What Are the 10 Hottest Home Improvement Trends of 2017?

If you want to do some home improvement, here are 10 of the hottest home improvement trends of 2017.

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If you’re planning on doing some home improvement, you might as well follow what people want so you can improve your home’s value and get a good return when it comes time to sell it or refinance. Here are the hottest home improvement trends of 2017:

10. Open kitchen shelves

9. Stain-resistant fabrics

8. Stacked stone

7. Gravel landscaping

6. Bathroom remodels

5. Smarthome improvements

4. Neutral textures & pastel shades

3. Cut & loop carpets

2. Kitchen remodels

1. Pendant lighting

As you can see, there are a few mainstays and a few newcomers. Pastel shades are making a comeback. Kitchen and bathroom remodels are always in the conversation for the smartest improvements you can make to your home. Smarthomes are becoming more and more relevant as technology progresses.

If you have any questions about making improvements to your home or any other real estate topics, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help.

Using Airbnb With Investment Property

Have you thought about using vacation rental services like Airbnb as a property investment? It can offer a great return on your investment, but you need to consider a few important factors first.

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Many real estate investors have taken on a new strategy of using vacation rentals like Airbnb and VRBO to generate returns. If this is a type of investment you're thinking about adding to your portfolio, there are three main points you need to be aware of first:

  1. Location and zoning: For example, Scottsdale is by far the best area for vacation rentals because the demand is high for these properties. You have to be aware of zoning as well since certain subdivisions don't allow short-term rentals. You need to check with your CCNR or HOA to make sure they allow this kind of rental. 
  2. Management companies: This isn't a 'set it and forget it' kind of investment; it's very active. More tenants coming and going means a better return, but it also means more time. A management company can handle the influx of income, the books, cleaning, and other similar things. 
  3. Exit strategy: As with any investment, ask yourself why you're doing it. Have an exit strategy that allows you to rent the property long-term if you decide to change your investment strategy. Also make sure you buy a property that has a good chance at appreciating in value. 

There are plenty of other nuances you'll need to consider for this type of investment. It's a full-time job to have a vacation rental. The upside is quite high though.
This isn't a 'set it and forget it' kind of investment; it's very active.
I recently spoke with a client who bought a property about seven years ago who is now only about a year away from paying off his 30-year mortgage on the property. His strategy was to put every dollar of profit from the vacation rental right back toward the principal and, as a result, he's going to pay off a 30-year mortgage in eight years or so.

You also have to provide full furnishing for the vacation rental from plates, silverware, and dishes to microwaves and furniture. Then there are towels, linens, and toiletries. The list goes on and on. Basically, you can't just consider the cost of acquisition for the house, you must factor in all those furnishings as well. Costs really add up when you start talking about chairs, beds, and couches.

We've helped a lot of clients maximize their investment with this strategy with a great return on their investment. If you have any other questions about this investment strategy, give me a call or send me an email. I'd love to talk with you about it!

An Exciting Update on the Phoenix Real Estate Market

Phoenix is still in a strong seller’s market. However, those days could be coming to an end soon.

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I’d like to cover a few things today about the Phoenix housing market that I think you’ll be interested in hearing. The latest numbers are in, and they show us where our market is at and where it’s headed.

Here in Arizona, only 12% of homeowners are still “under water” on their homes in terms of equity. Most people are either able to sell for a profit or have started to build even more equity than they had before the market crash. There were only about 360 homes that were foreclosed last month. It might sound like a lot, but compared to where we were at 10 years ago, it’s nothing.

We are predicting a strong seller’s market for 2017 with modest appreciation. Realtor.com expects sales to increase by about 1.7% from last year. A steady rise in sales and appreciation are both signs of a healthy market.

Where we go from here is debatable. We are more than 10 years into the current housing cycle, which takes about 10 years to complete from peak to valley. We’re playing with house money right now, so to speak. Keep in mind that the market will look a lot different in the next year or two.
We’re in year 10 of a 10-year cycle.
Affordability in Phoenix right now is high. The salary needed to afford a median-priced home in Phoenix right now is $44,000. For first-time buyers who qualify for specific criteria, homes are even more affordable.

For example, a program in Maricopa County for first-time homebuyers gifts them with up to 3.5% for a down payment. This is a grant and doesn’t need to be repaid. If you also negotiate with the seller to pay for closing costs, you could get into a home for $0 out of pocket. How amazing is that? Keep in mind that there are a few criteria you need to meet, including a 620 credit score and a yearly income under $88,000.

If you have any questions for me about the market or if you’re looking to buy or sell a home, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.