Are you thinking of selling your home in the near future. Having a good idea of what homebuyers are looking for in todays market can help give you some great ideas on how best to market and sell your home.
Homebuyers want price, condition, location
Homebuyers in 2012 have some advantages over prospective buyers in other years: low interest rates and low home prices in most markets. Those advantages don’t necessarily translate into confidence about a home purchase. Buyers want to be sure they are buying a home that will at least maintain its market value, if not appreciate over the coming years. In order to feel more certain about their choice of home, today’s buyers desire a property that meets the three main factors that make a residence a good value: price, condition and location.
Roxanne Gennari, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Princeton Junction, N.J., says local real estate markets across the country vary in their strength.
“Since no one knows when the market will truly level out and values will start to climb, buyers are trying to insulate themselves from buying an overvalued home,” Gennari says. “Buyers are looking for the best deal they can get. In many cases, they only want to buy if they can get a house at a certain price.”
Here are six important items on homebuyers’ checklists in 2012.
Buyers want homes that maintain value
“The most important thing to most buyers is the financial stability of a neighborhood,” says Leisa Frye, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers in Roswell, Ga. “Buyers want to make sure their home won’t be worth less in the future, so while they are focused on getting a good deal, they are looking for some control over not losing value in the future. They want a discount on already low prices as an insurance against potential declining value.”
In Massachusetts, Gary Rogers, broker/owner of Re/Max on the Charles in Waltham, Mass., says buyers don’t always find the bargains they look for.
“Lots of buyers expect rock-bottom prices, but there are no steals out there,” Rogers says. “Buyers are trying to get superlow prices, but sellers who are already pricing their home at market value are not accepting those kinds of offers.”
Buyers want homes in move-in condition
Ben Coleman, broker/owner of Century 21 Hartford Properties in San Francisco, says homebuyers looking for a bargain sometimes think they want a fixer-upper — until they see one.
“Some buyers may be willing to do a little bit of cosmetic work like replacing the carpet or having something painted, but most are looking for a home in ready-to-move-in condition,” Coleman says. “The preference is for a maintenance-free home, although few homes are truly maintenance-free.”
Gary Rogers of Re/Max on the Charles in Waltham, Mass, says the desire for ready-to-move-in homes may be a side effect of home-and-garden television programming.
“People used to love ‘This Old House’ and think they wanted to do their own work, but now they watch shows on HGTV like ‘House Hunters,’ where everyone leans toward homes that are in turnkey condition,” Rogers says.
“Buyers don’t want to deal with contractors,” says Leisa Frye, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers in Roswell, Ga. “And they don’t want a paint or carpet allowance. I tell my sellers to do everything before they even think about putting their home on the market.”
Homebuyers want homes in handy locations
While the real estate market has changed in myriad ways over the past decade, the mantra “location, location, location” has not. Location is tied closely to value, so buyers have become even more interested in purchasing in a desirable area.
“Location has become even more important recently than it used to be, with buyers wanting to be near the city or at least near some kind of public transportation,” says Gary Rogers of Re/Max on the Charles in Waltham, Mass. “We’re seeing empty nesters move into Boston while 20-something and 30-something buyers are moving just outside the city in order to afford to buy.”
In San Francisco, Ben Coleman, broker/owner of Century 21 Hartford Properties, says living within walking distance to amenities and to public transportation is the No. 1 priority for most buyers.
“We talk about Walk Score all the time now, which tells you how close a particular home is to things like a coffee shop, a grocery store, and a bus or subway stop,” Coleman says.
A functional home is what homebuyers want
The days of homebuyers going after the biggest, best house they can afford (and sometimes can’t afford) are over.
“Buying a home used to be all about size and luxury, but now it’s about buying a functional home; one that is satisfactory and just large enough,” says Roxanne Gennari of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Princeton Junction, N.J. “Some people still want a big home, but those that have owned one often want something smaller and not some rambling home that’s expensive to heat.”
Gary Rogers of Re/Max on the Charles in Waltham, Mass., says homebuyers want smaller homes for several reasons.
“It’s partly a reflection of the recession, that people are being more careful and conservative,” Rogers says. “They are concerned about the manageability of their home, property taxes and utility bills, and they want to be able to save money even after they buy a home.”
Rogers says that while empty nesters are particularly eager to downsize, almost all buyers share the same sensibility about size.
“It used to be OK to be extravagant, to look for a home that had 2,500 or 3,000 square feet when they really only needed 1,800 square feet,” says Rogers. “Times have changed.”
Buyers want homes with open floor plans
Buyers in Georgia look for homes built in 2000 or later, mostly because the floor plans of 21st-century homes reflect the way people live today, says Leisa Frye, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers in Roswell.
She says buyers don’t particularly want formal living rooms because they don’t have formal furniture. A living room frequently is converted into a study or another family room.
“Everyone wants an open kitchen and family room, or at least a direct view from the family room into the kitchen, so that the family can be together even when someone is cooking,” Frye says.
Buyers in the San Francisco area prefer a great room and an open floor plan, says Ben Coleman, broker/owner of Century 21 Hartford Properties.
“A lot of older homes in this area weren’t built to be open, and have small rooms and small closets,” Coleman says.
“Those homes that have been renovated or can easily be changed into a more open design are extremely desirable.”
Coleman says natural light is important to buyers, especially in combination with open rooms.
Buyers want a first-floor bedroom
Whether it is a master suite or a guest room or even a flexible room that can be converted into a bedroom someday, many homebuyers look for a first-floor bedroom. This trend, predicted for a decade or longer, finally seems to be coming to fruition now that baby boomers are getting older.
“The baby boom generation wants a first-floor bedroom because they are forecasting that they will stay in their home longer,” says Gary Rogers of Re/Max on the Charles in Waltham, Mass. “In addition, we’re seeing more extended family members moving in together, especially since people are staying healthy longer and living longer.”
Leisa Frye, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers in Roswell, Ga., says homebuyers in her area prefer a guest suite on the main level rather than a master suite, unless they are elderly.
“Buyers in their 30s, 40s and 50s usually want the master bedroom upstairs, so they can be near their kids,” says Frye. “If there are no health issues, they want to be upstairs, but they also want a bedroom and a full bath on the main level for their elderly parents and in-laws who live with them or even just visit.”
Getting Real : Spring Happenings in the DFW
Spring is in the air. The Rangers open the season tomorrow, kids are out flying kites, and flowers are blooming. It is time to get outside and take advantage of mild temperatures before the dog days of summer are upon us. I found a great list of Spring festivals, events, and other fun happenings going on around DFW this spring. Most of these events are great activities the whole family can enjoy. If you have any events you would like added to the list send an email to HunterWebb@verizon.net.
Old Bedford School’s South Lawn
Thursdays 7 PM
April – May
Scarborough Faire the Renaissance Festival
2511 FM 66 Waxahachie, Texas
April 7th – May 28th
The Samsung Mobile 500
Texas Motor Speedway
April 12th – 14th
20th Annual Blessing Of The Vines
and New Vintage Wine & Gallery Trail
2000 Champagne Blvd.
Botanic Garden – University St
April 14th – 15th
Taste Of Rockwall and Business Expo
Rockwall High School
901 Yellow Jacket Lane
MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival
Main Street, Downtown Fort Worth
April 19th – 22nd
Lakeside Home and Garden Show
Hilton Bella Harbor
2055 Summer Lee Drive
April 20th, 21st and 22nd
Antique Alley and Yard Sale
All along Hwy 4 S.
April 20th – 22nd
19th Annual Denton Redbud Festival
Denton Civic Center
Spring Plant Sale
Botanic Garden – University St
Fort Worth Iris Show
Botanic Garden – University St
Aspasians Spring Art Show
Rockwall Fun Run Rally
61st Annual Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival
Downtown Historic Ennis
April 21st – 22nd
Denton Arts & Jazz Festival
Denton’s Quakertown Park
321 East McKinney (Corner of McKinney and Bell)
April 27th, 28th and 29th
Spring Festival in the Japanese Garden
Botanic Garden – University St
April 28th – 29th
6th Annual Fort Worth Prairie Fest
Tandy Hills Natural Area & Park 3400 View Street
April 28th and May 6th
Concert By The Lake
The Harbor in Rockwall
2074 Summer Lee Drive
Starts in May
May 3rd – 6th
Historic Downtown Plano
5th Annual Royse City Car Show On Main Street
100 W. Main Street
Historic Fairmount’s 28th Annual Tour of Historic Homes
Historic Fairmount District
May 12th – 13th
Main Street Outdoor Adventure
Main Street Days
May 18th, 19th & 20th
Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival
Galatyn Park Urban Center
Galatyn Parkway and U.S 75
2351 Performance Drive
May 18th – 20th
Addison Circle Park
May 18th – 20th
Rockwall Founder’s Day Festival
Rockwall’s Historic Downtown Square
100 E. Rusk
May 25th – 27th
Keller Town Center
1100 Bear Creek Parkway
At the intersection of Keller Parkway (FM1709) and Rufe Snow Drive
April 25th 27th
Splash Station Opening Weekend
Memorial Day Splash Fest
Splash Station Aquatics Center
1010 Hillsboro St
May 26th – 27th
Memorial Day Splash Fest
Splash Station Aquatics Center
1010 Hillsboro St
21st Annual Concerts In The Garden
Summer Music Festival
Botanical Garden – University St
June 1st – July 4th
Collin County Homes : DFW market seeing a shortage of for-sale signs
In what may come as a shock to most; the housing market in the DFW area is seeing a shortage of pre-owned homes for sale on the market. Ask anyone who has been house shopping over the last month or two and they will tell you the competition for a good home is heavy; with many homes even going into multiple offer situations and selling above original list price. According to local MLS (multiple listing service) stats pre-owned listing were down 23% in January from where they were a year ago.
These numbers are helping to contribute to the fact that there are less and less “great deals” to be had in the DFW home market. Many home buyer’s have seen the national headlines of folks getting homes for pennies on the dollar. And while that may be the case in some of the really hard hit areas of the country like Florida, California, and Arizona that is not the case here in the DFW metroplex. You can find foreclosure and REO properties in Dallas but you will not find them at such reduced prices to call them a steal. Banks typically reduce the cost of the home by about the amount of money it will need to get the home to livable conditions again.
The quicker buyers are able to react and adapt to the changing market the easier their home search will be. Buyers whom are expecting deep discounts on home prices will be sorely disappointed as they lose out on home after home as other buyers adjust to the new market conditions and make offers that reflect the changing conditions.
Collin County Homes – St Patrick’s Day Parade 2012 Dallas – How To Get There
Planning on going to the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dallas this year? Not sure how to get there and where to park? I HIGHLY recommend using the DART rail system. Using the DART rail; especially if you are coming from Collin County, will save you the headache and the hassle of having to find a parking spot in the congested and closed off parts of Greenville. I myself have used the DART rail the last 3 years to get to the parade and will continue to use it this year. I do want to offer a warning however…… The parking at the individual DART stations can get heavy and you may be forced to wait a train or two before you can get on if the crowds are heavy. The best way to avoid these issues is by arriving at the station earlier rather than later. I am posting the DART websites statement and information about the parade below.
The Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade brings thousands together along the route to celebrate. The 33rd annual parade begins at 11 a.m. and proceeds down Greenville Ave. from Blackwell to Yale with outrageous floats, colorful costumes and plenty of surprises. Information:greenvilleavenue.org.
Saturday, Mar. 17
- Via DART Rail Red Line or Blue Line to Mockingbird Station
- Via DART Rail Red Line to Park Lane or Lovers Lane stations
- In additional to regularly scheduled Saturday service, DART Rail trains from Parker Road Station to West End Station will be available approximately every 10-15 minutes between 8:25 a.m. and 1:05 p.m. Additional train service will terminate at Victory and Bachman stations. After 1:05 p.m., regular southbound Red Line Saturday service will be available.Seven DART Rail trains from Bachman Station to Parker Road Station will operate between 7:23 a.m. and 8:53 a.m., with service approximately every 10-20 minutes. These trains will display Orange signs. Three of these trips will begin service at North Carrollton/Frankford Station. Departures times from North Carrollton/Frankford are 7:11 a.m., 7:46 a.m. and 8:11 a.m.Additional trips from Victory Station to Parker Road Station will be available approximately every 10-20 minutes between 9:34 a.m. and 11:34 a.m. The last trip from Victory Station to Parker Road Station departs at 12:04 p.m.
Post-parade, Green Line passengers can ride Red or Blue line trains to downtown Dallas to transfer to a Green Line train.
- Note:Lovers Lane Station Closed to Bus Routes 502 and 583 During St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Sat, Mar 17
- Bus Detours for Routes 1, 428, 502 and 583 during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Sat, Mar 17
Collin County Homes : Get your green ready…its St Patrick’s Day parade time in Dallas
We are fast approaching what has become one of my personal favorite days to be a Dallas resident; St Patrick’s Day and the annual parade and party on lower Greenville that accompany it. This year the parade will go thanks to an AWESOME gesture from Dallas’ best billionaire, Mark Cuban. When Cubes found out the parade was to be potentially cancelled this year he pulled out the check book and saved the day! 3 cheers for the Cubes.
LIST OF EVENTS
Dash Down Greenville 5k- For those more athletically inclined or folks just looking to get in a good workout before a day of green beer and fried food this is the event for you. Winners in the male and female categories can take home up to $400 in prize money.
Where: Greenville Ave & Lovers Lane
31st Annual Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade – With over 100 floats and an average attendance of 100,000, this parade rivals those in Boston, Chicago, and New York. The parade is immediately followed by an all afternoon block party held at Lower Greenville. (21+ for the block party)
Time: 11:00 am
Where: Greenville Avenue
Collin County Homes : 3 Steps to a great spring lawn
Getting Ready For Spring
Your lawn may look sadder than a termite at a concrete festival, but it certainly doesn’t have to stay that way. Giving your grass a bit of attention toward the end of winter will pay off big-time this spring and summer.
Step 1: Aerate your soil
Compacted soil is hard for water, air, and roots to penetrate, and that makes it hard on grass. So go to your local equipment rental store, and get a core aerator. A half-day’s rental should cost you around $40.
This machine, which resembles a large rotary tiller, uses steel tubes to take plugs of soil from the lawn and deposit them on the ground. Aerating once a year reduces compaction and increases the vigor of your lawn.
Step 2: Mow the old grass low
Those with cool-season grass (bluegrass, fescue, or perennial ryegrass) can skip this part. But those with warm-season lawns (Bermuda, buffalo grass,centipede, St. Augustine, or Zoysia) need to mow that old, brown grass low at the end of winter to remove thatch, an accumulation of dead stems and leaves.
Heavy thatch prevents water and nutrients from reaching the roots and promotes disease.
Cut Bermuda lawns to 1/2 inch and leave the clippings in place to decompose. Mow other types to 1 inch. If you use a regular mower, bag the clippings; then compost or discard them. Mowing low lets more sun reach and warm the soil, encouraging the grass to green up.
Step 3: Stop Weeds
As the temperature reaches 70°, seeds of lawn weeds sprout. Stop them by applying, in late winter, a pre-emergence lawn weed preventer such as Scotts Halts Crabgrass Preventer, Vigoro Ultra Turf Pre-emergence Crabgrass and Weed Control, or Green Light Crabgrass Preventer.
When watered in, it forms a barrier atop the soil to keep weeds from sprouting. (Don’t aerate after you put down the chemical, or you’ll break the barrier.)
However, if you’re sowing grass seeds this spring, don’t put down any of these products, since weed preventers keep grass seeds from coming up, too.
Downsizing your lawn
If the idea of maintaining a large expanse of grass seems a bit daunting, consider downsizing your lawn.
If you like clean landscape lines, healthy green grass, and free weekends, consider hemming your lawn in with pavers or a brick patio. Because lawnmowers and string trimmers can damage the bark of trees and shrubs, reshaping your lawn so that all other vegetation is outside its perimeter avoids accidental contact.
This change also benefits the turf by reducing water and nutrient competition and providing more sunlight. With less fertilization, less watering, and less mowing to do, you can enjoy the lawn more!
Reap some wonderful landscape rewards with a little lawn.
Red brick or black stone borders around your lawn create a contrast of color that breaks up the monotony of green. Replicating the brick or stone of a house’s foundation in the landscape will pull the eye from the curb to the front door, while repeating the straight lines of a front porch or the curved lines of an archway will create a pleasing effect.
In the lawn at left, combining flat stone pavers with turf creates a formal but functional entrance.