Five years ago, you couldn’t turn on an episode of House Hunters or Love It or List It without hearing the words ‘granite countertops’ repeated ad nauseam. Second only to ‘open-concept’ (my personal observation as an avid viewer of HGTV), the home feature continually ranked near the top of buyers’ wishlists. 

But the conversation began to shift around 2017, when manufacturers of man-made quartz really stepped up their marketing game. Granite was knocked off its throne and became the subject of articles with headlines like, “This Longtime Kitchen Trend Is Officially Out.” 


But the clout of granite has not faded entirely, at least according to a recent survey by Point2 Homes. In 2019, ‘granite countertops’ ranked as the most popular home feature touted by agents in real estate listings across the United States. Is it popular because it’s a now-ubiquitous design trend or because it’s still valued by home shoppers? While that question remains unanswered, what we do know is the top three home features were consistent among all regions and price points. 


‘Hardwood floors’ came in second place, followed by ‘stainless steel appliances,’ yet another former kitchen upgrade that is now considered a must-have. ‘Open floor plan’ was the fourth most popular keyword among luxury and non-luxury listings, and ‘fenced backyard’ ranked fifth, unsurprising for a feature that’s advantageous to families with children and pet owners.

Real estate agents were also keen to advertise ‘covered patio,’ which provides shade from the sun or shelter during inclimate weather. Anyone who’s ever had to deal with soaking wet outdoor furniture can probably see the value in that. Next on the list came ‘vaulted ceilings’ (more room for a 12-foot Christmas tree, I guess), and ‘formal dining room’ took the number eight spot.

 

Rounding out the top 10 were ‘new roof’ — an enticing selling feature as a replacement costs between $4,707 and $10,460, according to data from HomeGuide — and finally, ‘natural light,’ which is known to increase productivity and regulate sleep cycles. 

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market anytime soon, consult the full list of the most popular features and amenities to add some SEO sizzle to your online listing.



Source: Livabl

https://www.livabl.com/2020/01/granite-countertops-popular-feature-home-listings.html

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Financial Post

March 5, 2020

Purchasing a property with the intention to turn it into an Airbnb can be risky. It's important to do your research and ask the right questions before you invest.


This article was created by StackCommerce in partnership with Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division. While Postmedia may collect a commission on sales through the links on this page, we are not being paid by the brands mentioned.


The rise of Airbnb may have you thinking about potential investment opportunities in the vacation rental market. Airbnb has made the idea of buying a property solely to turn it into short-term housing an interesting proposition. However, that strategy is not without risk. When it comes to Airbnb ownership, there are a handful of important questions you should ask yourself:

WHAT KIND OF INVESTOR DO YOU WANT TO BE?

There are plenty of ways to run a rental property, and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Do you want to be an active investor who spends a great deal of time maintaining the property to get those glowing user reviews? Or is kicking back and being a passive investor more your speed? Given how reviews can make or break an Airbnb property on the platform, playing the Airbnb game is much more suited to the active investor.

CAN YOU MANAGE THE PROPERTY?

Going off the importance of reviews, being able to keep a property in tip-top shape is vital for getting users to recommend your property and help it stand out on the platform. Can you keep the space clean and stocked with essentials like toiletries and linens? Can you delight your guests with fun recommendations or a tasty meal on the house? If not, it might be worth hiring a property manager to make sure your space wows your guests, though that will definitely cut into your bottom line.

 



Source:  Financial Post https://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/taxes/what-you-should-consider-before-purchasing-a-rental-or-airbnb-property

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