Anyone looking to buy a home this year quite reasonably has very high expectations – the most important of which is getting a great deal for their money. But, it’s not just about getting more bang for your buck – house hunters today are looking for additional incentives as well, including things like financial assistance, gift cards etc. It is a buyer’s market after all…
One of the biggest wants of most buyers is to find a new home that is well maintained. With prices so low, and buyers in most cases only having a limited amount of money anyway, why would they want to bother with renovations, asks Coldwell Banker’s Pat Vredevoogd Combs.
“I don’t have many clients at all who want to fix a property up,” he says.
National Association of Realtors president Ron Phipps also concurs, saying: “Buyers just don’t have much money right now. Even if they did want to buy a house and fix it up, they simply can’t afford too.”
Even house hunters that are looking at purchasing foreclosed homes can’t afford the repairs, adds RE/MAX Professionals broker Joan Pratt. “People want foreclosures and they want short sales, and they want them looking good, like they’re occupied,” she explains. “People don’t want to have to buy carpets or paint. They want their property ready for them.”
Trends show that amongst the other things modern buyers are looking for include open floor plans, open-plan kitchens, exterior kitchens, screened porches and two-way fireplaces. The home’s environment is also critical, with elements such as energy efficiency and double or triple-glazed windows top of many people’s wish lists.
People are also into repurposed materials as well, says Phipps. “We’ve seen lots of properties that use reusable materials selling well, which is very intriguing for us,” he reveals. “Some of the unusual things we’ve noticed are quite novel – such as terracotta slabs used as countertops, hardwood like pine used as counters instead of flooring.”
“Little luxuries such as coffee bars in the main bedroom are popular too, along with expensive finishes. But most of all, people like smaller homes, but they like them nicely appointed.”