The End Of The All-White Kitchen? The Case For Natural Wood


The End Of The All-White Kitchen? The Case For Natural

A funny thing happened while everyone was obsessing over white kitchens: Natural wood snuck back in, creating some of the chicest spaces around.

For many, natural wood evokes a country feel. Or perhaps something ultra-traditional. But today’s natural wood kitchens are modern showplaces that mimic the newest trends we’ve been seeing in wood floors.

“We predicted that natural materials and warmer finishes would rule the kitchen in 2017. One way we’re seeing this natural-material trend play out, thanks in part to the popularity of minimalism, is with unpainted, unfinished wooden cabinets,” said Apartment Therapy. “The casual look combines the sleek style we expect in contemporary kitchens with the natural warmth of wood – just another reason we’re adding ‘kitchen renovation’ to our home wish lists.”

Sound hard to pull off and still get the sleek look you desire? You might be surprised…

You know when you’re watching House Hunters Renovations and the couple looking for a home to buy and redo always has diametrically opposed styles? “I prefer a Craftsman home with lots of architectural detail like molding and built-ins,” says the husband. “I really love the idea of a clean, modern space that’s totally open, almost like a loft, but without the ducting,” says the wife. We could see this stunning kitchen on the show as a beautiful compromise for a couple who wanted some traditional details like the vertical shiplap look on the island and the handles on the drawers, and another who was insistent on commercial appliances (stainless rage and hood), and luxe materials (marble slab counters and backsplash). The wood cabinetry brings it all together.

Is that… pine? With the right design, any type of natural wood cabinetry can look fresh and new.

With the stone walls, this kitchen could go full Tuscan, or full country French. But, the use of materials, with the natural wood, quartz, and stainless steel, and the clean lines everywhere else, keeps the kitchen looking fresh.

For a minimalist, modern look, why not run the wood right up the backsplash?

Like the integrated look but want a splash of natural materials? The color palette and materials here look amazing with the indoor-outdoor appeal of this space, and wrapping the island with a waterfall edge provides some contrast so the kitchen doesn’t read “all wood.”

The mismatched look has been hot for some time, and this kitchen shows you how to do it with natural wood. The texture on the bottom cabinets is the perfect way to show them off.
Natural wood in a mid-tone brown is also a great counterpoint to an all-white kitchen if you’re not ready to take the plunge all over. Notice how the island has more traditional lines, juxtaposed against the modern white cabinetry.

Hey Millennial, Go Buy a House! 9 Reasons to Stop Paying Rent Today


Hey Millennial, Go Buy a House! 9 Reasons to Stop Paying Rent Today

Still unsure about whether or not you should buy a house? It’s a big commitment, obviously, and not just from a financial standpoint. But the rewards generally far outweigh any potential downsides for those who take the plunge. Need more convincing? How about the fact that:

You’re already paying a mortgage

That money that comes out of your account every month? It’s going right into someone else’s account. Doesn’t that make you just a little bit mad?

To be clear, that someone else is making money off you

How about now, when you think about the fact that real estate continues to appreciate and you’re not getting to appreciate that appreciation. “The national median existing single-family home price in the first quarter was $232,100, which is up 6.9 percent from the first quarter of 2016 ($217,200) and the fastest growth since the second quarter of 2015 (8.2 percent),” said the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). Aren’t you tired of watching someone else make money while you sit in the place they own and try to figure out how to get ahead?

You need to express yourself

Not being able to put a coat of paint on the walls or hang some wallpaper or enjoy the countertops, cabinets, or flooring you picked out because your landlord won’t let you make any changes is not cool. Sure, there are some temporary solutions to make your place look better, but nothing compares to having the freedom to do what you want, when you want, with your space.

It doesn’t cost as much as you think it does

In fact, you may be paying more in rent right now than you would be for a house payment. A new NerdWallet analysis “showed that a majority of millennials would prefer owning to renting, but they appear to be postponing homeownership because of real and perceived difficulties in affording it.” But, a report from Investor’s Business Daily shows that, “Paying a mortgage is cheaper than renting in 42 states.” Is yours one of them?
Hardly anyone pays a 20 percent down payment anymore

Were you under the impression that you had to come up with a huge stack of cash to buy a house? Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are among the most popular options for all homebuyers, and for first-timers, they make a lot of sense. First, because the credit requirements are less stringent than other loans – in many cases, you can have as low as a 620 score. Also, you can qualify with as low as 3.5 percent down. On a $250,000 house, that’s only $8,750.

“For home buyers, FHA mortgages require a 3.5 percent down payment with the fewest ‘strings’ attached,” said The Mortgage Reports. “This makes the FHA mortgage one of the most lenient mortgage types available nationwide. There are very few credit restrictions with the FHA loan and the agency allows your 3.5% down payment to comes as a gift from a family member, employer, charitable organization or government home-buyer program.”

Rates are still ear their lowest point ever

Yes, they’ve gone up a bit recently and are currently sitting a bit above four percent. But when you think about the fact that a decade ago they were over six percent and in the 1980s they were almost 18 percent, four percent looks a lot better, no?

Dogs are cool

Living in an apartment that doesn’t allow animals? That’s pretty common. Trying to find a rental with a generous pet policy is near impossible. If you do find one, you can usually expect to pay a hefty pet deposit and monthly pet rent.
Your student loan debt isn’t as much of a big deal as you think

Yeah, it stinks to have to be saddled with that debt just because you decided you should expand your education, get a degree, and make yourself more hirable. But jut because it’s a reality doesn’t mean you can’t improve your standing.

If you have student debt, mortgage investor Fannie May’s new rule changes “should make it easier for you to purchase a first home,” said the Chicago Tribune. The rules include:

  • A change in how student loan affects debt-to-income (DTI) ratio calculations if you had payments reduced through an “income-based repayment” plan. “If your payments were originally supposed to be $500 a month but you’ve had them reduced to $100, only the $100 will be added to your monthly debts for DTI purposes,” they said. “Previously lenders were required to factor in 1 percent of your student loan balance as your monthly payment on the student loan, even though you were actually paying a fraction of that. As a result, many borrowers’ debt ratios were pushed beyond most lenders’ underwriting limits.”
  • Debt ratios can also improve if you have other outstanding debts that are being paid by someone else. “Say, your parents pay your monthly credit card balances – these no longer will be included in your DTI computation, provided the payments have been made steadily for 12 months. This should improve the debt ratios of young buyers who are still getting a little help on their cash flows from Mom and Dad.”

Everyone’s doing it

Are your millennial friends starting to buy houses? They’re part of a sweeping national trend. “Get ready to see more first-time home buyer clients. In the first quarter of 2017, the number of new-owner households was double the number of new-renter households,” said the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in the most recent edition of their Realtor magazine.

There were about 854,000 “new-owner households” during the first three months of this year, which is more than double the 365,000 “new-renter households in that period, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. What’s more, it’s the first time in a decade that new buyers outpaced new renters.”

First-time buyers also account for 42 percent of homebuyers this year, up dramatically from 31 percent in 2011, which was the lowest point recorded by Fannie Mae.



Single Family Home Activity in the Antelope Valley

In the last 24 hours

New Listings …  23
Sold …  22
Pending …  30
Expd/Wthd/Cancld …  06
Price Increases …  03
Price Reductions …  15
Number of listings* …  915
Average Days on Market …  82
Short sale/pay listings …  21
Equity listings …  775
Bank owned listings …  18
HUD, Corp, Probate and Auction listings …  20
Days of inventory (at the average rate**) …  22.07
Days of inventory (at yesterdays rate**) …  32.68
Actual Number of days of inventory***  …  183.00

View the last 8+ years of data HERE!

(each will open a new tab)

New Listings on the Market

Closed (Sold) Transactions

Pending Units

Expired Listings

Price Increases

Price Decreases

Total Number of Listings

Days of Inventory 

Average Selling Price

Monthly Selling Price Points
(Price extremes at the end of the month)

Daily Day’s on the Market

Monthly Day’s on the Market

Total Sort Pays

Sold by Month

Total Sales in Last 12 Months

Avg. Number of Solds per Month over 12 Months


* Count includes all ACTIVE and CONTINGENT MLS listings
** Assuming no future growth or reduction
*** At yesterdays depletion rate (∞ indicates negative depletion,
inventory would not be depleted at this sales rate)