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Weekend Events 02/12/2015

Valentines Day is here! Are you ready? Scrambling to plan a Valentines day date? Check out the Intero Weekender for last minutes Valentines day Ideas! Maybe start by looking for YOUR FUTURE HOME?? There are some awesome open houses this weekend? Maybe afterwards go out and watch a  movie? Maybe Dinner too? With the weekender, who knows what you will come up with!

Here is the link to the weekender: Weekender 02/12/2015

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Recycle Your e-Waste!

Community Event:  eWaste Recycling, Saturday 2/7/15
Community Event: eWaste Recycling, Saturday 2/7/15

We all have those unused devices lurking around:  Outdated, not functioning or no longer needed.  Get a head start on your Spring cleaning.  Come by Intero Willow Glen office Saturday, 2/7/15. And, for a great cause.   Intero Foundation provides support to our local community.  If you would like more information, just contact me.   Happy recycling!


Homeownership: Is it the best choice for you?

Rent or Own?  What is the best decision?  I came across an article discussing homeownership and it’s relation to wealth creation.  Wanted to pass it along.   Food  for  thought!    Rob

RE Wordcloud
The World of Real Estate



Homeownership & Wealth: The Dynamic Duo

by Alain Pinel
General Manager of Intero Prestigio international

Is homeownership getting out of fashion? Scary thought! Ridiculous actually! Why such a daring and provocative question then? Well, if you believe in stats, you have to be concerned that the rate of homeownership has been dipping of late.

In 2004, the rate reached its peak at 70%. Today, it stands at 64.3%; it’s as low as it has been for the last 20 years. The reason? I bet you already figured out what it is, at least part of it….. Smack in the middle of the 2004 to 2015 stretch, we have been shaken up by the many tremors of a 4 year long financial crisis, the Great Recession to call it by its name.

The New York Times, in its SundayReview, wrote an editorial on the subject matter, partially using the findings of a research by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.  One sentence gives the full flavor of the article: “Since the housing bust, renting has been in and owning a home has been out.”

The declining ownership rate, mentioned above, proves the point. During the period of time when the rate shrunk to the extent of 8%, the number of homes occupied by tenants increased by about 25%.

Some observers may wonder whether this situation can be explained by the economic slowdown, with what it means in terms of jobs & incomes compression, or if it represents more of a trend, a lifestyle change of sort. Is homeownership losing its appeal?

The article is reassuring. Homeownership is as American as apple pie. It has been and still is, as much as ever, central to our ability to amass wealth. Between buying and renting, there is no competition. Even with the substantial decline in wealth due to the housing bust, says the NYT, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, a group which tends to accumulate little if any wealth.

When analyzing the reasons for the above, the Joint Center for Housing Studies makes the key point that homeownership requires buyers to save money for the down payment, and requires them to keep on saving to pay down the loan balance together with interest.

The alternative, renting a home, not only does not build equity, but does not require the tenants to save any money at all. They can if they are able & willing, but, at the end of the day, most don’t, because they don’t have to.

Of course we cannot downplay the risks involved in purchasing real estate. Prices can go up (as they have in a big way during the last three years or so), but they can also go down, shrinking equity or wiping it off altogether. Does not happen often and does not last long, but it sure hurts when it happens, as it did during the housing bust.

Frankly, I don’t know many people who wish they had rented a home rather than buy one. When in doubt, think about what you paid for the house you live in and what you could sell it for today. You can do the same exercise with all previous homes you bought and sold over the years. Great education to make believers out of the skeptics among us.

Bottom line: unless you are looking to stay in any given place a very short time (between two homes so to speak), there is no good reason to rent rather than buy, create wealth in so doing, and live the American dream.

CES 2015 Home Automation Ideas

Passing along some home automation ideas presented at this year’s CES show.

Explore and Enjoy!


CES 2015 Home Automation Ideas
CES 2015 Home Automation Ideas

by John Thompson

Last week, thousands of the world’s gadget manufactures gathered to show off their ware for the coming year at the largest consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, International CES.  It has served as the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. This year, the buzz word across the conference was “the internet-of-things.” From wearables, light fixtures, to car tablets, this phrase found its way into every product and concept presented.

We’re super excited to see where this goes with regards to advancing home products and CES was a great peek into what we can expect in the near future. Here are some of what was introduced at this year’s show:

Alba, by Stack – The world’s first responsive light bulb will automatically turn on when you come in the room, wake you up in the morning, adjust as the room gets brighter, and saves you energy.  Read More

Edyn – A smart garden system that monitors and tracks environmental conditions. The garden sensor monitors your soil and environment and gives you tips on what to plant when and what fertilizer to use. The water valve connects to your hose to track your soil moisture helping you water your garden more efficiently.  Read More

Kitchen Screen – Keeps track of what groceries you need and then shop for more items. When you’re running out of something, just wave the near-empty packet or carton in front of the screen and it will read the barcode and add the item to your grocery basket. Read More

LilyPad, by Vigilant – The first smart Wi-Fi pool thermometer and UV sensor connected to your phone or tablet. Worried the water’s too cold at the pool? Or that the kids are getting to much sun exposure?  LilyPad will keep track of both of these for you while you’re having fun in the sun this summer.  Read More

Works with Nest – Nest, you know that great little device that brought us the Nest Thermostat and Nest Protect, announced their integration with a variety of other devices including Whirlpool, Dropcam, and Philips hue.  This integration, which we’re really excited about, helps your home be more thoughtful and conscious.  Read More

See even more cool smart home products from CES here.