Archive March 2019

The Home Of Tomorrow

The future is now for homeowners, as more and more people are looking to smart devices to improve their everyday living. From thermostats, to fire and carbon monoxide detectors, technology and automation is getting more sophisticated. What’s the current state of smart technology, and where is it going? Here are a few new devices that can make your home a touch smarter:

ÄLaundry folding robot—The Laundroid from Seven Dreamers uses AI to sort and fold your clothes. Place your clothes into a drawer at the bottom of the machine, and watch as it folds your wardrobe, along with being able to separate clothes for each family member.

ÄSmart refrigerator—LG’s InstaView ThinQ has a touchscreen on the front of the fridge that keeps track of what food or drink you put in and take out. When you’re running low on a certain item, it even reminds you that it’s time to restock.

ÄInteractive mirror—Kohler’s Vedera Voice Lighted Mirror has a built-in version of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, so you can access important information while getting ready in the morning or preparing to go to bed.

ÄIntelligent security light—A floodlight with a two-way speaker and motion activated camera, Maximus is perfect for monitoring activity outside of your house. It detects movement up to 70 feet away and relays a message to your smartphone for instant alerts about potential visitors or trespassers.

ÄSmart plumbing—Flo is a smart plumbing monitoring system that can tell a homeowner not only about leaks, but also water pressure, temperature and flow rate.

MAKING THE MOST OF A MODEST MESS HALL

While some people who are selling their home think a small kitchen is a negative, there are several ways that you can make it stand out and appeal to potential buyers:

Light it up. Darkness can often make smaller rooms feel even more cramped. To open the room up to more light, consider removing all curtains from windows and instead install recessed blinds. You still get the privacy factor, while also allowing your kitchen to have a brighter feel.

Keep the counters tidy. Many people have things strewn about their kitchen counters and cabinets. Think about keeping your countertops clear of all items, including photos, papers and even appliances, to make it seem like the room is larger than it truly is.

Brighten the walls. Sellers should consider making the tone of the wall color in the kitchen brighter. Lighter colors tend to open up a room. They are also much more inviting, enticing potential buyers.

Mounted appliances. Sellers may want to consider mounting appliances on the wall or under the cabinets to create more countertop space, giving the kitchen the appearance of being more spacious. The distinctive and interesting design look could attract more interest during a walkthrough or tour.

5 Home Remodeling Trends Buyers Love

Buyers these days are looking for increasingly functional home design. When investing in a major remodel, remember that while a quick paint job or some new tile will assuredly spiff up the place, truly appealing to today’s buyers means giving some thought to functionality.

Here are three home remodeling trends buyers love—that promise to deliver on your investment.

An open floor plan

The popularity of open floor plans is undeniable, but remember that achieving this trend doesn’t mean additional square footage, it’s more about reimagining the space you have to create that larger kitchen and eliminating the dining room.

ROI: Percent of value recovered from the cost to open up a home’s floor plan is tough to pin down, because construction issues affect final costs. However, a survey by Harris Poll for Trulia reports that 46 percent of today’s homebuyers, regardless of generation, want an open floor plan.

Kitchen storage with personality and purpose

According to a National Association of Home Builders survey, 79 percent of remodelers cite kitchen overhauls as the second most popular renovation project in 2016. White kitchens have seen a resurgence in popularity, with soft grey or deep charcoal accents.

For storage, homeowners want options that serve a purpose. They’re choosing more and deeper drawer banks, eliminating the need for pricey pullout cabinet baskets that make deep base cabinets functional. There’s also a strong emphasis on the kitchen island, which provides additional storage, helps anchor an open floor plan and gives homeowners a spot to express their personal style with creative finishes and countertop materials.

Return on investment (ROI) for kitchen update: 67 percent*

A personally and environmentally superior bathroom  

In a 2016 National Association of Home Builders study, 81 percent of those surveyed gave bathroom renovations the top spot for the most common remodeling project. A strong bathroom trend is replacing that enormous whirlpool bathtub—so popular in the 1980s—with an oversized walk-in shower. Replacing the tub with a shower is not recommended in a one-bathroom home because young couples or families want a tub for their children.

Bigger tiles on bathroom walls and floors are another trend, from 12 by 24 inches up to square or rectangular extra-large tiles measuring 40 by 120 inches.

ROI for a bathroom renovation: 58 percent*

If you need some help figuring out what kind of remodeling trend works best in your neighborhood, a Certified Residential Specialist can help. These CRS real estate agents know their markets better than anyone and can tell you if remodeling your kitchen or bathroom will help your home sell faster and at a higher price point.

* 2015 Remodeling Impact Report, a joint study from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)

The 2 Most Common Pricing Mistakes

Price is the No. 1 factor that helps potential homebuyers determine which homes they want to view. The right price should attract buyers, allow you to earn the most money possible and help you sell as quickly as possible. However, there is an art and a science to setting asking prices, and many sellers tend to overvalue their homes based on two common factors—the original cost of the property and the cost of home improvements.

1. The original cost of the property does not determine your asking price. Price is determined by today’s market, not by the market in which you purchased your home. Buyers won’t be swayed to pay more for a property just because you paid a lot initially.

2. Home improvements do not necessarily increase your asking price. Improvements can add value to your home, but not all improvements add value equal to what you spent on them. What you saw as an upgrade could be seen by a buyer as a potential future cost. For example, just because you spent $20,000 installing a state-of-the art swimming pool doesn’t mean your home’s selling price will be $20,000 more. This goes for all upgrades. A $7,000 kitchen upgrade doesn’t mean $7,000 should be added to the asking price. Consider this before spending money to upgrade or update any part of a home you plan to sell.

Try to avoid allowing your enthusiasm to impact your better judgment—overpricing is a common mistake that can cost you in the end. If your home is priced too high, you may help sell similar homes in your area that are priced lower, rather than selling your own. Because your home would likely stay on the market longer, you could lose market interest as well as qualified buyers. And the longer your home is on the market, the more likely it is you’ll lose money as a result of making extra mortgage payments, incurring taxes and paying unplanned maintenance costs.

With a mix of real world experience and advanced training, a Certified Residential Specialist has the tools necessary to decide the fair market value of your home based on both the marketplace and personal considerations. Remember, the right price is key to a successful sale, so work with a CRS to price your home accurately the first time.