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What’s New With Housing?

Here are 7 steps to help you get prepared, get organized, and get settled in your new community.
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Healthful LivingThe Future of Housing Will Embody Healthful Living.
Eating, breathing, and sleeping are essential to both short- and long-term health. Yet, our homes—our most fundamental haven for these activities—often aren’t designed to support these most basic of health needs.
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High–impact updates don’t have to come at a high cost. These 6 projects fit in a TV–sized budget and you can tackle them in a weekend.
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This gulf-front Belleair Shore home designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright is being marketed as Florida’s first “Bitcoin” home for sale.
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55% of U.S. homeowners with a child under the age of 18 when they bought a home said their child’s opinion was a factor in their home-buying decision.
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What’s New With Housing?

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The first month of summer is when HUD and others mark the importance of owning a home and the impact it has on the lives of American families and local neighborhoods – and how it benefits the nation’s economic health.
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Do America’s for-profit, market-rate leading players need to concern themselves with a growing housing attainability crisis? You bet!
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Developers of Bezu, a condo tower in downtown St. Petersburg, have cut the height from 300 to 180 feet to be more compatible with the historic Flori de Leon next door.
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Piece by piece along a factory line, workers erect walls, string electrical wires, fasten plumbing, hang drywall and paint stackable move-in-ready apartments.
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Did Tax Reform Kill the Luxury Market?  NOT SO FAR!
“We are seeing the opposite of what was expected. We have certainly not seen the doomsday predictions play out.”
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Nineteen local workforce boards are hosting a statewide, construction-industry focused job fair in cities and towns across Florida.


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What’s New With Housing?

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Home sale prices continued to rise both nationally and throughout Florida in April as a prolonged dearth of available homes on the market is making it tough on buyers.
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Building Zero Energy Up to Scale
Zero energy proves a smart strategy for the future of building for both the builder and the user.
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At 100.6, the monthly consumer sentiment index from UF also passed the 100 mark for only the second time since March 2002.
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These new releases for 2018 will have your clients’ K+B spaces sparkling for years to come.
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Everyone likes to travel in style, and hotel designers know how to make getaway spaces feel luxurious.


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What’s Up With Housing?

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Mulvaney to Realtors, “We are not out to make you look like a bad guy if you are not. We are out to enforce the law, not become the law.”
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Construction JobsConstruction Employment Rises in 38 States and D.C. From April 2017 to April 2018… Florida Up 7%.
“The collective cultural fixation on urging every student to go to college and seek office jobs means relatively few young adults are ever encouraged to consider careers in construction.”
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The Science Is In: The Healthiest Neighborhoods are Both Walkable and Green.
We tend to take our neighborhoods for granted when it comes to health. But we shouldn’t, because there is a rapidly growing body of evidence demonstrating that the shape and character of our communities matters a great deal to our health.
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Congress curtailed tax incentives to purchase a home, and mortgage rates and home prices are up – but most buyers have more disposable income, and a higher tax deduction will compensate them for losing their IRS interest and property-tax deductions.
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Respondents said that monetary policy (not the housing market) would be the likely reason for the economy to tip into recession — a shift from the last survey when geopolitical tensions were cited.


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What’s Up With Housing?

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Homeowners associations can institute some ridiculous rules—and some of them can veer into illegal territory.
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Sur Club in St PetersburgSt. Pete’s Newest Emerging Neighborhoods.
Clusters of businesses, housing, academic institutions and agencies focused on marine science, healthcare and innovation are at the center of two emerging neighborhoods.
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Overall, the residential land market in Florida is very strong as a result of the improving economy, combined with the continued influx of almost 1,000 people per day to the state.
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Efforts to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and incorporate innovation, technology and data are expanding the use of alternative valuation methods.
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Respondents claimed their favorite green features were recycling, smoke-free buildings, and walkability, while the most requested green features were recycling and composting, solar panels, and community gardens.


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What’s Up With Housing?

Wishing all our friends a Joyous Mother’s Day weekend.

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More luxury buildings are luring buyers with amenities that lower stress and lead to inner peace, such as meditation courtyards, yoga studios and herb gardens.
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If you plan to buy a home this year, doing it sooner rather than later could save you thousands of dollars over the terms of your loan.
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The number of respondents who said now is a good time to buy a home in a Gallup poll ticked down, but remains well above 50%.
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They missed a step: Recession-wary young adults skipped the starter home and lived in their parents’ basements, where they saved money for a downpayment.
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What is driving the lift? Americans are optimistic about their prospects for selling, with 45 percent believing now is ideal to list—a high point.
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EDGE District, St. PetersburgEDGE District Designated Florida Main Street Program of the Month.
Since its designation in 2014, the EDGE District has received eight awards for outstanding programs, business and volunteers. EDGE is an acronym for “Entertainment, Dining, Galleries and shops, Etcetera.”
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10 Staging Secrets From the Pros for a Quick Home Sale at Top Dollar

Staging Secrets

According to the National Association of Realtors, staging a home prior to listing it can result in a faster and more profitable sale.1 In fact, the Real Estate Staging Association estimates that professionally staged properties spend 73 percent less time on the market, receive more foot traffic, and typically sell for more money.2

Following are 10 tips you can use to get your home “show ready” prior to hitting the market. These easy and cost-effective ideas will help your house look its best—and help buyers visualize themselves living there. Even if you’re not currently in the market to sell, you can use these tactics to breathe new life into your existing home decor.

 

  1. REMOVE CLUTTER

Decluttering is typically the first thing we tell clients to do to prepare their home for sale. And according to the National Association of Realtors, a whopping 93 percent of agents agree.1 Decluttering is the act of removing excess “stuff” from your home to make it appear clean and spacious.

Overflowing closets and cluttered countertops can make your house feel small and cramped. In contrast, sparsely-filled closets and clear countertops will make your home appear larger and assure buyers that there will be plenty of room to store their belongings.

Don’t neglect drawers, cupboards and even your refrigerator in your decluttering efforts. Serious buyers will check out every nook and cranny of your home, so pack up anything you don’t use on a daily basis and store it off site. The same goes for jewelry, sensitive documents, prescription medication, firearms and other items of value. Store them in a locked safe or storage unit before opening your property to buyers.

Make sure any items that remain are clean, tidy and well organized. The good news is, when it comes time to move, a large portion of your packing will be done!

 

 

  1. DEEP CLEAN AND DEODORIZE

From carpets to bathrooms to appliances, having a clean home is a MUST. If you’ve ever checked into a dirty hotel room, you can imagine how buyers can be turned off by a home that hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned.

If you have a large home, or are short on time, you may want to invest in a professional cleaning service. And if you have carpet, we generally recommend you rent a steam cleaner or hire a company to clean your carpets for you.

In addition to cleaning, it’s equally important to neutralize odors in your home that can be off-putting to buyers, especially pet smells and cigarette smoke. If the weather allows, open your windows and let in fresh air. Empty the trash frequently, and especially before a showing. Avoid cooking any strong-smelling food such as fish or heavy spices. You may need to clean (or remove) drapes and upholstery if odors are particularly strong.

Try to keep your home in clean, show-ready condition while it’s on the market. You never know when a potential buyer will want to drop by for a viewing.

 

  1. DEPERSONALIZE

Your family photos and personal mementos are often your most treasured possessions. For many of us, they are what make a house a home. However, buyers will have a hard time envisioning themselves living in a place if it feels like YOUR home.

Pack up any items that are personal to you and your family, such as photos, books, children’s artwork, travel souvenirs and religious items. Collectibles and excessive knickknacks can be distracting to buyers. Instead, keep your decor items minimal and generic to appeal to the largest number of buyers.

 

  1. NEUTRALIZE YOUR COLOR PALETTE

Along those same lines, bold color choices may not appeal to all buyers. By incorporating a neutral color palette throughout your home, buyers can better visualize the addition of their own furniture and decor, which may contrast with your current color scheme.

But don’t limit yourself to white and beige. Incorporating earth tones and midtone neutrals—like mocha and “greige” (grey-beige)—can add a touch of modern sophistication to your decor.3

 

 

One of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to neutralize your home’s decor is with paint. Walls painted in dark, bold or bright colors can turn off buyers. A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color like greige (try Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter) or warm white (such as Kelly-Moore’s Rotunda White) offers a clean palette upon which buyers can visualize adding their own personal touches.4

If your sofa is worn, stained or has a bold pattern, consider purchasing a neutral-colored slipcover. Dated or overly busy window coverings should be taken down or replaced. Instead, bring in tasteful pops of color with throw pillows and accessories.

 

  1. INCREASE YOUR CURB APPEAL

 You only get one chance to make a first impression. According to a 2017 report by the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of home buyers drove by a property after viewing it online but did NOT go inside for a walkthrough.5 That means if your curb appeal is lacking, buyers may never make it through the door.

Walk around your home and look for any neglected areas that might seem like “red flags” to buyers, such as missing roof shingles or rotted siding. Trim trees and shrubs if needed, and make sure your lawn and flower beds are well maintained. Add some colorful flowers to your front beds and/or flower boxes to brighten up your landscaping.

Make sure the exterior of your home is as clean as the interior. This can often be accomplished with a simple garden hose. But if your siding, walkway, or driveway are stained or dingy, you may want to rent a pressure washer.

Thoroughly wash windows and screens, and remove and store dark solar screens if you have them. Open shutters, curtains and blinds, which will not only make your house look more inviting from the outside, it will brighten the inside.

Consider a fresh coat of paint on your front door, trim and shutters. And small, cosmetic improvements like new house numbers, a colorful wreath and a clean front doormat can have a big impact.6

 

  1. FRESHEN KITCHENS AND BATHS

 Kitchens and bathrooms will show better and appear larger if all items are cleared from the countertops, except for one or two decorative pieces.7 You should have already packed up non-essentials during your decluttering process, and the remaining items should be neatly stored in pantries and cupboards.

If your cabinets are dingy or outdated, adding a fresh coat of paint and new hardware is an easy and inexpensive way to make them modern and bright. Consider purchasing new shower curtains, bath mats and towels for the bathrooms and new dish towels for the kitchen.

Before each showing, make sure kitchens and baths are spotless and trash cans are empty and out of sight. To add a comforting aroma, try baking cookies, or in the fall, simmer some cinnamon sticks and cloves in a pot of water before you leave the house. In the spring, try a vase of fresh cut lilacs.7

 

  1. SET THE TABLE

Buyers often imagine hosting family gatherings in their new home, and the dining room plays a large role in that vision. If your dining room chairs are stained or outdated, you may want to recover them or use slipcovers. In most cases, an imperfect table can be camouflaged with a neutral and stylish tablecloth.

Be sure the table is centered underneath the chandelier and on the area rug if you’re using one. If your dining room is small, remove all other furniture and leave only four chairs.8

Dress up the table using nice tableware and cloth napkins or a table runner and centerpiece. For a long table, try lining up a series of small vessels down the middle.

 

 

  1. REARRANGE FURNITURE

Start in your living room and think about what you want to emphasize (and de-emphasize) about the space. For example, do you have a beautiful fireplace or a stunning view? If so, arrange the furniture with that focal point in mind. Use a symmetrical seating arrangement to create a cozy conversation area adjacent to the focal point.

If the room is small, consider removing some of the furniture to make it feel larger, especially oversized pieces. That includes oversized television sets, unless it’s a designated media room. Pulling furniture away from the wall can make the room feel more spacious, and placing your largest furniture piece in the far-left corner (as opposed to near the entry) can create the illusion of a larger space.9

For small bedrooms, remove all the furniture except the bed, bedside tables and a dresser. If it’s a large room, add one or two chairs and a table to create a seating area. Place lamps on the bedside tables and seating area if you have one.10

Make sure each space in your home has a clearly defined purpose. For example, if you’ve been using an extra bedroom as a catch-all storage space, stage it as a guest room or office instead. Turn an awkward alcove into a workstation or a reading corner. Help buyers imagine how they could use the space themselves.3

 

  1. LIGHTEN UP

Lighting can have a drastic impact on the look and feel of a home. Few buyers seek out a dark house; most prefer one that’s light and bright. Make sure windows are clean, and open curtains and blinds to let in the maximum amount of daylight.

Each room should have three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (such as a reading lamp or under-cabinet light), and accent (such as a floor or table lamp). Aim for a goal of 100 total watts per 50 square feet.11 If your mounted light fixtures are dated, replacing them with something more modern is an easy and inexpensive upgrade that can have a big impact.

Strategically placed landscape lighting can add a dramatic effect to your home’s exterior. Welcome evening visitors with a lighted walkway, or use a spotlight to accentuate trees or other landscaping features. Solar lights require no wiring; simply place them in a sunny spot and they will turn on automatically at dusk.

 

  1. HIGHLIGHT YOUR BACKYARD’S BEST FEATURES

 While your home’s interior often takes center stage, don’t forget about staging your home’s outdoor areas to help buyers imagine how they could utilize the space.

Even a small patio can become a selling feature with the addition of a cafe table and chairs. Add a tray of plates and coffee cups to help buyers envision a peaceful breakfast on the back porch. Place chairs and wine glasses around an outdoor firepit or hang a hammock with a book in your favorite shady spot.3 These small, simple additions can help buyers visualize the possibilities your backyard has to offer.

 

BEFORE YOU GET STARTED

 If you’re in the market to sell your home, this list provides a great starting point for your preparations. But nothing beats the trained eye and expertise of a real estate agent. Before you do any work, we recommend consulting a professional for advice about your particular property.

 

Please call or email us today with questions!

Sources:

  1. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/migration_files/reports/2017/2017-profile-of-home-staging-07-06-2017.pdf
  2. Real Estate Staging Association –
    http://www.realestatestagingassociation.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=304550&module_id=164548
  3. Houzz –
    https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/2661221/list/sell-your-home-fast-21-staging-tips
  4. HGTV –
    https://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/10-curb-appeal-tips-from-the-pros-pictures
  5. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/reports/2017/2017-home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends-03-07-2017.pdf
  6. The Spruce –
    https://www.thespruce.com/must-try-neutral-paint-colors-797983
  7. HouseLogic –
    https://www.houselogic.com/sell/preparing-your-home-to-sell/home-staging-checklist/
  8. com –
    http://www.stagemyownhome.com/staging-the-dining-room.html
  9. com –
    https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/small-living-room-staging-tricks/
  10. SFGATE –
    http://homeguides.sfgate.com/stage-master-bedroom-34573.html
  11. HGTV –
    https://www.hgtv.com/shows/designed-to-sell/15-secrets-of-home-staging-pictures