Multifamily, Single-Family, Empty-Nester Buyers Have Different Tastes
By Diandra DiBiase, Senior Development Manager at DiBiase Homes
Home ownership has been a fundamental component of the American dream since the end of World War II, when Levitt & Sons introduced tract housing to accommodate returning veterans flush with VA and FHA-backed loans.
The best defense a prospective buyer has is market knowledge. Knowing what’s available and how it suits their needs with respect to location, budget, functionality, and aesthetics is paramount to an efficient search for a place to call home.
Whether it is an individual, a couple, a family, or an empty nester, buyers are looking for the type of housing that works for them. In addition to amenities inside the house, savvy buyers wisely consider neighborhood and community amenities.
Let’s take a look at the three most common housing categories.
Outdoor Space Key for Multifamily Buyers
This category includes townhouses, carriage homes, and condominiums, the latter of which may be one of many units in a low- or high-rise building. Within the home itself, buyers seek amenities such as flexible space that can double as an office or guest bedroom; a functional kitchen with higher-end appliances; private outdoor space; and emphasis on square footage in gathering areas rather than in bedrooms. The most desirable features peripheral to the home are outdoor green space; roof deck or designated grilling/lounging area; fitness center; covered parking and electric charging stations; little or no outside maintenance; professional management; and walkable community connections.
Located in Reading, Mass., the Postmark started with the adaptive re-use and re-purpose of the original 1918 U.S. Post Office building. With local and state approval, the development team restored the original exterior façade, using modern day materials, while maintaining and enhancing the original architectural design. Five stories of new, luxury residential living were built behind and on top of the existing historical structure. Coupled with expansive amenities including a common room, private fitness center, roof deck, and a creative outdoor courtyard, the Postmark is now home to 50 new families, two new corporate offices, and one new restaurant.
Single-Family Buyers Want Smaller Yards
Single-family homes occupy their own lot and owners are almost always responsible for its maintenance. Within the house, the most popular features are an open concept kitchen/dining/living area; high-end kitchen suitable for gathering and entertaining; dedicated office and workout space; and extended family adaptability. In the larger context, today’s buyers favor subdivisions over private lots; smaller yards for less maintenance; outdoor entertainment areas such as decks and patios; generous open space, walking trails, and conservation areas; curb appeal; and a strong sense of community within the neighborhood.
Strongwater Crossing in Salem, Mass. features single family homes with a neighborhood feel located within close proximity to parks, recreational trails, shopping, and historic downtown Salem. Each home features large open floor plans, versatile flex room to be used as home office or playroom, spacious master bedrooms and en suite bathrooms, customized interior finishes, and walk-up attic spaces for easy access and storage.
Single-Level Living for Empty Nesters
This buyer has likely owned at least one home before and is either retired or working towards it. They know exactly what they want and are generally looking to downsize by decreasing square footage but not functionality, number of floors, lot size, or all of the above. The most appealing features inside of a unit include main level living with a master bedroom on the first floor; dedicated office space; alternative TV areas; second floor bedrooms for guests or resident family members; high-quality construction and finishes; and plenty of space for entertaining. Topping their wish list is low or no maintenance, both inside and outside the unit. Other desirable features are privacy through creative landscaping and architectural design; passive recreational opportunities such as walking trails; a clubhouse that serves as the nexus for group social activities; and professional property management.
Blu Haven is a 45-unit luxury townhome community for 55+ clients located in Middleton, Mass.
The interior design focuses on multi-flex spaces. The first floor features the primary living spaces (kitchen, master bedroom, dining area, and great room) while spaces on the second floor are designed for guests or other interests. A large emphasis on exterior spaces is met through rear decks, front farmer’s porches, and courtyards. Walking trails throughout the community allow for outdoor recreation without leaving the community.
Whether multi-family, single family, or 55+, there is a development that is just right for prospective home buyers.
Diandra DiBiase is a Senior Development Manager at DiBiase Homes, a 60-year-old family-owned real estate development business.