Jim Valentine: Who will buy your house?
When you make plans to remodel, paint, add on to, or otherwise change your home, one thing to always consider is who will buy your home. Even if you “aren’t ever going to sell,” you should make your changes with the buyer of your home in mind for things change over time and you just might find yourself selling for one reason or another. Homes come in all sizes, shapes, floorplans and styles to appeal to the varied tastes, wants and needs of buyers. Whether you are just making changes, or ready to sell, it is a good idea to identify who would be a typical buyer for your home.
Many Northern Nevada buyers are retirees moving here for our many “Chamber of Commerce” benefits. This movement started after the income tax changes in the late 1980s that prevented states from reaching for retirement income tax on people that moved out of their state. The easiest way to demonstrate the local effect are the approximate statistics that school enrollment in Douglas County is at 1993 levels while the population has doubled. With retirees being the largest portion of the market, what are they looking for?
Retirees typically want a one story home, or at least have a primary bedroom with bath on the main floor. Sunken living rooms that were the vogue in the 1970s and ’80s are frowned on as they are trip hazards for the elderly. Maintenance, inside and out, are considerations as well as space for guests that may come to visit. Many are moving down in size, although some are ready to expand from the tract home they bought 30-40 years ago and will buy a bigger home because they can now. These are just some examples of how the home will be viewed by the majority of that buying group.
Families have other needs. A second bath, or more, is essential to get everyone out the door on a school/work day. Living zones can be important, play areas for children and social areas for adults. Families have toys, both young and old family members, and they need space to store them. As teens start driving the family inventory of automobiles increases causing the need for parking space for the additional vehicle(s). Safe outside play areas make the minimal traffic on the street and/or secure yard for them to play in of more importance.
Single people often buy up or down from their immediate needs. They can be a wild card in predicting who will buy your home. You might have a huge home that is seems to demand a large family, but a single person that has a lot of guests, entertains a lot, or enjoys a lot of varied activities will be a natural buyer for it.
Location always factors in. Someone with health issues won’t want to be too far removed from medical facilities while the horse, ATV, or motocross enthusiast would love to be where they can easily access public lands for their recreational enjoyment. Price can be a factor. If you have a big home on acreage that is ideal for a youthful family the question becomes how many in that age group can afford it at that stage of their life. Some properties are “cash only”, institutional loans cannot be obtained using them as security.
Always think of who will buy your home, even when you are buying it. What type of person does the location appeal to? Who would like the style of the home, size of the lot, floorplan, condition of the home, size of the home, amenities of the property, security or burden of the HOA depending on their perspective, paint color, your pet cemetery, your view or lack thereof, or can afford it? Keep all of these things in mind as you enjoy and improve your property, and be sure to review them with your Agent when you are considering putting your home on the market. It has a direct bearing on your pricing. Your agent can explain.
If you make your home too eclectic to appease yourself remember that you are then looking for a buyer just like you. How many of you are out there?
When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704. firstname.lastname@example.org