Archives For July 2013

In housing markets where distressed properties and lingering foreclosures are more common, all-cash deals are growing increasingly prevalent. Metropolitan areas like Atlanta––which boasts one of the highest foreclosure rates––have become attractive to private equity firms and investors looking to make a purchase before home prices begin to rise.

“The U.S. housing market is slowly but surely moving toward a more normalized and sustainable pattern after a flurry of institutional and cash buyers flocked to residential real estate last year, pushing up prices and picking clean the best inventory available in many areas,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “To compete in a market like New York, cash is king.”

According to Realty Trac, the top 10 cities where cash rules are:

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This article can be found in its original form on CNNMoney.

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3652 20th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

Located in San Francisco’s vibrant Mission District, just blocks from Mission Delores Park, this condo is “the perfect combination of period charm and contemporary comfort.”

Remodeled and converted into condos in 2006, the top floor unit of this colorful Edwardian includes 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a gourmet kitchen, Viking appliances, hardwood floors, and a Jacuzzi tub in the master suite. Ancillary features include access to the shared garden, extra storage, parking garage, and––best of all––an exclusive-use deck with incredible city views.

The 1,580 square foot property is listed by Peter Goss with Zephyr Real Estate and is on the market for $1,289,000.

This property post can be found in its original form by clicking here, or view complete gallery below.

Searching for a new place to call home can be overwhelming––no secret there. When working with traditional buyers, I use a simple but effective tool to help identify what they really want in a new home: I call it a “Must-have” and “Like-to-have” list. Must-haves should be considered deal breakers, as in “don’t show me houses that do not possess these characteristics,” while Like-to-haves should be considered frosting on the cake. For example, if your buyer has a 100-lb Great Dane, chances are a back yard and a dog park in the neighborhood are must-have status. Having a clear, identifiable list of items up front is mission critical for several reasons:

  • Opens communication: A clear identifiable list keeps all parties on the same page.

  • Maximizes time and minimizes frustration: The list eliminates guesswork and enables me to locate and show the properties that fit my client’s exact needs. A win all around.

  • Reduces tension: Countless arguments have taken place between couples in my car while showing homes. Having this list of items up front keeps this to a minimum. A more peaceful scenario for everyone.

Working with a new client? Helping them nail down a “Must-have” and “Like-to-have” list, will make for a more rewarding experience for everyone.

Robyn Woodman is the head of Househappy Business Development and will be a regular blog Contributor. For more information about Robyn and her experience as a real estate broker, click here

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First Presbyterian Church, Redmond, Oregon

While small, newly built alternative living spaces are growing in popularity, let’s not forget about recycling. Converting buildings not intended for residential use into homes is a great way to recycle and preserve history at the same time. In the past few years converted churches have become a sought-after real estate commodity. Here’s why they make great homes:

  • Awe-inspiring scale: The structure of a church offers a living space that is a different scale–bigger, taller–than regular houses.

  • Open floor plan: The open floor plan and expansive vertical space allow many living options; a bright, open kitchen that flows seamlessly into a dining room, or a lofted bedroom above a spacious work studio.

  • Historical significance: The architectural style of a church is representative of a historical moment and culture of a town. By converting a church into a home, you are preserving history, while living in a beautiful, unique space.

  • Design opportunity: The renovation process provides adventurous homeowners with endless design possibilities.

Inspired? Check out this $459,000 church for sale on Househappy: The First Presbyterian Church of Redmond was built in 1912 and is the oldest standing church structure in Redmond, OR. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 for its Gothic Revival architectural style, which features asymmetrical design and pointed arches. This post can be found in its original form by clicking here

Intrigued? Check out these photos of beautifully renovated churches.

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3030 Quarry Mountain Road, Park City, UT 84098, USA

Located on 4.02 acres of horse property in Quarry Mountain Ranch––one of Park City, Utah’s most sought after gated communities––this incredible 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom home is the Househappy Property of the Week.

Listed by Bronson Calder with Prudential Utah Real Estate for $3,200,000, the 5,570 square foot luxury home includes custom stone and woodwork throughout, an award-winning kitchen, and exquisite outdoor spaces complete with breathtaking views.

This property post can be found in its original form by clicking here, or view complete gallery below.

Announcing Contributors––the newest segment of the Househappy blog!

Contributors will feature guest posts from industry experts on topics ranging from current market conditions to finance, mortgages, technology, brokerages, and other real estate perspectives.

Today, we are excited to introduce our first Contributor, Robyn Woodman––real estate broker turned head of Househappy Business Development. We sat down with Robyn for a brief Q&A to get to know her background, her thoughts on the industry, and what she will bring to the Househappy blog.

First things first, tell us a little about yourself.

I was first licensed as a broker in Washington State in 2006 and owned my own brokerage in Seattle. I worked mostly with investors but also did the occasional transaction for friends and family who wanted to buy a home. Before Househappy, I never felt like there was an existing real estate platform that met both my and my clients’ needs when it came to searching for or posting property for sale online. When I saw early versions of Housheappy for the first time, I fell in love with the concept; So much so that I eventually closed my brokerage and moved to Portland to work with Househappy full time.

What do you do at Househappy?

I head up Business Development. Specifically, I interface with real estate brokers in person and online, educating them about the platform and showing them how to leverage Househappy to increase their real estate business. My experience as a broker has been invaluable in understanding what brokers and their clients want and need from this new platform.

What role do you think technology will play in real estate in the next 5 years?

I think that home buyers will continue to rely heavily on mobile platforms to search for their homes and investment properties. I believe that the most successful technology platforms in real estate will be visual, simple in design, and tailor the information to the individual, creating a more relevant experience. Rather than filling space with charts and graphs that overwhelm, connecting buyers to things that are important to them––the neighborhood they live in, the park down the street, and their closest favorite grocery store.

What topics will you focus on as a Househappy Contributor?

My posts will be aimed primarily at brokers. I want to engage our community in discussions pertaining to the real estate industry, tips and advice from my own experiences as a broker, as well as some advice for buyers on how to improve their property search experience.

Lastly, tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.

Right after graduate school, I sold most of my possessions and traveled for 6 months: Europe, the East Coast of the U.S. and parts of Central America. I finished my trip in Belize and actually ended up moving there for a year––a great experience.

6 The cabins of Dunton Hot Springs, an abandoned mining town and natural hot springs turned luxury resort in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado

Dunton Hot Springs, San Juan Mountains, Colorado – Photo courtesy of Cabin Porn

From food to houses, the word “porn” has gradually shed its taboo meaning to become ubiquitous with visual stimulation of any kind. And with the rise of photo-centric sites like Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram, and now Househappy, never before has it been easier to get one’s fix of drool-worthy images.

Similarly, the beautifully curated Tumblr, Cabin Porn, has become the go-to blog for anyone with the urge to just get away. With over 100 pages of user-submitted photos featuring cabins of all types in their idyllic surroundings, Cabin Porn is a celebration of minimalism, simplicity, and––above all––beautiful photography.

“I use this Tumblr to keep track of architecture and furniture that keeps me daydreaming about the farm I will build someday,” wrote editor Zach Klein in a 2010 blog post. Klein (who is also the CEO of DIY and co-founder of Vimeo) fulfilled his goal later that year, purchasing land in Upstate New York and dubbing it “Beaver Brook.”

Billed as, “Inspiration for your quiet place somewhere,” it seems Klein hopes his blog will encourage others to at least dream of doing the same. If nothing else, Cabin Porn is an escapist’s paradise and the perfect offering for the Thoreau in all of us.

Visit the Cabin Porn Tumblr by clicking here, or check out some of our favorite submissions in the slideshow below.

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