Tag Archives: coastalrealestate

Which Remodeling Projects Bring the Most Joy?

In 2020, Americans spent $420 billion remodeling their homes, according to a new report by The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) and The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI.) They remodeled to upgrade outdated worn-out surfaces, finishes and materials (30%), add features and improve livability (20%), and just enjoy a change (16%.)   While most consumers (83% of those surveyed) said they would have remodeled regardless of the pandemic, most found that they were happy with the results (57%), satisfied (39%), and felt a sense of accomplishment (69%).  

Homeowners reported that the best results from remodeling were better functionality and livability (35%), durability (22%), and beauty (14%). A whopping 84% of homeowners said they enjoyed their homes more than before they remodeled.  Although most projects were completed with standard quality fixtures and materials, and some with better-quality installations, NAR and NARI calculated the consumers’ typical “Joy Score” at 9.6 out of a possible 10.

So which renovations brought the most joy to homeowners? Interior projects that received a perfect Joy Score of 10 include: painting entire interior of the home, painting one room of the home add a new home office, hardwood flooring refinish, new wood flooring, a closet renovation, insulation upgrade, and attic conversion to living area, said the report.  Scoring 9.8 were complete kitchen remodels and partial kitchen upgrades. A basement conversion to a living area scored a 9.7, and a bathroom renovation scored a 9.6. Adding a new laundry area and a new master bedroom earned a 9.5. 

Pending or Contingent?

Each home listing has a status that’s updated by information that the listing agent feeds into the multiple listing service (MLS). A home listed contingent or pending are under contract, but there’s still a chance for you to buy it.

Most purchase offers for the buyer to back out if they can’t get financing, the home doesn’t pass inspection, or the home price doesn’t meet appraisal. In some cases, the listing agent will update the listing with showing instructions, according to Rocketmortgage.com, such as:

Contingent – continue to show (CCS), the seller wants to pivot to a backup offer is the buyer can’t perform.
Contingent – no show, the seller believes the buyer will have no problem removing the contingency.
Contingent – with kick out, the buyer has a limited time to remove the contingency or risk the contract being voided.
Contingent – probate, a deceased homeowner’s assets are going through the probate process, so the home may not be available for purchase for some time.

When a listing is pending, the contract is closer to closing, but there are exceptions:

Pending- taking backups, the seller is accepting backup offers in case the buyer can’t perform.
Pending- short sale, the mortgage holder has been asked to take less money than the seller owes on their mortgage.

Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices franchise network professional can advise you about your chances. In a hot market with low inventory, shopping contingent or pending homes could be a great way to make offers with less competition.

About Earnest Money Deposits

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When a buyer and seller agree on a purchase price and terms, the buyer shows the seller a sign of good faith in the form of earnest money. This money, typically 1% to 3% of the sales price or whatever is customary for the local market, is deposited with an escrow agent or title company, a neutral third-party that serves to finalize the transaction for both sides.

Earnest money is designed to protect the seller. It shows the buyer is serious, but if the buyer doesn’t follow through with the contract, the seller could lose valuable marketing time when the transaction doesn’t close. They’ll have to start all over again to market the home. There are also opportunity costs – the seller could have possibly sold the home to a different buyer and perhaps for better terms. For that reason, the seller can keep the earnest money.

This also protects the buyer. The buyer can get out of a sales contract and get their money back if contingencies outlined in the purchase agreement aren’t met. Typical contingencies are that the buyer’s lender agrees to make the loan, the appraisal meets or exceeds the sales price of the home, the home passes inspection or that the buyer sells their current home before closing on the seller’s home.

Earnest money paid upfront in the transaction means the buyer has to come up with less money at closing or the deposit can be used as part or all of the down-payment.