Who buys Starter Homes?
Only a few short years ago starter homes were scorned by all but the most impoverished home buyer. Why purchase a property in need of improvements when it was possible to buy a sparkling new McMansion with no money down instead? Today all that has changed as investors and first-time buyers, retirees and former homeowners in search of more financial security all compete for affordable dwellings without the high carrying cost.
In fact, starter homes are among the most highly sought after types of real estate on the market today. A recent nationwide survey indicates some major changes in the mindset of buyers including a near complete reversal regarding who is purchasing so called "starter homes."
Trend #1 - Investors not first-time buyers seeking the deals.
Among first time buyers, 87% cite the need for a "move-in" ready home. Increased down payment requirements combined with little access to second mortgages has made it difficult for new buyers to foot the bill for improvements or modifications.
Take away - Short sale investors and wholesalers are positioned to reap the rewards by providing property that is move in ready especially for homes selling in the $100,000 or below price range.
Trend #2 - Location still matters most but urban is making a big come-back.
First time buyers are rejecting rural and suburban areas with long commutes in exchange for homes located near major shopping, public transportation, employment and schools.
Take away - Make the most of urban renewal programs or other incentives bypurchasing in historic districts, revitalization zones or other areas withappealing access. Like the old adage "everything old is new again", expect thistrend to continue into the near future.
Trend #3 - Better by the dozen.
The same study found new home buyers are now looking at nearly a dozen different homes (in person) before making a final decision. This is after taking advantage of online photographs and virtual tours, Google maps and other tools.
Take away - It is essential to provide as many photographs, links and othertools as possible to attract attention to your properties. Buyers understand theadvantages to shopping online so make it easy for them to find relevantinformation that will lead them to view the home in person. Be sure to mentionschool districts, parks, shopping and other meaningful amenities up front thenfollow-up with ample photographs and virtual tour when possible.
Here's to an awesome 2011 Region Realty-Greater Houston Homes-Humble, TX