Rental Boom - 05/04/2011
A National Association of Home Builders webinar, "Consumer Preferences for a New Generation of Renters," identified trends apartment owners and builders should be attuned to. Here's what to know, says Jack Kern of Kern Investment Research, Washington, D.C., and Mark Humphreys of Humphreys and Partners Architects, Dallas. Gen...Read More

Absentee Sellers Make a Home More Appealing - 01/05/2022
With properties averaging far fewer days from listing until purchase, recent times haven’t been a reflection of a “normal” housing market The speed at which houses are moving has prompted more sellers to invert the “normal” practice of selling first and then moving out. Instead, real estate agents report...Read More

Higher rates carry a possible tax perk - 07/20/2022
Mortgage rates are climbing to levels not seen in years. Back then, though, higher rates carried a sweetener: Homeowners typically deducted mortgage interest, lowering their federal income tax bill. But since tax reform in 2017, only 11% of filers itemize, and use mortgage interest as well as another homeowner perk – property...Read More

An About-Face for Light & Space - 06/03/2009
"What a spacious, light-filled room!" I exclaimed as I entered my client's family room. The light and space were the only things my client liked about this room. She didn't like the mishmash of furniture, particularly her husband's old black couch, and she felt the room didn't reflect her personal style. Her daughter's toys were heaped...Read More

Multi-gen families multiply, impacting home design and financing - 10/23/2019
Twenty percent of the U.S. population lives in “multi-gen” households, according to the Pew Research Center. That means two or more adults from different generations or a grandparent and grandchild under 25 are living together. The numbers of multi-gen households spiked up during the 2009 “Great Recession” when...Read More

Bigger Share of Newly Constructed Homes on the Market - 03/30/2022
This year, home seekers who do buy are more likely than ever to purchase a new home – literally. Redfin reports that in December of 2021, newly constructed homes represented a 34.1 percent share of all homes for sale, a record high. Such a big portion is new construction, primarily because there’s such a very low supply of...Read More

Anger Management - 09/29/2010
Doing the Deal Anger Management How to keep your cool throughout the transaction It's a rough market, not simply because fewer homes are selling but because more tempers are flaring. Indeed, sometimes it's simply anger that causes a sale to fall through. Consider this scenario: A home seller scoffs at an initial offer he deems...Read More

Townhomes: An attainable alternative - 03/11/2020
Young families want a home but can’t save as quickly as prices rise. Boomers need a smaller place near stores and restaurants, so driving isn’t always required. Both of these groups are looking for the “missing middle” in housing, says architect Dan Parolek of Opticos Design, Berkeley, California. They may have...Read More

The Best Is Yet To Come - 08/03/2016
If things go as planned, lots of retirees won’t have to travel to find fun, it will be available right at home. So much attention has been paid to older homeowners who move to a smaller, less expensive place to ease tight retirement budgets that the word describing the practice – “downsizing” – is part of the...Read More

Who’ll Stop The Rain? Gutters and Downspouts - 09/21/2011
After Hurricane Katrina pounded New Orleans, homeowner Mary A. Huff, who works from her home running her communications business, had new gutters and guards installed on her 1970s split-level ranch house in suburban Atlanta. Her goal was to get water to flow better off the roof and to the ground rather than end up in her house. A year...Read More

Lessons From the Housing Crisis - 12/17/2014
The nightmare is ending, but the dream continues. Despite the foreclosure crisis, the public still has “strong support for the association between owning a home and accumulating wealth,” according to one of the housing experts contributing to “Homeownership Built To Last,” a recently published book from the Joint...Read More

Recipes for Long-Lasting Kitchen Appeal - 10/26/2016
In 2016, “I have seen more people who just bought a home and want to remodel their kitchen than I’ve seen in the last ten years,” says Alana Busse Thousand Oaks, California, a certified kitchen designer. The cautious and conservative mood in the aftermath of the recession is receding, which also impacts kitchen design...Read More

House Flipping Down, Profits Up - 11/06/2013
House flippers are finding it harder to get a good deal since foreclosures are at a seven-year low. But flipping can still be profitable – a recent report by RealtyTrac, real estate data sources shows that although flipping is down 13 percent in the third quarter compared to 2012, average profits are up 12 percent over third quarter last...Read More

Home, Spring Home - 04/15/2009
In spring, a man's fancy turns to love - and, if he's smart, home improvement projects. When the thermometer starts ticking upward, the experts say it's important to give your house a good going-over from top to bottom to keep things running smoothly and prevent damage. "For most of us, our home is our biggest investment," says Kathleen...Read More

Home Investment Returns - 09/30/2015
The American Dream is re-awakening. In a July 2015 survey by, 27 percent of respondents said they’d put their money in real estate if they had cash to invest for the long-term. Twenty-three percent would keep money in cash and CDs, which was the favorite top choice in both 2014 and 2013. Just 17 percent favored...Read More

Ruminating on Refinance - 09/07/2011
Whether it’s to lower your monthly payment, shorten the life of your loan or cash out on some of your equity, with interest rates remaining near record lows, now may be the time to consider a mortgage refinance. “Rates are at historical lows and the opportunity of them potentially falling lower is probably not worth the risk...Read More

Keeping Your 4K Ultra HD TV? Put It In Writing - 02/10/2016
Gourmet cooks covet their ovens and clean freaks dote on their front-loaders, but most Americans would probably agree there’s one appliance they love above all others: the TV. And when the attachment not just emotional, but physical – like a big screen TV attached to a wall – the smart homeowner need a plan for what...Read More

Dream homes now built on patience - 07/08/2020
Young families shopping for a home may need to wait for their dream place. But maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Typically, “married with children households spend the most on average on home improvements,” notes Abbe Will, of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies or...Read More

Making a Luxurious Living Room - 08/06/2008
“When my guests come over they always walk right by my living room. No one ever wants to sit with me!” complained my client. Although there was plenty of seating and her arrangement honored the traditional focal point, her guests tended to shy away from the fireplace area. She also felt like the room didn’t reflect her...Read More

What Homebuyers Want - 04/17/2013
The housing downturn has changed the way buyers look at homes. Post-recession homebuyers aren’t wishing for bigger lots, multiple master bedrooms or exclusive living rooms anymore. Instead, they want to spend their money on energy-efficient features, open floor plans and smart storage. A new survey by the National Association of Home...Read More

Get the Lead Out - 07/14/2010
In the course of a remodel, painting is often one of the final and easiest tasks on the way to completion. New lead-based renovation, repair and painting requirements from the Environmental Protection Agency, however, might make that final hurdle a bit more difficult to cross if the remodel involves a home built before 1978, when lead-based...Read More

A new standard for mortgage holders - 03/25/2020
This April, Rand Spero, president of Street Smart Financial, Lexington, Massachusetts expects to field the same question from several clients: Should we pay down our mortgage principal? Returns for 2019 mark the second year that the big overhaul of the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act,” (TCJA) dramatically increases the “standard...Read More

Straightening Out Your Home, One Wire at a Time - 09/17/2008
They’re dirty and unsightly and we do our best to pretend they’re not there. They lurk in corners, peek out behind our couches and gather dust bunnies and spider webs to annoy us. We’re talking about those nasty tangles of twisted cords and wires that clutter up our homes. Lamps, stereos, clock radios and computers are...Read More

A healthy boost to a home’s appeal - 06/17/2020
For a long while, “research has shown that our home environments can influence our health and well-being,” says Melissa Dittman Tracey, a contributor to a syndicated real estate radio show. Now, due to the virus crisis, “We may be more inclined to listen to that message,” she adds. Homeowners might gain an...Read More

Making A New Place Your Hometown - 09/29/2021
More Americans have been making big moves: Out of an urban center to an outlying suburb, or to new towns and cities that promise more affordable, easier living. Except that, initially, the quest for a more enjoyable living may not feel very comfortable, caution people who’ve felt the loneliness a new locale can engender. Make-up...Read More

Shop Around - 05/30/2018
With a monthly mortgage bill in the hundreds of dollars, totaling thousands yearly, how much is it worth to you to save about $300 a year? That’s the average of what borrowers might have saved by mortgage shopping, instead of taking a loan from the first [and last] lender one sees, according to an analysis of 130,241 conventional...Read More

6 Rules for Today’s Buyers - 02/15/2017
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or ready to trade-up, Ilyce Glink, author of “100 Questions Every First-Time Homebuyer Should Ask, 3rd Ed.” (Three Rivers Press, 2014), offers these must-follow rules for buying a home in today’s market: 1. Understand the relationship between income and house price Look beyond your...Read More

Selling this Spring? Stash the Political Signs - 03/16/2016
There’s no debating it: Political rhetoric is everywhere, thicker than ever this election year. While homeowner associations often limit the number of signs an owner can display, in many neighborhoods free speech translates into a thicket of front-yard signs promoting candidates. If you’re selling a home, it’s wise to...Read More

Home Sellers: Full Speed Ahead? - 04/29/2020
The virus crisis and resulting economic damage touch every business sector, including real estate. Home sellers, though, might employ tactics to get through this period as speedily as possible. Here, agents from around the country share their thoughts on why it may be time to prioritize time: 1. Big improvements usually don’t...Read More

Tricks to curb your enthusiasm - 06/11/2008
Most sellers know that curb appeal is critical to attract potential buyers. Patchy brown grass, overgrown bushes and cracked walkways detract from a great first impression, which is impossible to recapture. Today, because of the surplus of listings in many markets, the competition to make one’s home win out versus another’s...Read More

When Selecting Apartments, Renters Make Fast Choices - 01/20/2016
Apartment hunters place a high priority on something they can’t really see when they step into a unit – fast Internet connectivity and cell phone reception. Renters of all ages want to be able to live easily online wherever they choose to physically live, explains Caitlin Sugrue Walter, director of research for the National...Read More

Second Home Buyers Get Rental Go-Ahead - 12/23/2020
This year we’re logging record time at home. Now, owners think they could use a spare -- near a beach, mountains, or woods. Recent Zillow data shows that views of for-sale listing in vacation-home markets are up nearly 50 percent from last year, and pending sales have jumped 30 percent. The WFH trend is likely fueling that...Read More

Parking Profits - 07/01/2009
Many buyers who purchase a condominium, townhouse or other multifamily attached home appreciate one of the biggest perks of homeownership: the reserved parking space or attached garage that comes with the unit. But while parking privileges are relished by most, some home shoppers may not have much use for it, particularly if they...Read More

Project Upgrade - 01/12/2011
For years, the tried-and-true axiom among real estate professionals was that putting dollars into smart remodeling projects paid handsome dividends to homeowners. But judging by the latest data published in Remodeling magazine’s 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report, sinking money into a major room/area redo may not be a worthy investment...Read More

Auto-Enrolled = Expensive Home? - 02/14/2018
Given the stock market boom, workers opening their 401K statements are likely to be surprised by the balance, especially since many of them never even went to the trouble of establishing the account. “Auto-enrollment,” whereby employees are in a company’s 401k unless they specifically “opt-out,” has become a...Read More

The Accessible Dream - 06/15/2011
The American Dream has never been more affordable. In the first quarter of 2011, national housing affordability hit its highest ever level, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, which has tracked home prices for more than 20 years. The HOI for Q1 2011 showed that nearly 75 percent of all new and existing homes...Read More

Up in the Air - 01/19/2011
Economists say 2011 is the year of the “jump ball economy” – “so many consumer decisions are up in the air,” says James Chung, president of Research Advisors. According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, household incomes were on the decline during the past decade, even before the Great Recession...Read More

Household Holiday Cheer - 12/11/2013
Renters are feeling more fiscally comfortable this year, according to a survey by apartment listing website, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll tip building staff. The doormen (and women), cleaning staff and other people working to manage apartment buildings shouldn’t get their hopes up this holiday season,...Read More

Help Wanted - 05/22/2019
Businesses have long enjoyed financial perks from states and cities if they relocate there, bringing jobs with them. Now, states and localities are appealing directly to workers, saying: “Move here and we’ll make it easier for you to buy a home.” Nurses, teachers, first responders, law enforcement and other professionals...Read More

Thrift Shopping: Find an App to Save a Downpayment - 06/12/2019
Saving for a down payment is so difficult that it’s consistently rated as the biggest obstacle facing aspiring homebuyers. Now, help is widely available through mobile apps. Indeed, just input “apps to help you save money” or “apps to help save for a down payment” in a search engine to call up...Read More

Secrets Behind Home Staging - 06/05/2019
It’s show time! Forty percent of agents say that when a home is “staged,” or altered in some way to hold more appeal, purchasers are more positively inclined towards the property, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors. Ideally, staging is invisible to buyers, who see only an attractive...Read More

High Rents: Housing’s Big Challenge - 03/23/2016
The foreclosure crisis is beginning to fade from the headlines, but another dilemma has quietly grown. “We are in an affordable rental crisis,” says Brian Sullivan, spokesperson for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Median rent nationwide is $1,381 a month, according to Zillow. The real estate data firm expects...Read More

Better insulation puts money into homeowners’ pockets - 08/24/2022
Financial planner Gregory Lawrence has a suggestion for homeowners on how to earn a healthy return: Improve the insulation in your home. But because it’s rather humdrum, admits Lawrence, most people aren’t enthused, says the Estero, FL based owner of Lawrence Legacy Group. Now, though, he expects investing in better...Read More

Flood Changes - 04/10/2019
Flooding so severe it’s predicted occur just once every one hundred years now seems to happen annually, in multiple locations around the U.S. In response, the federal government has announced it is refining its premiums and flood maps to indicate more levels of risk for its National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will more accurately...Read More

Home buyers: Did you see this? - 08/19/2020
Three hours … give or take an hour. That’s the average amount of time buyers physically spend in a home before purchasing it, according to several real estate agents we polled. And that’s during “normal” or pre-COVID-19 times; now, some buyers feel more comfortable shaving off as many minutes as possible,...Read More

A little bit of staging, a lot more money - 06/04/2008
“What an incredible view!” I gasped as I walked into my client’s house. This two-story, hill-hugging home overlooked an expanse of rolling hills with views of the sapphire-blue bay beyond. The neighborhood was dotted with unique custom homes, all situated to capture the view – a combination of bohemian and upscale...Read More

Will Owning Your Home Make You a Better Driver? - 01/28/2015
Have a driving ambition to own a home? Purchasing that dream property may end up saving you money behind the wheel, suggests a new study. recently analyzed user data and found that 14.3 percent of homeowners had filed at least one car insurance claim in the past three years versus 16.8 percent of renters and 22.2 percent of...Read More

Renters Now Pay By Credit Card - 01/20/2021
The COVID economic fall-out left millions of renters financially struggling. In response, more landlords are taking credit card payments, and a significant number of tenants have met their rent for at least one or two months by putting it on plastic. While the credit card option served as an emergency lifeline to many, renters...Read More

The Right Season - 07/20/2011
Trying to time the market and determine the perfect home selling season can be a risky strategy, especially in the current real estate climate of buyer uncertainty. Conventional wisdom holds that wintertime is the worst season in which to put a "for sale" sign up. But that may not be true, for example, in warmer Southwestern states. And...Read More

Best Places to Live with Kids - 08/01/2012
If it’s really true that we’re only as happy as our unhappiest kid, then it’s important to find the best location for a happy childhood, too. So what does that mean for the classic city-versus-suburb conundrum? The most recent U.S. Census Bureau data from 2000 and 2010 indicates a shift toward families favoring urban...Read More

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