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Quick and Easy Decluttering Guide

8/9/2022
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With more stuff than you probably need or want, decluttering before a move can seem overwhelming, but you don’t want to pay movers to move or store items you don’t use, love or want. Here are some tips to make it quicker and easier:  

Start Small

Label moving boxes for selling, donating or throwing away. List items you want to sell online, or take them to a consignment store. When the donation box is full, take it to the Salvation Army or non-profit of your choice. Throw away broken items you’ll never repair and stained clothing you’ll never wear.

Pick a Schedule

How many days till you move? Devote an hour a day, a day to a room, or a weekend per floor – whatever your schedule permits. The goal is to make moving day faster and easier.

Pack as You Go

As you declutter, move items that you want to keep but don’t need right away like out-of-season clothes or holiday dishes into moving boxes. Tape them closed and label what’s inside and what room it should be moved to in your next home. Store the boxes out of the way, in the garage, basement, or a storage facility.

Let Go

You may be holding onto things you don’t want because you feel guilty. What you paid for the item or who gave it to you as a gift doesn’t matter. Let the feeling of obligation go.

Decluttering has its benefits. You’ll be better organized and feel far less stress.

Please contact me at LaurelRobinson@bhhsnwre.com with questions or for more information.

About Institutional Homebuyers

8/2/2022
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One reason there’s a shortage of available homes to buy across the U.S. is that corporate investors are snapping up single-family homes to use as rentals or to flip back onto the market after making improvements. Institutional homebuyers (companies, corporations, LLCs) have always been around but a new report by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) found their market share rose 84% in 2021. Based on deed records, institutional homebuyers accounted for 15% of residential purchases in 2021.

The record low interest rates of 2020 and 2021 and rising inflation – 8.5% in March 2022 – are ideal incentives for institutional homebuyers to turn to residential real estate for asset acquisition as a hedge against inflation. They buy properties to turn into rentals where rents can be raised annually. Investors look for dense populations with fast growth, fast rent growth and home appreciation, fast home sales volume, and low vacancy rates. NAR also found they look for areas with higher incomes and education, more young people and minorities, and a high density of renters.

In those areas where institutional investors are more than 30% of market share, the number of household formations grew 11%, average rents increased more than 30%, home prices rose 40% or more, and home sales rose 70%, all over the last decade.

The top five states with the largest market share of institutional homebuyers were:

  • Texas (28%),
  • Georgia (19%)
  • Oklahoma(18%)
  • Alabama (18%)
  • Mississippi (17%)

Closely followed by:

  • Florida (16%)
  • Missouri (16%)
  • North Carolina (16%)
  • Ohio (16%)
  • Utah (16%)
Please contact me at LaurelRobinson@bhhsnwre.com with questions or for more information.

Home Inspections for Co-ops or Condos

7/22/2022
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Do you need a home inspection when you buy a condominium or a co-op? According to BrickUnderground.com, home inspections are common for single-family homes, but they’re also increasingly being requested by urban homebuyers of condos and co-ops. Condo and co-op owners share common spaces such as elevators, lobbies, parking, and grounds, but where they differ is who’s responsible for maintenance and what the inspection can cover.   

Condos are privately-owned units within a community of other privately-owned units, explains Bankrate.com. Owners share common areas, but inside their apartments, they own the air space and interior walls of their units plus the structural components of the exterior walls. Condos are managed by a homeowner’s association that collects monthly or annual dues to pay for common area maintenance, repairs and replacement. These services are typically provided by a third-party property management company.

In a co-operative, or co-op, a corporation owns the building, common areas and all apartment units. Instead of buying an apartment, homebuyers buy a share of the corporation, according to Amfam.com. The corporation holds the title to the property, and homebuyers build equity when future buyers pay more for their “share.” The board of directors is responsible for maintenance inside each unit and the building as a whole.

A housing inspection is the homebuyer’s right, but only for the unit and the major systems that the homebuyer is responsible for, including plumbing, electrical and heat and air systems, patio or balcony, kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, appliances, walls, doors, windows and flooring, advises AllAspectsInspections.com.

Please contact me at LaurelRobinson@bhhsnwre.com with questions or for more information.



Which Remodeling Projects Bring the Most Joy?

7/15/2022
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In 2020, Americans spent $420 billion remodeling their homes, according to a new report by The National Association of REALTORS(NAR) and The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI.) They remodeled to upgrade outdated worn-out surfaces, finishes and materials (30%), add features and improve livability (20%), and just enjoy a change (16%.)   While most consumers (83% of those surveyed) said they would have remodeled regardless of the pandemic, most found that they were happy with the results (57%), satisfied (39%), and felt a sense of accomplishment (69%).  

Homeowners reported that the best results from remodeling were better functionality and livability (35%), durability (22%), and beauty (14%). A whopping 84% of homeowners said they enjoyed their homes more than before they remodeled.  Although most projects were completed with standard quality fixtures and materials, and some with better-quality installations, NAR and NARI calculated the consumers’ typical “Joy Score” at 9.6 out of a possible 10.

So which renovations brought the most joy to homeowners? Interior projects that received a perfect Joy Score of 10 include: painting entire interior of the home, painting one room of the home add a new home office, hardwood flooring refinish, new wood flooring, a closet renovation, insulation upgrade, and attic conversion to living area, said the report.  Scoring 9.8 were complete kitchen remodels and partial kitchen upgrades. A basement conversion to a living area scored a 9.7, and a bathroom renovation scored a 9.6. Adding a new laundry area and a new master bedroom earned a 9.5.


Please contact me at LaurelRobinson@bhhsnwre.com with questions or for more information



Retro: Not Just Mid-century Anymore

7/8/2022

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According to EyeonHousing.com, half of owner-occupied homes were built before 1980. That could be just one of many reasons why many homebuyers and homeowners are going more “retro” in their decorating styles. Retro pieces of furniture, art, and accessories, whether antique, reproduction or derivative, can bring unique personality to any home.

TheSpruce.com explains that home décor has always mixed the old with the new. Retro is widely thought to mean Mid-century design, but it can also include nods from other eras, including Art Deco and Modernism from the 1920s to the 1940s. Both post-war, these modernistic motifs reflect large lifestyle changes, and are based in the joys of progress and optimism for the future.

Art Deco décor: The 1920s was a time of wealth, optimism, and confidence, concepts reflected by geometric shapes, opulent details, shiny surfaces, luxurious fabrics and vertical lines. Art Deco décor pays homage to the technical achievements that produced skyscrapers, planes, trains and automobiles. Machine-made objects such as toasters, blenders, refrigerators and vacuum cleaners revolutionized housekeeping. Bring Art Deco influences into your home with brass, chrome, statuary, luxe fabrics like brocade, velvet and suede, rounded seating and bold colors like emerald green, black and gold.  

Mid-century décor: Mid-century design takes inspiration from suburbia, highway travel, the invention of jet airplanes and easier international travel, and the Space Race of the 1950s to the 1960s. It’s practical, sleek, uncluttered, and features light cheerful colors, low furniture with exposed legs, and new materials like plastic, rayon, acrylic and Formica.

Please contact me at LaurelRobinson@bhhsnwre.com with questions or for more information.

Success Strategies for 2022 Homebuyers

6/28/2022
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If you’re a homebuyer without a home to buy, the ongoing housing shortage is making housing to buy less affordable by the day. Certain factors should change with time, which should provide you with a better chance to buy a home in mid-to-late 2022.

One factor that helped fuel the current housing market boom was record low interest rates. According to the latest weekly Mortgage Bankers Association survey, the average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) under $647,200 was 5.20% with 0.63 points. That’s a quick rise from the record low recorded by Freddie Mac in December 2020 of 2.68% for the same FRM loan.  As a borrower you could ask your lender about a hybrid mortgage that gives you a lower adjustable rate for a fixed period of five years before the rate adjusts to a fixed rate. 

Since the Great Recession, there’s been a serious shortage of new homes being built. The National Association of REALTORS says the U.S. needs to add 550,000 more homes to its 1.5 million annual average for the next ten years to make up the shortfall that’s now calculated to be about 6.8 million homes, after accounting for demolitions. Builders need more labor, more land and an end to supply chain shortages to meet this goal.

What can you do? Buy an older home that needs work. You’ll have the option of improving it or tearing it down and rebuilding when the market improves.

Please contact me at LaurelRobinson@bhhsnwre.com with questions or for more information.

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