Houseplants add color and personality to any room. If you want to make yours even more unique, check out these crafty ideas to showcase your plants in style.
Archives for July 2019
Despite mortgage rates dipping below 4%, more jobs filled than ever before, and record-high consumer net worth, existing-home sales turned south in June, running at a pace similar to 2015 levels, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Tuesday. While economic indicators portend a strong housing market, low supply on the lower end—which leaves first-time homebuyers with few options—is helping to hold sales back, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says.
Total existing-home sales, comprising transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, dropped 1.7% month over month in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million, according to NAR. Sales are down 2.2% from a year ago. Two of the four major U.S. regions, the Northeast and Midwest, recorded minor sales increases last month, while the South and West posted larger declines. “Imbalance persists for mid- to lower-priced homes, with solid demand and insufficient supply, which is consequently pushing up home prices,” Yun says.
The median existing-home price for all housing types reached a record high of $285,700 in June, up 4.3% from a year ago.
Yun says other factors besides high home prices and inventory shortages may also make buyers skittish. “Either a strong pent-up demand will show in the upcoming months, or there is a lack of confidence that is keeping buyers from this major expenditure,” Yun says. “It’s too soon to know how much of a pullback is related to the reduction in the homeowner tax incentive.”
Here’s a closer look at more key indicators in the housing market in June from NAR’s latest report:
- Inventory: Total housing inventory rose to 1.93 million in June, up from 1.91 million in May. But the June figure is unchanged from inventory levels a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace.
- Days on the market: Fifty-six percent of homes sold in June were on the market for less than a month. Properties typically remained on the market for 27 days in June, up slightly from 26 days a year ago.
- Mortgage rates: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.80% in June, down from 4.07% in May, according to Freddie Mac. “Historically, these rates are incredibly attractive,” says NAR President John Smaby. “Securing and locking in a mortgage now—given the current favorable conditions—is a decision that will pay off for years to come.”
- First-time buyers: First-time buyers comprised 35% of sales in June, up from 31% a year ago.
- All-cash sales: Sixteen percent of transactions in June were paid in cash, down from 22% a year ago. Individual investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 10% of homes in June, down from 13% a year ago.
Stock the room with these basic items to make your overnight visitors comfortable
Getting ready to host overnight guests? Let’s assume you have a bed (or air mattress) and coverings on all the windows. That’s a great start! This list will help fill in all the little things your guests will want to have on hand for a comfortable night’s sleep. What you won’t find here: season-specific decor, extra charging cords, books and other optional extras that your guests might enjoy but can live without. Instead the focus is on versatile, key pieces to get your guest space up and running so you’re ready for visitors, no matter when they arrive.
Dare to dive into the deep for a sophisticated look in your cooking space
We often assume that dark kitchen cabinets need lightening up with pale countertops, or vice versa, but in fact a double-dark design can look dramatically stylish. Check out how these kitchens use dark cabinets and counters, and see whether the look could work in your home.
Whether you’re writing a letter to a friend or creating a website, paying attention to details is crucial. The ways we put our words together and the colors we pick can all become a reflection of who we are. It’s no surprise that even our favorite fonts can give clues about our personality.
In typography, most fonts that have similar elements are grouped into families. The serif family includes typefaces that carry a small extra stroke (or line) that’s usually attached to a larger stroke. The most notable representative of this group is the Times New Roman. If you want something traditional, this is the font for you.
Looking to keep things a little more modern? Ditch the extra letter stroke and switch to sans serif family. It seems like an unimportant detail, but it makes a world’s difference. This group includes century gothic, which many perceive as chic.
For something totally different, you can browse through the display family. This is where unique fonts like Cooper and Giddyup are sure to bring some playfulness to your text.
If you want to really express yourself and Arial just doesn’t cut it, don’t worry. There are plenty of other fonts to choose from. Just make sure you don’t spend more time choosing one than actually using it.
Playing a musical instrument is one of the great joys of life. But learning how to play the piano from scratch might be an expensive hobby if you have to pay for lessons. Digital instrument maker Roli have announced the LUMI Keyboard, a smarter way to learn and play music.
The illuminated keyboard and companion app teaches users how to play the piano from scratch, before transforming into a tool for jamming and even composition. The LUMI app will stream your favorite songs and light up the notes to play on the small keyboard, which is designed to snap on to other sets for an expanded instrument once you master the basics.
The app also has lessons on scales, chords, and playing techniques, among other things. LUMI Keys will also work as a MIDI controller, and it comes with ROLI Studio Player. watch the video below
Answer these 7 questions to find the right gravel size, color and texture for your needs and landscape style
There are a number of reasons to choose gravel for your garden: the satisfying crunch it makes underfoot, its relative low cost compared with other hardscaping materials, the environmental benefit of preventing runoff and erosion, and the fact that it looks good with almost any landscape style.
But with a huge range of stone types, colors, sizes and textures available, it can be tough to decide on a gravel for your application. A landscape professional can help you find the best gravel for your yard. To help guide the decision process, let’s get into some of the nitty-gritty details of gravel, including profiles of some top materials.
If you’ve given up on traditional broadcast television, you’ve truly cut the cord. But do you fear that you could be missing out? If so, here’s everything you need to know so you’re still up to date with all the shows you love.
These essentials will help ensure that your hardworking bathroom functions well for the whole household
If you’re planning to remodel your family bathroom, think about what will make life easier for you and your kids. Here are eight elements of a bathroom design that works for everyone.