It’s no secret that we love to share helpful and interesting real estate-related articles when we come across them, and this week we found one on www.thebalance.com on preparing your house for sale through prepping and staging. Here’s a brief recap of the tip-filled article:
• Learn to let go. While it won’t be easy, try to disassociate yourself from your home and think of it as a product to be sold. Set aside your emotions and try not to look back. Go room by room and pack up the personal photographs and family heirlooms.
• De-clutter! Rule of thumb: If you haven’t used something in over a year, you probably don’t need it. So, get rid of it! Also, remove books from bookcases, appliances from the kitchen counters, and place all non-essential items into boxes. Whatever is left should be orderly and neat.
• Rent a storage unit. Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Leave just enough furniture in each room to highlight the actual purpose of the room.
• Make minor repairs. Take a look around the entire house and repair cracked floors and counter tiles, patch holes in the walls, fix leaky faucets, give a fresh coat of paint using neutral colors, replace burned-out lightbulbs, etc.
• Make it sparkle, inside and out. Wash the windows, clear out cobwebs, re-caulk tubs and sinks, clean out the refrigerator, vacuum, replace worn rugs, hang fresh towels, etc.
• Create curb appeal. How does your house look from the street? Paint faded trim, plant bright flowers in season, trim bushes, and last but not least, make sure your house number is visible!
Last week we wrote about our nation’s senior housing crisis — one out of six people over the age of 65 living below the federally established poverty line, and the waiting list for subsidized housing in our own backyard and across the country ranging from 12 to 24 months. Today, we’ll look at some possible solutions.
• Aging in place: Instead of moving to senior housing, an elderly individual’s current residence is adapted so that it can be used safely for a much longer period of time. In some cases, this might be as easy as turning a first-floor half bath into a full bath and/or relocating the laundry facility to a more accessible place in the home.
• Block grant money: Public policy needs to be modified so that community block grant money and deferred loans can be diverted into projects that allow low-income homeowners to retrofit their homes to live there safely and in comfort.
• Shared housing. A shared housing center pre-screens and matches people within the community who can share expenses and household duties.
• Embrace the village concept. Senior “villages” decrease isolation and allow seniors to maximize their resources by sharing services such as transportation.
The problem in America is complex and grows greater on a daily basis, but it’s obvious that change is definitely needed … and soon! Let’s hope our leaders are paying attention.
According to the Census Bureau, millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the largest generation in U.S. History. Millennials, or America’s youth born between 1982-2000, now represent more than one-quarter of the nation’s population, totaling 83.1 million.
There has been a lot of talk about how, as a generation, millennials have “failed to launch” into adulthood and have delayed moving out of their family’s home. Some experts have even questioned whether or not millennials want to move out.
The great news is that not only do millennials want to move out … they are moving out! The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers in which they revealed that 61% of all first-time homebuyers were millennials in 2015!
The median age of all first-time buyers in 2015 was 31 years old.
Here is chart showing the breakdown by age:
Many social factors have contributed to millennials waiting to buy their first home. The latest Censusresults show that the median age of Americans at the time of their first marriage has increased significantly over the last 60 years, from 23 for men and 20 for women in 1955, to 29 and 27, respectively, in 2015.
Those who went to college and took out student loans are finally paying them off, as the terms on traditional student loans are 10 years. This means that a large portion of the generation is making its last loan payments and is working toward saving for a first home.
As a whole, the first-time homebuyer share increased to 35% of all buyers, up from 32% in 2014. Not all millennials are first-time buyers, they also made up 12% of all repeat buyers!
Millennials will continue to drive the housing market next year, as well as in the years to come. As more and more realize that owning a home is within their grasp, they will flock to own their piece of the American Dream. Are you ready to buy your first or even second home?
You’ve made the decision to put your house on the market … but is it ready to sell? A recent article from Today.com and HGTV’s Nicole Curtis offered some tips for getting the best price for your listing. Here’s a recap:
• There’s only one first impression, so make it count! Whether they’re looking at your home in person or on the web, a few updates will go a long way. Update the decorative accents and hardware, and add some fresh flowers, too. And don’t forget to spruce up the home’s exterior as well.
• Remove personalized items. You want visitors looking at the house, not all the extras. Make an effort to remove family photos, collectibles, personal keepsakes, etc.
• The kitchen is king. Kitchens often make or break a sale, so freshen your kitchen with a coat of paint and new hardware. If you can afford it, add at least one stainless steel appliance for a high-end look.
• Clear out the closets. Packed closets can be a negative, so remove half of your belongings from closets to give the appearance of ample storage space. Swapping out cheap hangers for wooden ones also adds a nice touch.