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What homebuyers desire in 2012 Part 3

Home buyers in 2012 have some advantages over prospective buyers in other years: low interest rates and low home prices in most markets. Those advantages don’t necessarily translate into confidence about a home purchase. Buyers want to be sure they are buying a home that will at least maintain its market value, if not appreciate over the coming years. In order to feel more certain about their choice of home, today’s buyers desire a property that meets the three main factors that make a residence a good value: price, condition and location.

Roxanne Gennari, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Princeton Junction, N.J., says local real estate markets across the country vary in their strength.

“Since no one knows when the market will truly level out and values will start to climb, buyers are trying to insulate themselves from buying an overvalued home,” Gennari says. “Buyers are looking for the best deal they can get. In many cases, they only want to buy if they can get a house at a certain price.”

Homebuyers want homes in handy locations

While the real estate market has changed in myriad ways over the past decade, the mantra “location, location, location” has not. Location is tied closely to value, so buyers have become even more interested in purchasing in a desirable area.

“Location has become even more important recently than it used to be, with buyers wanting to be near the city or at least near some kind of public transportation,” says Gary Rogers of Re/Max on the Charles in Waltham, Mass. “We’re seeing empty nesters move into Boston while 20-something and 30-something buyers are moving just outside the city in order to afford to buy.”

In San Francisco, Ben Coleman, broker/owner of Century 21 Hartford Properties, says living within walking distance to amenities and to public transportation is the No. 1 priority for most buyers.

“We talk about Walk Score all the time now, which tells you how close a particular home is to things like a coffee shop, a grocery store, and a bus or subway stop,” Coleman says.


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