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5 Ways to Organize And Bring Joy To Your Life

by Mayes Harris Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There's an organizing craze happening lately and it is due to a woman by the name of Marie Kondo. She has this show on tv where people invite her into their homes and she shows them how to organize their surroundings. She starts by having the homeowners put all their things in a pile and then they are to sort through each item while asking themselves if each object brings them joy. Personally, I got a little anxiety watching it, but the concept is a good one.

Clutter affects our lives in many ways as does being disorganized. Let's make getting organized a goal this year. It's actually one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions, along with losing weight and finding love, Here are 5 great ways to get started on organizing your life.

1. Create a Cleaning Schedule – Everyone likes a clean home but very few people like a huge cleaning project. Build a schedule which allows you to clean as you go – daily tasks which are quick and easy to accomplish as part of the routine.

2. Pull out the Crock Pot – Planning meals are easy with a crock pot or pressure cooker. Start your evening meal before you leave for work.

3. Enlist Help – Everyone in the household can help out with daily tasks. Hold a meeting and assign each person with tasks and chores that best suit their interests.

4. Set Goals – Create manageable and quantifiable goals and measure the achievement weekly.

5. Prioritize – The most important way to organize your life is to set priorities. Not everything has to be accomplished all at once. Be realistic and start small. Set goals based on what’s most important.

Mayes Harris Team: RE/MAX National Housing Report for December 2018

by Mayes Harris Team

DENVER – December’s declining home sales and growing inventory solidified 2018 as the year the red-hot seller’s market moved toward a balanced market. Price growth also moderated, though December was the 33rd consecutive month of year-over-year increases in home prices, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report, which includes 53 metro areas.
 
December’s year-over-year decline in home sales of 12.1% set a December record in the 10-year history of the report and also marked the fifth consecutive month that home sales were lower than 2017.  December was 2018’s 10th month of year-over-year declines in home sales with only April and July topping 2017 sales.
 
Most telling was December’s 4.6% growth in inventory, which was also a report record. December’s year-over-year inventory increase marked the third consecutive month of growth – a trend reversing a decade-long streak of year-over-year inventory declines.
 
“December’s inventory gain, continuing the three-month growth trend, is welcome news,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The market remains choppy and there’s still a long way to go, but these gains represent steps toward a balanced market, which in the long run is healthy for both buyers and sellers.”
 
While 54 Days on Market was a record low for December sold Listings, the 4.1 Months Supply of Inventory was higher than December 2017’s 3.7 months and ahead of November 2018’s 3.9 months supply.
 
Home buyers paid record amounts throughout 2018 as prices grew year-over-year in every month last year, led by June’s Median Sold Price of $258,500 – an all-time report high. Even so, December’s year-over-year increase of 2.1% was 2018’s smallest, and far lower than the 8.1% price growth from December 2016 to December 2017.
 
“Home sales have cooled, especially during the second half of 2018, but that was inevitable given the strong seller’s market that has persisted for nearly a decade,” Contos said. “We believe sales activity can pick back up if the pace of price escalation continues to moderate, interest rates tick further downward, and wage growth continues.”
 
Closed Transactions 
Of the 53 metro areas surveyed in December 2018, the overall average number of home sales is down -8.5% compared to November 2018, and down -12.1% compared to December 2017. None of the 53 metro areas experienced an increase in sales year-over-year.
 
Median Sales Price – Median of 53 metro median prices
In December 2018, the median of all 53 metro Median Sales Prices was $240,000, up 2.1% from November 2018, and up +2.1% from December 2017. Eight metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price, including Honolulu, HI, -7.7%, Birmingham, AL, -4.6%, and Billings, MT, -2.6%. Five metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, with the largest increases seen in Boise, ID, +13.1%, Wichita, KS, +11.1%, and Salt Lake City, UT, +10.3%.
 
Days on Market – Average of 53 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in December 2018 was 54, up three days from the average in November 2018, and down three days from the December 2017 average. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE, at 26, a tie at 37 in San Francisco, CA, and Salt Lake City, UT, and a tie at 38 in Nashville, TN, and Las Vegas, NV. The highest Days on Market averages were in Trenton, NJ, at 113, a tie at 90 in Augusta, ME, and Hartford, CT, and Burlington, VT, at 88. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.
 
Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 53 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in December 2018 was down -10.8% from November 2018 and up +4.6% from December 2017. Based on the rate of home sales in December, the Months Supply of Inventory increased to 4.1 from 3.9 in November 2018 and increased compared to December 2017 at 3.7. In December 2018, four of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported a months supply over six, including Miami, FL, at 10.9 and Augusta, ME, at 8.9, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory are San Francisco, CA, at 1.8, Denver, CO, at 2.1, and Minneapolis, MN, at 2.2.
 

 

How Rising Interest Rates Affect Purchasing Power

by Mayes Harris Team

You probably instinctively realize that rising interest rates will affect home buyers. The interest rate you pay can make a big difference in the size of the home loan you will qualify for as well as the price of the home you’ll be able to buy. Mortgage brokers use the monthly mortgage payment to determine how much you can afford to pay. Of course the larger the payment, the harder it is to qualify.

Interest Rate And Its Effect On Affordability

All mortgage payments include principal and interest as part of the total cost. Lenders use this payment to determine how much you can borrow for the home loan. Commonly, you can have 31-35% of your total monthly gross income as a loan payment. It follows that you want the principal portion of your home mortgage payment to be as high as it can be so you qualify for a more expensive home.

The below visual illustrates exactly how the interest rate affects your mortgage payment which directly affects your purchasing power.

Risks Of Waiting To Buy

We are still seeing all-time low rates but more increases are predicted. A home mortgage is the best hedge against inflation. By purchasing a home now, you lock in your monthly housing cost, which as we’ve already seen is the largest monthly expense for most families.

Interest rates are one of the biggest factors that affect your ability to finance a home purchase. Along with your credit score and employment history, the amount of interest you pay on the loan has a big impact on affordability.

Top 7 New Year's Resolutions for Sellers

by Mayes Harris Team

With the start of the New Year, thoughts naturally turn to change. If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to sell your home, then making the right resolutions can help you sell your home quickly and for the best possible return.

Top 7 New Year’s Resolutions for Home Sellers

  1. Move Up Spring Cleaning – Time to do your spring cleaning now. Declutter, depersonalize and make the home look roomier.
  2. Stage Your Home – Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, this is the time to rearrange your furniture to make your rooms look bigger and brighter.
  3. Think it Through – Before you spend money on renovations and upgrades, think carefully and don’t overspend by guessing.
  4. Take Care of Neglected Repairs – This is a great time to hire a handyman or break out the tool belt to take care of deferred maintenance and take care of minor repairs.
  5. Interview Real Estate Agents – Hiring a real estate agent is critical to your success. Take the time to interview a number of agents and choose the right one for your needs.
  6. Check out the Competition – Go see homes listed for sale in your area and adjust your timing, staging, and pricing based on the market.
  7. Prepare Mentally – Selling a home can be stressful. Be prepared for low offers, picky buyers, drop-by agents, and odd terms. Prepare yourself now so you will take them in stride when you’re on the market

10 Tips for Bathroom Space

by Mayes Harris Team

Small bathrooms don’t have to be dark and dank. Contrary to popular belief, making a small bathroom appear larger is not as hard as it seems. Here are 10 easy ways to quickly make a small bathroom look bigger.

1. Mirrors – Add larger mirrors to reflect light and provide the illusion of space.
2. Lighten Up – Lighting doesn’t have to be harsh, but adequate lighting is a must.
3. Remove Barriers – Open up the room with clear glass shower doors or shelves.
4. Monotone Decorating – Use the same light colors on walls, countertops, floors, and cabinetry to allow for the eyes to flow through the space.
5. Negative Space – Consider using a pedestal sink which takes less space than traditional cabinets.
6. Declutter – Find locations out of sight for toiletry items.
7. Heads Up – Use the vertical space in the room too, tall cabinets provide storage and add interest to the room.
8. Store Mats and Towels – Keep towels and floor mats out of sight unless in use. A simple hand towel in a complementary color tone is all most guests need.
9. Pocket Doors – Where you have room, use pocket doors or popular barn sliding doors to add extra space inside the bathroom.
10. Glass – Clear glass shower doors is a great way to remove a visual barrier and make the room seem larger.

Hope this has been helpful. 

Top 5 Rooms to Remodel in 2019

by Mayes Harris Team

With the popularity of the home remodeling shows, homeowners across the country are anxious to take out their toolbox and remodel their home too. Most often, remodels are better suited to professionals however, and this can cost significantly more. Regardless of the method, remodeling projects are not inexpensive, so making the best impact for the cost is important. Here are the top 5 rooms to remodel in 2019.

  1. Kitchen – Always a great return on investment. From functional spaces to bona find living areas, add extra seating, lighting and entertaining spaces such as a bar or counter.
  2. Backyard Kitchen/Family Room – The backyard is an extension of the interior. Section off areas for an outdoor kitchen and family room. Add a fireplace or even a TV.
  3. Master Bedroom – Always a place to retreat and refresh. Master bedrooms are getting makeovers with calm soothing paint colors, large picture windows and balconies or patios.
  4. Guest Bathroom – While not often the first thought, a powder room is easy to remodel and gives a great impression. Make the space look larger with a monotone color scheme.
  5. Bonus Room/Media Room – Create a unique family space with a media room or bonus room. Extra space which will bring more than its share of cost when selling.

Winterize Your Vacant Home

by Mayes Harris Team

The cold weather is here even in the South. Regardless of whether you’re packing up a vacation home for the season or simply traveling from your primary residence for a week or two, caring for a vacant home during the winter months is important. Protecting one of your best assets is critical in the colder weather.

  • Keep Your Home From Looking Vacant - Colder weather means fewer neighbors out and about. New technology, such as Alexa, can help you make the home seem occupied. Add a video doorbell and/or CCTV to allow you to “watch” your home from anywhere.
  • Protect Your Pipes – Bursting pipes can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Drain your pipes by opening faucets and flushing toilets, and then turn off the water before you leave.
  • Keep a Minimum Temperature – Even with drained pipes, the home temperature should not drop below 55 degrees. Appliances, hot water heater and other systems still risk damage in freezing temperatures.
  • Perform Preventative Maintenance Before You Leave – In addition to basic upkeep, make sure your systems are working properly. Heating and cooling systems, appliances, wiring and outlets can all create a fire hazard if not in good condition. Unplug all appliances and unnecessary lights before you leave.
  • Have an Emergency Plan – Make sure someone is available for help in an emergency

Fireplace Design Trends

by Mayes Harris Team

The long evenings of the winter months invite families to stay home and enjoy the warmth of their own home. Naturally, attention turns to the fireplace as both providing extra heat and as the focal point of the room. New technology and environmentally friendly design have brought contemporary updates that are sleek, fashionable and playful.

  • Finishing – Fireplace finishes have changed. New products such as the Cool Wall Series open a wide variety of design options by allowing a cool surface as a backdrop for finishes.
  • Wood – Wood burning fireplaces are back in style. Decorative spaces for wood storage are adding architectural interest.
  • Larger Openings – One of the leading trends in fireplace design is enlarging the viewing window of the fireplace. A simple retrofit of an existing fireplace can make a huge difference in the look of any room.
  • Corner Fireplaces – This popular feature of the 1990s is back with modern updates. Two or three-sided fireplaces with sleek styling and elegant accents, such as wood or metal, are providing a centerpiece for rooms.
  • Fireplace Walls – Linear fireplaces that stretch the length of the wall is one trend showing up in model homes across the country. Monotone colors and clean lines finish this modern trend.

As you can see, we have homes with BEAUTIFUL fireplaces. Contact the Mayes Harris Team, RE/MAX Metro to find your next dream home!!

Holiday Décor For Less

by Mayes Harris Team

The holiday season is here. Decorating magazines and storefronts are filled with beautiful wreaths, themed pillows and festive decorations, but this can be expensive. Decking the halls doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Add some freshness to your home this season with these inexpensive ideas.

  • DIY Ornament Wreath – Find some inexpensive ornaments and use your hot glue gun to attach to a wreath shape.
  • Fresh Greenery – Extra cuttings from the tree or even an evergreen in your yard adds charm to your front door, table or mantle.
  • Candles – Real or fake, candles create ambiance throughout the home. Use silver or white candlesticks and holders to contrast with fresh greens for a modern look.
  • Candy Canes – Fill jars or glassware with multi-colored candy canes and leave on coffee tables and dressers.
  • Wrap Your Gifts Early – Nestle wrapped presents under the tree or in piles in corners. Use festive, colorful paper to add to the charm of the room.
  • Holiday Pillows – Discount stores offer inexpensive holiday pillows to through on sofas, beds, and chairs.
  • Fairy Lights – Adding battery powered light strands to wreaths, tucked in greens and trimmings and clear bowls filled with ornaments can add a sparkle to the room.

These are just a few tips for decorating your home this year for less money and have fun doing it.

Market Report October Update: Mecklenburg County

by Mayes Harris Team

Time to do a quick review of the real estate market in Mecklenburg County for October of 2018. Hard to believe we are nearing the end of yet another year. It went fast, didn't it?!

Let's take a look at the summary of a year-over-year comparison for real estate activity in Mecklenburg County starting with October's new Listings. There were 1,958 new Listings in October 2018, which was an 8.1 percent increase from October 2017 where there were 1,811 new Listings.

The median sales price was $250,000 in October 2018, which was a 7.3 percent increase from October 2017, where it was $233,000.

The days on market until sale increased by 6.5 percent to 33 days in October 2018. In the year previous, October 2017, it was 31 days on market until sale.

Here's a nice visual graph which shows a good summarization of year over year changes for Mecklenburg County. New Listings up 8.1 percent, closed sales down 13.6 percent, median sales price up 7.3 percent and months supply of homes increased by 5 percent.

The median sales price chart below shows the direction of the market in an upward motion from 2013 onward. 

If you would like to discuss listing your home or anything about the local real estate market, don't hesitate to reach out. That's what we're here for. 

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 226

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