Top Landscaping Trends for 2020

Ornate landscaping and weaving in a blue color palette are two big trends for yards in the new year, according to the National Association of Landscape Professionals. The association recently released its list of the top landscaping trends in the new year.

“Foundational landscape elements remain on homeowners’ wish lists, but modern updates and technology are now a top priority,” says NALP CEO Britt Wood. “With a wave of design and technical innovations, our members report that ornate hardscaping, contemporary features, lush gardens, and smart irrigation are all trending and will influence landscape designs across the country in 2020. This year’s trends showcase how homeowners of all generations desire a striking, custom, and well-maintained outdoor space that benefits their community and the environment.”

Here are top trends that the NALP predicts will be hot this year.

Cash-Out Refis Could Cost You

More homeowners are refinancing to take equity out through a cash-out tranaction. They’re then using the extra cash to pay down credit card debts, renovate their home, or even invest in a new home.

Over the past two years that has resulted in a large number of homeowners who are taking on higher interest rates via refinancing. Still, owners say that the mortgage rates are lower than what they would have to pay through a credit card or home equity line of credit.

Read more HERE.

2019 Mortgage Rates Were Lowest in Nearly 50 Years

The interest rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.9% for 2019, the fourth lowest annual average since 1971, according to Freddie Mac. For 2020, Freddie’s outlook mirrors that of the real estate industry’s top economists, who discussed their predictions at the National Association of REALTORS®’ first-ever Real Estate Forecast Summit earlier this month: Low mortgage rates and an improving economy will help drive steady home sales, construction, and increases in home prices.

New Flooring Trends Emerging

More than 30% of homeowners say the floors are what they dislike most about their properties, according to a survey conducted by online loan marketplace LightStream. New flooring may even increase a home’s value, Dan DiClerico, an expert with HomeAdvisor, told®. “Putting down new flooring is a smart investment,” DiClerico says. “But more importantly, it can dramatically transform the look and feel of the home, while making it safer and more functional.® asked design experts to weigh in on some of the top trends for flooring in 2020. HERE are the results.

Budget More for Home Insurance

Home insurance rates are climbing due to a rising number of natural disasters. As a result, homeowners, particularly those located in some at-risk markets, will need to brace for higher costs.

In 2018, there were 850 “natural catastrophes” worldwide that totaled some $350 billion, up from 500 disasters a decade earlier, the Insurance Information Institute reports.

Oklahoma homeowners are seeing some of the largest increases in home insurance rates in the nation. Costs have surged by 78%, or $821, since 2007. On average, an Oklahoma homeowner pays more than $1,800 annually for a premium. That is up from $1,054 a decade ago, according to QuoteWizard. Oklahoma has seen 192 natural disasters since 1955.

Read more HERE.

Buyers More Flexible on Commute Than Home Size

Most consumers are willing to extend their commutes in order to find a single-family home with a yard, according to a new Redfin survey of 1,400 consumers. Eighty-nine percent of survey respondents say they would choose a single-family home with a backyard over a unit in a triplex, even if the latter was closer to their job. For millennials, that figure is 93%, the study shows.

Though buyers overall show a preference for single-family homes, the properties needn’t be large. The median home size in the U.S. has been dropping, perhaps due in part to higher home prices, researchers note. Median home size peaked at 2,467 square feet in 2015 but lowered to 2,386 square feet in 2018.

Read more HERE.

Trending Kitchen Design for 2020

While certain features in a kitchen—like statement lightingcabinet hardware, and even range hoods—are taking center stage, many are also getting muted or hidden. That may mean you have to look extra hard with your buyers in the latest kitchen designs to uncover all of its amenities.

This hidden design in kitchens will take many forms, from more discreet appliances to high-tech voice assistants hidden within. Faucets may have motion-based or other hands-free technology, kitchen islands could have hidden charging stations, pet stations might be tucked into barely noticed areas, and kitchen cabinetry styles can seek to blend in more than stand out, designers told

Read more HERE.

Right Way to Clean Granite

It’s important that those granite countertops gleam during showings, but some cleaning products may actually harm them. White vinegar, for example, has been a popular cleaning agent because it’s inexpensive and can combat bacteria and mold on many surfaces, such as glass and linoleum. But the acid in the vinegar can gradually ruin the finish of granite and wear away at the protective sealant, according to a new article at Apartment Therapy.

Acid-based cleaners such as lemon juice or citric acid—which can be found in many all-purpose cleaners—wear away the sealant, the article warns. Instead, clean granite countertops with mild soap and water. To disinfect counters, use isopropyl alcohol, along with soap and water, or commercial granite cleaners.

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