Why Buy Before Winter

Here are a few great reasons why it’s beginning to look a lot like home-buying season.

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Higher home prices on the horizon

In the past year, home prices nationwide increased by almost 11 percent, according to Clear Capital, a provider of real estate data and analysis. Forecasts point to continuing home price increases for the remainder of 2014. Plus, housing market analysts and economists predict home prices to appreciate by more than 19 percent from now until 2018. The bottom in home prices has come and gone – and waiting to buy a home may no longer be the right option.

Rates ratcheting up

The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac project rates to increase by up to a full percentage point by the end of next year. Waiting to buy a home could result in a higher rate, which impacts your monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense could be much more in a year than if you buy a home now.

Waiting to buy could cost you more in down payment and mortgage payment

Now may be the right time to make the move, and set your sights on your next home. Talk to your real estate and mortgage advisors to learn more about your options.


5 Marvelous Kitchen Trends

Subway Tile

home renovation, tiling the laundry

Although traditional and classic-looking, subway tile and glazed white ceramic tile beautifully complete a modern kitchen.

  • Use beveled subway tile for extra texture
  • Opt for darker grout for enhanced depth and an easier surface to clean
  • Add contemporary flair to marble with square white tiles

Open Shelving



Here’s a trend you can try out now – just remove your cabinet doors and see what you think. Use glass-front doors instead of cabinet doors to start off small, or replace part of your cabinets with open shelves. And here are a few more ideas for when you’re ready to be more open.

  • Add rustic charm with crates and baskets instead of upper cabinets
  • Mix open shelves and ledges with traditional cabinets
  • For a cleaner look, remove all upper cabinets

White & Wood


There are many ways to add warmth and comfort to a modern kitchen with this winning combination.

  • Combine wood with a white and black motif
  • Use butcher block for countertops – easy to clean and maintain
  • Add contrast with glossy white surfaces and wood cabinets

Two-Tone Cabinets



For another quick makeover, try painting your upper cabinets and lower cabinets different colors.

Marble Countertops

While marble countertops require some maintenance and care, the results can be stunning. Plus, marble is one of the more cost efficient stone countertop options.

  • Pair with white cabinets for a seamless look
  • Mix in bronze or copper accents

SOURCE: ApartmentTherapy.com

Insights from Top Producing Real Estate Agents

Coach Bill HartThis month’s TalkJet interview features Coach Bill Hart! With a background spanning 27 years in the mortgage and real estate industries, Coach Bill is a valuable source of insight into being a successful Top Producer. Listen as he talks about the Core Four – Life Plan, Business Vision, Business Plan and Priority Management – and his 5 Steps to Growth. And then ask yourself – as he will ask you – What will you do? After all, great ideas are just ideas – until they’re put into motion!

TalkJet is a monthly audio interview series that provides real estate professionals with the information and strategies that top producing Realtors around the country are using. The concept is simple: we want our business development partners to know how the best of the best are achieving success in today’s market. Listen to TalkJet now.