AUGUST 2021 | WHAT’S IN THIS ISSUE?
» Don’t get scared off by these 8 common house problems
» We may finally be reaching this seller’s market peak
» Best cities for state fair enthusiasts
All about disclosures
When house hunting, it’s hard to see past flaws. However, there are lots of minor repairs and aesthetic fixes that should never keep you from buying an otherwise perfect home. If you love the neighborhood, the style, the size and the backyard, don’t let these eight easy fixes get in your way.
- Damaged window screens. If the screens have small tears, simply bond the edges together with clear nail polish. If they’re completely shot, pick up a DIY window screen repair kit for fast, inexpensive replacement.
- Ugly caulking. If the caulking around the tub, toilet or other fixtures is nasty, don’t worry. With caulk remover, a putty knife and a caulking gun, you can make your bathroom look brand new in an afternoon.
- Holes in the wall. Holes up to the size of your palm can be easily (and cheaply!) fixed with spackle. To blend the repair, use a sanding sponge and a fresh coat of paint.
- Old, sticky drawers. Older wooden drawers often stick and squeak, but a quick coat of household paraffin wax along the slides is all you need to fix the problem.
- Bad wall colors. As overwhelming as a bad paint color can be, never forget it’s one of the simplest fixes. One person can repaint an entire room in a day.
- Missing smoke or carbon monoxide alarms. These alarms are inexpensive, easy to find and very easy to install on your own.
- Outdated appliances. Replacing old appliances with new ones is an easy (if a bit expensive) process. Don’t let bad appliances turn you off from a great house, especially if it’s under budget.
- Boring or patchy landscaping. When the yard is plain or patchy, you can easily create your own garden beds, add plants and apply lawn treatments to fix things up.
It’s easy to feel nervous about buying a house that needs work. But when the fix is quick, inexpensive and straightforward, you shouldn’t let it scare you off from your dream house.
We may finally be reaching this seller’s market peak
With houses flying off the market, bidding wars, and supply shortages pausing new construction, house shopping can’t get much crazier. For months, there’s been no sign of things easing up. But now, at long last, there are some signs of calmer days ahead.
By the numbers
Median home prices remain at a record high, and inventory continues to be low nationally. So buyers currently in the middle of a house hunt aren’t feeling much relief yet. However, other numbers are looking a little less white hot.
Since peaking in January, the number of existing home sales has been falling over the past four months. At the same time, data from Redfin shows that housing inventory across six major metro areas has stabilized, albeit at the previously mentioned low levels. Their data also indicates more sellers are lowering their price, a good sign that demand is genuinely beginning to slow.
Still a ways to go
Even if we have passed the peak of this market boom, some experts don’t foresee a quick decline. The return to normal is likely to come slowly over the next year or more. So if you’re holding out for significantly lower house prices, you’re going to have to be patient.
Best cities for state fair enthusiasts
Want to live close to the party? These cities are home to the biggest state fairs in the U.S.:
1. Syracuse, NY – 1.2 million visitors
2. West Springfield, MA – 1.5 million visitors
3. St. Paul, MN – 2 million visitors
4. Dallas, TX – 2.25 million visitors