Category Archives: Katonah

Dottie Herman sells her Douglas Elliman share to Howard Lorber | Katonah Real Estate

Dottie Herman and Howard Lorber (Credit: Douglas Elliman)

UPDATED: Dec. 31, 5:40 p.m.: Douglas Elliman CEO Dottie Herman — who partnered with Howard Lorber 15 years ago to buy New York City’s largest residential brokerage — is selling her stake in the firm for $40 million.

Herman will retain her spot on the management team, according to Elliman’s parent company, Vector Group, which is purchasing her 29.41 percent interest, it said Monday afternoon. Vector, which is controlled by Lorber, already owned 70.59 percent of Douglas Elliman.

In a regulatory filing, Vector said it already paid Herman $10 million and will pay the remaining $30 million in 12 equal installments between Jan. 1, 2020 and Oct. 1, 2022. She will also receive interest on the outstanding balance.

In a statement, Lorber said Herman’s “vision for and dedication to Douglas Elliman” helped turn the brokerage into a national brand with 7,000 agents — including 2,600 in New York City.

The pair acquired the brokerage in 2003 for just under $72 million, and its overall success led to Forbes in 2016 naming Herman as the richest self-made woman in real estate, with an estimated net worth of around $260 million.

But lately, the firm has been battered by the national housing slowdown and sluggish new development sales. Elliman reported net income of $7.8 million for the first nine months of 2018— down 62.5 percent from $20.8 million in 2017.

On Monday, shares of Vector closed at $9.73 — down around 54 percent from $20.70 per share in January 2018 — giving the company a market cap of $1.3 billion.

‘End of an era’

In recent years, Herman has retreated from the firm’s day-to-day operations, fueling rumors that she was on her way out.

On Monday, Herman disputed the idea that she has — or will — take a backseat at Elliman, despite selling her stake. “When a company gets to be a size like ours, any CEO should take the time to be strategic,” she said. “I still take every call from agents. Look, I helped four people get listings in the last two weeks.”

Although she will remain as CEO, sources told The Real Deal that Herman forgoing ownership represents the end of an era at Elliman.

While Herman held a significant stake in the company and had a legion of loyal followers, Elliman agents and managers said the balance of power has always favored Lorber. He’s the dealmaker who brings gobs of new development business through his investment vehicle New Valley, which bought into such projects as 111 Murray, 125 Greenwich76 11th Avenue and 160 Leroy. Through that connection, Elliman was tapped to market billions in condo product.

“The main impetus behind the company has been Howard for years,” said Andy Gerringer, who ran Elliman’s new development marketing group until he left in 2010. “Dottie was corralling managers and running meetings but when the big decisions had to be made it was Howard anyway.”

The veneer of diplomacy between the owners started to wear thin in recent years, as Herman stayed out of the spotlight (whether by choice or direction). Then in December 2017, Lorber promoted COO Scott Durkin to president — a role previously held by Herman. At the time, Herman and Lorber emphatically denied she was going anywhere. “She’ll have to be carried out,” Lorber said last year. “I’ll be the same way.”

But sources said although Herman resisted the change at first, she acquiesced over time. “In the beginning, she didn’t want to give up the day-to-day operations of the company,” the source said. “At the same time, she’d had enough.”

During a brief phone interview on Monday, Herman, 65, said selling the stock was the “hardest decision” she’s made in her life, and added that she wavered for two years before deciding to cash out. Twenty years ago, she would have kept going, she said.

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Mortgage rates average 4.63% | Katonah Real Estate

Mortgage Rates Drop to Lowest Point in Three Months

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that rates dropped significantly after several weeks of moderating.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “The 30-year fixed fell to 4.63 percent this week – the lowest it has been since mid-September. Mortgage rates have either fallen or remained flat for five consecutive weeks and purchase applicants are responding with an uptick in demand given these lower rates. While the housing market softened in response to higher rates through most of this year, the combination of a low unemployment and recent downdraft in rates should support home sales heading into the early winter months.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.63 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending December 13, 2018, down from last week when it averaged 4.75. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.93 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.07 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.21 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.36 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.04 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.07. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.36 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey

Plogging to clean your neighborhood | Katonah Real Estate

Many athletes have been doing it for a long time without even knowing it is now a fitness trend. It’s called plogging, a combination of jogging and picking up. And what is being picked up is trash. The Swedes are credited with starting the trend and now it’s spreading in the United States.

A sunny and breezy day is perfect for plogging. Jeff Horowitz, a personal trainer at Vida Gym in Washington, is plogging with a couple of his friends. To him, nothing is new about this routine.

“This is just my personal ethics, where I would go for a run and if I happen to see a piece of garbage laying around and it’s within my reach,” he says. “It was a kind of a little test for me to see if I can grab it and throw it in a near trash can without stopping. That way I thought it gave me a little bit of exercise, a little focus for my run and helped clean up the neighborhood.”

Now, he knows he’s one of a growing number of people worldwide who are plogging. He often organizes plogging events.

Rules of Plogging

Getting ready to plog is similar to getting ready to jog. You have to warm up by doing weight squats, some calisthenics, some balance exercises. Then, grab a trash bag and you’re ready to go, but not before wearing a pair of gloves.

Like other athletes, ploggers have to warm up first. (Jeff Horowitz)
Like other athletes, ploggers have to warm up first. (Jeff Horowitz)

“Gloves are important,” Horowitz says. “You want to make sure this is going to be healthy for you. Even if you’ve good intentions, you never know what you’ll find. It might be broken glass, medical waste.”

Like any other fitness routine, plogging has rules. The first of these rules one shouldn’t suddenly bend over in front of someone else, which seems like common sense.

“You can’t do that.” Horowitz explains. “It becomes like a three stooges’ event and you’ll end up falling over.” So, when plogging with a group a runner usually calls it out, stops and bends, so other members of the group become aware of his move.

Ploggers also need to cover all different territory.

“People kind of naturally follow that rule,” Horowitz says. “So, if I’m a little bit more to the curb side, I’ll look toward the gutter and someone else a little bit closer to the hedges they’re going to pick up there. So, you get a rhythm going between people without sometimes agreeing to it.”

Organizing plogging events encourages more joggers to try it. (Jeff Horowitz)
Organizing plogging events encourages more joggers to try it. (Jeff Horowitz)

Running with Purpose

Sports event organizer Dana Allen finds plogging interesting. Like other runners who consider themselves environment custodians, she likes it when streets are trash-free and clean. That’s why she plogs, but admits she doesn’t do it all the time.

“When I’m running seriously, in training for a marathon, I probably wouldn’t be as inclined to stop regularly because I’m focusing on a certain goal,” she says. “But then there are other days, where I’m out and into sort of a more relaxed running that would be a situation where I might do it.”

On other occasions, a group of runners gets together early on a weekend morning, and goes plogging.

“We go for run, pick up some garbage, then we go for brunch. We kind of make a little bit of event of it.”

Plogger Azell Washington says participating in such events makes him feel better. “It would clear a lot of space for me. And I’m rewarded myself.”

Washington DC: Clean and Fit

Encouraging more people to plog helps raise awareness about Washington’s litter problem, says Julie Lawson, who works with the mayor’s Clean City Office.

“When the street looks bad and it’s dirty, you’re going to feel bad about the neighborhood, about the community. You may even feel less safe because of that,” she says. “So if we’re all doing our part and picking it up, it’s very easy to help beautify it, help build those social connection, you get to know your neighbors, you get to feel some social responsibility and community feel, when you do this.”

Plogging also helps advance a city-wide fitness initiative.

“FitDC is Mayor Muriel Bowser’s initiative to get DC back to number one in the country as the fittest city in the nation,” Lawson adds. “And as part of that our Department of Parks and Recreation put up a couple of plogging events combining fitness activities with beautifying the city. We look to continue to support that.”

Participants of all ages are welcome to plog. (Jeff Horowitz)
Participants of all ages are welcome to plog. (Jeff Horowitz)

Plogger Allen hopes one day there won’t be a need for plogging.

“I would just hope people around would think twice before dropping a garbage on the ground,” she says. “We have receptacles, seems like on every block. So, it’s easy to put your garbage in the trash can. So, I just think people should think about it a little bit more and be cognizant of keeping the city as beautiful as possible.”

read more…

https://www.voanews.com/a/plogging-around-the-us/4673842.html?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=today-at-voa-t46&utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=2018-11-27

Who is buying houses? | Katonah Real Estate

Super-low inventory and quickly rising prices largely framed this year’s housing market. But a closer look at 2018’s buyers and sellers reveals other intriguing real estate trends, captured by a new report from the National Association of Realtors.

Here are five big takeaways:

Marriage not needed: 

The share of married couple buyers hit the lowest point since 2010 at 63 percent. Single females made up the second-largest buyer group at 18 percent, following by single males at 9 percent and unmarried couples at 8 percent.

The decline in married couples reveals that marriage is no longer a prerequisite to buying a home. “You don’t need a ring,” says Jessica Lautz, director of demographics and behavioral insight for the NAR.

Tough for first-timers:

Low inventory for entry-level homes and rapid price increases continue to befuddle first-time homebuyers. This year, the share of first-time buyers fell to 33 percent, down from 34 percent last year and well below the historical norm of 40 percent.

“They didn’t bounce back,” Lautz says.

Almost a quarter of first-time homebuyers (23 percent) moved directly from their parents’ homes before purchasing a house, a new high. Lautz notes that may be how some first-timers can compete in today’s market. “They’re not stuck in a lease and its time frame,” she says. “They can save for a down payment because they’re not paying rent.”

First-time homebuyers contributed a median 7 percent of the sales price to their home purchase, up from 5 percent last year and the highest level since 1997. Overall, buyers put down 13 percent, up from 10 percent in 2017 and the highest since 2005.

Older repeat buyers:

Repeat buyers are getting older. The median age was 55 years, up from 54 last year and an all-time high for the survey.

Lautz says that these younger Boomers are healthier than their counterparts in the past, so they don’t need to move to an assisted-living facility or downsize, which has become less and less common. “Many are purchasing multi-generational homes and taking care of parents, or their children are moving back home,” Lautz says.

Many homeowners who bought their homes eight to 10 years ago at the peak of the previous housing bubble also stalled their home sale as they waited to regain equity. That’s another reason repeat buyers could be older.

Student loan woes:

College debt remains a significant challenge for potential homebuyers. Almost a quarter of all buyers reported having a median of $28,000 in student loan debt, while two in five first-time buyers said they had a median of $30,000 in education debt.

Of the 13 percent of buyers who said saving for a down payment was the hardest part of buying a home, half said their student loan debt had hampered their ability to save for a home purchase or down payment.       

“Even with a thriving economy and an abundance of job opportunities in many markets, monthly student loan payments coupled with sky-high rents and rising home prices make it exceedingly difficult for potential buyers to put aside savings for a down payment,” NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said in a statement.

Fewer children:

The share of homebuyers with children under 18 reached the lowest point in the survey’s 37-year history at 34 percent, mirroring recent low birthrates in the country, says Lautz. “This changes the neighborhoods buyers are looking at. Schools are a reduced preference. Some buyers may be willing to move to up-and-coming neighborhoods more than before.

Additionally, buyers without children may be content with houses with less than three bedrooms, no recreation room or even a townhouse or condo if they don’t see children in their future. Many buyers also are interested in how their homes work for their pets. Fifteen percent of buyers this year said it was important that their home is close to green spaces or a veterinarian for their pets. This is the first time the NAR posed this survey questions.

read more…

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/10/29/housing-market-older-repeat-buyers-fewer-children-trends-2018/1803185002/

Bomb found at George Soros’ Katonah mailbox | Katonah Real Estate

PHOTOS COURTESY OF GEORGESOROS.COM; GAGE SKIDMORE | WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Update 10/24 — The U.S. Secret Service released a statement this morning stating that similar packages were intercepted in routine mail screenings en route to the Chappaqua address of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as the Washington, D.C. residence of Former President Barack Obama.
 

• “Suspicious packages” were identified as “potential explosive devices” during what the Secret Service says in its official statement were routine mail screenings, and “appropriately handled as such.”

• The package sent to Clinton was intercepted late on Tuesday, October 23. A second package addressed to President Obama was intercepted in Washington early Wednesday morning.

• Neither of the Secret Service’s protectees received the packages, “nor were they at risk of receiving them,” according to the statement.

• Also on Wednesday morning, CNN’s offices in Manhattan were evacuated after a similar device was sent there and made its way into their offices, a law enforcement official said.

Jim Sciutto@jimsciuttoBreaking: CNN NY office evacuated. Police bomb squad is here. We’re told of explosive device received.

• According to the Secret Service, the agency has “initiated a full scope criminal investigation that will leverage all available federal, state, and local resources to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible.”

Westchester Magazine will continue coverage of this story as it develops. Original story below:
 


Monday afternoon, a small explosive device was discovered in the mailbox of billionaire philanthropist George Soros’ Katonah residence.

No one was injured and the investigation is still ongoing. Here’s everything you need to know as the story unfolds:
 

• Bedford Police received a call around 3:45 p.m. on Monday, October 22, from an employee of the residence.

• The 88-year-old Soros was not home at the time.

• The relatively small device was discovered when an employee opened a package, after which they carefully placed the device outside in a wooded area, according to the Bedford police.

• Federal and state law enforcement agents responded, and the bomb squad proceeded with a controlled detonation of the device.

• There was no clear motive behind the attempted bombing, though Soros has often been demonized by right-wing groups for his support of liberal social policies and campaign contributions to democrats.

• The New York Times reports that the investigation is open, and is now being handled by the New York offices of both the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

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http://www.westchestermagazine.com/Explosive-Device-Found-In-George-Soros-Katonah-Home/

The World’s Biggest Real Estate Bubbles in 2018 | Katonah Real Estate

Hong Kong real estate tops the bubble list

With the current stock market bull run reaching nearly 10 years in length, it’s understandable that many investors are nervous about the end of the party coming sooner than later.

However, as UBS notes in its latest report, there is also growing concern about another prominent bubble that’s been in the works since the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Large amounts of easy money have fueled real estate bubbles in the world’s major cities – and the Swiss investment bank now sees the property markets in six global cities as being at risk.

THE BUBBLE INDEX

In the 2018 edition of the bank’s Real Estate Bubble Index, here are the major cities around the globe that are in or near bubble territory:

The biggest real estate bubbles

Any city with a score over 1.5 is considered at “Bubble Risk”, and right now those include two cities from Canada, one from Asia, and three from Europe.

Hong Kong (2.03) tops the index this year, leaping past Munich (1.99), Toronto (1.95), and Vancouver (1.92) which all remain at bubble risk themselves. Amsterdam and London are the two other cities that score higher than a 1.5 on the rankings.

It’s also very important to note that there are four cities that score just under the 1.5 threshold: Stockholm (1.45), Paris (1.44), San Francisco (1.44), and Frankfurt (1.43).

A COMING CORRECTION?

Investor and writer Howard Marks has noted in recent months that the wider market is in its “8th inning”, and the same case could be made for real estate.

Historically, investors have had to be alert to rising interest rates, which have served as the main trigger of corrections.

– UBS Report

According to UBS, the cracks are already starting to show at the top end of the market, with housing prices declining in half of last year’s list of bubble cities. Some of the worrying factors include rising interest rates, as well as growing political tensions as the crisis of affordability makes it harder for average people to live in these global financial centers.

Here is annualized growth in percent over the last year, as well for the last five years for cities in the index:

Real estate bubbles and their growth rates

As you can see, some of these cities have had negative growth over the last 12 months, including New York, Toronto, Sydney, London, and Stockholm.

CHARTING SPECIFIC MARKETS

In Hong Kong, you need to work 22 years to afford a 645 sq. ft (60m²) apartment, when that took just 12 years just a decade ago. In recent years, Hong Kong’s ascent to becoming one of the biggest real estate bubbles has become very evident, especially when juxtaposed with Singapore:

Hong Kong

In Canada, the two cities in the index are starting to go in alternate directions, although recent signs also point to a potential slowdown in Vancouver:

Vancouver and Toronto

Finally, the U.S. market – which felt the pain of the housing crash in the late 2000s – is home to zero cities in the bubble risk category, according to UBS.

American cities

Whether it is a bubble or not, many people agree that San Francisco’s housing situation is still a crisis. In the Bay Area hub, 60% of all rental units are in rental-controlled buildings, and the median single-family house price is a hefty $1.7 million.

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The World’s Biggest Real Estate Bubbles in 2018

NY home prices drop 5.5% | Katonah Real Estate

The S&P/Case-Shiller and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released their home price indices for July 2018. National home prices rose at the slowest annual growth rate since June 2014. Moreover, seven metro areas experienced home price declines in July.

The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 1.9% in July. It was the lowest seasonally adjusted annual growth rate since June 2014. The Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.7% in April, slower than the 3.7% increase in June, confirming the deceleration in home prices for this month.

Figure 2 shows the annual growth rate of home prices for 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas.

Among the 20 metro areas, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Cleveland had the highest home price appreciation. Las Vegas led the way with 14.6%, followed by San Francisco with 11.4% and Cleveland with a 9.3% increase. Eleven out of the 20 metro areas had higher home price appreciation than the national level of 1.9%. In July, thirteen metro areas had positive home price appreciation while seven metro areas had negative home price appreciation, including San Diego (-0.2%), Detroit (-0.2%), Los Angeles (-0.5%), Dallas (-1.6%), Chicago (-1.8%), Boston (-2.4%) and New York (-5.5%).

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Home Price Growth Slowed in July

Mortgage rates average 4.65% | Katonah Real Estate

MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that mortgage rates rose for the fourth consecutive week.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased once again to its highest level since May. “Mortgage rates are drifting upward again and represent continued affordability challenges for prospective buyers – especially first-time buyers,” he said. “Borrowing costs are moving right now for three main reasons: the very strong economy, higher U.S. government debt issuances and global trade tensions.”

Added Khater, “Amidst this four-week climb in mortgage rates, the welcoming news is that purchase applications have risen on an annual basis for five consecutive weeks. However, given the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, the next few months of housing activity will likely be somewhat volatile.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.65 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending September 20, 2018, up from last week when it averaged 4.60 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.83 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.11 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.06 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.13 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.92 percent with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.93 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.17 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Cuba’s real estate market is booming | Katonah Real Estate

The numbers are stunning.

To buy a house in the once-elegant Miramar neighborhood of Havana, the average Cuban must have saved all of his salary since British troops captured the city in 1762.

That house would cost about 100,000 Cuban convertible pesos, or CUCs — the equivalent of $1.13 U.S. What isn’t even close to equivalent is the pay scale. The average Cuban earns 370 CUCs per year as a computer programmer, state shop administrator, policeman, postman or teacher.

That disparity alone isn’t startling. Almost every city in the world has elegant homes that only the elite can afford, while average residents live in moderately priced homes. But in Cuba, the price for even a modest home far outstrips local wages.

According to official figures, the 5,000 CUC asking price for a dilapidated residence in less-desirable Havana neighborhoods like Alamar Jesús María, Luyanó and Párraga equals 13.5 years of salary for an average worker. A modest 20,000 CUC apartment in Vedado amounts to 54 years of average earnings.

Successful business owners, medical personnel who have worked abroad, artists and others may be able to afford the high prices. But its people living abroad – some of them Cubans, some not – who are often buyers.

Making the situation more difficult for island-based Cubans is the financial structure. Cubans cannot access mortgages or bank loans. Real estate purchases in Cuba are generally made in cash — although sometimes the buyers throw in a car, another property, television sets, air conditioners, water pumps and even furniture.

The largest transactions are often discreetly sealed outside Cuba, many of them in Miami.

Since the Cuban government legalized the sale of private residences in 2011, thousands of houses and apartments have changed hands each year.

It was a time of change throughout the island, noted Emilio Morales, director of The Havana Consulting Group, a Miami company that monitors the Cuban economy. “The authorization for selling homes arrived at the same time as self-employment and the elimination of the ‘White Card’ permit to travel abroad. People started selling their homes to invest in a business or to finance their move abroad.”

Today more than 8,000 properties are available for sale in Cuba at any one time. Four out of five are in Havana, home to one in four Cubans.

The island’s complex real estate market is plagued by a lack of information, funding shortages and legislative gaps. Sellers don’t trust real estate agents, who are not officially organized. There are no independent inspectors or appraisers, no property insurance or transparent documents.

But perhaps the heaviest cloud over the real estate market is the well-founded fear that the laws allowing the sale of private homes can be recalled at any time.

“The current trend toward limiting the private sector, from restaurants to home rentals that were proving so successful, will soon bring with it a contraction of the real estate market,” said Morales. “That was the real aim, because the private sector was winning the competition against the inefficient state sector at all levels, from shoe manufacturing to hostels in private homes.”

read more…

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article217887040.html

How Much Should Your Painting Project Cost? | Katonah Real Estate

A lot of factors play into the cost of a home painting project. The type of paint, the number of rooms, the siding material and the height of the house all have an impact. According to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide, homeowners pay an average of $1,500 to $4,000 to have their home exteriors painted and $1,000 to $3,000 to have their entire home interior painted. So, how much will your project cost? And what factors do you have to consider?

When to Paint

Interior
Beyond apparent fading and wear, or simply changing up your style, there are a few parameters for how often interiors should be painted – and how frequently you should factor painting into your annual home improvement budget.

How Often to Paint Interior Rooms
Low-Activity Rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Dining Rooms
3-4 years
High-Activity Rooms
  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Hallways
  • Laundry Rooms
5-7 years

Exterior
Climate and maintenance practices will determine how often you’ll need to paint your home. But the type of siding you have plays a major role.

How Often to Paint Home Exteriors
Cement Fiberboard 10-15 years
Aluminum 5-6 years
Stucco 5-6 years
Painted Brick 15-20 years
Wood (Paint) 3-7 years
Wood (Stain) 4 years

If you’re not sure it’s the right time, consult with a painting expert.

The best time of year to paint exteriors is in the late spring and during the summer—when the weather is warmer and dryer, for optimum application conditions.

DIY vs Hiring A Pro

If it’s within your budget, you’ll get the most out of your investment by hiring an expert for your painting project. Experienced painters can do the work in better time. Plus, they’ll have the equipment and training to perform the best preparation and application.

If you do hire a pro, be wary of low quotes. “The wording they’ll use a lot of times is: ‘We guarantee coverage,’” says Nick May, owner of Walls By Design in Denver, Colo. “And that just means they’re going to do one coat and touchups. So, really be sure the contractor spells out: ‘How many coats am I doing? How am I applying it?’”

If you’d prefer to save money and paint your home yourself, keep in mind that it’s easier and safer to paint your home interior yourself than it is to paint the exterior. There are many dangers associated with exterior work — especially on homes with multiple stories.

Interior Painting Costs
The typical cost of supplies is $200-$300 for one room, which includes tarps, ladders, tools and paint. If you hire an expert, you’re likely to pay $400-$800 per room or $1,000-$3,000 for the whole home.

Exterior Painting Costs
An average-sized house calls for 12 gallons of paint, which averages $400-$900. With supplies like extender poles and ladders, you’ll pay roughly $600 to $1,200 to paint your home’s exterior yourself. If you hire a painter or painting company, you’ll pay around $1,500 to $4,000. This price fluctuates according to the number of stories and the type of surface being painted. Painting a three-story home could cost over $5,000. And painting concrete or vinyl siding tends to cost less than painting wood or stucco.

“Paint is the least expensive thing you can get the biggest bang for in your house. You can spend $5,000 on a dining room set, or you can spend $5,000 on paint and redo your whole entire house.”– Nick May, Owner of Walls by Design in Denver, Colo.

Picking Paint

The quality and type of paint you choose can make all the difference in extending the life of your paint job. “Really understand your options,” says May. “Most paint companies make a good paint, but they also can sell a crappy paint. Some paints hide better; some paints perform better; some paints will touch up better.”

Interior Color and Finishes
Bedrooms are best in soothing colors like blue and green. Living rooms can be done in energizing colors like red or purple, but blue and beige are also good tones. And kitchens and bathrooms should be painted clean blues, grays, whites and neutrals. If you can’t decide, you can consult with an interior designer for advice. As far as finishes, semi-gloss has the best moisture resistance and is easy to clean — perfect for kitchens and bathrooms. And satin and eggshell are top sheens for bedrooms and living rooms.

Exterior Color and Materials
Beige comes out on top as the most popular and best color for exteriors, followed by similar neutrals, blues and grays. Mute and forest greens, as well as brick reds, are also good choices. Stay away from obnoxious yellows, oranges, and too-bright greens, blues and pinks. For finishes, satin is most commonly used on the entirety of the exterior. And a glossy finish works best on details like doors and window sashes.

If you’re struggling to choose a color for your painting project, look for a pro who offers color consulting among their services. “We know that’s one of the biggest barriers to entry for a homeowner when they’re painting their house,” says May. “So, we just made a decision, almost since the beginning, to have trained color designers that go out and work with customers.”

 

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How Much Should Your Painting Project Cost?