Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Shiny Penny Replaces the "Fixer Upper" For Millenial Buyers

The Shiny Penny replaces the Fixer Upper

In today's real estate market, buyer tastes and priorities are different than those of past buyer generations. The old mantra has always been, "location, location, location".  While location reigns as King in real estate, it has a new queen.  Most current buyers second priority after location, or perhaps tied as a top priority, is condition.  "The shiny penny" has become an expectation of today's homebuyer.  What's this?  It's the house with everything in tip top condition and with a shine!

Back in the "old days", many buyers looked for "fixer uppers" to invest their sweat equity and build real equity.  Now, while a few handy folks remain, the vast majority of buyers are looking for "move in ready" homes.  They want to buy the house, unload the moving truck, and start living.  They don't want to buy the house, tear out the kitchen, remodel the bath, or spend every night at Lowes or Home Depot.  Priorities change with each generation.  Generation "Y"and Millenials are more interested in current quality of life, dining, and living life to the fullest today. They are, as generations, less interested in building wealth via drawn out "do it yourself" projects.  While they are willing to hire people to do work for them, this takes time, focus and additional money.  The easiest answer is to buy new construction or to search for the "shiny penny" where someone else has done all the work and invested their time.  Sellers of older generations MUST accept this and adapt.

At least once a week, I hear one of the following;
"We will give them an allowance to replace..."(the worn carpet, the dated appliances, old hvac, etc)
"We will let them pick out their own paint and replace our special colors...."(purple passion, pumpkin orange, radical red, etc)
"We don't mind buying a house that needs work, so we're sure we can find someone who is willing to do a little work".

All I can say is this, "Wake up"!  Today's buyers are different.  Forgive my sweeping stereotype, but younger generations are not so handy overall.  They have been raised in an era of technology where their fingers are used for typing, not for prying wallpaper off unprimed sheetrock. In many cases, hanging their photos will be a challenge, much less attempt replacing a faucet or painting.  And, because they would prefer to explore the latest brewpub or performance art, they don't want the hassle of trying to find a good contractor and overseeing a remodel.  It's not their "thing", and older generation sellers who recognize this have a huge advantage over those who stick their heads in the proverbial sand!

So, how do you make your house a "shiny penny"?  We'll explore that in our next post.