The Howell Realty Group Real Estate News and Information

 

Dec. 15, 2021

What Everyone Wants To Know: Will Home Prices Decline in 2022?

What Everyone Wants To Know: Will Home Prices Decline in 2022? | MyKCM

If you’re thinking of buying a home in today’s housing market, you may be wondering how strong your investment will be. You might be asking yourself: if I buy a home now, will it lose value? Or will it continue to appreciate going forward? The good news is, according to the experts, home prices are not projected to decline. Here’s why.

With buyers still outweighing sellers, home prices are forecast to continue climbing in 2022, just at a slower or more moderate pace. Why the continued increase? It’s the simple law of supply and demand. When there are fewer items on the market than there are buyers, the competition for that item makes prices naturally rise.

And while the number of homes for sale today is expected to improve with more sellers getting ready to list their houses this winter, we’re certainly not out of the inventory woods yet. Thus, the projections show continued appreciation, but at a more moderate rate than what we’ve seen over the past year.

Here’s a look at the latest 2022 expert forecasts on home price appreciation:What Everyone Wants To Know: Will Home Prices Decline in 2022? | MyKCMWhat’s the biggest takeaway from this graph? None of the major experts are projecting depreciation in 2022. They’re all showing an increase in home prices next year.

And here’s what some of the industry’s experts say about how that will play out in the housing market next year:

Brad Hunter of Hunter Housing Economics explains:

“. . . the recent unsustainable rate of home price appreciation will slow sharply. . . . home prices will not decline. . . but they will simply rise at a more sustainable pace.”

Danielle Hale from realtor.com agrees:

Price growth is expected to move back toward a normal range, but this is on top of recent high prices, . . . So prices will [still] hit new highs. . . . The pace of price growth is going to slow notably . . . ”

What Does This Mean for the Housing Market?

While home price appreciation is expected to continue, it isn’t projected to be the record-breaking 18 to almost 20% increase the market saw over the past 12 months. Overall, it’s important to note that price increases won’t be as monumental as they were in 2021 – but they certainly won’t decline anytime soon.

What Does That Mean for You?

With motivated buyers in the market and so few homes available to purchase, the imbalance of supply and demand will continue to put upward pressure on home prices in 2022. And when home price appreciation is in the forecast, that’s a clear indication your investment in homeownership is a sound one.

Bottom Line

It’s important to know that home prices are not projected to decline in the new year. Instead, they’re forecast to rise, just at more moderate pace. Let’s connect to make sure you’re up to date on what’s happening with home price appreciation in our market, so you can make an informed decision about your next move.

Dec. 14, 2021

Advice for First-Generation Homebuyers

 

Advice for First-Generation Homebuyers | MyKCM

The sense of pride you’ll feel when you purchase a home can’t be overstated. For first-generation homebuyers, that feeling of accomplishment is even greater. That’s because the pride of homeownership for first-generation buyers extends far beyond the homebuyer. AJ Barkley, Head of Neighborhood and Community Lending for Bank of Americasays:

“Achieving this goal can create a sense of pride and accomplishment that resonates both for the buyer and those closest to them, including their parents and future generations.”

In other words, your dream of homeownership has far-reaching impacts. If you’re about to be the first person in your family to buy a home, let that motivate you throughout the process. As you begin your journey, here are three helpful tips to make that dream come true.

1. Reach Out to a Real Estate Professional

It’s important to reach out to a trusted advisor early in your homebuying process. Not only can an agent help you find the right home, but they’ll serve as your expert advisor and answer any questions you might have along the way.

The latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveyed first-time homebuyers to see how their agent helped them with their home purchase (see chart below):Advice for First-Generation Homebuyers | MyKCM

As the graph shows, your agent is a great source of information throughout the process. They’ll help you understand what’s happening, assess a home’s condition, and negotiate a contract that has the best possible terms for you. These are just some of the reasons having an expert in your corner is critical as you navigate one of the most significant purchases of your life.

2. Do Your Research and Know What You Can Afford

The second piece of advice for first-generation homebuyers is practical: do your research so you know what you can afford. That means getting your finances in order, reviewing your budget, and getting pre-approved through a lender. It also means learning the ins and outs of what it takes to pay for your home, including what you’ll need for a down payment.

Many homebuyers believe the common misconception that you can’t purchase a home without coming up with a 20% for a down payment. As Freddie Mac says:

“The most damaging down payment myth—since it stops the homebuying process before it can start—is the belief that 20% is necessary.”

The chart below shows what recent homebuyers have actually put down on their purchases:Advice for First-Generation Homebuyers | MyKCM

On average, first-time buyers only put 7% down on their home purchase. That’s far less than the 20% many people believe is necessary. That means your down payment, and your home purchase, may be in closer reach than you realize. Keep that in mind as you work with a real estate professional to better understand what you’ll need for your purchase.

3. Don’t Lose Sight of What Home Means to You

Finally, it’s important keep in mind why you’re searching for a home to begin with. Overwhelmingly, first-generation homeowners recognize the financial and non-financial benefits of owning a home. In fact, in a recent survey:

  • 73% of first-generation homeowners say the safety and security homeownership provides is increasing in importance.
  • Nearly two-thirds of first-generation homeowners say the importance of building equity in a home is growing more important as well.

As AJ Barkley explains:

“For many first-generation homeowners and their families, homeownership has a unique importance, given the collective efforts to overcome financial challenges that can often span generations…”

Bottom Line

If you’re a first-generation homebuyer, being prepared and working with a trusted expert is key to achieving your dream. Let’s connect today so you can get started on your path to homeownership.

Dec. 13, 2021

Tips for Painting Over Dark Walls

 

Hooboy. You’ve finally bought a house, but the paint is so, so dark. “It’s only paint,” you told yourself as you walked through the place, and repeated at your walkthrough prior to closing. “It’s only paint.” And while it’s true that it’s only paint, and paint can always be painted over, going over dark walls is a much different story than trying to paint over light colored walls. Reds, purples, browns, and dark grays are particularly tricky, though anything with much pigment can pose a significant challenge if you’re not prepared. But don’t worry, we’ve put our best painting tips together to help you conquer your dark wall challenges.

 

Tip #1: Primer Is Not Optional

It can be easy to scoff at basic prep work when you’re “just painting,” but as with any project in your home, the end result is going to be directly related to how well you do the prep work ahead of time. And just like laying new tile or installing a new bathroom sink, the amount of preparation time you put into repainting your dark walls will show. The right prep also will make the job so much easier, so that’s something to look forward to.

When painting over dark walls, primer is absolutely not optional. Even if you choose a paint that claims to have a primer built in (it does not, it’s just a thicker paint), you will still need a high quality primer. This is not time to skimp on the cheap stuff. Choose a primer that’s designed specifically to block pigment bleeding. The greater the color difference between the paint that’s being covered and the paint you’re covering with, the more your primer will have to do. Plan to paint at least two coats of primer on very dark walls.

Tip #2: Choose Colors in the Same Family

If you like the color that your wall already is, but it’s just a shade or two too dark, well, that’s a much easier problem to solve than going from, say, midnight black to snowfall white. Taming the shade is a much easier proposition, since you’re staying in the same color family, and any small amount of pigment bleed may easily go unnoticed. However, you’ll still need to stay close to the same shade, or else you’ll need to go back to Tip 1 and prime like your life depends on it. You should still prime before you paint no matter what you do, but you may not need industrial strength primer to switch from a deep burgundy to a middling plum, for example.

Tip #3: Paint More Than You Think You Should

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when applying new wall paint, besides skipping the primer, is stopping before they’re done. With some colors, it can be a little tricky to tell if you’ve actually finished the job, but if you see any thin areas at all, you should really apply another coat. Chances are good that you didn’t just have one thin spot.

Two coats are often plenty of paint for a regular job, but don’t be shy about applying a third if it’s warranted, or going back later and adding another coat of paint after you’ve lived with it a while and noticed that the paint coverage isn’t really consistent. It’s easy to underpaint a wall, especially if you’re trying to get a job done over a weekend.

Or, Leave the Painting to a Pro…

If you’re not sure you’re up to painting over your dark walls, or you simply want to make sure the job is a one-and-done, you may need to call in a pro. Professional painters can help you choose colors that will look great in your home, as well as applying a finish that you’ll love for years to come. Your HomeKeepr community has lots of painters, and will recommend one you can trust to get the job done.

Dec. 9, 2021

Choosing a Walkway Deicer

Dec 09, 2021

 

As the threat of winter ice and snow increases, many homeowners start stocking up on deicer and other products to try and keep their walkways safe and clear throughout the winter. Not all deicer products are created equal, however, and some can actually do some harm around the home. Not only can some deicing compounds harm plants around your walkway, but they can even cause some damage to your walkways as well if you aren’t careful.

 

 

Obviously, damage to your lawn or property isn’t ideal when trying to use a product to keep yourself and your family safe during the winter. With several options available, how do you know which deicer is best for your home? While it may differ based on the composition of specific deicer products, here are some things that you can look for to help choose the right deicer for your walkways.

 

Avoiding Harmful Compounds

When people think of deicer, one of the first things that they think of is rock salt. It’s the most common deicing compound and has been around for decades, but it’s also the most dangerous to both your walkways and your yard. Rock salt is made of sodium chloride, abbreviated as NaCl, so if you see this on a deicer product you’re considering then you’re probably better off picking something else. Don’t pick just anything, though; some deicers use potassium chloride (abbreviated KCl) instead of sodium chloride, but this can also cause damage and even inhibit the root growth of plants in the spring.

There are a few options out there that are much better for your property than rock salt or potassium chloride. One of these is calcium chloride, also abbreviated as CaCl2, which not only is effective at lower temperatures than rock salt, but also gives off heat as it melts the ice, so it performs better as well. Urea-based deicers, which are made from ammonia, are also useful and are less likely to damage plants than many other compounds. Calcium magnesium acetate, also known as CMA, can also be used and is significantly less damaging than most other deicers because it is free of any form of salt.

Reducing Deicer Damage

If you do have to use a deicer that is potentially damaging to your walkways or plants, you have some options to help you reduce the damage that’s done. Mix the deicer with an inert compound such as sand or cat litter before spreading it, as this will provide traction and reduce the overall amount of deicer that you have to use. Use a mechanical spreader as well instead of just tossing the deicer out by hand to ensure a more even application that will keep large concentrations of salt or other chemicals from being deposited in one location. If you have advance warning before snow or ice hit, you can also cover portions of your steps or walkways with plastic, cardboard, or old towels or rugs; once the winter weather has passed, you can pick these items up and reveal mostly ice-free surfaces beneath them to greatly reduce your dependence on deicer.

Preparing for Winter Weather

 

 

Once the worst of winter hits, it’s usually too late to go out and try to buy deicer; many places start running low once winter weather starts showing on the radar. To avoid this, it’s important to stock up on at least a little deicer and other winter prep items well in advance of the bad weather actually arriving. There’s more to getting ready for winter than just keeping deicer and some basic supplies on hand, though.

Take the time to get winter prep inspections done of your HVAC system, roof, and other critical parts of your home done while the weather is still mild. This can help you avoid costly repairs and potentially dangerous situations once you’re in the middle of winter. HomeKeepr can help you find HVAC pros, roofers, and others in your area that may offer these sorts of inspections; sign up for a free account today to get started!

 

Dec. 8, 2021

Struggling To Find a Home To Buy? New Construction May Be an Option.

Struggling To Find a Home To Buy? New Construction May Be an Option. | MyKCM

There’s no question that the financial benefits of selling a house are outstanding today. Now is truly a great time to list if you’re ready to make a change. But if you do sell your house right now, you may be wondering where you’ll go when you move.

With so few homes available to buy right now, you might be considering building a new home as one of your options. But you may be unsure if that’s the way to go. Let’s compare the benefits of a newly built home versus moving into an existing one, and why working with a real estate agent throughout the process is mission-critical to your success no matter what you decide.

The Pros of Newly Built Homes

First, let’s look at the benefits of purchasing a newly constructed home. With a brand-new home, you’ll be able to:

1. Create your perfect home.

If you build a home from the ground up, you’ll have the option to select the custom features you want, including appliances, finishes, landscaping, layout, and more.

2. Cash-in on energy efficiency.

When building a home, you can choose energy-efficient options to help lower your utility costs, protect the environment, and reduce your carbon footprint.

3. Minimize the need for repairs.

Many builders offer a warranty, so you’ll have peace of mind on unlikely repairs. Plus, you won’t have as many little projects to tackle. QuickenLoans puts it like this: 

“Buying a new construction vs. existing home typically means you’ll have fewer repairs to do. It can be a huge relief to know that it’s unlikely you’ll have to repair the roof or replace the furnace.”

4. Have brand new everything.

Another perk of a new home is that nothing in the house is used. It’s all brand new and uniquely yours from day one.

The Pros of Existing Homes

Now, let’s compare that to the perks that come with buying an existing home. With a pre-existing home, you can:

1. Explore a wider variety of home styles and floorplans.

With decades of homes to choose from, you’ll have a broader range of floorplans and designs available.

2. Join an established neighborhood.

Existing homes give you the option to get to know the neighborhood, community, or traffic patterns before you commit.

3. Enjoy mature trees and landscaping.

Established neighborhoods also have more developed landscaping and trees, which can give you additional privacy and curb appeal. As Investopedia says, if you buy an existing home:

“Odds are, too, that the home will have mature landscaping, so you won’t have to worry about starting a lawn, planting shrubs, and waiting for trees to grow.”

4. Appreciate that lived-in charm.

The character of older homes is hard to reproduce. If you value timeless craftsmanship or design elements, you may prefer an existing home. According to Houseopedia:

Charm is priceless. Existing homes, especially those built in the 1950’s or before, often offer architectural elements, historic charm and a quality of craftsmanship not available in new homes.”

The choice is yours. When you start your search for the perfect home, remember that you can go either route – you just need to decide which features and benefits are most important to you. Working with the guidance of your trusted real estate advisor will help you make the most informed and educated decision, so you can move into the home of your dreams.

Bottom Line

If you have questions about the options in your area, let’s discuss what’s available and what’s right for you, so you’re ready to make your next move with confidence.

Dec. 7, 2021

Why It Just Became Much Easier To Buy a Home

Since the pandemic began, Americans have reevaluated the meaning of the word home. That’s led some renters to realize the many benefits of homeownership, including the feelings of security and stability and the financial benefits that come with rising home equity. At the same time, many current homeowners have decided their house no longer meets their needs, so they moved into homes with more space inside and out, including a home office for remote work.

However, not every purchaser has been able to fulfill their desire for a new home. Here are two obstacles some homebuyers are facing:

  • The ability to save for a down payment
  • The ability to qualify for a mortgage at the current lending standards

This past week, both of those challenges have been mitigated to some degree for many purchasers. The FHFA (which handles mortgages by Freddie MacFannie Mae, and the Federal Housing Administration) is raising its loan limit for prospective purchasers in 2022. The term used to describe the maximum loan amount they will entertain is the Conforming Loan Limit.

What Is the Difference Between a Conforming Loan and a Non-Conforming Loan?

Investopedia explains the difference in a recent post:

“Conforming loans are the only loans that meet the requirements to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Jumbo loans, which exceed the conforming limit, are the most common type of nonconforming loan.”

What Difference Does It Make to Me as a Home Buyer?

Forbes article earlier this year explains the benefits of a conforming loan and why they exist:

“Since lenders can’t sell non-conforming loans to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to free up their cash, they’re a bit riskier for the lender. This is especially true for jumbo loans, which aren’t backed by any government guarantees. If you default on a jumbo loan, it’s a huge blow to the lender.

Thus, lenders generally charge higher interest rates to compensate, and they can have even more requirements. For example, lenders who give out jumbo loans often require that you make a down payment of at least 20% and show that you have at least six months’ worth of cash in reserve, if not more.”

What Happened Last Week?

The FHFA has significantly increased its Conforming Loan Limits for 2022. Sandra L. Thompson, FHFA Acting Director, explains in the press release that:

“Compared to previous years, the 2022 Conforming Loan Limits represent a significant increase due to the historic house price appreciation over the last year. While 95 percent of U.S. countie​s will be subject to the new baseline limit of $647,200, approximately 100 counties will have conforming loan limits approaching $1 million.”

This means that more homes now qualify for a conforming loan with lower down payment requirements and easier lending standards – the two challenges holding many buyers back over the last year.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) also increased its Conforming Loan Limits for 2022. That could also mean an easier path to homeownership for many prospective buyers. As the Forbes article explains:

“FHA loans can be very beneficial if you don’t have as much savings, or if your credit score could use some work.”

Bottom Line

Buying your first or your next home may have just gotten much easier (less stringent qualifying standards) and less expensive (possibly lower mortgage rate). Let’s connect to discuss how these changes may impact you.

Dec. 6, 2021

Cool Weather Pest Control for Beginners

 

The need for effective pest control is unfortunately all too real for many homeowners. As temperatures start to drop it can become even more vital as many critters begin seeking places to stay warm and dry during the winter. Add in a readily available food supply and your home can start to look awfully appealing to various rodents and creepy crawlers. The problem is only going to get worse as the nights get colder and the outdoors become more inhospitable.

 

 

Obviously, no one wants to share their home with a bunch of freeloading pests. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to help keep your home pest-free throughout the winter months and into the spring. There are also services available to help you evict even the most stubborn of unwanted invaders. Let’s take a look at some of your options.

 

Preventing Pests

One big thing that will help in controlling unwanted pests during the winter is a bit of preventative maintenance. Go through your home and look for signs of damage or other weak points that rodents, insects, and other critters might be able to use as an entry point. Once you’ve identified these potential entryways, block them off or fill them in to close those avenues off to any critter or creepy crawler that might want to use them.

If you think you’ve already got critters in the eaves of your home or other places, you can also take steps to get them out before they can bed down and have babies. Items such as excluders with one-ways doors can be installed over the holes or other areas where they’re getting in and out to feed. These covers allow bats, rats, and other pests to leave your home to go out and eat, but when they try to come back, they’ll find the way blocked and will have to locate a new place to live.

Baits, Traps, and Other Measures

If it seems like a pest infestation is already underway and simply closing off entry points doesn’t seem to be working, you may need to turn to more permanent measures to get rid of your pests. There are a variety of baits, traps, poisons, and other solutions to take care of pests that are already in the home. Some of these will kill the pests, while others allow you to capture them alive and take them elsewhere for release.

When using baits, poisons, and traps, it’s important to be safe about where you place them. If you have pets or small children, make sure that any such items are placed in inaccessible areas where your uninvited pests will have access but those who live in your home will not. You should also use care when choosing poisons or baits to make sure that pests can’t cause illness in your pets afterward if one of your pets find them. Desiccant-based baits and traps are usually the safest options in this regard.

Calling In Some Help

If you’ve tried everything else and nothing seems to be working, it may be time to call in some professional help. Exterminators and animal control professionals in your area not only have the equipment to help get rid of the pests in your home, but also have years of experience rooting out even the most dug-in of critters. They should be able to help with even the most frustrating of invasions, and even have resources to tackle uncommon occurrences such as groundhogs or other large pests taking an interest in your home or its foundation.

HomeKeepr can help you get connected with the right pro for the job. HomeKeepr can connect you with a variety of pros in your area, including pest removal specialists that have everything they need to get the job done no matter how big it is. Signing up for a HomeKeepr account is free, so sign up today and get those bothersome critters out!

Nov. 30, 2021

The Howell Team DECEMBER 2021 Homeward bound Newsletter

Posted in Newsletter
Nov. 24, 2021

Home Sales About To Surge? We May See a Winter Like Never Before.

Like most industries, residential real estate has a seasonality to it. For example, toy stores sell more toys in October, November, and December than they do in any other three-month span throughout the year. More cars are sold in the U.S. during the second quarter (April, May, and June) than in any other quarter of the year.

Real estate is very similar. The number of homes sold in the spring is almost always much greater than at any other time of the year. It’s even labeled as the spring buying season. Historically, the number of buyers and listings for sale significantly increase in the spring and remains strong throughout the summer. Once fall sets in, the number of buyers and sellers typically drops off.

Last year, however, that seasonality didn’t happen. The outbreak of the virus and subsequent slowing of the economy limited sales during the spring market. These sales were pushed back later in the year, and last fall and winter saw a dramatic increase in home sales over previous years. The only thing that held the market back was the extremely limited supply of homes for sale.

What About This Winter?

Some experts thought we’d return to the industry’s normal seasonality this winter with both the number of purchasers and houses available for sale falling off. However, data now shows that neither of those situations will likely occur. Buyer demand is still extremely strong, and it appears we may soon see a somewhat uncharacteristic increase in the number of homes coming to the market.

Buyer Demand Remains Strong

The latest Showing Index from ShowingTime, which tracks the average number of monthly showings on available homes, indicates buyer activity was slightly lower than at the same time last year but much higher than any of the three previous years (see chart below):Home Sales About To Surge? We May See a Winter Like Never Before. | MyKCMreport from realtor.com confirms buying activity remains strong in the existing home sales market:

“New housing data shows 2021’s feverish home sales pace broke a yearly record in October, . . . with last month marking the eighth straight month of buyers snatching up homes more quickly than the fastest pace in previous years. . . .”

Buyer activity for newly constructed homes is also very strong. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist for Zondarecently reported that Stuart Miller, the Executive Chairman of Lennar, one of the nation’s largest home builders, said this about demand:

“There is still a great deal of demand at our sales centers with people lining up and not enough supply.”

The only question heading into this winter is whether the number of listings available could come close to meeting this buyer demand. We may have just received the answer to that question.

Sellers Are About To List – Right Now

Instead of waiting for the normal spring buying market, new research indicates that homeowners thinking about selling are about to put their homes on the market this winter.

Speaking to the release of a report on this recent research, George Ratiu, Manager of Economic Research for realtor.com, said:

“The pandemic has delayed plans for many Americans, and homeowners looking to move on to the next stage of life are no exception. Recent survey data suggests the majority of prospective sellers are actively preparing to enter the market this winter.

Here are some highlights in the report:

Of homeowners planning to enter the market in the next year:

  • 65% – Have just listed (19%) or plan to list this winter
  • 93% – Have already taken steps toward listing their home, including working with an agent (28%)
  • 36% – Have researched the value of their home and others in their neighborhood
  • 36% – Have started making repairs or decluttering

The report also discusses the reasons sellers want to move:

  • 33% – Have realized they want different home features
  • 37% – Say their home no longer meets their family’s needs
  • 32% – Want to move closer to friends and family
  • 23% – Are looking for a home office

Data shows buyer demand remains unusually strong going into this winter. Research indicates the supply of inventory is about to increase. This could be a winter real estate market like never before.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, now is the time to have a heart-to-heart conversation with a real estate professional in your market, as things are about to change in an unexpected way.

Nov. 22, 2021

Patio Heaters Warm Up the Winter

 

Having a patio gives you a great place to hang out and enjoy the outdoors while you’re at home. Unfortunately, dropping temperatures often makes your patio all but uninhabitable once the fall and winter months come around. Cooler weather doesn’t have to be the end of your time enjoying your patio, however; there are many options available that can extend your time on the patio, including patio heaters.

 

 

There are several things that set patio heaters apart from other outdoor heating options like fire pits. Because they’re designed to spread heat out over a larger area, a patio heater might be the ideal solution to keep your patio area usable well into the winter. If you think that one of these heaters might be the perfect addition to your outdoor space, here are a few things to consider to help make sure that you pick the perfect heater.

 

How Patio Heaters Work

Patio heaters are designed to radiate heat outward, spreading heat over a larger area than you’d cover with a fire pit or other heat source that doesn’t have a cap or other barrier preventing heat from escaping upward. The amount of heat coverage provided by these heaters differs based on the type of heater, its size, and where it’s located on your patio. Some patio heaters include chimneys or other exhaust pipes to vent potentially harmful gases generated as their fuel burns, preventing those gases from being diverted outward by the same caps that redirect the heat.

Depending on your needs, you can find small patio heaters that can sit on top of a table or other surface, as well as larger free-standing units that sit on the patio floor itself. Most heaters include controls similar to what you see on indoor heaters, allowing you to change the amount of heat produced. This lets you adjust your heater for use when you just need to knock off a little chill or when you need to produce more heat on colder nights.

Patio Heater Types

Though there are several different types of patio heaters; the most common varieties are electric, propane, natural gas, and wood-burning heaters. Here is a little information on each type:

  • Electric heaters are similar to some of the space heaters you might have used indoors, offering benefits such as portability and heat production without creating fuel exhaust. Unfortunately, these heaters are not as energy efficient as other types, and often do not produce as much heat.
  • Propane heaters connect to a propane tank like you would use with a propane grill. They produce more heat than many electric heaters and are still relatively portable, though they should not be used in covered or enclosed areas.
  • Natural gas heaters are the most energy-efficient and convenient patio heaters, connecting to your home’s existing natural gas line so that you don’t have to swap out tanks or perform other maintenance. These heaters are not portable at all, however, and need to be professionally installed to ensure that there are no gas leaks.
  • Wood-burning heaters are the cheapest patio heaters to operate, but they also require more cleaning and maintenance. They also require more work to light and put out and can be fire hazards if left unattended.

Choosing a Patio Heater

Picking the right heater for your patio area depends a lot on how your patio is laid out and whether portability and maintenance are major concerns for you. Electric and propane heaters are best for those who want to be able to move their heater around easily, and wood-burning heaters are a good option for those who want a heater that operates cheaply and don’t mind emptying out ash and coals to keep the heater clean.

Natural gas heaters are the best options for homes where there’s already a gas line installed, and you don’t mind having a permanent heating option in place.