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Remodeling the American Dream

Diary of a real estate rookie

Lately, I have customers who want to buy new, new, new, but they're also going into budgetary shock. I have one particular set of clients, a family, who are having trouble finding their dream home -- they want to be downtown, which is popular, in a top school district, and they want a three-bedroom that is around 2,000 square feet. To get all that with a sparkling new kitchen, too, would bust their budget, since all the available candidates are north of $3 million. So they are getting more and more open to the idea of renovating. In their honor, I hung on every word of the "Remodeling Trends" panel Wednesday at the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference. The panelists not only outlined trends in the sector, they offered some canny advice to would-be renovators. Here's what I learned: Nationally, remodeling spending will probably decline a little, because home-improvement sales typically lag existing-home sales, and we saw existing-home sales peak in 2005. Th...

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