April 25 2020

Fixer Uppers Are a Thing of the Past for Millennial Homebuyers

by Erin

outdoor kitchen living space

As there has seen an increase in Millenial home buyers over the past few years, there has also been a shift in the types of homes that catch their young eyes.  This age bracket is looking for new homes that are ready to move in. They are passing up homes on the market that are distressed or run down to be able to walk into a move-in ready home. With today’s daily hustle and bustle, there is not very much time to dedicate to remodeling an entire home. Because of this new trend, homeowners that are looking to sell in this everchanging market are spending more on high-end remodeling before placing their homes on the market in order for them to sell.

 

Many Millennials are interested in homes that require very little maintenance and stress. The kitchen space is one of the most visited rooms in the home and detail is everything. Spacious, updated kitchens are a must-have. The aesthetic of granite counters with lots of space for preparing meals and stainless steel appliances as well as a kitchen island has been very appealing. Kitchens are not just about cooking anymore but they must flow with the rest of the home and offer a great space to entertain family and friends. 

 

Homebuyers of today are also looking for smart homes. Anything less than that is a thing of the past. Smart home features have impacted the real estate industry in a major way over the past decade and more new home builders and sellers have made it a priority to include in-home technology for their buyer’s convenience. Millennial buyers are more willing to pay a little more to gain the convenience of connecting to their home from their smartphone with features like a programmable thermostat, home security, and a Ring doorbell as well as streaming their favorite Netflix series.

 

A large number of Millennial buyers are self-employed or work from home. There has been an influx of self-made entrepreneurs and creatives in this age group that requires a space in their new home to let their creativity flow. A dedicated workspace has been an attractive trend on the list. Sellers have been intentional about showcasing a spare bedroom, loft, or nook in the home that would work well as a home office to make the home more appealing. 

 

One of the biggest trends that are evident is the need for large open spaces in the home. Today’s home buyers are looking for lots of natural lighting and fewer walls that would leave them feeling closed in or confined in their living space. Older homes from the past tend to be dark and drab with rooms that are closed off. Companies like Nana Wall help sellers to resolve this issue by installing folding glass walls in homes to offer more indoor-outdoor spaces that can open up to kitchens and bathrooms and provide more natural lighting and an open feel in the home.

 

Every day, home buying trends are changing and evolving in the real estate market and both buyers and sellers have to stay on their toes. Understanding the needs of upcoming home buyers is very essential to the sale of both new and preloved homes. 

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March 20 2020

To Buy or Not to Buy? Is Buying a Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic a Good Idea?

by racheal

For sale sign in front of a new home

The Coronavirus also known as COVID-19 has many people up in arms across the globe and for good reason with over 13,000 known cases reported in the U. S. alone.  This virus has hit the economy in a major way with an interruption and even a complete halt of supply chain productions. Along with the travel industry and foodservice industry, this is bringing up concerns for the future of the real estate market during these trying times. Not even real estate is immune from the impact of the Coronavirus.

 

The Pandemic has affected everyone

 

Due to the urge of having to self-quarantine and the push for school closures across the U. S. for several weeks, many American workers have been forced to stay at home with their children, and many have been left jobless as a result of this. For those companies that do not offer the option or ability for their employees to work from home, many are left wondering how they will be able to pay their bills and feed their families in the coming months. Many small business owners have also seen a vast decline in sales with people remaining isolated.

 

Emotions are leading most decisions to buy real estate right now

 

With stats changing daily and many living in a world of uncertainty, it can be easy to question what to do with some of the biggest financial transactions such as buying or even selling a home. Although many people will have less money and less access to funds during this time, the real estate market has not yet been deeply affected as some may think. There is a slight decrease in both buyers and sellers due to the current state of the world right now based mainly on emotion. 

 

Some seem more optimistic and eager to buy while rates in the housing market are so low. Those willing to enter the housing market with high hopes have the benefit of low rates and are jumping on the opportunity pretty quickly. The housing stock will be more attractive to many than what it is to rent being that some are currently considering buying a new home to take in more family members during the time because of the effects of the pandemic.

 

There may be opportunities for price discounts for those buyers that choose to stay in the market during this time while others are pulling out allowing their emotions to get the best of them which is truly understandable.

 

What does the future of the real estate market look like?

 

There is a possibility that history can have its way of repeating itself. We can look at recent historical events such as the Swine Flu, SARS epidemic, and MERS and other aggressive Flu strains to get an idea of how the COVID-19 will affect the housing market in the coming months. History has shown that the housing market typically can remain stable during disruptions like these with only a slight fall in sales. Although this may be true, the economic impact of the pandemic COVID-19 is greater than the impact of SARS and others like it. It may take a little longer to see a significant rise in sales again when things finally begin to blow over.

 

As far as a long term outlook on the effects of the Coronavirus to the housing market, home prices may remain flat or creep up slower than they have since 2012. In short term, realtors are already seeing a decline of 10% in home sales due to loss of employment with citizens having to self-quarantine and make use of social distancing to reduce the risk of spreading this virus.

 

If you are on the fence about what your next steps should be during this very uncertain time, just know that you are not alone. The decision of whether or not to buy or sell during this time is simply situational. Take the time to weigh out the pros and cons and evaluate your current and possible financial situation to make the decision that is best for you and your family. The coronavirus will have a positive impact on the U. S. Real Estate market if the interest rates remain low and if you are willing to take the risk, right now is a good time to get your feet wet and experience more inventory, low-interest rates, and better pricing.

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February 5 2020

Millennials Are Dominating the Real Estate Market in 2020

by racheal

man holding a drink on a couch

Millennials are the next generation of home buyers that are making a wave in the real estate market this decade. They are the largest U. S. generation ever and are definitely making an impact. Millennials are expected to buy more homes in the next year than both Generation X and baby boomers combined. With lessons learned from previous generations, this group of tech-savvy adults has come to make decisions with a very different perspective. 

 

Despite the popular belief that millennials are less likely to invest in purchasing homes with their overbearing student loan debt and love for Starbucks, they are taking homeownership to a new level. Millennials were the most dominant buyers in 2019 and will play a large role in the coming year as well. In 2016, adults 36 years old and younger accounted for the largest portion of homebuyers at 34 percent. Millennials make up 56 percent of first-time homebuyers according to Zillow.

 

Rent prices are continuing to rise and more times than not, a mortgage may turn out to be much more affordable for a 30 something adult. This generation is taking its time and planning accordingly when it comes to their first home purchase. We are seeing many millennials becoming more frugal by moving back home with family members in order to finish school and save for their first new home.

 

Millennials rely heavily on technology to find and purchase homes

 

This is the generation that is extremely tech-savvy dominating with the love of social media. Millennials are twice as likely to use their cell phones as aids in their home search process compared to the baby boomer generation. There is literally an app for everything these days including an app that will assist in searching for and eventually purchasing a new home. In 2017, 99% of millennials searched online prior to making their first home purchase. These same buyers tend to look for properties with a social media prescience when trying to find the right home to fit their needs. Apps like Trulia, Realtor.com, and Zillow are just a few of the tools that have helped millennials dig into the real estate market.

 

Millennials are going green

 

Millennials are very interested in minimizing their carbon footprint by going green, which means they are on the hunt for lots of green features both inside and outside of their home. This generation is very environmentally- conscious and is looking to have efficient features such as low-emittance windows, fluorescent light bulbs, sustainable lumber, and solar energy. Many millennials have a desire to help reduce their carbon footprint and will opt for more all-electric homes that come equipped with induction stoves and heat pump dryers that are energy-efficient and will reduce costs.

 

Millennials are looking for convenience

 

Along with the desire to help save the planet, millennials are opting for communities that are closer to everyday necessities like parks, shopping, dining, and even employment to lessen the load of a commute. Many are riding bikes, carpooling, taking trains, buses, and utilizing Uber or Lyft to save funds and the earth.

 

Millennials want more space

 

This generation of adults is starting families and businesses, and entertaining guests. They desire homes with open floor plans and great rooms that will accommodate their growing needs. New homes with spacious and open floor plans are more desirable and allow for more options as life changes. Potential homeowners are looking for houses with options for an in-home office, game rooms, nursery, or even an in-home gym.

 

As more and more millennials begin to dominate the real estate market and express their specific home needs, home builders are making the efforts necessary to accommodate this growing generation with smart home technology and lots of amenities that will keep them coming. Millennials are making much bigger decisions than which Snapchat filter to use. They're making investments that will last a lifetime.

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October 4 2019

Move-In Ready: Great Customer Service Becomes Self-Service

by Erin

Self Service Sales Center Kiosk

Self-Service Technology moves home shoppers quickly and efficiently toward critical information and increased engagement.

 

By Zoe Miller

 

Customer service should be all about the customer, but only that person truly knows his or her needs and goals, mood and interests, preferred pace and overall schedule. The buyer’s journey in residential real estate (the largest consumer industry) is the most consequential, so it stands to reason this is when customers would demand the most convenience and control.

 

Enter self-service technology (SST), a solution that helps customers or prospects serve themselves. If you’ve used an ATM or self-checkout at a grocery store, you’ve used this kind of technology. Self-service technology has become a key element of the home buying process as buyers grow more comfortable with it. Whether online or in a sales center, SST empowers the customer by delivering the right information in the right way at the right time. 

 

Convenience, Control & Connection

 

Convenience is always a top priority for new home shoppers who find themselves with countless questions in need of timely answers. Just as smart home technology has been the latest trend for convenience, self-service technology helps prospective home buyers by providing fast and concise information. Questions that may have once required a phone call or even a face-to-face meeting can now be answered through a self-service solution, available 24/7. 

 

More than anything else, homebuyers seek a value-unique experience—a level of service that will inspire not just sales, but enthusiastic referrals. Online resources should be replete with impactful visuals and an easy-to-understand user experience. Interactive kiosks and even the use of virtual reality technology belong front and center in a sales center so home shoppers can easily find them. Reduced friction and maximum convenience and engagement are highly valued by home shoppers.

 

Customized Over Customary 

 

It’s important for home builders to understand that communication doesn’t have to equal conversation or even human interaction. Interaction typically follows waiting in line or on the phone or for an appointment time—and that’s rarely convenient. An easy-to-navigate and engaging self-service experience will go a long way toward buyer satisfaction. 

 

Home shoppers also value personalization and customization—information that's tailored to their specific situation. When SST automation is used to create a customized experience with targeted follow-ups regarding time frames or product tips, people don’t forget. 

 

What’s worse than a problem? The frustration over not knowing how to resolve it. Home shoppers and home builders alike benefit when SST can solve problems and answer questions. An interactive two-way setup with results, feedback, and proposed resolution boosts the customer experience. Specific home shopping questions that can be addressed with SST range from pricing, availability and construction schedules to elevations, floor plans, and other details.

Zoe Miller Headshot

It all adds up to value-unique—a level of customer service that's actionable and personable.

 

 

— Zoe Miller is a principal at Computer Presentation Systems in the Sacramento, California area. The 25+-year veteran of the home building industry sets the company’s development strategies and oversees its daily operations.

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