You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and trends to community events. Please reach out if you have any questions; we would like to talk with you!

 

July 15, 2021

Affordable Ways to Spruce Up Your Home's Interior

You don’t have to undergo an intensive remodel to make some pretty significant changes in your home. In fact, doing just one or two of these cost-effective upgrades can go a long way in sprucing up your home’s interior. With some creativity, a few dollars and a little bit of time, you can update your home with one of these affordable options!

Add a fresh coat of paint. Applying a fresh coat of paint can completely transform the look of a space. Use a lighter tone to brighten up a room that feels a bit dark, or go bold with an eye-popping hue. You could even paint an accent wall for less of a commitment — and less money!

Collect some antique or thrift store finds. Shop at your local thrift or antique store for some truly unique gems. Display them as is or upcycle them with a simple DIY project.

Install new faucets and light fixtures. Replace outdated or rusty faucets with brand new ones in your bathroom or kitchen. Similarly, adding unique light fixtures makes a big difference. Consider installing a statement piece in the dining room, kitchen or living space to add interest. You might even consider adding dimmers to a few fixtures to create a cozy ambiance.

Upgrade cabinets with knobs, handles and paint. Update your kitchen cabinets or built-ins throughout the home by painting them a different color and swapping out old knobs and handles. Consider painting them white to significantly brighten up the space.

Hang mirrors or new artwork. Add a large mirror to make a room feel larger and reflect light from windows, which will brighten up the space. Or add a piece of art or two that expresses your personality and unique style.

Swap out bedding and bath linens. Purchase new bedding, like a comforter, linens and pillows, and add new bath towels and shower curtains to freshen up your bedrooms and bathrooms. This is an opportunity to incorporate a new color scheme in your home as well.

Bring the outdoors in. Add potted houseplants or display flowers from your yard in a vase. You could also incorporate found objects in nature, like branches, shells, stones and more.

Rearrange furniture. This no-cost option is an easy way to breathe new life into your space. Rearranging the layout of a living room or bedroom can create an entirely new look with existing furniture and decor.

 

We hope these upgrades help add beauty to your home — without subtracting too much from your wallet!

Posted in Home Update Ideas
July 9, 2021

Market Update June 2021

Posted in Market Updates
July 5, 2021

Maintenance Tips for your Home

Keeping your home well-maintained and cared for helps ensure it stays in great condition for years to come and will retain its value when it comes time to sell. 

The benefits of a clean house are innumerable! By decluttering and deep cleaning your home, you can help reduce stress, improve your efficiency and even eliminate seasonal allergens! Below are a few tips to help get you started off on the right foot. 

Create a Cleaning Checklist

Don’t get overwhelmed by the thought of detailing your entire home. Instead, create a checklist and start scheduling tasks and delegating chores. There are a lot of free resources, checklists and templates online you can tailor to fit the needs of your home. Then, turn on some music, open a window and start working your way through the list one room at a time! 

Declutter Your Space

A great place to start is by decluttering your home and donating the items you no longer want or need. With fewer items taking up space in your home, it’s also much easier to clean! This is also an opportunity to swap your wardrobes and store seasonal items elsewhere so your closets and drawers stay organized. 

Deep Clean Neglected Areas

Rid your home of hidden dirt and grime by dusting areas that may be neglected during a regular cleaning, such as blinds, slipcovers and drapes. You will want to tackle the big-ticket cleaning items next, including vacuuming behind and under furniture and appliances, cleaning windows, and wiping down walls and cabinets. When it comes time to deep clean your floors, consider having your wood floors waxed and your carpets professionally cleaned. 

Do a Safety Check

Many people tie-in annual reminders such as replacing their smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries into their spring cleaning routine. This helps ensure all safety measures are working properly and gives you more peace of mind.

Add Life to Your Home

Now that your home is clean, think about adding some fresh flowers or houseplants to celebrate the new season! It’s amazing what a little greenery can do to lift your spirits and help fight a case of spring fever. 

Recharge Your Mind

At the end of a busy spring cleaning session, don’t forget to set aside some time to recharge and reward yourself for all of your hard work!

As always, if you have questions on your home or the current real estate market, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are happy to assist!

 

Posted in Home Maintenance
June 30, 2021

Tips for Decluttering Your Home

If you simply have too many items overtaking your closets, drawers and cabinets, decluttering your home is a great way to keep your home organized! If you’re looking to revamp your space and give your home a more minimalist feel, below are a few suggestions to help get you started. 

Visualize Your New Space. Before you start, envision how you ultimately want your space to look and feel. Visualize what your home will look like when it is free of clutter, clean and organized. This will help you get excited to start and stay motivated throughout the process!

Create Bins for Keeping, Donating and Selling. Designate three bins for items you wish to keep, donate and sell. Knowing that the items you donate will be used and loved by someone else makes them much easier to part with. After you’re done decluttering, take your donations directly to a local shelter, thrift store or another organization before you change your mind!

Start With the Easy Stuff. Build momentum by tackling the easy stuff with less sentimental value. It is much easier to open a junk drawer or start sifting through your shoes instead of opening a box in the attic filled with memorabilia and nostalgic items. This creates a snowball effect, in which you are ready to tackle the more difficult stuff towards the end of the process.

Go Category by Category. It is wise to declutter by category instead of by room, so you can see all similar items at once. For example, declutter all clothing at once, pulling from every closet and drawer in the house so you know how many winter coats you have.

6-Month Rule. While deciding what is worth keeping, you might employ the six-month rule. If you haven’t used it in the last six months (unless it is a seasonal item), it may be a good item to let go.

Get Creative With Sentimental Items. Instead of simply tucking baby clothes or photo albums in a box, consider displaying them in a creative way. You could fill a shadow box with meaningful knick-knacks, frame historic family photos, or create a blanket out of children’s clothes. Displaying these items allows you to enjoy them on a daily basis instead of hiding them away in storage.

Find a Home for Everything. While you may be tempted to create piles of items to be placed later, be diligent about finding a home for everything — whether that is tucked away in a drawer, in the donation bin, or in the trash or recycling bin.

 

Happy decluttering! After all is done, you (and your home!) will surely feel lighter, more refreshed and happier.

June 20, 2021

How to Prepare Your Home for Showings

How to Prepare Your Home for Showings

Sellers, you never get a second chance to make a first impression so please follow these suggestions to get your home ready to show. The perfect buyers for your home could be coming at any time, so your home needs to be ready at all times. 

THE 3 C’S OF GETTING READY TO SHOW YOUR HOME

Clean   Spotless kitchen, baths, patios and decks.

Clutter free   No personal items. Model home look.

Color   Warm rooms with color accents.

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What to Do When You Have a Showing

You can have as much or little notice as you require for showings, but keep in mind that you want to sell your home and it is best if you can be ready within an hour or so for an agent to show your house. Showings are scheduled during the week AND on the weekends.

It is ideal to have you gone when the prospective buyer arrives. They are more likely to stay a while and imagine their new life in the house if you are not there. Give them space to make the buying decision.

If you have pets, please crate them or take them with you as not everyone is comfortable with pets.

Put away any personal items you had out including laundry, dishes and even your toothbrush. You want this buyer to feel like a buyer, not an intruder.

If you are available to turn on all the lights before a showing, please do. It adds to the nice atmosphere.

If you have any special considerations, let me know. I will inform our staff of the special instructions for showing your home. If they change, please tell me and I will update our staff.

June 10, 2021

Report: Housing Market Inventory Could Increase in 2021 – 2022

By Brandon Cornett | May 12, 2021 | © HBI, all rights reserved

Key highlights from this report:

  • Housing market inventory is expected to increase later in 2021.
  • In fact, we’re seeing some early signs of this already.
  • Home buyers could have more options later this year, and in 2022.
  • We need inventory growth in order to cool an overheated housing market.

For many months now, the message to home buyers across the U.S. has been the same. “Good luck finding a house to buy.” Chronically low housing supply has frustrated buyers, fueled bidding wars, and led to record home-price growth.

But there might be some much-needed relief on the horizon. According to recent and numerous reports, U.S. housing market inventory levels are expected to increase during the latter half of 2021. Home buyers who purchase later this year, or in 2022, could have an easier time finding a suitable property.

Will Housing Market Inventory Increase in 2021?

Last month, the real estate research team at Zillow published data that points to a possible easing of the housing market inventory crunch. Granted, it could take months or possibly years to get back to something resembling a “normal” inventory situation. But it’s good to see things moving in the right direction for once.

According to the April 2021 Zillow report:

“…signs are emerging that the nation’s ongoing inventory squeeze may be starting to ease somewhat, just in time for the start of the traditionally busy spring home shopping season.”

From February to March of this year, the total number of homes for sale in the U.S. declined by just 1.1%. That was a much smaller decline from previous months. And in 19 of the nation’s largest housing markets, for-sale inventory actually rose from February to March.

The company also reported that new inventory (i.e., homes listed for sale recently) rose by 30% from late February to late March of 2021. So hang in there, home buyers. It’s getting better.

Zillow also surveyed a group of more than 100 real estate analysts and economists about current conditions. More than two-thirds (69%) of the panelists said they expect U.S. housing market inventory to start increasing in the second half of 2021 or the first part of 2022.

To quote that report: “An increase in existing homes being listed for sale is expected to be the biggest factor in the reversal.” This echoes other reports and statistics we’ve seen recently, which suggest that homeowners are now increasingly willing to list their homes.

A similar report from Realtor.com showed a sizable increase in the number of newly listed homes. By their estimation, new real estate listings nationwide increased by more than 32% in April 2021 compared to last year. This has provided some relief for frustrated home buyers. New listings rose the most, year over year, in metro areas like Pittsburgh (229%), Buffalo (178%), Detroit (178%), and Philadelphia (140%).

Supply Levels Are Still Very Low in Some Markets

If housing market inventory increases later this year or in early 2022, as expected, it won’t happen evenly. Some of the hottest real estate markets could continue to have supply shortages for the foreseeable future.

Some real estate markets are currently experiencing a surge in demand from home buyers. As a result, inventory levels have fallen to record-low levels. Those areas could take longer to “rebound,” from a supply standpoint.

Boise, Denver, Sacramento and Seattle fall into this category. In these and other red-hot housing markets, inventory levels have sunk to unprecedented lows over the past 12 to 18 months. Sellers have the upper hand in these cities, and that probably won’t change anytime soon.

But at this point, any increase in housing market inventory would be cause for celebration. The lopsided supply-and-demand situation we’re currently experiencing has created a slew of problems, including affordability issues and housing shortages.

George Ratiu, senior economist for Realtor.com, recently called the U.S. housing market “beyond crazy and frustrating” for home buyers. Low inventory is the main reason for this.

Home Buyers Are Getting Creative

Given the current supply shortage, home buyers in many cities across the U.S. have employed a variety of strategies to edge out the competition.

Many buyers are making offers for more than the asking price, even before any negations have taken place. A recent report from the California Association of Realtors showed that two-thirds of home buyers in that state offered more than the asking price in March 2021. And it’s not just happening in the Golden State. Similar trends have been reported in major cities all across the U.S.

The number of all-cash offers has also increased over the past year or so. Additionally, many home buyers are waiving their inspection contingencies (among other things) in order to make their offers more attractive. All of these trends point to an overheated, hyper-competitive housing market. And it’s the inventory shortage, more than anything else, that’s driving this.

Will “normalcy” ever return to the housing market? Sure. Eventually.

But it will happen in stages, starting in the more balanced markets and eventually reaching the overheated ones like Boise and Austin. The first thing that needs to happen is an increase in housing market inventory, which analysts expect during the second half of 2021 or early 2022.

In the meantime, home buyers will just have to be patient, persistent and creative.

Posted in Community News
June 5, 2021

Market Update May 2021

Posted in Market Updates
June 1, 2021

Ways to Conserve Energy in Your Home

Ways to Conserve Energy in Your Home

Conserving Energy

There are many ways to conserve energy in your home, from minor adjustments to major home improvements. Making these small changes at home can go a long way in protecting the environment and potentially cutting down your utility costs.

Utilize Natural Light

Open blinds and curtains during the day, and turn on lights only when needed at night.

Use Power Strips

Plug multiple electronics or appliances into a power strip and turn off the power strip when they are not in use.

Only Wash Full Loads of Dishes and Laundry

Don’t waste water and energy on half-full loads.

Replace Light Bulbs

Replace light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs, such as halogen incandescents, CFLs or LEDs. If you can’t replace all bulbs, just replace the most frequently used ones.

Use Less Hot Water

Try to take shorter showers and fewer baths to limit your use of hot water.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the temperature when you are asleep or away.

Replace Appliances

If you have older appliances, you might consider replacing them with newer, energy-efficient products to save money long-term.

Insulate

Insulation helps keep heat (and cold!) in, reducing wasted energy. Insulate heating ducts, hot water pipes and water heaters, and make sure your home as a whole is well-insulated.

Seal Air Leaks

Sealing any air leaks keeps both hot and cold air in.

Turn Off Electronics

Turn off and unplug any electronics, such as computers or TVs, when they are not in use, especially when you are away for a long period of time.

Wash Clothes With Cold Water and Air Dry

Washing clothes in cold water and air drying them can significantly reduce energy waste during your laundry routine.

We hope these tips help you save energy (and money!) at home.

Posted in Conservation
May 30, 2021

Your Home Maintenance Checklist

A well-maintained home is something to be extremely proud of. But as all homeowners know, maintaining a home is proactive — not reactive. You might avoid the last-minute panic of a broken HVAC system or a flooded basement by completing these small yet essential steps throughout the year. Regular maintenance will keep things looking great for you and your house guests — not to mention, future buyers down the road!

Monthly or Quarterly

☐ Run water and flush toilets in unused bathrooms.

☐ Clean kitchen sink disposal.

☐ Clean hood range filters.

☐ Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

☐ Deep clean entire home, paying special attention to:

          – Appliances (including your oven!)

          – Windows

          – Baseboards

          – Behind furniture

          – Fan blades + light fixtures

          – Walls

☐ Clean gutters and downspouts.

☐ Power wash your home’s exterior (deck, patio, siding, driveway, etc.).

☐ Vacuum your refrigerator coils.

☐ Check and clear out all drains (including bathtubs, showers and sinks).

☐ Check and replace all filters as needed for:

          – HVAC

          – Air conditioning/heating

          – Hood range

Bi-Annually or Annually

☐ Check indoor and outdoor caulking to see if it needs repair.

☐ Remove showerheads and clean sediment.

☐ Deep clean the basement.

☐ Inspect your roof for damage or leaks.

☐ Inspect plumbing for leaks.

☐ Check for insects to see if you need to treat your home.

☐ Deep clean your garage.

☐ Clear out the dryer vent.

☐ Touch up exterior paint (including door and window trim).

☐ Restain and reseal your deck or patio.

☐ Test the sump pump.

☐ Inspect the HVAC system (professional recommended).

☐ Make sure the fire extinguisher is accessible and working.

 

You got this!

Remember: Keeping up with these small tasks may eliminate a larger headache down the road. You can do it!

Posted in Home Maintenance
May 20, 2021

Why Should I Use an Agent to Purchase a Home from a Builder?

The advantages of having me help you purchase a new home are the same as those for purchasing a resale home. I can provide you with valuable insight into the new construction industry, help you find the perfect home or home builder more quickly, negotiate the price and terms based on the quality and amenities of the property.

The builder has a professional real estate representative who watches out for his or her best interests, and you need and deserve the same expert representation watching out for yours. Buying a new home is a little more difficult and time-consuming than buying a resale home. I can guide you through this process. Having spent years working with builders, RE/MAX Properties, Inc. has a rapport with local builders.

It is very important that your interests be professionally represented when you are entering into a contract for a semi-custom or a build-to suit home. These transactions are complex and the contract details must be exactly in order to protect you and to ensure that you get exactly the home you want!

MAKE SURE THE BUILDER KNOWS YOU ARE WORKING WITH A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL

Many builders will require that you give up your right to representation if you visit their model homes without an agent on the first visit. Therefore, please call me if you would like to look at some model homes, so you are given the representation you deserve! The builder will pay the buyer’s agent’s fee just like the seller pays in other real estate transactions.

If you happen to be out driving and see a model home that you want to check out, give them a copy of my business card and fill out their “registration” form with your name and mine. Call me right away and tell me if their homes interest you so we can discuss the benefits of that particular builder and community.