Living Houston Archive

  • By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine Photo credit: Behr The paint company Behr has named a rich, bluish hue its 2019 Color of the Year. Blueprint is a mid-tone blue that is described as warmer than denim but softer than navy. Behr is predicting that embracing a full range of blue, teal,and gray will be a key style for home design in 2019. “Layer light and dark blues on walls, cabinets, furniture, and decor for impactful results,” Behr says. The color matches with the jewel tone trend that has been taking off in 2018, which also has seen the popularity […]

    Find Out the New, Hot Home Color for 2019

    By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine Photo credit: Behr The paint company Behr has named a rich, bluish hue its 2019 Color of the Year. Blueprint is a mid-tone blue that is described as warmer than denim but softer than navy. Behr is predicting that embracing a full range of blue, teal,and gray will be a key style for home design in 2019. “Layer light and dark blues on walls, cabinets, furniture, and decor for impactful results,” Behr says. The color matches with the jewel tone trend that has been taking off in 2018, which also has seen the popularity […]

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  • Summer is slipping away, and if you’re feeling the heat but think you’ve missed the boat on vacationing, the consumer editors at Reader’s Digest say it’s not too late to find a bargain. Granted, the best deals on air travel and some vacation packages are offered months in advance. But Digest editors wrested a few cool tips from Toronto-based travel agent Brian Simpson on getting the best deals on last-minute travel: Don’t confuse “last-minute” with “short notice.” Last-minute travel is generally accepted to mean short-notice travel, taking place within about 14 days from when you booked. However, short-notice travel means […]

    5 Secrets for Getting the Best Last-Minute Travel Deals

    Summer is slipping away, and if you’re feeling the heat but think you’ve missed the boat on vacationing, the consumer editors at Reader’s Digest say it’s not too late to find a bargain. Granted, the best deals on air travel and some vacation packages are offered months in advance. But Digest editors wrested a few cool tips from Toronto-based travel agent Brian Simpson on getting the best deals on last-minute travel: Don’t confuse “last-minute” with “short notice.” Last-minute travel is generally accepted to mean short-notice travel, taking place within about 14 days from when you booked. However, short-notice travel means […]

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  • By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource A lot of real estate agents are looking for a good, reliable home stager that can magically transform their listings into the price point their seller is hoping to achieve. The trouble and confusion sometimes comes when the real estate professional asks a few home stagers to “bid” or present a proposal on their vacant home. BEFORE AFTER Photo credit: HSR Certified Helen Bartlett of Refined Interior Staging Solutions in Kansas City The vacant staging proposal price can range anywhere from $1,500 to $8,000 for a smaller home, so do you just pick the […]

    How to Understand Home Staging Pricing and Proposals: Do’s and Don’ts

    By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource A lot of real estate agents are looking for a good, reliable home stager that can magically transform their listings into the price point their seller is hoping to achieve. The trouble and confusion sometimes comes when the real estate professional asks a few home stagers to “bid” or present a proposal on their vacant home. BEFORE AFTER Photo credit: HSR Certified Helen Bartlett of Refined Interior Staging Solutions in Kansas City The vacant staging proposal price can range anywhere from $1,500 to $8,000 for a smaller home, so do you just pick the […]

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  • By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating What is the key to staging a home in appealing to a broad demographic? Presenting a property’s main rooms so buyers can see its true potential beyond what they read in the listing. A room showcased in a way that features the best use of the space will not only get noticed but will increase the perceived value and ultimately reduce the time spent on the market. The following are some examples of rooms that were “styled to sell” by meeting targeted buyer specific needs. Feature a Room’s Original Purpose […]

    Before and After Photos: How Staging Can Make a Big Difference

    By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating What is the key to staging a home in appealing to a broad demographic? Presenting a property’s main rooms so buyers can see its true potential beyond what they read in the listing. A room showcased in a way that features the best use of the space will not only get noticed but will increase the perceived value and ultimately reduce the time spent on the market. The following are some examples of rooms that were “styled to sell” by meeting targeted buyer specific needs. Feature a Room’s Original Purpose […]

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  • Home stager: Justin M. Riordan, founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency, with offices in Portland, Ore., and Seattle The home: This Portland, Ore., home was a “complete and total fixer,” Riordan says. But it wasn’t anything that some savvy staging couldn’t fix. The 3,180-square-foot home was built in 1906 and features five bedrooms, 3.5 baths. It’s listed for $875,000. Riordan’s Staging Tips: Photo Credit: Justin Riordan, Spade and Archer Design Agency When staging a home, stick with neutral rugs with little to no pattern. This will keep the the rugs from distracting from the house itself. Photo Credit: Justin […]

    Staged to Sell: A Fixer Upper to Show Stopper

    Home stager: Justin M. Riordan, founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency, with offices in Portland, Ore., and Seattle The home: This Portland, Ore., home was a “complete and total fixer,” Riordan says. But it wasn’t anything that some savvy staging couldn’t fix. The 3,180-square-foot home was built in 1906 and features five bedrooms, 3.5 baths. It’s listed for $875,000. Riordan’s Staging Tips: Photo Credit: Justin Riordan, Spade and Archer Design Agency When staging a home, stick with neutral rugs with little to no pattern. This will keep the the rugs from distracting from the house itself. Photo Credit: Justin […]

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  • Where will housing be in 2020? According to the latest Metrostudy predictions, if all continues on its current track, construction costs could continue to increase, and mortgage rates could reel in. While rates have increased in the last six months, impacting affordability, the rise is not significant according to historical trends, says Mark Bound, chief economist and senior vice president at Metrostudy, a provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and residential construction industries. In the long term, Boud predicts mortgage interest rates will top out at 5.8 percent in 2020 and 2021, eventually being pulled down […]

    Housing in 2020: Construction Costs Grow, Mortgage Rates Slow

    Where will housing be in 2020? According to the latest Metrostudy predictions, if all continues on its current track, construction costs could continue to increase, and mortgage rates could reel in. While rates have increased in the last six months, impacting affordability, the rise is not significant according to historical trends, says Mark Bound, chief economist and senior vice president at Metrostudy, a provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and residential construction industries. In the long term, Boud predicts mortgage interest rates will top out at 5.8 percent in 2020 and 2021, eventually being pulled down […]

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  • With Social Security trust fund reserves waning—predicted to be depleted by 2034, leaving Social Security unable to maintain full scheduled benefits—and the number of retirees expecting to receive benefits increasing, more and more Americans are relying on 401(k) savings to support their retirement living. In fact, Statista estimates there are 41.2 million households who presently own a 401(k) plan in the U.S. How does auto-enrollment fit in with these tax-advantaged savings accounts? There’s a clear benefit, as recently determined by 401(k) record-keeper Alight Solutions LLC in its 2017 Trends & Experience in Defined Contributions Plans report. Far more individuals contribute […]

    401(k) Auto-Enrollment Connected to Early Withdrawals, With Housing Implications

    With Social Security trust fund reserves waning—predicted to be depleted by 2034, leaving Social Security unable to maintain full scheduled benefits—and the number of retirees expecting to receive benefits increasing, more and more Americans are relying on 401(k) savings to support their retirement living. In fact, Statista estimates there are 41.2 million households who presently own a 401(k) plan in the U.S. How does auto-enrollment fit in with these tax-advantaged savings accounts? There’s a clear benefit, as recently determined by 401(k) record-keeper Alight Solutions LLC in its 2017 Trends & Experience in Defined Contributions Plans report. Far more individuals contribute […]

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  • One of the biggest challenges for first-time homebuyers is saving. Coming up with a down payment is a hurdle for the majority of millennials, shows study after study—but, there are areas where the average earnings are enough to save sufficiently, according to an analysis recently released by RealEstate.com. The easiest market? Chicago, where the average first-timer can save 20 percent for a starter in just over three years. 1. Chicago, Ill. Annual Household Income for Millennials: $50,500 Annual Millennial Savings: $10,821 Median Starter Value: $177,300 Down Payment (20%): $35,460Savings Timeline: 3 years, 3 months 2. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas Annual Household […]

    Challenged by a Down Payment? The Easiest Markets to Save For

    One of the biggest challenges for first-time homebuyers is saving. Coming up with a down payment is a hurdle for the majority of millennials, shows study after study—but, there are areas where the average earnings are enough to save sufficiently, according to an analysis recently released by RealEstate.com. The easiest market? Chicago, where the average first-timer can save 20 percent for a starter in just over three years. 1. Chicago, Ill. Annual Household Income for Millennials: $50,500 Annual Millennial Savings: $10,821 Median Starter Value: $177,300 Down Payment (20%): $35,460Savings Timeline: 3 years, 3 months 2. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas Annual Household […]

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