Don't deny it! Summer is on your mind. For all you snowbirds out there, summer is NOW and for locals, summer will be here before we know it. Check out these designs and "hacks" below for some stellar pool ideas.
Whether your pool is modern, traditional, small, or unique -THIS IS FLORIDA! Paradise living is not complete without a pool. If your home does not have a pool, increase its value by adding a pool. Call Homes By Bill and Katie for a pool builder referral and complete your dream. Here is a list of a few types of pools for you to choose from:
1. Modern- Characterized by lines and geometric shapes, modern pools offer vivid color and in-set spas.
2. Mediterranean- Known for their aqua water color and roman or greek shapes. Stone decks are usually popular with ceramic tiles around the pool. Waterfalls are a popular feature in Mediterranean pool.
3. Traditional- Usually surrounded by brick of pavers, traditional pools are timeless. Traditional pools can be rectangular shaped or kidney shaped. The water color is usually natural looking like a lake or a pond.
4. Tropical- Bring the vacation to you! Planters, waterfalls, mosaic, and boulders will complete your "tropic" feel in your own backyard.
Open floor plans have been very popular over these past decade. Is this about to change? Many architects are stating that the trend may change soon that home buyers may require more walls.
Mobile technology is creating a desire for more privacy. “Fragmented” spaces may be more popular for individuals who work from home, need to have a quite space, or purely enjoy their privacy. Open spaces lack privacy and deter from focus. Studies and television rooms may see a comeback verses a great room. Split-level floor plans may be used more often to help divide open spaces without closing them off entirely.
It always depends on what you and your family are looking for in a home, but walls may be coming back. Everything is cyclical.
What do you think about walls? Let us know @homesbybillnkat on Twitter or on our Facebook page!
DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | RELEASED FRIDAY, MAY 15, 2015
Inventory Shortages Keeping Home Sales Low- Home sales will pick up to a solid 5.3 million this year and are expected to hit 5.5 million next year, but until inventory constraints improve, the country’s large pent-up demand for home sales can’t be met, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said at the 2015 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.
Overall, the economy is on a steady growth track, with solid job formation, continuing low interest rates, and the large millennial generation entering its peak household-formation years. But with buyers having to compete for a limited selection of properties in many markets across the country, home prices are rising fast, making it hard for many first-time buyers to get into the market.
Yun’s concerned that, as a result of these conditions, many households risk missing out on the wealth-building effect of home ownership at a time of low interest rates and strong price appreciation. “Young people are in a position to leave their parents’ home because job growth is picking up, but the lack of inventory and rising prices is making that hard,” he said.
For lawmakers, there are important policy implications, because home ownership is the path most people take to building wealth. As more households find their options limited to renting, inequality—already rising across the country—will worsen. “Without home ownership, many people will not be able to enter the middle class,” he said.
Despite the need for more inventory, builders are concentrating on the multifamily rental market right now, because that’s where the demand is, said Robert Dietz, vice president for tax and market analysis for the National Association of Home Builders. Dietz, speaking at the same forum on residential issues and trends, said the renter population has been the big growth story in real estate since the economic recovery began several years ago.
There’s plenty of interest among builders to fill the need for more single-family homes, too, but small builders, who historically have been responsible for building two-thirds of new homes each year, can’t get the acquisition and development financing they need to get back into the market. Lenders want them to have buyers already lined up before they give them financing, Dietz said, making it hard for builders to get inventory in the market for buyers to look at. Also keeping housing starts down are a lack of skilled labor and a shortage of developed lots, he said. Prices of building materials are on the rise, too.
Yun is forecasting 1.1 million housing starts this year, rising to 1.4 million next year. Prices are on track to rise 6 percent this year and then ease to a sustainable 4 percent next year, as more homes come on the market. He predicts long-term mortgage rates will stay at a low 4 percent this year, rising to 5.2 percent next year. Yun said interest rates will continue to rise, but he doesn’t expect big jumps in the years ahead because inflation remains in check and energy prices aren’t expected to go up to any significant degree in the years ahead.
April 29, 2015 – Pending home sales in March continued their recent momentum, rising for the third straight month and remaining at their highest level since June 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 1.1 percent to 108.6 in March from an upward revision of 107.4 in February. It's now 11.1 percent above March 2014 (97.7).
The index has increased year-over-year for seven consecutive months and is at its highest level since June 2013 (109.4).
"Demand appears to be stronger in several parts of the country, especially in metro areas that have seen solid job gains and firmer economic growth over the past year," says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "While (it's) certainly good news, the increased number of traditional buyers who appear to be replacing investors paying in cash is even better news. It indicates this year's activity is being driven by more long-term homeowners."
Yun expects a gradual improvement in home sales in the coming months, but he says insufficient supply and accelerating prices could be a speed bump.
"Demand in many markets is far exceeding supply, and properties in March sold at a faster rate than any month since last summer," Yun says. "This in turn has pushed home prices to unhealthy levels – nearly four or more times above the pace of wage growth in some parts of the country.
"Simply put, housing inventory for new and existing homes needs to improve measurably to improve affordability," Yun adds.
The PHSI in the Northeast fell (1.5 percent) for the fourth straight month to 80.2 in March, but it's 0.6 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest, the index declined 2.5 percent to 107.5 in March, but it's 11.3 percent above March 2014.
Pending home sales in the South increased 4.0 percent to an index of 126.5 in March and they're 12.4 percent above last March. The index in the West rose 1.7 percent in March to 103.7, and it's now 15.6 percent above a year ago.
It is a market dominated by the sellers who can and are selling. So, why aren't more potential sellers selling? This article answers that question.
NEW YORK – March 31, 2015 – Existing-home sales are up nearly 5 percent from last year, but sales would be much higher if it wasn't for the negative equity overhang, economists say.
The National Association of Realtors® recently reported that existing-home sales increased 4.7 percent in February compared to a year ago.
But with an improving labor market, home sales should be even higher, Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American Financial Corp., told The New York Times, regardless of the fact that home prices are higher too.
"Rising prices only crimp affordability for the first-time buyer who doesn't yet own the asset," Fleming says. "But the vast majority of home sales are to existing homeowners. And for existing homeowners, what changes affordability is their own income and the price of money."
Currently, though, too many homeowners still lack sufficient equity in their homes to sell, Fleming notes. Owners with home equity below 20 percent are less likely to sell because if they can't cover the costs of the transaction.
A significant number of current homeowners can't afford to move up if they're relying on profit from an existing home for the downpayment. About 35 percent of owners nationwide are either in a negative equity position or have equity below 20 percent, according to some industry estimates.
However, the equity picture has shown improvement recently. CoreLogic reported earlier this month that 89 percent – or about 44.5 million – of all U.S. properties with a mortgage had at least some equity by the end of the fourth quarter of 2014.
What's more, if home prices rise by an additional 5 percent, about 1 million more homeowners in negative equity stand to inch back into the black. However, much of the equity is concentrated at the high-end of the housing market (94 percent of homes valued at more than $200,000 have equity compared to 84 percent of homes valued less than $200,000).
Also, many homeowners remain "under-equitied" with less than 20 percent equity in their homes. Nearly 50 million properties – one in five (20 percent) – are considered "under-equitied" in the U.S., and about 1.4 million of those properties have less than 5 percent equity, considered "near-negative equity."
According to CoreLogic's report, the states with the largest number of negative equity homeowners, as of the fourth quarter of 2014, are: Nevada (24 percent); Florida (23.3 percent); Arizona (18.7 percent); Illinois (16.2 percent), and Rhode Island (15.8 percent).
Source: "Negative Equity a Drag on Home Sales," The New York Times (March 27, 2015) and "89% of U.S. Homes Ended 2014 With Equity," REALTOR® Magazine Daily News (March 18, 2015)
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