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Two Important Impacts of Home Equity

Two Important Impacts of Home Equity | MyKCM

Equity continues to rise, helping American homeowners secure a much more stable financial future. According to the most recent data from CoreLogic, the average homeowner gained $9,800 in equity over the past year. In addition, experts project 2020 home prices to continue rising. With prices going up, equity gains will also keep accelerating. Black Knight just reported:

“The annual percent change in the overall median existing single-family-home price has skyrocketed in the past several months, with recent numbers at three to five times higher than rates seen in the past several years.”

Jeff Tucker, Senior Economist at Zillow, just qualified recent price increases as “jaw-dropping” and “within a hair’s breadth of double-digit year-over-year appreciation.”

Knowing equity will help enable many homeowners to better survive the economic distress caused by the ongoing pandemic, it’s important to break down two key homeowner benefits of increasing equity.

1. Equity Increases a Homeowner’s Options to Buy a New Home

Aside from the financial damage of the last seven months, there has also been a tremendous emotional toll on many people. Shelter-in-place mandates, quarantine requirements, and virtual schooling have all made us re-evaluate the must-have requirements a home should deliver. Having equity in your current house gives you a better opportunity to move-up or build your perfect home from scratch.

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, recently explained:

“As homeowners gain equity in their homes, they are more likely to consider using that equity to purchase a larger or more attractive home – the wealth effect of rising equity.”

If you need to make a move, the equity in your current home can help make that possible – right now.

2. Equity Enables Homeowners to Help Future Generations

An increase in home equity grows overall wealth, which can transfer to future generations. The Federal Reserve, in an addendum to their recent Survey of Consumer Finances, explains:

“There are numerous ways families can transmit wealth and resources across generations. Families can directly transfer their wealth to the next generation in the form of a bequest. They can also provide the next generation with inter vivos transfers (gifts), for example, providing down payment support to enable a home purchase or a substantial wedding gift.”

The Federal Reserve also explains another way wealth (including the additional net worth generated by an increase in home equity) can benefit future generations:

“In addition to direct transfers or gifts, families can make investments in their children that indirectly increase their wealth. For example, families can invest in their children’s educational success by paying for college or private schools, which can in turn increase their children’s ability to accumulate wealth.”

Bottom Line

Equity can help a homeowner grow their confidence in a more stable financial future. It provides near-term move-up options and creates a positive impact for future generations. In many cases, the largest single investment a person has is their home. As that investment appreciates in value, financial options increase too.

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Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home?

Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home?

Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home? | MyKCM

Once the kids have left the nest, you may be wondering what to do with all of the extra space in your home. Chances are, you don’t need four bedrooms anymore, and it may be a great time to sell your house and downsize, maybe even into a single-story home. You’ve likely gained significant equity if you’ve lived in your home for a while, so making a move while demand for your current house is high could be your best step forward toward the retirement goals you set out to achieve several years ago.

The dilemma, though, is where to go next. A big concern for many homeowners who are ready to sell is finding a home to move into, given today’s lack of houses available for sale. There is, however, some good news: the number of single-family 1-story homes being built today is on the rise, improving your odds of finding the right home for your changing needs. In a recent article, The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) explains:

“Nationwide, the share of new homes with two or more stories fell from 53% in 2018 to 52% in 2019, while the share of new homes with one story grew from 47% to 48%.”

Here’s a map showing the breakdown of newly constructed homes being built by region, and the percentage of 1-story and 2-story homes in that mix:Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home? | MyKCM

What are the benefits of buying a one-story home?

Still not sure about buying a single-story home? An article from Home Talk covers several advantages of switching from two floors to one:

1. Energy Efficient

“It is easier to heat and cool a single-story house [than] it would be to regulate the temperatures of a multi-story house.”

Most single-story homes only need one heating or cooling unit, and they typically stay cooler than a two-story home, both of which can lead to significant savings.

2. Easier to Maintain

“Doing a general cleaning in a single story requires less effort and you will be able to see all areas that need cleaning and the areas are easily accessible.”

Cleaning and maintenance of a single-story home can take less time and effort, and better upkeep helps improve the overall value of the home.

3. Accessible for Everyone

“A single-story house can be accessed by anyone, whether they are young children or the senior citizens.”

If you’re looking for a house that provides a safe and easily accessible environment at any age, a single-story home may be optimal.

4. Good Resell Potential

“When buying a single-story house, you should consider the resale value should you think of reselling it in case of a circumstance that can happen. Look at the growth rate of that area. Due to the high demand of these types of houses it is [easy] to resell them and depending on the growth rate of an area, it increases in value significantly.”

Single-story homes have a lot of benefits and are often in higher demand. This bodes well for future resale opportunities.

Bottom Line

There are many benefits to downsizing into a one-story home. Doing so while demand for your current house is high might make it easier than ever to make a move. Let’s connect if you’re ready to purchase the single-story home you need while homes are so affordable today.

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Why Pricing Your House Right Is Essential

Why Pricing Your House Right Is Essential

Why Pricing Your House Right Is Essential | MyKCM

In today’s real estate market, setting the right price for your house is one of the most valuable things you can do.

According to the U.S. Economic Outlook by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home prices nationwide are forecasted to increase 4.7% in 2020 and 4.1% in 2021. This means experts anticipate home values will continue climbing into next year. Today, low inventory is largely keeping prices from depreciating. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comnotes:

“Looking at the sheer number of buyers, low mortgage rates, and limited sellers, the strength of home prices–which are now growing at the highest pace since January 2018–makes sense.”

When it comes to pricing your home, the goal is to increase visibility and drive more buyers your way. Instead of trying to win the negotiation with one buyer, you should price your house so that demand is maximized and more buyers want to take a look.

How to Price Your Home

As a seller, you might be thinking about pricing your house on the high end while so many of today’s buyers are searching harder than ever just to find a home to purchase. You’re thinking, higher price, greater profit, right? But here’s the thing – a high price tag does not mean you’re going to cash in big on the sale. It’s actually more likely to deter buyers and have them looking at the houses your neighbors are selling instead.

Even today, when the advantage tips toward sellers because there are so few houses for sale, your house is more likely to sit on the market longer or require a price drop that can send buyers running in the other direction if it isn’t priced just right.Why Pricing Your House Right Is Essential | MyKCM

A Trusted Real Estate Professional Will Help

It’s important to make sure your house is priced correctly by working in partnership with a trusted real estate professional. When you price it competitively, you won’t be negotiating with one buyer over the price. Instead, you’ll have multiple buyers competing for the home, and that’s what ultimately increases the final sale price.

The key is making sure your house is priced to sell immediately. That way, it will be seen by the most buyers. More than one of them may be interested, and your house will be more likely to sell at a competitive price.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about listing your house this fall, let’s discuss how to price it right so you can maximize your exposure and your return.

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How Do Realtors Get Paid?

how do realtors get paid

A real estate agent can streamline the complex process of selling or buying a new home. In return for their guidance and expertise, your agent will typically collect a commission based on a set percentage of a property’s selling price. Read on for an in-depth look into how your agent will be compensated for his or her services.

Digging Deeper into Commissions

Most real estate agents earn a living through commissions, which are essentially payments made directly to brokers for all the necessary services rendered in the purchase or sale of a real estate property.

A commission is typically a percentage of the home’s selling price, although it can sometimes be a flat fee. While agents rely on commissions for income, they usually only get a slice of the pie. To understand how agents are paid, it helps to know about the relationship between agents and brokers.

Agents and Brokers

Professional agents are licensed salespeople who work under the umbrella of a designated real estate broker. It’s important to note that an how realtors get paidagent is not able to work independently and is prohibited from being paid any commission directly by a consumer.

On the other hand, a broker is able to work independently and/or hire real estate agents. In most cases, real estate commissions are paid directly to the broker, who then splits the commission with the agent or agents involved in the transaction.

The broker’s compensation will almost always be specified in the listing agreement, and the rate of the broker’s commission is usually negotiable. Commissions are funded by sale proceeds, and it’s usually the seller who pays them, unless the seller and buyer negotiate a split.

Most sellers factor agent/broker commissions into a home’s asking price, so it could be argued that the buyer pays at least some portion of the commission in either case due to the inevitable increase in the overall asking price.

How Commissions Get Divided

Real estate commissions are often divided among several different people. In a standard real estate transaction, the commission might be shared between up to four professionals, including:

  • Buyer’s agent
  • Buyer’s agent’s broker
  • Listing agent
  • Listing broker

For instance, let’s consider an example of an agent who has taken a listing on a $400,000 property at a 6% commission rate. If the home sells for the asking price, the listing broker and the buyer’s agent’s broker would get 50% of the commission ($400,000 sales price x 0.06 commission ÷ 2 = $12,000 each). The brokers would then split the commissions with the agents.

It’s common for commissions to be divided so 40% goes to the broker and 60% goes to the agent; however, the split could also be split at whatever ratio the broker and agent have agreed upon. In a 60/40 split, each agent in the above example would receive $7,200 ($12,000 X 0.6), and each broker would receive $4,800 ($12,000 X 0.4). The final breakdown would be:

  • Buyer’s agent—$7,200
  • Buyer’s agent’s broker—$4,800
  • Listing agent—$7,200
  • Listing broker—$4,800

Commissions are sometimes divided among fewer people. For instance, when brokers list a property and also identify a buyer, they may keep the full 6% commission. Or, if a listing agent sells a home acting as both the buyer’s agent and listing agent, he or she would only need to split the commission with the sponsoring broker.

Of course, as with almost every other financial transaction, all parties must contend with taxes and business expenses. This includes everything from federal, state and self-employment taxes to the many costs of doing business, including dues and fees, insurance and advertising. All of this can turn what appears to be a substantial commission into a much more modest profit.

Things to Consider

Commissions are typically only paid when a transaction settles. There are certain instances, however, when a seller might be liable for the broker’s commission even when a real estate transaction is not closed. For example, if the broker already has an offer from a willing and able buyer, he or she may still be entitled to claim a commission if the seller:

  • Chances his or her mind and refuses to sell
  • Has a title with uncorrected defects
  • Agrees with the buyer to cancel the transaction
  • Commits any sort of fraud in relation to the transaction
  • Insists on terms that weren’t included in the listing agreement
  • Can’t deliver possession of the home to the buyer within a reasonable timeframe
  • Has a spouse who refuses to sign the deed after already signing the listing agreement

The Bottom Line

In rare instances, real estate agents are employed by their brokers and paid an annual salary. Most commonly, however, agents earn income through commissions paid to brokers when real estate transactions are settled.

Thinking of buying or selling a home? The Wheaton Team can help. With 60-plus years of combined experience, our team specializes in residential real estate throughout Colorado Springs and all of El Paso County. Let us guide you through each step of the selling, buying and financing process, so you can turn your vision into reality.

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How Often Must a Colorado Real Estate License Be Renewed?

renew colorado real estate license

To protect consumers and prevent predatory practices, the state of Colorado requires real estate agents to acquire a professional license. Here’s what you should know about this license, including what it entails, why it’s required and how often it must be renewed.

Why licenses are required

As with any profession, a certified license affirms that a person has undergone a certain amount of training. It also demonstrates that the professional has accumulated enough expertise to pass examinations that confirm their industry knowledge.

While licensing requirements vary by state, the typical Colorado real estate agent has to complete several hours of real estate coursework. They must also become knowledgeable about all relevant local, state and national real estate practices and laws. Certified agents are also required to continue their education and must go through a regular renewal process to keep their certification from expiring.

How do agents obtain licenses?

To become certified, agents must complete 168 hours of approved pre-licensing education at an accredited school with DORA-approved college-level real estate courses. They must also complete a routine background check conducted by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

If they make it this far, agents are able to apply for licensing exams. This comprehensive final exam consists of 100 Colorado-specific questions and another 100 national questions. If they pass the test, the agent will need to provide proof of Errors & Omissions insurance. Then, they can complete their state real estate license application and await approval.

When do licenses have to be renewed?

To operate as a real estate agent in the state of Colorado, a person is legally required to obtain a license. They must also renew this license every three years. Agents are required to renew their licenses frequently to ensure that they adhere to the state’s continuing education requirements for real estate professionals.

Licenses aren’t everything

renew colorado real estate license 2While they do prove that an agent has received a minimum amount of education, real estate licenses don’t tell you much about a person’s experience, communication or professionalism. It takes years for savvy agents to accumulate the expertise they need to serve clients. It also takes years to develop reputations — either good or bad — which help clients decide on whether an agent will have their best interests at heart.

In virtually every industry, people prefer to work with professionals who have extensive experience and expertise. Real estate is no different. In fact, experience is more critical in real estate than in many other industries.

Without extensive experience, agents can have difficulty streamlining the complex home selling and buying process. They may overlook key details and have trouble attracting interested buyers. Inexperienced agents also tend to lack knowledge about local markets and the communities in which they work. On the other hand, experienced agents know how to pique interest in buyers and represent the best interests of the clients they serve.

They also know how to handle complex paperwork and navigate the many steps that go into each transaction. Experienced agents can efficiently identify and predict trends. They can tell you the neighborhoods that are trending up or down and explain why. If you don’t need to sell or buy right away, they can recommend when you should wait and when you should act.

Experience also plays a critical role at the negotiating table. Negotiating is an art form that is honed by frequent practice. Experienced agents often have insight into who is motivated to sell quickly and who has the patience to sit and wait for a more favorable deal.

It’s also important to understand that selling or buying a home typically requires working with vendors such as title companies, mortgage lenders, home inspectors, appraisers, pest inspectors and general contractors. Because they’ve been in the industry so long, experienced agents know who to avoid and who to trust.

Whether you’re planning to buy or sell a home, it’s important to make sure you are working with a licensed agent. It’s also important to make sure the agent has extensive industry experience, so there won’t be any surprises or needless complications that could torpedo the sale or purchase of a home.

Thinking of buying or selling a home? The Wheaton Team can help. With 60-plus years of combined experience, our team specializes in residential real estate throughout all of El Paso County, including Colorado Springs and the Tri-Lakes area. Let us guide you through each step of the selling, buying and financing process, so you can turn dreams into reality.

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Does A Pergola Add Value to Your Home?

does a pergola add value to your home

Influenced by Pinterest and HGTV programming, more and more homebuyers are interested in pergolas which increase the comfort and enjoyment of outdoor living space. But do these features actually add value to a home? Here’s what homeowners should know.

Does a Pergola Increase Property Value?

Anytime you elevate your home in the eyes of buyers, you are essentially increasing property value. If a feature makes your property more enticing compared to similar inventory, it will allow you to command a higher asking price. 

Since outdoor living has become especially popular, the value of homes with pergolas has been on the rise. A safe gauge for a backyard improvement or deck is about 50% to 80% for your ROI. That said, to the right buyer, an alluring pergola could earn an even better return while providing the X-factor that attracts future buyers to your house.

Because they are open and airy, pergolas can help define your outdoor space without making it feel smaller or confined. Typically, the ground under the pergola is topped with some sort of flooring, whether it’s concrete pavers, brick flooring or even a deck, which combine with the pergola’s pillars and beams to further define your outdoor living space.

Pergolas are generally good investments because they effectively provide more “living space” outdoors. It’s similar to adding a gazebo or patio to serve as an exterior living room. While it won’t give you as much ROI as other hardscape additions, such as a patio or outdoor kitchen, a pergola can add value to your property. 

Getting the Most Out of Your Pergola

pergola add value to homeWhen it comes to maximizing ROI for your pergola, there are a few things to consider. While installing a pergola is one of the less expensive hardscape additions, the biggest factor affecting the overall cost is overall size and the kind of material used.

According to HomeAdvisor, the national median cost of a pergola is around $3,500. That said, you can expect to pay about $5,000 for a teal or ipe pergola, $3,000 for a cedar pergola and between $1,000 and $5,000 for an aluminum or fiberglass kit. If you’re an experienced DIYer, you can also opt to install a pergola yourself using a 10-by-10 kit that costs around $2,000.

Although wood is the most popular and beautiful option, it also requires more maintenance. You may have to repaint it, reseal it or repair hardware; and this could result in ongoing costs. With vinyl pergolas, on the other hand, you won’t have to worry about deterioration or maintenance. 

Vinyl pergolas won’t peel, chip, splinter, rot, warp, fade or become discolored when exposed to UV rays. Unlike wood pergolas, they can’t be infested by termites or other wood-boring insects. They also don’t require frequent maintenance or annual staining. 

The Bottom Line

When it comes to any home renovation, it’s important to consider all angles of the investment. If you’re looking to enhance your home’s outdoor space, there are a lot of good reasons to purchase a beautiful and durable pergola for your patio. In addition to boosting property value, these functional additions make your home more enjoyable while you’re still living in it. 

Bear in mind that how you choose to pay for your pergola will also affect your ROI. For instance, if you choose to finance the pergola with a loan, you will incur interest charges that may offset any potential increase in property value. So, it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits before purchasing a pergola for your home. 

It’s also important to remember that while a pergola could help you increase the asking price on a home; the increase isn’t going to be especially substantial. In some cases, it could increase the value of your home by a few thousand dollars. This depends on whether the pergola is part of a more extensive renovation that either extends your outdoor living space or defines it in a way that makes it more beautiful and more accessible.

If you’re planning to sell your home, The Wheaton Team can help. We specialized in residential real estate in Colorado Springs, Monument and the entire El Paso County. Let us help streamline the complex selling process and help you sell your home for a price that meets your expectations. To get started, contact us today!

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Selling a Home: 8 Questions to Ask Your Realtor

home selling questions to ask a realtor

Selling a house can be a complicated process fraught with all sorts of complications and potential mishaps. A good real estate agent can simplify the process and greatly improve your chances of success. To ensure that you enter the home-selling process with your eyes open, be sure to ask your agent the following key questions.

  1. What are your credentials?

If you’re thinking of selling your home, it’s important to hire a reputable agent with a state license. They should also belong to the local real estate trade association, which will give them access to the multiple listing service, or MLS, allowing them to list your property far and wide to attract more prospective buyers.

  1. Do you specialize in this area?

A local real estate expert can provide a huge advantage for sellers. Local agents are aware of available inventory, area market conditions and upcoming developments in the area. They will also know about plans for stores or other amenities that will impact the value of your home and determine how quickly it will sell. Local agents also know what local buyers are looking for in real estate. It’s important to remember that your agent needs to be able to sell not only your home but your entire neighborhood.

  1. What do I have to disclose to buyers?

While it makes sense to present your house in its best light, you must also be prepared to disclose some of its flaws. Colorado disclosure laws require sellers to alert buyers about the physical condition of a home, along with specific defects and the existence of dangerous materials or conditions. If you fail to adequately disclose specific facts, you could face lawsuits or various pending matters that could hold up the sale, impact property value or leave you liable for financial restitution. 

  1. Should I hire an inspector? 

Many buyers will include inspection contingencies in their offers. Sometimes, however, it makes sense for sellers to hire an inspector to perform a pre-inspection to check for potential problems before the property is listed.home selling questions for realtor

A pre-inspection can give you a chance to fix problems in advance and present buyers with a clean bill of health for the home. Since it will cost money, however, it’s best to check with your real estate agent to see if a pre-inspection is warranted for your property.

  1. How will you arrive at the listing price?

Few things are as critical to a seller than the price of a home. Your agent’s ability to set an appropriate listing price will go a long way toward determining your success. A home that is priced too high will languish on the market. If it’s priced too low, on the other hand, you may be leaving money on the table. It’s important to make sure your agent is an expert on the local real estate market and knows what similar homes have recently sold for.

  1. What is your sales plan?

A good real estate agent should have a written sales plan that identifies the marketing strategy to attract prospective buyers to your property. From listing services to social media to open houses, multiple marketing channels can help you secure a higher sales price. Make sure the agent is capable of providing professional photography, video and staging elements. This will make a better impression on buyers and improve the chances of a successful sale.

  1. What should I do to prepare my home?

Get your agent’s advice for necessary upgrades and repairs. Ask what hacks they might suggest for impactful, budget-friendly improvements that pique interest in buyers. Find out if they suggest whole-scale staging services or just some basic cleaning and decluttering.

  1. How will we communicate? 

Make sure your agent is willing to communicate according to your preferences, whether it’s by text, email or phone conversations. Knowing the frequency and method of communication can be important in selling your home. Your agent should be available to answer any questions that might come up along the way. They should also be willing to accommodate your schedule when it comes to planning open houses.

If you’re planning to sell your home, The Wheaton Team can help. We specialized in residential real estate in Colorado Springs, Monument and the entire El Paso County. Let us help streamline the complex selling process and help you sell your home for a price that meets your expectations. Contact us today to get started!

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How a Home Office Increases Appeal to Home Buyers More Now Than Ever

home office appeal

A home office can add significant appeal to a home, especially in the eyes of millennial buyers and people who work from home. Read on to learn why home offices intrigue modern buyers and discover some ways you can optimize your home office to raise eyebrows for all the right reasons.

It provides a space to work from home. The gig economy has combined with modern technology to produce a growing remote workforce. A home office gives buyers a separate space where they can telecommute and get timely projects done. A home office is also attractive to buyers who have hobbies that center on writing, coding, and other computer work. 

It provides a place for storage. Even if a buyer doesn’t work remotely, a home office provides a convenient central space for records, files, computers and necessary activities, such as family scheduling and bill paying. Even if they use it infrequently buyers tend to appreciate having a home office where they can store documents, paperwork, and other essential items. If the office incorporates cabinets, built-in shelves, bookcases, or a closet, it can provide additional storage space in a home. It can also provide display space for awards, collectibles, books, and artwork.

It isolates work and administrative clutter. A home office also gets computers, desks, and clutter out of other living spaces, such as bedrooms, kitchens and dining areas. If the office is equipped with a door, it can be sealed off from noise and distractions, while keeping administrative clutter out of sight. 

Children have a place to study. A home office can provide a quiet sanctuary where school-aged children have space for studying. Students can complete their work without interruption, and the rest of the family doesn’t have to worry about disturbing them with television, music, or conversation.

It helps parents supervise their kids. These days, children are exposed to dangers and inappropriate content anytime they explore the internet. When tablets and computers are kept in a central point, it’s easier for parents to track browsing history and enforce screen time limits. A home office allows parents to monitor technology more effectively and keep children safe from online predators.

Tips for Creating a Home Office

Once you recognize the appeal of a home office, it’s clear why it can help attract interest from buyers. To make your office more attractive, however, it’s best to optimize your space so it doesn’t just look like a small spare room or tiny uninspiring nook. Depending on your available space, consider the following tips:

home office design tipsDesignate the right space. Distractions are among the worst frustrations for people working from home. To pique interest in buyers, you want to create an atmosphere that’s conducive to creativity and professionalism. If your property is large enough to accommodate an entire room dedicated to work, a home office could pique interest in older professionals and millennial buyers envisioning comfortable, productive days working from home. If not, consider establishing a semi-private area where buyers can picture themselves talking on the phone, using a computer and storing important documents.

Embrace the sunshine. Instead of putting a home office desk in a dark, isolated corner, try sliding it closer to a window. Buyers will appreciate being able to take in the scenery during the workday. Be sure to include lamps so buyers can envision themselves working in the evening. 

Keep things impersonal. Help buyers envision themselves working in the home office by removing anything overly personal, such as photos and children’s artwork. 

Spruce things up. If your home office has empty space, consider adding a floor plant. If the space seems drab, pair the plant with a nice colorful container. 

Make it comfortable. If your home office is large enough, consider adding a comfortable space that inspires creativity. Add a coffee table, chair and colorful throw at least a few feet away from the desk. This can help intrigue buyers who appreciate having a quiet inspiring space where they can relax and brainstorm during the workday. 

If you’re planning to put your home on the market, The Wheaton Team can help. We specialized in residential real estate in Monument, Colorado Springs, and the whole El Paso County. Let us streamline the selling process and help you sell your home faster for a price that meets your expectations. Contact us today to get started!

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8 Tips to Renovate Your Home for the Millennial Buyer

millennial home buyer

Millennials represent a significant segment of home buyers. In fact, more than half of all first-time buyers are under the age of 36. Like generations before them, millennials have unique needs and preferences that make certain homes more attractive than others. Here are some strategic home renovations that can help pique interest in these buyers.

Redecorate with a neutral palette.

HGTV and Instagram have nurtured a widespread appreciation for neutral gray and white color schemes. While it’s important to paint rooms with neutral tones, you shouldn’t stop at wall colors. Ensure that everything has a consistent, neutral palette, from doorknobs and light switch plates to counters and tiles. 

Remove outdated materials.

It can be difficult to convince yourself to strip out materials when they’re still in good shape. To appeal to the millennial market, however, you will need to make some tough choices. Remove any wallpaper, carpet and outdated tile, even if they are in spectacular condition. Sellers often have a difficult time accepting this renovation tip, because it seems like a needless waste. Unfortunately, outdated materials and décor can bring down home value especially in the eyes of younger buyers.

Make the home move-in ready.

Busy with careers, social activities and community causes, millennials don’t have a lot of extra time to remodel, tear down or replace. Most are looking for a property that is essentially move-in ready. Ideally, your home should have a great aesthetic while requiring little to no maintenance. 

While certain buyers may be willing to accept deferred maintenance for a price cut, younger buyers are less likely to go for this. Most are looking for a home that’s ready to go, so they can focus their time on travel, work and social and political engagement.

millennial home buyer 2Spruce up outdoor spaces.

Millennials rank outdoor living space as one of the most important factors in choosing a new home. Make sure your outdoor spaces look fresh, inviting and usable. 

Keep things open.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that nearly 80% of millennials prefer open-concept living spaces. While you may not be able to tear down walls, you should take steps to open up your home. Try removing or rearranging furniture to enhance flow and make things look more open. In general, less is more when it comes to creating an open-concept living space. Remove obstructions and needless bells and whistles as much as possible. 

Focus on appliances.

Every generation of home buyers has unique values and priorities. Baby boomers and Gen X-ers are more willing to overlook deferred maintenance issues if they think it will get them a better deal. 

Have an old or broken dishwasher? A baby boomer may be willing to fix it, buy a new one or negotiate appliance expenses into the home sale. A millennial, on the other hand, might walk away to avoid the hassle of repairing the appliance or buying new.

Obviously, newer smart appliances are going to pique interest in millennial buyers. That said, you don’t have to go overboard. While it may not be practical to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars updating your appliances, you should at least make sure they are working optimally before you start showing your home. 

Add some smart features.

While you may not want to spend a ton of money on smart home technology, a few targeted investments can set your home apart from similar inventory in the area. Consider ditching your old-fashioned doorbell for a modern video system that allows you to hear, see and speak to anyone at your doorstep using a smartphone app. Young millennial couples who both work will appreciate the added convenience and security. 

You should also consider installing mobile-controlled thermostats and locks which can make older homes seem more innovative at a reasonable expense.

Upgrade your lighting.

Light fixtures are kind of like a timestamp on a property. To appeal to younger buyers, you will need to get rid of your antique brass, flush-mounted ceiling fixtures. Instead, upgrade to something more modern such as a semi-flush fixture with a sleek drum shade. 

You should also update your bathrooms fixtures with LED lighting and install dimmer switches wherever possible. This will allow you to adjust the lighting based on the time of day your house is being shown.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, The Wheaton Team can help. For more than a decade, we’ve specialized in residential real estate in Colorado Springs and all of El Paso County. Let us help streamline the complicated selling process and help you secure a price that meets your expectations. Contact us today to learn more.

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Sell Your Home With These Quick and Easy Home Repair Projects You Can Do in a Weekend

easy home repair projects

Even simple renovations can make a home seem much more desirable in the eyes of prospective buyers. Here are some easy DIY projects to help pique buyer interest in your home.

Refresh your walls with some paint. You can give drab, washed-out rooms a compelling burst of depth by adding a fresh coat of paint. Ideally, you should try to keep things neutral, so prospective buyers will have an easier time picturing themselves and their possessions in the property. Be sure to prime water stains, crayon marks and other flaws before painting, so they won’t bleed through. You should also choose a nice eggshell or satin paint sheen for the walls and a semi-gloss or gloss paint for trim and woodwork.

Add privacy by installing interior shutters. Commonly used in urban and southern homes, interior shutters add architectural and historical detail to a home. They also filter out overwhelming sunlight, reduce cooling bills and add an element of privacy, especially on windows facing neighboring homes. A quick and easy weekend DIY project, interior shutters are easy to install on any window because they attach to the frame that either sits within the window opening or on the outside of the window casing.

quick and easy home repair projectsReplace fixtures. New fixtures can have a dramatic effect on every room of your home. Whether it’s fresh lighting fixtures, an updated faucet or a new towel rack, even minor enhancements can significantly transform the look and feel of a home. New switch plates and outlet covers allow you to freshen up rooms without having to put forth much effort. You can make these renovations in a matter of hours for a relatively small investment. Many people are shocked when they see just how much new fixtures can alter the aesthetic of their homes. 

Revive an old deck. Years of weather and neglect can leave decks looking gray. That said, even the most hopeless-looking wood deck can be revived. You can use a power washer to “burn” the gray layer away and expose fresh, raw wood. You can then brush on a protective coat of semitransparent stain to shield it from the elements. The end result can be dramatic. Just be sure to always power wash along with the grain of the wood to keep from damaging your deck. 

Add some low-cost flooring. Long before plastic-laminate planks and sheet flooring, there was vinyl tile. Originally designed as an alternative to cheap-looking linoleum, vinyl tile grew in popularity because it was easy to clean, colorful and crack-resistant. These days, it’s available in all sorts of dynamic patterns, colors and textures, making it easy to craft checkerboard designs and floors with compelling contrasting borders. Consider it as a quick, cost-effective way to refresh dining areas, laundry rooms and entryways. 

Enhance your entryway. Since your home’s entryway is the very first thing buyers will see, you should spend some extra time enhancing its appearance. A welcoming front porch can significantly elevate your home’s curb appeal. Add a fresh coat of paint to your front door and dress it up with new hardware. Add a welcome mat and potted plant to your front porch and consider installing outdoor lighting to illuminate the walkway. 

Spruce up your landscaping. Attractive shrubs and colorful plants can add powerful curb appeal to any home. When shopping at your area garden center, however, be sure to “think green.” Choose plants that are drought-tolerant or native to the region. Since these plants require less water, they will flourish without a lot of oversight or maintenance. This will help save you time while you are trying to sell your home and give a you a valuable selling point for busy buyers who don’t have much of a green thumb. 

Boost your backyard. You can easily create an attractive outdoor patio over the weekend by strategically placing flagstone in your backyard. Add potted plants, exterior lighting and outdoor seating, such as a weatherproof bistro set or an eclectic collection of colorful chairs to craft a quaint backyard escape that extends your home’s living space. 

If you’re thinking about selling your home, The Wheaton Team can help. We specialize in residential real estate in Colorado Springs and the entire El Paso County. Let us help simplify the complicated selling process and help you sell your property for a price that meets your expectations. Contact us today to get started!