It is hard to believe that 2021 is a couple of months away! With a new year approaching quickly, now is the time to start thinking about how you want to update your space in 2021. If you’re wondering how the design trends are looking for the new year, here is a great place to start!
Less Is More
After Marie Kondo took over last year, there is no surprise that the idea of ‘less is more’ is trending in the decor space. Take the time to check each space in your home and ensure your decor is intentional. Make sure all of your belongings have a place and that they all serve a purpose.
Scandinavian and Japanese style
Both cultures celebrate minimalism while also encouraging functionality. With white shades dominating spaces in this style, you will also find natural woods and materials in large spaces that are open and bright.
One of the most marked trends in interior design is focused on the personalization of your space. Take into account what you already love when creating spaces in your home without worrying about what others consider stylish or up-to-date. Let your creativity shine through your space.
A Touch of Color
Neutrals are great in most settings, but a pop of color allows you to add personality to your space. Yellow shades add warmth while blue shades give a sharpness and can be used to enhance certain elements of a room. If you want to introduce a little color, use colors inspired by nature.
Buying a home is the biggest investment you’ll likely ever make, and it has all sorts of implications for your personal and financial future. This is why it’s so important to work with the right agent.
Too many people don’t realize just how much can go wrong if they make the wrong hire. There are some very serious problems that can arise if you accidentally work with the wrong person to buy or sell a home. Here are some of them:
1. Not listening
A professional real estate agent (or any other professional for that matter) will take the time to listen and understand their client and the client’s needs. The wrong one, however, isn’t going to listen to what you have to say, and will instead focus on what they want for themselves.
This will set the precedent for the rest of the process and make any real estate transaction a miserable experience. An agent who doesn’t take the time to know your wants and needs will cause you stress, confusion and heartache.
2. Bad advice
If there’s one thing you need a competent agent for, it’s the advice they’re able to provide. A good agent will serve as your trusted advisor, guiding you through the myriad of decisions you’ll make when buying or selling a home.
A bad agent, however, will either give you advice that’s not based on any experience or research, or is just plain self-serving. This can cost you financially or prevent you from accomplishing your goals altogether.
3. Failed negotiations
Lots of people consider themselves good negotiators, but very few actually are. While negotiating might be just one part of real estate, it’s an important one. You need someone on your side who’s working in your best interests in a competent and effective way.
A bad agent will either negotiate in such a way that attainable deals fall through, or will simply negotiate in their own best-interests rather than the interest of their clients (you).
4. Lack of responsiveness
This may or may not be one of your pet-peeves, but unresponsiveness in something as complex as a real estate transaction can be an absolute nightmare for the person whose money, home, and future are on the line.
A great agent is available most any time you need them (within reason). The wrong one, however, will let your calls, messages, and emails go unanswered while you worry yourself sick about what’s happening (or not happening).
5. Missed opportunities
Real estate is a business that moves quickly, especially when the market is hot. Even when there’s high demand, there are still opportunities for buyers, and a good agent will know how to spot them and take advantage quickly.
The wrong agent will miss good opportunities because they’re unable to recognize them, will move too slowly and miss them, or just generally not care.
6. Legal pitfalls
Real estate is complex by nature, and legal questions arise on a frequent basis. Thankfully, good agents have the knowledge and resourcefulness to help you navigate them and can find solutions even if they’re not immediately apparent.
Hiring the wrong agent will mean that when the inevitable problems creep up during the transaction, they’ll either give you the wrong advice on what to do, or will simply look at you and shrug their shoulders.
7. The process won’t be enjoyable
There’s no rule that says a real estate transaction has to be unpleasant. Yes, it’s a lengthy process that has lots of implications. But if you take a step back and think about it, buying or selling a home is usually a positive thing—whether it’s an upgrade, a money-saving downgrade, or a general lifestyle change. You should work with someone who can at least make it a pleasant experience.
And that’s the thing about hiring the wrong agent. They’re all but guaranteed to make the process one that you won’t enjoy.
So choose your next real estate agent wisely; your happiness—and the height of your high five when it’s over—will likely depend on it.
Most areas of the country are experiencing a brisk real estate market. Well priced homes are moving quickly and often sellers have multiple offers from which to choose. How can you make your oﬀer stand out and put you in a better position to get the home? Fortunately there are a few things you can do to make your offer more attractive to sellers.
Oﬀer a Fair Price – When the market is moving quickly, this is not the time to throw out a low ball oﬀer and hope they negotiate. Write an honest price based on market values.
Have a Pre-‐Approval – It may not be enough to simply oﬀer a pre-qualification letter. When issuing a pre-‐approval the lender verifies your qualifications and an underwriter gives preliminary approval based on the actual home and a good appraisal.
Flexible Timing – Not everything comes down to price. A seller who is relocation might be more interested in an oﬀer which gives them extra time to move.
Attractive Terms – Most offers include contingencies for items like appraisal, inspection, title, loan approval among others. Working with your lender and real estate agent, consider removing any contingencies you don’t need. If you plan to remodel extensively for instance, you might remove the home inspection contingency. This provides more confidence in your oﬀer vs the competition.
The most important thing in a competitive real estate market is being prepared. Working with your lender and agent, you will understand your options and be able to write a solid oﬀer quickly, putting you in the best position to have your offer accepted.
When our parents were buying their first home, there was one way to finance the purchase. You would walk down to the corner bank and asked for a 30 year mortgage. Today the average home owner moves every 5-7 years. Depending on your needs there are a number of mortgage options you might consider, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, spending some time to understand the options is the best way to choose the right loan for your needs.
While loan programs and terms vary, the most common are:
Conventional – A conventional loan is normally still designed to be paid off in 30 years with equal monthly payments during the term of the loan. There are currently conventional loans that require as little as 5% down, although 20-25% is still commonplace.
FHA – An FHA loan is guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration and is attractive for a number of reasons, especially for the first time home buyer. The down payment can be as little as 3.5% and that can be a gift.
VA – VA (Veteran Affairs) is a loan program offered for Veterans and their spouses. While the terms can vary from 0-5% down payment, this loan may allow the borrower to finance as much as 100% of the home’s value in the loan.
Your lender will also have more specialized options for you, such as adjustable rate loans and 10 or 15 year loans. They can also explain the additional costs that could be associated with each type of loan program.
Part of purchasing a home is to find the right financing. Your lender will talk you through your options. If you have not already spoken to a lender, or if you need a referral, your real estate agent is a great resource for you.
Drum roll please – Pantone has chosen Classic Blue as their color of the year. Over the past couple years, bold colors on walls has become common place in designer magazines and new model homes. Bucking the old guidance of using bland, light hues to make rooms look larger, deep greens, rich reds and even soft blacks are used in even the smallest spaces. This year, Pantone has chosen a fresh Classic Blue to inspire homeowners and designers in 2020.
Classic Blue is just want it sounds like – as classic. Think of your favorite sneaker or school binder and you’ll be right on track. Described as a calming, familiar azure, Classic Blue is an uncomplicated, straightforward tone intended to provide a “neutral” backdrop for modern color palates and urban chic styling.
Modern interior design has been trending towards more unassuming color schemes for furniture, flooring and accents. Kitchens sport sleek white cabinets and subway tile counters and backsplashes. Tone on tone design with urban elements of steel and soft wood tones lend themselves to this fresh blue hue. Pantone suggests that the simple color palate of blue and white is a comforting return to more traditional styling and expects that Classic Blue is the perfect wall color to compliment the Mid-Century and 60s décor that have emerged with a modern twist.
A great weekend project for a room or rooms, Classic Blue would add a fresh look to any space.
Before you list your home for sale, it’s time to do a little work around the house – to prepare and make sure your home is seen in the best possible light. These “must-do” items are about showing your home to buyers as one which is cared for and ready for them to add their own brand of home to the space. Taking a little time up front can mean thousands of dollars as buyers start writing their offers.
3 Must-Do’s Before Listing Your House for Sale
1. Declutter, Depersonalize and Clean – This is the time to take spring cleaning seriously, in any season. Clear out all unnecessary items from the home; closets, drawers, extra clothes, old unwanted furniture. Donate to charity, hire a dumpster or rent a storage space; buyers will look in every space and open all drawers and cabinets, make sure your home seems spacious. Spend some time to depersonalize by removing excessive pictures and hide heirlooms. Finally, deep clean every space top to bottom.
2. Address Deferred Maintenance – Make small repairs or hire a handyman to take care of problems which could appear during the home inspection. Replace caulking, fix broken windows and screens, replace light bulbs and freshen up and clean grout; buyers want to see a home that is cared for with “good bones.”
3. Go for Curb Appeal – Spend some time in the yard. Trim bushes and trees, clean and repair hardscape and make sure there is adequate lighting. Welcome your buyers with seasonal flowers or décor and place a fresh mat by the front door.
Before you put that sign in the front yard, spend a little time and elbow grease to make sure you welcome your potential buyers with the best version of your home.
Owning a home can be one of the most important parts of a satisfying lifestyle. The joy of coming home to someplace you can call your very own offers security and comfort. Yet owning a home comes with responsibilities as well; maintaining the home in proper condition is critical to avoid larger problems later.
While some people are handier than others, here are 5 maintenance skills anyone can master.
1. How to Turn off Your Gas and Water –If you smell gas or have a water leak, taking quick action to shut off the source to the home while you wait for a professional can save thousands of dollars, and even lives.
2. Understanding How Electricity Is Fed to Your Home –Learn how to reset GFI outlets and popped breakers at the panel to avoid expensive house calls.
3. How to Find a Wall Stud – Avoid drywall repair when hanging pictures or shelves.
4. How to Change Your Air Filters – Keep your air fresh and your HVAC systems running efficiently.
5. How to Address Simple Plumbing – From fixing a running toilet to recaulking the shower, simple plumbing related issues can save money in service calls and damage.
A quick visit to the local big box home supply store or afternoon online watching repair videos can help any homeowner tackle a few simple do-it-yourself tasks around the house. Learning a few basic maintenance skills will ensure you and your loved ones are safe and you’ll help your home stay in top condition.