When the Kenai real estate market undergoes the kind of
wide changes we’ve seen recently, you would expect changes in how prospective
buyers approach their choices. No surprise there.
With lending tight and larger deposits often being sought by lenders, many
of this summer’s Kenai homebuyers are seeking
‘move-in ready’ properties…homes that require little or no out-of-pocket cash
before moving in. That growing segment
of the buying public has grown weary of bargain-hunting, are tired of viewing
REO’s and short sales — and just want to be able to settle into their new Kenai home as-is. They want a bottom line
cost that’s nailed down.
Automatically qualified to interest such homebuyers are today’s local luxury homes: homes
with features that bring a higher-end “feel” — even if their size or
location would seem to indicate otherwise. Adding some of these features can
send the ‘luxury’ message…and adding some of those features can cost
less than you’d think!
Luxury homes almost always have a well-planned, open kitchen. One step in the right direction is to
simply remove everything from counters to create the look of more space. The current tendency is to value kitchens
with a multitude of storage and counter space. Where that’s not possible,
actually more important will be adding new appliances with a modern feel: go
for stainless steel to create the feel of luxury – possible even in modest spaces.
Another feature qualifying luxury homes is at least one luxury bathroom. Here, it is
hard to get past the need to provide ample space for comfort, though spa-style
baths are one item that can do the trick. You may also consider a tile mosaic
backsplash: that kind of tasteful design touch goes far toward creating a feel
of luxury. More simply (and economically), just changing out the faucets to a
brushed nickel or other metal surface (please – not gold!) can do the
trick. Add fluffy white towels, an
orchid or two, and great smelling candle and voila! Instant luxury. Depending on the layout of your bathroom,
changes can be pleasingly inexpensive.
Luxury homes may also include green features.
New windows, added insulation, and solar heating are prime examples, but
without the budget for major improvements, it’s also possible to take a
more modest approach. New energy-efficient LED light bulbs can be
one minor feature that can add appeal to today’s luxury
homebuyers. You may also consider
getting your home LEED rated through a national or local institution. Not only will your family benefit from
installing green features, but it will encourage most buyers to consider
your home a notch above the Kenai competition.
Of course, there is no substitution for good old-fashioned personal advice. If you’re mulling over your own home sale summer,
contact me anytime for a custom consultation about practical ways you can maximize your prospects.