What to Expect from 2022's Housing Market

The Michigan real estate market is no exception, especially after such an unpredictable year that 2021 was. Of course, no one can predict with 100% accuracy what is to come this year. However, we can make some guesses based-off the information that realtors all over provide. Remember, housing market predictions can only give you an idea of what to expect if you buy or sell a house this year. Don’t let them dictate your housing decisions – only your personal situation and finances should do that.

Housing Market Forecast

Experts are predicting that after 2021 there will be a post-pandemic rebound in 2021. This would involve steady mortgage rates, job recoveries, and the law of supply and demand working together to get home sales rolling. In 2020, there were so many unknowns of the pandemic that caused many home buyers and sellers to feel uneasy about making the big move. However, this time has allowed real estate agents to adapt to the ways they can respect social distancing guidelines when needed.

Due to the low inventory on the market and the excessive number of buyers trying to enter it, experts believe that low mortgage rates and the rise of remote workers with flexible schedules will keep home sales booming in 2021. Home sales and the prices for which they are sold are likely to be higher in 2021 as opposed to last year.

Several Buyers will Enter the Market

Buyer traffic in the market has been consistently stable over the past few months. Often time there are more buyers than sellers which has created a very competitive market to be in. This is a great sign for sellers. Millennials are also reaching the point in their life where they are having to make the decision of continuing to rent or becoming a homeowner. Due to rent prices rising it is becoming increasingly affordable for them to choose taking on a mortgage payment.

Not Enough Homes will be Listed for Sale

Experts predict that low inventory will continue throughout the year, which will make it a great time for sellers. This trend will result in homes selling quicker at a higher price. Therefore, it is more important than ever for buyers to have a real estate agent they can trust to get them the quickest access to homes one they’re on the market. Buyers will have to work a little harder to find their dream home.

What Does This Mean for Home Buyers?

If the experts are right it is going to be a very competitive market this year, so buyers are going to have to bring their A game when they are ready to start looking for a home. In order to make sure that you are prepared for the heavy competition as a buyer make sure that you have a pre-approval ready when you start looking at homes and a real estate agent that you can trust!

What Does This Mean for Home Sellers?

With many motivated buyers on the market and the existing low inventory this will create the perfect opportunity for sellers to get multiple high-priced offers on their homes. Due to this low inventory, there will also be a low number of sellers for you to compete with. We have no doubt that a trusted real estate agent will be able to provide you with the knowledge and experience in your market and will be able to guide you to reach top dollar for your home. As a seller in 2022 you should have no problem selling your home!

March 16, 2023

Trellising 101

Trellising 101

Growing a garden is the ultimate act of faith. After all, you never know if your plants will thrive or if they will cease to be long before reaching their full potential. Hopefully, with diligent care, and a little luck, your plants will grow big, strong, and glorious. When it comes to growing climbing plants (often referred to as “vines,” “climbers,” or “lianas”), two of the most important parts of their success are having the right kinds of things to climb and the right help to get started on their way up.


What Is a Climbing Plant?

The term “climbing plant” is kind of a giant catch-all term that includes a range of plants with long, flexible stems, and some mechanism that allows them to reach great heights in their native environments. However, some climbing plants will also just become shrubs if they have nothing to climb, and others will climb for a while, then set roots where they land before shedding their climbing tools all together.

But in most cases, when people think of climbing plants, they think of plants that are vining. These plants climb over structures and other plants using several different mechanisms. This can include stems that twist around supports, leaves that twist around objects or one another, curly tendrils that wrap around supports, long roots that help them cling to solid surfaces, or hooks like thorns that help them move upward.

Although it’s common to see vines sold as ornamentals, there are also a number of climbing plants that are part of the vegetable garden. For example, cucumbers and tomatoes are both vining plants, which makes them perfect for vertical gardening.


Trellising Vining Plants

Climbing plants can be easy to grow, if you give them appropriate things to climb and help them get a foothold when needed. Trellising a plant isn’t difficult, but choosing the right trellis can be sometimes. Not every plant will respond to every trellis, so it’s very important to consider the method by which your plant climbs before choosing a trellis for it.

For example, if your plant climbs with tendrils, it will do best with a wire trellis with frequent horizontal cross pieces. Because it needs to be able to reach up and wrap the tendrils around something substantial but narrow, the thick, flat trellises can be difficult for this type of vine to climb. On the other hand, if you’re trying to grow something that uses its roots to climb, like Virginia creeper, you need those trellises with the wide, flat components. It’s very difficult for this kind of plant to climb up narrow trellis material because it has to have some significant space and texture to allow it to really grab on with its roots.

So, whether you choose your trellis first (maybe you already have one in mind) or you choose your plant first, they need to be compatible. For many climbing plants, something as simple as mesh fencing can make a magnificent trellis.


How to Train Your Vines

Training vines to their appropriate trellises is surprisingly simple most of the time. As long as your trellis is close enough to the ground that your vine can reach it quickly in its growing process, often all you have to do is wait and let the plant do its own thing. If your plant is a bit more resistant, that’s ok, there are ways to encourage it to grow up.

A common technique for training vines onto a trellis is simply to wait for it to grow long enough for you to start winding it through the trellis material. Be very gentle, as you’ll need those delicate growing tips to remain undamaged, but loosely weaving it through the trellis as it grows will help it establish a framework for where it should be hanging out, so to speak.

With vines that need to attach to flat areas using their roots, you may be able to tie them on loosely until the root has firmly secured the plant. Use a cloth tie if at all possible to reduce the risk of damage to your plant. Before you know it, you’ll be able to untie the plant and let it get on with growing.


Still Need Help Moving Your Plants Up?

If your vining plants are still giving you trouble, or you simply don’t know which vine is right for your really magnificent arbor, it may be time to consult a landscaper or other plant expert. We can help you find a pro perfect for you. 

Posted in Home Maintenance
March 3, 2023

Reasons To Put Your Furnace In The Attic Or Crawl Space

Reasons Why Furnace is in the Attic or Crawl Space

Though it’s not as common as traditional furnace setups, some homes feature a furnace that’s installed in either the attic of the house or in a crawl space. It might seem at first that this would be inconvenient compared to standard furnace locations, and in some ways it can be. There are some advantages to having an attic-mounted furnace or a furnace in the crawl space, however. If you’re thinking of buying a home (or recently bought one) that makes use of one of these alternate furnace locations, it was probably done to take advantage of one or more of these factors.



With that said, you may have some questions about your furnace and how to maintain it. First, the good news: A lot of your maintenance will be about the same as you would have with a more traditionally located furnace. There are a few specific things that you may be wondering about, though, so here are some things that you should know about using and maintaining these furnaces.


Filtration and Air Flow

Most of the time, when people get nervous about a furnace that’s mounted in the attic or crawl space it’s because they think they’ll have to venture up there every time a filter needs to be changed. For the most part, airflow with an attic-mounted furnace or one that’s in the crawl space will be pretty much the same as a more traditional furnace setup. The thermostat is still on the wall, there are still vents in every room, and the air return is still inside the main house. This means that maintenance tasks like changing out your air filter will be pretty much the same as it would be for any other furnace, as the filter is placed in the air return.


Attic and Crawl Space Advantages

As mentioned before, there are a few advantages to placing a furnace in the attic or a crawl space. Some of these, such as a possibly reduced installation cost, will only affect the homeowner who installed the furnace in the first place. Even if you bought a home that already had a furnace installed in the attic or crawl space, though, there are still advantages that you can enjoy.

One of the biggest is that this installation type frees up space in the home that would otherwise be taken up by furnace equipment. If that doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, think about what you could do with an extra closet or a little bit of additional storage space that’s convenient to rooms like the kitchen. Depending on the layout of your house, an alternate location for your furnace could also simplify the ductwork layout and make checking for damage or other ductwork issues much easier.


Accessing the Furnace

There may be a few times when the location of your furnace becomes inconvenient, such as if your pilot light goes out and you actually have to venture into the attic or crawl space to relight it. In most cases the pilot light will be situated to make it convenient to access, but you still have to get to the furnace unit, which can be annoying at least. Bigger issues may arise if you run afoul of actual hardware issues, as the more enclosed space and slightly different layout of the furnace can make some forms of maintenance more difficult.

In these cases, it’s best to call an HVAC pro for any maintenance beyond the basics. They’ll have a better understanding of how the furnace is laid out and just the tools that they need to fix it even in a tighter space.


Posted in Home Maintenance
Feb. 27, 2023

Tips for success with your gardening

Tips For Success With Your Gardening

Having a garden is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while also getting some delicious fresh-grown fruits and vegetables for your meals. The thing is, if you’ve never maintained a garden before then you might not realize just how much work goes into it as well. You need to consider the type of soil you have, the amount of sunlight your plants receive, how often different plants need water… you even have to think about what sort of things to plant and when to plant them! For newcomers to gardening, it can be pretty overwhelming.



That doesn’t mean that it’s not worth doing, of course. You just need to be sure to garden smarter, not harder. A lot of work goes into a successful garden, and a decent portion of that work involves figuring out how to maintain your garden and what you should avoid. While we can’t cover every possibility here, the following tips should put you on the path to garden success.


Planning Your Garden

A lot of planning goes into a successful garden. You need to take the time to choose a spot for your garden, plan out a plot with enough room for all your plants to thrive, and ensure that you have easy access to water (or some other plan in place to get water to the garden) so that your growing plants don’t have to rely on unpredictable rain to get the water that they need. To avoid flooding, you’ll need a mostly flat area, with soil that drains well, that isn’t located in a low-lying area. An area that gets sun at least 8 hours per day is also important for a lot of garden plants.

Once you have a space picked out, you can avoid a lot of problems by testing the soil’s pH with a soil testing kit. Most vegetables grow best in soil with a pH between 6.5 and 6.8, so if your soil falls outside of this, you’ll need to amend it to adjust the pH. This can be done by adding things such as lime, wood ash, or commercial soil adjustment mixes, and tilling them into the top 6 inches of soil. Follow instructions on the packaging and test your soil again, making additional amendments as needed until it falls within the desired pH range.


Know What to Grow

After picking a good garden site and prepping the soil, the next key to success is picking the right plants for your garden. Consult a planting zone chart to see which zone you live in, then make your selections based on plants that thrive in your zone. You should also pay attention to the growing conditions that your plants prefer; while many plants like full sun, some may prefer partial shade. To accommodate that, you may have to set up a small barrier or other source of shade to block the sun for part of the day.

One last thing to keep in mind is that the planting and growing requirements for different plants can be significantly different. Some need to be planted shallow, while others do best when planted deep. Some can be crowded and thinned later, while other plants need a lot of room from the start. To get the best possible harvest from your garden, follow the planting instructions for your different plants as closely as possible. If there are notes about the plants needing supports or climbing structures, you should accommodate that from the beginning as well.


Get the Help You Need

Even with planning and research, it’s still possible to end up feeling overwhelmed when trying to start a garden. Fortunately, there are landscaping and gardening pros out there who can help. Whether you need to set up raised beds, choose the right plants for your planting zone, or just get a little extra help managing what grows best in sun and shade, a great Realtor can connect you with the pros in your area that know exactly what you need. 

Posted in Home Maintenance
Feb. 20, 2023

Garage Door Options



Garage doors might not seem like they make much of a difference, but imagine what your home would look like if you just had a flat door where your current garage door stands. Because they take up so much real estate on the front of most homes, garage doors can actually have a huge impact on the way your home looks and feels. So, what do you want your house to say today?


Garage Door Options

Here are some current garage door trends that could speak volumes:

  • Bright Colors. There was a time when garage doors came in muted neutral colors and whites, and absolutely nothing else. Thankfully, those times are in the rearview mirror and we’re living in a far more enlightened – and vibrant – age. Bright colors can help enhance especially interesting woodwork on garage doors, complement homes with a lot of color, like Spanish styles or Victorians, or make fancy hardware pop like nothing else. Be careful with bright colors, though, because there is such a thing as too much; you can end up overwhelming the rest of your home if you don’t use them with caution. White trim on a brightly colored garage door, for example, can help contain the energy if you need to tone it down a bit.
  • Sleek Industrial Lines. There’s something about clean, sharp lines that can turn a modern house into an ultra modern one. Those industrial lines are still a hot commodity, as are glass panels in nearly invisible aluminum frames. The look isn’t right for every home, but an industrial garage door can be an incredibly flexible design element, especially when placed against square-cut stone, dark colored shiplap, or natural wood siding.
  • Country Cottage Styling. The whole country cottage meets industrial hardware look has really had some staying power. Not only does it give a big helping of nostalgia to a lot of people, it also makes it easier to blend more modern elements into older homes that may have been seriously deprived of any sense of self by excessively generic remodels of the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. It may come as no surprise, then, that garage doors that are designed to echo the same look are also super popular. Choose carriage house doors or doors that resemble barn doors for an industrial cottage look beyond the interior of your home. Pairing these garage options with Dutch lap siding or irregular stone or brickwork can really make both the doors and the house pop.
  • Natural Wood. Sure, natural wood doors have been available for some time, but never in anywhere near as many designs or tones. Look for solid wood doors for a lot of rustic flare, or choose a synthetic wood door for a modern home to give it a little more earthy feel without all the maintenance. Your industrial homestead can really make a statement with wooden garage doors made from horizontal strips in different wooden tones.
  • Asymmetry. Mid-century modern homes are gaining a lot of popularity these days, but until recently there wasn’t a great garage door complement for them. Say hello to the asymmetrical door. With garage windows on one side rather than across the top, these unusual statement doors are perfectly paired with other square and rectangular outdoor elements, just like what you’d find on a vintage MCM ranch style home. Those side windows still let in a lot of light, while allowing a great deal of security and privacy inside your garage. It’s kind of the whole package.


Posted in Home Maintenance
Feb. 7, 2023

Maintaining your Home Style


Maintaining Your Homes Style

Home remodels offer an opportunity to change the look and feel of your home. This can be great if you live in an older home with outdated fixtures and other hardware. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t take the time to match their remodel to their house and end up with a look that’s a bit less than optimal. The remodel won’t necessarily look bad, but it may be unsatisfactory because it doesn’t quite match the architecture and style of the house itself.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to redo everything in its original style when remodeling your home. That would all be rather boring, wouldn’t it? You simply need to make sure that you fully take your home into account when designing your remodel. This is easier than you might think, once you know what to plan for.


What Style Is Your Home?

Before you can plan out a remodel based on the style of your home, you need to figure out exactly what that style is. There are a lot of possibilities out there, ranging from Victorian and Colonial designs to Craftsman homes, Ranch homes and other more modern styles. You may already know which architecture style your house was built in, either from existing architecture knowledge or discussions with your Realtor before buying the property. If you aren’t sure, though, there are a number of resources that can help you find out. You can research home styles online, talk to fans of different architectural styles or even look at the original listing for your home if you have a copy. Regardless of how you find out, learning about your home’s architectural style is the first step to accenting it with your remodel.


Learning Your Style

Once you know your home’s style, take the time to learn a bit about it. Learn the key points of the architecture, distinguishing features and everything else that makes it stand out from similar home designs. If there are fixtures, doors, windows or other home features that are commonly associated with your home style, you should learn what those are as well. This may seem like a lot of work, but the details about your home style that you learn now will go a long way toward helping you design a remodel plan that really accentuates the best things about your home.


Adapting Your Style

Once you have a good idea of what works with your home’s architectural style, it’s time to start planning your remodel to work with that idea. You can look for fixtures that are similar to more traditional offerings but that better match your personal taste, or for example select a traditional door but opt to paint it in a color that will go better with your new siding choices. Your goal should be to find a balance between more traditional offerings for your home style and your personal decorating preferences. That way, the choices you make will fit in beautifully with the overall design of your home and its existing accents.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean everything has to match perfectly, either. There is a lot of room for you to express yourself through choices that might otherwise clash with your home style, using that disparity to draw attention either to your choice or to the design of the home itself. There are many options available to you, and because you know what’s expected for homes like yours you are free to go with the traditional or to shake things up as you see fit.


Perfecting Your Style

If you want to find a style that’s a perfect match for your home but aren’t quite sure what works best, it may be time to call in a pro. Whether you need a contractor to bring it all together or a designer or decorator to make sure everything works with your architecture.

Posted in Home Maintenance
Jan. 30, 2023

Smart Homes

Smart Homes

There’s been quite a bit of hype about smart homes in recent years. These aren’t the top-to-bottom smart homes that were envisioned by science fiction for years, of course. Those were houses that had a central artificial intelligence that controlled everything and inevitably went rogue at some point. Instead, modern smart homes are usually traditional homes just like the one that you live in. They’ve simply been enhanced with sensors and devices and the occasional digital assistant.

Some people are thrilled with how technology is changing the way we interact with our home environment. Others aren’t quite so happy with the direction that this trend is heading. Love them or hate them, though – there’s one thing that you need to accept: The smart home isn’t going away.


What makes a smart home?

A smart home is one that has a variety of sensors and controls within it that give you additional information or functionality when it comes to your home. This can range from information like whether you left the front door unlocked or what the temperature is in your living room to functions such as controlling your lights with your voice. Some smart homes use a central hub or device to control everything, while others use components that connect via wifi and are controlled by your phone. Some smart homes feature appliances or other major fixtures that have “smart” capabilities while others just use devices or sensors to make day-to-day life more convenient. Because of the device-based nature of modern smart homes, homeowners can choose exactly the components they want to help make the smart home installation meet their specific needs.


Smart home devices

There are a wide range of smart home devices available for homeowners. Some of these are fairly well known, such as smart thermostats that feature programmable temperature controls that “learn” how best to keep you comfortable. Others are less common but very handy, such as leak sensors that alert you when your pipes leak or window sensors that let you check to see whether your windows or locked or unlocked. You can get smart lighting that can be controlled remotely and can even change colors, smart locks that you can lock and unlock with your phone or a key fob, smart smoke and CO2 detectors, motion sensors that activate security cameras but that are able to ignore pets and small animals… the list is quite extensive. Most of these devices are programmable so you can automate specific tasks, or can at least be paired with things such as a digital assistant (like Amazon Echo devices or Google Home) to schedule automation and even voice control.


Safety and Privacy

There are a number of advantages to using smart devices, including saving money and increasing convenience in your daily life. However, some people have security and privacy concerns as well. Some smart devices have been exploited in the past, allowing hackers to listen in or speak through the devices to people in a smart home. Some devices featuring video also raise security concerns as people worry that others will be able to record them going throughout their day. While these are valid concerns, security breaches and flaws are taken seriously by manufacturers. The majority of cases where unwanted access has occurred were either due to flaws that have since been patched or due to someone gaining access to the password that secures the devices. This is why it’s important for those who buy smart devices to use strong passwords on their accounts and to make sure that their devices have up-to-date software, as these two actions will mitigate the majority of security concerns.


Get smart

Whether you already have smart home devices installed or you’re just curious, there are installers and consultants who can help you determine exactly how your home could be a little smarter. 

Posted in Home Maintenance
Jan. 23, 2023

Housing Investments That Have The Worst Returns

Housing Investments that have the worst Returns


All over the internet there are articles about home renovations that will offer you the best return, But rarely are there articles that point out what renovations will just become a black hole for your money. When you first bought your home there were probably a few things you wanted to fix up as soon as possible. Of course you want to make your house your own as much as you can, but if you plan on selling in the future you probably shouldn't take the personalization too far. keep in mind that most buyers will accept some level of personalization as long as it's not on a crazy level. However, make sure that you also remember that even the most thoughtful and beautiful renovations are going to cost more that they will ever be worth. Remodeling Magazine has been tracking the average costs of the 21 most popular projects since 2002 and the value the returned. Based on national average, here are a few that turned out to be the worst investments.


Mid-Range Bathroom Remodel Estimated Return: 57%-64%

Although it is an amazing experience to own a home with a beautiful bathroom with the large glass showers or the big bathtubs, you can't take that stuff with you when you move. This investment will only return you about half of the money that you put in, leaving you with less in the long run. A mid-range bathroom remodel will return you more of your initial investment than an upscale remodel. So if you are thinking of remodeling your bathroom and want the best return you can get, stick with the mid-range remodel to save both time and money.


Upscale Master Suite Addition. Cost: $256,229. Return: $123,797 (48.3%)

Upgrading to a new master suite is a costly home renovation, but the return will leave you losing almost 50% of your money in the long run. one of those things that you may find you use extensively, but shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars for one may be a sign you’re not ready to give up on your existing home after all.


Midrange Backyard Patio. Cost: $54,130. Return: $25,769 (47.6%)

Generally speaking, outdoor-facing projects tend to return better because they increase the overall curb appeal of a home. And even though midrange wooden deck additions return 82.8% and midrange composite deck additions return 63.6%, the backyard patio is the single worst return on your home renovation dollars in 2018. This may be due, in part, to the fact that it adds nothing to curb appeal and is almost assumed to be the norm in most markets.


When It Comes to Home Renovation Projects, Think Small

The key to better returns on home renovation is to think small. Replace that ugly light fixture in your foyer, swap the vinyl flooring in your entry for tile. A home that is neat, clean and well-lit will always sell better than one that has something a bit quirky about it, no matter how much it cost to install.

Posted in Real Estate News
Jan. 19, 2023

Slowing Prices

Housing News 

What's Ahead for Home Buyers In 2023?

The beginning of a new year always brings with it a sense that change is on the way. This year will not be the same as last year. Things will be different. But how? Well, if you are a prospective home buyer, one recent forecast has some ideas. Released by a popular online real-estate portal, the forecast says 2023 should be an easier year for buyers, after two years of rapidly changing affordability conditions. Put simply, the housing market should begin to stabilize.


Home price increases have slowed, and values are expected to remain flat in 2023. Prices may even fall slightly in markets where they skyrocketed over the past two years. Similarly, mortgage rates, after spiking in 2022, may also begin to calm – especially if inflation and labor market tightness continue to ease. With rates and prices more stable, home buyers should have an easier time determining how much they can afford and what to expect when house shopping this year.


Finance News

Home Price Appreciation Slows Year Over Year

Home prices have been climbing for a long time. In fact, prices began increasing just a few years after the housing crash in 2008. But according to a new analysis from the American Enterprise Institute's Housing Center, the price boom that began over 10 years ago may have finally ended. The analysis found that home price appreciation was up 6.7 percent year-over-year in November. That is a smaller increase than in October when prices were up 8.6 percent year-over-year. It is also much lower than in March 2022 when prices were 18.3 percent higher than year-before levels.


In other words, home prices have softened significantly from their post-pandemic peak reached last spring. How much they have softened, though, depends on several factors. Location is one. For example, homes on the west coast have seen sharper declines than other areas of the country. It also depends on the price tier, with high-end homes seeing bigger declines than more affordable homes.


Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Increase to End 2022

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates increased during the final two weeks of 2022, with rates up for a few fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration and 5/1 ARMs. Higher rates – combined with the holiday season – led to a drop in demand for mortgage applications.


Joel Kan, MBA's vice president and deputy chief economist, says home purchase activity has slowed. “Purchase applications have been impacted by slowing home sales in both the new and existing segments of the market,” Kan said. “Even as home-price growth slows in many parts of the country, elevated mortgage rates continue to put a strain on affordability and are keeping prospective home buyers out of the market.” Demand for home purchase loans fell 12.2 percent over the past two weeks compared with two weeks prior. The MBA's weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications.


Economic News

Loan Change Affects High-End Home Shoppers

If you are shopping for a home over a certain price, you may need to get a jumbo loan. Jumbo loans cover larger loan balances and often have stricter standards, including requiring a higher credit score and a bigger down payment. But what is the amount over which you will need a jumbo loan? Well, it changes.


At the end of 2022, it was $647,200. Any loan balance below that was considered conforming and balances above that required a jumbo loan. But the Federal Housing Finance Agency – the agency that sets conforming loan limits – recently announced the limits were rising, including to over $1 million in some high-cost markets. The change, according to one analysis, means more than two million homes across the country can now be purchased using a more accessible financing option, potentially opening additional inventory for some high-end home shoppers.

Posted in Real Estate News
Jan. 13, 2023

Whole home generators

Whole Home Generators

There’s little more frightening than losing your electricity in the middle of a big winter storm or even a spring tornado. Whatever natural disaster is common in your area, you have probably experienced at least one major disaster in your life. Because of that, you may tend to linger around the generators at your favorite home improvement store when bad weather season starts.

Is this the year you’ll finally install a whole-home generator? Before you swipe that card, take a look at these must-know things about choosing a whole home generator.

A Generator Can Be An Investment In Your Home

You probably know that in some areas you can get tax credits for installing efficient whole-home generators, but what you may not realize is that a permanently installed generator can also increase your home’s value. According to Consumer Reports, a three to five percent increase in appraised value after a generator is installed isn’t uncommon.

But, you can’t just stick any old generator in the yard and call it a home improvement. The generator you choose will be part of your home’s electrical system for the foreseeable future, so it has to be able to do the job you need it to do. Here are seven things to keep in mind while you’re shopping:

  1. Generators are far from universal in size. You should make a list of the items you intend to keep turned on while you’re running on generator power before you start to shop. Appliances, HVAC systems, hot water heaters and even light bulbs add up when you’re talking about an entire home. Although your appliances may differ in their power consumption, in general, refrigerators use about 600 watts of electricity, your lights can soak up to 600 watts, even your computer may need 300 watts to stay running.
  2. Portable generators can be an inexpensive alternative. If you’re only hoping to keep a few lights on and maybe a small refrigerator running during a power outage, you might be able to limp along with a portable generator. These smaller units can be loud and require lots of manual intervention, including refilling their fuel tanks multiple times during prolonged use, but can push out 3,000 to 8,500 watts reliably for under $1,000.
  3. Generators run on different types of fuel. Those portable generators almost exclusively run on either gasoline or kerosine, though some can be converted to run on propane or natural gas with a special kit. A whole house generator connects to a gas line by default, be that propane or natural gas. Depending on where you live and what your utility supplies, you’ll want to choose one that matches your fuel supply. If you live in a rural area, you may have to rely on your propane tank to run your generator, keep it full through the toughest weather of the year.
  4. Regular maintenance on generators includes running them frequently throughout the year to ensure that there isn’t an unplanned problem when an emergency does crop up. Some whole home generators have an automatic maintenance cycle, allowing you to ignore them most of the time. However, these auto-run cycles can be very noisy, so you’ll want to consider the decibel level of the generator you choose.
  5. You’ll need a transfer switch, but there are several options. Transfer switches are electrical devices that allow you to change the power source that runs your home from the utility grid to your home generator. There are many different types, rated both by amps and switching type. Manual switches are less expensive, but require you to make the connection in all kinds of weather, automatic switches will flip on the generator when they detect a lack of power from the grid.
  6. Older homes may need electrical panel upgrades. Even homes that aren’t considered antiques can have very limited electrical systems that aren’t compatible with a large transfer switch. If you want to use, say, a 200 amp transfer switch and your house will only support 100 amps, either your system needs to be upgraded or your generator transfer switch will need to be downgraded.
  7. It needs to be installed by a professional. There are people who have installed their own whole home generators, but because of local building codes and the general difficulty of the project, this is not something that’s generally encouraged. You’ll be tapping into gas lines, electrical systems and you’ll need to place the unit a very specific distance from combustible materials and above areas that may flood.

Don’t Spend One More Season Without Power

Storms can blow in fast and ice will bring power lines to the ground, but you don’t have to worry with a whole home generator that’s properly sized for your house and carefully installed. You never know who might come out when you have the guy working for the home improvement store do the job.

Posted in Home Maintenance
Jan. 6, 2023

2023 Real Estate National News & Forecast

2023 Real Estate News & Forecast 


Home Prices 

While the 22.8% increase in listings should be good news for buyers, it's mostly due to homes taking longer to sell due to tighter affordability. In 2023, the national annual median price for homes for sale is projected to rise by another 5.4%, which is less than half the pace seen in 2022.


A good time to buy?

Home prices flattening. After big gains in the past three years, home prices are expected to stay flat. The National Association of Realtors, or NAR, predicts median existing home prices will rise just 0.3% in 2023 — a stark contrast from the 9.6% year-over-year increase in 2022 and eye-popping 18.2% jump in 2021.


Home Sales will Slide 

In 2020 and 2021, record low interest rates, double-digit home price increases, low inventory and bidding wars galore had buyers in a frenzy. This year, skyrocketing mortgage rates, rising monthly payments and loss of buying power have brought the market to a near standstill. The determining factors of just how much sales will fall include what happens with mortgage rates, housing supply and overall economic conditions. Other factors like the strength of the job market, wage growth and consumer confidence could also mitigate the sales slowdown.


Mortgage Rates are likely to pull back

High mortgage rates combined with high home prices have made a home purchase much less affordable this year as monthly payments increased by more than 50%. Any improvement in rates is welcome news to weary buyers. Our experts believe that mortgage rates will likely remain relatively high during the few months of the year but then edge lower and stabilize, with rates falling below 6% by the end of the year.


Home Prices will level off

Forecasts range from prices falling 4% to a price increase of more than 5%. The only near certainty is that there won’t be the double-digit price increases that have been the hallmark of the pandemic market. We believe low inventory will keep home prices from falling too far. 


Inventory will remain tight

One of the biggest causes of skyrocketing home prices was lack of housing supply.  Next year will see an improvement, but inventory will remain below normal levels. Currently, there is an equivalent of 3.3 months' supply of existing homes available for sale, according to NAR. Inventory is expected to increase by nearly 23% in 2023. The pace of sales has slowed considerably from the days when most sellers made deals in a week or less. We beleive the average time on the market doubling from 11 days in 2022 to 22 days next year, which will allow the housing supply to build up. Buyers and sellers could return as 2023 progresses, especially if mortgage rates move lower. Still, even as supply improves, the number of homes on the market will remain below pre-pandemic levels. Though it may feel like there are more homes for buyers to choose from, inventory will remain tight.


There will be more variability between markets 

“Hot” was the most common word used to describe the majority of real estate markets as recently as the first few months of 2022. That will no longer be the case going into 2023, as different metros will start to see differences in demand. However, there will be markets, particularly in the South and Midwest, that remain very much in demand and could see home prices increasing throughout the year.


Posted in Real Estate News