Listing Courtesy of Patterson Schwartz Real Estate
Trying to ferret out which features home buyers value most is no simple matter, even though that’s of particular importance when you have a Fenwick Island house for sale. Updated kitchens and bathrooms are always near the top of the ‘most desired’ features compilations; and I’d put ample storage right there with them. It may not come to mind when you ask prospects what they value the most, because it’s a “feature” that’s so much an integral part of a home’s design—but a house for sale with small closets and few drawers is still likely to register with buyers as somehow “smaller” than others with the same square footage.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, updated cabinets and counters may catch a buyer’s eye, but other less expensive improvements are may serve the same purpose. The top three features home buyers from all walks of life want in a kitchen are double sinks, room for a table, and a walk-in pantry. That doesn’t mean tearing out walls or reconfiguring the whole kitchen—but it can call for seeing if a similar effect can be achieved within a sensible budget. If you don’t have room to create a walk-in pantry, see if there is room for a stand-alone pantry cabinet. If you will be updating the kitchen sink and fixtures anyway, consider a deeper-welled model. Any improvements that add extra ‘roominess’ to the kitchen will register with many prospective buyers.
The NAHB has more findings that should interest anyone with a Fenwick Island house for sale. Buyers increasingly favor environmentally friendly homes, for instance—but…they don’t want to pay extra for those ‘green’ features. On the other hand, they are willing to pay more for a home that’s energy efficient. If you have already determined that new appliances will be needed anyway, installing those with high Energy Star ratings is a definite recommendation. Likewise, if window replacements are also in the cards, new energy-efficient windows are worth considering. Today’s buyers are more aware of details like windows constructed with triple-pane glass. It’s common knowledge that those favorable Energy Star ratings mean decades of lower utility bills.
One low-cost way homeowners with an Fenwick Island house for sale can capitalize on buyers’ safety concerns is by installing some exterior lighting. It’s a feature rated as “essential” or “desirable” by 80% of buyers in one study. Addressing the same issue: security systems. When a house for sale features a wireless home security system in its listing, even buyers whose safety concerns are less than top-of-mind will take note.
Before making any improvements, it’s only sensible to have a discussion with your Fenwick Island Realtor®. Even before you’re fully committed to putting your Fenwick Island house up for sale, I’m ready to offer a no-obligation assessment of your home and how to best take advantage of today’s active market!
People approach the whole idea of owning a second home from a hundred different perspectives simply because a second home can answer so many different purposes. If you are an Sussex County homeowner at the stage in life where making retirement plans is becoming a more immediate imperative, you might want to buy a second home as a vacation destination—but one which is also a tryout for your family’s future center of operations. Those who have spent a good part of their lives in cities sometimes seek a second home in the mountains or at the shore as a restorative refuge. People living in less crowded environs might crave a pied-à-terrefor proximity to a city’s cultural riches. There really can be a hundred different reasons (and that’s not even counting all the financial ones)!
Once you begin to seriously entertain the notion, it becomes evident that deciding on which of many possible directions to pursue will involve weighing the tradeoffs each presents. In addition to an opening a conversation with the Sussex County real estate professional whose advice you’ve come to trust the most, some of the main points you will want to consider—
· If the second home is going to serve even temporarily as a weekend getaway spot, then buying within reasonable driving distance may be more important than you might assume. Keep in mind that the drive (or flight) will grow steadily less interesting as time passes.
· In most instances, a second home will be occupied by members of your family only on a part-time basis. This brings up a number of issues—among them, insurance. Vacant properties present a different profile to insurers than do homes that are occupied most of the time. Hazard insurance tariffs could also differ from what you are used to (especially in flood-prone areas). Investigating insurance coverage and costs early on in your search will help you to avoid surprises.
· You should consult your tax expert for details, but as a general rule, if the home is not rented out as a business proposition, you’ll likely find that you are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes on your Federal tax return. Then again, if you are thinking of renting the house out for more than 14 days per year, rental income is taxable. In that case, though, you’ll be able to use deductions for expenses, such as insurance, maintenance, professional fees, and sometimes even depreciation. Each situation will be different—again, your tax professional will have the relevant answers.
· Financing a second home is similar to financing your main residence. You are likely to need a down payment of 10% to as much as 30% in some cases. If you will be drawing on the equity in your current home, it’s only prudent to be able to retain a reasonable amount of reserves for unforeseen emergencies.
Many people buy a second home in anticipation of retirement. If that is the case, think of factoring in the availability of quality medical and support services in your search areas. A remote cabin in the woods may seem appealing now, but as a retirement venue, maybe not so much! Thinking about the long range is never more important than when you are entertaining the purchase of a second home. I’m here to help clarify those issues, as with all your other Sussex County real estate need.