Different Generations Want Unique Features in a Home

generations-featuresIf you are preparing to sell your house in an area that is dominated by a certain age group, it’s important to do a little “market research” about what your buyers are looking for in a home. Although there are many aspects of a home that are universally desirable to most homebuyers, some features are more “generation specific”.

The era that each generation was born into has as much influence on their tastes and needs as their stage of life does. For example, members of the Silent Generation, born in the Great Depression, want economy and are looking to retire in a smaller home fitted with safety “age in place” features. They want to stay close to family, doctors and medical facilities and have easy access to social gathering places.  While Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964), born in more affluent times, want space and luxury.  They want a private retreat for retirement and put state-of-the- art kitchens, whirlpool baths, fireplaces and walk-in closets at the top of their must-have lists. This “sandwich” generation homebuyer is often looking for that “granny flat” outside, to house a parent or a grown child.

Be sure to ask your REALTOR® what cost effective features you can add to your home to make it more attractive to the buyers in your area.

What’s in Store for 2008

instore-2008Everyone is wondering what’s in store for real estate this year. Although there are many conflicting opinions, the overall picture is not as dire as some report. Markets in different parts of the country vary greatly. Although some will be down this year, there are many areas that expect continuing growth.

FHA loan applications have been rising significantly and HUD’s endorsement of FHA mortgage loans have risen 58% while refinances have risen 23%. This means that first-time homebuyers (the backbone of the real estate market) will be able to enter the market using a safer, lower interest rate product than the riskier subprime loan.

With the dollar’s decrease in value, buyers from foreign countries (especially Mexico, Britain, and Canada) will increase according to the National Association of REALTORS®. And as more baby boomers move into retirement age, the second home market should remain healthy this year.

Consumers will need to readjust to more modest growth in the market.  Gone are the days of “get-rich-quick” house flipping schemes. But in spite of the overall slowdown, homeownership still remains a secure and valuable long-term investment.

Homes for the Holidays

homes-holidaysMany people hesitate to place their home on the market during the holiday season, thinking prospective buyers are too busy with holiday activities to bother with looking at homes they might purchase.  However, historical data shows the holiday period to be a very good time to find a buyer.

People often have more time available during the holidays to inspect homes and make a purchase.  Also, with a certain number of owners holding off with listing their homes for sale until after the holidays, the competition with other similar properties on the market is lessened.  Considering all factors, the holiday period is a strategic time to list your home for sale.  During this time, prospective buyers tend to be more serious and committed to the idea of getting the deal done.

From a buyer’s perspective, the holidays are also a great time to seek out a home.  There is more free time to work with their Realtor in researching the market and inspecting selected homes.  And, if you find the right property, it becomes the centerpiece of your holiday celebrations; a special way to spend this year’s bonus and look forward to what next year will bring.