Amir Korangy joins us to talk about real estate mogul-turned presidential candidate Donald Trump, and the influence of power-playing developers in shaping New York City’s famous skyline.
Yesterday, we discussed the reasons why homeownership makes sense, financially. Today we wanted to touch on the emotional or ‘real’ reasons that many Americans strive to become homeowners.
The top 4 reasons to own a home cited by respondents were not financial.
1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good education
From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.
2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safe
It is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the #2 reason.
3. It allows you to have more space for your family
Whether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list.
4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovations and updates
Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home?
The 5th reason on the list, is the #1 financial reason to buy a home as seen by respondents:
5. Owning a home is a good way to build up wealth that can be passed along to my family
Either way you are paying a mortgage. Why not lock in your housing expense now with an investment that will build equity that you can borrow against in the future?
Whether you are a first time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in their life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home.
This Felton, California home combines traditional passive-solar strategies with new-age materials.
Is it better to rent or buy a home in today’s housing market?
The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major markets for comparison. The researchers use a “'horse race' comparison between an individual that is buying a home and an individual that rents a similar quality home and reinvests all monies otherwise invested in homeownership.”
Ken Johnson Ph.D., Real Estate Economist & Professor at Florida Atlantic University, and one of the index’s authors states:
“The nation as a whole is in buy territory. Continued near record low mortgage rates, unsteady stock market performance, and rents (on average) now out pacing the cost of ownership (maintenance, taxes, insurance, etc.) all combine to favor owning and building wealth through home equity over renting and reinvesting in a portfolio of stocks and bonds.”
Dallas, Denver and Houston currently remain deep in rent territory but, “there is some degree of good news from these markets for homeowners as the cost of renting is now increasing at a faster rate than the cost of homeownership — reducing the advantage of renting over buying.”
Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. Rents are predicted to increase substantially in the next year, so lock in your housing cost with a mortgage payment now.
A home energy audit might not be at the top of your to-do list, but if you’re getting your home market-ready, here’s why you should make it a priority.
If you’ve ever been in the market to buy or sell a house, you’re probably familiar with a few key questions when it comes to utilities. Septic or sewer? Oil or gas? And how much will it cost to heat and cool this place?
The answer to those questions can affect the final offer, because what buyers want to know is, how much will this place really cost me? The monthly mortgage payment is one consideration, but ongoing maintenance and utility bills are also part of a smart consumer’s equation.
In other words, an energy-efficient house is an attractive house. So while a home energy audit might not be at the top of your to-do list when getting your home market-ready, it should be. In fact, in some states, an energy audit is required before selling a home.
Energy labels for homes exist — LEED ("Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design") and Energy Star, for example — but you don’t need an official (and sometimes expensive) title to reap the benefits of efficiency. What you do need is an energy audit from a reputable provider who can measure your home’s performance. Is it drafty? How’s the HVAC? Is the insulation effective? Think of this as the equivalent of a miles-per-gallon rating for your home.
With that in mind, here’s how an energy audit before selling a home can boost your property’s value when it’s time to sell.
1. Show you where to put the money
A home energy analysis, such as the Home Energy Rating System Index, provides a detailed report regarding energy problems and fixes. Results in hand, you’ll know where to put your home improvement dollars, making your home more attractive to prospective buyers.
2. Lower utility bills
Once you know where to make cost-effective fixes, you can pinpoint the ROI on those upgrades, large or small. Repairing caulking, say, or sealing a fireplace may be key to reduce your monthly energy bills. Alternatively, a bigger investment, such as replacing old windows, could cost more upfront but make a bigger impact on the value of your home overall.
3. Competitive advantage
Ok…you’ve decided this is the weekend you’re going to embrace your inner DIY’er and paint your kitchen! You run down to the paint store and pick up what looks to be the most fabulous shade of paint you’ve ever seen.
You spend the entire day painting your kitchen and realize after its dry…YIKES!!! This paint color looks horrible! Oh…my gosh!!! What do I do now?!!!
We’ve all been there before and can certainly relate to this type of mistake. Before you go and invest in any kind of paint, or major renovation project in your kitchen, find out more about 6 types of kitchen design mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Not Working with a Professional
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when deciding to undertake a major kitchen renovation is not working with a professional.
A professional kitchen designer will be able to help you plan your new kitchen layout, and incorporate things you may or may not be thinking about like ample storage space and countertop space. In addition they will also be able to assist you with the proper measurements and making sure you’re ordering the correct size upper and lower cabinets.
At TheRTAStore.com our friendly kitchen designers are trained to think about all of the small details to help give you piece of mind so your next kitchen remodel will be a stress free experience.
2. Following Kitchen Trends
We all love the shiny new object that comes out every year, but the thing with trends is that they are here today and gone tomorrow. While it may seem like a great idea to choose the latest high-end appliances or the “it” color of the moment, a couple of months from now that shiny, pricy, slick new item may never get you a return on your investment.
An excellent way to save yourself a lot of heartache and money is to do your research up front and make an informed decision before investing in trendy items.
3. Not Enough Lighting
Just like beautiful jewelry can help to finish off the perfect outfit, excellent lighting can help to define your kitchen space. Not providing enough lighting in your kitchen can make it feel dark, small, and cramped.
When planning out your next kitchen remodel, work with a design professional who can assist you with planning the right amount of light for your kitchen that will aid in making your space feel larger, brighter, and more airy.
The 30,000-square-foot mansion was built on the former Frick estate
The Garden State’s most expensive listing is only eight miles from Manhattan — and comes with a storied past.
The property belongs to Richard Kurtz, founder of the real-estate company Kamson Corporation. In 2006, Kurtz bought a 60-acre estate — which included a 1930s English manor house — from the heirs of Henry Clay Frick II, the grandson of the American steel magnate of the same name.
There was one stipulation: the 86-year-old Frick must be allowed to live in the mansion for the rest of his life.
We know. It’s tax season and you’re knee-deep in paperwork and you already dipped into your savings to remodel your home last year and now you have to pay more money to the IRS and you just want it all to end already.
Wait, back the truck up. Did you say you remodeled your home? You might be in luck. If you’ve made the right kind of renovations, you could deduct the expense or even get a tax credit—which promises to significantly lower (or even eliminate) the amount you owe to the IRS. And if you’re planning to renovate—or even to buy a home that could require renovations—you’d do well to approach it so you can reap these rewards, too.
Here are four big renovations that can lower your tax bill.
Under the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit, homeowners can receive a tax credit for alternative energy equipment installed in your home.
(Yes, that’s a tax credit, which is directly subtracted from the amount you owe, as opposed to a deduction, which simply lowers your taxable income.)
Homeowners receive credit for up to 30% of the cost of purchasing and installing “alternative energy equipment,” defined by the IRS as solar electric systems, solar water heaters, wind turbines, or geothermal heat pumps. You can also receive credits for residential fuel cells, capped at $500 per kilowatt of energy capacity.
Granted, these are all expensive additions—a wind turbine capable of powering your entire property costs $30,000 on average—but they pay back big, come tax time.
RENOVATING ONE BEDROOM INTO ANOTHER SPACE
Home renovation mistakes
Pondering about having your very own crafting room or knocking down the walls between two bedrooms to make a bigger one? Stop! Think about the future when it will be time to sell your home. Having 2 bedrooms instead of 3 can cost you a few tens of thousands of dollars.
As a general rule, houses with more bedrooms command higher prices because listings are typically grouped together based on the number of rooms (and toilets and baths). Fewer bedrooms can also mean that fewer people will be interested to even look at your future listing. 3 bedroom homes sell the most, more so for families. Unless you have more than 3 bedrooms, then it would be wise to really think long and hard before deciding to renovate your home into one with fewer bedrooms.
While you can’t often change the architecture of your home, you can change your decor when you want to mix things up a bit. With winter wrapping up and spring on its way in, you might be looking to refresh your home with a few quick fixes and updates.
Adding new window treatments is an inexpensive way to transform your space. They complement your existing style, but they also give you a little wiggle room to experiment. Consider how much privacy you need, how much light you want to allow, the level of insulation you’d prefer and your budget before choosing your new window coverings. With all those aspects in mind, we’ve chosen three of our favorite options to help you get started.
Curtains are at the top of our window treatment list due to their versatility and ability to take any room from drab to fab. Because you have such a plethora of options to choose from, it’s best to know ahead of time what you want your curtains to do. If you’re looking for privacy, especially for first-floor bedrooms and bathrooms, we recommend darker panels or lined curtains. Dark panels hide your windows best and lend a moody, romantic vibe to the room. They are also a great striking and graphic element for a space that needs a little jolt.
Curtains can also distract from an undesirable view, like an alley or your next-door neighbor’s fence. If privacy isn’t an issue, opt for sheer curtains. They’re a timeless style, and can soften a room that has busy patterns or harsher tones. If you have any asymmetrical windows, sheer curtains also help to balance them, lending symmetry to your space. If you want a softly lit room, opt for sheer curtains with light lining for a romantic dimming effect.
Tress Realty Group compiles some of the best real estate news, tips, and information for buyers, sellers and investors.