RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Home on the Market? Craftsman-Style Features Are High Selling Points

April 18, 2016 1:48 am

Why do some seemingly similar homes sell at different price points? Keywords in the home’s listing description, for one.

According to a Zillow Digs® analysis, homes with listing descriptions that include the words “barn door,” “shaker cabinets,” or “subway tiles” sold faster (and for significantly more!) than anticipated.

Of the 60 keywordsubway tile s assessed, descriptions that included “barn doors” saw the highest sale premium: 13 percent above what was expected. Other common craftsman-style keywords, like “farmhouse sink,” were also found in top-performing listing descriptions.

“When it comes to real estate listing descriptions, words matter,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Your listing description is an opportunity to highlight specific details and finishes that might not be visible in photos. Craftsman-style homes and amenities resonate incredibly well with today's buyers, so if you've got them, flaunt them!”

Understanding what’s popular among buyers can also help those considering a remodel. Drawing an example from the analysis, descriptions mentioning “hardwood floors” sold for 2 percent more than expected; descriptions touting “new carpets” had no effect on the sale price. While everyone’s preferences differ, a home with hardwood floors may be more likely to attract buyers in the future.

The full Zillow Digs analysis:

1. “Barn Doors” – Sold for 13.4 percent higher and 57 days sooner than expected; most commonly found in Phoenix, Ariz.

2. “Shaker Cabinets” – Sold for 9.6 percent higher and 45 days sooner than expected; most commonly found in Los Angeles, Calif.

3. “Farmhouse Sink” – Sold for 7.9 percent higher and 58 days sooner than expected; most commonly found in Los Angeles, Calif.

4. “Subway Tile” – Sold for 6.9 percent higher and 63 days sooner than expected; most commonly found in Philadelphia, Pa.

5. “Quartz” – Sold for 6.0 percent higher and 50 days sooner than expected; most commonly found in Los Angeles, Calif.

6. “Craftsman” – Sold for 5.4 percent higher and 14 days sooner than expected; most commonly found in Seattle, Wash.

7. “Exposed Brick” – Sold for 4.9 percent higher and 36 days sooner than expected; most commonly found in New York, N.Y.

8. “Pendant Light” – Sold for 4.6 percent higher and 48 days sooner than expected; most commonly found in Phoenix, Ariz.

9. “Frameless Shower” – Sold for 4.6 percent higher and 38 days sooner than expected; most commonly found in Dallas, Texas

10. “Heated Floors” – Sold for 4.3 percent higher and 28 days sooner than expected; most commonly found in Seattle, Wash.

11. “Stainless Steel” – Sold for 4.2 percent higher and 42 day sooner than expected; most commonly found in Chicago, Ill.

12. “Granite” - Sold for 4.1 percent higher and 38 days sooner than expected; most commonly found in Dallas, Texas

13. “Backsplash” - Sold for 4.1 percent higher and 46 days sooner than expected; most commonly found in Philadelphia, Pa.

14. “Tankless Water Heater” - Sold for 4.0 percent higher and 43 days sooner than expected; most commonly found in Los Angeles, Calif.

15. “Outdoor Kitchen” – Sold for 3.7 percent higher and 19 days sooner than expected; most commonly found in Tampa, Fla.

Source: Zillow Digs®

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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The Internet and You: The Perils of Unwanted Software

April 15, 2016 1:33 am

Unwanted software—downloaded unknowingly—affects tens of millions of computers at any given moment. Some users can have as much as four unwanted software installs with one action!

“When you download free software, it might come with an unexpected addition: hidden programs that can cause problems on your computer, ranging from the merely annoying to truly dangerous,” says John Breyault, vice president of public policy, telecommunications, and fraud for the National Consumers League (NCL) (Fraud.org).

Unwanted software imposes a range of costs on users affected by it: it can slow computers to a crawl, prompt users to spend money on expensive computer support services, and raise the risk of identity fraud, jeopardizing credit and employment opportunities for users.

“While unwanted software can appear to simply be an annoyance that detracts from the experience of using a browser, these dangerous downloads pose a significant security risk to consumers’ personal information,” says Breyault. “Some software will disable security protections and settings in order to take control of a consumer’s computer, leaving that computer vulnerable to hackers and data thieves.”

To avoid the consequences of unwanted software, Breyault and the NCL advise users to:

• Obtain software directly from the source. When you’re looking for a new program, look on the publisher’s website first. Software download repositories may bundle in unwanted software with legitimate downloads.

• Avoid clicking on pop-ups or banner ads that warn you of slow performance on your computer. This is often a ruse to lead you to websites that host unwanted software.

• Make sure everything is up-to-date. To best protect yourself, repeatedly update your browser and operating systems; older systems are more susceptible to being infected by malware. Be sure to check for computer and browser updates in computer settings. Ads claiming that your computer software is out-of-date will likely lead to more unwanted software.

• Routinely scan your computer. Use antivirus software to regularly scan your computer for programs that you don’t recognize.

• Pay attention when installing new software. When downloading programs and extensions, pay attention to the fine print. Be on the look-out for pre-checked boxes that offer to install toolbars or other software in addition to the software you wanted.

• Heed your browser’s warnings. Most major Web browsers now have functionality built-in that will warn you when you are about to enter an unsafe website. Chances are that if your browser is telling you not to visit a certain website or download a particular program, you’re better off steering clear.

For more guidance, visit www.fraud.org/unwanted_software.

Source: NCL

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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