Buyer Profile: Characteristics of the Millennial Home Buyer

Millennials are currently the largest group of home buyers and it is changing many American communities for the better. This new generation of people are buying more in affordable neighborhoods for investment opportunities for their families. Most Millennial’s already have children and they want their children in good school districts for a better education. They are looking for safe neighborhoods that you can walk and push strollers and to take their pet out for a stroll. Nice parks that they can sit at and picnic and watch their children play.

The houses that they are purchasing are in the suburban areas searching for affordably and desirability. The properties are usually priced better and in nice condition to move in without a bunch of repairs needed down the road. The affordability gives them more money to take the family out to eat at restaurants, go shopping, go to the movies and attend events. Some Millennial’s are searching for Midwest communities because it usually has a college university nearby. The schools always have fun and exciting events year round, it gives them something fun and entertaining close to home for all ages.

Some of the characteristics that they keep in mind while purchasing a home is “Going Green”. Energy efficiency is commonly sought for reducing heating and cooling costs. It not only helps the environment but it is saving them money keeping the bills down.

3 Hottest Trends For Millennial’s

Pre-World War 2 Homes

These are beautiful architectures that offer charm and character with exterior frame and wood and is covered in stucco brick or stone.

Mid-Century Homes

This type of home is a 50’s style with flat roofs, triangular windows and spacious open floor plans.

Mediterranean Homes

These structures have Italian and Spanish details of ceramic flooring, tiles roofs, grand entrances, arch ways and nice detailed patios.

Some of the kitchen essentials that they are looking for in a home are 6 burner stoves, granite counters, islands and cabinets with plenty of storage. The trending designs in bathrooms are stone and glass shower doors. Sinks of all shapes and sizes are a great bathroom decor.

How Epidemics and Pandemics Impact Property Values

Despite significant progress in medicine over the last couple of years, contagious diseases such as malaria and influenza still represent significant threats to modern societies. While some have been fought successfully, others can spread rapidly within a larger geographical area, becoming a pandemic or epidemic such as HIV/AIDS and coronavirus.

The primary effect of a pandemic or an epidemic is human suffering and loss of lives. Pandemics or epidemics present significant repercussions on national or regional economies. Studies show that the alarming spread of diseases impact on the economy through channels like health, transportation, agriculture, real estate, and tourism. Let us focus on the effect caused on real estate, especially on property value.

Positive Impact on Property Value
Since time immemorial, the outbreak of a pandemic or an epidemic carries along a lot of fear. With fear comes the natural need for safety, which causes people to move from hard-hit areas or ground zeros to other areas that seem safe. Places, where people move to, end up having a huge demand for properties, with some who want to buy houses or land and others who want rentals. High demand increases the property values in those regions.

Negative Impact on Property Value
People move away from areas that are hard hit with a disease, leaving behind vacant houses and land with few people willing to occupy them. This creates a vacuum in the demand of property and therefore forcing property owners to reduce their rates to attract the few available customers.

Foreclosure — For fear of contracting a contagious disease, a neighboring land or house owner may short sale his or her property just they can move away fast. Foreclosure usually devalues other surrounding properties.

A global pandemic can force governments to indefinitely shut down learning institutions, prohibit public gatherings in social places and shut down public transport like railways. Such government interventions affect the neighborhood dependent on these facilities. People buy property while putting a high value on the proximity of learning institutions, public transport and shopping social centers such as malls. Indefinite closure of such facilities and services creates an uncertainty of the students’ education and transportation to work. If this situation continues for a long time, then the value of the properties in the region will drop.


Why Purplebricks Left the United States—and Current State of U.S. Flat-Fee Realty Market

Purplebricks launched in New York, 2018. This was after German media giant Axel Springer made a $177 equity investment in the firm. The firm charges homeowners a fixed fee no matter if a property is sold or not. Purplebricks announced its withdrawal from the United States after two months of shattering its operations in Australia.

Coming to the United States took back the firm to status quo, different from the UK where their business has been built from the ground up. Purplebricks entrance into the USA market was expensive. The expenses for the first 8 months in the USA were double that in Australia. When Purplebricks entered the US it charged a flat-rate listing of $3200 and later went increase the price to $3600. From the time it got in the USA, Purplebricks recorded a 75% drop in valuation. The firm also faced a massive operating loss of $42.9 million in just a matter of 12 months. That was double the year before.

Purplebricks operations in the USA were turbulent, it had quick expansion plans yet little returns. The stock market price of the firm plunged 65%. The situation went from bad to worse when the chief executives of the firm in the U.S. and U.K. left the company in February 2019. It did not stop there, the global CEO and founder Michael Bruce also stepped down. The former COO Vic Darvey assumed the role as Chief Executive. The company blames the miserable performance to rapid expansions and investments. The company faced many challenges from investing in expensive markets, such as New York and Los Angeles.

Purplebricks took a much more traditional approach. It offered sellers varying fees that were charged only when a house is sold. This is a modified approach to the current flat fee market in the U.S. The firm claimed the approach was driven by customer and agent feedback. Purplebricks claimed customers would pay 5%-6% below the national average commission and agents would enjoy more flexibility to help build the business. Purplebricks said their footprint represented more than 20% of the existing addressable residential resale market.


When Should You Hire an Architect?

Today’s post is guest-written by architect Matt Falco.


There have been times when I have turned down a project. Mainly, due to it not being the right fit for my services. Not every building project needs architectural services, and I only want to take on jobs that are going to be a success for me and for my clients. Now, let me say that it’s ALWAYS a good idea to consult an architect first, before moving forward with your project. Though some municipalities require an architect for any building project, here is a list of projects that may or may not be a good fit:


Minor Building Repairs

If you are fixing a roof or replacing siding, you may not always need an architect. Especially, if you’re not trying to solve a design problem or look for alternative building materials.


Garages, Decks and Sheds

If you’re not looking to build somekind of innovative garage, deck or shed, it’s probably just fine for the contractor to design and build. If the design isn’t full-blown custom, there are plenty of off-the-shelf designs that can be tailored to your project.


I need it done tomorrow.

Here is another category where it might be too late for an architect to give any good suggestions. And, this is my most popular inquiry. If you are looking to do any kind of design project, you need time to design. Not a few hours, or days…  The best service an architect can provide you is to TRY TO SOLVE A DESIGN PROBLEM. If there is not enough time, a good solution may not be achieved.


Complex Projects

When you are thinking about a complex house addition or any commercial building project, you should be working with an architect. We are problem solvers. What is the hardest thing for an Owner to do? Let the architect solve the problem! It’s natural, but it can be really difficult for an Owner to let go. My best clients are the ones that let me do my job.


Budget Led Projects

If your project has a very limited budget, it would be a good idea to get an architect involved early. Going through the predesign process, solving design problems in the initial design phase, then working with the Owner to get competitive prices can really help define the project’s scope and ultimately, the budget.


Consult an architect as you are starting a project. And, ask them if they have ever turned away work!

How to Perform a Landlord or Realtor Background Check

You’ve found the perfect apartment or home and you love the neighborhood. The application has been approved, and you’re ready to sign as soon as the papers show up. Renting or purchasing a new home is an exciting experience, but don’t rush into the process because you’ve found the perfect home. Taking your time is essential to getting the best deal, and starting your research process with the landlord or realtor is the best way to go.


How much do you know about your soon-to-be landlord, management company, or real estate firm? A bad landlord can make or break a living experience, so it is essential to learn as much as you can about their building(s). Here are a few easy ways to check your real estate professional’s reputation before signing any documents.


Utilize search engines. A simple Google search of your landlord’s or realtor’s name, as well as the property address, will provide quite a bit of information. If previous tenants and clients have had a bad experience, they’ll likely post about it somewhere online. Check review sites like Yelp.


Search public records. Property information is often available via local government agencies, and you’re usually able to check for free. Your county courthouse should have ownership records searchable by address, so you can find out if your landlord owns the property directly or if they are acting in place of another professional. You can also search for code violations, foreclosure proceedings, evictions, and small claims court settlements—all of which should be red flags.


Get to know your future neighbors. If you’re moving into an apartment complex with multiple units (or a new development community), take a few minutes to walk around the grounds. If you see any other tenants or homeowners out and about, ask them about what it’s like to live in the facility. Be sure to ask how long they’ve lived there and how complaints are often handled.

Does Your Neighbors’ Age Affect Your Home Value?

Understanding the ages of the people around your home is an excellent way to begin assessing property value. Here’s how it works; jobs have caused rapid outmigration in small towns across America. Young, working-age people are buying housing in popular places to find better, more fulfilling, and higher-paying jobs. If you move to San Francisco to work in tech, you’ll be close to great tech companies, but you’ll have an incredibly difficult time finding housing.


The majority of the population in growing, high-industry areas are between 20- and 64-years-old. Places that have been abandoned by outmigration, then, skew 65-years-old or older. Essentially, wherever young, working-age people live, housing is in higher demand—and therefore less affordable. The highest concentration of working-age people is in San Francisco County. Here, the median home value is a whopping $1,359,000 (compared to the national median of just $217,300). One must only acquire an age demographic map to get an understanding of their home value.


There does, however, seem to be one place where this rule does not apply: The Sun Belt. Retirees move to warm, sunny, beautiful locations to live life in luxury, but their presence does not appear to disrupt home values. It appears that these locations, often coastal areas with balmy weather, offer enough amenities to attract residents regardless of age.


If you live in one of these low-valued places, don’t fret—there appears to be a new trend sweeping the real estate market. Young people are beginning to rely more on the gig economy and freelance work, which introduces a greater range of flexibility. Rather than moving to urban hubs in search of industry, individuals can now move to cheap, underdeveloped parts of the country and buy large homes for next to nothing. As the trend continues, we expect home values to rise while the median age dips.