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The Softer Side of Online Home Buying: Houston is Tops with New HomLuv Website

Mark Law

HOUSTON – (By Dale King, Realty News Report) – Online house hunters normally go to a home-search website and type in a bunch of numbers – the ZIP code, the desired square footage and, of course, the price.

With HomLuv.com, it’s a bit more touchy-feely. Pictures are more important than numbers. A HomLuv search is more about design, about color and the preferences that make the heart flutter. Think: Pinterest, not algorithms.

And it’s taking off big-time in Houston.

HomLuv.com, a striking, new real estate search website that has reconfigured the model for finding homes to one using online programs like Pinterest and mixing in “artificial intelligence” to spark the hunt, was launched barely a month ago. And Houston is already Number 1 in the HomLuv universe.

“While HomLuv is a national website – with new homes from leading builders across the nation – Houston is the Number 1 market on the site,” said Mark Law, vice president of product management for Builders Digital Experience (BDX), HomLuv’s parent company, based in Austin.

“As of today, there are more than 15,676 buildable floor plans and quick move-in homes in 1,375 new home communities from 141 builders in the Greater Houston area for sale on HomLuv.com.”

In a nutshell, HomLuv.com is a pioneering, visual search-and-select computer platform for new-home buyers. Developed to make finding the perfect new home simpler, HomLuv flips the search process around by showing buyers beautiful interior images, floor plans and videos to help them come up with their own unique design and to articulate what they really want in a new residence.

Buyers indicate which images they like or dislike and HomLuv then creates a profile for them. HomLuv’s artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing tools begin to pick up on buyers’ or couples’ likes and dislikes, and begins presenting more ideas to match their tastes.

“With 67 percent of buyers considering new construction, there is a huge addressable market whose needs aren’t being fully met,” said Tim Costello, CEO of Builders Digital Experience. That company operates HomLuv.com and NewHomeSource.com, the two leading websites in the nation for consumers to select the right builder, new home and community for their lifestyle, needs and budget.

Not only has Houston taken first place in HomLuv.com’s market, but communities near the Bayou City are also on the bandwagon. “Richmond has the most new home communities on HomLuv – 89 total – with an average base price of $349,710. Fulshear has 31 new home communities and the highest base price in the Houston area, of $415,442. The top five markets outside of the Houston city limits on HomLuv are: Richmond, Katy, Cypress, Spring and Conroe – with a combined total of 363 active new home communities.”

“Research shows that home buyers are frustrated with real estate websites that don’t effectively cater to new home buyers. HomLuv’s visual, design-forward approach gives buyers and builders a shared language, eliminating confusion, streamlining the process and creating a great experience for both,” Law said.

Law said HomLuv “offers something for everyone – first-time buyer homes, move-up, custom and luxury homes. Currently, the least expensive new dwelling in the Houston area listed on HomLuv has a base price before options of $151,990. The highest base price of a Houston-area home on HomLuv is $1,214,422.”

He said a majority of Houstonians prefer single-family, detached homes, but “townhomes and condos are also popular – both in the city and also in suburban locations.”

During their visual tour, participants also collaborate with their spouse, partner or co-buyer. HomLuv allows buyers to define their mutual taste and even add a quick note on an image – i.e., one buyer loves the countertop, but their co-buyer would like another cabinet color.

Contributors to the HomLuv image collection are experts on custom homes, interior trends, green features, architecture, landscaping, design, budgeting and project management.

HomLuv learns shopper preferences, ultimately matching them with builders in their specific location who can complete their vision.

Law said the other BDX website, NewHomeSource.com, “is ideal for buyers who prefer the traditional real estate search model or who want to compare two new home communities side-by-side. Both sites have the freshest and most complete listings of new homes for sale – supplied directly by each builder, most updated daily.”

“Buyers are assured of the most accurate and up-to-date info on HomLuv.com and NewHomeSource.com.” He noted that HomLuv.com is “solely focused on newly built homes for sale.”

Aug. 7, 2018 Realty News Report Copyright 2018

 

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