20 DC Apartments for $1800 or Less

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Top-20-apartments-in-dc-under-1800

 This week we found 20 apartments for under $1800 available to rent now in Washington, DC! Apartment hunting on a budget in Washington, DC can be challenging. It’s all about what trades you are willing to make.  A less trendy neighborhood will likely result in a larger apartment or a lower rent. Is a state of the art gym a must-have amenity for you? That’s okay, just know that you’re going to be squeezing into a smaller apartment.  The good news is, there are plenty of options!  This week we bring you 20 apartments for under $1800 available to rent now!

Looking for something different?
Search other available apartments in the Washington, DC area.

apartments-under-1800-1400-van-buren-street-washington-dc-apartments

1400 Van Buren

One Bedroom $1395

1400 Van Buren NW
Washington, DC 20012

1400 Van Buren is an apartment community with one and two-bedroom apartments for rent in the Brightwood neighborhood. You will feel comfortable and at home in these apartments with their beautiful hardwood flooring, ceiling fans, central A/C, and spacious floor plans. The apartments are located in a charming brick building with controlled access, on-site maintenance, on-site management, on-site laundry facilities, and more. 1400 Van Buren’s convenient location gives residents access to everything they need on a daily basis.

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Park Chelsea at the Collective

Studio  $1800

880 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20003

Park Chelsea at the Collective is the first phase of three buildings that make up The Collective.  The concept is that no matter at which of the three buildings you live, you have access to amenities at all three buildings.  Amenities include indoor pools, rooftop heated pools, clubrooms, fitness centers, Peloton bikes, golf simulator, hydro massage beds, and even a Whole Foods on site.  This time of year, you can get great deals on apartments and this studio for $1800 is an exceptional value for everything you get with your rent!

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Alexander Gardens

1 Bedroom  $982

1617 17th Street SE 
Washington, DC 20020

Park Pleasant located off 16th Street in the District of Columbia. Beautifully landscaped, this comfortable, sought-after community is convenient to Adams Morgan, is within walking distance of the Columbia Heights Metro Station, and is four blocks the new Target and Staples! Park Pleasant offers affordable, spacious studios, one bedroom and one bedroom/den apartments. So don’t delay, call or visit Park Pleasant today!

Alexander-Gardens-one-bedrooms-under-1500

Park Pleasant

1 Bedroom  $1700

3339 Mt. Pleasant Street NW
Washington, DC 20010

Welcome to Park Pleasant located off 16th Street in the District of Columbia. Beautifully landscaped, this comfortable, sought-after community is convenient to Adams Morgan, is within walking distance of the Columbia Heights Metro Station, and is four blocks the new Target and Staples! Park Pleasant offers affordable, spacious studios, one bedroom and one bedroom/den apartments. So don’t delay, call or visit Park Pleasant today!

Apartments-with-all-utilities-included-Baystate-Apartments

Baystate Apartments

Studio  $1595

1701 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

Looking for features that look and feel like they came from a book and tell a story? The Baystate offers beautiful studio apartments for rent in a variety of floor plans. All utilities are included! No need to worry about extra bills. With the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC only two blocks from your front door, be fascinated with local culture and flavor. Having the Red Line Metro within walking distance means all of Washington, DC is yours to explore. Find touches of extraordinary in the every day.

Rent-control-apartments-DC-Kenmore-apartments

The Kenmore

1 Bedroom  $1749

5415 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20015

Experience a lifestyle that is as rich in history as it is in local activities. The Kenmore’s Connecticut Avenue location is distinct and convenient. This residence offers a 24-hour concierge beautifully renovated, classic style interiors. Spacious studios, one and two bedroom apartments are equipped with expansive windows that offer exceptional views.

rent-control-apartments-DC-Frontenanc

Studio  $1560

4550 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

The Frontenac is nestled in the heart of elegant upper-Northwest. The Frontenac boasts spacious apartments with updated kitchens and bathrooms. Its classic architectural style, evident in our grand lobby’s high ceiling and in our apartment units’, arched doorways and traditional wainscoting, attracts tours of local art history students.You can meet your neighbors or take advantage of WiFi on the Frontenac’s peaceful roof deck or in its spacious laundry room. Take a stroll to the Van Ness metro station, Giant, Whole Foods, pharmacies, dry cleaners, restaurants, shopping, and great schools for students of all ages. Our neighborhood is full of hidden gems..

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The Channel Apartments

Studio  $1778

950 Maine Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20024

The Channel is the beating heart at the center of The Wharf. With an industrial design aesthetic and jaw-dropping amenity spaces, including a one-acre rooftop green space, this is an urban lifestyle that’s here to be explored, taken in, and experienced like never before. These stylish apartment residences, situated in the heart of a bold and vibrant waterfront neighborhood, are designed to deliver both modern beauty and faultless functionality. Join the ranks of those who live life amplified and move to The Channel today.

rent-control-apartments-DC-Frontenanc

The Swift at Petworth Metro

Studio  $1800

3828 Georgia Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20011

The Swift is one of our favorite communities in the Petworth neighborhood. The Swift’s beautiful apartments, luxurious amenities, and fantastic location allow residents to fully immerse and enjoy themselves in city life. The building offers studio, one, and two-bedroom apartments. The apartments are pet-friendly, spacious, and comfortable, while still maintaining a luxurious and stylish feel. Residents have access to a clubroom, fitness center, a rooftop with lounging areas, grills, and a fire pit. Whether you are simply coming and going from your apartment or lounging on the rooftop, any and all dogs and other pets are more than welcome. 

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Hampton Courts

Studio  $1095

2013 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009

***Special Note about this unit.  It does have a full kitchen.  But with that location and the service at this building, this unit is a steal!!!****

Constructed in 1926, Hampton Courts has the elegant appeal of the early 20th-century architecture. The building is equipped with two elevators, a controlled intercom entrance, and a laundry room with a card payment system. The studio, one, and two bedroom apartments at Hampton Courts has updated appliances and spacious floor plans. All utilities are included in your rent, so no need to worry yourself about additional bills. The U Street Metro Station is three blocks away and provides access to the yellow and green lines. Zipcar and car2go vehicles, as well as Capital Bikeshare bicycles, are just a block from the building giving you endless means of transportation. The Saturday Farmer’s Market, Yes Organic Market, Trader Joes, Vida Fitness and several yoga studios are all a few blocks away from your front door. Come and explore the city living in Hampton Courts.

apartments-under-1800-Twin-Oaks-Apartments-Columbia-Heights-NW-DC-Apartments-Kitchen-Bar-View

Studio  $1350

3802 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20011

Twin Oaks is a Columbia Heights apartment community that consists of two unique buildings with a variety of studio, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments for rent. Situated at the intersection of 14th Street and Quincy Street NW, Twin Oaks Apartments conveniently connects its residents to a unique group of local shopping and dining hot spots. The apartments and amenities will make you feel right at home. Enjoy spacious floorplans, hardwood floors, and central AC in the units while having access to the building’s on-site maintenance and management, laundry facilities, and package receiving services.

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Dupont Apartments

Studio  $1535

1717 20th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

Living at the Dupont Apartments will give you the lifestyle you want, and the location you need. The apartments feature hardwood floors, high ceilings, and spacious floorplans in a controlled access building. You will love the floorplans at Dupont Apartments. They have the best micro-units in DC, and several one-bedroom floorplans to choose from. The building is located in one of the most desired locations in all of DC. DuPont Circle provides easy access to public transportation, a variety of restaurant and entertainment options, and a quick commute to many of DC’s finest attractions.

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6100 14th Street

1 Bedroom  $1389

6100 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20011

Located in the Brightwood neighborhood of Washington, DC. There are no limitations set when living at 6100 14th street; tons of shopping and dining options nearby, a Metro bus stop right at your doorstep and only a mile to the nearest metro station. Offering spacious and affordable one and two bedroom apartment homes.

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Cambridge Square Apartments

1 Bedroom  $1595

4909 Battery Lane
Bethesda, MD 20814

Downtown Bethesda is growing by leaps and bounds, and you’ll find Cambridge Square at the heart of it all. This jewel of a property is so convenient, yet quietly backs up to a park setting. Experience a wide variety of new and exciting shopping and dining options. Cambridge Square offers an easy commute to Washington, D.C. via Bethesda Metro Station. Featuring spacious and affordable one, two, three and four bedroom apartment homes to rent. Cambridge Square floorplans offer large walk in closets and hardwood flooring.

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Klingle Apartments

1 Bedroom  $1730

2755 Macomb St. NW
Washington, DC 20008

Right on the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Macomb Avenue, you will find the Klingle. This beautifully landscaped and maintained property couldn’t be more convenient. Located at the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Macomb Street, The Klingle is in easy walking distance to Cleveland Park’s most popular shops and restaurants, not to mention the Cleveland Park Metro Station, National Zoo, and locally-famous Uptown Theater.

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Parkside Apartments

1 Bedroom  $1695

1702 Summit Place NW
Washington, DC 20009

Well designed apartments for rent that use every inch of space thoughtfully. Hardwood floors that shine when natural light pours through the windows and bounce off of them. Arched doorway details add architectural interest and the kitchens have gas stoves for cooking gourmet meals. Best of all, these affordable apartments are just blocks from both Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights; our Walk Score of 91 proves it. This is the life.

Rent-control-apartments-dc-Calverton

1 Bedroom – $1775

1673 Columbia Road, NW
Washington, DC 20009

Simple elegance. The best things in life don’t have to be bragged about. They can be simply appreciated each time you arrive home. The Calverton Apartments are in in the heart of the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC. An array of restaurants and grocery options are within minutes of your apartment. Inside, you’ll find updated kitchens with energy efficient appliances, grand living rooms and large windows for natural light to pour in. Whether you choose to rent a studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment, you will be treated to beautiful hardwood floors and ample closet space. This is thoughtful living.

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Penn View Apartments

1 Bedroom  $1165

2515 R Street, SE 
Washington, DC 20020

Design cannot be defined by one component but rather the artful intersection of style and function. Located just minutes away from Capitol Hill, Penn View apartments offer affordable efficiencies, one, and two-bedroom apartment homes for rent. Penn View’s luxurious kitchens and functional floor plans are just a few of the features you’ll find at this community. Quality is always on trend.

Apartments-all-utilities-included-dc-Wakefield-Hall

Wakefield Hall

1 Bedroom  $1795

2101 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009

Wakefield Hall’s decorative facade gives way to just as beautiful apartments. Hardwood floors, updated kitchens, and walk-in closets create a charming and comfortable living space. Wakefield Hall is located near U St./Cardozo Metro Station, giving you access to all DC has to offer via the yellow and green lines. You can step out your front door and experience the cultural vibes within your neighborhood.

All-Utilities-Included-3801-connecticut-avenue

3801 Connecticut Avenue

Studio  $1750

3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008

3801 Connecticut Avenue offers incredibly spacious studio and one bedroom apartments on one of D.C.’s liveliest boulevards. Residents enjoy the convenience of restaurants, unique shops, and a plethora of activities and site seeing opportunities just walking distance from their homes. You’ll fall in love with the new in-unit renovations at this community, whether it is with the designer plank floors, detailed back-splashes or stainless steel appliances. With a metro stop a few blocks away, the options are limitless in these beautiful apartments!

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Also published on Medium.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

Design Studio Tips for New Homes

Buying a home on concept involves the additional step of customizing its interior, inside out. Many major home developers have design studios where the different finishes and upgrades can be viewed. The design studio process can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. This also gives you the perfect opportunity to ensure that your home is up to date with the modern decor trends. Here’s what to consider when reviewing design options for your new pre-construction condo.

Structural Upgrades

Structural upgrades are extremely costly and inconvenient to do after closing. These include floor plan (architectural) options such as hardwood floor stairs. It’s recommended to keep this as a priority, because of the huge costs associated with these form of upgrades. In many cases, structural upgrades can improve the home resale value). For structural upgrades, focus on three major things: hardwood floor stairs, open concept floor plans, and nine-foot ceilings. These factors give any home more of an open, airy concept, giving the space a bigger feel.

Kitchen

The kitchen is the focal point of every home. It’s important to get this part right as this can make, or break the home. Houzz provides a great source of inspiration for kitchen ideas, with millions of pictures for your next kitchen. This would help give you an understanding of your taste, and the colour scheme you’re aiming for within the kitchen.

It can be hard to imagine what the kitchen will look like with the chosen colour scheme and sample pieces at the design studio. This is where Houzz comes handy, with the plenty of pictures available, it makes it much easier for you to visualize your future kitchen. Another advice is to place the countertop, cabinets, and flooring samples next to each other at the design studio – this method will help you visualize the kitchen, and help determine if it is the right match.

Flooring

You’ll have a huge selection of flooring to choose from at the design studio. Again, I’d recommend looking at interior designing websites for inspiration, to get a taste of what type of flooring you like. Aside from the colour and material from the flooring, you’d also get the chance to customize the installation. I.e., hardwood floors can be installed at a 45-degree angle, to give the illusion of a larger space. This small change can also significantly increase the resale value of your home.

Paint Colour

This is something that can easily be done after closing – it’s not recommended to have this as one of your priority items at the design studio. The paint in new homes cracks as the house settles, so you would end up repainting within a few years, regardless. White paint, or cream paint is usually the standard paint colours for most home builders. Keeping the paint colour neutral would benefit the resale value of your home – since this gears towards most buyers in the market, thus making the house sell faster.

Bathrooms

Similar to the kitchen, you can choose fancier finishes for your bathroom such as stone countertops, and upgraded flooring. Standard features are usually suitable enough for bathrooms. The most important part is to get the colouring right (i.e. making sure the colour of the countertops, cabinets, and tiles blend in together). If there is room in your budget, you can do some of the upgrades you desire. However, this shouldn’t be your main focus – as mentioned before, focus on the kitchen and structural upgrades.

Exterior

This applies for detached homes only. For townhomes, semi-detached homes, and condos, the exterior is usually predetermined by the developer. If you do get the opportunity to choose the exterior of your home, stick to one colour theme. You will be choosing the eaves trough, brick colour, and door/garage colour. Use the developer’s rendering to help give you a vision of what your desired colour scheme would look like.

Don’t Rush Your Design Decision

If you can, visit the design studio once or twice, before your actual appointment. This will give you a better understanding of the different choices available to you. It’s typical to spend more than 2 – 3 hours at the design studio. The payment options at the design studio vary by the builder; some builders require you to pay a certain percentage of the money spent at the design studio. Keep in mind, a higher purchase price would increase your closing costs. My main piece of advice is to stick to one colour theme and design (i.e., contemporary, modern). Make sure the finishes are consistent throughout the house – this would certainly give the house more character.

Source: zoocasa.com

13 DC Apartments under $1500 Available to Rent Today

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

DC-APARTMENTS-UNDER-1500

 You may have read recently that apartments in DC aren’t affordable.  If you’re new to DC, understanding the affordable housing options in the district can be a challenge, so we made you this handy guide. We also went on the hunt for you and found 13 apartments for under $1500 available to rent now in Washington, DC!

Apartment hunting on a budget in Washington, DC is all about what trades you are willing to make.  A less trendy neighborhood will likely result in a larger apartment or a lower rent. Is a state of the art gym a must-have amenity for you? That’s okay, just know that you’re going to be squeezing into a smaller apartment.  The good news is, there are plenty of options!  This week we bring you 13 studio or one-bedroom and even a two-bedroom apartment for under $1500 available to rent now!

Looking for something different?
Search other available apartments in the Washington, DC area.

Rent-control-apartments-DC-Meridian-Park-Apartments

The Foreland

Studio $1295 | Available Now
23 2nd  Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Everyday living is made comfortable and effortless at The Foreland. You can look forward to a convenient location, shopping, and a multitude of dining options. The units are equipped with hardwood floors and ample closet space. Multiple windows in each apartment provide ample amounts of natural lighting. The community is located directly across the street from the Supreme Court building and within walking distance of Capitol South Metro, the National Mall, Capitol Hill, and Union Station. Convenience and comfort are guaranteed at The Foreland.WC Smith embraces the belief that great customer service is our best amenity. Living at the Foreland means experiencing a higher level of service. Our service team is available 24 hours a day and you can access your resident account online any time; day or night. Discover classic charms and modern conveniences of the Foreland, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC.

Rent-control-apartments-DC-Kenmore-apartments

The Kenmore

1 Bedroom  $1495 | Available Now

5415 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20015

Experience a lifestyle that is as rich in history as it is in local activities. The Kenmore’s Connecticut Avenue location is distinct and convenient. This residence offers a 24-hour concierge beautifully renovated, classic style interiors. Spacious studios, one and two bedroom apartments are equipped with expansive windows that offer exceptional views.

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Hilltop House

Studio $1450 | Available 11/29

1475 Euclid St NW
Washington, DC 20009

Hilltop House is a hidden jewel of the Adams Morgan neighborhood. This community offers studio and one-bedroom apartments for rent. Each apartment has large windows and breakfast bars; creating a cheerful, open, and bright atmosphere. To keep apartment living and budgeting easy, all utilities are included with your rent. Hilltop House faces Meridian Hill Park, where residents may take in a variety of social and cultural events. Every Sunday the park is activate with kickball leagues, yoga classes, Frisbee sessions, and drum circles. Just a couple of blocks from the Hilltop House apartment community is the Columbia Heights Metro station with access to both the green and yellow like. Hilltop House Apartments have the perfect location to take in all that Washington, DC has to offer.

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1400 Van Buren

One Bedroom $1395  | Available 11/14

1400 Van Buren NW
Washington, DC 20012

1400 Van Buren is an apartment community with one and two-bedroom apartments for rent in the Brightwood neighborhood. You will feel comfortable and at home in these apartments with their beautiful hardwood flooring, ceiling fans, central A/C, and spacious floor plans. The apartments are located in a charming brick building with controlled access, on-site maintenance, on-site management, on-site laundry facilities, and more. 1400 Van Buren’s convenient location gives residents access to everything they need on a daily basis.

Apartments-with-all-utilities-included-Baystate-Apartments

Baystate Apartments

Studio  $1495  | Available 12/4

1701 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

Looking for features that look and feel like they came from a book and tell a story? The Baystate offers beautiful studio apartments for rent in a variety of floor plans. All utilities are included! No need to worry about extra bills. With the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC only two blocks from your front door, be fascinated with local culture and flavor. Having the Red Line Metro within walking distance means all of Washington, DC is yours to explore. Find touches of extraordinary in the every day.

Rent-control-apartments-dc

The Shawmut

Studio $1500 | Available 11/14

2200 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

Classic style and modern amenities are the perfect combinations to make you feel right at home. This pet-friendly building in the heart of Adams Morgan, just across the street from Kalorama Park, creates a comfortable living space for all. The Shawmut’s elegant, New York-style exterior gives way to beautiful one and two-bedroom apartments featuring hardwood floors, 9′ ceilings, and updated kitchens.Step outside and you are in the heart of a vibrant, thriving community. From the bustling 18th St Corridor down to Dupont Circle, you are never far from the energy of Downtown DC. Want to get away? The L2, 42, 43, and H1 bus lines are right outside your front door with direct connections to the Green, Red, and Yellow metro lines.

rent-control-apartments-DC-Frontenanc

Studio  $1450 | Available Now

4550 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

The Frontenac is nestled in the heart of elegant upper-Northwest. The Frontenac boasts spacious apartments with updated kitchens and bathrooms. Its classic architectural style, evident in our grand lobby’s high ceiling and in our apartment units’, arched doorways and traditional wainscoting, attracts tours of local art history students.You can meet your neighbors or take advantage of WiFi on the Frontenac’s peaceful roof deck or in its spacious laundry room. Take a stroll to the Van Ness metro station, Giant, Whole Foods, pharmacies, dry cleaners, restaurants, shopping, and great schools for students of all ages. Our neighborhood is full of hidden gems..

All-Utilities-Included-DC-Apartments-Hampton-Courts-Apartments

Hampton Courts

Studio  $1460  | Available 12/1

2013 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009

Constructed in 1926, Hampton Courts has the elegant appeal of the early 20th-century architecture. The building is equipped with two elevators, a controlled intercom entrance, and a laundry room with a card payment system. The studio, one, and two bedroom apartments at Hampton Courts has updated appliances and spacious floor plans. All utilities are included in your rent, so no need to worry yourself about additional bills. The U Street Metro Station is three blocks away and provides access to the yellow and green lines. Zipcar and car2go vehicles, as well as Capital Bikeshare bicycles, are just a block from the building giving you endless means of transportation. The Saturday Farmer’s Market, Yes Organic Market, Trader Joes, Vida Fitness and several yoga studios are all a few blocks away from your front door. Come and explore the city living in Hampton Courts.

6100-14th-street-one-bedrooms-under-1500

6100 14th Street

1 Bedroom  $1395  | Available Now

6100 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20011

Located in the Brightwood neighborhood of Washington, DC. There are no limitations set when living at 6100 14th street; tons of shopping and dining options nearby, a Metro bus stop right at your doorstep and only a mile to the nearest metro station. Offering spacious and affordable one and two bedroom apartment homes.

Rent-control-apartments-DC-Penn-View

Penn View Apartments

2 Bedroom  $1315  | Available Now

2515 R Street, SE 
Washington, DC 20020

Design cannot be defined by one component but rather the artful intersection of style and function. Located just minutes away from Capitol Hill, Penn View apartments offer affordable efficiencies, one, and two-bedroom apartment homes for rent. Penn View’s luxurious kitchens and functional floor plans are just a few of the features you’ll find at this community. Quality is always on trend.

1401-Sheridan-one-bedrooms-under-1500

1401 Sheridan

Studio $1250 | Available Now

1401 Sheridan Street NW
Washington, DC 20011

1401 Sheridan boasts spacious floorplans which include separate dining rooms in each apartment. Beautiful hardwood floors, expertly landscaped grounds, and abundant closet space add to the charm and convenience of these studio and one-bedroom apartments. 1401 Sheridan is located between 14th and 16th Streets near Georgia Avenue providing easy access to Rock Creek Park, Carter Barron, and much more.

Apartments-all-utilities-included-dc-Jetu-apartments

Jetu Apartments

2 Bedroom $ 1125 | Available Now

2100 Maryland Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

Discover our beautifully landscaped community located in the heart of Northeast, near Langston Golf Course and National Arboretum. Jetu Apartments offers affordable one and two bedroom apartment homes for rent. Featuring gas range stoves, upgraded kitchens, frost-free refrigerators, mini-blinds, and wall to wall carpet. Each apartment offers a separate dining area with chandelier lighting. The grounds include two new playgrounds, a community room, and a community garden.

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Skyland Apartments

One-Bedroom $1029 | Available 11/16

2333 Skyland Place SE 
Washington, DC 20020

Moving to the Skyland means you have a choice of a townhouse or apartment home. Our beautifully landscaped community is impeccably maintained. Enjoy the features of your new updated kitchen including; gas ranges, frost-free refrigerators, and garbage disposals. Dishwashers are available in 3 bedroom apartments. There is also an on-site dry cleaner and a tot lot. Skyland Apartments is located near Anacostia Metro and the new Safeway. Uncovered parking is available.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.


Also published on Medium.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

Popular Architectural Styles of Midwestern Homes

The Midwest is called the Heart of America for a reason. It has a long history of being home to people from many walks of life, many of whom initially embraced countryside living. However, the encroach of modern living has brought many changes, including to the house styles across the Midwest. Here are a few particularly popular architectural styles of Midwestern homes.

Craftsman

Easily one of the most popular architectural styles for Midwestern homes is the craftsman style. Furniture-maker and art enthusiast Gustav Stickley originally conceived of this type of house. His focus was to create and design goods by emphasizing handmade quality. This was intended to counter the prefab trend and fast production of the early 20th century.

Eventually, the concept moved to virtually every industry, including house-building. The idea is to ensure that the best possible materials go into every inch of the home, including green options and top-notch, handcrafted ones. Every facet has to be sourced accordingly, such as using renewable, local woods for essential structural aspects as well as luxurious details such as solid wood doors.

Farmhouse

It should be no surprise to anyone that homes in the Midwest are sometimes found on farms or at least inspired by them. Some of the oldest buildings on the fields and prairies fall into the farmhouse category. Primarily, these structures are simple and intentionally humble. They tend to follow a very standard and minimalist rectangular floor plan, with a standard first and second floor. The look is very simple, and the home may even be fashioned out of old barn materials. Farmhouse-style homes have a rich, rustic feel that many homeowners dream of.

Ranch

You can find ranch-style homes all over the Midwest. These homes are humble and ideal for the complicated Midwestern weather systems that make height inconvenient. The most important detail is that a ranch home is a single-floor home with a sprawling floor plan. Sometimes a second floor comes in the form of a large basement. The low profile gives these homes an instantly recognizable charm. Many feature sturdy angles, inset faces, and art deco shapes and patterns characteristic of midcentury-modern design.

Modern

Naturally, with the spread of prefabrication and the appearance of home design catalogs, certain trends have gone national. Since the 1960s, the exact details of what constitutes “modern” have shifted. As with any current style, evolution is part of the defining factor. In particular, though, modern houses tend to be a mash-up of other styles, with an emphasis on detail and elegance. Lots of peaks, large windows, and multiple decorative gables are common features. The floor plans typically heavily emphasize open space, broad entryways, and external lighting to supplement natural light.

Source: realtybiznews.com

Popular 2021 Home Upgrades — and How to Pay for Them

Staying at home during the pandemic has changed the way homeowners renovate, but not always in ways you might expect.

You could assume, for example, that homeowners are desperate for privacy and therefore adding more walls.

But interior designer Max Humphrey says rumors of the open floor plan’s death, which bubble up every year, are exaggerated.

“I think middle America still loves their open floor plans,” says Humphrey, who is based in Portland, Oregon. “Designers are talking about how open floor plans are over, but believe me, they’re not.”

Instead, homeowners are creating spaces they’d want to visit if they didn’t live there. Home kitchens have replaced restaurants, and your favorite outdoor bar is now your patio.

Many homeowners paid for their upgrades with savings last year, according to NerdWallet’s 2020 Home Improvement Report. Indeed, if the economic impact of the pandemic hasn’t hit your own finances, cash is the cheapest way to cover home renovations.

But there are also affordable financing options, including cash-out refinancing and personal loans, for those who don’t have or want to use savings.

Here are projects interior designers expect to see more of as the pandemic stretches into 2021, plus financing options to make them a reality.

Whole house renovations

Stephanie Sullivan is busier now than at any time since she became a full-time interior designer in 2014.

Her clients are seeing again the things in their homes they wanted to change when they bought the house but stayed busy enough over the years to ignore.

“It’s amazing how we don’t notice stuff until we’re stuck at home going, ‘hmm, really,’” she says. “So they’ve been walking past it for years, and now everybody’s home and they’re going, ‘Wait, I can’t do this.’”

A homeowner asking her to redesign the entire house is common these days, says Sullivan, who is based in Austin, Texas.

She says multiple clients in the last year have said, “I just need you to start at the front door.”

Fully remodeling most or all of the rooms in your house is likely an expensive endeavor.

If your project is $50,000 or more, certified financial planner Sarah Ponder recommends a cash-out refinance, which involves replacing your existing mortgage with a larger one and using the extra money to renovate.

Cash-out refinance is a good option only if you have enough home equity to match the project cost and if you get a low interest rate — a real possibility given today’s low mortgage rates, says Ponder, whose company, Real Estate Wealth Planning, is based near Austin.

It’ll take patience, too. The refinance process used to take about a month, Ponder says, but lately, it can take two or three months.

Room conversions

Another common request Sullivan says she receives from homeowners: Turn a master bathroom into an at-home spa.

“Since they can’t go to the spa, they’re creating spa retreats in their bathrooms,” she says.

They’re redoing their kitchens as places to connect with family, she says, but they also want their own getaway, even if it’s just upstairs.

Homeowners are also transforming basements and spare rooms into home offices and study rooms, or gyms and playrooms, Humphrey says.

He says his clients are looking for ways to sprawl out.

For midsized projects like one- or two-room renovations, refinancing your mortgage may not be worth the time and effort.

San Antonio-based CFP Tess Downing says a personal loan could work for projects around $20,000. These loans don’t use your home as collateral, and qualifying is based on your creditworthiness and finances. Good credit and little existing debt are must-haves to get a low rate.

Consumers who qualified for a personal loan in 2020 with excellent credit (720 or higher FICO) typically were approved for rates between 10.7% and 12.5%, according to NerdWallet marketplace data.

DIY projects

There are also affordable ways to get a fresh look in your home on a budget.

Replacing light fixtures can make a big difference, says Humphrey, and first-timers can get help from YouTube.

“It’s things that you notice every day, you know, that’s the light in your house,” he says. “Even as a renter, I would swap light fixtures.”

Homeowners can also add a roll of stick-on wallpaper, he says, or a fresh coat of paint. Even new towels, lightbulbs and bedsheets can change the look of a room.

If the cost of your project is below $10,000, a zero-interest credit could be a good pick, Ponder says. If you can pay the balance during the card’s promotional period (often 12 to 18 months) you’ll finish your project interest-free.

More traditional credit cards and store rewards cards can also help you cover purchases on these projects, especially if you have a card with a hardware or furniture store. Be sure you can pay the balance in full each month to avoid interest.

Resale considerations

It’s probably not worth your time and money to go all-out renovating a home you’re going to sell in a couple of years because you won’t make that money back, Humphrey says.

He cautions his clients against overpersonalizing a home they don’t plan to stay in long-term.

“I don’t love to think about resale when I’m designing for somebody, but the pandemic isn’t going to be forever,” he says. “So I do encourage people to think a little bit about resale.”

But for as long as home remains a restaurant, spa, gym, school and office, go ahead and make some changes you can afford just because they make you happy.

Source: nerdwallet.com

Should You Buy a New Home or an Old Home?

It’s time for another match-up, this time we’ll compare buying a new home versus purchasing an old one.

For the record, some home builders refer to existing homes as “used,” which sounds kind of silly considering we’re talking about a house and not a car.

Ultimately, it’s a marketing gimmick to sway you toward buying new as opposed to old, but let’s continue on to determine the pros and cons.

Millennials and Gen X Are Big on New Homes

types of home buyers

A recent report from the National Association of Home Builders found that interest in newly-built homes has surged.

They noted that during the fourth quarter of 2020, 41% of prospective buyers were searching for a newly-built home, double the 19% share a year earlier.

At the same time, the share interested in an existing home fell from 40% to 30%.

It’s even more pronounced when we break it down by generation, with 50% of Millennial and 48% of Gen X buyers looking to buy a new home.

Meanwhile, just 13% of Boomers indicated that they were looking for a new home vs. existing.

Interestingly, Gen Z is a little more into existing homes than Boomers with a 38% share, but still below that of Millennials and Gen X.

New Homes Are Untouched and Clean

  • The number one reason to buy a new home is probably the fact that it’s never been lived in
  • Some people may not like the idea of living somewhere that was previously occupied
  • It also might feature the newest amenities such as improved insulation and solar panels
  • And in theory you shouldn’t have to repair or renovate anything right away

The most obvious benefit to buying a new home as opposed to an old, existing, or used one is the fact that it’s brand spanking new.

It’s untouched, it’s clean, everything is in good working order and nothing needs to be repaired. At least that’s the hope.

That’s a pretty huge incentive to buy new. You won’t have to worry about the typical costs of homeownership for the first several years, right?

Another benefit to buying new is that the home (or townhouse or condo) should have all the latest amenities.

Remember when it was all the rage to have stainless steel appliances and granite countertops?

Well, today’s new homes come with solar panels, energy-saving windows, smart appliances, USB outlets, electric vehicle charging stations, thermostats and door locks you can control with your phone, and other features that might make your used home look really old, especially a few years down the line.

Aesthetics aside, these upgrades could actually save you a lot of money each year on utility costs because they’re designed to be cost-efficient, not just handy.  You might even get a tax break!

Not only that, but many of these new homes use low-VOC paints and flooring, which are supposedly better for your health. Who knows what lurks in some of the older homes?

Additionally, new home buyers often get the opportunity to fine-tune the home they buy by selecting certain features, colors, styles, etc., and even financing any add-ons into the mortgage loan amount.

It Can Be Easier to Buy a New Home

  • It might be easier to finance a new home with a mortgage
  • Home builders often have their own home loan divisions
  • So they’ll be motivated to work with you to get the deal done
  • But still take the time to shop around and negotiate since you don’t need to use their preferred company

And speaking of mortgages, most home builders have their own financing departments that make it easy to get a mortgage.

Whether it’s the best deal is another question, but if you simply want in, your odds are probably better with a new home.  After all, the builder has a vested interest to get you financing.

There’s probably also a lot less competition for a new home, seeing that you’re probably checking out a brand new neighborhood full of vacant homes to choose from.

This can be a huge advantage in a seller’s market, which we’re experiencing at the moment. Instead of a bidding war, you might be able to pick and choose from a selection of available properties.

You can even pick among different sizes and floor plans to get just the right amount of space, as opposed to having to conform to what’s available in the existing market.

You might be thinking, hey, this sounds great, sign me up now! Why on earth would I want a used home with dodgy popcorn ceilings and laminate countertops?

But wait, there’s more to homes than their shiny exteriors and what’s inside.

Don’t Forget About Location…

  • Location is and will always be the biggest property value driver
  • And new construction homes are often in less desirable areas
  • Or in the outskirts of urban areas because that’s where new land is available
  • Be sure to take that into consideration as a major tradeoff to buying a new home

Let’s face it; the old adage that location is everything in real estate is true. It’s always been true, and always will be true. That is, if you want to see your property actually go up in value.

And guess what. Brand new homes often ren’t being built in the best locations. When it comes down to it, there’s no space for a new development in an established or central location.

Sure, you might see a new condo development, but new homes most likely won’t be that central. They’ll be on the outskirts of town, or in a “trendy” or “up-and-coming” area.

In other words, there’s going to be a commute if you buy new, and the location might be questionable at best in terms of value.

There might even be multiple new developments surrounding yours, with tractors and hammering construction workers doing what they do all day long.

That being said, it is possible to buy a new home in an area that flourishes. One hint it’s the right area might be the stores that are built nearby, such as a Whole Food’s or Trader Joe’s.

Of course, with an existing or used home, you can buy in the heart of the city, or in an area you know well that is insulated by a lack of available space and construction.

That buffer means the property should hold up well in terms of value, even during a downturn, assuming the area isn’t subject to obsolescence.

A used home might also give you the ability to walk to work, or to popular restaurants, bars, shops, and so on.

At the same time, a used home doesn’t necessarily have to be old inside. If you shop around, you might be able to find an old home that has already been remodeled to your liking.

And even if it hasn’t, that shouldn’t stop you from buying it and making renovations if it’s got good bones.

New Homes Are 20% More Expensive

  • Ultimately you pay a premium for a new home (just like a brand new car)
  • Apparently the cost is 20% more on average per a study from Trulia
  • So while a new home might be cheaper with regard to maintenance and renovation
  • You still need to consider the upfront cost to get an apples-to-apples comparison

A while back, Trulia determined that new homes (built in 2013-2014) cost roughly 20% more than similar existing homes.

They also found that two in five Americans would prefer to buy a new home, compared to just 21% opting for an existing home and 38% declaring no preference.

But when it came to that 20% markup, only 17% would actually pay the premium to get the new house.

So to get this straight, you might have to pay 20% for a new home AND you won’t be in a central location.

You’ll be in an untested location that might wind up being a ghost neighborhood in a decade if things don’t work out as planned.

During the most recent housing crisis, a lot of new home communities were hit the hardest, whereas existing homes saw their values decline but prop back up over time.

Of course, if you opt for new you’ll probably have all the latest technology and no major issues.

And if you go with an older home, you might have major bills on your hands when the roof gives out, or you discover serious plumbing issues.

So you’ll need to do your due diligence when buying an old home to ensure the property is in adequate shape. This means paying for a quality inspection (or two).

Then again, I’ve heard really negative stuff about new homes too, with many claiming workmanship has gone to you know what these days.

In other words, you’re not out of woods if you buy new either, though there might be some kind of warranty in place for a while.

At the end of the day, it’s probably okay to consider both new and used homes when looking for a property, and including both types should increase your odds of finding a winner.

As long as you take the time to inspect the property and the neighborhood, negotiate the right place, and make sure you can afford the place, you should be okay.

Lastly, you should make sure you actually want to own as opposed to rent because owning comes with many more responsibilities, whether you buy new or used.

Advantages to Buying a New Home

  • Brand new, clean, no major issues
  • Move-in ready (no wait or work to be done)
  • Cool new technology
  • Green features could reduce utility costs and/or provide tax incentives
  • Trendy design
  • Ability to customize
  • Can finance additions into mortgage
  • Possibly easier to get financing with home builder
  • Less competition, more choices on floor plans

Disadvantages to Buying a New Home

  • More expensive than buying used
  • Location probably isn’t ideal
  • Despite being new, workmanship might be questionable
  • Could be subject to costly HOAs, even if it’s a house
  • Neighborhood dynamic is unknown
  • Property values might be more volatile
  • Construction nearby (eyesore and noisy)
  • More cookie-cutter, less unique

Advantages to Buying an Existing Home

  • Possibly cheaper
  • Better, more central location
  • Can buy in an established school district
  • Can own in a more reputable and recognized neighborhood
  • Old house might have new upgrades
  • You can always renovate if need be
  • Older houses tend to have more character, custom design
  • Could actually be built better than a new home

Disadvantages to Buying an Existing Home

  • Harder to find an existing home (less inventory)
  • Might have major problems you don’t initially notice
  • Financing could be tricky (if unpermitted work, etc.)
  • Could still be more expensive than buying new
  • Fewer amenities, especially as homes get more tech-integrated
  • The neighborhood might be in decline
  • More competition to get your offer accepted
  • Might have to settle for a smaller, less ideal home to get right location

Source: thetruthaboutmortgage.com

5 Things Every Home Buyer Needs to Know About New Construction

Imagine being the very first person to live in your new home.

Any buyer shopping for a home today, in any market and at any price point, is likely to come across new construction homes for sale. The sellers are both large national builders and smaller local developers. Some homes are for sale as a part of a subdivision, while others are one-off homes.

But is a new-construction home the right path for you? Here are five factors you should keep in mind.

New homes may not be listed in your local MLS

Unlike a regular seller who lists their home with a local real estate agent, homebuilders often have their own sales employees working for them on site. They do this to have more control and to cut costs.

What does this mean for buyers? Mostly, it may mean the homebuilder isn’t a member of the local MLS. As a result, the homes may not show up in your agent’s MLS search.

The builder may be more apt to advertise online, in the paper or with billboards. So if you’re interested in newly built homes, work with your agent to make sure you’ve identified all the possibilities.

New homes are often sold before they’re built

A builder will generally get financing lined up, and map out both a construction and a sales process. This means they’ll try to sell as many homes as possible, before they’re even built.

To accomplish this, they’ll build out model homes and allow buyers to go in and review floor plans, fixtures and finishes while the homes are under construction. Depending on the state, builders need to get through some of the approvals process before they can actually start signing contracts.

For the most part, you can get a sense of what your new home would look and feel like, and where it will be located in the community. Ready to move forward? You’ll likely have to put down a deposit, from a few thousand dollars to 10 percent of the purchase price.

Be aware that even if there are 100 homes in the community, they won’t all be available at once. Home builders tend to release the homes in phases. If the first five homes sell quickly at the asking price, and the market continues to do well, the builder can raise the prices on the second or third phase.

Also, the sales cycle for a new community can take years. The last phase could end up being priced 10 percent or more than the first, simply because the real estate market has appreciated.

The first buyers may get the best discounts

A home builder, especially early in the sales process, wants to get a few homes under contract quickly. If the builder can announce they have 10 homes under contract in a few months, the project can seem more desirable to future buyers.

Also, builders like to go back to their lenders with positive news about the project and their investment. To do this, they need early buyers to sign contracts.

For buyers, this means that early in the sales process there could be room to negotiate the price down. But with the reward, there is potential risk. By being an early buyer, you’re committed to the project. If for some reason sales don’t manifest, or you don’t want to move ahead before the home is built, you risk losing your down payment. For example, right after the previous housing downturn, some buyers were stuck under contract on new homes where sales had stalled.

Builders don’t have a personal attachment to the home

A typical seller has lived in their home for many years, and raised their family or built memories there. So when it’s time to sell, the seller may experience all kinds of issues, questions and uncertainties, which can come out in the negotiation and purchase process.

The seller may unconsciously price the home too high because they’re not ready to emotionally detach from it. They may want to know more about you, or what your plans are for the property. If given a choice between two buyers, the seller may pick one over the other for non-financial reasons.

With a home builder, it’s just a numbers game. They’re focused more on spreadsheets than sentiment. They want to make sure you’re qualified and can get a loan. They set the prices based on their inventory, though there may be a little room for negotiations.

Discounts may be available in the form of upgrades

Is the project you’re interested in nearing the end of its sales cycle, with many homes already sold? If so, the builder may be a little more willing to negotiate with you — not so much on price, but on upgrades. If they reduce the price on your home and the sale closes, then that sale price becomes public record. But if they offered you an upgrade package (hardwood floors instead of carpet, or higher-end appliances), there isn’t any way to track that.

What could amount to thousands of dollars in upgrades could end up being a better deal than simply getting a price reduction.

For many first-time buyers, new construction could be a great idea.

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Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

Originally published March 18, 2016.

Source: zillow.com