- Real estate has outranked stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, and bonds as the best long-term investment among Americans for the last 5 years!
- The generations agree! Real estate is the best investment!
- Generation X leads the way with 37% believing in real estate as the top investment.
Posted by The KCM Crew
As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.
According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.1
“It may be easy enough to afford your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.”
Would moving to a complex with homeowner association (HOA) fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement?
“If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.”
The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little to no mortgage. Homeowners in the US gained an average of over $16,300 in equity last year.
“As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves and shoveling snow can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”
As we mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind in knowing that you do not have to do the maintenance work yourself?
“Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.”
As scary as that thought may be, any additional security and an extra set of eyes looking out for you always adds to peace of mind.
“Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”
Evaluate all of your options when it comes to bringing your ‘furever’ friend with you to a new home. Will there be necessary additional deposits if you are renting or moving in to a condo? Is the backyard fenced in? How far are you from your favorite veterinarian?
“No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”
Sixty is the new 40, right? People are living longer and are more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Having to install handrails and make sure that your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.
“Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”
How close are you to your children and grandchildren? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent? Beyond being close to your favorite stores and restaurants, there are a lot of factors to consider.
When it comes to your forever home, evaluating your current house for its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement. If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, let’s get together to evaluate your ability to sell your house in today’s market and get you into your dream retirement home!
Posted by The KCM Crew
Are you looking for a new home? Visit our website to see all homes for sale in the mid-MO area!
We all gravitate toward certain decor schemes, whether it’s Mid-Century Modern, glam, traditional, or even Joanna Gaines-inspired farmhouse chic.
But what if you can’t be pinned down to just one look?
If you detest anything matchy-matchy and love to break a few rules when it comes to your decor, we’ve got good news: You’ve already got a good start on the fun and funky trend known as eclectic style. This decor option offers you a blank check to reject more traditional looks in favor of loosely arranging your assortment from different places and time periods.
“Eclectic style is definitely real—it’s literally a combination of a variety of looks that don’t necessarily match, but that certainly coordinate,” explains Justin Riordan, of Spade and Archer Design Agency.
Think: bold pops of color, a Mid-Century couch, and a couple of antique chairs. The look is casual, earth-friendly—and it’s riding a wave of popularity.
“With the influx in environmental design of late, we’re seeing the reuse of older furniture and buildings that mix new pieces and additions,” he explains.
And if you’re working on a budget (and frankly, who isn’t?), eclectic style fits the bill nicely, notes Beverly Solomon of the eponymous design firm. “This theme allows you to put together interesting and affordable art and decor that reflects your view and personality,” she says.
Origins of eclectic style
The eclectic look is hardly new. Even though it’s in the spotlight these days, eclecticism actually came about in the early 1900s, with the Arts and Crafts movement. “It became hip for progressives and thinkers to fit art and furnishings into their homes to achieve a more personal feeling, rather than one particular style,” Solomon explains.
Sounds familiar, right? Today’s homeowners are once again turning to eclectic style to show off a distinctive touch to their decor.
Just beware: Eclectic decor might allow you to break some rules, but it isn’t a totally lawless design scheme. If this style speaks to you, read on for how to make it work in your home—without veering into tacky territory.
Eclectic style embraces bold colors
Sure, we’ve long been told that a room’s colors should be cohesive. But with eclectic style, your shades can skew bold and bright.
“Don’t be shy about mixing yellow, pinks, emerald greens, reds and bright blues,” says Lisa Conley of 27 Diamonds Interior Design in Orange County, CA.
To pull it all together, use a neutral base, like white or a quiet gray, adds Barbara McInnis Hayman, owner of Decorating Den Interiors in Pottstown, PA. “If the look seems too ‘quiet,’ choose any signature accent hue for a pop of color.”
Use a variety of furniture styles
There’s no single line of eclectic furniture. (That would defeat the point, right?) But you can achieve the look by borrowing from a couple of styles—or just use a mismatch of things you already own, Riordan suggests.
“You could try a contemporary sofa with a Victorian table, modern lamps, and a Hudson River Valley-style painting,” he says.
Conley especially likes to combine Mid-Century Modern and shabby chic pieces. These pieces aren’t from the same time period, but if you consider scale and composition, the furniture placement will look intentional—and tell a story.
For instance, try using different kinds of chairs around the dining table. They don’t have to match, but they should have at least one aspect that ties them together—maybe they’re all rounded at the top or they’re roughly the same size.
Accessorize with flair
Here’s your chance to make your mark with eclectic style on the cheap: Pile on the pillows, hang up a funky wall gallery, create a jungle of succulents, or stack art books to use as side tables.
“Or you could hang collages that mix mirrors, art, and photos,” Conley adds.
Incorporate details from your travels or anything that speaks to you—eclectic style is highly personal.
Showcase a riot of texture and pattern
Not enough oomph from those accent pillows? Go wild with your look, by layering patterns.
“You might combine a geometric fabric with a textured solid, or a smooth, silky fabric with a patterned piece,” says Hayman.
But don’t go too crazy with stripes upon stripes, plus polka dots and plaids. Keep one thing solid, like the wall color shown above. This quiet, deep teal mixes nicely with the patterns in the rug and chairs.
Work toward balance when you approach eclectic style, Riordan urges. Each room should have old and new, dark and light, small items and big, without becoming overwhelming.
“The point of this look is to make the space easier to live in and live with,” he says. “It’s a home, not a theme park.”
Toe the line between ‘eclectic’ and ‘ewww’
Eclectic homeowners must edit ruthlessly, lest their rooms run amok. One huge sign, like the one above, is fine—but no more.
“The challenge here is to create a pleasant melting pot of elements, not a Balkan massacre,” Solomon says.
One way to know whether you’ve crossed the line with your decor scheme is by taking note of how friends and family react.
“Is there a look of horror when people enter your living room, or do you receive sincere compliments on your mix-and-match design?” asks Solomon.
Another sign is your ability to maintain the look. If you’ve got too much stuff everywhere, you’ll spend hours stacking books and layering throw pillows.
Instead, consider each new piece and decide whether it’ll enhance your look or ignite a hot mess. In the end, you want a room that’s carefully curated, not cluttered and chaotic.
Posted by Jennifer Geddes on realtor.com
If you are debating whether or not to list your house for sale this year, here is the #1 reason not to wait!
Buyer Demand Continues to Outpace the Supply of Homes for Sale
The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun recently commented on the current lack of inventory:
“Inventory coming onto the market during this year’s spring buying season– as evidenced again by last month’s weak reading – was not even close to being enough to satisfy demand.
That is why home prices keep outpacing incomes and listings are going under contract in less than a month – and much faster – in many parts of the country.”
The latest Existing Home Sales Report shows that there is currently a 4.1-month supply of homes for sale. This remains lower than the 6-month supply necessary for a normal market, and 6.1% lower than last year’s inventory level.
The chart below details the year-over-year inventory shortages experienced over the last 12 months:
Anything less than a six-month supply is considered a “seller’s market.”
Let’s get together to discuss the supply conditions in our neighborhood so that I can assist you in gaining access to the buyers who are ready, willing, and able to buy right now!
Posted by The KCM Crew
Ready to sell? Visit our website HERE to get started!
For first-time home buyers and seasoned homeowners alike, moving day is a major drag. Sure, it’s exciting to start the next chapter of your life in a brand-new place, but the process of moving is often a grueling, exhausting ordeal. Aside from having to sort through literally everything you own, you also have to deal with the physical side of moving: packing boxes, lifting furniture, and deep-cleaning your house.
So to make moving day as pain-free as possible, you’ll want to have specific household items at the ready.
“Move-in day can be pretty nerve-wracking; there’s a lot to do,” says Paul Travaglini, a real estate agent at Century 21 Seaport in Winthrop, MA. “My advice is to try to take it slow, and to make sure you have some necessities handy.”
We spoke with experts and rounded out the ultimate checklist of things you’ll appreciate having on moving day. These items will help you get settled sooner and ultimately make a smooth transition into your new home.
1. Bottled water and food
You are likely be starving after hours of cleaning and moving, and won’t want to make a trip to the supermarket. Have some water bottles on hand, and get easy-to-make food, such as pasta and sauce, for the first couple of days, while you settle into your new home.
3. Cleaning supplies
You’ll want to give your house a good scrubbing before you move in. “Don’t forget paper towels and other cleaning supplies in case the house is dusty,” says Travaglini. Bring your supplies from your old home, or head to the store and buy soap, floor cleaner, sponges, a mop, bucket, window cleaners, a vacuum, bathroom cleaner, and a toilet scrubber.
4. Closet hangers
You’ve made sure your new home is spotless. Now make sure your clothes aren’t wrinkled. (You’ll thank us for this one.)
5. Cooler with ice
This is a good idea if the previous owner didn’t leave a fridge, and yours hasn’t arrived yet.
6. Furniture sliders
Even if you have movers, you may want furniture sliders, the little things that go under the legs of chairs and couches and allow you to slide them easily without scratching your floor. You can pick them up at any hardware store.
7. New front-door lock
That ceremonious moment when you’re handed the keys to your new home is exciting. But you can’t be sure who else has a pair. Plan ahead and buy a new front-door lock, and set an appointment with a locksmith to change the locks or rekey the doors. You can have them come by on move-in day or shortly after.
Don’t spend your first night in your new house in the dark! Pack up all the lamps and light fixtures you’re planning to keep from your previous home and have them readily available. “Some rooms don’t have overhead lighting, so lamps will be very helpful,” says Rita Patriarca, a real estate agent at Re/Max Encore in Wilmington, MA.
9. Lightbulbs and batteries
These are other items you can usually buy in bulk. Most large retail and hardware stores carry bulbs in various wattage and shapes.
Personal hygiene might be the last thing on your mind on move-in day, but make sure you have soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and anything else you need. Moving day is a sweaty experience, and you’ll need a shower when you’re done. Plus, your new home will attract neighbors and friends. You’ll want to smell and look nice. Right?
11. Trash can and trash bags
If you plan to keep your trash barrel outside of a cabinet and you have a pet, it’s a good idea to get one with a secure top. You don’t want Fido or Tabby getting into the trash.
12. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
You never want to go a day living in a house without property smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check the house on move-in day to make sure you have enough detectors. Test each one to make sure the batteries are working.
13. Sticky notes
Mark down where you want things. It’s a good idea to label where you want your furniture, TV, dining-room table, etc. You can do this by writing on a sticky note and leaving it where you want the items located. This will help the movers know where to put everything.
14. Your favorite beverage
Whether you prefer champagne, Dr. Pepper, or Maker’s Mark, get yourself your favorite beverage to celebrate your new home. Toast yourself, your significant other, your kids, your friends and family, and everyone else who played a part in the move. You’ve earned it.
Posted by Les Masterson on realtor.com
- With interest rates still around 4.5%, now is a great time to look back at where rates have been over the last 40 years.
- Rates are projected to climb to 5.1% by this time next year according to Freddie Mac.
- The impact your interest rate makes on your monthly mortgage cost is significant!
- Lock in a low rate now while you can!
Posted by The KCM Crew
When homeowners decide to sell their houses, they obviously want to get the best possible price for their home with the least amount of hassles along the way. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is actually getting their homes sold.
In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed a buyer’s behavior during the home buying process. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Home Buyer & Seller Generational Trends Report, the first step that “42% of recent buyers took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale.”
However, the report also revealed that 94% of buyers who used the internet when searching for homes ultimately purchased their homes through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% of buyers purchased their homes directly from a seller whom they didn’t know.
Buyers search for a home online but then depend on an agent to find the home they will buy (52%), to negotiate the terms of the sale (47%) & price (38%), or to help understand the process (60%).
The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers who reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots.” This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who have used agents to buy their homes has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.
If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.
Posted by the KCM Crew
Wondering how to water a lawn? Sadly, it’s not quite as simple as just turning on the sprinklers and walking away. The number of times you water your lawn throughout the year and how much water you give the grass matter—so if you’re foggy on the details, allow this latest installment of our Lawn Lover’s Guide to show you the ropes!
Read on to learn how to water a lawn, and when, how often your grass needs water, and a whole lot more to amp up your lawn care.
Why you should water your lawn
Grass may not be as difficult to maintain as a vegetable garden, but if you want to keep your yard looking green and gorgeous, you can’t just treat it with benign neglect. Aerating, seeding, and watering your lawn are all part of keeping your curb appeal intact.
“When you don’t give your lawn enough water, it grows with shallow roots,” explains Don Botts, the president of Quality All-Care Services, in Bonner Springs, KS. “This can stunt the growth of your grass and make it harder for your lawn to survive severe temperatures or disease.”
If you stop watering your lawn entirely, warns Chris Bartells, owner of Green Mountain Turf Sprinkler Repair in Lakewood, CO, you’ll start to notice brown patches emerging in a matter of weeks, as the grass begins to lose moisture.
“Pretty soon, your lawn will be more brown than it is green, the soil will harden, making it harder for water to penetrate it when you do water it, and will likely need a reseeding if you ever plan on restoring it to its former glory,” Bartells says.
There is one exception to the watering rule: If you live in a climate where it rains regularly or you’re going through a rainy spell, it’s OK to skip out on watering your lawn—it can actually be more harmful to your grass to overwater, increasing the risk of grass disease.
That said, you probably need to water your lawn, so let’s talk about how to do it the right way.
When to water your lawn
Before you even think about hitting the grass with a steady spray of water, you’ll want to make sure you know the best time of day to do it. Although many folks assume night time is best, most experts will tell you that’s a myth.
“There are a lot of people who are surprised to find out that watering your lawn at the wrong time of day can have such an impact,” says Botts. “Watering at night often means that water will sit on your grass overnight, which can lead to disease.”
Another no-no? Watering in the hottest part of the day. Although you may think your thirsty lawn wants a drink midday, the heat will cause evaporation to happen quickly, before water has had a chance to reach the roots of your grass.
The best time of day to water is in the morning, if possible some time between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m., Botts says.
How to water your lawn if you have sprinklers installed
If you’ve moved into a home with sprinklers already installed in the lawn, you’re in luck. They will do the bulk of the work for you.
Bartells suggests placing a few empty cans of tuna or cat food in the spaces between your sprinkler heads, then turning your sprinklers on, allowing them to run for 15 to 20 minutes.
“Then measure how many inches of water is in each can, using a ruler,” Bartells suggests. “Average that by the amount of time you ran your system, and you should end up with a pretty good estimate of how long your lawn needs to be watered to get the full inch or two of water that it needs [per week].”
Depending on your soil type, you may want to water your lawn all at once, or break it into two or even three equal applications throughout the week. Longer stretches of watering are better for the lawn than quick daily sessions.
“You want deep roots, but watering them for short amounts of time daily instead of watering them for 20 minutes or so once a week or every other day is like splashing them with water without actually letting them drink it,” says Bartells.
How to water your lawn (without installed sprinklers)
Watering your lawn when you don’t have sprinklers means more work for you, but just looking at that gorgeous greenery will ensure that hard work is worth it.
Botts advises investing in a rain gauge, so you can determine just how much water your lawn is getting from nature. If it’s less than 1 to 3 inches, you can set up a rotating sprinkler (the type kids like to run in and out of during the summer works well), setting it in one part of the lawn for 15 to 20 minutes, then moving to spots that weren’t reached and allowing it to run again for 15 to 20 minutes and so on. The tuna can trick works here too, and will help you gauge just how long to run the sprinkler.
If you don’t have a sprinkler, you can use a hose, with the nozzle attachment set to “sprinkle.” Be sure to move around the yard, hitting all areas of your lawn with the water.
If your lawn has clay-based soils, you’ll want to water once a week, Botts says. If you have sandy soils, you’ll probably need to water every three days or so.
“If there are sloped areas in your lawn where water runs off quickly, spots where the afternoon sun roasts harder than others, or areas that are heavily shaded, you may have to pay extra attention to make sure that your lawn is getting enough water,” Botts adds.
Posted by Jeanne Sager on realtor.com