- Can I convert my garage to a liveable space?
- Should I revamp my kitchen?
- How much space do I have to extend the property?
To help American homeowners make more informed decisions, and answer questions like these, Realm has built a data platform to help you better understand the often hidden details about your home.
Whether you are considering selling your home in the future, or just looking to increase the value in your largest purchase, Realm is an innovative product that helps analyze your home’s value. Through its scoring system, you can see what improvements and assets your home already has, as well as a variety of details on your home from the year it was built to the maximum available space to extend your living space.
Helping Homeowners to Understand Home Value
When you get your home valued or check out the Zillow prices in your neighborhood, you learn what your house is worth today. Where Realm is different is that it helps homeowners to understand and unlock the potential value of their home and show what it could be worth in years to come.
Where Realm is different is that it helps homeowners to understand and unlock the potential value of their home and show what it could be worth in years to come.
Realm works off the premise that we are potentially underutilizing our living space, and could be even making money on our home’s untapped potential in a variety of ways — from renovations to extensions, and more. The team behind Realm is on a mission to help American homeowners both enjoy their space more and sometimes even profit from it. Its free, centralized data hub shows single-family homeowners in all 50 states what their home is worth, among many other essential details.
As my family of four grew to a family of six, we debated embarking on a few major home improvement journeys to enhance and expand our space, such as turning our dining/kitchen/living spaces into one open floor plan. The other option was to move into a bigger house. Realm would have made those decisions easier.
We decided to go for the renovations and Realm (thankfully) showed just how helpful it was to go ahead with that work — I just wish I’d had it at the time for more specific direction ahead of time on the best ways to maximize space and increase value. It also could have greatly benefited our family during the home selling process when we did eventually move by showing us what renovations would be most important in increasing the home’s value before listing.
How Realm Helps Homeowners
Realm is a one-stop-shop for actionable, unbiased home advice that shows homeowners what their home could be worth and how to access more of its value. It helps homeowners in three distinct ways by:
- Showing them possible improvements to their property
- Making it clear how much each improvement will cost, and;
- The benefits of completing a project.
Realm removes the unknowns when you start contemplating a project by helping homeowners truly understand the impact of a renovation or investment on their property — you no longer need to rely on anecdotal advice from friends, family, and contractors.
While it may seem at first glance like the information provided can be found elsewhere, such as public records or Zillow, Realm is the only tool that breaks down the value of your house into its specific components — helping you to both understand your home value more and take action on it. Realm obtains the data through aggregating, purchasing, and collecting from other sources and provides unbiased advice for you to come to a decision on your own.
With Realm you can find out:
Zoning regulations and permit processes, among other restrictions, vary by city and can cause some annoying roadblocks for homeowners trying to start new projects. Realm collects the rules from each city through local government offices, and calculates out how many square feet you can use to expand your home and additional structures based on zoning requirements in your area. This means they are doing the tedious research for you, and preventing future headaches from misunderstanding the rules.
Realm collects the rules from each city through local government offices, and calculates out how many square feet you can use to expand your home and additional structures based on zoning requirements in your area.
An Estimated Cost
What if you could know a reasonable estimate of how much a project costs before you interview local vendors for your project? This gives the power back to the homeowners to understand what quotes they receive are reasonable and which are too high. Realm has 20+ home projects accessible for price estimates through the app and is adding more. Some examples they can provide pricing information for include upgrading current spaces or refreshing amenities. You can input specifics of the project as well to tailor your cost estimates to your specific needs.
Specific Benefits and Value
Even if you are ready to throw thousands of dollars into a home project, you may be unclear on the specific benefits and value the work might add to your house valuation. Realm calculates the impact each project has on home value, giving the homeowners specific numbers based on the sale price, trends in comparable properties, and more. The company’s ROI analysis means you will see how much more livable and valuable your home will be when the final touches have been completed.
Taking a Look at My Home with Realm
One of my favorite aspects of this app is there is no sign-up or red tape to get started and you receive helpful and insightful information just a few clicks into the process. To start the process of understanding the value past and future projects might have, you just need to enter your address right on Realm’s homepage.
Note: I did run into a slight hiccup when I first input the address of my suburban home, no information was available. Perhaps because it’s a relatively new build (within the last five years), but I used an older address of a 30+-year-old home I’d lived in, and a plethora of information was available.
The ability to input an address before moving through the full sign-up process helps to see if it will be worth your time, or if you need to wait longer for Realm to be available in your area.
To complete the actual sign-up process, all you need is to add your email, and to answer a few short (and some are optional) questions, such as how you found out about Realm, and what your main intention is for using it.
Next, you’re presented with your Realm Score, which tells you how much of the property’s potential is being utilized. For me, it was 454 out of 1000 for this property, and made me realize how much potential there was. From there, I was able to see projects that might help improve this score, such as a kitchen renovation (50 more points), a bathroom renovation (45 points), and more — though Realm didn’t seem to know that in the last few years I’d already completely changed the kitchen floor plan, cabinets, and floors. (I guess it’s impossible to have every detail, right?)
Other options once you are logged in include creating property plans, which means you can piece together multiple improvement options to see the impact they would have together. In addition, you can scroll down on your dashboard to better understand how much each would cost, the current home value, and even how much-estimated equity you have in the home.
Bringing Homeowners the Same Information Access as Investors
The project, founded by Liz Young in 2019 after growing up watching her parents try to figure out the answers to these same questions, produces data for homes across all 50 states.
Young founded Realm after developing a lifelong passion for real estate. She came to realize that homeowners should have access to all the information that investors have as well, and Realm was born. From a young age, she took interest in renovating and remodeling, including budgeting for her own room’s $1600 renovation in which she self-installed hardwood floors.
She recalls her parents chatting about their home’s value in comparison to other similar properties in the neighborhood, one of the functions Realm now takes care of. Through her work at a real estate tech company, she came to realize that all homeowners should have a full and clear understanding of all the numbers associated with their home to help it reach its full potential.
Navigate Homeownership with Confidence
Three main qualities separate Realm from other similar companies — their unbiased approach to data, personalized advice, and centralized resources.
Unbiased data means that it’s more trustworthy, as it’s completely unattached to sponsors, banks, or contractors who might benefit from a site pressuring you to start a remodel or to get a home equity loan. From the beginning of the experience, personalized advice is a key trait, making the site way more helpful than a generic Google search about a project’s potential cost, and other topics. There’s even a very responsive chat feature to help you along the way with a real person on the other end of the messenger.
Finally, the centralized resource makes it easier to have all of your home data in one place. No more scrambling to find your square footage with a contractor on the line.
Realm is an innovative real estate app that helps us to see our property not for what it is now, but for what it could be in the future. Maybe with your extra square footage you can rent out a piece of your property or home. Maybe it’s time to finally add on a garage. Whatever your project or goals, Realm gives you a clear and unbiased perspective on prices and possibilities.
Realm serves detached, single-family homeowners in all 50 states. You can get started for free here.