Welcome to the BYTE, where we serve up the latest home and tech news from the last week for you to sink your teeth into.
This week we’re taking a BYTE out of two very different generations, a new way to buy homes, building to rent, AI for safety, and the impact of rising lumber costs. Dig in!
Forget About Millennials
Baby boomers are the second biggest home buying population and according to the National Association of Realtors, they are now more likely to buy homes that can accommodate their aging parents, as well as their adult kids. They are also the most likely to obtain a conventional mortgage loan and are not very likely to move to another region.
For the just barely starting to be home buyers of Generation Z, they are more likely to be looking for fixer-uppers, smaller homes, and will be less likely to stretch their budget to get into a more expensive home. They grew up in the age of YouTube, HGTV, and a plethora of DIY videos, so they won’t be afraid to buy a place that they have to put some work into. That being said, they are going to be expecting the very best technology in the homes they do end up buying.
A Game Changer
Last week at the NAREE event in Las Vegas, HomLuv.com was launched as a whole new way to search for and buy new homes. HomLuv uses a Pinterest style search that allows buyers to scroll through photos of each room and luv or not luv photos. The site’s Artificial Intelligence then takes those luved images and matches buyers with builders that fit their specific style, price, and location preferences. With this site buyers can actually find out which builder is building their perfect home, without having to click all around the internet.
Single-family rental (SFR) companies are starting to work with home builders to build up the next rounds of rental homes. SFR companies are having a harder time finding homes to buy, flip, and turn into rentals, so now some are starting to have builders create homes, and even entire communities, that are actually “built-to-rent”.
A general contractor out of Boston has started to build an AI system that will monitor construction sites. The system will look for safety hazards across the site, such as workers not wearing proper protective equipment. The system can then warn of dangerous areas and hopefully stop accidents, or at least get people out of the way, before they happen.
Rising lumber prices are continuing to have an effect on the homebuilding industry. Builder confidence is down two points because of these prices. Canadian softwood lumber has effectively a 20% tariff, causing the price of the typical new home to raise about $9,000. Fingers crossed that there will start to be some relief on these prices.
If you’re following the World Cup you may have heard the defending champion was upset in their first game to Mexico. You could say Mexico was excited. When the winning goal went it the whole country basically jumped at the same time and caused a minor earthquake…