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The Boston Globe did an interesting article in 2007 on generational preferences in real estate, noting that the Boomer affinity for McMansions as well as the number of Boomers owning a supersized home compared to the number of interested Gen-Xers (the would-be buyers) makes for an interesting situation where supply far exceeds demand.
Boomers are left holding the bag. After doing a 90’s upgrade in home to correlate with their expanding family size, Boomers want to scale back. But Gen-Xers do not often feel a need for a large home and the status associated with it. Gen-Xers are waiting longer to marry, having fewer children and are focused on building their careers. Many are not financially able to buy a huge house anyway.
So with the large Boomer generation beginning to arrive at retirement age, we see their dream homes for sale. What will happen? Like all real estate trends, when it comes right down to it, we really only concern ourselves with what is happening in our own state, county and city while being aware of the national real estate picture. In the case of Corvallis, with our density of professional people, the picture may play out differently than the general trend. Our Gen-Xers are highly educated and often enjoy stable salaries, which would enable them to take on larger homes. The question is, do they want to?
Experience tells us that McMansion style homes in Corvallis have the greatest number of price reductions and the highest days on market compared to other homes. So the question remains, who will buy these homes? Those that do will have plenty of room to entertain and will get a good deal for the price they pay.
We know it will most likely not be Gen Y buyers because they are not inclined to commit to an area and a mortgage when they could do some traveling and go on some adventures first. Most Gen Y buyers are concerned about not leaving a large carbon footprint, and they like the idea of walking or biking to work once they do settle, not a commute. Additionally, many Gen Y home buyers are not in a position to buy a luxury home, though there is always the exception.
Price is what will solve this inventory problem. For the Boomers who bought large homes thinking it was a wise investment with sure appreciation, there may be some disillusionment. What are some things that can be done besides a competitive price to move these homes?
While both of us have successfully sold these homes, Susan has the most experience. Her top suggestion: consider updates to differentiate. Most large two story homes have 20 years wear and tear or inefficient heating/cooling systems. Dated kitchen finishes are something we often notice with these homes. Correcting those two perceived flaws will make a home stand out from the crowd.
Here is some good news if you have a McMansion of your own. Nationally, a recent survey of desired square footage conducted by Trulia offers some hope of moving mega homes based on perceived desireability of more space. See chart below for details. Record-low interest rates, under 4 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, are allowing some buyers to move up without making larger payments.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.