questionableIt started with one photo of questionable design acumen showing up in my Facebook feed.

Of course, I had to show it to my coworkers, I mean, have you been here before? Getting my coworkers to react to the things I find while looking for the Wednesday WTF is like 22.3 percent of the fun of doing the Wednesday WTF.

So I just dropped this in the main Slack channel like it was NBD. (more…)

InstagramIt’s no real secret — Realtors love Instagram. We do, too — it’s a great way to pique interest in a home, tell a story, and more.

In fact, are you following us there? Because you probably should.

This week’s Tuesday Two Hundred comes from Monument Realty, who tagged us last week to let us know about this five-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath, Traditional home in the Forest Ridge neighborhood of Garland.

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islands

Photo courtesy Pexels.com

We all have our own list of things that are on trend, but maybe don’t excite us. Shiplap. Inspirational phrases on walls. Soaking tubs. But when one writer said she hated her kitchen island, we decided to ask our readers if they harbored similar disgruntlement against the fairly ubiquitous feature.

Realtor.com writer Cathie Ericson said:

“Kitchen islands are so popular, in fact, that most homeowners fall into one of two camps: those who have a kitchen island, and those who wistfully wish they did.

I fall into the former. But after years of hosting countless dinner parties with guests gathered round, perched on barstools, pouring out their hearts over glasses of merlot, I have a confession to make.

I hate my kitchen island.”

She lists several reasons — guests linger at the island instead of mingling throughout other parts of her home, the island is a magnet for clutter, it brings people to the food before you’re done preparing it, and that it invites people barstool quarterback your cooking technique.

All of these things, however, don’t sound much to me like it’s the island’s fault. Why not set out appetizers and drinks in another part of the house, or provide some kind of activity that is nowhere near your kitchen. Or, you know, just simply say, “I’m sorry, the food’s not quite ready yet, but feel welcome to have Joe mix you a drink over at the bar cart?”

We took to Facebook and Instagram to ask our readers what they thought. (more…)

open housesWe hear the question from time to time — are open houses really worth the time and effort? After finding several debates in various real estate and business publications, we took to Facebook and Instagram to ask our readers what they thought.

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Facebook

What do you do when a seller isn’t cooperative? (File photo courtesy Flickr)

This week’s Friday Question had its genesis in a conundrum we faced here at CandysDirt — we found a local listing that was quite well, not conducive to good marketing of a home, to put it delicately.

At the time, we talked amongst ourselves about why the photos in the listing may have looked the way they did — there were shots out of focus, random pets, stacks of boxes in another, the top of a random woman’s head in another.

Now, we have a weekly feature called the Wednesday WTF, where we do sometimes react off the cuff to notable listings all over the country. In fact, this week’s took a Realtor to task for a poor attempt at virtual staging that was so bizarre it could only be comical.

So we posed this question to our readers on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

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Last week, stocks rallied on news of a trade deal between the United States and Canada, which put pressure on bonds, says Bob Johnson (AKA BobMortgage) in this week’s Mortgage Report. Instagram followers got that up-to-the-minute news on Wednesday, where our most-trusted mortgage expert converted his “float” position to “lock.” 

In this week’s 71st episode of the Mortgage Report, BobMortgage, the senior mortgage adviser of the nation’s oldest private lender, Wallick & Volk, keys us into just what market dynamics are at play and how to interpret the fluctuations in the stock and bond markets. 

Keep your finger on the pulse of the market by following BobMortgage on Instagram. For a more detailed breakdown of all the myriad forces that impact mortgages, tune into this week’s Mortgage Report:

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Low inflation, a lower-than-expected increase in jobs, and some less-than-stellar bond market performance has upset the apple cart a bit. We consulted our most-trusted mortgage expert to find out how the quickly changing market dynamics will affect our readers. In this week’s Mortgage Report, Bob Johnson, (AKA BobMortgage) offers the kind of market insight that will change the way you look at mortgage rates from now on. 

The senior mortgage adviser at the nation’s oldest lender, Wallick & Volk, keeps us in the loop when the market makes moves. And now, our readers can benefit from his knowledge and expertise on a daily basis on his Instagram, so give him a follow

Of course, considering the state of the bond market, everyone’s wondering: Should you lock or float? Find out now!

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millennials real estate

Millennials use their smart phones extensively in the homebuying process and use apps for research. Photo: Garry Knight

For years, millennials have largely been thought of as renters, not buyers, but that has changed. Millennials, born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, now represent the largest group of homebuyers in the U.S. at 32 percent, taking over from Generation X, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluated the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers.

This matters because the way millennials buy real estate is markedly more technology-driven than older generations, and Realtors need to adapt to their style if they want to keep up, says David Maez, Broker and Co-Owner at VIVO Realty.

“There’s lots of frustration among older agents in working with the millennials, but they’re not going away and agents need to learn to adapt,” Maez said. “It’s exciting because of all of the technology that’s available to us to make it easier to buy and sell properties. How people buy properties is going to continue to evolve on the technology level.”

millennials real estate

Take, for instance, the telephone. Many Realtors are used to speaking with clients, but millennials are much more into texting.

“With millennials, you have to communicate how they want to—they are big on texting and many don’t even answer their phones,” Maez said. “Some agents have had success using Facebook messaging because [their millennial clients] are not checking their email, either.”

The smartphone is key to a lot of the differences in millennial real estate patterns. More than half of them search for homes on their mobile phones and 26 percent of those buy a house they found that way, according to research from NAR.

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