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Discover a world of knowledge! From buying and selling advice and local market news to home renovation tips and community events - it's all here! Feel free to leave a comment or question on any blog and you will surely receive a response.

Wednesday Jan 26th, 2022 Share

December 2021 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey: Fewer Buyers Waiving Appraisal, Inspection Contract Contingencies

By: Scholastica (Gay) Cororaton   The fraction of buyers who are waiving appraisal and inspection contract contingencies has been trending downwards in recent months, according to NAR’s December 2021 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, a survey of REALTOR® transactions. In the December survey, 19% of buyers waived the inspection contract contingency, down from a peak of 27% in July 2021, while 21% of buyers waived...

Friday Jan 21st, 2022 Share

Street Seats Provide a Gathering Space in the New Normal

By: Marlo Paventi Dilts   Written by Marlo Paventi Dilts, Senior Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs, Long Island Board of REALTORS® COVID-19 showed us that we needed to think fast about how we can gather in a way that is safe and takes into consideration open-air concepts and physical distance – and, for us,  parklets were the answer! In collaboration with Street Plans, the Rockaway Brewing...

Thursday Jan 13th, 2022 Share

Outdoor Living Rooms for Yearlong Enjoyment

By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey   Are you maximizing your outdoor space? Outdoor rooms are becoming a prime entertainment and relaxation spot, no matter the season. Firepits and patio heaters help to extend the time homeowners can enjoy these areas throughout the year.   Home remodeling site Houzz highlighted “outdoor living rooms that look like indoor rooms” as one of the top home trends to watch in 2022. Houzz...

Wednesday Jan 5th, 2022 Share

How to Help Your Clients Downsize—and Have Fun Doing It

    By: Catherine Mesick   Lisa and Michel Zujar, a married couple from Richmond, Va., sit side by side and exclaim over the colorful, hand-drawn illustrations that have just been presented to them. Created for a book they had self-published, the original images had been lost for years. The Zujars are guests on the second season of the Emmy-nominated(link is external) PBS series, “Legacy List with...

Wednesday Dec 29th, 2021 Share

Ring in the New Year by Planning a New Destination in your Neighborhood

By: Holly Moskerintz   It’s a new year and it’s time to think about what you can do to make your community a better place to live and to reflect back on how REALTORS® did just that. “REALTORS® don’t only sell homes; they sell neighborhoods and communities. REALTORS® aid in improving and revitalizing neighborhoods with smart growth initiatives, helping create walkable, urban centers,...

Wednesday Dec 22nd, 2021 Share

November 2021 Existing Home Sales Increase for Third Consecutive Month

By: Michael Hyman   NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this November increased 1.9% from October 2021, the third consecutive month of increase. November’s existing-home sales reached a 6.46 million seasonally adjusted annual rates. November’s sales of existing homes declined 2.2% from November 2020, reflecting the off-season bump in sales in the second half of 2020 as...

Monday Dec 13th, 2021 Share

Show Off a Super Luxe Dining Room

By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey   During the holidays, the dining room often becomes a showpiece when entertaining family and friends. Top designers from across the country show off their favorite looks and offer up tips for spotlighting this entertainment space in a glamorous way. Painted Walls Mary Patton of Mary Patton Design(link is external) loves incorporating head-turning wall color, dramatic drapery, and unique...

Thursday Dec 9th, 2021 Share

6 Nontraditional Holiday Decorating Trends

Credit to the creator of this article. Festive holiday decor doesn’t have to be limited to the traditional red-and-green motif. In fact, the latest trends trade in the traditional holiday accents for more subtle decor that blends into a home’s existing style. Here are a few trending holiday looks this year: 1. Metallics with blue. Metallics continue to be a huge holiday decorating trend. Silver and gold are popular colors for shiny ornaments and accessories....

Wednesday Dec 1st, 2021 Share

6 Home Office Trends to Watch

By Dave Adams, BDI Furniture The home office is one of the most coveted spaces in a home. Find out what styles are trending for this room or how to create one when square footage is tight. 1. Home buyers are looking for homes with dedicated office spaces. Photo courtesy: BDI Furniture With the housing market exploding, many homebuyers who work remotely need a dedicated office space. Home offices are no longer an afterthought; it’s now essential, and you should pay...

Tuesday Nov 23rd, 2021 Share

All Decked Out: Tasteful Holiday Decor Ideas

By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey   Photo credit: Center of It All, Centerofitalldesigns.com A home stager may ask that owners remove festive decor when listing a home during the holidays. But such displays are being used to accentuate a home’s best features, conjure up warm and cozy vibes, or even draw attention to a structural element in the home. Get inspired with some holiday decorations from the design work...

Thursday Nov 18th, 2021 Share

Strong Potential for Office-to-Housing Conversion of Class B Buildings in Metro Areas Impacted by the Pandemic

By: Scholastica (Gay) Cororaton   Apartment demand is soaring at a decade-high level, while office vacancy rates have spiked, and hybrid working-from-home situations are emerging to be the new normal. This has prompted the question of converting vacant office buildings into housing, particularly multifamily rental housing or owner-occupied condominiums. NAR's latest study―Analysis and Case Studies on Office-to-Housing...

Thursday Nov 11th, 2021 Share

Best Home Staging Makeovers: Earthy Vibes, Textured Fabrics

By: Audra Slinkey   Fall is in the air, and it’s a great time to get some inspiration for making your listings cozier. The Home Staging Resource’s monthly “Best of the Best” program recognizes top designs from its members, and October’s honorees are noted for using earthy, nature-inspired colors and textured fabrics. Take some pointers from their designs and apply them to your own listing. Wallpaper...

Thursday Nov 4th, 2021 Share

Instant Reaction: Mortgage Rates, November 4, 2021

By: Nadia Evangelou   According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 3.09% from 3.14%. This is good news for homebuyers and homeowners who want to refinance. Although mortgage rates dropped this week, expect rates to rise in the following months due to the Fed's policies and persistently elevated inflation. Starting later this month, the Fed will slowly reduce its monthly bond purchases. This strategy is...

Thursday Oct 28th, 2021 Share

10 Horrifying Home Design Trends: 2021 Edition

By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey   Home trends come and go, but designers hope some will vanish faster. At the Styled, Staged & Sold blog, we compile an annual list of the “scariest” home design fads. This year, we’re highlighting trends that may start to make a property look dated. Here’s what’s giving home designers the frights. 10. Sliding Barn Doors As the farmhouse style loses traction, barn...

Friday Oct 22nd, 2021 Share

Bathroom Renovation Ideas From Top Designers

Bathroom renovations are among the most valuable home improvement projects your clients can undertake. A mid-range bathroom remodel can return up to 57% of the investment at the time of resale, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2019 Remodeling Impact Report. REALTORS® also cites remodeled bathrooms as one of the top-selling points to home buyers. Interior designers and bathroom renovation experts offer their best tips and tricks for creating a bathroom...

Thursday Oct 14th, 2021 Share

REALTORS® Park — It Took a Village

By: Dale Meller   Written by Dale Meller, Association Executive, Beaver Creek Area Association of REALTORS® In the Fall of 2019, I approached Lisbon, Ohio Mayor Roger Gallo to present a copy of "On Common Ground" and discuss how the Beaver Creek Area Association of REALTORS® (BCAAR) might serve the community. Not long after that visit, Village Councilman (and now Mayor) Peter Wilson contacted me to follow up....

Friday Oct 8th, 2021 Share

Hot Home Trend: The Accent Wall Is Back

By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey   Make a bold statement with just one wall. The accent or statement wall is coming back as a home trend in 2021, says Brian Santos, director of education for Fresh Coat Painters, a nationwide painting firm, who are also known as the “Wall Wizard.” Statement walls also pay homage to another hot trend emerging in home design: the influence of the “Roaring Twenties.” Santos says...

Thursday Sep 30th, 2021 Share

Instant Reaction: Mortgage Rates, September 30, 2021

By: Nadia Evangelou   Mortgage rates rose sharply this week following the trend of the 10-year Treasury yield. Specifically, according to the finance mortgage provider Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 3.01% from 2.88% the previous week. While rates were below 3% for the last nearly four months, it seems that rates at the 2% range are likely over. Inflation has risen above the 2% target since April....

Monday Sep 20th, 2021 Share

Best Home Staging Makeovers: Bright Colors, Coastal Vibes

By: Audra Slinkey   Get inspired for your own listings with the Home Staging Resource’s(link is external) “Best of the Best” awards, recognizing home stagers for their designs. The before and after photos(link is external) from August entries on HSR’s Facebook Group, Stagers Connect,(link is external) show the impact staging can make on a home. Peruse...

Monday Sep 13th, 2021 Share

6 Emerging Home Trends to Watch

By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey   With more time spent on activities in the home, flexible design is becoming increasingly important to homeowners. Also, homeowners are looking for ways to bring more outdoor elements inside. These are among the latest home trends, according to Houzz, a home design and remodeling resource. Houzz researchers identified the top emerging home design trends based on search insights from homeowners and...

Monday Sep 6th, 2021 Share

Happy Hour at Home: How to Stage a Home's Bar Area

A small bar area in a home can offer up some fancy design. After all, you may be celebrating happy hour more often at home after a long day of remote work. So, don’t overlook the bar as a staging area. Top designers weigh in with some of their favorite inspirations and tips for a home bar. Find Your Entertaining Corner Photo credit: Patrick Cline "When first deciding where to install your home bar, think about the areas in your home where you do the most entertaining...

Thursday Aug 26th, 2021 Share

Instant Reaction: Mortgage Rates, August 26, 2021

By: Nadia Evangelou   "Mortgage rates showed little movement this week despite positive news on the Delta variant. According to the mortgage finance provider Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate inched up to 2.87% from 2.86% the previous week. Thus, mortgage rates stayed below 3% for the last 9 weeks. What comes next? Mortgage rates will likely rise in the following months as inflation may last longer than expected....

Monday Aug 23rd, 2021 Share

Concrete Furnishings Add a Modern Touch to the Outdoors

By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey   Outdoor furniture made of concrete has become trendy. At first, it can seem like a harsh, gray addition to an outdoor space. But a touch of concrete—like in tables or pavers—can actually offer a very contemporary vibe. You don’t want all cement furnishings outside; that would be too heavy of a look. But concrete can offer great contrast when mixed with wicker and teak furniture. If...

Wednesday Aug 18th, 2021 Share

Get Ready for Park(ing) Day

Although PARK(ing) Day(link is external) isn’t until September, specifically the third Friday in September, now is the perfect time to start planning.    So first, what is PARK(ing) Day? PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide one-day event where citizens convert metered parking spaces into public parks and open spaces sometimes referred to as parklets(link is external).  The day is intended to encourage creative placemaking, particularly in places where...

Thursday Aug 12th, 2021 Share

Instant Reaction: Mortgage Rates, August 12, 2021

By: Nadia Evangelou   "A strong labor market and higher consumer and producer prices overshadowed COVID-19 concerns, raising yield and mortgage rates. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.35% from 1.19% the previous week. Respectively, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased to 2.87% from 2.77%. Nevertheless, even with this increase, mortgage rates are still near historic lows. A year ago, the 30-year fixed-mortgage rate was...

Monday Aug 9th, 2021 Share

4 Simple Ways to Show Off the Kitchen

By Krisztina Bell, No Vacancy Home Staging Inc. The kitchen is the third most popular room to stage, behind the master bedroom and the living room, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2021 Profile of Home Staging. It’s also one of the most important spaces that potential buyers look at when choosing a home to buy. Several kitchen trends are gaining traction, including intense, veiny countertop designs, statement lighting with a contemporary twist, and...

Friday Aug 6th, 2021 Share

Marketing Listings with a Delicious Twist

By: Catherine Mesick   REALTOR® Tina Newby hosts an online cooking show in her sellers’ kitchens, and buyers are eating it up. You will too when you see the recipe Newby shared with Culture Scan! Baking a fresh batch of cookies in a house for sale is a time-honored method of making a kitchen seem more enticing to buyers. But Tina Newby, an agent with Team Realty and Investment Solutions in Tampa Bay, Fla., takes it a...

Friday Jul 30th, 2021 Share

Pending Home Sales Decline 1.9% in June 2021

By: Michael Hyman   NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that June's pending home sales pace declined 1.9% last month and fell 1.9% from a year ago. Pending sales represent homes that have a signed contract to purchase on them but have yet to close. They tend to lead existing-home sales data by 1 to 2 months. Three of the four regions showed declines from a year ago. The South had the...

Monday Jul 26th, 2021 Share

How to Create an Outdoor Oasis for Under $400

By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey   You don’t have to spend a fortune to give your outdoor space more impact. Shelby Greene, a studio stylist at furniture retailer Living Spaces, offers some tips to transform the yard—whether big or small—on a tight budget. Lounging space: “Create a space where you and your guests can relax and soak up the nice weather,” Greene says. “To turn a backyard into a...

Wednesday Jul 14th, 2021 Share

Community Joins Together for First-of-Its-Kind Storybook Trail

By: Melissa Kolodziej   Written by Melissa Kolodziej, Director of Community Relations, Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS® In late 2019, Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS® (RRAR) started a new journey in community engagement and relationship building. We recognized that if we truly wanted to be the best advocates for our members and ask the “tough” questions of our elected leaders, we needed to...

Tuesday Jul 13th, 2021 Share

Apartment Occupancy Gains Reach Decade-High

By: Scholastica (Gay) Cororaton   Apartment occupancy has increased in nearly all markets since the pandemic The apartment market is booming. Based on NAR's analysis of CoStar market data in 138 markets1, net absorption (change in number of occupied units) rose by 207,035 units in 2021 Q2 from the prior quarter. In 2019 Q2, a pre-pandemic period, net absorption was only 116,526 units, about half the current pace of...

Monday Jul 12th, 2021 Share

The Transformation of the Garage

By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey   Since the pandemic began, homeowners have had to figure out how to make every square inch of their properties usable. Lately, they’re looking to the garage, adding functionality to the space besides just for parking. The garage also could serve as a gym, play area, or home office. Aaron Cash, cofounder of home improvement firm Garage Living, says homeowners are taking a particular interest in...

Friday Jul 9th, 2021 Share

Housing Affordability Falls in May as Home Prices Rise Faster than Income

By: Michael Hyman   At the national level, housing affordability declined in May compared to a year ago according to NAR's Housing Affordability Index, as the median family incomes rose modestly by 1.2% while the monthly mortgage payment increased 20%. The effective 30-year fixed mortgage rate1 was 3.01% this May compared to 3.29% one year ago, but the median existing-home sales price rose 24.4% from one year...

Tuesday Jul 6th, 2021 Share

Making the Most of Your Career

By: Catherine Mesick   “There are three places we can be in life financially,” said Ian Pruckner, speaking to host Aaron Amuchastegui, in a recent episode of the Real Estate Rockstars podcast(link is external). “We can live in the land of not enough. I remember what that’s like…The lack of money consumes you. Every decision you make is being made out of a position of lack. “The second...

Monday Jul 5th, 2021 Share

6 Tips to Bring Your Curb Appeal Back to Life This Summer

Submitted by HomeLight(link is external) If you’re looking to cash in on this booming seller’s housing market,(link is external) you may want to put more focus on the home’s exterior. A home’s outward appearance plays a big role in whether potential buyers want to tour the interior. HomeLight, a real estate referral company, offers up several ways to give the home’s curb appeal an instant makeover: Lisa Romerein / Stone / Getty...

Friday Jul 2nd, 2021 Share

Instant Reaction: Jobs, July 2, 2021

By: Lawrence Yun   “A strong 850,000 net new jobs were added in June. Residential construction workers and general contractors rose by 15,200, showing that more homes will be completed in the upcoming months and more housing inventory will be added. Commercial real estate shaved 11,700 construction and contractor jobs in June, marking a third straight month of decline, which assures no oversupply in the office and retail...

Wednesday Jun 23rd, 2021 Share

More Homebuyers Making 20% Down Payments and Waiving Appraisal and Inspection Contract Contingencies

By: Scholastica (Gay) Cororaton   Homebuyers who make a 20% down payment and waive appraisal and inspection contingencies are on the rise, based on the May 2021 REALTORS® Confidence Index (RCI) Survey which reports monthly transactions from a random sample of REALTORS®1. Among all buyers2 who obtained a mortgage in May, the share of mortgages associated with at least a 20% down payment rose to 52% in May...

Wednesday Jun 23rd, 2021 Share

The Before and After – Part 18

By: Holly Moskerintz   The National Association of REALTORS® encourages our state and local REALTOR® Associations to partner with others to make their communities better places to live. Our Placemaking Grant is available to our REALTOR® Associations to help fund the creation of new public spaces and destinations in a community. Since the launch of the grant in 2014, we have approved over $1.2 million in funding in over...

Monday Jun 21st, 2021 Share

A Pandemic Makeover

By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey (link is external) Interior designer Esther Dormer sought to give an old space a new life. She bought a dilapidated unit in an abandoned, 80-year-old building in Pittsburgh in March 2020, recognizing the potential in its stunning cityscape views and desirable location near restaurants and shops. Dormer spent last summer rehabbing the place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every room in the house needed work. The...

Friday Jun 18th, 2021 Share

Home Design for Dads

Submitted by A Design Partnership(link is external) A Design Partnership, a public relations firm for designers, asked some of its leading clients nationwide to show off their favorite dad-inspired home designs. Use their creative works below as inspiration to make a Father’s Day gift list for dads who may be looking to spruce up their homes. The Pampered Dad Designer Marlaina Teich(link is external) recently completed a project for a professional New York baseball...

Thursday Jun 17th, 2021 Share

Instant Reaction, Mortgage Rates, June 17, 2021

By: Nadia Evangelou Mortgage rates dropped further this week, although the Fed revised upward their forecast about inflation. Specifically, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 2.93% from 2.96% the previous week. In fact, mortgage rates remain at or below 3.00% for the ninth straight week. Thus, many homebuyers can benefit from these low rates while home prices are reaching record highs. Since 85% of buyers finance their home...

Monday Jun 7th, 2021 Share

Instant Reaction: Jobs, June 4, 2021

"The job market continues to make progress with 551,000 net new additions in May. Another 7 million jobs are still needed to get us back to pre-pandemic conditions. Construction jobs got a boost of 4,400 from homebuilding but were lower by 2,500 for residential general contractors. More lumber is needed but there were 1,100 fewer workers in the logging industry. In commercial real estate, there were 500 more jobs in the construction of buildings but a reduction of 16,800 general...

Tuesday Jun 1st, 2021 Share

We Remember, Today and Always

We remember and honor those who gave all.

Tuesday Jun 1st, 2021 Share

6 Reasons to Celebrate National Homeownership Month

Our homes are so much more than the houses we live in. For many, they’ve also become our workplaces, schools for our children, and safe harbors in which we’ve weathered the toughest moments of a global pandemic. Today, 65.6% of Americans call their homes their own, a rate that has risen to its highest point in 8 years. As National Homeownership Month kicks off this June, homeowners have every reason to celebrate. A survey by Gallup just ranked real estate as...

Tuesday Jun 1st, 2021 Share

4 Trends That Make the Windows Shine

By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey     Windows are becoming a greater focal point in home design. Trendy black-trimmed exterior windows are gaining popularity, and more emphasis is being placed on showcasing windows from inside as well. Windows connect the indoors and outdoors and satisfy yearnings for nature for homeowners quarantining inside. Here are some ways windows are being showcased more in home design. 1. Black-trimmed,...
Most Popular Interior Styles in Every State

Friday May 21st, 2021 Share

Most Popular Interior Styles in Every State

Rebuilding a Park to Make “Panhandle Strong”

Friday May 21st, 2021 Share

Rebuilding a Park to Make “Panhandle Strong”

Your Critical Role in Today's Market

Friday May 21st, 2021 Share

Your Critical Role in Today's Market

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