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posted: 6/22/2015 10:08 AM
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By Jim Woodard

A New Home Can Create Family Trauma

About half of all families who purchase a new home have some regrets about their transition, it was revealed in a recent study. More than 60 percent report stress and anxiety during the family move.

While 90 percent of parents are happier as homeowners, stress, tears and uncertainty are all too common throughout the process, according to the new survey from Care.com and Zillow.

The peak home shopping season is under way, and many parents feel stressed and overwhelmed during their home search and subsequent move. More than half (53 percent) of parents report crying at least once during the process, and half (50 percent) say they fought with their partner one to two times a week, according to the survey responses.

"Thanks to the Internet and mobile apps, home shopping has become easier over the years, but, like with anything, once you add family complexity like schools, activities, friends and commutes to the mix, it all gets more challenging," said Amy Bohutinsky, chief marketing officer of Zillow. "The more parents can understand and prioritize their family's unique needs at the start of shopping for a home the easier they can make the entire process."

Most homebuyers understand they will need to compromise, but it can be a challenge to separate a true deal breaker from something that won't actually affect overall happiness with the home. This may be why 47 percent of parents said they have home-buying regrets.

The top regret is commute time (35 percent), with parents saying it takes too much time away from their family. Next in line is the need for home repairs (24 percent) and the lack of certain family-friendly home features (15 percent). Parents shouldn't downplay these trade-offs when choosing their new home.

Surveyed parents said they most wish their new home had a finished basement, a bigger yard and a playroom, it was reported in a news release.

Q: Is the number of new home starts increasing?

A: Yes. In fact, nationwide housing starts rose 20.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.135 million units in April from an upwardly revised March reading, according to newly released data from the U.S. Commerce Department.

This is the highest level of housing production since November 2007.

Both housing sectors registered production gains this month. Single-family housing starts increased by 16.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000 in April, while multifamily starts rose by 27.2 percent to 402,000 units.

Q: Is home affordability slipping?

A: Most Americans are still waiting to see their incomes increase, while house prices just keep rising. However, in the first quarter of the year, low mortgage rates trumped rising house prices, making it easier for the typical family to afford a median priced home in most markets, according to a report by Freddie Mac.

Thirty metros were not affordable as of the first quarter, and that's down from 37 in the fourth quarter of last year and down from 36 from the same time last year. Of the markets tracked, 133 remained affordable.

Of the three affordability components, nationally, house prices rose 1.6 percent, incomes rose a measly 0.7 percent, while mortgage rates declined from an average of 3.97 percent to 3.73 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage based on our survey from the previous quarter.

Q: What are the top outdoor patio trends this year?

A: Zillow Digs recently announced the top three outdoor patio trends for summer 2015 and the biggest fads headed out of style. Lime green, vertical gardens and hurricane candles were named the most popular outdoor patio trends for summer 2015, according to a one-of-a-kind report that combines data from a survey of leading interior design experts.

"Simplicity and elements of nature are the key to a beautiful outdoor space this season," says Kerrie Kelly, with Zillow Digs.

"Fill your patio with pops of citrus, low-maintenance greenery and soft romantic lighting, but stay far away from trendy patterned fabrics, blah beiges and intricate shabby chic furniture, which are now trends of the past."

• Email Jim Woodard at storyjim@aol.com.

© 2015, Creators

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