Features That Can Help a Home Sell Faster

Homeowners are spending more to spruce up their homes. They spent an average of $12,361 in discretionary funds on remodeling in 2017—the highest since 2006, according to the latest report by the Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

But which household projects can actually better their chances of selling their home one day?

Realtor.com®’s research team pinpointed home features that can help sell a home in the fastest time for the best price. They analyzed more than 1 million single-family listings on realtor.com® in February and identified the home features found in homes most often with the highest list prices and that went under contract most quickly.

The Best Week to List a Home for Sale

Home sellers expecting the quickest sales may want to make sure the house is in tip-top shape for showings because a big week in the housing market is quickly coming. The best week to put a home on the market is March 31 to April 6, according to a new analysis from realtor.com®. Researchers analyzed the 50 largest real estate markets in the nation over the past three years to determine the best week to sell.

Remodeling Becomes Bigger Issue

As the nation’s housing gets older, the remodeling market is reaching record highs to meet the country’s growing housing needs, according to Improving America’s Housing 2019, a new report released from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Spending on improvements and repairs to owner-occupied and rental properties reached a record high of nearly $425 billion in 2017, according to the newly released report.

Nearly 80 percent of the nation’s housing stock is at least 20 years old. With new-home construction lagging the last few years, more homeowners are remodeling to make their current home still work for them.  Read more HERE.

Getting a Mortgage Becomes Easier for the Self-Employed

For the self-employed, the mortgage process can be time-consuming and cumbersome. Lenders often require extra paperwork, such as full documentation of tax returns from the last couple of years (not just the electronic copy submitted to the IRS). Even after that, the person may still lack an income steady enough to qualify or face extra fees once they are approved.

However, mortgage financing giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have recently made changes to an automated system that could help more self-employed individuals qualify for a mortgage.

Bring Pollinator Power to Home Gardens

One out of every three bites of food we consume is attributed to the help of pollinators. Honeybees usually get the greatest attention; their population has been on the decline since the late 1990s and one-third of our food supply depends on their pollination.

But there’s good news to cheer—and it might be something you want to be a part of. The National Pollinator Garden Network, headquartered in Washington, D.C., released a report February 26, that says its four-year “Million Pollinator Garden Challenge” has registered more than 1 million gardens that have increased habitats, which, in turn, have helped pollinators thrive.

Water Damage From Faulty Pipes a Rising Threat to U.S. Homes

Homes are increasingly flooding, not from weather-related events but from old pipes and valves, worn-out hoses on second-story washing machines, and faulty connections from appliances that use water, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The uptick has sparked an increase in extensive water damage to homes that has been reported to insurers. One in 50 homeowners filed a water damage claim each year between 2013 and 2017, according to Verisk Analytics’ ISO insurance analytics unit. Insurers have faced a $13 billion water damage bill from insuring homes.

Claims for water damage average about $10,000, according to the report.

Is it Time to Invest in Your Nest? (Infographic)

The most popular remodeling projects include outdoor space (41 percent), the bathroom (37 percent), and the kitchen (31 percent). Survey respondents say that if money wasn’t a factor, they would remodel their kitchen (42 percent), followed by replacing carpet with other flooring (41 percent), and then remodeling the bathroom (39 percent), according to the survey.

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