January 14, 2021 | Market Update

Market News 1-15-2021

Mortgage Market Update

Last Year’s Hottest Home Upgrades

Designers and contractors had a busy 2020 helping homeowners update their homes. Many closets received a full makeover, creating better organization with custom storage and shelving units. Thanks to COVID, mudrooms evolved into “sanitation stations” where people could remove outdoor wear and apply sanitizer to hands and any items used outside of the home. A house can never have enough storage, and many families chose to add kitchen banquettes to get extra space while adding comfortable seating around the table. On the technology front, smart lights were all the rage. Homeowners are increasingly purchasing smart lighting systems that they can operate from their phone or via voice command.1

How 2020 Changed House Selling Forever

Homebuyers liked the convenient and innovative ways agents showed homes and closed on properties during COVID, and those practices are here to stay. Buyers continue to demand self-guided tours, high-quality listing photos, extremely detailed listing descriptions, video tours posted to social media, and virtual showings with 3-D videos. On the deal side, realtors expect curbside and no-touch closings to continue into 2021; they also anticipate increased demand for online notary platforms.2

Grocery Stores Can Be Good for Your Home Value

A recent study looked at how the proximity of Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s (TJ’s), and ALDI grocery stores could affect a home’s value. The analysis factored in metrics like current average home values, 5-year home price appreciation from the same dates in 2015 to 2020, current average home equity, and home seller profits. Houses closest to an ALDI had the highest overall 5-year appreciation of 41%, versus 35% for Trader Joe’s, and 33% for Whole Foods. However, it is notable that the average home value near TJ’s is $644,558, compared to $532,224 for Whole Foods, and $250,850 for an ALDI. Home sellers see an average return on investment of 51% if located near a Trader Joe’s, 43% for Whole Foods, and 41% for ALDIs.3

Stage Your Home Like a Real Estate Pro

Home staging can be a significant factor in both time-to-sale and in attracting your asking price. Real estate agents advise refreshing the paint on your front door as well as adding potted plants and a new doormat to make an excellent first impression. Every buyer has different tastes, so keep your d̩cor and color palette as neutral as possible so potential buyers can envision themselves in the house. Declutter all surface tops Рfrom bathroom counters to refrigerator magnets Рand remove any personal-identifying items like photographs. It is also a good idea to have your carpets professionally cleaned, which helps your floors show better and eliminates any odors.4

Dig into These Gardening Trends

More than 20 million Americans took up gardening last year to grow food or participate in a relaxing hobby. This year’s gardening trends include bigger and better food gardens and more plants to decorate outdoor living spaces. Bright, bold tropical plants are popular choices to add some cheer and exotic flair to a room. Some are even choosing more adventurous and unusual houseplants such as philodendrons, anthuriums, aglaonemas, and plants in the Hoya genus.5

Sources: 1Realtor Magazine, 2Realtor.com, 3Mortgage News Daily, 4MSN, 5Better Home & Gardens