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The number of households belonging to older adults is on the rise across the nation, and (let’s face it) the homes themselves aren’t getting any younger. So states the Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies' Housing Perspectives (JCHS), which recently published the projection that, if true, makes it likely that Bethany Beach home remodeling activity will spike in the coming years.
Abbe Will, research analyst for JCHS drew this conclusion:
"Since much of the housing stock is currently ill-equipped with even basic accessibility features, older homeowners aging in place will need to invest in retrofitting their homes in order to age comfortably and safely.” In other words, even for homes which remain in their owners’ hands, home remodeling activity could grow markedly.
Home remodeling is no minor industry. Home improvement expenditures by older homeowners already topped $90 billion in 2013—making it a significant economic contributor. Now the JCHS projects that it could surge by an extra $17 billion annually over the next three years. Welcome news indeed for the construction and design industries, who had been in the doldrums until recently.
But what does this mean for Bethany Beach homeowners who plan to sell in the near future? When considering a remodel, if you want your home to attract potential older buyers, consider the innovations modern designs have made for individuals in that demographic group. That will be the competition.
JCHS's analysis notes, "… not even a third of (existing) homes have what could be considered basic accessibility features, such as a no-step entry and bedroom and full bathroom on the entry level.” Both young and old can appreciate other features, as well. Wider hallways in a kitchen remodel is one example. Another is bathrooms showers with ‘edgeless’ design, which holds appeal both to Millennial buyers (for the sleek, modern look) and to seniors with limited movement. A bedroom on the main level that can readily be converted to a master if needed can be attractive to older homeowners—and also to anyone looking for a guest or au-pair suite. Investing wisely by thinking long-term when it comes to home remodeling plans is part of strategic home ownership. If you are considering selling your Bethany Beach home at some point, it doesn’t hurt to inform yourself about forward-looking trends.
Wondering what today’s buyers are looking for? I’m here to help with all your Bethany Beach real estate-related concerns: call me anytime this summer! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.
If you keep track of the ebb and flow of U.S. economic news, you might also be aware of how it relates to some things that happen here. Particularly in the way Bethany Beach’s mortgage rates have been responding to the ups and downs of announcements from Washington, the cause and effect relationship has settled into a fairly predictable tango. Last week was no exception, with a dip from afar leading to some more good news here.
The less-than-buoyant news from Washington came in the form of what CNBC called a “weak” Gross Domestic Product reading for the second quarter. That news caused a drop in mortgage interest rates, which triggered an increase in home purchase applications (now 13% higher than a year ago) and a 10% increase in refinance activity from the previous week. Any time Bethany Beach’s mortgage interest rates fall, it of course it spells opportunity for both buyers and sellers here: the asking price for a home in Bethany Beach is one thing, but sooner or later, most prospective buyers get down to what the monthly cost of buying will be—and at current historically low interest rates, that number is often surprisingly affordable.
Why a drop in the U.S. GDP—which is certainly not a welcome news item—should result in good mortgage news in Bethany Beach is due to a mix of elements. The Wall Street Journal provided a few hints. After noting that recent data releases (retail sales stalled in July; wholesale prices fell) caused Treasury note yields to briefly hit their “second lowest level in history,” they concluded that such news “suggests September and perhaps December rate hikes are less than likely.” Readers were on their own, left to grapple with why that should be. If previous history is a guide, they probably remembered that the Federal Reserve is afraid of weakening the economy by closing the taps on borrowing—which is what results from rate raises. Looked at another way (as economists always do), strong economic news spurs activity and borrowing, so lenders expect that higher rates won’t discourage loan applicants. When the opposite happens, only temptingly lower rates keep the borrowing cycle going.
Bethany Beach rate-watchers didn’t have to wade through the WSJ financial analyses, though. Local Twitter addicts were invited to follow along as well. It turns out that the Mortgage Bankers Association tweets all the time. By late Friday, they were welcoming the weekend with such TGIF mortgage tidbits as, “average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage drops to 3.65%.”
The bad news wasn’t really terrible; in fact, it was moderated by some healthier employment statistics. All in all, though, the effect of the rock-bottom mortgage interest rate news gives Bethany Beach buyers and sellers a strong reason for optimism—as well as an excellent reason to give me a call! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.