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Along with enjoying holiday festivities and spending time with your family, you might want to add shopping for a home and even selling your home to your list of things to do right now.

According to Sharon Voss, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, the holidays are a great time to buy a sell a home for these reasons.

Here are four reasons for both sides.

Why the Holidays are a great time to sell:

1. Less inventory.

Selling a home during the holiday season can seem like too much of a hassle for many homeowners, so many will either take their home off the market or wait until the warmer months to list. However, listing now can be advantageous. Because of the shortage of inventory during the holiday months, sellers may receive more interest in their property and can ask for a higher price on their homes.

2. Motivated buyers.

House hunting in the winter is not for the faint of heart. Most home buyers who are still cautious about pulling the trigger and purchasing a home will postpone their search until the Spring. On the contrary, if a buyer is touring homes instead of celebrating the season with friends and family, they are likely more motivated and need to buy a home soon which means they might be willing to pay more.

3. Control of showings.

Homeowners can set a strict showing schedules with their real estate agents, complete with blackout dates and times that won’t work for your schedule. Your Realtor can enforce the schedule and make the process go...

Read more: 'Tis a great season to buy and sell your home

rejuvenate_kitchenFrom installing new cabinet doors to renovating old furnishings, there are many ways to modernize and brighten your kitchen without committing to a complete renovation. Painting, changing cabinet doors and drawer pulls, or adding a kitchen island are all options that you can use to modernize your kitchen. By choosing colors, patterns and styles that you really love, you can transform your kitchen into the most-loved room in the home.

New Look for Old Cabinets
Cabinetry can be updated rather than replaced when you are looking for an easy way to modernize your kitchen. Install glass pantry doors with recessed lighting to turn a stack of antique dishes into a display, or refinish the countertops with a bright new color to change the look of the cabinets. Add new drawer pulls after installing new cabinet doors to tie the theme of the room together.

Painting is an easy and affordable way to modernize your kitchen. Opt for bright colors, like yellow, to create an open, friendly atmosphere, or choose deeper colors, such as red, to make the space cozy and inviting. Bright white is a classic option that lasts for several years, even when you change the decor in your home often. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color. Deep aqua, for instance, may not be a traditional color for the kitchen, but works just as well as yellow or white when paired with matching decor. Freshen the trim in a complimentary color to finish the project.

Flooring Options
Changing the look of your

Read more: 6 Easy Ways to Rejuvenate Your Kitchen

Appraisal volume continued to struggle to recover from the loss it witnessed due to Thanksgiving for the week of Nov. 6, increasing 3.1%, the latest data from a la mode, an appraisal forms software company that tracks appraisal volume throughout the country, said.

While volume jumped 35.7% last week, it fell a bit short of brining the volume up to the levels seen in the week before Thanksgiving.

Click to enlarge


(Source: a la mode)

Kevin Golden, director of analytics with a la mode, explained that the rise prompted by the fear of an imminent rate hike by the Federal Reserve was still not enough to overcome the seasonal slowing, leaving the index still shy of pre-Thanksgiving levels.

The Fed is supposed to announce whether or not it will raise interest rates on Wednesday.

And if rates rise, Golden said that appraisal volume will drop. “Combine this with the seasonal slowdown, it could be a significant amount,” he said. Furthermore, mortgage payments are expected to increase around 12%, by one estimation.

Appraisal volume is an indicator of market strength and has some advantages over mortgage applications. Fallout is less for appraisals since they are ordered later in the mortgage process after credit worthiness has been approved and there are few multiple-orders.

a la mode captures 50% of the appraiser market – more than 6 million appraisals per year since the fourth quarter of 2006.

Read more: Can appraisal volume survive a Fed hike in interest rates?

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Fire_Island_HomeA premium Fire Island home sold prior to its scheduled auction date, an impressive feat worthy of major bragging rights. The unique, modern home has a swanky 100 feet of direct ocean frontage and a 1,920-square-foot interior. For those not from the New York metro area, Fire Island is the large center island of the outer barrier islands parallel to the south shore of Long Island, New York.

Inside you will find lofty 10-foot ceilings, a stunning glass wall, massive bay windows facing the ocean, a large balcony with ample lounge space and an outdoor shower and dressing area. Five bedrooms and three full bathrooms provide plenty of space for a large family or lingering guests, and a chef’s kitchen and dining area that seats 12 are perfect for both the gourmand and the entertainer.

The residence is situated in a private community of 40 single-family homes nestled on the southern shore of Fire Island. Sellers Rona and Joe Forstadt purchased the home more than 35 years ago. When a fire damaged the home in 1989, the duo convinced renowned architect Horace Gifford to come out of retirement to help restore the home to its original beauty. Gifford was famous for the sleek glass and wood style showcased in this space. The project was the last one Gifford undertook before passing away in 1992.

While the sale price of the property has not been released, it was described as one of the highest prices “on the ocean” in 2015. Ahoy,...

Read more: Great Spaces: Fire Island Home Finds Buyer before Auction

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