Fences & Flowers

The CB Bain Blog

Updating your own place is one of the many enjoyable aspects of owning a home. Everyone loves to dream. Sites like Houzz and Pinterest are popular because planning a project is so much fun. King 5 television recently discussed a Remodeling Magazine study of the amount of return on investment (ROI) for certain home upgrades, naming the top 5 for Seattle. While homeowners are hopeful that an upgrade will increase their home’s value, not all projects are created equal. Although updating the kitchen and bathrooms have generally been at the top of any list, this year they have been displaced by those items that have to do with curb appeal.

An ethical and hardworking real estate broker has the best interests of the client in mind at all times. When working with a seller, it’s clear that we want her to benefit financially as much as possible from the sale of her home. But, that’s only the end result. The best brokers will also initiate some hard discussions about what it will take to show the home and its features in the best possible light. 

Mismatching colors may have been the rage in the 80’s, but in today’s real estate market, you may want to avoid stark contrasting colors and materials. Planning is a major component to a house sale. Much preparation may be done over the months leading up to listing. In fact, during the years living in your house, the décor you choose may eventually play a part in your overall value when you do decide to sell. Have fun, be original and make your house your own, but remember, miss-matching could cost you money. The following are some common mistakes that sellers make when trying to maximize value:

In Seattle, where median home prices jumped $20,000 in a single month to $777,000, homebuyers are beginning to consider whether a home’s aesthetics and functionality warrant its purchase price. Sellers are also feeling the pressure of competition where it’s becoming necessary to pay for neglected repairs, consider minor renovations, apply a fresh coat of paint and stage the home appropriately in the hopes of attracting a hoard of buyers.

These days, you can’t seem to go anywhere without someone talking about real estate values. A common discussion of how much value a homeowner’s house has gained can be heard at most any get together or neighborhood Starbucks. With the press constantly writing about the real estate market, these discussions can be quite competitive. Depending on where you live in King County, last year, your value may have increased between 10-20 percent. While someone living in Seattle has seen some of the largest gains in the country, the rest of King County has also benefited from our region’s demand. But how has the rest of King County increased compared to Seattle, and is the big city really the big winner in this value battle?  

Rightfully so, future homeowners have lots of questions about how the new tax laws affect presumed advantages to owning a home. It’s true that some significant changes took effect January 1, 2018 such as the allowable interest deduction on mortgage loans and the deduction of state and local taxes which also includes the payment of property taxes.

Dreams of home ownership are often sparked by major life events, including college graduation, marriage, children, and retirement. The need for space, comfort, convenience, tax breaks and the satisfaction of being a homeowner spurs many renters into buying. And surprise! Dog owners are driving the buying trend.

Late boomers, like myself, are busy people. We’re still raising kids or about to send them off to college. Many of us are at the apex of our careers or juggling fast-paced schedules at home for everyone in the family. Adding to the fever pitch, we’re often already caring for aging parents.

From the outside peering in, it looks like a lot of fun to be a millennial. After all, as a group they grew up surrounded by electronics and have no fear finding digital solutions to just about everything, like buying groceries or eye glasses or streaming entertainment choices on demand. But when it comes to buying a house, well things are tougher for them.

I just heard from my longtime pal, Steve, who shared the news that he and his wife had just sold their beautiful houseand would be moving in three weeks. I was surprisedto hear this because theirsweet little bungalow was their empty-nester home, the smaller place they’d down-sized into after their kids had grown and gone and begun families of their own. Plus, Steve’s green thumb had turned the yard into a real standout. But things change and now, to be nearer the grandkids, a move was in order.



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