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February Journal 2021


A Healthy Medium - Space at Home

Buying a larger home that reduces crowding is probably better for your family than living in a smaller home, according to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. Researchers said that if a home is too small, life's stresses feel amplified. And, while smaller spaces do bring families closer in proximity, they may not promote habits that bring them closer in relationship. Interestingly, though, researchers also noted that perceptions of space were more important than actual square footage. If the family perceives their amount of space positively, it can eliminate most negative effects.1


The COVID-19 vaccine has economists feeling optimistic that the economy will make significant strides towards a recovery in 2021. If the nation brings the virus under control reasonably well, a surge of hiring could occur in the late spring and early summer. The hospitality and travel industries in particular could see the biggest turnaround. With improved employment numbers will come more consumer spending, which should help the auto industry whose sales momentum stalled during the pandemic. For a full economic recovery and return to pre-pandemic employment figures, economists anticipate it could take until 2023.2


U.S. home prices hit a 14-year high in October3


Time to Refinance to a 15-year Mortgage?

Homeowners with 30-year-fixed-rate mortgages and several years of equity may want to consider refinancing to a 15-year mortgage this year. With historically low rates, refinancing can save you money on interest, build more equity into your home, and enable you to pay off the loan faster, which can be especially helpful if you are retiring soon.4


New Year, New Design Trends

The pandemic continues to have a huge impact on what buyers want in a home. Once popular open floor plans are taking a backseat to separated spaces that better accommodate parents and kids working from home. Outdoor influences are popping up indoors, with more biophilic design and wood-grain elements incorporated into kitchens. Having space to get outside is still high on many shoppers' lists - from yards to decks to screened-in porches. In bathrooms, smart innovations like touchless appliances and motion-sensor lighting are increasingly in demand.5


Sources: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5

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