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Nine Must-Haves For Your New Home, Valentine’s Day Edition

The best of Collection Interior Home Design 2018 The best of Collection Interior Home Design 2018 The best of Collection Interior Home Design 2018 http://discoverskylark.com

Sure, the right number of bedrooms is important. And, of course, you wouldn’t even consider a house in the wrong school district. But what are the other things that really matter when buying a home? You know, the things that make your life easier – or at least a little less chaotic – on a daily basis and that support your lifestyle. Because it’s those things that make or break how you feel about living there.

What’s true of relationships also pertains to house hunting: A place you fall for today could lose its luster later on if you choose it out of lust and not love. Pay close attention to what’s on the inside and not just the shiny, pretty stuff to make sure you’re making the right match. These nine must-haves will help.

The right location

If you’ve never had to sit in traffic for three hours a day, you probably don’t know exactly how much it completely sucks. It may be worth it to you because a long commute is the only way you’ll be able to afford a home, but have a serious talk with yourself first.

The right overall layout

Sure, walls can be moved and floorplans reimagined, if that’s what you’re into. But some things you might not be able to change, perhaps because you lack budget or space—or both. If the idea of being on a different floor than your children stresses you out and you fear you’ll never be able to relax and enjoy your new home, a first-floor master with all the other bedrooms upstairs may not be for you. A floorplan in which a child’s bedroom shares a wall with the master suite might also pose a problem depending on your, ummm, typical noise level.

Enough bathrooms

Nothing kills the mood like having to squeeze your knees together while your honey is in the only (or only functioning) bathroom. If you’ve ever watched House Hunters and seen a couple buy an old home with one bathroom, which they justified because the place was “just so charming,” let us set the record straight: There’s nothing charming about peeing your pants.

Dual sinks

So the house you’re considering has an updated master bathroom, and what it lacks in space it makes up for in style, right? Yeah, maybe not. Having to wipe someone else’s hair or leftover toothpaste out of the shared sink may not seem like a big deal the first time it happens…but just wait.

A good family gathering space

Whether or not you have kids (or ever plan to), a good family room or living room is key to long-term enjoyment of a home. The amount of square footage is obviously important, but also pay attention to the key features of the room. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a space you hate being in because the west-facing windows make it too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter and the TV niche is shoved into the corner, making it hard to see unless you’re sitting directly across from it. Or perhaps that’s just us.

Upstairs laundry

Back to House Hunters for a moment. Who else cringes every time someone buys a house with a laundry room in a creaky old basement? Just the thought of having to carry laundry baskets down two flights of stairs is enough for us to say a hard “No” to that. Many basement-free homes have laundry rooms on the first floor, when all the bedrooms are upstairs. This may be an acceptable feature for most people—and it may be all you’ve known to this point—but trust us: Once you’ve enjoyed the convenience of an upstairs laundry room, you’ll never want anything else.

A sufficient garage

Burning your butt on a hot car seat in the summer and having to run the engine for 10 minutes before you get into a freezing cold car in the winter might anger you every single time you do it.

The right size backyard

Taking the kids to the park instead of letting them loose in a backyard you don’t have. Getting out of bed to walk the dog in the middle of the night—and in the rain—because, again, no backyard. Not having a backyard at all, or a tiny patch of grass that doesn’t give you space to move, might not be the kind of compromise you want to make. On the flip side, a large back yard that requires time and effort to maintain may take away from family time and create stress or anxiety.

A kitchen you can work with

Yes, you can replace a dishwasher or repaint your cabinets. Heck, you can rip the whole thing out and start over if you want, but most people aren’t looking to drop that kind of money on a brand-new kitchen. Is the kitchen workable as is? Are there small tweaks you can make that would create a space you want to cook in? Being honest with yourself about what you need, what you can handle, and what is realistic can help you make a good choice instead of one you may soon regret.

 

Written by Jaymi Naciri

Source: https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1015175-20180215-nine-must-haves-for-your-new-home-valentines-day-edition?rtmpage=

 

February 15, 2018   No Comments

What Impact Will the New Tax Code Have on Home Values?

What Impact Will the New Tax Code Have on Home Values?

Every month, CoreLogic releases its Home Price InsightsReport. In that report, they forecast where they believe residential real estate prices will be in twelve months.

Below is a map, broken down by state, reflecting how home values are forecasted to change by the end of 2018 using data from the most recent report.

What Impact Will the New Tax Code Have on Home Values? | Keeping Current Matters

As we can see, CoreLogic projects an increase in home values in 49 of 50 states, and Washington, DC (there was insufficient data for HI). Nationwide, they see home prices increasing by 4.2%.

How might the new tax code impact these numbers?

Recently, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) conducted their own analysis to determine the impact the new tax code may have on home values. NAR’s analysis:

“…estimated how home prices will change in the upcoming year for each state, considering the impact of the new tax law and the momentum of jobs and housing inventory.”

Here is a map based on NAR’s analysis:

What Impact Will the New Tax Code Have on Home Values? | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

According to NAR, the new tax code will have an impact on home values across the country. However, the effect will be much less significant than what some originally thought.

Written by KCM Crew

Source: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2018/01/18/what-impact-will-the-new-tax-code-have-on-home-values/

January 22, 2018   No Comments

Follow These Steps Before Starting Your Kitchen Remodel

If your kitchen is looking a bit dated, consider a remodel to upgrade its efficiency and looks. Here’s a quick guide to planning your kitchen update:

#1 Plan it out.

Sketch out what you want your finished kitchen to look like. Whether you draw your designs by hand or use software, understanding the finished look of your kitchen is an essential first step.

#2 Measure your space.

It’s important to know how much space you have to work with. Record the dimensions of your entire kitchen and other surrounding areas in your initial sketch. Use your measurements to plan the rest of your project.

#3 Choose storage options.

One of the biggest advantages of remodeling your kitchen is adding more space. Think about your current storage problems and how to solve them. Consider all your storage options, from standalone shelving units to built-in turntables in your new kitchen cabinets.

#4 Pick a color scheme.

Do you want to keep the same color scheme or go with something different? Do you want your kitchen to stand out from the rest of your home or blend in? Now is the time to answer these questions. Your color scheme could impact the appliance- and flooring-related aspects of your remodel.

#5 Compare materials.

Now it’s time for window-shopping. Head to your local home improvement center and begin calculating your remodeling budget. Compare the different costs of different materials. While it’s okay to splurge on some aspects, stray away from a $50,000 kitchen remodel.

#6 Have a set budget.

Once you know how much your project will cost, start saving your money and planning your remodel in earnest. Prices can change over time, so be sure to include some flexibility in your budget. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of permits and contractor labor.

#7 Find a remodeling pro.

Unless you are an expert, you will probably need to hire a remodeler to update your kitchen. Research local contractors, check their references and interview at least three pros before hiring one.

Conclusion.

Remodeling and redesigning your kitchen takes work. If you want to create an updated kitchen, you’ll need to plan, budget and hire a trusted professional.

January 18, 2018   No Comments

Live It Up in a Smaller Space!

If the house or condominium that you can afford seems too small, maybe you’re not thinking about space the right way.

Buying the best location you can afford is what successful real estate ownership is all about. These are the properties that hold value even in down markets and that appreciate steadily and consistently in all markets. Great-location properties are financial stepping stones to your multimillion-dollar dream home.

Since buildings and units in a price range decrease in size in inverse proportion to improvements in location — either at street level or vertically — when you make a smart real estate investment, you may end up with something smaller than your ideal.

Have you analyzed exactly how much space you really need?

Ask families with big houses how many rooms are occupied at once and where the family regularly congregates, and usually they’ll admit to less than half the space really being essential to daily life.

Tiny homes, floating homes, and micro-urban condominiums prove that the less space you have the more cleverly you use it. On top of that, the premium location you’ve selected offers benefits you value — many

of which encourage you to spend more time out of the house — so you’ll love your lifestyle, build wealth, and, therefore, enjoy living in your cozy home.

Prepare to make the most of a small space by getting rid of over-sized furniture and purging rarely or never used items including shoes and clothes that no longer fit in spite of your hopes. Take quality, not quantity, to your new space.

How many of the following interior design and decor ideas for accentuating small spaces are you ready to put in action?

Winning Design Elements

High ceilings, lots of windows, multi-level lighting, light layered monochromatic decor schemes, and sparkling surfaces like crystal, glass, and mirrors add warmth and volume to create inviting living spaces.

Functional Layouts

If you love to cook, a large kitchen matters; if you’re a take-out fan, you may appreciate this extra space elsewhere in the home.

Visually Enticing Verticals

Let decor draw the eye up to visually expand rooms. Use vertical storage and shelving units to open up floor space and reduce clutter. Hang pictures above each other to raise the eye. Install curtain rods just under or on the ceiling to add height to walls. Use paint accents or moldings to visually raise ceilings.

Clever Useable Space

Add shelving, built-ins, and storage everywhere possible, especially in under-utilized areas: under stairs, around windows, across windows, high on walls, over doors, under beds, in corners, in walls, as islands…. Add

elevated platforms for sleep or storage where ceilings are very high. Steal slivers of space from other rooms to expand the closets that matter to your lifestyle.

Open Lines of Sight

Enlarge doorways, windows, hallways, or shelf depths to improve flow. Remove walls to combine small rooms into wide-open spaces. Open lines of sight by installing glass, french, or louvered doors or by removing doors and trim. Install bay or green-house windows to add an airy, practical touch.

Camouflaged Clutter

Conceal screens, electronics, and associated wires to reduce visual clutter. Use slipcovers to transform distracting mismatched chairs into harmonious seating. Decorative boxes collect hobby paraphernalia and other task tools out of sight, but at your fingertips.

Savored Furnishings

Select multi-purpose furniture with open design, mirrored surfaces, glass tops, and compact-scale to reduce clutter — visual and practical. Space-saving furniture, moved out from walls and artfully arranged in conversation groupings, further adds to flow through the home.

Color Magnifiers

Add colorful, well-chosen, eye-catching focal points — a vibrant accent wall, sophisticated art, unifying accessories, smart cushions… — as creative bold emphasis to monochromatic decor to help minimize the importance of room size. Each paint manufacturer and many decor media have their own “Official 2018 Colors” so check around to uncover tones and shades that work best for you.

On-Trend Accents

Dictate whether and how trends can be beneficial to your home. Not every fashionable idea makes sense in your special small space. Ball-shaped lighting fixtures, circle patterns, golden-brass fixtures, natural materials, and velvet sofas are a few hot 2018 trends, but they won’t automatically add functionality and visual value to your space. Test trends on one or two accessory items or pillows to see what works. Before jumping into a major make-over, seek out small-space professional design input.

Written by

Source: https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1014040-20180116-live-it-up-in-a-smaller-space?rtmpage=

January 16, 2018   No Comments

Faking It: Faux Materials You Can Use To Bring Real Interest

As the Marvin Gaye song lyric goes, “Ain’t nothing like the real thing, Baby.” And while that might be a good motto to live by, when it comes to home trends and décor, today it’s all about faux. You can have a great-looking place, even if it wasn’t built that way, and without a huge expense. And because many of these items that stand in for the “real stuff” are DIY friendly, they’re even more attractive.

Electric fireplaces

Fireplaces can make a space feel cozy and comfortable, but not everyone was blessed with a built-in version. Thankfully, electric fireplaces are inexpensive, starting at just a couple hundred dollars, and are easy to incorporate into your home.

“If you don’t have a chimney or simply want to avoid the hassle of a wood-burning or gas fireplace, electric fireplaces provide an alternative to traditional systems,” said the Topeka Capital-Journal. They are also super easy to install since all they require is a power outlet and no chimney or venting, although, if you plan on setting it into a wall, you might need to hire outside help.


woodlanddirect.com
Make your fireplace pretty

Once you install that fireplace, you may want to trim it out to make it look pretty. DIYers swear by Airstone veneers, which look like stacked stone but are light, durable, and easy to install.

Faux panels

If you want to redo a large space, small products may not be an answer. These faux panels and sidings “are made of a high-density polyurethane” and are “molded from actual rock, stone, and brick, so they are lightweight, durable, realistic and easy to install,” said FauxPanels.com. “Whether you are a homeowner or builder, you can install the panels yourself for a fraction of the cost and time.” These panels could provide an easy update to the exterior of your home or transform an interior space that is calling for a little character. Their sister company, FauxWoodBeams.com, also has faux beams that can give your ceiling some interest without the high cost of real wood beams.


fauxpanels.com
Peel-and-stick wallpaper

Peel-and-stick wallpaper has grown from being a novelty to being a legit interior design option, and not just for those who can’t do (or can’t stand) “real” wallpaper. For those of us who like to change our décor a lot (guilty!) temporary wallpaper from companies like Walls Need Love are a godsend.


wallsneedlove.com
Other peel-and-stick options

The idea of peel-and-stick is a DIYers dream, and it goes beyond wallpaper. This peel-and-stick option gives you the look of real stone in an easy-to-apply, easy-to-manipulate, and easy-to-remove package that will look great on a backsplash. They are pricy, at about $23 a piece (which covers one square foot), so it’s not exactly a budget answer. But if you want stone without the installation hassle, this could be for you.

Quartz countertops

Quartz is the single hottest countertop product on the market today, having surpassed granite. One of the reasons today’s homeowners are choosing to go this direction: the ability to get the look of upscale, high-maintenance marble at a lower cost and without the abject fear of a stain or scratch that could ruin your expensive counters.


thespruce.com
Marble backsplash

If you want to run marble up your walls, creating a rich backsplash look, you could be talking about thousands of dollars. These peel-and-stick vinyl tiles are intended for floors, but at about a buck apiece, they are an affordable option for kitchen (and bathroom) walls too.

Stencils

These stencils make it easy to create the look of Moroccan tile or shiplap, customized furniture and even handmade-looking pillows. Create the impression of custom tile in your kitchen or on your floor (or both!) without the expense or hassle of remodeling.

These also come in a variety of sizes (this particular Santa Ana Tile Stencil is available in 6×6, 8×8, or 12×12). You also may want to check out the furniture stencils that can transform an ugly old piece into something fantastic. This Indian Inlay Furniture Stencil piece looks…like it would take a ton of time, if we’re being honest, because of the intricate pattern. But it’s so amazing we might be willing to give it a try.


cuttingedgestencils.com

 
Written by Jaymi Naciri
Source: Realty Times

January 15, 2018   No Comments

Time on the Market Drops to New Low in 2017

Time on the Market Drops to New Low in 2017

 

According to recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median amount of time a home spent on the market hit an all-time low of only three weeks in 2017.

Strong buyer demand, a good economy, and a low inventory of new and existing homes for sale created the perfect storm to accelerate the time between listing and signing a contract. The time needed to sell a home has dropped substantially since its highest mark of 11 weeks in 2012.

The chart below shows the median weeks on the market from 1987 to today.

Time on the Market Drops to New Low in 2017 | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are a homeowner who is debating whether or not to list your home for sale, know that national market conditions are primed for a quick turnaround! Meet with a local real estate agent who can explain to you exactly what’s going on in your area, today!

Source: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2018/01/04/time-on-the-market-drops-to-new-low-in-2017/

 

January 10, 2018   No Comments

Kitchen Trends With Staying Power

Kitchen Trends With Staying Power Parkes Interiors

As a designer, I pay attention to trends that come and go in kitchen design. And there are a lot of new options to consider. But I tell my clients that the key is always to consider whether what’s trending will actually function for your kitchen. So let’s take a look at some of the current trends that I would argue are among the best options to incorporate into your kitchen remodel. Which ones would you love to have?

1. Fewer upper cabinets. The trend toward less wall cabinetry in the kitchen will continue. It’s not that clients have less stuff to store, but rather that they desire less visual clutter and that feeling of openness that a lack of wall cabinets inspires. This means that clever storage solutions for both base and tall cabinets are even more important.

Glassware is commonly stored in the wall cabinet closest to the sink. With less upper cabinetry, the dilemma of where to put the glasses arises. Consider using a drawer or rollout shelf, as seen here. Drawers are overlooked when it comes to glass storage. To make it work, just line the bottom of each drawer or rollout with a nonslip rubber liner.

 

Pantry pullouts are also a great source of storage when wall cabinetry is scarce. This tall, narrow pullout holds dishes, cups and glassware galore, as well as half a dozen stainless steel bowls.

 

2. Comfortable seating areas. For years, islands have been considered the ideal gathering spot in the kitchen. But now there’s a trend toward more comfort, and seating areas in kitchens are evolving accordingly. Clients want a place to kick off their shoes and relax with a glass of wine while waiting for their dinner to cook. Expect to see more soft seating in the kitchen, like the light blue couch in this photo.

 

3. Steam convection ovens. My favorite kitchen appliance slowly gaining a foothold is the steam convection oven. Cooking with steam locks in nutrients and keeps foods moist. Unlike microwaves, steam ovens reheat leftovers without drying them out. As a bonus, there’s a convection mode that bakes and roasts.

 

Will steam ovens replace microwaves? The answer probably depends on whom you ask. They still can’t reheat beverages or pop popcorn, and for some that’s a deal-breaker.

4. Induction cooktops. Induction cooking has been popular in Europe for many years, unlike here in the United States, where cooking with natural gas is preferred. With induction cooking, the energy is generated by a metal coil beneath the surface of the glass cooktop. When turned on, the coil produces an electromagnetic current only when it comes in contact with magnetic cookware. This current heats the bottom of the magnetic pan and cooks the food it contains. Induction is safe — the cooktop is cool to the touch when the cookware is removed. It’s also fast. Water boils in under two minutes.

 

One way to introduce induction cooking into your kitchen is to add a burner or two. This kitchen has a gas range plus a small induction cooktop in the island.

5. Smart kitchen technology. Our homes are becoming ever more connected with our devices. Whether through voice activation, phone apps or computers, connectivity is here to stay, so it was only a matter of time before the advent of smart appliances.

 

Smart refrigerators. Ever get to the grocery store and discover you’ve forgotten your list? Of course you have! A few of my trailblazing clients have purchased smart refrigerators equipped with an interior camera that takes a photo of the contents when the door is closed. This photo can be accessed while shopping from the corresponding app. Some refrigerators can determine when stocks are running low, make a list and even reorder.

Smart ovens and ranges. Imagine being able to control your oven or range remotely. Car stuck in traffic? Begin preheating your oven from your phone.

 

6. Column refrigerators. Unlike traditional refrigerators with their predetermined refrigerator-freezer spaces, column refrigerators are full-sized single units that are either all refrigerator or all freezer. They’re quickly becoming a client favorite due to the ability to customize chilling spaces based on one’s needs and preferences.

Column refrigerators are available in sizes ranging from 18 to 36 inches wide, and they can be installed separately or combined side by side for a cohesive look. They can be paneled to blend seamlessly with the cabinetry or left stainless, as seen here.

 

7. Servo drive cabinetry. A servo drive electrical system can open any cabinet with either a slight touch or a remote control. Though often found in more modern kitchens designed without hardware, this feature needn’t be reserved for the modern aesthetic. Even traditional kitchens can benefit from a servo drive trash bin. Nudge the cabinet door with your knee and the receptacle magically appears.

8. Lighted interiors. Interior lighting is no longer limited to glass-front cabinets displaying lovely dishes. Pantry and base cabinets are often 24 inches deep with dark crevices, limiting the visibility of their contents — and what isn’t readily visible often doesn’t get used. Consider lighting the interiors of your deeper cabinets not as a luxury but as a necessity, like the light in your bedroom closet.

 

9. Touch faucets. Often found in public bathrooms, touch faucets are gaining popularity in kitchens, and they are very useful. When hands are full, or perhaps contaminated with raw chicken, touch the faucet’s body with an elbow or the back of your hand to turn it on. Touch it again and off it goes. Touch faucets make water more easily accessible for multitasking cooks.

 

10. Working sinks. Many clients are requesting sinks that double as work stations. These working sinks can be as small as 36 inches wide and as large as 80. Fitted with accessories like cutting boards, colanders, bowls and drying racks, they’re designed to improve function in the kitchen.

 

11. Black stainless. Every few years, appliance manufacturers debut a new appliance finish in hopes of starting the next big trend. Stainless steel is currently king. Anyone remember oil-rubbed bronze appliances from a few years back? Nope, neither do I.

The latest entry vying for market share is black stainless. It’s impervious to fingerprints, and that is a big, big selling point. Its main drawback is that when scratched — and it will get scratched — the underlying color is stainless, as in silver.

I’ve specified black stainless appliances twice in the past six months. Will black stainless have staying power? Only time will tell.

Written by Barbra Bright

Source: http://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1008039-20171222-kitchen-trends-with-staying-power?rtmpage=

December 21, 2017   No Comments

10 Hot Trends For Your Home In 2018

10 Hot Trends For Your Home In 2018

Starting to think about making changes to your home? The new year is, not surprisingly, a popular time to try on new trends or make overdue updates. Before you hit the paint store or buy those new kitchen cabinets, take a look at what industry experts are predicting will be some of the hottest home trends for 2018.

Brass

Brass has been showing up in kitchens, baths, and lighting for a few years, but homeowners who were hesitant to take the leap can feel more confident next year. Brass accents are expected to be huge for 2018.


apartmenttherapy.com

The end of the all-white kitchen?

It’s been the dominant interior trend for several years now, with white cabinets, white subway tile, and white quartz or marble countertops dominating kitchen design. But, next year, don’t be afraid to add a little color. Everyone will be doing it.

“Houzz says white will always be a classic color for kitchen design, but homeowners are expected to throw in bits of color, especially other neutrals like gray and blue,” said inman. “In order to add a little warmth to such a cool palette, designers are ditching painted cabinets for warm wood tones, such as mahogany.”

Mindfulness

Last year, hygge made a splash, bringing “the Danish concept of finding contentment in cosiness” to the home,” said The Independent. While we’re not quite ready to get rid of this homey trend, a new one is burgeoning: Ikigai. Will this lifestyle concept from Japan “help us live our best lives?”

The central principle of Ikigai is about finding purpose in life, and covers everything from a mindfulness surrounding daily tasks and goals to social connections to what we buy—and keep—in our home.

Wabi-Sabi

Of course, don’t fear that following Ikigai means you have to be perfect. If you also follow the principle of wabi-sabi, “the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection,” said Country Living, you can relax your mind and enjoy your surroundings without needing everything to look just so. “In home design, this translates to handmade or hand-painted items including rough linens and pottery. The result? A deeply personal, organic aesthetic.”

Into the purple

Ultra Violet, a rich, dark purple, is Pantone’s new 2018 color of the year, so if you’re a fan, you’ll have lots of options for incorporating it into your home in 2018.

pinterest.com

Lavender

If Ultra Violet is too dramatic for you, there are other options within the purple family that designers say will be hot for 2018. “Millennial pink is still around and I still love it, but it’s morphing into lavender and lilac,” Nancy Fire, creative director of HGTV HOME, Design Works International and Studio NYC Design told House Beautiful. “People were sarcastic about millennial pink at the beginning, but it’s being used to bring out beautiful, soft tones with accents that are deeper.”

The end of gray? In other very important color news: “Beige and brown are back,” said Gates Interior Design. “If you never got around to embracing the grey trend, well guess what? You’re back in!”

A sink to remember

Popularized in large part by HGTV’s Chip and Joanna Gaines, the farmhouse sink has earned superstar status in the kitchen. But, they have mostly been stainless steel. Not so in 2018. Houzz predicts “warmer hues and grittier textures,” with “concrete, stone, copper and granite composite sinks in darker hues of gray, bronze or black.”

Circles

Geometric shapes aren’t going anywhere, but we may be seeing more than linear shapes next year. “Hard geometrics are going to be huge, and I think circles are the new triangle,” interior designer Genevieve Gorder told House Beautiful. “You can start small with accent pillows or dive in with graphic wallpaper.

mydomaine.com

Non-linear shapes are also showing up in other areas, like these curvy couches.

Standout lampshades Make a little, no-commitment update by addressing your lampshades. “White drum lampshades, begone,” said My Domaine. Anna Brockway, co-founder of Chairish, told them, “We’re seeing strong interest in pleated, patterned, and even wicker lampshades. This is a great way to get a sophisticated, decorated look and bring freshness to existing lighting pieces.”

 

 

Written by Jaymi Naciri

Source: http://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1007899-20171218-10-hot-trends-for-your-home-in-2018?rtmpage=

December 20, 2017   No Comments

Home Renovations That Can Hurt (and Help) Property Value

green shutters

If you’re into renovation projects, then updating and revamping your home can be a lot of fun. But before you get too excited about knocking down walls and setting up a custom movie room, you might want to consider resale value. Flashy renovations don’t always yield the best returns, so you’ll need to take care when picking projects.

To make things easier for you, here are four remodels to avoid and four to invest in.

Remodels to Avoid

Luxury Rooms
An indoor basketball court, wine cellar, sauna, or even a movie theater won’t often recoup the high building costs. Luxury add-on rooms are hard to pitch to buyers unless you’re living in an upscale housing market—the average homebuyer won’t be willing to pay for them. Further, rooms that depend heavily on wired electronics, like home theaters, are hard to keep current because TVs and speakers are constantly advancing.

Swimming Pool
The average cost to build a pool is $39,084, a hefty price tag that is seldom recovered once the home is sold. It’s widely accepted throughout the industry that a homeowner will lose money by adding a swimming pool. Homebuyers don’t want to deal with the maintenance cost of a pool (which can cost as much as $2,000 a year), the added insurance premiums, and—if they have young kids—the safety issues.

Gaudy Accents
Though gold-plated crown molding or mosaic-tile backsplashes may feature prominently in your ideal vision for your home, they often turn out to be the average homebuyer’s worst nightmare. Passing fads or niche trends rarely stick around long, so if you miss the brief window when your remodeling choices are in, you’ll end up paying for it later.

Changes Contrary to Area Standards
If you aren’t watching the trends common to your area, you could end up losing a lot of money. A home that totals $600,000 after all the renovations won’t sell in a neighborhood where homes are netting half that price. Likewise, knocking down the walls of extra bedrooms for an open layout won’t be appealing in a family-oriented neighborhood.

Remodels that Pay

Steel Doors
You don’t want to go cheap on a standard front door. At roughly $1,000, steel doors are comparatively affordable, durable, low maintenance and burglar resistant. As an added bonus, the National Association of Realtors® reports that steel door upgrades show the highest return on investment of any home remodel, at over 100 percent of the cost.

Solar Panels
As the price of solar panels continues to drop, the energy payback on installing them is becoming greater and greater. The average rooftop solar system is now paid off in seven and a half years. After that, panels are a big money-saving asset. A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory notes that homebuyers “consistently have been willing to pay more for a property” with solar panels—a premium of around $4 per installed watt, on average.

Related: Will Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Solar Panels?

New Siding
The exterior of your house is the first thing potential homebuyers see when they come to your home, and you want to make the best first impression. This is part of the reason redoing your siding is so profitable. New siding recoups around 80 percent of the initial cost, according to the National Association of Realtors®, thanks largely to the increased curb appeal and improved energy efficiency it provides.

Broadband Access
Access to broadband speeds is considered an essential utility for today’s connected homebuyer. Research shows that faster internet speeds increase your home value by as much as 3 percent. Homeowners can prepare their homes for higher broadband connectivity by working with area providers to install requisite equipment and wiring. Building out wall ports and cable-hiding baseboards is a good move to attract buyers, too.

Even if you’re not considering selling your home just yet, keep potential selling benefits in mind. Intrepid homeowners know that the best remodels will increase both quality of life and listing price, so take care to invest in projects that will net the biggest returns.

 

Written By Brooke Nally

Source: http://blog.rismedia.com/2017/home-renovations-hurt-property-value/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email

December 12, 2017   No Comments

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter!

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter!

Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this winter makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.

Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in their home was six, but has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time to close a loan has dropped to 44 days, after seeing a 12-month high of 48 days in January.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has forced these markets into a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.7% over the next year according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

Written by the KCM Crew

Source: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2017/12/04/5-reasons-to-sell-this-winter/

December 12, 2017   No Comments