Kitchen Renovations Make Owners Happy, According to NAR

When considering a home renovation, what tops the list of the best upgrades? According to the NAR Remodeling Impact Report for 2019, kitchens top the list! The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) said that when it comes to tanking projects in how much they appeal to buyers, Complete Kitchen Renovation and Kitchen Upgrade top the list. Kitchen projects also ranked 1 and 2 on their rank of projects’ likely value to the home for resale. But kitchen renovations aren’t just good for your future buyers: it’s also a way to make owners happier in their homes.

Kitchens Have The Highest Joy Score

Kitchens appear to be the most satisfying home renovation to complete. Out of all renovation projects, complete kitchen remodels received the highest joy score, with a score of 10 out of 10. Kitchen upgrades were right behind with a 9.7 out of 10 joy score. They calculated joy scores, “based on the happiness homeowners reported with their renovations.”

A complete kitchen renovation increased the sense of enjoyment while owners were home (95% of respondents). It even gave them a greater desire to be at home since completing the project (93%).

To DIY or Not to DIY

36% of owners did their home renovations themselves. 35% of wonders hired a professional for the entire job. If you choose to DIY, be sure that the project is within your skillset and you have the correct tools for the job. 12% contributed some DIY and let professionals do the rest, so it’s okay to get help where it’s needed.

Quick Kitchen Updates

If you’re not ready to dedicate the money to a complete renovation (NARI Remodelers’ cost estimate was $68,000!), here are a few updates you may want to try.

  1. Change your lighting. Do you have an ancient chandelier that looks dated? Try updating your lighting with pendant lights. There are plenty of options to choose from at your local store. A new light fixture can create a different focal point for your kitchen.
  2. Replace your hardware. An easy and affordable update, replacing your drawer pulls, can update the look of any cabinet.
  3. Repaint cabinets. If your cabinets are tired and chipped, try a fresh color! Traditional white kitchens have now given way to more vibrant cabinet colors. Another idea? Try contrasting your island color with your cabinet color.

If you’re ready to update your kitchen, be sure to check out the HUNT Homeowners Club for a list of HUNT approved vendors and contractors.

6/6 Radio Show: Thomas Kucharski

Your host, Peter Hunt, welcomes Thomas Kucharski to the show.

Thomas Kucharski is the CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara. Their mission is to attract new employers to the Buffalo Niagara region through outreach to growing companies around the world. To support business attraction, expansion and entrepreneurship, Invest Buffalo Niagara collaborates with local businesses, universities, nonprofit organizations and elected officials to deliver a unified response to regional economic development opportunities.

Together, Peter leads the discussion on the current challenges in regards to investing within businesses and local business with recent events such as Covid-19.

To find out more, listen to this week’s show.

Create Curb Appeal on a Budget

Your home’s curb appeal is important when selling your home. It’s the first impression buyers will have of your house! So when you’re considering selling, is it possible to up your curb appeal without breaking the bank? Check out these suggestions to help your spruce without the splurge.

Paint your door

A coat of paint can do wonders for your home. HGTV suggests using a color that contrasts with your home’s facade. Already painted your door? Try adding a decorative wreath, or adding a potted plant on each side of your door for a pop of color.

Tend to your garden

A great no-cost solution? Weed your garden beds for a cleaner look. No flowers? Try adding annuals like pansies, black-eyed Susans, impatiens, and petunias. These are flowers that are affordable, grow quickly, and are at almost any home or garden store (or your local greenhouse).

Wash your windows

Natural light is important in every home. We mention it a lot in our staging blogs! Take advantage of all the natural light your home offers and clean your windows. If you can’t reach all of your windows, there are cleaners you can connect to your hose to remove dirt and debris.

Update your light fixtures

Old light fixtures can make a home appear dated. If you don’t have the funds to replace your exterior lights, try investing in a can of spray paint. With so many colors and finishes, you can change up any fixture in no time for little cost.

Install lighting along your walkways

Landscape lighting is a brilliant addition to your home. Since most lights are solar, you won’t have to worry about wiring. And with tons of affordable options available in stores and online, you won’t have to break the bank!

Update your house numbers

Changing your house numbers is a simple way to change your home’s exterior. You can update the style, location, and size of your numbers to create unique looks. Check out these ideas from 10 Ways to Display Your House Numbers

If you’re looking for more advice on how to improve your home’s exterior before you sell, be sure to reach out to one of our HUNT Real Estate Sales Professionals today!

HUNT Real Estate ERA Expands in the Capital Region

HUNT acquires Century 21 Potvin Realty in Glens Falls, NY

HUNT Real Estate ERA has expanded its presence in the Capital Region, acquiring the Century 21 Potvin Realty, a locally-run real estate firm located at 12 Harrison Avenue in Glens Falls. Century 21 Potvin has been serving the Glen Falls and the Capital Region for three years and employs 19 real estate agents, all of whom will be joining HUNT’s Glens Falls branch at 333 Glen Street, Suite 103. Since 2017, Century 21 Potvin has sold 369 properties and $67.5 million in sales volume.

Charlotte Potvin, Owner of Century 21 Potvin Realty commented, “The real estate market is changing. In order to provide better customer service and extraordinary marketing, we felt HUNT Real Estate has more to offer across the board.”

“Century 21 Potvin is highly regarded in the Glens Falls/Queensbury market and working with Charlotte Potvin and all of their sales professionals during this process has only confirmed that reputation.” said Dave Evans, Regional Vice President of HUNT”s Capital Region. “We are excited to welcome Charlotte and her team to our existing group of real estate sales professionals working in our Glens Falls and Lake George branches.” 

5/23 Radio Show: David Rust

Your host, Peter Hunt welcomes David Rust to the show.

David Rust is the Executive Director to Say Yes to Education Buffalo. The mission of the Say Yes Buffalo partnership is to strengthen the Western New York economy by investing in the education of Buffalo’s future workforce. The primary goals of the partnership are to convene the school district, parents, teachers, administrators, state, city and county governments, higher education, community based organizations, businesses and foundations to increase high school and postsecondary completion rates.

Together, Peter leads the discussion on the importance of education.

To find out more, listen to this week’s show.

5/16 Radio Show: Susan Ballard & William Tuyn

Your host, Peter Hunt, welcomes Susan Ballard & William Tuyn to the show.

Susan is President of the Buffalo Builder Association & William is Presidential Appointee. The Buffalo Niagara Builders Association, a non-profit organization, is the voice of the builders, developers and associated industries. The association advocates choice in housing, economic growth, and quality of life in our community.

Together, Peter leads the discussion on new contstruction within Buffalo, NY.

To find out more, listen to this week’s show.

HUNT Real Estate Named #1 Brokerage in ERA Real Estate Network

HUNT earns top honors from ERA for units sold and sales volume in 2019

ERA Real Estate has recognized HUNT Real Estate as their top-ranked real estate firm worldwide for total volume and number of units sold in 2019. HUNT earned this achievement with 13,475 closed transactions and $2.87 billion in residential sales volume in 2019. The ERA Real Estate network includes 35,000 brokers and sales associates throughout the United States and 31 countries and territories.

“ERA is a relationship that adds greatly to the business platform serving our customers and real estate sales professionals,” said Peter Hunt, Chairman and CEO of HUNT Real Estate ERA. “It is an honor for us to be named #1 among so many fine, sophisticated individual companies from across the globe.”

HUNT Real Estate ERA was recognized for their achievements at the 2020 ERA Fuel Conference, which was held virtually on May 12-13, 2020.

5/9 Radio Show: Michael Weiner

Your host, Peter Hunt, welcomes Michael Weiner to the show.

Michael Weiner is President & CEO of the Buffalo United Way. United Way’s mission is to “bring people, organizations and resources together to create systemic community change” and Michael leads the organization’s efforts in raising and investing millions of dollars each year.

Together, Peter leads the discussion on the current changes within the community due to Covid-19.

To find out more, listen to this week’s show.

Buy, Build or Fix: What’s Best for First-Time Home Buyers?

With a limited supply of entry-level housing for sale, getting your foot in the door you want could be a challenge if you’re looking to buy your first home soon.

Nearly a third of Americans who’ve never previously bought a home say they plan to in the next five years, according to a survey commissioned by NerdWallet and conducted online by The Harris Poll among 2,007 U.S. adults in January 2020.

Before you join the house hunt, decide which type of property best fits your goals. Here are the pros and cons of buying a turnkey home, building a new house or renovating a fixer-upper.

Buy if you can roll with the punches

What could be the downside to a move-in-ready house? All you need to do is move. But in today’s market, competition is fierce. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, in December 2019 the inventory of homes for sale in the U.S. reached its lowest level in over 20 years.

“You have to be ready to go yesterday,” says Simone Plush, a real estate agent with Washington, D.C.-area Century 21 New Millennium. Especially for first-time home buyers, the process can be “an emotional roller coaster,” Plush says. She encourages buyers to be strategic and swift when making an offer on a turnkey home. For example, looking at homes priced slightly below your budget lets you afford a competitive bid that’s over the asking price.

When you’re feeling frustrated, Plush says, remember your “why” — the reason you’re house hunting in the first place. Reconnecting to your desire to have a backyard for your kids, for example, can help you maintain momentum.

Build if you want to call the shots

New construction might sound intimidating and time-consuming, but unless you’re starting from scratch with an architect and a piece of land, it can be surprisingly straightforward and speedy.

“In many of our communities, home buyers have the option to purchase a quick move-in home,” one that will be ready within 30 to 90 days, commented Jessica Hansen, vice president of communications for Arlington, Texas-based homebuilders D.R. Horton, via email.

Time frames can vary by builder and demand. Jeff Mezger, president and CEO of Los Angeles-based builder KB Home, says his company averages three to four months from breaking ground to move-in day. The average home search takes about 10 weeks, according to a 2019 NAR survey, followed by several more weeks to close and get the keys.

In the same survey, the most-cited reason home buyers gave for purchasing new construction was to avoid renovations or problems with mechanical systems. Both these builders, like many others, offer home warranties, protection that buyers of existing homes may have to purchase for themselves.

“When you close on a used home, you’re on your own if something goes wrong,” Mezger says. “With a new home, you still have that relationship with us.”

But these conveniences come at a cost: In the NAR survey, those who bought new construction paid a median price $85,000 more than those who purchased a previously owned property. Feasibility may also depend on where you live. In an urban area or well-established suburb, building new may be difficult without paying to tear down an existing structure. In rural areas, there’s plenty of land, but starting from the ground up outside a development may mean extra costs for securing access to water, electricity and more.

Fix if location’s a must

Renovating a fixer-upper is tougher than it looks on TV, but if the house has good bones, you could snag an affordable home in your ideal neighborhood. The NAR survey shows 26% of first-time home buyers said they compromised on condition in order to buy a home. Condition issues are unsurprising as the nation’s housing stock ages. According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, as of 2019 nearly 80% of American homes were at least 20 years old, and 40% were at least 50.

“First-time home buyers should not be shy about houses that have good mechanical and structural components that are just ugly,” says David Pekel, a former contractor who’s now CEO of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. “You can fix ugly.”Pekel recommends working with an experienced home inspector to determine what needs to be addressed. A contractor can delineate the scope of work and potential cost. Pekel says most will charge a consultation fee that’s refunded if they’re hired.

Finding your financing

Whether you choose to buy, build or fix, there are various financing options. In addition to conventional mortgages and standard government-backed loans, there are construction loans and renovation loans suited for borrowers financing new construction or remodeling. A lender that offers loan products for the kind of property you want can guide you through your choices.

This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by The Associated Press.

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Kate Wood is a writer at NerdWallet. Email:

The article Buy, Build or Fix: What’s Best for First-Time Home Buyers? originally appeared on NerdWallet.