How Will Pandemic Fallout Affect Residential Real Estate?
“To understand the future, we must focus on what real estate does for people.”
That deceptively simple quote underlies the central proposition in this month’s Editor’s Pick by Forbes magazine—an essay by Bill Conerly that assesses possible future directions for residential real estate. Since residential real estate in Rehoboth Beach, DE is our daily pursuit, any and all glimmerings about its future get our attention.
His observations assessed some of the jarring transformations in how people “live, work, shop, and enjoy life” stemming from this year’s pandemic. While acknowledging that the Covid-19 health threat won’t last forever, he suspects that some of the current adjustments will create new attitudes that will linger—that the emergency has “taught us some lessons about how we live.” They are lessons that may change a fair number of people’s residential real estate preferences.
Some of the ‘lessons’:
· Many people find that they don’t really need to go to the office to get work done.
· Because of the fallout from the health crisis, city life “became a drag.”
· People who began to work from home increased their appreciation of areas that could accommodate office space—thus gravitating to larger homes.
· Growth in the popularity of gardening increased the desirability of yard space, “even in townhouses and apartments.”
What became clear to many was a fact of life that registers on individuals from time to time, but which now revealed itself to just about everyone simultaneously: namely, that major changes in circumstances lead people to reassess what is important to them.
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
Rehoboth Beach, DE Residential Questions Meet the Summer Silly Season
This year may go into the history books as the one that sprang more surprises and turnarounds—including unparalleled disruptions and resumptions in Rehoboth Beach, DE residential commerce —than ever before. Amidst a financial world recovering from the steepest nosedive since the Great Depression, followed by the steepest single-month rebound in history, you might think that the real estate commentators would double down to bring readers their most penetrating analyses and prognostications.
But keep in mind that August is journalism’s traditional Silly Season. It’s also the end of the month, when reporters, editors, and publishers are most likely to abandon ship for a few weeks. It’s been an exhausting year for them, too, so it shouldn’t be surprising if at least some of the airwaves and news columns deliver the traditional less-than-compelling space fillers.
Against this background, last week, realtor.com tackled an inquiry that readers seeking guidance for their Rehoboth Beach, DE residential real estate endeavors would not have found in other seasons. Its headline posed the quandaries under investigation: “Why Did J. Lo and A-Rod Pick a $40 Million Mansion on Star Island? Is it Only for Stars?”
Disappointingly, the answers unearthed to these two of the summer’s least burning real estate questions were less than conclusive.
One example was how “perhaps” preceded some of the answers: for instance, “Perhaps that’s what attracted the power couple.” The “that” was the fact that the seller had “renovated and expanded the home to make it even grander.”
Even more speculative was, “it’s unclear if they’re just playing the real estate odds, or if they actually fell for the area…” Unclear, too, was whether the markdown of the single-acre estate (lowered from last year’s asking price of $65 million to $39,950,000) might lend credibility to another speculation: “It could be that home-flipping is their new pastime.”
As for the second question posed in the probe’s headline—“Is it [Star Island] Only for Stars?” the answer is maybe. Or maybe not. The artificial island was built by the Army in 1922, and for sure, stars (Shaquille O’Neal, Sean Combs, Gloria Estefan, among others) are in residence. But there are also regular, run-of-the-mill non-stars who happen to have the millions to spend for a residence with “quick and easy access to Miami Beach, the airport, and the best restaurants in South Beach.” It turns out that the sale isn’t even final, so the answers to either mystery may not be forthcoming, even after the editors return to their posts.
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
For Rehoboth Beach, DE Listing Lingo, ‘Most Popular’ May Not be ‘Best’
Today's Rehoboth Beach, DE real estate listings create a live, real-time catalog of homes from Architecture Digest-worthy estates to the humblest fixers. When the nuts and bolts of a property fill the prospective buyer's housing requirements, in addition to the photos which illustrate their subject at its glamorous best, there's an additional element that can make any Rehoboth Beach, DE listing stand out from its neighbors: the descriptive text.
The writeup may play a supporting role, but even so, it's a description that can add context and atmospherics that tip the scale from interest to curiosity—or, better yet—to enthusiasm. Creating Rehoboth Beach, DE listing texts is a task that deserves care and energy. That being said, if the result is verbiage that is overly flowery, it's bound to alienate realistic readers (the ones who matter most). But— too bland, and it's just a wasted opportunity.
A while ago, there appeared a compilation of words and phrases most frequently used in real estate listings. It might be taken as a template for the most effective listing wording—but popularity might not equal effectiveness. Let's face it: cliches don't necessarily inspire. With that in mind, here's the list:
1. Beautiful. Arguably, "elegant," "tasteful," "captivating"—anything but "beautiful"!
2. Hardwood floors. How about an intriguing description of the wood's hue or surface— not to mention the variety of wood.
3. Stainless steel. It's a positive, but more interesting would be an added descriptor like "gleaming," "lustrous," or "spotless."
4. Updated. Hard to believe this uninviting adjective is among the most commonly used. "remodeled," "redesigned," or "renewed" are more likely to evoke the thoughtful craftsmanship that's gone into the renewal.
5. Private. Actually, this is one cliché that works well. "Discrete" is another one.
6. Spacious. This is a neutral-sounding word. Depending on just how spacious the area is, more engaging words like "enormous," "expansive," or "cavernous" might work better.
7. Landscaped. When this appears by itself, it begs for help—like "to perfection," "stunningly," "exquisitely," or "lusciously."
8. Custom. This describes an important value-increasing element, but the word itself could use a boost: "custom-crafted," "tailor-made," "unique," "personalized," etc.
9. Clean. Unless it's part of an architectural phrase like "clean lines." Better: "spotless," "immaculate," or "flawless."
10. Brand-new. This one works: deservedly a Top-10 value-increaser.
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
4 Question Quiz for Rehoboth Beach, DE Home Fixer-upper Buyers
Despite the well-documented national shortfall in residential housing, determined house hunters still can find Rehoboth Beach, DE homes for sale that are priced to sell. Given today’s extremely low mortgage interest rates, affordable options are out there right now.
As those home shoppers soon discover, the properties with the most attractive asking prices are usually priced correctly—that is, there are tradeoffs that make the bargain rational.
Sometimes, there are location factors that the market (i.e., most buyers) consider to be a negative pronounced enough to warrant the price tag. A home that’s across the street from a busy school can deter many buyers looking for less traffic and less noise. But for a young family with school-age youngsters of their own, the same property might be more than acceptable. Even so, they should take into account that if and when they decide to move on, the market reality might affect their future resale.
More commonly, a more-attractive-than-comparable asking price is due to maintenance or floorplan design issues: aka, the property is a fixer-upper—one the seller either doesn’t have the time or energy to pursue. For buyers who are attracted by the more-than-affordable bottom line, the opportunity can be hard to turn down. But before saddling up for the signing table, they’d be wise to entertain four relevant questions. Interestingly, they are questions about themselves:
1) Stress tolerance. A major renovation represents a commitment of time and effort that can even tax a professional contractor. Especially this year, when so many other extraordinary disruptions are ongoing, is it realistic to add an additional major undertaking to every day’s agenda?
2) Professional relationships. Do you have strong connections with trusted Rehoboth Beach, DE tradespeople—or will locating, interviewing, and vetting them need to become a new (hugely important) time drain?
3) Lodging. If you are sensitive to disruptions in your daily routine, have you considered whether you will be able to live in the house during the renovation—or will you be forced to find other living quarters during some phases of the project?
- Written by Jimmie Bachand