THE TOP 10 trendiest HOME FEATURES
Whether you’re thinking of selling soon or have an eye on remodeling with solid return-on-investment potential, think about which features make your home oh-so-desirable when it’s time to list. An analysis of the Realtor.com listings over the past five years found that the following items were listed most often, solidifying a venerable spot among buyers’ favorites:
- Wood floor
- Granite counter
- Stainless steel appliances
- Open floor plan
- Walk-in closet
- Formal dining room
- Vaulted ceiling
- Open kitchens
Do trends lose steam? Oak and cherry cabinets had a strong foothold in the cabinet marketplace but are no longer popular.
WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Moving is hard: With all the logistical considerations of buying the home, closing, moving out of the old place and then into the new, unpacking and then getting settled, you might be too overwhelmed to actually get out and meet the neighbors. But nothing will make your new house feel like a home like knowing the area and the people around you. Here’s a few ways to get involved: look pretty attractive, but homeowners looking to take advantage should make sure they understand the following information first:
- Get outside. Nothing is quite as easy or effective as showing your face in the neighborhood. Do some yardwork, take frequent strolls or take the kids (or the dog) to a nearby park.
- Volunteer. Whether you can spare a few hours at your kids’ school, with a service group or at an animal shelter, volunteering will allow you to meet people while doing good. Try VolunteerMatch.org or contact your local municipality about opportunities.
- Join a club. Try your local library, events listings for the area or Meetup.com for groups that might share your interests.
- Take a class. Community colleges, local art and music schools, fitness centers and libraries all offer classes that provide you with the ability to learn something new while networking with neighbors.
- Get connected online. So much of our socializing is done online. Try searching for local Facebook pages or join Nextdoor.com, a social network dedicated to neighbors.
The Energy Audit Math
You’ve heard of home energy audits or assessments. You may have even thought they sounded like a pretty good idea: A professional auditor comes to your house, assesses how much energy your home uses—and loses—and makes recommendations for steps you can take that will save you money over time. But you just haven’t pulled the trigger. Well, why not this year?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average energy audit saves homeowners between 5 and 30 percent off their energy bills each year. With the average household spending $2,060 on energy bills every year, according to EnergyStar, that means an audit could save between $103 and $618 annually. Over the years, those numbers really add up.
But an energy audit isn’t exactly cheap. According to HomeAdvisor, most average between $218 and $551. To save the upfront cost of hiring a pro, you could conduct an amateur version yourself by following the steps outlined at Energy.gov. Typically this involves a visual inspection of any place two materials meet, electric outlets, doors, windows and a few other spots.
However, there are benefits to hiring a pro to perform a diagnostic test. Professional audits typically employ a blower test. A powerful fan mounts into the frame of an exterior door and pulls air out of the house, lowering air pressure inside, which then allows the outside air to flow in through all unsealed cracks and openings. This is a more thorough method of detecting leaks and can help the auditor offer better recommendations for ways to address your home’s energy inefficiencies.
A professional may also be able to determine how useful your insulation is acting and other ways your home may be losing energy.
If you want to hire a professional, try searching through the Department of Energy’s Residential Energy Services Network, resnet.us.
HOME SEARCH Did you know you could search for homes on our website? Simply click on the “Home Search” button at the top of the page, or use the “Property Search” window along the left-hand side panel. You can search by zip code, price range, area, MLS #, etc.
REMEMBER, if you are considering buying a home, either new construction or resale, we can help you as your Buyers Agent. As your agents, we will protect and defend your interest and advise you throughout the entire process. The agents that sit in the model homes represent the builder/seller, they do not represent you. And, the builder pays the commission! There’s no cost to you! Give us a call to find out how we can work for you!
If I can be of help to you in either buying or selling real estate in the Charlotte Metropolitan area, please contact me, Debbie Arriero. In the meantime, please check out these resources:
Have a GREAT day!
Arriero Realty – “Treating You like Family.”
Visit us on Facebook – www.Facebook.com/ArrieroRealtyInc
Debbie Arriero, Office (704) 451-3895
BROUGHT TO YOU BY YOUR REALTOR®, A Member of the Council of CERTIFIED RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS