Category: Uncategorized

November 26th, 2018 by KC Metro Team

Want to give your listing a little holiday flair–without going overboard?  Elyza Brillantes, design program manager at Havenly, offers some of the following tips:

1. Infuse greenery.

Greenery is always a must for staging your home so the space feels fresh. “For the holidays, seasonal greenery like evergreen boughs can be a lovely way to make the space look inviting, and also smell great,” Brillantes says. “If you live in an area where evergreens aren’t readily available, eucalyptus or magnolia can be a great substitute.”

2. Make it cozy.

The holidays are all about getting cozy. Pay close attention to your throw pillows and throw blankets in the living spaces to help potential buyers envision themselves spending quality time in your home, Brillantes suggests. Materials like wool and fleece are perfect for the cold weather months, and patterns like buffalo check are a timeless pattern that can feel just as classic as they do holiday, she says.

3. Show off entertaining potential.

Entertaining during the holidays can be top of mind for buyers. Dress up your dining table in a way that feels inviting. For example, a simple table runner and centerpiece can be a great way to make a space feel perfect for having the extended family over for the holidays, Brillantes says.

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November 21st, 2018 by KC Metro Team

The top concern for most first-time home buyers is their ability to save for a down payment. According to a new survey, 36% of millennials took on a second job to make their dreams of homeownership a reality in 2017. 
Among millennials with incomes over $100,000 a year, the top ways to come up with the necessary funds were to sell stocks (20%) or to sell cryptocurrency (16%).
The most popular method of savings was the most traditional; 60% of those saving for a down payment used a percentage of their paychecks to achieve their goal, while 75% of those with salaries over $100k were able to save this way.
For those who have not yet begun to save for their down payment, 32% plan on pursuing additional employment, while 15% plan on driving for a ride-share service as their second job.
Many first-time buyers are mistaken about the down payment needed in today’s real estate market. In fact,

“In a 2017 survey, 68% of renters cited saving for a down payment as an obstacle to homeownership. Thirty-nine percent of renters believe that more than 20% is needed for a down payment and many renters are unaware of low-down payment programs.”

The many benefits of homeownership make the extra jobs, sacrificing new clothes, or skipping vacations well worth it.
Bottom Line
If you have been saving for your down payment for a while now and are curious how much further you have to go, let’s get together to help you determine what priced home you can afford and what size down payment you’ll need.

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November 20th, 2018 by KC Metro Team

Everyone wants a place to call home; a place that gives them a sense of security. We are currently seeing major interest from females who want to achieve this dream, and the numbers are proving it!
In 2018, for the second year in a row, single female buyers accounted for 18% of all buyers. In 2017, 60% of millennial women listed as the primary borrowers on mortgages were single.
According to the 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report by the National Association of Realtors, one in five homebuyers in the U.S. were single females (most of them part of the baby boomer generation) as you can see in the graph below:

This does not come as a surprise since 50.8% of the U.S. population is female and 15.6% of them are 65 years and over, according to the Census Bureau.
What are the reasons for this demographic’s booming interest in homeownership?
Bankrate published an article with what they believe to be some of the reasons:

Divorce rate: Known as the “Gray Divorce,” the divorce rate has doubled for those ages 50 and over and tripled for those ages 65 and over.
Average life expectancy: For women it’s 81, four years longer than men.
To build home equity: Women want to build equity through their home. As mentioned by Bankrate, “some are hoping to escape rising rents, some might be downsizing or looking for a new start,” especially those going through a gray divorce.

Are they only downsizing and buying small homes?
Not really; The Institute of Luxury Home Marketing recently stated that:

“The number of female billionaires grew faster globally in 2017 than the number of male billionaires. This redistribution of wealth has seen an impact on luxury real estate both in its purchase and design attributes – and obviously, this is important for realtors to recognize when relating to their clients.”

Bottom Line
Whether you are a millennial who wants to buy a starter home, a billionaire looking for that luxury home you’ve always wanted, or maybe even someone who just went through a gray divorce, let’s get together to help you create your real estate portfolio so that you can start investing your money in real estate today!

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November 19th, 2018 by KC Metro Team

Every year at this time there are many homeowners who decide to wait until after the holidays to list their homes for the first time, while others who already have their homes on the market decide to take them off until after the holidays.
Here are seven great reasons not to wait:

Relocation buyers are out there. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays and need their new employees in their new positions as soon as possible.
Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
There is minimal competition for you as a seller right now. Inventory of homes for sale traditionally slows in the late fall, early winter. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year:

The desire to own a home doesn’t stop when the holidays come. Buyers who were unable to find their dream homes during the busy spring and summer months are still searching!
The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge and reach new heights which will lessen the demand for your house in 2019.

Bottom Line 
Waiting until after the holidays to sell your home probably doesn’t make sense.

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November 19th, 2018 by KC Metro Team

Consumers may be most on the hunt for a new sectional, TV stand, hutch, and sofa table to spruce up their home. These were the most searched-for home furniture items based on Google shopping data, according to a new analysis of search data by NextDay Blinds.

NextDay Blinds analyzed the data to find the top-searched furniture items and broke it down by state. Many homeowners may be setting their sights on enhancing their living room. Consumers within 27 states were most searching for a furniture item that was specific to the living room.

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November 15th, 2018 by KC Metro Team

Everyone knows that housing affordability has been negatively impacted by rising prices and increasing mortgage rates, but there is another piece to the affordability equation – wages.
How much a family earns obviously impacts how easy or difficult it is for them to afford to own a home. Because of an improving economy, wages are finally beginning to increase – and that dramatically affects home affordability.
According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) September 2018 Housing Affordability Index, wages have increased in every region of the country:

After applying current salaries, home prices, and mortgage rates to their Home Affordability Index equation, the index, though still lower than this time last year (160.1 to 146.7), increased over the last month (141.2 to 146.7). For the complete methodology used by NAR, click here.
The percentage of income needed to own a home has also decreased each of the last three months. It currently sits at 17% which is substantially lower than historic numbers.

Bottom Line
If you are a first-time buyer or a move-up buyer who believes that purchasing a home is not within your budget, let’s get together to determine if that is still true.

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November 14th, 2018 by KC Metro Team

According to a recent report by ATTOM Data Solutions, home sellers who sold their homes in the third quarter of 2018 benefited from rising home prices and netted an average of $61,232.
This is the highest average price gain since the second quarter of 2007 and represents a 32% return on the original purchase prices.
After the Great Recession, many homeowners were left in negative equity situations but home price appreciation in the recovery period since then has given homeowners something to smile about.
The results from ATTOM fall right in line with data from the latest edition of the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Below is a chart that was created using NAR’s data to show the percentage of equity that homeowners earned at the time of sale based on when they purchased their homes.

Even though those who purchased at the peak of the market netted less than those who bought before and after the peak, the good news is that there was a double-digit profit to be had! Many homeowners believe that they are still underwater which has led many of them to not even consider selling their houses.
Bottom Line
If you are curious about how much equity you’d earn if you sold your home, let’s get together to perform an equity review and determine the demand for your home in today’s market!

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November 13th, 2018 by KC Metro Team

Over the past few years, two trends have emerged in the housing market:

Home renovations have shot up
Inventory of homes available for sale on the market has dropped

A ‘normal’ housing market is defined by having a 6-month supply of homes for sale. According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, we are currently at a 4.4-month supply.
This low inventory environment has many current homeowners worried that they would be unable to find a home to buy if they were to list and sell their current houses, which is causing many homeowners to instead renovate their homes in an attempt to fit their needs.
According to Home Advisor, homeowners spent an average of $6,649 on home improvements over the last 12 months. If that number seems high, it also includes homeowners who recently bought fixer-uppers.
A new study from Zillow asked the question,

“Given a choice between spending a fixed amount of money on a down payment for a new home or fixing up their current home, what would you do?”

Seventy-six percent of those surveyed said that they would rather renovate their current homes than move. The results are broken down by generation below.

More and more studies are coming out about the intention that many Americans have to ‘age in place’ (or retire in the area in which they live). Among retirees, 91% would prefer to renovate than spend their available funds on a down payment on a new home.
If their current house fits their needs as far as space and accessibility are concerned, then a renovation could make sense. But if renovations will end up changing the identity of the home and impacting resale value, then the renovations may end up costing them more in the long run.
With home prices increasing steadily for the last 6.5 years, homeowners have naturally gained equity that they may not even be aware of. Listing your house for sale in this low-competition environment could net you more money than your renovations otherwise would.
Bottom Line
If you are one of the many homeowners who is thinking about remodeling instead of selling, let’s get together to help you make the right decision for you based on the demand for your house in today’s market.

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November 12th, 2018 by KC Metro Team

One hundred years ago, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we marked the end of the “war to end all wars.” That day, which was to be observed annually on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, became known as Armistice Day and then, later on, became Veterans Day.
But Veterans Day is not for veterans. They don’t serve for thanks or recognition. Veterans Day sets aside a day for those of us who haven’t worn the uniform to acknowledge those who have.
So today, we honor and remember.
If you ask a military family, ANY military family, how you can help them, they will respond without hesitation, “Make sure my service member is taken care of.”
If you ask a service member, ANY service member, how you can best honor them, they will respond without hesitation, “Take care of my family.”
Don’t know anyone who has served or is serving? More than likely, there are veterans in your midst. Each year, 260,000 military personnel relocate to new communities, and another 230,000 transition out of the military. In total, there are 22 million veterans among us in the world.
For those who relocate through a Permanent Change of Station (or PCS), it can be a pretty stressful time. There isn’t a lot of time to find a new place to live and the timeline is more accelerated for finding a place to call home.
MILLIE is an online community and digital marketplace that connects members of the military and their families with specialized knowledge and trusted resource providers to alleviate the stress of PCSing.
According to MILLIE, “70% of active duty families live off the installation and in the surrounding communities.” Wondering what you can do to help make a recently PCSed family feel welcome?
A recent survey of military families revealed that,

“When respondents described the support they most appreciate, family, friends, and faith-based communities rose to the top. When they described the support they needed, they called for more networking, communication, and support groups.
Families said that when leaving service, they feel as though they do not fit into the civilian world. Forging partnerships between military and civilian support systems will encourage pathways of understanding.”

If you find out that your new neighbor may have been PCSed, make an effort to share what you know about your community, from the best pizza place to where you can get your oil changed.
If you know that the service member of the family is actively deployed, helping out with tasks like mowing the lawn or bringing over a home-cooked meal are small gestures that will go a long way towards welcoming this family into their new home.
Bottom Line
Today, we honor and remember those who have served for our country. Everyone always asks what they can do to help, sometimes the simplest answer is the best one.
More about MILLIE:
MILLIE is an online community and digital marketplace that connects members of the military and their families with specialized knowledge and trusted resource providers to alleviate the stress of PCS’ing. Check out MILLIE’s Installation Guides, their network of Veteran and military spouse real estate agents, and MILLIE Scouts, their on-demand task service comprised of military spouses.

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November 12th, 2018 by KC Metro Team

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

If you thought jeans were just for wearing, you are mistaken. Denim is becoming a hot fabric in home décor. We’re seeing denim sofa coverings, pillows, table runners, ottomans, rugs and bedding.

Photo by ナショナルインテリア|NATIONAL INTERIORSearch living room design ideas

Denim is being lumped into a bigger trend of using more “utility fabrics” in home décor. Besides denim, those trending utility fabrics also include burlap, grain sacks, and drop cloths. All of these are heavier fabrics but they can add texture in designing your space. Another bonus: These utility fabrics are known for being less expensive and durable. That helps make denim great for rugs, sofas, or even a kid or teens’ bedroom. Denim wears and washes well so it can also be a great choice for high-traffic areas of the home.

 

Photo by Von Fitz DesignSearch living room pictures

Blue is really taking off as the “it” color in home design this year, and obviously blue denim fits right into that. A more mainstream use of the jean trend may come from denim-inspired blue paint finishes on furnishings or on kitchen or bathroom cabinets.

 

Photo by Signature Home ServicesLook for kitchen pictures

Can denim make a lasting enough impression on home decor to stick around? It’s a heavy fabric and it doesn’t exactly give off a cozy vibe. But in some areas of home design, it may very well find a niche.

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