What’s Infiltrating Dewey Beach, DE Real Estate?
Readwrite.com is an engaging online publication that examines all sorts of brain-teasing futuristic innovations. They write about everything from Facebook (“started as a place to meet people at your college…then the place to meet the people you used to know at college…now it’s not quite clear what it’s for…”) to mapping Mars in 3D.
One of their beats is the future of real estate. So their recent examination of the “Internet of Things,” How IoT is Infiltrating the Real Estate Market, looked to offer a wary examination of IoT—“The Internet of Things”—as a subversive disrupter of the way traditional Dewey Beach, DE real estate business is conducted.
The Internet of Things is the technology that enables a galaxy of devices to connect to the web to perform “smart” functions in a coordinated manner. Readwrite’s piece described how IoT is “popping up everywhere”—seeping its way into many diverse industries. It explored four key areas where IoT inroads are “having a profound impact on real estate”:
· Energy efficiency. “Smart” lighting, for instance, adjusts lighting to respond to changing conditions, and WiFi-enabled water heaters allow owners to control times of day when hot water will be needed—and when not. Similarly, plumbing sensors can be installed to measure temperature changes to determine usage patterns.
· Maintenance costs. IoT monitors can track usage and sense irregularities in equipment performance—then send automatic alerts when maintenance is indicated.
· Decision-making. In this arena, all of a given Dewey Beach, DE property’s IoT systems can be coordinated to analyze a home’s condition and prospects for the future. It will provide owners, Realtors®, and house hunters with “all the information they need” to compare home evaluations.
· Beacon tech. This technology uses Bluetooth devices placed throughout a home capable of transmitting information (everything from square footage to 360-degree virtual tours) via the Internet. Potential homebuyers whose phones come within Bluetooth range could link to begin viewing a property “before the Realtor arrives to begin a showing.”
The last two examples are interesting and potentially valuable, but since nothing can replace the experience of an in-the-flesh walkthrough accompanied by your own real estate agent, the arrival of such “infiltrations” should be only mildly disruptive.
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
Are Huge Changes Sweeping the U.S. Housing Market?
The National Association of Realtors® is a sunny organization whose pronouncements can be relied upon to promote (you guessed it) real estate. Like any gigantic organization (we have more than a million dues-paying members), the NAR tends to be cautious in its public pronouncements. But in last Wednesday’s article about the course of residential real estate in 2020, Lewes, DE readers would have found the kind of sweeping statement that makes people think twice. “Is that really so?” “If that’s true, what then?”
The statement was this: the decade just past “has been the most consequential stretch in American real estate history…one that fundamentally altered the landscape.”
Quite a pronouncement.
There followed a quick summary of the decade just past, making a convincing case that so much has changed that it might as well be part of “a different landscape.” Ten years ago, “many homeowners were desperately hoping to hang onto their homes” and, “buyers were struggling with newly skittish lenders.” The turnaround in those crucial elements is undeniable, yes, but reversals in conditions happen regularly. What makes this decade’s about-face “the most consequential” ever?
Their answer boils down to the scope of the recovery combined with a dearth of entry-level housing starts. The recovery has meant a sustained, robust rebound in existing house values, but unaccompanied by the resurgence of entry-level builders who were stricken from the scene. Even as price rises are finally leveling out, the starter house inventory remains strikingly sparse.
This is happening as major demographic changes take place. Baby boomers and GenXers aren’t deciding to exit their homes in numbers that match previous generations—at precisely the moment that millennials are stepping up to become the most active group in the housing market…and there are 71 million of them!
According to the author, what it all adds up to is, among other things, a lot of competition for housing by young families deciding to have kids. This raft of buyers is resulting in a new reality. Among possible outcomes: high prices in coastal metros could see an increase in buyers’ willingness to settle down in less pricey environs.
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
Five Essential Practices for Bethany Beach, DE Fireplaces
If your Bethany Beach, DE house has a working fireplace, but you’re less than adept at the fine points of dealing with it, there are a few basics that veteran fire builders observe without fail. Especially if you like to keep the household temperature on the crisp side, there’s nothing like a crackling fire to take the chill out of the air without overheating the place. Here are five valuable pointers:
1. Have the chimney inspected. The National Fire Protection Association recommends a yearly check-over by a licensed Bethany Beach, DE inspector. For sure, if yours gets frequent use, that’s appropriate. If a sweep is called for, hold off on that first fire of the year until it’s completed.
2. Gather your wood. Dense hardwood (oak, hard (sugar) maple and birch) logs burn at a temperature that produces coals that radiate heat for a long time. Pine, tamarack, spruce, or cedar are softer woods that burn hotter—but for a shorter time. They are especially handy for kindling when you’re getting the fire started. There are conflicting opinions about whether softwoods result in greater creosote buildup in the chimney, but no controversy about the value of “seasoning.” Seasoned wood (aged for at least six months) makes for less smoke—and less soot and creosote.
3. Build your fire. One way is to wad up newspaper below the grate, crisscrossing narrow, finely split wood (or commercially available fatwood) on the grate, then three smallish seasoned logs on top.
4. Prime the flue. Prevent smoke backup by preheating the cold chimney a bit. Light a tightly rolled sheet of newspaper and wave it gently under the damper. In a minute, the flame will generate enough heat to draw the smoke up and out. Now you’re ready to light the wad of newspaper beneath the grate.
5. Keep it going. Fire is stoked by air movement, so keep things going by creative structuring of the gaps between logs. The narrower the gap, the greater the air velocity that feeds the flame.
- Written by Jimmie Bachand