November 2017 - Comey & Shepherd Realtors

2018 Home Design Trend Predictions

Houzz, the home renovation and design platform, has announced its predictions for the top home design trends in 2018 based on its community’s activity. Here’s what the company is seeing:

Color 

  • White kitchens are still on-trend, but Houzz predicts more homeowners will be looking to personalize their spaces by adding new hues. Grays and blue are expected to gain in popularity, while warm wood tones will replace painted cabinets.
  • Houzz predicts homeowners will be adding more color throughout the home, favoring earthy tones like tobacco or camel for a rich look.

Sinks

  • Dark-hued sinks made of concrete, stone, and copper will start to trend more than white or stainless steel sinks.
  • Trough and bucket sinks could be more popular, especially as the modern farmhouse trend persists.

Details

  • Houzz anticipates concrete will be seen more in the home, showcased in decorative accents, furniture, and tile.
  • Millwork walls and detailing will also gain popularity, not just in the traditional bathrooms and kitchens, but as feature walls in spaces like the bedroom.
  • Big, bold, botanical floral prints are trending. Be sure to pick high-contrast colors and huge blooms.
  • Vintage-style lights, like aged copper pendants, will gain traction, according to Houzz.

Backsplash

  • Houzz reveals that there’s new tile that resembles wood, fabric, and wallpaper. It predicts that the wallpaper-esque will be popular as it provides a visual punch, but can be easily cleaned.

Bedroom

  • Homeowners want to relax before they sleep, so expect neutrals and borderline minimalist furnishings in bedrooms for 2018 instead of more ornate spaces.

source: customehomeonline.com

7 Steps to Be Ready to Buy a House in 2018

If you’re thinking about buying a home in 2018, November and December are the perfect time to “warm up” for the house hunt so you can hit the ground running in the new year.

1. Check your credit score. A credit score is a numerical representation of your credit report. FICO scores range from 300 to 850, and the higher your score, the better. “Good credit is like gold when obtaining a mortgage,” says Denise Supplee, a Pennsylvania agent. Typically, you’ll get the best interest rate on a loan if your score is 740 and above. “A higher credit score should net you a lower mortgage rate,” says Lee Gimpel, co-creator of The Good Credit Game, which specializes in financial education. “That lower rate, even if it’s only 1 or 2 percent lower, can mean saving thousands of dollars per year.” If your credit score falls short, get busy repairing it. Correct any errors that might be on your report, start paying all your bills on time, and get your credit limit raised. Note, though, that you shouldn’t max out your card each month. It’s best to use 30 percent or less of your total available credit.

2. Don’t open new credit cards. If you think resisting taking a selfie when you’re face-to-face with your fave celebrity is a testament to your willpower, that’s sissy stuff compared with turning down every offer to open a credit card, even if you could save 20 percent (or more!) on your holiday purchases. Tempting as saving at checkout can be, opening new credit may hurt your chances of getting a mortgage, or at least of getting the best rate
on a loan.

“By opening the account, you have created another line of credit,” says Paul Anastos, president of Mortgage Master, a division of loanDepot, a nonbank lender. “That credit line, and what is borrowed, can change the application numbers and jeopardize the application.” What could save you a few dollars now could cost you far more in the long run if your mortgage payments will be higher. And along those same lines, “Don’t overspend during the holiday season,” says Dean Sioukas founder of Magilla Loans, an online lending exchange. “Especially on impulse purchases that can be tempting during the holidays.”

3. Suggest financial gifts for the holidays. Besides the mortgage loan, you’ll need a sizable amount of cash to buy a house. There’s the down payment to consider, closing costs, and moving costs. You should also set aside money for unexpected repairs and costs, says Brian Betzler, regional sales manager at TD Bank. Not being prepared “is probably why nearly half of millennials incurred up to $5,000 in unexpected costs during the mortgage process, according to a TD survey,” he says.

A potential solution? Bulk up that emergency fund. Instead of getting gifts for the holidays, [prospective homebuyers] can suggest cash instead that will be put toward their home. And remember, you might be getting some money back after you file your tax return. Don’t blow it on vacation. “A tax refund is a great way to add to your cash reserves for a down payment,” says David Hosterman, branch manager of Castle & Cooke Mortgage in Colorado.

4. Interview potential real estate agents. If your neighbor, relative, or friend of a friend happens to know (or is) a real estate agent, that’s great. This person might be the perfect agent for you. But you owe it to yourself to shop around. “Look for [an agent] who is knowledgeable, good, integral, and can assist you in reaching the goal of homeownership,” says Chantay Bridges, a Los Angeles, CA, real estate agent. “Make sure they are not a novice, new, or just unaware of how to do a specific transaction.” The end of the year is usually a slow time for agents, so chances are they’ll be more accommodating to making an appointment on your schedule.

5. Keep tabs on interest rates. If you hear that interest rates are at historic lows or that interest rates are on the rise, you should not assume that you can get the rock-bottom rate. Not everyone gets the same interest rate on a mortgage loan. It depends on your financial picture and on the lender you choose. “Everyone knows that home prices are, at least to some extent, negotiable, but we find loans to be the same,” says Warren Ward, CFP with WWA Planning & Investments in Indiana. He advises that homebuyers shop around for the lowest interest rates. Note that closing costs can vary too, so discuss with your real estate agent ways to keep yours down. “We saved $150 on the closing fees by selecting the cheapest title company,” says Ward. “I guess that’s not much, but I think most people would bend over to pick up three $50 bills if they were lying on the sidewalk.”

6. Find a mortgage lender.  Before you even start looking for a home (and yes, we even mean browsing online listings), look for a mortgage lender to find out if you can afford to buy a home. If you can’t right now, there’s no use torturing yourself by finding your dream home that’s just out of reach. But how do you find a lender? “If you have a bank you’ve been with for years, ask them,” says Bridges. “Your [real estate agent] can also refer a good lender to you. Compare [that lender] with two others. Look at what they offer, costs, points, and how long to close.” Once you know how much home you can afford, perform your home search based on your preapproval amount or less.

7. Get pre approved.When a lender gives your financials the once-over and preapproves you for a mortgage, you’ll be able to show sellers that you really can buy their house. But how do you get preapproved? By preparing a few documents, which you can do several months in advance of the actual purchase. Here’s what you need to buy a house.

• Tax returns for the past two years

• W-2 forms for the past two years

  • Paycheck stubs from the past few months
  • Proof of mortgage or rent payments for the past year
  • A list of all your debts, including credit cards, student loans, auto loans, and alimony
  • A list of all your assets, including bank statements, auto titles, real estate, and any investment accounts

Paul Anastos also advises not to change jobs, make big purchases, or miss any debt payments as you prepare to get a mortgage.

Source: Trulia.com

8 Ways To Increase Your Home’s Value On A Budget

A few strategic, affordable upgrades can add big value to your home.

Increasing the value of your home when selling can be a difficult task, but a few home improvement ideas can help you stage for success while keeping within your budget.

8 Home Improvement Ideas Under $1K

1. Install a programmable thermostat.

Heating your home accounts for more than 40% of its total energy usage, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Programmable thermostats allow you to customize a temperature profile throughout the day. Reducing the temperature inside your home by a degree or two while you sleep can lead to huge savings on a monthly basis. And with energy costs on the rise, many buyers will appreciate your forward thinking in assisting them with long-term savings.

2. Update your fixtures

Updating tired, worn fixtures will breathe new life into any space. Give your bathroom and kitchen a critical look — could the drawer pulls and cabinet handles use an update? If new kitchen cabinets are outside your budget, new hardware is a simple way to update the room’s entire look and feel. What about the faucets? A sleek new kitchen faucet with a sprayer combines practicality with design and will be appreciated by buyers. Anticipating and tackling these smaller projects will have a big selling impact. And — bonus! — you can enjoy them in the meantime.

3. Replace the toilet.

Replacing an old, cracked, or outdated toilet can make a significant impact on your bathroom aesthetics. Purchase a stylish new one for a few hundred dollars or take the environmentally friendly route and opt for an almost-new secondhand toilet (just be sure to buy a new seat). Repurposed construction material outlets offer a variety of well-priced goods.

4. Re-glaze the bathtub.

You can see buyers hold their breath as they slowly pull back the shower curtain, hoping for a sparkly new tub. Exceed their expectations for just a few hundred dollars by re-glazing your existing bathtub. The bathtub will be ready to use just a few days after applying the glaze. Roll up your sleeves for a DIY weekend or call in the professionals; either way, you’ll come in under budget.

5. Install a tile floor.

A shiny new tile floor can breathe life into the darkest bathrooms. Tiles are easy to clean, resist microbes and allergens, and wear well in high-traffic areas, making them a perfect material for the bathroom. Flooring liquidators typically sell a variety of quality tile, so start there. If your bathroom is small, you can probably even splurge on some designer options! Then save the rest of your budget for a professional installation.

6. Add new blinds or plantation shutters.

Is your home still sporting aluminum blinds or old-school vertical blinds? Consider replacing them: New window coverings can really modernize a room. If your windows are a standard width, you can buy basic wood blinds at a home improvement store (and most allow you to customize the length). If your window size is irregular, you’ll have to special-order them. To add a truly upscale look to a room, try plantation shutters — they can be a major selling point with the next people to own your home.

7. Replace the front door.

The front entry is the focal point of your home’s curb appeal. Give your home a face-lift and replace — or repaint — the front door. With security and safety in mind, choose a door that will appeal to a buyer’s practical side (and don’t forget to consider new hardware too). Another way to add interest and style to your home is by adding color to to your front door.

8. Add a walkway.

A new path leading to the front door can really elevate the look of your home. While brick pavers add a traditional and classic look to the exterior of your home, you can also choose stone, concrete, or even rocks — just make sure the look of the pathway matches your home’s style. Regardless of the material, a walkway is a welcoming feature, beckoning guests (and buyers!) inside to have a look around.

Source: Trulia.com