Jada’s Blog

Design-it-yourself Decorative Fabric

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You want your home to reflect your personality, and one adventurous way to decorate it is by designing and printing your own fabric. As your own artist, you can personalize your home with unique colorways, designs and patterns for curtains, pillows, wall hangings, upholstery, or household items like table toppers, dish towels, pot holders and more.

ArtFabrics.com offers a way to you create your own design using their Pattern Lab. You can browse the site’s patterns or you can upload an image of your own, control how it repeats and the colors you prefer. At Zazzle.com, you may choose existing designs and modify colors, shapes and sizes of the prints to your needs. Spoonflower.com is a terrific source of artisan fabric if you prefer something original but don’t want to design it yourself.

Next, choose the fabric composition that you want – all cotton, linen, silks, polyesters and blends. The site will tell you which weaves and thicknesses are most appropriate for your project. You can order a sample book and feel the “hand” of the various samples to make your choice.

Digital printing on fabric is vivid and clear when it employs “reactive” rather than pigment printing methods. Reactive ink penetrates the fabric while pigment ink, a combination of color and glue adheres to the surface and is susceptible to fading, cracking and stiffness.

If you don’t know how to sew or reupholster a chair seat, look online for tutorials or you could hire someone to make your decorative items for you.

Don’t Trust Credit Reporting Agencies

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When you apply for a mortgage loan, or any credit, the lender relies on information that is supplied by lenders, landlords, government agencies, courts, and credit card companies to three credit reporting bureau, EquifaxExperian, and TransUnion. Numerical values are assigned to defaults and late payments, income-to-debt ratios, types of credit and other data. The values are compiled into credit scores which provide a snapshot of your credit worthiness to anyone authorized to make inquiries.

According to a 2021 investigation by ConsumerReports.org, more than one-third of 6,000 surveyed consumers found at least one mistake in their credit reports and nearly as many found incorrect personal information such as names and addresses while 11 percent found account information errors. These errors can cause your credit scores to fall, making you pay more in interest for loans and credit lines, or in the worst cases, being denied credit altogether.

What can you do? Get a three-bureau report and check for errors. One bureau may have accurate data while another can have incorrect or outdated information that can lower your credit scores. Sometimes, the incorrect data comes from the data furnisher – the lender, landlord, lien holder, etc. You’ll have to contact the data furnisher with proof of payment or release of lien or other evidence. Obtain a written statement of resolution to give to the credit bureau and to your mortgage lender via certified mail to make sure they get it.

Keep checking your credit at least once a year.

Buying Lifestyle Real Estate

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As you dream about how you’d like to live in your next home, you’re joining a growing cadre of homebuyers who value lifestyle over luxury and quality over quantity. The property you choose is paramount to having more comfort and convenience in your daily life.

For some, lifestyle is about displaying wealth, such as a big home in a pricey neighborhood. For others, it’s about location, like living on the beach or in a ski-in/ski-out mountain chalet. And for some, it’s about exclusivities, such as a guard-gated community or an over-55 master-planned development with golf, swimming, walking trails, and clubhouses.

Lifestyle is about having the time, space, and equipment to do the things you want to do. According to LuxuryActivist.com, time is the ultimate luxury. Your home should facilitate more time for family and friends, hobbies and interests, and healthy exercise.

When you shop for a home, look carefully at how space is allocated for each room and activity. Is the kitchen arranged comfortably for family meal preparation? Is there space for you and your partner to each have a home office? Can you also have a weight room, an art studio, or a media room? Your lifestyle may also prioritize sustainability through solar-power and xeriscaped lawns.

Your lifestyle should be free from compromise, like suffering a long daily commute to fund a dream home. Once you’ve moved, take the time to enjoy your home, play with your children, and watch glorious sunset views from your balcony.

Is Now the Time to Remodel?

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With today’s runaway inflation and rising interest rates, it may seem like a good idea to put your remodeling plans on hold. Or, maybe not.

According to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University,  remodeling expenditures are expected to cool down from 17.4 percent in 2022 to 10.1 percent by Q2-2023, citing steep slowdowns in homebuilding, retail sales of building materials, and renovation permits. While that may appear ominous, researchers say remodeling expenditures should reach $450 billion, well above the five percent historical average.

As existing and new home sales decelerate, so will the need for contractors and materials. BusinessInsider.com reports that lumber prices are already down to $604.50 per thousand board feet in July 2022, falling 47% year-to-date, and 65% off from the 2021 high of $1,733 per thousand board feet. Inventories are starting to pile up at both sawmills and home improvement stores, making contractors more affordable and available. As the cost to build declines, inflationary pressures on the housing market should subside.

But as long as overall inflation is still a problem, the Federal Reserve will keep raising overnight borrowing rates to banks, increasing the likelihood of a recession. Economists polled by Bloomberg.com say that over the next 12 months, a mild, brief recession is 47.5% likely.

If you decide to remodel, it’s wise to stay in your home for at least five years to comfortably weather any housing market volatility.

National Luxury Market Report for September 2022

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As we move into the fall season, we review some new opportunities and trends that homeowners and investors should consider during their property search. This month we review the return of a more normal pace in the luxury real estate market but explain why calling it a buyer’s market might be too soon. 

Homebuyers Catch a Break

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If you’ve been discouraged about buying a home because the housing market is too competitive, you’ll like the latest 2022 forecast update from Realtor.com.

Inflation, higher home prices and higher mortgage rates are impacting affordability, which caused many homebuyers to move to the sidelines. In April 2022, existing home sales dropped 2.4% from March, and 5.9% year-over-year, partly due to mortgage interest rates crossing 5% for the first time in decades. Meanwhile, home prices in April rose 14.8%.

Home sellers are responding by putting more homes on the market in an effort to cash in before prices possibly begin to fall. Active listings, or homes listed for sale, are anticipated to grow 15% year-over-year in the second half of 2022. Home builders are stepping up production, too by about 5%, so buyers will have more inventory to choose from. Home sellers will have to become more competitive which will invite wait-and-see homebuyers back into the market. Housing sales volume for 2022 should be the second-highest in 15 years, even though a decline of 6.7% from 2021 is anticipated.

With unemployment rate near 50-year lows, wage growth should rise 3.8%, and flexibility to work remotely, even out of state, will continue. First quarter data showed that 40.5% of Realtor.com® home shoppers viewed listings located outside of their current state, up from 33.4% in 2020.

That said, affordability will remain an issue for many homebuyers as home sales prices rise 6.6% and mortgage rates reach above 5.5% by the end of the year.