Homebuyers in 2012 have some advantages over prospective buyers in other years: low interest rates and low home prices in most markets. Those advantages don't necessarily translate into confidence about a home purchase. Buyers want to be sure they are buying a home that will at least maintain its market value, if not appreciate over the coming years. In order to feel more certain about their choice of home, today's buyers desire a property that meets the three main factors that make a residence a good value: price, condition and location. Local real estate markets across the country vary in their strength.
Since no one knows when the market will truly level out and values will start to climb, buyers are trying to insulate themselves from buying an overvalued home. Buyers are looking for the best deal they can get. In many cases, they only want to buy if they can get a house at a certain price
Here are six important items on homebuyers' checklists in 2012
1) The most important thing to most buyers is the financial stability of a neighborhood. Buyers want to make sure their home won't be worth less in the future, so while they are focused on getting a good deal, they are looking for some control over not losing value in the future. They want a discount on already low prices as an insurance against potential declining value. Lots of buyers expect rock-bottom prices, but there are no steals out there," Rogers says. "Buyers are trying to get superlow prices, but sellers who are already pricing their home at market value are not accepting those kinds of offers.Â Â 2) Homebuyers looking for a bargain sometimes think they want a fixer-upper -- until they see one. Some buyers may be willing to do a little bit of cosmetic work like replacing the carpet or having something painted, but most are looking for a home in ready-to-move-in condition. The preference is for a maintenance-free home, although few homes are truly maintenance-free.Â Buyers don't want to deal with contractors and they do not want a carpet or paint allowance.Â
Â 3) While the real estate market has changed in myriad ways over the past decade, the mantra "location, location, location" has not. Location is tied closely to value, so buyers have become even more interested in purchasing in a desirable area. Location has become even more important recently than it used to be, with buyers wanting to be near the city or at least near some kind of public transportation.Â Â 4) The days of homebuyers going after the biggest, best house they can afford (and sometimes can't afford) are over. Buying a home used to be all about size and luxury, but now it's about buying a functional home; one that is satisfactory and just large enough. Some people still want a big home, but those that have owned one often want something smaller and not some rambling home that's expensive to heat or cooling. It's partly a reflection of the recession, that people are being more careful and conservative.Â Â 5) Everyone wants an open kitchen and family room, or at least a direct view from the family room into the kitchen, so that the family can be together even when someone is cooking. A lot of older homesÂ weren't built to be open, and have small rooms and small closets. Those homes that have been renovated or can easily be changed into a more open design are extremely desirable.
6) Whether it is a master suite or a guest room or even a flexible room that can be converted into a bedroom someday, many homebuyers look for a first-floor bedroom. This trend, predicted for a decade or longer, finally seems to be coming to fruition now that baby boomers are getting older. The baby boom generation wants a first-floor bedroom because they are forecasting that they will stay in their home longer.In addition, we're seeing more extended family members moving in together, especially since people are staying healthy longer and living longer. Buyers in their 30s, 40s and 50s usually want the master bedroom upstairs, so they can be near their kids. If there are no health issues, they want to be upstairs, but they also want a bedroom and a full bath on the main level for their elderly parents and in-laws who live with them or even just visit. Â Angel Calzadilla email@example.com