Zillow Talk | by Spencer Rascoff and Stan Humphries

Zillow Talk: Rewriting the Rules of Real Estate

Zillow Talk: Rewriting the Rules of Real Estate
by Spencer Rascoff and Stan Humphries
(Grand Central Publishing, 2015, 288 pages)

I discovered this title when I was researching business books this fall. My husband and I are hoping to move at some point in the near future and I’m mildly obsessed with scoping out Zillow so I figured this would be a worthwhile read.

The authors of the book are the creators Zillow so they talk a lot about how making data accessible to the end-user was their big goal. A lot of the data they have incorporated into their site used to only be available through a real estate agent. Now that the information can be thoughtfully broken down and made visible to the consumer, they are able to make better-informed decisions about their real estate purchases.

The chapters are short and straight-forward. There are definitely tips you can take away from this book, including information about where it makes the most sense to put your money if you’re hoping to improve the value of your house; why it might make more sense to rent than to buy; how the word choice of a house listing can significantly impact the types of offers you receive; and lots more.

This book was great in making me think more strategically about the home-buying process. It also was a great selling tool for the Zillow site itself – I hadn’t realized the many different factors that went into it, but now I feel like I know how to better manipulate the site to see the many features it has.

If you’re a Zillow fan or are looking to buy/sell/rent in the near-ish future, you might want to pick up this book.

The Perfectly Imperfect Home | by Deborah Needleman

The Perfectly Imperfect Home

The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well
by Deborah Needleman; illustrated by Virginia Johnson
(Potter Style, 2011, 256 pages)

My interest in interior decorating continues! The message of Needleman’s book is in line with how I feel – I want my place to look nice and put together, but I also want it to feel cozy and to quickly make people feel at home. Needleman offers tips on things you can do at home to make your place reflect who you are while also making it chic AND comfortable. The book is broken down in chapters that look at various elements like lighting and “cozifications” mixed in with chapters that are broken down by room. I got some good tips from her, especially when it comes to things like lighting and seating arrangements.

The Perfectly Imperfect Home didn’t offer as much new information as I’d hoped it would, it mostly just supported the mindset I already work with. That being said, this would make for a good introductory text if you’re looking at exploring changes at home. It will give you ideas while also helping you see that the changes don’t have to be huge to have an impact on how your home feels.