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Some of the best financial investments for your home

Cervone, Deegan & Associates knows that when you own real estate there are always going to be some property enhancements that you will would like to make or that you will need to make. Doing some repairs or making additions can usually increase the value of your home while you enjoy them for as long as you live in the home. Here are some of the best financial investments that you can do for your property:

Major fixes

The best place to begin is always with repairing any major issues. This could include things like an old or broken air conditioning system, leaky pipes or older roof. Some of these things can better to fix immediately as they can lead to further damage and more expenses. Furthermore, if you plan on selling in the near future then these enhancements will typically add value for prospective buyers.

Exterior Improvements

Putting some money and efforts into your home’s exterior can also bring about some positive returns. Things like upgrading your windows, replacing front doors, painting and landscaping can all have a large impact. Sometimes if you don’t wish to financially commit to repainting the whole house, even a good pressure washing can make your home look better for a lot less.

Kitchen and Bathrooms

Bathrooms can at times be easily upgraded with the replacement of more visible things like toilets, sinks and vanities. If your tilework and flooring are in good condition then spending your money on fixtures may be a better place to put your money.

Kitchens are typically regarded as the heart of every home with much attention focused for value. Functional items like cabinetry and appliances are where you typically should invest your money for quality products. You don’t always need to buy top of the line models, but you should keep with current trends and stay within the zone of what is expected for the price range of your home. High efficiency models are always a solid investment where there can be both tax incentives as well as a realized monthly savings in energy costs.

Entryway Improvements

Your front door will always greet your visitors before you do so it plays a large part in creating the first impression. Replacing your entry door with one that is aesthetically interesting and efficient will help add value while potentially saving you on your monthly energy costs.

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6 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Winter

Cervone, Deegan & Associates knows that selling your home in the winter can sometimes have both advantages and some challenges. Oftentimes the winter can be great as the buyers are more active and serious as they may need to move more than just wanting to. However, sometimes challenges of winter weather can introduce some obstacles, but being well prepared can make these more manageable. Here are 6 tips for what you can do if you plan on selling this winter.

1. Turn up the heat – You don’t need to keep the heat cranked up every hour on the hour, but be sure your home is an ambient temperature for open houses and showings. You don’t want prospective buyer’s teeth chattering or feeling that the home may be drafty and cold.

2. Trim the trees – Trim back trees and hedges to allow for a clear path to your home. Avoid having snowy limbs hinder anyone from trying to make it to the front door. Perform a fall clean up so that your yard is clear of debris and will appear well kept throughout the winter. If snow often arrives then you can provide exterior photos from the prime warmer months.

3. Managing weather conditions – Clear your driveway and walkways of snow and ice to allow for smooth showings. Get out the shovels and salt so that every prospective buyer can safely and easily enter the house.

4. Feature the fireplace – If your home has a fireplace then there is no better time to show off the amenity. Make it a focal point and add a fresh stack of wood nearby if it is a wood burning fireplace. For gas fireplaces, you can easily turn these on for all showings.

5. Add more warmth and comfort – There are lots of ways to add warmth to your home’s environment. Here are just a few ideas:
-Add throw blankets to your couch
-Add some decorative candles
-Baking pies or cookies for the smell
-Add soft relaxing music
-Provide coffee or hot chocolate for open houses
-Turn back the comforters on the beds

6. Lighting – The winter season brings shorter and darker days so be sure that your home is well illuminated in every room. Use warm bulbs as opposed to harsh colder lighting and make sure all lights are turned on for every buyer visit. Also, keep the blinds wide open during daytime showings as well!

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Home Sales up 2%

After another year of robust activity in the real estate market, Cervone, Deegan & Associates has seen an improvement in the pace of sales locally this fall. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors in a recent report, the fall real estate market has strengthened with an increasing pace of existing home sales regardless of struggles due to the shortage of available supply. The total existing home sales of single-families, townhomes, condos and co-ops has risen by 2.0% in the month of October to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.48 million sales. After this increase sales are at their best pace since this June, but are still below last year at this time by 0.9%.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says sales activity in October picked up for the second straight month, with increases in all four major regions. “Job growth in most of the country continues to carry on at a robust level and is starting to slowly push up wages, which is in turn giving households added assurance that now is a good time to buy a home,” he said. “While the housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated.”

Added Yun, “The residual effects on sales from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are still seen in parts of Texas and Florida. However, sales should completely bounce back to their pre-storm levels by the end of the year, as demand for buying in these areas was very strong before the storms.”

The median existing home price for every type of property had increased by 5.5% this October over that of last year. This price increase is the 68th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Available housing inventory by the end of the month of October had decreased 3.2% and is now 10.4% lower than a year ago. This has also been the 29th straight month for decreasing amount of available housing stock levels. Total unsold inventory is now at a 3.9 month supply which is down from 4.4 months at this in 2016. Properties also remained on the market for typically 34 days this October which is down from the 41 days from last year. Additionally, 47% of the the homes that were sold in October were on the market for less than one month.

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Home sales up by 0.7%

After a summer of a declining number of sales, Cervone, Deegan & Associates is pleased to share that the fall has shown to have reversed the trend of slowing number of sales. Regardless of the ongoing shortage of supply and recent hurricanes which have caused their challenges in certain regions recently, a somewhat typical increase in activity for fall has been seen.

The total existing home sales, which are sold transactions of properties including townhomes, single-family homes, condominiums and coops increased by 0.7% to an adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million for the month of September. This was an increase from 5.35 million in August yet the sales pace is 1.5% below last year’s pace.

Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist, has shared “Home sales in recent months remain at their lowest level of the year and are unable to break through, despite considerable buyer interest in most parts of the country,” he said. “Realtors® this fall continue to say the primary impediments stifling sales growth are the same as they have been all year: not enough listings – especially at the lower end of the market – and fast-rising prices that are straining the budgets of prospective buyers.”

Added Yun, “Sales activity likely would have been somewhat stronger if not for the fact that parts of Texas and South Florida – hit by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma – saw temporary, but notable declines.”

The median existing home price for all types of properties was $245,100 for the month of September. This was an increase of 4.2% over last year at the same time. This was the 67th month of consecutive gains.

Housing inventory had increased by 1.6% to 1.9 million available for sale in September for fall market, yet this is still 6.4% lower than last year. “A continuation of last month’s alleviating price growth, which was the slowest since last December (4.5 percent), would improve affordability conditions and be good news for the would-be buyers who have been held back by higher prices this year,” said Yun.

Nearly 2/3rds of renters still feel that now is a great time to buy, yet increasing prices and limited inventory is making it difficult for this group to reach the market.