Living Houston Archive

  • July 16 is Prime Day, and this year’s deals feature double discounts on Alexa-enabled smart home devices, including Echo, Fire TV and Fire tablets, Amazon reports. As the marketplace giant gets more and more involved in the lives of homeowners, could consumers start to see offshoots into other home-related services? Amazon-run home insurance could be the company’s next endeavor, according to The Information, a technology website. Although Amazon has not yet provided concrete evidence for insurance plans, it would make sense due to the company’s most recent partnerships. From plans to create a line of robots to be used as […]

    Is Amazon Embarking on Home Insurance?

    July 16 is Prime Day, and this year’s deals feature double discounts on Alexa-enabled smart home devices, including Echo, Fire TV and Fire tablets, Amazon reports. As the marketplace giant gets more and more involved in the lives of homeowners, could consumers start to see offshoots into other home-related services? Amazon-run home insurance could be the company’s next endeavor, according to The Information, a technology website. Although Amazon has not yet provided concrete evidence for insurance plans, it would make sense due to the company’s most recent partnerships. From plans to create a line of robots to be used as […]

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  • Home stager: Libby Paulson with Preferred Staging The home: Paulson staged this remodeled, single-family country estate in Gaithersburg, Md., which featured cathedral ceilings, a two-story stone fireplace, gourmet kitchen, formal living and dining room, two staircases, and a walkout basement with full kitchen and bath. The home is listed at $709,500. Photo credit: Libby Paulson, Preferred Staging Photo credit: Libby Paulson, Preferred Staging Photo credit: Libby Paulson, Preferred Staging Photo credit: Libby Paulson, Preferred Staging Photo credit: Libby Paulson, Preferred Staging Photo credit: Libby Paulson, Preferred Staging Paulson’s tips: 1. Greenery is a Must:Greenery is considered natures neutral. It provides […]

    Staged to Sell: A Country Estate in Gaithersburg, Md.

    Home stager: Libby Paulson with Preferred Staging The home: Paulson staged this remodeled, single-family country estate in Gaithersburg, Md., which featured cathedral ceilings, a two-story stone fireplace, gourmet kitchen, formal living and dining room, two staircases, and a walkout basement with full kitchen and bath. The home is listed at $709,500. Photo credit: Libby Paulson, Preferred Staging Photo credit: Libby Paulson, Preferred Staging Photo credit: Libby Paulson, Preferred Staging Photo credit: Libby Paulson, Preferred Staging Photo credit: Libby Paulson, Preferred Staging Photo credit: Libby Paulson, Preferred Staging Paulson’s tips: 1. Greenery is a Must:Greenery is considered natures neutral. It provides […]

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  • Traditional lenders are transforming, adopting cutting-edge technology to stand apart from competitors and introduce an added level of security to financing. From AI-run algorithms to smart contracts, obtaining a mortgage could soon be a vastly different process than buyers experienced just 10 years ago. Industry disruptors, however, are looking to shift from the traditional model completely, threatening to take over the role typically performed by bank intermediaries, which buyers are accustomed to. One new business claims it is the first company to apply blockchain to mortgages. Block66 is a blockchain-based marketplace for lenders, from which they can access vetted buyers […]

    Blockchain Lending: Reduced Fraud or Increased Risk?

    Traditional lenders are transforming, adopting cutting-edge technology to stand apart from competitors and introduce an added level of security to financing. From AI-run algorithms to smart contracts, obtaining a mortgage could soon be a vastly different process than buyers experienced just 10 years ago. Industry disruptors, however, are looking to shift from the traditional model completely, threatening to take over the role typically performed by bank intermediaries, which buyers are accustomed to. One new business claims it is the first company to apply blockchain to mortgages. Block66 is a blockchain-based marketplace for lenders, from which they can access vetted buyers […]

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  • Glitches of early iterations aside, AI-based technology has come a long way, and has an increasingly active presence in the lives of homeowners who are looking for convenience and savings in a pushed-for-time era. From adaptive thermostats that automatically gauge energy usage and alter temperatures for optimal savings, to smart home speakers that use sophisticated artificial intelligence to provide services and information in real-time, a smart homeowner can now cross off a variety of menial tasks from their daily to-do list without doing more than speaking a phrase out loud or clicking a button on their mobile device. What is […]

    Smart Homes: The Way of the Future or a Risk to Homeowners?

    Glitches of early iterations aside, AI-based technology has come a long way, and has an increasingly active presence in the lives of homeowners who are looking for convenience and savings in a pushed-for-time era. From adaptive thermostats that automatically gauge energy usage and alter temperatures for optimal savings, to smart home speakers that use sophisticated artificial intelligence to provide services and information in real-time, a smart homeowner can now cross off a variety of menial tasks from their daily to-do list without doing more than speaking a phrase out loud or clicking a button on their mobile device. What is […]

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  • You may have decided to get into real estate so you could be your own boss, set up your own working hours and make a lot of money. So, how’s that working for you? The challenge with entrepreneurship is being laser-focused on dollar-productive activities. When you first get into the business, you need to learn the skills, implement systems, install new programs, deploy various platforms, study scripts, market and process transactions. That’s a full-time job, and you haven’t even begun to work with buyers and sellers. But here’s where most agents fail: They get too busy working in the business […]

    Why You Really Don’t Have Enough Time

    You may have decided to get into real estate so you could be your own boss, set up your own working hours and make a lot of money. So, how’s that working for you? The challenge with entrepreneurship is being laser-focused on dollar-productive activities. When you first get into the business, you need to learn the skills, implement systems, install new programs, deploy various platforms, study scripts, market and process transactions. That’s a full-time job, and you haven’t even begun to work with buyers and sellers. But here’s where most agents fail: They get too busy working in the business […]

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  • As the selling season continues to pick up, many agents find themselves busy and struggling to fit everything into their days. Although they’re grateful for the business, they worry that other important people and tasks are falling through the cracks. As a result, they may work long days in an effort to squeeze it all in and boost productivity, only to find themselves tired, frustrated and less productive. Here are some best practices for bringing calm to the chaos in your business… PrioritizeWhen you have your priorities in place, you know where to spend your time. What are your priorities? […]

    Bring Calm to the Chaos in Your Business

    As the selling season continues to pick up, many agents find themselves busy and struggling to fit everything into their days. Although they’re grateful for the business, they worry that other important people and tasks are falling through the cracks. As a result, they may work long days in an effort to squeeze it all in and boost productivity, only to find themselves tired, frustrated and less productive. Here are some best practices for bringing calm to the chaos in your business… PrioritizeWhen you have your priorities in place, you know where to spend your time. What are your priorities? […]

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  • Home stagers: Amy Burke & Katie Miedler, real estate pros and owners of Ambiance Decorators LLC The home: A single-family home located in Upper Montclair in Essex County, N.J. The home was staged by Amy and Katie, and sold for 107 percent of the asking price at $1,073,575. Amy and Katie sought to stage the home with a “fresh, updated, classic, and timeless” look. BEFORE AFTER Photo credit: Amy Burke & Katie Miedler, Ambiance Decorators LLC Stagers’ tips: Curtains: Sheer curtains are great for softening windows and letting the light in. They do not compete with the design and are […]

    Staged to Sell: This Staged Home Sold for 107% Above Asking Price

    Home stagers: Amy Burke & Katie Miedler, real estate pros and owners of Ambiance Decorators LLC The home: A single-family home located in Upper Montclair in Essex County, N.J. The home was staged by Amy and Katie, and sold for 107 percent of the asking price at $1,073,575. Amy and Katie sought to stage the home with a “fresh, updated, classic, and timeless” look. BEFORE AFTER Photo credit: Amy Burke & Katie Miedler, Ambiance Decorators LLC Stagers’ tips: Curtains: Sheer curtains are great for softening windows and letting the light in. They do not compete with the design and are […]

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  • Baby boomers are on the cusp of retirement, but the ability to afford their desired lifestyle is at odds with their preferences, according to a recent report by The NHP Foundation (NHPF), an affordable housing nonprofit. Of the boomers surveyed for the report, 85 percent want to be in the home they have now in retirement, but, of those, 76 percent have no budget for retirement, or anticipate half of their income will be Social Security—not enough to sustain, according to The NHPF. Despite the disconnect, 83 percent are confident their current home will be their home in retirement; just […]

    At Home in Retirement: Boomers Facing a Hard Truth

    Baby boomers are on the cusp of retirement, but the ability to afford their desired lifestyle is at odds with their preferences, according to a recent report by The NHP Foundation (NHPF), an affordable housing nonprofit. Of the boomers surveyed for the report, 85 percent want to be in the home they have now in retirement, but, of those, 76 percent have no budget for retirement, or anticipate half of their income will be Social Security—not enough to sustain, according to The NHPF. Despite the disconnect, 83 percent are confident their current home will be their home in retirement; just […]

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