Listing Courtesy of OCEAN ATLANTIC SOTHEBY'S INTL 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 email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestate.com.
The children have grown; home feels…a little empty…
Many people assume that an empty nest means it’s downsizing time—time for a smaller house or condo. In truth, for many a homeowner in Sussex County, downsizing is just one of a number of appealing directions.
It may sound obvious, but it’s your interests and plans that should guide your next step. After a lifetime of deferring to other people’s priorities, many of usage ill-prepared to think creatively about what it is we want. When we do, downsizing might not necessarily be the springboard to life’s next great adventure.
For instance: consider Upsizing. Moving a smaller family into a larger home may sound backwards, but if you have special interests or hobbies that call for a lot of space, now may be the chance to add the workshop, rehearsal space, or studio you’ve always longed for. A larger home can also provide space for guests when the family (and it might be a growing one!) comes to visit.
Have you always wanted to live near water, or be able to step out on the front porch any time of the day to drink in a panoramic view of the mountains?
Or maybe the reverse, and you’d like to sample life in the city—urban living, with its museums, shows and restaurants on every corner. Alternatively, perhaps it’s time to look into one of the increasingly-popular planned communities; one built around a golf course, or one emphasizing social activities, clubs and outings that cater to older adults
The serious point: dream a little! If not now, when? With the children out the door, this could finally be a chance to indulge yourself. Raising a family means putting other people’s needs first. Now it’s your turn. A luxury home or condo could have the amenities you’ve always wanted—a swimming pool or home spa, designer furniture or classic architecture. Your empty nest may give you the chance to own the kind of home you’ve only daydreamed about.
Among the down-to-earth details you’ll want to consider before acting—
Finally, give yourself time…enough time to be sure that the home ownership path you choose is one that’s most likely to prove rewarding. And remember, too, that I (or a qualified Realtor® wherever you land) is your invaluable resource. Do give me a Call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.