Thursday, July 28, 2016



6 Ways To Get A Head Start On 2017 Home Trends

Looking to remodel, renovate, or design a new home? You probably want to make sure you're on the forefront of modern trends. These 6 items and features will give you a head start on 2017, ensuring that your home is the chicest one on the block.

1. Bar carts
Metal, wood, glass, acrylic, painted, gilded, square, round, on wheels and off…bar cars come in so many options it's head-spinning. You can find one to match any style of d├ęcor and in any price range, from super affordable versions you can pick up when you're buying a pair of flip flops and a bag of dog food at Target to some that you can buy instead of taking a luxury vacation. But one thing is certain: they're hot! Carts are "practical, portable, and eminently stylish pieces (that) are sure to get the party rolling."

2. Playful and passionate pink
Pink has made it out of the girls' bedroom. Trends for 2017 are showing shocking swaths of pink as wall color, on furniture pieces, and as stylish accessories. A few licks of this bright, happy hue can instantly update a space and make it feel fun, fresh, and fabulous.

3. Mixed Metals
We haven't seen the end of the metal trend, but a few new twists are making metal feel even fresher now. "We're seeing brass and gold still, but also polished nickel and silver coming back, and there's a new metal finish - white plaster."  As a Style Spotter at High Point Market, the largest show of furniture in the world, Flanigan had an opportunity to see the newest trends firsthand. "There are a lot of light fixtures in white; it's that very organic finish, as well as beds and chairs made out of it."

4. Luxury appliances
Kitchens today are increasingly combining sleek surfaces with commercial functionality, and that trend isn't ending anytime soon. If you're building or remodeling, some emphasis in this area will not only give you an upscale, modern look, but also make the home desirable to buyers when you go to sell. One to watch: The True 42 refrigerator from commercial appliance manufacturer True Residential. From their new luxury home line, this fridge brings a restaurant look in stainless steel or slate pearl "with an automotive-grade paint application (that) raises the bar on traditional kitchen appliance offerings," said A Light Reflection.

5. The return of cork
Over the look of reclaimed wood on the walls? Take it up a notch, with cork.
"Cork is making a comeback! Cork adds warmth and texture to any home, it's also a great way to absorb noise in luxurious open plan homes.

6. Deep, rich colors
Not a fan of those light pastels that Pantone chose as the colors of the year? Go dark. But instead of the blue hues we've been seeing for a few years, veer next door on the color wheel.

"2017 is the year dark shades of green will be one of the hottest new trends. "Dark greens add depth when used as accent pieces, especially among tan leather, brass and natural linens."

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


10 Ways To Quickly Up Your Home Value For A Summer Sale

Planning to sell your home this summer? You may have a little - or a lot - to do in order to get your home market ready. But you don't need a huge budget. These 10 tips can help you get it looking great with little effort, and cash.

1. Paint
Crisp white walls are great in a 1920s Spanish. For most other homes, a splash of color is an easy way to warm up the space, make it look more updated, and banish fingerprints and stains. Use a soft neutral or a soft gray for a modern look.

2. Address your front door
A fresh coat of paint on your front door is a quick fix that pops with potential. Use a bright color like red or yellow to differentiate your home from others and make it shine from the street.
If your door really can't be salvaged by painting it, you'll be happy to know that replacing it with a new steel door has been shown to return between 75% and 100%+ of your investment. "It's also a relatively low-cost project.. "According to the "2015 Remodeling Impact Report," a new steel front entry door has a national median cost of $2,000 installed."

3. Quick curb appeal
Aside from your door, a few easy tasks can make the front of your home look great - important when you're looking to sell your home since poor curb appeal can keep potential buyers from even coming inside. A new layer of mulch has been called the easiest and quickest way to add curb appeal. Pulling noticeable weeds, giving the lawn a quick mow, and bringing in fresh flowers - if you can't plant, put a few pots near the front door—can make all the difference.

4. New appliances
Even if the rest of your kitchen needs work, new stainless steel appliances can tempt buyers. This package from US Appliance is just $1,749 or check out Costco they have package deals and look great!

5. Quickie bathroom updates
A new or painted vanity, hardware, fixtures, and lighting can make a tired bathroom look fresh again. Don't forget the little things - a fluffy set of towels, a nice rug, a modern shower curtain, and sleek accessories can make the space look good, even if it's really in need of a gut job.

6. New bedding
You'd be surprised how new bedding can transform the look of your bedroom for next to nothing. There are two schools of thought here: get a cheap bed-in-a-bag set that looks nice but probably doesn't have the thread count you want for everyday use, or spend a little more for something that has the looks and the luxe.

7. Create a guest room
Have a room that's currently an undefined space? A blowup bed covered in some chic bedding can help buyers envision how they'll use the room. This is a top tip from stagers, who say that "multipurpose" rooms can confuse buyers, leaving them unsure if a home will work for them.

8. Set the scene outdoors
Everybody is into indoor-outdoor living the days. A few tricks outside can make your place look inviting. Create a seating area with some inexpensive outdoor furniture. Scour garage sales or catch a sale at Home Depot or Target. Put up an umbrella for shade and use inexpensive pavers or deck tiles to define the space. Stage it for outdoor dining and you've just created valuable, usable space buyers can see themselves enjoying.

9. Steal a few staging tips
Hire a professional stager and it can set you back a couple thousand dollars. But you can steal a few of their most important tricks for free. Cleaning like you've never cleaned before, decluttering, and paring down your furniture to create inviting seating areas will allow buyers to see the space instead of your stuff (or your mess).

10. Window coverings
If your window coverings are ugly, old, and not doing your house justice, or if they're keeping too much light from streaming into the home, consider taking them down. Natural light is high on almost every buyer's must-have list. You can purchase inexpensive drapes at any big box store that you can use to frame the windows - but remember to keep them open at showings, and to clean your windows first!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Baby Boomers in Position to Control Market’s Direction

Baby boomers and other homeowners over the age of 55, which number about 67 million, control about two-thirds of the nation’s aggregate home equity, which computes to about $8 trillion.

These numbers put this group in a position to greatly influence where the housing market will go in the next decade, according to Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti in a blog post on Wednesday [1].

“Whether they decide to move from their current homes or age in place, the cumulative impact of their decisions on mortgage demand, affordable housing supplies, and the housing options available to Millennials and other aspiring homeowners will be substantial,” Becketti wrote.

Freddie Mac’s survey of nearly 4,900 homeowners [2] age 55 and over (a mix of men, women, Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic, and Asian), revealed that the majority of baby boomers are satisfied with their current homes (about 64 percent) and that 90 percent believe people their age should own a home. Nearly everyone surveyed said homeownership makes sense for married people with children (96 percent), and a majority said it makes sense for people without children (85 percent).

About 63 percent of respondents said they prefer to age in place, which would compute to about 42 million homeowners spread out across the entire 55+ demographic. However, that still leaves approximately 40 percent of boomers (27 million) who said that if they had complete control, they would move at least one more time. According to Freddie Mac, 19 million of those boomers plan to buy a home and eight million plan to move in the next four years.

“These are big numbers with the potential to tighten homebuying competition in the housing market, especially for millennials and other first-time homebuyers,” Becketti wrote. “They also have the potential to generate significant new demand for mortgage credit. Whether the borrower is financing age-in-place renovations or buying a new house, even a relatively modest increase in lending to 55+ homeowners could add trillions of dollars in new originations in a relatively short time. One way or another, the baby boomers' housing decisions over the next few years will take our market to brand new places.”

Thursday, June 9, 2016



Capture the Glory of the Summer of ’16 and Lock In Low Mortgage Rates

If you are among the estimated 3 million households likely to close on the purchase of a home from now through August, the summer of ’16 is looking like a golden period of low mortgage rates.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is now 3.63%, near April’s average of 3.61%. Rates had moved up in May, anticipating that the Federal Reserve might raise short-term rates as early as June.  However, the May jobs report significantly lowered the risk of seeing higher rates for the rest of the spring and into the summer.

Rates are solidly lower than where they ended 2015 (at 4.09%) and where they were this time last year (4.12%). The difference adds almost 6% to buying power and expands the ability to qualify as a result of lowering the mortgage payment, which factors into the debt-to-income calculation.
Looking back four years (it is graduation season, after all), the summer of 2012 was slightly more advantageous in regard to rates, but that was the year that the housing recovery began. The average 30-year fixed rate has reached or stayed above 4% in every other summer since then. We think that rates are likely to stay right about where they are now (well under 4%) for the rest of the summer, but they are very likely to be higher next year. This is the summer to lock in rates.

But guess what? Rates are not monolithic. Even when looking at the same mortgage types, rates vary dramatically by lender and location. Example: The lowest current average rates being offered for 30-year fixed mortgages are for homes in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
In these states, the average 30-year fixed rates being offered by lenders are 3 to 5 basis points lower than the current U.S. average. A basis point is 0.01%.

Think that’s irrelevant? On a median-priced home financed with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with 20% down, a rate that’s 5 basis points lower would save $100 in interest in the mortgage’s first year and over $2,000 over the life of the loan. Not so irrelevant after all.

Even if you aren’t in these states with the lowest average, it pays to shop around!