What Today’s Home Buyers Want

Better Homes & Gardens did a Home Buyer Study to see what millennials are looking for in their first home. The ‘next-gen’ buyers may give you some insight on what to do to assist in the sale of your  home.

#1 ) Purchase With A Plan to Stay

36% of these potential buyers see themselves living in that home at least 10 years. I remember when that statistic was 4-5 years. What does that mean? It means that the view of a starter home has changed. These buyers are now investing in more expensive homes with more square footage and areas with good school districts. These sets of wants were typically on the lists for ‘move-up’ buyers so now there is more competition at that level. Now empty nesters are looking to the smaller start-up homes.

 

calendar-1255953_1280       #2) Home Buying Process Takes Longer

Not only is the loan process taking longer, making it even more important to get preapproved, but buyers are taking more time in looking. In 2012 first time home buyers took an average of 3 months from research to closing and repeat buyers took 2 1/2 months. Those same buyers are taking 5 months and 4 months respectively. One reason for this may be because everyone starts their home search online and there are more resources than ever now to do that. The buyers are educating themselves by researching builders, reading articles and doing more research.

 

#3) Buyers are Looking for Move In Ready

Ten years ago buyers would seek out fixer-uppers. Outdated kitchens and baths didn’t scare them, nasty old carpet covering up wood floors wasn’t a big deal. Now 52% of buyers want a newly built home or one that doesn’t require any renovations or repairs before moving in. They are willing to do cosmetic changes or upgrades, they just don’t want to deal with extensive work.

 

#4) The Kitchen Being the Most Important Room is Stronger Than Ever

The kitchen motivates the buyer more than ever and I know it did me! Islands are really big right now, both in wish lists and the ability to seat people. High end appliances with custom cabinets, double ovens for entertaining are all on the list. 66% of buyers selected  a state-of-the-art kitchen as their most desired luxury.

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#5) It Has To Be A Good Investment

Today’s buyer is looking to make good choices and 65% see buying a home as a good investment for their future. To maximize their investment they need to look at such things as the area (up and coming and growing) and the size of other houses in the neighborhood.

If you are in the market to buy a new home, or selling your home, these trends can help you to determine what your competition looks like.

 

Read full Better Homes & Garden article here.

 

 

A Fun Meal for these ‘Stay At Home’ Times

I am an introvert by nature but I am already going a little stir crazy with having to ‘shelter in place’. If the weather was a bit nicer here in Minnesota I at least could be sitting outside on our patio or doing yard work. But until then I am staying busy with projects in the home and getting creative in the kitchen.

I was looking for something different to make for dinner to help make some of this solitude more fun and I decided on Fondue! I know fondue isn’t totally new and different but for me I normally think of fondue for Christmas or New Years. Maybe it’s because that is a time of relaxing over a long meal rather than hurrying off to school activities or finishing errands.fondue sticks

We have more time right now so it’s a perfect time to lounge over a long meal.

I hunted down some recipes and my husband and I had a two person fondue party!! We didn’t do the hot oil thing but made a meal out of the cheese and then went right for the dessert! What a blast and so yummy. I wanted to share the recipes I used and of course you can get creative. A link to the website for the full recipe notes are within the title of the recipe with an easy recipe print option.

cheese fondue

Classic Cheese Fondue

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
A classic recipe for cheese fondue that is easy to make and sure to impress your guests.

Ingredients

For the fondue:

  • 1/3 pound firm alpine-style cheese — such as gruyere
  • 1/3 pound fontina
  • 1/3 pound gouda
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup dry white wine — such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 clove garlic — minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Triple-Cheese-Fondue-35120Assorted fondue dippers:

    • Boiled baby new potatoes in their skins — quartered if large
    • Lightly steamed broccoli florets
    • Lightly steamed cauliflower florets
    • Lightly steamed asparagus
    • Button mushrooms — wiped clean and stems removed
    • Cherry tomatoes
    • Sliced firm apples — such as Granny Smith
    • Cooked sliced hot sausage
    • Cubed French, sourdough, and/or pumpernickel bread

Instructions

  1. Grate all of the cheeses. In a medium bowl, combine the cheeses with the cornstarch, tossing thoroughly to coat all pieces.
  2. In a stove-safe fondue pot or large heavy saucepan, bring the wine, garlic, and lemon juice to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the cheeses to the simmering liquid a little at a time, stirring well between each addition to ensure a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in the brandy, mustard, and nutmeg.

  3. Arrange an assortment of bite-size dipping foods on a platter. If necessary, carefully pour the fondue into a fondue pot. Serve with fondue forks or wooden skewers. Dip and enjoy!

Now for the really good stuff……

 

delish-chocolate-fondue-still001-1545405557

Perfect Chocolate Fondue

Yield: 6-8 servings        Prep Time: 10 minutes
 

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (see note)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (see note for other variations)
  • Lots of dipping options (strawberries, bananas, small rice krispie squares, vanilla cookies, etc.)

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, combine the chocolate, milk and cream and heat on low, stirring often, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Don’t let it come to a boil; keep it on low heat.
  2. Once melted, stir in the vanilla extract. If needed, stir in heavy cream or milk a tablespoon at a time to adjust for a thinner consistency. Pour the mixture into a fondue pot or small slow cooker to keep warm while serving.
  3. Serve with dippers of your choice. We love: marshmallows, vanilla cookies, strawberries, rice krispie treats cut in little squares, bananas.
  4. Any extra chocolate leftovers (??) will keep well in the refrigerator – just reheat on low to have yourself another chocolate fondue experience.    chocolate fondue

 

So on your next trip to the grocery store for essentials…..grab these ingredients and have a party!

Prepare Your Home For Sale and Stay Safe During Covid-19

There are still many great reasons to sell your home during this time of fighting a virus. A concern to many however, and rightfully so, is coming into contact with others when you don’t know where they have been.

The nice thing about technology is that you can still have a certified home stager give you expert advice on how to get your home in top selling condition without having to come in contact with anyone.

I have done many ‘distance’ home staging consultations for clients with cabins out of town or living out of state. It can be done well to offer assistance in getting a home in top selling condition and still stay safe.

There are two options:

  • FaceTime/Skype with you:  Skype

This works well if there are two people present at the home. One to hold the phone and one to take notes. This option is helpful in that we can focus in immediately on problem areas.

It can be challenging in that it is difficult to hold the phone steady so that I can see clearly, background noise such as children in the home can be distracting, or if you are trying to take notes and hold the phone at the same time. This may be difficult for older clients, those not tech savvy or without a strong internet connection.

This option is nice however in that questions can be answered back and forth in real time.

 

Facetime

 

  • Send Me Photos of Your Home:

Living Room With this option I will provide a list of what photos you should take of your home. Email or text them to me and I will go through them and write up recommendations for each room. The list of recommendations will be emailed to you along with any questions I may have of the space. Either via email or by scheduling a follow up telephone call, we can go over your questions and discuss any questions that remain for me.

This option works great in that I can take my time viewing each room and the notes are already done for you. The photos also provide more detail and I can zoom in on corners.     Checklist

 

With either option there will be an opportunity to follow up with me to address any remaining or unanswered questions.    There may be times that a combination of the above makes sense.

 

When you are ready to schedule your Virtual Home Staging Consultation, I will provide you with more details and we’ll discuss the best option for you.

 

Hopefully this is a solution to a very short term problem. BUT I CAN HELP YOU NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE!

With stores and restaurants closed, now is the perfect time to be working on that checklist of things needing to be done before listing your home. Now is a great time even if you won’t be listing for many months. Got the time? Get ahead of the game!