Warning: NO golf content

We hear this word bunted back and forth when certain subjects are broached.  So, my word of the day for February 22nd, 2018 is Algorithm.  A quick google search renders:

a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.
“a basic algorithm for division”

For me, the first time I heard this word outside of a math class was when Pandora became all the rage for streaming music.  Their very special Algorithm (proprietary no doubt) was used to select the songs you liked to hear.  I’m no writer of computer code but I can only imagine it worked something like this…   last ten artists you searched and any artists in the same genre, last 50 tracks you played and hit “like” in a heavier rotation, and a little randomness mostly dominated by the artists who they pay the least per track to send into your stream.  This was more or less confirmed by a good friend who was working for a similar company and simply called the algorithm “marketing bollocks.”

So, how does this relate to Real Estate?

Many of us migrate to the website that most suits our taste to look at properties when we’re thinking of buying or selling a house.  Many of these websites, mine included (quick plug: My website ) uses an estimated market value on their website.  Once again, these values are defined by an algorithm.  Something along the lines of recent sales in the neighborhood and town or even the larger comparative markets, as well as property tax records, and basic information about the house such as square footage, the size of the lot, and the year it was constructed.

A member of our local community asked me recently how accurate that number really seems to be?  The answer was tricky….    it depends.

So, should you trust it?  I would probably use it as a reasonable ball park and if it were an object of my desire under $100 in price just write the check, hit the buy button, get that think shipped out ASAP.  But, when it comes to several hundred thousands of dollars, or even ninety thousand dollars, not so much.  Let’s remember that no one has seen the inside of the prospective property and it has not been inspected by a licensed contractor.  As I often explain in Buyer’s Interviews, there’s a big difference in market value of a house that’s a 1 vs. a 10.  That could mean bathroom upgrades, crown molding, new floors, or state of the art appliances, not to mention potential defects.

Why are you buying the house?  Is it an investment?  Are you moving your family into the home?  Do you hope it appreciates at least as fast as the average?

Competent professionals in this industry ask these questions.  They also represent you exclusively unless it’s an extraordinary situation.  Be smart, don’t just hit on any Listing Agent and have him/her write you an offer.  They’re inherently a bit biased towards the Seller.  Can they overcome that?  Perhaps.  But, you’re paying the commission either way.  Why not know that you have a gal or guy in your corner?


I indulged myself and re-read these old blog posts.  Funny how time flies, and also funny how ideas, notions, and blog posts, seem clearer and more well-written when you write them.

Back in one of my first posts I wrote I would teach my reader a “new” word in each blog.  Today’s word is “posh.”  Like the Spice Girl, I think of posh as being British.  The Queen Mother would be the epitome of the poshest of posh.  Posh is probably at best a synonym for the more Marxist interpretation of the French word, Bourgeoisie.  I think of Ayn Rand’s Howard Roark eating the world on an oyster.  Don’t bite into the pearl, Howard.

A few months back I made the rather posh decision to book a tee time at an exclusive private country club when visiting North Carolina for a friend’s nuptial.  The wedding was the highlight of the trip by a long shot.  You truly know you’re absorbing a special moment when you watch two people gaze into each others’ eyes and say “I do.”  But, it was also private, intimate, and patently not my moment, so I don’t dare write too much about it.  The golf on the other hand…

Weather was spectacular and this particular club has gone through a recent rather spendy (once again very posh) remodel.  Fairways were grafted from a sod farm.  Extensive research was done to insure that Donald Ross’s design intents were uncovered and adhered to strictly.  Greens are rumored to be the fastest in the state.  Well, lucky me, the weather was outstanding (did I already mention that?)


So, real estate content, and course review…

Biltmore Forest Country Club is amazing.  If you ever have the opportunity, carpe diem.

Donald Ross and understanding his design philosophy is like crawling is to walking for a recreational golf course design junkie like myself.  Neat photo of a statue of Ross outside of the pro shop at the Grove Park Inn..


Any of you that know me personally know I have strong opinions.  Like coffee, I like things strong.  I don’t even mind if you have strong opinions that are the polar opposite of mine, shocking, I know.

So, the real estate content this week is going to be opinionated, which is actually unusual, because my mine focus in real estate is usually very different than from life.  In life I love the challenge of unraveling a huge problem and finding a solution.  But, usually in real estate, I find that you just grind away the details and hope that you’re helping someone make a great decision that is almost integral to the true American experience.   The big opinion is (thanks for waiting patiently)…

The golfing part of this trip to North Carolina revealed two golf courses, two neighborhoods, and two “works in progress” that I felt were yielding vastly different results.  Case A, Biltmore Forest, involved the poshest of posh, spending a very luxurious amount of money and rendering the purest golf experience I’ve ever had the pleasure to live.  Case B, Grove Park Inn, is actually Bourgeoisie, in the actual French meaning of the term, not Carl Marx.  It’s middle class.  They’ve taken the driving range out to build more lodging and amenities, so you warm up hitting balls into a net.  The maintenance is very public and a little ragged around the corners.  The homes that line the fairways are every bit as beautiful as the ones in the Biltmore Forest neighborhood, but the resort attracts travelers.  Travelers don’t necessarily want to golf any more.  If they do, many prefer it to be less expensive and don’t mind losing out on the “posh.”  Thank goodness we need everyday, run of the mill, chip off the old block, restaurants, bars, shopping centers, golf courses, homes, and everything else at least as much if not more than posh.