April e-News

THE BUZZ
Compliments of Anne Diola of Old Republic Title & Escrow of Hawaii

April is a pivotal month in real estate. There’s just something about spring blossoms and long-awaited days of sunshine that spark home buying. Families start making plans to move over the summer months. Historically, from April through mid-July, the rush is on.
March marked a time of unseasonably bad weather and international tragedy, which affected real estate across the nation. Nationwide, existing home sales fell in February following three straight monthly increases.
Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, observes that “housing affordability is at record levels and the economy is improving. Still, home sales are being constrained by unnecessarily tight credit and appraisals that do not reflect rising prices. This tug and pull is causing a gradual but uneven recovery.”
All-cash sales were a record 33% in February and investors accounted for 19% of those sales. The balance of home sales was from first-time homebuyers or repeat buyers.
There are many great deals now. A prequalified buyer can reap substantial rewards. I work with some great mortgage consultants – let me know if you would like an introduction. Let the sun shine!

JUST ASK
Q: My house is stuck in the winter blues. How do I freshen it up for a spring sale?
A: The way you live in your home is not necessarily the best way to show your home when you’re trying to sell. If you are like most people, you enjoy your collections of things and your home probably doesn’t look like those on the HGTV tours. In order to sell for top dollar, you have to get rid of clutter.
Do you put off spring-cleaning? Does each item seem to call out to you and beg you to not put it away? If so, here is an easy method to reduce clutter.
Label four boxes:
Storage – Put things you don’t need for the next three months in here.
Put away – These are things you want to keep and enjoy regularly (for example, small picture frames of family), but need to be stored in a closet or garage temporarily to reduce clutter.
Give-Away/Sell – Who else will be happy to have this item? Be generous.
Trash – Damaged and broken items go here.
It sounds simple, but this really works. Move quickly. Your give-away box may end up in storage for a while. But the more you declutter, the more your home will appear more spacious and inviting to potential buyers.

FYI
This is the second in a series of articles on painting your home.
What is paint sheen and why does it matter? The sheen of the paint is the level of reflective light that can be seen when looking at the painted surface from an angle. The following are the various paint sheens available today:
Flat: The matte finish of a flat paint looks especially good on drywall and plaster. While it hides surface blemishes, flat paints are prone to show scuffs and grime and they are harder to clean. Ceilings are a good place to use a flat sheen.
Eggshell or Velvet: Eggshell is often used in place of a flat finish for walls since its surface is washable and more resistant to smudges. Some manufacturers now create a velvet finish, a lower-sheen cousin to eggshell that’s growing in popularity.
Satin: A satin finish is ideal for children’s rooms since they’re easy to clean up. It’s also good in bathrooms, kitchens and exterior applications. Excess moisture beads up in the surface instead of being absorbed into the paint.
Semi-gloss: This finish is good for woodwork and trim, when you want to set it off from a low-sheen wall. Some people like to use semi-gloss paint on kitchen walls since it’s durable and can be cleaned up easily. But keep in mind the higher the sheen, the more imperfections you’ll see.
Gloss: Gloss is best used when you want a dramatic shine on floors, woodwork or a dark accent wall. Smooth surfaces can appear like “plastic” when coated in a gloss finish, so use with caution.
Be sure to get samples of your paints before you purchase – though the types of sheen may have universal names, the actual sheen levels can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Next month we’ll consider the uses of color and how to pick the best colors to suit your home, look, and lifestyle.

Contact Info:
Anne Diola
Real Estate Marketing Specialist
Old Republic Title & Escrow of Hawaii
33 Lono Ave, Ste 195
Kahului, HI 96732
W: (808) 281-8430
M: (808) 281-8430
adiola@ortc.com