I just completed an on-line quiz to determine my level of competency when it comes to predicting and understanding on average what home-buyers are looking for. This test ,created by the National Association of REALTORS, is based on a survey aimed at understanding the ever-changing trends of our market. While every consumer has individual preferences, we live in a culture that thrives on a sense of uniformity. I wanted to take a closer look at these trends so that I may equip myself to better understand the mindset of the buyer.
This week while looking through a home, the couple pointed out in dissapointment the tiny little master bedroom closets. I realized that this home must have been built in the 60’s due to the closets and a few other aspects of the house. It’s hard to understand or remember the details of life 40 years ago and the reasoning behind such a floorplan.
Here we are in 2007 with much different life priorities . For better or worse, our wants have changed when it comes to home preferences. In keeping with that thought here is a short list of the top features in 2007 that home buyers want. This list looks at home buyers overall desire and for what they are willing to pay extra. (I hope all those spec. builders out there caught those last 3 words.) The information gathered is from purchases made starting in 3rd quarter 2006 to early 2007.
The number one feature cited was central air conditioning. Given our climate in Pagosa Springs, I believe this one can be safely crossed off. I can only think of about a 1/2 dozen homes currently on the market that even have air conditioning. So I will begin my list here with the number 2 choice.
- Over-sized garage.
- Walk-in closets.
- Backyard with play area.
- Cable or satellite TV readiness.
- High-speed Internet access.
Over-sized garages for our purposes can be defined as 2+ cars. The real estate markets in the West and Mountain areas scored very big here. Extra garage storage is very important. 56% of home buyers will pay more for this.
Walk in closets are the next must. This was given as the number one preference in 2004. I have to wonder what this says about the level of vanity in our culture…but I digress.
Outdoor spaces and play areas are big on the young families list. I can relate to this. I believe this is a prime age for entertaining friends, and sometimes lots of kids are involved. Or is it that this bracket just can’t afford to go out?!
High speed Internet access may be debatable in a town like ours, but I think the need is here also. I ran into two different couples just this weekend that are telecommuters of sorts, and work primarily off of an Internet connection.
After finishing my quiz the results came back at a 80%. Will this little exercise help me sell any homes this Fall? I don’t really know. I do know that staying on top of trends and understanding the way of the market will help me in advising builders and investors who want to maximize profit. I will continue to pour into this type of information so that I can remain an asset to my business and to you the trusting buyer.