In Freddie Mac’s results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), average mortgage rates continuing to move lower.

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.82 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending August 31, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.86 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.46 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.12 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.16 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.77 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.14 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.17 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.83 percent.According to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac:”The 10-year Treasury yield fell to a new 2017-low on Tuesday. In response, the 30-year mortgage rate dropped 4 basis points to 3.82 percent, reaching a new year-to-date low for the second consecutive week. However, recent releases of positive economic data could halt the downward trend of mortgage rates.”

    Kids Have Big Say in Real Estate

  • Buyers with children put more weight on the neighborhood, local schools, and size of homes when shopping for the right property, according to the 2017 Moving With Kids report, produced by the National Association of REALTORS®.

    The neighborhood, in particular, has a big influence on home buyers with children under the age of 18. Forty-nine percent of buyers who have children consider the neighborhood based on the quality of the school district, and 43 percent choose a neighborhood by the convenience to schools, according to the report.

    Buyers with children also tended to purchase a larger home, at 2,100 square feet with four bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Buyers with no children tend to prefer a home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms at an average of 1,800 square feet.

    The main reasons for selling a home for sellers with children were that the home was too small or they faced a job relocation or a change in their family situation.

    Simple Home Fixes to Attract Buyers

    Are you looking for easy ways to increase your home’s value and get buyers’ attention before your home hits the market? Here are three quick fixes for kitchens and bathrooms from Matt Karlin, president and CEO of Nemo Tile + Stone.

    1. Refresh with color.  When it comes to selecting a palette that looks fresh and has broad appeal, it’s best to go with whites and neutrals, Karlin says. Plus, if your working with a small bathroom or kitchen, he recommends favoring a pale palette because it will also make the space look bigger.

    2. Update the floors and walls. These areas receive serious wear and tear, Karlin says, so a smart move is to upgrade to a durable porcelain tile. Current design trends are replicating classic terrazzo and even wood textures.

    3. Choose larger tiles. Oversized tiles not only are cost -effective (bigger tiles cover a larger area) but also help make a small room seem larger, Karlin says. He also recommends selecting simple patterns: Avoid anything too busy to ensure a clean yet modern look.

    Outdoor Amenities Topping Buyers’ Lists

    Real estate professionals across the mid-Atlantic are finding home buyers are placing a higher value on outdoor spaces and their potential for entertainment, according to The Washington Post. Here are the specific amenities that are proving most beneficial to sellers in marketing their properties:

    The outdoor kitchen

    These spaces are becoming more than just a simple dining set and grill. They are now being outfitted with an outdoor refrigerator, sink, and counter space. In luxury homes, outdoor kitchens may include bar areas, islands, ovens, stoves, and extra storage space as more cooking tasks move outside.

    Pool and spa

    Real estate pros told The Washington Post that they’re noticing a shift in the way pools and the spaces around them are being designed. Homeowners are getting more creative, adding waterfalls or even a hot tub in the middle of the pool. Agents also say buyers are looking for terraces and lounges overlooking the pool area, to create a more serene backyard.

    Open access

    The transition between the interior and exterior is becoming more seamless. Homeowners achieve this look by installing collapsible window walls, though a more affordable option is the classic sliding glass door.

    Outdoor fireplaces

    Both simple pits and custom fire features are becoming more common as decor in outdoor landscaping. Fireplaces have long topped home buyers’ wish lists for interiors, but they’re increasingly becoming a popular amenity outside too.

    Written by Realty Times Staff