Live Near a Surf Break?

Researchers at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey found that being located within a mile of a surf break adds about $106,000 to a home’s value.  Living near a desirable public park or outdoor recreation space boosts it significantly higher — as much as 8 percent to 20 percent.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of neighborhood attributes that can affect a home’s value. Some are obvious and some are not. Analysts at Houselogic, a website operated by the National Association of Realtors, did some digging recently and uncovered surprising facts.  As for the parkland bonus, a recent study examined 16,400 home sales within 1,500 feet of 193 public parks (in Portland, Oregon) and found that nearby natural areas added $10,648 to a home’s value. Golf courses add $8,849, specialty parks add $5,657, and urban parks add $1,214. On the downside, a park that is overcrowded and not well-maintained can drag down nearby home values.

Meanwhile, California homes with photovoltaic (solar) systems sell for an extra $17,000 over homes without solar systems, according to experts at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Add walkability to the home-value bonus list, too. Being able to stroll to schools, parks, stores, and restaurants will raise a property value anywhere from $4,000 to $34,000, according to a 2009 study from the nonprofit group CEOs for Cities.

Accessory dwelling units are another big attraction. Whether it’s a granny flat, an in-law apartment, or a carriage house, having a separate unit can increase a home’s value by 25 percent to 34 percent, according to a study of 14 properties with accessory dwelling units in Portland. Bonus: A second unit can also provide a steady stream of rental income. Elsewhere in this blog you can find a post:  “The Difference between Second Units and Accessory Dwelling Units” that you may find helpful.

2017 Housing Market Predictions

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Recently Zillow jumped in with six predictions for next year’s housing market, touching on some of the more nuanced factors that influence who will be buying and selling homes next year, where they’ll be focused and what challenges they stand to face.  Speculation also brought up the potential effect of Trump’s hard-line immigration plans on construction industry labor — and its expectations for America’s historically low homeownership rate.  The 2017 predictions:

1.      “Cities will focus on denser development of smaller homes close to public transit and urban centers.”

2.      “More millennials will become homeowners, driving up the homeownership rate. Millennials are also more racially diverse, so more homeowners will be people of color, reflecting the changing demographics of the United States.”

3.      “Rental affordability will improve as incomes rise and growth in rents slows.”

4.      “Buyers of new homes will have to spend more as builders cover the cost of rising construction wages, driven even higher in 2017 by continued labor shortages, which could be worsened by tougher immigration policies under President-elect Trump.”

5.      “The percentage of people who drive to work will rise for the first time in a decade as homeowners move further into the suburbs seeking affordable housing — putting them further from adequate public transit options.”

6.      “Home values will grow 3.6 percent in 2017, according to more than 100 economic and housing experts surveyed in the latest Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey. National home values have risen 4.8 percent so far in 2016.”

Is Zillow Good or Bad for the Real Estate Industry

Some of the good things: 

  • Provides greater listing exposure to millions of consumers.
  • The addition of tax records, school ratings and other information to listings is good for consumers and makes the agents’ job easier.
  • Levels the playing field for newer agents and agents without many listings.
  • Gives consumer access to FSBOs, foreclosures and other non agent represented properties, painting a fuller picture of the available market.
  • Creates a new, broadly reaching, advertising platform for agents to advertise their skills.

Some of the bad things : 

  • A high percentage of their “available” listings are actually sold or off the market. This confuses and upsets consumers and makes agents look bad.
  • The sites’ property valuations are often way off, making agents’ jobs harder.
  • Promotes non-listing agents alongside listings that aren’t theirs, tricking consumers into believing they know the property.
  • Sells to any agent, regardless of experience, the title of “Premier” or “Pro”.
  • The “leads” generated for subscribing agents are low quality, non-responsive and a waste of time.
  • The cost of being a subscribing agent is too high for what you get.
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Frank Zappa’s Home For Sale

There’s no doubt about it, Frank Zappa proudly and assertively let his freak flag fly right on up until his death in 1993. So it seems fitting that this iconoclastic musician’s home in Los Angeles is now for sale in a unique way: on Kickstarter, where some of the funds will go toward a film about Zappa’s life.

Last year, filmmaker and actor Alex Winter (almost certainly best known as Bill from the stoner classic “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”) was given rare access to the vault of media files in the basement of Zappa’s home. But since turning these crumbling archives into a movie will require buckets of money, Zappa’s surviving family members agreed to sell the home for $9 million and put an undisclosed portion of the proceeds toward Winter’s documentary.

Measuring 8,000 square feet, the house has a rooftop tennis court, backyard swimming pool, guest cottage, and (not at all least) the infamous Utility Muffin Research Kitchen where Zappa had recorded songs, starting in the ’80s. With all that, the home is a bargain, Winter explained to The New York Times.

“In the Zappa family, the kids are all grown up and have their own lives. With [Zappa’s wife] Gail no longer here, there’s nobody there. So we proposed to them that if this thing is going to get sold anyway, why don’t we make it part of our campaign?” he explained. The Kickstarter page is also collecting donations for the film, but since accumulating funds that way takes time, the home sale would let his team start the movie immediately. Offered at $9,000,000 Guest author Judy Dutton / Realtor.com