Too many too-big houses – a growing RE problem?


NEW YORK – April 3, 2019 – Large, high-end homes across the Sunbelt are languishing on the market, and deep price cuts are often necessary to sell them.

Fifteen years ago, today’s retirees – fueled by the easy credit of the real estate boom – poured millions of dollars into building elaborate five- or six-bedroom homes in warm climates. But since that time, many baby boomers have learned that these high-maintenance homes no longer fit their needs as they age. However, younger buyers aren’t snapping them up, as both tastes and access to credit have dramatically changed since the early 2000s.

The problem is expected to worsen in the 2020s as more baby boomers enter their 70s and 80s. This demographic currently owns 32 million homes and accounts for two out of five U.S. homeowners.

Florida real estate agent Rose Sklar says it’s important that sellers make older homes look as updated as possible in order to sell in the current market. Before putting the house on the market, she recommends renovating the kitchen and bathrooms, in particular.

However, if sellers cannot afford a renovation, Sklar says they can make small changes that will have a big impact, such as removing dated drapes and curtains, repainting the kitchen cabinets, and changing out hardware and light fixtures for a more contemporary look.

They “don’t have to be expensive – just get something that’s ‘today,'” Sklar says. “Get rid of the datedness of the house.”

Source: Wall Street Journal (03/21/19) Taylor, Candace

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