By KRISTI BAILEY
Studies show that many buyers prefer a home 10 years old or less, but that may not always doable in today’s local market. According to the latest Census reports, more than 92% of the homes in the Johnson City, Kingsport-Bristol metro areas are more than ten years old, with the majority being more than 40 years old. Builders are erecting new homes as fast as possible this year, but that has not always been the case. New home construction here began declining in 2006. Then, the Great Recession drove it into the basement. The rule of thumb in the housing economy says, “Every six existing homes sales, creates the demand for one new home.” If that is true, new construction is lagging by about 30% since this flurry of home buying started in 2016.
Locally, new smaller homes with walkability are taking a backseat to larger homes a little further out. They have rediscovered “there’s no place like home” because it has become more than just the place we come to at the end of the day. It is now our office, our school, and our social space. So, if you find a new home that is not exactly the way you would like it, a remodel is always an option to make the space what you want and need.
I’ve had clients call me and ask, “If I do this project, will it help me sell my house?” More often than not, the answer is yes, and they jump right in.
Just check out the parking lots at Lowe’s or The Home Depot; many of the folks in those parking lots are do-it-yourselfers. Many remodeling projects add value and salability to your home, and these do not always have to be huge endeavors. Paint is the cheapest and easiest way to make a significant impact. A fresh neutral coat of paint on a bold color from the past can bring new life to a space that buyers will love. You will want to call a contractor or local handyman that does remodeling for your bigger projects, but do not be surprised if it is a few months down the road before they can get to your remodel.
Be realistic about your ideas. HGTV has made remodeling look quick and easy. Remember, major remodels can take months to complete and try your patience, and right now, you are still living, working, and schooling in that same space.
Local REALTORS® are also a useful information source for remodeling projects that will pay off in the end. They are also ready to guide those looking for an older home with good bones for those who want to make a home their own. For some ideas about remodeling, check out the National Association of REALTORS® HouseLogic website’s special section devoted to remodeling.
NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It’s the largest trade association in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,400 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The association’s monthly Pending Sales Report, Home Sales Report, Commercial Real Estate Transactions Report, and more on the NETAR website.