2020 Housing Market: Gen X, Boomers, and Millennials

As we head into 2020, many in the Real Estate industry, or those who are looking to buy or sell this year, may be wondering what the market will look like in the months to come and overall this year.

According to Realtor.com, one factor playing a major roll in the housing market this year is age groups. Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, and Millennials will all have an effect on the year 2020, just as they started to in 2019.

With Gen Xers and Baby Boomers:

Though many are beginning to retire and seek places that are sunnier, warmer, have lower taxes, and have lower costs of living, many are also opting to hang onto their homes a little longer than they did in the past. This is causing a diminish in home supply – even more of a diminish than there was before – and a diminish that new home builds cannot keep up with in order to keep inventory steady.

When it comes to mortgages, around 32% of home purchases this year are projected to be from Gen Xers, while around 17% of home purchases are projected to be from the Baby Boomer generation, a smaller percentage than in previous years.

About Millennials:

As for millennials, they are projected to make up a whopping 50% of all home purchases this year! That means they’ll take out more mortgages than the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers combined.

While some may think that Millennials are just looking for hip apartments in the city within walking distance to everything (or are drowning in too much student debt to hold their own in the Real Estate market), that isn’t the case. Not only are Millennials looking for other types of homes – such as an 1,800 square foot house in the suburbs – but they also have peak savings for down payments. The median age for millennials is 30 years old, which is also the age of the average home buyer now. These 30-somethings are starting families and seeking homes in good neighborhoods closer to good schools.

The only problem millennials will face, as will every other home buyer this year, is the inventory shortage, making it harder for them to find the right home.

 

This is just one factor looking to affect the 2020 market this year, but there are many more, which we’ll continue to write about in blogs to come. If you’re looking to possibly buy or sell a home this year, we’d love to help you in any way we can! You can call us at 928-771-1111.

The Trend of Stress-Free Homes

Life can be crazy. With spouses and kids to look after, busy work weeks and errands on top, it’s easy to feel like you are constantly running around or having something to do. Amidst all the chaos of our hectic lives, it’s nice to walk through the front door of your home and breathe a sigh of relief, instantly feeling more calm and ready to relax.

That being said, check out this article from The National Association of Realtors Magazine about how more and more, stress-free homes are becoming a trend for today’s builders and home buyers:

Stress-Free Homes Are a Trending Niche

From family and jobs to finances and health, life can get complicated. “Zen is in demand,” as one real estate pro says. Learn how you can provide that.

Whether it’s a luxurious $45 million estate in California or a modest $250,000 two-bedroom house in Ohio, marketing a home’s stress-relieving qualities is a growing trend. Today, developers, builders, and interior designers are trying to make homes that offer that soft landing at the end of a day. And homeowners need it—about eight in 10 Americans say they frequently (44 percent) or sometimes (35 percent) encounter stress in their daily lives, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Helping clients find a soothing place to come home to can become a niche in the real estate world. And, understanding what stress-relieving designs are available can help you and your agents guide clients to a happy purchase.

Reaching Female Homebuyers

Since 2003, Design Basics Inc., in Omaha, has been gearing many of its residential blueprints toward easing stress because that is one of the four important elements women look for in a home’s design. Why women, you ask? Well, 91 percent of home purchases are influenced by women, according to the Harvard Business Review. Additionally, the National Association of REALTORS® 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that the number of single female buyers continues to rise, and are currently the second largest buyer group at 18 percent behind married couples at 63 percent.

Paul Foresman, director of business development for Design Basics, says the company took data and research on female buyers of all ages and backgrounds and created the Woman-Centric Matters home design program. They discovered the four primary elements women are looking for in home design: entertainment, stress relief, storage, and flexible living. Foresman travels across the country talking to builders about the program.

“Everyone lives differently. But women tell us that they want to come into their home and feel like it is a place of respite. They look for homes that make their life easier, more convenient, more fun, and more inviting to others,” he adds.

The High End of Less Stress

Home designs by Greg Malin, CEO and founder of Troon Pacific in San Francisco, are adding amenities such as lap pools with underwater speakers that play music and art galleries with chaise lounges so you can take it all in.

“What’s the best luxury in life? My late wife would say it’s your health,” Malin says. So, he builds homes with his passion for sustainability and wellness in mind. Less stress in a person’s world can help with their health. For instance, cables in all bedrooms of his homes are shielded to mitigate electromagnetic field waves, which can cause the body to emit stress signals that can lead to high levels of adrenaline.

His company also uses biophilic design, which bridges a homeowner’s lifestyle with natural environment around them. “We’re trying to connect people to nature. One of our homes offers a yoga deck. Plus, each [development] project offers a wellness center with a sauna, steam room, a place to have a massage, meditation area, and outdoor shower,” he adds.

Joel Goodrich, agent at Colwell Banker Preview International in San Francisco, has shown Malin’s stress-free homes several times to clients. He also is a friend of Malin. “Perhaps, we are living in more stressful times than ever before. People are looking for their homes to be an oasis or retreat from life, the world, and business,” he says. “These homes are designed to feel like a retreat. Zen is in demand.”

Tips for Alleviating Stress at All Price Points

Most home buyers are looking for respite in a haven from everyday stress. The good news is not all stress-free homes have to be multimillion-dollar properties. Here are some of the stress-reducing designs and products being showcased in homes across the country.

Natural light, plus dimmers. “People always gravitate to the bright, sunny spaces in a home. So, anything we can to do enhance natural light is popular,” Foresman says. Malin adds that lights with dimmers can also help reduce harshness, especially in bedrooms, for a more relaxing ambiance.

Automated shades. Shades programed to open at sunrise can be a calming way to wake up without an alarm. They can also be used to reduce sunlight for those not ready to rise, Goodrich says. In addition to setting times, homeowners can pair smart shades with a digital thermostat, so they automatically open and close based on temperature.

A water feature. “Water can be very calming,” Goodrich says. In one extreme example, an international architect put a waterfall in the middle of a living room design and branded it. But a simple fountain in a sun porch or patio can do wonders, too, he adds.

Pet centers. Many buyers nowadays are seeking pet-friendly abodes, so features such as cabinets with pullout drawers for dog food goes a long way. Some want a dog washing station or a room for the pet itself. Electronic doggie doors have also become popular, where the dog has a collar that automatically opens the door to go inside or out.

Nature’s beauty. The ability to see flowers or greenery outside your windows—even in a big city—helps create peacefulness. In Malin’s homes, he plants green rows of bamboo or cypress outside the main windows, even in the heart of the Bay Area.

Covered outdoor living space. Foresman says you don’t have to cancel your plans if it rains when you have a covered outdoor area, which eliminates worry. Plus, coffee on the patio can still happen on rainy mornings. A pergola cover or easy-to-assemble patio gazebo are cost-effective ways to accomplish this.

Work-in pantry. Taking the walk-in pantry to the next level, some buyers want a prep area, sink, dishwasher, and sometimes an oven in what’s dubbed the “work-in” pantry, Foresman says. This eliminates guests seeing any mess while keeping the heart of the gathering in the kitchen.

Relaxing sounds and white noise. Malin installs speakers in master bedrooms and bathrooms, allowing for the sounds of waterfalls, forests, or whatever keeps the homeowners tranquil. For existing homes without built-in speakers, try a Google Home or Amazon Echo—relaxing sounds at open houses may even entice buyers.

Shipping vestibule. This involves a door or cupboard that opens for delivery people. They can leave the package behind the door without entering the house, Foresman says. You don’t have to be home when the delivery is dropped off, and locks can used from your smartphone to avoid theft.

Dual owner suites. This newer building plan has quickly become Foresman’s top seller. It includes two suites on the main floor that can be used for older couples who don’t sleep in the same bed, multigenerational households, boomerang kids, friends who have purchased together, or live-in caregivers. “In many ways for all involved it’s a great stress reliever, with a private bathroom and enough storage,” he adds.

 

Happy New Year: Prescott’s Boot Drop!

Well, it’s ALMOST that time of year… THE LAST DAY OF THE YEAR! This is a time we will all say goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020 (Wow, does saying 2020 make anyone else feel old?)!

This is a time we will reflect on all that has happened in the last year, which can bring both sadness when thinking about what has passed, but also joy in thinking about what is to come.

If you know us, you know the Kathleen Yamauchi Group is a tight nit group of agents. We are co-workers, friends, and family. We are a team who look out for one another, help one another, and collectively do the same for each and every client that walks through our door.

In 2020, we will strive to serve the Prescott community, and those moving to Prescott, with the same fervor and professionalism we always have. We will continue to remember and implement what Kathleen said: “It has never been our intention to be the biggest. Only the best!” We will continually strive to grow, adapt, and learn so that we can be the best agents this town has ever seen – the agents our clients deserve.

We thank you so much for your business and partnership with us in the past, and we hope that we get to work with you again in 2020 and in the years to come! From all of us at the Kathleen Yamauchi Group, we wish you and yours a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

That being said, if you’re looking for something to do tonight to ring in the new year, check out Prescott’s very last town event in the Downtown Square: The Boot Drop.

The Boot sits atop whiskey row and is lit up in neon fluorescent lights. People from all over come to watch as the boot drops, once at 10PM for those of us looking to go to bed a little earlier or whom have children, and again at the traditional time of 12PM.

Come and have some good food and drinks at one of the many restaurants around downtown as you ring in the new year, kissing your loved one at midnight and giving cheers with all your friends.

Make sure to bundle up as you know the temperatures tend to drop low at night.

As always, be careful driving around with all the people out and about to celebrate the new year. Use taxi services and apps such as Uber or Lift if needed.

We hope you have fun, have safe travels, and again, have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For more information on the Boot Drop downtown, check out the City of Prescott’s events page by clicking here.

 

 

 

Merry Christmas!

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, which of course means that the following day, Wednesday, is Christmas!

With all the tradition and nostalgia that Christmas tends to bring, it’s no wonder it is many people’s favorite holiday. Not only does it bring amazing food and drink, but it also is a time for family to come together, enjoy one another’s company and the festive holiday, and of course we can’t forget about the presents!

There’s gifts, hot cocoa, apple cider, cinnamon scented everything, Christmas trees to decorate, Christmas lights galore that leave us in awe, the magic of snow (well, sometimes), those early Christmas mornings spent with your loved ones eating a hearty breakfast and opening presents in your pj’s, and oh SO MUCH more! Every family has their own traditions that make the holiday special.

Amidst the chaos of the season and all the opening of gifts, we pray you’re able to take it all in. Take in the moments that are far too fleeting and the cherished time spent with loved ones during this season that only comes once a year.

We hope you have a good Christmas Eve tomorrow and we wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS this year!

Tips For Winterizing Your Home This Season

Though we posted this article last winter, we felt it was worth posting again because it is such helpful and vital information to have in the winter season.

Living in Prescott where winter temperatures drop below freezing and we get some pretty crazy snowstorms depending on how “wet” the season is that year (snowmagedon February 2019 am I right?), we all should know how to properly winterize our homes.

Even though we don’t get as much snow as other places such as Flagstaff just north of us, or Colorado’s white winters, we still get enough accompanied by some temperatures that could wreak havoc on unprepared homes. Burst pipes, inadequate insulation to keep in heat and save energy, a furnace that cannot keep up with the freeze, and many other things.

Below is some advice from our very own Sheila Mengarelli on how to winterize your home this season. Take a look at her tips and tricks, and make sure your home is properly equipped for the cold months – and hopefully snows – still to come!

Tips to Winterize your Prescott Home

  • Service your Furnace– Have your furnace serviced fall and spring by a local HVAC company to keep you high and dry.

 

  • Change the filters— Don’t forget to change the filter in your furnace. When you put the first furnace filter of the season in, don’t forget to set your digital calendar to remind you to replace it at monthly intervals throughout the cold season.
  • Inspect your Gutters– Clogged gutters can cause water that is blocked to freeze and seep into your home. Take the time to clean them out and make sure that your downspouts are carrying the water away and not toward your house.
  • Repair drafts– Electrical outlets, door frames, windows, and recessed lighting areas typically tend to be drafty. Sealing up these areas can save on your energy bill. Simply use a wet hand, or incense, to move over the areas to spot potential leaks.
  • Check your insulation– Attics require 12 inches of insulation. Moisture problems can occur if your insulation has backing paper, so take the time to do an inspection.
  • Check for any exposed pipes outside– Pipes must be insulated from the cold too. Not only does it keep the pipes from freezing, it will prevent condensation from freezing on them, helping to save on energy bills. Make sure any drip systems are drained and water spickets are off.
  • Vacation — Will you be away for an extended period of time? Never turn your furnace off. Set it at 50 degrees. This will keep your home at a steady temperature no matter what the weather brings. It’s also a good idea to set your water heater to vacation or away mode
  • Check your smokealarm – While you are inspecting so many other aspects of your home, don’t forget to make sure that your smoke alarms are all functioning, and replace the batteries as needed. Also, make sure that you have a functioning fire extinguisher as well.

 

Ready or not, Thanksgiving is on Thursday and we’re here to help!

Below is a list of all the things you may need to purchase at the grocery store so you don’t forget anything! Cooked and basted turkey, stuffing, cranberries, green beans, honeyed ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and the list could literally go on and on! Is anyone else’s mouth watering? Courtesy of our friends at Lawyer’s Title, they have thought of everything you could ever possibly need to buy at the store so you won’t have one single staple Thanksgiving dish or food missing from your feast.

So, print off this list, do your grocery shopping, and get ready for Thanksgiving because it’s only three days away! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, we are thankful for you!

Happy Almost Halloween!

Tomorrow is Halloween! A day full of fun, dress up, candy, pumpkins, friends and family, and more!

Halloween on Mount Vernon

In Prescott, a common place to celebrate the Holiday and go trick-or-treating is on the iconic Prescott street of Mount Vernon, occurring on Thursday October 31st (obviously).

Probably Prescott’s main Halloween attraction, this is a town “event” you won’t want to miss. The entire street gets closed down in the afternoon as trick-or-treaters flock to the site by the hundreds. People come from all over to trick-or-treat, get some cocoa or cider that is often offered by many homes, enjoy all the Halloween decorations the residents worked so hard to put up, and walk down the beautiful street of orange stained trees changing for the Fall. A family event for all, you’re sure to have fun and a night to remember at this time-honored Prescott tradition.

Make sure you dress warm though! The temperature high on Thursday is only 60 degrees, which means it will get pretty chilly at night during trick-or-treating hours.

Halloween History

In case you were curious about the Halloween holiday and it’s historical origin, here’s a small history recap of how Halloween came to be from history.com:

“Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated each year on October 31, and Halloween 2019 occurs on Thursday, October 31. It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints; soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating sweet treats.”

 

Whether you’re staying at home to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, going to Mount Vernon with your friends and family to partake in the festivities, going to a Halloween costume party, or just staying in and watching scary movies, we hope you have a great Halloween holiday! From all of us here at the Kathleen Yamauchi Group, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Ways to Make Your Home Cozier for the Holidays

We all love the Holidays, right? The smells of pumpkin and cinnamon, the decorations, the gatherings with loved ones, the amazing food and holiday drinks… there is too much to name!

When these holiday seasons come, there is nothing better than walking into a house (especially your own) and being welcomed with that Holiday cheer. However, maybe as much as you want your home to be cheerful for the holidays you just aren’t very good at decorating, or you simply can’t find the time or money to spruce your home up for the holidays. Well, we’re here to help. Here are some easy ways to add that holiday cheer to your home without too much work or effort at all:

Candles: A candle goes a long way in bringing that holiday cheer to your home! Pumpkin spice, hazelnut, cinnamon stick, forest… there are so many different scents that will bring people into the holiday mood as soon as they step through your door. Another way to use candles for the holiday is to set up a group of them (like the white pillar type) on a decorative tray or display. These touches help create ambiance in your home and give it a touch of the holiday season.

Throw Pillows and Blankets: While these can get a little pricier, you can still find some good deals on them and they help tie in the holiday feel of your home so much! An easy way to accomplish this with pillows is to simply get pillow covers. Then you can just swap out the covers for every season. Ones for year-round, ones with pumpkins on them for Halloween and Fall, ones that are plaid or have trees on them for Christmas, or whatever your heart desires. This solution also makes storing the decorations a lot easier since you are only storing a folded pillowcase rather than an entire pillow.

Wall Art: Swapping out a picture or painting for a festive holiday sign is an easy way to spruce your home up for the Holidays. A sign that says “Home Sweet Home” becomes a sign that says “Happy Thanksgiving” or “Merry Christmas” and just like that, your home has some extra Holiday cheer. If you’re feeling especially crafty, these signs can easily be made from home with an old piece of wood, some sandpaper, and some paint!

Indoor Christmas Lights: While most people hang Christmas lights up outside, which is also cheerful and inviting, a way to decorate the inside of your home for the holidays is to hang some Christmas lights up inside. There’s something magical and awing about twinkling lights, and they are sure to bring that Christmas charm and spirit to your home! Plus, you can get them for relatively cheap at places like Walmart ($5 a box!).

Make Paper Snowflakes: Have any kids? Well this would be a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy this Christmas. Relatively mess free and easy, make some paper snowflakes with your children as you sip hot cocoa and apple cider. Then string them up for all to see – and to your children’s delight – to add some extra holiday decorations to your home.

Hang Garlands: These can either be bought fairly cheap at the store for any holiday (coming in oranges and purples for Halloween and Thanksgiving) or can even be made from fresh cut tree limbs off your Christmas tree! Either way, they are an easy way to dress your home up for the Holidays! Imagine a garland made of orange and yellow leaves, or tinsel and ornaments!

These are just a few easy ways to help decorate your home for the holiday season this year! We hope we’ve given you some good ideas to try out and that you have an amazing Holiday season with your loved ones this year!