Exterior spring cleaning tips

After a long New England winter, it’s time to savor spring and its warmer weather. Homeowners can freshen up outdoor spaces with these tips1:

  • Replace outdated fixtures, such as landscape lights, security lights & porch and patio lighting. Also, a switch to energy-saving LED bulbs can reduce monthly energy costs.
  • Clean out the shed, garage & other outdoor storage areas. Organize items into ‘keep,’ ‘toss’ or ‘donate’ piles.
  • Even properly-stored outdoor furniture may need cleaning. Wipe down metal, wicker or plastic pieces; use wood conditioner for teak and other woods. A lengthy sun drying will prevent mold.

Passing along helpful tips is a top priority of mine.

1Bill Gassett, “Eight outdoor spring cleaning tips and tricks,” Massachusetts Real Estate News, last updated February 8, 2019.


Buyers showing patience

Sharing data on the home search process can help buyers better manage expectations.1 The latest numbers from the National Association of Home Builders:

  • Of those intending to buy a home in the next 12 months, 54% have been searching for a property for at least three months.
  • Among long-term lookers‚ the #1 reason for not finding the right home is price (49% of respondents). Other top hurdles: a home’s features (40%)‚ the neighborhood (38%)‚ and being outbid in a competitive market (21%).
  • A majority of those still in the hunt do not plan on giving up: 61% said they will continue searching in their preferred location.

As always‚ it is a pleasure staying in touch.

1Jann Swanson, “Buyers persist in search for the dream home,” Mortgage News Daily, last updated December 4, 2018.


The coming wave of green homes

‘Net-zero’ homes – defined as homes that create all the energy they use – are expected to play a significant role in the market in the coming years.1

Net-zero homes use solar panels to generate power and feature energy recovery systems that improve indoor air quality. They are sealed tightly and well insulated to prevent air leaks and reduce noise levels.

In 2017‚ 8‚547 net-zero homes were built in the U.S.; 38‚863 are under construction. These numbers will likely rise as building costs decrease and more states follow the lead of California‚ which is implementing a law requiring all new homes be net-zero.

As always‚ I enjoy sharing relevant industry news.

1“Net-zero growth could drastically reduce energy use‚” REALTOR® Magazine‚ last updated December 27‚ 2018.


A garage checks in at #1

Pools‚ in-law suites‚ and picturesque views all pale in comparison to the presence of a garage. This is the key finding from a new survey on the features homebuyers value most.1

  • Garages are #1 (favored by 45% of respondents) followed by: a master bedroom with en suite (39%) and a main floor bathroom (35%).
  • Women want a garage more than men (51% to 41%). Men prefer energy-saving appliances (31%) while women value a fenced-in yard (38%).
  • The ideal property of those surveyed: a three-bedroom‚ two-bath home with a master bedroom suite‚ and‚ of course … a garage.

As always‚ Capstone Mortgage is committed to providing timely information and guidance.

1“Don’t underestimate the importance of the garage to buyers‚” REALTOR® Magazine‚ last updated February 15‚ 2019.