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
- Two-story foyers
- Walking/Jogging trails
- 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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As a trend, when the real estate market suffers vacation homes are often the first to suffer. People tend to put off purchasing a vacation or second home when the housing market struggles. However, when vacation homes sales begin to perk up this is a positive sign the housing market is really on a comeback and people can once again look forward to their dream of “living the Florida Lifestyle”.
According to a survey by the National Realtor Organization, vacation home sales have risen by 10.1% compared to a 2.1% decline in investment property sales and a 17.4% increase in the sale of primary homes. The median price for vacation homes is trending upward as well, at $150,000 up from $121,300. Interesting that the motivation behind this increase is 1) lower prices (today’s market is still a bargain compared to several years ago) @ 38%; and 2) the desire to have a family retreat @ 28%. A vacation homeowner plans to use the property for their own enjoyment, whereas an investment purchaser is most likely looking at potential rental income.
Many of the baby boomers set to retire soon saw plans put on hold as the economy took its toll on employment, cost of living and decline of their real estate investment value. That doesn’t mean the dream has ended. The last several winters have been brutally cold with seemingly a blizzard around every corner. To an aging population there is a huge interest in retiring to a warmer climate… that is where Florida has such an edge. Here in Tampa Bay, with its easy access to international travel, a temperate climate with a myriad of outdoor activities ready for an active or quiet lifestyle, and waterfront property in abundance throughout the bay area… we are seeing the same demand. However, the inventory is at its lowest in years.
It is imperative in this newly evolving market to use a professional realtor and The PURTEE Team has three of the finest. Let us help you locate and secure the home that will set you on your own road to living the Florida Lifestyle!
According to the National Association of Realtors, September marked the 13th month of increased sales activity of existing Florida home sales in the year-to year comparison. September also increased over August in BOTH single family home and condominium existing markets.
“Existing home sales rose 34 percent last month with a total of 14,419 homes sold statewide compared to 10,778 homes sold in September 2008, according to Florida Realtors. Statewide existing home sales last month increased 4.1 percent over statewide sales activity in August. Florida Realtors also reported a 77 percent increase in statewide sales of existing condos in September compared to the previous year’s sales figure; statewide existing condo sales last month rose 8.9 percent over the total units sold in August.”*
These undeniable statistics help underline the trend of recovery in Florida. There is no doubt the lower mortgage rates and first time buyer home credit have helped fuel this momentum. (Interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.06 percent last month, a significant drop from the average rate of 6.04 percent in September 2008, according to Freddie Mac. )
So… sales are on the rise and buyers agree this is the time to make a move. Where are the pitfalls? Two things come to mind immediately. We are seeing financial lending institutions tightening their lending standards to a point where getting the financing can be an issue for even credit-worthy home buyers. Secondly, because of the distressed sales that have already taken place, getting appraisals to come in at the new sales level can be a challenge. As professional realtors, we are here to help that process through… whether helping connect a buyer to the right lender or support the sales price to an appraiser. It is still the best time for an all-cash “AS IS” contract to get the best price. Other than that, it is not the best time to navigate through a real estate transaction without the help of a professional.
The PURTEE Team is made up of four seasoned professionals with years of financial, business and real estate experience… working together to best navigate their buyers and sellers through this market.
**According to the National Association of Realtors