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The Louisville Gaines Real Estate Blog

How Do Your Wants Match Up To Those Of The Average Homebuyer?


If you're looking for your first home in Louisville this spring, you are putting into action the dream of many Americans. According to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, most people value buying a home. Regardless of ethnicity or age, most buyers surveyed had many of the same things on their mind when they went home shopping. How do your dreams match up with what buyers want in the home? 

The Homeownership Dream 

The survey looked at a group of white, black, Hispanic, and Asian homebuyers between 18 and 64 and determined that between 79 and 82% saw buying a home as part of the American Dream. In the 18 to 34 group of Millennial buyers, there was a concern as to whether they can reach the goal. 

  • 35% said they had no down payment
  • 28% said that what they wanted to buy with out of reach
  • 21% said they could not qualify for financing due to credit problems or lending standards. 

What Buyers Want In A Home 

What were people looking for in a home? Across the board, desirable features included: 

  • A walk-in closet in the master bedroom
  • Laundry room
  • Great room
  • Energy star rated appliances
  • Programmable thermostat
  • 2.5 bath
  • Energy star rated windows with low E properties
  • Proximity to parks and walking and jogging trails

 What Buyers Don't Want

 What were they not looking for? 

  • Laminate countertops
  • An outdoor kitchen or outdoor fireplace
  • A two-story family room or a two-story foyer
  • A media room
  • A whirlpool in the master bathroom

Survey respondents valued the ability to personalize their home. Most went for size, with the average size of 2,679 square feet up a bit from the 2,519 square feet desired in 2012. White and Asian buyers preferred smaller homes with better amenities, while others preferred more square footage.

What Conclusions Can You Draw From This Survey?

The survey leads to some interesting things to think about for both potential buyers and potential sellers. 

  • First of all, sellers who are upgrading their homes should not spend the money on whirlpools and fancy outdoor entertainment areas. Instead, you should upgrade features that will make the homes more energy efficient, offer a walk-in closet in the bedroom, and have an accessible laundry room located outside of the basement. When upgrading the kitchen, laminate countertops will not make the cut for many buyers. If you need something to give your home more pizzazz, add a bathroom, not a media room. You might not be able to do anything about your mile high family rooms or lack of a great room, but you should know that some buyers be turned off by these features. 
  • Second of all, buyers who want to successfully meet their dream may need to downscale their aspirations a bit. When the Millennials' grandparents bought homes, they did not expect to get everything they wanted in their first home. (The younger Baby Boomers changed that up.) They bought workable homes that they could remodeled in time or replaced with a bigger better home in time. Buying a starter home for less money might make it easier to get the down payment together. While buyers have little control over bank lending policies, they can focus on improving their credit ratings, perhaps with the help of community or lender sponsored programs. 
  • Third, many lovely homes have features that are now out of vogue. Those homes built a decade or two ago with two-story windows have lost popularity with increasing interest in energy efficiency. Formal living rooms are not in sync with the way many people live their lives. As a buyer, you can still find a home that is fairly close to your dream home even though some features might not be your first choice. 
  • Finally, homes in price ranges below $250,000 are scarce at the moment. Sellers with homes in this price range who correctly position their homes for sale will find that the home will move even if it does have features that considered ideal. Buyers who qualify for mortgages can best realize their dream by compromising to the great selection of homes that are available.

No matter whether you want to buy or sell, I can help you realize your real estate dreams. Born and raised in Louisville, I know the market and am well-equipped to make them happen. Just  contact me, Jessica Gaines Jarboe of Louisville Gaines Real Estate to get things going this spring.

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