May 31, 2016

Housing Predictions for the Rest of 2016

The Daily Real Estate News has just published its housing predictions for the remainder of 2016. The bottom line? Freddie Mac economists remain upbeat about the housing market’s outlook for the rest of the year… which means 2016 is a GREAT year to buy a new home!
“We’ve revised down our forecast for economic growth to reflect the recent data for the first quarter, but our outlook for the balance of the year remains modestly optimistic for the economy,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “However, we maintain our positive view on housing. In fact, the declines in long-term interest rates that accompanied much of the recent news should increase mortgage market activity, particularly refinance.”
Freddie Mac’s predictions for the remainder of 2016 include:
  1. The labor market will stay strong. The unemployment rate is projected to drop back below 5 percent for 2016 and 2017. 
  1. Loan originations are estimated to rise by $50 billion in 2016 and reach $1.7 billion. The forecasted boost is a result of low mortgage rates that are fueling a refinancing boom.
  1. Low mortgage rates should stick around longer. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.7 percent in the first quarter.
  1. Home prices will rise by 4.8 in 2016 and by another 3.5 percent in 2017. These rising home prices will lead home owners’ to see more equity gains.
These recent predictions should give comfort and confidence to those searching for a new home. The combination of lower unemployment rates, lower mortgage rates and rising home prices makes it clear that if you want to make a good investment, buying and owning a home NOW is the way to go – contact us today to learn more about how you can find your new home at Elite Homes!

May 24, 2016

Designing your Home for an Open Floor Plan

Open Floor Plans allow many options, but sometimes getting the right look is a challenge. Here are some tips to help you bring it all together...with style.

1. Color — Thread color throughout to achieve design continuity. Wall color, pops of color...a solid color scheme ties the open design together.

2. Flooring — The best rule here is “keep it consistent”. Try to use as much of one material as possible in open areas. It’s best not to transition from wood flooring to tile, especially if the openings between rooms are large. Rugs are perfect for breaking up a room with a consistent flooring type, outlining specific spaces while adding a sense of sophistication.

3. Art & Accessories — Use pillows and artwork to introduce new colors and patterns, but try to keep the accent colors consistent throughout, as well. Use a distinct light fixture to set a space apart from other “rooms” within the open plan.

4. Furniture — Open floor plans need unity. Similar types of wood. Similarly colored pieces. These will serve well to tie the “rooms” or zones together. Bring furniture off of walls to balance the room. Have pieces of furniture to identify each “room within a room”. Place your sofa between the living and dining areas to create a delineation. Consider putting a credenza behind the sofa to help vertically divide the space.

5. Window Treatments — Select curtains that you can pull wide open during the day to allow for the abundant natural light that the open design incorporates. Translucent, lightweight fabrics — lace, linen, sheer cotton — give a bright, roomy feel and still deliver privacy. Consider hanging draperies inside rooms, not just in front of windows, for a dramatic, stylish effect. 

May 18, 2016

Keeping your Pet Calm During the Move

So you’re moving into a new home – what an exciting time! Your pet(s) may need some extra love and attention to keep them safe, comfortable and happy. Relocating pets takes understanding, care and an investment of time that starts long before moving day!

Before the move
-Pack gradually, so your pet will get accustomed to change. Choose one room in your house, and fill it with items your pet loves. On moving day, keep your pet in this room until you're ready to leave.  
-Take a trial run. If your pet is not used to traveling by car, make short trips with it a week or two in advance. Cats are often frightened by car travel, but they usually adjust quickly.
-Pack a bag for your pet, filled with fresh food, treats, water, two bowls, toys, a leash and some long-lasting edible or durable chew toys.

On the road
-Plan to make a few stops. This will allow your pet to get a drink, stretch their legs and take a restroom break. (Remember your pet is very excited about the change in scenery and may need to potty more frequently.)
-Not all moves are done in one day. If you are on the road, call pet-friendly hotels along your route and verify individual pet policies. 

If you’re flying…
-Call the professionals. If possible, use a certified pet carrier service to relocate your pet to ensure that the pet’s travel will go smoothly.
-Check with the airline. If traveling by air, check the airline requirements so you can take steps to keep your pet safe. Some airlines allow pets in the cabin, depending on the animal’s size.

New home sweet home
-Food and water first. Once your pet is in the new location, make sure that he or she gets food and water. Place the bowls several feet from each other, though, so that your pet pet doesn’t gulp down the water too fast. 
-Once you are in the new location, keep your pet in a quiet place of your home, during the unpacking. Introduce him or her gradually to their new surroundings. 

-Settle in to your new home. Once your pet is home, be sure to spend time with him or her. They’ve earned it, and it’s also important that your pet feels comfortable before letting them roam the house or walk off the leash!

May 10, 2016

Use Professional Design Tricks to Create Unforgettable Spaces

Everyone loves to visit model homes, design centers and showrooms. You get to see and touch and experience a home you probably don’t live in – but could!  (Who hasn’t envisioned having a gorgeous gourmet kitchen or a luxurious spa bathroom or an adorable themed children’s room?)  

While living in an ultra-designed home may not be on your horizon, you can use some designer “tricks of the trade” to create memorable – and welcoming – spaces in your home.
·                 -Timeless design can be updated or adapted to a growing family.  Beware of anything that’s too trendy. 
           -Make a statement with furnishings, art, and accessories.
·                 -Choose classic finishes and colors for anything permanent (i.e. flooring, wall paneling).
·       Regardless of its design, your home should reflect the family that lives there!

The Kitchen.  While today’s kitchens tend to be 
heavy on large stainless steel appliances, you can soften things up a bit with comfy banquettes, warm wood tables, soft, plush area rugs, and warmer colors like reds and oranges.  Keep a bowl of fruit and a basket of granola bars handy for starving children and guests.

The Family Room. Usually the heart of the home, the family room should be sturdy and comfortable, allowing roughhousing, sleep-overs, movie nights and daily life with equal aplomb. This room needs: comfortable sofas and chairs, squishy, fuzzy, fluffy pillows and throws, durable floor coverings, and lots of personal touches like family pix or kid art on the walls.

The Master Bedroom. Next to the family room, the master bedroom is probably the most common family hub. Kids, pets, laundry, broken toys, stacks of books, art projects… everything winds up here at some point. Yet this space can also be your oasis. Choose serene colors, nice fabrics, an upholstered headboard – anything that can help you find some peace and quiet, while everyone snuggles in your bed at once!

The Master Bath. The bathroom is a great way to give yourself some luxury. Elegant materials like marble and onyx, used in interesting ways, offset with cool blues and greens and interesting accessories, can make your master bath feel like it’s in a 4-star hotel.

The Kids’ Space. Children have obsessions – racecars, panda bears, comic books, outer space, Barbie dolls, singing & dancing, bugs, Harry Potter. Gather one or two special items that feed into their fixation – posters, pillows, lamps, area rugs – and balance it all with some neutrals so it doesn’t get too overwhelming.

The Nursery. Who says everything has to be drowning in pastels? Go for charm and elegance with sophisticated neutrals (grays and beiges), and add a little sparkle with crystal light fixtures and interesting wall art.