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December Housing Report

Despite the typical winter slowdown, November home sales finished 19.1% above a year ago and prices increased 1.4% over October. All but one of the 53 markets in the RE/MAX National Housing Report posted an increased number of sales over November 2015, with nearly half of the markets at least 20% higher. In all, last month saw more homes sold than any other November in the eight-year history of the report.
Find the complete report here.

5 Ways to Connect with Family During the Holidays

Family serving Christmas dinner

People talk about going home for the holidays, but it’s often the traditions of the holidays that create a home wherever you are. In this eight-part series, RE/MAX is taking a look at things that make a house a home and how each one can add to your seasonal celebration.

It’s often tough to be away from loved ones during the holidays. Fortunately, there are several ways everyone in your family, wherever they may be, can be included in celebrating the season. Here are a few.

1. Make a date to video chat

Plan ahead (maybe even send out an Evite) and schedule a virtual family reunion. Video chatting is easy – and free. Services like Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts allow you to talk to more than one person at the same time. Bonus: you can finally turn down the volume on the uncle who shouts during every conversation.

2. Share an activity

While everyone may not be able to do the same thing in the same place, you and your family members around the world can still share a holiday experience. For example, everyone could make the same treasured family recipe or create some DIY holiday decorations. Then, share the experience via phone or video chat.

3. Family Facebook

Set up a Facebook page for your extended family for the holidays – and beyond. Posts can include messages or videos from each member of the family (don’t forget the dog!) or snapshots from holiday activities.

4. Record a message – or a conversation.

SpareMin is an app that makes it easy to create and share audio recordings. Grab a family member and host your own podcast with a topic like “Family Update” or “2016 Year in Review.”

5. Online family photo album

Sites like Shutterfly and Snapfish make it easy to create online albums. Upload some family holiday pics from years past or start fresh with this year’s batch and invite relatives to contribute.

What would be great news to share with your family? Buying a new home! A RE/MAX agent can help make it a reality. Find an experienced one to work with here.

November Housing Report

Last month saw the second-most sales – and the smallest inventory – of any October in the 9-year history of the RE/MAX National Housing Report. Add to that combination the highest year-over-year price increase of 2016 thus far: 8.3%.

Find the complete report here.

#ReStage Challenge

remaxrestage

Recently, RE/MAX called on design lovers everywhere to enter the 9 Day ReStage Challenge competition and show off their best home-staging strategies. RE/MAX received many amazing entries for each challenge, some of which are showcased on our Instagram page.

Day 1: Drawing the Eye

The winning spot in the Day 1 challenge went to @onstageonline. In order to draw the eye in on to one part of the room, symmetry is a must. In the room below, the placement of the identical chairs helps to draw attention to the lovely fireplace and mantle.

Day 2: Flowers

The Day 2 winner was the dynamic mother-daughter duo @picturperfecthomestaging. Staging flowers in your home requires two main tips:

1. Keep your color palette in mind. Try to avoid flowers that match too closely with the main color in the room. Instead, opt for accent colors.

2. The vase matters. As you can see in the staging picture, the vase and the accessories around it pull the “look” together. Additionally, you don’t even have to use a conventional vase! This team used a crate to give their space a more rustic look.

Day 3: Art and Frames

The very creative winner of the Day 3 challenge was @deandracoleman, due to her personal touches to a gallery wall. Don’t be afraid to take some risks and to get personal when staging art in your home! Deandra personalized her space with a “D” hung on the wall and a “dreams” painting.

Day 4: Storage

Storage can sometimes make or break a home’s look. But @domesticaccents makes it look easy. Creative storage can be tricky, but remember:

1. You don’t have to hide everything. Sometimes, using woven bins or wicker baskets on shelves adds a nice lived-in feel to the home. To soften the space, @domesticaccents stores quilts on shelving.

2. Make sure the storage fits your space. Having a storage unit that fits what you want is great; however, it is important to make sure it complements the size of the room and doesn’t overwhelm the space.

Day 5: Lighting

Day 5 winner @stageinteriorsinc demonstrates that lighting, through a “mix of modern and traditional lighting elements,” can really tie a space together. In order to make the most of your space with lighting, incorporate ambient, task, and accent lighting to highlight areas of your kitchen, living room and other parts of your home.

Day 6: Shelving

@liz_kamuru snagged the winning spot for Day 6 with her eclectic mix of metal and natural elements. Here’s what stood out about her shelving:

1. Plants. Plants. Plants. Whether artificial or real, plants add an extra dimension to spice up shelving.

2. Trinkets galore. To make shelves more decorative, adding candles and small trinkets will complement the space and make it your own. Just make sure to not go too overboard or your shelves will look cluttered!

Day 7: Mirrors

Having a mirror in a room is great because it creates a more open feel. And as Day 7 winner @tahne.martin shows, mirrors don’t have to be the main focus the room. Notice how the mirror accents the room below without overshadowing the other pieces.

 

Day 8: Decorative accents

When it comes to decorative accents, it’s all in the details. This designer added some flavor to a grey couch and cream-colored coffee table with a beautiful patterned rug and pillows. For more inspiration on this topic, check out the RE/MAX “Interior Details” Mood Board on Pinterest.

 

Day 9: First impressions

The foyer is the first thing that guests will see when entering your home, so make sure it’s welcoming and creates an atmosphere consistent with the rest of your home. Day 9 winner @luv_to_decorate used a small table with flowers and chairs to add dimension and make her home more inviting.

Ready to find out what your beautifully decorated house might fetch on the market? Contact an experienced RE/MAX agent today.

6 Reasons Why Autumn & Early Winter Might Just Be the Best Time to Purchase a Home

October Housing Report

Though posting a typical seasonal dropoff from August, September’s U.S. home sales represented the most of any September in the 9-year history of the RE/MAX National Housing Report. Home sales dropped 11.7% from August to September – nearly the same as the 11.0% average decline over the previous eight years of the Report. But sales increased 2.0% over September 2015 which had previously been the best September.

Find the complete report here.

September Housing Report

August home sales increased 5.8% over a year ago, reversing July’s decline of 8.8%. At the same time, the median price climbed 5.1% as steady monthly increases continued. August sales were up year-over-year in 41 of the 53 U.S. metro areas analyzed in the RE/MAX National Housing Report. Twelve metro areas posted double-digit increases, including major markets along the east coast from Washington, DC to Charlotte, NC. So far in 2016, seven of the eight months have seen year-over-year sales increases nationally.

Find the complete report here.

5 Tips for a Safer Backyard

Every year in the U.S., more than 50,000 kids are rushed to the emergency room for home playground equipment-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. To keep kids safe, remember the following tips when it comes to creating and maintaining play space in your yard.

1. Soften the fall
If you have a play set in your yard, consider upgrading the ground around and below it, as kids will inevitably be landing on it from a tall height or at high speeds. About 60 percent of all playground injuries are caused by falls to the ground, and a more shock-absorbent surface can reduce the risk of serious injury. Consider sand, wood chips, pea gravel or shredded rubber.

2. Keep a safety zone
If you install equipment like swings or a trampoline, be sure to place them a safe distance from fences, trees or your house in case kids accidentally (or not!) launch themselves in that direction.

3. Go with a pro
While it’s great to have friends or family members offer to help assemble and secure your backyard play equipment, it can pay to invest in professional installation. This will help ensure the fort doesn’t collapse during your kid’s birthday party or the jungle gym doesn’t go sailing the next time the wind kicks up.

4. Inspect your equipment regularly
Standing up against the weather – and kids – can take its toll, even on the highest quality play equipment. Check the hardware and wood to make sure bolts and screws remain secure and rot (or splinter-causing flaking) doesn’t begin.

5. Beware of lawn treatments
Know what’s in any lawn treatment to make sure it’s safe for kids and pets to roll around in.

Wondering how much value your backyard adds to your home’s potential sale price? An expert who knows your local market can help calculate what your land may add to the listing price. Find one here.

August Housing Report

Unlike the month’s temperatures, July home sales cooled off from June’s highest year-to-date level. In the RE/MAX National Housing Report analysis of 53 U.S. cities, July sales fell in 49 markets by 8.8% from July 2015 and by 13.1% from June. Find more market and housing news at
Find the complete report here.

9 Ways to Cool Down Your Home This Summer

cooldownyourhome

Cranking up the AC can also crank up your electric bill. Here are a few alternative ways to keep your home cool this summer.

1. Swap bulbs
If you still haven’t switched to CFLs for environmental or economic reasons, do it to be cool. Incandescent bulbs waste about 90 percent of their energy through the heat they emit.

2. Keep a cool head
Try out a buckwheat pillow for bedtime. They don’t absorb and retain heat like cotton and down pillows.

3. DIY AC
Place a big bowl of ice water in front of a fan for a cheap alternative to central air.

4. Mind the blinds
Close your window blinds or curtains when you leave to prevent your home from heating up like a greenhouse while you’re gone.

5. Grill and chill
Cooking outside on the barbecue keeps you from heating up your home with a stove or oven. It also minimizes the time you have to sweat over the dishes.

6. Don’t block your breeze
Open internal doors at night to maximize any fresh, cool air that makes its way inside.

7. Change direction
For the summer, set your ceiling fan to rotate in a counterclockwise direction to create a cooling, downward airflow. In winter, turn the setting back to clockwise to recirculate warm air.

8. Suck it up
Use your bathroom fan when you shower and your exhaust fan when you use your stovetop. They’ll help draw the hot air up and out of the room.

9. Unplug
Electronics emit heat when they’re plugged in, even if they’re turned off. Unplug them, or use a smart power strip, when you’re not using them.

Want a cool new place to call home? Learn what your cold cash (or approved mortgage amount) can buy in today’s market. Start by finding an experienced agent here.