Greetings from Jennifer Ross - Realtor
Sunday June 19th is Father's Day and I look forward to a
trip to Santa Barbara to visit with my Dad! The attached
family photo at our beach house in Carlsbad brings back fond Father's
Day memories. Happy Father's Day to all you Dads!
9 Items Homebuyers Desire In
homebuyers want it all. Some items on the shopping list: a home
in great condition with rooms that can do double duty. Areas that
mingle indoor and outdoor living -- patios, porches, decks and
outdoor rooms -- are always a plus. And so are those features that
offer a little luxury, like garden tubs, first-rate appliances and
They're also going back to basics: searching for solid,
well-maintained properties that will give them their money's
worth. "I think this year they're buying properties that
are in good mechanical condition that have inherent value," says
Ron Phipps, president of the National Association of Realtors.
But more than anything, buyers want to drive a hard bargain.
They want "great deals," says Patricia Szot, president of
the MetroTex Association of Realtors. "And no matter where a
seller prices their property, they're looking to negotiate."
Here are nine items popular with buyers this year.
Homes in good
condition. Buyers demand homes that are well
maintained, Phipps says. "There's not a lot of flexibility in
that." The attitude is: "I'd rather spend the money getting
into the house" and not have to spend more money later, he says.
Buyers don't want an unknown expense hanging over their heads.
Pat Vredevoogd Combs agrees. "I'm not working with too many
people who want a fixer-upper," says Combs, past president of
the National Association of Realtors and vice president of Coldwell
Banker AJS Schmidt in Grand Rapids, Mich.
big reason: With most transactions, "buyers have limited amounts
of cash," Phipps says. "Even if they want to do a
fixer-upper, they don't have the money to do it."
"Buyers have enough money to buy," he says. "They
don't have enough money to buy and improve. And the lenders make it
Buyers "are more focused on negotiating, drawing limits in their
mind and focusing on the strategy," says Justin Knoll, president
of the Denver Board of Realtors. Some of it is a point of
pride, he says. "They want to tell their friends and family that
they really got a smokin' deal." They "want
value," says Alice Walker, president of the Greater Nashville
Association of Realtors. "They are very picky. They're just a
lot more critical. They are not going to settle because they know
they don't have to."
advice to sellers: Repair, update, clean and stage. "You have
got to remove every obstacle possible for the buyers," Walker
says. The more-for-less approach even holds when buyers
consider bank-owned properties, says Joan Pratt, real estate broker,
Re/Max Professionals in Castle Pines, Colo. "They want the short
sales and the foreclosures and they want them to look like they're
owner-occupied," she says. "They don't want to paint. They
don't want to put carpet in. They don't want to clean."
And they're surprised when they don't find it, Pratt says.
"The thing that we've seen over the past couple of years is more
outdoor living areas," says Laurie Knudsen, president of the
Charlotte Regional Realtor Association. Some popular features: Screen
porches, outdoor kitchens, two-way fireplaces. "It's a
selling point if a house already has it," she says. And
"it's going to make it more competitive on the market."
Incentives. Call it
"Rock-bottom deals, part two." Along with pricing,
"it's all about incentives," says Mabél Guzmán, president
of the Chicago Association of Realtors. To pique buyer interest,
sellers offer everything from gift cards for new furniture and paint
to financial assistance at closing.
agrees, and laments that it's made the road more difficult for
sellers. "Not only are (buyers) asking them to lower the
price, but they are asking for a lot more," Szot says. "So
negotiations are a lot more difficult now."
Call it "Yankee frugality," says Phipps. But what he sees
on buyer shopping lists is a home that is easy on the planet because
it's easy on the wallet. Buyers are looking for things like
triple-glazed windows, high-efficiency boilers and energy-efficient
appliances. "The buyer of today wants to make sure that the
ongoing operating costs of the house are as controlled and economical
as possible," he says.
popular item: nontech green features. Buyers are looking at the sun
exposure in relation to energy efficiency, he says. And that's
something that will vary with the area and region, he says. "In
some areas, you want larger overhangs to minimize the sun,"
Phipps says. "In my area (New England), lots of windows on the
southern side to maximize the sun would be smart."
"The wall between the kitchen and the family room is
evaporating," Phipps says. "The kitchen is becoming
part of the gathering space," he says. "And it's ironic --
it's the way it was 300 years ago. We've come full circle."
Buyers like a material that looks or feels natural, even if it's not
the genuine article, Phipps says. For example, "granite (for
counters) is still popular, but it doesn't have to be granite,"
he says. "It can be stone, another natural material or something
that looks like stone."
seeing lots of different materials and lots of reusable materials,
which is interesting," he says. "Also a lot of unusual uses
of hardwood -- like pine flooring (reclaimed and) reused for
counters," or terra cotta slabs -- beautifully glazed -- used
for countertops, he says.
less-formal homes. Buyers are buying smaller homes, but they want to
be able to use and reuse every inch of space, Phipps says. "They
are being much more strategic and efficient with how they use
it." Formal spaces that might only be used three or four
times per year are disappearing. "The slipcover rooms are
gone," says Phipps. That's "led to a repurposing of
space," he says. Formal living rooms have been added to great
rooms or converted into home offices or entertainment rooms.
to five years ago, if they could get a loan that would get them into
a McMansion with stone and tile and brick and more rooms than they
needed, they would do it," says Jeff Wiren, president of the
Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors. "Now they're
saying 'I don't know if I want to heat that place and clean it.'
They're being much more realistic."
Buyers like luxury. And sometimes the amenities that convey that
feeling of living large are relatively simple or inexpensive.
One example: coffee bars in the master bedroom. "It's like a
butler's pantry in your bedroom," Pratt says. "An area for
your coffee pot and accoutrements and a little fridge."
The feature has been popular, especially in high-end homes, for about
five years, she says.
luxury touch: high-dollar finishes in less-expensive homes, Knoll
says. Granite counters and stainless steel appliances, marble tiles
in the bathrooms and vessel or undermount sinks continue to impress,
he says. Buyers also like "a living space where you can
have barstools and do some entertaining," he says. Says
Knoll, "There is a sex appeal about housing, and they do get
excited about those kinds of things."
Video of the Week
Jonathan conducting the Symphony
This VERY popular video highlights a talented 3 year old that has a
love for music - sure looks like Jonathan will grow up to be a
replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive
Willie Nelson Singer-Songwriter
always, feel free to give me a call 800-913-7677 with your real
estate needs. I appreciate your referrals.
22 years in
Real Estate sales
Serving all of San Diego
15 yr fixed: 3.88%
Join My Mailing List