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Virtual Dirt

Posted by John Hathorn on September 8, 2017
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How you shop for a home will continue to dramatically change in the near future. With the latest technology already in place, touring property should become more convenient and fun than it has been in the past.

Virtual reality is now an actual reality for homebuyers. You need not leave home or the office, in fact you can be across the globe and view properties as if you were really there, live in person, standing in or walking through a home, condo, or office building. The highest definition and 360-degree view technology that is lightning fast has made virtual tours far less clunky. Imagine walking from room to room and noticing every detail from the layout to the smallest feature. Real Estate Agents are able to watch the buyers remotely during the tour and answer questions about the property in real time as if they are conducting a showing. No more worrying if the Seller can accommodate a showing that works with your schedule. Big cities like New York and Los Angeles are ideal for this since getting from point A-to-B can takes so much time during normal business hours.  Not only is this great for buyers but sellers can showcase their home to a much larger number of people leading to a less disruptive selling process and hopefully fewer days on the market. You should be able to tour far more properties with this technology in far less time. Of course before plunking down your millions of dollars to buy a place you will want to make at least a cursory site visit but imagine the possibilities in other arena – test drive a new car, try on a new suit, decorate your daughters wedding reception hall?  This is where the virtual staging companies come in. It’s common knowledge that staging your property does result in a higher sales price, however, it is not cheap. With virtual reality you can not only stage quicker but for far less money. The website rooomy also allows the buyer to have access to numerous home decor websites like Mayfair to not only shop but decorate the rooms “virtually” according to the buyers’ specific function and style.

Just like the Multiple Listing Service and digital document signing software have revolutionized how real estate business is conducted, our standard practice today will eventually seem totally archaic in less than 20 years.


Three new listings came to the market (this does not include a few that were re-listed after not selling during the Summer):

530 17th StreetExpansive three-story Spanish home completely renovated with 6 bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms approximately 7,082 square feet. Lower level with theater and gym. Nice landscaped backyard with detached garage. Listed for $6,695,000. Last sold April 16, 2014 for $4,500,000.

710 18th Street Builder opportunity in the Gillette Regent Square! This cozy Spanish property has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Fully priced at $3,695,000. No pool, interior courtyard and grassy backyard. Garage is detached. Last sold June 22, 1990. This home is a category 5D3 – call me for an explanation.

310 11th StreetAnother developer opportunity, 3 bedrooms and 1.75 bathrooms on an approximately 7,507 square foot lot. Offers due Sunday 9/10 and will go way over asking. Listed for $2,900,000. Last sold December 24, 1985. No 5d3 designation on this one.

Three new sales last week:

444 21st Street – Newly built and designed by Ken Unger. Three story Cape Cod Traditional with 6 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms, approximately 7,311 square feet. Property has a gym, media room and wine cellar. Price reduced $130k, listed at $7,765,000.  Last sold September 17, 2014 for $3,061,500.

547 16th StreetTraditional newly completed Thomas James Capital / Elevate Homes home. Approximately 4,100 square feet with open floorplan- 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, hardwood floors throughout and huge kitchen with marble center island. Listed at $5,395,000.  Last sold November 24, 2015 for $2,999,000.

463 18th Street– Price reductions, a partial change in brokerage companies and at least one aborted escrow and this home is under contract again. I personally think it is a smoking deal now. Mediterranean home was designed by Jay Charles and built in 1999, was listed for $5,900,000 and now $4,998,000. Great floor plan, beautiful street and large back yard. Last sold in 1999 for $4,264,000.


Two closed MLS sales to report:

501 18th Street3 Bedrooms and 2 bathrooms Sold for 3,936,000.

345 17th Street4 Bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms Sold for 3,700,000.


Call me for a couple of upcoming attractions that are not yet listed in the MLS, priced from $1.9 million to $16 million.  And….here are a few that we have listed in the MLS:

238 19th Street– 5 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms $6,495,000

621 21st Place – 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms $4,550,000

426 Mesa Road – Vacant Land, $1,440,000

1717 S. Barrington Avenue #101 – 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms $1,395,000

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