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What is Really Happening with Home Prices?

What is Really Happening with Home Prices?

Home values have softened over the last twelve months. We are no longer seeing 6-7% annual appreciation levels for the national housing market. The current numbers are closer to 4%. Some have suggested that year-over-year appreciation levels could fall to 3% or less this year.

However, a stronger-than-expected economy and a good spring housing market have changed some opinions. Some analysts are now predicting that home value appreciation may begin to increase as we move forward.

Here are three examples:

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist of First American

“Data on the movement of unadjusted house prices during the early spring home-buying season won’t be available for a few more months, but it’s quite likely that price appreciation will accelerate again.”

CoreLogic’s April “Home Price Insights

“Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased year over year by 3.7% in March 2019 compared with March 2018…The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 4.8% on a year-over-year basis from March 2019 to March 2020.”

Pulsenomics’ Quarterly “Home Price Expectation Survey”

  • The 2018 4th Quarter survey called for 3.8% appreciation for 2019.
  • The 2019 1st Quarter survey raised the appreciation projection for this year to 4.3%.

Bottom Line

Price appreciation has slowed over the past year. However, a strong economy and a good housing market have many experts thinking that home values might re-accelerate moderately throughout the rest of this year.

 

Written by KCM Crew

Source: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2019/05/16/what-is-really-happening-with-home-prices/

May 16, 2019   No Comments

What Would Make You Sell Your House?

What Would Make You Sell Your House?

There are many reasons why a homeowner decides to sell their house and move. The latest Generational Trends Report from the National Association of Realtors asked recent home sellers to share their reason for moving.

The younger the respondents, the more likely their top response centered around needing a larger home (ages 29 to 53). Relocating for a job was the top reason for those ages 54 to 63 and the second most popular response for those under 53. The chart below shows the breakdown for these two reasons.

What Would Make You Sell Your House? | Keeping Current Matters

For homeowners over the age of 64, wanting to be closer to friends and family served as the top motivator to move. Downsizing to a smaller home or moving due to retirement came in as a close second and third.

What Would Make You Sell Your House? | Keeping Current Matters

Have you outgrown your current house? Are you a homeowner who can relate to wanting to be closer to family and friends? Is your house becoming a burden to clean now that the kids have moved out?

Bottom Line

Contact a local real estate professional who can help set you on the path to selling your current house and finding the home that fits your needs, today!

 

Written By KCM Crew

Source: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2019/04/30/what-would-make-you-sell-your-house/

May 10, 2019   No Comments

6 Ways to Update the Look of Your Bathroom Without Doing a Full Reno

The average cost of a midrange bathroom renovation is more than $20,000. If you kick that up to the “upscale” level, it’s almost $65,000. Yikes! Luckily, there are lots of little changes you can make in the bathroom to make it feel new again—or at least less old. They range in price from the cost of a family outing to the movies (with popcorn), to the cost of a couple of airline tickets to Hawaii (during a really good sale).

Go frameless

It’s not cheap to convert an outdated shower to something more updated. Frameless glass will give you the sleek look you want, but be prepared to spend a good thousand bucks for the glass and the installation.

But add frames here

Frames around your mirrors give the space a more finished look. Companies like Mirrormate offer a custom solution that allows you to choose from tons of finishes and have the frame made to the size of your mirror. Of course, you could save a bunch of money by doing it yourself with some molding and a miter saw.

Paint it

You can completely change the look of your bathroom by slathering a fresh coat of paint over tired cabinets. Brush on a couple of coats of white paint over that chipped and dingy dark wood (but be sure to fill in those chips first!) and you’ll be amazed at how great your space can look.

Add some jewelry

Cabinet hardware can take boring, old cabinets and give them a little sparkle. Don’t be afraid to go bold or do something a little different. When you go to sell your home, you can always change them out for something more neutral for minimal cost and in a matter of minutes. This template will make installation easy.

Change out the faucets

You don’t have to get a whole new vanity to give you space a newish feel. Swapping out old faucets for something a little fancier will give the bathroom a lift. Do yourself a favor and take a picture, and measurements, of the existing faucet to take with you when you go shopping. Ask a salesperson to help you match the size and configuration so you don’t have to create any new holes in your bathroom countertop during installation.

Get new lighting

Builder grade is builder blah. For as little as about $100 (less if you catch a great sale!), you could replace your boring light fixture with something that’s really illuminating. It’s not a top-to-toe reno, but little details like this are sure to make you smile.

 

Written by Jaymi Naciri

Source: https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1026645-6-ways-to-update-the-look-of-your-bathroom-without-doing-a-full-reno?rtmpage=

April 9, 2019   No Comments

15 Ideas for Home Projects on a Budget

Here’s a list of simple projects you can tackle to improve the look (and value) of your home.

Projects Under $100

1. Rearrange Furniture. Pull furniture away from the walls and position it at new, more inviting angles. You’ll change the look and dimension of your room.

2. Paint Walls. Choose one wall to paint in an accent color. Select a hue that’s already a part of the décor, one that complements and highlights your pieces.

3. Get Plenty of Greens. Lush broad-leafed plants are easy to maintain indoors and add some life to any room. If you don’t have a green thumb, opt for silk plants instead.

4. Accent Floors. A new rug is the perfect accent. Look for one that has colors that reflects your décor, and then angle it under a coffee table or dining room table.

5. Frame It. Use multiple frames that are of a similar style to create a framed picture collage on the wall. If frames don’t match, faux finish them for a complete look. . Lighting dictates the mood of a room. Mix and match lamp bases and shades to create new looks. Looking for another bright idea? Add recessed lighting.

6. Light Up Your Room.

7. Go Faux. Create a whole new look with faux finishing. Washing, leafing, marbling and stripping can be used to change walls or make furniture look fresh.

8. Update Cabinets. New hardware can transform a kitchen. Select matching sets of knobs and pulls to completely change the look and feel of your cabinets.

9. Wallpaper. Wallpaper doesn’t need to go wall-to-wall. Use it with paint to accent borders or choose a single wall to express your style.

Projects Under $500

10. Update Fixtures. New fittings, a fresh vanity and new toilet can completely change the appearance of your bathroom. Choose sets that work well together.

11. Add Moulding. Crown moulding adds a touch of luxury. To install it yourself, buy extra moulding and practice your miter cuts before beginning.

12. Update Flooring. New flooring gives a room a boost from the bottom. Try a natural-looking wood laminate. It’s simple to install and yields extraordinary results.

13. Install a fan. A large, decorative ceiling fan with a light fixture can brighten a room and create a comfortable climate
that you control at the touch of a button.

14. Organize Closets. Less clutter will make your entire home feel more spacious. Maximize storage with new shelving and wire organizers so everything is neat.

15. Care For Your Landscape. Add new hedges in the front, trees in the back and flowers that complement your home’s exterior. Little outdoor projects like these can really make you feel more settled in.

These ideas are provided as a service from Lowe’s, the Original Home Improvement Warehouse. Lowe’s assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Please read our terms of use.

 

Written By Lowes

Source: https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1025609-15-ideas-for-home-projects-on-a-budget?rtmpage=

 

March 13, 2019   No Comments

4 Reasons to Buy a Home in the Spring

4 Reasons to Buy a Home in the Spring

Spring has sprung, and it’s a great time to buy a home! Here are four reasons to consider buying today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest U.S. Home Price Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 4.4% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.6% over the next year.

Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage came in at 4.41% last week. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage

Some renters have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgageeither yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The cost of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Examine the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, greater safety for your family, or you just want to have control over renovations, now could be the time to buy.

Bottom Line

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

 

Written By KCM Crew

https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2019/03/11/4-reasons-to-buy-a-home-in-the-spring/

March 11, 2019   No Comments

Down Payment Dilemma: How Do You Know How Much To Put Down On A Home?

You’d be a homeowner right now if it weren’t for one thing: the down payment. Right? Even for those who have decent credit and make good money, the down payment is often the great homeownership killer.

For many others, who do have enough money set aside to make a substantial down payment, the question is: how much? Conventional wisdom—not to mention most of the banks and a good portion of homebuying and financial experts—will tell you that 20 percent is the standard bearer when it comes to down payments. But is it really necessary to put 20 percent down?

The short answer is: no.

Now for the long answer.

“Raising a 20 percent down payment isn’t an easy thing to do. Fortunately, you don’t have to. “It’s a myth that all homebuyers must have a 20 percent down payment to buy a home,” says Nancy Herrera-Siples, a Riverside, Calif., branch manager at Primary Residential Mortgage on U.S. News. “So why do you constantly hear that you need to put 20 percent down? Because if you don’t, it usually means you’ll have to shell out money for either private mortgage insurance or government insurance, which is usually financed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).”

And there’s another rub for those who are already struggling to come up with the minimum down payment: that extra couple of hundred dollars per month feels like a penalty. It’s not, of course—”Mortgage insurance protects the lender in case you can’t make your payments and the house is foreclosed on,” said U.S. News—but that money can make a significant difference for those who are stretching to buy a home.

Still, when your only option to buy is a low down payment, which can mean an FHA loan or one of the new low down payment loans from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae—”At the end of 2014, the two government-backed companies announced plans to slash down payments from 5% to 3%,” said CNN—PMI might literally be a small price to pay. Especially if swelling rents are making homeownership look more and more promising. Remember that PMI does go away eventually when your loan balance is 80 percent or less of the home’s value. If you’re in an area where homes are rising in value, this could happen sooner than you think.

Still confused about the ins and outs of down payments? Here are a few reasons to go high…or low.

When to make a substantial down payment

  • When you’re looking to keep your monthly payment as low as possible and have cash to spare
  • When you just can’t fathom paying PMI
  • When your goal is to buy a forever home and own it free and clear
  • When you are approaching retirement age and can envision a reverse mortgage sometime down the line
  • When you want to buy your house and pay it off as quickly as possible
  • When the rate is lower with a higher down payment. “The more you put down, the better position you are in for negotiating a lower interest rate with your lender,” said Credit.com. Plus, a “low down payment might affect other loan features, such as…the points, which are upfront interest charges,” said Banking My Way.
  • If you’re worried about being under water. If the market should drop in your area, you run the risk of owing more than your home is worth.

When to go low

  • When you don’t have the funds for a higher down payment and can’t earn or borrow them quickly enough
  • When the rate on your FHA or Fannie or Freddie loan is comparable to that you’d get with a higher down payment
  • When you need to escape a high-rent situation and the monthly payment on a house is lower than what you’re currently paying, even with the PMI factored in
  • When you’re confident your home will appreciate quickly, allowing you to refinance and get rid of PMI quickly
  • When your investments can’t be touched without a penalty or are returning better than the interest rate you’ll get on your home
  • If you have something better to do with the money. “If you bought a $400,000 home, 5% down would be $20,000, while 20% down would be $80,000—a whopping difference. An immediate need such as a college tuition payment would make the smaller down payment more appealing,” said Banking My Way.
  • When you feel more secure setting money aside for emergencies instead of tying it all up in your house.

 

Written By Jaymi Naciri

Source: https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/buyersadvice/item/38415-20150917-down-payment-dilemma-how-do-you-know-how-much-to-put-down-on-a-home?rtmpage=

March 11, 2019   No Comments

Selling Your Home? Make it a Summer Dream Home for Buyers

Selling your home in the summertime can be a great opportunity to attract buyers. Having your home “summer-ready” can increase the chances of it selling faster.

Searching for homes often increases just as schools let out and families have some extra time to begin the hunt prior to the next school year beginning.

As a seller, there are a few things you can do to create a summer-ready home that influences your buyers to step inside and stay a bit. The longer they stay when previewing your home, the greater likelihood that they’re considering making an offer.

Make sure your winter decorations are put away and stored. I know this sounds basic and maybe even amusing but there have been instances when lingering holiday decor still adorns some areas of the home. This may be charming to the homeowners but rest assured it’s not to prospective buyers. It’ll simply look like clutter.

Pull the heavy-duty winter rugs up. If you have beautiful flooring like hardwood, go bare for the summer months. Revealing well-kept floors can be a big plus. Rugs that lined the floors in the winter months can be packed up when you’re listing your home for sale in the summer months.

Make the home look like the season and match the neighborhood. If it’s bright and cheerful outside, invite that into your home by opening up the windows and letting natural light flow through. If there is one, let a cool breeze blow in or keep the air conditioner on so that it’s a comfortable temperature to tour your home. Nothing is worse than entering a home to preview and finding that you can hardly stay inside because it’s stuffy and blazing hot.

Tidy up the backyard. Sometimes a lot of attention is given to the interior of the home and the outside area gets overlooked. Remember, in the summertime especially, homeowners will be sure to check out your yard. Make sure that it hasn’t become a dumping ground or storage for all the stuff you’re trying to get rid of before you move. Instead, create a pleasant vision for your prospective buyers by setting up the backyard with cute outdoor furniture. If you have gardens, make sure that you keep tending them. Don’t let them get overgrown. The charm of a lovely outdoor space, large or even petite, will be appealing to most buyers, especially if they’re starting with one that’s already designed and maintained.

Clean your fans and vents and change the heating/air conditioning filters. If you’re not using or living in the home, the fans and filters can collect a lot of dust. Be sure not to overlook cleaning these things as a dirty ceiling fan can whirl off a lot of dust and debris when it’s turned on. It’s not a good way to start a showing by flipping a switch and having handfuls of dust flutter about the room. Cleaning and changing air conditioning filters takes only a few minutes, but the return is huge.

A few simple things can help you “summer-ize” your home so that the prospective buyers can’t wait to move into the home and enjoy the rest of the summer.

Written By Realty Times Staff

Source: https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/sellersadvice/item/36491-20150710-selling-your-home-make-it-a-summer-dream-home-for-buyers?rtmpage=null

March 7, 2019   No Comments

Why an Economic Slowdown Will NOT Crush Real Estate this Time

Why an Economic Slowdown Will NOT Crush Real Estate this Time

Last week, the National Association for Business Economics released their February 2019 Economic Policy Survey. The survey revealed that a majority of the panel believe an economic slowdown is in the near future:

“While only 10% of panelists expect a recession in 2019, 42% say a recession will happen in 2020, and 25% expect one in 2021.”

Their findings coincide with three previous surveys calling for a slowdown sometime in the next two years:

  1. The Pulsenomics Survey of Market Analysts
  2. The Wall Street Journal Survey of Economists
  3. The Duke University Survey of American CFOs

That raises the question: Will the real estate market be impacted like it was during the last recession?

A recession does not equal a housing crisis. According to the dictionary definition, a recession is:

“A period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.”

During the last recession, prices fell dramatically because the housing collapse caused the recession. However, if we look at the previous four recessions, we can see that home values weren’t negatively impacted:

  • January 1980 to July 1980: Home values rose 4.5%
  • July 1981 to November 1982: Home values rose 1.9%
  • July 1990 to March 1991: Home values fell less than 1%
  • March 2001 to November 2001: Home values rose 4.8%

Most experts agree with Ralph McLaughlin, CoreLogic’s Deputy Chief Economist, who recently explained:

“There’s no reason to panic right now, even if we may be headed for a recession. We’re seeing a cooling of the housing market, but nothing that indicates a crash.”

The housing market is just “normalizing”. Inventory is starting to increase and home prices are finally stabilizing. This is a good thing for both buyers and sellers as we move forward.

Bottom Line

If there is an economic slowdown in our near future, there is no need for fear to set in. As renowned financial analyst, Morgan Housel, recently tweeted:

“An interesting thing is the widespread assumption that the next recession will be as bad as 2008. Natural to think that way, but, statistically, highly unlikely. Could be over before you realized it began.”

Written By KCM Crew

Source: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2019/03/07/why-an-economic-slowdown-will-not-crush-real-estate-this-time/

March 7, 2019   No Comments

How to Create a Cohesive Color Flow Throughout Your Home

Color preferences vary as much as personalities. Some folks love the bright and the bold, while others feel most secure surrounded by neutrals. The good news is that when it comes to color, there really is no “correct” palette.

That said, we’ve all been inside homes where an explosion of color created a choppy feel between rooms — and sometimes, the urge to run. A great way to avoid this result is to hire a designer or color consultant, either to guide your entire remodeling or decorating project or simply to advise you on the best colors for your spaces. We asked pros to share their tips for creating a cohesive flow of color throughout a home. Read on to find out what they said.

For a Well-Designed Look, Hire an Expert

Designers have studied color and can offer invaluable guidance when you’re decorating or remodeling. You can hire one to take your project from start to finish, or simply as a consultant to troubleshoot a specific area like tweaking your home’s palette so that the colors flow well throughout your home.Porter, who does a lot of color consultations, says her clients tend to know what color they want to use but need validation that the shade they are considering will produce the desired effect. Recently, she did a long-distance consultation with a client who passionately loves orange. “The colors she was telling me about were very bright and childlike,” Porter says. The designer suggested a more adult rusty orange instead. “She tried it and loved it,” Porter says.Tell us: Have you achieved a great color flow in your house? What tricks did you or your designer use? Share in the Comments.
Written By Erin Carlyle
Source: https://www.houzz.com/magazine/how-to-create-a-cohesive-color-flow-throughout-your-home-stsetivw-vs~66922903

March 5, 2019   No Comments

Simple DIY Projects That Will Increase the Value of Your Home

Looking to boost the value of your home without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars? You can! Making changes in certain rooms, like the kitchen and bathroom, is more beneficial than in others. These simple DIY projects will help increase your home’s value the most.

Modernize Fixtures

Replacing outlet covers can cost less than a dollar each, but if they have paint or other things on it, it’s a good change. While you’re at it, consider updating the outlets themselves. For about $25-$30 you can buy an outlet that also includes two USB charging ports. With all the smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices lying around, just a few of those, well-placed, can make a big difference. Think about the rooms in your home that don’t have enough outlets and the rooms that are most used for charging.

A less expensive upgrade? Doorknobs. Mismatched, broken, and dingy doorknobs can be a major deterrent. For a small amount of money per knob, you can update the look and make the whole house more visually appealing.

Lighten It Up

The more light you can add to your home, the better. Freshening up or removing curtains can brighten your home and make it more inviting.

Replacing windows is also a great way to add value to your home, particularly true if you live in an older home that has a lot of windows that stick or that let in the heat or cold. Installing energy efficient windows can also get you a nice tax break. However, poorly-installed windows can let in water, which can lead to mold and cracked foundations, so this isn’t for everyone.

Old light fixtures, or light fixtures that are dim or unappealing should be replaced to brighten the house.

Makeover the Bathroom

Bathrooms consistently get a high return on the investment. If you have a small budget and you’re DIYing, start small. A new vanity. New sink. A nice ceiling light. A spa-like shower head. A nice towel bar. None of these things have to cost over $100, but they all add value to your home by freshening it up, providing simple conveniences, and making it nicer. Who doesn’t want one of those fancy shower heads?

If your bathroom floor is falling apart, suffering from water damage or is just outdated, you can restore it yourself pretty inexpensively. Many home improvement stores offer a class so you can learn what you don’t know, which might enable you to choose a more expensive flooring. Stick with a neutral shade to add the most value.

Freshen Up the Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the biggest things that will turn potential buyers on or off to a house. It’s also one of the places where you can get the most money back for your investment. What’s the single best DIY change to make in the kitchen? A fresh coat of white paint on the cabinets. Go ahead and change out the knobs, too.

Storage is another change to consider. Add more shelves, possibly with space underneath to hang coffee mugs. Kitchen islands are in demand now and building one with storage will add value.

Keeping Up on Maintenance

A home in good repair is always going to be more valuable than one with a leaky roof. If the siding is old or falling apart, replace it. Consider getting a home warranty, to ensure the value of your appliances. Also make sure to maintain the appearance outside, sweep up the leaves, trim the bushes, and keep fences in good repair.

Adding value to your home doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Sometimes, the simplest DIY can be the best place to start. Start by considering your budget and your home’s most pressing needs, and update from there.

Written By Damien Justus

Source: https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1002051-20170509-simple-diy-projects-that-will-increase-the-value-of-your-home?rtmpage=null

February 18, 2019   No Comments