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Things seem to be getting smarter and smarter these days. From smartphones to smart pressure cookers, anything that can be built with a brain or an internet connection seems to be being bulked up. Some items that are getting brains don’t necessarily make a lot of sense (smart toothbrushes?), and others seem like they should have gotten smarter sooner.  Smart cameras are a perfect example of the latter. They’re a good balance between smart and sexy, and they will keep your smart home safer.


Getting to Know Smart Cameras 


A smart camera is different from a regular home security camera in that one camera can integrate with lots of sensors in your home and actually learn your behavior. So, if you normally disarm the alarm at 8:00 am and rearm it at 4:00 pm, that camera will begin to build that information into its profile of your household.


This way, when someone comes in at 8:00 pm and tries to disarm the alarm, even if they’re successful, the camera will be on alert for more clues about who this person is and if they belong in your home. You’ll be notified through an app in your phone that someone is lurking about. Some smart cameras, like the Nest Cam IQ are even able to learn faces and distinguish friends you designate from strangers. When a stranger appears in this camera’s sight, it notifies you right away. If it’s simply a friend stopping by to see if you’re home, you can ask the Nest IQ to essentially ignore their activity.




Benefits of Modern Smart Security Cameras 



Security cameras have been in homes for decades now, but today’s security cameras bear very little resemblance to their ancestors. Although they share functionality, that’s about all they have in common today. Here are a few things to keep in mind about modern smart cameras: 


They’re tiny, with great big brains. As mentioned above, some smart cameras learn patterns of behavior, others go further and learn faces and names. All of this is made possible by modern computing and it’s stuffed into a tiny little package that’s hardly noticeable.


Minimal wiring is required. Old school security cameras required you to run new wiring from them to the television and recording device you were utilizing. Assuming the place you’re stashing the camera already has power, that’s still a lot of extra cabling to deal with. Smart cameras connect to your devices using WiFi, though they may need a wire for power.


Monitoring is DIY. Gone are the days of paying a company to do your monitoring or having way too much space in your house devoted to self-monitoring of those big ancient cameras. Now, you can monitor your camera in real time, no matter where you are. It’s a snap to just drop in and see how things are going in your vacation home or review videos from last night to see if your kids threw a house party while you were away.


Video storage is in The Cloud. The one drawback to smart cameras is that you will have to pay for storage for your recordings if you want to keep them. Most companies offer packages by time spans that range from about 24 hours to weeks and weeks. You can download your videos, but what you don’t download will disappear after the length of your storage subscription.


 Smart cameras are really one of the best things since sliced bread. They can keep your home and family safe, even when you’re far away.


 






The 9 Step System To Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar 


Buyers are far more discriminating now than in the past, and a large percentage of the homes listed for sale never sell. It's more critical than ever to learn what you need to know to avoid costly seller mistakes in order to sell your home fast and for the most amount of money.    More...





 




 



 


 


 


  


It’s a common misconception that you shouldn’t try to buy or sell a home during the fall and winter months.


This is generally considered the “off-season” in real estate. Many sellers mistakenly believe that the cold weather will keep buyers away and that no one is looking over the holidays. Unfortunately, many real estate professionals perpetuate this myth by advising their clients to “wait until the spring” to list their home.


The truth is, homes are bought and sold year round. And while the market is typically quieter during the fall and winter, savvy buyers and sellers know how to use this slow down to their advantage. In fact, depending on your circumstances, now may be the ideal time for you to purchase or list a home.


If you’re in the market to buy or sell, there’s no need to wait for the spring. Read on to discover the top five reasons that it can pay to buy or sell a home during the off-season!



1. LESS COMPETITION


What’s the number one reason to buy or sell a home during the off-season? Less competition!


This can be particularly beneficial if you’re a seller. Come spring, a huge wave of new listings will hit the market. But if you list now, you will have fewer comparable homes with which to compete.


In the spring and summer months, it can be difficult for your property to stand out in a crowded market. You may end up with a surplus of homes for sale in your neighborhood. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to see multiple listings on a single street during the peak selling season.


Inventory in the fall and winter months, however, can be significantly lower. That means your home will not only receive more attention from buyers, but you may also gain the upper hand in your negotiations. In fact, research found that homes listed in the winter are nine percent more likely to sell, and sellers net more above asking price in the winter than any other time of year.1


Buyers also have a lot to love about the real estate offseason. While some buyers need to move during the winter, many bargain hunters search this time of year in hopes of scoring a great deal.


Smart buyers will continue to scan the market during the fall and winter for hidden gems that pop up during the offseason. There are always highly motivated sellers who need to sell quickly. And with less competition to bid against you, you’re in a better position to negotiate a great price. If you’ve been looking for a good deal on a home or investment property, now may be the best time to look!


So while a “slow market” may scare off some buyers and sellers, it can actually be the perfect time of year for you to list or purchase a home. While the rest of the market is hibernating until spring, take advantage of this opportunity to get a jump start on your competition!


 


2. EVERYONE’S MORE MOTIVATED


During the spring and summer, you’re likely to encounter “lookie-loo” buyers who are just testing the waters and unrealistic sellers who are holding out for a better offer. But the serious buyers and sellers stay active during the cold weather and holiday season, often because they need to move quickly. In fact, research shows that homes listed in the winter sell faster than any other time of year.1


January and February are peak job hiring months, which brings a surge of buyers who need to relocate quickly to start a new job.2 And of course life changes like retirement, marriage, divorce, and new babies come year round. While families often find it more convenient to move during the summer when school is out, the reality is that many don’t have the option to wait. According to the National Association of Realtors, 55 percent of all buyers purchased their home at the time they did because “it was just the right time,” not because of seasonal factors.3


If you prefer to deal with serious, highly-motivated buyers and sellers who want to act fast and don’t want to waste your time, then the offseason may be the perfect real estate season for you.


 


3. GREATER PERSONAL ATTENTION


Another key benefit to buying and selling in the offseason is the increased personal attention you’ll receive.


While we strive to provide unparalleled client service throughout the year, we simply have more time available for each individual client during slower periods. Similarly, we find the other real estate professionals in our network—including title agents, inspectors, appraisers, insurance agents, and loan officers—are able to respond faster and provide more time and attention during the offseason than they are during the busy spring and summer months. The result is a quicker and more streamlined closing process for all involved.


4. COST SAVINGS


Clients who move during the offseason often report significant cost savings. Moving costs may be discounted by 15 percent or more during the winter months, and moving companies can typically offer more flexibility in their scheduling.4


Home renovations and repairs can also be less expensive in the offseason.5 Whether you’re fixing up your property prior to listing it or remodeling your new home before moving in, contractors and service providers who are hungry for business are often willing to work for a discount this time of year. If you wait until the spring and summer, you may be forced to pay a premium.


Home stagers and decorators are also more likely to negotiate their fees during the winter. And you can often score great deals on new furniture and decor during the holiday sales.


Whether you’re buying or selling, count cost savings as another compelling reason to consider an offseason move.


 


5. EASIER TO MAINTAIN CURB APPEAL


Finally, listing your home during the fall and winter offers one key—but often overlooked—advantage: less lawn maintenance!


Good curb appeal is crucial when selling your home. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of home buyers drove by a property after viewing it online but did NOT go inside for a walkthrough.6 That means if your curb appeal is lacking, buyers may never make it through the door.


If you list your home during the peak of the selling season, we will generally advise you to implement a frequent schedule of mowing, edging, watering, weeding, and trimming shrubs and hedges. You’ll probably want to plant flowers, as well, to brighten your exterior. After all, a lush landscape is a key element in attracting spring and summer buyers.


If you list in the offseason, however, your lawn maintenance list is significantly reduced. While we do recommend that our sellers keep their exterior clean, tidy, and free of leaves, snow, and ice, you will probably spend much less time on outdoor maintenance during the winter than you would if you listed your home in the summer.


 


ARE YOU READY TO MAKE YOUR MOVE?


Now that you know all the great reasons to buy or sell a home in the off-season, it’s time to decide whether you’re ready to make your move.


Every client’s circumstances are unique. Whether you need to move quickly or you simply want to take advantages of all benefits this season has to offer, it’s a great time to enter the market.


Give Karin a call today at 940-391-1131 to schedule a FREE consultation … and you could be ringing in the New Year in your new home!


Sources:



  1. Redfin –

    https://www.redfin.com/blog/2013/12/why-winter-is-the-hottest-time-to-sell-your-home.html#.VjKYm2SrTKI

  2. Top Resume –

    https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/the-best-times-of-the-year-to-job-search

  3. National Association of Realtors –

    https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/highlights-from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers

  4. Angie’s List –

    https://www.angieslist.com/articles/why-winter-can-be-best-time-move.htm

  5. Build Direct –

    https://www.builddirect.com/blog/the-best-times-of-the-year-to-get-deals-on-home-remodels/

  6. National Association of Realtors –

    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/reports/2017/2017-home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends-03-07-2017.pdf