Showing posts from January, 2019

Embracing Wellness Architecture

Wellness architecture, a design philosophy about enhancing health and longevity, has been driven by aging baby boomers and health-obsessed millennials, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. However, the newspaper argues this philosophy shouldn't be discounted as something that only applies to a segmented portion of the population. The design philosophy affects the mental, physical, and emotional state of a homeowner and can be integrated into homes rather inexpensively with many positive ramifications. The Post-Intelligencer outlines several simple ways that wellness architecture-inspired design can be incorporated into homes. Opt for Low- or No-VOC Products Install Hands-Free Faucets Make Space for Fitness Consider a compost bin Add plants in every room Soak your cares away in a great tub Make cooking easier and more fun with top notch appliances

Contemproary Versus Modern

Contemporary The term “contemporary” refers to the architecture of today, of the moment. If that definition sounds broad, it is. Contemporary is a fluid, constantly morphing architectural style. It shouldn’t be surprising to learn a contemporary home could include a mix of aesthetics, including elements of traditional, transitional, and, yes, modern architecture. This design flexibility reflects varied design preferences. The fact is, not every aspect of contemporary architecture needs to have a purpose or observe a set of aesthetic rules. If a crown molding is desired in the dining room, why not? Contemporary style reflects the times and buyer tastes. Chicago residential architect Scott Rappe, principal of  Kuklinski+Rappe Architects , says “… Contemporary means anything that’s being done in the present.” In general, contemporary architecture today is characterized by: Non-symmetrical shapes, mixed materials, open spaces, curves, and/or sweeping lines Sustainable, eco-friend

Popular Home Exterior Colors

Choosing a paint color for your home’s exterior can seem like a crazily daunting task. So many options! So crucial in making the right first impression on guests or potential buyers!  Should you go with basic beige, white, or (way) outside the paintbox? Thanks in part to influential designers like  Joanna Gaines , more homeowners today are stepping away from the traditional and choosing less common modern palettes, like cheery teal or moody charcoal gray. “We’re seeing homeowners go a bit bolder when it comes to curb appeal," says  Erika Woelfel , vice president of color and creative services at BEHR. “While variations of white traditionally make a popular exterior paint color choice for many different types of housing styles—and are an easy way to play it safe—dark grays and browns are increasing in popularity this year ... [or] painting the body a bold color like green or blue, or adding a pop of red on the front door.” Sue Kim , senior color designer at Sherwin-Williams,


Fierce competition for existing homes throughout the single-family rental housing market has pushed a growing number of investors to shift gears and focus on built-to-rent strategies. These include New York-based GTIS Partners, which has sold nearly half of its portfolio and re-invested in newly-built rental homes over the past 24 months, and the REIT American Homes 4 Rent. National Real Estate Investor’s Beth Mattson-Teig notes that this strategy tends to work best in markets where building and land costs are lower, including  Atlanta ,  Charlotte , N.C.,  Phoenix , and parts of  Texas . Initially, investors found an entry point into new developments by buying up 20 to 30 homes scattered within a new subdivision. Oftentimes, developers were willing to sell at a discount—of 6 to 7 percent—because selling directly to investors eliminated their marketing costs. Homebuilders could also use those sales to kickstart a project and secure financing, or quickly close out a project that wa

Walk In Showers Are Replacing Tubs

The bathtub versus shower debate has been going on for far longer than many think, the  Columbus Dispatch  reports. The debate dates back to at least 1834, when President Andrew  Jackson remodeled the White House. Jackson opted for a shower, but the debate still rages on today. The  Columbus Dispatch  finds that many in the Columbus,  Ohio , area are opting to replace baths and prefer showers in newly-built bathrooms. Elaborate showers—and no tub—are popular requests for bathroom remodeling jobs, said Monica Lewis, a master certified remodeler at J.S. Brown & Co. in  Columbus . "People are replacing '80s and '90s garden tubs they never use," she said. "They take up a lot of real estate, and so many clients tell me the only reason they crawl into that tub is to dust it." The  Columbus Dispatch  reports that despite the higher price tags that are sometimes associated with showers, many renovators are opting to replace tubs in their homes. Showers

Mortgage Payments Are Rising Three Times Faster than Home Price

The median price paid for a home rose by just over 5% year over year in October 2018, according to  CoreLogic ’s Home Price Index, while the principal-and-interest mortgage payment on that same median-priced home rose by 17%, owing mainly to 2018’s interest rate hikes. According to the CoreLogic Home Price Index Forecast, mortgage payments are expected to rise at a slower pace, close to 7%, this year. This is based on an anticipated 4.8% gain in home prices by October 2019, as well as an 0.2% gain in mortgage rates, based on an average of six forecasts. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast suggests the median sale price will rise 2.5 percent in real, or inflation-adjusted, terms over the year ending October 2019 (or 4.8 percent in nominal, or not-inflation-adjusted, terms). Based on that projection, coupled with the aforementioned consensus mortgage rate forecast, the real typical monthly mortgage payment would rise from $918 in October 2018 to $963 by October 2019, a 4.9 percent year-over-

Open Floor Plans Still Reign Supreme

Open floor plans have been a popular preference for several years, and designers say it will continue to dominate home designs in 2019,  The Post and Courier  reports. Likely inspired by renovation programs on television, homeowners remain captivated by airy, well-lit areas in their homes. They want big kitchens with big islands, open straight to the living room. They want everything on one story, eschewing the stairs, walls, and inconveniences that come with a two-story home. They want bigger guest suites, bigger home offices, and even bigger garages. Among open design plans, the desire for an expansive kitchen that flows into main living area remains the gold standard,  The Post and Courier  reports. The newspaper finds that homes with closed-off kitchens are not drawing much attention from potential buyers in their local market. When it comes to home design, combinations are growing in popularity. Whereas homeowners once used palettes that were all gray or beige, Donne Seighm

Farmhouse Is Out--Industrial Is In

HOME  >  DESIGN  >  CONSUMER TRENDS  >  2019 TREND WATCH: FARMHOUSE STYLE IS OUT, INDUSTRIAL VIBES ARE IN Consumer Trends January 22, 2019    0 B Chip and Joanna Gaines might be seeing the end of their shiplap heyday. According to the latest Zillow Home Trend Forecast, a modern aesthetic with clean and simple industrial materials will be the interior design trend of 2019. Modern glass, metal, and raw materials will replace reclaimed wood. To keep the overall look of metals and concrete from feeling too harsh, homeowners are opting for "warm modernism," by adding warmth with elements like natural wall coverings, wooden furniture, and handmade, earthy accent details. "The overtly rustic, farmhouse chic design trend may not be gone altogether, but it's shifting toward a more modern style, pairing rustic elements like barn doors with modern materials like glass or metal," said Zillow De

Newly Constructed Homes Cutting Prices

According to a new Zillow report, 25.1% of the nation’s newly-constructed homes had their sale prices cut during the fourth quarter of 2018, up from 19.2% of new homes in the first quarter of last year. At the regional level, Denver had the highest share of new homes with price cuts, at more than 40%. San Francisco and  Los Angeles  both had the steepest average price cuts at 8.5%, though  MarketWatch ’s Jacob Passy notes the average new  LA  home still costs $2 million, even after the price cuts. Faced with high construction costs, builders chose to construct larger, more expensive properties in a bid to fetch a higher sales price. However, rising home prices have kept many would-be buyers on the sidelines in a trend that shows no sign of stopping thanks to the tight inventory across many housing markets nationwide. But builders aren’t necessarily getting desperate. Indeed, home-builder confidence rebounded from a three-year low this month, according to the results of survey fr

Hot 50 Foot Wide Plans

What's a "wow!" exterior these days? Think bold, clean lines. Maybe a touch of stone. Graceful porch columns. These new house plans deliver head-turning style and modern open layouts. Sleek Metal Roof This bold design shows the modern side of Prairie style with its sleek and low-pitched metal roof and lots of windows. Double columns draw your eye to the entry porch. Inside, a great room flows into an island kitchen and open dining room for a modern feeling. A two-sided fireplace warms the great room and the rear porch. Upstairs, the master suite shows off a big shower, two sinks, and a walk-in closet. All three bedrooms enjoy easy access to the laundry room and media lounge.  Four-Bedroom Farmhouse You’ll find all the modern must-haves inside this chic farmhouse. A large island anchors the kitchen, which overlooks both the great room and open dining area. Step out to the rear porch from these gathering rooms or from the relaxing master suite. Family-friendly

Local Restrictions Easing On Granny Flats

According to  The Mercury News ,  California  lawmakers are considering new rules that will make it easier to build backyard ADUs in the  San Jose  area to help ease e local housing crises. “When you’re in a crisis, you have to do something,” said State Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, who authored the original ADU law, which cut construction costs by lowering water and sewer hookup fees. “The bottom line is, we’re still in a crisis.” Despite easing local restrictions on construction of granny flats, homeowners and city planners report still being flummoxed by the rules. Steve Vallejos, CEO of Valley Home Development in Fairfield, said after an initial surge of fast-moving ADU permits in 2017, some Bay Area cities have started to slow down the process and add costs with additional environmental and design requirements. “There’s plenty of room for improvement,” Vallejos said. Wieckowski said he plans to re-introduce legislation to simplify the process and further reduce local fees

Goodbye Paperwork--Hello Digital Mortgages

As the U.S. continues to become more digital, more mortgage lenders are ditching the copious amounts of paperwork and hoping on the technology train by expanding their online offerings and streamlining the mortgage application process. Brenda Richardson, for the  Washington Post , says that competition is heating up in the digital mortgage arena because, like the ease of online and app-based shopping, online applications are faster and more in tune with what today’s consumers expect. “There’s a mix of lenders right now,” said Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace. “There are some lenders that have an almost completely digital process, and some lenders who have a partial digital process. But, ultimately, the industry as a whole, from application to underwriting and processing the application, is moving toward a digital structure.” A lot of that, he said, has to do with consumer demand. “Customers are used to doing a lot of ot