Awesome 6th floor loft at Peachtree Lofts. This 1-bedroom features high ceilings with exposed ductwork, hardwood floors, a newer expanded kitchen with granite counters and stainless steel appliances. Don’t miss the updated bathroom with a tiled tub surround, Elfa style shelving in the closets and laundry area, and the separate bedroom. Wall to wall windows let in so much natural light, and the location just blocks off Piedmont park is hard to beat! This home comes with a covered parking spot in the gated garage – gotta love a parking space in Midtown! Incredible amenities include gated and secure parking, a 24-hour concierge, a dog walk, saltwater pool, a fitness center and a clubroom.
The pandemic has changed the way many of us live, work, and attend school—and those changes have impacted our priorities when it comes to choosing a home.
According to a recent survey by The Harris Poll, 75% of respondents who have begun working remotely would like to continue doing so—and 66% would consider moving if they no longer had to commute as often. Some of the top reasons were to gain a dedicated office space (31%), a larger home (30%), and more rooms overall (29%).1
And now that virtual school has become a reality for many families, that need for additional space has only intensified. A growing number of buyers are choosing homes further from town as they seek out more room and less congestion. In fact, a recent survey found that nearly 40% of urban dwellers had considered leaving the city because of the COVID-19 outbreak.2
But not everyone is permanently sold on suburban or rural life. Instead, some are choosing to purchase a second home as a co-primary residence or frequent getaway. Without the requirements of a five-day commute, many homeowners feel less tethered to their primary residence and are eager for a change of scenery after spending so much time at home.
If you’re feeling cramped in your current space, you’ve probably considered a move. But what type of home would suit you best: a move-up home or a second home? Let’s explore each option to help you determine which one is right for you.
WHY CHOOSE A MOVE-UP HOME?
A move-up home is typically a larger or nicer home. It’s a great choice for families or individuals who simply need more space, a better location, or want features their current home doesn’t offer—like an inground pool, a different floor plan, or a dedicated home office.
Most move-up buyers choose to sell their current home and use the proceeds as a downpayment on their next one. If you’re struggling with a lack of functional or outdoor space in your current home, a move-up home can greatly improve your everyday life. And with mortgage rates at their lowest level in history, you may be surprised how much home you can afford to buy without increasing your monthly payment.3,4
|To learn more about mortgage rates, contact us for a free copy of our recent report!|
“Lowest Mortgage Rates in History: What It Means for Homeowners and Buyers”
One major benefit of choosing a move-up home is that you can typically afford a nicer place if you spend your entire budget on one property. However, if you’re longing for that vacation vibe, a second home may be a better choice for you.
WHY CHOOSE A SECOND HOME?
Once reserved for the ultra-wealthy, second homes have become more mainstream. Home sales are surging in many resort and bedroom communities as city dwellers search for a place to escape the crowds and quarantine in comfort.5 And with air travel on hold for many families, some are channeling their vacation budgets into vacation homes that can be utilized throughout the year.
A second home can also be a good option if you’re preparing for retirement. By purchasing your retirement home now, you can lock in a low interest rate, start paying down the mortgage, and begin enjoying the perks of retirement living while you’re still fit and active. Plus, it’s easier to qualify for a mortgage while you’re employed, although you may be charged a slightly higher interest rate than on a primary home loan.6
One advantage of choosing a second home is that you can offset a portion of the costs—and in some cases turn a profit—by renting it out on a platform like Airbnb or Vrbo. However, be sure to consult with a real estate professional or rental management company to get a realistic sense of the property’s true income potential.
WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR ME?
You may read this and think: I’d really like both a move-up home AND a second home! But if you’re dealing with a limited budget (aren’t we all?), you’ll probably need to make a choice. These three tactics can help you decide which option is right for you.
- Determine Your Time and Financial Budget
You may meet the bank’s qualifications to purchase a home, but do you have the time, energy, and financial resources to maintain it? This is an important question to ask yourself, no matter what type of home you choose.
Most buyers realize that a second home will mean double mortgages, utilities, taxes, and insurance. But consider all the extra time and expense that goes into maintaining two properties. Two lawns to mow. Two houses to clean. Two sets of systems and appliances that can malfunction. Second homes aren’t always a vacation. Make sure you’re prepared for the labor and carrying costs that go into maintaining another residence.
Of course, some move-up homes require more work than a second home. For example, if your move-up option is a major fixer-upper, you’ll probably invest more energy and capital than you would on a small vacation condo by the beach. Have an honest discussion about how much time and money you want to spend on your new property. Would a move-up home or a second home be a better fit given your parameters?
- Rank Your Priorities
If you’re still undecided, make a wish list of the characteristics you’d like in your new home. Then rank each item from most to least important. This exercise can help you determine your “must-have” features—and which ones you may need to sacrifice or delay. Here’s a sample to help you get started:
|Dedicated home office|
|Walk to the beach|
|Close to friends and family|
|Short commute to the office|
- Explore Your Options
Once you’ve determined your parameters and priorities, it’s time to begin your home search.
If you’re still not sure whether a move-up home or a second home is right for you, we can help.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation. We’ll discuss your options and help you assess the pros and cons of each, given your unique circumstances.
We can also send you property listings for both move-up homes and second homes within your budget so you can better envision each scenario. Sometimes, viewing listings of homes that meet your criteria can make the decision clear.
LET’S GET MOVING
Whether you’re ready to make a move or need help weighing your options, we’d love to help. We can determine your current home’s value and show you local properties that fit within your budget. Or, if your heart is set on a second home in another market, we can refer you to an agent in your dream locale. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation!
- Zillow –
- The Harris Poll –
- MarketWatch –
- Toronto Star –
- Kiplinger –
- The Press-Enterprise –
An inviting outdoor living space makes time spent in the fresh air even more appealing. Whether you’re supervising kids playing in the yard, enjoying dinner on the patio or talking with friends late into the night, you want a space that’s both attractive and comfortable. Consider these trending designs for outdoor furnishings.
Pastel colors: These soft, calming tones have grown in popularity in outdoor furniture design. Lighter shades make your space feel fresh and airy. Look for upholstered chairs and sofas, or embrace the trend with galvanized steel furniture painted in muted pastels.
Flexible furnishings: To custom-fit your space, consider using a modular sofa. Each piece can be purchased individually, making it easy to rearrange a deck or patio as your seating needs change. Other dynamic furniture, such as classy hammocks or hanging sofas, also provide both interest and comfort.
Shade structures: Lengthen the hours of use for your outdoor living space by installing a shade structure. Pergolas, pavilions, gazebos, and large umbrellas can all offer relief from the sun. Consider the size of your space as well as the angle of the sun throughout the day to determine which type of structure will provide the best coverage.
Durable and attractive materials: When choosing outdoor furniture, invest in high-quality pieces that will withstand the elements. Teak, wicker and industrial metal are all hard-wearing options, depending on your preferred design aesthetic. Metallic finishes like copper, brass, aluminum, and chrome are all on-trend, or try out a simple, matte-white metal.
Designer string lights: While classic strands of patio lights have been popular for some time, you’ll see a greater variety on the market today. To create distinctive lighting effects, look for strands that have frosted textures or rippled glass on the globes. You can also customize the light temperature and intensity to achieve your desired ambience.
While no one knows what the future may hold, many experts are predicting that COVID-19 will accelerate some housing trends that were already taking place. Here are three possibilities that could result from staying at home.
More millennials enter the market. In spite of the current economic uncertainty, millennials are eager to own first-time and move-up homes to accommodate their growing families. With low inventory nationwide, the pent-up demand from this generation could lead to a strong seller’s market over the summer.
A migration away from large cities. As densely populated areas issued stay-at-home orders, rentals of single-family homes in the suburbs spiked, reports HousingWire.com. Real estate experts are predicting that the pandemic may be the tipping point for city-dwellers who were already dreaming about having more space to call their own.
A shift toward multi-generational homes. According to Inman.com, the demand for multi-generational homes was already on the rise. However, between young adults moving home for financial reasons and concern over the safety of aging parents, more people may be looking for houses that can comfortably cater to several generations. This could mean that properties with features such as multiple master suites, a kitchenette, a walkout lower level, or an apartment over the garage will be highly desirable.
If you want to make an important purchase but do not currently have the money, you don’t necessarily have to put things on hold. If you own a house and have been paying your mortgage for several years, you may have enough equity to qualify for a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. Before you take that step, you need to understand how a HELOC works and ask yourself whether the purchase you want to make is worthwhile and whether you can handle the responsibility that comes with accessing your home’s equity.
How it Works
A HELOC is a line of credit that draws on the equity in your home, which is the current value of your home minus the amount you still owe on the mortgage. You may be able to receive as much as 80 or 90 percent of your home’s equity as a line of credit. You can use that credit all at once or a little at a time to lower your interest rates on credit card balances, make home improvements, buy a car or cover college costs.
The money will need to be repaid at an interest rate that is based on the amount of equity you have and your credit score. Interest is only charged on the amount of equity that is used. In most cases, your payments for the first several years will only go toward interest. The interest on a HELOC may be tax-deductible.
Is a HELOC Right for You?
Before you take out a home equity line of credit, you need to think carefully about your personality, habits and situation. First of all, ask yourself if you are considering a HELOC for the right reasons. If your house needs a major repair that cannot wait, or if you’re struggling to pay your credit card balances because of high interest rates, a HELOC could be a wise move.
Once you obtain a HELOC for one purpose, you’ll continue to have access to the remaining equity. If you can handle that temptation, it won’t be a problem. On the other hand, if you know you wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to use your home’s equity to finance a lavish vacation or a shopping spree, you should avoid a HELOC because you could get yourself into serious financial trouble. If you get in over your head and are unable to make the monthly payments on time, you might lose your house in a foreclosure.
Weigh the Pros and Cons
A home equity line of credit is a tool that has helped many homeowners finance necessary purchases that they would otherwise have been unable to afford. It’s important to consider the risks and to use a HELOC responsibly. Before you sign on the dotted line, carefully consider whether you’re doing it for the right reasons and whether you can handle the temptation and responsibility that comes with using a home equity line of credit.
While world peace is a great idea, if you want to add a touch of calm to your life, begin with your bedroom. Your room isn’t merely the place to rest your head, it’s where you wake, and the vibe of your room can set the tone for the rest of your day. Below are five tips for bringing a peaceful vibe to your bedroom.
Choose calming colors. While red or orange may be your favorite fiery hue, when picking shades for your room, choose soothing, calm colors like light blue or a gentle gray.
Pick minimal patterns. Keep the fun, funky patterns for the living room throw pillows. Busy patterns can make us feel crowded and overwhelmed, so minimize zany patterns in your sleep space.
Clear the room of clutter. Create a sanctuary in your bedroom by keeping it clear of clutter, from laundry to oversized furniture. Spend a few minutes before bed each day storing any items you pulled out, close the closet doors, put the books back on the shelves and dive into bed with a clear head and space.
Bring in nature. Houseplants can boost mood and pump more oxygen into the room. Choose a few easy-to-care for plants, like a fern or a ficus, and place them where you can see them when you wake.
Select the right lighting. While blackout shades can be great for blocking disruptive light, it can also negatively impact your sleep patterns by keeping your body from waking at its natural time. Find a set of blackout curtains that filter light but allow you to wake in the morning naturally.