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Real Estate Trends & Perceptions

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

 

Whether you're interested in buying or selling a home this year, there's reason to be optimistic. See how a healthy real estate market and positive consumer sentiments are contributing to a buoyant housing sector.

Real Estate Trends
The U.S. housing market continues its recovery as home prices gradually increase, interest rates remain low and millennials represent the largest group of homebuyers for the fourth year in a row. There's been a slight increase in historically low interest rates, but that's an indication of an improving economy. Single women homebuyersexceed single men buyers in the U.S. by more than double, accounting for 17 percent of homebuyers (compared to single men at 7 percent). U.S. home values are expected to keep inching up while the inventory of available homes continues to decline.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), there is considerable divergence among regions. Tighter federal regulations have reduced affordability and access to financing for potential homebuyers, sales are down and prices are trending soft. National sales activity is forecast to decrease 1.5 percent in 2017 and 0.8 percent in 2018.

Consumer Sentiments
The 2017 Q1 Housing Opportunities and Market Experience report published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows favorable sentiments among American consumers. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed thought it was a good time to buy, and 69 percent felt it was a good time to sell. More than half said they believed home prices in their community had increased over the previous 12 months. And renters and suburban homeowners, in particular, felt that prices would continue to rise in the second half of the year.

In another NAR report, the Aspiring Home Buyer Profile, nine in 10 nonhomeowners in the U.S. expressed a desire to own a home. Fortunately, if the market trends and consumer perceptions are any indications, 2017 could very well be the year many renters realize their dream of homeownership.

Adding Shade to Your Yard or Patio

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

Summer is a fun season to enjoy time outside with friends and family -- provided you have sufficient coverage from the sun. Stay cool and comfortable by adding shade to your yard or patio with the ideas below.

Overhead Hangs for the Patio
One popular way to create shade is to string up outdoor fabric and make a retractable awning or canopy. Shade sails are another versatile and inexpensive way to diffuse the sun's rays. If your outdoor space lacks the columns or posts to attach fabric, a large area umbrella is a fail-safe way to keep covered.

A Natural Solution
Like the idea of natural sun blockers? Potted citrus trees add a nice touch and can be moved around as the sun shifts. Wood structures such as a trellis or pergola also make a beautiful statement while creating shady areas. Both are designed to support climbing plants like ivy, morning glory, clematis and bougainvillea.

Surrounded by Shade
For a more closed-in arrangement, try canvas curtains, bamboo blinds or solar shades. Each of these sun blockers is adjustable, making it a breeze to raise them up or down (or to the side) depending on the sun's position and your desired level of coverage.

Whether you're looking to dine alfresco, relax outside with a good book or visit with friends and family, a covered patio is an ideal spot. Just remember: Before you start putting up structures to block the sun, review your homeowners association or rental agreement rules as some options may require permission.

Staging Tips To Help Your Home Sell

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

 

In real estate, staging a home and selling a home often go hand in hand. Though the process can be involved, the results are indisputable. Need some help executing an effective home staging? Browse this list of resources to help you dazzle prospective buyers and increase your chances of a quick home sale. 

Clear Clutter 
Not only will decluttering your property make moving day easier, but clearing space also gives viewers room to visualize themselves living in your space. Some items you can sell or donate outright. What about the housewares or sentimental objects you want to hold on to but need to remove to optimize showings? Give them a temporary home in a storage unit or portable moving container. 

Set Up Your Space 
Focus on staging the rooms that see the most action: the living room, kitchen and master bedroom. If reinventing multiple rooms in your home is too expensive, you do have the option of renting furniture and accessories. It's a quick way to supply art for the walls, lamps to improve lighting or even an entire suite of furniture. Just be sure to sign with a furniture rental company that offers delivery and pickup as part of their packages. When you're getting ready to move, the last thing you want is to ferry furniture between multiple locations. 

Hire Help
Some homeowners aren't up to the task of a full home staging, and that's OK. Some selling agents offer the service as part of their contract, or you can hire an independent home stager to complete the job. The latter provide a valuable service, though it's important to carefully assess their qualifications before bringing them on. Review their certifications, testimonials and portfolio to ensure they can help you achieve the aesthetic your home needs for a faster sale.

Making the Most of a Bathroom Remodel

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

Do you want to improve the aesthetics of your bathroom? Before you disrupt your household with the hassle of a remodel, make sure you're prepared. Familiarize yourself with this cost and ROI overview to help guide the planning process. 

What Does This Type of Remodel Cost? 
The first step to organizing a bathroom remodeling project is setting a budget. Understanding the potential costs involved can help you decide whether you're working on a complete overhaul or focusing your resources on a few select changes. 

Homeowners who make bathroom updates usually hope to recover at least a portion of their investment. An upscale bathroom remodel is among the projects that see the largest percentages of value increase year over year. But a high-end revamp can cost tens of thousands. If you're working with a more modest budget, going with simple changes like updates to light fixtures, sinks, toilets and the like can refresh your space for significantly less. 

What Should You Change?
When planning bathroom renovations, it's always smart to fix what's broken first, especially since replacement projects see larger returns (74 percent) than remodeling ones (63.7 percent). 

Once you've tackled any necessary replacements, make investment-savvy design selections that add value for you and your family. Trade out the garden tub for an expansive shower, add granite countertops or upgrade the vanity, ventilation or lighting. Finding what most benefits your family can lead to greater satisfaction years after the project's completion. 

With budgeting sense and some design know-how, you'll have the confidence you need to initiate a successful bathroom remodel.

4 Home Projects That Add Instant Value

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

Do you have a list of changes you'd like to make to your home this year? Completing cosmetic updates is easiest when the weather's in your favor. In honor of May's National Home Improvement Month, here are four upgrades ranging from curb appeal projects to large-scale expansions that often yield high returns. 

  1. Replacing doors and windows: Homeowners are often encouraged to consider projects that boost overall curb appeal. Swapping out a wooden front door for a steel model or replacing front-facing windows can pack more of an ROI punch than renovations made inside the home. 
  2. Constructing a deck: Create a beautiful transition from your back door to the outdoors by building a deck. The update turns into a major selling point that can recoup your initial investment when it's time to move on. 
  3. Adding insulation: Of all the projects listed in Remodeling magazine's 2017 Cost vs. Value Report, adding loose-fill insulation to your attic is the only one with returns that exceed 100 percent of the cost. It can also help reduce year-round heating and cooling costs. 
  4. Building a second-story addition: Even with a slight increase in construction costs, completing a significant two-story addition resulted in a substantial year-over-year increase in value from 2016 to 2017. Adding the extra space will likely catch the attention of buyers. 

Home renovations and repairs are on the rise and expected to peak this year. Now's the time to start planning your investment-savvy home improvements.

6 Top Trends Hitting Home Design

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

 

Whether you're a prospective seller or a longtime homeowner, revamping your space may be on your to-do list. Before you begin, preview these design trends and learn how to make them your own. 

Quick Decorating Touches

  • Add the latest color. From deep emerald to the lime hue of Greenery (the Pantone Color of the Year), verdant shades are instant hits. To incorporate the trend, sprinkle in a few eye-catching accessories or splurge on a plush, room-filling rug. 
  • Bring in bronze and brass. These of-the-moment metallics look luxurious, but they have economical price tags and complement a variety of colors and styles. Spruce up your kitchen cabinets with brass handles or use bronze light fixtures to warm up a room. 
  • Toy with texture. Whether you're drawn to fabric wallpaper, a decorative wall hanging or a collection of well-placed throw pillows, texture is an easy way to make a space more inviting. And don't shy away from mixed materials like leather and wool.

Trendy Upgrades

  • Enrich your entryway. You have only one chance to make a first impression. For a small investment, you can transform your home's entrance with an artisan-crafted credenza or an oversized mirror that amplifies the natural light. 
  • Update your countertops. Laminate options fashioned from recycled granite or glass are easy on the wallet and the environment. Want to go all out? Lighter shades in quartz, marble and wood are popular upgrades in today's kitchens.
  • Establish a shedquarters. Whether you work from home, want a relaxing retreat or host houseguests regularly, a separate on-site structure aptly dubbed a "shedquarters" may be a worthy addition.

From a quick, low-budget change to a well-planned build-out, homeowners have several options when it comes to implementing the latest home design trends.

Urban Homesteading: 3 Ways to Produce Your Own Food

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

 

 

From backyard and rooftop gardens to community plots in parks and vacant lots, urban agriculture has become a nationwide movement, and more homeowners have taken an interest in producing their own food. For many urban homesteaders, it stems from a desire to know where their food comes from and live more sustainably. 

Are you interested in participating? These three small-scale projects are great places to start. 

Raising Backyard Chickens
Chickens provide a relatively inexpensive, low-maintenance way to feed your family, plus they act as complimentary fertilizer and chemical-free pest control. Before you buy baby chicks, make sure you research and follow local laws, city ordinances and homeowner association rules. 

Taking Up Beekeeping
In the 1940s, America had five million beehives, and today, roughly half of those remain. A growing awareness of this drastic decline has led to an increase in urban beekeeping, to the tune of approximately 120,000 backyard beekeepers. 

Becoming a beekeeper starts with a lot of research, followed by choosing the right equipment and bees. Don't want to care for an entire colony? Plant native flower and weed varieties that help encourage bee pollination and reproduction. 

Gardening and Canning 
Whether it's a large plot or a small section, a personal garden gives you control. Plus, you can preserve fresh fruits and vegetables via the canning process. While many homesteaders use yields from their garden, others buy extra produce in its peak season. Canning veggies and fruits is a family-friendly activity that lets you enjoy seasonal produce all year long. 

Though urban homesteading may seem intimidating at first, it's easier to start small. The projects above can help minimize your impact on the environment and allow you to take part in your own food production.

Post Title

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

 

Just because you can buy and sell property on your own, it doesn't mean you should. Real estate agents remain essential when making these pivotal financial transactions. 

There are many ways agents add value during the purchase or sale of a home:

  • Handle the technical nuances -- Whether you're the buyer or the seller, a home sale includes a dizzying amount of paperwork. Skilled agents know how to fill out what documents and when, saving you time and helping you avoid mistakes.
  • Speak the lingo -- The industry uses an astonishing number of acronyms. Working with a real estate agent gives you the opportunity to better understand the conversation. 
  • Can negotiate without emotion -- It's easy to get triggered when a potential buyer picks apart your home. Let the agent handle criticisms or requests that could set you off or scare away an interested party. 
  • Help you look beyond the property's walls -- Agents have expertise beyond the sale, including insight on everything from utilities to neighborhoods to quality schools. 
  • Are well connected -- It takes a village to complete a home sale. Whether you need a trustworthy home inspector, an efficient mortgage broker or a creative interior designer, turn to your agent for credible recommendations. 
  • Keep up with the most recent laws and regulations -- You may only complete a few real estate deals in your lifetime, whereas an agent often signs off on several each year. Experienced real estate agents know as soon as something in the industry changes and can save you from a liability headache

Whether your aim is to net money from the sale of your home or spend wisely on a new one, a real estate agent has your best interests in mind and can make the process as seamless as possible.

4 Trending Features in Today's Modern Kitchen

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

While a home's curb appeal may draw buyers in, its interior matters just as much, if not more. Several features are high on the wish list of today's homebuyer, including a modern kitchen. Whether you're thinking of starting a remodel or you're just curious about what the future holds, check out these trends that turn kitchens into buyer bait. 

Hidden appliances: Upgrading appliances is one of the quickest ways to add value to a kitchen. If you're looking to impress a buyer with deep pockets, look into hidden appliances. What's the appeal? Less obvious appliances keep the eye on the kitchen's overall flow and design. 

Personalized pantries: The utilitarian kitchen pantry has evolved into a trending design element. Whether you choose a pocket door and complementary light fixture or a rustic barn door and wallpaper, there's no shortage of ways to express your personal style. 

Creative countertops: Looking for a revamp with an immediate impact? Upgrade the counters. Quartz and butcher block, both easy to maintain, are quickly replacing traditional marble and granite surfaces. You can dress up your kitchen further with sleek waterfall-edge countertops that extend vertically to the floor. 

Mixed-up metal accents: Accessorizing with different finishes is a trendy, cost-effective way to update your kitchen. In addition to stainless steel and gold, homebuilders are seeing copper accents emerging as the metallic detail of choice. 

Don't let a dated kitchen cost you when it's time to sell your home. Incorporating a trend or two could be enough to give your kitchen the face-lift it needs to entice buyers.

Credit Score: What It Means and How to Improve It

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

 

Are you considering making a major purchase, like buying a home, this year? If so, your credit score will likely come into play. An understanding of the basics can help you effectively monitor and manage it. 

Credit Score 101
Your credit score will usually range from 300 to 850. It's derived from an algorithm that takes into account several factors, including payment history, the total debt owed and length of credit history.

Lenders use this three-digit number to predict risk and the likelihood that you'll repay your debt on time. The higher your credit score, the less risk you are and the lower your loan terms will be. For example, a person with a "good" credit score of 700 may have a lower interest rate and smaller required down payment than someone with a "poor" credit score of 400.

How to Improve Your Score
If you don't have much credit history or you have a few negatives on your report, consider these strategies to increase your score.

  • Pay all of your bills on time. Late payments can negatively impact your score.
  • Pay off debt where you can. The less debt you have, the lower your debt-to-income ratio.
  • Keep your credit card balances as low as possible, aiming to use no more than 30 percent of your available credit. And pay off as much as you can each month since higher balances can sink your score.
  • Review your credit report at least annually, and keep an eye out for mistakes and identity theft.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 26

Contact Information

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Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC
RE/MAX Dynamic Properties
3350 Midtown Place
Anchorage AK 99503
Bethany (907) 223-1632
Bonnie (907) 223-0005