Be Our Guest: 4 Ways to Transform Your Home into the Ultimate Entertaining Space

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Key Points:

  • Even in the middle of a pandemic, today’s homeowners are looking to make their spaces more conducive to entertaining.
  • Certain upgrades—especially those in the entryway, kitchen, and backyard—have the potential to boost your home’s resale value. And best of all, your guests will love them just as much as you do!
  • These projects might have a high return on investment, but you won’t have to break the bank to really wow party-goers…or potential home buyers!

4 Ways to Make Your Home Entertainment-Friendly

The holiday season is approaching fast—and while you may be adept at hosting an amazing get-together, your home could actually be holding you back. Seemingly minor annoyances, like a too-small kitchen or not enough seating, are exaggerated when your space is filled with guests. However, a few slight changes have the potential to transform your house into the life of the party. 

Ready to get your space looking its best for your next post-pandemic extravaganza? These four home upgrades are definitely worth the investment if you’re passionate about entertaining. Plus, they can even increase your home’s resale value when you decide to sell!

Spice Up Your Entryway

Art on a wall

When it comes to throwing a fantastic gathering, you want to make a good first impression from the moment guests arrive. So if your entryway is looking a little drab, it’s time to give it a little extra TLC.

Even if you have a small front porch, you can still spruce it up with a new welcome mat or seasonal wreath to set the tone for what awaits inside. From there, make your foyer more inviting by adding a few luxe, yet practical, touches. A small bench, mirror, or coat rack will help your guests feel at home right away. Don’t have a foyer? You can enhance just about any entryway with a statement rug or some wall art.

Focus on the kitchen

Kitchen with bar seating

Any memorable soiree almost always involves food. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a gourmet kitchen renovation to create a room that’s beautiful and functional.

Above all, your kitchen should be an area where you’re able to cook while still mingling with visitors. If you’re a gourmand at heart, splurging on some higher-end appliances or extras—like a chef-caliber stove with additional burners—can make a huge difference. If you really want to go all out, consider adding a larger kitchen island for more seating that won’t disconnect you from your guests.

Do you relish in mixing the perfect drink for your party-goers? Try transforming a rolling cart or some extra counter space into a bar. Just set up some bottles, put out your best glasses, and accessorize with a decorative ice bucket or other bar tools. If you have the room, you can even install a wine fridge!

Create social zones

Set dining room table

One of the biggest misconceptions about party-planning is that you need a large, open space to entertain. Believe it or not, you don’t have to knock down walls to craft a layout that works well for gatherings of any size. Instead, focus on creating designated social zones that encourage your company to chat and explore.

In most cases, guests tend to gravitate towards the kitchen—but you want to have plenty of alternatives to avoid everyone crowding in the same room. Every social zone should have a distinct focal point that draws attention and creates a visual connection between each space.

In a living room, your focal point could be a roaring fireplace, your favorite artwork, or a large sectional sofa. A table of appetizers in a dining room can draw hungry visitors out of the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try different techniques for each gathering!

Upgrade your outdoor space

Outdoor patio

Ready to take your celebration outdoors? Making improvements to your yard, patio, deck, or balcony will elevate your next get-together—and can also yield an impressive return on investment.

If you haven’t already, you might want to buy a table, chairs, or a couch able to withstand the elements. This establishes another social zone for visitors (and you!) to enjoy. A pergola, fire pit, new pavers, or outdoor lighting are a few other upgrades that help tie everything together. If you love to barbecue in the summer, you may even want to indulge in an outdoor grilling station with a sink and some counter space.

Want to Get Your Home Looking Its Best Before You Sell?

Making a few key updates to your home can impress guests and potential buyers. Whether you’re ready to sell now or just have a few questions, you can trust us to help you navigate your next real estate journey from start to finish.

Give us a call to learn more about selling in today’s hot market—we’ll even let you know how much your property is worth with our free home valuation!

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Busting the Biggest Home-Buying Myths of 2020

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This year has been difficult for just about everyone, but if you were (or still are) thinking about buying a home in 2020, you might be feeling more than a little overwhelmed. An ongoing pandemic, the subsequent recession, and general uncertainty have forced many house-hunters to put their real estate dreams on hold. However, despite all these potential obstacles, homeownership is still a very attainable goal.

Don’t Let These Myths Keep You From Buying a Home!

Buying a home is a huge decision, and it’s one you shouldn’t make without careful planning. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding the home-buying process and the real estate market as a whole, especially as the nation continues to navigate an unpredictable year.

Still unsure about making a move during 2020? Here are four of the most common myths that deter today’s buyers—and why you shouldn’t believe them.

It’s not a good time to move

Family packing up for a move

On the surface, this myth may seem true. Towards the beginning of the year, a majority of sellers chose not to list their homes, while many buyers didn’t feel comfortable moving during quarantine. This caused the national real estate market to experience an unusual spring slump. The good news is that the market has made substantial progress since March—actually, real estate has become one of the most stable investments you can make in 2020. 

Pent-up buyer demand has helped the market recover in record time. In fact, the number of mortgage applications, closed sales, and pending sales are up by double-digit percentages compared to last year. And if you’re still hesitant to buy during a pandemic, you’ll be happy to learn that most agents now offer virtual tours and have put social distancing measures in place to keep clients safe.

Homeownership isn’t affordable

Piggy bank and house figure

Does it seem like houses are getting more and more expensive these days? You aren’t just imagining things—home prices are about 6.5% higher than they were last year. This means a home that was worth $250,000 in 2019 could now sell for nearly $270,000.

While this may seem like bad news for buyers, you shouldn’t be deterred by rising prices. Historically low interest rates have helped to make homes more affordable, even as they continue increasing in value. Although a small change in interest rates may not seem drastic, it can actually save you tens of thousands of dollars over the lifespan of your loan.

If you already have a bit saved up in the bank for a down payment, buying a home can even be more affordable than renting. Today’s average mortgage payment of $1,275 is $188 less than the average monthly rent. That equates to a savings of over $2,200 per year!

You need a 20% down payment

Saving for a down payment

You’ve probably heard that you need at least a 20% down payment to buy a home. While there is merit to putting down as much as possible, you can still purchase your own place with as little as 0% down by using the right loan.

According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors, the median down payment for all buyers in 2019 was just 12%, and first-timers only put down an average of 6%. You might also qualify for an FHA or VA loan, which offer down payments as low as 3.5% or 0%, respectively.

It’s worth researching different types of mortgages, as well as down payment assistance programs available in your area. They could provide the financial boost you need to finally buy a home!

You can’t buy if you have debt or bad credit

Calculating and reducing debt

The average American has accrued $38,000 in personal debt, excluding home mortgages. Even if you don’t owe quite that much, any kind of debt or a low credit score can seem like a pretty big roadblock if you’re trying to make a move. However, there are still a few options that can get you on the path to homeownership.

The easiest way to boost your credit score is to pay off your debts; consolidating your loans into one monthly payment could help you reduce your debt-to-income ratio. There are also a variety of loans tailored to buyers with lower credit scores, such as FHA, VA, or balloon mortgages.

It can take time to pay off debt and rebuild your credit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work towards buying a home. If you have any questions about your individual situation, it’s best to contact your agent or financial advisor. They’ll have plenty of resources available to guide you in the right direction!  

Take Advantage of a Hot Market

Are you thinking about buying a home before the end of the year? Contact us today to get the ball rolling on your real estate journey! We look forward to teaming up and finding you a place that checks all the boxes.

Need to sell before you buy? We can help with that, too!

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