Hot Home Trend: Edison Bulbs

Hot Home Trend: Edison Bulbs

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Does your listing’s lighting need a contemporary makeover? Edison bulbs may be the answer. These clear glass light bulbs, in which the center is exposed, have a nostalgic-like appearance and let out a nice warm glow. They stand out, instead of allowing your lighting to blend in.

Edison bulbs may best fit in an industrial décor style, but we’re seeing them weaved more and more into other design styles too.

Table lamps, chandeliers, and pendant lights are getting an Edison-bulb upgrade. Not to mention, they’re popular outside at the moment too with stringed Edison-style bulbs to entertain your outdoor spaces. (Read: Add a Party Vibe to Your Outdoor Staging)

Check out some stylish ways Edison bulbs are being used in different home styles.

Staged to Sell: View Inside This Rosedale, Md. Home

Staged to Sell: View Inside This Rosedale, Md. Home

Have a home you recently staged that you’d like to show off here at Styled Staged & Sold? Submit your staging photos for consideration, along with three to five of your best spruce-up tips. Contact Melissa Dittmann Tracey at mtracey@realtors.org. 

 

Home stager: Cyndi Ryan with Staging Gracefully, Middle River, Md.

About the property: A 3-bedroom, 3-full bath single-family home with a 5-car garage and open floor plan in Rosedale, Md. The property was completely restored by Yanni LLC.

Photo credit: Cyndi Ryan with Staging Gracefully, Middle River, Md.

Photo credit: Cyndi Ryan with Staging Gracefully, Middle River, Md.

Photo credit: Cyndi Ryan with Staging Gracefully, Middle River, Md.

Photo credit: Cyndi Ryan with Staging Gracefully, Middle River, Md.

Photo credit: Cyndi Ryan with Staging Gracefully, Middle River, Md.

Cyndi’s staging tips from this property:

1. Clean is serene! A fresh, bright decor brings a feeling of peace and tranquility. Whites and beiges paired with a darker wood is a great way to really extenuate a crisp, clean palette. Keep counters clear. Tuck toasters, can openers, and other handheld appliances away to maintain an open non-cluttered prep area.

2. Art does not have to be store bought pictures and paintings. Be creative. Clocks have so much personality now. Choose one that really demonstrates the style of the house and because of their popularity they are also easy to find for an inexpensive price. Create colorful abstract canvases with acrylic paint. Mount an old piece of driftwood or an old farm tool over a sofa for a dramatic textured focal point.

3. Stage the open house. Your refreshments may be store bought but your presentation shouldn’t show it. Break out those gallon pitchers with the cute spout at the bottom and invest in a few really awesome serving plates and racks. Add fresh cut fruit to your drink cups. You want buyers to feel they just walked into the next home where they will entertain friends. Add a little soft jazz playing in the background or music that is gentle and peaceful.

Photo credit: Cyndi Ryan with Staging Gracefully, Middle River, Md.

4. Unclutter. Declutter. Disclutter. Keep your staging simple. Whether for selling that property or even in your own home, no more clutter. The era of knick knacks and curios full of figurines left us some time ago. Minimize to a few staple pieces atop cabinets and dressers. Bring in fresh flowers (or even realistic artificial) and greenery. Let nature help create a space that is welcoming and spacious.

5. Dress the house for the occasion. Ever gone to a party and found that you were overdressed or under-dressed? Know your audience. Designing decor that is the most trendy, cutting edge in the world of interior design isn’t what will speak to most buyers. Buyers are looking for a relateable atmosphere where they can picture themselves. Design your staging to meet the price of the home and neighborhood it’s in. Also, be sure to invest more in homes that will bring a clientele that is looking for a bit more drama. Don’t be afraid of jewel tones or rich textures. Just know what style speaks to your potential buyers for that home.

 

 

March 2018 Housing Affordability Index

March 2018 Housing Affordability Index

At the national level, housing affordability is down from last month and down from a year ago. Mortgage rates rose to 4.42 percent this March, up 8.2 percent compared to 4.28 percent a year ago.

  • Housing affordability declined from a year ago in March moving the index down 7.0 percent from 150.4 to 161.7. The median sales price for a single family home sold in March in the US was $252,111 up 5.9 percent from a year ago.
  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up 35 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points), while median family incomes rose 2.7 percent.

  • Regionally, the West recorded the biggest increase in price at 8.5 percent. The South had an increase of 6.0 percent while the Midwest had a gain of 5.1 percent. The Northeast had the smallest incline in price of 3.5 percent.
  • Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The West had the biggest drop in affordability of 9.2 percent. The South had a decline of 7.3 percent followed by the Midwest with a drop of 5.7 percent. The Northeast had the smallest drop of 2.7 percent.
  • On a monthly basis, affordability is down from last month in all four regions. The West had a decline of 4.7 percent followed by the Northeast with a dip of 5.6 percent. The South had a drop of 5.9 percent followed by the Midwest, which had the biggest; dip in affordability of 8.6 percent.
  • Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 194.7. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 105.6. For comparison, the index was 151.8 in the South, and 163.5 in the Northeast.

  • Mortgage applications are currently down 2.5 percent. Mortgage credit availability in April was flat. Rates are rising which will increase-housing costs. Home prices are up 5.9 percent while median family incomes are only growing 2.7 percent. Inventory gains will help ease the pressure on home prices.
  • What does housing affordability look like in your market? View the full data release here.
  • The Housing Affordability Index calculation assumes a 20 percent down payment and a 25 percent qualifying ratio (principal and interest payment to income). See further details on the methodology and assumptions behind the calculation here.

Top 5 features that home buyers don’t like

Top 5 features that home buyers don’t like

Top 5 features that home buyers don’t like

If you are thinking about selling your house and figuring out where to invest for the highest return on your investment, consider these few updates. According to a new Taylor Morrison consumer survey, 70% of new or prospective home buyers report having outdated features in their homes. Here are the top 5 outdated features:

  1. Linoleum floors 40%
  2. Popcorn ceiling 29%
  3. Wood paneling 28%
  4. Ceramic tile countertops 28%
  5. Shag carpeting 19%

Number 6 was listed as avocado green appliances. Does anyone still have those?

  • Linoleum floors 40% 40%
  • Popcorn ceiling 29% 29%
  • Wood paneling 28% 28%
  • Ceramic tile countertops 28% 28%
  • Shag carpeting 19% 19%

…and a few features new home buyers hope for.

  • Better energy efficiency 62% 62%
  • Personalized floor plans 58% 58%
  • Easier maintenance 56% 56%
While you may not be able to change the floor plan, improving efficiency by adding more insulation in the attic, and re-sealing or replacing weather stripping around windows and doors will definitely improve the efficiency. You may even consider replacing older appliances with newer, more energy efficient ones. Also, you may love your blooming flowers in the flower bed, but many buyers will see it as more work. Consider a simple, low-maintenance yard.

The interior

Wood flooring came in as the most essential feature in any home, followed by tech features like USB and Ethernet plugs. In my experience, many buyers were hoping for a few other tech features like a smart thermostat, doorbell, and even garage door opener. According to the study, millenials preferred jetted tubs, a home theatre, and a wine cellar/refrigerator over the older generation. A dining room is still very desirable, however 65% of millennials are using it for other purposes. As for interior color, 77% want soft natural tones. However, deep, rich tones may be taking over, as 59% of millennials want the interior painted with darker colors.

  • Wood flooring 65% 65%
  • USB and Ethernet ports 44% 44%

Whirlpool tub

  • Millenial 39% 39%
  • Older generations 32% 32%

Home theater

  • Millenial 30% 30%
  • Older generations 24% 24%

Wine refrigerator or cellar

  • Millenial 21% 21%
  • Older generations 12% 12%
Source: “Home Is Where the Shag Carpet Is?” BUILDER (Nov. 16, 2017)

Up, Up and Away

Up, Up and Away

Living in Texas, most people have heard about foundation shifting, a house needing a lift. But have you ever wondered how much your house weighs? Or what it would take to get it lifted with balloons?

As a rule of thumb around the construction industry, a single story home weighs about 200 lb/sf.; 2 story – about 275 lb/sf.; and 3 story – about 300 lb/sf.

Based on this little information, here is a fun little game to play. Can you guess how many balloons it would take to lift your house? Don’t forget to include the garage.

Up, Up and Away... SOLD

7 + 4 =

4 Numbers to know before buying a house

4 Numbers to know before buying a house

With the Dallas Real Estate market hotter than a Texas summer, many people are jumping on the band wagon of buying a house. Don’t get me wrong, I thing everyone should own at least one house, if possible even more. However, before you start shopping, there are a few things to consider. Many buyers get too eager to find a house, then often forget about one very important thing, how are they going to pay for the house?

Here is a list of 4 numbers to know before shopping for a house.

Credit Score

  • Having a great credit score is quite important, even if you are not buying a house, or applying for a loan. But when it comes to getting a mortgage to purchase a house, this is where most lenders will start. In today’s market, there are a number of programs offered by lenders, some guaranteed or insured by government. Ideally you will need to get your score above 620 to get the best option. Some lenders will work with as low as 550.
    Lenders will often have their own way to calculate your score, so shopping for a lender may be a good idea. Just be careful not to over do it with too many inquiries, as it may lower your score.

Debt to Income

  • While a good credit score is important, many buyers forget about their other obligations. Even with the best credit score, if your debt is too high, the lender may still not approve the loan. The lender wants to make sure that you will be able to add another installment payment to your monthly obligation, and keep it up. Debt To Income ratio is a percentage number you get when you divide your monthly payments with your monthly income.
    Front End Ratio: Add up Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance (PITI), some lenders may also include HOA dues; then divide with your monthly income. Generally you want this number to be below 28%. Some loans will qualify with a little higher percentage.
    Back End Ratio: Take PITI and add all other debt payments you may have, Credit Card, Student Loans, car payment… then divide with your monthly income. This number should be below 45%. On an FHA loan, below 56%.

Down Payment

  • The Down Payment will be one of the first things to consider to determine the type of a loan you will qualify for. Some of the more popular loans are FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional.
    There are several options when considering a loan, one thing is constant. The lower the down payment – the higher the risk. Every lender will consider this when reviewing your application. While there are some loans with 0% down, these usually require some sort of mortgage insurance and often a higher interest rate.

 Assets

  • Having a great credit score, low debt to income ratio and high down payment, you may still want to reconsider getting a loan. Why? Not having any assets. While lenders will not check on your bank account, unless you are buying a second or a third home, you may sill want to keep a little cushion. It is always a good practice to have a financial cushion of 3-6 months savings.

Whatever you do, the best thing is to contact a lender before you start shopping. This will help you set a realistic goal and avoid surprises and/or disappointments.

Oh yea, before you get unhinged on me about being a cash buyer, reality is, the majority of us will need a loan to buy a house. However, the truth is that a number of buyers that could pay cash will often get a mortgage to purchase a house. It’s called leverage, and it is a good thing.

Got another question?

10 + 11 =

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How to Make a New House Your Own

How to Make a New House Your Own

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Hot Home Trend: Edison Bulbs

Hot Home Trend: Edison Bulbs

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Does your listing’s lighting need a contemporary makeover? Edison bulbs may be the answer. These clear glass light bulbs, in which the center is exposed, have a nostalgic-like appearance and let out a nice warm glow. They stand out, instead of allowing your lighting to blend in. Edison bulbs […]

read more