What Millennials Look For when Buying a Home

What Millennials Look For When Buying A HomeDid you know 66% of Millennials (born between 1981-1996) plan on buying a home within the next five years? This home-buying generation makes up 34% of all current home buyers and 66% of first-time buyers.

Having your home “Millennial ready” is a very good idea for this large buying group. Here are some tips on making your home more appealing to them:

Everything Needs to be Just So
Millennials prefer homes in top shape and move-in ready. Have your home up-to-snuff with all repairs and upgrades completed. If you cannot have update your baths or kitchen, consider at least replacing the fixtures in those rooms.

Open Kitchen Floor Plan

Millennials prefer homes with open plans flowing from room to room. Almost 50% of them desire a luxury kitchen. Dining rooms are not a top priority, but a home office is appealing.

These buyers are looking for low-maintenance features. Wood floors and granite countertops are viewed as hassle-free.

Stage Your Home for that Generation
Most of Millennial home buyers do online research for hours ahead of time. They are going to look at your home’s photos online – on their mobile device. The decor in your home should be appealing to them.

Staging your home for this generation could work to your advantage: Statistics indicate 76% of Millennials drove by a home they saw on the Internet and 60% had personal tours of homes based on photos they viewed.

Staging a home is helpful because it makes a buyer feel at home right away. Mid-century decor is very popular right now with clean lines and edited accessories.

Most Millennials (65%) will select their home based on how close it is to work. Walkable neighborhoods are also appealing, so if your area has a good walking score, play it up.

Technology and Energy Efficiencies
Millennials value strong wireless and Internet service. Land phones are not necessary. Smart home features are also attractive to them.

Homes with green features are appealing to these buyers. Although this is not a top selling feature, if your home is efficient, it could draw more interest. Think about upgrading old appliances for Energy-Star versions.

Statistics source.


Pantone Color for 2018 – Ultra Violet!

Several opened cans with paint inside.Purple…aka “ultra violet” rules as the color for 2018! Pantone 18-3838 is a color that “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking.”

Great Accent Color
Ultra Violet is a very strong color. Although it may be too intense on a wall since it is a very trendy color, think about using it as an accent with bedding, pillows or towels. This color does very well in contemporary-styled homes.

Want to be inspired? Look at some Ultra Violet photos from Houzz.

My Grandma and Purple
My grandmother loved the color purple. When she moved to Southern Florida in the mid 1960s, she gave up all of her traditional furnishings in her Cincinnati home for brand new pieces all dripping in purple. She had purple carpet, purple couch, purple cushions, purple side chairs and purple bedding – along with French Provincial white furniture.

Although my grandmother’s villa home had sunny palm trees on the outside, the inside was 100% royalty-styled grandeur. (Oh, and did I mention that she covered the carpeting, couch and chairs in sheets so that it all stayed new? I cannot remember, but if I had to bet, those sheets were purple, too.) Whenever I seedeep purple, I fondly think of my grandmother and all of her purple wonderfulness.

Spruce Up Your Patio or Deck for Spring

With spring already here and summer right around the corner, now is the perfect time for homeowners who plan to spend a lot of time on their decks and patios in the months ahead to put a little work into making them as welcoming as possible. There are plenty of ways to do that with simple DIY projects that don’t take a lot of expertise or even financial investment.

One of the easiest ways to make a deck or patio look better – especially if it hasn’t been touched up in recent years – is to repaint or re-stain it before the summer begins, according to House Logic. This can be done regardless of the material the patio or deck is made of, and there are actually plenty of ways to add a little pizazz by  painting with patterns or using bright, bold colors.

Outdoor furniture on a deck or patio can start to look worn out, so repainting chairs and tables – or simply replacing weather-resistant cushions for benches – is another quick fix that doesn’t require a major cash investment.

Putting in More Work
For homeowners who feel more comfortable working with tools, it might be possible to make an outdoor space even more welcoming. For instance, building – or simply buying – outdoor storage pieces like crates and chests can really clean up the clutter not only on the deck or patio itself, but around the yard. Ensuring these storage units match the new paint or stain job on the deck or patio goes a long way toward making the whole area look great.

For those with more construction skills, building a new fire pit will make staying out on the deck late into the evening even more inviting. There are plenty of DIY instructions about how to do this type of project quickly, easily and safely. (Go here and here for instruction.)

A Little Greenery Goes a Long Way
For those homeowners who have a green thumb, you might want to consider the benefits of making a deck or patio a lot more plant-friendly, according to the Seattle Times. There are so many ways to incorporate plants into a design overhaul, and most can be done at a low price point. After all, if plants just need plenty of sunlight and water, it can be easy to accommodate those needs in the summer, and make an outdoor gathering space a lot more attractive.

One of the easiest ways for owners to get inspiration for how they want a new deck design to look is to simply surf the Internet for a few hours. The number of great ideas they’re likely to find with a simple search can provide all kinds of good plans that are easy to carry out in short order.

Need professional help with your deck or patio? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

Go Green with Simple Home Changes

Most homeowners are on the lookout for simple ways to save a bit of money here and there, because even a few cost-cutting measures can really add up over the course of a year. Meanwhile, many Americans also want to reduce their environmental impact for both financial as well as for more altruistic reasons.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to accomplish both of these goals around the home, and they don’t take a lot of expertise. The best part is that most of these investments pay for themselves quickly.

One of the simplest moves homeowners can implement to make their properties more ‘green’ and efficient is to simply replace their outdoor electrical lighting with solar-powered lamps that can dramatically reduce consumption, according to Staged For More. These lights typically have a modest price tag and can therefore pay for themselves quickly, especially during the summer when people tend to spend more time outside at night anyway.

And while addressing this issue, it’s also a good idea to install energy-efficient light bulbs throughout a home as well. These bulbs use far less energy and last significantly longer.

Other simple installation jobs
Along similar lines, homeowners who install water-saving shower heads can not only cut costs, but depending on the size of their family, they can also save thousands of gallons of water each year, likely without noticing much difference in their day-to-day showering habits. Moreover, saving water also saves on a home’s gas bills, because they don’t need to heat nearly as much water over the course of the year.

Another great way to cut heating and energy costs is to install a programmable “smart” thermostat, which can be adjusted from a smartphone. Doing so puts the power to control temperature right at a homeowner’s fingertips, no matter where they are in the world. If no one’s home – for example, during the work day, when parents and kids alike are at work or school – they won’t have to run the heat or air conditioning at full steam, and the savings from several hours per day of modifying the climate-control in their home can really pile up quickly.

Bigger investments to make
Of course, if homeowners want to be a little more aggressive in this regard, and were already thinking about upgrading their appliances, it might also be wise to do so with energy savings in mind, according to Feldco Factory Direct. Most of today’s appliances are far more efficient than they were even a decade ago, but those that bear the familiar Energy Star logo can provide even more savings over the course of the appliance’s useful life.

For owners who were thinking of redoing their siding, or replacing their home’s doors or windows, there are also energy-friendly options they should investigate here as well. While these are obviously larger investments, they too can pay for themselves over time – and then some.

The good news is that there are so many options out there to help homeowners both cut their costs and potentially increase the real estate sales values of their homes overall, and simply doing a little research can go a long way here.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

Four Tips to Make Your Home Appear Spacious

Open floor plans are popular among homebuyers, but traditionally homes were built with individual rooms that served specific purposes. However, with some affordable adjustments, you can make your house appear more spacious.

Knocking down walls can be expensive and time consuming. Luckily, though, you can open up your home a bit without a massive remodeling project. Doing so may help bring your home’s appearance in line with modern trends. This is especially helpful if you plan on selling your property soon. Real estate sales are often driven by a number of trends, and this year, spaciousness is among them.

There are a number of affordable ways to open up the rooms in your homes and create the illusion of larger spaces. Even a few small changes like switching out the drapes on your windows can make a huge difference by opening up rooms. If you don’t have an open floor plan, but would like to imitate one with more spacious rooms, read the tips below:

What about your Windows?
Windows that aren’t blocked by heavy drapes or curtains make rooms seem bigger by letting in more natural light – the most attractive sort – and extending spaces. You can still hang thin curtains that aren’t completely opaque to achieve a similar effect. This way, it is possible to maintain a degree of privacy. You have windows, so use them to open up the rooms of your home!

Match the Furniture Palette to the Paint
Try finding at least a few pieces of furniture that match the color of the walls. This will blend couches, tables or chairs into the walls a bit, and make the room appear larger than it actually is. Maintaining unity in your palette is a great way to expand a space beyond its physical limits.

Keep the Clutter Away
When you’re staging a home, you typically hide items that you don’t use at least daily. To make a room seem bigger, you can take a similar approach. Keep plenty of efficient storage space in each room, and stow away most items around the house until you need them. Too much clutter can significantly change how a room appears, in terms of size.

Make Room for Mirrors
Mirrors serve a similar function to windows, minus the natural light. Similar to how a window creates the illusion of more space by expanding the room, a mirror’s reflection creates the impression of more space where there is none. Make sure that the mirror fits the theme of the room to ensure unity among various decorations and furniture.

Opening up your floor plan is expensive, but creating the illusion of more space is affordable and easy. Create an impression of spaciousness through mirrors and windows, cleaning consistently and thematic unity.

Need more inspiration? Look at homes for sale! Many times these homes are staged to look their best.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

What Can Sellers Do to Make Their Homes Look Great in 2017?


A real estate professional can tell selling clients all about the importance of making a home presentable before an open house. Obviously any imperfections or clutter can be a bit of a turn-off to would-be buyers, and it’s therefore important for all involved to make sure a home is as attractive as possible. Part and parcel with that necessity, though, is the fact that what buyers want to see in a home often change as new lifestyle-trends develop.

With this in mind, it’s important for agents and sellers alike to keep in mind what the latest trends in home improvement are, with a focus on boosting that return on investment as the selling season gets underway in earnest, according to Jeff of All Trades. One of the big trends in 2017 is that people want nicer kitchen areas so they can focus on preparing healthy, home-cooked meals. Kitchen redesigns, whether large or small, have long been a focus ahead of real estate sales, but figuring out ways to create more space for cooking is now a must.

Other Areas of Focus
Along similar lines, when it comes to living healthy, some people want to cultivate fruits, vegetables and herbs in their homes. To that end, finding a spot to install even a small greenhouse-type window with the intention of giving plants plenty of light to help them thrive could be just another attractive selling point that scores big with potential buyers. For those with a little more space, it might be possible to set up a small indoor grow house with water and light access provided on an ongoing basis.

In general, people are more focused on going green, so any installations that help to conserve water or energy, or perhaps cut down on waste in general, could go a long way toward boosting a current homeowner’s return on investment.

Focusing on the Outside
The concept of curb appeal isn’t in any way new, but the focus on healthy living and more of an outdoors-y feeling translates here as well. The more homeowners can do to make the plant life in their yards thrive ahead of a sale – and perhaps this includes planting a small tree so new buyers can watch it grow over the years – the more likely it becomes that buyers will be charmed by all the greenery they see. Along similar lines, it might also be wise to build a small garden in the back yard for even more growing space. That’s the kind of DIY job that can be completed in an afternoon.

The more you can do to improve your home ahead of an open house, the better. Often, something as simple as keeping on top of the latest design trends and learning more about what buyers want can make a large impact.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

Add Color To Your Home – No Painting the Walls

White sofa with colorful decorThinking of adding color to the rooms of your home, but do not want to paint? No problem! Just add color to your home’s accessories.

Vivid artwork can add splashes of color to your walls and the room. A large piece of art will brighten a room right away. If you are hanging a piece of art over a fireplace, it is best to find one that is approximately the same width as the fireplace opening. Art hung over a couch or another piece of furniture should not be wider than the furniture’s width and optimally should be about 75% of the width of the furniture. (The artwork will look more cohesive if you follow these rules.)


Pillows and blankets are easy ways to inject color into a room.


The right-colored rug can look fabulous by bringing the room together as well as add texture. Keep 12 inches of wood around the perimeter of a rug. Larger rugs look better than smaller ones.

Lamps, vases and tchochkes are others ways to add color to a room. Collections look best in threes. Less is more.

A fresh bouquet of flowers adds temporary color to a room.

Here is a Sibcy Cline Pinterest board to help with inspiration.

Bigger and Livable: What 2016 has Shown us so Far for Houses

backyard cozy patio area with wicker furniture setThe busiest part of the real estate calendar is winding down. If you want to sell your home soon, but skipped listing your home this summer, you can still leverage lessons from recent months to ensure a higher return when you do put your home on the market.

It’s never too early to reflect on the trends that emerged over the last few months, and consider how you can apply them to your own home. If there’s one constant when it comes to selling homes, it’s that owners love to work up to the last minute to ensure they get a good return. By incorporating popular design elements, sellers can boost that return substantially. The American Institute of Architects sought to determine what some of those trends were in early 2016. Over 500 architecture firms came together in this effort to identify what has been popular this year. Here’s what they concluded:

  1. Open Layouts
    Today’s home buyers desire a floor plan that flows seamlessly from one room to another. Home buyers are looking for open layouts, where the kitchen opens up to the dining area and living room. The kitchen is where many buyers not only want to cook but also entertain. An open concept floor plan is also very popular home feature with families with young children as it allows the parents the ability to watch their children even if they are not in the same room or area of the home.
  2. Practical, livable outdoor spaces
    Gone are the days of aesthetically pleasing landscaping without practical purpose. Buyers are looking for outdoor spaces that they can use in ways similar to indoor rooms. Of the respondents to the AIA survey, 69 percent said they’d seen increased outdoor living space activity and 61 percent noted blended outdoor and indoor areas were growing more popular. Be sure to consider livability and practical uses when landscaping your property.
  3. Houses are getting bigger
    By a number of metrics, homes are growing larger, architects noted. Houses grew in terms of lot size, volume and square footage in early 2016. One reason for the rising demand in bigger homes is a trend toward multi-generational housing. With many baby boomers retiring, and millennials moving back in with their parents after college, it’s growing more common to see one or two generations of a family under a single roof.

Big, spacious and practical – those are the adjectives that describe the sort of homes most buyers are looking for in 2016. These are qualities that sellers and their agents should be sure to emphasize, both in their listings and through home staging. By appealing to buyers searching for these features, sellers can maximize the amount they ultimately receive for their homes. If the descriptions above sound like your home, you’re well-positioned to sell quickly at a great price.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com

Using Grandma’s Mid-Century Furniture in Your Home


Are you inheriting furniture from a loved one? Watch this video on how to incorporate beloved Mid-Century furniture into your home.  (Or read the article here.)

If hand-me-downs are not headed your way, don’t worry. You can acquire another grandma’s treasures at Second Story Auctions!

Help Your Retiring Parents Buy a Home

OlderCouple_Gal_Ipad.jpgWhile there has been much hubbub about the Millennials’ potential to change the housing market, it is retiring baby boomers who are in control right now. If your parents are among the people looking for a new home to enjoy retirement in, you can help them.

Freddie Mac recently found that baby boomers are the dominant demographic in the housing market. While Millennials were expected to be behind the majority of real estate sales this year, it seems baby boomers are giving them a run for their money. The company surveyed 4,900 homeowners born before 1961. These individuals control two-thirds of the home equity in the U.S., and 40 percent of them hope to move at least once more. If your parents are among these market-shaping seniors, then they may to be looking for a new residence. With interest rates as low as they are, the time is right for homebuyers with good credit.

However, the cost of health care and the limits of Social Security and retirement savings may make it more difficult to afford a home. Lending standards are strict, and medical debts and small retirement incomes are difficult to work around. One of the best things people can do for their parents in this financially difficult environment is to offer help with the homebuying process. Realtor.com explained a few of the ways you can help your parents buy a new home:

Purchase it yourself and charge rent
One option is to buy the home yourself and charge your parents rent. This way they don’t have to deal with strict lending standards nor do they have to raid their savings for a sizable down payment. In addition, this is an opportunity for you to invest in a property and gain equity without worrying about your tenant. It is important, though, to set rent prices at levels comparable to nearby properties. Otherwise, the Internal Revenue Service could start poking around.

Buy the home and don’t charge rent
If you’re feeling especially generous and are in need of a second home, you could buy the home for your parents and forgo charging rent. There are tax advantages to buying a home for your mom and dad. If you opt for this arrangement, the government will allow you to deduct the mortgage interest and property taxes on your home. In this case, it would be best to keep the title of the home in your name to avoid a gift tax.

Co-sign the mortgage
The first two options require buying a home, but the third necessitates co-signing a loan instead. Your own credit might be enough to offset the impact of smaller retirement income or other financial problems retirees face. Parents often prefer this option, since it offers them some financial independence relative to the other two choices. In addition, you won’t have to shell out much of your own cash in this arrangement.

Medical expenses and retirement income and savings limitations have created difficult circumstances for some baby boomers who hope to buy a home. Luckily, their children can step in and help by purchasing the properties themselves or co-signing mortgages. This way, baby boomers can move into homes that suit their retirement lifestyles.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.