Friday, October 10, 2014

weekend edition 10-10-14

I haven't had a lot of time recently to write long, detailed articles, but that doesn't mean I'm not still reading and thinking about it. Today I thought I'd share some of what I've come across over the last week or two. Hopefully you find something interesting and useful in here.

Feel free to shoot me an email about these articles or any other real estate question you might have.

- Chris

1. Ex-Tesla and NASA Engineers Make a Light Bulb That's Smarter Than You
2. What you Can Learn From Those Real Estate TV Shows
3. These 40 Ideas Will Make Your House Super Awesome
4. Student Loans Hindering First Time Homebuyers
5. How Architects Design For An Aging Population
6. 25 Biggest Decorating Mistakes and Solutions

1. Ex-Tesla and NASA Engineers Make a Light Bulb That's Smarter Than You




I've seen the concept of adding technology to light bulbs a few times in recent years. The fact that they're in every room of your house makes them a focal point for whole-house wireless or bluetooth communication systems. This time a company called Stack has created a product called Alba (which is Italian for 'sunrise'), which will start off as a super smart energy efficient light bulb, but which could later work together with smart thermostats and smart beds. And of course they'll work with your smart phone.

There's no doubt in my mind we'll routinely see homes with products like these in the coming decades.

2. What you Can Learn From Those Real Estate TV Shows




If you've ever turned on HGTV, you've probably seen them. The shows usually revolve around making choices - either which house a couple should buy, or whether to fix up their own house instead, or something similar. The part that seems unfair is that they always involve a contractor and decorator offering to make the home choice look spectacular.

While that last part deviates from a lot of us normal folks' reality, the concepts still hold true: budgeting, seeing potential through the junk that's out there, making the best use of space, etc. It's true that few of us will pay for and complete a full scale renovation when we move into a new house, these shows still offer some things we can take away and use.

3. These 40 Ideas Will Make Your House Super Awesome




Lots of photos here.

Truth be told, I only counted 35 ideas, and several of them are not so awesome. But if you find one thing in here that sparks your imagination for what you could do with your own home, you'll come away from this article with a better living experience.




4. Student Loans Hindering First Time Homebuyers


This is one small excerpt from a much larger economics essay by John Mauldin. (I've recommended Mauldin's free newsletter many times over the years - he has a way of making complex global economic concepts understandable.)

"almost everyone thinks that the government's being involved in student loans is a public good. We should help young people with education, right? Except that John Burns released a report this week that shows that student loans will cost the real estate industry 414,000 home sales. Young people are so indebted they can't afford to buy new homes. Collateral damage?"

* Every $250 per month in student debt reduces a household's home purchasing power by $44,000. Most households paying $750+ per month in student loans are priced out of the market. Only those in the highest-earning brackets can afford to purchase.

* 5.9 million households under the age of 40 pay over $250 in student loans per month compared to just 2.2 million back in 2005. The percentage of households under 40 with student debt paying $250+ monthly is up from 22% in 2005 to 35% currently, acting as an added headwind for millions of potential home buyers.



* quoted from www.realestateconsulting.com

5. How Architects Design For An Aging Population




The Baby Boom generation is reaching retirement, which will create a demographic where 20% of our population will be considered elderly. What will this do for living arrangements? This article from Freshome.com takes a look at some architectural designs that can make a big difference, focusing on floorplans with fewer obstructions, better lighting, and color schemes as helpful starting points. The article also references another website called ageinplace, which is dedicated to helping seniors stay in their own homes as long as possible.

6. 25 Biggest Decorating Mistakes and Solutions




Some of these ideas are a bit grandiose, like any list of this sort, but there are a few I felt offered actionable takeaways - things most of us can do easily and inexpensively to make our homes a little bit better.

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I hope you have a good weekend. Give either Cheryl or me a call if there's anything real-estate related that we can help with.

Chris & Cheryl Butterworth
623-570-9940 Chris
602-881-0441 Cheryl