What Buyers Want Right Now

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Real Estate - Montgomeryville AB066108

As the country battles itself out of the recession, a certain wave of practicality has swept through the housing industry. Home buyers are more cautious about their investments and want affordable homes in great condition and great locations. If they don't feel like a home is superior in terms of updates and amenities, they want a deeply discounted price. Downsizing to a smaller home, low mortgage balances and eco-friendly homes are becoming very chic. Here is a sampling of what is popular right now:

Smaller Homes: According to the National Association of Home Builders, the median size of a US home in 2007 was 2,277 sq. ft.; in 2009, that size shrunk to 2,135 sq. ft. The number of rooms isn’t changing but the size of them are. Smaller homes generally mean smaller mortgages and property taxes, and they are easier/cheaper to heat, clean and maintain.

Functionality and layout are still key. Families want the usefulness of a larger home but in a smaller space. So areas that can have 2-3 purposes (say an office/den/guest room) and wisely maximize every inch of space are what buyers want.

Green Homes: This trend is gaining momentum. Whether it is Energy-Star appliances, tankless hot water heaters, high efficiency heat pumps, higher R-value insulation, newer windows, solar panels, or low-energy LED lighting, buyers want to feel like their home is environmentally sound and energy efficient.

Multiple Heating Options: As the prices of fuel oil, electricity, natural gas and propane remain unstable and subject to wide price variations, consumers want homes where they can supplement their heat with different options, such as only using an oil burner for the extreme cold and a heat pump for the milder temperatures. An added option such as a wood or propane fireplace insert is only a plus in a buyer’s eye. Additionally, zoned heating and cooling are more popular than ever.

Ranch Homes: As the baby boomers age, they don’t want to be climbing staircases. Single level homes are becoming more popular to accommodate the boomers and the family that might have to eventually take them in.

Front Porches: There are two reasons for this trend. First, a front porch fosters a sense of community which so many suburban areas lack. There is a shift in that buyers are seeking some tradition; they want to own homes and be a part of the community.

Secondly, the recession and a lack of undeveloped land in some areas has slowed down the big “cookie cutter” developments. Many builders are putting new homes on unused parcels in already established neighborhoods. The addition of a front porch helps the new homes blend better with the older ones.

Quality Upgrades: If they are going to live in a smaller home, buyers want them to be gorgeous with high end upgrades such as granite countertops, high quality faucets, light fixtures, switches, and door knobs, ceramic tile, hardwood floors, decorative molding, and cutting edge appliances.

Charging Stations: Buyers love when an area of the kitchen or mudroom has an area devoted to charging the cell phones, cameras, laptops, iPods, etc. There are too many cords to keep track of.

What Women Want: Years ago, builders started listening to women when they offered “Christmas Lights” packages in some new homes. Single women now make up 25% of the home buyers in today’s market. Ease of maintenance is always a top priority for women. Additionally, women want:

Security: Automatic lighting, security systems, deadbolts, remote access

Organization: Walk-in closets with organizers (such as a California Closet), large kitchen pantries, “drop zones” for groceries, hair dryer ready drawers with outlets in them, a well-designed laundry room with a utility sink, storage and areas to hang clothes and a wall mounted gift wrapping station with retractable shelving

Serenity: Ultra quiet appliances, luxurious master bathrooms with soaking tubs (even though most women admit to rarely using the tub), quiet (non-creaking) flooring, soft but chic paint colors, outdoor areas that offer privacy and areas to tend a garden

What would you want in a home?

For more information, contact Lisa Loper at (215) 256-1200 ext. 212 or Lisa@ScottLoperTeam.com. This article originally appeared in the Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch.

 

Contact Scott Loper, Associate Broker, Realtor®, RE/MAX Realty Group at 215-513-1333 for help buying or selling a home in Lansdale, Harleysville, Hatfield, Souderton, Skippack, Collegeville, North Wales and the surrounding areas of Montgomery County of Pennsylvania. To Search for Homes For Sale in Montgomery County Click Here.

What Buyers Want Right Now - Copyright © 2011, The Scott LoperTeam, All rights reserved.

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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Michele Myers 06/08/2011 12:23 PM
  2. Cheryl Ritchie 06/09/2011 01:08 AM
  3. Bob & Leilani Souza 06/09/2011 01:59 PM
  4. Aaron Silverman 06/12/2011 06:15 AM
Topic:
Home Selling
Location:
Pennsylvania Montgomery County Montgomeryville
Groups:
1st Time Buyers
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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
810,313
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

 

Scott:

I am going to share this list with my sphere, so they know what buyers expect now.  Thanks for sharing.

Jun 08, 2011 03:39 PM #4
Rainmaker
718,263
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

My buyers seem to want one thing right now - about $50k more house than they can possibly afford.

Jun 08, 2011 03:40 PM #5
Rainer
45,711
Laurie Jarrett
Keller Williams Realty Heritage-New Braunfels - New Braunfels, TX
REALTOR - New Braunfels, San Marcos, Texas Real Es

Lisa, I'm seeing many of these things in my own market.  I'm seeing more 1-story, 1600-1700 square foot homes sold more than anything.  I love when I get these listings because they sell!

Jun 08, 2011 03:41 PM #6
Rainer
227,182
Tricia Hoffmann
Your Home Free - Highland Village, TX

What's interesting (in my opinion) is how my needs and wants change as my life changes!  I would love a single story home or a home that has a downstairs gameroom so it doesn't look like Fisher-Price threw up all over my living room!  I would want that room right off my kitchen.

I don't think you can ever have enough storage so that it something I always look for!

Jun 08, 2011 04:13 PM #7
Rainmaker
722,887
Patrick White
Home Driven Realty, Inc - Baldwin, NY
Driven to bring New Yorkers home

Good Evening

Thamks for the post. Have a great day

Jun 08, 2011 04:26 PM #8
Rainer
139,717
Jeanne M. Gavish
Jeanne Gavish, Keller Williams Realty Elite Partners - Spring Hill, FL
Keller Williams Realty Elite Partners - CIPS,GRI,S

I am seeing more and more of people who are consciously downsizing and simplifying their lives, and learning to do less with more.  Maybe we have learned that living at the top of our means just means more stress.

Jun 08, 2011 05:17 PM #9
Rainmaker
316,562
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

You have given a comprehensive list. I'll also take a single level with a front porch.

Jun 08, 2011 06:37 PM #10
Rainmaker
157,008
George Bennett
Inactive - Port Orford, OR
Inactive Principal Broker, GRI

Great list & thanks for posting it. In our area which is a defacto retirement community ranch homes are preferred but if there are upper and/or lower levels there must be a bedroom on the main level. A minimum of 2 BAs are required. Large private lots are preferred with outbuildings for arts, crafts, etc. and garden areas or room for garden areas with low maintenance yards.

Jun 08, 2011 06:43 PM #11
Rainmaker
86,450
Gina Nugent
Donohue RE - Palm Beach, FL
Real Estate Agent - Palm Beach, FL

Women loooooove big walk in closets! In our culture of having lots of stuff compared lets say to the 50s, lots of storage space has become a big issue for my buyers

 

Jun 08, 2011 11:28 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,409,142
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
What a great reblog for today. I like the porch and changing station comments.
Jun 09, 2011 12:11 AM #13
Rainmaker
160,778
Retired Notworking
Tallahassee, FL

Nice article. You nailed what I want in a home. In addition, I'd like a room for hobbies.

Jun 09, 2011 01:20 AM #14
Rainmaker
733,884
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON

I would generally say that having an efficient layout of the house is what is most important to me. Having space that isn't useful to my lifestyle isn't worth the extra price.

Jun 09, 2011 01:21 AM #15
Rainmaker
1,430,177
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Scott, your post pretty well covers all the bases. It would seem to be difficult to get all of these in one home. Buyers must be willing to compromise.

Jun 09, 2011 01:27 AM #16
Rainmaker
514,898
Maggie McFarland
RE/MAX Pearland - Maggie McFarland - Pearland, TX
Pearland Realtor, Homes for Sale in Pearland Texas

Lisa - Great post! You really nailed it on the head with your "What buyers want list." You are definitely in-tuned with your consumer base!

Jun 09, 2011 04:03 AM #17
Rainmaker
1,094,903
Bob & Leilani Souza
Souza Realty 916.408.5500 - Roseville, CA
Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments

Lisa, I just re-blogged this post and I agree with almost all of the things on your list, especially smaller homes, ranch homes and quality upgrades. The only things I really don't care about are security (since I have 4 guard dogs) and a gift wrapping station (lately, I've been ordering gifts online with direct delivery to the recipient). :)

Leilani

Jun 09, 2011 02:08 PM #18
Rainmaker
184,324
Aaron Silverman
SuccessfulRental.com, Bluewater Property Management, LLC and Lowcountry Turnkey Properties, LLC - Charleston, SC
Improving Real Estate Experience through Education

Great information.  Thank you!

Aaron

Jun 12, 2011 06:17 AM #19
Rainmaker
1,561,913
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I'm all for one-levels (poor knees) and smaller.  Less to clean, maintain and manage.  But that's when me being the empty-nester now.  Larger homes do have their place and it's typically a good thing with a larger family. 

Jun 12, 2011 06:22 AM #20
Rainmaker
552,457
The Scott Loper Team Bux-Mont Premier Properties
Keller Williams Real Estate - Montgomeryville - Lansdale, PA

Thanks for all the great comments and reblogs.  My dream house would have many of these perks/features.  And then put it up in the mountains or seaside and I would be in heaven.

Lisa

Jun 13, 2011 12:47 AM #21
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Rainmaker
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The Scott Loper Team Bux-Mont Premier Properties

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