• Building

    New Homes Are Getting Bigger Again

    The average single-family home increased in size at the beginning of this year, showing the desire among buyers for more space, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The upsizing trend runs counter to last year, when the increase in home size had leveled off. The average square footage of new single-family homes rose from 2,677 square feet in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 2,736 square feet for the first three months of this year. The increase came at a time when there was also a decline in the volume of construction. “Since cycle lows and on a one-year moving average basis, the average size of new single-family…

  • Holiday

    5 truly meaningful ways to show your patriotism this Memorial Day and beyond

    (BPT) – “Expressions of patriotic enthusiasm are as bright and thrilling as fireworks, but they dissipate as quickly,” Washington Post blogger Alyssa Rosenberg wrote in a July 2014 examination of patriotism among American youth. Yet most Americans consider themselves patriotic, even if their definitions of the term vary slightly or even greatly, multiple surveys show. While politicians and political parties may be satisfied with fireworks and rhetoric, average Americans seek meaningful ways to show their love for their country, such as supporting veterans and active-duty service members. With Memorial Day kicking off the start of summer and its many patriotic celebrations, including Military Appreciation Month throughout May, here are five…

  • Buying a Home,  Mortgage

    8 ways first-time homebuyers can make themselves mortgage-ready

    (BPT) – It’s rare to get something right the very first time you try it, but when it comes to buying your first home, a lack of knowledge and experience can lead to costly mistakes. One in four first-time homebuyers say they are completely unfamiliar with the mortgage financing process, according to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Even among those with an understanding of the overall process, the report found that many first time homebuyers still had significant knowledge gaps in important areas such as available mortgage rates, closing costs, down-payment requirements and income required to qualify for a loan. “Not having all the information available could…

  • Building

    The Top 10 Features for New Homes

    The outdoor kitchen and two-story foyers are starting to lose favor among new home shoppers, while energy efficiency and bigger closets are gaining in popularity, according to a new survey from the National Association of Home Builders. NAHB asked builders to rank home features from 1 to 5 on how likely they were to include them this year in single-family homes they build this year. An increased interest in energy efficiency is decreasing interest in two-story foyers and rooms, Rose Quint, NAHB’s assistant vice president for survey research, told MarketWatch. “Consumers consider those spaces to be energy inefficient,” she says. Here are some of the least likely features that builders…

  • Home Value,  Selling a Home

    Tips for Increasing a Home’s Property Value

    With the Spring selling season in full swing, now is the time for your clients to start making changes to improve their home’s comfort level and the way it functions to make it more appealing to potential buyers. Where should they start? Peter Chovanes, a REALTOR® withVan Guard Properties in San Francisco, advises that clients start with the four home improvement basics: foundation, roof, plumbing, and electrical.  Of these the roof is the most important. “I am almost always asked ‘How old is the roof?'” he says. “And keeping the roof in good shape alleviates other problems; for example, water can run laterally and once a leak starts it can…