February 5 2020

Millennials Are Dominating the Real Estate Market in 2020

by racheal

man holding a drink on a couch

Millennials are the next generation of home buyers that are making a wave in the real estate market this decade. They are the largest U. S. generation ever and are definitely making an impact. Millennials are expected to buy more homes in the next year than both Generation X and baby boomers combined. With lessons learned from previous generations, this group of tech-savvy adults has come to make decisions with a very different perspective. 

 

Despite the popular belief that millennials are less likely to invest in purchasing homes with their overbearing student loan debt and love for Starbucks, they are taking homeownership to a new level. Millennials were the most dominant buyers in 2019 and will play a large role in the coming year as well. In 2016, adults 36 years old and younger accounted for the largest portion of homebuyers at 34 percent. Millennials make up 56 percent of first-time homebuyers according to Zillow.

 

Rent prices are continuing to rise and more times than not, a mortgage may turn out to be much more affordable for a 30 something adult. This generation is taking its time and planning accordingly when it comes to their first home purchase. We are seeing many millennials becoming more frugal by moving back home with family members in order to finish school and save for their first new home.

 

Millennials rely heavily on technology to find and purchase homes

 

This is the generation that is extremely tech-savvy dominating with the love of social media. Millennials are twice as likely to use their cell phones as aids in their home search process compared to the baby boomer generation. There is literally an app for everything these days including an app that will assist in searching for and eventually purchasing a new home. In 2017, 99% of millennials searched online prior to making their first home purchase. These same buyers tend to look for properties with a social media prescience when trying to find the right home to fit their needs. Apps like Trulia, Realtor.com, and Zillow are just a few of the tools that have helped millennials dig into the real estate market.

 

Millennials are going green

 

Millennials are very interested in minimizing their carbon footprint by going green, which means they are on the hunt for lots of green features both inside and outside of their home. This generation is very environmentally- conscious and is looking to have efficient features such as low-emittance windows, fluorescent light bulbs, sustainable lumber, and solar energy. Many millennials have a desire to help reduce their carbon footprint and will opt for more all-electric homes that come equipped with induction stoves and heat pump dryers that are energy-efficient and will reduce costs.

 

Millennials are looking for convenience

 

Along with the desire to help save the planet, millennials are opting for communities that are closer to everyday necessities like parks, shopping, dining, and even employment to lessen the load of a commute. Many are riding bikes, carpooling, taking trains, buses, and utilizing Uber or Lyft to save funds and the earth.

 

Millennials want more space

 

This generation of adults is starting families and businesses, and entertaining guests. They desire homes with open floor plans and great rooms that will accommodate their growing needs. New homes with spacious and open floor plans are more desirable and allow for more options as life changes. Potential homeowners are looking for houses with options for an in-home office, game rooms, nursery, or even an in-home gym.

 

As more and more millennials begin to dominate the real estate market and express their specific home needs, home builders are making the efforts necessary to accommodate this growing generation with smart home technology and lots of amenities that will keep them coming. Millennials are making much bigger decisions than which Snapchat filter to use. They're making investments that will last a lifetime.

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January 8 2020

January Realtor of the Month: Kimberly McLaughlin

by Erin

Kimberly McLaughlin Realtor of the month

Our January realtor of the month is Kimberly McLaughlin, broker and real estate specialist of KM Luxury and our Real Estate Market Expert for Bainbridge Island, WA.

 

Kimberly has worked in the Real Estate field for over 20 years as a full-time broker. She is a member of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service as well as the National Association of Realtors. Kimberly previously held a position as a Corporate Relocation Manager for Coldwell Banker-Bain and has closed millions in residential sales.

 

Kimberly McLaughlin has always put her client’s needs first and uses her experience to communicate, educate, and translate the steps needed in order to buy and sell a home. She has gained trust with her clients through her transparency with her own experiences as both a broker and a homeowner. The best brokers are the ones who’ve walked a mile in your shoes.

 

If you’ve been on the lookout for a new home in Seattle, look no further. Contact Kim McLaughlin for all of your buying and selling needs.

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December 30 2019

End the Decade Right at a New Houston Home at Meridiana

by racheal

Meridiana Amenities Cafe Sol

One of the greatest gifts to have is a cozy home to settle into during the holiday season. Gathering around the ones you love experiencing laughter, home-cooked meals, and family traditions are the greatest ways to close out the year. The lovely new neighborhood at Meridiana offers the perfect space for all of this and so much more! 

 

Positioned just near Pearland, Texas, Meridiana is brimming with upscale features and several amenities that are sure to fit your family’s every need. This development is in a prime location near all of your favorite places to shop, dine, and find entertainment. Visit the Houston Zoo, shop at Tanger Outlets, or catch a movie at the Premiere Cinema 6.

 

Unlike gingerbread houses with their cookie-cutter designs, the homes at Meridiana are built from scratch with you in mind by Houston’s top home builders. Homebuilders like Chesmar Homes and Lennar Homes will provide you with impeccable one and two-story residences with up to 5 bedrooms and 4 full bathrooms. Square footage spans up to 2,733 square feet at homes built by Chesmar Homes and floor plans by Lennar Homes are between 2,302 to 3,359 square feet. A two-car garage with a storage area, a family room, walk-in closets in the master bath, and a covered patio are just a few of the must-have features you’ll find when living at Meridiana.

 

The amenities at Meridiana are abundant including a fitness center, conservatory, splash pad, family swimming pool, learning labs, and even community games and events! You can burn off those holiday calories when you take advantage of one of the walking, hiking, and biking trails available to enjoy. Or try out a Boot Camp Class at Max Fit perfect for all fitness levels. Allow yourself to be whisked away while enjoying a smooth ride on the ambassador’s yacht which also allows for overnight accommodations. 

 

Having fun can sure build up quite an appetite. Take a bite out of Café Sol, Maridiana’s community café open seven days a week. Whether you stop by during happy hour or a weekend brunch, you’ll find all of your foodie favorites at Café Sol. You can keep things light with an avocado salad, grab a juicy burger, or make your own pizza. Don’t forget to wash it all down with an ice-cold craft beer or cocktail straight from the bar.

 

Voted community of the year and developer of the year, Meridiana will not disappoint. Depending on the home design that fits your needs, price points range between the $200,000’s up to the $600,000’s. Stop by the Welcome Center at the Oasis Village to learn more about how you can close out the New Year in a brand new home at Meridiana. 

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December 30 2019

Four Ways to Decorate with Leftover Wrapping Paper

by racheal

Gift wrapping paper

The Christmas holiday is finally over and you’ve probably got plenty of excess wrapping paper leftover that will most likely collect dust for another year. But it doesn’t have to! You can easily use again, just not in the most conventional ways. Rather than letting rolls of wrapping paper take up space in your garage or storage closet, there are many alternative ways to make use of it. if you're looking to revamp your home, a great and affordable way to decorate is to do it with wrapping paper! We’re sharing four ways to decorate with leftover wrapping paper.

 

Line bookshelves 

 

Turn a drab bookshelf into eye candy by lining them with fun gift wrap. This may even encourage you to pull a few more books off of the shelf this year!

 

Line your kitchen and bathroom drawers

 

You can save a few dollars by lining the drawers in your home with your leftover wrapping paper that you already have. If you’re not too fond of the traditional green and red designs, you can always grab different colors and designs at your local Walmart or Target. This adds a fun little pop to your kitchen, bathroom, and dresser drawers.

 

Fill empty photo frames

 

Decorate the blank walls in your home with a few picture frames from the dollar store with your wrapping paper. This is a very affordable and unique way to create an eye capturing piece in any room in your home.

 

Cover your lamp shades

 

Add a little pizazz to your lampshades with fun colors and designs that will add to the room’s flow.

 

Whatever you decide to do with your leftover gift wrapping paper, make sure you’re having fun while doing it. Get creative and think outside the box. The possibilities are endless!

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December 19 2019

Amenities are Endless at Vista Santa Fe at Pacific Highlands

by Erin

Vista Santa Fe Master Bedroom in San Diego

Visit the brand new luxury home community at Vista Santa Fe by Pardee Homes located in sunny San Diego, California. This exclusive gated community only consists of 44 residences at Pacific Highlands Ranch. Life at Vista Santa Fe is plentiful when it comes to both indoor and outdoor recreational options such as the Torrey Pines Golf Course; several neighborhood parks, and the Solterra Swim Club. You’ll also enjoy neighborhood block parties, the nearby farmer’s markets, and waterside concerts only minutes from home.

 

Choose from three-floor plans that are comprised of both one and two-story single-family homes offering 4-5 bedrooms, 4.5-5.5 bathrooms, and a 2-3 bay garage. The square footage ranges from 4,356-4,922 square feet which is perfect for hosting family gatherings and entertaining guests. These spacious home sites are priced from $1.9 million to $2.5 million and are worth every penny. 

 

Every inch of the home designs at Vista Santa Fe are customized with intricate features that are both functional and pleasing to the eye.  The gourmet kitchens include a Delta Trinsic pulldown kitchen faucet, USB charging outlet, and a Sterling stainless steel single or double basin kitchen sink. The laundry room contains a Kohler laundry room sink, a Delta single handle faucet, slab granite or quartz countertops, and lower cabinets with optional uppers.

 

You’ll appreciate the well thought out characteristics of the beautiful master bathroom and powder room in the Vista Santa Fe home designs.  This portion of the home includes a frameless vanity mirror, slab granite or granite countertops with 6” splash, and Delta Ara chrome plumbing fixtures with matching bath accessories, and Kohler Corbelle comfort height toilets.

 

Take advantage of the smart home technology within your next home that includes features such as a Wifi-enabled Honeywell programmable thermostat. Vista Santa Fe also offers energy-smart features in each floor plan including low-formaldehyde insulation, low VOC interior paint, and MERV 8 air filters, LED lights, a tankless water heater, as well as pre-plumbing for solar throughout.

 

Trusted home builder, Pardee Homes was established in 1921 providing smart solutions to homebuyers. Pardee Homes is committed to its customers and thrives on providing customer satisfaction, sustainability, and community. This company has been a recipient of numerous awards over the years including the National Association of Home Builders Green Building Corporate Advocate and the Hearthstone Builder Humanitarian Award for a lifetime commitment to philanthropy. Find your forever home in Sand Diego home at Vista Sante Fe at Pacific Highlands by Pardee Homes.

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December 6 2019

How to Save Money for a Down Payment on Your New Home

by racheal

Piggy Bank

One of the biggest accomplishments to make is finally signing on the dotted line for the purchase of your very first home, but how exactly do you get to that point? Although it may be everyone’s dream to purchase property in some shape or form, it may not be everyone’s reality. Purchasing a home can cost more money than you can gather in between your couch. You may need to use a few more tactics in order to reach your financial goals. Here are a few helpful ways to help you to curb impulse buys and be intentional about saving up for one of the biggest purchases you’ll probably ever make in your life without having to starve yourself.

 

Figure out how much house you can actually afford

 

Before beginning the process of saving funds for your future new home, it’s best to plan out not only how much you are willing to spend on a home, but more importantly how much you can actually afford. Have a seat and tally up your monthly earned income as well as your monthly expenses to see how much room you have to groove. This way, you’ll have the ability to figure out just how much you can save and how often in order to reach your down payment goal while still living very comfortably. Ramen noodles are a great option for a college student, but not so much for a family looking for a starter home.

 

Look into down payment assistance

 

There are options out there that can save you even more money on the purchase of your new home. If you are a first time home buyer, you are more than likely to qualify for assistance with your down payment. There is also assistance for those with low to middle income and veterans as well. This might mean a little more paperwork and a lot more research, but it also means less money out of your pocket for that dream home of yours.

 

Check your credit

 

Your credit score, as well as your credit history, are pretty important factors when it comes to making a home purchase. The better your credit score, the more likely you are to get approved for a loan and the more options you will have. Keep your credit score in check while doing these things and you’ll be on your way to owning your home soon.

 

• Pay your bills on time

• Use less of your available credit

• Do not open any new credit accounts

• Maintain a mix of credit amounts

 

Open up a separate savings account

 

One huge mistake potential home buyers make is keeping their funds for their down payment in the same savings account meant for other funds, like vacations, or vehicle emergencies. Open a new account specifically for the purchase of your home so that expenses do not get mixed up. 

 

Another good idea is to open an account with another financial institution so that you are not tempted to touch the money you’ve worked so hard to save. The act of borrowing from the account will be much harder to do when the funds are housed in a completely different bank.

 

Set up an automatic transfer to your savings account

 

Make the hard work of saving funds a little easier with automatic transfers through your bank. You can schedule however much you’d like and however often you need in order to meet your goal and can almost forget about it. 

 

Take advantage of your raises

 

For those of you that receive raises from your employer, it would be very beneficial to take the extra money that you receive and place it into your down payment savings account. Many people use the extra funds to buy more rather than to save for more. 

 

Remove credit card numbers from your favorite online shopping websites

 

Spending money unnecessarily can be a difficult habit to break and make it much harder to save. One great suggestion is to remove your saved credit card numbers from your favorite online shopping websites. This will make it less convenient to spend and more convenient to save.

 

Spending money online is much easier these days. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars from the comfort of your home with just a few clicks. Just thinking about having to get out of bed to grab your credit card may help deter you from making those unnecessary purchases as often, which will save you a ton in the long run.

 

Wait a little longer before making a purchase.

 

Another tip that will be helpful when saving is to wait before you make a purchase. Maybe give yourself a few days or even a full week after getting receiving your paycheck to spend money other than bills. Ask yourself the question: Do I really need this? An even better question to ask is this: Did I need this yesterday? That question can be mind-blowing when you realize there was no actual need for the item at all. You can also take the amount of money that you would have spent and place it into your savings account, whether it’s a fast-food meal or a new pair of shoes. 

 

Minimize vacation spending for a year

 

Save hundreds and even thousands of dollars by skipping out on the elaborate vacations for an entire year. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little fun with your family. There are plenty of low-cost ways to have a mini-vacay right in your backyard. Choose more affordable options like driving instead of flying to your destinations. Select a location that is a little bit closer to home and make it a family road trip. Sign up for promotional deals to receive discounts for your experience at hotels, amusement parks, and more.

 

Pick up a side job or ask for overtime

 

To help you reach your goal a little faster, ask to work a few extra hours of overtime. If that is simply not an option for you, you can also make use of food delivery apps like Uber Eats and Postmates, or pick up and deliver groceries using Instacart. You can also use Uber or Lyft to offer rides or offer rides for the extra cash. If you have a skill that you’re great at, use it to make a few dollars. You can sell handmade jewelry, baked goods, or even offer resume editing services to go toward your savings goal and pay down your debt.

 

With a little bit of elbow grease and a lot of patience, you’ll be on your way to homeownership in no time! 

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December 6 2019

December Realtor of the Month: Kimberly Kelly

by Erin

Kimberly Kelly Dallas Realtor of the month

Our December realtor of the month is Kimberly Kelly, Broker for The Kelly Group Real Estate and our Real Estate Market Expert for Aubrey, TX.

 

Born and raised in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Kimberly is a devoted mother of two with over 19 years of experience in the real estate field. She has a degree in Interior Design and has worked in every aspect of the real estate industry. She has represented sellers, buyers, investors, and banks in the residential and commercial markets.

 

If you’re on the hunt for a brand new Dallas home, give Kimberly Kelly of The Kelly Group Real Estate a ring. Kimberly is committed to excellence in customer service and would not steer you wrong.

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November 26 2019

A New Home at Meridiana is Where Dreams Come True

by Erin

Meridiana New School in Houston

Find your dream home at Houston’s “Community of the Year” in the new master-planned development at Meridiana. This neighborhood is located near Pearland in Iowa Colony, TX. Meridiana is only ten minutes from endless shopping and dining at the Pearland Town Center. Meridiana is also 20 minutes away from the Houston Hobby Airport and 25 minutes from the Texas Medical Center.

 

The spacious one and two-story floor plans at Meridiana have so much to offer with the help of Houston's top home builders such as David Weekley Homes, Lennar Homes, and Taylor Morrison. You’ll absolutely love features such as the family room with an optional fireplace ideal for entertaining guests, an optional game room with a half bath on the first or second floor, and a library for the book lovers of the family. Meridiana’s floor plans come equipped with a master suite including a master bath with walk-in closets. A two-car garage is ideal to store your vehicles from the elements. Customize your home design to check everything off of your wish list.

 

You’ll have to pinch yourself when you discover all of the incredible amenities offered right in your back yard at Meridiana. Here, you’ll find a fitness center to burn off those holiday calories, and a splash pad perfect for little ones to cool off on warm days. There is also a family pool and lap pool as well. Have lunch with a new neighbor at Café Sol located at Oasis Village. Satisfy your taste buds with dishes such as wood-fired pizzas, burgers, juicy salmon, and satisfying appetizers that will keep you coming back for more! 

 

Your children will receive a top-rated education just minutes from home when enrolled in nearby schools like Meridiana Elementry. You can also look forward to the opening of Manvel Junior High School in 2020. This new school will render magnet academic programs, pre-advanced placement, and athletic and fine arts opportunities. The residents at Meridiana are also expecting the opening of Manvel High School in 2021. Beyond the walls of these astounding schools, Meridiana also offers a series of Learning Labs with hands-on lessons for children of all ages throughout the community.

 

Begin creating memories in the new home of your dreams at Meridiana. Visit the Welcome Center to grab more info or simply join the interest list to learn more. 

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November 14 2019

November Realtor of the Month: Fylicia Waugh

by Erin

Fylicia Waugh Realtor of the Month

Our November realtor of the month is Fylicia Waugh, Broker for Gateway Real Estate and our Real Estate Market Expert for Puyallup, WA.

 

Fylicia is a full time licensed REALTOR born and raised in the lovely city of Puyallup, Washington. Throughout her entire life, Fylicia’s family has been in both the real estate and residential construction business. It was only right that the torch was passed on to Fylicia as she found interest in real estate and eventually head her own brokerage. Prior to fully immersing in real estate, Fylicia also worked in banking and lending for eight years with experience as a commercial loan documentation specialist. This gives her the upper hand in understanding the legal paperwork needed to buy and sell real estate. 

 

If you are in the market to buy a new Seattle home or sell your old home, contact Fylicia Waugh with Gateway Real Estate. Fylicia loves helping people and has several years of experience in both buying and selling real estate in and around the Puyallup area. Along with her extensive experience, Fylicia provides excellent communication and an amazing smile!

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October 30 2019

How to Get Your Home Fall-Ready on a Budget

by racheal

orange pumpkins on doorstep

The fall season is well underway and what better time to revamp your home than now? Making a few small adjustments around the house can make a big difference, but it can be costly as well. No one wants to spend all of their hard-earned money on décor that will only be up for a season. Fear not! It doesn't have to be expensive to keep up with decor trends. Some of the best pieces can be found right under your nose! Here’s how to get your home fall-ready on a budget.

 

Use edible décor

 

Throw a few apples in a decorative bowl you already own and place it somewhere in your kitchen or on your coffee table.  If you’ve recently gone apple picking in the spirit of fall, you’ve probably got plenty of fresh apples to work with. They’ll double as décor and a crisp juicy snack.

 

Pumpkins go with everything! Use pumpkins to decorate your home. Instead of carving your pumpkins this season, try painting them in colors like white, grey, or a nice shade of forest green. Place a few larger pumpkins near your doorstep and spread out some smaller ones where you see fit throughout your home. You can also opt to grab a few plastic pumpkins from your local dollar store and spray paint them in white, gold, or even bronze for the perfect fall touch.

 

Take advantage of thrift store finds

 

Your local thrift store is a goldmine for dirt cheap décor. You just have to keep an open mind when searching and sorting through all of the chaos. Dress up your fireplace with a few repurposed items such as a wicker basket, teapot, or an antique broom to give it a cozy feel. 

 

Make use of blankets and throw pillows

 

The use of blankets can add a simple touch of warmth and color without the paint job. You can grab a few throws from the thrift store or local discount store or use a few you have on hand. Bring in blankets and pillows with warm tones and plaid designs to throw over your favorite chair or ottoman or even on a back porch table.

 

Fill your home with candles

 

There are tons of warm fall scented candles available at an affordable price. You can choose to light some to fill your home or place a few in rooms for decoration purposes only. Alternate between different sizes, shapes, and colors with your candles.

 

Prepare Autumn Goodies

 

This may not seem like décor, but baking anything warm with a scent of pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg is sure to fill your home with all of the fall feels. Creating memories in your kitchen with loved ones is the best way to bring in the new season.

 

Add color with wallpaper

 

If you don’t want to commit to painting your walls, consider incorporating wallpaper to add color in your home. You’ll save time and have the option to peel it away when you change your mind.

 

Arrange fresh fall florals

 

Use dahlias, ranunculus, and clippings from your yard to create an arrangement that is sure to make a statement. Here’s a tip: place your flower arrangements in the fridge at night to make them last even longer.

 

Have fun with decorating your home for the fall season on a budget. The possibilities are endless!  

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