Q: Denise, more and more of my buyers want homes that are much smaller than what is readily available on the market. Space-wise they want the size of home that was built up until the 1980s, but they don’t want the floorpans that were used 30 or more years ago – and the ceilings are way too low… What do you suggest?
A: I have been finding that there is a deficiency in the market for exactly the same type of home you are describing. You do have a few options at your disposal if you don’t have this product in your area. If there are homes in your area that do have the desired square footage but the floorplan and finishes are dated, usually this could be remedied with a remodel. I recommend first finding a home with the right square footage with “good bones” in the desired location. If you have a relationship with a general contractor who specializes in remodels such as this, bring them ahead of time in to tour the home and determine what can be done in terms of retrofitting the space to better match the needs of your buyers.
Items like energy efficient lighting and features, raised ceilings (even six inches can make a huge difference or adding skylights can help give the feeling of height), and outdoor living spaces will likely be high on their list of preferences. Building a relationship with a reputable contractor who is able to help your buyers visualize the possibilities is key if you have this challenge in your market.