The Front Porch Is in Demand

The front porch—a classic feature of American homes—is making a comeback but with a twist.

Younger crowds are literally turning porches into stages. “Porchfest” is growing in popularity across the country, in which neighborhood music festivals pop up that are enjoyed from homeowners’ front porches.

The Atlantic Monthly’s CityLab reports: “In the Instagram age, the front steps have become places to see and be seen, throw a rocking concert or party, and to foster metropolitan community in a walk-by, stop-in-for-wine sense.”

Read more on REALTORmag…

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Moving with pets? How to ease their anxiety on moving day

Moving comes with many emotions for both you and your pets – from the excitement of a new city, new house, or both, to sadness for leaving a place you’ve called home. Moving is emotional for many reasons, and your pets pick up on how you feel. Here are some tips to keep your pets comfortable and confident during the moving process, and ultimately make it easier for you, your pets and your family.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

It’s important to take care of yourself during your move. Pets pick up on their family’s energy and can sense if you’re upset, frustrated or anxious. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, make sure to take a breath and relax, because your pets will do the same!

Safety First!

The worst thing that can happen during a move is realizing that your pet has slipped out unnoticed in all the commotion. With you and helpers coming in and out of the house, and all of the noise associated with moving, pets can easily become distressed.

To allow yourself to concentrate on moving and to keep your pet safe and secure, perhaps the best option is to have a family member or friend take your pet to their house during move-out day. If there isn’t someone close by that can pet sit for the day, consider doggie daycares and boarding facilities.

If neither of those options will work for you, consider giving your pets their own space in the house, and closing the door with a “Do Not Enter” sign, especially if you have movers helping you. If you can’t designate a room, consider a crate to keep your pets safely out of the way and unable to escape when you aren’t looking.

A Busy Pet is a Happy Pet

Do your best to keep your pets busy and help them forget all of the hubbub going on around them. Consider turning on a TV or radio, giving them toys to play with, or propping them up near windows to look outside.

Keep Up Their Routine

Pets thrive when routines are maintained, so it’s important to keep feeding and walking times the same during your move. This gives some normalcy to an otherwise anything-but-normal situation. Signaling to your pets that what they have come to count on won’t change is a great way to keep them feeling confident and comfortable.

4 Tips to Help Kids Adjust to a new School After a Move

At any age, a move can be stressful. But for school-age kids, a major move means changing schools, adjusting to new curriculum and finding new friends. Here are a few things you can do to help ease the transition and encourage kids during a school transfer.

Acknowledge their anxiety.

The first day of school is always knee-knocking and nerve-racking. The first day at a new school can be even scarier for kids. Let them know that their feelings are completely natural and understandable. Affirm their feelings, and then offer advice or personal anecdotes about times you have been nervous about a situation that turned-out O.K.

Take a trial run.

If the new school doesn’t host an official orientation for new students, try to request a tour for you and your child. Younger kids can be comforted by seeing their classroom and playground, and learning the location of the bathroom and the bus port. Older kids may like to walk their first day’s schedule: from the bus, to the locker, to their different classrooms.

Meet the neighbors

Meeting your neighbors and parents at your new school can be a great help for your kids. You can hear first-hand how families have navigated the school district, and even arrange play dates or meet-ups between your kids and other students. Start making connections as a classroom volunteer, or mingling at the bus stop to chat to other parents.

Pack a special lunch.

If your kids bring lunch, make it a special one filled with their favorite snacks and an encouraging note from you.

Thinking about moving to a neighborhood with a better school district? I’ll be happy to help; contact me today!

4 Potential Surprises When Buying a Home

No. 1: Low inventory means you have to act fast …

In many cities around the U.S., inventories are tight, meaning there are too few homes on the market for potential homebuyers. Homes in good condition that are priced appropriately sell fast. The competitive market means buyers may find a home and make a serious offer in just a few days (sometimes 24 hours!). In extremely low inventory markets like Denver, Seattle and San Francisco, buyers may end up in bidding wars, paying more than the home’s asking price.

Professional real estate agents understand the unique trends in your market and can help buyers zero in on the right house and act quickly.

No. 2: … But closing takes longer than you think

According to Realtor.com, the average home sale takes approximately 50 days from the moment your offer is accepted to the time you move in, but this is contingent on a variety of things. As the days tick by during this comprehensive process of inspections and appraisals, you may find yourself impatient to move in and add Pinterest-worthy decor.

The good news? Advanced technology has helped streamline the exchange of a vast amount of paperwork. And, an experienced real estate agent will be able to set expectations and keep you informed every step of the way.

While you anxiously await the keys to your new place, you can occupy yourself by preparing your things for the move and planning an epic housewarming party.

No. 3: Home inspections leave nothing uncovered

For the benefit and protection of a new buyer, most home inspectors conduct a very thorough inspection of your new home, leaving a detailed and often intimidating list of recommended repairs and improvements. Remember, not every item on the list may need to be repaired for the home to be safe or for you to take possession. Yet again, your real estate agent will be able to walk you through this lengthy report, advising you on what you can and should ask the sellers to consider fixing.

No. 4: Closing costs may leave you asking: “I owe WHAT?”

Just when you think you know the bottom line, some additional closing costs can sneak up on you. Things like loan origination fees, prepaid property taxes, title insurance and more can add up at the end of the process. In fact, on average, closing costs can range from 2% to 5% of your home’s purchase price.

Now that you know, you can ask your agent for more details and factor this in when you prepare to buy. If you or someone you know is considering a purchase or sale, I’ll be happy to help; contact me today!

2 Major Reasons Why Inventory Is So Low

Inventory of available homes on the market is the lowest it’s been in two decades, but the reasons may surprise you. Two of the likely culprits are baby boomers and homeowners who are simply satisfied with their home, according to realtor.com®’s Housing Shortage Study.

Baby boomers are showing a desire to age in place in their current homes, and their refusal to sell is creating a clog in the market, according to the study. Eighty-five percent of baby boomers surveyed say they are not planning to sell their home in the next year. That means 33 million properties—many of which are urban condos or suburban single-family homes—will stay off the market. Many of those properties would be popular choices for millennials, a generation still largely waiting in the wings to break into homeownership.

Read the full article on RealtorMag…

RE/MAX is Celebrating 115,000 Agents Worldwide

RE/MAX agents are different. We’re strong-willed. Whip-smart.
And wide-awake. Now there are 115K of us!

July’s Hottest Housing Markets

Homes are selling faster in July, and many markets are hotter today than they were a year ago, realtor.com® notes in its newly released housing report. California markets continue to see some of the most traction from home shoppers.

“We normally see the housing market begin to slow down in midsummer, but this year has been a different story,” says Javier Vivas, realtor.com®’s manager of economic research. “Mid- to lower-tier homes are flying off the shelves and … [are] being replaced by higher-priced, larger homes.”

The national median list price in July was $275,000, realtor.com® reports. Further, the National Association of REALTORS® reported this week that 54 percent of existing homes were on the market for less than a month in June.