As seen in www.thezebra.org Newspaper Column titled "Ask REALTOR CHERYL"
BATTLE OF THE AMENITIES!
Gen Y, Millennials (born between 1982-2001) about 80 million of the US population AND Aging Boomers (Born between 1945-1964) about 80 million also of the US population have begun setting the standard on what is being purchased. Of course there is always plenty in demand for the middle group consisting of families with 2 children, large families and multi-family dwellings, but with almost half of the US population fitting into the first two categories, developers are taking note and building according to these new living trends. No matter what you are selling, it is important to be aware of these trends and see where you fit in. Below is a list of things that you may or may not consider an “Amenity” but buyers do.
Go Green: (i.e. Conscience living) a home that does not negatively impact the community is more attractive to buyers. The demand for more sustainable and healthier environments is seen across the U.S.
Experiential Homes: New wealthy consumers are more informed, more globally exposed, and more sophisticated than previous generations. Baby boomers are for example now less materialistic and more experiential. This means that developments, communities and neighborhoods are providing a type of concierge service, meditation gardens, convenience features, and homes with family spaces such as guesthouse for elderly parent and ultimate privacy and seclusion in some cases.
Dog Park: Practically an essential amenity for all ages if buyers are not purchasing a home with a yard. Dogs and pets in general are the new children for millennials, middle age and older homeowners, they provide another type of friend. If your community doesn’t have a dog park, no worries just play up your proximity to any area dog parks or other pet friendly venues. Builders and developers are putting dog parks on the roof, in garage spaces as well in between floors in some condos.
Movie rooms: Having a space where friends and family can visit and watch and entertain each other, i.e. a movie room is a feature that buyers are looking for. While this may seem like an overrated amenity, it is something that is considered when buying.
Fitness Center: If there is a fitness facility in your neighborhood or development it may just be what tips the scales for buyers to make a move on your home. If there is a fitness facility, it needs to be top notch, meaning have more than one treadmill and elliptical, a room that is large and spacious, modern equipment, personal TV screens on each piece and the ability to plug in I-pods and other media devices. If your home does not have this amenity, then play up how close you are to the nearest gym or fitness facility to bring in those buyers.
Flex Space: Having a flexible space within the community amenities or development allows for things such as Yoga or Tae Bow, stretching classes, basically allows for a community feel, and getting to know your neighbors.
Premium Parking: In some areas of the state and country this may seem like a given that parking would be included in the purchase of a new home, however when living in the city parking is a premium amenity.
Walkability: Go to www.walkscore.com to check your home’s walkability. Access to public transportation, good schools and parks go along with this topic when finding selling points your home might have. Many people would even consider giving up their car as long as there was enough public transportation options and it was close enough to get to.
Electric charging station: Both homes and condos that have this amenity have a leg up on their competition.
FIOS/WIFI: Having high speed internet connectivity options is a must everywhere.
Technology IN the architecture: This will minimize the number of gadgets you will see in the homes and home design. With a touch of a button, you can lock your doors with your iPhone, control your home’s climate, control lights and your alarm system. (from the other side of the country).
Outdoor Living: Rooftop Pools and decks as well as large outdoor terrace attached to the home, townhome or condo are practically essential for grabbing the attention of buyers in today’s market. If you don’t have any of these features/amenities, locate the nearest outdoor space such as coffee shop with plenty of seating or park and highlight it when selling your home.
Commercial grade kitchen: Especially in the high end luxury homes including warming drawers, wine fridges, restaurant quality appliances, and plenty of storage with a walk-in pantry.
Outdoor kitchen & pool: Built-in gas grill, a sink and stainless food prep area outdoors, along with plenty of lavish stone patio seating for entertaining. The leisure life is moving outdoors and those homes that embrace these features will sell quickly to the highest bidder and in most cases for cash.
Floor to ceiling windows: This amenity suggest that luxury buyers are more interested in what is outside the property than what is inside.
Storage Space: Mostly in demand when speaking of condos, having an extra storage is a valuable asset and in high demand when selling a smaller square foot property.