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Five home-design trends that can go the distance

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Home design trends can be fast to come, faster to go. And once gone, they make homes feel dated.

But some have the power to endure, either because they strike the right balance of style and functionality, or they solve a real problem for homeowners.

A growing focus on health has put a new emphasis on wellness features, like yoga rooms, in homes.
A growing focus on health has put a new emphasis on wellness features, like yoga rooms, in homes.  (Dreamstime)

Five trends that are here for the long haul:

1. Durable materials: Homeowners are staying in their homes longer than ever — a decade or more, up from five to seven years. That puts a premium on long-lasting materials, such as quartz countertops that can look like natural stone but are far more resistant to staining and scratching.

Porcelain tile flooring is another hot material that combines durability and esthetics. Wood-look porcelain is particularly popular, given the preference for hardwood flooring — including in the bathroom, where natural wood floors are prone to water damage.

2. Low-maintenance finishes: Most appliance manufacturers now have versions of black stainless steel, which has a warmer feel than traditional stainless. Black stainless steel also better resists smudges and fingerprints, making it a good fit for homes with young children.

Low-maintenance appeals to older homeowners, and examples include self-cleaning gutters and low-care ground covers in place of labour-intensive lawns.

3. Smart technology: Younger buyers are big on smart home features. The best technology adds safety, convenience and efficiency, and smart thermostats check all three boxes by controlling a home’s climate to make it more healthy, comfortable and energy-efficient. Other can’t-miss features include video doorbells, smart locks and automated lighting.

4. Outdoor living: HomeAdvisor’s latest Homeowner Happiness Index put decks and patios on the list of features that spark the most joy in homeowners — right up with modernized kitchens and bathrooms.

Manufacturers have responded with a slew of products to maximize the outdoor living experience, including weather-resistant countertops, backyard fire pits and folding glass doors that create a seamless transition between the indoors and outdoors.

5. Wellness features: Steam ovens, a fast and healthy way to prepare meals, are being tapped by more designers, according to data from the National Kitchen & Bath Association. Small appliance sales are also surging, and those include blenders for smoothies and dips, and multi-cookers that can whip up a batch of quinoa, oatmeal or even yogurt. Wellness rooms are also on the rise for yoga, meditation, or a spin on the Internet-connected stationary bike.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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Affordability driving demand for condos in Toronto

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The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) saw higher sales and demand for condominium units due to increasingly affordable prices.

Data from RE/MAX revealed that the GTA accounted for nearly 37% of the total residential sales on the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). Market share for this segment has been tracking higher since 2013, when the transfer of condominiums covered 30% of total sales.

Seen as the only property segment that rose above the 2017 market correction, the average price of a condominium apartment hiked almost 8% to $551,761 between January and October 2018, up from $512,552 during the same period in the previous year. Townhomes prices were at $571,058, compared to $568,165 in 2017. Meanwhile, prices of freehold properties, including single-detached, semi-detached, attached/row/townhouse, and linked townhomes fell year-over-year.

Despite the rising values, these home types are well-received because most Canadians still found it affordable and a sound choice for investment.

On the other hand, it was pointed out that the increased demand for condo apartments and townhomes was driven by immigration, population growth, and lifestyle choices. 

“Aging infrastructure, combined with a lack of transportation alternatives, longer commute times and the environmental component — with efforts to reduce carbon footprint — have all played a role in buyers choosing condominiums in Toronto proper that are close to both work and play,” RE/MAX noted in a statement.

The most popular area for condominium sales was still the downtown core, with 21.9% sold in the area bordered by Bloor Street to the north, the Lakeshore to the south, the Don Valley Parkway to the east and just past Dovercourt Road in the west.

However, supply remained low, which pushes prices higher.

“Limited inventory continues to place substantial upward pressure on prices, with fewer affordable housing options available — and that includes condominium rentals,” said

Christopher Alexander, executive vice president and regional director at RE/MAX of the Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region.

As a result, buyers tend to avoid the higher prices in the core and turn to condominium communities farther afield instead.

Currently, almost 51% of condominium sales in the GTA are below the $500,000 price point, but it is worth noting that builders and developers are currently facing skyrocketing construction costs and a land crunch within the GTA.

 

Related stories:
Revival of investor immigrant program stirs academic discussion
BC enters $1B deal to provide affordable homes

 

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate




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App matches you with the perfect real estate professional

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Real estate matchmaking platform Mortgage Sandbox recently beta launched a free web-based app called Match Finder in the Vancouver market. The app was conceived as a way for buyers to connect with suitable professionals that can help them find their perfect home.

“The beta program is dedicated to gathering feedback from users so that we can improve the product while rewarding participating home buyers and real estate professionals with better working relationships at no cost,” said David Stroud, founder and CEO of Mortgage Sandbox.

Similar to an eHarmony questionnaire, Match Maker asks 10 simple questions to match home buyers with three trusted, pre-screened real estate agents and mortgage brokers. Users can then make their selection to start their home-buying process.

The app was envisioned to provide a better home buying experience for all parties involved. Match Maker is a secure, cloud-based application that also provides real-time interest rates and property forecasts. It has advanced home buying calculators and can be used on a laptop or a smartphone.

“The tools are part of Mortgage Sandbox’s ongoing commitment to build the most complete home buying advice platform on the market,” said Stroud.

Stroud emphasized that Mortgage Sandbox tapped into the real experiences of Canadian homebuyers and real estate professionals to properly address issues that are encountered when purchasing homes.

“We’ve designed an easy to use, data-driven, matching tool that connects you with local, pre-screened real estate professionals who share your interests, values, and have a complementary work style,” said Stroud.

“We believe aligned values lead to better working relationships and a more successful home buying experience.”

 

Related stories:
Revival of investor immigrant program stirs academic discussion
BC enters $1B deal to provide affordable homes

 

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate




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App matches you with the perfect real estate professional

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Real estate matchmaking platform Mortgage Sandbox recently beta launched a free web-based app called Match Finder in the Vancouver market. The app was conceived as a way for buyers to connect with suitable professionals that can help them find their perfect home.

“The beta program is dedicated to gathering feedback from users so that we can improve the product while rewarding participating home buyers and real estate professionals with better working relationships at no cost,” said David Stroud, founder and CEO of Mortgage Sandbox.

Similar to an eHarmony questionnaire, Match Maker asks 10 simple questions to match home buyers with three trusted, pre-screened real estate agents and mortgage brokers. Users can then make their selection to start their home-buying process.

The app was envisioned to provide a better home buying experience for all parties involved. Match Maker is a secure, cloud-based application that also provides real-time interest rates and property forecasts. It has advanced home buying calculators and can be used on a laptop or a smartphone.

“The tools are part of Mortgage Sandbox’s ongoing commitment to build the most complete home buying advice platform on the market,” said Stroud.

Stroud emphasized that Mortgage Sandbox tapped into the real experiences of Canadian homebuyers and real estate professionals to properly address issues that are encountered when purchasing homes.

“We’ve designed an easy to use, data-driven, matching tool that connects you with local, pre-screened real estate professionals who share your interests, values, and have a complementary work style,” said Stroud.

“We believe aligned values lead to better working relationships and a more successful home buying experience.”

 

Related stories:
Revival of investor immigrant program stirs academic discussion
BC enters $1B deal to provide affordable homes

 

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate




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