Saturday, May 21, 2016

7 Outdoor Features That Attract Buyers

If you’re considering putting your home on the market, don’t neglect your outdoor space while making improvements indoors as well.
Your home’s exterior and the backyard are important in drawing the eyes of potential buyers and making your home as appealing as possible. Here are some modern trends in outdoor living that will entice today’s buyers.

Outdoor structures

These outdoor structures boost the function, and therefore increase your home’s value. These structures make the backyard, and even the front yard in some homes, more functional. An outdoor structure can be something simple like a gazebo or pergola, or even an outdoor kitchen, that provide more outdoor living space.

Privacy in outdoor spaces

The outdoor living space is considered more than just a backyard for the modern buyer. Today, the outdoor space is an extension of the home. People are moving indoor furniture outdoors, adding fireplaces and even installing televisions. Yet when they are relaxing outside, individuals want a measure of privacy. No one wants to be gawked at when enjoying a drink and watching the game after a long day at work.

Water features

Water features are a desirable upgrade to outdoor living spaces. They create a tranquil environment and peaceful setting to allow a homeowner to enjoy relaxing in their own sanctuary. Water fountains, waterfalls, koi ponds, pools or a combination of all of these water features add to the enjoyment and help create a serene setting that any buyer will find attractive.

Outdoor kitchen

More and more meals are being cooked outdoors, and the modern outdoor kitchen includes more than just a gas or charcoal grill. An outdoor sink, gas range, small refrigerator and even an oven can make your outdoor kitchen a more inviting home overall. Of course, you will need to weigh the costs of this upgrade against the potential benefits; but if you have a great outdoor entertaining space, consider adding an outdoor kitchen to attract potential buyers.

Outdoor lighting

Outdoor lighting appeals to buyers for a number of reasons. First, it improves the overall look of the outdoor area, making it more enjoyable. A well-lit water feature enhances the tranquil effects on a hot summer night while having a barbecue with friends and family. Outdoor lighting also helps attract buyers by making the residence more visible when they drive by the property, even if they drive by after dark. Good outdoor lighting will make the home inviting at all times of day. Also, it helps improve the security of the property, which may be important to select buyers.

Low-maintenance landscaping

Most home sellers know they should improve and upgrade their garden areas, but do so carefully. A lush, yet high-maintenance garden may detract from your home’s ability to sell. Many of today’s buyers are busy and do not have the time it takes to tend a garden.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

California Home Affordability on the Rise

Housing affordability is on the rise, thanks to strong wage growth and lower home prices, a real estate group said Monday.
Thirty-four percent of California households could afford to purchase the $465,280 median-priced home in the first quarter, up from 30 percent in fourth-quarter 2015 and unchanged from 34 percent in first-quarter 2015, the California Association of Realtors reported.
A minimum annual income of $92,571 was needed to make monthly payments of $2,314, including principle,interest, and taxes on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.01 percent interest rate.
Forty-one percent of home buyers were able to purchase the $389,910 median-priced condo or townhome. An annual income of $77,575 was required to make a monthly payment of $1,939.
“This is the 12th consecutive quarter that the index has been below 40 percent and is near the mid-2008 low level of 29 percent. California’s housing affordability index hit a peak of 56 percent in the first quarter of 2012,” the statement said.