Real Estate Trends and Insights March 25, 2024

What Experts Say About the Housing Market in 2024

What Experts Say About the Housing Market in 2024


Experts forecast home prices will go up over the next five years. Let’s connect to discuss why that’s a good thing for you.


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Real Estate Trends and Insights December 21, 2023

January 2024 Real Estate News: Trends, Insights, and Market Outlook

As we embark on a new year, the real estate landscape continues to evolve, presenting both challenges and opportunities for buyers, sellers, and industry professionals alike. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the latest trends, insights, and market expectations shaping the real estate sector as of January 2024:

1. Market Resilience Amidst Changes

Despite ongoing economic shifts and global uncertainties, the real estate market has shown remarkable resilience. Demand for properties, both residential and commercial, remains strong in various regions, supported by low mortgage rates and a growing emphasis on flexible work arrangements.

2. Embracing Sustainability

Sustainability continues to drive real estate decisions. Buyers and investors increasingly prioritize eco-friendly features and energy-efficient properties. Builders and developers respond by integrating green technologies and sustainable practices into new constructions.

3. Rise of Smart Homes

The concept of smart homes is no longer a novelty but a mainstream expectation. Homes equipped with smart technology for security, energy management, and convenience are gaining popularity among buyers seeking modern living experiences.

4. Suburban Revival

The trend of suburban living persists, driven by factors such as affordability, larger living spaces, and a desire for more outdoor amenities. Suburbs are attracting a diverse range of buyers, including young families and remote workers seeking a balanced lifestyle.

5. Tech Integration in Real Estate

The integration of technology continues to transform the real estate industry. From virtual property tours to blockchain-based transactions, tech innovations are streamlining processes and enhancing accessibility for buyers and sellers.

6. Housing Inventory Challenges

The persistent imbalance between supply and demand remains a challenge in many markets. Low housing inventory continues to drive up prices, presenting hurdles for first-time homebuyers and impacting affordability.

7. Rental Market Dynamics

Rental markets continue to adapt to changing preferences. Flexibility, amenities, and proximity to urban centers remain key factors influencing rental decisions, with a growing demand for multifunctional living spaces.

8. Global Economic Factors

Geo-political events and global economic shifts continue to influence real estate markets worldwide. Factors like inflation rates, interest rate changes, and geopolitical tensions may impact investment strategies and market dynamics.

9. Regulatory Changes

Anticipate regulatory changes impacting real estate, including zoning regulations, tax reforms, and policies addressing housing affordability. These changes may shape market conditions and investment opportunities.

10. Evolving Buyer Preferences

Buyer preferences continue to evolve, emphasizing spaces that cater to remote work, health, and wellness. Features such as home offices, outdoor living areas, and proximity to green spaces gain prominence in property evaluations.

Looking Ahead

As we venture into 2024, the real estate sector remains dynamic and adaptable. Navigating this evolving landscape requires a proactive approach, whether you’re a buyer, seller, investor, or industry professional. Staying informed about market trends and adapting to changing preferences will be key in maximizing opportunities and making informed real estate decisions in the year ahead.

Buyer Info, Tips and TricksHome DecorHomeowner TipsResourcesSeller Info, Tips and Tricks December 21, 2023

Refresh Your Space: Creative January Decorating Tips

As the holiday season fades into fond memories, January welcomes a clean slate and a perfect opportunity to breathe new life into your living space. Embrace the freshness of the new year by revitalizing your home decor. Here are some inspiring January decorating tips to infuse your space with renewed energy:

1. Embrace Simplicity

After the festive decorations are packed away, embrace simplicity. Opt for a minimalist approach by decluttering and allowing your space to breathe. Clean lines and uncluttered surfaces can bring a sense of calm and clarity.

2. Seasonal Touches

Introduce subtle seasonal elements into your decor. Consider using winter-themed accents like cozy blankets, textured pillows, or soft rugs in cool hues to evoke a sense of warmth and comfort during the colder months.

3. Fresh Greenery

Bring the outdoors in by incorporating fresh greenery. Potted plants or a vase of winter flowers add a touch of nature and vitality to your space, uplifting the ambiance.

4. Rearrange Furniture

Experiment with rearranging your furniture layout. A simple change in furniture placement can give your room a fresh perspective and a new focal point.

5. Functional Organization

Invest in stylish storage solutions that complement your decor. Functional organization not only keeps your space tidy but also adds aesthetic appeal.

6. Reflective Surfaces

Incorporate mirrors strategically to amplify natural light and create the illusion of a larger space. Mirrors not only add depth but also serve as decorative pieces.

7. Layer Textures

Layer textures to add depth and visual interest. Mix and match different textures such as knit throws, velvet cushions, or faux fur rugs to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

8. Artful Display

Curate a gallery wall or display art pieces that resonate with you. Personalized artwork or photographs add character and reflect your unique style.

9. Candlelight Ambiance

Create a warm and inviting ambiance with candles. Use scented candles in calming fragrances to elevate the atmosphere and add a touch of luxury.

10. Seasonal Aromas

Infuse your home with seasonal scents using essential oil diffusers, potpourri, or scented candles. Scents like pine, cinnamon, or citrus evoke a cozy and inviting environment.

11. Accent Colors

Experiment with accent colors to revitalize your space. Introduce pops of color through accessories like throw pillows, rugs, or decorative pieces to add vibrancy.

12. Personal Touches

Finally, add personal touches that reflect your personality and experiences. Display cherished mementos or souvenirs that bring joy and meaning to your space.

January presents an opportunity to reimagine your living space. By incorporating these decorating tips, you can create a harmonious and inviting environment that sets the tone for a fresh start in the new year.

Buyer Info, Tips and TricksLawns, Gardens & LandscapingResourcesSeller Info, Tips and TricksUncategorized December 21, 2023

January Gardening Tips: Preparing for a Flourishing Year Ahead

January is an opportune time for garden enthusiasts to lay the groundwork for a successful year of growth and beauty. While winter may have its grip on the outdoors, January is a pivotal month for gardeners to plan and prepare for the upcoming seasons. Here are some invaluable gardening tips tailored for this time of the year:

1. Assess and Plan

Take a stroll through your garden and assess its condition. Note areas that need attention, plants that require pruning, or any structural changes you might want to make. Use this time to plan the layout for the coming spring.

2. Pruning

January is ideal for pruning trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Remove dead or damaged branches to encourage healthy growth when the warmer months arrive. Be cautious and research the specific needs of each plant before pruning.

3. Prepare Soil

Work on improving soil quality by adding organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure. This enriches the soil and provides essential nutrients for plants once they start growing again.

4. Indoor Gardening

Consider starting an indoor garden by planting seeds that require a longer growing season. Herbs, certain vegetables, and flowers can be started indoors to get a head start on the growing season.

5. Plan for Spring Planting

Start researching and planning what plants you want to introduce or replace in your garden for the upcoming spring. Make a list of seeds to order and any equipment or tools you might need.

6. Protect Plants from Frost

Be vigilant about protecting delicate plants from frost by covering them with frost cloths or mulch. This extra care can make a significant difference in their survival during the winter.

7. Composting

Continue adding to your compost pile with kitchen scraps and garden waste. Turning the compost regularly will facilitate decomposition and provide nutrient-rich compost for your plants later in the year.

8. Tool Maintenance

January is an excellent time to clean and sharpen your gardening tools. Properly maintained tools make gardening tasks easier and help prevent the spread of diseases between plants.

9. Wildlife Care

Keep providing food and water sources for birds and other wildlife in your garden. Consider installing bird feeders or leaving out water in birdbaths to support local wildlife during the colder months.

10. Learn and Explore

Use this quieter time in the garden to expand your knowledge. Read gardening books or attend online workshops to learn new techniques or about different plant varieties.

January may seem like a dormant period for gardens, but it’s a crucial time for gardeners to set the stage for a thriving year ahead. By following these January gardening tips, you’ll lay a solid foundation for a vibrant and bountiful garden when spring arrives.


Buyer Info, Tips and TricksHomeowner TipsResourcesSeller Info, Tips and Tricks December 21, 2023

Keeping Your Home in Shape: January Maintenance Checklist

As the new year begins, it’s the perfect time to give your home some attention and set the tone for a well-maintained space throughout the year. January calls for specific home maintenance tasks to ensure your property remains in top shape. Here’s a comprehensive checklist to guide you through the essential tasks this month:

1. Inspect Winter Wear and Tear

Take a close look at your home’s exterior for any damage caused by winter weather. Check the roof, gutters, and siding for leaks, cracks, or signs of wear. Addressing these issues early can prevent further damage.

2. Heating System Check

Test your heating system to ensure it’s running efficiently. Change filters if necessary and consider scheduling a professional inspection to guarantee optimal performance during the colder months.

3. Draft Detection and Sealing

Inspect doors, windows, and other openings for drafts. Seal any gaps to improve insulation and energy efficiency within your home.

4. Chimney and Fireplace Maintenance

For homes with fireplaces, it’s crucial to have them cleaned and inspected before use. This step ensures safety and proper functioning throughout the year.

5. Testing Safety Devices

Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re in working condition. Replace batteries as needed to guarantee their effectiveness.

6. Plumbing Check-Up

Inspect pipes, faucets, and water heaters for leaks. Early detection of plumbing issues can prevent water damage and more significant problems down the line.

7. Deep Clean the Kitchen

Start the year fresh by giving your kitchen a thorough clean. Focus on appliances, cabinets, and countertops to maintain a hygienic and organized space.

8. Decluttering and Organization

Spend time decluttering and organizing different areas of your home. Tackle one room at a time to create a more functional and serene living environment.

9. Outdoor Maintenance

Attend to your garden by pruning trees and shrubs, removing dead plants, and planning for upcoming spring landscaping projects.

10. Insulation Assessment

Check the insulation in your attic and walls. Consider adding or replacing insulation to improve energy efficiency and maintain comfortable temperatures indoors.

Remember, this January home maintenance checklist is a guide to help you prioritize essential tasks. Customize it according to your home’s specific needs and preferences. By investing time and effort into these maintenance tasks, you’re setting the stage for a well-maintained and comfortable home throughout the year.

Buyer Info, Tips and TricksEntertaining, Dining and RecipesResourcesSeller Info, Tips and Tricks November 25, 2023

A Recipe for You: Simple Turkey, Cranberry and Pecan Salad

Don’t settle for dry, reheated turkey. This scrumptious recipe for turkey salad mixed with cranberries and pecans will save you from the bland leftover blues.


  • 2 cup cooked turkey breast, diced
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped
  • ¼ cup celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until fully combined.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Buyer Info, Tips and TricksMortgage informationUncategorized October 16, 2023

Where Does the Money Come From for Mortgage Loans?

In the olden days, when someone wanted a home loan they walked downtown to the neighborhood bank or savings & loan. If the bank had extra funds lying around and considered you a good credit risk, they would lend you the money from their own funds.

It doesn’t generally work like that anymore. Most of the money for home loans comes from three major institutions:

  • Fannie Mae (FNMA – Federal National Mortgage Association)
  • Freddie Mac (FHLMC – Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation)
  • Ginnie Mae (GNMA – Government National Mortgage Association)

This is how it works:

You talk to practically any lender and apply for a loan. They do all the processing and verifications and finally, you own the house with a home loan and regular mortgage payments. You might be making payments to the company who originated your loan, or your loan might have been transferred to another institution. The institution where you mail your payments is called the servicer, but most likely they do not own your loan. They are simply servicing your loan for the institution that does own it.

What happens behind the scenes is that your loan got packaged into a pool with a lot of other loans and sold off to one of the three institutions listed above. The servicer of your loan gets a monthly fee from the investor for servicing your loan. This fee is usually only 3/8ths of a percent or so, but the amount adds up. There are companies that service over a billion dollars of home loans and it is a tidy income.

At the same time, whichever institution packaged your loan into the pool for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Ginnie Mae, has received additional funds with which to make more loans to other borrowers. This is the cycle that allows institutions to lend you money.

What Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, and Fannie Mae may do after they purchase the pools is break them down into smaller increments of $1,000 or so, called mortgage-backed securities. They sell these mortgage-backed securities to individuals or institutions on Wall Street. If you have a 401K or mutual fund, you may even own some. Perhaps you have heard of Ginnie Mae bonds? Those are securities backed by the mortgages on FHA and VA loans.

These bonds are not ownership in your loan specifically, but a piece of ownership in the entire pool of loans, of which your loan is only one among many. By selling the bonds, Ginnie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae obtain new funds to buy new pools so lenders can get more money to lend to new borrowers.

And that is how the cycle works.

So when you make your payment, the servicer gets to keep their tiny part and the majority is passed on to the investor. Then the investor passes on the majority of it to the individual or institutional investor in the mortgage backed securities.

From time to time your loan may be transferred from the company where you have been making your payment to another company. They aren’t selling your loan again, just the right to service your loan.

There are exceptions.

Loans above $333,700 do not conform to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines, which is why they are called non-conforming loans, or “jumbo” loans. These loans are packaged into different pools and sold to different investors, not Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. Then they are securitized and for the most part, sold as mortgage backed securities as well.

This buying and selling of mortgages and mortgage-backed securities is called mortgage banking, and it is the backbone of the mortgage business.

Entertaining, Dining and RecipesResourcesSeller Info, Tips and Tricks October 15, 2023

A Recipe for You: Flavor-Packed Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

If carving a jack-o’-lantern is on your agenda this season, make sure you put those seeds to good use. From savory to sweet, these flavor combinations will make pumpkin seeds seem less like a nuisance, and more like a favorite snack!

Breadstick Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • â…› teaspoon garlic powder

Maple Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Maple Spice

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt


Dill Pickle

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • â…› teaspoon black pepper



  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt


Cup of Joe

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons espresso powder

For all of the savory flavors (breadstick, maple spice, and dill pickle), coat the seeds with olive oil, sprinkle the seasoning, and bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 300°F for 20–30 minutes. For the sweet flavors (cinnamon-sugar and cup of joe), coat with melted butter instead of olive oil before baking.

Buyer Info, Tips and TricksHomeowner TipsInvestors and LandlordsResourcesSeller Info, Tips and Tricks October 9, 2023

Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning is a serious problem that can lead to adverse health problems. In children, high levels of lead can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, behavioral and learning problems, slow growth, and hearing problems. In adults, lead poisoning can cause reproductive problems, high blood pressure, digestive problems, nerve disorder, memory and concentration problems, and muscle and joint pain.

Lead poisoning is especially a problem in cities with older buildings. Typically, lead is present in the paint from older buildings, in the water supply, and in the environment from cars and buses. Preventing lead poisoning in large cities, where there is such widespread possibility for exposure is both difficult and expensive. Federal programs have attempted to address this problem.

Lead poisoning is also an issue that buyers and sellers need to consider. Houses that were built before 1978 probably have paint that contains lead. Federal law requires that sellers disclose known information on lead-based paint hazards before selling a house. Sales contracts must include a federal form about lead-based paint in the building. Buyers will have up to 10 days to check for lead hazards and are likely to stipulate corrections.

ResourcesSeller Info, Tips and Tricks October 1, 2023

Winter Home Maintenance Checklist