Boston Area Home Improvements: Spending Drop Expected

Boston area home improvements have seen record spending over the past three years due to the resurgence in home equity over that period of time, but spending is set to soften in coming months.

Spending on Boston area home improvements is expected to decline in the coming months

According to the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, the center’s index, the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), projects that annual growth in home improvement spending will decelerate from 6.3 percent in the first quarter of 2015 to 1.6 percent by the third quarter.

Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center says, “Homeownership rates continue to slide as lending remains tight and first-time homebuyers are not yet returning to the market.” Growth in Boston area home improvements and remodeling spending is expected to drop somewhat in 2015 due partly to weakening home sales last year.

However, the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA’s) recent announcement of a decrease in their mortgage insurance premiums could spur a new wave of first-time home buying since this is the category of borrowers most affected by mortgage premiums.

Other Factors Affecting Spending on Boston Area Home Improvements

There are other factors, of course, that contribute to LIRA’s outlook for Boston area home improvements. Home prices, for example, are still gaining, although not as fast as in previous months. If prices slow further, more buyers could enter the market, purchasing homes that need some remodeling.

House price gains are moderating but still strong and home sales appear to be turning a corner now, all of which bodes well for continued, if more moderate, gains in Boston area home improvements for 2015

We have more tips and articles on Boston area home improvements in our Boston Home Improvements section to your right under Boston area Real Estate Categories. And don’t forget, we post daily tips on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check us out there as well.

Raising Your Boston Area Home Value

The start of a new year for many also means starting to think about selling their Boston area home. Before you just call an agent and have them stick a for sale sign in your yard, or if you’re thinking of selling yourself as a FSBO, consider these ways to increase the overall value of your Boston area home.

4 Ways to Increase the Value of a Boston Area Home

To increase the value of your Boston area home, considering going green, at least partially.

Think Green – If repairs and maintenance are on your to-do list for your Boston area home, put your money where it counts and think green. If your HVAC system is old and worn out, consider investing in a new and more efficient model. Another green upgrade would be installing a solar-powered water heater that will let you save as much as 85% on your utility bills. Make sure you do this one right though, or you could end up taking a cold shower from time to time.

Consider New Windows – No one likes the idea that they need new windows. But, many people are unaware of the huge impact it has on home value since it’s mostly a functional upgrade rather than a visual one. Amazingly though, spending $7,500 to $10,000 on new windows can yield as much as 80 percent return on your investment for your Boston area home.

Security is Important – Having the ability to illustrate how key sensors protect the windows and doors along with how you use carbon monoxide sensors, smoke detectors, and flood warning systems generates a strong sense of security and safety for many prospective homebuyers and business owners alike. Therefore, installing a security system in your Boston area home will not only make your home much safer, but increase the value of it as well.

Look at Your Front Door – A new front door is the number one way to improve your Boston area home and add value according to experts. On average, over 96 percent of what you spend on a new door adds value back into to the value of your Boston area home.

Keep in mind it has to be a quality door that suits the existing architecture of the home as well as aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Better yet, sometimes just repainting the front door in a different high-impact color and updating the hardware can have the same effect as buying a new one, in which case you would likely get a 100-percent-plus return on your investment.

These upgrades are key to boosting the potential equity in your Boston area home. This is especially true if you’re trying to get it market-ready for selling.

With the forecast of higher mortgage rates on the horizon, now is the time to get your Boston area home ready to sell. There may never be a more affordable time for prospective buyers to buy your Boston area home than right now.

We have more Boston Area Home Selling tips to your right under our Boston Real Estate Categories. And don’t forget, we post daily tips on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check us out there as well.

Energy Saving Tips For Your Boston Area Home

There are three common areas in your Boston area home where energy is probably being lost. These energy saving tips focus on entry doors, windows, and your attic access. These are the three most common problem areas.

You can correct and insulate problem areas by following these tips…

We have more Boston home improvement tips and information to your right in the Boston Home Improvements section of articles under Boston Real Estate Categories.
Keep up with our daily real estate and home improvement tips as we post them on Twitter, and find us on Facebook as well.

Boosting the Value of Your Boston Area Home

Thinking about selling your Boston area home? Typically Spring is the time of the year you’d be putting it on the market. But if you’re like most people, there’s probably a lot of things you need to do in order to get your Boston area home in shape to sell. So why not use the winter months to get some things done and get your home ready for the Spring selling season in 2015? Here are a few cost-effective tips to jump-start your home selling journey.

Tips to Get the Most for Your Boston Area Home

Hire a professional organizer for your Boston area home

Hire a Professional Organizer for Your Boston Area Home

Many cleaning companies offer organizational services in addition to helping you clean. Having a professional organizer come in will allow you to create space and generate a sense of flow in your home, which is attractive to potential buyers.

Deep Clean Your Boston Area Home

You may think your Boston area home is clean, but there’s nothing like the magic of walking into your house after a thorough, professional cleaning has been done. Get this done early in the winter to give yourself a clean (no pun intended) slate to work with, and then do it once more right before you list your Boston area home. In addition to organizing, a thorough, deep cleaning, is a must do item.

Consider Painting Your Boston Area Home

Painting is not something most people look forward to, but it does wonders for the appearance of your home for very little cost. Stay away from bold, distracting colors. Instead, choose neutral shades that will appeal to a greater number of people.

Don’t Smoke!

Quit smoking inside your home at the very least. Kicking the habit is great for your health, but if you’re not ready to clean up your lungs just yet, stop smoking inside of your house as soon as possible. Going outside to light up during the winter months might even help you quit faster than you would have anticipated.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Small things, like new light switch covers, may not seem like they would make a big impact. But new details like this can really make a house pop. Any covers that show cracks, chips or damage can put off a buyer. Damaged switch plate covers can increase the risk of fire or electric shock. Make sure to follow all safety precautions when doing any electrical work on your Boston area home.

Spruce Up Your Yard

If the weather allows it, do some landscaping during the winter months. A little curb appeal always helps boost interest. Regardless of the weather, you certainly should pick up your yard, especially if you have kids. Pick up all of the toys, put away the kiddie pool, even pack up the trampoline and sell it or put it in storage. People want to see the potential of the space, and all of your “stuff” can block that for them.

There are many ways to boost the value of your Boston area home before you put it on the market, but these are a few cost-effective things you can take care of during the winter months.

We have more articles to help in the process of selling your Boston area home over in the Boston Home Selling Tips section of articles, as well as additional home improvement tips in the Boston Home Improvements section, both under our Boston Real Estate Categories to your right. Be sure to Find Buyer’s Choice Realty on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter!


Smart Gadgets for Your Boston Area Home

Like it or not, we all live in a digital age. But now, smart gadgets for your Boston area home are making things inside your home completely controllable outside of your home, using your smart phone.

Living in Digital Times technology editor Andrea Smith discusses some of her favorite gadgets for the ultimate connected home.

Do you have smart gadgets and devices in your Boston area home yet? Chances are, if you don’t already, you will soon. Smart gadgets and devices are getting smarter almost by the day, and cheaper too. What used to cost a fortune to automate your home, is now much more affordable.
If the high cost of installing smart gadgets and devices in your Boston area home has been holding you back, wait no longer. Now is the time to start looking at ways you can simplify your life, go green, and possibly even save money on your homeowner’s insurance because your Boston area home is less likely to suffer a break-in when it’s controlled by these smart gadgets and devices.
For other ideas on improvements you can make in your home, check out our Boston Home Improvements section of articles under Boston Real Estate Categories to your right.
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