Dana Winsett, PA's Blog

20 Ways to Save Money and Stretch Your Household Budget

    These days, it seems like everyone’s looking for ways to cut costs and stretch their income further. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your household expenses without making radical changes to your standard of living. When combined, these small...

Top 5 Home Design Trends for a New Decade

    Whether you’re planning a simple refresh or a full-scale renovation, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in home design. Sellers who make tasteful updates can generate increased buyer interest and, in some cases, a premium selling price. And buyers...

Take Advantage of Your Home Equity: A Homeowner’s Guide

    Homeownership offers many advantages over renting, including a stable living environment, predictable monthly payments, and the freedom to make modifications. Neighborhoods with high rates of homeownership have less crime and more civic engagement. Additionally, studies show that...

How Buyers Can Win By Downsizing in 2020

Home values have been increasing for 93 consecutive months, according to the National Association of Realtors. If you’re a homeowner, particularly one looking to downsize your living space, that’s great news, as you’ve likely built significant equity in your...

2020 Outlook: Real Estate Market Forecast

  We’re in the midst of the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, and economists think there’s still room to grow. A recent survey by the National Association for Business Economics found that experts believe the U.S. economy will remain positive throughout 2020.1   Still,...

Gifts and Gadgets for Every Room in the House

      Are you searching for new and innovative gift ideas this holiday season? If so, check out our list of the hottest home technology offerings. We’ve selected a few of our favorites for every room in the house.   These smart systems and devices add comfort,...

5 Steps to Finding Your Next Home

    Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, shopping for a new home can feel daunting. In fact, 56% of buyers said that “finding the right property” was the most difficult step in the home buying process.1   Buying a home is a significant...

Everything You Need to Know About iBuyers and the "Instant Cash Offer"

    Technology is changing the way we do almost everything, and real estate transactions are no exception. In fact, a new crop of tech companies wants to revolutionize the way we buy and sell homes.   iBuyer startups like Opendoor, Offerpad, and Properly are rapidly expanding...

National Snapshot: How’s the Real Estate Market?

The U.S. unemployment rate is at a 50-year low, and consumer confidence remains high. In fact, the University of Michigan’s latest Surveys of Consumers found that Americans have their most positive personal finance outlook since 2003.1   However, if you follow national news, you’ve...

5 Step Strategy for Downsizing Your Home

In our “bigger is better” culture, there’s an expectation that each home should be larger and grander than the last. But life changes like divorce, kids leaving for college, or even the simple act of growing older can prompt us to find a smaller home that better suits our shifting...

Will Your Remodel Pay Off?

The Best (and Worst) Ways to Spend Your Budget   Most new homeowners have something about their property that they want to change. And as family needs and design trends shift over time, many will eventually choose to remodel. Some homeowners make updates to their property before listing...

Serious About Selling? 5 Steps to Make Your Home the Best on the Block

    We all want to be good neighbors. But when it comes to selling your home, it’s not just about “keeping up with the Joneses.” It’s about outshining them at every opportunity!   If you’re looking to sell your home fast and for the most money...

Top 6 Home Organization Upgrades that "Spark Joy" for Buyers

  Thanks to Marie Kondo and her hit Netflix series “Tidying Up,” home organization is a hot topic right now. Marie encourages her viewers to minimize their possessions and keep only those items that “spark joy.”   With spring in full bloom, now is the perfect...

Top 10 Myths That Trip Up First-Time Home Buyers

  If you’re thinking about buying a home, you’ve probably received your share of advice from family and friends. Add to that the constant stream of TV shows, news segments, and social media posts that over-simplify the home buying process for easy entertainment.   With...

What’s Your Home Actually Worth?

Discover What Buyers Will Pay in Today’s Market     It’s easy to look up how much money you have in your savings account or the real-time value of your stock investments. But determining the dollar value of a home is trickier.   As a seller, knowing your...

Top 8 Home Design and Remodeling Trends for 2019

    If you’re a current homeowner, or in the market to buy, you’re probably curious about the latest trends in home design.   Sellers who make strategic updates before listing a property can generate increased interest from buyers and, in some cases, a premium...

What’s Ahead for Real Estate in 2019?

    As we begin another year, everyone wants to know: “Where is the housing market headed in 2019?”   It’s not only buyers, sellers, and homeowners who are impacted. The real estate market plays an integral role in the overall U.S. economy.  Fortunately,...

9 Ways to Share the Spirit of the Season—Starting From Home

  The holiday season is upon us, and many of us have already begun to celebrate. From trimming trees to lighting candles, it’s the time of year to fill your homes (and hearts) with holiday joy.   But there’s no need to stop at your front door. Let the spirit of the...

"How’s the Market?" What’s Ahead for Real Estate

  While no one can predict the future with certainty, most experts expect to see modest growth in the U.S. housing market for the remainder of this year and next. Inventory will remain tight, mortgage rates will continue to creep up, and affordability will remain a major issue in many parts...

Are You Covered? A Homeowner’s Insurance Guide

  No one likes to think about disasters. Severe weather, fire, theft—or even a seemingly small issue like a broken pipe—can wreak havoc on your home and result in thousands of dollars in damages. Fortunately, a good homeowners insurance policy can offer you peace of mind that...

Renters for a Weekend or a While . . .

What’s the Best Use of Your Investment Property?   The residential rental market is now the fastest-growing segment of the housing market. In the United States, the demand for single-family rentals, defined as either detached homes or townhouses, has risen 30 percent in the past...

How to Avoid the Top 8 Home Inspection Mistakes

  It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a home. Once you’ve had an offer accepted on your dream house, you’ll probably be anxious to move in. However, before you make a significant financial commitment, it’s best to know exactly what you’re...

Real Estate Relocation Guide: 7 Steps to a Seamless Move

    Whatever your reasons are for relocating to a new area, the process can feel overwhelming. Whether you’re moving across across town or across the country, you’ll be changing more than your address. Besides a new house, you may also be searching for new jobs, schools,...

10 Staging Secrets From the Pros for a Quick Home Sale at Top Dollar

  According to the National Association of Realtors, staging a home prior to listing it can result in a faster and more profitable sale.1 In fact, the Real Estate Staging Association estimates that professionally staged properties spend 73 percent less time on the market, receive more foot...

HOUSE CARE CALENDAR:

 A Seasonal Guide to Maintaining Your Home   From summer vacations to winter holidays, it seems each season offers the perfect excuse to put off our to-do list. But be careful, homeowners: neglecting your home’s maintenance could put your personal safety—and one of your...

The Home Buyer's Guide to Getting Mortgage Ready

Don’t wait until you’re ready to move to start preparing financially to buy a home.   If you’re like the vast majority of home buyers, you will choose to finance your purchase with a mortgage loan. By preparing in advance, you can avoid the common delays and roadblocks...

Home Design Trends to Watch in 2018

      We frequently get questions from clients who are taking on decorating and remodeling projects and want to ensure their dollars are invested wisely.   Which looks will last for years to come, and which ones will feel dated quickly? What colors and styles are...

Real Estate 2018: What to Expect

    As we head into a new year, the most common question we receive is, “What’s the outlook for real estate in 2018?”   It’s not just potential buyers and sellers who are curious; homeowners also want reassurance their home’s value is going...

Welcome Home: 10 Tips to Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Hometown Haven

  "Communities work better (students perform better, crime rates are lower, kids are safer, people live longer) when neighbors know one another better. Knowing your neighbor on a first-name basis...is a surprisingly effective first step."  - Robert Putnam, Harvard Public Policy...

Why Real Estate Investing Makes (Dollars and) Sense

      Turn on the television or scroll through Facebook, and chances are you’ll see at least one advertisement for a group or “guru” who promises to teach you how to “get rich quick” through real estate investing. The truth is, much of what they’re...

Top 12 Apps for Homeowners and Renters

                                                         More than 77 percent of people own a smartphone.1 The average person checks their smartphone 46...

Real Home Value Calculator: Assessed Value vs Market Value

  Understanding a home’s true market value is about more than pictures, software assessments and price-per-square-foot. Whether you’re a current homeowner thinking of selling or are house-hunting, it’s crucial you understand what factors affect home valuation. By partnering...

Top 5 Home Design Trends of 2017

The current trends are all about utilizing rich color, maximizing texture and creating comfortable interiors you can’t wait to relax in. Use these trends to get inspired to makeover your home’s interiors and create spaces you love that also appeal to your personal style. Remember, if...

Increase Your Home’s Value Up to 28% with These 5 Tips

Great curb appeal not only makes your home the star of the neighborhood, it can also improve its value and help you sell it for more. Whether you’re thinking of listing your home or just want to make your home the envy of your neighbors, here are several ways to increase your home’s curb...

The Compound Effect: Building Your Household’s Wealth

  Wealth is within reach for many people; however, according to a recent study, 63 percent of Americans said it’s not likely they’ll become rich.1 While younger people are more likely to say they’ll achieve wealth one day, only 34 percent of people aged 30 to 49 and 21 percent...

5 Reasons to Sell Before the Selling Season Picks Up

A common thought in real estate is never list your home in the winter offseason. Perpetuated by industry experts, agents and repeat sellers alike, this saying encourages many would-be sellers to wait until the spring peak to list their homes. However, studies show that homes listed in the winter...

Real Estate 2017: What to Expect

  One of the most common questions we get at this time of year is, “What’s going on in the market?” It’s not just potential buyers and sellers who are curious; homeowners always want reassurance their home’s value is going up. The good news is the American real...

The Home Equity Playbook

What is Home Equity? Home equity seems to be a very simple calculation — the total amount of mortgages owed subtracted from the current market value of a home. Here is a simple example: Current Home Market Value       $325,000 Existing Mortgage                     ...

8 Smart Home Technology Trends that Can Save You Money

The ‘smart home’ is the new ‘internet of things’, or objects that can serve you better by communicating with each other or directly with you through apps on your smart phone. In the ideal version of the wired future, all of our appliances and gadgets talk to each other seamlessly. What...

Don’t Get Burned – Get a Home Inspection

Okay, you made one of the most important decisions in your life: you’re buying a home! You found your ideal home. It’s in your desired neighborhood, close to everything you love, you dig its design and feel, and you’re ready to finalize the deal. But, whoa … wait a minute!...

Should You Buy a New or Existing Home?

Maybe your dream home has the intricate details that you usually find only in older construction - wainscoting and crown molding in the interior, the front porch with a swing, an older tree shading the back yard, and the white picket fence. Or maybe your dream home has all the conveniences...

A Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing

A Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing Despite the grim economic outlook for some industries, one sector is gaining viability -- real estate. According to the 2016 Emerging Trends in Real Estate, which was released by the Urban Land Institute earlier this year, trends such as “18-hour...

Get Your Credit Score in Shape Before Buying a Home

How strong is your credit? Cleaning up your credit is essential before you make any major financial moves. Having a bad score can hurt your chances of being able to open a credit card, apply for a loan, purchase a car, or rent an apartment. It is especially important to have clean credit before...