Will Driverless Cars Change Home Values?

The era of autonomous vehicles is coming, but what influence could that have on your home? Autonomous vehicles could usher in greater car sharing among families and neighbors. The car drops off a passenger and then goes to pick up another. Since the vehicles are self-driving and will come when called upon, they may not even need to be parked at home and could be parked in a remote lot. Ride sharing services may grow to become a normal option for homeowners.

“A decrease in car ownership/leasing will likely translate to a decrease in the need for garage space,” says Justin Thompson, a columnist at Forbes.com . “Two-car homes could become one-car homes, rendering the two-car garage obsolete.” “The impact of an increase of this magnitude on home values would certainly have far-reaching economic effects,” Thompson notes. “Increased living area square footage, a rise in home value, additional property tax revenue, and more revenue from permitting fees is an impressive list of benefits.”

Modern vs. Contemporary: Which Is It?

Make sure property descriptions are accurate. Luxury homes described as modern and those described as contemporary can vary in price by about $275,000, according to a realtor.com® analysis of luxury homes. Defining these two styles has proven tricky and often get used interchangeably.

John Stewart, residential committee chair of the American Institute of Architects, describes a modern home and décor as having simple lines. He says modern homes tend to have a “stripped-down” aesthetic, often with cube-shaped structures, flat roofs, monochromatic color palettes, low-key furnishings, and those that often incorporate exposed steel and concrete.

On the other hand, contemporary homes often combine materials and bright colors, says Sheila Schmitz, editor of Houzz, a home design website. Contemporary homes may feature a black-and-white color palette, interiors baked in natural light, and floorplans that make the indoor-outdoor connection seamless.

Source: “Modern or Contemporary: What’s the Difference in Home Styles?” The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 10, 2016)

The Best Time to Invest Is Now?

“Whether it’s stricter lending standards, a shift in attitudes among borrowers or simply the nation getting wiser about the risks of real estate, we’re hardly seeing irresponsible buying in 2016,” writes Reeves, who is also the editor of InvestorPlace.com. “What we are seeing is a healthy housing market that continues to steadily and organically appreciate.”

“Nobody should put all their savings into one or two properties, but in a diversified portfolio, there is a very good argument for real estate investments in 2016,” writes Reeves.

Companies are stepping in to help more people become investors too. For example, Investability, an online real estate marketplace, says it offers tools like cash flow calculators that allow those interested in investing to input estimated vacancy rates and rental incomes from potential properties.

Source: “This Is the Best Time in History to Invest in Real Estate,” MarketWatch (Aug. 23, 2016)



This is the Hottest Color in Home Decor

White still remains the top seller when it comes to color for most home furnishings but gray may soon edge it out. Home owners are reaching for shades of gray to decorate their spaces, with grays serving as a new neutral in all tones, from soft silvers to dark charcoals.

“Gray plays well with other colors,” says Dee Schlotter, a color brand manager for Glidden Paints.

Gray is edging out the beige era. As Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, notes “we were beiged out.”

Home furnishing stores – like Ethan Allen, West Elm, and Restoration Hardware – are showing gray throughout their furnishings. Also, gray kitchen cabinets are becoming more common as well as gray flooring.

Jackie Dettmar of the carpeting manufacturer Mohawk Group, says shades of gray have become some of their top sellers for the last five years. Also, Kohler now offers five shades of gray in its plumbing fixtures for bathrooms and kitchens.

Source: “The Gloomiest Color on the Spectrum Is Now the Hottest for Your Home,” The Washington Post (Feb. 25, 2016)

1 in 5 Buyers Make Offer Without Seeing Home

Twenty-one percent of more than 2,100 home buyers recently surveyed by real estate brokerage Redfin say they made an offer on a house without seeing it in person.

“That’s a testament to the proliferation of online listings, mobile real estate apps, and cool things like 3D scans that take you inside and through every room of a home for sale online,” according to a blog on SurveyMonkey, a surveying firm that conducted the survey on behalf of Redfin.

Millennials were the age group to be most likely to make an offer without seeing the house in person first at 30 percent. What’s more, 53 percent of buyers who paid more than $750,000 for their home made offers without seeing the house first.

Source: Redfin and “4 Real Estate Trends That Show a Changing Industry,” SurveyMonkey Blog (Sept. 15, 2015)

Multigenerational Housing?

Housing projects aimed at accommodating extended families–where children, parents, and grandparents can all live under one roof–is becoming a growing real estate niche, The New York Times reports.

Multigenerational housing is particularly targeted to meet the needs of a growing immigrant population.

”Immigrants are a source of growing demand, and their household composition is different in fundamental ways from the domestic-born,” says Kermit Baker, chief economist of the American Institute of Architects.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, the region has seen rapid growth in its multigenerational housing demand from immigrant populations, notes Cheryl O’Conner, government affairs consultant to the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area.

Full article at: “Multigenerational Housing Is a Real Estate Growth Niche,” The New York Times (April 22, 2011) 

Other articles relating to the Sacramento and Placerville, CA. regions at:www.sierraproperties.com

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