Top 5 Home Design Trends of 2017

The current trends are all about utilizing rich color, maximizing texture and creating comfortable interiors you can’t wait to relax in. Use these trends to get inspired to makeover your home’s interiors and create spaces you love that also appeal to your personal style. Remember, if you plan to sell in the next few years, you may want to avoid doing anything dramatic and instead incorporate small changes that would appeal to buyers.

Why are these trends gaining popularity?

The underlying theme of these trends is creating a home environment you love; one that appeals to your emotions and feels like a retreat from the stresses of the world. Although the home is a place where you can relax and spend time with loved ones, work expectations are beginning to blur the line between work and home. Even if people don’t work from home specifically, many are stretching their work hours into their evenings and weekends to complete work projects.

It’s no wonder the Nordic concept of hygge (most often pronounced “hoo-gah”) has become a hot trend. A centuries-old concept, incorporating hygge in the home means creating simple and comfortable spaces that make you feel cozy and safe and appeal to your senses.1 The emphasis is on simplicity and fostering positive experiences, whether you’re spending time with family, reading a good book or catching up on work emails.

WARM AND RICH COLORS.

Whether you want to play with a bold color or stick with neutrals, one thing is clear—paint is the foundation of a great design. Painting your interiors has a return on investment of about 75 percent and is a relatively inexpensive project to complete, costing between $25 to $100 for paint alone.2 If you’re thinking of refreshing your home’s interiors with a coat of paint, popular colors include warm taupe, fresh green and dark tones. These colors are popular choices because they evoke feeling of warmth and coziness when you walk into a room.

Wondering how to pair these colors? Taupe is the perfect alternative to traditional neutrals, such as gray and white, and goes well with cool blues, earthy greens and deep shades of wine. Green goes well with other earthy shades, such as copper and moss, as well as deep plum and bright pink. If you’re hesitant to paint your walls green, incorporate it into your home by way of accent pillows, rugs, lamps, vases and other accessories or add a few house plants.

If you’re interested in adding more drama to a room, include bold, dark colors. Dark shades add color and sophistication to any space. Plum and dark gray pair well with pale blues, warm whites and light gray.

Try one of these Colors of the Year:

Poised Taupe – Sherwin Williams

Greenery – Pantone

Shadow – Benjamin Moore

RICH MATERIALS.

Lux materials create a space in which you can’t wait to kick off your shoes and relax at the end of the day. The Danes use a mixture of materials and pattern as a way of adding character and interest; however the overall look still needs to adhere to a color palette to prevent it from looking distracting.

Natural materials and textures allow you to maximize the comfort of the bedroom, living room or family room. Wood accents give rooms an earthy feel. Incorporate rustic wood sculptures, trays and furniture into your space. Choose furniture made with sustainably harvested wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or use reclaimed wood for an environmentally friendly alternative.

If natural elements aren’t your style, but you want to add more visual interest to your room, try mixing patterns. Although it may have been avoided in the past, mixing stripes, florals and geometric prints actually help ground a space as long as the patterns feature complimentary colors or different shades of one color. If you’re worried about going overboard and making your room look “busy,” focus your mix in one area of the room. For example, add throw pillows in a variety of patterns to your sofa.

GOING GREEN.

According to a recent study from the American Psychological Association, people are more stressed than ever, with 24 percent of adults reporting they’re experiencing “extreme stress.”3

Top sources of stress include work and money. By incorporating small changes, like making your house more energy efficient, you can start to lower your bills and get back to relaxing and enjoying life like the Danish do (who consistently top the polls as the happiest people).

Save money on your energy bills by sealing the “envelope” of your home, which includes the windows and doors, walls, floor and roof. The better insulated your home is, the less heat will escape and the lower your energy bill (and stress level) will be.

The most heat loss occurs through the walls of the home: up to 35 percent of heat loss, to be exact.4 Ceramic insulating paint is a space-inspired coating of paint mixed with ceramic compounds and applied to interior or exterior surfaces. It seals your walls and prevents heat from escaping, which means reduced energy bills all year long.

THE FUNCTIONAL HOME OFFICE.

Twenty-four percent of employed people do some or all of their work at home.5 Since more people are working remotely than ever, home offices are becoming more popular. Even if you don’t plan on working from home, a home office gives you a place to pay bills, work on personal projects, plan your family’s schedule and more. Home offices tend to be multifunctional, serving as a guest room when family and friends visit, and have the potential to meet other needs that arise.

The key idea behind hygge is to enjoy the environment around you and for each room to be a sanctuary to sink into at any given moment. Your home office is no exception! Maximize your productivity, efficiency and focus by painting the walls shades of green or blue.6 If space is an issue, create a nook by installing docking and tech cabinets that are big enough to store a printer and other small office equipment and files without taking over the room.

If you don’t have room in your home for an office, look no further than your backyard. Shedquarters, small structures or sheds built in the backyard for use as an office or home-based business, are an attractive option for homeowners who don’t have a room to dedicate to an office and don’t wish to add on their homes. while the jury is out on how much value these structure add to a home, they can convert easily into a storage shed if you plan to sell in the future.

SPLURGING ON KITCHEN RENOVATIONS.

The kitchen is often the busiest, most hectic room in the house and one of the top renovation projects with a high return on investment.7 We do more than cook meals there; it’s where homework is done, bills are paid, weeks are planned and more.

Kitchen remodels consistently show a respectable return on investment. According to the 2017 Cost vs Value Report from Remodeling magazine, a minor kitchen remodel touts an 80.2 percent return on investment.8 You don’t need to overhaul your entire kitchen to make it more hygge. Smaller additions can transform it into a relaxing and functional space you enjoy spending time with friends and family in.

What does a “minor kitchen renovation” entail? In addition to replacing the fronts of your cabinets and drawers, it also includes replacing out-of-date appliances and fixtures. You may also consider replacing countertops. Quartz and quartzite are becoming more common as are other green laminate options, including ones that mimic stone, wood and concrete. Laminates install in less time, often over the existing countertop, make it an ideal choice for busy homeowners as well. Other hot kitchen trends include incorporating sustainable materials like bamboo into your countertops and floors and water filtration systems.

Want to improve the look and feel of your home’s interior? Are you thinking of upgrading to a home that better fits your changing needs? Please call us—we’d love to help you achieve all of your home-related dreams.

Sources:

  1. Time, Hygge, the Nordic Trend That Could Help You Survive 2016
  2. Quality Smith
  3. American Psychological Association, 2015 Stress in America
  4. Department of Energy
  5. Department of Labor
  6. Entrepreneur, How the Color of Your Office Impacts Productivity
  7. com
  8. Remodeling Magazine, 2017

7 Reasons Home Buyers Prefer New Homes vs. Used

Today’s new homes offer more benefits than ever before. Here’s a quick list from NewHomeSource.com giving 7 reasons why so many homebuyers prefer new homes to used houses:

1) All New, Under Warranty: A used home likely has tired products that may soon need replacing. Your new home — and the products that comprise it — are brand-new and under warranty. What’s the cost to replace a roof, appliances, countertops or a water heater on a used home? Those components of your new home feature the latest designs and building materials and should offer you years of comfort and enjoyment before needing replacement.

2) Energy and Cost Savings: Today’s new homes are far more energy efficient than homes built just five years ago. Versus homes built ten or 20 years ago, it’s game over, advantage new. Why settle for drafty, energy-wasting, single-pane windows in a used home? Many new homes offer double or even triple-pane windows. Special window coatings and inert gases between the layers of glass are often available, saving you even more energy and money in both heating and cooling season. In fact, a 2016 survey by the National Association of Homebuilders found that 90 percent of respondents listed Energy Star appliances as an essential or desirable feature in their most-wanted list.

3) Comfort and Indoor Air Quality: Today’s new homes meet stringent energy standards and codes not in place in the past. They combine high-performance energy efficiency with state-of-the-art ventilation and air filtration. The result is year-round, draft-free comfort and higher indoor air quality.

4) Low Maintenance: New cars today are computer-designed and computer-equipped. That’s why they perform much more reliably than a car that’s 15 or 20 years old. Homes are the same. Today’s new homes have open floor plans and high ceilings that reflect the way we live today. They’re also made of cutting-edge building products that require less care and maintenance. Another plus? The latest building systems and components are designed and engineered to work together.

5) Advanced Technology and Design: It’s possible to replace all of the single-pane windows in a resale home with today’s high-performance windows. It’s also possible to add insulation to a used home. However, it’s very expensive to replace dated appliances, cabinets and countertops in a used home — and you still won’t have the high ceilings you dream of on the first floor of an older two-story home. All are reasons to build your new home your way, to reflect the way you live today.

6) Safety: State-of-the-art circuit breakers. Electric garage door openers with infrared beams that stop if a tricycle or child is too near. High-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners that use the latest environmentally-friendly coolants. Cabinets, carpets and paints that use fewer volatile organic compounds, so that you and your family can breathe easier.

7) That New Home Feel: A used home was someone else’s dream, not yours. It reflects their choices and family memories. You may learn to love avocado-green appliances (and you may be willing to scrub stained countertops or grease-encrusted ovens and cooktops) but more and more people prefer that never lived-in feel.

After all, when was the last time you went to a department store and selected used clothes? Or visited a car dealer and paid more for a used car than a new car?

New homes offer the latest designs, style, comfort and quality. They provide a care-free lifestyle so that you can enjoy your home, not work on it.

Please give ‘BURG Development a call and learn about the NEW homes they have for sale in Northeast St. Petersburg.  727-571-5861

via Jay McKenzie who heads up content and social media for NewHomeSource.com and Builders Digital Experience.

Florida Existing Home Sales Flatten

Prices, however, continue rising.

Florida’s housing market continued to report a tight supply of homes for sale and rising median prices in February, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

Sales of single-family homes statewide remained relatively flat last month, totaling 18,033, down 0.5% compared to February 2016.

“Florida’s economy is growing, with more jobs being created,” said 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. “And a growing economy boosts the state’s housing sector as well. However, many local markets are reporting low inventory of for-sale homes at a time of increasing buyer demand.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $225,000, up 12.5% from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in February was $167,500, up 11.7% over the year-ago figure. February marked the 63rd month in a row that statewide median prices for both sectors rose year-over-year. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

via Builder Magazine

http://www.ForeSiteResidential.com

Do You Want to Buy Your Dream Home?

Want to Buy Your Dream Home?

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This is truly the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the top four reasons Americans buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median price of homes sold in December (the latest data available) was $232,200, up 4.0% from last year. This increase also marks the 58th consecutive month with year-over-year gains.

If we look at the numbers year over year, CoreLogic forecasted a rise by 4.7% from December 2016 to December 2017. On a home that costs $250,000 today, that same home will cost you an additional $11,750 if you wait until next year.

What does that mean to you?
Simply put, with prices increasing each month, it might cost you more if you wait until next year to buy. Your down payment will also need to be higher in order to account for the higher price of the home you wish to buy.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long-term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, and Fannie Mae have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months, as you can see in the chart below:

Mortgage Rate Projections

Bottom Line

Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

via Keeping Current Matters 

Case-Shiller Says the Housing Market Has Now Officially, Completely Recovered… Do You Agree?

David Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Indices managing director and chairman of the Index Committee, explains the economic factors that led to this recovery and looks at the price gains seen in the top 20 cities. He also points out the uncertainty that exists following the election of President Trump.wooden-block-house-on-money

[HousingWire.com]Home prices increased in November, making the argument the housing market recovered completely from the housing crisis.

According to the latest data released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, increased 5.6% annually, up from 5.5% from the previous month.

The 10-City composite increased by 4.5% from November 2015, up from 4.3% in October. Similarly, the 20-City Composite increased 5.3% year-over-year, up from 5.1% the month before.

Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices, CoreLogic
Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices, CoreLogic

“With the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index rising at about 5.5% annual rate over the last two-and-a-half years and having reached a new all-time high recently, one can argue that housing has recovered from the boom-bust cycle that began a dozen years ago,” said David Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Indices managing director and chairman of the Index Committee. “The recovery has been supported by a few economic factors: low interest rates, falling unemployment, and consistent gains in per-capita disposable personal income.”

“Thirty-year fixed rate mortgages dropped under 4.5% in 2011 and have only recently shown hints of rising above that level,” Blitzer said. “The unemployment rate at 4.7% is close to the Fed’s full employment target. Inflation adjusted per capita personal disposable income has risen at about a 2.5% annual rate for 30 months.”

Seattle, Portland and Denver reported the highest annual gains among the top 20 cities for each of the past 10 months. In November, Seattle came in first with an increase of 10.4%, followed by Portland at 10.1% and Denver at 8.7%.

Monthly, the National Index increased by 0.2% in November. The 10-City Composite and 20-City Composite also both increased 0.2% for the month. After seasonal adjustment, however, the National index increased 0.8% and the 10-City and 20-City Composites increased 0.9% month-over month. After seasonally adjustment, all top 20 cities saw an increase in home prices.

“The home prices and economic data are from late 2016,” Blitzer said. “The new Administration in Washington is seeking faster economic growth, increased investment in infrastructure, and changes in tax policy which could affect housing and home prices.”

“Mortgage rates have increased since the election and stronger economic growth could push them higher,” he said. “Further gains in personal income and employment may increase the demand for housing and add to price pressures when home prices are already rising about twice as fast as inflation.”

Thank you Kelsey Ramirez with HousingWire.com

Who’s Afraid of Rising Interest Rates?

While mortgage rates remain “historically low,” many first-time buyers think they’re substantially more expensive because they don’t remember high-rate years.

1st Time Homebuyers

[Move.com] Rising mortgage rates have created an urgency for Experienced Purchasers to buy before further increases. Average listing views on realtor.com surged 40% to 80% in the last 3 weeks of December 2016 compared to December 2015.

“Rising rates have made demand even more intense,” realtor.com notes. However, the demand mostly seems to be coming on stronger from repeat buyers. For first-time buyers, rising mortgage rates are having an opposite effect and they’re showing signs of beginning to shy away from the market.

The number of 1st-time buyers planning to purchase this spring has dropped sharply and the rise in mortgage rates over the past few weeks may be to blame for their retreat, according to realtor.com® study. Repeat buyers, on the other hand, want to lock in rates right away.

Forty-four percent of active home buyers who plan to buy a home this spring are first-time home buyers, down from 55% last fall who said they were planning to buy in the spring. So what’s spooking them?

Average rates today are about a half percentage point higher than they were in 2016. That means a median-priced home financed with a 20% down would cost an extra $720 per year in added interest, realtor.com.

If you want to own your first home, now is STILL the time to buy!

First-time buyers are nearly 5 times more likely than repeat buyers to say they are facing challenges qualifying for a mortgage. Affordability topped first-time buyer concerns.

In November, first-time buyers made up 32% of all buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“The rise in rates is associated with an anticipation of stronger economic and wage growth, both of which favor buyers,” adds Jonathan Smoke chief economist for realtor.com. “At the same time, higher rates make qualifying for a mortgage and finding affordable inventory more challenging. The decline in the share of first-time buyers since October suggests that the move up in rates is discouraging new home buyers already.”

On the other hand, repeat homebuyers realize mortgage rates – while moving higher overall – are still at historical lows. Before rates jump more, these buyers are in a rush to close before rates increase further, according to realtor.com’s study.

First-time buyers may need to lower their expectations a little and not insist on a dream home…  Their perfect home is out there, it just takes a different approach  and process to finding it.  Please give us a call, we would love to help you.

http://www.ForeSiteResidential.com

A Look at New Homes: Onward and Upward in 2017

Housing Outlook

© 2017 Florida Realtors — Fueled by a growing economy, solid employment gains and rising household formations, single-family housing production will continue a gradual, upward trajectory in 2017, according to economists speaking at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla.

“While positive developments on the demand side will support solid growth in the single-family housing sector in 2017, builders in many markets continue to face supply-side constraints led by the three ‘Ls’ – lots, labor and lending,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

He said that 64 percent of builders nationwide report low or very-low lot supplies; the rate of unfilled jobs in the construction sector is now higher; and acquisition, development and construction loans for builders – while on the rise – needs to grow faster to meet demand.

“The industry needs to recruit more workers and get more land in the pipeline, but it will take time,” Dietz said.

However, supply-side challenges are more than offset by continued economic growth, ongoing job creation, rising wages and favorable demographics. Moreover, builder confidence is higher because builders expect the incoming Trump administration to help to lower regulatory costs.

“Regulatory requirements make up nearly 25 percent of the cost of a new home,” said Dietz. “Given those constraints, it is hard to build a $200,000 entry-level house.”

In a sign that more millennials are getting off the sidelines and jumping into the market, Dietz noted that townhome construction, which can be a useful bridge for millennials to transition to homeownership, is showing impressive growth and now constitutes 12 percent of all single-family starts.

Solid outlook

  • NAHB expects mortgage interest rates to average 4.5 percent in 2017 and 5.3 percent in 2018.
  • NAHB projects 1.16 million total housing starts in 2016, up 4.9 percent from the previous year’s total of 1.11 million units.
  • Single-family production is expected to rise 10 percent in 2017 to 855,000 units and increase an additional 12 percent to 961,000 next year.
  • Using the 2000-2003 period as a benchmark for normal housing activity when single-family production averaged 1.3 million units annually, single-family starts are expected to steadily rise from 56 percent of “a typical market” in third quarter 2016 to 75 percent of normal by fourth quarter 2018.
  • On the multifamily front, NAHB expects multifamily starts to hold steady in 2017 at 384,000 units, which would be 1,000 units above last year’s pace. While this level is slightly above trend, Dietz said the pace is sustainable due to demographics and a balance between supply and demand.
  • Residential remodeling activity is expected to register a 1 percent gain this year over 2016.

Affordability and demographics

CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft expects mortgage rates to rise and home prices to moderate in the coming year.

“We anticipate that a stronger economy will translate into higher mortgage rates,” said Nothaft. “Meanwhile, we expect moderation in 2017 for rent and home price growth, but it will still be higher than inflation (thanks to) tight inventory in the housing market.” He said home purchase originations should rise 5.7 percent in 2017, and credit risk for home loans is substantially lower than 10-15 years ago.

The biggest housing issue in 2017 will be affordability, Nothaft said. “Mortgage rates are up three-quarters of a point since last summer and house prices are up. That starts to pinch a household budget.”

On the flip side, demographics will be very positive for housing and home sales going forward. “As millennials age from 25-to-30, that is a big potential base to expand the home buyer market,” said Nothaft.

Supply and demand

David Berson, chief economist for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., also expects mortgage rates to rise in the coming year, but he said it shouldn’t have a negative impact on housing demand.

“Higher mortgage rates will be offset by stronger wage gains and job growth, which suggests that housing demand will increase this year,” said Berson. “The question is, how much will supply go up?” He said most U.S. metro areas are relatively healthy, marked by solid job growth, mortgage delinquencies down to near-normal levels and strong, but not excessive house price gains.

A major concern going into 2017, he said, is that demand will exceed supply, which puts upward pressure on home prices.

“If there aren’t enough homes on the market, that will be a problem,” said Berson. “Price gains need to moderate. We can’t have six, seven or eight percent gains. That is not sustainable.” That situation could downgrade many markets from “healthy” to “neutral.”

© 2017 Florida Realtors