Google’s Most Popular Home Design Searches

What are people searching for on the internet when it comes to home design? Google released a new report that breaks down the most popular searches by several design categories for the home. Coastal-inspired living rooms, ranch style homes, and blue hues appear among some of the most curious trends in Google searches. Google’s Home and Garden Trends report compiled the biggest search trends over the past year.

Are Airbnbs Good for a Neighborhood?

Short-term rental properties are popping up in more neighborhoods across the country as homeowners look to cash in on an extra income stream. But is an Airbnb, Vrbo, HomeAway, or other short-term rental good for a thriving neighborhood?

The STR industry has posted significant growth over the last five years. Airbnb, as of October 2018, reported more than 5 million hosts and $2.7 billion in profit. But property owners recently surveyed by Porch.com, a home remodeling website, are mixed on whether they’d rent out their own home and how well they like the idea of their neighbors doing the same.

Property owners who use short-term rentals themselves on vacations tend to be more in favor of having them in their own neighborhood than those who’ve never used such services, according to Porch.com’s survey of 990 respondents

Homeowners Can Be Fined for Poor Home Maintenance

City ordinances and homeowners associations present many guidelines your clients must follow. Homeowners can face fines for violating rules and laws, such as not obtaining the proper permit for a remodeling project or not performing regular upkeep on a property. MSN recently highlighted several surprising things that homeowners also can get in trouble for…find out what they are HERE.

How Much Money Americans Think They’ll Need to Retire

Most Americans believe they’ll need an average of $1.7 million to retire, according to a new study from Charles Schwab. Researchers analyzed 1,000 401(k) plan participants across the country.

“The bulk of folks do not get there,” Nathan Voris, a managing director at Schwab Retirement Plan Services, told CNBC.

More than half of respondents surveyed say they are contributing 10% or less of their salary to their 401(k), which is the largest source of retirement savings. The average annual contribution is $8,788, according to the Charles Schwab study.

Read more HERE.

Is ‘Modern’ Overused in Property Descriptions?

The word “modern” is often used in property descriptions, but it may be confusing potential buyers, according to a new article at Apartment Therapy.

The term has different meanings to different buyers, Paul Maranger and Christian Vernast of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada told Apartment Therapy. After all, the description of a “bright and modern” kitchen can still be used to describe a 1985 European-style kitchen if it still meets current needs, they note.

10 Projects That Blow the Fixer Upper Budget

Many homeowners who purchase a fixer-upper say it was because they believed they’d save money. But they actually end up spending about the same or more than if they had opted for a move-in-ready home, according to a new study from Porch, a home remodeling website.

Porch surveyed more than 1,000 homeowners about recent repairs to their homes. More than one-third of respondents said they lived in fixer-uppers.

Read about this and more about turnkey versus fixer upper purchases in this Porch.com article.

Style Over Function Hurts Resale

Experts suggest choosing timeless updates that can stand the test over many design cycles. Remodeling experts also say it’s critical to put function first before embarking on a home improvement project. That may mean having to let go of a few aesthetic details in the process if they don’t work in your home style, are beyond your budget, or just don’t make sense for your lifestyle.

The era of real estate-focused reality television is encouraging too many homeowners to put aesthetics before function in their remodeling projects, industry experts note in a recent Forbes.com article.

Do Aging Appliances Mean a Lower Asking Price?

Knowing the lifespan of appliances and home fixtures can help home buyers get a realistic look at  replacements or repairs they may need to make. It can also be a point of negotiations between a buyer and seller: If the buyer expects that an aging appliance will need to be replaced soon, they may want that factored into their offer.

Some of the priciest components of a house for replacements or repairs tend to be the roof, electrical, plumbing, furnace, and air conditioning systems.

Read more about how to determine the life of household items in this article.

Remodeling Loan for Fixer-Upper Buyers

As homes age, more homeowners are looking to remodeling to spruce up their properties. Of the nation’s stock of 137 million units, nearly 80% are at least 20 years old, and 40% are at least 50 years old.

Freddie Mac says its new mortgage product is to help home buyers finance or refinance fixer-uppers. Eligible buyers will be able to finance the purchase of their home and the cost of renovations into a single-close mortgage.

Read more about the CHOICERenovation Mortgage HERE.

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