May 30, 2013

Younger Buyers Top 5 Priorities For A New Home

The demographic of your average homebuyer is starting to shift. Thirty or forty years ago, your typical first-time homebuyer was a newly married couple or a young family. Today, SINKs and DINKs (Single Income, No Kids) and (Dual Income, No Kids) rule the market, which includes all different types of people: single men and women, professionals, and gay couples, just to name a few.

As the homebuyer evolves, so does the home. Today’s buyers are looking for a few key items to fit their lifestyle.

1. Urban Homes with Amenities: Homebuyers used to covet a three-quarter acre lot. Today’s buyers now think of these lots as “high-maintenance.” The suburbs aren’t as appealing as they once were for this reason. Instead, they are opting for city living. These buyers seek active lifestyles and opportunities to socialize. They want to be near transit hubs and the number one criteria is that their place is walkable.  In Seattle, this explains the popularity of areas like Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, Downtown and Fremont.

2. Hardwood Floors: If you walk into a home that hasn’t been on the market for decades, you will most likely see a lot of carpeting. This was a very common feature in homes built in the 1950s-80s. Not only did carpeting reduce heating bills, but it was seen as comfortable and helped with echo.

Fast forward to 2013, and buyers are looking for those beautiful, polished hardwood floors. This look makes a room feel more spacious and is a “blank slate” of sorts. It also is understood to be easier to clean – there is something about putting your feet on old carpet, no matter how much it has been cleaned, that is a turn-off for today’s buyers.

Don’t be discouraged if a home you are interested in does not have gleaming hardwoods upon entry. First, look underneath the carpeting. You might be surprised to find the original hardwoods waiting to be refinished. If not, there are dozens of hardwood and laminate flooring types that can give you the look you desire.

3.  Home Offices: These days, most companies encourage working from home and offer more flexibility to their employees than in the past. In our 24-7 plugged-in culture, with work email available on our smartphones and online cloud storage, we can work from anywhere. Depending on the number of bedrooms, some homeowners will create an office with built-in desks, shelving and cabinets. People want a space dedicated to their tech devices, where they can email, fax, scan and compute to their hearts content.

4. Jumbo-sized Closet: Today a walk-in closet is a must-have for many buyers, who not only use the space for their clothes and accessories, but for any number of things from skis to scrapbooks. The glamorous oversized closets with built-in dressers, organizers, shoe racks and a chaise lounge have become the envy of every young buyer thanks to Pinterest.  Some homeowners are even transforming adjoining bedrooms into grand walk-ins.  It is a far cry from the Craftsman era, where small coat closet sizes were typical.

5. Smart Homes and Man Caves: Who would Generation X be without their technology? A media room or “Man Cave” emerged in the real estate market a few years back. Many buyers now prefer high-tech rooms with surround sound, HD TVs and the most up to date equipment.

Some people don’t limit it to just one room, instead they are transforming the entire home to include automation systems. Touch screens mounted on the wall control the lights, unlock the doors, turn on the A/C or heat or monitor the home via webcam. This seems to be an appealing option if you are looking to make some cool upgrades in your home, because we don’t think technology is going anywhere anytime soon.

If you are looking for any of these amenities and more: Check out Team Troy’s Custom Seattle Property Search


*Excerpted from