This is such a special time of year; a time for family and friends, a time for celebrating, a time for lights and festivities. Of course, holiday decorating is one of our most favorite things! A fireplace is almost always a focal point in the room and the options for mantle decor are endless! We love seeing greenery with twinkle lights adorn a mantle. A family portrait or colorful wreath above the mantle are timeless options. Stockings, baskets of blankets, blooming paperwhites, mantel runners that coordinate with pillows…we’re JOYFUL just thinking about it! If you don’t have a mantle, you could use a big chunky shelf or even a sideboard or entry table to hang your stockings. You can even get creative with storing your firewood.
Fireplaces have a strong, positive effect on the value of a home. Over half of hearth owners consider their fireplace to be a major design feature in their home. The consumer estimate for the average increase in home value from adding a hearth appliance is approximately $2,750. Not to mention, using a fireplace as a supplemental heat source also helps decrease utility bills. “Nothing sets the scene for romance and cozy at-home ambiance more effectively than a working fireplace. Unfortunately, behind the toasty perfection of an autumn or winter fire is the need for maintenance and the occasional repair of your fireplace chimney.” Be sure to have your chimney checked out by a qualified expert on a regular basis.
-Midtown Chimney Sweeps
We sincerely wish you and yours the very best this season! Stay cozy!
Mortgage Update from One of Our Preferred Lenders
Mortgage rates continue to hold steady with Conventional loans ranging from the mid to upper 3% range while FHA, USDA, and VA loans are floating at about the low to mid 3% range making it a great time to buy for either first time homebuyers or buyers who were not able to qualify last year when rates were hovering around 5%. We have also just experienced the intent of an increase in the conforming loan limits to over $510,000 in 2020 from the previous $484,350 limit which will make higher price point homes more accessible to borrowers and allow them to have increased leverage and purchasing power. In more good news, we have recently seen the unemployment rate dip to 3.5% which tells us that more people will have the capital required to make home purchases in the upcoming year. We are also seeing an increase in refinances with home owners who are looking to either consolidate their high interest debt, or withdraw cash to make improvements to their home. Despite 2020 being an election year, mortgage rates are expected to remain steady which will keep the market primed for anyone looking to purchase a home.
-Update provided by Alexander Realejo, Legacy Home Loans
A Few Reasons to Sell Your Home in the Winter
Spring is typically the most popular season for selling homes, so during the winter there is less inventory. Less inventory = less competition. Winter months also allow owners to show demonstrate the maintenance and readiness to handle harsh elements. Statistics show that there are more birthdays in September than other time of year, so new parents may be looking to upgrade to a new, more spacious home after baby has been home and settled. Buyers tend to be more serious compared to other months when there are more folks ‘just browsing’ or simply curious. Year-end bonuses mean more people have money to spend on a home. Additionally, January/February are bigger months for corporate relocation. These buyers typically have time restraints and are ready to move quickly.
Holiday Tips When Thinking of Buying or Selling
Get a clear perspective: Windows are considered to be the eyes of the home. Getting your windows professionally cleaned is a good idea anyway, but for buyers, your home will sparkle all the more brightly and your view will be optimally displayed. Pay special attention to the front door and make sure the area is swept clean and free of cobwebs and clutter. Ensure lighting is sufficient in all areas of the house, show of your de-cluttered space. Make sure the dining room table is clear and maybe add a fresh tablecloth or flower arrangement. Ensure furniture is placed in such a way that it doesn’t block natural pathways into and through each room. Beds should be positioned opposite the door. Place mirrors across from windows with great views. Consider what buyers might think during the first 2-3 minutes after entering your home. Remember less is more!