Buzz Off! Most Americans Don’t Like at Least One of Their Neighbors

Buzz Off! Nearly a Quarter of Americans Dislike Their Neighbors

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Why can’t we all just get along?

About three-quarters of Americans don’t like at least one of their neighbors, according to a recent survey from LendingTree. The online financial services marketplace surveyed more than 1,500 renters and homeowners to come up with the results.

The top reason 73% of the survey respondents disliked the people next door was because those individuals gave off a “weird vibe,” with 28% of people citing it as their reason for feeling unneighborly. Loud, rude, and nosy neighbors also weren’t popular as were those with disruptive pets.

The more packed in folks were, the likelier they were to grouse about the people in their neighborhood.

About 79% of younger people, apartment dwellers, and people who live in the Northeast responded that they weren’t fans of a neighbor—a higher rate than the national average.

Meanwhile, more than a third, 37%, of Americans prefer neighbors who share their political beliefs, particularly members of Generation Z and homeowners.

Some were so bothered by the people who lived near them that they were willing to relocate. More than 1 in 10 people admitted that they moved away from their neighborhood to escape a nightmare neighbor and nearly 30% have considered it. These feelings are more common among lower-income folks and renters.

Still, there’s a reason that most Americans haven’t chosen the nuclear option and left their neighborhood behind over a squabble with a neighbor.

“Before you decide ‘I’m going to leave,’ you should ask yourself, ‘Can I really not live near this neighbor that I dislike?’” says LendingTree senior economic analyst Jacob Channel. “Are they really doing something that is potentially dangerous or completely ruining my life? Ask that question, and make sure you answer it really truthfully.”

Channel adds that the extremely tight housing market makes the decision to move all the more fraught. There just aren’t many available rentals or homes for sale at the moment, and those that are on the market are likely to come with meteoric price tags.

Lingering dislike of a neighbor might become more common as moving away continues to be difficult. People are more likely to “stomach things” when “the alternative is not having a house,” says Channel.

“Once you sell a house, that’s just the first step. You also have to find a place to live, and with home prices as high as they are, that can be pretty tricky,” he says. “Don’t cut your nose off to spite your face.”

The news isn’t all bad, however. Slightly more people reported liking at least one neighbor than disliking one. About three-quarters of respondents, 74%, said they’d count at least one neighbor as a friend.

The post Buzz Off! Most Americans Don’t Like at Least One of Their Neighbors appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Odell Beckham Jr.’s $3.3M Ohio Mansion Is the Week’s Most Popular Home

Most Popular Homes

Realtor.com

NFL fans who want to peek inside the mansions of big ballers were served a real treat this week.

Star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. listed his jaw-dropping home in Ohio for $3.3 million, and folks clamored for a look. The fully customized mansion just outside of Cleveland is the week’s most popular home on Realtor.com®.

And the MVP of Beckham’s bodacious spread is a spectacular room with multicolored lighting and floor-to-ceiling shelves for hundreds of sneakers. The four-bedroom home also features a bar, billiard room. and media lounge with a barber chair.

You also clicked on an adorable storybook house in Tennessee, a private island in Maine, and a former Green Bay Packers linebacker’s home in Wisconsin.

For a full look at the week’s 10 most popular homes, simply scroll on down.

10. 3357 Haywood Ave, Chattanooga, TN

Price: $375,000
Why it’s here: 
This charming storybook home is as much a fairy tale on the inside as it is on the outside.

Built in 1930, the three-bedroom, stone-front home sits on 1.3 acres. The house’s charm and history are evident in the restored hardwoods, arched doorways, and built-ins. A stone-covered patio offers privacy and shade.

Chattanooga, TN

Realtor.com


9. 116 S. Church St, Berryville, VA

Price: $750,000
Why it’s here: 
Built in 1895, this classic six-bedroom home has been completely modernized.

Originally known as the George Thomas House, it’s now called the Dudley Brown Home. Whatever the name, the remodeled house features a new kitchen, six fireplaces, and an enormous primary suite. Bonus: The heart pine flooring has been well-preserved to maintain its historic integrity.

Berryville, VA

Realtor.com


8. 106-108 E. Hill St, Wabash, IN

Price: Listed for $99,500, now off-market
Why it’s here: 
Listed at a bargain price, this enormous six-bedroom home was seriously in need of updates, but it’s still a beauty.

Originally built as a duplex in 1900, the 4,318-square-foot house features four original fireplaces and beamed ceilings. The stone and brick exterior was tuckpointed last year.

Wabash, IN

Realtor.com


7. 2323 Manhattan Bar Rd, Auburn, CA

Price: $20,000,000
Why it’s here: 
This enormous 220-acre property in Northern California overlooks Folsom Lake. It’s anchored by a sprawling 20,217-square-foot, 11-bedroom home, which is perched high atop the American River Canyon. Built in 2000, the compound also comes with a guesthouse, caretaker’s home, several outbuildings, a 20-car garage, and spacious workshop.

Auburn, CA

Realtor.com


6. Wohoa Bay Is, Addison, ME

Price: $339,000
Why it’s here:
This one-bedroom home on a private island was shared across the web this week. However, we were already familiar with the charms of Duck Ledges Island, having covered this tiny isle back in September.

About three hours north of Portland, it’s just a short boat ride from Jonesport public marina or Addison. The rustic 540-square-foot house features a kitchenette, living area, and loft bedroom. There is no heat or running water, but the island is equipped with a generator and nearby outhouse.

Addison, ME

Realtor.com


5. 6309 Morning Dew Ct, Clarksville, MD

Price: $1,500,000
Why it’s here: 
This 11,500-square-foot home sits on 3 private acres in Clarksville Manor.

Custom-built in 2003, the brick home features a covered stone front porch and an open floor plan. Luxe details include ornate millwork, arched doorways, a chef’s kitchen with a double wall oven, and an adjacent breakfast room. There is also a great room, sunroom, and five en suite bedrooms.

Clarksville, MD

Realtor.com


4. 2919 Shelter Creek Ct, Green Bay, WI

Price: $699,000
Why it’s here: 
Former Green Bay Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith wants to trade in his five-bedroom home in Wisconsin after signing with the Minnesota Vikings.

The kitchen features high-end appliances and a coffered ceiling. The two-story living room has a wall of glass that overlooks the half-acre lot. And the luxurious primary suite comes with a bath with double sinks and a soaker tub.

Green Bay, WI

Realtor.com


3. 811 Spooner Rd, Quincy, FL

Price: $149,900
Why it’s here:
This former corn crib built in 1930 is now a one-bedroom home. The 900-square-foot charmer sits on 10 acres. The kitchen is located outside, and the screened-in porch offers additional living space.

Quincy, FL

Realtor.com


2. 259 8th St, Hartford, WI

Price: $379,900
Why it’s here: 
This four-bedroom stone castle offers more than the facade of a fortress. Built in 1960, this unique home offers 3,525 square feet of regal living space. There are two interior fountains, three natural masonry fireplaces, and radiant brick floors.

Hartford, WI

Realtor.com


1. 24559 Eagle Pointe Ct, Columbia Station, OH

Price: $3,300,000
Why it’s here:
After a brief and controversial stint with the Cleveland Browns, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. no longer needs a place in Ohio.

There’s no disputing the opulence of this big baller mansion in the suburbs just south of Cleveland. Built in 2011, the sprawling space features a home theater with a golf simulator, a chef’s kitchen, and a lower level with a bar and entertainment area.

The backyard is glorious with a swimming pool with waterfalls. The real highlight of the home is the enormous shoe closet that really isn’t a closet at all. Prepare to be amazed by Beckham’s showroom that sets a new bar for sneakerheads nationwide.

Columbia Station, OH

Realtor.com

The post Odell Beckham Jr.’s $3.3M Ohio Mansion Is the Week’s Most Popular Home appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Dave and Jenny Marrs of ‘Fixer to Fabulous’ Reveal Two Outdoor Decor Trends You’ll Want To Try This Summer

Marrs on a porch swing from their new collection

Walmart

With the weather warming up and more people hanging out on patios or other areas outside their home, it stands to reason you want to make these spaces as comfortable as possible—and the stars of “Fixer to Fabulous” can help.

Dave and Jenny Marrs recently teamed up with Better Homes & Gardens and Walmart to create a Backyard Oasis collection of 30 affordable outdoor decor items, including furniture, rugs, lanterns, and planters.

While their own outdoor space is a sprawling farm in Arkansas shared by their five kids and a variety of animals, the Marrses know a thing or two about the diverse yards of America. They’ve renovated all sorts of homes, from small condos to grand mansions.

And the one universal truth about outdoor spaces today, Jenny affirms, is this: “The backyard has become an extension of the home.”

Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been taking advantage of their outdoor spaces as never before.

So what’s the best way to spruce up this space? To find out, we chatted with Dave and Jenny about the hottest trends.

Tell us about your own backyard

Dave: We’re very blessed that we are on a lot of land—I guess that’s a blessing and a curse, it’s a lot to take care of—but we love it. We encourage our kids to be outside as much as possible. When the weather’s nice, they are outside playing, making forts. There are little forts everywhere in our yard, and trees that are climbed, and little rock piles where little fake fire pits are made.

We have a playground that probably Jenny would like to see go, because it’s a big eyesore, but our kids love it. It’s an old playground, but it’s well-used. I think our backyard, like a lot of people’s, changes and modifies with the age of our kids and the needs that we have at the time. But right now it’s just a big, wide-open space where they can run and play and explore.

And the adult space?

Jenny: We have a screened-in back patio that we use all the time. That’s where we have a dining table and where we host meals when the weather’s nice, and we have a big porch swing bed out there.

Jenny: A lot of people right now want an outdoor kitchen. That’s probably our No. 1 request from homeowners, with not just a grill, but also with a refrigerator and a sink.

I think a lot of people are seeing the value of cooking at home and entertaining their family and friends in their yard. We saw a transition from going out to eat, obviously during the pandemic, and then also eating outside. I think that’s really suited how people interact with their friends when you have someone over. Instead of being in the kitchen, you’re out on the patio grilling.

But after the outdoor kitchen, the porch swing-daybed-type swing is very popular.

Modern porch swing
Teak wood porch swing ($897), pillows ($29.97), outdoor pouf ($67), outdoor area rugs ($78 to $149)

Walmart

How about outdoor TV screens?

Dave: I’m torn on this, because I like when my kids are outside to just let them be outside and play.

Jenny: But you do like to watch a good football game outside…

Dave: I do love a good football game, so I guess I really can’t complain about TVs outside.

When it comes to resale, which upgrade adds the most value?

Dave: If you’re going for bang for your buck, anywhere that you can have an outdoor covered space is a huge advantage.

But I think that also, in our current world space where people are headed, to have a backyard garden area—where your kids can plant flowers, and even if it’s small, I think that’s really important, and people see a lot of value in that. And it’s not a significant cost to do.

Patio garden
Planters ($11.97 to $49)

Walmart

There’s a lot of discussion about whether a swimming pool is good or bad for resale. What do you think?

Dave: As far as resale goes, a pool or hot tub doesn’t really add any significant value—definitely not what it cost to put it in. But if you’re the parent who wants all the [neighborhood] kids to be at your house with your kids, maybe it makes sense for your family. I think it’s so specific, house by house. If I was going to list my house this minute, I would stay away from the water features and go more toward the covered areas, or the areas that can produce something.

There’s a big drought in the West, and people are replacing their grass. How do you feel about artificial turf?

Dave: In areas where you have drought problems, that is a nice solution to the problem. But Jenny’s sister and brother-in-law had artificial turf and they had several pets, and they weren’t happy, because when the pets went to the restroom on it, it stunk. So I think there are definite disadvantages to the turf, that natural ground takes care of naturally.

What are some other ways to take full advantage of your outdoor space?

Dave: We have rain barrel catchers, even though here in Arkansas we get a ton of rain. My grandma always used to tell me that there’s nothing better for your garden than rainwater. I don’t even know if that’s true, but it’s really stuck with me, and so we have rain barrels and we compost. All the stuff that we don’t eat goes to our chickens, or it gets reused in the compost, and we still collect water.

Why is a home’s outdoor space so important?

Jenny: Humans like to be outside because I think it grounds you, and gives you peace and calm in the frenzied world that we live in. It’s nice when you step outside and have a place where you just exhale and be with your people.

Dave: One of the results of COVID that we can look back and say maybe that wasn’t the worst thing is people’s focus on creating amazing spaces that they can enjoy with others in their back patios without having to go out to eat.

There are a lot of people that work from home, and they don’t go out as much as they used to, and one of the most essential spaces is those patio areas. So we look at an outdoor area just like we’d look at a house, where you can have a lounging area and a playing area and a dining area. And that is very family-specific, but the emphasis on everything outdoors has just gone up so much.

Marrs at an outdoor dining table from their collection
Teak wood outdoor dining table ($997), accent lanterns and solar pendant lights ($19.97 to $97)

Walmart

The post Dave and Jenny Marrs of ‘Fixer to Fabulous’ Reveal Two Outdoor Decor Trends You’ll Want To Try This Summer appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Exclusive: ‘Hoarders’ Star Matt Paxton’s Guide to a Painless Post-Pandemic Purge

Decluttering and downsizing expert Matt Paxton helps sort through potential treasures on "Legacy List with Matt Paxton.

Shipyard Entertainment

Americans have been buying homes and relocating in record numbers over the past couple of years, and Max Paxton is among the few who know just how hard this process is.

Paxton has been helping people declutter their homes for years, both on A&E’s “Hoarders” and the Emmy-nominated PBS show “Legacy List with Matt Paxton.” He’s also the author of the new book “Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff,” which is full of lists and tips for anyone looking to relieve themselves of the many extraneous possessions that pack their attics, basements, and beyond.

This Richmond, VA, native recently had to practice what he preaches while moving to Atlanta. In fact, he moved when he was right in the middle of writing his book—and had to rewrite large sections of it since he learned so much in the doing.

Curious to hear more about why decluttering is just so hard to do—especially when it’s your own stuff—we chatted with Paxton about what he learned during his own move. He also dished plenty of guidance on what to purge—as well as the few things you should keep—whether you’re downsizing, moving, or lightening your load.

Matt Paxton on "Hoarders"
Matt Paxton on “Hoarders”

Shipyard Entertainment

How did you become a decluttering expert?

I got into this industry because, when I was 24, my dad, my stepdad, and both my grandfathers died in the same year. So I had to clean all their houses. That was the beginning. I’ve learned a lot since then, especially recently, when I had to deal with a lot of their stuff that had gone into my attic.

When decluttering a home, you suggest making a legacy list. What is that exactly?

You pick five or six items that are most important and tell your family story. I really encourage you to do that upfront and early, because that enables you to start to let go of things that are a little more mundane and don’t matter as much.

Where this really pays off is when you get into the garage. You find stuff [and], you’re like “that’s my grandfather’s car charger.” But you don’t care, because you’ve already told the big story about Grandpa. You’ve already celebrated him.

What types of things do you suggest we put on our legacy list?

Legacy list items are rarely expensive; they’re usually highly emotional. Once we were going through the home of a family whose mother started the first Mexican restaurant in Richmond. They put their mother’s recipe book on their legacy list. She had written down all of her recipes on her way to America. That restaurant eventually became a Hispanic Cultural Center. The recipe book told her story.

So you pick a few things that tell their story, and get rid of the rest?

That’s right. I like to say, “You don’t miss the stuff; you miss the people attached to the stuff.”

Matt Paxton helping decide what to keep
Paxton helping decide what to keep

Shipyard Entertainment

Is there one thing people should never throw out?

Yes, keep important paperwork like wills, financial documents, seven years of tax records, and the last two years of medical records. But when it comes to possessions, no one has ever said to me, “Man, I wish I kept…”

What about collections that could be valuable?

Baseball cards and “Star Wars” collections are the things people talk about most: “My mom threw out my baseball card collection!” But you really don’t want the stuff; you just want the money. You don’t miss stuff; you miss people.

How about items you should always throw out?

China you can always get rid of. Nobody wants the china. That makes people upset, but most people don’t have dining rooms anymore. Ask the family if anyone wants it, and if not, just sell it or donate it. Table linens, silverware, anything in the dining room. Nobody wants it. Even dining room furniture. It was a big deal when our parents and our grandparents were coming along, but not for the next generation.

I was coming out of a divorce when I moved, and we were both like “No, I want you to have the china!” We never used it. Also, always get rid of your clothes that are two sizes too small that you keep hoping you’ll lose weight and fit into again. You’re not gonna.

What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever come across when helping someone clean out their home?

We found a bazooka once—a rocket launcher in the trunk of a ’67 Stingray Corvette. The car was beautiful, candy-apple red, and I opened the trunk, trying to find the paperwork, and there it was: a rocket launcher!

The people I was helping are like “Oh, Dad! That was so like him!” And I’m like, “I gotta call the bomb squad!” But we had a military expert on site, and he told us it was just the launcher. There was no rocket in it.

What would you say is the most valuable thing you’ve ever found?

One guy, he knew there was a Picasso painting somewhere in the house. It wasn’t a $20 million painting, but just a sketch Picasso had done for a friend, the guy’s dad. We knew it was in the house, and we found it. But right underneath it, we found two Salvador Dali paintings. Those were legit!

Wow! Were those paintings sold rather than going on a legacy list?

Oh, yes. And the proceeds significantly changed that family’s life.

Matt Paxton helping with a painting
Paxton helping with a painting

Shipyard Entertainment

Why do people feel the need to hang on to so many things that have no sentimental or financial value?

Guilt is a big reason. Somebody left you something 50 years ago, and you didn’t like it, your mother made you take it, you didn’t want it then, so now you’re trying to make your daughter take it. These items are being guilted for three generations.

When people are moving, they’re often tempted to throw everything in boxes and say, ‘I’ll go through it later, after we get there.’ How do you convince them to do it sooner rather than later?

That’s great in theory, until they have to pay for those boxes and the people to move them. So I tell them to check out the calculator I’ve created on my website that lets people see how much time and money it’s going to take to pack up their house.

When they go through it, they’re like “This is going to take a month and a half” or “It’s going to cost me $25,000!” Then they say, “OK, I gotta downsize.” The spreadsheet speaks louder than the spouse—no offense. Let the math be the one that decides.

Matt Paxton helping people declutter
Paxton helping clients declutter

Shipyard Entertainment

What’s the biggest mistake people make when they’re trying to downsize?

The biggest mistake people make is they try to take on too much. Don’t try to tackle it all in one weekend. You’ve got to really baby-step it. Just get started, and don’t try to do too much too early, or you’ll quit and never finish. Don’t try to tackle the garage or the attic all in one day. Go the opposite way, start small, like a drawer or a shelf. Or the junk mail on the dining room table that you haven’t used since last Thanksgiving.

What should you do with all the belongings you’ve decided to toss?

I’m really big on donate, donate, donate. In all fairness, I am Goodwill International’s decluttering expert. You can drive right up, and people will lift it right out of your car. It’s good because you’re not throwing it away. It’s being recycled.

What’s your very best tip for moving/downsizing?

I’d just say value your time more than your stuff. Don’t spend all this time sorting it and selling it. You’re not going to get what you think it’s worth, ever. Beanie Babies, they’re not worth anything. Longaberger baskets, they’re not worth anything. Donate it, and get on with your life. You’ll be happier without the stuff.

How do you handle these concepts in your own life, now that you’re living in Atlanta?

We are practical minimalists. We have stuff, we just don’t have a lot of it. As cheesy as it is, there’s a lot more in life with less stuff. Everyone’s finding that coming out of the [COVID-19] pandemic.

The post Exclusive: ‘Hoarders’ Star Matt Paxton’s Guide to a Painless Post-Pandemic Purge appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Real Estate’s Most Up-and-Coming Markets in Spring 2022 Will Surprise You—Especially No. 1

Real Estate's Most Up-and-Coming Markets in Spring

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Small cities are making big gains this spring with homebuyers.

Case in point, Rapid City, SD—a tiny metro known better for Mt. Rushmore than as a real estate hotbed—premiered at No. 1 on the latest quarterly Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com® Emerging Housing Markets Index.

The index surveys the 300 largest metropolitan areas, seeking to identify which real estate markets are slated to be strong in the months ahead—based on factors such as a robust local economy, low unemployment, high wages, and amenities like short commutes to commercial areas. The index also factors in the local housing market, checking median days on the market, property taxes, and more. (Metros include the main city and surrounding towns, suburbs, and smaller urban areas.)

Why Rapid City ranks as the top emerging market right now

Rapid City is a modestly sized community that also has less competition for jobs and relatively uncrowded outdoor spaces.

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So how did little Rapid City beat out all the other metros for this top honor?

With a sparse population of 144,514, it boasts a robust economy with a low 2.4% unemployment rate thanks to a strong government presence, including Ellsworth Air Force Base and the Army National Guard. This modestly sized community also has less competition for jobs and relatively uncrowded outdoor spaces.

And the possible cherry on top of Rapid City’s appeal to home shoppers? There’s no state income tax.

“These factors underpin a solid and attractive housing market, with a median price point aligned with national trends, at about $437,000,” says George Ratiu, manager of economic research for Realtor.com. “The price of a typical home in the city experienced a sharp increase from last year, as almost 70% of shoppers on Realtor.com have been looking at properties in the city from outside South Dakota.”

Home shoppers from three major cities—Washington, DC; Denver; and Omaha, NE—accounted for 1 in 5 views of the Rapid City metro’s housing stock. Homes spent about 30 days on the market before being snapped up, but there are signs the market’s heating up further.

“Two weeks ago, I sold a house that stayed on the market for only nine days,” says Cristina Cason, co-founder and real estate investor at Texas Family Home Buyers. “It wasn’t a lavish house in an excellent neighborhood or low-priced. It was just ordinary in every sense of the word. This shows the state of the market in Rapid City.”

Why homebuyers are flocking to small cities

Santa Cruz, California.

Getty Images

Aside from Rapid City, the warm climes of Florida and California continue to draw buyers this spring, with Santa Cruz, CA, and Northport, FL, claiming the second and third spots on the list. The markets have median home prices of $1,262,500 and $575,000 respectively—far more expensive than the national median price tag, further highlighting the importance of quality of life for some deep-pocketed homebuyers.

Overall, spring’s list of emerging markets took some sharp detours from three months earlier. Nine markets from winter 2021’s top 20—all areas in the South and West—tumbled off the list this quarter. This could be due to seasonal fluctuations, with warmer weather beckoning homebuyers further North.

Changing seasons aside, homebuyers today are facing a rapidly changing real estate landscape plagued by a shortage of available homes, record-shattering home prices that climbed to a national median of $405,000 in March, and soaring mortgage rates that climbed to 5% for the first time since 2011.

Given affordable housing is getting harder than ever to find, this is one area where small and midsized cities shine. In fact, 8 of the top 20 markets show median list prices below the national median.

“The past couple of years elevated the profile of midsized cities across the country as Americans faced with social distancing and remote work sought a more balanced lifestyle during the pandemic, with a particular focus on outdoor pursuits,” says Ratiu. “In addition, homebuyers grappling with rising prices in large metros found safe havens in the relative affordability of smaller markets.”

Who’s buying up all the homes?

Generational groups are moving from one stage of life to another, whether it’s millennials moving into their 30s and starting families or baby boomers shifting into retirement.

Getty Images

The post Real Estate’s Most Up-and-Coming Markets in Spring 2022 Will Surprise You—Especially No. 1 appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Exclusive: Alison Victoria Opens Up About ‘Windy City Rehab,’ Her Hardest Moments and Favorite Makeover

Alison Victoria

Alison Victoria

HGTV star Alison Victoria is best known for “Windy City Rehab,” a show that, in turn, is best known for having more than its fair share of drama.

Lawsuits involving a variety of issues—including faulty renovations, permit violations, fraud, and more—have ensnarled both Victoria and her former business partner and co-star, Donovan Eckhardt, for years. Nonetheless, seemingly against all odds, “Windy City Rehab” has returned for Season 3—with Victoria renovating homes in Chicago on her own.

Curious to learn what she’s been up to, we had a chat with Victoria about what she’s glad to leave in the rearview mirror, her hopes moving forward, plus some of her favorite things.

‘Windy City Rehab’ is finally back. What can we expect from Season 3?

I went through hell last season, and I’m really not through it yet, as you’ll see. It’s a lot of rebuilding. But this season, I’m doing more client projects and I’m doing some projects outside of Chicago. I did a beautiful loft with my brother in Atlanta that was my favorite.

The weather is finally warming up. Do you have any tips for sprucing up the home for spring?

Hardware is key: your doorknobs and kitchen cabinet hardware. I think about it the way I think about jewelry, like an accessory. You change out your rings and your watches and necklaces, and it just kind of makes the whole outfit look different. It’s the same with your house.

So if you have something like a brushed nickel, maybe change it to a black. I love matte black, and antique brass is always my favorite. Your front door hardware is a big one because that’s the first thing you see. I like using Schlage for door hardware.

kitchen
A kitchen Alison Victoria renovated in Season 2 of “Windy City Rehab”

HGTV

I love a fresh coat of paint on a front door. Changing the color of your front door is something so easy to do that it will really help to complement your new door hardware.

And lighting is always something I think about, as well as your backsplash in the kitchen. Those types of things really change up the space in a substantial way without breaking the bank.

Do you have any tips for finding the right home furnishings?

I am such a sucker for antiques. My two favorite things in life are sleeping and antiquing, and I’m so good at both of them. I don’t like going online. I need to see it in person, touch it, feel it. I think it’s about coming up with a list of cool antiques stores in your area or finding antiques shows that are coming and looking for pieces that you can bring into the home.

It’s fine to find a cool coffee table or a cool bookshelf. But how can you make it part of the home and add to it, or manipulate it, to make it look like it has been in the house for years and years? So it’s just thinking about things differently versus just finding a piece of furniture.

So, like, when I find a mantel, I don’t just stick it right on the wall. I add to it. I bring in trim that looks like some of the trim in the actual piece, or I build it out to add bookshelves so it looks like it’s all one unit.

What’s the most memorable antique you’ve found?

The most beautiful is the antique fireplace that I got from my Atlanta loft. That has got to be part of the new season. It’s oversized, and the cool thing is, this time, I didn’t actually do it in a real fireplace. I brought in hundred-watt candles on a remote. This is in a loft, so you can’t have heat components, so bringing in the fireplace in a different way.

What are your best tips for renovating an older house?

The first thing you should be doing is call on a home inspector to come. Pay him 500 bucks just to find out what you’re dealing with before you get into it. Doing your homework is No. 1 because you start opening up these walls and they don’t just have stories—they could be nightmares. So make sure you know what you’re about to tackle before you do it. It could become a real bad domino effect if you don’t do it the right way.

Do you have a favorite home makeover?

My favorite was my very first house that I bought that was in Wicker Park here in Chicago. It was built in 1905. I lived in it through construction. I did each floor at a different time. It took years. It was my most special project to date, and it had the most beautiful, original staircase with built-in lights. There was an old fireplace and the old walk-in safe in the basement—I turned it into my shoe and my handbag closet. The original owner was a jeweler. So it’s just such a cool, special house.

The post Exclusive: Alison Victoria Opens Up About ‘Windy City Rehab,’ Her Hardest Moments and Favorite Makeover appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Home Prices Have Begun Falling: Here Are the Cities Where They’re Down the Most

Home Prices Have Begun Falling: Where They're Down the Most

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What goes up must come down, right? Well, Newton’s law of gravity has been pressure-tested in recent years as homebuyers have anxiously watched home prices shoot up and up, to record heights in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Double-digit monthly price growth in many hot markets? Check. Panic and despair settling in among many wannabe homebuyers? Check.

The price hikes have seemed unstoppable—until now.

The spring housing market got off to a strong start, but rising mortgage interest rates topping 5%—plus high inflation and soaring rents—appear to be starting to temper high prices in certain housing markets. To be clear: Overall affordability remains a challenge. Many would-be buyers are being priced out of homeownership as higher mortgage rates mean more expensive monthly housing payments. But when there are fewer buyers competing for homes and bidding them up, prices typically go down.

Realtor.com® found the metropolitan areas where home prices are doing what recently seemed unthinkable: They’re falling. Some of these dips are because prices grew too out of whack with what locals in many Rust Belt communities could afford. So prices had to come down a little to find buyers. In other cases, it’s not that the same house costs less. Rather, the lower prices are due to fewer larger homes, which generally fetch higher prices, going up for sale. (Metros include the main city and surrounding towns, suburbs, and urban areas.)

“Many of the metro areas seeing median list price declines have seen an [influx] of smaller homes come to market, which carry lower price tags,” says George Ratiu, manager of economic research for Realtor.com. “At the same time, several of the cities have unemployment rates, which, while still historically low, are above the national level. [This indicates] that buyers may face steeper affordability challenges from rising mortgage rates.”

This is not a repeat of the Great Recession when a housing bubble popped and prices plummeted across the country. These are mostly smaller decreases that don’t portend another crash.

To figure out where prices are moving south, the Realtor.com data team looked at the year-over-year median list prices in the 100 largest metros in March. To ensure geographic diversity, we limited our list to just one metro per state.

Ready to see where buyers can get a home for a little less?

Realtor.com found the metropolitan areas where home prices are doing what recently seemed unthinkable: They’re falling.

Realtor.com

1. Toledo, OH

Median listing price: $115,000
Median listing price change: -18.7%

Toledo has had some of the not-great luck most Rust Belt cities have experienced over the past few decades. The city already had major job losses in the 2008 recession, then the closure of the Jeep Cherokee plant 10 years later put 3,700 more workers out of a job. Builders stopped building homes. By the time a new Jeep Gladiator plant opened in 2019, there was a huge lack of homes on the market, which caused home prices to go up.

While bidding wars are still common, it seems prices are starting to cool down. Unemployment is higher in Toledo than in the rest of the U.S., so home prices can go only so high before residents get priced out.

“I have more and more buyers that are starting to lean toward ‘We’ll do some cosmetics, we’ll do some work,’” says Karen Kinder, a Realtor® with Key Realty, on the choices her clients are making to save money. “They’re open-minded to that now; even just a few years ago, they all wanted everything all fixed up.”

There are plenty of deals here for very low-priced homes, including this three-bedroom for just $39,900.

2. Rochester, NY

Rochester, NY

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Median listing price: $149,900
Median listing price change: -17.0%

Rochester’s housing market has been red-hot since summer 2020 when buyers were in a frenzy attempting to snap up the few listings that had come onto the market—and folks who could suddenly work from anywhere were moving in.

Demand is still high, but an increase in new listings in the Flower City is making a dent in the housing prices. Like with many of the cities on this list, it appears that local investors have been trying to take advantage of these record-high price increases, selling off former rentals before rising interest rates make it too hard for entry-level buyers to afford the monthly mortgage payment.

This three-bedroom, one-bathroom Colonial is on the market for just $164,900.

3. Detroit

Median listing price: $75,000
Median listing price change: -15.4%

Already struggling with the loss of auto manufacturing, Detroit got hit hard by the Great Recession, exacerbating a multidecade exodus of residents. But the story of America’s favorite comeback city has changed in the past 15-years.

It started with more artists seeking cheap housing who wanted to see Motor City revived to its former glory. Then developers and prospectors came to inflate real estate prices in spite of its still dwindling population. But many locals can’t afford those homes, especially with higher mortgage rates.

Meanwhile, the number of new listings has increased by 6.7% year over year in March, according to Realtor.com. That means buyers don’t have to bid quite so high when there are more options available.

Those who are looking for a deal and don’t mind putting some work in can check out the many fixer-uppers on the market. This three-bedroom brick home listed for 59,900 is marketed as an “investor’s special.”

4. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

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Median listing price: $230,000
Median listing price change: -13.7%

House hunters in Pittsburgh have been struggling to get properties under contract. Recent interest rate hikes have weeded some buyers out and have deflated a bit of the pressure, but competitively priced homes are still receiving multiple offers, often from folks who are moving to the area or moving back from other parts of the country.

“I personally have had multiple buyers who say, ‘We just have to wait,’” says Bobby West, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker. “When you’re writing offers on seven to 10 houses, I think you lose a little bit of interest.”

Given the competition, it is a bit surprising that listing prices have decreased. However, West says, he has seen a lot of absentee landlords throwing their rental properties onto the market to capitalize on the heat. Those listings are often a little less expensive and provide more affordable opportunities for buyers to become homeowners.

In Penn Hills, a Pittsburgh suburb, buyers who aren’t afraid of some elbow grease can find a growing number of homes listed at ultralow prices, including this $110,000 four-bedroom Cape Cod.

5. Springfield, MA

Median listing price: $239,900
Median listing price change: -5.8%

Just an hour and a half away from Boston, Springfield attracted tons of new residents who were untethered from the office during the pandemic. Last spring, prices shot up so drastically, that even real estate professionals were wondering whether the increases were rooted in any sort of reality as buyers moved farther and farther out to find more affordable real estate.

However, those price hikes might not have been sustainable. In January, the CoreLogic Market Risk Indicator, which looks at the health of housing markets across the country, predicted that Springfield was one of the cities at the highest risk (50% to 70% probability) of a decline in home prices over the next 12 months.

While the price per square foot has not dropped yet, smaller homes have been coming onto the market, including this two-bedroom bungalow for $215,000.

6. Tulsa, OK

Tulsa, OK

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Median listing price: $220,000
Median listing price change: -5.0%

The former “Oil Capital of the World” has long offered buyers great deals on giant homes. This five-bedroom mansion asking for $1.2 million is less than the cost of a two-bedroom condo in San Francisco. Right now, affordable homes are scarce in Tulsa, known for its art deco architecture, and buyers are waiving contingencies.

But, like several places on this list, the city’s median listing price has been affected by the uptick of smaller homes coming onto the market. While the price per square foot has increased, these smaller properties are bringing down the median listing price for the entire city. That’s helping some buyers get in.

Buyers who don’t need a lot of space can find deals. A good example is this 875-square-foot, three-bedroom house in the Brookside neighborhood asking for $225,000.

7. Los Angeles

Median listing price: $985,000
Median listing price change: -5.0%

Given that home prices in Los Angeles are already so unreachable for so many buyers, the hike in interest rates has forced a lot of wannabe homeowners out of the market. However, the farther out buyers go from the Los Angeles Basin, the more inventory has grown and home prices have at least flattened a bit.

“I’m seeing a lot of [contract] cancellations by the time interest rates have been locked into place,” says Rafael Oseguera, a Realtor at Pacific Inter Capital Investment Solutions. “We are starting to see some home values taper off.”

Real estate agents are reporting that bidding wars are dying down and price reductions are becoming more common. Attractively priced, move-in ready homes are still receiving multiple offers, but not nearly as many as they were before mortgage rates increased. That’s keeping high offers over asking price in check.

“There’s still not that much inventory; there’s still bidding going on,” says Oseguera. “It’s just not as aggressive as it was three or four months ago.”

Plus, all throughout the metro, smaller homes have been coming onto the market, bringing down the median list price. For example, this 800-square foot, three-bedroom house in the L.A. suburb of Palmdale is asking $344,999, which is very affordable for California.

8. Memphis, TN

Memphis, TN

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Median listing price: $173,500
Median listing price change: -4.6%

Memphis real estate surged since the start of the pandemic. The metro, long popular with investors buying up inexpensive properties to rent out, saw a rush of buyers attempting to get into a limited number of homes. Those buyers were often competing for larger places in suburbs where they could upgrade to bigger yards with play areas and, in many cases, swimming pools.

That rush led to the city becoming one of the most overpriced housing markets in the country, according to a report from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business earlier this year.

A lot more homes have come onto the market recently. New listings are up 5.4% from the same time last year, according to Realtor.com. Meanwhile, smaller homes are going up for sale. That’s helped bring prices down.

9. Chicago

Median listing price: $399,000
Median listing price change: -3.7%

There are more deals in the Windy City if buyers don’t mind living in a condo. An overabundance of condo buildings downtown is one factor dragging down prices in the metro area. There are at least 6,000 units on the market right now.

That provides opportunities for buyers on a budget to get into the housing market at a lower price point.

This one-bedroom condo with views of downtown near the Dearborn Park neighborhood is asking for $185,900. It has been listed multiple times with one price cut since the start of the pandemic.

10. Richmond, VA

Richmond, VA

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Median listing price: $310,000
Median listing price change: -3.4%

There simply aren’t enough entry-level homes to meet demand in Richmond right now. Since prices have risen so much and bidding wars are all but expected, a lot of homeowners who have comfortable houses in the lower price ranges are too scared to sell and trade up, because they worry they won’t be able to find another place they can afford to live.

So why have listing prices decreased? Two reasons, says Jenny Maraghy, CEO and founder of the Jenny Maraghy Team. One is the influx of smaller homes that come onto the market, such as this two-bedroom cottage asking for $199,000. The other is that most local agents underprice homes to help with marketing.

“If I know I’m going to get $325,000 for a house, I’m likely going to price it at $299,000 and let it ride the market,” she says. “The biggest mistake we can make [here] is overpricing.”

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It Isn’t Just Home Prices That Are Rising—Closing Costs Are Soaring by This Much

Home Closing costs are soaring

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It’s not just record-high home prices and fast-rising mortgage rates that homebuyers have to worry about. They can’t seem to catch a break as the closing costs they pay to complete the purchase of their homes have also been increasing.

Average closing costs shot up 13.4% in 2021, according to a recent report from CoreLogic’s ClosingCorp. Buyers shelled out an average of $6,905 in closing costs, an increase of roughly $818 over the previous year. That’s on top of double-digit price increases and a housing shortage that stymied would-be buyers and made it difficult for first-time buyers to become homeowners.

“Most closing costs are linked to the price of the sale,” says CoreLogic’s chief economist, Frank Nothaft. “The rise in home prices is the single most important driver of the increase in closing costs.”

Closing costs include fees for essential—but not so exciting—things such as home appraisals by lenders; land surveys; transfer taxes; and recording costs that provide official documentation of the change in ownership. These fees also typically include title policies (which ensure a seller has the right to transfer ownership of the property free of any liens, aka debts, which could be passed on to the new owners) and can include property and school taxes.

Buyers generally had the highest closing costs in the Eastern swath of the nation. Washington, DC, buyers were slammed the most, forking over an average of $29,888 in fees in 2021 when purchasing properties. Delaware buyers paid the second most, at $17,859, followed by New York, at $16,849; Maryland, at $14,720; and Washington state at $13,926.

Closing costs were lowest in the Midwest and South. The states with the cheapest fees were Missouri, at $2,061; Indiana, at $2,200; North Dakota, at $2,501; Wyoming, at $2,589; and Mississippi, at $2,755.

Washington, DC, “parts of the Northeast, and other high home-price markets have relatively high closing costs because home prices are well above the national average,” says Nothaft. “Likewise, many markets in the Midwest and Deep South have lower home prices. Because closing costs generally vary with home price, that is one reason for the variation.”

The post It Isn’t Just Home Prices That Are Rising—Closing Costs Are Soaring by This Much appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Over-the-Top, Waterfront Castle in Ohio Is the Week’s Most Popular Home

A Waterfront Castle in Ohio Is the Week's Most Popular Home

Realtor.com

Fans of fortresses stormed the digital real estate landscape this week, wielding a barrage of clicks on a 10,547-square-foot stone castle in Rossford, OH. It vanquished the competition to become the most popular home on Realtor.com®.

And it just might be a royal bargain on the banks of the Maumee River. According to the listing, the six-bedroom castle is priced for “less than half of what it cost to construct.”

Away from the castle’s gates, you also clicked on a furnished home with a full gym in Florida, a New Jersey townhome that was occupied by the British during the Revolutionary War, and a “Friends”-themed house in Texas.

For a full look at the week’s 10 most popular homes, simply scroll on down.

10. 298 Lough Rd, Wind Ridge, PA

Price: $435,900
Why it’s here:
This five-bedroom home was built in 1895 and comes with 70 acres of rolling fields.

The acreage features fenced fields for livestock and a new water trough. A fenced orchard with fruit trees surrounds a pond.

In addition to the main house, there’s a large barn, pole building, greenhouse, above-ground pool, and deer shack.

Wind Ridge, PA

Realtor.com


9. 43 Bank St, Medford, NJ

Price: $439,000
Why it’s here: 
Built in 1833, this three-bedroom home has been modernized while maintaining its historic charm.

Located in Medford Village, it features wainscoting and crown molding throughout. A carriage house currently being used as an additional bedroom is tucked out back and could easily be transformed into a home office or gym.

Medford, NJ

Realtor.com


8. 2040 E. Hampshire St, Inverness, FL

Price: $2,750,000
Why it’s here:
Look at the fancy cars out front! Unfortunately, the cars won’t convey with the sale of this five-bedroom. But it does come with 11 acres, and there’s even a resort-style lagoon pool with lanai.

Built in 2004, this compound on Florida’s Gulf side features all sorts of amenities: a basketball court, tennis court, professional gym, and dog kennels. Most of the furniture and gym equipment will be included in the sale. There’s also an additional four-bedroom home on the property.

Inverness, FL

Realtor.com


7. 6676 Walnut Valley Dr, Galena, OH

Price: $2,880,000
Why it’s here:
Offering Hamptons style in Central Ohio, this four-bedroom lakefront home features light oak flooring, white shiplap walls, and poplar ceilings throughout. The property includes a restored 125-year-old barn, storage shed, and boat dock.

Galena, OH

Realtor.com


6. 202 Reserve Pl, Celebration, FL

Price: $1,000,000
Why it’s here: 
This renovated four-bedroom home is located in the master-planned community of Celebration.

Built in 2000, this home features beautiful tile flooring and a kitchen with espresso wood cabinets, stone counters, and a waterfall island. The family room has built-in storage and double French doors that open up to the fenced backyard. Outside, you’ll find a heated pool and spa.

Celebration, FL

Realtor.com


5. 198 Washington St, Mount Holly, NJ

Price: $364,900
Why it’s here: 
Built in 1875, this three-bedroom home has been modernized over the decades. It’s highlighted by a chef’s kitchen with quartz countertops.

The exposed beams, pocket doors, and custom shelving are original to the home. Updates include a custom-built mantel in the living room, a primary bedroom with double closets, and a new pergola and deck.

Mount Holly, NJ

Realtor.com


4. 18 Covenger Dr, Medford, NJ

Price: $499,900
Why it’s here: 
This three-bedroom home was built in 1983, but has been updated with designer light fixtures, recessed lighting, a new mudroom, and new windows.

The 1,818-square-foot home features an expanded kitchen, and outside you’ll find a heated pool, a barbecue area with a built-in pizza oven, a fireplace, a shower, and a pergola with a flat-screen TV.

Medford, NJ

Realtor.com


3. 111 Garden St, Mount Holly, NJ

Price: $335,000
Why it’s here: 
This five-bedroom townhome was occupied by the British during the Revolutionary War. It was one of this week’s oldest homes to hit the market.

Known as the Carr House, it was built in 1775. Vintage details include a library with a built-in desk and a kitchen with a custom fireplace. The first floor features a marble-floored, custom-painted bathroom with a jetted tub. Five bedrooms upstairs feature newly waxed hardwood floors.

Mount Holly, NJ

Realtor.com


2. 1706 Bevis St, Houston, TX

Price: $330,000
Why it’s here:
Ross and Rachel would feel right at home in this “Friends”-themed townhouse, featuring murals and furnishings from the popular TV series.

Buyers can imagine eating in Monica’s kitchen or sipping coffee at Central Perk. The 2,015-square-foot townhouse is located within walking distance of local bars and restaurants.

Houston, TX

Realtor.com


1. 372 Riverside Dr, Rossford, OH

Price: $2,595,000
Why it’s here:
Is this a big bargain? According to the listing, this riverfront castle is priced for less than half of what it cost to build it. Our math skills are fuzzy, but we think that means this fabulous fortress cost about $5 million to construct.

Built in 2007, the 10,547-square-foot estate features turrets, naturally, and over-the-top design flourishes throughout.

There’s a floating stairway in the grand entry, and the primary suite features two walk-in closets and a private balcony with river views. For a relaxing evening in, head to the lower level, where there’s a theater and wine tasting.

Rossford, OH

Realtor.com

The post Over-the-Top, Waterfront Castle in Ohio Is the Week’s Most Popular Home appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Foreclosures Are Rapidly Rising. Is Another Crisis Headed Our Way?

Foreclosures Are Rapidly Rising. Is Another Crisis Headed Our Way?

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Foreclosures are soaring, but real estate experts say it’s not a repeat of the housing crisis of the mid-2000s.

They hit a pandemic high in the first quarter of 2022 as foreclosure moratoriums around the nation expired, according to a recent report from ATTOM, a real estate information firm. The moratoriums were put in place to protect homeowners during the early days of COVID-19 when unemployment spiked as the nation shut down.

There were 78,271 foreclosure filings in the U.S. in the first quarter of the year. That’s up 39% from the last quarter of 2021 and represented a 132% jump from a year ago. A surge of foreclosures could bring down record-high home prices.

While those numbers might bring to mind the foreclosure crisis the nation suffered through in the 2000s, no one should panic just yet.

The number of folks who can’t make their mortgage payments is actually still well below where it was before the pandemic began and the moratoriums were instituted. Foreclosures are still about only 57% of where they were in the first quarter of 2020.

(The moratoriums allowed homeowners to pause their mortgage payments for up to 18 months if the borrowers were suffering from a pandemic-related hardship. The program ended at the end of July last year, and many moratoriums expired in the fall.)

“We don’t see a foreclosure crisis looming,” says Rick Sharga, ATTOM’s executive vice president of market intelligence. “Unemployment rates are low and wages are growing, which will help most homeowners avoid delinquencies and defaults.”

Even homeowners who can no longer afford to hold on to their properties are in a much better position today than they were during the foreclosure crisis. With housing prices skyrocketing across the country, they’re often in a position to sell instead—and even walk away with some cash. That’s the opposite of what happened more than a decade ago when many folks owed more on their homes than they were worth.

“Housing demand remains strong, even with mortgage rates rising, and almost 90% of borrowers in foreclosure have positive equity. [That] gives them the chance to sell their home rather than lose it to a foreclosure,” says Sharga. “Plus, mortgage servicers are working tirelessly with financially distressed homeowners to modify loans where needed.”

In addition, lenders aren’t issuing many risky mortgages that can wind up in foreclosure when payments suddenly balloon. Those are the loans that helped bring on the housing crash.

Foreclosure starts, which is when the foreclosure process has begun but the owner hasn’t lost the property yet, increased in all 50 states. Illinois led the way in foreclosure activity, with 6,861 foreclosures, or one in every 791 housing units.

New Jersey has the next highest rate of foreclosure activity, with one in every 792 housing units. It was followed by Ohio (one in every 991 housing units), South Carolina (one in every 1,081 housing units), and Nevada (one in every 1,090 housing units).

“The states with the extraordinarily long foreclosure processing times are executing foreclosures on loans that were already in foreclosure or were 120-plus days delinquent prior to the government’s moratorium,” says Sharga. “It’s not unusual for a foreclosure to take a year or more to process under normal circumstances, so the moratorium simply extended the length of the process.”

Major metros that had the highest number of foreclosure starts in the first quarter of the year included Chicago (3,101), New York City (2, 580), Los Angeles (1,554), Houston (1,431), and Philadelphia (1,375).

“Chicago had high delinquency and default rates prior to the government moratorium and forbearance program,” says Sharga. “Now that those loans are no longer protected, they’ve reentered the foreclosure process.”

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