Is a Smart Home in Your Future?

Hello? Remember when we used to answer the phone… at home… tethered to a wall and it was actually someone we knew? Today, most people have a smart phone. The years between those two devices are not as far apart as the way our lives have changed. Does that mean a smart home might be in our future?

In many ways, our homes have been getting “smarter” for years. While we used to water by hand, most now have automatic sprinklers. Most garage doors now open and close remotely. We have thermostats that automatically control the temperature. We have timers that turn the lights in a room on and off when we’re on vacation. Move over George Jetson, we can even change the channel on our flat screen without getting up. What used to be amazing has quickly become common place.


So what can we expect in the future? Certainly some items that are being considered might not be on our current wish list or possibly too expensive. But we don’t have to look much further than our cars or phones to get a glimpse of what might be coming our way. On average, the current new car has between 30 to 100 microprocessors controlling every aspect of the car. If there’s power to it, it can be controlled to offer higher efficiency or more convenience. Also using speech to control functions, touch screens to navigate and Bluetooth to wirelessly connect devises have all become ordinary. We should expect the same for almost every aspect of our home.

At the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) this year, Samsung featured their 2014 Smart
Essentially, Samsung demonstrated a completely interactive home where
everything from your television, refrigerator and even your washing machine all
interact with each other. Even more impressive, you can control your entire home
from the palm of your hand or remotely by speaking into your “watch.” I know it
sounds a little farfetched, but everything being discussed is available today. which makes the discussion even more amazing.

I don’t think I care whether my washing machine talks to my television, but it
would be cool to give one verbal command at the end of the day and have the home
prepare itself for the evening. One command could turn off the television, begin to
dim the lights, secure the home and start the dishwasher as you head towards
the bedroom at the end of the day. It’s too bad I still have to take out the garbage,
but I’m sure they’re working on that as well.

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Housing’s Impact on GDP

You may have heard recently in the news that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was revised downwards for the 1st quarter of 2014. Instead of a modest .1% growth, the revised numbers reflect a 1% drop. What does housing have to do with GDP? Actually, it has more than you might think.

According the National Association of Home Builders, for the period between 1975 and 2005, housing contributed between 18-19% of the GDP. Since that time, the percentage has dropped to about 15.5%. With a 15+ trillion dollar GDP, every percent becomes a very large number. This may be why Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, has expressed so much concern about housing recently. Our home is not only important to us individually, but the housing industry collectively is very important to the economy.


So what does this mean for our local market? Certainly, a stronger economy would mean a stronger housing market. But all in all, there’s a lot of room for optimism and for individual buyers and sellers, our market has many advantages.

In Arizona last month, almost 18,000 buyers and sellers closed escrows and another 16,000 went into escrow. 41% of the homes sold in the first 30 days on the market with the average time on market being just 12 days. The average sales price throughout Arizona continues to rise modestly, up 4.3% over last year. Finally affordability, influenced by prices and interest rates, is still very strong in Arizona.

Every market presents challenges and opportunities. But regardless of a headline, every month there are people improving their lifestyle, moving into a new phase of their life and changing the address on where they call home. If you would like to know more about your specific situation or explore opportunities specific to you, please give me a call.

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Why Do People Move

All of us have either moved at some time or know someone who has moved. Those experiences are usually what form our perspective about why people move. But it’s always interesting to look at things from a broader perspective. The US Census Bureau and theBureau of Labor Statistics are great resources for statistical data on a wide variety of topics. One of the areas they track is US migration. Here are a few statistics which you might find interesting.

Of those who have changed addresses in the past year, 43.7% moved for housing related issues, such as a new or better home. 30.3% of the moves were family related, including a change in marital status. 16.4% were employment related and 9.5% were related to other factors.

Where did they move? 69.3% stayed in the same county. 16.7% moved to a different county in the same state. 11.5% moved to a different state and 2.5% moved from out of the country. There were also differences by region. The West was the most likely to move with 14.7% having a different address than 1 year ago, while the Northeast was the least likely at 8.3%. And despite the trendy stories about moves to inner cities, in the West, the most popular moves are still to the suburbs.

As you would expect, Arizona’s statistics don’t always fall in line with the US. While nationally 84.9% of the US was in the same residence as they were a year ago, in Arizona that number is only 81%. Nationally, 12.2% of the people who changed residences were from the same state. Here in Arizona, that number was actually 14.7%.

We talk a lot about people moving from other areas of the country to Arizona. In 2012, the Census shows that over 232,000 people migrated to Arizona. California represented the largest state migration to Arizona representing 19.3% of our total. Additionally, 4.2% of our migration was from outside the nation.

People often talk about Arizona as a place to retire. Yet you might be surprised to learn that persons 65 and older represent just 14.8% of our population while those 18 and younger total 24.7% of our population.

Spring is a great time to move. There are usually more buyers in the market and lately the selection of “next” homes has not been this plentiful in years. Whatever your reason for moving, please let me know if I can be of assistance.

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Cream Puff or Leftover?

Here’s an interesting question to ponder the next time you are in the market.  When you get ready to buy your next home, do you want one of the Cream Puffs, or one of the Leftovers?  A Cream Puff is a home in a great location, great condition and a great price relative to other similar homes.  A Leftover is a home that’s still on the market after all of the “good ones” are gone. With new homes coming on the market daily, some of the Leftovers can become very, very stale.

Generally speaking, Cream Puffs sell very quickly and for a higher price because there is a greater demand. Buyers perceive their value and desirability as superior to the competition. Conversely, Leftovers usually take much longer to sell and end up selling for less money because there is a lower demand and buyers view the competition as a better value.

Statewide, 39% of the homes are selling in the first 30 Days with an average time on the market of just 12 days.  From a buyers perceived value point of view, they would be called Cream Puffs.  Conversely, 25% of the homes take more than 90 days to sell with an average time on the market of 162 days.  Those homes would fall into the Leftover category. Even sadder, some of the Leftovers are still on the market waiting for a buyer and have yet to sell.

I mentioned that Cream Puffs usually sell for more money.  On average, those homes selling in the first 30 days received 1.7% more of their asking price than the homes taking more than 90 days to sell.

As you can see, in general it’s pretty easy to draw a distinction between a Cream Puff and a Leftover.  Buyers are making those distinctions daily.  Certainly, measuring time and money is one way to draw a comparison.  Another consideration is the toll the distinction can have on one’s personal life.  Many times the distinction can result in frustration, worry and stress.  That’s never a good thing.

The Cream Puff and Leftover analogy is a good way to understand the market .The market is all about competition with buyers and sellers both being impacted. Even in a buyer’s market, buyers need to react quickly to great values. Positioning a home to sell quickly also makes the most sense for sellers. Buying or selling a home is one of those life changes that come with a certain amount of its own apprehension. A thorough understanding of the market can minimize additional and unnecessary frustration and stress.

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Thank You – Shadow Demand

As 2013 comes to a close, I want to say thank you for always keeping me in mind when it comes to real estate. I especially want to say thank you to all of you who have referred business my way. Helping people is an honor I cherish.

I also want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family the very best of the Holidays and the coming New Year. We certainly live in interesting times. But despite the distractions, headlines and daily nonsense, family and friends will always be the most important focus and blessing we enjoy. The Holidays are a wonderful time to put those blessings center stage and share our appreciation.

As for the real estate market, we continue to see the market changing. As we pointed out last month, consumer confidence has as much to do with how the market will perform as anything. November saw a further slide in consumer confidence causing demand to diminish a bit further.

Some experts would like to say the market has normalized. Supply and demand have balanced for the most part. That is why many are pointing to a “normal” market. However, the market isn’t that simple. While it’s true that inventories are rising and sales are softening, part of that is due to the normal seasonal nature of our market. The rest is consumer confidence.

This “normal” is unlike anything we’ve seen, so it’s difficult for me to call it a normal market. The differences between our current markets, compared to years past, are the other factors outside of supply and demand. We still have interest rates hovering around record lows and demand, while dampened recently, is still pent up. You could say that the “shadow demand” is hovering in the wings far greater than the “shadow inventory” ever actually did.

In a September 25th Forbes Article, Forbes predicted that Arizona will enjoy the fastest job growth in the nation over the next 5 years. Added to that are people who lost their homes who can now re-enter the market and the reason that most of our state moved here, our great weather. Further impacting pent up demand is the fact that new construction, while up recently, is still at a very low pace and it will take years for builders to ramp up again. In Arizona, nearly 13,000 people changed where they call home last month. While that number is definitely down, it is still strong compared to past “slowdowns” and prices are still trending higher.

So, consumer confidence is the only thing holding us back. We have a lot to be thankful for, both personally and looking at the market. The “shadow demand” is definitely real and can return very quickly. We are a resilient people. If you or someone you know is thinking about making a move, I’d love to be able to help. Taking action while others pause definitely has its advantages.

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What is the first thing you think about when you think about home?


What is the first thing you think about when you think about home? Does a person come to mind?  What memory do you think of first? What makes you smile when you think about your home? Chances are, your thoughts are not about the structure, but about something that happened there. Maybe it was a time when family or friends were over, a party or something you did to make your house more of a home.

With a strong presence in over 50 countries, Coldwell Banker® has been committed to helping millions across the globe find ‘home’ for over one hundred years. While houses are often made up of bricks, stone and glass; we feel that it is the people and wonderful memories made within the walls of our houses that truly make it a home. Our Coldwell Banker International Film Festival tells the story of what home means to men, women, families, children and even pets from countries and continents far and wide.


Visit Coldwell Banker’s International Film Festival and see how others talk about the true value of home as expressed around the world.

Then here’s a thought. What can you do to create the next smiling memory about your home? Is it time to invite some friends over? Have a party? What’s your favorite thing to cook, barbeque or bake that you could share with others? What would your version of an Oktoberfest be like? You don’t have to do all the work. What would be a fun or unusual pot luck?

Often times the neighborhood can be one of the things we like most about our home. But just like our house, a neighborhood is more about the people than the structures. There’s nothing like a friendly neighbor. It takes time and effort to be a good neighbor, but it adds to the neighborhood and the place we call home. Have some fun and consider doing something special or unexpected for a neighbor.

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I love our company!!!

For the second time in 6 months, Realogy will be hosting an Innovation Summit. How cool is that!!!!

Realogy to Host Company’s Second Innovation Summit

Real Estate Industry First: Software Programming Competition Powered by Retsly to Use Property Listing Data Nov. 6-7 in San Francisco

Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services, today announced it will host the company’s second innovation summit in a six-month span. The “Realogy Innovation Summit – Powered by Retsly” will feature a two-day competition for software developers to create new applications for residential real estate in an around-the-clock environment using current MLS listings and data in a secure environment. Up to 300 software developers will be selected to participate at the event, which will take place Nov. 6-7 concurrent with the 2013 National Association of REALTORS® Conference and Expo at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
“Realogy is committed to fostering innovation in the real estate industry,” said Alex Perriello, president and chief executive officer of the Realogy Franchise Group. “The Realogy Innovation Summit – Powered by Retsly is designed to challenge the most creative software developers to focus their efforts on using property listings in big data applications for the real estate space. It will be dramatic to see what new applications will be conceived in such a compressed period of time. For us, this event is a complementary extension of the Realogy FWD Innovation Summit we held in June that showcased 15 top emerging technology companies and their newly created products and service offerings.”Powered by Retsly Software’s unique data platform, this first-of-its-kind event for the real estate industry will make property listings available in a secure programming environment, with data feeds from some of the nation’s largest multiple listing services and the proprietary listings databases of Realogy’s residential real estate franchise brands: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, CENTURY 21, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, ERA Real Estate and Sotheby’s International Realty. Participating MLS associations include California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Midwest Real Estate Data, Sandicor, Connecticut MLS, InterMountain MLS, and In aggregate, the Retsly data platform will provide developers with access to approximately 2 million property listings during the two-day event.
“We’re beyond excited about data becoming more accessible to innovators, and we think the next big idea in real estate technology will be born at this event,” said Kyle Campbell, co-founder of Retsly.

The Realogy Innovation Summit – Powered by Retsly will feature some of the software industry’s most talented software developers creating web, mobile, and analytic products for residential real estate, in a 27.5-hour live competition in an environment similar to established technology events like TechCrunch Disrupt. To access the data, developers will use Retsly’s application programming interface (API) that links to standardized and aggregated MLS data, thereby allowing participants to create new applications in minutes, not months. REALTOR ambassadors also will be on hand to add a practitioner’s perspective to the software developers’ brainstorming.

The judging panel includes industry leaders such as: Russ Bergeron, CEO of Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (MRED); Art Carter, CEO of California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (CRMLS); Ray Ewing, CEO of Sandicor Inc.; Cameron Payne, CEO at the Connecticut Multiple Listing Service, Inc.; and Realogy’s Alex Perriello. Participants will have the opportunity to compete for top honors in a variety of categories. After the competition, the winning developers will get to present their innovative ideas in front of more than 25,000 real estate professionals on the trade show floor from Nov. 8-11 at the National Association of REALTORS’ Expo.
More information about the Realogy Innovation Summit – Powered by Retsly can be found at For developers who are interested in participating in the event, registration application forms are available online at

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Introducing the 2013 Coldwell Banker International Film Festival


Coldwell Banker is such a cool place to work!!!!!! Look at this.

 CB Film FestivalThe true value of a home. Expressed around the world.

That is the theme of what will be a first in the real estate industry. For the next 3 weeks, Coldwell Banker Real Estate is going to share what “home” truly means not just in the US, but across the globe. A few months ago we worked with a company called, MoFilm, to commission the creation of a series of 10 videos that asked filmmakers to share with us what the value of a home is in their country. We received dozens of videos from the likes of China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Africa, Great Britain, Canada and more.

We selected 10 videos as winners and we will be unveiling one video a day starting on September 9. There are some amazing stories of home in this selection. What’s really interesting is how each video is different in the details, but the overarching concept remains the same: home is a place we love.

After the 10 international videos, we’ll continue the film festival by premiering 2 new episodes of our luxury home series World’s Most Expensive Homes. We’ve been to South Beach and Aspen in our first to episodes, but in Episode 3 we’ll head outside the US and see an amazing estate on the gorgeous beaches of St. Thomas. Then in Episode 4, we’ll explore a home that’s also a winery in the perfect place for such a residence, Napa, CA.

The true value of a home. Expressed around the world.

To close out the film festival, we’ll share some of the top entries in our Life, Camera, Action YouTube contest and announce the $25,000 grand prize winner on Friday, September 27 to close out the International Film Festival.

So from September 9 through September 27 every weekday we’ll be sharing a brand new video that showcases the true value of a home at We hope you’ll join us and share in what I guarantee will be the most interesting and entertaining home movies you’ll ever see.

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What Does Your Next Home Look Like?

What a great question to ponder!  Recently, I was helping a couple make the move from their existing home to a new home. They decided to make the move now to take advantage of prices and interest rates before both went up further.  For those who like to read the ending first, they have moved into their new home and are very happy with their decision.  But here’s the rest of the story.

Like most people I work with, when I asked them what they are looking for in their next home, they described what they had in mind.  Based on that description, we began looking at homes.  But the home they purchased did not look anything like the one they first described.  Why?  The answer is actually pretty simple.  People have preconceptions based on their experiences.  But when they see an alternative that they had not previously considered, in many cases it can be a better fit or more appealing.

What comes to your mind when you think about your next house?  Would you change areas?  Would you look for a different sun orientation?  Would it be larger or smaller?  What features are missing from your current home that you would like to see in your next home?  What features exist in your current home that you would like to see again in your next home?  Would you like to lower your payments?  Could affordability present more options?

When you have something in mind, then set your imagination lose. Is there an alternative you haven’t considered?  Have fun with the pondering.  Turn your curiosity and imagination loose.  You might surprise yourself.  Additionally, it may also surprise you that your ideas could turn into more than just a fun exercise.  The couple I talked about above is actually amazed at what they were able to accomplish.

There are definitely market factors in play that make now a great time for people to consider making a move. If you can see yourself looking for a different style of home in the next 3-6 years, you may want to look into taking action today. Chances are the price of your next home and interest rates will never be lower and the affordability never higher than it is today. As a seller, demand for homes that are priced correctly is very strong right now. The combination can be very beneficial.  Give me a call if you would like to explore your options.

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How Long is Too Long to Live at Home ?

What a fun survey to consider!!! If 60 is the new 40, is 27 the new 18?

Coldwell Banker Real Estate Survey Finds Americans Disagree Over How Long is Too Long to Live at Home with Parents. Older Americans want boomerang kids out of the nest within three years after college, while millennials believe up to five years is fine to live with mom and dad

MADISON, N.J. 08-13-2013

According to a new survey of more than 2,000 Americans conducted by Coldwell Banker Real Estate and leading psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig, Americans don’t see eye to eye about the appropriate amount of time for adults to live with parents after college. The survey found that Americans ages 55 and older think it is acceptable for adults to live at home with their parents for as long as three years, while those ages 18 to 34 feel it is acceptable for adults to live at home with their parents for as long as five years.

Parents Not Ready to Let Go?
Parents as a whole, and particularly those who are younger, may be driving the trend of adults living at home for a longer period of time. According to the survey, millennial parents (ages 18 to 34) are fine with grown children living at home for up to six years after college, while older parents (ages 55 and older) believe they should be out of the house within four years of finishing college.

“In terms of transitioning into independent adulthood, it’s almost as if 27 is the new 18,” said Dr. Ludwig, who also serves as lifestyle correspondent for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “Living at home can be a great opportunity for young adults who need some time to get on their feet, but it’s only beneficial if the time is used wisely. Our twenties are a very crucial time because the decisions we make and the lessons we learn then influence who we become as adults.”

The Two Extremes of Boomerang Kids
Dr. Ludwig explains there are two extremes when analyzing the behaviors of adult children living at home: those who regress, delaying their development into independent adults, and those who are able to continue their transition into full adulthood by living at home with a purpose.

In either case, the acceptance of adults living at home has its limits. According to the survey, more than two in three Americans (70 percent) believe that too many adults living at home with their parents are avoiding responsibility, and nearly an equal proportion (65 percent) believe too many young adults who live at home after finishing college are overstaying their welcome.

Additional Survey Findings
•    It’s not for everybody: While Americans are largely accepting of this living arrangement, the survey revealed that nearly one in seven Americans (13 percent) believe adults should never live at home with their parents.
•    Living at home affects mom and dad: More than half of Americans (57 percent) believe that when children return home after graduating from college, it prevents their parents from moving on with their lives.
•    Living at home with a purpose: Four in five Americans (80 percent) believe that it’s okay for adult children to live at home if they are saving money to buy their own home.

Advice for Parents
When children return to the nest, Dr. Ludwig recommends parents establish and enforce expectations that will help their adult children thrive.

•    Give adult children responsibility: 92 percent of Americans agree that adult children who live at home with their parents should do their own chores.
•    Don’t let them live free of charge: 82 percent of Americans feel that adult children living at home should pay rent.
•    Set a target end date: Close to two in three (65 percent) Americans agree that adult children who live with their parents should move out as soon as they find a job.

“The economy may be a reason to move home temporarily, but you can’t let the state of the economy get in the way of living your life,” said Dr. Ludwig. “The key to deciding if this living situation is right for parents, children and families is figuring out whether or not it will help the child develop and thrive. Adult children and their parents should use the time at home to move forward and grow, rather than regress and risk becoming perma-children or perma-parents.”

How Times are Changing
However long they stay at home, boomerang kids are changing the traditional lifestyle milestones for buying and selling homes – impacting themselves as first-time homebuyers and their downsizing parents alike.  

“A generation or two ago, young adults would traditionally graduate from college, rent for a time and then buy their first home. Their parents would eventually downsize, and it was less acceptable for young adults to move home,” said Budge Huskey, president and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “As a real estate brand, we wanted to better understand the behaviors of the younger generation, particularly boomerang kids, and how their lifestyle choices were influencing the way consumers view homeownership.”

The complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, is available here. A video summary of the findings, and the feelings of a family with a recent college graduate living at home, is viewable on the Coldwell Banker YouTube Channel, On Location.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CooperKatz from June 13-17, 2013 among 2,021 U.S. adult adults ages 18 and older, among whom 888 are parents, 467 are parents of children less than 18 years old and 494 are parents of children 18 years of age or older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables.

About Coldwell Banker®
Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier provider of full-service residential and commercial real estate. Coldwell Banker® is the oldest national real estate brand in the United States and today has a network of more than 82,000 sales agents working in approximately 3,100 offices in 51 countries and territories. The Coldwell Banker brand is known for creating innovative consumer services as recently seen by being the first national real estate brand to create an iPad application and the first to fully harness the power of video in real estate listings, news and information through its Coldwell Banker On LocationSM YouTube channel.  The Coldwell Banker system is a leader in specialty markets such as resort, new homes and luxury properties through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® marketing program. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.  Each office is independently owned and operated. Coldwell Banker is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. 

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