While much attention is directed at the phalanx of youthful first-time home-buyers, the
Millennials and GenXers aren’t the only groups who are having a substantial influence on the direction of Central Mass’s real estate market. Whether they are tagged “mature,” “aging,” or downright “elderly,” the over 55-crowd comprise an increasingly influential part of the marketplace. They are also facing some challenges when it comes to housing and where there are challenges, people with solutions stand to profit.
Last month, Freddie Mac, the quasi-governmental entity that studies changing directions in the nation’s real estate market, published an eye-opening look at what’s been going on with our older homeowners. They conducted a survey that queried a representative sample of 4,886 homeowners aged 55 and older.
One finding that everyone in Central Mass would probably expect was that the majority (about 2/3) of respondents hope to stay in their current homes. That proportion of the population hasn’t changed much over time. Another finding that no one in Central Mass would be awfully surprised to hear was that a similar number, the same two-thirds admitted that their present residences aren’t accessible to anyone with arthritis or limited mobility (not to mention the wheelchair-bound).
In other words, the wish and the reality are, at least for the moment, not entirely in sync. The real estate solution boils down to the issue of retrofitting. Eighteen percent said they had never given retrofitting a thought, but most of the others who have considered it are weighing how they will finance what can cost thousands of dollars. A third said they will rely on savings to create a home where they will be able to “age in place;” 26% plan to use HELOCs (home equity line of credit) or bank loans; and a smaller percentages
will rely on cash-out refi’s, reverse mortgages, or family loans.
Freddie Mac didn’t provide a prescriptive commentary on the likely real estate repercussions of this aging in place phenomenon, but it seems as if Central Mass contractors and sub-contractors will find themselves with a developing remodel category as the ranks of Central Mass’s retirement-aged continue to grow. As far as Central Mass’s real estate market is concerned, homes that are easily retrofitted should attract more of the 55+ crowd as will single-level and ranch-style residences. Styles like multi-story Victorians which are generally associated with Grammar and Grand-pop…well, perhaps not so much.
Aging in place is something to which even youthful homeowners should give some thought, particularly if the greater plan is to live and work in Central Mass for the long haul. Whenever real estate plans are under consideration, I hope you’ll give me a call to discuss how I can help!…..Realty Ace, LLC
If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! We recently shared data from Trulia’s Market Mismatch Study which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.
Nobody in Central MA can escape the fact that we are now immersed in the full-bore
election year media onslaught. You would need to be living under a rock not to have noticed and the rock would have to be somewhere out of earshot of radio and tv.
Fortunately, since this is a space where we discuss buying and selling homes in Central MA, we try as best we can to steer clear of politics; so let’s enjoy this island of non-partisanship or perhaps that’s impossible, because of the topic, which is too interesting to ignore.
Recently, a study came out of Stanford that answered an interesting question: do higher taxes drive wealthy people out of state? If you ever plan on selling a high-end Central MA home, the answer would be more than theoretical. Whether our own state’s position on the tax rate hierarchy could measurably affect high-end property marketability, that is, if the well-heeled set are beginning to allow changes in state tax tables to determine their home base is very much at issue.
So this investigation (it was sponsored by the U.S. Treasury Department), which focused on millionaires, came up with the statistical answer to the question (as Forbes put it) of “Do High State Taxes Drive Away the Rich?
For any agent running million dollar listings or for any multi-million-dollar property owner considering selling their home in Central MA anytime soon, that’s one fewer factor to have to address. The study found that U.S. millionaires who earn over $1 million annually (certainly not me) are actually one of the groups least likely to relocate to a new
state. It could be because their seven figure incomes are tied to their current locale; or it could be because in the rarified atmosphere mega-incomes provide, marginal tax rates don’t matter (I doubt that high income folks usually have plenty to worry about, and taxes are certainly in there).
Also interesting: the lower your household income, the more likely you are to move. In a mobile society like ours, that seems to make good sense and is somewhat reassuring. People are still chasing opportunity; are still motivated to go where jobs can be found.
So what does this mean for those selling a home in Central MA? Or buying one?
That depends, as it almost always does, on your individual circumstances. What is definite is that if you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Central MA this fall or winter, success starts with a solid, localized market analysis. Call me anytime!…..Realty Ace, LLC
It’s interesting to look into how many ways the universe of food, be it restaurants,
markets, cooking, gardening or eating will intersect with the world of real estate. The connections are many and important. That’s true from the moment a future Central MA homeowner begins to look into the current crop of homes for sale.
We commonly think about residential real estate predominantly in terms of shelter. The listed homes for sale are vying to become the roof over our head; the place where the family will be blissfully protected from the elements. But since it will also be the place where we prepare our meals, store the groceries, and experience the holiday celebrations and feasts that will be remembered forever as key moments in our family’s life together.
Food is central to all these things, it’s why homes for sale that can claim superior kitchens have a clear advantage over those with cramped layouts or dated appliances. The popularity of formal dining rooms may be waning, but the importance of the kitchen has never been more pronounced. Interestingly, large, showy kitchens don’t always get the highest marks from experienced family head chefs. For some, a more compact layout that creates an efficient “work triangle” (the imaginary line connecting cook top, sink, and refrigerator) can win favor by saving steps and time. In any case, most Americans think of
the kitchen as the house’s nerve center around which family life revolves. And when the action moves outside, an extra advantage goes to the homes for sale that have patios or decks that look ideal for outdoor grilling (weather and season permitting).
It is also true that for even the most dedicated amateur chefs, hectic workday schedules can mean that cookery of any kind is forced into becoming a strictly weekend pursuit. For those whose professional lives make that an unavoidable reality, a property’s proximity to quality Central MA dining outlets can be a major selling point. One way alert homeowners take advantage of that is by preparing a list of their favorite local eateries or even by prominently displaying a collection of current take-out menus from nearby restaurants.
When you think about it, it makes good sense to take a look at the ways homes for sale in Central MA can make the food connection part of their marketing approach. Call me for a rundown of some of the other lifestyle elements that we can use to demonstrate to prospective buyers how readily your property can fit into their vision of what a treasured home should be. …..Realty Ace, LLC