Demand for older "charming" homes seems to have dropped significantly! Newer, energy efficient homes are selling -- who agrees?

Asked by Murray Robertson, Parsippany, NJ Sat Aug 14, 2010

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16
Suzanne MacD…, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Sat Aug 14, 2010
I don't know what statistics you rely upon, however I will say this, as a lover of older "charming" homes, it may be easier to make a charming hold more energy effecient, than it is to make a newer, cookie-cutter home charming!
2 votes
Alice Garrig…, , Chattanooga, TN
Thu Dec 9, 2010
I am a Keller Williams Realtor in Chattanooga, TN. The North Chattanooga area, which is located directly across the river from downtown Chattanooga, is and always will be a "hot" area of town. The charming older homes located in this area have, for the most part, been remodeled and totally updated, meeting today's modern standards. Buyers in today's market want more "bang" for their buck and this particular area of our beautiful city offers the very best of both worlds - yesteryear and today. Another thing buyers love about purchasing in an area of olders homes is the fact that each home is unique - you generally won't find one "cookie cutter" home after another. That is appealing to most buyers since your home is "individualized"
and not just another brick "rearrangement" of the house across the street or next door.
1 vote
John Harris, Agent, Manalapan, NJ
Sat Jan 8, 2011
So Murray, did you get the answer you were looking for? Charming means "work to be done" and most people want a "move in" condition, so ........who wins? older and charming or energy efficient?
0 votes
Audrey Ferra…, Agent, Mountain Lakes, NJ
Thu Dec 16, 2010
In thinking about this question, my opinion is that the buyer that likes older charming homes also likes them to be geographically desirable. The location has to be good. You can't have a wonderful charming older home next to less equal homes.

If the home is in an equivalent neighborhood, with good town appeal, I think it will still sell.

Now, the next question about newer and efficient home and let's throw in environmental concerns.
People like homes that are not drafty, expensive to heat. Energy is expensive and no need to waste it as we go to a "green" environment.
But you also have to worry about Lead Paint in older homes, asbestos, and underground and possibly abandoned tanks.

It is a special person who wants charming and is willing to deal with the challenges of an older home.
0 votes
Gita Bantwal, Agent, Jamison, PA
Thu Dec 9, 2010
I see more buyers who say they like the floor plans , two story foyers , large bathrooms etc found in newer homes. Older charming homes in my area have small bathrooms and closets..At one time when I worked with seniors they used to like older homes.These days they buy in 55plus communities.
Web Reference:  http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes
Toni Yates, Agent, Spotsylvania, VA
Thu Dec 9, 2010
You know, I don't agree. Maybe it's my location or maybe it's the fact that I own a home that was initially built in the mid-1700's. We are in a historic section of Virginia where there is a lot of interest in older homes, particularly those with a "history" and the appreciation for these homes doesn't seem to go out of style. Yup, they are inefficient as far as energy goes but give me hardwood floors throughout, multiple fireplaces, high ceilings and stunning woodwork that you have to pay a ton of money for with a new builder over streamlined efficiency and subdivision sameness anyday. Fortunately, a lot of clients here are looking for that one-of- a -kind charmer with historical significance particularly on some acreage where they can escape the city and get back to their roots.
Web Reference:  http://www.lakeannainfo.com
0 votes
Murray Rober…, Agent, Parsippany, NJ
Sun Dec 5, 2010
Sure, there are a number of quality builders and contractors that have a ton of experience improving these types of properties. It's important to work with contractors that are familiar with the balloon frame construction, which was how these homes were built. It's probably even more important to work with the right architect because the Mt Lakes zoning regulations are pretty tricky. If you are considering a home, you need to understand the zoning and evaluate the homes program so that any additions you may consider will yield a more "liveable" home with the right adjacencies.
0 votes
John Harris, Agent, Manalapan, NJ
Thu Dec 2, 2010
If you buy a charming older home that needs work, are there good contractors in the area that can restore these homes to their original condition?
0 votes
Monir Mamoun, Agent, Denville, NJ
Wed Sep 22, 2010
I tend to agree. The Hapgoods are a very special breed of homes that become more difficult to care for over time. Many of the homes recently on the market are in less well maintained condition. When you get warping floors and leaks, it gets hard to justify a purchase if you are looking for a move-in condition home and don't want the hassle. Consider the trend towards high technology and working from home as well. The older homes are just not as easy to wire or keep up to date, and this makes it a bit tougher to appeal to the new generation of buyers. But keep in mind that the best maintained older homes, typically owned by more established and affluent Mountain Lakes residents, may just not be on the market now. It's a slow time and these sellers are still waiting for a general turnaround before getting back into the market. A lot of these homes were purchased at market highs as well, and the last five years has been a "deferred maintenance" period for many potential sellers who have responded to a generally down market. The pricing situation may well even out in a couple of years in terms of old vs new if the market goes back up.
0 votes
Dp2, , Virginia
Thu Sep 2, 2010
The demand for the older, "charming" homes is still there, and it's coupled with a healthy sense of pragmatism. No one wants a money pit. Everyone wants to pay less, or sell for more. Anyone who wants to sell one of these homes will have to realize that they're competing with others sellers who are selling the newer energy-efficient homes. In either case, both groups of sellers will need to consider their value proposition with respect to their competition.

However, I've found that many sellers--especially ones who own those "charming" homes--tend to want to market their property as if it were a one-of-a-kind Monet masterpiece.
0 votes
John Harris, Agent, Manalapan, NJ
Thu Sep 2, 2010
Murray,
Out with the old, in with the new. People are concerned about energy efficiency and although "charming" is nice, it may not be practical as we move forward with new energy regulations.
0 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Sat Aug 14, 2010
It takes a lot more showings to get a contract on an older charming house. Everyone loves the look and feel, and then shoots them down for lack of closets, room sizes, and other functional needs. Many will not compromise for the charm.
0 votes
Ian A. Wolf, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Sat Aug 14, 2010
I think that overall and in comparing the two, the demand seems to me to be greater for "charming" homes. This is based on the fact that often newer homes are much more expensive and I see buyers not willing to pay the difference on price tag between the two. While the two categories are niche, I feel that the perceived value of energy efficient homes hasn't quite caught on yet the way I'd like to see it. Incidentally, I feel that I see the same thing happening with cars(hybrid vs non-hybrid). It appears to be trending up, I just think it will take a while for buyers to become as educated as we are about the energy efficient qualities that newer homes offer and how valuable they can be.
0 votes
Keith Bochner, Agent, Mountain Lakes, NJ
Sat Aug 14, 2010
Hey Murray~ I think the demand is still there for charming, arts & crafts style homes, especially in our local market of Mountain Lakes, NJ. However, I do think there has been a shift in the way buyers view and value these homes. Today's buyers are just more demanding, more budget conscious and are refusing to overpay for a potential 'money pit'. Homes in Mountain Lakes that have been redone are still commanding a premium. I think it's more a function of a shift in the way buyers are thinking due to the current economic conditions and uncertainty.
0 votes
Michael Ford, Agent, West Memphis, AR
Sat Aug 14, 2010
Yes I agree that older charming homes are harder to sell. I think people to not want to spend their time fixing and repairing the older charming homes.
0 votes
Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Sat Aug 14, 2010
Hi Murray, I think this is different for different regions....
In my area for example we have older homes, from 4 squares, to large chicago Bungalows, to split level homes, to large older estate like homes, Victorian style homes, intermixed with brand new construction of all sizes and anything inbetween....

It is really to the liking of the buyers, their style of decorating etc.

But I do agree that the more open floor plan with an open kitchen to a family room or similar and a rather large kitchen is usually searched for, so if the older homes have been somewhat updated and opened up or have been larger homes to begin with, this is what most couples with a growing family are looking for....

Is it different in your area....
Stay in touch.... Charm is still looked for but kitchen bath and open floor space is preferred....

I always feel that the style or the liking for A HOME is very similar to liking a Friend, Boy Friend or Husband, all our tastes are different....

Enjoy and Happy Selling....
If you know of anyone moving to Chicago or the larger Chicagoland area, Northern Illinois or the Northshore
Remember me!
Edith
0 votes
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