Thursday, October 30, 2014

Home Automation Now

I'm not asked very often yet, however once in awhile someone will ask if a home is wired for any automation.  Usually if it is wired for such it is only with a security system.

With the marketing that is being done for automated homes and not just for security but also such technology as the ability to operate from your mobile phone the turning on or off of lights, adjusting the thermostat, checking to see that doors are shut and that appliances are off, we are going to see more and more homes become automated.

Automation also includes such things as "...self-operating kitchen appliances, robotic vacuum cleaners and motorized window shades for certain times of day..." 
Coldwell Banker Previews, interviewed Reid Cram with Vantage Controls with some interesting thoughts on home automation currently and for the future (see the full article here, Wired Wonder: Inside the Luxury Automated Home).

If you doubt the growth in recent years of home automation check out Comcast's Xfinity growth or even more impressive is the growth of the Utah based company Vivint which began in 1999 as APX Alarm and was acquired in 2012 by the Blackstone Group for more than $2 billion (See Vivint for more information).

Here's to automation - cheers!
Brian Olsen, WWR

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Equal in Everything???

In my previous life as a contractor I had to make sure that I followed EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) rules and regulations.  Now that I have a new life as a realtor I figured that the finer points of equality would not be part of my business life (not that I would discriminate against anyone, but at least not have a commission looking over my shoulder).

So awhile ago I had a very nice young couple with a couple of children that were so excited to make an offer on a home and become homeowners.  They included with the offer a letter explaining their life as renters and that they were so excited to own a home.  This was a multiple offer situation and later we were told that the seller accepted my clients offer because of their letter included with the offer.  We never did learn where any other offer was in comparison to their offer.

The article I mentioned is, Why Buyer Letters Are Risky Business and is written by Christine Smith.  Christine has a valid point concerning the care we need to take to avoid any hint of discrimination.  Unfortunately we live in a time where many will attempt to portray an offender for a word.  However, most people naturally want to know about people and their lives; I think it is in a large part so that they can tell others about their lives, but that is another topic for discussion.

It is good to have this reminder from Christine to be careful and never, ever discriminate.  Be careful writing buyers letters.

"...the only way I know to become a good writer is to be a bad writer and keep on improving." Thomas Sowell

Write, right :-)
Brian Olsen, WWR

Saturday, October 25, 2014

$1,000.00 Toaster

As I take home buyers through homes invariably they want to know what appliances are staying or they comment on what appliances they want to keep or have removed in the purchase.

Here is a toaster that is probably going to stay with the owner, since it costs $1,000.00 - Bugatti Noun Toaster


A toast to your new toaster!
Brian Olsen, WWR

Friday, October 24, 2014

Class A Office Building

Is your lease expiring soon? Ready to move into a new, energy efficient, class A office building?
New Class A office building under construction. Secure, underground parking, 14' floor to deck, energy efficient. Contact us now (801-318-3108) to have the best buildout and parking opportunity.

Teens Schedule for Buying a Home and Getting Married

Marriage and Buying a home....aren't these the two things that really show we have matured and are taking responsibility?

American Fork Condo
(Townhouse listed in American Fork, UT)

Maybe we could add having a job, but with the economy the way it is.....I would say, having your own business is in the same category, but we can discuss that another time.

Wakefield Research, commissioned by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate surveyed 1,000 U.S. teenagers ages 13-17 between July 18th and July 29th, 2014 using an email invitation and an online survey.

Of interest to me was the interpretation of the American Dream and a Significant Other which were part of this survey.

The teenagers were asked:  

Which of the following, if any, are included in your interpretation of the "American Dream"? (the top three answers):

Owning a home 89%
Graduating from college 78%
Getting married 71%

If you had to guess, which of the following would be more likely to happen when purchasing your first home (among those who say they will own a home in their lifetime)?

I will live with a significant other 76%
I will live alone 15%
I will live with a friend 8%

I am a huge advocate of marriage and believe it is the foundation of a responsible, charitable and progressing society.  I was a bit concerned with the American Dream question, however the question that 76% answered they would more likely purchase a home with a significant other calms my fears quite a bit.

As adults we change our minds a lot and teenagers are even more apt to change their minds, but hopefully this portrays that marriage is still alive and well as an important part of life.  I guess we could discuss the definition of "significant other", but I think this is enough for now.

Brian Olsen, WWR

Survey by Wakefield Research, commissioned by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wallsburg Real Estate

In the month of September very little changed in Wallsburg real estate, no homes sold and no land sold.
Wallsburg Real Estate: September 2014

Have an amazing day!

Brian Olsen, WWR 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Buy VS Rent

Have you ever wondered if you really save money by purchasing a home vs renting? 
Take a look at the properties for rent on vs the ones listed for sale on the Wasatch Front MLS. 
The purchase is based on the price of the home with 10% down a 5% interest rate and a 30 year loan. It does not include PMI, taxes, etc. 
Buy VS Rent

Monday, October 6, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Low Rates - Where are the Home Buyers???

I'm always amazed when I hear about global weather forecasts for years and even decades into the future and then I see how often the weekly weather forecast changes.  How can anyone predict the weather.

However, you may have a better shot at predicting the weather than predicting the Real Estate market.

Inventories have been low, interest rates are low, isn't that a perfect storm to for more purchases and for home appreciation, maybe some multiple offer situations, etc.?

Well, the August S&P/Case-Shiller Index of property values showed the smallest 12 month gain since January 2013.  Redfin reported that "The number of homes that sold above list price in July was down nearly 26 percent from a year ago."

Freddie Mac reported that in early September the interest rates for U.S. home loans dropped to their lowest levels in over a year.

How is the market in your area?  What do you see happening this fall and into the winter?

Last year I stayed consistent through the holidays with out of town people coming to ski and also look at properties to purchase.  Here's hoping the forecast for a robust Fall and Winter is accurate.

Have a bright, sunshiny day :-)
Brian Olsen, WWR
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