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How Technology Is Enabling the Real Estate Process

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 8, 2020

How Technology Is Enabling the Real Estate Process | Simplifying The MarketToday’s everyday reality is pretty different than it looked just a few weeks ago. We’re learning how to do a lot of things in new ways, from how we work remotely to how we engage with our friends and neighbors. Almost everything right now is shifting to a virtual format. One of the big changes […]

How to Find the Perfect Real Estate Agent

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 7, 2020

How to Find the Perfect Real Estate Agent | Simplifying The MarketThere’s a ton of real estate information available in the news today and on the Internet. It can be extremely confusing, especially in times of uncertainty like we’re facing right now. If you’re thinking of buying or selling this year, you need an agent who can help you: Make sense of this rapidly evolving housing […]

Will Surging Unemployment Crush Home Sales?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 6, 2020

Will Surging Unemployment Crush Home Sales? | Simplifying The MarketTen million Americans lost their jobs over the last two weeks. The next announced unemployment rate on May 8th is expected to be in the double digits. Because the health crisis brought the economy to a screeching halt, many are feeling a personal financial crisis. James Bullard, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. […]

The Housing Market Is Positioned to Help the Economy Recover [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 3, 2020

Some Highlights

Expert insights are painting a bright future for housing when the economy bounces back – and it will.
We may be facing challenging economic times today, but the housing market is poised to help the economy recover, not drag it down.

Looking to the Future: What the Experts Are Saying

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 2, 2020

Looking to the Future: What the Experts Are Saying | Simplifying The MarketAs our lives, our businesses, and the world we live in change day by day, we’re all left wondering how long this will last. How long will we feel the effects of the coronavirus? How deep will the impact go? The human toll may forever change families, but the economic impact will rebound with a […]

The #1 Thing You Can Do Now to Position Yourself to Buy a Home This Year

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 1, 2020

The #1 Thing You Can Do Now to Position Yourself to Buy a Home This Year | Simplifying The MarketThe last few weeks and months have caused a major health crisis throughout the world, leading to a pause in the U.S. economy as businesses and consumers work to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The rapid spread of the virus has been compared to prior pandemics and outbreaks not seen in many years. It […]

The Economic Impact of Buying a Home

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 31, 2020

The Economic Impact of Buying a Home | Simplifying The MarketWe’re in a changing real estate market, and life, in general, is changing too – from how we grocery shop and meal prep to the ways we can interact with our friends and neighbors. Even practices for engaging with agents, lenders, and all of the players involved in a real estate transaction are changing to […]

The Best Advice Does Not Mean Perfect Advice

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 30, 2020

The Best Advice Does Not Mean Perfect Advice | Simplifying The MarketThe angst caused by the coronavirus has most people on edge regarding both their health and financial situations. It’s at times like these when we want exact information about anything we’re doing – even the correct protocol for grocery shopping. That information brings knowledge, and this gives us a sense of relief and comfort. If […]

What You Can Do to Keep Your Dream of Homeownership Moving Forward [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 27, 2020

Some Highlights:

Don’t put your homeownership plans on hold just because you’re stuck inside.
There are several things you can do right now to keep your home search moving forward.
Connect with an agent, learn about resource programs for things like…

Don’t Let Frightening Headlines Scare You

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 26, 2020

Don’t Let Frightening Headlines Scare You | Simplifying The MarketThere’s a lot of anxiety right now regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The health situation must be addressed quickly, and many are concerned about the impact on the economy as well. Amidst all this anxiety, anyone with a megaphone – from the main street media to a lone blogger – has realized that bad news sells. […]

Is Now a Good Time to Refinance My Home?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 25, 2020

Is Now a Good Time to Refinance My Home? | Simplifying The MarketWith interest rates hitting all-time lows over the past few weeks, many homeowners are opting to refinance. To decide if refinancing your home is the best option for you and your family, start by asking yourself these questions: Why do you want to refinance? There are many reasons to refinance, but here are three of […]

Why the Stock Market Correction Probably Won’t Impact Home Values

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 24, 2020

Why the Stock Market Correction Probably Won’t Impact Home Values | Simplifying The MarketWith the housing crash of 2006-2008 still visible in the rear-view mirror, many are concerned the current correction in the stock market is a sign that home values are also about to tumble. What’s taking place today, however, is nothing like what happened the last time. The S&P 500 did fall by over fifty percent […]

Economic Slowdown: What the Experts Are Saying

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 23, 2020

Economic Slowdown: What the Experts Are Saying | Simplifying The MarketMore and more economists are predicting a recession is imminent as the result of the pullback in the economy caused by COVID-19. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research: “A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real […]

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 20, 2020

Some Highlights

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing an economic slowdown.
The good news is, home values actually increased in 3 of the last 5 U.S. recessions and decreased by less than 2% in the 4th.
All things considered, an economic slowdown does not…

Are We About to See a New Wave of Foreclosures?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 19, 2020

Are We About to See a New Wave of Foreclosures? | Simplifying The MarketWith all of the havoc being caused by COVID-19, many are concerned we may see a new wave of foreclosures. Restaurants, airlines, hotels, and many other industries are furloughing workers or dramatically cutting their hours. Without a job, many homeowners are wondering how they’ll be able to afford their mortgage payments. In spite of this, […]

Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 18, 2020

Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis | Simplifying The MarketIn times of uncertainty, one of the best things we can do to ease our fears is to educate ourselves with research, facts, and data. Digging into past experiences by reviewing historical trends and understanding the peaks and valleys of what’s come before us is one of the many ways we can confidently evaluate any […]

Two Big Myths in the Homebuying Process

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 17, 2020

Two Big Myths in the Homebuying Process | Simplifying The MarketThe 2020 Millennial Home Buyer Report shows how this generation is not really any different from previous ones when it comes to homeownership goals: “The majority of millennials not only want to own a home, but 84% of millennials in 2019 considered it a major part of the American Dream.” Unfortunately, the myths surrounding the […]

5 Simple Graphs Proving This Is NOT Like the Last Time

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 16, 2020

5 Simple Graphs Proving This Is NOT Like the Last Time | Simplifying The MarketWith all of the volatility in the stock market and uncertainty about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), some are concerned we may be headed for another housing crash like the one we experienced from 2006-2008. The feeling is understandable. Ali Wolf, Director of Economic Research at the real estate consulting firm Meyers Research, addressed this point in […]

Buying a Home: Do You Know the Lingo? [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 13, 2020

Some Highlights:

Buying a home can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the terms used throughout the process.
To point you in the right direction, here’s a list of some of the most common language you’ll hear along the way.
The best way to e…

Yes, You Can Still Afford a Home

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 12, 2020

Yes, You Can Still Afford a Home | Simplifying The MarketThe residential real estate market has come roaring out of the gates in 2020. Compared to this time last year, the number of buyers looking for a home is up 20%, and the number of home sales is up almost 10%. The increase in purchasing activity has caused home price appreciation to begin reaccelerating. Many […]

Yes, You Can Still Afford a Home

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 12, 2020

Yes, You Can Still Afford a Home | Simplifying The MarketThe residential real estate market has come roaring out of the gates in 2020. Compared to this time last year, the number of buyers looking for a home is up 20%, and the number of home sales is up almost 10%. The increase in purchasing activity has caused home price appreciation to begin reaccelerating. Many […]

Confidence Is the Key to Success for Young Homebuyers

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 11, 2020

Confidence Is the Key to Success for Young Homebuyers | Simplifying The MarketBuying your first home can seem overwhelming. Thankfully, there’s a lot of great information out there to help you feel more confident as you learn about the process. For those in younger generations who aspire to buy, here are three things to consider sooner rather than later in your journey: 1. Understand What it Takes […]

Equity Gain Growing in Nearly Every State

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 10, 2020

Equity Gain Growing in Nearly Every State | Simplifying The MarketRising home prices have been in the news a lot lately, and much of the focus is on whether they’re accelerating too quickly and how sustainable the growth in prices really is. One of the often-overlooked benefits of rising prices, however, is the impact they have on a homeowner’s equity position. Home equity is defined […]

New Homes Coming to the Housing Market This Year

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 9, 2020

New Homes Coming to the Housing Market This Year | Simplifying The MarketThe number of building permits issued for single-family homes is the best indicator of how many newly built homes will begin to come to market over the next few months. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Residential Construction Report, the number of building permits issued in January was 1,551,000. This is a […]

The Difference an Hour Makes [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 6, 2020

The Difference an Hour Makes [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • Don’t forget to set your clocks forward this Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 AM EST in observance of Daylight Saving Time, unless you’re a resident of Arizona or Hawaii!
  • Every hour in the United States, 568 homes are sold and median home values rise by $1.92.
  • As we spring forward this year, let’s get together to see how you can take advantage of every hour in the housing market.

Impact of the Coronavirus on the U.S. Housing Market

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 5, 2020

Impact of the Coronavirus on the U.S. Housing Market | Simplifying The MarketThe Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused massive global uncertainty, including a U.S. stock market correction no one could have seen coming. While much of the news has been about the effect on various markets, let’s also acknowledge the true impact it continues to have on lives and families around the world. With all this uncertainty, how […]

Real Estate Is Soaring, But Not Like 2008

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 4, 2020

Real Estate Is Soaring, But Not Like 2008 | Simplifying The MarketUnlike last year, the residential real estate market kicked off 2020 with a bang! In their latest Monthly Mortgage Monitor, Black Knight proclaimed: “The housing market is heating entering 2020 and recent rate declines could continue that trend, a sharp contrast to the strong cooling that was seen at this same time last year.” Zillow […]

How Interest Rates Can Impact Your Monthly Housing Payments

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 3, 2020

How Interest Rates Can Impact Your Monthly Housing Payments | Simplifying The MarketSpring is right around the corner, so flowers are starting to bloom, and many potential homebuyers are getting ready to step into the market. If you’re thinking of buying this season, here’s how mortgage interest rates are working in your favor. Freddie Mac explains: “If you’re in the market to buy a home, today’s average […]

How Your Tax Refund Can Move You Toward Homeownership This Year

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 2, 2020

How Your Tax Refund Can Move You Toward Homeownership This Year | Simplifying The MarketIf you’re looking to buy a home in 2020, have you thought about putting your tax refund toward a down payment? Homeownership may be one step closer than you think if you spend your dollars wisely this year. Based on data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans can expect an estimated average refund of $2,962 when filing […]

10 Steps to Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 28, 2020

Some Highlights:

If you’re thinking of buying a home and you’re not sure where to start, you’re not alone.
Here’s a guide with 10 simple steps to follow in the homebuying process.
Be sure to work with a trusted real estate professional to find out …

How Much “Housing Wealth” Can You Build in a Decade?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 27, 2020

How Much “Housing Wealth” Can You Build in a Decade? | Simplifying The MarketEarlier this month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a special study titled Single-Family Home Price Gains by Years of Tenure. The study estimates median home price appreciation over the last 30 years based on the length of homeownership. Below are three graphs depicting the most important data revealed in the study. How much […]

Thinking of Selling? Now May Be the Time.

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 26, 2020

Thinking of Selling? Now May Be the Time. | Simplifying The MarketThe housing market has started off much stronger this year than it did last year. Lower mortgage interest rates have been a driving factor in that change. The average 30-year rate in 2019, according to Freddie Mac, was 3.94%. Today that rate is closer to 3.5%. The Census Bureau also just reported the highest homeownership […]

Entry-Level Homeowners Are in the Driver’s Seat

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 25, 2020

Entry-Level Homeowners Are in the Driver’s Seat | Simplifying The MarketOne thing helping homeowners right now is price appreciation, especially in the entry-level market. In the latest Home Price Insights report, CoreLogic reveals how home prices increased by 4% year-over-year and projects prices will rise 5.2% by December 2020. Why is this good news for the homeowners? When prices appreciate, homeowners gain equity. In addition, […]

Opportunity in the Luxury Market This Year

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 24, 2020

Opportunity in the Luxury Market This Year | Simplifying The MarketHomes priced in the top 25% of a price range for a particular area of the country are considered “premium homes.” At the start of last year, many of the more expensive homes listed for sale hadn’t seen as much interest, since much of the demand for housing over the past few years has come from […]

Interest Rates Over Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 21, 2020

Some Highlights:

With interest rates hovering at near historic lows, now is a great time to look back at where they’ve been, and how much they’ve changed over time.
According to Freddie Mac, mortgage interest rates are currently hovering near a five…

The #1 Misconception in the Homebuying Process

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 20, 2020

The #1 Misconception in the Homebuying Process | Simplifying The MarketAfter over a year of moderating home prices, it appears home value appreciation is about to reaccelerate. Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow, explained in a recent article:  “A year ago, a combination of a government shutdown, stock market slump and mortgage rate spike caused a long-anticipated inventory rise. That supposed boom turned […]

The Many Benefits of Aging in a Community

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 19, 2020

The Many Benefits of Aging in a Community | Simplifying The MarketThere’s comfort in being around people who share common interests, goals, and challenges. That comfort in a community doesn’t wane with age – it actually deepens. Whether it’s proudly talking about grandchildren or lamenting the fact that our eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, it helps to be around people who not […]

How Trusted Professionals Make Homebuying Easier to Understand

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 18, 2020

How Trusted Professionals Make Homebuying Easier to Understand | Simplifying The MarketIn the spring, many excited buyers get ready to enter the housing market. Others continue dreaming about the homes they’d like to buy. The truth is, many potential buyers continue to dream longer than they need to, simply because they’re confused about the homebuying process. Thankfully, working with a trusted real estate professional can help […]

The Overlooked Financial Advantages of Homeownership

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 17, 2020

The Overlooked Financial Advantages of Homeownership | Simplifying The MarketThere are many clear financial benefits to owning a home: increasing equity, building net worth, growing appreciation, and more. If you’re a renter, it’s never too early to make a plan for how homeownership can propel you toward a stronger future. Here’s a dive into three often-overlooked financial benefits of homeownership and how preparing for […]

Top Reasons to Love Homeownership [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 14, 2020

Some Highlights:

There are many benefits to love about homeownership, and they’re not all financial.
Being a part of a neighborhood, driving academic achievement, and improving mental health are just a few of these advantages.
Let’s get together to…

Top Reasons to Love Homeownership [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 14, 2020

Some Highlights:

There are many benefits to love about homeownership, and they’re not all financial.
Being a part of a neighborhood, driving academic achievement, and improving mental health are just a few of these advantages.
Let’s get together to…

How the Housing Market Benefits with Uncertainty in the World

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 13, 2020

How the Housing Market Benefits with Uncertainty in the World | Simplifying The MarketIt’s hard to listen to today’s news without hearing about the uncertainty surrounding global markets, the spread of the coronavirus, and tensions in the Middle East, just to name a few. These concerns have caused some to question their investment plans going forward. As an example, in Vanguard’s Global Outlook for 2020, the fund explains, […]

The #1 Reason to List Your House Right Now

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 12, 2020

The #1 Reason to List Your House Right Now | Simplifying The MarketThe success of the U.S. residential real estate market, like any other market, is determined by supply and demand. This means we need to look at how many potential purchasers are in the market versus the number of houses that are available to buy. With early 2020 housing data now rolling in, it’s quite evident […]

Homeownership Rate on the Rise to a 6-Year High

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 11, 2020

Homeownership Rate on the Rise to a 6-Year High | Simplifying The MarketRegardless of the lack of inventory on the market, the U.S. homeownership rate has climbed to a 6-year high. The United States Census Bureau reported that it increased to 65.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019, representing the highest level in the past six years. See the graph below: This increase does not come as […]

How Pricing Your Home Right Makes a Big Difference

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 10, 2020

How Pricing Your Home Right Makes a Big Difference | Simplifying The MarketEven though there’s a big buyer demand for homes in today’s low inventory market, it doesn’t mean you should price your home as high as the sky when you’re ready to sell. Here’s why making sure you price it right is key to driving the best price for the sale. If you’ve ever watched the show […]

The Top States Americans Moved to Last Year [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 7, 2020

Some Highlights:

Americans are on the move, and the most recent Atlas Van Lines Migration Patterns Survey tracked the 2019 traffic flow from state-to-state.
Idaho held on to the top spot of ‘high inbound’ states for the second time since 2017, follo…

Great News for Renters Who Want to Buy a Home

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 6, 2020

Great News for Renters Who Want to Buy a Home | Simplifying The MarketRents in the United States have been skyrocketing since 2012. This has caused many renters to face a tremendous burden when juggling their housing expenses and the desire to save for a down payment at the same time. The recent stabilization of rental prices provides a great opportunity for renters to save more of their […]

Does “Aging in Place” Make the Most Sense?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 5, 2020

Does “Aging in Place” Make the Most Sense? | Simplifying The MarketA desire among many seniors is to “age in place.” According to the Senior Resource Guide, the term means, “…that you will be remaining in your own home for the later years of your life; not moving into a smaller home, assisted living, or a retirement community etcetera.” There is no doubt about it – […]

How to Avoid a Gender Gap When Investing in the Housing Market

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 4, 2020

How to Avoid a Gender Gap When Investing in the Housing Market | Simplifying The MarketWhen buying a home, we all want to feel like we’re making the right decision, paying a fair price, and making the best investment of our lives. According to a recent gender-based study, men and women can unknowingly walk away with very different financial outcomes when the deal closes. Thankfully, if you follow some simple […]

Three Reasons Why Pre-Approval Is the First Step in the 2020 Homebuying Journey

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 3, 2020

Three Reasons Why Pre-Approval Is the First Step in the 2020 Homebuying Journey | Simplifying The MarketWhen the number of buyers in the housing market outnumbers the number of homes for sale, it’s called a “seller’s market.” The advantage tips toward the seller as low inventory heats up the competition among those searching for a place to call their own. This can create multiple offer scenarios and bidding wars, making it tough […]

Three Reasons Why Pre-Approval Is the First Step in the 2020 Homebuying Journey

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 3, 2020

Three Reasons Why Pre-Approval Is the First Step in the 2020 Homebuying Journey | Simplifying The MarketWhen the number of buyers in the housing market outnumbers the number of homes for sale, it’s called a “seller’s market.” The advantage tips toward the seller as low inventory heats up the competition among those searching for a place to call their own. This can create multiple offer scenarios and bidding wars, making it tough […]

5 Reasons Homeowners Throw Better Parties During the Big Game [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | January 31, 2020

Some Highlights:

There’s more room to entertain a large crowd.
The kitchen is big enough to whip up endless appetizers – yum!
You don’t have to worry about complaints to your landlord when the cheering kicks in!

Strength of the Economy Is Surprising the Experts

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | January 30, 2020

Strength of the Economy Is Surprising the Experts | Simplifying The MarketWe’re currently in the longest economic recovery in U.S. history. That has caused some to ask experts to project when the next economic slowdown (recession) could occur. Two years ago, 67% of the economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) for the Economic Forecasting Survey predicted we would have a recession no later than […]

Where Have All the Houses Disappeared To?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | January 29, 2020

Where Have All the Houses Disappeared To? | Simplifying The MarketIf you’re following what’s happening in the current housing market, you’ve seen how the lack of newly constructed homes is a major reason there’s a shortage of housing inventory available to today’s buyers. Another reason is that the inventory of existing homes for sale is shrinking. According to the most recent Existing Home Sales Report […]

Should I Sell My House This Year?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | January 28, 2020

Should I Sell My House This Year? | Simplifying The MarketIf one of the questions you’re asking yourself today is, “Should I sell my house this year?” the current Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) should boost your confidence as it relates to the current selling sentiment in the housing market. Even with all the information overload […]

First-Time Buyers Are Searching for Existing Homes This Year

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | January 27, 2020

First-Time Buyers Are Searching for Existing Homes This Year | Simplifying The MarketIn the latest Housing Trends Report, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) measured the share of adults planning to buy a home over the next 12 months. The report indicates the percentage of all buyers that will be first-time buyers looking to purchase a home grew from 58% in Q4 2018 to 63% in Q4 […]

2020 Homebuying Checklist

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | January 24, 2020

Some Highlights:

If you’re thinking of buying a home, plan ahead and stay on the right track, starting with pre-approval.
Being proactive about the homebuying process will help set you up for success in each step.
Make sure to work with a trusted re…

The #1 Reason It Is Difficult to Find Your Dream Home

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | January 23, 2020

The #1 Reason It Is Difficult to Find Your Dream Home | Simplifying The MarketThe headlines in real estate today all revolve around one major point: there is a shortage of homes available for sale. Price appreciation is accelerating again because there is a shortage of homes available for sale. First-time buyers are taking longer to purchase a home because there is a shortage of homes available for sale […]

How Buyers Can Win By Downsizing in 2020

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | January 22, 2020

How Buyers Can Win By Downsizing in 2020 | Simplifying The MarketHome values have been increasing for 93 consecutive months, according to the National Association of Realtors. If you’re a homeowner, particularly one looking to downsize your living space, that’s great news, as you’ve likely built significant equity in your home. Here’s some more good news: mortgage rates are expected to remain low throughout 2020 at […]

The 2 Surprising Things Homebuyers Really Want

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | January 21, 2020

The 2 Surprising Things Homebuyers Really Want | Simplifying The MarketIn a market where current inventory is low, it’s normal to think buyers might be willing to give up a few desirable features in their home search in order to make finding a house a little easier. Don’t be fooled, though – there’s still an interest in the market for some key upgrades. Here’s a […]