Live at the Plaza in Downtown Tuscaloosa every Friday in June

Live at the Plaza  Tuscaloosa AL  Chris Lee Realtor

Live music events on Govt. Plaza in Downtown Tuscaloosa every Friday in June. There will be no charge for those who choose to attend, and coolers of beer or bottles of wine will be welcome at the shows Calderone described as “a fun, downtown, family-friendly event.”

The Event will be from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

June 5 – Lamont Landers Band

June 12 – Angela and The Able Brothers

June 19 – Plato Jones

June 26 – Sweet Kicks

For Directions Click Here

Chris Lee   –  RealtySouth  –  Tuscaloosa, AL           205-233-5183          www.chriswlee.com      clee@realtysouth.com

What are Tuscaloosa Home Buyers Looking for?

Young Couple moving into new home

Photo Courtesy of IStockPhoto.com

Gen Y/millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, now make up the largest percentage of today’s buyers at 31 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors®, followed by Gen X buyers at 30 percent and younger boomers at 16 percent.  In order to successfully market your home to these buyers you and your agent must first understand what they are looking for in a new home.

All markets are a little different but these are the trends we are seeing in Tuscaloosa.

  1.  Kitchens and Baths

Updated Bathroom

Today’s buyers are seeking updated kitchens and baths due to their limited budgets.  A majority of their savings will go toward the down payment and furnishings and kitchens and baths are some of the most expensive parts of a home to update.

Buyers are also looking for a spacious kitchen with an open floor plan.  A generation ago, formal dining rooms were on everyone’s wish list, but today there isn’t as much appeal to a true formal dining room.  The reason is how today’s home buyers entertain, they want people to flow through the home during a gathering rather than be closed off in rooms.  The kitchen, especially one with a bar area, has become the hangout room along with the family room.  An open floor plan that can easily transition from the kitchen to the TV/Family room is very high on the list.  Is some aspects the kitchen is the new living room.

2.  Low Maintenance

Buyers today are looking for homes that have low maintenance features such as wood floors (as opposed to carpet) and granite as well as other solid surface countertops because they are both hassle-free and attractive.  This goes along to the outside of the home as well. These homebuyers grew up watching their parents spend their weekends painting, cutting the grass, and cleaning gutters.  Today’s homebuyers don’t want to do those things! They want their weekends to themselves.

3.  The Home Office

Home Office

Did you know that over 13 million Americans work from home?  With that trend continuing home offices have great appeal.  Home offices are not just for those who work full time at home.  As technology advances more and more people will have the options to work from home at least part of the time.  This dedicated space is very important because it can help them keep focused and to concentrate while working or simply paying bills. An office room doesn’t have to be used as an office. They make a great play room or a home gym, but remember if it doesn’t have a window and a closet it is NOT an extra bedroom.

4.  Location, Location, Location

Home buyers today, especially younger buyers tend to see location differently than their parents.  Young buyer are looking for properties that are close to their work or their favorite locations to hang out.  Many home buyers in Tuscaloosa have a certain area of town they would like to live in, especially those with children, others are looking for the right amount of space. With private schools and home schooling being as popular as they are in Tuscaloosa a great location to some buyers doesn’t mean being in the most popular public school zone.  Make sure your agent is aware what is around your home in terms of restaurants, coffee shops, parks, private schools, etc.

There are always other factors that affect what buyers are looking for in Tuscaloosa.  While this isn’t usually a main selling point, the energy efficiency of a home is not far from a buyers mind.  Many times they will figure these costs into their budget so they can make upgrades to improve efficiency after closing, this will affect their offer price.

Another factor many buyers are looking at is the homes technology appeal. Questions that will have to be addressed when selling your home will include, what internet service providers are available?, do you get good mobile phone service inside the home?  These are very important things to the younger generation of home buyers and this is even more true in rural areas of Tuscaloosa.

Everyone watches real estate shows on TV and these have impacted the ways buyers look and perceive a home. People will comment on how a home is or isn’t staged.  A staged home can make a huge difference to a sellers bottom line.  People generally make up their mind about a home as soon as they walk through the door, the expectations must be met or exceeded in order to bring good offers.  In addition to staging a home, make sure there are lots of HD photos which are professional quality.  It is hard to underestimate the importance of the quality of the photography on your online listing.  Many buyers will not even schedule a showing if there are not many photos or if the photos are not good.

Chris Lee   –  RealtySouth  –  Tuscaloosa, AL           205-233-5183          www.chriswlee.com      clee@realtysouth.com

7 Ideas to Help You Use Your Outdoor Space More

By:

These ideas will transform your outdoor space into an oasis you may never want to leave.

String lights outdoors

When your mom told you to turn off the TV and play outdoors already, she knew what she was talking about. Hanging outside is good for our mental and physical well-being.

As adults, having an outdoor retreat adds an economic component: Upwards of 80% of homebuyers said patios and front porches are “essential” or “desirable,” according to the “What Buyers Really Want” survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

So how come when we move into our dream home, we hardly ever use our decks, porches, and patios?

An anthropological UCLA study, described in the book “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century,” blames our fascination with digital devices — tablets, computers, televisions, games — for keeping us cooped up. The UCLA research participants spent less than half an hour each week in their outdoor space. And these were Californians.

So this summer let’s make a pledge to pay more than lip service to outdoor living so we can be happier, create lasting memories, and generally take advantage of what home has to offer.

1.  Go Overboard on Comfy

Comfy outdoor seating on a home patio
Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic

When you step into your outdoor space, your first sensation should be ‘ahhhh’. If you’re not feeling it, then your space is likely lacking the comfy factor. Comfy is easy to achieve and can be as low cost as you want. Start simple with a cushion or two or even a throw. Some other simple strategies:

  • Make sure your outdoor seating is as cushy as your indoor furniture. Today’s outdoor cushions aren’t the plastic-y, sweat-inducing pillows of the past. Plus, they can handle a downpour and spring back once they dry.
  • Lay down outdoor rugs so you’re just as comfortable barefoot as you are inside.
  • Give yourself some privacy. Create natural screens with shrubs, bushes, or even bamboo reeds. Or install prefab screens from your local home improvement store.

2.  Create a Broadband Paradise

Our devices and electronics have conspired to keep us on lock down. Since we’re not about to chuck our digital toys, boot up your outdoor space so you can keep texting, posting to Instagram, and watching cat videos.

  • Wireless outdoor Wi-Fi antennas provide an extra boost so you can stay connected.
  • A solar USB charging station keeps your gizmos powered.
  • Wireless speakers make it easy to bring your music outdoors, and mask a noisy neighborhood.
  • An all-weather outdoor TV lets you stay outside for the big game.

3.  Blur the Line Between Indoors and Out

Creating a seamless transition between your home’s interior and exterior isn’t as simple or low cost as adding comfort, but it’s the most dramatic and effective way to enhance your enjoyment of the space. Plus, it can increase your home’s value.

  • The most straightforward, cost-effective solution: Replace a standard door opening with sliding or glass French doors.
  • Use the same weatherproof flooring, such as stone tile or scored concrete, outside as well as in the room leading to your backyard oasis.

4.  Light the Way

Solar pathway lightsImage: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic

When the sun goes down, don’t be left groping for your wine glass. Outdoor lighting dresses up your home’s marketability and appeal (exterior lighting is buyers’ most wanted outdoor feature, according to the NAHB study), makes it safer, and lets you spend more time outside.

  • Use uplighting to highlight trees, architectural details, or other focal points.
  • Add sconces or pendant lights to make evening entertaining, grilling, and reading easier.
  • Illuminate walkways, rails, and steps with landscape solar lights.
  • Hang fairy or string lights to set an enchanting tone.

5.  Make Your Mark

Pavers in a home's yardImage: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic

Let your style dominate your backyard space.

  • Create a path made with colored glass, brick, or other interesting found materials.
  • Craft a one-of-kind outdoor chandelier.
  • Build a pizza oven, custom seating, or other feature you crave.
  • Add personal décor that makes you happy.

In fact, make your outdoor retreat an ongoing project where you can hone your DIY skills.

6.  Don’t Give Anyone an Excuse to Stay Inside

Outdoor space with kid-friendly playhouse and DIY chalkboardImage: Tasya Demers from My House and Home

Your outdoor space will magnetically draw family and friends if it has features they find appealing.

  • A fire pit is a proven winner. Food and fire have brought humans together since the dawn of time.
  • Give wee ones the gift of magical thinking with an outdoor playhouse.
  • Add whimsy with a chalkboard fence that both kids and fun-loving adults will enjoy.
  • Add a doggie window in your fence to entertain Spot. Installing a dog run may even boost your home’s value. FYI: It’s been said that pets are one of the top reasons why people buy houses.

7.  Rebuff the Elements

Canopy over a home deck
Image: LizMarieBlog.com

Hot sun, rain, wind gusts, and bugs are the archenemy of good times. Here are tips and strategies to help you throw shade on Mother Nature:

  • Install an awning, canopy, or pergola. It’ll make it easier to read your Kindle or iPad and keep you dry during a summer shower. Look for products with polycarbonate panels, which block UV rays, too.
  • Rig glass fence windscreens to the keep your BBQ fires burning.
  • Screen in your porch or deck against bugs. But screening will be for naught if you forget the slats between wood planks. Cover the floor with outdoor carpet or staple screening to the underside of floorboards.

“Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.” View this article at http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/decks/outdoor-living-ideas/

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