Market Rebound Continues: Home Sales JUMP in May!

Market Rebound Continues: Home Sales Jump in MayThe markets continue to show signs of recovery. According to the latest Commerce Department monthly report, single-family home sales rose 16.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 676,000 in May. The May rate is 12.7 percent higher YoY.

According to the report, home sales were up in all four regions: 6.8 percent in the Northeast, 9.5 percent in the Midwest, 0.3 percent in the South and 1.4 percent in the West.

Here’s the market breakdown:

New-Home Sales: 676,000
For-Sale Inventory: 318,000
Months’ Supply: 5.6 months
Median Price: $317,900

What the Industry’s Saying

“The May sales numbers are in line with rising builder sentiment,” said Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from Tampa, Fla. “With home building considered an essential business, this solid sales report is another indicator that housing is leading the economic recovery.”

“In a sign of growing demand fueled in part by record low mortgage rates, builder price incentives eased in May and home prices registered an upturn,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Sales are 1.9 percent higher on a year-to-date basis and our NAHB Home Building Geography Index points to construction gains in lower density markets like smaller metros and large metro exurbs in the months ahead.”

RISMedia 2020

 


Posted on June 24, 2020 at 1:44 pm
Amy Weltner | Posted in Home Buying, Home Selling |

June – Minute on the Market


Posted on June 11, 2020 at 5:32 pm
Amy Weltner | Posted in Home Buying, Home Selling |

Five Quick Ways to Brighten Any Room

Want to brighten up a room, but don’t have the time to paint or budget to add a window? Consider the following easy fixes:

Hang a mirror. Hang a mirror (or lean a large one against a wall) to toss light around your room and open it up.

Add metallics. Golds and silver accents will make any space sparkle. Think picture frames, fixtures, lamps and decorative items like vases or candle holders.

Freshen with flowers. A pop of floral can brighten a room, especially when that floral is fresh. Add a bouquet to a table for a bit of vibrancy.

Think yellow or white. While light colors may show dirt and grime, white and yellow accents can brighten an area, fast. Add white and yellow throw pillows, swap out the duvet on your bed, or hang a new set of curtains.

Declutter. Last, but not least, a clutter sweep will help brighten your space up. Stack books, toss old magazines, fold the laundry and nix the knick knacks, and your home will thank you for it.


Posted on June 11, 2020 at 5:27 pm
Amy Weltner | Posted in Home Decorating, Home Selling |

Unique home accents to make your home more FUN!

Are you looking for out-of-the-box decorating ideas for your space? Below are a handful of interesting accent ideas to up the creativity of your interior design.

Hanging accent lights. Caged, bubbled, modern, antique—there are myriad styles for hanging accent lights, which can be clustered, paired or used solo to fill up an empty corner or decorate a blank wall.

Mantels. Who says a mantel should only sit above a fireplace? You can easily install a freestanding mantel to rest photos, art or your favorite books. Another trick? If your walls are dark, paint your mantel to match and your items will suddenly be floating.

Dips. Dipped frames, art or even doors are all the rage right now. Imagine a series of white picture frames with their bottom dipped in gold. The best part? You can DIY these in a couple of hours; all you need is your item for dipping and your favorite shade of paint.

Painted fireplace. Whether your fireplace is no longer active, or its only active for a few months a year, painting the inside a fun pop of color can add life to your space. Think a bright blue, merry orange or buttery yellow.

Vertical garden art. That vertical garden is no longer reserved for your back patio. If you have a blank wall, hang a grid-style vertical garden and decorate it with cool succulents, your favorite herbs or a climbing vine.


Posted on May 26, 2020 at 5:51 pm
Amy Weltner | Posted in Home Decorating |

Getting Creative with your Wall Space

Do you have a blank wall with no idea what to put on it? Rethink the boring family photo with these interesting ideas.

Get wordy. Whether you’re a logophile or are just looking to amp up the playful vibe of your space, adding large text to your wall can be innovative and inspirational. You can purchase a variety of word hangings online, or create your own with stencils for a literal conversation starter right on your own wall.

Create a mirror collage. We all know a mirror on the wall can open up a room and throw lots of luscious light. But by using many smaller mirrors to create a pattern or design, you can add the benefit of a unique, boho vibe. Choose mirrors in various shapes or with different frames.

Hang a rug. Remember the old tapestries of your dorm room? Hanging a nice, well-made floor rug on the wall is the adult version of this decorating phenomenon. Whether you want a bold color pop or a bright design, pick a blank wall and go wild.

Vertical plants. Snag some aesthetically pleasing wall planters or sconces and create a botanical masterpiece by popping in your favorite succulents or hanging plants.

© 2020 RISMedia. All Rights Reserved.


Posted on May 20, 2020 at 2:45 pm
Amy Weltner | Posted in Home Decorating | Tagged , , , , ,

3 Ideas for a Fun & Safe Memorial Day Weekend at Home

Memorial Day Weekend often feels like the unofficial start of summer, but this year is going to be a little different. Although you might not be able to gather with friends and family to barbecue and bask in the warming weather, there are still plenty of ways that you can celebrate, while also taking the time to honor those who have sacrificed their lives to serve our country. Here are just a few ideas for a Memorial Day Weekend that the whole family can enjoy together.

Decorate the House
If you want to show your appreciation during the holiday, one of the best ways to do so is to fly the American flag from your front door. You can also hang a patriotic bunting from a porch or balcony to remind the neighborhood that even though we cannot gather together this year, we are still remembering those who have fought for our country.

Make a Donation
There are many different ways that you can give back to the veterans in your community during Memorial Day Weekend. This year, VA nursing homes and assisted living centers in the area are excellent places to make a donation, as these facilities are being hit hard across the country by this crisis and need our help now more than ever. If you’re looking for an activity that the whole family can participate in, you can put together care packages for soldiers who are currently serving abroad.

Enjoy Family Time
Sure, you’ve probably had more than enough family time over the last couple of months, but try not to take it for granted over this holiday weekend. Whether you’re grilling in the backyard or watching the National Memorial Day Concert in the comfort of your media room, it’s important to remember the many advantages we have in this country thanks to the people who have fought to protect it. For those who are craving some fresh air, you can go on a family walk to the local cemetery to get outside and pay your respects.

© 2020 RISMedia. All Rights Reserved.

Posted on May 20, 2020 at 1:53 am
Amy Weltner | Posted in Holidays | Tagged , , , , , ,

5 Reasons to Paint Your Walls Gray

When it comes to painting your space, there are myriad options: bright and sunny yellow, the classic eggshell white, a soothing blue or a fresh green. But one color you shouldn’t overlook when painting is gray. Below are five reasons why.

It matches. Gray is a fluid, flexible color that pairs well with a large variety of accents. This means you can swap out your color scheme over the years and keep the same paint job.

It’s elegant. Gray is a classic choice for a wall. Whether it’s a light smoky gray, a deep ash or a lavender tinted hue, gray doesn’t seem to age out.

It’s calming. Along with green and some shades of blue, gray has been shown to soothe and relax. This makes it a great choice for your bedroom.

It opens space. If you choose a light gray, the color can help create the illusion of a larger area. White is the typical choice for opening up a space, but if you’re looking for a bit more personality, gray is the way to go.

You can mix and match. Gray is an extremely flexible color. You can paint three of your walls a soft silvery gray, and then choose an accent wall to paint a deep slate. Or, paint your ceiling or floor a different shade of gray to add an interesting twist.

© 2020 RISMedia. All Rights Reserved.

Posted on May 15, 2020 at 9:22 pm
Amy Weltner | Posted in Home Decorating |

What are “Coronavirus Clauses”?

The coronavirus has caused businesses across the United States and around the world to close and has made it difficult or impossible for many financial transactions to be completed. Real estate closings are complex and some of the parties involved may be unable to perform their duties on schedule or at all due to COVID-19. Agents are therefore including coronavirus clauses in contracts.

How Can a Coronavirus Clause Protect Buyers and Sellers?
A force majeure clause is a provision in a contract that excuses one or both parties’ failure to meet their obligations if they were unable to do so because of circumstances beyond their control. It allows the parties to delay a transaction or to cancel it without facing a penalty. Force majeure clauses may apply to acts of God (earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, etc.), war, epidemics, government actions and other circumstances.

The wording in force majeure clauses varies. It may not apply to COVID-19, or standard language may be open to interpretation. To prevent legal challenges later, real estate agents are adding language specifically addressing the coronavirus to purchase contracts.

Different states have drafted their own coronavirus clauses to include in real estate contracts. Though the specific language differs, the clauses generally allow the parties to delay the closing or to cancel a purchase contract without a penalty.

How Could COVID-19 Affect a Real Estate Closing?
A buyer who has been laid off or furloughed may not be able to return to work anytime soon, or at all, and therefore, may be unable to get a mortgage. That uncertainty can make both buyers and sellers nervous. Coronavirus clauses allow the parties to delay the closing or to cancel the contract if a job loss or reduction in income has left the buyer unable to obtain financing.

Some parts of the home-buying process, such as an inspection and appraisal, require a worker to physically go to a house. Many inspectors and appraisers are reluctant to do so due to fear of contracting the coronavirus, especially if the house is still occupied.

Government and business offices across the country have closed or cut their hours. That means that title searches, mortgage applications and other critical parts of the process may be delayed.

Although some jurisdictions allow virtual closings, others do not. Due to travel restrictions and social distancing, it may be impossible to get the parties together to close as they typically would in the past.

Discuss a Coronavirus Clause With Your Real Estate Agent
COVID-19 has created widespread uncertainty and anxiety. If you were planning to close on a house, the process may be held up for weeks or longer. You may be concerned about your job security and income, leaving you unsure about whether you can or should proceed. Talk to your real estate agent about any concerns you have and how a coronavirus clause could protect you.

© 2020 RISMedia. All Rights Reserved.


Posted on May 14, 2020 at 6:19 pm
Amy Weltner | Posted in COVID-19 / Coronavirus | Tagged , , , , , ,

How to Donate During COVID-19

The outbreak of the coronavirus has impacted hundreds of thousands of American citizens across the country. From job losses and struggling to pay rent and bills, to closing down businesses and having a shortage of essential supplies, individuals and businesses are in need of a helping hand. No matter how much or how little you may have, you can still find a way to help out your community and those who are having trouble staying afloat during this crisis. Here are some places in your community that may need some extra help.

Salvation Army 
This non-profit organization has a strong reputation for helping the less fortunate and most vulnerable, especially in times of great need. The Salvation Army has been working closely with communities large and small to provide essentials such as meals, shelter, clothing, and mental and emotional support for families and veterans. To donate and help the many in your community who are struggling to stay safe and healthy through this difficult time, please visit www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/covid19.

Food Banks 
As we navigate through the COVID-19 outbreak, many people have lost jobs, leaving them unable to provide for themselves and their families. Food banks across the country are asking for donations of non-perishable food and water, as no one should go hungry. Many are partnering with schools to help families who rely on school meals to feed their children. Food banks have also helped to safely distribute food and non-food essentials, like cleaning products and diapers, to families across the country.

Hospitals
Overworked staff and underwhelming numbers of essential supplies are only two of the many struggles hospitals across America are dealing with during the COVID-19 crisis. From meals for nurses, doctors and maintenance teams to spare masks and gloves, your local hospital is in need of a variety of items. If you are handy with a sewing machine or happen to have a 3D printer, donations of cloth masks and face shields have helped many hospital staffers and patients stay safe.

Small Businesses
Many small businesses have been forced to close down due to social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders. Some restaurants have transitioned to takeout and delivery services only to stay afloat. If you decide to order out for a meal, try a local, mom-and-pop restaurant. rather than a large chain, to support the small business in your community. The same can be said for grocery shopping. If you have a small market in your town, shop there knowing that you are helping out not only a small business, but also the people in your city or neighborhood in providing for their own families.

© 2020 RISMedia. All Rights Reserved.


Posted on May 12, 2020 at 6:16 pm
Amy Weltner | Posted in COVID-19 / Coronavirus | Tagged , , , , ,

Is Granite on its Way Out?

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, granite countertops are in less demand today, while the use of quartz is on the rise.

Why? For one thing, man-made quartz countertops are offered in a far greater range of looks and feels. Reason number two: it’s a bit easier to maintain over the long haul, and it’s deemed a better environmental choice because it emits lower levels of radon—a potentially cancer-causing agent. To be fair, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains the radioactive materials in granite countertops are far too minuscule to pose a health threat.

So what, exactly, is a quartz countertop? It’s made of engineered stone, composed of at least 90% ground-up quartz mixed with a binder (like resin) then molded into a slab. Because pigment is added during the manufacturing process, the sky’s the limit when it comes to color. And quartz is non-porous and fairly resistant to stains, mold and bacteria.

Unlike granite countertops, which require periodic resealing to maintain their beauty, quartz is low-maintenance, needing only regular cleanings with soap and water or a mild detergent.

Quartz can be more impervious than granite to cracking or chipping under average conditions, although it is not quite as heat-proof. Most manufacturers recommend using a trivet when placing scalding hot pots or pans on a quartz countertop.

Apart from durability and maintenance, quartz comes in an infinite variety of designs, ranging in look and feel from sleek solid colors to organic-looking variations that resemble real substances found in nature, like veined marble. It can have a smooth and shiny finish or a softer, brushed feel (almost suede-looking). Choose wisely because the design can make a huge difference in the look and feel of a room.

Quartz counters may be a bit more expensive, up to 10 percent higher in cost than their granite counterparts, but shopping around and resealing over the years can mitigate any cost differences.

So, what side are you on? Natural stone mined from the earth or a man-made variation?

© 2020 RISMedia. All Rights Reserved.


Posted on May 11, 2020 at 9:21 pm
Amy Weltner | Posted in Home Decorating | Tagged , , , , , , ,
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