One of the benefits of being a homeowner is that you build equity over time. By selling your house, that equity can be used toward purchasing your next home. But before you can put it to use, you should understand exactly what equity is and how it grows. Bankrate explains it like this:
"Home equity is the portion of your home you've paid off – in other words, your stake in the property as opposed to the lender's. In practical terms, home equity is the appraised value of your home minus any outstanding mortgage and loan balances."
If you've owned your home for a while, you've likely built up some equity – and you may not even realize how much. Based on data from the U.S Census Bureau and ATTOM, the majority of Americans have a substantial amount of equity right now (see graph below):
And having such large amounts of equity is a benefit to homeowners in more ways than one. Rick Sharga, Executive Vice President of Market Intelligence at ATTOM, explains:
"Record levels of home equity provide security for millions of families, and minimize the chance of another housing market crash like the one we saw in 2008."
Over time, your home equity grows. In addition to providing financial stability while you own your house, when you're ready to sell it, that money could go a long way toward paying for your next home.
By selling your house and leveraging your equity, it can be easier to pay for your next home. Let's connect today so you can find out how much home equity you have and start planning your next move. Reach out to a trusted Montague Miller & Co real estate professional.
Keeping Current Matters
U.S Census Bureau
There are countless reasons that buyers choose one home or another, but one thing is guaranteed: the final decision comes down to emotion. When selling your home, it's essential to do everything you can to help prospective buyers love the property and "see themselves" there.
Even if they are looking at many other properties, the one that resonates with them on a deeper level is the one most likely to finally close the deal. Luckily, you don't have to be a mind-reader to be successful in selling your home. With a few basic "best practices," you'll find yourself with big advantages in the market.
You don't have to do this alone. Your trusted Montague Miller real estate professional will help guide you every step of the process.
Once buyers start telling their friends about a home, they are all but committed. These tips will help you unleash the "wow factor" and get those texts flying faster.
The decision to sell a home isn't one to face lightly. Going through with it means undertaking one of the most complex processes you'll ever undertake. Luckily, the help of a real estate expert simplifies things and makes it a lot less stressful. Still, researching the topic is always a good idea.
The more you know, the easier it'll be to make informed choices throughout the "game." Your real estate pro can offer you expert advice, but the final decision is always up to you.
Let's look at some of the most common "rookie mistakes" that can send your sale to the dugout:
It may sound complicated to sell a home, but it doesn't have to be a hassle. A Montague Miller real estate professional who specializes in homes like yours will be a team player throughout the process. Experience is essential! Now, play ball!
After steadily falling over the winter, mortgage rates have started to rise in recent weeks. This is concerning to some potential homebuyers as the combination of higher mortgage rates and higher prices have made homes less affordable. So, if you're planning to purchase a home this year, you too may be wondering if now's the right time to buy or if you should hold off on your search until rates come back down.
The recent uptick in rates has been driven by what's happening with inflation. Joel Kan, Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), explains:
"Mortgage rates increased across the board last week, pushed higher by market expectations that inflation will persist, thus requiring the Federal Reserve to keep monetary policy restrictive for a longer time."
The most recent weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate reported by Freddie Mac is 6.5%. It's the third week in a row that rates have increased and puts them at the highest point they've been this year (see graph below):
If you're thinking about pausing your home search because rates have started to go up again, you may want to reconsider. This could actually be an opportunity to buy the home you've been searching for. According to the MBA, mortgage applications mortgage applications declined by 13.3% in just one week, so it appears the rise in mortgage rates is leading some potential homebuyers to pull back on their search for a new home.
So, what does that mean for you? If you stay the course, you'll likely face less competition among other buyers when you're looking for a home. This is a welcome relief in a market that has so few homes for sale.
Over the last few weeks, mortgage rates have risen. But that doesn't mean you should delay your plans to buy a home. In fact, it could mean the opposite if you want to take advantage of less buyer competition. Let's connect today to explore the options in our local market.
Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)
No matter how the housing market changes, there are some things about owning a home that never changes—like the personal benefits it can provide. When you own your home, you likely feel a sense of attachment because of the comfort it gives and also because it's a space that's truly yours.
Over the last few years, we've fully embraced the meaning of our homes as we spent more time than ever in them. As a result, the emotional benefits our homes provide have become even more important to us.
As the most recent State of the American Homeowner from Unison puts it:
". . . one thing has stayed the same: the home continues to be of the utmost importance and a place of security and comfort."
The same study from Unison notes:
It's no surprise this study also reveals that homeowners now love their homes even more as our attachments to them have grown:
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also explains:
"In addition to tangible financial benefits, homeownership brings substantial social benefits for [households], communities, and the country as a whole."
In other words, not only does owning a home build your net worth over time, but it also gives you and your loved ones a place to thrive. And by living near people with shared experiences, homeownership helps you connect with your community and contribute meaningfully.
Whether you're thinking of buying your first home, moving up to your dream home, or downsizing to something that better fits your changing lifestyle, a local market expert is the key to unlocking a home you can truly fall in love with.
National Association of Realtors NAR.realtor
Over the past few years, many of us have spent extra time at home—and that means we appreciate the personal design touches that make a house cozy and comfortable more than ever. Some of us have adapted our dwellings in new ways, from creating functional home offices to upgrading the appliances we use most.
But while it's important to make your home your own, it's also smart to think about the long-term impact your renovations could have on its value. Choosing highly-personalized fixtures and finishes can make it harder for future homebuyers to envision themselves in the space. Even if you don't plan to sell your home soon, investing in popular design choices that are likely to stand the test of time will make things easier down the road.
And if you're in the market for a new home, it's wise to keep an eye out for features that might need to be updated soon so you can factor renovation costs into your budget.
We've rounded up six trends that we think will influence interior design in 2023, as well as ideas for how you might incorporate them in your own home. Remember, before taking action, it's always wise to consult with a real estate professional to understand how specific updates and upgrades will affect your property's value in your local market.
For years, home design has been dominated by open-concept floor plans, particularly for kitchen, dining, and living areas. However, as the pandemic forced families to work and study from home, many struggled to find the privacy and separation they needed. As a result, designers report that more families are choosing to bring back kitchen and dining room walls to break up the space and create quieter areas.1
That doesn't mean that we're returning to an era of dark and cramped spaces, however. Even as walls make a return, it's important to take care to retain a sense of flow and openness within the home and to prioritize natural light.
If you're buying or building a new home, consider how you will use the space and whether or not an open floor plan will suit your needs. If you already live in a home with an open floor plan and it isn't working for you, try rearranging furniture and strategically placing pieces like bookshelves, room dividers, or rugs to create distinct areas within the home and reduce noise.
2. Nature-Inspired Design
In the past few years, we've seen the "biophilia" trend explode, and there are no signs that it will be any less popular in 2023.2 This trend is all about bringing the outside in by adding natural touches throughout your home.
This year, design experts predict that natural, sustainable materials like bamboo, cork, and live-edge wood will lend character without being overwhelming. Wooden kitchen cabinets and islands will become more common in 2023, with white oak and walnut among the most popular choices.3,4 Wood will also appear in bathroom vanities and shelving and furniture throughout the home.
Colors inspired by nature (think mossy greens and desert tones) will also play into this trend and will blend seamlessly with wood tones. We're also seeing a return to natural stone countertop materials like quartzite, marble, dark leathered granite, and soapstone.4,5
If you're planning to add new shelving or redo your kitchen, consider turning to these materials to embrace the biophilic look. Or, incorporate elements of the trend by choosing nature-inspired paint colors and adding to your houseplant collection.
3. Lighting as a Design Feature
Spending more time at home has shown us the importance of having the right lighting for specific tasks and times of the day. As a result, many homeowners are reconsidering the ways they light their homes and using light fixtures to change the usability and mood of their spaces.5
In particular, homeowners are rejecting bright, flat overhead lighting and replacing it with lamps and task-specific options. A layered approach to lighting—such as using a combination of under-cabinet, task, and ambient lighting in a kitchen—enables homeowners to tweak the level of light they're using based on the time of day and what they are doing.
In 2023, we expect to see more statement chandeliers, pendants, and wall sconces in a variety of shapes and materials.6 Thinking about switching up the lighting in your home? Start by adding floor or table lamps and swapping out fixtures before you invest in rewiring your space. Take note of what works and what doesn't and watch how the light in your home changes throughout the day. You can then use that information to make lighting decisions that require a bigger investment.
4. More Vibrant Color Palettes
After the long dominance of whites and grays, more vibrant colors are coming back as a way to add character and dimension to homes.
This year, warm and earthy neutrals, jewel tones, and shades of red and pink are particularly popular.7,8 If your style tends toward the subtle, consider options like light, calming greens, blues, and pastels.
Major paint brands have responded to these homeowner preferences with their newest releases. Benjamin Moore's 2023 color of the year, Raspberry Blush, is a lively shade of pinkish coral, while Sherwin William is embracing warm neutrals with Redend Point, a blushing beige.9,10 Behr's choice of the year, Blank Canvas, is a creamy off-white that's a warmer version of the stark whites that have been trending over the past few years.11
If you're planning to put your home on the market soon, it's better to play on the safer side and avoid extremely bold or bright color choices when it comes to paint or fixed finishes like tile and countertops. Instead, try incorporating pops of color through throw pillows, art, and accessories.
5. Curved Furniture and Architectural Accents
Goodbye, sharp corners. In 2023, arches and curves lend a sleek feel that draws on classical design and retro trends while remaining modern.5,8 Rounded corners feel more relaxed and natural than sharp edges, lending more of a sense of flow and comfort to a home.
If you want to incorporate the trend into your new build or remodeling plans, curved kitchen islands and bars and arched alcoves are all good options—or you can take it a step further with arched windows and doorways. You can also carry this trend through to your light fixtures by incorporating a bubble chandelier or globe pendants.
It's easy to embrace this look without renovations, too. Look for a softer feel in furniture, with sofas, chairs, and tables that showcase curved edges. Or, break up your space with an arched folding screen and a circular rug.
6. Art Deco Revival
Art Deco, the architecture and design style that took hold in the 1920s and '30s, is enjoying a resurgence.12
As a style, Art Deco is marked by bold geometry, textures, and colors, as well as an emphasis on art. But the 2023 interpretation of this style is likely to be a bit less splashy than its historical roots. Designers predict that instead of incorporating all of the elements of the style, which could feel overwhelming, homeowners will pick bursts of color or bold accessories to bring some whimsy to their space.
Keep an eye out for vintage mirrors, lamps, or vases that bring a touch of Art Deco glam to your home, or embrace bold colors and fabrics like velvet. Choose pillows and throw blankets in bright colors and geometric patterns to nod to the look without diving in all the way.
DESIGNED TO SELL
Are you thinking about remodeling or making significant design changes to your home? Wondering how those changes might impact your future resale value?
Buyer preferences vary significantly based on your home's neighborhood and price range. We're happy to share our insights on the upgrades that will make it easier (or more difficult!) to sell your home. Give us a call for a free consultation!
The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.
Developing a plan and setting attainable goals are two of the biggest ingredients in the process of selling a home successfully. By understanding what steps you need to take, when you need to take them, and where you can look for help along the way, you'll put yourself in a great position to sell a home quickly while maximizing your return on investment.
This step-by-step guide to selling a house is designed to prepare you for the process and help you achieve your goals.
Step One – Find the Right Real Estate Agent
The first step on our list just might be the most important because finding the right real estate agent will make all the steps that follow so much easier to handle. Remember that you definitely don't have to settle for the first agent you meet unless that agent truly shows that they're the right person to sell your home. Ask around for referrals, interview agents, and find the right agent for your unique needs.
Step Two – Research the Market and Pick a Price
One of the first things that your agent can help you with is understanding your local real estate market, and picking a price that will help get your home sold. Your agent should offer a comparative market analysis (CMA), which will help you understand what other similar homes in your market are selling for, and set a price that attracts competitive offers.
Step Three – Clean, Clear Out Clutter, and Prepare Your Home for Sale
With a great agent on your side and a fair market price chosen for your home, you'll be ready to prepare your home for potential buyers. This is a great opportunity to start the process of moving out: clear clutter, store personal items, and make your home as attractive as possible for buyers. You'll want to clean every inch of your home, from the basement to the master bedroom. Curb appeal is a big deal, too, so make sure that your yard is looking its best.
Step Four – Market Your Home to the Masses
With your home ready for buyers to visit, it's time to start attracting attention and introducing buyers to what you have to offer. Your real estate agent can help you market your home through social media, online listings, and traditional marketing tools. You can also do your part by spreading the word and letting others know that your home is on the market.
Step Five – Prepare for Multiple Offers
By working with an experienced agent, picking the right price, and marketing your home effectively, you'll set yourself up to receive multiple offers on your home. Make sure that you understand exactly what you're looking for from an offer, so you can negotiate the deal that best matches your needs.
Step Six – Negotiate and Close the Deal
All of the work that you do up to this point leads up to the process of negotiating with the buyer and closing the deal. Work closely with your real estate agent to ensure that all of the key legal details are covered and that you're maximizing the value you receive in return for all of the hard work you've done to sell a home.
No matter where you are in the sales process, remember that there's plenty of help available, both from your real estate agent and from other homeowners you trust. Start by following our step-by-step guide, and you'll already be ahead of the game when you decide to sell a home.