Big Techs Solving Affordable Housing?

Amazon – one of the biggest tech companies in the United States – has announced to commit more than $2 billion to create and provide affordable housing at three of its main employment cities: Seattle, Arlington, and Nashville.

Tech companies have been blamed for creating housing problems where they’re located; with big tech companies, come surging home prices. Amazon’s goal is to aid in reducing this housing issue.

With Amazon’s $2 billion promise, also comes plans to invest in the areas for the next five years.

Where exactly is Amazon’s donation going? Their commitment will go toward low-cost loans to aid in building affordable housing. Amazon also plans to offer grants to public agencies and minority-led housing organizations.

Looking for more real estate news? Stop by Alliance Title’s Blog.

Real Estate Tip of the Week: 2021 Design Trends

Homeowners and homebuyers are always looking to the next big thing – so home design and trends are constantly changing.

What can we expect for 2021? Houzz, a home-design website, has already made predictions as to what buyers and owners will be on the hunt for in terms of purchasing or updating. If you want to be the real estate agent these home seekers go for, then this list below should help you out.

Check out five of Houzz’s predictions here:

Multi-Zone Kitchen

Kitchens usually have three work zones between the fridge, sink, and range. However, more homeowners are adding additional work points, which Houzz refers to as a “work trapezoid.” These areas might help with baking, prepping and chopping, or other designated areas like snacks, drinks, or supplies.

Sconce Lighting

Sconce lighting is traditionally known as a bracket mounted on the wall that is used to hold a source of light. Homeowners are wanting to apply “swing-arm” sconce fixtures. Houzz notes that these type of lighting elements help add a bit of shimmer from metal finishes and helps break up walls of cabinets or tile.

Updating Bathroom Design

Bathrooms are now becoming the space in the room for evoking a “relaxing vibe” to help reduce stress. Some updates have been adding steam showers, aromatherapy shower heads, and elements to hold beverages.

Home Offices and Nooks

Obviously with the pandemic and most employees working from home, homeowners are requesting home offices where there will be an efficient space for work.

Video Conference-Worthy Backgrounds

In addition to requiring office spaces, some homeowners are also wanting an aesthetically pleasing background for all of the new video meetings. Whether that’s a built-in bookcase, a reading nook, or a pop of color, this new design trend is all about making things look pretty.

What home design trends are you most looking forward to in 2021?

For more real estate tips, check out Alliance’s Blog.

2021 Colors of the Year

If you’re into home design, then you’re no stranger to Pantone’s Color of the Year!

For their selection process, Pantone’s color experts search the world for new color influences – whether that’s through fashion, travel destinations, new technologies, materials, textures, or social media platforms!

And they’ve conducted their research and have announced the color of the year for 2021 – with TWO colors: Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray & Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating.


Pantone explains, “[these] two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to support one another […] practical and rock solid, but at the same time warming and optimistic, the union [of these colors] is one of strength and positivity.”

Looks like we can all look to a brighter, more comforting future with these welcoming colors!

Check out Pantone’s previous colors of the year, here!

For more real estate news and tips, stop by Alliance’s Blog.

2021 Favorite Housing Markets

Real estate experts are always on the hunt for the next big thing – and researching which housing markets might be top contenders are always at the top of their minds.

Realtor.com®’s economics team did the math and were able to create a list of what they believe to be the top 2021 housing markets. These markets have strong job markets, more square footage, and smaller cities that are better, more affordable alternatives. The team also zeroed in on factors in the 100 largest metropolitan areas such as:

  • Past sale prices
  • Number of sales
  • Rate of new construction
  • Previous and anticipated economic, household, and income growth

Just because these markets made the list, doesn’t mean they’re cheap. Most are still less expensive than San Francisco, New York, and LA, but they all hit around then national median of $348,000. A lot of their research shows that the markets below are probably pulling in a lot of out-of-towners who can now work remotely and afford larger homes.

The markets listed below are also expected to experience higher price growth and more sales than the rest of the country.

So, do you live in one of these markets? Are you currently trying to live in one of these markets? Tell us in our comments below!

  1. Sacramento, CA – median home price: $554,000
  2. San Jose, CA – median home price: $1,199,050
  3. Charlotte, NC – median home price: $368,820
  4. Boise, ID – median home price: $445,000
  5. Seattle, WA – median home price: $629,050
  6. Phoenix, AZ – median home price: $412,260
  7. Harrisburg, PA – median home price: $262,000
  8. Oxnard, CA – median home price: $824,000
  9. Denver, CO – median home price: $520,000
  10. Riverside, CA – median home price: $475,050

For more real estate news, stop by Alliance’s Blog.

Generations of Homeowners

To be a homeowner, or not to be a homeowner – was never the question. Rather, it’s been how to be a homeowner.

According to the Urban Institute’s Millennial Homeownership report, the homeownership rate for millennials is 8 percentage points lower than for Gen Xers and Baby Boomers when they were millennials’ ages. Their report estimates that 3.4 million more people would be homeowners if the rate of ownership kept pace with previous generations.

There are multiple factors that are causing Millennials’ to pause moving forward with homeownership. The report suggests that it takes only a 1% increase in a person’s student loan debt to decrease the likelihood of buying a home.

Millennials are also delaying marriage and renting longer than previous generations. Rent-burdened comes to mind; Millennials are rent-burdened when they’re spending more than 30% of their income on housing.

While there are many hurdles Millennials are having to jump through to become homeowners, remote-work seems to be helping them make the big decision.

Generations are always different – we’ll continue to monitor how the market changes.

For more real estate news and trends, stop by Alliance’s Blog.

New-Home Sales & Inventory

Inventory, inventory, inventory. Real estate is all too familiar with the battle. It’s a long tug-of-war game that continues to play out – where are we currently?

According to the Commerce Department’s latest report, buyers are targeting new-home construction as they search for the home of their dreams in the small pool of current inventory. New-home sales in October were 41.5% higher than they were a year ago.

Inventory has remained a strain at a 3.3-month supply at the current sales pace. High buyer demand isn’t the problem – it’s finding the home.

Robert Dietz, the National Association of Home Builder’s Chief Economist, explains, “the gap between construction and sales was at an all-time high in early fall. Thus, the NAHB forecast contains an acceleration in single-family starts and some slowing of the pace of growth for new homes sales to allow a catch up. Demand remains strong as home buyers seek out lower density markets as part of the suburban shift.”

New home construction is what many home buyers look to when purchasing a home, since many current homeowners are staying in their homes longer than years prior. At the moment, homebuilders cite ongoing labor and lot shortages as well as rising lumber prices as reasons new-home construction has slowed.

For more real estate news, stop by Alliance’s Blog for more.

2020 Real Estate Wrap Up

The real estate market continues on, even as 2020 remains unpredictable. Check out the year’s summary of statistics and future insights for 2021 to prepare for successful closings!

  • Mortgage applications are up 22% compared to 2019*
  • 71% of homes have been on the market for less than a month**
  • The MBA predicts 2021 mortgage prices will rise to around 3.1%***

Contact your local Alliance Title branch for your next transaction!

*https://www.businessinsider.com/how-2020-broke-the-housing-market-inventory-could-run-out-2020-9
**https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/existing-home-sales-soar-9-4-to-6-5-million-in-september
***https://www.housingwire.com/articles/mba-forecast-for-2021-prepare-for-rising-mortgage-interest-rates/

Title Technology in the Pandemic Age

COVID has increased the urgency of title companies needing digital tools to provide safe transactions for clients. As we’ve seen, technology doesn’t seem to be a problem, but rather – integration.

Volume on Notarizing platforms have increased 600% since April – but many real estate experts in the field believe there is still a long way for full digital adoption.

Tyler Thompson, Second Century Ventures and REACH Managing Partner, explains, “We need better integration from real estate, mortgage to title; remote online notarization is a huge part of that.”

For many in the title industry world, the need for highlighting and focusing on the consumer is something the industry should dedicate towards. Clients need a more streamlined process to secure their real estate goals.

The future is bright – and it looks like the push towards full integration is on everyone’s horizon.

For more real estate and title news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog.

Home Buyers Think of Mom and Dad

The pandemic sure is changing the way we do things – even what type of homes we buy.

Recently, The National Association of Realtors ® released their 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, and found that buyers purchasing a home since the start of the pandemic have been more likely to purchase a multigenerational home (about 15% versus 11% before 2020).

Why are buyers wanting to purchase these homes?

The survey found that these homeowners wanted a mutigenerational home for various reasons – caretaking of aging parents, cost savings, wanting to spend more time with aging parents, and even needing extra space for their adult children.

But what exactly is a multigenerational home?

These types of homes are designed to offer extra space for more than two generations living under the same roof. Homes designed to fit multiple generations might be more wheelchair accessible, have dual purposed rooms and extra rooms for everyone involved (usually a living room, a den, and a play room are all included in a multigenerational home). Separate entrances are also a nice touch to ensure that everyone has their own space and privacy.

So, where do you fit in a multigenerational home? Is this something you would be interested in, as a homeowner?

For more real estate news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog.

COVID Updates the Home

Housing architecture and styles are always fluctuating – but has COVID brought in new updates to the home that are here to stay?

Let’s take a look at some of the new requirements homeowners are needing before they sign on the dotted line.

Meeting Room

Working from home means needing your own space; particularly, space where you can contribute to your online meetings. This space helps both the professional at home, or the student at home, focus and work when they need to.

This means an extra room is likely needed.

Bigger Backyards

Homeowners are desiring bigger and better backyards. The extra yard space can help with keeping COVID guidelines of 6-feet apart while also entertaining! Some homeowners are more willing to forfeit a bigger house to instead have a larger backyard.

Mud Rooms

Think of these as your extra defense against germs. Homeowners are wanting an introductory room that would allow family members and guests to safely wash their hands before entering the main part of the home.

COVID has changed a lot about how we all live our lives, and it looks like the pandemic is continuing to shape how we think about our homes. Will these new features stick long after the pandemic is over?

For more real estate news, check out Alliance’s Blog.