Listing Courtesy of COLDWELL BANKER RESORT REALTY - R
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 email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestate.com.
It’s really as simple as this: when Lewes mortgage interest rates are low, good things happen in Lewes real estate. And last week, when The Washington Post commented on the news coming out of Washington, it indicated exactly that. “Mortgage rates fall for the third week in a row” was the headline summarizing the latest data from Freddie Mac. It was good news—but there were also new grounds to wonder how long it was going to last.
One of the key reasons for the strength of Lewes’s residential market has been shown in the ‘affordability’ index, which gives a numerical answer to the question every prospective local home buyer understands: can I afford it? The index uses a number of economic factors to come up with the answer to whether typical families can afford the monthly cost of a typical home. Of course, it all revolves around what that monthly cost actually is. For local buyers, that cost rises and falls along with Lewes interest rates.
So the latest figures once again signaled smooth sailing. Nationally, Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate average had ‘slipped’ to 3.93%. Anything less than 4% is, in historical terms, really low. As homeowners who were around at the start of the 1980s will tell you, when mortgage interest rates climb into double digits, the monthly payment amounts grow so steep the whole market is hamstrung (in 1981 and 1982, mortgage interest rates averaged north of 16%!)
That’s the reason why anyone who is even beginning to lay plans to buy or sell knows their budget will be affected by the direction Lewes interest rates head. Consulting expert opinion hasn’t helped much over past few years, either. Most seers have been predicting a rise in rates for quite a while. They’ve been consistent (in being wrong).
Nevertheless, at the end of last week it looked increasingly likely that their expectations might finally be met—and soon. Federal Reserve’s Chairman Yellin has been issuing statements that indicate a bias toward raising Fed rates, if the economy can sustain them. On Friday, the latest labor reports were widely hailed as indicating the kind of strength that she had been talking about. The year’s final Fed meeting will take place on December 15-16. If they do raise the benchmark federal funds rate, Lewes mortgage interest rates will certainly follow. The real question on both fronts was how much…
When you decide to buy or sell a home, Lewes mortgage factors are important, yes—but they are only some of many considerations. One factor that won’t change is that I will be standing by, ready to help on all fronts! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.