New home buyers want energy efficiency

New home buyers want energy efficiency  and according to a new survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), builders are listening.   It appears that energy efficient features and closet space were more important to new home buyers than two-story foyers, outdoor kitchens and whirlpools.

 The NAHB  asked builders which features they were most likely to include or not include in newly built 2015 homes. Here are the results.

Least likely features included

  • Outdoor kitchens
  • Laminate countertops in kitchens
  • Outdoor fireplaces
  • Sunrooms
  • Two-story foyers
  • Walking/Jogging trails
  • Whirlpools
  • Carpeting as flooring on main levels

Most likely features included

  • Walk-in closets in master bedrooms
  • Laundry rooms
  • Low-e windows
  • Guest rooms
  • Energy-star rated windows
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Two-car garages
  • Granite countertops in kitchens

I must admit to being a little sad to see that whirlpools didn’t make the cut, but the energy efficient features are a perfect fit for Florida’s year round sunshiny weather. Besides, with the most beautiful gulf beaches just minutes away, who needs a whirlpool?

New home buyers want energy efficiency, but we would love to know what features our readers would consider important and which would you just assume leave out?

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Second Home By The Sea?

In 2000, the US Census identified “Second Homes” as seasonal, recreational and for occasional use… versus “Investment Home” property purchased for current income (via rental) as well as potential profit upon its sale.

The destination has to be right for either scenario. That is why we chose Tampa Bay. The chain of barrier island communities from Clearwater Beach in the north stretches 25 miles to St Pete Beach in the south… with some of the most beautiful white sandy beaches! Being on the west coast of Florida, we enjoy nature’s most spectacular sunsets (many have been featured in prior Blogs) every night! And yet, it is not like we are in some remote island with nothing else to see or do! Having St Petersburg and Clearwater only minutes away, Tampa less than 30 minutes… and even Orlando in just 1 1/2 hours, you truly have access to it all. Fine dining, shopping, sports, entertainment, theme parks and so much more!

As we see buyers choose our area to make a purchase, the lines between second home buyers and investors has become less defined. It used to be simple. Second home buyers did not want others using their home. It is for their family to enjoy seasonally when they can travel this way, possibly winter here, use for recreation and hold onto for retirement. Investors looked strictly by the numbers – would the rental income cash flow? Is the value there along with the potential for appreciation and is it the right diversification to their portfolio.

The market tumble has made second home buyers more cautious and more receptive to looking at their purchase as an investment. Investors are low-balling offers with no emotional attachment to the property itself… strictly to make the numbers work. Both scenarios are best explored with a real estate professional. Someone who knows the area and can help a buyer determine the right type of property for their needs. Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 are the driving force behind the second home market, while the Generation X’ers born between 1965 and 1980 are leading the investment purchase.

In the coming Blogs, we will explore second home buying more in depth… including tax implications, financing options and more. When you are looking for a real estate professional to help you along the barrier islands of Tampa Bay, look no further than The PURTEE Team.