Sunday, September 22, 2019

Lowered Mortgage Rates Boosted US Home Sales 1.3%

As mortgage rates approach near historic lows, there has been a high increase in home buying. According to recent statistics, US home sales rose 1.3% to the highest level in 17 months. Furthermore, the National Association of Realtors stated that homes sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.49 million units, the best performance since March 2018.

The recent increase in home sales are a sign of US consumer's strong resilience, despite a darkening outlook for overall economic growth. Cheaper borrowing costs have resulted in improved affordability for buyers, making them more eager to buy despite rising property prices and a shortage of properties for sale.

The median sales price rose 4.7% from a year ago to $278,200, outpacing average wage gains.

Overall, home buyers are benefitting from the recent economic uncertainty, due to President Trump's ongoing tariff war against China. The 30 year mortgage rate averaged only 3.73% this week. However, the upside is limited due to a shortage in properties available for sale. There were only 1.86 million properties listed for sale at the end of August, down 2.6% from a year ago. The inventory shortage appears to be most pronounced in starter homes priced below $250,000, while sales of homes priced between $250,000 and 1 million have drastically risen.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

5 Easy & Creative Ways to Upgrade Your Rental

Renting does not always provide the exact renovations and design decor you truly desire. However, we rounded up some of the best budget-friendly design tips to upgrade and spruce up your rental.

1. Enhance Your Lighting 

Lighting is an overlooked yet powerful way to completely change the ambiance of any room. Switching out light fixtures and adding a trendy chandelier, or even adding smart light bulbs that connect to a Google Home or Amazon Echo, can brighten your apartment and add instant coziness. 

2. Upgrade Your Bathroom

Many rentals have bathrooms that are mediocre at best. Luckily, you can easily swap out your shower-head for something slightly more glamorous and high quality. You can also upgrade your towel bars or replace your toilet seat.

3. Replace Old Knobs & Handles

Looking to add some design and style to your bland or outdated rental? Consider replacing any old-fashioned kitchen and bathroom knobs with more stylish alternatives. Just remember to keep the original hardware safely stored away so you can put the old ones back before moving out.

4. Spruce Up Your Walls

As a renter, removable wallpaper will be your best friend. A bit of removable wallpaper can instantly add color and style to your apartment. Also do not underestimate the power of large wall art, it can instantly add glamour and a pop of color to any space. 

5. Add Custom Shelving

Introducing custom shelving can be a game-changer to your apartment. You can even position shelves to cover unattractive and outdated radiators. Adding shelving will add style to your apartment while simultaneously giving you the opportunity to better organize your belongings.