The Point Loma Real Estate BLOG
What Home Buyers Really Want
Part 3: Spaces
While individual rooms are obviously very important, so are the spaces that your home creates. This week we continue our series on “What Buyers Really Want” by discussing what types of spaces buyers typically look look for when purchasing a home in San Diego.
If you missed our first two posts in the series, you can catch up here:
What Buyer’s Want #1: The Basics
So what do buyers want?
In the current market, buyers tend to look for as much open space as they get, and as such, long gone are the days of the separate kitchen, dining room, and living room.
While each of these “rooms” can still be it’s own unique “space,” buyers are now looking for “Great Rooms” and open floor plans that incorporate all three of these spaces into one large entertaining space.
When a home has a lot of walls and the space is divided up, the individual rooms tend to feel smaller than they would if they were open to each other. With an open floor plan, the single, large room creates a sense of openness and space that makes the area feel larger than it would if each of the rooms was walled off into it’s own individual room.
The cost of taking down a wall or two is far lower than you might think, and it can often be done fairly quickly. While this is for sure a fairly large renovation to be making to a home you are looking to sell, the return on the investment can be very significant, or even possibly the difference between the house selling right away or sitting on the market for an extended period of time. The question you have to ask yourself is: Which is cheaper? A few thousand dollars to take out a few walls, or six months of additional mortgage payments and carrying costs?
Now while the kitchen and living room tend to be right next to each other, sometimes the living room is on the opposite site of the home. That’s OK. In this case, open the kitchen and living room to each other, and then tackle the living room as it’s own space, “opening” it up however possible.
You don’t even need a structural remodel to achieve this look and/or feel in some cases. De cluttering the space goes a long way to helping to achieve this feeling, as does having the windows professionally cleaned and possibly putting up newer window dressings that allow in more light.
The importance of light cannot be overstated. Get as much light as you possibly can into every area of your home to give it a warm, open, inviting feeling and it will appeal to many more buyers.
The desire for open space extends outside as well.
Patios, decks, and indoor/outdoor entertaining areas are VERY “in” right now, and anything you can do to accentuate these aspects of your home will work in your favor. Ideally your living room should have large door opening out onto your patio or deck so guests can move freely from the interior space to the exterior space. If you have an outdoor “dirty” kitchen or covered entertaining area you are already ahead of the game.
Proper landscaping with exterior lighting is also a MAJOR selling point. While hiring a professional to give your yards a facelift is always the best option, you can also do it yourself on a more limited budget. Look for some inspiration online, take your yard’s unique layout and topography into account, and then get to work. Trimming plants back is an obvious must, but maybe also consider putting in some dividers to break up the space, or maybe some mulch in the flower beds and a new pot or two to freshen up the space.
Remember what we said about light in the previous section? This also applies outside. Have any trees trimmed to open up the space and allow more light in, and get some cheap solar lights at Home Depot to line your flowerbeds and/or walkways, you will be AMAZED with the results.
People have a lot of stuff. With the desire for all of these open spaces, that also means that buyers need a place to put the stuff they do have. As such any additional storage space that your home has, or that you can create, will be very appealing to buyers.
This suggestion is a bit more tricky that the others since you don’t want to try and anticipate what, specifically, a buyer will want since each buyer will have their own individual needs, wants, and desires. However, things like overhead and cabinet storage in the garage, closet/pantry organizers, or even a (nice looking and clean) small outdoor shed will help your case.
The best practice is simply to showcase the areas of your home that are currently available, or could be made available for storage.
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