The American real estate market is enormous, since everyone needs somewhere to live. If a household or a person don’t live in a rental unit, then they live in a house that they own. A house is a long-term place to live, unlike a renter who may move after a few years from an apartment. However, homeowners may sometimes choose to move, and they will put their property onto the real estate market and hope to attract buyers. Meanwhile, many American adults today, young and old, are looking for fine homes for sale, and they are looking for houses of all types. Some homeowners are looking for custom estate homes, and others are fine with a regular suburban property. In other cases, wealthier homeowners may design their own luxury homes, and custom luxury home builders may construct them. What should a prospective home buyer keep in mind when searching for homes for sale? And what about bypassing homes for sale and building one instead?
Who is looking for homes for sale? Home buyers tend to be older Americans who have money saved up for this, but more and more younger adults are getting into the market, too. Adults of the Millennial generation, those born about 1982-1995, are now old enough to afford major life purchases such as homes for sale, and the industry is paying attention. Today, around 32% of all people looking for homes for sale are first-time buyers. What is more, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies has found that Millennials will form nearly 23 million new households within the next 10 years, and many of them will want permanent homes to live in. For the time being, older Americans are the most robust home buyers, but younger ones are catching up. And within 10-15 years, a similar scenario may play out with those of Generation Z, born 1996-2010.
There’s a wide variety of factors to consider when looking for homes for sale, but there are some general trends for a home buyer to keep in mind. One is the location, which may not come as a surprise. A property may be more valuable or more desired on the market because its neighborhood is close to attractive features nearby, such as office buildings, malls, grocery stores, entertainment, schools, or a college campus. A household’s needs may affect what they look for; a family with two kids will want a school, while a young adult may look for nearby employers and entertainment.
The home itself should not only have all the features that the buyer wants, but also be in good condition. Photos of the house may be available online, but a prospective buyer is advised to visit in person and check for maintenance issues. Any number of problems may appear, from leaking pipes or missing roof tiles to worn out carpets or creaking floors. Windows might be drafty, or there may be termite damage or mold. Even without any of these or other issues, the buyer may want to visit the home and “get a feel” for the premises.
It should also be noted that some home sellers invest in landscaping or remodeling before putting their property on the market, which increases the property’s value and makes it more attractive. Some home buyers may choose a house with more modern furnishings and lawn features, in exchange for a higher price. A house with a wooden fence, trees, and a swimming pool in the backyard may draw some competition among home buyers, and buyers may want to keep this in mind. Some houses may prove to be hot commodities.
In other cases, wealthier Americans may choose to have their own dream home designed and built by contractors. These luxury homes may take any variety of shapes and forms, and the buyer will work with a professional team to design the house. The number and types of rooms, the number of floors and placement of windows, and features such as a fireplace and wooden deck will all be decided at this stage. Then, after the land itself has been purchased for a luxury home, home builders will get to work constructing this property.