[Tamela Roche was 2006 president of the Cambridge Community of Realtors. She can reached at her office at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage (617) 245-4072. Check out her Web site: TamelaRoche.com.]
What are the current homebuyer trends today? We have an inventory of properties that do not match customer’s needs. We have “newly renovated” or “brand new construction” that is not meeting expectations.
From my experience it is all about functionality of the living space and property condition. The slogan years ago may have been “location, location, location.”
Thanks to the Internet - buyers will not waste time viewing any property except where they want to live. When a buyer chooses to step foot into any property today - location has already been ruled in or ruled out.
So once a buyer walks in the door –focus is on the space. Well, maybe the first visit focus is distracted by the furniture or artwork or clutter. But when a Buyer thinks they really like a property, the most important decision to make is whether they can actually live in the space. Will my furniture fit? Will the bedroom fit my bed? Are the bedrooms on the same level? Is there at least a half bath on the first floor? Can I entertain in this space comfortably? Will the in-unit heating system be too loud when it runs? Is there in-unit laundry or air-conditioning?
Now, for custom home renovations or for some price ranges this does not apply.
But for newly renovated or newly built condominiums priced in the lower price ranges we have a gap between what available properties offer and what homebuyers want and need.
Property advertised as newly-renovated or newly-constructed, the expectations for quality and comfort rise exponentially with the asking price. There is a clear delineation between a really cool design, and living space in which buyers can see themselves living.