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.

Your privacy is My Concern

One of the highest priorities among high-end homebuyers and sellers is privacy.  Marketing a multi-million-dollar home that contains valuable art, jewelry, antiques, home furnishings and clothing is often done through the real estate agent’s select contacts, to preserve the personal security of the client.

Many exclusive homes never make it to the MLS service, because the agents who represent the sellers introduce the property selectively.  Agents who are familiar with the luxury market know that finding a buyer is often a matter of great detective work.  For every upscale home, there is an ideal buyer among a target group with a high probability of interest in such a property.  One of the secrets to success among agents who work with very high-end clients is that they are able to market the home directly to the right buyer pool, instead of casting a wide net that draws in people who are merely fascinated with the high-profile lifestyle.

The client’s business manager or financial advisor will often be the working contact in the negotiations process, while the client remains secluded.  Luxury home marketing requires extensive networking on the agent’s part.