Author Topic: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?  (Read 4095 times)

Rekon

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Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« on: December 12, 2014, 10:21:07 PM »
I'm thinking of building an application that helps homeowners and potential homebuyers.

The app would be similar to mint.com, where you can enter in your mortgage log in information and see all your payments, transaction and mortgage details. 

The focus will be housing.  I will use customer account information and tie it with local rent averages and property values.

So ideally a homeowner will be able do the following:
  • Track their property value over time
  • Check if it's worth refinancing
  • Calculate additional payment savings
  • Check potential profits of renting out their house
  • Check what specific home improvements would do to their property value
The list goes on...

Ideally someone with an existing mortgage can do a financial check up and have a series of "what if?" calculations.

Also, I was thinking this could also target potential home buyers.  Have an interactive tool that asks preference questions then the user types in an address they are considering buying and this tool will say if it financially makes sense.  Maybe have the same tool that calculates if a rental property makes sense buying.

What do you Mustachian's think?  Is this totally stupid?  Would you use something like this?  Ultimately it would be an educational software...
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 10:24:11 PM by Rekon »

Rezdent

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2014, 10:22:32 AM »
For me, all of those except the last one would be useful but that's because I don't flip - I maintain.  I repair/replace but do not add specifically to increase value.

Estimating current market value seems to be a big headache.  The tax appraisal can be off a great deal from the current true MV.  There's a few sites (Zillow?) that will return estimates, which vary widely between sites.   And often these sites can offer no estimates for me because they lack enough data for rural areas.

I would probably use something like this if it were free.

Rekon

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2014, 12:57:57 PM »
For me, all of those except the last one would be useful but that's because I don't flip - I maintain.  I repair/replace but do not add specifically to increase value.

Estimating current market value seems to be a big headache.  The tax appraisal can be off a great deal from the current true MV.  There's a few sites (Zillow?) that will return estimates, which vary widely between sites.   And often these sites can offer no estimates for me because they lack enough data for rural areas.

I would probably use something like this if it were free.

Thanks!  This helps!   This app will be free for users -- I wouldn't want to show ads either.  I may find a creative way to generate leads as a revenue source.

For comps I was thinking of using MLS data.  That way there is sufficient coverage -- especially in rural areas. 

Is there any other feature you would use in managing your property/mortgage?

Rezdent

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2014, 02:10:06 PM »
Hmm.
You listed:
      Check potential profits of renting out their house

Would that include comp rents as well, or just the price points for meeting 1/50% rules?  Finding true comp rents is another area that takes me time and research.


Rekon

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2014, 02:13:46 PM »
Yes, I would want build it to do both and minimize the research.  How accurate is rentometer.com for comp rents?  They have data available that I can tie in.

Also,  what is your research process?  I can possibly automate it.

arebelspy

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2014, 10:59:26 PM »
Sounds like a really neat idea to me.

I assume you'd have tie-ins with various mortgage refi companies that could save people money, and that's how you'd make money (similar to how Mint "recommends" different savings accounts, credit cards, etc.).
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Rekon

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2014, 01:14:53 PM »
Sounds like a really neat idea to me.

I assume you'd have tie-ins with various mortgage refi companies that could save people money, and that's how you'd make money (similar to how Mint "recommends" different savings accounts, credit cards, etc.).

Yes, exactly.  I can sell the leads or advertisement.  But at first I wouldn't want to monetize.  I just want to create a kick ass tool for people.  I find the research of buying an investment property pretty extensive.  I think it would be awesome if at least -- this part was automated. 
 

arebelspy

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2014, 01:32:30 PM »
Do it. If it's useful it will find fans.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
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NinetyFour

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2014, 01:43:06 PM »
Check potential profits of renting out their house

Maybe this would be too complicated, but could your app possibly check on the potential profit of living in one's house but renting out one's accessory dwelling unit (or MIL unit)?  (I actually live in my ADU and rent out my main house, but that probably doesn't make much difference.)

Thanks.

Rekon

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2014, 01:44:41 PM »
Check potential profits of renting out their house

Maybe this would be too complicated, but could your app possibly check on the potential profit of living in one's house but renting out one's accessory dwelling unit (or MIL unit)?  (I actually live in my ADU and rent out my main house, but that probably doesn't make much difference.)

Thanks.

Do you mean - renting out a room?

NinetyFour

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2014, 01:51:42 PM »
Well, in my case, it is a separate dwelling on the same property.

sieben

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2014, 01:53:40 PM »
Hi Rekon,

I work as a developer on a software/data application that does something similar but for Multi-Unit housing and now Commercial properties. The software I work on is used by larger rental/property management companies and is certainly a profitable piece of software. You seem to have a slightly different approach then our software package but the one commonality that I thought I would mention is that we spend a ton of money/time on data acquisition and maintenance. If this is a small project you plan on developing yourself do you have a plan for gathering the information/statistics you need to be accurate? I feel like that this would be much more difficult/costly then actually developing the app. Not trying to dissuade you from going ahead with this. Just my $0.02.

Best of luck!

Rekon

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2014, 01:55:11 PM »
Well, in my case, it is a separate dwelling on the same property.

If you type in your address and number of bedrooms in http://rentometer.com is it close to what you should charge for rent?

Rekon

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2014, 02:05:09 PM »
Hi Rekon,

I work as a developer on a software/data application that does something similar but for Multi-Unit housing and now Commercial properties. The software I work on is used by larger rental/property management companies and is certainly a profitable piece of software. You seem to have a slightly different approach then our software package but the one commonality that I thought I would mention is that we spend a ton of money/time on data acquisition and maintenance. If this is a small project you plan on developing yourself do you have a plan for gathering the information/statistics you need to be accurate? I feel like that this would be much more difficult/costly then actually developing the app. Not trying to dissuade you from going ahead with this. Just my $0.02.

Best of luck!

Thanks, I totally understand.  I work for a data research company -- we specialize in banking data.  I agree acquiring/maintaining data is always a challenge.

NinetyFour

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2014, 02:12:44 PM »
Well, in my case, it is a separate dwelling on the same property.

If you type in your address and number of bedrooms in http://rentometer.com is it close to what you should charge for rent?

Rentometer says that what I charge ($850) is reasonable, but it says that anything between $610 - 1100 is reasonable.  That's a big range!  And I'm not sure what Rentometer assumes about utilities.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 02:25:13 PM by NinetyFour »

Rekon

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2014, 02:14:57 PM »
Well, in my case, it is a separate dwelling on the same property.

If you type in your address and number of bedrooms in http://rentometer.com is it close to what you should charge for rent?

Rentometer says that what I charge $850 is reasonable, but it says that anything between $610 - 1100 is reasonable.  That's a big range!  And I'm not sure what Rentometer assumes about utilities.

Thanks for doing that!  That's interesting.  I doubt it factors any utilities.

arebelspy

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2014, 02:25:04 PM »

Hi Rekon,

I work as a developer on a software/data application that does something similar but for Multi-Unit housing and now Commercial properties. The software I work on is used by larger rental/property management companies and is certainly a profitable piece of software. You seem to have a slightly different approach then our software package but the one commonality that I thought I would mention is that we spend a ton of money/time on data acquisition and maintenance. If this is a small project you plan on developing yourself do you have a plan for gathering the information/statistics you need to be accurate? I feel like that this would be much more difficult/costly then actually developing the app. Not trying to dissuade you from going ahead with this. Just my $0.02.

Best of luck!

I agree. With that in mind, I'd start with just the "put in login info for bank with mortgage" and have it have tools for looking at your amortization schedule, what prepaying does, what refinancing to a shorter term does, what recasting does, what refinancing to a lower rate does (tied in with actual quotes from companies, maybe using their credit score), etc.

Add in the rental estimates and stuff later on.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Rekon

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2014, 02:26:51 PM »

Hi Rekon,

I work as a developer on a software/data application that does something similar but for Multi-Unit housing and now Commercial properties. The software I work on is used by larger rental/property management companies and is certainly a profitable piece of software. You seem to have a slightly different approach then our software package but the one commonality that I thought I would mention is that we spend a ton of money/time on data acquisition and maintenance. If this is a small project you plan on developing yourself do you have a plan for gathering the information/statistics you need to be accurate? I feel like that this would be much more difficult/costly then actually developing the app. Not trying to dissuade you from going ahead with this. Just my $0.02.

Best of luck!

I agree. With that in mind, I'd start with just the "put in login info for bank with mortgage" and have it have tools for looking at your amortization schedule, what prepaying does, what refinancing to a shorter term does, what recasting does, what refinancing to a lower rate does (tied in with actual quotes from companies, maybe using their credit score), etc.

Add in the rental estimates and stuff later on.

That makes sense!  Thanks!  But isn't there a lot of tools out there that help with this already?  I guess the difference is they don't ask for your login information and tie it in automatically...

monarda

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Re: Would this help homeowners/potential homebuyers?
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2014, 09:22:31 PM »

Hi Rekon,

I work as a developer on a software/data application that does something similar but for Multi-Unit housing and now Commercial properties. The software I work on is used by larger rental/property management companies and is certainly a profitable piece of software. You seem to have a slightly different approach then our software package but the one commonality that I thought I would mention is that we spend a ton of money/time on data acquisition and maintenance. If this is a small project you plan on developing yourself do you have a plan for gathering the information/statistics you need to be accurate? I feel like that this would be much more difficult/costly then actually developing the app. Not trying to dissuade you from going ahead with this. Just my $0.02.

Best of luck!

I agree. With that in mind, I'd start with just the "put in login info for bank with mortgage" and have it have tools for looking at your amortization schedule, what prepaying does, what refinancing to a shorter term does, what recasting does, what refinancing to a lower rate does (tied in with actual quotes from companies, maybe using their credit score), etc.

Add in the rental estimates and stuff later on.

That makes sense!  Thanks!  But isn't there a lot of tools out there that help with this already?  I guess the difference is they don't ask for your login information and tie it in automatically...

Yeah, there are a lot of mortgage calculators out there.  I use the one at my lender, so the loans I have are easily tied in.  You could add these features

Quote
    Track their property value over time
    Check what specific home improvements would do to their property value

I'd especially like a survey of renovate vs buy a different house with that feature already included.  For example- we have an 1100 sqft 2BR house. We would like one more bedroom, so our computer room/office and guest room are two different rooms.  Choice is- should we add on, or should we buy a 3BR house around 1500-1700 sqft?  We took a look at 3BR options with a realtor and decided it would cost less if we added on.

and I agree, add the rent vs sell calculation features later on.