over 55





A Light Flickers

More often than not, someone wants to talk to me about preparing their home for sale. They are planning ahead (1-2 years), and they want to know what should be added or modified to make the best impression (and of course, get the most money). My first question is, "who do you think will be moving into your neighborhood?" Baby Boomers have the most money to spend and Millenials are moving toward ownership.

My dad always said that when the lights dim, someone is having a revelation. Well he wasn't an electrician, but I believe the lights did flicker a bit because I have come to a conclusion. Baby Boomers and Millenials want the same things in a home.

There are countless articles from real estate experts around the country that discuss the needs and wants of seniors and young people. To assist clients who are planning to sell in the near future, I have combined this research into the following:

  • Both groups want homes that are closer to stores, theaters, restaurants and parks. Millenials will be interested in the schools, and Boomers want to be closer to medical facilities.
  • Homes that are low maintenance have great appeal. Both groups do not want a lot of landscaping work. Millenial couples are both working and don't have the time; Boomers don't have the will or energy to deal with the large yards anymore. Think about removing most of the grass and substitute with hardscaping and low-water succulents.
  • Both groups want homes that have the potential to be "smart homes". Cellphone/wi-fi reception is a must. Unlike Boomer parents who were not tech savvy, this group wants to be connected.
  • Natural light, open floor plans and flexible living space are on the list for both groups. If you are prepping your home for sale, think about installing skylights. In sunny California, a skylight is like have the lights on. Rearrange your formal dining room into an office space/reading area. The dining room is still there for holiday use, but make it a room that can be used all year round. If there is a decorative wall (not load-bearing), think about removing it to create more open space.
    Although there are restrictions in California on the amount of window square footage, replacing single solid panel doors with French doors/sliding doors creates the illusion of more open space.
  • Outdoor living spaces appeal to both Boomers and Millenials. Think about expanding the patio area, get some outdoor furniture and install a kitchen island with built-in grill.
  • Seniors like saving money and Millenials like energy efficiency (being "green") with regards to utilities. Satisfy both groups by replacing your old windows with double-pane, low-e type windows.
  • Updated and Move-In Ready. They say that the woman buys the house and the kitchen sells the woman. In my experience this is certainly true. Update your appliances (stainless steel is preferred right now). I think granite countertops are so "yesterday". Try wowing your potential buyers with repurposed cabinets and quartz countertops (Ceasarstone has colors that will blow your mind). With all the cooking shows on TV now, everyone wants to be a chef. If you can budget it, install a wine refrigerator.

Prepping your home for sale is an area where a realtor can help save you from wasting money. Take advantage of this free service and get some great ideas. If the lights dim, don't worry about it.



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