RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

MAR 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE March 2018 39 Pay close attention to these five trends to help make the most of all your real estate transactions in 2018: Smart Home Technology The No. 1 trend influencers say homebuyers are going to be look- ing for in 2018 is smart home tech- nology. Smart homes have taken off in the last few years with the introduction of systems like Apple Home and Amazon's Alexa. Adding smart home features to a home makes it much more attractive to younger homebuyers. Adding smart home technology to a home costs anywhere from $5,000 to $9,000, on average, but can increase the value of a home by about 5 percent. Keep in mind that this is only true if the upgrades were made in the last five years; after that, the technology becomes outdated. The most sought-after items include smart lights, thermo- stats and security features. Open Floor Plans The second most popular trend is a continuation from years past: the open floor plan. Particularly on sin- gle-story homes, open floor plans continue to be one of the most re- quested options among homebuy- ers. An open floor plan allows you to configure the space in ways that work for you, rather than working around what's already there. As long as you aren't removing load-bearing walls in the structure, opening up rooms and removing walls can bring up to 60 percent ROI at time of resale, while also making the home much more at- tractive to buyers. Solar Energy Solar energy isn't a new trend, but it's one that's making big gains in today's market. In fact, homebuy- ers are much more likely to want to invest in a home with solar power today than they were just a few years ago. The national average cost to install solar panels on a home is between $20,000 and $25,000. The ROI on solar power does vary by state, but because the cost is usually offset over time by reduced energy costs, most people find the investment worth it in terms of de- creased energy bills and how much more attractive it makes the home to younger buyers. Tiny Houses Wondering where to steer potential buyers? Consider showing them tiny houses. First-time homebuy- ers, as well as minimalists, are showing considerable interest in the tiny house movement, making this a trend that can't be ignored. More than half of the influenc- ers surveyed believe that the tiny house trend is growing. Tiny houses can be built for anywhere between $10,000 and $40,000, which makes purchasing land and building a more attractive option than finding one already for sale. Voice Control Systems Artificial intelligence (AI) and voice control systems round out the top five growing trends in the home- building and design industry. Near- ly all influencers agree that smart home systems that are controlled via AI or voice will be one of the biggest trends of 2018. While the controller may be personal to the user—Google, Alexa and Apple Home are just a few of the offer- ings—the systems they can control (lights, thermostat, door locks and appliances) can all be added to the home and ready to use in a timely manner. RE This article originally appeared on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. Visit us at blog.rismedia.com. Top 5 Single-Family Home Trends to Watch Out for in 2018 E ach year, home and garden site Fixr.com conducts a survey of influencers within the building and design industry—those professionals who are helping to shape the trends that impact homeowners and homebuyers alike. This year's survey results have shown some surprising (and not so surprising) trends that real estate professionals can use to help sell homes more quickly and influence homebuyer behavior. by Yuka Kato

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