The first forces of March winds were felt strongly today as I entered a closing with every hair pointing in the wrong direction. Such are the feelings we experience daily as we make our very best efforts to assist buyers and sellers through new challenges.
Just today, team members Adam, Brenda and I found ourselves in a situation we wish we could make two separate families winners of the same home. It felt like the Biblical example of Solomon’s wise decision relating to the splitting of the baby. Our team has a nice custom built home listed in Petal where the seller suddenly dropped the price yesterday by $34,500 below his purchase price 13 months ago. (He was enabled to adjust the price based on a corporate transfer arrangement) Immediately both Adam and Brenda had buyers who had wanted that property for some time but had not made an offer because they were trying to sell current homes first. With such a price incentive, they both responded. Now, we all must wait four more days before the relocation company will sign off on either offer. In the meantime, there could be additional offers which would change the outcome altogether. So-o-o, lots of “nail biting” for an entire weekend!
2014 – the year of the “boomerang buyer” is a trumpeted change which allows the short sale and foreclosure sufferers to buy back into the American Dream sooner then they imagined. Recent revisions by FHA and Fannie Mac loan approval systems have opened the doors for some former home owners to buy again just one year after foreclosure. Eligibility for a fast-track loan hinges on whether borrowers suffered a specific financial event during the recession that, through no fault of their own, caused them to lose their home. Also, the foreclosure or short sale should be the only blemish on their credit report.
Square footage as a status symbol has been replaced by a gravitation toward smart, efficient, amenity-rich homes. The “Smart” home is more important than the “green” home, according to a Better Homes and Gardens’ recent survey. The smarter the home, the more time and money a homeowner can save.
For the affluent consumer, the drive to make more money has become the drive to have more time. These consumers are willing to give up 1,000 square feet of living space for the next home in order to get a life style amenity they desire, such as a better neighborhood (54%), access to fine dining and entertainment (39%), and a shorter commute (38%).
The chic outdoors also plays a major role as a lifestyle amenity – a garden oasis, outdoor fireplace or fire pit, separate guest house, or state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen are among the most desired amenities. There will always be a desire for distinctive homes. Yet, the definition of what is considered luxury and how it is perceived will continue to shift as standards and lifestyles change.
As we complete the last days of February, we have an opportunity to reflect on the successes of serving several of our revered past clients, some lovely international buyers, several estate clients, a few first time buyers, and some up-sizing and some down down-sizing clients. We thank you for blessing us with your trust and good will. We look forward to the strong market winds of March!!
Your grateful Realtor,
DeLois Smith