How to Choosing Homekit Light Bulbs

Automation makes life a lot easier. And with the connectivity created by the Internet of Things (IoT), owners of modern homes get to rest a lot longer and be at peace even when they are not in their properties knowing that they can easily turn a device or a fixture on or off, or change the visible setting or mood within a space in the property with just a tap on a mobile device.

It is now possible to make any adjustment and enjoy a desired scene within the house even without flicking a switch or heading to the other room or space in the property. Thanks to the best HomeKit compatible fixtures, every day is easier to live than it was years ago.

Homekit Light Bulbs

HomeKit: What is it?

HomeKit is Apple’s smart platform for home automation. It is designed to allow users of the app to have control over any internet-connected home devices. This can include setting up the mood in a room by changing the temperature in the room, hue of the lighting fixtures, and adjusting window blinds, light bulbs, and so on, only using Apple devices.

Instant connectivity and accessibility of digital products are made possible with the Internet of Things. Through this system, smart products can easily be controlled by merely instructing an app, like Siri or Alexa, to do a specific task, or by simply tapping on a smart device to get any smart product running or a setting within a space changed to the desired look and feel.

The HomeKit is Apple’s connection to the “Internet of Things” and provides instant access to HomeKit-enabled smart accessories and lets users operate any of them using any Apple product.

Best HomeKit Lightbulbs

There are different types of Homekit-enabled devices, including lightbulbs, switches, outlets, window blinds, fans, sensors, garage doors, and so on.

If you are looking for the best homekit light bulbs to include in your smart ecosystem, there are some things that you will need to consider.

It is important to note that Apple maintains a complete list of HomeKit-compatible devices on its website, including related links, so it will be the first and best place where you can get all the information that you will need for all the devices that you can connect to a smart ecosystem using HomeKit.

What Does a HomeKit Do?

A HomeKit links smart home products. It also adds new capabilities to devices, such as cameras, lights, locks, thermostats, plugs, and so on. This platform helps its users to connect any smart home device using apps on an iPhone, iPad or Mac, or by simply using a voice command to Siri.

The best thing about the HomeKit is that it allows users to manage all HomeKit-enabled devices because at once and set scenes or at a time that would be most appealing for the user to have the devices activated automatically. Continue reading

Vacation Home Sales on the Surge

According to a recent survey conducted in March of 2014 by The National Association of Realtors®, “vacation home sales have risen strongly, while investment purchases have declined below the elevated levels seen from the previous two years.” Our own analysis of the Grand Strand residential market shows a surge in residential sales as shown here.

“More than eight out of 10 second-home buyers, both for vacation and investment homes, said it was a good time to buy.”

The National Association of Realtor’s 2014 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, covering existing-and new-home transactions in 2013, shows vacation-home sales jumped 29.7 percent to an estimated 717,000 last year from 553,000 in 2012. Investment-home sales fell 8.5 percent to an estimated 1.10 million in 2013 from 1.21 million in 2012. Owner-occupied purchases rose 13.1 percent to 3.70 million last year from 3.27 million in 2012. The sales estimates are based on responses from households and exclude institutional investment activity.

 

The National Association of Realtors Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun expected an improvement in the vacation home market. Yun said “Growth in the equity markets has greatly benefited high net-worth households, thereby providing the wherewithal and confidence to purchase recreational property,” he said. “However, vacation-home sales are still about one-third below the peak activity seen in 2006.”

Vacation-home sales accounted for 13 percent of all transactions last year, their highest market share since 2006, while the portion of investment sales fell to 20 percent in 2013 from 24 percent in 2012.

Yun said the pullback in investment activity is understandable. “Investment buyers slowed their purchasing in 2013 because prices were rising quickly along with a declining availability of discounted foreclosures over the course of the year,” he said.

“In 2011 and 2012, investment property was a no-brainer because home prices had sharply over corrected during the downturn in many areas, creating great bargains that could be quickly turned into profitable rentals. With a return to more normal market conditions, investors now have to evaluate their purchases more carefully and do their homework,” Yun added.

The median investment-home price was $130,000 in 2013, up 13.0 percent from $115,000 in 2012, while the median vacation-home price was $168,700, up 12.5 percent from $150,000 in 2012.

All-cash purchases remained fairly common in the investment- and vacation-home market:  46 percent of investment buyers paid cash in 2013, as did 38 percent of vacation-home buyers.

Of buyers who financed their purchase with a mortgage, large down payments continued to be the norm in 2013. The median down payment for investment buyers was 26 percent, while vacation-home buyers typically put 30 percent down.

 

“87 percent want to use the property for vacations or as a family retreat, 31 percent plan to use it as a primary residence in the future, 28 percent wanted to diversify their investments or saw a good investment opportunity, 23 percent plan to rent to others and 22 percent intend it for use by a family member, friend or relative.”

Forty-seven percent of investment homes purchased in 2013 were distressed homes, as were 42 percent of vacation homes.

 

Lifestyle factors remain the primary motivation for vacation-home buyers, while rental income is the main factor in investment purchases.

The typical vacation-home buyer was 43 years old, had a median household income of $85,600 and purchased a property that was a median distance of 180 miles from his or her primary residence; 46 percent of vacation homes were within 100 miles and 34 percent were more than 500 miles. Buyers plan to own their recreational property for a median of 6 years, down from 10 years in 2012.

Five percent of vacation-home buyers had already resold their property, while another 9 percent plan to sell within a year. “This reflects the 28 percent of recreational property buyers who said they purchased to diversify investments or saw a good investment opportunity,” Yun said. Continue reading

Are You Getting a Good Deal?

Buying a home or condo is an exciting event, but one that can leave many homebuyers wondering if they got a great deal. Following are four questions that you should ask yourself to help determine whether or not you’re prepared to find the right deal for you.

1. What does a great deal look like to me?

Before you enter the Grand Strand real estate market take a moment to decide what a great deal looks like to you. Consider this both in terms of your finances and your purchasing goals. This will help minimize the emotion swings as you begin viewing homes and make your decision process much more sound.

2. Do I have a purchase strategy?

Begin with a good strategy and don’t fly by the seat of your pants when purchasing a home or condo. A good place to start is with a professional real estate agent. Consult with your agent to determine the type of properties and seller concessions that are available in today’s market. A good agent will then help you and the lender to make sure you are taking advantage of all possible financing options from seller contributions and obligations to market incentives.  The best advice for sure is to secure loan approval and to make sure your real estate agent and lender are on the same page before you begin your home or condo search. Knowing how much you can spend, what you will need for funds at closing and what you will want to negotiate with the seller will save you a lot of time, and give you a stronger bargaining position for the home or condo that you want.

3. Do I understand the current real estate market in a way that gives me leverage?

It’s not just mortgage interest rates that are important. You should have a good understanding of the local real estate market for the area in which you desire to purchase. A professional real estate agent can provide you with comparable market data that includes lots of information from recent sales prices, sales to list price ratios that can give you a good supply and demand snapshot, property descriptions, property improvements, days on the market, type of financing, date closed, seller concessions, and more. This information is vital in helping assist you with making an informed decision for the right offer for the home or condo you want to purchase.

4. Do I have good resources to educate myself about the market?

A good place to start is right here on The Hoffman Group blog. Our blog will provide you with more information than any other real estate source in the Grand Strand when it comes to local market trends and real estate information. The next step is to understand the role your agent plays in representing you. Here is a good infographic to help you see what your agent is doing on your behalf.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a new home or condo in the Myrtle Beach area, check out our free white paper, Myrtle Beach Real Estate: 5 Things You Should Know, to get some great information about the home buying and selling process.

Grand Strand Residential Inventory Rising

Grand Strand Residential Outlook

The inventory for residential homes in the Grand Strand area is showing an upward trend that has continued from the end of 2013. Per MLS (Paragon) as of April 11, 2014 there are 5,168 residential homes on the market in Horry and Georgetown Counties.  This is typical to see an upward tick due to the season, but this is the highest number of listings on the market in the last four years. The buzz on the street amongst area real estate professionals is one of continued optimism. Many agents are experiencing multiple offers with properties selling within a couple of weeks.

There is a continued pattern for solds as well. Last month there were 480 residential sales per MLS (Paragon) in Horry and Georgetown Counties. This is considerably higher than the previous year.

The breakdown of residential inventory in the Grand Strand is as follows (as of April 11, 2014):

  • 1,296   listings between $100,000 – $200,000
  • 955   listings between $200,001 – $300,000
  • 545    listings between $300,001 – $400,000
  • 252   listings between $400,001 – $500,000
  • 140   listings between $500,001 – $600,000
  • 105   listings between $600,001 – $700,000
  • 76    listings between $700,001 – $800,000
  • 284  listings from $800,001 and up

Condo sales, though a slow start for the year, are beginning to match the results of the last few years as illustrated in the above chart. February sales activity was off by approximately 13 percent while March was just below the figures over the last two years. The decline in February was attributed to a slightly harsher winter than normal, the attrition of distressed condos, and lower sales prices on non-distressed condominiums.

Market Update

There has been plenty of good news in the financial markets through Thursday of this week. Last week the weekly Initial Jobless Claims fell by 32,000 in the latest week to 300,000. This was near a seven year low and a signal that the labor markets may be coming out of hibernation with spring upon us. In addition, the 4-week moving average of claims also fell. Meanwhile, the Consumer Sentiment Index for April came in above expectations, which shows that consumers are feeling positive about the economy as we head into the summer months. Continue reading