Listing Courtesy of KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
Just as with movie credits, the features you find in Lewes listings have a “billing order.” The “stars” may not be printed in gigantic superstar type—but the order in which they appear do reflect changes in current buyer priorities. For a homeowner soon to add their property to this summer’s Lewes listings, it’s important to learn which features currently tend to attract the most favorable attention from prospective buyers. It’s of more than marketing interest, as well: knowing what’s in and what out can also help determine where improvement dollars should go.
The question is, which features are most desirable, and which formerly popular features have become passé: “so Twentieth Century!”
New answers to these questions usually appear a couple of times a year—and 2015 is no exception. The latest one I found was on the Realtor.com website. It went into recent history, describing in detail how listings’ features for newly-built homes have been undergoing rapid change over the past few years. In general (and probably as a reaction to the difficult economic times that only lately have seen improvement), over-the-top luxury details are fading, being replaced in favor of features centered on efficiency, organization, and pragmatism.
Examples of the kinds of details less likely to be found in today’s listings are two-story foyers, master bathrooms with whirlpool tubs, and luxurious details like outdoor kitchens. (“NOPE” in capital letters is shown stenciled over a picture of one of those outdoor kitchens…which, I have to admit, really does look like it belongs in a hotel). Whereas ten years ago, those outdoor kitchens with fancy wine racks might have been found near the top of a listing, today it might be replaced by ‘walk-in closets’ or even, simply, a ‘laundry room.’
“It’s not sexy,” says one industry executive, “but that’s what people want.”
The most extensive survey of home builder trends is conducted by their national association, the NAHB. By quizzing nearly 400 builders, they concluded that other features on the decline include outdoor fireplaces, sunrooms, and media rooms. Taking their places (and likely candidates for what we’ll soon see creeping toward the tops of some of our Lewes listings) are the walk-in closets (since people want to get out the door efficiently first thing in the morning) and well-organized and well-lit laundry rooms (to improve the efficiency of the household).
As part of a “post-recession cultural shift toward pragmatism,” this makes perfect sense. But that word “post-recession” may offer a clue to what could be the temporary nature of the NAHB’s 2015 findings. For example, granite countertops—once a ‘luxury’ item in Lewes listings—are now more popular than the laminate alternatives. And those supposedly unpopular media rooms are not vanishing totally. They’re simply being replaced by spaces that are “more flexible.”
If you’re soon to be scrutinizing your own home to determine which of its best features to emphasize, I’d be pleased to furnish an opinion—it will be based on the results we’re seeing from today’s Lewes listings! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestate.com.
“Ideal” is a Shangri-La kind of a word. It’s not just because of its feel-good, pie-in-the-sky definition (“a standard of perfection or excellence”)—but because contained right there inside the word itself is a tacit admission. It’s only an idea—not something necessarily connected to concrete reality.
Bethany Beach residents don’t come across “ideal” anything very often in their daily routines, so few would be surprised to learn that even in something as important as determining the value of their Sussex County residence, the calculation turns out to be less than straightforward. The ambiguity owes to the fact that it all depends on how you look at it.
In reality, there are two quite different approaches for determining any Bethany Beach home’s value. Ideally, both methods would produce the same value for the same Sussex County property. That would be the Shangri-La outcome—a fine idea—but it’s seldom the case. The two methods are the Market Value approach and the Replacement Cost approach. Knowing how and why they differ explains why they yield dissimilar results.
When Sussex County homeowners examine their home insurance policies, they may find a breakdown of the replacement cost. The face amount of such a policy is meant to cover what the current cost would be to construct a similar building of equal quality—one that would have the same utility as the one that was destroyed. Such factors as materials, labor, the builder’s overhead, profit and fees are probably part of that calculation. In actuality, some of the costs that might be encountered may not be included, though: things like demolition of the old structure, debris removal, licenses and permits. It depends on the policy.
The market value is an estimate of the amount a buyer would pay in today’s market to purchase the same home in its current condition. Right off the bat, you can see that this would include the cost of the land—so you might deduce that its market value would automatically be greater than the replacement value. Ideally, that might be true. If the home were brand new. But for structures that have been in existence for a while, that might or might not hold true. For a home in less than top condition, the total might be less… likewise, if the local residential market were in a slump. On the other hand, for older homes having architectural details with fine workmanship that is expensive to duplicate today, the reverse would be true. You get the idea: given the vast number of variables that can influence the difference between market and replacement value calculations, it would be miraculous if the two ever came out the same.
When you are buying, selling—or even insuring—your Sussex County home, weighing market and replacement values is more than an abstract exercise. I’m here to help with those and many other issues that will help you determine how to make the choices that serve you best. Call me! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.