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.

NAR’s State Economic Impact Report

How much does the housing market affect a state’s economy? It’s an important question the National Association of REALTORS® answered with its State Economic Impact Report.1

The report measured the total impact generated by a home sale. This includes‚ among other things‚ income generated from real estate industries‚ expenditures related to a purchase (such as furniture and remodeling expenses)‚ and new home construction costs.

Here in Massachusetts‚ the total impact is $117‚650. Overall‚ the real estate industry accounted for 18% of gross state product. Full state reports can be found here.

1“Economic impact of a home sale‚” National Association of REALTORS®.


A look back at first-time buyers

Since 1981‚ much has changed with first-time homebuyer demographics. The National Association of REALTORS® took a look back and found the following1:

  • The average first-time buyer was 29 years old in 1981; first-timers were 46 in 2018.
  • In the early 80s‚ 68% of first-time buyers were married couples, 13% were single males‚ and 12% were single females.
  • In 2018‚ married couples made up 54% of first-time buyers – followed by single females (18%)‚ unmarried couples (16%)‚ and single males (10%).

As always‚ I enjoy sharing relevant market data. Please contact me for more information.

1Meredith Dunn‚ “Throwback Thursday: First-time homebuyers then and now‚” Economists’ Outlook Blog‚ last updated January 10‚ 2019.


Top choices for remodelers

The 2019 Houzz Kitchen Trends study1 analyzed kitchen remodeling choices from the past year. The findings may help customers narrow down their design choices.

  • ‘Transitional’ – which combines modern with traditional – is the #1 style choice (21% selected it). Contemporary and farmhouse are also popular.
  • Shaker is the top choice for cabinets (57%) followed by flat panel and raised panel. As for color‚ white (43%) beats wood (25%).
  • Most homeowners (54%) mix different finishes in hardware and fixtures. The most popular choices: nickel‚ chrome‚ and stainless steel.

Please contact me if you need assistance. I am always here to help.

1Erin Carlyle‚ “Top kitchen styles and cabinet features in kitchen remodels‚” Houzz‚ last updated January 16‚ 2019.