Real Estate Trends and Tips
Foreign Real Estate Investors Look to Tampa Bay
Florida’s reputation as a draw for foreign investors and snowbirds is legendary. Last year one in four foreign buyers of American homes, condos or townhomes chose Florida. They spent more than $6 billion and of that amount approximately $370 million found its way to Tampa Bay. The majority of buyers, who almost always pay in cash, came from France, Canada, South America and the UK.
These deep-pocketed overseas investors look primarily for properties that will provide consistent returns on their investments. It is difficult to quantify just how much money flies into local development projects (condos, apartments, strip malls) from foreign spenders. According to John Stone, director of multifamily housing and foreign investment for commercial real estate brokerage Collier International, “Foreign capital is oftentimes very secretive. They don’t trust easily.”
From Home Sweet Home to Home Smart Home
Shades of the Jetsons!
Smart homes take advantage of automation technology and modern building techniques to give homeowners a new level of control. They can be built from scratch with automation as a key design goal, or constructed from existing homes during a major renovation. In both cases, smart homes offer several advantages over conventional homes. Here are a few:
- Convenience: It is one of the biggest reasons people build and purchase smart homes. These homes give users remote access to systems including heating and cooling systems, intercoms, music and multimedia devices throughout the home. Integrated hard drives allow homeowners to watch video or listen to audio in any room; video intercoms make it easy to communicate with others in the home or visitors at the door.
- Security: Smart homes include advanced security systems with cameras, motion sensors and a link to the local police station or a private security company. Smart homes may also use key cards or fingerprint identification in place of conventional locks, making it harder for someone to break in.
- Accessibility: For elderly or disabled residents, a smart home may feature accessibility technologies. Voice-command systems can do things like control lights, lock doors, operate a telephone or use a computer. Home automation allows an individual to set a schedule for automatic tasks like watering the lawn, removing the need to perform these labor-intensive tasks on a regular basis.
- Resale: When it comes time to sell a smart home, sellers will have an abundance of effective selling points. Whichever advantage of a smart home appeals to a given buyer, the seller can explain the system and discuss how it makes life easier. Homes with automated systems have the potential to sell for much more than comparable homes with conventional technologies. Automating a home can be a worthwhile investment in increasing its market value and attracting possible buyers in the future.