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2014 Real Estate Trends – What Do Buyers Want?

July 21, 2014
From Loan Officer Joy James

From Loan Officer Joy James

Active lifestyles and caution about the condition of the housing recovery are the drivers setting expectations and desires for today’s homebuyers.  A recent conference of real estate editors, held in Houston, discussed what buyers currently want and why.

1.    Paths vs. fairways.  While it remains desirable to live right on the 9th hole of a golf course for aficionados of the sport, an increasing number of buyers want access to additional fitness options. According to Will Holder of Trendmaker Homes, buyers are increasingly asking for winding trails and paths right in the neighborhood instead so they can bike or walk easily from their front doors.

2.    Pet-friendly. New condo and apartment complexes are barking up the right tree when they put amenities for pet owners into their plans. Dog walking services, grooming and pet sitting are a few of the services popping up in some markets in attempts to draw buyers – and even renters.

3.    Relaxed underwriting coming to a loan near you? According to Bank Rate, the new head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Mel Watt, recently announced plans to adjust guidelines to extend lending to borrowers with slightly lower credit scores. Because the FHFA oversees Fannie and Freddie, which buy many conventional loans from lenders, this could have a large impact on potential borrowers.

4.    Homeowners renting their homes instead of selling. Some homeowners have moved on to a new property but aren’t selling their homes, despite rising sales prices. In fact, the median price for previously owned homes was up 8.6 percent in the first quarter compared to last year at the same time. Why won’t they let go? According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, many have a super low interest rate mortgage and they aren’t ready to give that up, so they renting their homes instead. The result – low inventory, multiple offers on properties, and even offers above asking price in a number of markets for those who are selling.,

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