According to the Insurance Information Institute, the cost of homeowners insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars, depending on the company you buy from. Below are some of the Institute’s most important things to consider – which could save you big bucks – when buying homeowners insurance.
1. Shop Around – Ask your friends, check the web or contact your state insurance department. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (www.naic.org) has information to help choose an insurer in your state, and on registering complaints.
2. Raise Your Deductible – Today, the Institute says most insurance companies recommend a deductible of at least $500. If you can afford to raise your deductible to $1,000, you may save as much as 25 percent.
3. Don’t confuse what you paid for your house with rebuilding costs – The land under your house isn’t at risk from theft, windstorm, fire and the other perils covered in your homeowners policy. So don’t include its value in deciding how much homeowners insurance to buy.
4. Buy home and auto policies from the same insurer – Some companies will take 5 to 15 percent off your premium if you buy two or more policies from them. Just be sure the combined price is lower than buying separate coverage from different companies.
5. Make your home more disaster resistant – You may save on premiums by adding storm shutters, reinforcing your roof or buying stronger roofing materials. In addition, consider modernizing heating, plumbing and electrical systems to reduce the risk of fire and water damage.
6. Improve home security – Does your insurer give discounts of at least 5 percent for a smoke detector, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks? Some companies offer to cut premiums by up to 20 percent if you install a sprinkler system, or a fire/burglar alarm that rings at a central dispatch or monitoring station. Before you buy a system, however, find out what the insurer recommends, how much it would cost and how much you might save on premiums.
When you are ready to buy or sell a home- we are here for you, at Dupont Real Estate. We look forward to hearing from you.
Fourth of July is a great time to celebrate with family and friends. You can easily celebrate the Fourth of July without leaving your home.
Have a Fourth of July BBQ
If you didn’t get invited to a party this year, host your own, but take it up a notch from the same old hot dogs and burgers on the grill. Host a bake off and have your friends each bring their favorite recipe in a specified category—then vote on a winner (maybe even create a trophy and make it an annual tradition). Feeling brave? Host an Independence Day reenactment. (If you have kids, this is a good time for them to practice researching).
Watch a Movie Under the Stars
Enjoy the time at home celebrating your favorite traditions, but after the sun goes down, consider getting a projector and outdoor screen to watch a movie. Pop some popcorn, make some s’mores, and invite the neighborhood over to join you.
Create a Backyard Oasis Make your backyard THE place to be this Independence Day. Create a theme—host your own carnival, have an adult slip ‘n’ slide, kiddie pools to soak away the heat, and fun games. Think of all of the summer activities you like the best and include them. Decorate in a unique way to make it a fun day for you, your family, and friends. Don’t have a backyard? Talk to your landlord about using your rooftop, find a park nearby, or even turn your apartment or house into the most amazing holiday space!
Enjoy some alone time Though summer is supposed to be a time to unwind and relax, it seems that the calendar stays just as full as ever. Check your schedule to see if the Fourth of July might be one of the only days you have one hundred percent free to dedicate to your spouse or family. If so, maybe shirk the traditions and have a special date night or family night to spend time with the people you love.
Go camping in your back yard
Set up tents, a fire pit, and “live off the land” from the comfort of your own backyard. Enjoy a night under the stars and outdoor cooking with your family. Having inclement weather, but still want to have a little fun? Create forts, get out your sleeping bags, and have a camp out indoors!
Let the kids plan the day
Have kids? Let them plan what you’re going to do. Set a budget, give them some guidance if they need it, and let them plan a fun Fourth of July for you at your home.
Have a July Fourth sports-a-thon
Invite the block over for some friendly competition. Set up a volleyball and badminton net, invest in corn hole equipment, and toss around a few hula hoops. Make sure all ages you’ll have at your house will have a sport to participate in. If your family and guests are interested, have a friendly competition with fun prizes. You’ll feel like you live in the nicest small town in America.
Who said you had to go out for Independence Day? From hosting your own creative party to creating a backyard oasis, there are a slew of ways to make the holiday amazing right where you are.
Green homes are becoming a really big deal these days. Whether that means that an older home is being retrofitted with energy-saving equipment or a brand spanking new one is growing up green, it is apparently much easier to be green than we’ve been led to believe.
The Numbers Are Coming In on Green Homes A long-term study of homes in the Austin-Round Rock, Texas, area found that homes built between 2008 and 2016 got a significant value boost from their efforts. Homes that held the gold standard Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification were worth, on average, eight percent more than traditionally built homes.
That might not sound like a lot, but when you consider the average new home in that market sells for $311,000, and eight percent of that is $24,888, it’s kind of a big deal. Even homes built to a more generic “green” standard saw a six percent price boost. That’s a lot of green for being green.
Elements of a LEED-Certified Green Home So great, green houses are worth a lot more than their counterparts. What does it even mean to be “green?” This is a great question that has been asked again and again. Green homes are more than skin-deep. When you’re talking about new construction, these are homes that were designed from the ground up to be the least disruptive to the environment and very energy efficient.
These six items are necessities for any green housing certification:
* Site planning and development. Although we don’t really consider it much, we’re major disruptions to native plant and animal life, what with all of our house-building and whatnot. Site planning starts with a site that’s not located near protected spaces like wetlands. Then the house is placed on the plan with an orientation such that it can take maximum advantage of green technology like solar panels and wind turbines. * Material origin and longevity. Your green home is made of materials that were each carefully considered and chosen for a particular reason (and not because they were the cheapest!). Factors that are taken into account include the manufacturing process, distance to transport the materials and even what the material is made of. The goal is to increase durability so you don’t have to replace anything soon and reduce overall resource consumption. * Smart water use. Not only are green buildings designed to waste as little water as possible, with low-flow faucets, shower heads and toilets, they should even be built to help prevent runoff. Gray water is often rerouted to landscape and rainwater is collected and either sent into the ground through a trench, pit or well to prevent erosion around the house or it’s used to water landscape. * A high level of energy efficiency. Each and every item in a green home is meant to keep the entire system as efficient as possible. This means high R-rated insulation, highly efficient HVAC systems, low energy use light bulbs and even those solar panels or wind turbines that were taken into consideration in the site plan. * Excellent indoor air quality. Hey, it’s not all about saving money, green homes are also homes that are easier to live in. When your house vents combusting appliances properly, has minimal off-gassing from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and plenty of ventilation to purge any fumes that may linger, you can be sure you’re breathing crystal-clear air in a greener home. * Proper operation and maintenance. When the home is built and sold, the real challenge begins. How a homeowner maintains and runs their equipment has a huge impact on how green their home truly is. By leaving a breadcrumb trail of tools like smart thermostats, water-saving fixtures and highly efficient appliances, a green builder is doing what they can to ensure homeowners stick to the plan.
Even if you own an older home, you can bring it up to LEED standards with a great deal of effort. Adding green elements bit by bit is less of an overwhelming process, which is why so many people are green remodeling these days.
That could mean anything from installing a new HVAC system and vents that better disburse that highly efficient climate control to adding solar panels to help with electricity usage or just working on one conservation effort at a time, like water consumption. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation.
Greening Up My Home Is Too Overwhelming… It’s ok, that’s why you have your HomeKeepr community! Just search the home pros your Realtor has recommended and you’ll quickly find an expert that can get started turning your home into a lean, green machine. Whether it’s a Jolly Green Giant of a job or a little sprig, you’ll find the green and LEED-certified experts you need inside.
You pull into and out of your garage hundreds of time a year, ever expecting your door to reliably open and close at your whim. Going up and down so much can be pretty taxing, which is why after being neglected for months or years, garage doors rightfully start to complain loudly.
If your door sounds more like a train’s “clack-clack” as it runs down the track, you’ve definitely let things go way too far. Fortunately, garage doors tend to be pretty foolproof and tolerate neglect more than other important parts in your home. But you’re not going to be neglectful, you’re going to do regular inspections and maintenance so it’ll last even longer, right?
image by HomeKeepr
Parts of a Garage Door This may come as some surprise, but a garage door is more than a door. It’s a system of moving parts that we conveniently label as a “door.” Modern garage door systems include important pieces like:
* Opener. You know this one, it’s that big box in the center of the garage ceiling. The opener is designed with a shuttle that moved the door up and down with the help of a chain, screw or belt-driven motor. You can even get Smart Garage door openers now. * Springs and cables. Your door might feel light if you manually lift it while it’s hung, but this is because of a highly tensioned giant spring (or two) mounted above your door and the cables that are attached. Always treat these with the respect required, they can be very dangerous to work on directly (call a pro!). * Sensors. If you look closely near the bottom of each garage door track, you’ll see sensors that resemble tiny cameras. As a team they maintain an almost invisible laser beam that causes the door to reverse if something suddenly breaks it during door decent.
Of course, there are other bits and pieces we could talk about, but this is about taking care of your door, not examining its anatomy. We’ll do that another time. Just understand that these three systems are vital to the door’s function and without all of them in working order, the door becomes very unsafe and unreliable
Taking Care of Your Home’s Biggest Front Door If you can’t remember the last time you did anything with your garage door, now is the time to get on this. The weather’s perfect and you could stand to get outside anyway. There are a few tasks that you should absolutely not attempt without help or considerable experience, like replacing a broken spring, but for the most part, garage door maintenance is a snap.
Run down this checklist and your door will be ready to roll again!
* Tighten all screws and bolts. That rattling sound isn’t just for ambience, your garage door vibrates as it moves up and down, slowly backing screws and bolts out. Start at the bottom and work your way up, tightening all fasteners and replacing any that seem to be missing or broken. Don’t forget to check the hinges between door panels!
* Pull the manual garage door release. With the garage door closed, pull that handle hanging down from your opener. With the opener’s shuttle unlocked, check your door’s balance by opening the door about half way. If it stays where you put it, you’re gold. If not, call a pro to help — rebalancing a door can be difficult and dangerous. Don’t forget to push the door open all the way to re-engage the opener’s shuttle.
* Check the safety reversal system. Grab a scrap 2×4, cement block or something of similar size and shape and place it directly in the path of the garage door. Make sure that the object isn’t breaking the beam, since this is testing a different part of your system. Now, shut the door using the garage door opener.
If the door stops as soon as contact is made, your safety reversal system is set properly. If not, you’ll need to find your manual and look up which knob or button is used to decrease the force required to stop the door. This is one of those things you’ll test way more often than you’ll have to adjust.
* Break the beam. Check that the indicator lights on your infrared sensors are showing that the eyes are adjusted properly. Once they’re looking deeply into each other’s eye, close the garage door. Before it reaches the ground, pass a broom between the sensors. The door should stop, otherwise your sensors may need to be cleaned or replaced.
* Grease some squeaky wheels. You’ve tightened hardware, tested the door’s safety features and you’re ready to go nap in your hammock. But wait! There’s one more thing. It’s time to lube the beast. You won’t actually be lubricating a lot of the system, you’ll be cleaning it, but it’ll run more smoothly and that’s the point.
Start with the track itself, cleaning it with carburetor or brake cleaner and a cloth. Next, using a silicone based garage door lubricant, spray between the pin and wheel on each roller, wiping off any excess (lubricant doesn’t belong on the track). If your rollers are nylon, take extra special care because they slip easily.
You can also use the same lubricant to coat the outside of your torsion spring (the one above the door itself). Again watch for drips.
Are You Feeling a Bit More TGIF Than DIY? Not everyone wants to take their garage door into their own hands. Even people who do sometimes hit problems that they simply don’t have the expertise to handle. That’s ok, that’s why the HomeKeepr community is such a thriving resource — everyone you could ever need to call is participating! Just log in and check out the overhead door experts that your Realtor has already recommended. They can come out and give your door a quick one-over, then set up inexpensive regular maintenance, saving you thousands of dollars in major repairs. Taken from HomeKeepr.com
When you are ready to buy or sell a house, contact Dupont Real Estate. We are here for you.
Dress up your house on a budget with these great tips!
Owning a house is a never-ending adventure in investing your heart and soul into a wholly unique structure. Some homeowners have great big budgets for massive changes or enhancements to their home, others are working with a shoestring. If you’re in the second group, you can still put your mark on your house. There are plenty of ways to personalize it without spending a lot of money.
Image from HomeKeepr.com
Even Simple Changes Create Huge Home Impacts After the stress of moving is over and the dust has settled, you may start to ponder other ways to enhance your new home. When you moved in, it was pretty generic, with cream-colored walls, light brown carpet and an outside paint job that absolutely no one could find offensive. A lot of houses end up in this generic state when the owner is wanting a fast sale, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way!
Take a look at these small projects that can really make your home pop:
Replace the front door. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost Versus Value Report, replacing your front door is one of the most value-packed changes you can make to your home. A new door not only creates a new focal point, it allows you to really get personal. These days you can special order doors in nearly any size with exquisite touches like frosted or stained glass, as well as bigger units that have full size windows on either side.
Remodeling Magazine ranked front door replacement third in cost recuperation; the best value return on the list was also a door. Consider your garage door while you’re upgrading. Like front doors, garage doors are becoming increasingly detailed, with lots of options for personalization. Because they take up so much real estate on the front of your house, a new garage door can make your home look completely different.
Choose a paint scheme with more than two colors. That’s not to say that you should go wild and paint your house in every color of the rainbow, but by using at least three colors, you can draw attention to the neat little details instead of letting them get lost in a monotone trim color. For example, if your post-World War two era home has neat porch brackets and dentils, you might paint those features to match the front door so they pop out from the trim. Just don’t go crazy with color or the effect will be lost in the cacophony.
Add shutters and window boxes. On the right house, shutters or window boxes can pack a huge visual wallop. Choose shutters that are appropriate for the style of your home, even if you need to special order them. You can keep them seriously low-maintenance by selecting vinyl shutters in the color you’re after — just hang them and forget it. The same goes for window boxes. Low maintenance boxes with colorful flowers can help perk up plain windows.
Relight the night. Details matter and that includes your lighting. Get rid of those generic carriage lights and clunky motion detecting flood lights and install some impressive lighting on the outside of your home. There are lots of styles to choose between, many with motion detection built-in, and several sizes. Lighting that fits in the space appropriately, provides lots of light and matches your home’s outer theme is an important element in a total shoestring makeover.
Raise some flower beds. Growing plants on your lawn can become a messy proposition as the summer’s heat starts to bear down. Built-up beds are easier to maintain than patches in the grass and they lend a bit of formality to the space. Choose a location that makes sense, like along a walkway or up against the porch so visitors are greeted with your cheery plants.
It doesn’t take a huge budget to make changes to the outward appearance of your home. Planning colors and accessories strategically makes all the difference, especially when you’re on a limited budget.
Not Sure You’re Ready for Painting or Installing Fixtures? Not everyone is handy or inclined to find out if they can paint by doing it, and that’s ok, too. These inexpensive projects can be tackled by a home pro easily. Just log in to HomeKeepr to find a painter, electrician, landscaper or general handyman that your Realtor has already recommended! Your house will be refreshed and renewed in no time.
If you or a loved one are currently renting, it’s important that you take a moment and consider an important piece of advice about your stuff. If you love it, then make an extra effort to protect it.
Did you know the majority of homeowners buy insurance, but just one in three college-aged renters insures their belongings? Even more shocking: at least half of all renters fail to buy any insurance protection for their possessions.
Way too many consumers are under the mistaken impression that their landlord’s policy will cover their losses, according to the Connecticut Better Business Bureau. BBB says renter’s insurance generally covers property damage or loss caused by theft, fire, vandalism or storms. In addition, most policies include liability coverage, which protects a tenant if someone gets hurt when visiting their home or apartment.
The cost of renter’s insurance is usually lower than homeowner’s insurance because it covers only personal property and liability, not the structure. The amount of the deductible can also affect the cost of premiums.
Two types of renter’s insurance coverage are available if you are a renter:
Actual cash value insurance pays to replace items up to the policy’s limits, minus a deduction for depreciation.
Replacement cost insurance pays the actual cost of replacing your possessions, regardless of depreciation, up to the limits on the policy.
Consider the value of possessions versus the cost of insurance – even a college student can have property worth several thousand dollars, such as computers, televisions, furniture, jewelry or small appliances.
When seeking a renter’s insurance quote:
Determine if you have specific items of high value, you also may need a rider to cover those items. Ask what deductibles apply to the policy.
Find out whether the policy will cover living costs if you are unable to occupy your current apartment or home.
Inquire about exclusions, such as types of property that would not be covered.
Ask the insurer if they give discounts for burglar alarms, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems or deadbolts on exterior doors.
If you are switching insurers, be sure that the new policy is in effect before dropping the old one.
As with any insurance product, BBB advises consumers to get estimates from several companies before buying a policy. Source: www.bbb.org
Contact Dupont Real Estate when you are ready to buy a house! We are here for you.
Spring Cleaning: Clean and Simple Whether you love it or dread it all year, there’s no denying that spring cleaning is a worthwhile task. Studies show that decluttering, cleaning and organizing your living space helps reduce stress and increase a sense of happiness. Here are a few ways to make your spring cleaning season easier.
Google Keep is the perfect way to stay organized while you’re organizing. Keep saves notes, lists and photos all in the same place so you can quickly and easily access them. The option to color code and add labels allows for additional organization. You can even instantly document what’s on your mind by recording a voice memo that Keep will transcribe and save for later. Plus, you’re able to share and collaborate with others on Keep so groups can always be on the same page.
If you’re looking for an affordable dishwasher that doesn’t sacrifice cleaning power, the Kenmore 13479 may be a perfect pick. The 24-inch built-in appliance highlights simple, no frills design on the interior and exterior. Its main feature is the PowerWave™ Spray Arm, which cleans dishes from every direction, with jets spraying from two sides. It also includes a Time Remaining Display that shows you the cycle status. It’s a basic setup, but a great bargain for the price.
The Gift of Thrift
Cleaning out your closet just got a whole lot easier with thredUp, the world’s largest online thrift store. Simply send unused clothing and accessories to thredUp with its Clean Out Kit. After being evaluated, items that are on-trend and in great condition are placed for sale. Items that aren’t accepted for sale can be returned to you or passed on to third-party sellers. The profits from any of your items that sell may be used as store credit, donated to a cause of your choice or transferred to you through PayPal.
Taken from trsmag.com
When you are ready to buy or sell a home, contact us at Dupont Real Estate.
Economists and real estate professionals ruminate on whether to invoke the dreaded B-word and how to react as a hot market continues. Home prices are accelerating, and some markets are now considered overvalued. As home values surge, affordability is rapidly eroding. Are market bubbles starting to percolate in some regions?
Many housing markets are entering a fifth or sixth year of strong sales conditions, with low inventory and continuing high annual price escalations. Add to the mix an extraordinarily long bull market in stocks, and some buyers, agents and brokers are starting to ask whether the residential real estate business is too good. Is a housing bubble in the making? And if so, what can brokers and agents do to mitigate the risk to their clients and to their own real estate businesses?
“We have certainly experienced economic and real estate market bubbles before, which I define as a disconnect between the pricing for products and the underlying fundamentals that should define their values,” says George Ratiu, the National Association of REALTORS® managing director of housing and commercial research. “What happened in the housing market in 2005–2006 could be characterized in similar terms, with a disconnect between prices that people assumed would continue to go up and the underlying fundamentals in the housing market at that time.”
Odds of a Repeat Bubble Are Low But Ratiu and other economists and real estate analysts are quick to add that the housing market decline that occurred in much of the country between roughly 2005 and 2012, depending on the particular market, was among the severest on record. They view the likelihood of the reoccurrence of an event of similar breadth and magnitude as very small in the foreseeable future.
“As in 2006, today’s home prices are high relative to income and to rent in many markets, but there the similarity ends,” says Frank E. Nothaft, chief economist at Irvine, California-based real estate data and analysis firm CoreLogic. “There are many more differences. For one, interest rates [and capitalization rates] are much lower, so a given income [or rent stream] is consistent with somewhat higher prices. Second, no- and low-doc lending, subprime and no-down-payment lending facilitated by second liens, all of which were common in 2006, have largely vanished from today’s market. Third, the speculative ‘flipping mania’ of 2006 is absent from most metro areas.”
But Local Exceptions Are Possible Still, while another pervasive Great Recession-like bubble event is viewed as unlikely by many, all real estate is local and that generally applies to bubbles, too. Allan Weiss, founder and CEO of Weiss Analytics LLC, a Natick, Massachusetts-based real estate information and analysis firm, and some other real estate market analysts say that while a major national bubble is unlikely, they do have concerns that bubble-like conditions may be emerging in some markets or property types or price range subsets within those markets.
“When we look at our affordability index, we definitely see evidence of bubbles forming in many markets across the country,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president of Irvine, California-based real estate information and analysis firm ATTOM Data Solutions (formerly RealtyTrac). “An index of under 100 for a market means that it is less affordable than it has been in the past. Looking at the most recent quarter, the second quarter of 2017, of the more than 400 counties in our most recent quarterly index, 45 percent of them are below 100, which is definitely more markets than normal.”
How to Recognize a Bubble It is not easy, but there are ways to recognize bubble conditions in a given market. Among the key factors that economists, analysts, agents and brokers say would highlight the danger of a bubble are:
• Multi-year large annual price increases • A sudden increase in inventory and/or reduction in sales volume • Extensive market participation of investors, rather than owner-occupants, as buyers. • Extensive market participation of relocation buyers from more expensive locations • Subpar underwriting and appraisal practices • Sudden shocks to the national economy or local economics of the market
How to React Communicating with clients about the risk of a bubble is a sensitive issue. Rather than invoke the word “bubble,” a highly charged word likely to frighten buyers, a better approach may be conducting a more nuanced discussion of price risk and sales conditions, says Michelle Gordon, CRS, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based agent at Distinctive Homes.
With respect to sellers, it may mean advising clients of the possibility of a bubble and advising them to sell at a good price before a possible bubble pops, rather than holding out too long for a “best” price that significantly delays a sale and risks bubble exposure, says Judie Seitz, CRS, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based agent at Comey & Shepherd REALTORS®.
There are also steps that real estate professionals can take to protect their practices. Taking steps to diversify a practice by selling in a wide range of property types and price ranges can reduce the danger of exposure to a downturn in a submarket, says Jeff Dowler, CRS, an agent at Carlsbad, California-based Solutions Real Estate.
Bubbled Waters Real estate analysts vary in their estimation of which markets might have the greatest risk for bubbles or price corrections. During the first half of 2017, many of the metro areas that bear closest scrutiny tended to be in Florida, especially because of the relatively large price appreciation and elevated levels of investor activity, according to a CoreLogic study, the CoreLogic Market Conditions Indicator.
An ATTOM Data Solutions list of the 20 markets with the lowest affordability indexes in the second quarter of 2017, equating to markets where prices may be overinflated and affordability is out of line with historic norms, has the top spots dominated by Colorado markets, but it also includes Flint, Michigan; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Tarrant County, Texas—which are all among the top 10, says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president of ATTOM Data Solutions (formerly RealtyTrac).
Blomquist notes that markets low on ATTOM Data Solutions’ affordability index list suggest that traditional overvaluation suspects such as New York City and San Francisco are possibly being overtaken by previously more conservative middle-America markets.
By David Tobenkin: a freelance writer in the greater Washington, D.C., area.
When you are ready to buy or sell your home, contact us, here at Dupont Real Estate.
Blockchain technology could revolutionize the real estate business model.
With Bitcoin making headlines, a new word has entered the business lexicon: “blockchain.”
Much like the internet two decades ago, blockchain is a relatively new technology with seemingly endless possible applications. But outside the techie world, people have a limited understanding of how it actually works and whether it should be trusted.
Still, some experts see blockchain’s potential to completely change how real estate transactions are handled.
How blockchain technology works A blockchain is essentially a decentralized database with continuously updating digital records. Instead of using a central depository of information, blockchains use a network of databases that are constantly synchronized and available to those on the network (all via the internet).
Much like the internet itself, blockchain networks can be either private or public, says David Conroy, R&D lab engineer with the National Association of REALTORS®’ Center for REALTOR® Technology. The private version works like a private business’s intranet system, with information available only to those with a login to that specific network. Public blockchains are accessible by anyone, without a login needed.
In at least a couple of instances, agents have made and closed deals from start to finish exclusively using blockchain technology.
In September 2017, Sheryl Lowe of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty in Austin, Texas, became the first broker to close on a home purchased entirely with cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) when it represented the buyer of a custom home.
Blockchain gets its name from the way the digital transactions are completed, by being added to blocks with other transactions being carried out at the same time, then cryptographically protected. The blocks are “validated” using complex coded problems, and once the coding is finished, the new block is linked to older blocks, creating a chain that shows all the transactions made since the start of that blockchain.
Because the chain is constantly checked and updated across the entire network, everyone sees the same information at the same time, and everyone can follow each piece of the transaction as it occurs.
The downside of Blockchain Blockchain sounds failsafe, right? It is, except for one sticky problem: People still largely control it. That means individuals’ blockchain access codes are only as safe as they’re kept, says Ridaa Murad, founder of Breakform|RE in El Segundo, California—a common problem with current passcoding systems.
Of course, another huge issue facing blockchain technology is similar to that faced by the internet in 1994: People don’t really understand how it works, and therefore don’t trust their transactions to be handled correctly through this new and seemingly complex technology.
“Companies are seeing the potential, but people aren’t really secure about putting all that information out there in this way yet,” Conroy says.
Is blockchain the future of real estate? We’re still far from having all transactions done on the blockchain, Murad says, mostly because so few people understand how the technology works. Also, he says, despite the fact that it’s superior in many regards compared to other similar technologies currently in existence, that doesn’t guarantee that it will become commonly used in businesses. People will need to adapt.
But Conroy sees it as the obvious evolution of the real estate business model.
“It will revolutionize how real estate is transferred. It will be one of the most impactful technologies for sure,” he says. “It will increase the speed of transactions, reduce risk, make customers more informed … It has the biggest opportunity to create positive change.” A little farther from home, in Ukraine, an entire transaction was completed using smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, showing how quickly and securely the technology works for this purpose. That home was sold, perhaps unsurprisingly, to Michael Arrington, co-founder of the tech news site Tech Crunch.
“It’s only being done right now by absolute cryptonerds,” says Ridaa Murad, founder of Breakform|RE in El Segundo, California. “The one in Ukraine, this is just a guy trying to show everyone it can be done way faster, way better, way cheaper.”
Downsizing is a common discussion among couples. I often find working with couples that one wants to downsize but has agreed to purchase a large property with their spouse.
I advise them to find a home that seems intimate despite its large size. I tell them, ‘You don’t want to feel you’re rattling around in an oversized place that seems lonely, especially when you’re there by yourself.’
I recommend they avoid a property with a two-story atrium or ceilings that soar 10
feet or higher. Likewise, they should avoid a home with an oversized formal living room they’re unlikely to use often.
The coziest arrangement is to have a big family room right off the kitchen, because people spend most of their time in the kitchen area.
Finally, I tell them not to assume that a place they buy upon retirement will be their last home. Source:
Tips are from your local Charlotte realtor, Dupont Real Estate. Call us when you are ready to buy or sell a home.