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2018 Real Estate Review for Central Indiana

Posted by admin under Real Estate

As another year wraps up, we’re taking a look at how Central Indiana has handled the ever-changing real estate market. A couple trends around the Circle City have stood out, but what does that mean for 2019? By reflecting on the past, we’ll have a better understand on where the new year might take us!

 

A Year of Low Inventory in Real Estate

 

Across the country, inventory shortages have proven to be a new norm in 2018. Just in the first six months, the number of homes for sale was 18.2 percent lower than in the first half of 2015, according to an article from Realtor.com. This decline has led to more bidding wars, higher prices, and lower selection for buyers across the board. But that hasn’t been bad news for sellers.

 

The drop in real estate inventory has proven to be even more true for the Indianapolis area. The changes here have been even more dramatic than in other parts of the country. In just three years, we’ve seen inventory decrease by 49.6 percent. That’s a pretty significant shift! And compared to the coasts, pricing around Indy is still more affordable. The growing economy might see an influx of new buyers coming in from out of state, as well as more people staying put. Without enough property to go around, we’ll probably see home prices continue to rise.

 

Faster Home Sales around Indianapolis

 

We’ve also seen faster home sales this year in Central Indiana. One article from May 2018 described this frenzied market in a straight-forward way: “A house goes on the market, you get a bunch of showings right away and there’s multiple offers.” This has been a sweet setup for sellers, but the fierce competition makes the house hunt that much harder for buyers. Whereas homes would stay on the market for months in the past, in 2018 some were sold just hours after getting listed.

 

Of course, not every sale this year happened in one day. According to Trulia’s June numbers, Marion County saw homes on the market for 46 days on average. In Hamilton County, the average was 55 days. These shorter timeframes for listings has also been reflected in price range. Marion County saw an 8.9 percent increase in the average sale price this summer. But even if prices are going up, buyers don’t seem to mind. Although new construction has been happening all over the area, there’s still a high demand for homes. This puts the spotlight on existing homes. Buyers are willing to pay for the features they want most—wherever they can find them.

 

Looking Ahead for the 2019 Market

 

So long as you have a great team on your side for listing and staging your home, you should expect to see more great outcomes with the 2019 market. According to the November 2018 Market Indicators Report, the one-year change saw a 7.1 percent increase for the month of October. The year-to-date statistics are even better, at 8.5 percent. This is great boost for sellers! The median sales price for homes in our area has continued to rise over the 2017 numbers, and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down.

 

If the number of homes on the market continues to be slim in 2019, we could expect to see even more competition amongst buyers, since pending sales improved this year. Buyers seem to be especially eager to put in offers throughout these low-inventory months. This might be the main reason why the sales prices have been looking so good. The October 2018 numbers show a 5.5 percent uptick from 2017 YTD pending sales, so the activity is still hot.

 

Of course, sellers still need to know how to distinguish their home from the pack. A neat and tidy home with a great inspection report may not be enough to attract your ideal buyer. That’s why your listing photos and a fantastic walk-through can really help your property to shine. Buyers are more interested in fighting for homes when they have an emotional appeal. Professional home staging does just that. By painting the picture of what life would look like in a new home, you can help make your listing the must-have home for your area.

 

If you’re looking to make a move in the new year, Home Matters can help! Give us a call today to start planning your home’s marketing strategy with great furnishings and design. We’d love to hear from you.


9 Guestroom Essentials for the Holidays

Posted by admin under Home Design

The holidays aren’t just about food, family time, and fun. With all the out-of-towners coming in for the holidays, you want to make sure comfort takes center stage, too. Opening your home up for family (or friends that are like family) for an extended weekend means you want them to feel relaxed and welcome during their stay. That’s why it helps to know that your guest bedroom is on-point. With these tips and must-haves, your space will truly be great!

 

1. The Basic Home Must-Haves

All those travel-size lotion and shampoo bottles you’ve collected over the years are meant to be shared. Don’t leave them alone under your sink. Consider buying a few extras to add to the mix, then find a nice way to arrange them for guests. It’s so easy to forget the essentials when you’re packing. A new toothbrush can go a long way to show that you care.

 

2. Plenty of Good Lighting

Every bedroom should have a good lamp or two. If your guestroom hasn’t been use in some time, be sure to check the lightbulbs. No one wants to be left in the dark. You may even plug in an extra floor lamp in the corner to brighten up the space near a mirror. This makes it easier for guests to get ready for the day. (Especially if they have to share a bathroom with others in the house!)

 

3. Some Fresh Greenery

In summer, you might buy a fresh bouquet of flowers to freshen up your guestroom. In the fall in winter, why not mix things up with some other greenery? If you have spare plants around the house, it might be worth moving them into your guestroom temporarily for a warm touch. Or you can create your own arrangement with cedar or pine cuttings—they go great with birch or other branches.

 

4. An Assortment of Pillows

Everyone has a different preference for their pillow. That’s why it’s smart to give guests multiple options for a good night’s sleep. Load up the bed with soft down pillows, a couple firm pillows in the back, and a few decorative pieces for a really inviting feel. Then guests will be able to pick and choose whatever works best for their needs.

 

5. Piles of Fresh Towels

This one is basically a given, but it bears repeating. Help your guests feel really pampered by presenting them with a stack of big, fluffy towels in their room. If your current towels have seen better days, consider investing in a new set. It’s always nice to get a little indulgence when you’re away from home. You can even give each guest a different color of towel to prevent mix-ups.

 

6. Empty Dresser Drawers

If you use your guestroom as storage for linens or out-of-season clothes, be sure to clear out some drawers for your guests’ belongings. They should be able to make use of that dresser, too! The same goes for closet space. Push items to the side and toss in a handful of hangers so they can arrange their clothes and get unpacked right.

 

7. Extra Blankets at the Ready

The colder months often call for extra blankets. Even if you don’t keep the thermostat low, your guests might like to bundle up under the covers in the evenings. Set out some different types of blankets next to the bed so they can make their ideal setup. Whether you go with fleece, wool, or another woven pattern, you’ll feel better knowing that they can’t be cold!

 

8. A Cozy Reading Spot

When your room has the space for it, an attractive accent chair will make a great impact. These pieces epitomize the link between style and function. If your guests ever need to get a little work done, they’ll appreciate the option to work somewhere other than the bed. And if they’re craving a little quiet time, you’re giving them permission to comfortably hang out in the privacy of their own space.

 

9. Thoughtful “Room Service”

Following the tricks from luxe hotel rooms and cute bed and breakfasts will really set your guestroom over the top. Not everyone will feel comfortable raiding your pantry, so it’s nice to designate an assortment of snacks just for them. Lay out some granola bars, chocolate, pretzels, or other snacks on a tray in their room. Then they’ll be able to satisfy any craving.

 

Once you get these comfy design elements in to your guestroom, you’ll be ready to open your front door to anyone you please. Putting a little extra thought into this part of your home will really make you the hostess with the most-est!


Clean Homes Aren’t Enough for Buyers—Here’s Why

Posted by admin under Home Staging Education

Most buyers expect to see clean homes during their tours. And it would be hard to overlook a pile of dirty laundry on the floor or unwashed dishes in the sink! Yet all too often, sellers think that a clean house is enough to seal the deal for potential buyers. This simply isn’t true. When it comes to a real winner, you’ll need to show off more than dust-free bookshelves and vacuumed carpet. Homes that get offers at asking price—or higher—succeed because they put in extra effort.

 

Listing a Clean Home

 

Listing a clean home is a huge priority. No well-respected realtor would tell you otherwise. You make the beds, put the dishes away, and make sure there isn’t a trail of dirt in the entryway. These are some of the hard and fast rules when it comes to home listings. It also helps to tuck away any personal belongings. Even family photos can send the wrong message to buyers. Feeling like they’re touring someone else’s house, rather than their new, potential home can be distracting.

 

Getting rid of clutter is a great first step when getting ready to list a home. But a clean home is just the beginning. Sellers should understand that a clean home doesn’t attract the same attention as a staged home.

 

The Difference with Staging

 

Anyone can list a house that’s relatively clean. But tidying up only goes so far in the housing market. What’s considered “clean” by most people’s standards doesn’t feel the same when a house is up for sale. An organized closet, for example, might feel neat and tidy for the homeowner, yet a buyer might view it otherwise. A walk-in closet can suddenly seem cramped or crowded when full of clothes.

 

Professional staging helps home give the right impression. Instead of triggering subconscious signals that a room is too small or awkward, staging works to set a tone that’s welcoming. This goes beyond just being clean. Wiping down the counters in the kitchen won’t feel too special for a couple looking to buy. A bare room, although clean, feels more neglected than inviting. That’s why furniture and accent pieces help liven up a space. Strategically placing a few interesting objects in a room helps direct your eye to all of the room’s best features. This happens in the kitchen, as well as any bedroom or bathroom.

 

How Do You Know It’s Ready?

 

Cleanliness can be subjective, and staging can be, too. So how do you know whether your home is approved for a great showing? Well, it helps to study pictures of the home’s interior. Going with your gut reaction tends to be best. When you view photos of your home or another listing, do they look polished? Would you feel comfortable walking through the spaces, and do you think you could kick-back and relax?

 

For example, hanging artwork on the wall and filling a couch with pillows that have different textures and pops of color make your home’s photographs interesting and inviting. Buyers falls in love with homes through pictures even before they walk through the front door. Having a stager who knows how to style a home goes far beyond the basics of tidying up.

 

A professionally staged home speaks to you on an emotional level. Of course, you should also be able to look at it from a practical perspective. You can quickly tell if a home’s furnishings are outdated. Staging helps you avoid those pitfalls. A designer also works to place each item in a functional space so no room feels too crowded or empty. Everything has a purpose in staging. Whereas cleaning just gets rid of dust, dirt, and clutter, professional staging works to elevate a home by highlighting its best features. Instead of removing the negatives, staging adds some real positives to every room. While you need definitely need to clean for a great listing, staging is truly what sets homes apart!


Home Re-Design Services to Help You Fall in Love (Again)

Posted by admin under Home Design

As the seasons start to shift, it’s normal to want a change in your home’s décor. Whether the weather is cooling down or warming up, we tend to cycle through certain items. Heavier blankets and throws come out for fall and winter. Brighter hues and flowers might make an entrance in spring and summer.

 

But what if your home’s layout feels stale? When you feel bored with an entire room, you need more than just a couple accent pieces. A new perspective can help you revitalize your home during any season. Rather than stay with your existing layout and décor, it might be time for a redesign. Shifting your furniture around and investing in some new items breathes new life into any space. A professional designer can help you make the upgrades that get you falling in love with your place all over again!

 

Professional Advice for Home Décor

 

A home that’s never been styled before can feel bland and sparse. Without the appropriate accent pieces, you’re just living with plain furniture—and that isn’t any fun. You need to add other items to showcase your personal style.

 

Bedroom Redesign-Home Matters 1809Adding an interesting sculpture to your bookshelf or fireplace mantel can infuse personality into any room. For some people, plants and succulents work as accent pieces. Others like to play with color and texture. They might pair a shiny, glazed vase with wooden bookends in the living room, or use plush, velvet pillows in the master bedroom. Whatever speaks to your aesthetic is fair game, yet knowing how to arrange these pieces without looking cluttered can require some skill. You can always trust a professional interior designer if you need help finding or placing your home’s décor. They’ll help you select items that add a welcoming tone and depth to any bare room.

 

Assistance with Furniture Purchases

 

Figuring out the right measurements for a new piece of furniture can cause headaches for any homeowner. You don’t want to buy a table that’s too big or too small for your dining room, and you definitely don’t want to deal with the hassle of making returns. This is where you designer shines. Teaming up with a professional decorator helps you sidestep all of the hassle. By working together to assess your current layout, you’ll find the furniture that will fit—and elevate—every room in your home.

 

Dining Room Staging-Home Matters 1809This process can be particularly helpful for those who have just moved into a new home. Sometimes the furniture you were happy using in the past doesn’t work the same way in a new layout. When this occurs, you might be better off making new purchases. Then again, you might be expanding your square footage and not have enough furniture to fill your home! Either way, working with an expert can ease the transition. Selecting new pieces of furniture, whether it’s a headboard for your bed, or just an accent chair for your guestroom can go much smoother with a designer’s touch.

 

Enhancing Your Current Layout

 

Other homeowners benefit from a redesign of the existing furniture. If you’re already happy with the items that you own, you can still get great advice from a professional designer. Maybe you could never quite figure out how to manage your open floor layout. Or perhaps you’re still struggling with the furniture placement in your living room or basement hangout. Rather than settle for an arrangement that’s uncomfortable, let a home stylist fix your layout so it works from every angle!

 

Living Room Design-Home Matters 1809At Home Matters, we love working with these types of redesign projects. The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to setting up your home, but with your personal aesthetic and our design expertise, we’ll help you strike the balance between stylish and functional. Our move-in design services and other redesign packages are great for homeowners all across the Central Indiana area. To get started on your own project, just give us a call at (317) 774-7025. We’d be happy to schedule a design consultation with you to help make your home the haven you deserve!


Small Space, Big Impact in Home Design

Posted by admin under Home Design

We all have that one room in our homes that can feel a little “snug.” But improving this vibe is just a matter of making good design choices. Every corner of your home can feel intentional and practical when you know how to work with your layout. With these four design tips, you’ll help each of your rooms achieve that comfortable, spacious look you’re after!

 

1. Use Appropriately-Sized Furniture

 

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: Using the right-sized furniture in every room is so important to your overall aesthetic. For example, you need to find a table that complements your breakfast nook or dining room’s total area. This will prevent  everyone from bumping elbows at dinner. (And stop chairs from getting backed into the wall.) Conversely, you don’t want to place a table that’s too small. That just ends up wasting space. You might love your grandma’s old dining table, but if it doesn’t fit in your current layout, you can always use it as a desk in another room.

 

Breakfast-Nook-Staging_Home Matters-1808There’s no sense forcing objects into your design when you can find better options. Instead of being stubborn, get practical. Choosing furniture that works with your space keeps the area from feeling too cramped or too sparse. This goldilocks approach takes a critical eye, but it’s well worth the effort. When you can welcome furniture that’s the right size, you’ll suddenly see your entire room in a new light. These choices help you focus on what’s working in the space in terms of comfort, not square footage.

 

2. Incorporate Great Accent Pieces

 

Great home décor takes more than just furniture. All of your accent pieces need to be matched to your home’s furnishings, too. Again, size plays a key role. Choose pieces that are too big, and you’ll end up overwhelming your small space. Work with items that are too small, and the entire room will feel off-balance. From your couch cushions to the floor lamps and items on your fireplace mantel, using your artistic eye will help you find the right flow for your space.

 

Area-Rug-Home-Staging_Home Matters-1808Your area rugs can be especially hard to place. Often, they serve as an anchor to your room. Getting their size right helps set the tone for the space as a whole. You also want to pay close attention to the size of artwork on the walls, as well as your curtains. Hanging the curtain rod slightly higher than the window itself can create a helpful illusion that the space is larger than it seems—even for small and cozy family room settings.

 

3. Get Creative with Form and Function

 

That tiny spare bedroom may not look like much at first glance, but if you know how to stage it, you could see it become your new favorite get-away in the house. Getting creative with the pieces in the room lets you increase its functionality. Arranging the room with a daybed or hide-a-bed sofa and a desk might make more sense than having a queen-size bed. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to fit a small desk to become a great multi-purpose area for guests, or for yourself!

 

Entryway Seating-Home Matters-1808Small spaces don’t just show up in formal rooms with a door. Your entryway or mudroom probably has some untapped potential of its own. Instead of ignoring these areas, consider upgrading them into small seating areas. You can easily redefine a typical ottoman as a great piece for putting on your shoes before heading out the door. You could also add a couple pillows to change it into a new, cozy reading nook.

 

4. When in Doubt, Work with the Pros

 

Sometimes getting these measurements right can take a few attempts. Without enough practice, you may end up repeating the same mistakes from room to room. Fortunately, working with an experienced home designer can help you avoid these missteps so you get stunning results the first time. Whether you’re staging your home to sell or just looking for a fresh update to your home, a designer can help you take stock of your rooms’ best features. After assessing each area as a sort of “blank canvas,” then you find the appropriate furnishings, accent pieces, and creative solutions to every corner of your home.

 

At Home Matters, our designers love working with all types of home projects! When you have design questions, we have answers. As professional home stagers, we’re great at figuring out what to do with tricky spaces. We’re happy to work with your existing furniture. Or, if you prefer, we can advise you on new pieces to help your home really shine. Check out our Services page to learn more about our design packages, or send us a message to schedule your consultation. We’d love to hear from you!