Mood Ring House: Would You Wear Your Emotion on Your Home?

By Susanne Dwyer

Mood_Ring_House_2

Mood rings change color as our finger temperature fluctuates—this house changes color with the tap of a finger.

Behold the Mood Ring House, a rainbow spectacle outfitted with LED lamps that reflect the owner’s disposition at night. The single-family home, located in Fayetteville, Ark., was conceived by SILO AR+D as an “exploration of how architecture can have different day and night presences with distinct experiential and spatial qualities.”

ArchDaily reports:

“At night, illuminated soffits construct volumes out of projecting colored light from concealed energy efficient LED fixtures. Colors are derived from the temperament of the house and directly by the owners’ desire.”

Economical at $80 per square foot, the T-shaped house was designed to minimize costs and environmental impact, with work space assigned to the compact ground floor and living spaces spread across the second level. The house derives natural light from a north-facing shed roof, and boasts southern and western views of the surrounding forest and mountains.

The Mood Ring House is not the only color-changer on the block—neighbors are purported to have installed colored LED fixtures on their homes when construction of the house ended. (That’ll make an appraiser’s task much easier.)

The house also calls to mind another multicolored home in California, painted with a mica-laced shade that shifts with the sun.

Would you wear your emotion on your house? Something tells us the mood ring movement has only just begun.

Credits: Dwell, SILO AR+D

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for top real estate tips and trends.

From: Consumer News and Advice

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Top-Notch Service Leads to Top Production

By Susanne Dwyer

July 8, 2015, Atlanta, GA. Colette & Associates. Photo by Michael A. Schwarz

In the following interview, Collette McDonald of RE/MAX Around Atlanta Realty discusses the various ingredients that lead to being a top producer in real estate.

Years in real estate: 15
Region served: Atlanta, Ga.
Average market time: Less than two weeks

RE/MAX Regional Services has honored you and your team as top producers by selecting you as one of the first members of the company’s Titan Club. What is the key to your success?
We try very hard to give the very best client service possible. We understand that what we do, helping people find and buy homes, affects them and the quality of their lives. It is awesome, and it is also a huge responsibility that we do not take lightly.

What does your team do that sets you apart from the competition?
We use video for everything. For instance, for every listing, we do a full video walk-through presentation of the house. I am the only agent in the market who makes such videos, and they are tailor-made for social media. Each one is a 7 – 10 minute tour of the house, room by room. When a buyer clicks on the listing online, the video gives us unfiltered access to that buyer. In turn, it lets the buyer see the house room-by-room with my video explanations, so that buyer is able to establish right then and there if they would like to see it in-person. It saves time, because I don’t have to disrupt the seller if the buyer doesn’t happen to like the way the rooms are laid out. The seller has a beautiful video to keep forever, and the videos are invaluable for all phases of the transaction.

I also do video emails. When a buyer calls on a listing, I reply by sending them a video email introducing myself. I include links to everything the buyer might need, such as where and how to get pre-approved, a link to the walk-through video, and perhaps another link to transportation and schools in the area. And for sellers, what my team has to offer is three-fold: We almost always get the highest price possible, with the least amount of time on market and the fewest hassles.

What about education and training?
I am a firm believer in education. I use a trainer from out of the area, which connects me with the best brokers and agents nationally. I got the idea to do the video walk-throughs from an agent I admired in Washington, D.C. And my coach—from Harris Real Estate University—is by my side every step of the way, helping me take whatever I do to the next level.

How do you motivate your team?
A lot of the motivation happens through doing—what I say, I will do. I touch base with everybody once a week and give them focused goals. And perhaps a great deal of it comes from the fact that not only am I a strong leader, I’m also positive.

You have also been recognized as a leader in earning top commissions. What does it take?
When I sit down at a listing presentation, I let sellers know that they can shop at Walmart or Nordstrom. I know that they have a choice. And I let them know that while they will pay a top commission price with me, they will also get Nordstrom- or Saks-type service, and they will get the best possible price for their house.

For more information, visit www.collettemcdonald.com.

From: Home Spun Wisdom

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

How to Prepare Your Home to Save on Utility Bills this Summer

Summer is right around the corner! When the temperatures heat up, you may notice that your utility bills slowly begin to increase as well. But don’t worry, there’s still time to prepare your home to save on utility bills this summer. Start with these simple tips: Install a programmable thermostat. Newer thermostat models allow you […]

From: Home Spun Wisdom

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hide from Competitors

A real estate agent recently asked whether he should do anything about his competitors following his Facebook business page. He thought it could be prudent to ban or remove them. I understood the reasoning of the question; a competitor might steal his great marketing ideas. But as I thought it through, I honestly couldn’t come up […]

From: Home Spun Wisdom

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

10 Ways to Overcome Negative Vibes among Your Staff

(TNS)—Every manager has to deal with a certain amount of pessimistic, hostile or uncooperative behavior. But a hard-core negative attitude that starts with just one employee can quickly infect an entire department (or a whole company) if the manager doesn’t rein it in quickly. Here are 10 tips for confronting employees whose negative behavior has […]

From: Home Spun Wisdom

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Student Debt: How It Impacts Housing

By Beth McGuire

Having student loan debt doesn’t deny your approval for a mortgage loan right off the bat, but it can definitely be one of the factors that can make or break your application.

According to The Wall Street Journal, out of almost 46,000 first-time home buyers seeking a mortgage loan, nearly 75 percent were approved. Of those approved, 27.3 percent had student debt, whereas of those denied, 26 percent had student debt. Just having student loans won’t kick you out of the ballpark though; it has more to do with the size of one’s debt and his or her income. According to Forbes, if a homebuyer pays only 3 percent of their income toward their student loan debt, then they can most likely have the money to afford a mortgage. If they are paying 43 percent of their income, though, they are at a higher risk of being denied.

Although this may seem like good news, don’t forget that in 2012 the median annual earnings for young adults with a bachelor’s degree was $46,900, $30,000 for those with a high school degree or credential, and just $22,900 for those who had not completed high school.

Compare this to the average for student loan debt, which can be as high as $59,600 per year for grad school. Four years of grad school could amount to almost a quarter of a million dollars in student loan debt, and with just $46,900 of income yearly. . .it’s needless to say the student loan forgiveness plan is starting to look better and better.

$114 Billion in Student Loans

For some young adults, being denied loan after loan isn’t necessarily the only thing keeping them from buying a home, nor is it the cost of homeowners insurance. More and more young adults and millennials are waiting until they’re well into their 30s to start home shopping, and even then, many more are waiting until they have all that loan debt paid off. A study by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies reported that for millennials between the ages of 25 and 34, homeownership decreased by 8 percent between 2004 and 2013. The study also cited that student loans and falling incomes were pushing more and more young adults to be living with their parents. In 2013, about 2.1 million young adults in their 20s were living with their parents just as student loan balances had increased by $114 billion.

It should be no surprise that among all of this, the rental market has really grown strong. Demand is really high, construction is healthy, rents are rising and property values are really beginning to see increase even by the double digits. Of course, this means that when the time comes to shift over from renting to buying, these millennials will be at the heart of the housing recovery we’ve been searching for since the recession.

If Loans Are Smoke, Debt Is Fire

On the other hand, it isn’t just student loan debt that is stopping many young adults from buying. The same Harvard report showed that housing affordability is also playing a huge part of the slowed housing and real estate market. Most Americans spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Along with this, people are getting married later in life, which, too, has slowed down the market.

Recently, there has been a change that should help millennials get into homes quicker. Many industry experts have suggested that lenders make a switch from focusing on credit scores and income data to using a new approval system that will take student loan debt into account. Whether or not lenders will begin to use this new approval system is yet to be seen. However, student loan debt won’t be going away any time soon, especially as higher education costs are on the rise. At this time, the hope is that as these millennials begin to get their feet back under them and make the switch from renting to buying, the housing market will see its first strong pick-me-up.

But whether the cycle will repeat itself, only time can tell.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for top real estate tips and trends.

From: Consumer News and Advice

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

6 Quick Bathroom Cleaning Tips

Keeping your bathroom sanitary doesn’t have to be a chore. With the right cleaning techniques, you can enjoy a sparkling bathroom without spending all day cleaning. Here are six cleaning tips for a fresh bathroom: 1. Shine your mirror Your bathroom mirror can get pretty grimy. Thankfully, it’s easy to restore it to its former […]

From: Home Spun Wisdom

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893