We have truly become a society of immediate gratification. I remember growing up a big fan of music. On weekends, my mother would take me to the local mall, and I would use my hard earned allowance plus money earned delivering the newspaper to purchase records at the record store. Yes, I said records, not cassettes or cd's. I had the kind of record player you personally delivered the arm with needle attached to the turntable and gently placed it onto the 78 record. Music blared and rumbled from the tiny speaker. I danced around my room and sang to the top of my lungs. This was living.
Then, our society became more savvy (or maybe I just noticed it). A company called Columbia House Records was discovered. With Columbia House one made selections from a page found in a magazine. They promised 12 records for a penny! How could this be, I thought? A penny, they would go broke! Once I read the fine print I realized the old no free lunch theory, (or records in this case) held true. You were, in actuality, signing up to be a part of a club. And, making a promise to make a number of future purchases at "club prices". I tried it, and it went well. I eventually graduated to cassette tapes and as luck, or technology, would have it, discovered an even better source of music ... cd's. Now, as an adult cd's are much easier to carry and play in your car. Plus, at given times, I can be caught singing along with the same vigor as I did during my teens.
Today, in 2009, I have, like many of you advanced to the apple ipod! What a great invention! We no longer have to go to a store, wait for a club to send us the latest selection in the mail. No, no, no, now all it takes is a point, click and wallah! my favorite music is downloaded. I love it! Think about all the things we expect now with that kind of lightening speed. Our expectations have changed drastically, and we no longer have the time to wait for anything. Patience is no longer thought of as a virtue, it's now just sick people in the hospital! We have even taken this idea to movies. Think of the progression. Movie theatre, then video store, now Netflix and Blockbuster online. The selections are usually delivered the next day! My point is, and it is no surprise that we have taken the I want it now mindset to home buying. I have found in recent years most buyers want the immediate gratification of just moving into their new home and living. This means they want to do nothing other than unpacking boxes and changing their address. No longer can sellers say its been good enough for me all these years, take it or leave it. The harsh truth is most buyers choose to leave it.
Now, if a house has wallpaper it is practically a fixer upper. And, laminate countertops are unacceptable if the house lists over $200,000. Even products like Corian are considered dated. Plus, who knew yellow would be considered a neutral wall color. Today, we no longer sell heated space, we sell lifestyle! Yes, lifestyle. Studies are showing a growing trend of nesting. Lifestyle selling means media rooms, smart home systems, soaking tubs with air jets, showers with multiple body sprays and rain shower heads adorn our baths. Not to mention t.v. screens hidden behind bathroom mirrors that suddenly appear with a click of a remote. Speaking of remotes, some homes are so automated you can use a remote to turn on lights in various rooms, turn on or off gas logs, control your ceiling fans, open and close your draperies and control the thermostat. I am waiting for the one that will open the door for the dog out at 2 a.m. or shove kids clothes into the laundry room.
Lynne Rowland Eaker - Broker, GRI, ALHS