Dwellory launches to help homeowners
Dwellory is like LinkedIn for houses, wherein homeowners can add updates about their home years before it ever goes on the market.
Did you find pictures of your home circa 1969? Did you add a gazebo in the back yard? Did you get all new lighting fixtures this weekend? Did you host a neighborhood watch party in your front yard and totally surpass the Joneses? Take a shot and add it to Dwellory – when it’s time to sell, you already have a massive file of your home’s accomplishments.
Started by Jim Straatman, Dwellory is a bootstrapped startup that is being developed simply because a homeowner wanted a tool like this for himself. “I wanted this platform, so I’m building it,” Straatman said. “I’ll own my home for over 10 years, why waste that time offline? Dwelloy is an owner marketing channel, connecting me to buyers, so I can sell when the time is right.”
One of Straatman’s goals is to empower homeowners and connect them with buyers, generating potential interest over time, rather than the weeks leading up to the sale which he says he believes will help command top dollar. He says homeowners have responded very positively, and he is seeing more interest from homeowners as well as agents, who he says are welcome to participate. Agents that have clients who are armed with endless data on their homes make for a better marketing strategy for all involved.
Like LinkedIn for houses
“The primarily value [of Dwellory] is owners promoting their home, without having to officially put a house on the MLS. Moreover, owners can use their social graph to promote a listing,” he added. Offering a pre-market platform has widespread implications not just with homeowners but for agents who may choose to use the platform for pocket listings prior to entering it into the MLS.
Straatman notes, “Think of it like a LinkedIn profile for your house. If you need a job, it’s better to have 100 edits on your resume over the years, instead of trying to start marketing your skills the day you need a job. Got photos from day one, before/after remodel shots, video from the neighborhood picnic, historic images from the roaring 20’s? Is all that content on your phone… why not online where buyers can find it?”
So is a pre-MLS site anti-agent? Straatman says he’s just “pro-owner,” and that if a decade from now it’s time to sell with an agent, “their job is that much easier with a rich story already told in the owner’s voice.”
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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