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7 Essentials Every Millennial Needs in Their First Home

RisMedia - September 7, 2017 - 2:04pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

More and more millennials are buying homes, representing around 45 percent of all purchase loans, and most first-time millennial homebuyers are on a limited budget.

While you may not be able to find the perfect home that checks every box on your dream home list, you can find a home you can improve on or add to over time.

As you hunt for your first home and make the big purchasing decision, make sure your checklist of new home essentials includes the following seven musts.

  1. Energy-Efficient Features
    Not only is energy efficiency trendy, but it also saves you money on your power bill and reduces your carbon footprint. When viewing homes on the market, look for energy-efficient features like double-paned windows, solar panels, attic insulation, LED lighting, and ENERGY STAR appliances. When you move in to your new domicile, invest in the Nest Learning Thermostat, which helps save you money on your energy bill and allows you to control your house’s temperature from your phone.
  1. An Entertainment Center
    Moving from an apartment to a home means more room, so celebrate with an entertainment space. Equip a portion of your living room with a comfy couch, a big screen TV, and a stereo system. Don’t forget a TV package and a streaming stick to access your favorite channels, such as HBO and Starz, and streaming services, including Netflix and Hulu. Trust us—your friends will thank you, and your home will be everyone’s favorite hangout.
  1. Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
    A smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector should be on every level of a house, especially near bedrooms. While walking through homes, check to see if a property has up-to-date smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. You may want to install smart versions, like the Nest Protect, a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. The system checks its batteries and performs silent tests on a regular basis so you don’t have to.
  1. A Home Security System
    Burglary rates have been steadily increasing over time, but installing a security system can help you feel safer and protect your new home. If you buy a house that doesn’t have a home security system, you can easily install the necessary equipment with options such as the Scout Home Security System. You can connect a door panel, access sensor, motion sensor, video camera and more, depending on your needs.
  1. A Home Improvement Magazine Subscription
    Whether you like it or not, owning a home comes with a lot more responsibility than renting. You’ll occasionally spend weekends and afternoons fixing something or working on a home project. Even though just about every project type is available on the internet, subscribing to a home improvement magazine, like Better Homes & Gardens, serves as a homeowner’s initiation to all house-centric projects. Along with tips for home maintenance, you can also find inspiration for your next project in the leaves of these handy prints.
  1. Wallpaper
    No, we’re not back in the 1960s. Wallpaper is back and trendier than ever. If you find a home with wallpaper, don’t leave screaming. Depending on the style, you may be able to make it look modern, or, if a room is boring and you aren’t sure how to spruce it up without breaking the bank, try a modern wallpaper trend, such as a marble pattern. If you aren’t sold on the idea, try temporary wallpapers that are easy to remove.
  1. Plants
    Greenery is one of the biggest home decor trends, so bring the outdoors inside with houseplants. Not only do they clean the air, but they’re also inexpensive ways to decorate a room and brighten up even the darkest of spaces. For a small room, decorate with a tall cactus or fiddle leaf fig tree to make the area look bigger. Don’t have a green thumb? Try a faux plant, which only requires occasional dusting.

These must-haves are just a few to add to your checklist for an ideal dwelling. Think we missed something? Share what other essentials you think should be on every millennial’s new home list.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 7 Essentials Every Millennial Needs in Their First Home appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Myths Sellers Believe About Pricing Their Home

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 6, 2017 - 11:00pm

Many of your clients are misguided about the principles of setting their asking price. Here’s what they should be aware of. 

Categories: Real Estate

Tips for Saving Up for a Down Payment

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 6, 2017 - 11:00pm

Just giving up your morning latte may save you up to $1,300 per year. NAR offers some simple ways to save for a down payment. 

Categories: Real Estate

How Long It Takes to Build a Home

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 6, 2017 - 11:00pm

Brace your new-home buyers for a long wait. 

Categories: Real Estate

Reach Out to Prospects Who Have Fallen Silent

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 6, 2017 - 11:00pm

Looking to drum up more business? Try to warm up one of your cold leads. 

Categories: Real Estate

Third of Agents Have Felt Unsafe on the Job

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 5, 2017 - 11:00pm

Thirty-eight percent of real estate professionals have experienced a situation that made them fear for their safety or the safety of their...

Categories: Real Estate

NAR Urges Congress: Act on Flood Insurance, Fast

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 5, 2017 - 11:00pm

Amid Hurricane Harvey and now a looming threat from Hurricane Irma, the National Association of REALTORS® warns Congress that letting the...

Categories: Real Estate

Buy Homes in Bitcoins

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 5, 2017 - 11:00pm

Bitcoin millionaires are now looking to cashing in their digital currencies in luxury real estate. 

Categories: Real Estate

Hispanic Homeownership Surges

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 5, 2017 - 11:00pm

Latinos are expected to make up more than half of new home buyers over the next 20 years.  

Categories: Real Estate

Study: Use Articles to Educate to Drive Sales

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 5, 2017 - 11:00pm

Consumers who read an educational article from a company are 131 percent more likely to buy from that company instead of a competitor, according...

Categories: Real Estate

Loan Demand Rebounds on Lower Rates

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 5, 2017 - 11:00pm

Mortgage application volume reversed course in the latest week and pushed higher as refinancers and home buyers took advantage of another drop in...

Categories: Real Estate

Don't Let Spammers Hijack Your Domains

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 5, 2017 - 11:00pm

If you bought more internet domains than you currently use, consider continuing to pay for all of them. The ones you drop may be grabbed by...

Categories: Real Estate

Climate Change to Trigger Housing Crisis?

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 4, 2017 - 11:00pm

Coastal flooding, wildfires, and extreme weather events are posing an increasing risk to real estate. 

Categories: Real Estate

Houston Agent Missing After Fleeing Harvey

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 4, 2017 - 11:00pm

Crystal McDowell told her boyfriend she was fleeing Houston ahead of Hurricane Harvey, but no one has heard from the real estate agent since Aug....

Categories: Real Estate

More Homeowners ‘Stuck’ In Starter Homes

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 4, 2017 - 11:00pm

The stay-put mindset is leaving fewer homes available for sale and prompting home prices to surge due to the short supplies.

Categories: Real Estate

Homeownership Remains the American Dream

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 4, 2017 - 11:00pm

Owning a home stays at the top of the list for achieving the American Dream, according to a recent survey.

Categories: Real Estate

How Driverless Cars Will Reshape Housing

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 4, 2017 - 11:00pm

Self-driving cars are expected to have a big impact on real estate—here’s how.

Categories: Real Estate

8 Best Upgrades to Personalize Your New Home

RisMedia - September 4, 2017 - 2:02pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Before you move into your new house, you may want to make upgrades. These add value to your investment, improve your home’s function and allow you to express your personality. Plus, making upgrades before you move in reduces inconvenience later. Consider the following upgrades to make your new house feel like home.

  1. Enhance the Kitchen
    Quality kitchen upgrades ensure the room meets your family’s needs, and add value to your home. Consider several changes that improve the quality and function of your kitchen:
  • Get high-end, energy- or water-saving appliances.
  • Lower the bar counter from 42 to 36 inches so it’s more accessible.
  • Install quartz countertops.
  • Add lighting under the counters.
  • Choose matching fixtures and hardware.

Worried about staying on budget while renovating the most expensive room in the house? According to HomeAdvisor’s Kitchen Cost Guide, it costs the average homeowner between $12,500 and $33,500 for a full kitchen remodel.

  1. Redo the Flooring
    It’s definitely easier and more affordable to upgrade a house’s flooring before you arrange all the furniture. Consider stain-resistant carpeting in high-traffic areas, or install hardwood in connected rooms for a sleek appearance.
  1. Update the Bathroom
    Spruce up a bathroom already in the house or add an additional bathroom before your move. When renovating a bathroom, consider your current and future needs, such as your family size or entertaining habits. Several possible changes include:
  • Install a double sink.
  • Install a walk-in shower or Jacuzzi tub.
  • Choose decorative shower, floor or wall tile.
  • Customize the lighting or fixtures.
  • Hang extra shelves for storage.
  1. Bring in New Cabinetry
    Before you unpack all your possessions, install new cabinetry that helps you get and stay organized. The kitchen and bathroom cabinets have a big effect on your home’s function and appearance. Choose cabinet finishes and designs that match your personal style and color scheme. You can hang the old cabinets in the garage or attic to expand your storage space.
  1. Update Electrical Wiring
    Older houses may have outdated wiring, or you may find that you need additional outlets in certain rooms. Walk through your house, visualize how you will use each room and plan any electrical wiring updates. With help from an electrician, you can add outlets in the living room to accommodate your gaming systems or wire the den ceiling for a new fan.
  1. Wire for Internet Service
    Improve security and speed in your new home with wired internet throughout the house. It allows you to install and use a variety of electronics, including security cameras, in any room. Full-house wired internet also prevents outside users and hackers from accessing your network and potentially harming your family.
  1. Add Lots of Storage
    Getting extra storage throughout your house before you move helps you completely unpack and organize your home the way you want. The price of installing a new closet is about $1,800, as found on HomeAdvisor. Choose from a variety of cabinet types, shelving, and overhead storage designs and materials that match your needs and preferences.
  1. Transform the Laundry Room
    While you probably plan to use your laundry room primarily for laundry, you may wish to transform it into a functioning pantry, drop zone or mud room. Rearrange the washing machine and dryer hookup to make room for pantry storage. Consider adding a bench and hooks for shoes, backpacks and umbrellas, too.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 8 Best Upgrades to Personalize Your New Home appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Consumer Confidence Keeps Improving

RisMedia Consumer News - September 1, 2017 - 10:05pm

Consumer confidence kept improving in August, posting a 122.9 reading in the latest Consumer Confidence Index® from The Conference Board. The Expectations reading of the Index rose to 104.0, while the Present Situation reading rose to 151.2. July’s reading was 120.0.

“Consumer confidence increased in August following a moderate improvement in July,” said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board in a statement. “Consumers’ more buoyant assessment of present-day conditions was the primary driver of the boost in confidence, with the Present Situation Index continuing to hover at a 16-year high. Consumers’ short-term expectations were relatively flat, though still optimistic, suggesting that they do not anticipate an acceleration in the pace of economic activity in the months ahead.”

The percentage of consumers who believe business conditions are “good,” as defined by the Index, increased from 32.5 percent in July to 34.5 percent in August; the percentage of those who believe business conditions are “bad” decreased from 13.5 percent in July to 13.1 percent in August. The percentage of those who expect business conditions to improve decreased from 22.4 percent in July to 19.6 percent in August; the percentage of those who expect business conditions to worsen decreased from 8.4 percent in July to 7.3 percent in August.

The percentage of consumers who believe jobs are “plentiful” increased from 33.2 percent in July to 35.4 percent in August, according to the Index; the percentage of those who believe jobs are “hard to get” decreased from 18.7 percent in July to 17.3 percent in August. The percentage of those who expect more jobs in the coming months decreased from 18.5 percent in July to 17.1 percent in August; the percentage of those who expect less jobs in the coming months decreased from 13.2 percent in July to 13.0 percent in August.

The percentage of consumers who expect higher incomes increased from 20.0 percent in July to 20.9 percent in August; the percentage of those who expect a decrease increased from 9.5 percent in July to 7.8 percent in August.

Source: The Conference Board

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Consumer Confidence Keeps Improving appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

WalletHub: 10 Best Housing Markets

RisMedia Consumer News - September 1, 2017 - 10:01pm

What makes for an attractive housing market? Analysts at WalletHub recently identified several indicators of desirability, using a 100-point scoring system in 300 markets to rank the top 10 in the nation:

  1. Frisco, Texas
  2. McKinney, Texas
  3. Allen, Texas
  4. Cary, N.C.
  5. Richardson, Texas
  6. Seattle, Wash.
  7. Bellevue, Wash.
  8. Carrollton, Texas
  9. Nashville, Tenn.
  10. Denver, Colo.

The indicators applied in the ranking included average days on market, median home price appreciation, the share of homes selling for a gain, and the share of underwater homes.

Five of the top 10 markets are in Texas, which also dominates as the state home to four of the top five in the ranking. No. 1 Frisco boasts the second-lowest home maintenance costs of the 300 markets evaluated, while No. 3 Allen has the third-lowest and No. 4 Cary has the fourth-lowest. No. 6 Seattle is tied for first for the lowest average days on market, while No. 7 Bellevue has the fourth-lowest foreclosure rate.

View the complete ranking and methodology.

Source: WalletHub

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post WalletHub: 10 Best Housing Markets appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate