In today’s crowded real estate market, we see Windsor homes in all different shapes and sizes. But today’s buyers are looking at properties differently than they did starting in 2006 or so when the real estate market essentially took a nose dive. Prior to that, many buyers were looking at homes that they could sell in a few years and upgrade. Or, they were looking to buy mini mansions because they were certain they would get a good return on their investment. Of course, times have changed. Today, buyers are looking at properties that can live in for a long time. And they no longer require all of the bells and whistles but rather a home that for the most part, is move in ready.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that many buyers today are looking for smaller homes. Either they are downsizing into something that is more affordable and functional, or they simply need to give their budgets a break and not spend all of their free time working on the house. And while smaller homes are not for everybody, for many, it’s a sigh of relief as well as a welcoming change from the obligations of owning a larger home.
Some of the advantages of moving into a smaller home:
1. It costs less. Not only are the payments smaller, but so are the expenses, such as utilities. It cost less to heat in the winter and to cool in the summer. Buyers are thrilled when they receive their first utility bill and see that it is so much smaller. What do they do with the extra money? Travel? Eat out more? Save?
2. More free time: Smaller houses require less time in upkeep and landscaping. In fact, smaller homes don’t take as much energy as larger homes. Housekeeping seems easier, there is less “stuff” as storage isn’t as ample, lots of furniture isn’t needed and your weekends aren’t as busy with maintenance. Living simpler in this day and age appeals to a great many buyers.
3. Expensive upgrades aren’t so expensive anymore. I had a client that always wanted granite countertops and hardwood flooring. But she lived in a larger, much older home that required lots of upkeep so remodeling her kitchen wasn’t financially doable for her. When she moved into a smaller house, she was thrilled that she would be able to afford to update her new kitchen and add hardwood floors, all for a fraction of the cost she would have spent in her older, larger home. Think about it this way: it’s less expensive to install hardwood floors on a 1,800 square foot home as opposed to a much bigger 3,000 square foot home.
4. It’s easier to sell a smaller home. No doubt about it, larger homes take longer to sell, especially now with the strict regulations loan companies now impose when lending larger amounts of money. Buyers today want affordable smaller homes not only because they are less expensive, but they are planning for their future. Many don’t want to move again, so they would rather buy a home that they want to grow old in though it might be a bit small for now. It’s a sacrifice many buyers are willing to make. When it does come time to sell their home, there is a very good chance it will be on the market for a lot less time than a home twice its size.
With everything that has happened in the real estate market within the past eight years, buyers are no longer rushing into buying homes. They have clearly done their research and know that they do not want to over extend themselves. And while there are certainly buyers for larger homes, we just aren’t seeing as many as we used to, though the number is picking up.
If you are in the market for a home in Windsor this summer, take the time to sit down and discuss with a real estate agent what you are looking for in a property. If you are unsure, an agent can assist you in narrowing down your choices so that the home you eventually select is the right one for you and your family. Whether you decide on a smaller home or a larger one, the key is make sure you can be happy in your new house for many years to come.