The BYTE [11/13]


Welcome to the BYTE, where we serve up the latest home and tech news from the last week for you to sink your teeth into.

This week we’re taking a BYTE out of housing 10 years later, the different important buying factors, Facebook, Lowes consultants, and new products. Dig in! 


Some Anniversaries You Don’t Celebrate…
It’s been 10 years since the housing crash, so took a look at where we are now. Turns out we’re doing much better.

It’s All In The Details
Housing prices are rising and inventory is down, but today we have much more significant job growth and household growth fueling these things as opposed to subprime and low-documentation mortgages from 10 years ago. So where are we now? Home prices have increased 63% in Austin and 54% in Denver (the two highest). L.A. is now the least affordable housing market. The mortgage scene has been reshaped with regulations, so now the average FICO score is 734 vs 700 in 2006. House flipping is only 5% of sales now vs 8.6% in 2006 where some cities were at 20% of sales. All in all we are doing better and have a healthy market of want-to-be home buyers!

Why Buy Homes?

Everyone Is A Little Different
Redfin took a look at the differences in what was important for different home buying groups. A few highlights: being close to a good school is 6.6% more important to women than men.  The age of the property is 5.9% more important to parents than non-parents. An inclusion of appliances is 13.6% more important to iPhone users than Android users. Neighborhood appearance is 7.1% more important to dog people than cat people. Having a modern kitchen is 5.7% more important to Marvel fans than DC fans.

Take Notes

Last week Facebook announced that it is going to start taking on Craigslist and allow users to search for home rentals in the site/app. Their housing section is said to include “hundreds of thousands of rentals” and will be 360 degree photo friendly for landlords to entice buyers. With Facebook continuing to attack other services it will interesting to see where, or if, they will stop.

Smart Lowes
Lowes is trying to hop on the smart home train and adding mini stores within their big stores to train consumers on how to build, use, and interact with smart homes. Their mini store, Smart Home powered by b8ta, will offer hands on customer support and help those who are interested in having the smart home, truly build the one they want. There will soon be 70 of these stores nationwide.

That’s A Useful Wall
Smart people and companies everywhere are creating really useful smart devices or new takes on old products. For example, a wallpaper that is actually a solar panel but has a nice zig-zag pattern to help your wall do more than just hold your house up. Then, you have this amazing block of wood, which is actually a smart home control that allows you to change the temp, turn on lights, and much more and look good doing it.

Totally Unrelated

Lava Me Alone
In case you ever wondered how durable a GoPro is, why not throw it in a flow of lava? In case you’re curious, it still worked afterwards.

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