Redfin releases iPad app
As with the large real estate media companies, Redfin has hopped on the iPad app bandwagon, and why not? Smartphones offer great speed and portability but everyone knows that real estate searching is a visual game and iPads offer a large screen to allow for full screen photos, as demonstrated above.
The company noted that they chose not to take the route of making their iPhone app compliant with iPad because “Taking the easy road has just never been our thing. Plus, we couldn’t contain our excitement for all of the awesome stuff that we could pull off with the iPad.”
The new iPad app offers new mobile search options like viewing homes in a photo gallery or on a map, and has announced a new sort option called the “Redfin Special Blend” which prioritizes homes based on user criteria. The Special Blend is unique in that it features homes previewed by agents that have left notes that fit within the user’s criteria – cool stuff.
In addition to the features listed above, Redfin says these are the top features of their new iPad app:
- Find homes nearby. Our app uses your iPad’s GPS so you can quickly and easily locate nearby homes for sale and open houses.
- You’ll know it when you see it. We love maps but we also think you’ll agree that a photo gallery is a convenient way to quickly discover homes that catch your eye. The photo gallery feature is particularly useful once you’ve narrowed your search down to a specific neighborhood.
- All the home photos and details you crave on one big screen. With just one swipe you’ll find photos and all the details about a home including property history and Redfin Agent Insights, comments left by Redfin agents who have seen the home in person. Plus, it’s all on one screen.
- Have fun! Swipe through full-screen photos and then zoom in for a closer look.
- Share it with a friend or friends. With one tap you can share a home you like with a friend in email or post it for your followers on Twitter, and all without leaving the app.
- Stay in sync. Don’t worry, all of your old standbys are still here. When you sign in to your account, you can save searches, mark your favorites or x-out out the ones you don’t like, and even store notes and photos. Everything you do on the iPad app stays in sync so you can pick up from where you left off when you return to your computer or use a different mobile device.
The biggest emphasis of the new iPad apps coming out for real estate search is the full screen capabilities of an iPad which puts even more emphasis on a Realtor’s responsibility to upload high quality photographs of a listing to the MLS – the disparity between bad listing photos and quality images is growing exponentially with consumers’ access to tools like the iPad.
Photo tour of the Redfin iPad app:
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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