Buying A Home: Prepare For A Competitive Spring Home-Buying Season

home buying in the spring

With housing inventory far lower than demand and mortgage rates poised to rise, it’s going to be a competitive market for home buyers this spring.

If you’re looking to buy a home this season, here’s how to prepare yourself to enter the fray:

1-Get your financial house in order.
Unless you plan on paying for the home in cash, you’ll need to apply for a mortgage. No matter how streamlined the process is, you’ll still need to gather a significant amount of documentation to give an accurate financial picture to the lender.

Before you even begin home shopping, look at your credit report to make sure there are no errors that could affect your score. Also, pay off any delinquent bills and reduce any other debts you owe so that your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is favorable. Use a calculator to figure out your DTI and see if you need to make changes. Your goal is to look as attractive to lenders as possible so that you are you approved and can get the best rate on a loan.

2-Make sure you’ll qualify for a mortgage.
In order to get a mortgage, lenders want to know you’ll be able to meet your monthly obligations no matter what. This means they’ll ask to see your entire financial situation including employment history, salary, savings, investments, debts and anything else that makes up your net worth. Use a prequalifying mortgage calculator to get an idea of what size loan is right for your needs.

Even if you think you’re a strong candidate, never assume you’ll automatically qualify with the first lender you contact. Lenders’ guidelines have become stricter since the housing crisis of 2008, and you could lose out on the home you want if you can’t close on a loan. “Sometimes one deficiency can be offset by another strength. For example, if you have a higher DTI ratio, saving up enough to put a bigger down payment can help,” says Bill Banfield, executive vice president of Capital Markets for Quicken Loans.

3-Choose the right REALTOR®.
Unless you’re a seasoned pro, having a REALTOR® on your side can make a big difference.

“An experienced agent will know what could happen that might make a deal fall apart and how to keep that from happening,” says Dori Summer, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty in Coral Springs, Fla.

Making an offer on a home in a competitive market can require more than just a willingness to pay the price. If a seller has to choose between multiple buyers, they’re likely to choose the one that’s coming to them with the best overall package. A good agent will present your offer along with other information, including your ability to get a loan, how much you’re able to put down and anything else that might make you more appealing than someone else vying for the same property.

4-Be prepared to pay the price.
Home prices in close to two-thirds of the housing market are at an all-time high, according to a February 2018 report by the National Association of REALTORS®.

“Sellers in this current market get at least 95 percent of their asking price,” says Samona Rosenberg, a licensed real estate agent with Stein Posner Real Estate Services in Boca Raton, Fla.

If you see the house you want and you know it’s in your budget, it may not make sense to hold out to see if the price will drop.

“The best properties all have multiple offers,” says Erik Williams, a REALTOR® with Keller Williams Realty in Cambridge, Mass. “If it’s a desirable property, it’s desirable to buyers. The people that I see get places under agreement are the most prepared people and the most aggressive.”

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Homeowners Association (HOA): Pros/Cons All Buyers Should Consider

Homeowners Association (HOA)

Modern Townhouses

Home shoppers weigh a laundry list of factors before purchasing a single-family home or condo. Location, price, size, and style are all taken into consideration. But for some, a home in a community with a homeowners association, or HOA—a board of residents who help ensure that your community looks its best and functions smoothly—could either sweeten the pot or be a major deal breaker.

“I have had clients who specifically want this type of situation, and others who refuse to buy in a community that has one,” says Bill Golden, an independent real estate agent with Re/Max Metro Atlanta Cityside.

Want to know what makes buyers swing one way or the other? The following insights will illustrate the best and worst qualities of HOAs and help you decide if living in this type of community is right for you.

Pro: HOAs maintain the common areas
Your community’s HOA will be responsible for handling all maintenance of common areas and repairs for the amenities outside of your home. It’s perhaps the biggest perk of living in an HOA community.

“Based on maintenance fees collected, an organized HOA maintains a comfortable balance in their fund to offset maintenance costs or unexpected issues that need to be fixed,” says Drew Scott of HGTV’s “Property Brothers” and co-founder of Scott Brothers Global.

An HOA’s level of involvement varies and might depend on the type and size of the community.

“The HOA will take care of the common areas like the pool, clubhouse, walking paths, or other amenities that provide value to the residents,” says Mark Ferguson, a Greeley, CO–based real estate agent and investor.

Con: You have to pay recurring HOA fees
If you move into an area with an HOA, membership is mandatory and so are the monthly or annual fees.

“The fees can change, based on decisions that you don’t have total control over,” Golden says. “Fees can also be a detriment to resale if potential buyers don’t want that extra cost in addition to their house payment.”

So, how much can homeowners expect to pay? It varies depending on your location and how expensive your house is.

“It also depends on the amenities offered by the neighborhood, but, for example, in the Trussville/Birmingham, AL, area, annual HOA fees could range anywhere from $300 to $1,200,” explains Patrick Garrett, real estate broker at H&H Realty in Trussville, AL.

The listing agent will be able to tell you exactly how much HOA payments will be.

Pro: HOAs help keep uniformity
Each HOA has its own declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions, or CC&Rs, which explain what homeowners can and cannot do—this includes streamlining the appearance of each property.

“Your neighbors can’t paint their house bright purple or put an unsightly addition on the front of their house,” Golden says. The CC&Rs make sure “the community retains the look and feel of the way it was built.”

Other common no-nos are parking vehicles on the lawn or keeping inoperable vehicles in the driveway.

“You won’t have to worry about that one neighbor that has decided to let his front yard grow into a wild jungle,” says Golden.

“Ultimately, the HOA helps the homes within the neighborhood retain their value,” Garrett says. “When there are rules and guidelines governing how homeowners should keep their property’s appearance, it helps keep the neighborhood looking desirable for the consumers perusing the neighborhood in search of a new home.”

Con: There’s a lot of red tape
Building that new second-floor addition will be especially difficult in an HOA community. Why?

Any exterior modification—even a minor one like a play area for your kids—has to be approved by the HOA.

You must submit plans describing the height, colors, location, shape, and materials to the HOA board for approval. “This can really slow down the process or limit the type of work you can do,” Scott says.

Ferguson says the approval process can be downright unreasonable. “It once took my HOA nine months to approve a basketball hoop that had already been approved by them for the previous owners,” he says.

Pro: HOAs mediate problems on your behalf
An HOA can also reduce conflicts and unpleasant exchanges. If your neighbors haven’t cut their lawn in several weeks, or decide to turn their driveway into an auto repair shop, you don’t have to confront them because the HOA will. When anyone is engaged in activity that violates the CC&Rs, the HOA sends a friendly notice and follows up with a stern warning.

Con: They can be overbearing
Remember those CC&Rs? While they come in handy for preventing rowdy college students from moving in, they also might be off-putting for homeowners who like their autonomy.

“Many folks believe that buying your own home should give you the freedom to make the changes you want to make and express your own individuality,” Golden explains. “They don’t want decisions about their own home made by a committee.”

HOA-mandated restrictions can be set on swimming pools (e.g., in-ground swimming pools can be built in the back of the house, but above-ground pools are prohibited), pets (e.g., they are allowed, but they can’t be bred or kept for commercial reasons; livestock or poultry are not allowed without permission), and rentals (e.g., you might be prohibited from renting out rooms or the entire home). In extreme situations, some HOAs can evict the tenant and hold the homeowner responsible for any eviction costs or any damage caused by the tenant.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

What’s Cooking: The 7 Hottest Kitchen Design Trends For 2018

Kitchen Design Trends 2018

Kitchen Design Trends 2018

It can be dangerous to blindly follow a trend. And that’s a tough pill to swallow when it comes to interior design; gotta-have-it features that once burned brightly can turn so yesterday fast.

But in the kitchen—arguably the definitive focal point and gathering place of your home—experts agree it can pay to take a chance on a white-hot trend.

“The kitchen is the room in every house now,” says Chicago interior designer Rae Duncan. As a result, “our clients are lavishing details on their spaces. Elaborate moldings, spectacular lighting, and high-quality art now have as much a right to be in the kitchen as the refrigerator and stove.”

Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered with the ultimate scoop on what’ll dominate kitchen trends in the upcoming year—whether you’re looking for an easy way to freshen your space or have an eye turned toward a major reno.

1. Bold colors

Photo by Loop Design

“Neutrals still have strong appeal with our clients, but we’re beginning to see more emphasis on color,” says Elissa Morgante, co-principal of Evanston, IL–based Morgante Wilson Architects. (She predicts blue will be hot this year, especially on kitchen islands.)

Embrace the trend by using different colors for your island and countertops, or choose complementary shades to highlight the lower cabinets from the upper ones.

“This concept really helps the kitchen feel more integrated with the rest of the home by connecting the color palette of the kitchen with the colors used throughout the home,” notes Leigh Meadows-McAlpin, a designer in Charleston, SC.

2. New twists on white-on-white

Morgante Wilson Architects

People still love a white kitchen (guilty!), but the all-white schemes that have reigned supreme in recent years have some obvious limitations: They’re hard to keep clean and can appear a bit, well, sterile.

To mix up the monochromatic vibe, designers are introducing vibrant lacquers and bold countertops. Or, for a more nuanced fresh take, pair painted gray cabinets with large expanses of white countertops and walls.

“This will evoke the same clean, fresh aesthetic of a white kitchen—without actually using white cabinets,” Morgante says.

3. Anything but stainless-steel appliances

Photo by Terracotta Design Build

Speaking of sterile, the stainless steel that’s long dominated our kitchens is also expected to see some competition in 2018. As today’s homeowners lust after color and flair in their kitchen, they’re trading in their metallic appliances for ones in vibrant colors or unique designs.

In particular, vintage-inspired, European-style ranges—complete with metal-wrapped accents—will be big this year, Meadows-McAlpin predicts.

“They’re typically available in a variety of colors and are somewhat reminiscent of an early-1900s steamer trunk, although much more beautiful,” she says.

Ready to take the plunge with a statement piece? Consider a retro pink range from appliance maker Smeg or a jewel-toned piece from BlueStar.

4. Durable materials

Photo courtesy of Cosentino

Balancing form with function is tough, especially in the high-traffic, well-used spaces like the kitchen. That’s why the No. 1 request designers get these days is for durable surfaces that require zero maintenance, says interior designer and architect Daniel Germani.

My clients “hate the idea of investing in something that will inevitably stain or requires constant sealing,” Germani says. “People are busy—they want their kitchens to keep up with everyday wear and tear without the hassle of maintenance.”

Germani likes quartz surfacing such as Silestone (he recommends the “truly stunning” Eternal Calacatta Gold, which resembles the look of Calacatta marble) and Dekton, a stain- and heat-resistant surface he bills as “the most durable option on the market.”

And he’s in good company. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2018 design trends report, a whopping 94% of respondents named quartz as the top surface trend for kitchens in the coming year.

5. Geometric tiles

Photo by Trevor Brown Architect

Sayonara, subway tile! Designers across the board predict a shift to larger-format tile (and even slab-size sheets of porcelain) placed in a geometric pattern.

“We’re seeing a shift toward simplistic, yet bold patterns that stand the test of time,” designer Stacy Garcia says. “These patterns help improve the perception of kitchen spaces—they create a layer of contemporary sophistication.”

6. Workhorse islands

Photo by j witzel interior design

A customized island that incorporates everything (including the kitchen sink)? Sign us up! This new darling of kitchen design promises to offer the ultimate blend of style and function.

“Everything from bar seating and open shelving to dishwashers and wine refrigerators can be found tucked into a well-designed kitchen island,” Meadows-McAlpin notes.

But resist the urge to order online and call it a day. Instead, study your space carefully before committing to a does-it-all solution.

7. Farmhouse looks (yes, still)

Photo by Caesarstone

Love it or hate it, farmhouse chic is here to stay—at least according to the 800 U.S. and Canadian pros surveyed by the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual trends report. Designers and homeowners alike have yet to tire of the back-to-basics look, which uses natural materials, like reclaimed wood, and rich, polished metals for kitchen plumbing fixtures, lighting, and hardware.

“Farmhouse style has an inviting ‘sit down and stay a while’ quality that resonates with people from all walks of life,” Meadows-McAlpin says. “Its friendly, unpretentious nature makes it well-suited for those who want their homes to be both a retreat to unwind and a gathering place for friends and family.”

“Farmhouse is always in,” adds Tina Anastasia, a partner at Mark P. Finlay Architects. But she predicts the look will shift in the coming year to incorporate more clean and contemporary lines.

“The totally-reclaimed look has been overdone, and we’ll see a more simple cabinet face with less hardware,” she says.

To keep your farmhouse look fresh, pair your wood-topped islands with quartz or stone counters and modern metallic hardware.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Are You Selling Your Home?: 6 Maintenance Tasks To Never Neglect

Home Selling Maintenance Tips

If you’re a homeowner, you already know that keeping your property in tip-top shape requires dedication and patience for ongoing maintenance. But what if you’ve put your home on the market, or even accepted an offer? Perhaps you’re thinking: Not my problem anymore.

Sorry, folks, we’ve got news for you: Just because you’re selling doesn’t mean you’re off the hook from routine maintenance tasks—and that’s especially true if you’ve already vacated the house.

Sure, a well-cared-for house shows better: Small things like broken doorbells and leaky faucets make buyers wonder if your property also has bigger issues elsewhere. But more important, a little routine maintenance can help you avoid a catastrophic problem down the line (e.g., burst pipes, roof leaks, critters moving into your attic) that could devalue your property and derail that sale.

To prevent minor issues from escalating into full-blown, money-sucking, sale-killing problems, focus on these six important areas you can’t afford to neglect:

1. Keep up the yard and walkways
Whether you’re still living at the home or not, you’ll want to make sure to keep your landscaping tidy—remove dead tree limbs, rake leaves, and clean out flowerbeds.

If your home is already vacant, have someone tend to the yard regularly so that grass and weeds don’t detract from your home’s appearance, suggests Kyle Hiscock, a Realtor® with Re/Max Realty Group in Rochester, NY.

“If your home does not have a well-maintained exterior, (potential buyers) will keep driving,” he cautions. “Plus, this kind of neglect can be a bull’s-eye for vandals to break into your property.”

Consider having lights on timers so the house doesn’t look dark all the time, and arrange for driveways and walkways to be plowed weekly in the winter months. And don’t let mail pile up in the mailbox.

2. Clean the gutters and check the roof
This one’s easy to forget about, even when you don’t plan on going anywhere. But when it comes to gutter and roof issues, neglect can cause a dangerous domino effect.

Overflowing gutters can damage your foundation, and also lead to drainage issues. And, of course, you don’t want buyers seeing puddling water as they approach your house.

Just ask Alise Roberts, owner/broker at Alise Roberts & Company in Bellevue, WA. In the rainy Pacific Northwest climate, she frequently has to remind her clients to keep sidewalks clear of moss and clean gutters of pine needles and leaves.

“Buyers, seeing the house when it’s raining, will also see your gutters overflowing,” she says. “That’s a terrible first impression.”

And then there’s the roof. Of course, it’ll be examined during the home inspection, but it would behoove you to do it before putting your home on the market. Small roof cracks can remain undetected for years, causing water to slowly infiltrate your home and damage ceilings and walls.

“If water starts to penetrate a property, it can be a very difficult sale,” Hiscock notes. “Water in basements or in homes is one of the top three things buyers are scared of.”

3. Service your heating systems
It’s not sexy, but the hidden guts of your home need regular attention, whether you’re still living there or not. That means having your HVAC systems professionally serviced.

First up, your furnace: If you get it addressed before you list your home, it won’t smell like dust when you crank up the heat during an open house on a chilly day. While you’re at it, have the duct work and filters cleaned as well. And if you have baseboard heaters, vacuum those out, too.

(Speaking of heat, Roberts suggests keeping the thermostat at 66 degrees Fahrenheit when agents are showing your house so buyers can visit your place comfortably. This will also avoid any issues with pipes freezing or bursting.)

Have a chimney? Be sure to have it inspected and cleaned as well.

“You want to make sure there are no cracked flue tiles, and that from the exterior, there are no gaps in the mortar between the bricks,” Hiscock explains. “Otherwise, you could potentially have the chimney fall over onto the house, and that’s a very expensive fix.”

4. Keep the critters out
If you don’t want to add “family of raccoons included” to your listing (and pay the hefty tab for getting them out), inspect the inside and outside of your home for any areas that need to plugged up. Take care of holes from damaged siding or fascia under the roofline—and do it promptly.

“In a colder climate, squirrels look for somewhere warm to go, and they’ll find their way into your property,” Hiscock says.

Stove and dryer vents, for example, should be covered with wire mesh to deter pests.

5. Wash your windows
Most people associate sparkling windows with spring-cleaning, Roberts says. But if your house is on the market, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is—you need to get those babies squeaky clean.

“If buyers walk through your home and all they see is dirty windows, that’ll really mar the showing process,” she says.

Make sure to wipe them down after a bad storm, when they’re especially likely to show muck and grime buildup.

6. Check the calendar
Depending on what time of year you bring your house to market, pay attention to any details that scream, “We don’t live here or care anymore,” Roberts says.

That means tackling seasonal tasks such as clearing away lawn mowers in the fall and storing shovels in the spring.

“Too often, I see a seller’s patio furniture still outside during the winter time. To me, that’s not a good reflection on the property,” Hiscock says. “It shows deferred maintenance and lack of caring, and can really turn off a potential buyer.”

“If a seller can’t put away their patio furniture and lawn mower, what makes you believe that they’ve actually maintained the property all the years they’ve been there?” he adds.

Staying on top of these regular tasks will make it easier to sell your home with fewer headaches. Plus, it’ll preserve the value of your property, and potentially, the thickness of your wallet, too.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Getting A Mortgage Loan: 6 Ways Home Buyers Mess Up

Getting A Mortgage

Getting a mortgage is, by general consensus, the most treacherous part of buying a home. In a recent survey, 42% of home buyers said they found the mortgage experience “stressful,” and 32% found it “complicated.” Even lenders agree that it’s often a struggle.

“A lot can go wrong,” says Staci Titsworth, regional manager at PNC Mortgage in Pittsburgh.

If you’re out to buy a home, you have to be vigilant. To clue you into the pitfalls, here are six of the most common ways people mess up getting a mortgage:

1- Waiting until you can make a 20% down payment
A 20% down payment is the golden number when applying for a conventional home loan, since it enables you to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), an extra monthly fee of 0.3% to 1.15% of your total loan amount. But with mortgage rates where they are today—in a word, low—waiting for that magic 20% could be a huge mistake, since the more time passes, the higher mortgage rates and home prices may go!

All of which means it may be worth discussing your home-buying prospects with lenders right now. To get a ballpark figure of what you can afford and how your down payment affects your finances, punch your salary and other numbers into a home affordability calculator.

2- Meeting with only one mortgage lender
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, about half of U.S. home buyers only meet with one mortgage lender before signing up for a home loan. But these borrowers could be missing out in a big way. Why? Because lenders’ offers and interest rates vary, and even nabbing a slightly lower interest rate can save you big bucks over the long haul.

In fact, a borrower taking out a 30-year fixed rate conventional loan can get rates that vary by more than half a percent, the CFPB has found. So, getting an interest rate of 4.0% instead of 4.5% on a $200,000, 30-year fixed mortgage translates into savings of approximately $60 per month, or $3,500 over the first five years.

So to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, meet with at least three mortgage lenders. You’ll want to start your search early (ideally, at least 60 days before you start seriously looking at homes). When you meet with each lender, get what’s called a good-faith estimate, which breaks down the terms of the mortgage, including the interest rate and fees, so that you can make an apples-to-apples comparison between offers.

3- Getting pre-qualified rather than pre-approved
Mortgage pre-qualification and mortgage pre-approval may sound alike, but they’re completely different. Pre-qualification entails a basic overview of a borrower’s ability to get a loan. You provide a mortgage lender with information—about your income, assets, debts, and credit—but you don’t need to produce any paperwork to back it up. In return, you’ll get a rough estimate of what size loan you can afford, but it’s by no means a guarantee that you’ll actually get approved for the loan when you go to buy a home.

Mortgage pre-approval, meanwhile, is an in-depth process that involves a lender running a credit check and verifying your income and assets. Then an underwriter does a preliminary review of your financial portfolio and, if all goes well, issues a letter of pre-approval—a written commitment for financing up to a certain loan amount.

Bottom line? If you’re serious about buying a house, you need to be pre-approved, since many sellers will accept offers only from pre-approved buyers, says Ray Rodriguez, New York City regional mortgage sales manager at TD Bank.

4- Moving money around
To get pre-approved, you have to show you have enough cash in reserves to afford the down payment. (Presenting your mortgage lender with bank statements is the easiest way to do this.) Nonetheless, your loan still needs to go through underwriting while you’re under contract for your loan to be approved. Because the underwriter will check to see that your finances have remained the same, the last thing you want to do is move money around while you’re in the process of buying a house. Shifting large amounts of money out or even into your accounts is a huge red flag, says Casey Fleming, mortgage adviser and author of “The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage.”

So if you’re in contract for a home, your money should stay put.

5- Applying for new lines of credit
If you apply for a new credit card or request a credit limit increase a few months before closing, watch out: Credit inquiries ding your credit scoreby up to five points. So, don’t let the credit inquiries add up.

“Worse than the actual hit on your credit score is any pattern of trying to borrow more money all at once,” says Glenn Phillips, CEO of Lake Homes Realty. Translation: Applying for multiple lines of credit while you’re buying a house can make your mortgage lender think that you’re desperate for money—a signal that could change your mortgage terms or even get you denied altogether, even if you’ve got a closing date on the books.

6- Changing jobs
Mortgage lenders like to see at least two years of consistent income history when pre-approving a loan. Consequently, changing jobs while you’re under contract on a property can create a big issue in the eyes of an underwriter.

Your best bet? Try to wait until after you’ve closed on your house to change jobs. If you’re forced to switch before closing, you should alert your loan officer immediately. Depending on the lender, you may simply need to provide a written verification of employment from your new employer that states your job status and income, says Shashank Shekhar, the founder and CEO of Arcus Lending in San Jose, CA.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

8 Most Beautiful Bedroom Design Trends For 2018: Making Magic Happen

FOTOGRAFIA INC./iStock

It’s easy to regard the bedroom as a design afterthought. After all, how many people actually see it? But you do spend a third of your life in there—it should be a retreat from the chaos of the world outside. And designers are always coming up with new ideas to improve the space.

Repeat after us: In 2018, your bedroom will be boring no more. If you’re looking for some quick ways to shake up your sleep sanctuary, we’ve got you covered. Read on for of-the-now inspiration that’s certain to take your boudoir from dowdy to downright dreamy.

1. A return to luxury

modern-bedroom

Photo by Amy Noel Design

“Luxury is back in a big way,” says designer Mark Cutler. Think: fabrics such as mohair, velvet, cashmere, and faux fur, and color palettes of rich, saturated jewel tones.

Punch up your bedroom style a notch—and create a dreamy retreat—with a new set of textured linens. Or paint your trim and walls in similarly jewel-toned hues for a luxe, tone-on-tone feel.

Our fave shades include Sherwin-Williams’ 2018 color of the year (Oceanside SW 6496), an intense blue-green, and regal Ultra Violet, Pantone’s color of the year for 2018.

2. Wallpaper

farmhouse-bedroom

Photo by Modern Organic Interiors

No, not your mama’s wallpaper that you spent hours—nay, days—scraping off. Today’s prints have modern flair and intricate designs that fuse with any style, from glam to bohemian.

“Wallpaper adds a layer of depth and interest to any space, and is available in amazing textures, colorful stripes, geometrics, and countless other options,” says Charleston, SC, designer Leigh Meadows-McAlpert.

Add texture with sisal or patterned prints, and score major bonus points for choosing a floral pattern (yep, that’s back in, too—more on that later).

If you want to ease in with this one, try removable wallpaper, or papering just one wall for a patterned accent.

3. Ceilings with flair

transitional-bedroom

Photo by FrontDoor Communities

Ceilings will be seen in 2018, designers say, whether wallpapered, gilded, or painted a bold hue.

“From creative moldings and interesting coffers to fantastic paint and plaster treatments, the ceiling has become another surface equivalent to the complexity of a Persian rug,” says designer Ana Cummings. “No room will be completely finished without a ceiling treatment.”

Not feeling committed enough for paint? Swap out your dated ceiling fan for a dramatic chandelier or drum pendant.

“A unique light fixture can provide that pop you need without breaking the bank,” says Kayla Hein, creative director at Modern Castle.

4. New twists on old headboards

contemporary-bedroom

Photo by Clifton Interiors Ltd

Ditch your tired, old headboard, and experiment with the new crop of head-of-the-bed accents such as accent wallpaper, painted decals, or textured wall tapestries.

If you’re a DIYer, you can even create a rustic chic look by upcycling old barn doors or benches. Or take an entirely new twist by hanging a large vintage map or custom painting, or cover the entire wall with a soft fabric.

“I love taking the upholstered headboard to new heights, literally,” says Gretchen Kennelly, an interior designer and owner of Gretchen Kennelly Design Group, in San Diego. “I love to do a fully upholstered wall behind the bed to create a soft, cozy space and an extra layer of texture in the room.”

5. Concrete

industrial-bedroom

Photo by Michelle Chaplin Interiors

Love it or hate it, this versatile composite is making a huge splash this year.

If you dig a more contemporary style, consider a concrete accent wall in a master bedroom. Just make sure to balance it with accents such as walnut-stained ceiling beams, whitewashed wood floors, and soft bed linens to warm things up.

“This creates a style that’s cozy, not cold,” says Monica Mangin, host of Lowe’s DIY webisode series “The Weekender.”

6. Funky florals

eclectic-bedroom

Photo by eleven11DESIGN

Ready or not, florals are back in bloom. Designers predict they’ll be big in the bedroom, in contrasting colors (especially in bold jewel tones) and large, oversize patterns.

“Floral prints have always been popular, but this year we’ll see them veer away from feeling incredibly feminine and more toward an interesting, funky vibe,” says Erin Davis, lead designer of Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland, OR. “Think contrasting colors and casual, bohemian styling.”

Try this trend in linens, rugs, upholstery, or even window treatments—or if you’re feeling especially wild, add floral wallpaper to an accent wall.

7. Gen Z yellow

contemporary-bedroom (1)

Photo by Shaw Coates

This sunny color has taken over the runway and is now making its way into our homes as the new darling of interior design. Risk-taking homeowners love how the hue can make any room feel happy—and isn’t that what you’re looking for in the boudoir?

“Incorporating Gen Z yellow in a bedroom gives you unlimited possibilities,” says Nikki James, the design studio manager for homebuilder Ashton Woods Dallas. “You can make it as simple as a few throw pillows and curtains, or you can bring in an attractive yellow reading chair, a fun piece of yellow art, and some stunning lamps with yellow bases. The options are truly endless.”

8. Distraction-free zones

contemporary-bedroom (2)

Photo by Su Casa Designs

“Bedrooms that are oasis from the chaos of everyday life will be huge this year,” predicts Chicago designer Rae Duncan. “It’s not about having a TV screen in front of your face anymore; it’s about escaping and being with yourself and the people you love.”

Create your own oasis by banning electronics, creating cozy sitting areas, and adding room-darkening window treatments to keep yourself cocooned from the world outside. Now that’s a trend we can get behind!

Original Source 

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Selling A Home: 6 Epic Ways To Bungle The Sale

Home For Sale

Selling a home might not seem like rocket science, but rest assured, there’s a lot to consider—and a lot of money on the line. As such, home sellers can really sabotage their own efforts in so many ways.

Curious about what could go wrong?

Check out these six classic ways home sellers bungle their prospects so you don’t become the next victim:

1. You priced your house too high
Even when you’re in a seller’s market (where inventory is in short supply and buyers are bidding up a storm for homes), you should set a reasonable listing price for your house. Unfortunately, “some people have unrealistic expectations of the market,” says Seth Lejeune, a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway in Collegeville, PA.

Many sellers overestimate the value of their house because they’re emotionally attached to the place. Others overprice as a sales tactic.

“A lot of people price high because they want room to negotiate, but that strategy can backfire, since you might not get any offers,” Lejeune says.

So, to set the right asking price for your house, you’ll want to trust your real estate agent to do a comparative market analysis, a process that assesses the value of a home by comparing it to similar properties that recently sold nearby.

2. You skimped on professional photos
You can have the most sought-after home on the block, but if you don’t take good listing photos you may have trouble even getting buyers in the door. Hence, it’s worth hiring a professional real estate photographer to snap pictures instead of taking them yourself on your smartphone.

Most real estate photographers are reasonably priced—a basic shoot generally costs between $95 and $300, says FitSmallBusiness.com—and the payoff can be huge. Studies have shown that professionally photographed homes sell faster and for more money than homes listed with point-and-shoot cameras.

3. You tried to make home repairs yourself
Before putting your house on the market, you may have to do some repairs. Doing repairs yourself can save you money, but it can also create expensive problems if you make mistakes.

Indeed, “you can wind up damaging your house if you don’t know what you’re doing,” Lejeune says.

Consequently, it’s worth hiring a handyman or certified contractor, depending on the nature of the work, to make important home repairs.

“Problems with hot water heaters, plumbing, ductwork, and electrical issues should always be handled by a licensed professional,” Lejeune adds.

4. You stuck around during showings
Having the seller present during a showing or open house can be a huge turnoff to a home buyer, says Jennifer Baxter, associate broker at Re/Max Regency in Suwanee, GA.

“Even if you don’t say anything to the buyer, it’s just awkward,” Baxter says. “When the seller is there, buyers don’t feel comfortable to speak freely or open closet doors and look closely at the house.”

The solution is simple: Just vacate the premises when buyers view the house.

“Let your agent represent you and handle all interactions with potential home buyers,” Lejeune advises.

5. You withheld information from buyers
Sure, you want to show your home in the best light, but not disclosing any flaws you’re aware of—like, say, a previous flood or termite damage—could come back and haunt you. For one, a home inspection might reveal this info anyway and your home buyer will be none too pleased that you kept your lips zipped. Not disclosing certain flaws is also illegal in some areas so it might even open you to a lawsuit.

Therefore, make sure you fess up to home buyers on any issues you’re aware of—which should all be provided to the home buyers in a document known as the property disclosure statement. Sure, it might scare off home buyers, but probably not—and it’s way better than getting caught hiding info afterward.

6. You let your ego get in the way
Some home sellers get so fixated on getting their full list price, they simply turn down offers that are below the bar. But that closed-minded approach can have big repercussions.

“If you’re not willing to make counteroffers, you’re probably not serious about selling your house,” Baxter says. Granted, “if you’re comfortable with your house sitting on the market for a while, you could try to hold out for a full-price offer. But if you want to sell your house in a reasonable period of time, you need to entertain offers that are below list price.”

Bear in mind if your house sits on the market for a while, it can make it more difficult to sell.

“If a home is on the market for more than four weeks, prospective buyers are going to assume that there is something wrong with it,” says Irvine, CA, real estate agent Benny Kang.

In other words, time is a-ticking! Any offer is worth considering, so try not to take it personally.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Veterans / Active Military: 9 Home-Buying Costs You Should Keep In Mind

Veterans Buying A Home

For veterans and active military, VA loans are a great way to achieve the dream of homeownership. More than 22 million service members have used these flexible, no down payment loans since 1944.

But when people hear “no down payment,” they often don’t realize they’ll still need some cash on hand to finish the deal.

“Zero down does not mean zero to close,” points out Gwen Chubirko, broker in charge at Genesis Realty Co. in Kannapolis, NC.

The good news is that buyers don’t have to go in blindly: Your VA loan-savvy real estate agent will be your ally in helping you estimate the costs you will need throughout the process, no matter where you live.

“Our goal is to save veterans money and get them into a home that they’re happy with,” says Realtor® John Ulrich, broker associate with Illustrated Properties in Manalapan, FL.

While the amount you need to close will vary according to your location and situation, experts say you can usually expect to need about 3% of the purchase price on hand to close.

Want to break it down? Here are some home-buying costs that veterans and active military shouldn’t overlook:

1. Credit Report
Buyers will often pay this fee, which runs, on average, about $30, to their lender when they first apply for a loan. Be aware that this fee is nonrefundable even if the loan doesn’t close.

2. Earnest Money
The earnest money deposit is key to the home-buying process. It essentially allows you to put a “hold” on a house while you conduct the inspections and appraisal. Without earnest money, you could theoretically make offers on many homes, essentially taking them off the market until you decided which one you liked best. As the name suggests, it shows that you are earnest about moving forward on the purchase.

“The seller wants that buyer to have some money in the game when they take the house off the market,” Chubirko explains.

Depending on where you live, you can expect to put down anywhere from 1% to even 10% of the home’s purchase price as earnest money. (In some highly competitive markets, buyers are making even larger deposits in an effort to stand out.)

But don’t worry! Whatever you put down for earnest money will go toward your down payment and closing costs as soon as the deal goes through. (If the deal falters, you could lose some or all of your deposit, depending on the reason why the agreement tanks.)

3. Appraisal
All VA loans require an appraisal to ensure the property is up to acceptable standards and meets the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements. What does that mean? Well, an appraiser will calculate the square footage, confirm the property is worth the price you’re offering, and that it’s safe, structurally sound, and sanitary. Among other things, the appraiser will check for safe mechanical systems, acceptable roof life, and hazard-free basements and crawl space. VA buyers will often pay for the appraisal upfront, but they may be able to recoup the cost at closing.

4. Home inspection
While the appraisal is required, a home inspection is technically optional (except for a pest inspection, which is required in certain states and can cost roughly $50 to $150). But you never want to take a pass on the inspection, unless you’re buying a tear-down (not with a VA loan!).

The home inspection is your all-too-crucial opportunity to uncover any problems with the house before you make it official. It’s also your chance to point out repairs you can ask the seller to make on your behalf (and those repairs could cost much more than the inspection itself, which is going to run about $300 to $500.)

5. Recording Fees
Recording fees must be paid out of pocket at the time of closing. This is the fee you pay the county to record your mortgage in the public record, and the cost varies from county to county.

6. Real Estate Transfer Taxes
These costs vary by state—from none in Indiana, to a $2 flat fee in Arizona, to $2 per each $500 in value in New York. States, counties, and municipalities collect these taxes to transfer the title of the property from the previous owner to the new owner.

7. Title Insurance
Title insurance protects you (and your lender) in the event there are title issues from previous owners of the home. The average cost of title insurance is around $1,000 per policy, but that amount varies widely from state to state and depends on the price of your home.

8. HOA Fees
If you buy a home in an area where there is a required homeowners association, you will need to pay the application fee, which is variable depending on the local rules. Then there are your monthly dues. For a typical single-family home, HOA fees can cost homeowners around $200 to $300 per month, although they’ll be lower or much higher depending on the size of your unit and the amenities.

9. Loan Origination Fees
An origination fee is one of several that will make up your closing costs. The VA allows lenders to charge up to 1% of the loan amount to cover origination, processing, and underwriting costs.

The bottom line? While VA loans are a great option for veterans hoping to buy a house, being prepared before you apply will ensure no surprises throughout the process.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

7 Tax Benefits Of Owning A Home: A Complete Guide For Filing Return

Tax benefits of owning home

What are the tax benefits of owning a home? Homeowners might be wondering this right around now as they prepare to file their taxes. Or, you might be wondering how the new tax plan might affect the tax perks of homeownership when you file next year.

Well, look no further than this complete guide to all the tax benefits of owning a home—for this filing year (2017) as well as the next (2018). Read on for the full rundown just to make sure you aren’t missing anything that could save you major money!

Tax break 1: Mortgage interest
This continues to be the biggie benefit of owning a home for tax year 2017: the ability to deduct the interest on a mortgage of up to $1 million. And the more recent your mortgage, the greater your tax savings.

“The way mortgage payments are amortized, the first ones are almost all interest,” says Wendy Connick, owner of Connick Financial Solutions. (See how your loan amortizes and how much you’re paying in interest with this mortgage calculator.)

Check the latest mortgage rates on
Here’s how this deduction looks for a married couple in the 28% tax bracket (that means a joint annual income between $151,201 and $230,450) who bought a home with a $300,000, 30-year mortgage at a 4% interest rate. They will pay $11,904 in mortgage interest their first year. Once you add in the other itemized federal deductions below, these homeowners can expect to save at least $3,333 in taxes during their initial year of ownership.

What changes next year: The new tax bill allows homeowners with a mortgage that went into effect before Dec. 15, 2017, to continue to deduct interest on loans up to $1 million. But for anyone who closed on a mortgage after that, the cap for deducting interest becomes $750,000—and that’s a combined total for first, second, and any other homes.

Tax break 2: Property taxes
In most instances, property taxes are deductible on your 2017 tax return, says Brian Ashcraft, director of compliance at Liberty Tax Service. And that could spell hefty savings.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average household property tax is $2,127. If you have a mortgage, your taxes are built into your monthly payment. Here’s more info on how to calculate property taxes.

What changes next year: Property tax will no longer be a separate deduction. Instead, taxpayers can take one deduction that includes property tax as well as state and local sales and income taxes, says Ashcraft. And that one deduction is capped at $10,000 for those married filing jointly.

Tax break 3: Private mortgage insurance
If you put less than 20% down on your home, odds are you’re paying private mortgage insurance, or PMI, which costs from 0.3% to 1.15% of your home loan. While the deduction had expired, the new tax bill retroactively made the deduction available for the 2017 tax year.

Here’s how much you’ll save: If you make $100,000 and put down 5% on a $200,000 house, you’ll pay about $1,500 in annual PMI premiums and thus cut your taxable income by $1,500.

What changes next year: This deduction is for itemizers only. Plus, the 2018 tax law nearly doubles the standard deduction. As a result, it is estimated that only about 5% of taxpayers will itemize deductions starting in 2018, says Connick. “In the past it was more like 30%,” she adds.

Tax break 4: Energy-efficiency upgrades
The Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit was a tax incentive for installing alternative energy upgrades in a home. Most of these tax credits expired after December 2016; however, two credits are still available. The credits for solar electric and solar water heating equipment are available through Dec. 31, 2021, says Josh Zimmelman, owner of Westwood Tax & Consulting, a New York–based accounting firm.

What changes next year: The percentage of the credit varies based on the date of installation. For equipment installed between Jan. 1, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2019, 30% of the expenditures are eligible for the credit. That goes down to 26% for installation between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020, and then to 22% for equipment put in between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021.

Tax break 5: A home office
If you work from home, your office space and expenses can be deducted, too. According to Vincenzo Villamena, managing partner of Online Taxman, you can take a $5-per-square-foot deduction for up to 300 square feet of office space, which amounts to a maximum deduction of $1,500. Understand, however, that there are strict rules on what constitutes a dedicated, fully deductible home office space. Here’s more on the much-misunderstood home office tax deduction.

What changes next year: This deduction will be eliminated for employees who have an office to go to but work from home occasionally, but it remains for all self-employed people whose home office is the main place they work.

Tax break 6: Home improvements to age in place
Many older homeowners plan to age in place—and if that entails renovations such as wheelchair ramps or grab bars in slippery bathrooms, the cost of these improvements results in a nice tax break. Deductible improvements might also include widening doorways, lowering cabinets or electrical fixtures, and adding stair lifts.

Caveat: You’ll need a letter from your doctor to prove these changes were medically necessary. Furthermore, in 2017 these home improvements will need to exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. So if you make $60,000, this deduction kicks in only on money spent over $4,500.

What changes next year: Nothing.

Tax break 7: Interest on a home equity line of credit
If you took out a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, in 2017 or earlier, the interest you pay on that loan is also deductible. People use these loans to do all sorts of things: pay for college, throw a wedding, or make improvements to their home.

How much you’ll save depends on the amount borrowed, but let’s crunch some sample numbers. If you take out a four-year, $20,000 HELOC at 4% interest, you’ll have an $800 deductible that will save you about $205 in the first year of your loan. (Use this calculator to see how much you’ll save.) Joint-filing taxpayers could deduct up to $100,000 ($50,000 for individuals) in interest paid on home equity debt.

What changes next year: The new tax law eliminates this tax deduction unless that HELOC is used specifically to “buy, build, or improve a property,” according to the IRS. That’s bad news for homeowners hoping to pay off college tuition, but still good if your home’s crying out for a kitchen overhaul or half-bath.

Orignal Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

What’s Cooking: The 7 Hottest Kitchen Design Trends For 2018

Kitchen Trends 2018

It can be dangerous to blindly follow a trend. And that’s a tough pill to swallow when it comes to interior design; gotta-have-it features that once burned brightly can turn so yesterday fast.

But in the kitchen—arguably the definitive focal point and gathering place of your home—experts agree it can pay to take a chance on a white-hot trend.

“The kitchen is the room in every house now,” says Chicago interior designer Rae Duncan. As a result, “our clients are lavishing details on their spaces. Elaborate moldings, spectacular lighting, and high-quality art now have as much a right to be in the kitchen as the refrigerator and stove.”

Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered with the ultimate scoop on what’ll dominate kitchen trends in the upcoming year—whether you’re looking for an easy way to freshen your space or have an eye turned toward a major reno.

1. Bold colors

contemporary-kitchen

Photo by Look Design

“Neutrals still have strong appeal with our clients, but we’re beginning to see more emphasis on color,” says Elissa Morgante, co-principal of Evanston, IL–based Morgante Wilson Architects. (She predicts blue will be hot this year, especially on kitchen islands.)

Embrace the trend by using different colors for your island and countertops, or choose complementary shades to highlight the lower cabinets from the upper ones.

“This concept really helps the kitchen feel more integrated with the rest of the home by connecting the color palette of the kitchen with the colors used throughout the home,” notes Leigh Meadows-McAlpin, a designer in Charleston, SC.

2. New twists on white-on-white

Morgante-Wilson_Gray-Kitchen-791x1024

Morgante Wilson Architects

People still love a white kitchen (guilty!), but the all-white schemes that have reigned supreme in recent years have some obvious limitations: They’re hard to keep clean and can appear a bit, well, sterile.

To mix up the monochromatic vibe, designers are introducing vibrant lacquers and bold countertops. Or, for a more nuanced fresh take, pair painted gray cabinets with large expanses of white countertops and walls.

“This will evoke the same clean, fresh aesthetic of a white kitchen—without actually using white cabinets,” Morgante says.

3. Anything but stainless-steel appliances

traditional-kitchen

Photo by Terracotta Design Build

Speaking of sterile, the stainless steel that’s long dominated our kitchens is also expected to see some competition in 2018. As today’s homeowners lust after color and flair in their kitchen, they’re trading in their metallic appliances for ones in vibrant colors or unique designs.

In particular, vintage-inspired, European-style ranges—complete with metal-wrapped accents—will be big this year, Meadows-McAlpin predicts.

“They’re typically available in a variety of colors and are somewhat reminiscent of an early-1900s steamer trunk, although much more beautiful,” she says.

Ready to take the plunge with a statement piece? Consider a retro pink range from appliance maker Smeg or a jewel-toned piece from BlueStar.

4. Durable materials

Silestone®-Eternal-Calacatta-Gold_Kitchen-1024x768

Photo courtesy of Cosentino

Balancing form with function is tough, especially in the high-traffic, well-used spaces like the kitchen. That’s why the No. 1 request designers get these days is for durable surfaces that require zero maintenance, says interior designer and architect Daniel Germani.

My clients “hate the idea of investing in something that will inevitably stain or requires constant sealing,” Germani says. “People are busy—they want their kitchens to keep up with everyday wear and tear without the hassle of maintenance.”

Germani likes quartz surfacing such as Silestone (he recommends the “truly stunning” Eternal Calacatta Gold, which resembles the look of Calacatta marble) and Dekton, a stain- and heat-resistant surface he bills as “the most durable option on the market.”

And he’s in good company. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2018 design trends report, a whopping 94% of respondents named quartz as the top surface trend for kitchens in the coming year.

5. Geometric tiles

contemporary-kitchen (1)

Photo by Trevor Brown Architect

Sayonara, subway tile! Designers across the board predict a shift to larger-format tile (and even slab-size sheets of porcelain) placed in a geometric pattern.

“We’re seeing a shift toward simplistic, yet bold patterns that stand the test of time,” designer Stacy Garcia says. “These patterns help improve the perception of kitchen spaces—they create a layer of contemporary sophistication.”

6. Workhorse islands

contemporary-kitchen (2)

Photo by j witzel interior design

A customized island that incorporates everything (including the kitchen sink)? Sign us up! This new darling of kitchen design promises to offer the ultimate blend of style and function.

“Everything from bar seating and open shelving to dishwashers and wine refrigerators can be found tucked into a well-designed kitchen island,” Meadows-McAlpin notes.

But resist the urge to order online and call it a day. Instead, study your space carefully before committing to a does-it-all solution.

7. Farmhouse looks (yes, still)

farmhouse-kitchen

Photo by Caesarstone

Love it or hate it, farmhouse chic is here to stay—at least according to the 800 U.S. and Canadian pros surveyed by the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual trends report. Designers and homeowners alike have yet to tire of the back-to-basics look, which uses natural materials, like reclaimed wood, and rich, polished metals for kitchen plumbing fixtures, lighting, and hardware.

“Farmhouse style has an inviting ‘sit down and stay a while’ quality that resonates with people from all walks of life,” Meadows-McAlpin says. “Its friendly, unpretentious nature makes it well-suited for those who want their homes to be both a retreat to unwind and a gathering place for friends and family.”

“Farmhouse is always in,” adds Tina Anastasia, a partner at Mark P. Finlay Architects. But she predicts the look will shift in the coming year to incorporate more clean and contemporary lines.

“The totally-reclaimed look has been overdone, and we’ll see a more simple cabinet face with less hardware,” she says.

To keep your farmhouse look fresh, pair your wood-topped islands with quartz or stone counters and modern metallic hardware.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com