Pools May Add a Splash to Home Value

Swimming pools can help to significantly boost a home price. A new study from LendingTree shows that homes with pools are valued 54% higher than those without one.

The median home with a pool is valued at $469,187, while the median home without a pool is valued at $305,152, according to the study. The highest premium for a swimming pool was found in Memphis, with a value of 157% higher than homes without one.

Pools are still a relatively rare amenity in markets across the country. Only about 10% of homes in the U.S. have a swimming pool among the 50 largest cities studied.

Read more HERE.

2020 Color of the Year

A meadow-inspired green is paint firm Behr’s top pick for the 2020 Color of the Year. Color forecasters expect the hue, called “Back to Nature,” to surface in more home interiors over the next year to bring a sense of the outdoors to the indoors.

“As we look ahead to a new decade, Back To Nature encourages us to reengage with the natural world, which we know can have a real, positive impact on our well-being,” says Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr. “Everyone has a different way of engaging with nature. Whether you’re biking on a forest path, canoeing on a lake, or walking on the beach, green is prevalent in nearly every outdoor landscape. It is easily nature’s favorite color.”

The yellow-based green brings “tranquility” to a space, whether on the wall of a living room or throw pillows in a bedroom, Behr says. Earlier this year, Behr released its 2020 Color Trends palette, which is based on global color trend research for residential and commercial settings. The palette consists of 15 colors, including Back to Nature.

Smartphones Are Guiding Buyers to Homes

Mobile devices are what buyers turn to for finding properties and connecting with real estate agents. This has put increasing importance on real estate pros to make sure their websites are mobile friendly and that they’re connecting in a way that clients most desire.

The typical home buyer used a mobile device to search for properties online, looking at websites with photos, home listings, and information about the homebuying process, according to the newly released “Real Estate in a Digital Age 2019 Report” published by the National Association of REALTORS® that looks at technology use within transactions.

Overall, 76% of all buyers say they found their home on a mobile device. Seventeen percent of buyers surveyed said they also found their agent on a mobile device, too.

Is That Fixer Upper a Good Deal?

The lower price of a fixer-upper and the added resale value after a remodel can be alluring to some home buyers. For example, the average price of a fixer-upper home on the TV show “Fixer Upper,” based in Waco, Texas, is $178,449, with the average resale value being $297,488.

But a new study from the remodeling site Porch.com, based on a survey of more than 1,000 homeowners, shows that the majority of fixer-upper homeowners who thought they could save money actually ended up spending about the same or more than a move-in ready home.

Home Inspectors List Maintenance No-Nos

From water damage cover-ups to dismissing small foundation cracks, homeowners may be trying to hide certain household issues. But a little routine maintenance can help prevent some situations from becoming bigger issues.

Home inspectors recently chimed in on Apartment Therapy with the most prevalent maintenance mistakes they see in properties all of the time.  Read more HERE.

Outdoor Kitchens are Appealing

The appeal of outdoor living continues to be important to homeowners, and the outdoor kitchen is at the center of that. The latest American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey shows that outdoor kitchens are among the most wanted kitchen features in new architectural projects.

Nearly 50% of the architect respondents surveyed reported the popularity of outdoor kitchens is still growing. The popularity is seen in markets across the country, and not just in warmer climates like Florida, Texas, and California—outdoor kitchens are also taking hold in colder areas like the Northeast.

Mortgage Debt Increases Life Expectancy

Debt can be stressful, and stress can be bad for your health. But some debt may actually be good for your health and even prolong your life, a new study from LendingTree suggests.

Researchers evaluated 797 U.S. counties on how various forms of debt—from mortgages to student loans—can possibly influence a person’s health and even life expectancy.

Notably, researchers found that a higher mortgage debt relative to income is linked with a higher life expectancy.

“That trend reaffirms the idea that homeownership is ultimately a good thing. This is despite the fact that a mortgage is on

Optimal Setting for Air Conditioning

How cool should you keep a home? The magic number for your thermostat is 78° F, according to Energy Star. The thermostat setting is ideal for optimal cooling and energy efficiency, the federal program concludes.

Energy Star also offer the following setting suggestions for your thermostat, as reported by Consumer Reports:

• 78° F when you’re at home
• 85° F when you’re away from home
• 82° F when you’re sleeping

Read more HERE.

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