Homes of the Future
Could floating homes be the future of real estate? Sea levels are on the rise, and architects are looking for ways to make homes less susceptible to flooding, and floating homes are being singled out as a living solution for coastal areas.
Oceanix is a nonprofit organization that designs and builds floating cities. Oceanix and the MIT Center for Ocean Engineering are showcasing the concept of a floating city. The floating communities consist of hexagonal islands of 4.5 acres that can house up to 300 people. If you combine six islands, you could have a small city of 10,000 people. These floating cities could be located around a central port that offers amenities such as shopping, health care, and other businesses. The idea is that the islands would be designed to be self-sufficient, growing their own food and purifying their own water.
It is estimated that 90%of the world's largest cities could be exposed to rising sea waters over the next few decades. Up to 2.4 million homes and more than 100,000 commercial properties are at risk of flooding over the next 30 years, according to a 2018 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Architects are already making disaster-proof homes, but for a hefty price.
The Florida company Arkup recently launched a self-sustainable "electrical livable yacht." It has 2,300 square feet of rooftop solar panels, and is said to be able to withstand a Category 4 hurricane. It has 4,350 square feet of indoor and outdoor living space, but the cost starts just over $5 million.
Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century.
U.S. Global Change Research Program
Architects and companies worldwide will continue their efforts to think outside of the box to deliver solutions to global changes, so we expect to hear more futuristic ideas in the real estate market like these floating communities and the 3D printed homes we spoke about in our April newsletter.
Agent vs Realtor ®
While both real estate agents and Realtors must be licensed by the state of Florida, a realtor must be a member of the Tallahassee Board of Realtors, Florida Association of Realtors®, and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), which requires their members to adhere to a "Code of Ethics" and "Standards of Practice."
Membership requires strict adherence to this ethical code, which requires re-training every two years. These practices include guidelines on how a Realtor® must treat their clients, customers, the public, and other Realtors®. NAR membership also includes a variety of resources to help keep their members fully informed on market trends through the availability of research, statistics, and constant educational opportunities which also presents the opportunity to network within the community. Being a member of NAR, allows you to work with someone who, through training, is ethical, an expert of the home-buying process, objective, well-informed, knowledgeable in negotiating, and up-to-date.
These guidelines and resources are why you see the registered trademark symbol at the end of the word "Realtor," because the trademark is owned by NAR and protected by the federal government.
Coming Soon, Pending & Under Contract
So, you are searching for homes online even if you have a real estate agent, because it's human nature. We are curious, and there is just so much dang information out there! And a few of those statuses are just confusing, which is totally and completely understandable, because the definitions may vary among agents, brokers, and state regulators.
A "Coming Soon" home is a house that is not officially "on the market," but is expected to be listed for sale within a certain number of days (normally less than 30). This status is chosen in an agreement between a well-informed seller, and a broker acting in the best interest of the seller. I find that it is most commonly used when a seller is preparing the home for market, and doing things like painting, repairs, and/ or improvements. "Coming Soon" can be a great tool to let the community know that a home will be available shortly, in order to start driving interest. However, each situation is different, and what is most important here is that the seller is given the most expert advice from their real estate agent of the pros and cons of the "Coming Soon" status for their particular situation.
In the most simple of terms, a "Pending" home mean the seller has accepted an offer, but the deal has not closed yet. This status is typically used for homes in which there is an executed contract.
An "Under Contract" home simply means that a buyer has made a formal offer and the seller has accepted that offer. This is typically during a period in which contingencies must be met - financing and inspections, for example. Since it is so early in the contractual process, a listing agent could continue to show the property and take backup offers, if this is in the best interest of the seller. Deals fall through every day for a variety of reasons, so I inform my clients about making a back-up offer on homes in case something with the current contract doesn't work out. If another home is found, the back-up offer can simply be withdrawn at any time before acceptance.