By Martin R. Delossantos
A local film company calls: The condo unit I was representing was being considered to rent for actress Mischa Barton to stay in while she filmed in Jersey City. Unfortunately for me, the developer whose condo I represented decided he did not want Barton, or anyone with pets—and Barton did not want anything without her two little doggies.
To the developer, it was not about short-term money for potential long term headaches. It was about his need to SELL this unit in his building because he actually renovated it himself and did not want to spend any more time or money to restore the unit if those sweet little pooches chewed and scratched his gorgeous cherry soaked oak floors and moldings.
Problem areas: The unit was unusually laid out, which was keeping buyers at bay. The biggest problem was the main room; the space had no definition.
Was it a kitchen? Living room? Dining room? Also, the unit had a dead fireplace. The developer created too much kitchen by installing too many cabinets—albeit beautiful hardwood cherry—with glossy dark granite counters and sleek stainless steel appliances. (I suppose he was banking on a discerning chef, but that can limit your buyer pool.) If the main room was left empty, all you would notice is a big kitchen.
The space needed to be kept generic and balanced to attract the most amount of prospects. The buyers Continue reading »
By David Applebaum
In this market, selling a house can be more challenging than ever. As a real estate professional, I’m sure you have used many ideas to help make your property look its most attractive to potential buyers. As an architect for two decades, I have suggestions and tips to maximize your potential in selling the home.
Every house and every property is different, and I recognize that a “walk through” can inspire specific ideas for each property. But here are some universal suggestions that will make any house look more appealing for sale.
1. Clean everything. Eliminate damaged and soiled items, get rid of half of the furniture and rearrange the other half, and remove any personal items. It is important to give the buyers the ability to see themselves in the property.
2. Accent lighting. This can help make the home more attractive and accentuate the positives by highlighting the homes attributes and diminish the negatives of any setting. The key is to realize that you are playing with contrasts.
Some other lighting tips:
- A light along fabulous furnishings, an architectural element, or detail will show that element off.
- A light behind an object will frame the object in darkness and bathe what is behind it in a wash of light.
- Use highlight and contrast to make a room feel longer, higher, or warmer. Continue reading »
By Erik Fowler
This is the second article in a series designed to help you make sense of the green landscape as a real estate professional. In the last article, we covered the big picture – defining “green,” concepts of sustainability and what it means to be green (read it here). Here, we examine green homes and real estate.
WHAT IS A “GREEN” HOME?
Essentially, green homes (or buildings) strive to integrate into the environment, use sustainable design and construction concepts, and have a positive impact on occupant health and comfort.
They achieve this by considering the home in two fundamental ways:
1. A system of interconnected parts that all affect each other (much like our natural environment);
2. A lifecycle—the design, building, maintenance/operation and demolition.
For example, consider how home design affects window choices, which affects lighting, which affects the heating/cooling system, which then affects energy consumption, which affects planet resources, pollution and, ultimately, potential climate change. Get the idea?
5 KEY COMPONENTS
Nearly all green homes consider the following key components essential to green building and remodeling:
1. Design and size: Good site design and just large enough, as opposed to larger is better.
2. Community connectivity: Located close to work, school, recreation and other basics.
3. Energy and water efficiency: At least 15 percent or more efficient than others. Continue reading »
The softening housing market is causing builders to start downsizing homes to help shed high construction costs and offer a more affordable home to cash-strapped buyers. KB Homes recently announced its plans to build 880-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath houses in three suburban Houston areas. The homes will sell for $64,000.
Depending on how well the homes perform, KB plans to build them in other cities as well. CEO Jeffrey Mezger says the move is a return to the company’s post-World War II roots, when small homes were standard.
“Any time there’s been an age of exuberance and the economy turns, people get back to ‘What do I need?’ rather than ‘What could I buy?’” Mezger told Business Week for a short article on the smaller homes (Read: “Tiny Homes for Tough Times“).
The National Association of Home Builders reported at its International Builder Show in January an overall downsize of new homes. In fact, NAHB said it’s the first significant decrease in new home sizes since they’ve started reporting: 2,629 square feet to an average of 2,438 square feet. NAHB expects the trend to continue.
Do you think smaller new homes will be the answer to get buyers off-the-fence? What is selling in your markets: The larger or more compact homes?
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey
You’ve undoubtedly heard a lot talk about “green” building lately. The U.S. Green Building Council has called energy-efficient home construction one of the few industries that is growing and thriving in the softened economy. According to a recent National Association of Home Builders survey, 61 percent of consumers said they would even be willing to spend more than $5,000 upfront to save on utility costs–which green construction targets.
But what are some of these “green” features that are popping up in homes today? REALTOR® Magazine recently visited Abt Electronics in Glenview, Ill., to tour one of its eco-friendly kitchen models and find out about the newest “green” kitchen features (see video below). Also, check out senior editor Wendy Cole’s article on “10 Ways to Make Your House Greener,” featuring new eco-friendly products.
In your markets, have you been noticing more clients asking questions about the “green” qualities in a home? Or do you think the green-construction movement has been overhyped? Share your thoughts!