As a homeowner, are you looking to save a little time, money, and stress in your day-to-day life? Here are three smart-home technologies that will do the trick.
The first is the Nest Home Thermostat. This thermostat can sense when you’re home or away and adjust the temperature accordingly. It also tracks any temperature changes you make over time while you’re in the home. If you manually begin adjusting the temperature to be cooler at night and warmer in the morning, it will pick up on that and eventually make that change for you.
This thermostat also has its own app that connects to your home’s Wifi, so you can control it from your phone or any smart device without even having to leave the bed!
The second is the August Smart Home Lock. Just like with the Nest Home Thermostat, this device comes with an app that you can control from your phone. If you’re not at your house but you need to let someone in, for example, you can unlock the door remotely for a specific time period. After that time period is over, it automatically relocks. You can always check its status just to make sure it’s locked, too.
This lock also works with Apple’s HomeKit software to respond to your voice commands. If you want to get in through the front door, you can just say, “Siri, unlock the front door,” and it will unlock.
The last is Ring’s doorbell camera, which is a godsend for anyone who’s worried about their delivered packages being stolen.
Like you’d guess from the name, this is a doorbell with a camera attached that monitors all the activity at your front door. All you have to do is set the recording specifications and it does the rest. This way, every time someone walks within, say, 15 feet of your front door, it will start to record and send you a notification. You can then choose to view the recording in real time to see who’s at your door. Also, there’s a speaker built into the unit that allows you to talk with anyone who presses the doorbell through your phone.
If you’d like to talk more about homeowner technologies that can save you time and stress, feel free to give me a call. I’d love to speak with you.
Today I’ll be dissecting a question commonly asked by buyers and sellers alike: Can you fully trust Zillow’s Zestimate feature?
In short, my answer is no. Zillow misses the market incredibly badly sometimes, and their home values can be wildly inaccurate. It bears mentioning that Zillow’s own CEO recently sold his home for 40% less than what his Zestimate called for.
So how exactly does Zillow come up with their numbers?
In general, the Zestimate tool takes the information from home sales in the area around the address that you plug into it. For example, the Zestimate will take the average home sales’ price per square foot in your area—say, $100 per square foot—and multiply that by your home’s square footage. If your home has 2,000 square feet, and the average price per square foot is $100, the Zestimate would show that your home is worth $200,000.
The reason why you need to double check your numbers with an agent is that there are other factors that go into a home’s price—factors that Zillow misses entirely when generating their Zestimates.
For one, Zillow has never seen the inside of your home. The website can’t factor in any upgrades that have been made to the home that might boost (or lower) its actual market value. There are four major exterior items that can really add to your home’s value:
A guest house
Additionally, Zillow doesn’t know local market trends. For instance, Zillow can’t factor in how the recent, tragic series of wildfires in Northern Carolina has impacted the real estate market. The website can’t consider the fact that many people were displaced by those fires.
As actual, real-life agents, we’re knowledgeable about what’s happening in the market regarding trends, demand, and price points in different areas of our city. Knowing those things gives us insight not only when we’re working with buyers to determine what they should be offering on a home, but also when we’re advising sellers on what they could potentially get for their home.
In the end, knowing the comparable sales in a home’s area is but one factor of the home valuation equation. Zillow can provide a great ballpark estimate of your home’s value, but it cannot make a truly reliable estimate of your home’s worth.
If you would like an accurate estimation of your home’s value based on all relevant criteria, feel free to reach out to me and let me know how I can help.
Given the continued rise in interest rates and the growing public concern over other market trends, many people have asked me recently about whether our local market is in a real estate bubble.
The short answer is yes, but this doesn’t tell the whole story of what’s happening in our market. To really understand what’s going on, we’ll need to take a look at how real estate has changed lately on a local, statewide, and national level.
The first statistic we need to consider is the rate of appreciation. From looking at recent reports, it’s apparent that homes are not rising in value as quickly as in the recent past. Appreciation for homes here in Redding was at just 0.6% in Q3 of 2018, for example. And the appreciation rate for all of California during that same quarter was also relatively low, at just 1.07%.
To put this into perspective, states like Idaho and Nevada saw appreciation rates up to 15% during 2018’s third quarter.
But, with that said, the drop in appreciation is just one contributing factor behind the current bubble. Other major influences are the tragic wildfires that destroyed thousands of homes in November, 2018. In the wake of disasters, the demand for property skyrocketed, with those who had lost their home scouring the market for replacements.
In short, this high demand, coupled with our currently low inventory, has absolutely played a significant role in the current state of our market.
So what does this mean for you? Well, if you’re a buyer, you’re likely to face high levels of competition—particularly in the $300,000 and under price range. Sellers, meanwhile, can take advantage of today’s low supply. It’s a great time to list.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon!