Many of the questions currently surrounding the real estate industry focus on home prices and where they are heading. The most recent Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES) helps target these projected answers.
Mid year market update: Three things you need to know:
Shifting trends and industry-leading research are pointing toward some valuable projections about the status of the housing market for the rest of the year.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling, or if you just want to know what experts are saying is on the horizon, here are the top three things to put on your radar as we head into the coming months:
Home prices are appreciating at a more normal rate: Home prices have been appreciating for about ten years now. Experts at the Home Price Expectation Survey, Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Maeare forecasting continued growth throughout the next year, although it should be leveling-off to normal appreciation (3.6%), as we move into 2020.
Interest rates are low: Over the past 30 years, the average mortgage rate in the United States has been 8.27%, and rates even peaked as high as 18% in the 1980s. Today, at 3.81%, the rate is considerably lower than the historical 30-year average. Although experts predict it may climb into the low 4% range in the near future, that’s still remarkably lower than our running average, suggesting a great time to get more for your money over the life of your loan.
An impending recession does not mean there will be a housing crash: Although expert research studies such as those found in the Duke Survey of American CFOs and the National Association of Business Economics, are pointing toward a recession beginning within the next 18 months, a potential recession isn’t expected to be driven by the housing industry. That means we likely won’t experience a devastating housing crash like the country felt in 2008. Expert financial analyst Morgan Housel tweeted:
“An interesting thing is the widespread assumption that the next recession will be as bad as 2008. Natural to think that way, but, statistically, highly unlikely. Could be over before you realized it began.”
In fact, during 3 of the 5 last U.S. recessions, housing prices have actually appreciated!
With prices appreciating and low interest rates available, it’s a perfect time to buy or sell a home. Let’s get together to discuss how you can take the next step in the exciting journey of homeownership.
If you’re ready to put your home up for sale, know this: Buyers and their agents are going to zero in on all those things that need doing in your home —as well as some things you hadn’t even noticed yourself.
So why not get ahead of the curve by hiring a licensed home inspector who can pinpoint what needs fixing?
Of course, most sellers don’t get their homes inspected before listing them, because the buyer usually orders an inspection during escrow, and who wants to pay for something they don’t have to?
But if you’re willing to invest the time and money, a thorough inspection before listing your property can make it easier to price your home, manage repairs, and even help sell it faster—and for more money.
So what are the some of the reasons why a pre-listing inspection makes sense? Let’s take a look.
It can save you if you’ve neglected home maintenance
If you have a busy life—or maybe even if you don’t—chances are that obsessing over regular home maintenance might not be your No. 1 priority during downtime. Trouble is, letting painting, roof repairs, and other routine chores slide can lead to bigger issues down the road, says Chicago-based Frank Lesh, ambassador for the American Society of Home Inspectors.
“In a lot of cases, people think, ‘I’ve been here for 30 years; the house is fine. There’s nothing wrong with it,’” he says. “But they’re looking at it with rose-colored glasses.”
Instead of worrying what a buyer’s inspector will uncover—and which could potentially kill the sale—be proactive with a pre-listing inspection, Lesh says. This way, rather than being blindsided, you can then decide whether to make the necessary repairs or to account for that deferred maintenance by reducing the list price. Which leads us to…
You can make a bigger profit on your sale
Sure, a home inspection that you don’t have to do is going to cost money. (An inspection for a 1,200- to 1,500-square-foot house in an average market, for instance, will cost between $350 and $600, Lesh says.) But as the saying goes: Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
After all, if you invest a little more to repair and spruce up anything the pre-inspection reveals, you can justify listing your home at a higher price, plus, in most states, home improvement repairs you carry out before selling your house are deductible from the profit you make from the sale.
Sometimes, just knowing that a pro has given the house a proper once-over can persuade a buyer to make a bid (assuming that you actually follow the inspector’s recommendations).
You won’t have to scramble to fix things at the last minute
Once a buyer’s inspector submits a report, sellers are usually faced with two choices: If problems are found with the house, they can then either slash money from the sale price, or opt to carry out repairs before the closing date. That often leaves sellers in the lurch, having to get work done pronto—and sometimes paying a premium for the rush work.
After a pre-listing inspection, sellers can research contractors and make the necessary repairs within a time frame of their choosing, so that everything is ready before potential buyers even visit the property.
It’ll minimize back-and-forth negotiation
Buyers often use their home inspection as leverage, asking the seller (that’s you!) for steep discounts based on what their inspector’s report reveals. Not surprisingly, the buyer’s inspection is often where the deal falls apart.
If you’ve already uncovered the issues and addressed them, you can raise the price of your home accordingly, that gives the buyer less leverage in the request for repair process.
Also, in red-hot markets where multiple bids come fast and furious, there’s always a chance that buyers might accept your pre-listing inspection without insisting on doing their own. This can make for a quicker sale.
But make sure a pre-inspection doesn’t work against you
As advantageous as a pre-inspection can be, don’t forget that the inspector’s report could be a double-edged sword: Once you know about a problem, you can’t ignore it.
Sellers are legally obligated to disclose any problems that a home inspection unearths.
For sellers unwilling to do repairs, their own inspection could be used as leverage to negotiate on price and in the request-for-repair process.
Before committing to a pre-inspection, find out what other sellers in your area are doing. Norma can help guide you on whether it’s necessary to sell for more, or if there’s a better—and more affordable—strategy for getting your home sold.
Homes priced at the top 25% of the price range for a particular area of the country are considered “premium homes.” In today’s real estate market, there are deals to be had at the higher end! This is great news for homeowners wanting to upgrade from their current house.
Much of the demand for housing over the past couple of years has come from first-time buyers looking for their starter home. Many of the more expensive homes listed for sale have not seen as much interest.
According to ILHM’s Luxury Report, this mismatch in demand and inventory of luxury and premium homes has created a Buyer’s Market. For the purpose of the report, a luxury home was defined as one that costs $1 million or more.
“A Buyer’s Market indicates that buyers have greater control over the price point. This market type is demonstrated by a substantial number of homes on the market and few sales, suggesting demand for residential properties is slow for that market and/or price point.”
The authors of the report were quick to point out that current conditions at the higher end of the market are no cause for concern.
“While luxury homes may take longer to sell than in previous years, the slower pace, increased inventory levels and larger differences between list and sold prices, represent a normalization of the market, not a downturn.”
Luxury can mean different things to different people. To one person, luxury is a secluded home with plenty of property and privacy. To another, it could be a penthouse at the center of a bustling city. Knowing what characteristics mean luxury to you will help your agent find you the home of your dreams.
If you are debating upgrading your current house to a premium or luxury home, now is the time!
Rising home prices coupled with a lack of inventory in today’s market may cause some homeowners to consider selling their home on their own (known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner). However, a FSBO might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.
The top 5 reasons are listed below:
1. Online Strategy for Prospective Purchasers
Recent studies have shown that 95% of buyers search online for a home. In comparison, only 13% use print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an Internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?
2. Results Come from the Internet
Where did buyers find the home they actually purchased?
50% on the Internet
7% from a yard sign
28% from a Real Estate Agent
1% from newspapers
The days of selling your house by putting up a sign and listing it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong Internet strategy is crucial.
3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With
Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:
The buyer who wants the best deal possible
The buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
The appraiser, if there is a question of value
4. FSBOing Has Become Increasingly Difficult
The paperwork involved in the process has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 7% over the last 20+ years.
5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent
Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.
A study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don’t actually save anything by forgoing the help of an agent. In some cases, they may actually cost themselves more. One of the main reasons for the price difference at the time of sale is:
“Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”
The more buyers that view a home, the greater the chance of a bidding war for the property. The study found the difference in price between comparable homes of size and location is currently at an average of 6%.
Listing on your own leaves you to manage the entire transaction yourself. Why do that when you can hire an agent without additional cost?
Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling your house on your own, let’s get together to discuss your needs.
According to CoreLogic, from 2006 to 2014 “there were 7.3 million housing foreclosures and 1.9 million short sales.” The hesitation some Americans feel after experiencing a foreclosure brings to mind the old saying: “Fool me once- shame on you. Fool me twice- shame on me.”
According to the 2019 Home Buyer Report from NerdWallet,
“Thirteen percent of Americans have lost a home due to a financial event such as foreclosure in the past 10 years. More than 6 in 10 of them (61%) have not bought a home since, and 20% of those who haven’t repurchased say they never plan to again.”
This makes sense. They don’t want to go through the same pain again. As a cornerstone of the American dream, nobody wants to lose homeownership. But let’s illustrate this simply: Recall learning to ride your first bike during your childhood. Did you stop riding it because you fell on the ground and scraped your knees? Or did you get back on and try again until you were able to ride without falling?
Purchasing a home is not as simple as learning to ride a bike, but the concept is the same! There are many things necessary to learn that affect the ability to get the financing needed to purchase a home. Past occurrences can determine if there is a waiting period. In other words, you need to let your knees heal before you try again!
As we’ve mentioned in the past, homeownership has many financial and non-financial benefits. Each person needs to go over the pros and cons, taking the time to figure out what is best for their family. Should they continue renting, or should they try to buy again?
The good news is that some “boomerang buyers” are getting back into the market. They’re getting back on their bike!
“Of 2.8 million former homeowners whose foreclosures, short sales or bankruptcies dropped off their credit reports from January 2016 to November 2018, 11.5% have obtained a new mortgage, according to a study by credit rating agency Experian for USA Today.”
NerdWallet’s report also mentioned:
6% plan to buy a house this year.
39% intend to buy over the next 3 years.
58% say they will purchase within 5 years.
If you lost a home due to a financial event but would like to review your options, let’s get together to help you create a plan to obtain a home in the future!
When buying a home today, why is there so much paperwork mandated by the lenders for a mortgage loan application? It seems like they need to know everything about you. Furthermore, it requires three separate sources to validate each and every entry on the application form. Many buyers are being told by friends and family that the process was a hundred times easier when they bought their home ten to twenty years ago.
There are two very good reasons that the loan process is much more onerous on today’s buyer than perhaps any other time in history.
1. The government has set new guidelines that now demand that the bank proves beyond any doubt that you are indeed capable of paying the mortgage.
During the run-up to the housing crisis, many people ‘qualified’ for mortgages that they could never pay back. This led to millions of families losing their home. The government wants to make sure this can’t happen again.
2. The banks don’t want to be in the real estate business.
Over the last several years, banks were forced to take on the responsibility of liquidating millions of foreclosures and negotiating an additional million plus short sales. Just like the government, they don’t want more foreclosures. For that reason, they have to double (maybe even triple) check everything on the application.
However, there is some good news in this situation.
The housing crash that mandated that banks be extremely strict on paperwork requirements also allowed you to get a low mortgage interest rate.
The friends and family who bought homes ten or twenty years ago experienced a simpler mortgage application process, but also paid a higher interest rate (the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 8.12% in the 1990s and 6.29% in the 2000s).
If you went to the bank and offered to pay 7% instead of around 4%, they would probably bend over backward to make the process much easier.
Instead of concentrating on the additional paperwork required, let’s be thankful that we are able to buy a home at historically low rates.
A lot is happening in the world, and it’s having a direct impact on the housing market. The reality is this: some of it is positive and some of it may be negative. Some we just don’t know yet.
The following three areas of the housing market are critical to understand: interest rates, building materials, and the outlook for an economic slowdown.
1. Interest Rates
One of the most important things to consider when buying a home is the interest rate you will be charged to borrow the money. In our recent post we posed the question, “Are Low Interest Rates Here To Stay?” The latest information from Freddie Mac makes it appear they are. We are currently at a 21-month low in interest rates.
2. Building Materials
Talk of tariffs could also affect the housing market. According to a recent article, the National Association of Home Builders reports that as much as $10 billion in goods imported from China are used in homebuilding. Depending on the outcome of the tariff and trade discussions between several countries, there could be as much as a 25% boost in the cost of building materials.
3. Economic Slowdown
We began the year with many economic leaders thinking we could expect a recession in late 2019 or early 2020. As spring approached, economists had started to push that projection past 2020. Now, three leading surveys indicate that it may begin in the next eighteen months.
We are in a strong housing market. Wages are increasing, home prices are appreciating, and mortgage rates are the lowest they have been in 21 months. Whether you are thinking of buying or selling, it’s a great time to be in the market. However, it is vital to be familiar with and understand the data and closing comps in your local market, this is where I come in. Contact me and let me go through the latest market information with you so you can better understand your real estate options in this market.
In today’s housing market, home prices are increasing at a slower pace (3.7%) than they have over the last eight years (6-7%). However, they are still are above historical norms. Low supply of listed homes and high demand from buyers has pushed prices to rise rapidly.
In the mind of the homeowner, annual home price appreciation over 6% has become the new normal. This becomes a challenge when a homeowner looks to refinance or sell their home, as the expectation of what the homeowner believes the home should be worth does not always line up with the bank’s appraisal.
Every month, the Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) measures the disparity between what a homeowner seeking to refinance their home believes their house is worth and what an appraiser’s evaluation of that same home is.
Over the last five months, the gap between the homeowner’s opinion and the bank’s appraisal has widened to -0.78%. This is important for homeowners to note, as even a 0.78% difference in appraisal can mean thousands of dollars that a buyer or seller would have to come up with at closing (depending on the price of the home).
The chart below illustrates the changes in home price estimates over the last 12 months.
While the appraisal gap widens, another trend is also becoming more common.
According to realtor.com, “the share of homes which had their prices cut increased by 2% compared to last year”. Thirty-seven out of the 50 largest US housing markets saw an increase in overall price reductions.
In today’s market, you need an expert agent who can help price your house right from the start. Homeowners who make the mistake of overpricing their homes will eventually have to drop the price. This leaves buyers wondering if the price drop was caused by something wrong with the house. In reality, nothing is wrong- the price was just too high!
If you are planning on selling your house in today’s market, let’s get together to set your listing price properly from the start!
The spring housing market is off to the races! The inventory of homes for sale is increasing, buyers are out in force, and interest rates have remained low, piquing the interest of buyers and sellers previously on the fence about making a move.
New research from realtor.com shows that the first week of April is actually the best time to list your house for sale! The report used “trends in median listing prices, views per property on realtor.com, home price drops, median days on market, and number of listings on the market over the last three years,” to determine a ranking for every week of the year.
Listing your home in the first week of April contributes 14x more property views, 5% less competition from other home sellers, and results in the home being sold 6 days faster!
Below is a graph indicating the average score for each month of the year.
It should come as no surprise that April and May dominate as the top months to sell. The second quarter of the year (April, May, June) is referred to as the Spring Buyers Season, when competition is fierce to find a dream home, often leading to bidding wars.
However, there is one caveat worth mentioning. When broken down by metro, realtor.com noticed that while warmer climates share an overall trend, they have different top sales months. The best month to get the most exposure in Miami, FL, for instance, is August, while in Phoenix, AZ, June leads the charge.
If you’re thinking of selling your home this year, the time to list is NOW! According to the National Association of Realtors, 41% of homes sold last month were on the market for less than 30 days! If you list now, you’ll have a really good chance to sell in April or May, setting yourself up for the most exposure!
Let’s get together to discuss the market conditions in our area to get you the most exposure to the buyers ready and willing to make a move!
In today’s society, technology has become a crucial part of our everyday life. So big, that we tend to involve it in everything we do; home buying is no exception. Just like in any other industry, customer experience has become a key aspect and companies all over the world have finally started to step up in this area. And what better way to do so than digitizing everything in order to entertain better communication with clients and give them quick access to information?
Whether you’re a first-time home buyer, or you’re a real estate agent who’s looking to better advise clients, in this article we’ll help you by listing some of the best tools and resources to use for home buying.
First and foremost, you need to make sure that you are financially ready to take this step. After all, buying a home will probably be one of the biggest expenses that you’ll have in your entire lifetime. If the time is right indeed, you’ll need to figure out what you can actually afford to buy. This is where a budget worksheet could become extremely handy, especially when it comes to keeping things organized. Try to see a little bit into the future, and imagine your life in the next few years while having to pay the mortgage. Use the worksheet to figure out your budget, and then you’ll be ready to make a decision.
Like most people nowadays, you probably don’t have a huge amount of money available for buying an entire house, so you’re gonna end up going for a home loan. But there’s nothing wrong about this, as there are so many great calculators and financial tools out there, that can make the process ten times easier for you.
From working out how much you can actually borrow based on what you earn and what you owe to figuring out how much money will go to a mortgage payment for a certain property. All of these are readily available to you with only a few keystrokes. These tools help you take the first steps towards buying a house, without even having to leave your current one.
We live in an era where we practically have our smartphones glued to our hands. So why not take advantage of that and download some apps that can help you in the process of buying a new house?
If everything works out well with your home loan, now it’s time for house hunting! House hunting can be a very tiring process and also a very stressful one. What the modern home buyer can do about this, is to use real estate mobile apps that include map features, information about schools and other points of interest around properties, and maybe some other high-tech features, like virtual tours of the properties. At the end of the day, not only will you be able to save time, but you’ll also be less stressed when you’re able to go through multiple houses in a matter of minutes.
After you’ve narrowed your options down to a few houses, it’s time for you to go and visit them. This part of the process might be the key to a successful purchase, as you’ll need to talk to the real estate agent (in this case, call Norma!). And if you don’t know how to entertain one such conversation, you might want to do a little research beforehand. Be aware of the fact that a real estate agent can’t actually lie to you, but if you won’t ask the right questions, you probably won’t get the information that you need. You don’t want to end up buying a home that is not what you’ve thought it was in the first place.
And lastly, make sure that the house that you buy has the potential to become your actual home. You’ll never find your dream house while hunting for it, but you’re definitely able to find one that has the potential of becoming one.
The real estate business is adapting to our digitized world, a change that could bring nothing but profit and satisfied customers. Websites are still the standard for online house hunting, but mobile apps are so much more efficient! People take countless trips to the bank for home loans, while there are online tools that you can use from the comfort of your own bed. Buying a home is definitely a very time and energy consuming process, but fortunately, with the help of technology, it is gradually becoming easier to be a homeowner.
Congratulations! You’ve found a home to buy and have applied for a mortgage! You are undoubtedly excited about the opportunity to decorate your new home! But before you make any big purchases, move any money around, or make any big-time life changes, consult your loan officer. They will be able to tell you how your decision will impact your home loan.
Below is a list of 7 Things You Shouldn’t Do After Applying for a Mortgage! Some may seem obvious, but some may not!
1. Don’t change jobs or the way you are paid at your job! Your loan officer must be able to track the source and amount of your annual income. If possible, you’ll want to avoid changing from salary to commission or becoming self-employed during this time as well.
2. Don’t deposit cash into your bank accounts. Lenders need to source your money and cash is not really traceable. Before you deposit any amount of cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer.
3. Don’t make any large purchases like a new car or new furniture for your new home. New debt comes with it, including new monthly obligations. New obligations create new qualifications. People with new debt have higher debt to income ratios… higher ratios make for riskier loans… and sometimes qualified borrowers no longer qualify.
4. Don’t co-sign other loans for anyone. When you co-sign, you are obligated. As we mentioned, with that obligation comes higher ratios as well. Even if you swear you will not be the one making the payments, your lender will have to count the payment against you.
5. Don’t change bank accounts. Remember, lenders need to source and track assets. That task is significantly easier when there is consistency among your accounts. Before you even transfer money between accounts, talk to your loan officer.
6. Don’t apply for new credit. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car. When you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), your FICO score will be affected. Lower credit scores can determine your interest rate and maybe even your eligibility for approval.
7. Don’t close any credit accounts. Many clients have erroneously believed that having less available credit makes them less risky and more likely to be approved. Wrong. A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both those determinants of your score.
Any blip in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved. The best advice is to fully disclose and discuss your plans with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature. They are there to guide you through the process.
Just like our clocks this weekend, in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale has been holding back the market.
Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest. Traditionally, they would have been right.
Buyer demand has seasonality to it. Usually, this falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic conditions.
That hasn’t happened this year.
Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. Even with an increase in rates forecasted for 2019, buyers are still able to lock in an affordable monthly payment. Buyers are increasingly jumping off the fence and into the market to secure a lower rate.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that in 2018 the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes all fell in April, May, or June.
Those who act quickly and list now, before a flood of increased competition, will benefit from additional exposure to buyers.
If you are planning on selling your home in 2019, contact the Norma Langston Group to evaluate the opportunities in your market.
It’s the billion-dollar real estate question: What are the must-have home features that home buyers simply have to have in 2019?
The surprising—and extremely practical—answer: laundry rooms! An overwhelming 91% of home buyers said laundry rooms are an essential, or at least desirable, feature they want in their abodes, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ newly released 2019 home trends and buyer preferences report.
The report was based on a survey of about 4,000 home buyers. It was presented this week at the group’s annual convention, along with new research from design and remodeling site Houzz.
Having a room devoted to washing soiled clothes, as it turned out, outweighed some of the far sexier and trendier home features out there, including hardwood floors or a tricked-out, outdoor living space, according to the NAHB report.
“Laundry rooms have become so popular because most people no longer want to see or step over messy lumps of dirty clothes in the hall or in the kitchen,” says Rose Quint, who oversees survey research at NAHB. “Buyers want all that behind a door they can close and get to when they have time.”
Next up in popularity were Energy Star windows (officially certified to be energy-efficient); outdoor patios; Energy Star appliances; and ceiling fans.
Meanwhile, the least popular home feature was an elevator. Hey, stairs are cheaper and better for your figure!
Buyers also said they could live without wine cellars; day care centers; plant-covered green roofs; and trendy pet-washing stations. (Sorry, Fido.)
Buyers also have some strong preferences for the type of homes they want to live in and where they want those residences to be. The vast majority of shoppers, 77%, prefer detached, single-family homes, compared with 13% for townhouses, 4% for multifamily units such as condos, and 4% for manufactured (typically mobile) homes, according to the report.
When it comes to location, nearly two-thirds of buyers, 64%, want to be in the suburbs, while 11% pine for the big city and 24% prefer rural areas. But no matter where they live, they want to be near retail space where they can grab a bite or go shopping and walking or jogging trails.
“Suburbs are preferred locations since they offer a better possibility of getting a larger home—necessary for growing families,” says Robert Dietz, NAHB’s chief economist.
The hottest kitchen design trends right now
Buyers aren’t the only tastemakers out there. Homeowners undergoing remodels are also weighing in on the features and design trends they crave. And they’re focusing on the kitchen more than anything else, according to Houzz research presented at this week’s NAHB convention.
“Kitchens will continue to be the hub of the home, the place where homeowners invest the [bulk] of their savings,” says Nino Sitchinava, the chief economist at Houzz. “It’s becoming a showpiece.”
The transitional-style kitchen is the biggest trend, according to the research. The marriage of traditional and modern styles is signified by features such as Shaker cabinets, contemporary light fixtures, and more traditional marble countertops.
The second most popular style is contemporary, which features “a pop of slightly more industrial features,” says Sitchinava. The farmhouse style, popularized by HGTV shows like “Fixer Upper,” is also gaining in favor.
Homeowners are still clamoring for white-toned kitchen cabinets, but Houzz is seeing more creamy, off-white or oyster shades with a hint of yellow. Wood cabinets are the second most desired.
Remodelers also prefer stronger, engineered quartz over granite for countertops.
“It’s more expensive than granite,” says Sitchinava, “but it’s extremely durable. You don’t have to worry about chipping, heat, or cold.”
The most popular kitchen floors are ceramic or porcelain tiles, followed by engineered wood or laminate and hardwood. Resilient vinyl flooring is also growing in popularity, particularly with aging baby boomers who prefer a textured floor that’s more slip-resistant.
And homeowners are doing more to open their kitchens to the outdoors. That could be by turning a single door outside into double doors or installing a wall of windows.
The hottest master bathroom trends right now
Master bathrooms are another hot remodel, often paired with a master bedroom renovation, according to Houzz research.
“It’s becoming one larger, private retreat,” says Sitchinava, noting that folks are creating complementary spaces with similar color schemes, fixtures, and cabinetry. Some homeowners are even removing the doors to their bathrooms to create one continuous room. Yikes! But fear not: They usually create toilet rooms—with doors or walls—to create somemeasure of privacy.
The contemporary style reigns supreme in this space, followed by the traditional look, according to Houzz. The farmhouse style, which incorporates lots of wood and more rustic elements, came in third.
But Victorian-style bathrooms are also on the rise.
“It’s all about the details” with this style, says Sitchinava. “They are a reflection of a past century.”
This is the perfect time to start planning your garden for 2019. It’s too early in a year to actually do any yard work, but if you make a plan and prepare for it right now, there will be much fewer stressful and time pressing tasks in the spring.
When it comes to gardening trends, it’s perfectly fine to make your garden fashionable and to try to be innovative this year. However, have in mind that trends are often short-term and therefore fleeting. A neat and nicely managed garden looks good no matter what.
Asymmetrical patterns have been popular for a while now and they will really take the over suburban gardens in 2019. This is partly due to the fact that ordinary and well-kept symmetrical gardens have been around for decades. Suburban homes are now using this change to appear more interesting.
It’s best to use this fact to make your garden stand out. When patterns and plants aren’t designed symmetrically, you can also experiment with different materials, colors, and the overall aesthetic of the garden.
Low maintenance gardens
Usually gardens are seen as more of a hobby than just an aesthetic choice for your home design. It’s something to do when you have time to spare and something to plan for and organize around. However, this too is changing. There’s a growing trend of making low maintenance gardens that you can enjoy throughout the year.
The key to having a low maintenance garden is to choose the plants that don’t need that much work. For the most part, it’s about selecting plants that don’t need watering on regular bases. Equally important is choosing a suitable soil for such plants.
One of the biggest projects you could undertake with your garden is to try to merge the outside and the inside with a patio that’s an extension or even a part of your garden. Adding cantilever umbrellas and some lighting to create the atmosphere and make the patio useful is the biggest part of the job. What remains after that is just to design it as a part of the garden.
Patios can be a great place to entertain guests and they can really increase the value of your property. However, if they are set up with proper materials, they can also be easily pulled apart and you can use most of your yard.
Good fences make good neighbors! And the way you decide to distinguish your garden from your next-door neighbor could mean quite a lot. Installing green fences will make the transition from one yard to the other feel more natural. However, keep in mind that these type of fences mean a lot more work, especially when it comes to trimming and maintenance.
Planting edible plants in the back yard isn’t something that many suburban homeowners consider doing. However, there are a few reasons to try to get into it this year and to decide whether the operations could expand in the years to come.
It’s a way to make sure you have much less-expensive green and healthy food. In the end, many eco-aware homeowners should consider how their real estate could be used in a more productive way.
It’s fashionable to make your own garden decorations and you should dedicate a portion of your time to such creative projects in 2019. This is also less expensive and gives your garden a homey look. They don’t require that much artistic talent and can be made from all sorts of stuff, usually lying around the yard.
Old barrels just need to be painted over and used as a canvas, as long as they are wide enough and you know how to draw. Decorative bird feeders are also a good idea. They look nice and can be quite useful, especially during the winter.
In the end, 2019 should be the year to finally install and organize the supporting structures that will keep your garden maintained and clean. For the most part, you’ll need just one or two solar-powered small buildings. Taking the time to make these structures both well-organized and nice looking will make your future garden work much easier.
It might be possible to leave this part of the work to a professional contractor, but there’s no real need for it. A DYI project can be lots of fun!
The New Year is going to be great for gardening because there are a lot of new eclectic trends to try. Some of them are here to stay, like focusing on more eco-friendly gardening, while others are aesthetic choices and have an expiration date.