Invigorating Infulence

invigorating influence

A Mix of Patterns and Colors Defines This English Abode

WRITTEN BY JEANINE MATLOW

PHOTOGRAPHY BY BARBARA CORSICO

According to Roisin Lafferty, the talented founder and creative director of Kingston Lafferty Design in Dublin, Ireland, color is the single most transformative tool in interior design. “It can dramatically change the look and feel of any space. . . . We got to have fun with color here,” she says about a renewed two-story apartment in a London townhouse that originally lacked personality, character, and charm.

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Lafferty describes the former interiors of the roughly 1,000-square-foot space as standard and plain. “The client already had the bold and brave House of Hackney sofa with so many colors, which allowed us to be all the more creative,” she says.

The clients—a Finnish husband and his Irish wife—met in London where they’ve lived for the past decade and had their young son. “The bustling, creative area of Hackney, East London is a place that is close to both their hearts. They wanted to create a fun-filled home that embraced the context of the location,” says Lafferty. “In terms of style, both have an appreciation of art and design and they were extremely open to color, pattern, and playfulness; the ideal clients!”

The apartment was completely redesigned with a focus on custom built-ins and other distinct features like the playful selection of furniture and lighting. New floors and freshly painted walls appear throughout, while an eclectic blend of styles combines market and vintage finds with contemporary elements, industrial references, and luxe details. “The main objective was to create a space that expressed the clients’ interests and personalities and one that would not date over time,” says Lafferty.

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Her clients are very social and love to entertain. “We designed the kitchen and dining space to feel almost like a café or restaurant, so that there were lots of points of interest and different zones in which to have different experiences,” she says. For the kitchen, the husband wanted a streamlined “Scandi” feel. Instead of stark-white cabinets, they chose a bright mint green. “It is a positive color,” says Lafferty. “The copper detailing adds a feminine warmth and color tone, contrasting against the mint. We used authentic London tube [subway] tiles to frame the space in white with dark grout to emphasize the shapes.”

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The monochrome patterned tiles provide a visual guide through the apartment spaces. “We wanted to draw your eye to the dining space and be playful here. We sourced a traditional gilded mirror to reflect the copper Tom Dixon pendants and opted for a pop of neon yellow on the mirror and the wall behind it,” she says. The artwork was a big color contributor as well, adds the designer, who worked with Hackney-based gallery Nelly Duff to get the right combination of prints.

In the kitchen, the subway tile makes its way to the high ceiling to create symmetry and frame the space. There, the original London tube tiles, which feature beautifully curved edges, surround a mirror-backed, illuminated alcove accessed by a custom ladder that travels through the kitchen and the lounge.

The lounge, which was meant to be more intimate, features generous proportions that allowed them to mix various prints and tones. Dusty blue appears on the walls with a brighter sky blue on the custom cabinetry, while mirrors reflect pattern and color around the space. A dark, chevron timber floor lends balance and depth.

“We wanted to deliberately play with ‘maximalism’ in this space,” says Lafferty, who counts Italian and Spanish designers among her favorites. “It was a space that lent itself to a ‘more is more’ approach. Taking reference from designers like Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana, when done right, mixing clashing prints and colors can create excitement, fun, and drama.”

Repetition is definitely not in Lafferty’s repertoire. Instead, the designer likes to push the boundaries for interiors that are unique to the client and to the context of the space. “Sometimes the details make a project, and, in this case, it was getting all of those transitional details perfect. That is what makes it work in such a small space,” she says. “We are really happy with the depth and level of interest. It feels very [homey], which is what the client wanted, and it really is an environment that you want to spend time in.”

A Saturated Splash

If you’re looking to add a bit of color to your home, but in small doses, designer Roisin Lafferty has some bright advice.

Artwork can be a great place to start if you are hesitant to paint everything. Scale is important; the bigger the better.

A great way to add color in small sections is to paint larger rectangles of color behind your artwork. It makes the artwork pop and adds depth of color and tone.

You can easily incorporate color in small, loose items that are less of a commitment and easy to change over time, like pillows, accessories, and rugs.

Shannon & Gordon Neufeld

Shannon & Gordon Neufeld

360.393.1183 Shannon

360.393.8299 Gordon

www.NeufeldNW.com

Lic.# Shannon: 94057

Lic.# Gordon: 118864

NAR Reports Show It’s A Great Time to Sell!

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We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when the demand for that item is high and the supply of that item is limited. The last two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that right now continues to be a great time to sell your house.

Let’s look at the data covered in the latest Pending Home Sales Report and Existing Home Sales Report.

THE PENDING HOME SALES REPORT

The report announced that pending home sales (homes going into contract) are down 2.3% from last year and have continued to fall on an annual basis for seven straight months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, had this to say:

“The reason sales are falling off last year’s pace is that multiple years of inadequate supply in markets with strong job growth have finally driven up home prices to a point where an increasing number of prospective buyers are unable to afford it.”

Takeaway: Demand for housing is strong and will continue to grow in 2019. Without an influx of new listings for sale, pending home sales will continue to decline. Listing now means you will be able to take advantage of the demand currently in the market.

THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data point revealed in the report was not sales-based, but was instead the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained:

  • Total housing inventory decreased 0.7% to 5.34 million homes available for sale in July
  • This represents a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace
  • Sales are now 1.5% below a year ago

There were two more interesting comments made by Yun in the report:

“Led by a notable decrease in closings in the Northeast, existing home sales trailed off again last month, sliding to their slowest pace since February 2016 at 5.21 million.”

In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies: When there is less than a 6-month supply of inventory available, we are in a seller’s market and we will see appreciation; between 6-7 months is a neutral market, where prices will increase at the rate of inflation; and more than a 7-month supply means we are in a buyer’s market and should expect depreciation in home values. As Yun notes, we are (and will remain) in a seller’s market and prices will continue to increase unless more listings come to the market.

“Listings continue to go under contract in under a month, which highlights the feedback from Realtors® that buyers are swiftly snatching up moderately-priced properties. Existing supply is still not at a healthy level, and new home construction is not keeping up to meet demand.”

Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market. Prices will continue to rise if a sizable supply does not enter the market.

Bottom Line

If you are going to sell, now may be the time to take advantage of the ready, willing, and able buyers that are still out looking for your house. For more information on what your home may be worth, Click Here to contact us today.

Apples, Cider and Pumpkin Spice; Everything Nice!

 

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photo by Pelle Martin.

Who’s ready for the coziest time of year? Put on your sweater and scarf as you breathe in the crisp fall air and hold a cup of hot apple cider and bite into that perfect honey crisp apple. We can’t wait to visit all the fun fall time events that take place in our community! One of our top favorite things to do is visit Bellewood Acres! Come and enjoy a stroll through the apple orchards, try any of the delicious baked items including warm apple pie and cider donuts, and so much more. Check out the pumpkin patch, watch your kids have a blast on the apple bin train ride and try to find your way through the corn maze! Whether you visit during the week, or take your family out on the weekend, you can count on having a good time. Visit during the week or for an extra special evening, come by for Friday Tunes; where you can find plenty of exciting entertainment. Here are some details you want to keep in mind and make time for in the next few months.

Open Daily

  • U-Pick & We-Pick Apples – with Honeycrisp!
  • Fresh Cider
  • Caramel Apples
  • Corn Maze
  • Farm Tours
  • Distillery Tastings
  • Country Cafe – Breakfast & Lunch!

Weekend Extras

  • Apple Bin Train Rides
  • Corn Cannons
  • Facepainting
  • Distillery Tours – Register Online
  • Farm Tunes Music Series – Fridays from 6-9pm

 

Rents Are on The Rise: Don’t Get Caught in The Rental Trap!

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There are many benefits to homeownership, but one of the top benefits is protecting yourself from rising rents by locking in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.

Don’t Become Trapped 

A recent article by Apartment List addressed rising rents by stating:

Our national rent index is up 0.1 percent month-over-month, marking the sixth straight month of increasing rents. Year-over-year growth now stands at 1.2 percent.”

The article continues, explaining that:

Rents increased month-over-month in 62 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, down significantly from the 85 cities that saw rents rise last month. That said, rents are still up year-over-year in most of the nation’s largest markets — 77 of the 100 largest cities have seen rents increase over the past twelve months.”

Additionally, Urban Land Magazine explained that,

Currently, nearly half (47 percent) of renter households are cost burdened (i.e., paying more than 30 percent of income for housing), while 25 percent (totaling 11 million households) are severely cost burdened, paying over 50 percent of their total household income for rent.”

These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, including groceries and healthcare.

It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent

As we have previously mentioned, the results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers show that the range is an average of 2% less expensive in Honolulu (HI), all the way up to 48.9% less expensive in Detroit (MI), and 26.3% nationwide!

Know Your Options

Perhaps you have already saved enough to buy your first home. A nationwide survey of about 1,166 renters found that 34% said they rent because they cannot afford to buy, 29% said they cannot afford to buy where they live, and nearly a quarter (24%) were saving to buy.

Many first-time homebuyers who believe that they need a large down payment may be holding themselves back from their dream homes. As we have reported before, in many areas of the country, a first-time homebuyer can save for a 3% down payment in less than two years. You may have already saved enough!

Bottom Line

Don’t get caught in the trap that so many renters are currently in. If you are ready and willing to buy a home, find out if you are able. We would love to assist you in finding a home and have excellent professional lenders that can help you determine if you are eligible for a mortgage today. Click here to contact us today, and we will provide you with the recourses to get you started!

5 Reasons You Should Sell This Fall

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Here are five reasons why listing your home for sale this fall makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! In fact, more often than not, multiple buyers end up competing with each other to buy the same homes.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now 

Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon!

Historically, a homeowner stayed in his or her home for an average of six years, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. Many homeowners have a pent-up desire to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all that they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the average time it took to close a loan was 44 days.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The abundance of inventory available in these higher price ranges has created a buyer’s market for anybody looking to purchase these homes. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.1% over the next year. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life 

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you feel you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

If you are curious what your home may be worth or are looking to buy or sell, Click Here to contact us today! We would love to assist you with all your Real Estate needs.

The Cost of Waiting:Interest Rates Edition

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Some Highlights:

  • Interest rates are projected to increase steadily heading into 2019.
  • The higher your interest rate, the more money you end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be.
  • Rates are still low right now – don’t wait until they hit 5% to start searching for your dream home!

If you would like more information or a referral to someone who can guide you through the home mortgage process. Click Here to contact us today!

Have You Outgrown Your Starter Home?

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For many Americans, buying their first home is their first taste of achieving part of the American Dream. There is a sense of pride that comes along with owning your own home and building your family’s wealth through your monthly mortgage payment.

It may seem hard to imagine that the first home you purchased (which made your dreams come true) might not be the home that will allow you to achieve the rest of your dreams. The good news is that it’s ok to admit that your home no longer fits your needs!

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, prices in the starter home market have appreciated faster than any other category over the last year, at 9.4%. At the same time, inventory in this category has dropped 14.2%.

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These two stats are directly related to one another. As inventory has decreased and demand has increased, prices have been driven up.

This is great news if you own a starter home and are looking to move up to a larger home as the equity in your home has risen as prices have gone up. Even better is the fact that there is a large pool of buyers out there searching for your starter home to help them achieve their American Dream!

Bottom Line

If you have outgrown your starter home, click here to contact us today! We can explain the market conditions in your area and help you find your next home!

Existing Home Sales-Cooling Off This Summer

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Some Highlights:

  • According to the National Association of Realtors’ latest Existing Home Sales Report, sales in June were down 2.2% from last year.
  • Inventory of homes for sale showed a modest improvement of 0.5% over last year’s figures, but still remains under the 6-month supply needed for a normal market.
  • NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had this to say: “There continues to be a mismatch since the spring between the growing level of homebuyer demand in most of the country in relation to the actual pace of home sales, which are declining. The root cause is without a doubt the severe housing shortage that is not releasing its grip on the nation’s housing market.”

Barkley Village Concert

 

adult-boy-child-325521Want to contribute to your community in a fun way? Here’s an opportunity to support Lydia Place, a nonprofit agency that serves homeless families and works to fight homelessness here in Whatcom County.  We aren’t kidding when we say “fun.” On August 11th, you can come to Barkley Village and enjoy some live music and tasty food, choosing from Jalapenos Family Mexican Restaurant, Chow Gourmet Hot Dogs, Poutine your Mouth, and Sugar Shack Ice Cream Truck. There are a number of restaurants surrounding the area that you are free to choose from as well. Kulshan Brewing Company, Boundary Bay Brewery, and Aslan Brewing Company will provide beer!

Don’t forget your blankets and lawn chairs and bring the whole family.  Because tickets are limited, make sure to visit their website and purchase yours in advance. Adult tickets are only $20, which gets you two free drink tickets, and tickets for children 12 and under are $10. Kids under 5 are free.

 

Doors open at 4pm and you are welcome to stay until 8pm.

 

Go check out the facebook page for more info. You can purchase tickets here!

Visit our blog and don’t miss a post!

Millionaire to Millennials: Owning Your Home Can Help You Retire Sooner!

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In a CNBC article, self-made millionaire David Bach explained that: “Buying a home is the escalator to wealth in America. Homeownership can also help you retire early, that is, if you pay your mortgage off.

Bach suggests that homebuyers should, “Take out a 30-year mortgage, but with the intention of paying it off in 25, 20 or ideally, 15 years.”

How does he suggest you do this? Here’s the secret:

“…If you were paying $1,000 a month, now you’re going to make $1,100 payments every month. Inform the bank that you are doing this and that you want the extra $100 a month to be applied to the principal (not the interest).”

What will happen to your mortgage?

Bach explains that, “If you keep this up, you’ll wind up paying off your 30-year mortgage in about 25 years. Increase your monthly payment by 20 percent, and you’ll have that mortgage retired in about 22 years.”

Bottom Line

Whenever a well-respected millionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This millionaire gave simple advice – buy a home and pay off your mortgage early so that you can retire sooner with the money you will have saved!

Who is David Bach?

Bach is a self-made millionaire who has written nine consecutive New York Times bestsellers. His book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” spent 31 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He is one of the only business authors in history to have four books simultaneously on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and USA Today bestseller lists.

He has been a contributor to NBC’s Today Show, appearing more than 100 times, as well as a regular on ABC, CBS, Fox, CNBC, CNN, Yahoo, The View, and PBS. He has also been profiled in many major publications, including the New York Times, BusinessWeek, USA Today, People, Reader’s Digest, Time, Financial Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Working Woman, Glamour, Family Circle, Redbook, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Investors’ Business Daily, and Forbes.

Hey there Bellingham Millenials!!!! We are learning so much from you about how to be carefree in life and we LOVE it! We would love to help you understand how hang onto that carefree attitude, while at the same time teach you how to retire early to maintain your youth spirit forevermore. Call Shannon today at 360.393.1183 for a no obligation appointment to discuss your options to keep life fun.