Is There a Shift in Perceptions of the Housing Market?

For the past five quarters, the majority of Americans said their housing markets were overheating. Now, in the fourth quarter, 75 percent of Americans say their local housing market is starting to cool, according to Value Insured’s Q4 2018 Modern Homebuyer Survey. Homeowners in California, Colorado, Texas, and Washington are most likely to say their local market is starting to cool off.

The survey “revealed some concerning evidence about the changing psychology of the housing market,” says Robert Shiller, a housing economist. “We will be watching these numbers as they unfold over the future.”

Seventy-two percent of Americans and 78 percent of “urban residents” say home prices are still too high. Urban homeowners blame “flippers and speculative investors” and “wealthy transplants from more expensive housing markets” for inflating their local home prices to unsustainable levels, according to the report.

Some home buyers may hit the pause button to see what happens in the housing market. Fifty-nine percent of interested home buyers (which includes first-time and move-up buyers) say they plan to wait for a “meaningful correction” before they buy. Fourteen percent say they plan to not buy at all until a correction occurs.

Several markets are seeing home prices slow. Value Insured’s report notes that the fastest drops in home prices have been happening in Seattle, and North Texas has seen some of its largest sales declines in seven years.

“Buyers have switched from ‘hoop jumpers’ to bargain-hunter mode,” says Joe Melendez, CEO and founder of Value Insured.




8 Best Upgrades to Personalize Your New Home

Before you move into your new house, you may want to make upgrades. These add value to your investment, improve your home’s function and allow you to express your personality. Plus, making upgrades before you move in reduces inconvenience later. Consider the following upgrades to make your new house feel like home.

Enhance the Kitchen

Quality kitchen upgrades ensure the room meets your family’s needs, and add value to your home. Consider several changes that improve the quality and function of your kitchen:

  • Get high-end, energy- or water-saving appliances.

  • Lower the bar counter from 42 to 36 inches so it’s more accessible.

  • Install quartz countertops.

  • Add lighting under the counters.

  • Choose matching fixtures and hardware.

Worried about staying on budget while renovating the most expensive room in the house? According to HomeAdvisor’s Kitchen Cost Guide, it costs the average homeowner between $12,500 and $33,500 for a full kitchen remodel.

Redo the Flooring

It’s definitely easier and more affordable to upgrade a house’s flooring before you arrange all the furniture. Consider stain-resistant carpeting in high-traffic areas, or install hardwood in connected rooms for a sleek appearance.

Update the Bathroom

Spruce up a bathroom already in the house or add an additional bathroom before your move. When renovating a bathroom, consider your current and future needs, such as your family size or entertaining habits. Several possible changes include:

  • Install a double sink.

  • Install a walk-in shower or Jacuzzi tub.

  • Choose decorative shower, floor or wall tile.

  • Customize the lighting or fixtures.

  • Hang extra shelves for storage.

Bring in New Cabinetry

Before you unpack all your possessions, install new cabinetry that helps you get and stay organized. The kitchen and bathroom cabinets have a big effect on your home’s function and appearance. Choose cabinet finishes and designs that match your personal style and color scheme. You can hang the old cabinets in the garage or attic to expand your storage space.

Update Electrical Wiring

Older houses may have outdated wiring, or you may find that you need additional outlets in certain rooms. Walk through your house, visualize how you will use each room and plan any electrical wiring updates. With help from an electrician, you can add outlets in the living room to accommodate your gaming systems or wire the den ceiling for a new fan.

Wire for Internet Service

Improve security and speed in your new home with wired internet throughout the house. It allows you to install and use a variety of electronics, including security cameras, in any room. Full-house wired internet also prevents outside users and hackers from accessing your network and potentially harming your family.

Add Lots of Storage

Getting extra storage throughout your house before you move helps you completely unpack and organize your home the way you want. The price of installing a new closet is about $1,800, as found on HomeAdvisor. Choose from a variety of cabinet types, shelving, and overhead storage designs and materials that match your needs and preferences.

Transform the Laundry Room

While you probably plan to use your laundry room primarily for laundry, you may wish to transform it into a functioning pantry, drop zone or mudroom. Rearrange the washing machine and dryer hookup to make room for pantry storage. Consider adding a bench and hooks for shoes, backpacks and umbrellas, too.




Source: Rismedia



The Essentials Checklist for Newly Married Homeowners

Life does not end right after the wedding. In fact, it’s when the marriage life begins. Moving to a new home with your partner sounds exciting and fun. At the same time though, this chapter opens up to a whole new array of responsibilities and worries. Don’t fret too quickly as you are not alone to fulfill these. In this article, we will list down five essentials that newly married homeowners should keep in mind.

1. Set Up Electricity Line

A home may not be functional without electricity. At least this is considering that we live in a modern day’s world. When moving to a new home, do not forget to check your electricity connection and billing. This should be under your name and not anybody else’s. Otherwise, you might be connected to illegal electricity lines. Also check indoor and outdoor electric cables and make sure they are all safe and organized.

2. Check Water Pipes

Peek under the basins. Water faucets must be clean and unclogged. The water pipes must not be rusty and dirty, whether the house is new or abandoned for quite a long time. Newly wed homeowners must also check the water pumps and the disaster recovery solutions to keep water running. There must be no leaks in machineries to prevent high costs and conserve water diligently. A wise move is to ask around and survey about plumbing before finally settling in.

3. Move Important Appliances In

For most couples, watching TV or movies is one of the common bonding activities together. The television set must be an essential part of the home. You can have more units depending on the necessity. The washing machine, refrigerator, oven, water heater, clothes dryer, and food processors are some of the other examples.

Apart from those, there are appliances that you might not want to share. For instance, sharing an only computer or only one telephone may be the cause of a dispute. In this case, buying another one of the same appliance would be most ideal.

4. Kill and Prevent Bugs

Bugs and pesky insects are troublesome in any home. They are the least a newlywed couple wants to distract them in their honeymoon stage. To be sure, knowing ways on how to kill these unfriendly tiny organisms is to set up ways on baiting them. For example, a good way for termite control is to install baiting and monitoring stations to have them hooked and never come back.

5. Be Accountable

There should be a separate list of chores for the wife and the husband to avoid disputes. For sure, there are a lot of things to do and manage in a new home. As well, misunderstandings might arise when these chores are not designated and delegated properly. It is very important to be held accountable to certain tasks as this will impact every decision to be made at home. Familiarize yourself with each other’s moods. As people say, you don’t really know the person you are marrying into unless you stay with the person under one roof. Establish commitments and be accountable for them.


When moving to your home as newly married homeowners, there are a countless number of tips that are essential to living together peacefully. These five things are only basic. Keep in mind that changing of door locks should be the first thing to do when you get inside the house. Also be reminded to taxes to file for real estate and consistently check for house maintenance to prevent high costs to pay later on.



Source:  Julianne Hernandez @RealtyTimes

How to Make Your House a Smart Home

One way to build out a smart home is to buy lots of components—sensors, smart bulbs, security cameras, speakers, and whatnot—and connect them all to a hub that helps them communicate with each other and with you, via your smartphone. But let’s be real: That can involve spending a lot of money and investing a lot of time. And for some people, it’s just overkill. If your wants and needs are simpler, just a few relatively inexpensive products will deliver most of the conveniences a high-end smart home can deliver, and on a much more modest budget.

And if you make sure those smart home products are compatible with each other, you’ll build a solid foundation that you can expand over time. The key is knowing which smart home products don’t depend on a smart home hub to operate. While hubs offer advantages—the most important of which is having a single user interface to control everything—they’re not always essential. One thing you must have, however, is a good wireless router—ideally one that can reach all corners of your home.

Here some of the a few common ways you can build a hub-free smart home system.

Smart lighting

For most people interested in living in a smart home, lighting is the entry point. Many smart lighting systems work perfectly well without a central hub and are still capable of interacting with other smart home elements. Some bulbs communicate over Wi-Fi, while some others communicate via the Bluetooth radio in your smartphone. You can control any of these smart bulbs with an app on your smartphone or tablet, which you can also use to program lighting scenes and schedules.

If most of your home’s lighting is in the ceiling and controlled by a switch on the wall, you might be better served by replacing those dumb switches with smart switches and dimmers, instead. That’s because a smart bulb becomes dumb the instant you turn off the switch controlling it.

If you use lamps for most of your lighting, a smart plug such as the Wemo Mini will enable you to turn the lamp on and off—and dim its dumb light bulb—with a smartphone app.

Smart speakers

What’s more convenient than pulling out your smartphone to dim the lights on movie night? Saying “dim the lights” and having a smart speaker linked to your smart lighting do it for you. The Amazon Echo series and Google Home series are the market leaders in this space. And while Amazon has held the lead for the past few years—it has a much larger installed base, has enjoyed much broader support, and had the only smart speakers with displays for a time—Google is coming on very strong. You’ll increasingly find the two companies’ digital assistants—Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant—in unique third-party products as well.

Smart thermostats

Few smart home devices can match a smart thermostat ability to deliver both comfort and cost/energy savings. These devices go far beyond establishing a heating and cooling schedule based on when you anticipate being home to enjoy those benefits. They can detect when you’re home and when you’re away, so that your HVAC system operates only when it’s needed.

The latest trend on this front is to equip thermostats with sensors that you can put in the rooms you occupy most frequently, so that the thermostat operates on the basis of where you are in the house, instead of triggering heating and cooling cycles based on the thermostat’s location, which is typically in a hallway you only ever pass through.

Home security cameras

A quality home security camera will enable you to keep a watchful eye on your home, especially while you’re away. Indoor models can help you monitor your children and pets, while outdoor models can catch prowlers in the act—and hopefully discourage them from coming around in the first place.

Some models incorporate lights that can illuminate your way. Cameras incorporated into doorbells can monitor your front porch and let you interact with visitors without needing to approach the door—or even be home at the time.