Owning is becoming more popular than renting. Rising wages, loosening credit standards and demographic shifts are all creating momentum for owning rather than renting.
The homeownership rate rose from the prior year for the fifth consecutive quarter in 2018, according to U.S. Census data released Thursday. Owning a home is becoming more common. It held steady at 64.2%, unchanged from the prior quarter and its highest level since 2014. The share of Americans who own a home rose from the prior year, from 63.6% in the first quarter of 2017.
The homeownership rate rose last year for the first time in 13 years. That marked a turning point in the recovery, during which home prices have risen sharply and credit standards were initially very tight, blocking many renters from buying homes.
The U.S. added 1.3 million owner households over the last year and lost 286,000 renter households, the fourth consecutive quarter in which the number of renter households declined from the same quarter a year earlier. That could pose challenges for apartment landlords, who are bracing this year for one of the largest infusions of new rental supply in three decades. “Landlords should start to take caution,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist and founder of Veritas Urbis Economics, a consulting firm. “There’s going to be downward pressure on rents in the near future.” Rising wages and looser credit standards have helped bolster demand for homes in the last year. Fannie Mae made it easier for borrowers to take on more debt in the middle of last year, which coincided with a significant rise in the homeownership rate.
Demographics trends also increasingly favor homeownership, as members of the large millennial generation are entering their early to mid 30s, when people typically marry, have children and purchase their first home.
Nonetheless, challenges remain. Rising interest rates this year and a tax bill that passed late last year that diminished the tax benefits of homeownership were expected to dampen demand for homes this year.
The rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage hit 4.58% this week—the highest level since August 2013, according to data released by Freddie Mac on Thursday.
Limited inventory and rising prices are also making it difficult for young people to buy their first homes, as they compete in fierce bidding wars and often lose out to downsizing baby boomers or investors able to pay cash or make large down payments.
The homeownership rate for households headed by someone 35 years or younger declined to 35.3% from 36% the prior quarter. Nonetheless, it rose a full percentage point from 34.3% in the first quarter a year ago—the fifth consecutive quarter it has gone up on an annual basis.
A lack of homes for sale is also creating challenges for would-be buyers. The homeowner vacancy rate declined to 1.5% from 1.7% a year earlier, according to the Census data. That is down significantly from the recent peak of 2.8% during the housing bust in 2008 and close to the level seen in the early 1990s, according to Tian Liu, chief economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance.
That is likely to push home prices up even further, Mr. Liu said.
When you are ready to buy or sell a home, contact us at Dupont Real Estate.
Spring Cleaning: Clean and Simple Whether you love it or dread it all year, there’s no denying that spring cleaning is a worthwhile task. Studies show that decluttering, cleaning and organizing your living space helps reduce stress and increase a sense of happiness. Here are a few ways to make your spring cleaning season easier.
Google Keep is the perfect way to stay organized while you’re organizing. Keep saves notes, lists and photos all in the same place so you can quickly and easily access them. The option to color code and add labels allows for additional organization. You can even instantly document what’s on your mind by recording a voice memo that Keep will transcribe and save for later. Plus, you’re able to share and collaborate with others on Keep so groups can always be on the same page.
If you’re looking for an affordable dishwasher that doesn’t sacrifice cleaning power, the Kenmore 13479 may be a perfect pick. The 24-inch built-in appliance highlights simple, no frills design on the interior and exterior. Its main feature is the PowerWave™ Spray Arm, which cleans dishes from every direction, with jets spraying from two sides. It also includes a Time Remaining Display that shows you the cycle status. It’s a basic setup, but a great bargain for the price.
The Gift of Thrift
Cleaning out your closet just got a whole lot easier with thredUp, the world’s largest online thrift store. Simply send unused clothing and accessories to thredUp with its Clean Out Kit. After being evaluated, items that are on-trend and in great condition are placed for sale. Items that aren’t accepted for sale can be returned to you or passed on to third-party sellers. The profits from any of your items that sell may be used as store credit, donated to a cause of your choice or transferred to you through PayPal.
Taken from trsmag.com
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Don’t underestimate the power of privacy. Homebuyers say that privacy and having a space that is solely their own is the leading goal of homeownership.
In a recent survey of homebuyer preferences on Realtor.com, privacy even nudged out the much more practical desire of finding a space that addresses family needs. Privacy becomes increasingly important as buyers age up.
Other big reasons to buy a home: stability, financial investment and physical comfort. Many are also looking to buy simply because they are sick of their current home.
As for the architectural details: Ranches are the most popular style of home (and were dubbed the favorite of 42 percent of respondents—by far, the top choice), the kitchen is the most important part of the home (80 percent say so), and most people are looking for that sweet spot of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom configuration.
While most of these preferences held true through multiple age groups, the 35-to-44 range showed slight variations. They were less interested in the ranch style home, and were more prone to requesting four bedrooms, likely because they have growing children.
The most searched attributes at Realtor.com were large backyards, garages and updated kitchens.
When you are ready to buy a home, contact us here at Dupont Real Estate. We are one of the most experienced realtors in the Charlotte area.
Outdoor Living Trends: Owners and buyers look to increase value, livability with improved outdoor spaces.
When spotlighting trends in home projects for the coming year, the National Association of Home Builders’ Best of American Living awards pointed to intimate outdoor gathering spaces as one of the Outdoor living trends.
With outdoor fireplaces or fire pits and comfortable seating, small gathering spaces are poised to overtake larger backyards as the most sought-after way to spend time outside while staying at home.
But the best way to incorporate outdoor living into everyday life depends on the homeowner, says Brad Allen, CRS, ABR, a managing partner with The Art of Real Estate in South Carolina.
The biggest returns on cost for outdoor upgrades all revolve around improving lawns, with upgrading to seed lawn bringing the highest return at 417%. Source: National Association of REALTORS® Remodeling Impact Survey 2016
Young families, for example, might still want those wide-open spaces for running and other activities, whereas millennials lean toward outdoor fireplaces with sitting areas for lounging.
Making the Outdoors Marketable Because outdoor spaces have to be tailored to the needs of the buyer, it’s important to find out what your client wants before showing the client something that’s trendy, rather than useful, says Sharon Breslau, CRS, an associate broker with Westwood Metes & Bounds Realty, Ltd. in upstate New York. In her area, situated snugly in the Catskill Mountains two hours north of New York City, outdoor areas tend to focus on the view and streams for second-home buyers. But that doesn’t mean every buyer wants the same view.
“It’s a series of questions I ask up front when I have a buyer,” Breslau says.
Many buyers are going for the trendy intimate spaces, Allen says, particularly if they come with any kind of added entertainment area.
That can mean a deck with a great dining setup, or it could mean a pool, depending on the buyer, says Mary Lane Sloan, CRS, a partner/broker who works with Allen.
Bringing the Outdoors Inside The outdoor space itself isn’t the only way to experience the outdoors—how the inside interacts with the outside matters, too, Breslau says.
“Windows and doors are the eyes looking out of the house, so what do you see when you look out? Do you see a bush, or do you cut that bush down and suddenly you can see the yard and a nice hill or meadow?” Breslau says. “When you do an initial listing appointment, you want to talk about how the inside and the outside correspond, because the seller really wants people to like both.”
In general, outdoor spaces have to go way beyond curb appeal, allowing multiple spaces around the outside that interact with the inside.
Breslau encourages buyers to look for open space directly around the house—being able to walk all the way around a house without running into an obstacle is ideal—because this allows more light inside.
Investing Outdoors A 2016 National Association of REALTORS® report on the impact of remodeling outdoors showed the importance the outdoors is playing in the way buyers see the indoors. According to the report, outdoor remodeling projects add value to a home on resale, while also making homeowners who plan to stay in their homes happier.
Allen tells homeowners to make major changes outdoors only if they’re going to love those changes and find the revamped outdoor space useful, since a dollar-for-dollar recovery upon selling isn’t likely.
“However, a nice outdoor living space will most likely make the home more appealing to buyers, which could cause a buyer to purchase the home when compared to a house without an outdoor living space,” Sloan adds.
Year-round Outdoor Living In warm climates, outdoor spaces can be used all year without issue. Allen currently is working with a new-construction buyer who plans to install a 14-foot-wide accordion-style sliding door that will open her basement recreation room straight onto her patio and pool.
And outdoor kitchens or fireplaces on porches are useful in all warmer-weather climates as long as they’re covered to protect from rain, Sloan says.
In places like New York, though, warmth isn’t a guarantee for most of the year, so homeowners have to think outside the box to get more use out of their outdoor spaces, Breslau says. Three-season screened-in porches allow people in colder-weather areas to enjoy the outdoors for at least a little longer in the spring and fall, but to make those spaces year-round, all they need is some insulation and a gas heater to bump up usage in the winter season.
“People love them, especially if they’re right off the kitchen,” Breslau says. “Again, it’s that connection from the indoors to the outdoors. People love having the ability to step outside and feel like they’re still at home—they feel that they’re getting more use out of their house.” ￼
Private World Outdoor areas are great for having fun and relaxing, but if neighbors are too close by, they can also invite unwanted guests into the activities.
Privacy concerns are leading some homeowners to find creative ways to keep their outdoor areas out of the public eye, especially in areas where zoning regulations restrict fencing.
“A lot of people use bushy trees like giant green arbor vitae or Leland cypress,” says Brad Allen, CRS, ABR, a managing partner with The Art of Real Estate in South Carolina. “I have also seen sellers install lattice-style screens on the sides of their decks and porches.”
Sharon Breslau, CRS, an associate broker with Westwood Metes & Bounds Realty, Ltd. in upstate New York, also suggests having landscapers plant anything that grows big, “things that are hedgy and easy to pop in that add a little more privacy,” including rose of Sharon or jasmine, or anything viney on a trellis that can shield the sight of any neighbors.
“Privacy means something different to every person who you ask,” Breslau says. “So, I always ask: If you’re standing on your deck at your new house, can you see the neighbors? Are they off in the distance, or are you totally alone and can’t see anyone at all?”
Breslau also suggests using fountains to mute noises, especially a busy road in the distance. That adds another level of privacy and is helpful for Outdoor Living Trends that buyers love. By Megan Craig
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Economists and real estate professionals ruminate on whether to invoke the dreaded B-word and how to react as a hot market continues. Home prices are accelerating, and some markets are now considered overvalued. As home values surge, affordability is rapidly eroding. Are market bubbles starting to percolate in some regions?
Many housing markets are entering a fifth or sixth year of strong sales conditions, with low inventory and continuing high annual price escalations. Add to the mix an extraordinarily long bull market in stocks, and some buyers, agents and brokers are starting to ask whether the residential real estate business is too good. Is a housing bubble in the making? And if so, what can brokers and agents do to mitigate the risk to their clients and to their own real estate businesses?
“We have certainly experienced economic and real estate market bubbles before, which I define as a disconnect between the pricing for products and the underlying fundamentals that should define their values,” says George Ratiu, the National Association of REALTORS® managing director of housing and commercial research. “What happened in the housing market in 2005–2006 could be characterized in similar terms, with a disconnect between prices that people assumed would continue to go up and the underlying fundamentals in the housing market at that time.”
Odds of a Repeat Bubble Are Low But Ratiu and other economists and real estate analysts are quick to add that the housing market decline that occurred in much of the country between roughly 2005 and 2012, depending on the particular market, was among the severest on record. They view the likelihood of the reoccurrence of an event of similar breadth and magnitude as very small in the foreseeable future.
“As in 2006, today’s home prices are high relative to income and to rent in many markets, but there the similarity ends,” says Frank E. Nothaft, chief economist at Irvine, California-based real estate data and analysis firm CoreLogic. “There are many more differences. For one, interest rates [and capitalization rates] are much lower, so a given income [or rent stream] is consistent with somewhat higher prices. Second, no- and low-doc lending, subprime and no-down-payment lending facilitated by second liens, all of which were common in 2006, have largely vanished from today’s market. Third, the speculative ‘flipping mania’ of 2006 is absent from most metro areas.”
But Local Exceptions Are Possible Still, while another pervasive Great Recession-like bubble event is viewed as unlikely by many, all real estate is local and that generally applies to bubbles, too. Allan Weiss, founder and CEO of Weiss Analytics LLC, a Natick, Massachusetts-based real estate information and analysis firm, and some other real estate market analysts say that while a major national bubble is unlikely, they do have concerns that bubble-like conditions may be emerging in some markets or property types or price range subsets within those markets.
“When we look at our affordability index, we definitely see evidence of bubbles forming in many markets across the country,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president of Irvine, California-based real estate information and analysis firm ATTOM Data Solutions (formerly RealtyTrac). “An index of under 100 for a market means that it is less affordable than it has been in the past. Looking at the most recent quarter, the second quarter of 2017, of the more than 400 counties in our most recent quarterly index, 45 percent of them are below 100, which is definitely more markets than normal.”
How to Recognize a Bubble It is not easy, but there are ways to recognize bubble conditions in a given market. Among the key factors that economists, analysts, agents and brokers say would highlight the danger of a bubble are:
• Multi-year large annual price increases • A sudden increase in inventory and/or reduction in sales volume • Extensive market participation of investors, rather than owner-occupants, as buyers. • Extensive market participation of relocation buyers from more expensive locations • Subpar underwriting and appraisal practices • Sudden shocks to the national economy or local economics of the market
How to React Communicating with clients about the risk of a bubble is a sensitive issue. Rather than invoke the word “bubble,” a highly charged word likely to frighten buyers, a better approach may be conducting a more nuanced discussion of price risk and sales conditions, says Michelle Gordon, CRS, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based agent at Distinctive Homes.
With respect to sellers, it may mean advising clients of the possibility of a bubble and advising them to sell at a good price before a possible bubble pops, rather than holding out too long for a “best” price that significantly delays a sale and risks bubble exposure, says Judie Seitz, CRS, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based agent at Comey & Shepherd REALTORS®.
There are also steps that real estate professionals can take to protect their practices. Taking steps to diversify a practice by selling in a wide range of property types and price ranges can reduce the danger of exposure to a downturn in a submarket, says Jeff Dowler, CRS, an agent at Carlsbad, California-based Solutions Real Estate.
Bubbled Waters Real estate analysts vary in their estimation of which markets might have the greatest risk for bubbles or price corrections. During the first half of 2017, many of the metro areas that bear closest scrutiny tended to be in Florida, especially because of the relatively large price appreciation and elevated levels of investor activity, according to a CoreLogic study, the CoreLogic Market Conditions Indicator.
An ATTOM Data Solutions list of the 20 markets with the lowest affordability indexes in the second quarter of 2017, equating to markets where prices may be overinflated and affordability is out of line with historic norms, has the top spots dominated by Colorado markets, but it also includes Flint, Michigan; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Tarrant County, Texas—which are all among the top 10, says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president of ATTOM Data Solutions (formerly RealtyTrac).
Blomquist notes that markets low on ATTOM Data Solutions’ affordability index list suggest that traditional overvaluation suspects such as New York City and San Francisco are possibly being overtaken by previously more conservative middle-America markets.
By David Tobenkin: a freelance writer in the greater Washington, D.C., area.
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Blockchain technology could revolutionize the real estate business model.
With Bitcoin making headlines, a new word has entered the business lexicon: “blockchain.”
Much like the internet two decades ago, blockchain is a relatively new technology with seemingly endless possible applications. But outside the techie world, people have a limited understanding of how it actually works and whether it should be trusted.
Still, some experts see blockchain’s potential to completely change how real estate transactions are handled.
How blockchain technology works A blockchain is essentially a decentralized database with continuously updating digital records. Instead of using a central depository of information, blockchains use a network of databases that are constantly synchronized and available to those on the network (all via the internet).
Much like the internet itself, blockchain networks can be either private or public, says David Conroy, R&D lab engineer with the National Association of REALTORS®’ Center for REALTOR® Technology. The private version works like a private business’s intranet system, with information available only to those with a login to that specific network. Public blockchains are accessible by anyone, without a login needed.
In at least a couple of instances, agents have made and closed deals from start to finish exclusively using blockchain technology.
In September 2017, Sheryl Lowe of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty in Austin, Texas, became the first broker to close on a home purchased entirely with cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) when it represented the buyer of a custom home.
Blockchain gets its name from the way the digital transactions are completed, by being added to blocks with other transactions being carried out at the same time, then cryptographically protected. The blocks are “validated” using complex coded problems, and once the coding is finished, the new block is linked to older blocks, creating a chain that shows all the transactions made since the start of that blockchain.
Because the chain is constantly checked and updated across the entire network, everyone sees the same information at the same time, and everyone can follow each piece of the transaction as it occurs.
The downside of Blockchain Blockchain sounds failsafe, right? It is, except for one sticky problem: People still largely control it. That means individuals’ blockchain access codes are only as safe as they’re kept, says Ridaa Murad, founder of Breakform|RE in El Segundo, California—a common problem with current passcoding systems.
Of course, another huge issue facing blockchain technology is similar to that faced by the internet in 1994: People don’t really understand how it works, and therefore don’t trust their transactions to be handled correctly through this new and seemingly complex technology.
“Companies are seeing the potential, but people aren’t really secure about putting all that information out there in this way yet,” Conroy says.
Is blockchain the future of real estate? We’re still far from having all transactions done on the blockchain, Murad says, mostly because so few people understand how the technology works. Also, he says, despite the fact that it’s superior in many regards compared to other similar technologies currently in existence, that doesn’t guarantee that it will become commonly used in businesses. People will need to adapt.
But Conroy sees it as the obvious evolution of the real estate business model.
“It will revolutionize how real estate is transferred. It will be one of the most impactful technologies for sure,” he says. “It will increase the speed of transactions, reduce risk, make customers more informed … It has the biggest opportunity to create positive change.” A little farther from home, in Ukraine, an entire transaction was completed using smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, showing how quickly and securely the technology works for this purpose. That home was sold, perhaps unsurprisingly, to Michael Arrington, co-founder of the tech news site Tech Crunch.
“It’s only being done right now by absolute cryptonerds,” says Ridaa Murad, founder of Breakform|RE in El Segundo, California. “The one in Ukraine, this is just a guy trying to show everyone it can be done way faster, way better, way cheaper.”
Downsizing is a common discussion among couples. I often find working with couples that one wants to downsize but has agreed to purchase a large property with their spouse.
I advise them to find a home that seems intimate despite its large size. I tell them, ‘You don’t want to feel you’re rattling around in an oversized place that seems lonely, especially when you’re there by yourself.’
I recommend they avoid a property with a two-story atrium or ceilings that soar 10
feet or higher. Likewise, they should avoid a home with an oversized formal living room they’re unlikely to use often.
The coziest arrangement is to have a big family room right off the kitchen, because people spend most of their time in the kitchen area.
Finally, I tell them not to assume that a place they buy upon retirement will be their last home. Source:
Tips are from your local Charlotte realtor, Dupont Real Estate. Call us when you are ready to buy or sell a home.
Today’s homebuyers are less attracted to cosmetic aesthetics and more to a home’s bones, mechanicals and structural improvements
Homebuyers—regardless of generation—want a move-in-ready home. That may sound like an old song, but looking forward there’s a new verse. Move-in-ready is less about trending pop and sizzle in the kitchen and bathroom and more about what’s going on behind, under and over those cupboards and fixtures.
According to a recent consumer survey by homebuilder Taylor Morrison, 62 percent of homebuyers most want energy efficiency and 56 percent seek easy maintenance.
Are homebuyers willing to pay for what they want? In most cases, yes, says Craig Webb, editor of Remodeling magazine and its annual Cost vs. Value Report. The 2018 Report, not yet released, cites at least a 10 percent drop in return on investment (ROI) for upscale remodeling projects. “The highest resale payback is in projects that involve replacing what’s broken, inefficient or outdated,” he says.
Here are several key areas where you can guide sellers through home décor and design trends, attract homebuyers and profitably close more sales.
Get FIXated “Between Pinterest and HGTV, many sellers get caught up in visually preparing their home for sale,” says Lilli Schipper, CRS, REALTOR®, with Fort Lauderdale-based Island and Resort Realty. “Yet they forget about outdated mechanical and structural issues, which could come up during an inspection and end up killing the deal. Pre-listing inspections can sometimes provide more value than staging.”
Based on 2017 data, here are the top-10 home improvements in terms of ROI, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report: 1. Garage Door Replacement- 98.3% 2. Manufactured Stone Veneer- 97.1% 3. Deck Addition (wood)-82.8% 4.Minor Kitchen Remodel-81.1% 5. Siding Replacement-76.7% 6.Window Replacement (vinyl)-74.3% 7. Universal Design Bathroom-70.6% 8. Bathroom Remodel-70.1% 9.Window Replacement (wood)-69.5% 10. Roofing Replacement-68.4%
Mechanical and structural improvements may not be the sexiest home trend, but it’s hot—and getting hotter. “In 2017, the payback for these kinds of projects averaged 74 percent. In 2018, it’s up to 76 percent,” Webb says.
Driving home this point, the 2017 Remodeling Impact Report, a joint study from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), gives a new roof a 109 percent ROI. The 2017 Cost vs. Value Report gives top honors to what’s going on under that roof, with a 107.7 percent payback for fiberglass attic insulation.
Debra Pitell-Hauge, CRS, broker-REALTOR® with Michael Saunders & Company, headquartered in Longboat Key, Florida, says it’s about fixing functional obsolescence. That can mean an energy efficient HVAC system, new windows and doors, or the ability to withstand almost anything that Mother Nature dishes out. “Here on Florida’s west coast, buyers want hurricane-impact glass. I’ve seen people buy their second-choice home because it’s hurricane proof.”
Curb your enthusiasm “Curb appeal is more important than ever,” Pitell-Hauge says. “It’s partly because most people start their search online. So first they see the front of the house and then they move on to interior photographs.” While every REALTOR® knows the importance of curb appeal, Webb emphasizes that exterior project ROIs have been outpacing interior projects for a while now—and are not expected to slow down any time soon. These exterior improvements include landscaping and fresh paint as well as new doors, windows, siding and roof.
Open floor plan 2.0 For years, many homebuyers wanted an open floor plan, with a seamless flow from kitchen to dining room to family room. Homebuyers still want an open floor plan—but now they also want flexibility. Or, as Taylor Morrison’s survey reports, 58 percent of today’s homebuyers want a floor plan that can be personalized. Visually “explaining” an open floor plan’s flexibility ramps up the importance of professional staging, says Linda Rike, CRS, broker-REALTOR®, with Linda Rike Real Estate and serving Crystal Coast–Carteret County, North Carolina.
“A personalized floor plan implies creating living spaces where you want them to be. For example, in my market, the open formal dining room is making a comeback, so I might take an open space and stage a breakfast nook and a formal dining area—rather than one space for all meals.”
Or you may want to stage an open space with less family room and more home office space. Depending on your market, you might stage a smaller dining area and introduce room for a mixologist’s dream bar cart. It’s a visual solution for the increasing number of homebuyers who want to share the trending “cocktail experience” with friends.
Generally, stagers charge $300 to $600 for a consultation. Regardless of staging price, the payback can be substantial. According to the 2017 Profile of Home Staging report by the National Association of REALTORS®, 77 percent of buyers’ agents say staging a home makes it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home and about one-third of buyer’s agents feel that staging increases the dollar value offered from 1 to 5 percent when compared to similar unstaged homes on the market.
A warm welcome Houzz predicts that 2018 home design and décor will go to bold, warm colors—like ruby red, grays with a hint of brown, and rich, earthy shades of camel, rust, tobacco and burnt yellow. Vibrant floral patterns are expected to bloom from ceiling to floor. Not a warm color fan? Sherwin-Williams named Oceanside SW 6496 as its 2018 Color of the Year, describing the cool, deep tone as a rich blue that collides with jewel-toned green.
These colors are fabulous, but potential ROI disasters if permanently applied to walls, floors, fixtures or cabinets while preparing a house for sale, says Kathy Novak, CRS, REALTOR®, with Howard Hanna Real Estate serving Northeast Ohio. “Use color trends for furniture, bathroom towels and shower curtains, and kitchen knick-knacks, but not for anything that’s permanent.”
Specifically addressing walls, anything bolder than warm gray, warm beige, or better yet, a combo called warm greige, can immediately shut a buyer down, Rike adds. “The first thing that pops in their mind is: ‘I’ll have to spend a fortune to repaint the whole house.’ With that, they move on to the next property.”
Counter intelligence Yesteryear’s stark, all-white kitchens are warming up with vibrant pops of color, dark wood floors, dramatic statement tile work, black appliances and countertops created from a myriad of materials. However, Schipper says, these are pricey, upscale trends meant for personal enjoyment—but not investment. “If you put $80,000 into a new kitchen, do it for yourself and enjoy! Just don’t expect to get it back on resale value.”
The 2017 Cost vs. Value Report and the 2017 Remodeling Impact Report agree, both giving a major, upscale kitchen remodel a slim ROI of only 62 percent.
The general consensus is to keep kitchen updates down to a new granite countertop and perhaps a new sink. As Pitell-Hauge explains, “In high-priced markets, I believe buyers will tear the kitchen out and put in what they want, regardless of what you’ve done. In mid-priced markets, buyers won’t likely be able to afford the additional cost to cover a major kitchen remodel.”
Floor it Hardwood flooring continues to attract homebuyers. Popular alternatives range from distressed or reclaimed wood for a rustic look to sophisticated dark hardwoods stained sleek black to traditional oak, which remains a perennial fan favorite. However, with more trends than ever, it’s tough to know which look will grab a homebuyer’s second glance.
For that reason, it’s often better to professionally clean existing carpet or refinish existing hardwood floors. The 2017 Remodeling Impact Report gives refinishing a solid thumbs up, citing a 100 percent ROI.
The projects attracting homebuyers aren’t necessarily inexpensive, but they typically cost less than a luxury kitchen remodel or bathroom addition, Webb says. That means sellers need to invest less to prepare a home for sale and will likely recoup more—if not all—of their investment. As for sellers who think they need to present an upscale trend-worthy home, well, that only happens on HGTV. ￼
Over 50% of home buyers don’t shop for loans to find the best interest rate for their mortgage.
While a buyer would rarely purchase the first home they look at, they will accept the rate and terms offered by only one lender. While the borrower and the property affect the rate and terms that a lender may offer, not all lenders offer the same terms and rates to the same buyer.
I advise my clients that shopping around to compare rate and terms for a mortgage is a reasonable exercise considering that a half percent less interest rate could not only lower the payment but the cumulative interest that is paid while that loan is outstanding. Remember to shop for loans before making your decision
When you are ready to buy or sell your home, contact one of the most experienced Realtors in town- Dupont Real Estate.