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AI at Home: Five Ways AI is Enhancing Smart Living

The integration of AI in smart homes is revolutionizing our living experience. While voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant have been around for some time, new advancements are making smart home technologies more personalized and intuitive. Aqara's Home Copilot At CES 2024, Aqara introduced the Home Copilot, a new chatbot interface for its app, powered by Gen-AI. This feature enhances...

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Real Estate and Design Trends to Watch in 2024

Staying abreast of what’s new and innovative in design and real estate is important, not to be trendy but to learn about innovative materials, systems and products to live more sustainably and benefit the planet. Also, new uses for rooms can maximize square footage and our surroundings to add joy to our lives. The following 10 trends are worth considering since they can positively influence whether...

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Truth and Reconciliation

Warning: Language in this article and excerpts of historic documents embedded here include offensive and inappropriate racial language. Seventy-five years after Shelley v. Kraemer, the long shadow of racially restrictive covenants still hangs over the nation. These explicitly discriminatory clauses were written into property deeds to prevent racial, ethnic, and religious minorities from owning and...

Two home buyers shaking hands with a realtor standing on the front lawn of their new house

Home Sales Start to Rise, Building Momentum for 2024

Existing-home sales posted a slight gain last month, breaking a streak of five consecutive monthly declines and foreshadowing what is expected to be a more favorable real estate market in 2024. The National Association of REALTORS® reported Wednesday that existing-home sales, which are completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops, rose 0.8% in November. That figure is...

Modern home with pool in backyard and lots of vegetation

Five Outdoor Projects That Pay Off the Most

Ninety-two percent of REALTORS® recommend that sellers improve their curb appeal before listing their home for sale, according to a survey from the National Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of Landscape Professionals. What pays off the most when it comes to curb appeal? Of course, every project and every market is different, but here’s the estimated cost recovery on the top outdoor...

Various home-based icons representing smart devices (and their relationships with one another) in a typical home

Smart Home Tech: What to Upgrade and When

It's an incredible time to be alive, especially if you’re into smart home technology. As a real estate professional and tech enthusiast, I’ve seen the rise of smart homes go from an abstract concept to an everyday reality. But as tech evolves, so does the question for homeowners and prospective buyers: When should we upgrade smart home devices? Navigating the tech upgrade labyrinth doesn’t need to...

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Good Time for Investors to Unload

Real estate investors have done well. Rents have risen and home price appreciation has been quite exceptional. In the past three years, the typical rental rate and typical home price have soared by 16.4% and 35.5%, respectively. Over the past five years, those figures are 24.9% and 50.8%. These returns were occurring at a time of low-cost financing. Now it’s time for investors to sell. Home prices...

Graphic displaying seven percent

Mortgage Rates Hover Near 7%

For the third consecutive week, mortgage rates were on the rise, forcing some hopeful home buyers to the sidelines. Freddie Mac’s latest nationwide survey shows the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 6.96%. “Rates are just a sliver below 7%, and that will make it difficult not only for home buyers but also sellers considering a move,” says Jessica Lautz, deputy chief economist at the National...

A well-maintained homeowner's lawn with beautiful landscaping

Homeowners’ Zeal for Curb Appeal May Pay Off Handsomely

Many homeowners have turned their attention to enhancing their outdoor space since the pandemic began—and that may pay off at resale, according to a new survey from the National Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of Landscape Professionals. Ninety-two percent of REALTORS® say they recommend that sellers improve their curb appeal prior to listing, finds the 2023 Remodeling Impact...

A young couple inside a newly-built home preparing to paint the walls

Five Remodeling Trends to Watch as More Owners Upgrade

Facing lean housing inventory, more would-be move-up home buyers may be feeling stuck in place. As they wait out the market, many continue to tackle remodeling projects on their current home. In fact, remodeling activity surged to a record high last year, according to the 2023 U.S. Houzz & Home Study, a survey that reflects responses from about 46,000 homeowners. The trend is likely to continue, as...

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