January 2015

Found 22 blog entries for January 2015.

snow_ingehogenbijl_450realtor.com - To celebrate the season, Michael and Sandra Genova on Friday threw open the 12-foot-wide back doors of their Spokane, Wash., home and let their 40 or so guests enjoy the deck, prime rib and panoramic views of the city and mountains. The temperature: the high 30s.

Mitigating the wintry weather are two infrared heaters installed in the ceiling of their outdoor lounge area. The warm air blankets the space, outfitted with plush furniture, a television and built-in barbecue. At the foot of the deck is a fire pit. For more adventuresome guests, there’s also a hot tub. The Genovas spent about $500,000 on their backyard to make sure parties al fresco could still be fun in frigid weather, said Mr. Genova, 55 and the owner of a company that makes

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box_3dfoto_450zillow.com - If your house is bursting at the seams, with every cabinet and closet filled to the brim, the solution to your storage woes may be as close as your garage. To make the best use of this space, however, you first need to corral its current chaos.

This is, fortunately, a relatively simple task if you incorporate a few good storage ideas. With careful planning and a little effort, you can transform your garage from a messy catchall to an efficient, well-organized household annex.

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photo:  ©[3D Foto]/123RF.COM

 

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construction__zarja_450realtor.com - Home builders are ramping up their construction of speculative homes—those built without a buyer lined up in advance—in anticipation that the recent pickup in sales will carry through to the spring home-buying season.

At the end of December, builders had 218,000 homes listed for sale that either were under construction or completed, according to Commerce Department data released Tuesday.

That is up 17.2% from a year earlier, indicating that builders are optimistic that spring sales will exceed last year’s lackluster result.

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interest__max5128_450zillow.com - Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages were unchanged this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgages at 3.58 percent, the same rate as this time last week.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered between 3.58 percent and 3.83 percent before settling at the current rate.

“Rates were on a roller coaster last week but settled roughly where they started, holding near 20-month lows,” said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages at Zillow. “U.S. domestic data are expected to play a prominent role this week with Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee statement and Friday’s GDP report, but international news could still drive markets. Overall, we expect rates to remain flat over the next week.”

To read more of

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menhouse_sellingpix_450realtor.com - First impressions count.

You may not be able to tell a book by its cover, but you’ll likely pay more for a book if the cover is charming and attractive.

If your home is for sale, or soon will be, creating a positive first impression is one of the most important things you can do. Thankfully, it’s not hard. Here are 12 steps you can take; most of them fall under simple maintenance and organization, but some of them could possibly help you decide when it’s time to move.

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Photo:  ©[sellingpix]/123RF.COM

 

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housekeys_voronin_450This was a big week for housing data, with more signs pointing toward demand building. The key question for the housing market will be whether new and existing home supply will follow suit.

New construction starts in December were up 4.4%, inching closer to an annualized rate of 1.1 million, which we have not seen since 2007. The increase was driven by single-family, which is a good early sign that homebuilders are gearing production for greater demand in the spring. The December pace of single-family starts was 728,000 units, the highest number since March 2008.

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Photo:  ©[Voronin]/123RF.COM

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houseinfingers_lehui_450zillow.com - Thinking about taking on some small home improvement projects to boost the value of your home? Here are some smart upgrades and fixes that won’t cost a lot, but could help you clinch a deal if you’re trying to sell.

Consider curb appeal

First impressions are everything, and potential buyers often decide whether they’re interested in a home within seconds. As they’re walking toward your house, they’re asking themselves, “Could I live here?”

Keep the walkway swept and tidy, and spruce up your entryway landscaping with well-placed shrubs, new plants and trimmed hedges. And don’t underestimate the power of a new front door, fence or mailbox.

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Photo: ©[lehui]/123RF.COM

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homealexanderstulov_450realtor.com - It’s time to move on. You’ve decided to sell your home and embark on a new adventure.

Unfortunately, potential buyers don’t care about how long you obsessed over choosing the perfect bathroom tiles or the number of carpenters you interviewed to make the perfect built-in bookcase. To the buyer, those items may not matter to the value of the home, even if you think they should.

When it’s time to sell, you have to price your home right, using tangible factors. To read more about the six rules to remember, click the related link below:

Photo:  ©[Alexander Stulov]/123RF.COM

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snow_ingehogenbijl_450zillow.com - Although traditionally spring and fall are the prime seasons for selling a home, circumstances sometimes require homeowners to put their property on the market during the winter. The good news is that, given access to mobile apps and so much information online, selling in mid-winter may not be so tough.

The supply of homes for sale (your competition) is light, and buyers are still looking. If you have to list your home during the winter, you’ll get a pass on landscaping and some curb appeal issues. But there are some important points to consider when listing your home during the cold months.

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greenhouse_buchachon_450realtor.com - If you’re looking into buying a home, consider going green.

The cost of a green home may not differ greatly from that of a nongreen home, but the energy-efficient model should provide savings almost immediately. With the cost of water, electricity, and gas fluctuating, finding ways to protect the environment while saving cash each month is a win-win situation.

If you want to read more about byuing green, click the related link below:

Photo:  ©[buchachon]/123RF.COM

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