and key rules to buying a home is ensuring the location is right. For some buyers, who may be up against a crazy market or have economic reasons for looking in a specific area, the luxury of finding the perfect home in the perfect location is not feasible. For others, especially those that are not in a rush to find a new home, they can take time to map out their prime location and wait for that perfect property to appear on the market. Don't fall victim to the mistake of not buying in the area you want to live in - it could end up costing you in the long run.

Buying Sight Unseen

The pandemic created a need for buyers to rely on virtual tours and listing photos to really get the feeling for a property. And while open houses and in-person viewings have now become the norm again, there are many buyers that are still opting to buy sight unseen, especially in crazy real estate markets. Some buyers have had no issues with only relying on photos and tours; others haven't been so lucky. The last thing you want is to end up with buyers remorse, living in a home you don't actually want.

Another issue that's become popular in areas with crazy markets is forgoing an inspection. As a buyer, you cannot depend on a seller to know all the issues with his/her property. Some cash buyers can afford to forego an inspection; others cannot. Mistakes happen, but you can 100% avoid buyers remorse by ensuring you actually visit the home you want to buy and make a point of having a proper inspection done. Even if it doesn't change the terms of your contract, you'll at least have an idea of what you're getting yourself into with your new home.

Living in an HOA

Communities with HOAs can vary greatly in terms of the reach the HOA has over community members. While living in a community with an HOA can be great for people that want structure within their neighborhood, for others it can be a nightmare. If you're the type of person that likes to control the color of your home's exterior, park your car on the street, or even likes to keep your garbage cans on the side of your house, you could end up making a big mistake by buying a home in an HOA community. If you have your eye on a specific neighborhood or community and you know it has an HOA, review all rules and regulations before you buy.

For Sellers

Not Putting Enough Effort Into the Sale

Regardless of whether you live in a hot market or not, buyers love seeing a home at its best. A home that's taken care of will undoubtedly have more interest and possibly more offers than one that isn't. For sellers, putting effort into the sale can be as simple as ensuring your home is tidy and clutter free. For some buyers, seeing a home at its worst could impact whether they lowball their offer. Buyers like to get excited, and a mistake to avoid is failing to give buyers reasons to be excited to see your home.

Not Planning for Taxes

For many markets across North America, property values have steadily increased over the past few years, and owners who have been in their homes for decades are seeing huge profits when they sell. While homes and other types of property are not generally subject to normal sales tax, if you see a large return on your sale you may be subject to other taxes like capital-gains taxes. Exemptions and reductions are available but rely on certain factors being met, so it's not a guarantee you'll be able to avoid tax on your sale. Don't make the mistake of assuming you won't have to pay taxes - it's best to get as much information as you can from a local expert as to whether you'll be subject to taxes before you sell so you can prepare accordingly.

Not Being Upfront About Issues

No one wants to admit their home has or had issues, but for sellers, disclosing issues you know about is required by law. If you hide issues or work that has been done, or feign ignorance of the issue, it could come back to bite you in the future. Most residential sales in the US require some form of disclosure document (the law is different in Canada and province-specific). Specifically in the US, if you do not disclose certain items in the sale, and the new owners can prove that you knew about them, they have the right to litigation. When it comes time to sell, be as forthright as possible and work with your agent to disclose all necessary items to prevent any possible negative outcomes.

Buying and selling real estate can be a big task, especially for new buyers. But real estate is not a new thing - whether a newbie or seasoned veteran, learn from the mistakes of others to prevent any heartbreak, buyers remorse, or loss of funds. If you're thinking of buying or selling, don't hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns, You can also see what's available on the local real estate market by visiting my website: Spring is here, and the real estate market is ready to go!

Spring In A Flash

Hello friends and welcome HOME - Hutch@Home Spring series

Whether you need quick curb appeal tips or just craving spring in a flash, I have a few tips and tricks to get you started. Iowa weather is unpredictable, so I start my spring bulbs indoors. I love Canna Lilies! They are big, showy plants, but they like it hot, hot, hot. To get a head start, I put several bulbs in well-draining soil and place them on warming mats in the basement. In addition, this year I tried starting our Calla Lilies in water. I will keep you posted on the progress. Bulbs in vases are a great way to bring the beauty of nature indoors. These look great on the dining room table for open houses and spring get-together events.


Photo by Cristina Glebova on Unsplash

 20220325_133558.jpg                         20220325_133558.jpg

Photo by Levis Carroll on Unsplash

Another trick is if you want to plant some greenery to fill in and give a sense of curb appeal, try some greens. Lettuce, spinach, and other edible greens make lovely container gardens, and they like Iowa’s spring temperatures. The bonus is you get a yummy salad just in time to plant your summer annuals.


Photo by Cristina Glebova on Unsplash

Last, but not least, get that yard green! You know the saying; the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence? Well, don’t be down with brown. You can apply fertilizer anytime and ramp up what Mother Nature has already started. The best time to seed is in the fall, but early spring showers are a good time to do some overseeding and patching too.

Image by Photo by Max Ostwalt on Unsplash

The Hutchinson Real Estate Team a.k.a. Kris and Joni would love to help you get your home sale-ready and sold this spring! Call 515-210-3748 for a free market analysis. We cannot wait to hear from you!

Hutch@Home by Hutch4Home

Home Features That Attract Buyers

Real Estate Advisor March 2022.

Demand for real estate across North America is high, and buyers have not stopped trying to find their perfect home. Some properties stand out more than others, and those properties have the home features buyers want. If your home has one or more of these sought-after features, you can guarantee it will be at the top of many property lists!

Well organized kitchen with lots of open shelf space.


If there's one thing a home can never have too much of, it's ample storage, and buyers go crazy for homes that have plenty of space for their belongings. Whether it's additional cabinets in the kitchen, a pantry, garage storage, or clever design updates that include space for anything and everything, a home with tons of storage will be highly sought-after in any real estate market.

A washer and dryer hidden behind closet doors in a home.

Laundry Room

A dedicated space for laundry is always a great feature of any home, and buyers love it when they find a property that provides this luxury. If your home has a laundry room, great! If you don't have the space for a dedicated laundry room, you can create a space or make a current laundry space more appealing by adding storage (cabinets or shelving), a drying rack, and a way to hide it from guests.

Newer windows in a home for sale.

Updated Windows

Old windows can be a huge energy leak for a home, and buyers know it. Homes with newer windows or energy efficient windows will always attract more buyers than homes without. New windows can also eat into a buyer's renovation budget if they know they'll have to replace them shortly after purchase. If your windows are older, and you have the means to upgrade, it can have multiple benefits for you as an owner and buyers will absolutely love them when you sell.

A modern kitchen with bright, modern lighting and pendant lamps.

Adequate Lighting

Lighting can make or break a home, and homes that don't have adequate lighting come off as dark and uninviting. The type of lighting can also be a big draw to buyers - stark, fluorescent lighting commonly found in older homes is inefficient, an energy waste, and can even cause health issues. Incandescent bulbs are still available but are not energy efficient. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) are more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, but they have mercury in them which means they need to be recycled as hazardous waste. Buyers like homes that have modern lighting systems that utilize LED bulbs. LED bulbs can last for thousands of hours and are extremely energy efficient. They may be a little more costly up-front, but they will last for years, and a home with great lighting will always shine above the others.

Covered outdoor patio surrounded by snow and ice on the ground.

Outdoor Area

Buyers love living space, and homes that have usable living space both inside and outside are highly sought-after throughout North America. A popular outdoor feature for buyers: a patio. They're more affordable to install and easier to maintain than a deck or porch, and they're versatile and can be customized in a variety of ways. Regardless of whether you're in an area with a climate that allows outdoor living all year-round or just seasonally, homes that have outdoor areas that can be utilized as living areas or entertaining areas are a top pick for many buyers.

Demand for real estate is high across all of North America, but not every property is fought over. Homes that have features buyers want can be 'sale pending' within hours. If you're thinking of selling, and you want to ensure buyers will be ecstatic about your home, consider updating or adding one or some of features above. If you'd like to know more, reach out: You can also see what's currently available on the market at my website, Don't hesitate to contact me - I'm happy to help!



Hutch@Home - February 2022 - Navigating Real Estate Contingencies


Hutch @ Home - 11/3/2021


Hutch @ Home.png

Hello friends and welcome HOME

I have been pondering what Hutch4HOME edition three would hold. It’s such a pivotal time of year as we transition from summer into fall. Everything changes a bit, from what we wear… shorts and sandals to sweaters and boots to what we eat… grilling meats to savory crock-pot meals. In the last edition, we left off with home improvements, so that sounds like a good start.

In the past several years, as winter has locked Iowa into the tundra, instead of settling into a long winter’s nap, the Hutch’s have taken to home projects. You name it, painting, flooring, plank walls, tin ceilings. We’ve tried our hand at many things. While most projects have gone smoothly, we have learned a few things along the way. The one that keeps coming back around is that neither of us enjoys painting. How about you? Do you enjoy painting? I have considered painting my cabinets for years, but I always seem to find something else to do instead.

So what’s in store for our next project? Another garage door. We are going to cut another hole in our house. Well, not us. We’ll be hiring this one out, but I am excited about the convenience and accessibility this will add to our home. I cannot wait to show you the finished project, definitely something to look forward to next spring. We are also going to do a big clean-out. Our daughter wants to have a garage sale in the spring, so it seems like a great time to get rid of clutter taking up precious space.

The other project, besides starting a real estate business, has been our little HOME away from HOME. We have been creating a tiny TIN CABIN and the next big thing on the list is heat. We purchased a used cast iron wood stove that needed some restoration. It is nearly ready for installation so we can get more use out of our sweet little pond side escape. I hope you will keep coming back for updates here at Hutch4Home about the undertakings of our home life and our adventures of our home away from home too.

I will share some before and after photos of some of our past projects on social media, so check us out @hutch4home on Instagram and Facebook. See you soon!

Take care, The Hutchinson’s

A few sneak peeks...

sneak peek.pngIMG_20211020_134527_199000.pngIMG_20211020_124613_123000.png
Page:  of 000  |