• Selling a Home

    The Best Seasons to Sell a Home

    Spring is traditionally considered the best season to list a home, but it doesn’t inch out the other seasons by much, according to a new analysis by the real estate brokerage Redfin. Redfin’s research team analyzed 7 million homes listed from 2010 through 2014 to gauge how important the season is in listing a home. It examined how many of the homes went under contract within 30 days and how often they sold for more than their list price. Here’s how the seasons stacked up: 39% of the homes listed in the spring (between March 21 and June 20) in the past five years went under contract within 30 days,…

  • Buying a Home

    Why Homebuyers Need to Act Now

    Home buyers need to move fast if they want to spend less, notes Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com® in commentary at the site. “Delayed purchases will only result in higher monthly mortgage payments as prices and rates rise,” Smoke writes. Realtor.com® is forecasting that affordability may decline as much as 10 percent over the year. The Federal Reserve continues to remind the financial markets that it plans to raise its target federal funds rate this year, which will cause mortgage rates to rise. Many economists are predicting 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to average near 5 percent by the end of the year. For now, mortgage rates are near historical lows…

  • Home Improvement,  Home Value,  Selling a Home

    5 Ways to Raise the Value of Your Listing

    A seller may be able to boost the value of their home by an additional 12 percent, with just a few smart pre-listing repairs, according to a new survey of 300 residential real estate professionals by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. On a median, single-family home priced at $205,000, that could be a potential gain of $24,600. Best time to sell: The best single month to sell a home is from April through June, with the best selling month identified as April, according to the Consumer Reports survey of real estate professionals. “You don’t have to spend a ton of money to increase the value of your home,” says…

  • Staging

    Can Home Staging Really Win Over Buyers?

    Home staging can influence buyers’ perceptions of a home and even motivate them to pay more, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2015 Profile of Home Staging, a survey of more than 2,300 REALTORS® representing buyers and sellers. Eighty-one percent of REALTORS® who represent buyers say that staged homes make it easier for their home buyers to visualize a property as their future home. Forty-six percent of buyer agents also reported that staging makes their buyers more willing to tour a home they viewed online, and 45 percent say that buyers tend to view the value of the home more positively if it is decorated to buyers’ tastes. Twenty-eight…

  • Building

    Hot Trend Watch: Tiny Homes

    Could you imagine living in 97 square feet? Tiny houses – some might even call them teeny-tiny – are growing in popularity among buyers in the second home market. Some are even making them their primary residence. Leaf House, a tiny home builder based out of Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, has downsized from its 215-square-foot house that can sleep a family of four, to it’s most recent 97-square-foot model. The smaller version is constructed with vacuum insulation panels and is designed to withstand the extreme cold. “Being so well insulated, the tiny house doesn’t need a lot of heating; In fact, all it has are two radiant electric panels totaling only…

  • Yard & Garden

    4 Things You Don’t Know About Outdoor Kitchens

    Now that the 2015 International Builders’ Show has partnered with the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, there are plenty of examples of beautiful cooking spaces, indoors and out. But what about the numbers? The results of a new survey released at the show attempt to define what consumers want when it comes to outdoor kitchens. Dave Brown, a partner with Chicago-based ad firm HY Connect, surveyed consumers who have or would like to have outdoor kitchens in their homes. The study, which surveyed households making $150,000 or more in household income across the United States, was conducted in December 2014. He discussed the results of the survey at the first…