Isn't it great that design is fluid and always changing? We love how there are always new and interesting trends to appeal to anyone! This year is no different. This new year has brought new design ideas. So, we've searched the web and scoured Pinterest for the hottest home decor trends for 2018 and here is what we found:
Patterns, Patterns & more Patterns
In everything from plants to textiles, this year's hottest design trend is patterns! In a stark retreat from minimalism, it is time to inject more color, layers, textures and even unique collections back into design. Layer items with various textures and patterns to bring depth to your home decor. For lots of oomph, look for bold tiles and wallpaper to create beautiful accent wall! You can even find plants with beautiful patterned leaves, such as the Calathea or Pothos plant.
While we enjoyed the mid-century modern details of 2016-17, it's time to graduate to a more industrial look. Design is trending toward exposed lightbulbs, mixed metal & wood furniture and hairpin legs. Industrial design is all about the re-use of old materials, so check out your local antique stores or garage sales for unique pieces.
Can you believe that wicker and rattan pieces are making a comeback?? But, gone are the days that these items are only used for outdoor summertime lounging. We've seen wicker used in new ways, such as for an oversized headboard or a large pendant light. Wicker & rattan elements instantly bring an open & airy feel to a room and can be used to accentuate a coastal or beach-y vibe.
Animals motifs are often seen being incorporated into home design, but now we are also seeing bugs & insects used to bring whimsy to decor. This trend may not be for everyone, but when done correctly, it can be pretty cute. Colorful butterflies, beetles and ladybugs are showing up on prints in unexpected places. These playful elements bring a fairytale-like feel to the home and is a new take on "bringing the outdoors in"!
Are you empty nester who has found yourself with way more living space than you need?
It can be tricky time of life to navigate. The kids have moved out and now you're living in a family home that is large and maybe getting difficult to take care of. You may be wondering if it is better to remodel the home to fit your current needs better or sell to a new family.
Here are some things to consider:
Remodeling gives you endless options of customization for your home. You can enhance your master suite, build in a dream chefs kitchen or turn an old bedroom into an artist's studio. Be careful to make decisions that don't detract from the value of your home, should you decide to sell in the future. The average ROI on remodeling is around 64% of your investment when you do go to sell, and this number varies depending on what spaces you remodel.
Remodeling can be stressful & expensive. Living in a construction zone is a challenge, but an extensive remodel may mean that you'd have to move out of your home until it is completed. Make sure you budget these types of expenses in when considering a remodel. There can also be unforeseen issues that add up.
While it can be a very emotional decision to sell your long-time family home, there are some upsides to this options. You can downsize your living space and upsize your lifestyle. Have you always dreamed about living somewhere with a view or beautiful high end amenities? You can take the equity from the sale of your family home and invest in the empty-nesters dream home. Having the flexibility to leave your home and travel is also a boon to empty nesters. For this reason, condominium living may be extremely appealing in this stage of life! There is less maintenance required on the home and a potential for built-in community.
Now is a great time to sell your home. If you are looking to downsize from a large family home or just find something that better fits your lifestyle needs, give us a call! We'd love to help and discuss the best option for you.
We want to pass along some time-proven tips of real estate sales. Consider these "trade secrets", provided exclusively for our readers!
#1 Adapt your home staging strategy according to the season that you are selling in. As the practice of home staging continues to evolve, creating a simple conversation space in a living room can get complicated and elaborate. Keep the staging simple and rather neutral to appeal to more buyers. In the summer, use shorter furniture to make a room feel bigger & longer! And during showings, play soft background music in the colder months to make a home seem cozier.
#2 Buyers can't resist the smell of freshly cut grass! It's not unheard of to cut the grass before every showing. Maintain excellent curb appeal while your home is on the market. It is where a potential buyer will get their first impression!
#3 Avoid real estate black holes. Most markets have listing "black holes" which are times that listings get lost in the abyss of sunny weekends, family vacations and holidays. Try to avoid listing your home right before locals head of out town for Memorial Day Weekend or the 4th of July!
#4 Exaggerated listing only serve to disappoint potential buyers. It's the same concept as online dating - don't over promise and under deliver! It may seem like a good idea to capture the attention of a potential buyer by promising a beautiful "lake front property". But, when your home is just situated near a small pond, buyers will leave disappointed with a bad taste in their mouths. Take the true positive features of your home and highlight those instead.
#5 It is better to price your home correctly from the start than allow it to sit on the market for too long. In a hot real estate market, it is considered "too long" for a house to sit unsold for 3-4 weeks. This is a sure sign that the home was not correctly priced. Dropping the price can be seen as desperate, so it is better to put yourself in a situation where you receive multiple fair offers than try to get greedy with an unrealistic price.
#6 There is a month that is seen as the ideal time to sell your home. Can you guess?? Home sales in June are typically 29% above average! June lands happily in the middle of "housing season", which is unofficially considered as February - September.
Oh no! The secret is out.
According to Sunset Magazine, Tacoma is the 13th best place to live in the Northwest! The PNW's best kept secret is now national news. We've had the distinct pleasure of watching the city grow and develop over the past few years and we are thrilled that the City of Destiny's time has come!
"Tacoma is experiencing a resurgence of its downtown, along with six museums within walking distance of each other, train service into King Street Station, and charming bungalows selling for less than tract homes in the far Seattle burbs," says executive editor at Sunset magazine, Lauren Ladoceour. "While it takes a village to remake a village, much of this resurgence is being fueled in part by artists, artisans, and creative small-scale manufacturers."
With a smaller population of only 211,000, Tacoma has long been overshadowed by it's larger sister city, 34 miles to the north. Formerly a shipping powerhouse, Tacoma has seen an influx of creatives who are rethinking and repurposing old buildings & warehouses. To support the artistic movement, the city launched a Made in Tacoma initiative in 2017.
Compared to Seattle, home prices in Tacoma are startlingly affordable (and just as cute!) The median home price is only $270,000. Not to mention, you can see Mt Rainer from almost anywhere in the city! The city also boasts 46 miles of gorgeous coastline and outdoor activities to boot. With all the positive changes happening in Tacoma, we think that we're on the verge of something great. If you would like to hear more about it or see some available listings, give our team a call! We want to show you everything that we love about our city.
During the winter, it is common to have air pollutants build up in our homes because we don't have natural ventilation from windows and doors being open all the time.
There are many products out there that promise to clean & purify our air, but they can be expensive, unsightly and require lots of electricity! Some of these products can't clean formaldehyde out of the air, which is a very common asthma-inducer. Fortunately, we have a solution that is both beautiful & functional! There are many houseplants that clean air pollutants naturally. All of the plants listed below have been tested and approved by NASA scientists to be the best indoor air-purifiers.
Please note that some of these plants can be harmful to children and/or pets if ingested. So, make sure to put them out of reach in order to keep your littlest family members safe!
This first plant is an air-purifying champion. According to NASA research, it removes ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from the air. It is the Garden Mum! It is a common find at garden stores and can be planted outside after it is done blooming.
The Boston Fern removes more formaldehyde from the air than any other plant. It prefers to be kept very moist and in indirect sunlight. If cared for properly, these plants are also efficient at removing xylene.
The Dwarf Date Palm is a small palm tree that is known for being one of the best at removing formaldehyde from the air. Bonus: palms are easy to care for! Other palm trees such as the Bamboo Palm or Lady Palm are also particularly efficient and love lots of direct sunlight.
For a dimmer room that needs cleaner air, try a rubber plant. They can tolerate very little sun and are at the top of the list of air purifiers. These plants can also be excellent to use in an office, where most furniture is constructed with formaldehyde-based glues.
English Ivy can be grown as a topiary and used as a decorative piece in your home. It likes part sun & part shade and is not very temperamental. While it is traditionally grown outdoors, when brought inside it is an effective formaldehyde remover.
The Peace Lily not only removes formaldehyde from the air, but also removes benzene and VOC's that are emitted from cleaning products. This plant prefers low light and can even humidify your air. The Peace Lily should be stored out of reach from pets & children and is probably best used in an office-type setting.
When it comes to owning houseplants, if you take care of them, they will take care of you!
The rainy cold season is upon us and we don't know about you, but we're not ready for it! But, with the turning of the new year, it's a good time to start thinking about those annual home maintenance tasks that just need to get done. We've compiled a list of the things we need to get done this winter - feel free to add your own suggestions below!
1. Change the furnace filter. This should be done more frequently than one a year, especially during the heating season.
2. Test GFCI outlets to ensure they are working properly. To test, plug in a radio and turn it on, then push the test button on the outlet. If the radio shuts off, the outlet is working as it should!
3. Add insulation to prevent ice from freezing in pipes and even to protect against fires.
4. Touch up interior paint. The is more of an aesthetic task, but it makes a big difference! Make sure that the rooms are properly ventilated and set up extra lights to make sure you don't miss any spots in dark corners.
5. Winterize windows by caulking or weatherstripping. If the windows are very drafty, the ideal solution would be to replace them.
6. Clean out dryer vents. Unfortunately, sometimes lint can make it's way to the dryer vent even though you have a lint filter. Cleaning the vent is one way to reduce the possibility of a fire.
7. Test and update alarm and alert systems. Your home should have a smoke alarm on every floor and in every bedroom. Also, make sure carbon monoxide detectors are working.
8. Finally, now is a good time to review your homeowners insurance coverage. Especially if you made improvements since your last renewal, you want to make sure those are adequately covered.
Buying a home is one of the biggest and most expensive life decisions that most people will make! So much so that it is not an investment to be entered into lightly. Unfortunately, most first time buyers end up "winging it" and figuring it out as they go through their first purchase. While this is one way to do it, we believe that the best decisions are made when a buyer is fully informed.
At Sound Properties, we take the time to educate our clients and ensure that they are fully comfortable with the home-buying process. We have been through countless transactions with both first-time buyers and experienced real estate investors. Here is some of our best advice for anyone considering their first home purchase:
1. Get yourself familiar with the complicated process of home buying. There are a lot of moving parts to keep in order and the more educated you are, the less confusing it will seem when you are in the midst of a sale.
2. Create a high-level road map of your real estate plan. Write down the goals you'd like to accomplish with your real estate investments, the steps it will take to get there and a rough timeline of how long it will take to happen. It is also a good idea to include an investigation into neighborhoods, loan programs and various housing options in your desired area.
3. Build a winning team of experts to guide you through the process. As a first time buyer, it is wise to vet and hire experts who will advocate on your behalf. Take the time to interview experienced realtors, loan officers and attorneys. Just because you have a friend who is a licensed real estate agent doesn't necessarily mean they are equipped to advise you in your biggest financial decision to date.
4. Explore housing options beyond the single-family home. While many of us hold the notion of living in a single family home near and dear to our hearts, its not the only option! With the market the way it is today, it is worthwhile to consider other housing types like a condo townhouse or multi-family property. There are significant differences in lifestyle and you may miss out on a great opportunity if you pass it up.
5. Know your finances in order to set yourself up for success and avoid unnecessary stress when you purchase a home. It is not uncommon for people, especially first time buyers, to stretch beyond their financial means in order to purchase a home. Even though you may get pre-approved for a high loan amount, that doesn't mean that you need to max out that amount.
6. Scrutinize the true value of the home and don't get distracted by shiny objects. Real estate is all about location but it is just as important to get good value for your dollar. Analyze the things in a home that aren't easy to change such as square footage, the size of the plot and the surrounding neighborhood. Try to not focus on things like stainless steel appliances and granite countertops - these things are easily changed. Also, be sure to take a good look at the roof, electrical and plumbing. This is where your money will actually be going.
Remember that you are in control of the buying process! It can be easy to get carried away in the drama of a hot market, but you can be aggressive and proactive and maintain control of the situation. You are your best advocate and are accountable for the decisions you make. Be sure to do your research so you can be prepared for any situation. Finally, have an excellent team behind you to support you!
We'd love to work with you if you are looking to purchase a home in 2018! Contact Sound Properties today at any of the numbers listed below.
According to Standard & Poor's home price index, U.S. home prices have risen 6.2% from one year ago. Across the nation, prices are rising at more than twice the pace of wage growth, which causes some affordability pressure.
Not surprisingly, Seattle is leading the way in home price growth, topping the charts with a whopping 12.7% increase since October 2015. Considering that home prices are outpacing wage growth and Seattle currently has a booming job market, experts suggest that potential Seattle-area buyers may look to rent instead.
However, mortgage rates remain low and this fact is taking some of the pressure off the hefty price tags. Even in the face of rising home prices, it is still fortuitous to purchase as opposed to rent. In fact, Freddie Mac reports that the average rate for a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.94% which is down from last year's 4.30%. Check out this awesome article: If you can Afford to Rent - you can Afford to Buy!
Although the home prices are continuing to rise, we saw an unseasonably high single-family home sales month in November of 2017. Sales jumped up 17.5% from October to November. In fact, home sales have outpaced construction of new homes and construction just can't keep up!
The economy is still steadily recovering from the 2008 crisis and it is evident in the Seattle-area home buying/selling market!
We've all been there... creating New Years resolutions with the very best intentions only to be overwhelmed or tired of it a couple weeks later. To kick off 2018, why not set yourself up for success? We've come up with a few ideas that can be completed in one day and will give you some positive vibes about the year to come!
Make a commitment to someone other than yourself
One problem with New Years resolutions is that they can be very self-focused. While it is always good to work on improving oneself, maybe this is the year to make a difference in someone else's life. You can apply this commitment in many different ways! Maybe you have a friend or family member with a need that you can meet. Take some time to volunteer at a local animal shelter, your child's school or a soup kitchen. For a quick one-and-done, donate to a cause you care about!
Pick a word to define the year ahead
The idea here is to pick a word to define how you want to remember the year 2018. As opposed to a resolution, which is a specific action, pick a word that transcends all aspects of your life. For example: "joyful", "thankful" or "helpful". When you make decisions, use your word to guide you! For fun, make a little scrapbook page or journal for inspiration around your chosen word.
Create a bucket list
To add a bit of anticipation to the coming year, make a bucket list for yourself. This can be done on your own or even as a family! Challenge yourself to try new things and see new places, but make sure everything is obtainable.
Write a letter to your future self
This can be a really meaningful practice and can almost be like a long journal entry. Write a letter to yourself that you commit to not opening until January 1, 2019. Put down things you want to accomplish, how you want to change, what you are worried about and what you are excited about. Next year you can look back and see how far you really came!
List things you are anticipating in the coming year
Is your sister getting married this summer? Are you planning a trip to Rio? Perhaps having a milestone birthday? Make a list of the things you are most looking forward to about the year! Challenge yourself to have at least one per month, even if it is just a small thing. Put these things on your calendar so that you are reminded of them constantly. It's always fun to have things to look forward to!