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What homebuyers desire in 2012 Part 4

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.”

A functional home is what homebuyers want

The days of homebuyers going after the biggest, best house they can afford (and sometimes can’t afford) are over.

“Buying a home used to be all about size and luxury, but now it’s about buying a functional home; one that is satisfactory and just large enough,” says Roxanne Gennari of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Princeton Junction, N.J. “Some people still want a big home, but those that have owned one often want something smaller and not some rambling home that’s expensive to heat.”

Gary Rogers of Re/Max on the Charles in Waltham, Mass., says homebuyers want smaller homes for several reasons.

“It’s partly a reflection of the recession, that people are being more careful and conservative,” Rogers says. “They are concerned about the manageability of their home, property taxes and utility bills, and they want to be able to save money even after they buy a home.”

Rogers says that while empty nesters are particularly eager to downsize, almost all buyers share the same sensibility about size.

“It used to be OK to be extravagant, to look for a home that had 2,500 or 3,000 square feet when they really only needed 1,800 square feet,” says Rogers. “Times have changed.”

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