Hot Home Trend: ‘Wetroom Bathrooms’ | #YajneshRai #01924991 #SangeetaRai #02026129


Hot Home Trend: ‘Wetroom Bathrooms’

You’ve heard of the open-concept kitchen. How about the open-concept bathroom? It may sound slightly scandalous, but the idea centers on creating a private, waterproof space. It includes all the elements of a luxe bathroom, according to Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery’s nk is external) report.

The report called out “wetroom bathrooms” as a hot trend for 2023. The trend has been popular in Europe for years, but is now taking hold in the U.S.

Some characteristics of these bathrooms include an open-concept layout; a frameless, zero-entry shower; floor-to-wall shower tile; freestanding tub; floating vanity; and an ADA-accessible design, such as with the hardware and lighting, according to the report.

See some examples below of the wetroom bathroom from Ferguson’s report.

Wetroom Bathroom
Photo credit: Signature Hardware and James Martin Vanities at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery / Linear Vanity and Lentz Faucet
Wetroom Bathroom
Photo credit: Kohler at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery / Kohler Statement Wand Handshower
Wetroom Bathroom
Photo credit: Kohler at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery / Kohler Veil WH Toilet
Wetroom Bathroom
Photo credit: Kallista at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery / Laura Kirar Freestanding Tub

Fed Move Has No Negative Impact on Mortgage Rates | #YajneshRai #01924991 #SangeetaRai #02026129


Fed Move Has No Negative Impact on Mortgage Rates

Borrowing costs have fallen a full percentage point since November, enabling millions more potential buyers to reenter the market.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is nearly a full percentage point lower than its 7.08% peak in mid-November, helping affordability and offering millions of potential home buyers to reenter the housing market.

Even as the Federal Reserve voted this week to raise its benchmark rate by another quarter of a point, mortgage rates continued to inch downward. The mortgage market likely already priced in the latest Fed rate, says Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of real estate research at the National Association of REALTORS®. What’s more, as inflation readings head down, the Fed hinted it would be eyeing smaller rate hikes moving forward. That could mean mortgage rates will be even less impacted by any of the Fed’s future increases, Evangelou says.

“There is finally light at the end of the tunnel for many Americans, as they now earn more than the income needed to purchase a mid-priced home,” Evangelou says. With rates now below 6.1%, many Americans earn about $5,000 more annually than the qualifying income needed to purchase a home, she adds.

The one-percentage-point reduction in mortgage rates since November will enable up to 3 million more mortgage-ready consumers to afford a $400,000 loan, the median home price, according to Freddie Mac’s research.

Freddie Mac reported the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Feb. 2:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 6.09%, dropping from last week’s 6.13% average. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 3.55%
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 5.14% this week, down from last week’s 5.17% average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 2.77%.

NAR: Home Sales Retreat, But Better Days Likely Are Coming | #YajneshRai #01924991 #SangeetaRai #02026129


NAR: Home Sales Retreat, But Better Days Likely Are Coming

December was another difficult month for home buyers, but expect sales to pick up soon, says NAR’s chief economist.
A row of houses grouped closely together leading down a neighborhood.

© AlterYourReality – E+ / Getty Images

December 2022 marked another month of sluggish home sales as buyers continued to back away from the market, spooked by higher mortgage rates and few choices of homes for sale. But home prices remained strong. 

Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops—fell 1.5% in December compared to November. Existing-home sales plunged 34% since a year ago, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS®.

“December was another difficult month for buyers, who continue to face limited inventory and high mortgage rates,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “However, expect sales to pick up again soon, since mortgage rates have markedly declined after peaking late last year.”

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.15% this week, continuing to fall from its peak of 7.08% in mid-November 2022, according to Freddie Mac data. Monthly mortgage payments have eased by about $300 per month in that time, says Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of forecasting for the National Association of REALTORS®. 

The lower mortgage rates may offer some relief from still-high home prices. The median existing-home price in December 2022 was $366,900, up 2.3% from a year before at $358,800. 

“Home prices nationwide are still positive, though mildly,” Yun says. “Markets in roughly half of the country are likely to offer potential buyers discounted prices compared to last year.” 

Snapshot of Key Indicators

Here’s a closer look at the latest housing indicators from NAR’s report: 

  • Housing inventory: Total housing inventory fell 13.4% in December compared to November. However, inventory is up 10.2% compared to a year earlier. Still, housing inventories remain tight, offering a 2.9-month supply at the current sales pace. 
  • Days on the market: Fifty-seven percent of homes sold in December 2022 were on the market for less than a month. That is lower than the 61% of homes that sold in November. Properties are starting to stay on the market longer. In December, properties typically stayed on the market for 26 days, up from 24 days in November and the 19-day average from a year earlier.
  • First-time buyers: First-time buyers are coming back to the housing market. They comprised 31% of sales last month, up from 28% in November and 30% in December 2021. 
  • All-cash sales: All-cash transactions comprised 28% of sales in December, a growing percentage (26% in November 2022 and 23% in December 2021). “Cash buyers are unaffected by fluctuations in mortgage rates and were able to take advantage of lower prices in some areas,” Yun says. Individual investors and second-home buyers tend to make up most cash sales. They purchased 16% of homes in December, up from 14% in November but down slightly from 17% in December 2021. 
  • Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales continue to make up a historically low percentage of sales, only 1% in December, essentially unchanged from a year ago. 

Home Builders Report Progress, But Still a Ways to Go

Meanwhile, despite sluggish sales recently, home builders are feeling a little more upbeat. Builder confidence increased in January, as a “low point for builder sentiment” in December 2022 seems to be drifting into the rear-view mirror with January seeing some progress, Jerry Konter, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, says about the latest builder confidence index reading. Still, more builders are reportedly using price reductions to boost sales, but Konter predicts a rebound for home building could be underway later this year. 

Builders are starting to build more. Single-family housing starts posted a double-digit percentage gain in December—up 11.3% compared to November 2022, the Commerce Department reported this week. Production, however, is still running well below a rate of 1 million units annually. 

“While NAHB is forecasting a decline for single-family starts this year compared to 2022, it appears a turning point for housing lies ahead,” says NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “In the coming quarters, single-family home building will rise off of cycle lows as mortgage rates are expected to trend lower and boost housing affordability. Improved housing affordability will increase housing demand, as the nation grapples with a structural housing deficit of 1.5 million units.” 

Regional Breakdown on Home Sales

Here’s a closer look at how existing-home sales fared across the country in December: 

Northeast: Sales decreased 1.9% compared to November, reaching an annual rate of 520,000. That is a nearly 29% decrease compared to December 2021. Median price: $391,400, up 1.6% compared to a year earlier.

Midwest: Existing-home sales dropped 1% month over month, reaching an annual rate of 1.01 million in December. Sales are down 30.3% from a year ago. Median price: $262,000, up 2.9% from December 2021.

South: Sales fell 2.2% in December compared to November, reaching an annual rate of 1.80 million. That is down 33.1% from the previous year. Median price: $337,900, up 3.5% from a year earlier.

West: Existing-home sales were essentially flat in December compared to November, continuing to hold at an annual rate of 690,000. Sales, however, are down 43.4% compared to one year ago. Median price: $557,900, up less than a tenth of a percent compared to December 2021 ($200).


‘Barkitecture’ Makes Your Pets the King of the Castle | #YajneshRai #01924991 #SangeetaRai #02026129


‘Barkitecture’ Makes Your Pets the King of the Castle

A new home design movement prioritizes property features that are meant to raise the lifestyle of your four-legged sidekick.

Who’s the house for—you or your dog?

Americans are so devoted to their pets that most say they’d pass on their dream home if it didn’t suit their four-legged sidekick, according to a recent® survey(link is external). So, it’s no surprise that pet-friendly property features, like a fenced-in yard with a dog run or a “catio,” are rising to the top of home buyers’ wish lists. The trend toward pet consciousness is sparking a new home design movement called “barkitecture.”

All about incorporating more pet-friendly features throughout the home, the barkitecture concept can add value and interest to a property and perhaps improve the odds of a sale. After all, 43% of households in 2020 indicated they’d be willing to move to better meet their pets’ needs, according to National Association of REALTORS® data. Caroline Danielson, director of showrooms at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, recently spoke to REALTOR® Magazine about the barkitecture features that are popping up in more homes.

Q: What is ‘barkitecture,’ and does it have staying power?

Danielson: Barkitecture is an evolving term that encompasses innovative ideas to create comfortable and stylish spaces for humans and their four-legged friends. Originally used to describe the design and construction of dog houses and other structures specifically for dogs, the trend today has grown popular due to its ability to incorporate practical elements of pet ownership into the design of kitchens and bathrooms that both humans and dogs can enjoy. Barkitecture is here to stay due to growing demand among pet owners who view their animals as true family members. They are willing to invest in ensuring that every part of their home reflects this sentiment.

What type of pet-friendly home features are buyers prioritizing?

One of the most popular pet-friendly design features is adding a dog wash station in the mudroom. This feature makes it easier and less messy to give the pup a quick bath after an outdoor adventure.


A dog wash station typically consists of a faucet with a flexible hose attachment and an elevated platform, providing easy step-in and step-out tub access to the pup. Installing a handheld showerhead and using a tiled area with a drain helps pet owners clean up muddy paws with ease while limiting messes and tracking water around the house.


Positioning this station near a home’s entrance makes it quick and easy for everyone to clean up before coming in. Plus, having a designated spot can make washing your dog much simpler. Throw in some toys or treats so that they look forward to baths!


The other popular trend is installing hidden food and watering stations, which offers numerous benefits for pets and their human owners. They make feeding time much easier by creating an organized system that is convenient to use. Many of these built-in feeding stations are incorporated into the kitchen island, including a pot-filler faucet for the pet’s water bowl. These stations can help keep bowls off the floor to avoid spills or messes while also providing an aesthetically pleasing solution that doesn’t compromise style or decor. These stations are immensely helpful for house-training puppies who need frequent access to water throughout the day. All in all, this is a great way for pet owners to combine both form and function in one convenient feature.


Additionally, homeowners who serve fresh foods or subscribe to a food delivery service for pets can install an under-counter refrigerator dedicated to Fido’s culinary delights. For those foods or treats that do not require refrigeration, kitchen cabinetry is a great place to hide or recess food storage compartments.

What’s even better is that any homeowner can incorporate barkitecture. Homeowners no longer need a dedicated mudroom or expensive renovations to make their homes more inviting for their furry friends. With a few simple changes and the addition of some special touches, any homeowner can create a space that both they and their pets will enjoy. One example could be installing a specially designed grooming hand shower and attachments in your existing tub or shower. A dog-friendly hand shower and attachments can create a luxurious and inviting environment for humans and pets alike without a ton of extra work or space.


What are the most unique barkitecture renovations you’ve seen?

We’ve seen some incredible barkitecture projects, both simple and complex, from converting a pantry into a luxurious pet lounge with fun wallpaper to crates built into cabinetry and custom-made furniture pieces. These unique renovations can seamlessly tie into existing decor, and they truly reflect the style and personality of the homeowner and pup.


There are so many unique and creative solutions out there. As this trend continues to grow in popularity, we’re excited to see what new ideas designers and homeowners dream of to make their homes more welcoming for their pets.


Mortgage Rate Predictions So Far Are Bearing Out | #YajneshRai #01924991 #SangeetaRai #02026129


Mortgage Rate Predictions So Far Are Bearing Out

Mortgage Rate Predictions So Far Are Bearing Out

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped again this week, another hopeful sign that more home shoppers will soon return to the market.

The interest rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.15% this week, according to Freddie Mac, continuing its decline from a peak of 7.08% in mid-November. Monthly mortgage payments have fallen about $300 per month in that time, says Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of forecasting for the National Association of REALTORS®. And that could bring more home buyers back into the market.

Though mortgage rates are still more than double what they were a year ago, less severe swings in borrowing costs lately could bring more calmness to the housing market. Plus, mortgage rates may drop even further in the coming weeks, Evangelou says.

Inflation continues to moderate, which is helping to lessen the pressure on mortgage rates, adds Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Rates are at their lowest level since September of last year, boosting both home buyer demand and homebuilder sentiment,” Khater says. “Declining rates are providing a much-needed boost to the housing market, but the supply of homes remains a persistent concern.”

Indeed, only 40% of current listings are priced at $380,000 or lower. That’s the threshold at which homeownership is out of reach to those who earn $100,000 per year, Evangelou notes. A year ago, home buyers earning at least $100,000 could afford to buy a home that was $130,000 more expensive due to lower mortgage rates. “Buyers are still dealing with weak affordability and low [housing] inventory,” Evangelou notes.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 19:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 6.15%, further dropping from last week’s 6.33% average. A year ago, rates averaged 3.56%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 5.28%, falling from last week’s 5.52% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.79%.

Designers Predict the Hottest 2023 Home Trends | #YajneshRai #01924991 #SangeetaRai #02026129


Designers Predict the Hottest 2023 Home Trends

Learn 8 styles that are on interior designers’ radar for the new year, along with three they hope to never see again.


You’ll likely see some familiar design trends in the new year, such as greater use of greenery, mix-and-match patterns and vintage touches. Interior designers share what they predict will be the most popular trends of the new year.

Purple Power

“I’m seeing shades of dark purple rising in the trends for 2023,” says Brittany Farinas, creative director with House of One in Miami. “Whether it’s in drapery or an accent wall, I’m loving this dark and sexy color to add moodiness to a space.”

Purple furniture and walls
Photo credit: Molly Culver / Designed by Mary Patton, Mary Patton Design

Stone Hinged

Farinas believes stone furniture will be another hot trend for 2023. “In the middle of this year, we saw many applications of natural stone being celebrated in the form of furniture, such as side tables, console tables and dining tables,” she says. “I think this is going to be a trend that will carry into 2023, with many vendors jumping on the wagon to offer and promote stone furniture.”

Stone Decor
Photo credit: Kris Tamburello / Designed by House of One
Stone Decor
Photo credit: Kris Tamburello / Designed by House of One
Stone Decor
Photo credit: Kris Tamburello / Designed by House of One

Moody Lighting

Forget bright, ceiling task lighting. A popular trend is LED strip lighting along ceiling edges and walls or underneath cabinets. Sconces and table lamps also provide softer light, says Vy Truong and Han Dang, founding partners and designers at Very Handsome Studio in Houston.

Moody Lighting
Photo courtesy: Very Handsome Studio

Fanciful Fluting

Truong and Dang also predict that fluting and reeding details will continue to stay relevant in home interiors. “We believe material usage—non-wood—and sizing will change to make this detail more interesting,” they note in their forecast. Fluting has been incorporated everywhere, from the back of a kitchen island to glass cabinet fronts.

Mixing It Up

Contrasting colors and metals continue to add visual interest in a space. Using bright monochromatic color schemes along with an impactful metal, like gold or silver, can pull the design together, Truong and Dang note.

Retro Touches

Vintage and eclectic collages will be used in more home interiors. “Collages of unique items are preferred rather than perfectly curated spaces with matching furniture/design pieces,” Truong and Dang note. Read more: Hot Home Trend: Antiquing Your Design.

The Slab Backsplash

April Gandy at Alluring Designs Chicago calls this one of her favorite design trends for 2023. “Slabs of quartz or marble are perfect for any design aesthetic and help to create a clean, seamless look in any kitchen,” Gandy says. “The lack of grout lines make this backsplash super low maintenance and so easy to keep clean.”

Slab Backsplash
Photo credit: Llove Studio Photography / Designed by Alluring Designs Chicago

Home Office Upgrades

“Companies are focusing on work-life balance more and more so creating a designated space at home for work is key for professionals who have the ability to work remotely,” says Grandy. “Feature walls that create interest on video calls are still sought-after features in home office designs.”

Home Office
Photo courtesy: Llove Studio Photography / Designed by Alluring Designs Chicago

3 Trends That Are Out for 2023

Certain color combos or patterns may be dating your home interior in the new year. Amy Youngblood, principal designer with Amy Youngblood Interiors in Cincinnati, advises steering clear of the following out-of-style trends:

  • All-white bathrooms are on their way out in 2023. “All-white is hard to keep clean and, honestly, it’s a little boring,” Youngblood says. “People are leaning towards more unique, colorful and textured spaces that don’t feel so sterile.”
  • The classic chevron tile screams 2010s. “It does not fit the organic and calming vibe that is on trend currently,” she notes. “We hope to see it disappear for a while.”
  • Red and orange paint are darker, warm colors that are fading in popularity in bathrooms. “These outdated colors make small spaces feel closed in and stressful,” Youngblood says.

Prepare Homeowners for Spring Flood Damage | #YajneshRai #01924991 #SangeetaRai #02026129


Prepare Homeowners for Spring Flood Damage

Spring showers may bring flowers, but they also might cause flooding in basements, crawl spaces, and weakened foundations. Here’s how to help homeowners prepare and prevent that.
Man Drinking Coffee At Window

©Camilo Fuentes Beals / EyeEm – Getty Images

Key takeaways:

  • Enlist expert inspection and advice from a company trained in water issues.
  • Take preventive measures, like adding a sump pump, and make sure to keep up with regular maintenance.
  • Learn what the signs of water damage look like to mitigate problems should they occur.

Heavy rains in spring, as well as the last melting snowfalls of winter, present a couple of distinct downsides: the potential for exterior and interior water damage to a home.

Water that seeps or gushes in may cause foundation cracks and walls to cave in, and while this may happen year-round, homes are more susceptible to this damage in spring when the amount of water may be excessive.

Installing wide gutters and downspouts or having them pitch away from a home can help prevent damage and the need for expensive repair, including mold remediation.

While having infrastructure work performed is hardly as appealing as renovating a kitchen, bathroom, or deck, ensuring a home has a stable foundation sets the stage for future renovations. It also ensures homeowners can live within their space without concern for the consequences of water intrusion, like damage to a home’s mechanical systems and contents in the basement or crawl space. 

Christopher McLaughlin, divisional sales manager of Groundworks, based in Virginia Beach, Va.,(link is external) articulates seven critical steps that his company recommends to protect foundations, waterproof basements, and control moisture in crawl spaces.  

Have a Specialist Perform an Inspection

Home inspectors do a good job of providing an overall evaluation of a home, McLaughlin says. However, they may be more skilled at noticing something awry, such as a cracked basement foundation wall, than at offering a solution when it comes to certain problems. That’s when it becomes useful to hire a water or foundation specialist to make a recommendation and do the work. Otherwise, a homeowner may find the problem is like a snowball rolling down a mountain. “It gets bigger and bigger until it’s corrected,” he says.

Add a Sump Pump

If a home has a below-grade area, the basement may have ground water enter. Hydrostatic pressure—what any fluid in a confined space may exert—can cause water to push on foundation walls, damaging them and allowing water to seep in, McLaughlin says. Installing a sump pump system removes the water and carries it away from the home. Depending on the size of the basement, more than one pump may be necessary. The general rule of thumb is that a pump is needed for every 100 linear feet, McLaughlin says. Homeowners should also invest in one that runs continuously; some don’t, he says.

Yearly, it’s smart for homeowners to have an expert change the pump’s check valve, which ensures that water won’t return at the point of exit, and clean sediment from the pump to keep water flowing smoothly. A back-up generator for the house or the pump is recommended in case the power fails during an emergency. A company that specializes in water and foundation issues can assess the home’s structure and recommend what horsepower the pump should have.

Clean Gutters and Downspouts

The build-up of leaves and other debris can stop water from flowing off a roof and away from the house. Most homeowners should have gutters and downspouts cleaned at least twice a year—after leaves have fallen before winter and once snow has stopped in spring. An expert can advise if your gutters and downspouts are wide enough and draining water far enough from a home—ideally, 15 feet, so water doesn’t pool around the foundation and cause damage. Standard downspouts are 2 to 3 inches, while some measure up to 6 inches wide.

Install Flood Sensors and Vents

A flood vent is for homeowners whose houses have only a crawl space and lie in a high-risk flood zone(link is external). An expert can swap the crawl space vent with the flood vent, which turns on its side, allowing water to pour into the crawl space rather than be forced inside, potentially causing damage to the foundation. A flood sensor is an alarm that alerts homeowners to leaking water from a mechanical failure in a crawl space or basement.

Learn the Signs of Water Damage

Traces indicating a problem may appear on the exterior or interior of a foundation. Homeowners should also pay attention to water that sits outside their home, which may slowly seep in. Inside the home, owners should be aware of efflorescence, a crystalline salt deposit that can form when water remains over time. Cracks in a basement wall may also indicate additional problems in the home’s support system due to moisture in floor joists or piers causing weakening. Bowed walls may also indicate a water problem that needs prompt attention.

The solution to any of these problems is not to paint walls with a waterproofing solution, since that’s a Band-Aid and the problem will worsen over time and become more expensive to fix. Instead, they need a good drainage system installed—possibly drainage tiles—and the sump pump.  

Raise Utilities and Storage Above the Ground

If the basement has a furnace and other HVAC equipment, homeowners should be sure these systems are raised off the ground in case waters enter the space. The same goes for storage boxes with files, any memorabilia, or out-of-season clothing that may be stored in the basement. McLaughlin always stresses to homeowners that carpet or hardwood flooring should never be used in a basement because moisture can easily damage them. A better choice is luxury vinyl tile planks.

Adjust as Needed for Sloping

Sloping land can cause water to run toward a house rather than off the property. The addition of a gravel bed may help filter or slow the water. A French drain may redirect it away from the foundation.

Spring flooding is inevitable, but in most cases, it doesn’t have to cause issues for homeowners. Recommend that homeowners take some or all of these steps when they move in or when they can budget for them, to prevent costly and time-consuming damage.


Lower Inflation Portends Further Slide in Mortgage Rates | #YajneshRai #01924991 #SangeetaRai #02026129


Lower Inflation Portends Further Slide in Mortgage Rates

A dip below 6% has become a distinct possibility, says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.


Inflation has been dropping over the past six months, and consumers can expect mortgage rates to soon follow, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage could even drop below 6%, Yun adds. That would be welcome news to home buyers who were shell-shocked by the surge in rates above 7% this fall, which prompted a sudden contraction in the housing market.

Mortgage rates have been receding over recent weeks, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 6.33% this week, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey. Since peaking in mid-November, mortgage rates have now fallen by 0.75 percentage points. “The gate is beginning to open for home buyers who got shut out in October and November when the rates went above 7%,” says Yun. “However, there is still a housing shortage and not enough listings.” That likely will keep home prices higher, economists note.

Inflation was at 6.45% in December, according to data released this week, which is down considerably from a peak of 9.1% in June 2022. “Housing inflation due to rising rents is the one major item still showing acceleration but is soon expected to come down as well,” Yun says.

Rents rose by 8.35% in December, the highest increase in more than 40 years. But recent housing data has indicated that rents have begun to fall:®, for example, reports that rents have dropped in many of the nation’s hottest real estate markets after rising more than 20% over the past three years. Also, robust apartment construction likely will raise rental vacancy rates, which could help further ease rental prices in the months ahead, Yun adds.

The housing market has become “hypersensitive” to weekly movements in mortgage rates, says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. Mortgage applications for home purchases have experienced large swings relative to even small changes in rates, he adds. “Over the last few weeks, latent demand has been on display, with buyers jumping in and out of the market as rates move,” Khater says.

After several weeks of dropping mortgage rates, however, aspiring buyers may gain some confidence to move forward. “This downward trend of mortgage rates gives a scrap of hope for many home buyers for the months ahead,” says Nadia Evangelou, NAR’s senior economist and director of forecasting. “With a 6% rate instead of 7%, buyers pay about $2,700 less every year on their mortgage. As a result, owning a home becomes affordable to about 1.4 million more renters and 4.3 million more homeowners. This could bring more buyers back to the market, boosting demand for housing and increasing market competition.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 12:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 6.33%, dropping from last week’s 6.48% average. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 3.45%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 5.52%, also dropping from last week’s 5.73% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.62%.

What If the Home Sellers Have a Dangerous Pet? | #YajneshRai #01924991 #SangeetaRai #02026129


What If the Home Sellers Have a Dangerous Pet?

Listing agents and their clients have a duty to ensure everyone’s safety on the property.

Coming across an aggressive dog or unfriendly cat is par for the course when taking clients on property tours. But Karen Abram, RENE, an agent with Keller Williams Realty in Calabasas, Calif., wasn’t prepared to come face-to-face with a wolf at a recent showing.

Abram and her buyers initially mistook the animal for a large dog in the corner of the living room. The sellers, who were present at the showing, explained that they rescued the wolf from the wild, which raised the hairs on the back of Abram’s neck. The listing agent hadn’t mentioned anything to Abram about a wild animal—let alone any kind of pet—in the home. Abram and her clients left immediately, and she called the listing agent to report the situation. The listing agent, Abram says, was unaware of the wolf. “I nearly had a heart attack,” Abram adds. “That was really scary and could have been really dangerous.”

People keep all kinds of unusual animals at home, which can put real estate agents and consumers at risk during a property sale. It’s a common danger in rural communities, where farms and ranches often house wild turkeys, pigs, birds and horses, for example. Snakes and alligators also are fairly common pets in some areas of the country, but even poorly behaved dogs and cats can pose a threat. While sellers are responsible for ensuring everyone’s safety on their property, there are situations where the listing agent can be held liable as well. So, when does a seller’s pets become your problem?

There are many stories of real estate professionals being attacked by animals on the job:

  • A bulldog injured a real estate agent who was showing a property in Canada in 2020. The agent discovered she wasn’t the only real estate pro wo be attacked by the dog.
  • In December 2019, an agent in Waco, Texas, and her clients were attacked by two pit bulls when the agent opened the garage where the sellers were keeping the dogs. The agent and clients required surgery for their injuries.
  • An agent in Northern California who was selling her own home kept five goats boarded on the property. Despite the agent’s warning, buyers opened the gate to pet the goats and were trampled by the animals.

Safety education and proper communication are key to navigating encounters with dangerous animals in the real estate process, says Charlie Lee, senior counsel and director of legal affairs at the National Association of REALTORS®. Agents should consider the safety precautions they’ll need to take if they accept a listing with a dangerous pet, he says.

“If the listing agent is aware of the pets in a home or on the property, they must let the showing agent know—especially if the animal is dangerous,” Lee says. “At that point, the onus is on the showing agent to proceed at their own risk. Agents should advise sellers to remove potentially dangerous animals from the property. If that isn’t possible, they need to ensure that everyone who enters is aware of the animal’s presence.”

Listing agents should include a warning in their online listing about the presence of a dangerous animal and post notes throughout the home to alert visitors to the animal’s location. Susan Peer, an agent with Keller Williams Realty in West Des Moines, Iowa, even posted to the door photos of the garage, where she kept her four large dogs quarantined during showings, when she was selling her own home. “We also put up baby gates and posted ‘do not open door’ signs,” she says. “We put in the listing that the dogs would be removed for second showings.”

If your sellers have an animal that could potentially scare off buyers, you might advise them to get a pet license or permit to demonstrate responsible pet ownership, Lee says. “If the broker is aware of local laws regarding potentially dangerous animals, they can assure that the sellers are in compliance,” he adds. If aggressive pets cannot be kenneled or properly restrained, you may not want to list the property until you have a long-term solution for the animals to be removed.


Economist: Mortgage Rates Will Dip Below 6% Soon | #YajneshRai #01924991 #SangeetaRai #02026129


Economist: Mortgage Rates Will Dip Below 6% Soon

After doubling from a year ago, rates likely will experience less volatility in 2023, says NAR Director of Forecasting Nadia Evangelou.

Mortgage rates likely will settle below 6% and experience less volatility this year, predicts Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of forecasting at the National Association of REALTORS®. But we’re not there yet: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.48% this week, according to Freddie Mac. “Although rates remain more than double a year ago, they will likely stabilize as inflation will continue to slow down in the coming months,” Evangelou says.

Mortgage rates have been pulling back ever since surging to a 7.08% average in November. But the housing market may still be adjusting to higher rates; a year ago, the 30-year rate averaged 3.22%. “Mortgage application activity sunk to a quarter-century low this week as high mortgage rates continue to weaken the housing market,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “While mortgage market activity has significantly shrunk over the last year, inflationary pressures are easing and should lead to lower mortgage rates in 2023.”

Until then, home buyers may be in wait-and-see mode. Affordability has been hammered by higher rates in recent months. Evangelou says the qualifying income for homeownership is now near the $100,000 threshold, which means only 32% of all households and 15% of all renters can afford to buy a median-priced home. The majority of these households are Gen Xers, whose median age is 51, she adds.

But many aspiring buyers from younger generations are still waiting to jump in. “Home buyers are waiting for rates to decrease more significantly, and when they do, a strong job market and a large demographic tailwind of millennial renters will provide support to the purchase market,” says Khater. “Moreover, if rates continue to decline, borrowers who purchased in the last year will have opportunities to refinance into lower rates.”

Freddie Mac reported the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 5:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 6.48%, up from last week’s 6.42% average. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 3.22%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 5.73%, also up from last week when they averaged 5.68%. A year ago at this time, 15-year rates averaged 2.43%.