Nick Churton of Dale Sorensen Real Estate’s London office suggests a new way of thinking when it comes to selling property.
Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, suggests that we overestimate the amount of change which will happen
over two years but underestimate the amount of change over ten. This certainly seems to be the case with
real estate. Our tastes move on hugely over a decade as new materials, technology, design, our experiences
of staying in modern hotels and even watching reality home shows on the television increasingly influence us.
Public opinion and governmental policy also have their effect.
But underlying all these developments are the changes we see in our own lives; the amount of space we
need to occupy, running costs, convenience and the time that could be spent doing other things – sometimes
at stages in life like parenthood or retirement when time is increasingly precious.
Retirees for example have much to consider. Do they want to continue living in large family houses when
there is no large family living there any more? And the desire to head off to rural or waterside retreats, once
the dream of many, is being overtaken by the desire to live in exciting urban environments where there is
life, opportunity, convenience and grandchildren. Growing old gracefully is no longer an appealing prospect
In the new homes sector this is a big challenge. Few of us live or want to live in the same way we used to.
Developers must work out how people will want to live tomorrow and then create that model today. For
some this might seem courageous speculation, but that doesn’t make it wrong.
In the pre-owned home sector there are different challenges. We are beginning to see a real trend in
adapting dated, multi-zone living spaces that segregate people within the home into larger more inclusive
multi-functional areas. Eating, dining, entertaining and relaxing with family and friends are now desired in one
large single-function area where the bi-fold door finally brings nature indoors and makes the garden an
integral part of the house.
Therefore buying a home has become akin to trading in an old car for a brand new one. When most people
buy a new car today they expect plenty of fresh innovative features, not the same outdated ones their old
car possessed. A new car is a finely engineered and brilliantly designed machine for driving. Buyers of all ages
now think that a home should be a finely engineered and brilliant machine for living.
Those who seek to leave their old homes behind and look forward to enjoying all the benefits that the next
one should offer might spare a thought for the people they want to sell to. Don’t these buyers crave modern
styles and fittings also? Home sellers should remember that and either make their home attractive to the
modern buyer or accept that the price will have to reflect essential modernization works. After all, what’s
good for the goose is good for the gander.
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