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The Trends Of Home Buying In 2009!! What's In And What's Out!

Mark Nash, author of four real estate books, has completed his annual survey of 839 real estate agents in all fifty states in the US and the eight provinces of Canada.

What's in, what's out with Homebuyers illuminates what's popular or what sours homebuyers in both the home purchase or sale transaction and home decor. Compiled annually from-the-trenches, it offers a spectrum of tips that cover reality of buying a home and design no-no's for home sellers and buyer must-haves.

What's IN

  • Sidelined home buyers. Family or lifestyle additions or changes made in buyers households in the last three years are forcing those waiting out the market transition to finally get off the fence and say, it's time for our family to buy the new home that suits our new needs.

     

  • Home uplifts. Not a big renovation, but some new finishes that can visually holdover stay-put home sellers. Not a gut rehab to the studs new kitchen, but new flooring, countertops and appliances.

     

  • Collaborative home pricing. The old days of home sellers configuring a homes price are out. What's new is that the seller with their agent look at closed comparables, set a price, then the buyer and their agent agree or disagree, but in the end, a mortgage lender and their appraiser will set the price, as they are assuming the most risk in the transaction.

     

  • Balanced reporting by real estate and personal finance journalists. Consumers learned in 2008 that the 'doom and gloom' residential real estate market headlines don't apply to all markets. What's been lost in the foreclosure hype is that there are still stories of homes selling in short market times (in as little as 3 days), homes selling at full price and some selling with multiple contracts on the table. Existing home sales will be 5.02 million versus 5.652 million for 2007, a decrease of just over eleven percent, considerably less that the recent correction in the U.S. stock market, plus a realistic view that over five million people purchased a home despite the headlines in 2008.

     

  • Creative home seller financing. Exhausted home sellers are turning to self-financing to move properties. Installment sale contracts and lease to own are the most popular and effective ways for sellers to begin to receive income from a property that has languished on the market in 2008.

     

  • Property tax appeals. With home prices dropping, many savvy home owners are appealing their property taxes. This is especially attractive to those looking to sell their home in 2009. With a competitive marketplace, those with the most realistic taxes are more likely to offer buyers an overall lower expense in home ownership.

     

  • House therapists. Divided partners in a home are increasingly relying on an independent third party (house therapist or coach) to bring household relationships to common ground on such prickly issues such as to stay or move, how much to spend on remodeling or decorating, or spending nothing at all. Third parties can outline the benefits and pitfalls of over-spending on a new larger home or weighing in on a spouses desire to over-improve for the neighborhood. With less equity and with the financial stakes higher smart couples hire a home therapist to wrangle concessions and agreements out with their significant other instead of doing damage to their relationship by going head-to-head with them.

     

  • Architectural overhead garage doors. After years of bland vanilla garage doors, the architecture has permeated the door most people look at the most. Traditional styling has arrived with mullioned windows, faux wrought iron hinges and latches that provide the original non-overhead garage door look. Contemporary looks now include the adjacent siding applied over the door for a seamless look, much like the panels installed on refrigerator doors to complement cabinets in a kitchen.

     

  • Loveseats. A pair or trio is gaining acceptance as the functional way to rearrange a living or family room. Consumers appreciate the ease at which they can rearrange them, move an extra one to another room, or provide long-term furniture flexibility in future homes. Plus, they're tired of sitting miles away from others on over-sized sectional sofas.

     

  • The master bed as a throne. With consumer spending down and more nesting at home, home owners are focusing on making their bed like an at-home luxury hotel experience. Posh linens, pillows and mattresses create a getaway without leaving home.

     

  • Older war-horse appliances. Collectable, working appliances form the 1940's through the late 1980's have found a new niche among homeowners who appreciate their rock-solid construction and durability. Harvest gold double ovens from the 1970's have been repainted a metallic red and go from boring to bold. Cold spot refrigerators from the 1950's refinished in sky blue perks up the butler's pantry in suburban home. And, the early 1960's dryer that looks like it's from a Jet son house painted pink to match punches up the in-unit laundry room in a condominium.

     

  • Dining chairs that don't match. With consumers watching their non-essential spending closely and electing to stay home to entertain friends, many have found a quick pick-me-up for their dining room suite, mismatched pairs or single chairs. Feedback from friends or family has been favorable to this easy and cost effective way to say welcome to my cutting edge table.

    What's OUT

     

  • Fixer-upper homes. With larger down payments required by mortgage lenders and consumer credit cards mixed out, home buyers want a home in move-in condition. The DYI days are on the wane as buyers want to inherit new kitchens and bathrooms.

     

  • Foreclosure fluff. The foreclosure rate nationally in 2008 was just under 3 percent. In the Great Depression it was just over forty-percent.

     

  • Home buyers endless "circling" prospective short-list properties. Overly optimistic thinking by buyers to circle a preferred property indefinitely, often for months, waiting for further price reductions or to wear out long weary sellers. This practice has backfired for buyers who practice this style of pre-negotiating. They often loose their short-list dream home and frustrate savvy price-right sellers. Ditto the bottom-feeder buyers.

     

  • Home staging. A recently over-used low cost marketing band-aid for vacant or occupied homes with longer than normal market times. Buyers have said enough of the non-professional usage of assorted leftover props placed around a for-sale home to make it supposedly homey. Buyers say, market it as it is and clear out the tired silk flowers and stale potpourri.

     

  • Indoor-outdoor carpet. The staples of quick-fix home sellers for basements, balconies, screened porches and lanai's, buyers have said enough. Many have told agents that inexpensive indoor-outdoor carpet is visual pollution and often masks flaws in a home.

     

  • Track lighting. Thought of by homeowners to be a quick way to get an art gallery look, many prospective buyers usually take them out and discount their appeal. As one Gen-X home buyer said to me "Why do sellers install them up when they don't really have any interesting artwork or architectural features to spotlight? They bring undue attention to nothing."


    Written by Mark Nash
  • Posted: Friday, January 02, 2009 9:20 AM by Sutton Realty

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