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June Home Sales Decrease: Could This Bring Some Much-Needed Relief to Buyers?

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Months of constricted inventory combined with a steady gain in year-over-year price increases created a recipe for seller’s delight in recent months. But for homebuyers, tight housing markets can mean increased competition (and some headaches!). Trends continue to show a move toward a more balanced market, and the increase in average days on market year-over-year may be welcome news to homebuyers.

According to the most recent RE/MAX National Housing Report, June saw closings decline and an all-time high median sales price of $276,000 for the 10-year history of the report. With sales slowing, inventory increased 1.3%, but supply still remains tight.

Despite the decline in home sales, there are indications that the market is rebalancing. “Several encouraging longer-term trends – ongoing demand, improving inventory levels, low interest rates – are helping the market make incremental progress on multiple fronts,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos.

These trends may provide an opportunity for homebuyers to have greater flexibility to negotiate terms and concessions. Homes are sitting on the market a bit longer, which could make finding that perfect home more of a reality.

Here are some highlights of the latest data found in the RE/MAX National Housing Report:

  1. Home sales slowed at an unusual decline for this time of year.

June, typically the strongest month for home sales, saw closings decline 4.7% from the previous month and 7.8% from June 2018. This is only the second June in 10 years to have fewer sales than May.

  1. Inventory is up. Transactions are down.

With sales slowing, June inventory increased 1.3% over June 2018, marking the first year-over-year rise in June inventory in the report’s 10-year history. This is the ninth consecutive month that inventory has grown, showing the shift as the market rebalances.

  1. Sales prices are accelerating after months of moderation.

Housing activity in the report’s 54 markets nationwide also saw the Median Sales price grow by 6.7% year-over-year. June’s price increase accelerated compared to the prior three months, each of which had a year-over-price increase of less than 3.5%.

Prospective homebuyers, are you ready to make your move? Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Blog courtesy of RE/MAX Blog

3 Things to Consider Before Registering Your Home on a Short-Term Rental Site

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Once upon a time, the idea of renting out your home to a stranger while you left for vacation was considered quite odd.

Today, renting a room in your house (or the entire house) to unknown travelers isn’t an outlandish concept, thanks in part to online services such as Airbnb, FlipKey and VRBO. Short-term rentals provide an income opportunity for owners and a unique way for visitors to experience a city. What better way to get the local experience than staying with – or renting from – locals?

If you think you’re up to being a host of a short-term rental, here are three things to keep in mind.

1. Legality

The rise in popularity of Airbnb and other sites hasn’t been without its controversy. There are concerns that short-term rentals threaten the jobs of hotel workers, and that a short-term rental doesn’t have to pass the same certifications and inspections of regular hotels.

Some cities have enacted restrictions against short-term rentals. You may need to register and get a permit or a license – or you may not be able to host at all. Check with your local government to make sure you understand the laws.

2. Taxes

You may not need to report the money earned from the short-term rental of your home if you meet both of these requirements:

1. You rent it out for fewer than 14 days a year AND

2. You live in it for more than 14 days or more than 10 percent of the total days you rent it out during the year (this determines if the property is seen as a residence or a rental property by the IRS).

Still unclear about the taxes on your short-term rental? TurboTax provides some more information, or you may want to consult with a tax professional.

3. Additional Costs

Renting out your home could mean an extra insurance bill. Check with your insurance agent to learn what your current policy covers regarding short-term renters. They may recommend increasing coverage. Airbnb does provide free primary liability coverage for up to $1,000,000 per occurrence, and many of the other sites have partnerships that make it easy to take out additional coverage, if needed.

In addition to insurance, you’ll have to pay a percentage of the rental income to the website: Airbnb and FlipKey both charge a 3% host service fee, VRBO has an option to pay-per-booking or an annual subscription fee.

Are you looking for a permanent home in your favorite vacation spot? Search for properties and connect with me on my website www.winstonrealtygroup.com 

Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Leaving Your Home Alone - Summer Vacations

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

If you're going to be away for an extended period of time or you're going to be without internet service for a week or two (yes, some people can actually still do that), you may want to think about finally setting up that auto-pay feature for some of your utilities to pay them automatically while you're away from civilization.

While keeping the electricity up and running is important, you may not need to leave everything plugged in while you're gone.  Unplugging non-essential electrical items can also help protect them in case of a lightening storm or an unexpected power surge.  If you have house plants, be sure and consider their needs as well when deciding on what temperature to leave the thermostat on while you're away.

Home Depot has a wide range of both indoor and outdoor timers that will allow you to set a time (or times) for your lights or a TV or radio to come on in the evening and remain on until the timer shuts them off.

If you have an alarm system, you may want to make sure that it is in proper working order as well as notify your alarm company of the exact dates that you'll be out of town.  If you ask someone to check on your house, be sure that they know the alarm codes along with the basic functions of the system.  Most alarm companies will also be able to set you up with a temporary code for them that will automatically expire on your return date.

You definitely don't want to come back to a house full of bad smells or flies (or both) so be sure and remove all perishable items from the fridge and countertops.  Check that all trash cans are emptied and see if that same friend might be able to put your trash canisters out for collection - and then put them back on collection day.  This will reduce the impression that nobody is home and your neighbors won't be annoyed by your trash cans being left out on the street for two weeks.

Also, be sure and put on hold any newspaper subscriptions as well as check with your local Post Office and see if you can have a vacation-stop put on your mail delivery.  You can also easily do this online now!

Finally, be careful when talking about your vacation plans on social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. Burglars frequently monitor social media sites for indications of empty houses.

So stay safe, have fun, and don't forget the sunscreen!

Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay 

Just Listed - 3812 Kettle Falls Avenue, North Las Vegas - Offered at $385,000

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Beautiful home inside and out with a pool/spa and waterfall. The home offers a wonderful open floorplan with a casita, four bedrooms and a loft. Enter the home to the foyer with ceramic tile, glass block and a stain glass window in the door.

 

 

 

The great room is beyond the foyer with surround sound and a gas fireplace. The great room overlooks the kitchen where you will find double islands, granite countertops, maple cabinets, a gas cooktop, built-in oven and black appliances. A large dining area that incorporates a wet bar with wine fridge is found just beyond the kitchen. Sliding doors from the dining area open to the backyard patio. The downstairs is completed by a laundry room with storage and sink and a powder room.

Follow the stairs up to the loft. Custom cabinetry was added upstairs in the hallway for extra storage and makes a great place for linens. The master suite offers a private bath, two balconies and a ceiling fan. The master bath includes a separate soaking tub and shower, dual vanities and custom cabinetry. A large walk-in closet completes the master suite. Two toned paint, ceiling fans and shutters are found throughout the home. In your backyard you will find a covered patio overlooking the pool and backyard. The community offers four parks and a community center with fitness center, outdoor pool and spa.

To see more photos or additional information on the home, click here.

Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Millennial Homebuyers Want a Yard of Their (Pet’s) Dreams – Here’s How Sellers Can Appeal to Furry Friends

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

What could beat out an updated kitchen as the most important feature millennials are looking for when buying a home? Recent research from the National Association of Landscape Professionals shows that a nice-sized lawn is the No. 1 priority among those born between 1981 and 1996.

Seventy-three percent of millennials currently own a pet and, according to a 2018 realtor.com survey, 75 percent of pet-owning millennial homebuyers surveyed said they would pass on a home, no matter how good it is, if it didn’t meet the needs of their pet.

If you plan to boost your home’s curb appeal and backyard before selling, keep in mind potential millennial buyers – and their furry friends – with these tips for a pet-friendly yard:

  1. Muse on Your Mulch

Mulching can be used to create healthy lawns and add aesthetic value – but it can also be harmful to animals if certain chemicals are present in the material. Cocoa bean mulch, for example, can poison dogs since it’s made from cocoa shells. Instead, look for pine, cedar and hemlock mulches, which can be good alternatives and may ease the mind of a potential buyer with pets.

  1. Plant Purposefully

Planting a few flowers can go a long way in ramping up your home’s curb appeal. Adding a few different colors into the mix can help create an interesting and inviting atmosphere. While you’re at the garden center, consider taking a look at this list of toxic and non-toxic plants for animals and steer clear of potential troublemakers for future buyers. If your garden is already in tip-top shape, list and label as many plants as possible. This relatively simple step can have a powerful effect on buyers, whether they’re gardeners or not!

  1. Know Your Boundaries

There are a lot of variables to consider when questioning if a fence increases home value. Material, the neighborhood and whether it fits in with the style of your house are all important things to consider – but so is the condition you keep it in! A sturdy backyard fence may inspire buyers with escape-artist furry friends to make an offer.

  1. Be Chemical-Conscious

Many baits for snails, rats and other pests can be fatal for pups. If you must use them to get your backyard sell-ready, think of putting them where a pet couldn’t reach them. Did you know planting lavender, mint, rosemary and other companion plants can be a safe way to keep snails and slugs at bay?

  1. Make ‘Pawsome’ Choices

If adding some paths in your yard is within budget, consider materials that don’t get too hot on a sunny day. Materials should be easy to walk on for both owners and their pets. Concrete, brick, flagstone and smooth rocks are all good choices.

If the next thing you want to plant is a “For Sale” sign in your lawn, call me today. 

Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Blog courtesy of RE/MAX Blog

From ‘Smart House’ to Smart Homes: How Today’s Tech Compares to the Iconic Disney Movie

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Voice-activated music. Touch-screen powered appliances. An omnipotent, but friendly, virtual assistant providing homework help.

When “Smart House” debuted on the Disney Channel in 1999, its portrayal of a family living in a home powered by artificial intelligence seemed far-fetched. Watching it 20 years later, it’s a surprisingly prophetic portrayal of the way technology has become fully integrated into our daily lives.

In case you missed this made-for-TV masterpiece, the plot is simple: A family wins a home featuring an artificial intelligence (AI) system named P.A.T. (Personal Applied Technology). P.A.T. is programmed to take care of everything from house cleaning to meal prep, and can help coordinate outfits, give basketball advice and throw an epic party complete with mood lighting and cleanup. Chaos ensues, though, when P.A.T. is frighteningly overprotective after being reprogrammed to serve as the family’s maternal figure.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of “Smart House,” here’s a look at the technology covered in the film and how it compares to today.

Yep, homes can be controlled by AI

Similar to P.A.T., smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home can control everything from music to lights with a few voice commands (and strategically placed smart plugs, if needed). But whereas P.A.T. was portrayed as the home’s central operating system, today’s smart homes are usually more of a combination of apps, gadgets and high-tech appliances.

The advantage is that homeowners can customize the technology to fit their lifestyle. It also means the tech can typically move with homeowners if they relocate.

Safety technology gives smart-home owners peace of mind

When a misguided P.A.T. attempts to lock the Coopers inside indefinitely, she blocks the windows with steel and adds an electrical force field to the home’s doors.

True, smart-home technology can greatly enhance home security, but it’s much more subtle.

For example, the If This Then That app is able to trigger an empty home’s interior lights as soon as the owner approaches. The Ring video doorbell helps residents monitor (and chat with visitors to) the front door. And many new home security systems, smoke alarms (check out Home Advisor’s breakdown of options), garage doors and surveillance cameras feature a virtual assistant integration, which means they can be controlled and monitored by a phone app or smart speaker.

Even our pets are avid technology enthusiasts

Considering the fact that keeping pooches happy is one of the primary reasons millennials buy homes, the movie’s inclusion of pet technology (the family dog is entertained by P.A.T. while the family’s away) is spot on.

One piece of especially buzzworthy pet technology is Furbo, an interactive pet camera that tosses treats to pets stuck at home. Then there are the pet doors that open only when triggered by an ultrasonic signal emitted from a special collar, blocking access to intruders. The doors can also be programmed to remain locked at certain times of day, keeping Fido and Fluffy inside for the night.

Technology can create the perfect mood

One of P.A.T.’s coolest features in the movie is her use of virtual reality to transport the Coopers to Cape Cod or a serene farm complete with a rooster’s wake-up call. While VR technology gets more sophisticated every year, full-screen virtual experiences don’t come standard in homes just yet. However, several pieces of smart appliances can help change the mood in your home.

Philips Hue is a line of smart lamps and light bulbs that can be timed to adjust from bright to softer lighting as the day goes on, mimicking natural daylight patterns. The Nest thermostat automatically sets the temperature in your home to your desired preferences, turns the temperature down when it senses you leave the home, and can be controlled from an app for on-the-go changes.

One downside of smart home technology? Energy drainage. But there’s even a “smart” solution for that. The Emporia Vue system helps homeowners monitor their energy usage through an app on their phone to reduce monthly costs and identify potential issues before they require major repairs.

Even as our lives become increasingly inseparable from technology, a home is much more than its futuristic appliances. If you’re looking for a home, working with an experienced professional is a smart move and I can help you with that. 

Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Posted courtesy of RE/MAX Blog

Recycling - It's Not What It Used To Be

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

So Where Did it All Start?

The first municipal recycling program began in 1972 in Pennsylvania by simply towing a small trailer behind a regular city garbage truck.

Now, some forty plus years later, over 1,200 million tons of trash are recycled every year just in the United States alone.

On the commercial side, Proctor & Gamble has achieved an 85% "zero waste" standard at their manufacturing facilities around the word, meaning only 15% of their industrial manufacturing waste is going to a landfill.

Some other interesting facts:

  • Approximately 68% of all paper products sold in the US are recycled.
  • Approximately 65% of the total waste stream is now recycled in the United States.
  • There has been a 100% increase in total recycling in the United States during the past 10 years alone.
  • There are over 8,500 curbside recycling programs in the United States.
  • It takes 95% LESS energy to recycle an aluminum can than it does to manufacture a new one
  • There are over 290 million scrap tires - each year - that are generated in the United States alone.

Some Weird - And Some Not-so-Weird - Things That Can Now Be Recycled

You'd never believe some of the things that can now be recycled.  Below is just a partial list of a few of the more interesting ones along with links to where you can get additional information.

Packing peanuts
Bras
Wine corks
Shoes
Water filters
Pet fur and other hair
Tennis balls
Eye glasses
Hearing aids
CD's
Prosthetic limbs

Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay 

 

Home: As American as Apple Pie

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

Happy Birthday, America!

In the spirit of celebrating the Fourth of July, we turned to famous Americans for their thoughts about home, homeownership and the feeling of sanctuary that comes with having your own place.

Private property was the original source of freedom.
Walter Lippmann

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.
Robert Frost

Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.
Charles M. Schulz

The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
Maya Angelou

I’d rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.
George Washington

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
Benjamin Franklin

There is nothing more important than a good, safe, secure home.
Rosalynn Carter

Where thou art, that is home.
Emily Dickinson

A man’s home may seem to be his castle on the outside; inside, it is more often his nursery.
Clare Boothe Luce

I told my mother-in-law that my house was her house, and she said, “Get the [bleep] off my property.”
Joan Rivers

Being a homeowner is different for everyone but my goal is to help you meet your dreams of homeownership in any way that I can. 

Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

New on the Market - 361 Clover Glen Court, Henderson

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

One story home with four bedrooms and two full baths and a two-car garage. The home sits on a corner lot in a community with no HOA. Brick pavers were added to lead you from the driveway to the front door. The great room is spacious and includes pot shelves and vaulted ceilings. The kitchen includes a dining area, plenty of cabinets for storage and a gas range among other appliances. The kitchen overlooks the back yard.

The master bedroom includes a ceiling fan, private bath with dual vanities and two walk-in closets. The fourth bedroom would make a great den with its opening to the great room. A shelf was added in the closet space to function as a computer desk. The laundry room includes a storage closet and shelf for extra storage. The washer and dryer will remain with the home.


A large covered patio is found on the back of the home. Low maintenance desert front yard and rear landscaping that has been freshly pruned. The home sits on a large lot with plenty of space for a pool if you wanted to add one. The property is found close to neighborhood parks, shopping and dining.

 

For more information or to see additional photos of the home, click here.

Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

 

New on the Market - 1966 Country Cove Court, Las Vegas

by Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipie

This property boasts a luxurious home with four bedrooms, three full baths and one half bath plus garage parking for three cars. Enter the home through the private courtyard entrance in the front. The entry features beautiful slate floors with a tile and marble inlay. Right off the entry is a nice room for an office or sitting room. French doors lead you to the private courtyard that includes a fireplace and jacuzzi.

The luxurious dining room is found off the other side of the entry and includes hardwood floors, shutters and a niche for your china cabinet. Iron scroll work on the stairs accompanies custom tile stairs to lead you to the second level. The living room offers a fireplace, TV niche and rich slate floors. The slate floors continue to the kitchen and breakfast area. The kitchen begins with a huge island featuring stainless steel appliances including a wine cooler, built-in refrigerator and an 8-burner range. The breakfast area is adjacent to the kitchen and has shutters and a bay window. The main level includes a bedroom with a door to the backyard and a full bath that is perfect for guests. The laundry room is on the main level and includes storage cabinets, a utility sink and comes with the washer and dryer.

The large master suite includes a sitting area, three-way fireplace, private balcony, large walk-in closet and luxurious master bath. Two bedrooms and a loft are found on the second level. The backyard offers a pool with lovely waterfalls and a spa plus amazing views. The home is located close to Downtown Summerlin for shopping and dining and sits on a beautiful golf course.

For more information or to see additional photos of the home, click here.

Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

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Contact Information

Photo of RE/MAX Central Realty Real Estate
RE/MAX Central Realty
Heidi and Michael Winston
8921 W Sahara Ave, Suite A
Las Vegas NV 89117
Heidi: 702-277-6599
Michael: 702-219-8692
Fax: 702-974-2288