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What homebuyers desire in 2012 Part 5

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.”

Buyers want homes with open floor plans

Buyers in Georgia look for homes built in 2000 or later, mostly because the floor plans of 21st-century homes reflect the way people live today, says Leisa Frye, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers in Roswell.

She says buyers don’t particularly want formal living rooms because they don’t have formal furniture. A living room frequently is converted into a study or another family room.

“Everyone wants an open kitchen and family room, or at least a direct view from the family room into the kitchen, so that the family can be together even when someone is cooking,” Frye says.

Buyers in the San Francisco area prefer a great room and an open floor plan, says Ben Coleman, broker/owner of Century 21 Hartford Properties.

“A lot of older homes in this area weren’t built to be open, and have small rooms and small closets,” Coleman says. “Those homes that have been renovated or can easily be changed into a more open design are extremely desirable.”

Coleman says natural light is important to buyers, especially in combination with open rooms.

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