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Tulsa Real Estate For Sale and Information Updates

Tulsa Real Estate For Sale and Information Updates

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June Housing Scorecard: New-and Existing-Home Sales Up

June Housing Scorecard: New-and Existing-Home Sales Up


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury recently released the June edition of the Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard – a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market. The latest data show progress among key indicators, including growing equity and a rebound in the sale of new and existing homes. While this scorecard notes positive overall trends in the housing market, officials caution that more work needs to be done as the economy recovers from the Great Recession. The full Housing Scorecard is available online at www.hud.gov/scorecard.

“The June Housing Scorecard shows the housing market continues to make progress as we move into the summer months,” says HUD Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research Katherine O’Regan. “Sales of new and existing homes are up, equity continues to grow, and foreclosures starts continue trending down. While these are all signs of a healthy recovery, given the severity of the housing crisis, we must stay committed to helping homeowners.”

“Although the housing market continues to improve, Treasury remains committed to helping homeowners who are still struggling to make their mortgage payments,” says Treasury Acting Assistant Secretary Tim Bowler. “To date, more than 1.3 million homeowners have received a permanent modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), saving an estimated $28.2 billion in mortgage payments.”

The June Housing Scorecard features key data on the health of the housing market and the impact of the Administration’s foreclosure prevention programs, including:

Purchases of new homes surged by 18.6 percent in May. New-home sales rebounded to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 504,000 in May, following sales of 425,000 in April, and were up 16.9 percent from one year ago. Purchases of new homes rose in May by the biggest monthly gain in 22 years (since January 1992) and to the highest level since May 2008, indicating that home sales are rebounding from a severe-weather induced lull during the previous two quarters. (Source: HUD and Census Bureau).

Sales of previously owned (existing) homes rose again in May after a lackluster performance in the previous two quarters. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported that existing homes—including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and cooperatives—sold at a pace of 4.89 million (SAAR) in May, up 4.9 percent from April but remain 5.0 percent below the 5.15 million pace a year-earlier.

Foreclosure starts continue their downward trend. Lenders started the public foreclosure process on 49,240 U.S. properties in May, down 10 percent from the previous month and down 32 percent from one year ago to the lowest level since December 2005—a 101-month low (although foreclosure starts were up from a year ago in 12 states). (Source: Realty Trac)

Foreclosure completions also fell in May. Lenders completed the foreclosure process (bank repossessions or REOs) on 28,373 U.S. properties in May, down 6 percent from the previous month and down 27 percent from one year ago to the lowest level since July 2007—an 82-month low (although bank repossessions were up from a year ago in 14 states). (Source: Realty Trac)

The Administration's foreclosure mitigation programs continue to provide relief for millions of homeowners as the recovery from the housing crisis continues. In all, more than 8.5 million mortgage modification and other forms of mortgage assistance arrangements were completed between April 2009 and the end of May 2014. Nearly 2.1 million homeowner assistance actions have taken place through the Making Home Affordable Program, including nearly 1.4 million permanent modifications through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), while the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has offered more than 2.3 million loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions through May. The Administration’s programs continue to encourage improved standards and processes in the industry, with HOPE Now lenders offering families and individuals more than 4.1 million proprietary modifications through April (data are reported with a 2-month lag).

For more information, visit www.hud.gov/scorecard.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

Sell Quickly with Master Suite Upgrades

Sell Quickly with Master Suite Upgrades


(BPT) - All signs point to a recovering real estate market. Experts say more inventory will be available and buyers will have an easier time getting mortgages, all of which means more competition among sellers.

If you plan to put your home on the market this season, you might be looking for the most cost-effective renovations to set your house apart from the competition. Assuming you've already taken care of the two top rooms to renovate - kitchen and bathroom - what's your next move?

Three words: master suite upgrades.

Americans spend a lot of time in the bedroom. The master suite is, arguably, the area of the house where you most want to feel like the king or queen of your domain. After you've wowed potential buyers with a great kitchen and bathroom, a beautiful master suite could be the feature that seals the deal.

A mid-range master suite addition recoups 67.5 percent of its cost at the time of resale, according to Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report. Fortunately, you can create a big impact on a master suite with a modest remodeling budget.

Many masters occupy the second floor, making them prime locations for an upgrade that is attention-grabbing, energy-efficient and practical, all without being costly: skylights.

Natural light and fresh air can make a room feel larger, more open and more welcoming. Opening a wall to add a window is rarely practical, but skylights can bring natural light and improve air quality in a master with less fuss. If yours is on the first floor, tubular skylights can deliver natural light into spots where a traditional skylight won't work.

For your second-floor master, an ENERGY STAR-certified solar-powered, fresh-air skylight provides daylight, privacy and more security than an open window (always a concern for a bedroom), as well as cost-effective passive ventilation. Add solar-powered blinds and skylight energy performance ratings improve by as much as 45 percent. Even better, the installation of solar-powered skylights and blinds, plus installation costs, can be eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit.

Often, sellers focus on big-picture issues and overlook the small details that win buyers' hearts. For example, while it's important to paint the walls a neutral, appealing color, don't forget to repaint baseboards, window trim, ceilings and inside closets, too - all significantly affect the overall look of a room.

Be sure to repaint the master bathroom in a color that complements the master bedroom. Add decadent but cost-effective touches like plush towels, a towel-warming rack and an upgraded shower head and faucets. Consider the shower door. Is it old and shabby-looking with glass that has become hazy? Replacing it is a simple, quick fix that will put a bright face on the shower stall. Swap out a straight shower curtain rod for a curved one that greatly increases the spaciousness of the shower area.

Add light, airy curtains to make the room look bigger and brighter, luxurious bedding to impart a restful atmosphere, and you'll have created a master suite that's sure to be an asset when it's time to sell.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

Single Story For Sale in Liberty Towers

1 copy

• 624 sq. ft., 1 bath, 1 bdrm single story - MLS $84,500

 -  A very pristine and updated throughout unit. Gorgeous bamboo flooring, granite counters, tiled bathroom Also has a separate storage unit in building. Great west views of river..

Property information

Single Story For Sale in Eastborough

1421188_1

• 1,381 sq. ft., 2 bath, 3 bdrm single story - MLS $104,000

 -  Super home and like brand new insude and completely updated throughout. New textured wall finishes, bathroom fittings, toilets, tile, carpets. Large kitchen/dining room with granite breakfast bar. Also a large covered rear deck.

Property information

1 1/2 Story For Sale in Oxford Court

1421040_1
Better Than New

• 2,954 sq. ft., 3 bath, 4 bdrm 1 1/2 story - MLS $285,000

 -  Gorgeous, well upgraded, with a great more contemporary feel,. Cooks kitchen with granite, center isle and bar. Super floor plan, with a large open master suite. Light and with great views over open countryside behind the house. Close to neighborhood pool and play area.

Property information

Contract Rate on New Home Loans Dips Under 4 Percent

Contract Rate on New Home Loans Dips Under 4 Percent


On average, mortgage interest rates declined in May, according to data released recently by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). On conventional mortgages used to purchase newly-built homes, the average contract interest rate dropped by more than 30 basis points, from 4.19 to 3.88 percent. This is the lowest the new home loan rate has been in a year and the first time it has dipped below 4.0 percent since February.

Initial fees increased slightly during the month, from 1.22 to 1.25 percent—far from enough to offset the decline in the contract rate. The result was an average effective rate on new home loans (which amortizes initial fees over the estimated life of the loan) that also dropped by more than 30 basis points, staying barely above 4.0 percent (at 4.01).

Reversing the trend of the prior two months, the average size of conventional mortgages used to purchase new homes—and the price of the new homes purchased with the mortgages—both declined in May. The average loan size declined 1.8 percent to $319,800, while the average home price fell by 3.6 percent to $418,800. Despite the declines, both the average loan size and average new home price remain higher than they had been at any time prior to 2014.

Because the change in price was greater than the change in loan size, the average loan-to-price ratio on conventional mortgages used to purchase new homes increased substantially in May, from 77.0 to 78.6 percent—the highest it’s been since last August, and the first time above 78.0 percent in 2014.

This information is based on FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey (MIRS) of loans closed during the last five working days in May. For other details about the survey, see the technical note at the end of FHFA’s June 26 news release.

View this original post on the NAHB blog, Eye on Housing.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

Eye on the Economy: Slow Progress after a Tough Quarter

Eye on the Economy: Slow Progress after a Tough Quarter


The overall economy slowed at the start of 2014, which took a toll on housing and economic activity. According to the Bureau of Economic of Analysis, real GDP contracted at a 1 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate during the first quarter. Growth would have been slightly positive absent a decline in business inventory investment. However, this drawdown sets the stage for more stable growth for the rest of 2014.

An example of improved economic news from the second quarter was the May employment report. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, payroll employment improved by 217,000 for the month. In fact, the month of May was the first time that total employment (138.365 million) surpassed the prior pre-recession peak. Of course, given population growth, the economy continues to suffer from a lack of jobs, which in turn is holding back housing demand.

Home builders and remodelers have added 106,000 jobs in the last 12 months. The seasonally adjusted construction sector unemployment rate now stands at 8.9 percent, down from 11.2 percent a year ago and 22 percent at the post-recession peak. Labor data from April indicate that the number of open construction sector jobs, which has been elevated for the last two years as construction expanded, has declined over the start of 2014 to a count of 94,000. Nonetheless, the open rate remains higher than any period prior to 2013.

In addition to labor shortages, an important industry headwind remains the lack of building lots. A recent NAHB survey indicates that 59 percent of builders report low or very low lot supplies in their market. This is the highest rate of “low” responses since the question was first posed in 1997 and is notable given that housing starts remain below normal levels of market production. NAHB surveys continue to suggest relatively tighter conditions for land acquisition and development loans (in contrast to construction loans) used to finance lot development, although recent FDIC data suggests that lending is increasing. For example, over the last four quarters the stock of residential AD&C loans has increased by 12 percent.

Overall, the housing market continues to improve, but progress is slow going. The NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index remained at .88 for the nation from May to June but was up 6 points from .82 in June 2013. The index measures progress back to and beyond normal economic and housing markets for 351 metropolitan areas. Three of 10 metros did see a monthly increase in their individual indexes and 83 percent have seen an increase in the past year.

Markets already past their last level of normal are concentrated in energy-producing markets and were more stable. At the other end of the spectrum, markets still only two-thirds of the way back to normal are the industrial Midwest or in the sand states most harmed by the boom and bust. Their slow progress is primarily the result of the slow single-family housing market.

Single-family housing permits are only at 43 percent of their last normal market in the early 2000s.

Recent Federal Reserve data also reflect the progress in housing in recent years. According to the Flow of Funds data, home owner equity has reached a level last experienced in 2007. In the last quarter, home owner equity grew by $795 billion.

Despite low interest rates, housing demand has lagged in 2014. For example, the National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index is down 9 percent on a year-over-year basis.

However, new home sales have fared better than existing home sales in recent months. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the average effective interest rate on new home sales was 4.33 percent in April.

Construction spending grew in April by a slight 0.1 percent. Single-family spending was up 1.3 percent, and multifamily increased 2.7 percent month over month. The relatively strong performance by the multifamily sector is consistent with the most recent NAHB Multifamily Production Index, which increased three points to 53 during the first quarter. This marks the ninth consecutive quarter of a reading above 50. Readings above a level of 50 indicate that more respondents report improving conditions than don’t. Market absorption data for rental and for-sale multifamily remained strong at the start of 2014 as well.

In analysis news, NAHB economists recently published membership census data investigating the characteristics of builder members. And a new tool was made available that allows access to the latest Census data by geographic areas that are consistent with local home builder association jurisdictions or market area.

View this original post on NAHB's blog, Eye on Housing.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

Finding the Perfect Home

Finding the Perfect Home


If a home purchase is on the horizon, you more than likely know exactly what you’re looking for. Whether you desire stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors throughout or a pool in the backyard, letting your agent know what’s on your must-have list is one of the best ways to ensure you find your dream home.

As you go through the process of searching for homes, it’s important to remember that your agent is trained in locating the best properties that fit your criteria, so if your agent isn’t pushing a home that you’ve seen online, there’s a good chance that the house won’t suit your needs.

Sometimes a sort of beer-goggle phenomenon occurs when house hunters look at homes and fall in love with a property that isn’t right for them. When staged properly, a home might appear to be perfect as prospective buyers are often distracted by the cleanliness of the space or even the antique furnishings that have been incorporated into the space to achieve a specific look. Others may be impressed with how much nicer the home is than the rental they’re living in, but again, it doesn’t mean it’s what they truly want.

A good agent will bring you back to reality by reminding you that the house doesn’t have the finished basement or large yard you’re looking for, keeping you more on point in looking at homes that actually meet your specifications.

Another thing to consider when deciding on whether or not a home is right for you is the price. Finding everything in your dream home for a price you can afford may be a little too optimistic, and chances are the right home may come along but at a price that’s a little too steep. Sometimes it’s better to give up one or two items from your list rather than be stuck with a mortgage payment that you can barely keep up with.

Don’t feel like you need to completely overhaul your list of must-haves either. Some features you should stick to your guns with. If you fancy yourself something of a cook and you want a gourmet kitchen, look at houses that only offer these. Has a walk-in closet always been your dream? Wait until you find one. If you’re determined to have a pool, don’t look at houses without them. Why fall in love with a home if it doesn’t have what you really want?

Along the same lines of thinking, if you started your house hunt wanting four bedrooms, you probably shouldn’t settle for less. There’s a reason you came up with this number and the last thing you want is to be in a home that you outgrow quickly because you jumped at a house that wasn’t really what you needed.

Of course, there are some things that can be changed in a home, so if it doesn’t have the spa bathtub you want or the top-of-the-line washer and dryer you have your heart set on, you can always make those changes down the line. Just make sure whatever needs to be added or replaced doesn’t turn into something that’s impossible to afford.

When searching for a new place to call home, take your time so that you end up with a home that’s as close to your dream as possible. Be sure to keep your agent in the loop when it comes to the things you’re looking for—and those that are an absolute must—so that you don’t spend time looking at houses that don’t fit your needs and lifestyle.

 By Keith Loria

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

Paying Points May Save Money in the Long Run, but is It Right for You?

Paying Points May Save Money in the Long Run, but is It Right for You?


When it comes to mortgages, choosing the right one is instrumental to successfully achieving the American Dream of homeownership. And for many buyers in today’s market, taking advantage of points is one way to ensure their mortgage truly fits their needs.

In its simplest definition, a point is an additional loan fee that is paid to the lender in exchange for a lower interest rate. Often referred to as “buying down,” points allow you to reduce the mortgage rate for the life of the loan. Before making a decision on whether or not utilizing points is the best choice for your personal situation, you’ll want to discuss what it all means with your agent and lender.

As an example, if you secure a mortgage loan for $500,000 without points, at 4.6 percent on a 30-year mortgage, your payment would be approximately $2,560 a month. If one was to pay two points ($10,000), the interest rate in this example would go down to 4.1 percent and the monthly payment would be around $2,415, saving you a little over $145 a month.

In this scenario, it would take you about eight years to recoup the money you paid up front. Therefore, if you plan to stay in the home for a period of time, this will save you money in the long run.

Homebuyers should also ask themselves some key questions to determine if paying points is a wise decision: How long will you keep the home? Do you have extra money to pay points? Could that money be better used for something else?

For instance, a savvy investor might be better able to invest that $10,000 and find greater dividends than $140 a month, but you have to weigh the variables, and if you’re not someone who does a great deal of investing, it could backfire.

Mortgage experts have a simple formula for people to follow: If you plan to stay in the house for less than three years, do not pay points. If you plan to stay in the house for more than five years, pay one to two points. If you’ll be in the house for three to five years, paying points doesn’t make a significant difference. Anything more, and paying points is a great idea.

Another positive associated with paying points is that they are interest-payment related, so they’re fully deductible on your taxes in the year that you close.

The decision to pay points is something every buyer will have to make depending on their own individual situation. Mortgage points can add up to valuable savings over the course of your loan, but the future isn’t always predictable. Even if you “plan” on staying in your home for 20 years, changes in your career or family life could alter the plan.

To learn more about points, contact our office today.

 By Keith Loria

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

3 Tips for Choosing an Assisted-Living Home for Your Parent

3 Tips for Choosing an Assisted-Living Home for Your Parent

Seventy percent of people age 65 and older will need long-term care at some point in their lives, according to a 2014 study by CareScout, a division of Genworth Financial Services.

“But that doesn’t mean they have to sacrifice their quality of life,” says Peder Johnsen, CEO of Concordis Senior Living, www.concordisseniorliving.com, which owns, operates and develops senior housing communities.

“In fact, a person who needs some assistance with day-to-day living will often find he or she is much happier in a good assisted-living community with an atmosphere that reminds them of their former home.”

And it doesn’t have to be outrageously priced, notes Johnsen, a third-generation ALF operator whose family pioneered the contemporary congregate community model.

The median price for a private, one-bed home in an ALF community is $42,000, he says, citing the CareScout report. By contrast, a semi-private nursing home bed costs a median $77,000 a year.

But it’s up to prospective residents and their families to ascertain the quality of the community and whether it’s a good match for the person who will be living there.

“ALFs are not federally regulated and states vary widely on the breadth of oversight they provide, so you can’t necessarily rely on the law,” Johnsen says. “And don’t rely on salespeople either – that’s the biggest mistake people make.”

There are, however, a number of easy ways to see if a home has a truly caring atmosphere and well-trained staff.

Johnsen offers these tips:

•  Ask to see the home’s state licensing survey, an assessment that usually includes inspections, audits, interviews with residents, etc. Every state has an ALF licensing agency and all have some form of survey system for ensuring that certain standards of quality are met, according to the Assisted Living Federation of America.

“Requirements vary from state to state about how often the surveys are conducted and how the public can access the reports, but no matter what state you live in, you should be able to ask the ALF for its most recent report, or obtain it from the licensing agency,” Johnsen says. 

The surveys will tell you if problems were found – or not – and what the ALF did to address them.

•  Visit the ALF during non-business hours.

Go before breakfast or after dinner – times when the administrators aren’t around. What’s the atmosphere? How do employees behave with the residents?

“That’s a good time to talk to residents, too,” Johnsen says.

Be a “mystery shopper,” he suggests. Pretend you’re just visiting the community – not scouting it out as a prospective customer.

•  Ascertain how truly “homelike” the community is.

In your own home, if you don’t feel like eating breakfast at 7:30 a.m., you don’t have to. You can have breakfast at 10. You can get snacks when you want them.

“Depending on what’s important to your loved one, there are potentially many rules that can affect how ‘at home’ a person feels,” Johnsen says. “Some communities allow residents to have pets, others don’t. Some provide lots of activities. At some, residents can quickly and easily arrange for transportation or a service like hair styling.”

Not every community can offer everything, he notes. That’s why it’s important to look for those features that are especially important to your loved one.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

2 Story For Sale in Sungate

1417009_1
Former Sungate Builders Model

• 2,430 sq. ft., 3 bath, 4 bdrm 2 story - MLS $155,000

 -  Spacious, full brick 1 owner home. Original builders model for Sungate. Large corner lot home with 2 living areas, plus good sized bedrooms with walk in closets. Light & bright, with newer double hung windows throughout the home. 1st floor master suite with en-suite bathroom. Laundry room with sink. Cheery breakfast nook with office desk area. Kitchen with pantry and the fridge, washer, dryer all stay. Ready for move in!

Property information

Selling This Summer? 6 Upgrades to Secure a Speedy Sale

Selling This Summer? 6 Upgrades to Secure a Speedy Sale


When the weather warms up, so does the real estate market. Spring and summer are traditionally the seasons when both homebuyers and sellers are most active across the country. If you'll be putting your home on the market this year, simple, cost-effective upgrades can help ensure a speedy sale at a good price.

"In the world of real estate, it's often necessary for sellers to spend a little on upgrades in order to achieve a satisfying home sale," says Bethany Richmond, communications director for the Carpet & Rug Institute. "Fortunately, some of the most impressive upgrades, such as new carpeting, are also affordable. Such upgrades ensure that you don't have to spend a lot to achieve a better selling price."

Here are six easy-to-do upgrades that are both cost-effective and high-impact:

1. Replace carpet
It's easy to see the impact of worn or dated carpeting. "If you don't like looking at it, buyers won't either," Richmond says. "Replacing old or damaged carpet delivers impressive appeal for a modest investment."

New carpet is one upgrade that has a high ratio of value to cost. It substantially increases perceived value for homebuyers without requiring home sellers to spend a bundle. "Even less expensive carpet styles will freshen the look of a room and prepare it for sale," Richmond notes. "You can get a lot more quality for just a little more money, she says, "and if you take advantage of spring carpet sales, installing new carpeting can cost even less."

2. Clean flooring
If your carpet is still in great shape, then simply having it professionally cleaned can make it look even better. A deep professional cleaning helps lift tough soils and provides a cleaner, fresher look to rooms. You can find an expert in your area by visiting www.carpet-rug.org. CRI experts can even provide insight into how to remove difficult stains.

Not only is carpet a good value, it's healthy, too. People with allergies or other sensitivities are installing carpet to improve indoor air quality. Recent studies support previous findings that carpet, when effectively cleaned, traps allergens and other particles, resulting in less dust, dander and airborne contaminants escaping into the air. Don't forget to clean all other flooring, including hardwood, laminates and tile. Buyers will appreciate a sparkling clean appearance throughout the house.

3. Repaint in neutral shades
Fresh paint is another smart and cost-effective upgrade for sellers. Buyers expect it, yet many sellers hesitate to repaint. Perhaps they like the existing colors or balk at the cost of professional painting services. Yet repainting in neutral colors makes a room look fresher and brighter, and gives buyers a visual "blank slate" against which to imagine their own decor. Do the work yourself and you can reduce the cost of repainting even further.

4. Update or upgrade lighting
You may find that disco-ball style globe light charming in your kitchen, but the average buyer doesn't want dated or unusual lighting. Replacing dated or worn fixtures, especially in bathrooms and kitchens, is a cost-effective way to give a room a more up-to-date, contemporary look. If you already have newer fixtures, consider replacing incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency options such as CFLs or LEDs. Although they're a bit more expensive to purchase, these bulbs last years longer - a selling point for buyers who will reap the value of not having to replace bulbs any time in the near future.

5. Install new faucets
A high-end faucet can completely change the look and usability of a kitchen or bathroom. In terms of cost versus value, an upgraded faucet, such as pull-out or even touch-free styles, can dramatically increase perceived value for a relatively modest investment. An upgraded faucet is a thoughtful touch that will set your home apart in buyers' minds.

6. Replace hardware throughout the home
You may have already thought of upgrading kitchen cabinet knobs and drawer pulls, but have you also upgraded hardware in your bathroom or on the front door? These seemingly small items have a major impact on the overall visual effect of a home. In desirable rooms such as kitchens and baths, designer hardware can elevate the entire look of the room. And upgraded door hardware will ensure buyers have a positive first impression from the moment they enter your home.   

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

Affordable Home Improvement Ideas

5 Affordable Home Improvement Ideas

By Barbara Pronin


It would be nice if we could always afford to remodel the kitchen or add another bedroom or a covered patio at will. But if expensive projects have to wait their turn, there are many smaller projects—many of which can be done by yourself, or with friends—that can vastly improve the look of your home on a very small budget.

Sienna Beard at the Wall Street Cheat Sheet, an online consumer guide to saving time and money, offers five suggestions for tackle-now projects well worth their time and effort:

Snazz up the kitchen – Reface or replace the cabinets if you can, but if that’s not in the cards, then paint the kitchen, update the hardware, and/or establish a cool color scheme with kitchen linens and accessories for a fresh new look without spending a lot of cash.

Add baseboard and crown molding – For a classic look in the living area, add wider baseboards painted white to set off the color of the walls. If you can afford it, consider crown molding at the ceiling line to make the room appear more polished and finished.

Improve the lighting – Few people like to enter a dark room. Take stock of the areas where a ceiling fan with lights, some simple wall fixtures, or a few inset ceiling lights would considerably brighten a room.

Change the entry – Painting or replacing an old front door improves the curb appeal immensely. Consider redoing a cracked walkway, painting the front porch, or simply adding pots of flowers near your bright, new front door.

Add some landscaping – In the front yard, plant flowers leading up to the entry, or add some hedges or attractive shrubs. In the back yard, create an attractive oasis for friends and family with a brick grilling area, an inexpensive fire pit, or some new outdoor furniture set off with attractive pots of spring and summer blooms.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
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Disappearing Designs and Relaxing Environments Lead Bathroom Remodel Trends

Disappearing Designs and Relaxing Environments Lead Bathroom Remodel Trends


A survey conducted by Geberit revealed that 30 percent of Americans believe the toilet tank is the most unappealing feature of their bathroom, revealing a growing shift towards form over function in bathroom design ahead of National Home Remodeling Month in May.

"Homeowners want to make their bathrooms sleek and spa-like," said Liz Murray, a Portland, Oregon-based interior designer. "Expect to see more 'disappearing designs' that tuck away anything that looks untidy, along with products that bring smart home technology to the bathroom to really transform the space into a sanctuary for the mind and body."
A survey from Houzz revealed that 17 percent of homeowners are opting for wall-mounted or tankless toilets instead of traditional toilets, pointing to the rise in "disappearing designs."

Another ongoing trend identified by Murray is the continued popularity of eco-friendly products: "Products created from sustainable materials like bamboo, cork, porcelain or recycled glass will be prominently featured during this year's remodeling season," said Murray.

Designing the Perfect Bathroom:
When asked to describe their perfect bathroom, Americans ranked creating a nice place to relax (37 percent), saving space (24 percent) and making it a quiet atmosphere (20 percent) as the most important qualities of a bathroom. A sleek and modern bathroom style appeals to 44 percent of Americans, followed by spa-inspired (27 percent) and elegant luxury (19 percent).

"The modern bathroom serves more than just the basic functions of traditional bathrooms," said John Fitzgerald, vice president of marketing for Geberit North America. "We're seeing people using their bathrooms to also read, check smartphones and listen to music."

According to the survey, 47 percent of Americans use their bathroom to read books or magazines, take a phone call or check email (35 percent) or listen to music (27 percent).

Good Bathrooms Matter: One third of Americans believe that having high-quality, updated bathrooms is important when making home rental or purchase decisions, meaning bathroom remodels are an important factor to consider during the spring real estate season. In fact, a survey conducted by Houzz revealed that 40 percent of homeowners are planning to remodel in the next two years and 27 percent of remodeling projects will be bathroom-related.

Source: Geberit North America

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

1 1/2 Story For Sale in Honey Creek at Bailey Ranch

1
Updated Corner Lot Home

• 2,036 sq. ft., 2 bath, 3 bdrm 1 1/2 story - MLS $199,500

 -  A wonderful updated and spacious home that is just perfect! Gameroom could be 4th bed. Vaulted ceiling in living room & tray ceilings in master bedroom suite and breakfast nook Recently installed at over $8,000 super hickory scraped solid hardwood floors Corian countertops in kitchen and breakfast bar. Master bath with raised height double vanity, separate shower and whirlpool tub. Sound surround in the living room, patio and also the garage which has an extended bay.
Prime corner lot location with separate gated rear access in yard to allow for a boat etc.

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