A title rep sent me an email today that gave me a head’s up on a new site I’d not seen before called www.Zilpy.com. It looks a heck of a lot like Zillow but with data on rents instead of home values. I’ve been playing around with it a bit and while I can’t figure out exactly yet how they’re getting the data, I’m intrigued. Most likely I’ll make mention of it to some of our investors to get their feedback on it as well and see if they think it’s a worthwhile site.
Check out the function of “heat maps” for rent levels in Washington. More states and cities are covered so it’s not just a Seattle gig. I believe it’s come to life from Silicon Valley.
Just for fun, I started recording notes on real estate conversations I enjoy following and I decided that when the list hit ten, I’d hit publish:
David Smith has a great (no wining allowed) article about the housing bubble. I only wish David interacted with the real estate blogging community a little more because his stuff is great but easily missed…
Continuing on the bubble topic, Dan Melson puts on a great effort describing why renting really is for suckers (and what yo do about it). For me, this is a great example of why real estate professionals should not write about the bubble (David Smith being the exception! 🙂 ) It reminds me of the “fool“ish investment advice so popular in 1999/2000 that said it didn’t matter what price you bought a stock at as long as the company was good, you would make money in the long-term. Here’s my problem with this argument… If rents are cheaper than the interest payment (i.e. both of these being the completely sunk costs) and home prices go down slightly in the near future (which doesn’t seem inconceivable for selected markets in the country), then no amount of number juggling will replace the fact that if a potential home owner would be best served waiting to buy until the prices bottom out. I realize there are more than a few “ifs” in my statement, but my goal is not to say that it is a bad time to buy, only that a blanket statement “it is always a good time to buy” falls on deaf ears.
On a related note, it is timely that the NYTs notes that rents are rapidly rising across most of the US (with Seattle being a highlighted area!).
Greg shows off his custom signs. I think these are brilliant marketing moves and every agent should look for ways to market themselves through their listings. Beautiful stuff…