Spring. Coming out of the Winter doldrums and looking forward to new possibilities. For home buyers Spring is quite often when the serious home hunting begins. Home builders have been eagerly preparing for them, hoping their new construction project offers the most desireable mix of features. For sellers of existing homes it is a time to finish those strategic updates that will hopefully make the difference between their home being chosen over the neighbor down the street or the new neighborhood being built somewhere out beyond the edge of the city limits.
As an Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR) I am on the ground touring with buyers and listening to what they have to say about the homes they are seeing and what they are ideally looking for. And while it is tricky sometimes finding the perfect home we do the best we can and most of the time come very close. There are common interests among the majority of the buyers. They want good utility in space with rooms in the house to suit their various needs whether it be number of kids, hobbies, love of cooking and entertainment, how much and how big their current furniture is, an elderly parent living with them......along all those common lines of thought and interests. I listen carefully and we refine our home search process as we look at all the different neighborhoods and possibilities.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) compiles consumer data ongoing year to year in the quest to determine the "ideal" contemporary home.
New Home Trends for 2013
Source: NAHB Survey 2012
Interestingly, NAHB research is also revealing that in 2012 a higher percentage of buyers (45%) are indicating an interest in existing home purchases as compared to 24% indicating an interest in existing homes purchase in 2004. I see a number of contributing factors:
- People are much more budget minded and are forced in to being more practicle. The new residential development is further and further away from the metro "core" of activity where most people work and conduct many other daily activities. The cost of commuting both in time and actual dollars is increasingly impracticle.
- A new sense of "urbanism" is beginning to gain more and more traction. Well established city services are becoming more important. Existing long term successful (read as best quality) business such as restaraurant, retail, healthcare, and specialty shops along with municipal services are closer in to the metro core. Urban sprawl that long ago placed many residences "out in the boonies" has become less attractive. People are more concious in a negative way about urban sprawl to include the cost to both themselves.....and now their neighbors (read as being more eco concious).
- Existing homes are of very good (comparative) quality and represent very good (comparative) value at the point of purchase compared to much of what is being produced these days in the way of new construction. In doing those comparisons there are a few exceptions in some of the new construction and you can read and learn about those exceptions.....HERE.
- Activity space in a home is also important as can be seen in the number one category of interest in the above graphic. Many homes built in the last ten years (out in the boonies) that boast an "OPEN FLOOR PLAN" are frankly boring and do not sufficiently meet the varied needs and interests of the contemporary family.
This all combines to create a particularly good opportunity for the existing home owner who is interested in selling. You may be able to accomplish "strategic" updates that will greatly attract the buyer who is now looking for their new home in your area. The single most significant thing a buyer is now interested in is a home that is Energy Star rated. They have learned and are learning that an energy efficient home is *good value*, *less expensive to operate*, *more comfortable* and *has higher resale value to them later on*. A home with a H.E.R.S. rating of 85 or less qualifies for an Energy Star rating and a certified H.E.R.S. rating is sufficient documentation that an appraiser will also recognize and more info on that can be seen HERE.
More for the existing home owner seller to consider is the current list of what is HOT as Essential or Desireable in at least 85% of the survey group:
- Energy Star rated appliances
- Laundry room
- Energy Star rating for whole home
- Exhaust fan in bathroom
- Exterior lighting
- Bathroom linen closet
- Energy Star rated "Low E" windows
- Ceiling fans
- Garage storage
- Table space for eating in kitchen area
- Walk-In kitchen pantry
The era of the sunroom has given way to the defined outdoor spaces, ideally including a fireplace and seating with large doorways out into the yard......it might be time to replace those old sliding doors with some nice "Low E" windowed french doors with built-in (enclosed) blinds.
Color of the year......Lemon Sorbet
If you are looking to buy or sell a home in the north central Florida area.......look me up.....I am easy to have contact with and I answer questions for free. There is no additional cost to the buyer for professional representation and assistance. I help sellers get SOLD faster and at higher prices.
Take a look at what my previous customers have had to say......HERE.