• Garden Design

    ‘The pandemic lit a fire inside me’: how three high-fliers retrained as garden designers | Gardens

    A table and chairs covered in lichen; a grubby patio; an overgrown bed teeming with weeds … those of us with outdoor space all have corners that need attention. And as many of us continue to work from home, spending more time in the garden and entertaining friends, there has been a growing demand for professionals to visit and beautify our gardens and terraces. But, as reported earlier this summer, there’s a waiting list: the average garden designer has experienced a 25% jump in inquiries over the past year, and, according to the latest figures, has seen their turnover increase by 203%. The Society of Garden Designers reports a 62%…

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  • Home Improvement News

    Pandemic remodeling: Average person started two home improvement projects during COVID

    NEW YORK — From adopting a furry friend to taking on some much-needed home repairs, seven in 10 Americans say they’ve made a lot of changes in their lives over the last year. One in five Americans adopted a pet thanks to the added time at home. However, other respondents are taking on some more labor-intensive challenges. The survey of 2,000 Americans analyzed how the pandemic has changed people’s lives while at home. Some of the other top changes respondents are making during the course of the pandemic include renovating a house, apartment, or condo, buying a car or motorcycle, moving to a new location, and even starting a home-based business.…

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  • Real Estate

    Housing boom is over as new home sales fall to pandemic low

    Sales of newly built homes dropped in June to the lowest level since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Monday. Sales of new single family homes fell to an annualized rate of 676,000, 6.6% below May’s rate of 724,000 and 19.4% below the June 2020 level of 839,000. Analysts were expecting new home sales to increase by 3.4% in June. After a year of frenzied buying and price gains in the double digits, newly built homes are now out of reach for much of the demand that remains in the market.  The median price of a…

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  • Home Design

    Pandemic must-haves redefined home design

    The pandemic has had a major impact on real estate in terms of pricing, inventory, availability and values. But it has also left its mark on home design with many homeowners, builders and remodelers reimagining almost every room in the house. When the pandemic forced both parents to work from home, and children were schooling from home as well, suddenly the dining room defaulted to a second office space. Zoom calls were being done from the makeshift office set up in the master bedroom because it was quiet. Kids were doing schoolwork at the kitchen island. All of which are uses that none of those spaces were designed to accommodate.…

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  • Real Estate

    How did the housing market turn white-hot? It wasn’t just the pandemic

    Even in the robust pre-pandemic economy, housing experts say there was trouble brewing that presaged the current boom in housing prices, with lower-income and first-time homebuyers in particular facing rising hurdles to homeownership. “One of the most prominent housing issues in pre-pandemic America was supply shortages,” said Matthew Murphy, executive director of the Furman Center For Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University. “That has carried over and exacerbated, but we already had evidence of supply shortages heading into the pandemic.” Today’s housing situation has its roots in the last boom-bust cycle, Murphy said: “The context here to this current housing moment is that we were still recovering…

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  • Home Improvement News

    COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact local home improvement projects

    If you have a home improvement project you’ve been thinking about, you need to be patient and if it’s a small repair, you might even want to consider putting it off for a few months. That advice from  Rick Herman, who is CEO of the Rochester Home Builders Association. He said the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in higher demand for home remodeling projects, with a lot of people who were stuck at home for months, and he said that at the same time, there’s been a delay in ordering various kinds of materials. “Water heaters, doors, windows, roofing materials. There’s a supply chain issue out there due to COVID and…

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