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Retro: Not Just Mid-century Anymore

According to EyeonHousing.comhalf of owner-occupied homes were built before 1980. That could be just one of many reasons why many homebuyers and homeowners are going more “retro” in their decorating styles. Retro pieces of furniture, art, and accessories, whether antique, reproduction or derivative, can bring unique personality to any home.

TheSpruce.com explains that home décor has always mixed the old with the new. Retro is widely thought to mean Mid-century design, but it can also include nods from other eras, including Art Deco and Modernism from the 1920s to the 1940s. Both post-war, these modernistic motifs reflect large lifestyle changes, and are based in the joys of progress and optimism for the future.

Art Deco décor: The 1920s was a time of wealth, optimism, and confidence, concepts reflected by geometric shapes, opulent details, shiny surfaces, luxurious fabrics and vertical lines. Art Deco décor pays homage to the technical achievements that produced skyscrapers, planes, trains and automobiles. Machine-made objects such as toasters, blenders, refrigerators and vacuum cleaners revolutionized housekeeping. Bring Art Deco influences into your home with brass, chrome, statuary, luxe fabrics like brocade, velvet and suede, rounded seating and bold colors like emerald green, black and gold.  

Mid-century décor: Mid-century design takes inspiration from suburbia, highway travel, the invention of jet airplanes and easier international travel, and the Space Race of the 1950s to the 1960s. It’s practical, sleek, uncluttered, and features light cheerful colors, low furniture with exposed legs, and new materials like plastic, rayon, acrylic and Formica. 

Hit the Deck with Easy Upgrades

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It’s time for fun in the sun, and not too late to make some improvements to your deck. Before you have family and friends over for summer barbeques, take a weekend to make your deck more attractive, comfortable and better integrated with your backyard.

You want your deck and yard to look like they flow together. One way to do that is to plan around what you’d like to view, such as side gardens with flowers. The deck steps can lead down to the landing area or pavers in the grass that allows you and your guests to walk around and admire the plants up close.

Just as you want to orient your deck to pleasing views, you want to block out views that aren’t as nice. It’s easy to add screens, outdoor curtains or lattices so that you can enjoy the fresh air with more privacy. BobVila.com recommends adding a pergola to the deck. It’s a regal touch and the open slats of the roof will still allow airflow.

Lowes.com says to plan your deck for how you’ll use it. Is the space large enough for a barbeque, portable fireplace, or hibachi? Do you want to dine outdoors? You can buy outdoor dining furniture or build in a banquet. You can also add bench seating to one side. Anything that’s built-in and well-cared-for will add value to your home.

Top off the new look with planters for pops of color. And don’t forget soft lighting for evenings.

Housing Sales Take a Breath

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If you’ve been anxious about being able to buy a home, you’ll like the latest news in March 2022 from the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Housing sales are slowing down.

In February 2022, existing home sales were down 2.4% from one year ago and down 7.2% from January. Supplies of listed but not-yet-sold homes totaled 870,000 units, up 2.4% from January, but remain 15.5% lower than a year ago (1.03 million.) The supply is 1.7 months at the current sales pace, up from 1.6 months on hand in January.

As interest rates cross the 4% threshold and prices continue rising, monthly house payments have risen by 28%, says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. The median existing-home sales price rose to $357,300, up 15.0% from a year ago ($310,600), marking 120 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases. This is the longest-running streak on record, according to NAR.

Rising interest rates are conflating with rising home prices, which is impacting new home construction and sales. With mortgage interest rates a full point higher than they were a year ago, applications to purchase a new home were down for the third consecutive month, hitting the lowest sales pace in seven months at 791,000 units. And the MBA Builder Application Survey showed that mortgage applications for new home purchases decreased 3.9% year-over-year in February 2022.

The good news is you may be able to get a proverbial foot in the door soon.