This is the first of my posts associated with different technology for the home. I am an early adopter. I have 2 Nest Thermostats, a Nest Protect, a Nest Cam, a Rachio Smarter sprinkler Controller and several WeMo light switches. Oh, and an Amazon Echo and a Logitech Harmony Remote.
“LOS ANGELES — With thick plumes of smoke, towering flames and mass evacuations, a fast-moving wildfire struck one of America’s major cities on Wednesday.
As fires raged out of control across Southern California, a new blaze erupted in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, near iconic landmarks like the U.C.L.A. campus and the Getty Museum, home to old masters paintings and ancient Roman statues.
Forty miles to the northwest, the largest of several fires underway had consumed 90,000 acres by Wednesday night and at least 150 structures — probably hundreds more, fire officials said — and threatened 12,000 others in the city of Ventura and neighboring communities, and was 5 percent contained. Other major fires were burning in the northern San Fernando Valley and the rugged region north of Los Angeles.” (The New York Times, 2017)
There have been any number of disasters since, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. These calamities can leave a homeowner feeling uprooted, both emotionally and financially. Victims may still be trying to process the emotional burden of the event, while being bombarded with additional worries such as the condition of their home and belongings. Or, how do they replace all of their damaged documents?
Perhaps the biggest question of all, is where to start.
For many property victims, the bureaucratic anquish of negotiating with an insurance adjuster can be as stressful as the natural disaster itself. Endless requests for documentation, photos, and paperwork, can slow down the payouts. In fact, Some homeowners are often so worn down from the process that they negotiate smaller settlements than they should.
It is important to safety store critical documents. How would you start over if the deed to your house, your birth certificate, or military records were demolished or washed away?
Collecting, recording, and preparing your important papers, photos, and documents can bring you an immense amount of relief, with really little effort.
Of note, 75% of homeowners DO NOT have any system or documentation in place of what is in their home. Battling insurance companies after a disaster strikes won’t be so foreboding if you consider these simple tips.
1. Check with your insurance company on the types of documents they may require to process claims and quote policy deductibles.
2. Take photos of the items you’ve acquired over the years, like art, electronics, furniture, and jewelry. It might be difficult to replace them without a good home inventory. This inventory needs to include descriptions, photos, serial numbers, and receipts.
3. An online home inventory service, HomeDiary.com, is just the sort of app you need to help you go room to room to catalogue and document your items.
If you’re well documented, you are going to have a much easier time when it comes to negotiating with your insurance company.
Technology is changing the way we market, inspect, buy, and sell homes. Coldwell Banker’s 2018 Smart Home Marketplace survey reveals insights on how smart home tech and VR (Virtual Reality) are set to benefit consumers in a myriad of ways.
What is VR? It is an artificial, computer-generated environment that you experience as if you were inside the image. Put on a virtual reality headset and you can go on a tour of a home without ever setting foot inside the door. As far as the selling process with VR, distance doesn’t matter. You can offer the same experience to a client in the United States and a client in Hong Kong.
In VR, you may find yourself in a movie film you’re watching, or in the kitchen cooking with your favorite chef. Simply put, VR creates an illusion of depth. So if you are in a Georgian home and you want to check out the fireplace, merely turning your head to the side will bring the centerpiece of the room into view. With a VR headset, prospective buyers can move around the house and get a feel for how the space flows and how the rooms link together. They can explore all of the details that may be missed on a photograph and get a much better idea of room sizes and ceiling heights.
One problem that has plagued real estate agents for decades is that an empty home is a difficult sell. Without furniture and all of the other little touches that turn a house into a home it can be very difficult for a potential buyer to imagine themselves living in a particular property. With technology, the virtual solution solves this dilemma. Now ‘staging’ a home, just got less expensive and easier than lugging in actual pieces of furniture to fill a home when it’s open for inspection.
Coldwell Banker’s Survey included responses from 3,000 adults and revealed that:
--77% of homebuyers would like virtual reality tours before seeing the listing in person
--68% would like to use technology to see how their current furniture would actually look in a new home
Further, 62% of Americans said they would be more apt to go with a real estate agent, that offered VR Tours over an agent who did not.
When it comes to Smart Home products that could make or break a sale, the table below shows a percentage of Americans who already own, or plan to purchase, Smart Home products.
*The most desirable smart home tools. Source: Coldwell Banker
The following Smart Home Products were picked by respondents to be the most important pre-install in a listing:
Smart Thermostat - 77%
Smart Fire Detector - 75%
Smart Cardon Monodie Detector - 70%
Smart Camera - 66%
Smart Lock - 63%
Smart Lighting System - 63%
While some of the changes expected to hit real estate technology may be a decade out to be fully felt, the movement is taking steps forward every day. Virtual Reality has proven its worth and it won’t be long before it transforms the property-buying experience for home buyers all over the world.
We are excited to announce a new way for Home Pro's to stay in touch with clients and help spread the word about HomeDiary. Home Pro's can now invite people they know or have done business with to HomeDiary.
Tucked just at the edge of the Redmond Watershed Preserve, the private retreat on 205th Pl is a home that feels like a vacation oasis. Built in 2006 on a private .6 acre lot, the estate is a Stephen D. Smith custom home with luxury touches and exceptional design. Best of all, the home is in The Hedges, an exclusive neighborhood of very private, very high end custom homes with access to the Bear Creek horse, bike, and walking trails.