David Jones, director of Allan Morris Estate Agents sees the rapid pace of change in our lifestyles adding greater value now to those properties which best cater for modern tastes.
Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, certainly knows a thing or two about the pace of progress in our way of living. He once made the point that people always underestimate the amount of change which will happen over the next ten years. This is certainly true of things like mobile phones and it also certainly seems to be the case with housing.
Our tastes move on hugely as new materials, technology, design and even the latest reality ‘house’ shows on TV increasingly influence our tastes and expectations.
But underlying all these developments are the changes we see in our own lives: the amount of space we actually now need; the importance of running costs, convenience to amenities and practicalities like the amount of time we are prepared to spend on maintaining a large home and garden. These are all things that we tend to change our views on, particularly as we get older and children have flown the nest.
Retirees for example have much to consider. Do they want to continue living in a large family house where half the rooms are never used? And has the desire to retire to the coast, once the dream of many, now been overtaken by the desire to live in a convenient urban environment where there is life, opportunity, activity and proximity to grandchildren. Growing old gracefully is no longer an appealing prospect to many of us.
In the new homes sector this is a very big challenge. Few of us want to live tomorrow in the same way we used to yesterday. Developers must work out how people will want to live in the future, and must then create that model today.
Older houses with traditional layouts are at risk of suddenly seeming very dated. We are beginning to see a real trend in people adapting traditional 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 considered ultra-desirable within one large open-plan area where the bi-fold door finally brings nature indoors and makes the garden an integral part of the house.
Those who seek to leave their old homes behind and look forward to enjoying all the benefits that the next one will bring, might also spare a thought for the people they hope to sell to. Your potential buyers will also be hoping to find contemporary designs, fixtures and fittings in the house you are thinking of selling.
All is not lost if your interior décor is firmly entrenched in the last millennium rather than the present one, but home sellers have to accept that the price someone else will pay for your home will always be shaped by the latest modern trends.
Be honest with yourself and be realistic with your expectations. That is one of the most important keys to a successful sale.