September New Home Sales Increase 18.9% Across the United States

new homesSeptember sales for new homes across the Untied States have soared to the highest level in a decade.

According to USA Today, sales for new homes in the U.S. jumped last month to the highest level since 2007. This trend is further evidence that Americans are increasingly unable to find existing homes worth buying and are choosing to buy new instead.

A Zillow report states that nearly half of all buyers (48%) have been looking for homes that have never been lived in, as opposed to used properties.

Market researchers and economists stated that the housing market was drastically altered by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, which hurt sales of used homes in the South and hindered new housing projects. The measure of these new home sales is primarily based on contract signings.

“This is yet another sign that, as we first saw with the initial jobless claims data, the recovery from Harvey was very fast and the disruption from Irma in Florida was far less than initially feared,” said chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities Stephen Stanley.

Despite the weather damage, the numbers speak for themselves. September sales saw a 17% increase on a year-on-year basis last month and the seasonally adjusted annual rate climbed 18.9% to 667,000 new housing unites last month. The percentage gain was the largest since 1992 and the new housing unit number was the highest since October of 2007 with 561,000.

With these high sales on new houses in September, the inventory of new real estate properties on the market remained at 279,000 units. If the real estate market would follow September’s successful trends, it would take five months to clear the housing unit surplus (down from six months from August).

The housing market is always fluctuating — but as long as you’re working with experienced professionals and do a little research before you make any offer, you should be fine. If you want to learn more about the housing market, browse luxury houses for sale, or find new homes for yourself in Delaware County, contact West End Walk today.

9 Features Homebuyers Want In A New Home

real estateRoughly 32% of people looking to buy new homes are doing so for the very first time. But just because they are first time homebuyers doesn’t mean they don’t know what they want in a real estate deal. These buyers are extremely well-educated, opinionated, and sure of exactly what they want.

From luxury homes with cell phone charging stations to pet-friendly showers, here are some of the most important features homebuyers are looking for in a new property.

  1. Open floor plans — Buyers want much more space than homeowners in the past enjoyed. These open floor plans can make a small house feel much bigger.
  2. Not having to do too much — Of all the recent buyers who purchased homes, roughly 34% of them were looking to avoid having to do any renovation projects.
  3. Water-conserving fixtures — In addition to environmentally friendly features, homebuyers are much more conscious about the amount of water they are wasting.
  4. Garage with more storage space — Though buyers aren’t as concerned with large homes, they’d still prefer it if the garages were bigger. Buyers are looking for two- to three-car garages with plenty of storage space.
  5. Pet accommodations — Pets can always enjoy running around the real estate, but don’t always get to live like kings and queens inside the home — until now. Homebuyers are searching for built-in pet bowls, integrated gates and crates, and other pet-friendly features.
  6. Finished basements — No one wants a dark and musty basement. Buyers are looking for homes that have great looking basements for the entire family to enjoy.
  7. Larger custom showers — Buyers are choosing roomy showers as opposed to whirlpool tubs. Open, walk-in shower entries are becoming much more popular across the United States.
  8. Stainless steel appliances — To achieve a sleek and modern look, buyers are hoping to have their homes stocked with sleek stainless steel appliances.
  9. Charging stations — Charging stations are becoming much more popular as well. Families of the 1950s didn’t have to worry about these too much, but a 2017 family certainly does.

If you want to find out more about any important factors that homebuyers are searching for in 2017, browse new houses, or check out amazing luxury real estate, contact West End Walk today.

5 Things Millennial Mike Is Looking For In a Home

real estateMillennial stereotypes, like all stereotypes, are wildly oversimplified, inaccurate, and sometimes even disrespectful. That being said, it’s still fun to play along with what the conceivable stereotypical Millennial might want in a home. In fact, these stereotypes can be helpful to homeowners selling their houses and real estate agents looking to appeal to buyers. 

Meet Millennial Mike. Mike works part-time at the emoji factory and is a full-time blogger for specialty coffee concepts. If Mike could pick and choose everything to have on his dream real estate property, he would select the following: 

High Speed Internet
If Mike had the option, he would rather just live inside the World Wide Web. But that’s out of the question — at least for the foreseeable future. Instead, Mike and all his young peers need a home that is able to provide fast Internet speeds and has a strong network connection. In addition to high speed Internet, Mike also wants top-of-the-line smart appliances inside in his home. He doesn’t care much for those landline phone things (whatever they are) but he would love to own a dishwasher that follows him on Twitter.

Walking Distance to a Coffee Shop
Though Mike blogs about certain types of coffee, he still enjoys drinking a conventional black coffee at the shop down the street. He calls it “retro.” About 56% of all millennials, as well as 46% of baby boomers, prefer to move to areas that have walkable neighborhoods. Mike is actually quite easy to please: he just wants to live near a nice coffee shop that also doubles as a record store. 

Energy-Efficient Everything
Although Mike isn’t too good with a hammer, he somehow knows everything there is to know about insulation levels, seasonal energy-efficiency ratios, and how to preserve energy. Good for Mike. He’ll be looking for homes that contribute to the environment, not destroy it. 

Minimalist Home Office
Mike does his best work from home and doesn’t want anything too fancy for a home office. He would be completely content with a spacious all-white room, a white desk, a nice chair (any color), and probably a globe or something. 

Not As Much Outdoor Space
Mike still loves the outdoors, but he isn’t as much concerned with having extremely large real estate. He’d much prefer a small balcony overlooking a nice patch of lawn. Though he’ll be hoping to check out luxury houses for sale with big, open windows to let light in and admire the outdoors, he’s not that into having to do yard work on a big property. 

Mike knows what he wants when it comes to real estate and so do a lot of other millennial homebuyers. Whether you’re like Mike or completely the opposite, if you want to check out some new homes in Philadelphia, West End Walk can help you right away. 

3 Tips For Finding the Perfect Home For Your Family

houses for saleGoing over houses for sale is an exciting time for any family. Though these discussions can lead to arguments and some uncertainties, it’s still important to take your family’s search for new houses seriously. Here are some helpful tips that will help you and your family find not just an okay home but the perfect place for you all to enjoy. 

Discuss each aspect of your future home with every member of your family
A good idea to all get on the same page is to have each member of the family make a list of features and items that they would hope to see in the new home. Some members of your family might be fixated on large yards while others might really want energy efficient appliances. It’s your job as a family to come together and find a way to meet in the middle. Roughly 48% of all homebuyers cite energy-efficiency as the most desired aspect of a home. You can all compare your lists and see what you all agree on or disagree on. After having a constructive discussion about which property aspects you should pursue, you can then begin your search for the perfect home for your family. 

Spend some time going over home listing websites
There are plenty of websites that list new houses for sale that you and your family can browse through. Having each member of your family go through these lists and marking down their top three to five choices is a great way to see if you’re all on the same page and if you have any matches. Go through a few old houses, luxury houses, and everything in between and see if you can find the perfect match. 

Talk to your real estate agent and analyze your finical situation
It might seem obvious enough, but far too many families don’t discuss financials with a professional real estate agent before making offers on properties. Your family’s idea of a perfect home doesn’t just mean it’s lavish and unaffordable, it should make sense for you all so you can live comfortably. 

If you want to check out some great houses for sale online or find new homes in Philadelphia, contact West End Walk. 

The 4 Must-Have Features Home Buyers Are Looking for in 2017

luxury homesAside from great neighborhoods, great schools, and great locations (the perennial must-have features for most homeowners), many people don’t know what else to look for as they browse through various houses for sale. Often, square footage and price are given such high priority that house hunters overlook other important features.

If you are searching for Philadelphia homes for sale, then here are four popular features that buyers should be on the lookout for. 

Homes with no problems with electricity or plumbing
Despite the popularity of reality shows about house flipping, the era of the fixer upper is fading fast. According to the National Association of REALTORS, roughly 34% of recent buyers who bought new homes were looking to avoid dealing with any serious plumbing or electrical issues at all costs. Though these are important factors of a fully functioning home, it’s best to find properties that have new or recently replaced plumbing, electrical, and appliances. This way, you don’t have to worry about spending money on unnecessary repairs in the near future. 

Luxury homes
Though homeowners enjoy working on a few home improvement projects throughout their time as a property owner, they would much prefer making these decisions on their own terms — not out of necessity. As a result, luxury homes are particularly popular right now. Although “luxury” can be an overused term in the real estate world, it generally means new homes with upscale amenities, fixtures, and appliances. In addition, luxury homes are usually located in private neighborhoods in a prime location.

Energy-efficient properties
According to Zillow data, about 48% of all recent home buyers who were interested in newer luxury homes stated that “energy-efficiency” was their most desired home feature. As more and more millennials break into the home buying market, there will likely be an even larger shift to luxury homes with smarter, greener technology. 

Homes that have never been lived in
Another popular feature that home buyers are searching for nowadays is originality. According to Zillow, 48% of home buyers are looking for properties that have never been lived in before. This is a popular trend because people feel much more personally connected to and invested in a property because it’s specifically for them. At a time when housing supply is low, new builds are often the place to start when browsing Philadelphia homes for sale.

Ultimately, everyone’s must-have list of home features will look different. As long as you know what kind of property you’re looking for, you should end up getting a great home for you and your family. If you’re in the middle of your search for quality real estate and want to check out some luxury homes in Philadelphia, contact West End Walk today. 

Avoid These 4 Mistakes When Searching For a New Home

new homesOf all the people who are looking to buy new properties this year, 32% are first-time home buyers, per National Association of REALTORS data. When it comes to buying a home, there are some lessons you really don’t want to learn the hard way.

Here are a few mistakes to avoid if it’s your first time going through the home buying process. 

Not setting a realistic budget
Emphasis on realistic. Perhaps the most common mistake that home buyers make is not organizing their finances properly. Unfortunately, many first-time buyers go through the arduous process of saving for the downpayment and securing financing, but forget about all the other expenses that come with new homes. Buying a home is expensive, but it’s also expensive to buy everything you’re going to need to fill and maintain your home. When you’re planning your budget, remember to think beyond the closing.

Only looking at large luxury real estate and not smaller new homes
Often, and this is especially true for luxury shoppers, home buyers look primarily at the square footage when evaluating homes for sale. If you’re searching for luxury homes, remember that size isn’t everything, and that square footage can often be exaggerated. Often, a smaller luxury home will fit your needs just as well as a larger estate.

“I think that’s great if you’ve thought about the financial situation and your top priority is having a beautiful place to live that you can enjoy,” said Dana Bull, a Boston realtor. “But I do think that millennials kind of do themselves a disservice if they don’t understand how the numbers work. The biggest mistake isn’t that people are buying starter castles, it’s that they aren’t exploring their options, and they’re making kind of a knee-jerk reaction to based on perhaps what they know.” 

Not doing a walk-through or inspection
You should never make a final purchasing decision if you haven’t done a walk-through yourself. You can look at a million pictures of a specific property and come to love it, but once you visit the home in person you could end up hating it. Likewise, working with a professional to have the home thoroughly inspected is also a must for home buyers. Though you should perform a walk-through of your own, you won’t be able to identify all the problem areas that a professional will. Because housing supply is so short right now, many people are skipping inspections to make their bid more attractive. In the long run, this is always a mistake.

Being unrealistic about home improvements
Far too many people still move into homes with a lot of problems because they think they can easily fix any property issue. The truth is that these home renovation projects take a lot of time, energy, and money to address. If you’re looking at a fixer upper, make sure you aren’t inspecting with rose colored glasses. There’s a reason most people prefer new homes for sale over lived-in properties. 

As long as you’re careful during your search for quality new homes and avoid making these four mistakes, you should be fine. If you’re ready to check out new homes in Philadelphia and begin the next chapter of your life, contact West End Walk today. 

4 Popular Factors Young People Look For In Homes

real estateThe average homebuyer is getting younger and younger and it’s affecting the entire real estate market. According to Realtor.com, about 61% of all 2017 homebuyers will be under the age of 35. It’s important to understand what makes this younger demographic tick, so here are a few real estate factors that younger homebuyers are looking for.

A home office
More and more people are working from home nowadays and millennials are leading this workplace trend. As Bankrate reports, because of the widespread technology use among young professionals, people are able to effectively get all their work done from the comfort of their own homes.

“Having a dedicated space is important because it will help keep them focused and concentrated on work while they are at home on a Skype call, planning a presentation, setting up their workday or simply paying bills,” said Lou Cardillo, of the Lou Cardillo Home Selling Team in New York.

An excellent location and nightlife
Although interior aspects like nice furniture and home offices are important, young people really want to make sure their homes are in a great area. Without a fun nightlife and exciting opportunities surrounding young homeowners, they aren’t going to enjoy their houses that much, even if they are amazing homes. As long as there are enough fun things for young professionals to do and an exciting nightlife with quality local bars and restaurants, they will love the area.

Luxury real estate options
This younger demographic will be looking for luxury houses for sale during their search for the perfect home. Although they want to live lavish lifestyles, they are still relatively tight on money as they are in the beginning of their careers. So they are still budgeting while searching for luxury property.

“The primary reason younger buyers seek updated kitchens and baths is because they have limited budgets,” said Jack Curtis, Ohio real estate agent.

The ability to customize
Although there are plenty of young homebuyers who would rather buy a home that is completely furnished and one that needs little or no work done, a popular trend among this demographic is major custom projects. Younger buyers want to put their personal stamp on their property and doing these household projects are great to add an individualized touch.

It’s important to understand how the younger generation is thinking about the property buying process. To learn more about luxury properties and find new homes in Philadelphia, contact West End Walk today!

The 3 Benefits of Neighborhood Walkability

new housesIf you’re looking for new houses for sale, you are probably focused intently on price, the home’s interior, and its actual location. Those, and others, and very important aspects of the home buying process. But if you’re serious about making an offer on one of the new houses you’re looking at, make sure you take a step back and look at another essential aspect of buying a home.

Walkability isn’t just something that homebuyers should hope for when looking for a new place to live, it should be a must. Whether you’re buying a small startup home or are considering luxury houses, the neighborhood’s walkability should be very high on your list.

According to a recent Urban Land Institute study, 50% of survey respondents said that walkability is either the top priority or a high priority in where they would be willing to live. Here are a few benefits of living in an area that has great walkability.

You’ll be able to have a healthier social life
As you walk around your new neighborhood, you’ll smile and wave to all your friendly neighbors. Perhaps these small greetings can even turn into friendships one day? But even if they remain brief, even these small greetings can benefit you because actually interacting with people has been shown to help raise happiness levels.

“Social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional, and psychical well-being,” said Dr. Emma Seppala of the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and author of the 2016 book The Happiness Track. “People who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression.”

You’ll be able to stay physically active
Physical activity has been closely linked with health benefits for years, so it’s best to get outside and walk around as much as possible. If you’re living in an area where you feel unsafe to walk around or you just don’t feel comfortable doing so, you’re going to end up being cooped in the house for too long and you’ll begin to feel the negative side effects of doing so. Rather than staying inside your home and avoiding your neighborhood altogether, get outside and walk around a nice neighborhood and enjoy the environment.

You’ll be able to stay safe outside your home
Perhaps the biggest factor in determining an area’s walkability is how safe it is. If you and your family are nervous about going outside because of high crime rates, that’s not good for anyone. Choosing a neighborhood that is safe to walk around in, however, will greatly benefit your entire family.

If you’re looking for new houses, take your time finding the perfect area. Don’t just buy a home in any random area that could be unclean or unsafe. Spend some time considering the neighborhood’s walkability. If you want to check out some safe new homes in Philadelphia, contact West End Walk today!

3 Benefits of Living in a Luxury Townhouse Community

luxury housesPeople move all the time and make decisions about their futures nearly every day. One of those major moving decisions is not just about location but more about what type of property you want to move into. There are plenty of options, but one in particular is gaining popularity, especially among the younger generation.

Renting luxury houses is becoming one of the best options for people who want to live in great areas without having to worry about too much. Here are a few additional benefits of living in luxury townhouses.

Avoid constant renovation and repair jobs

If you own your own home, providing constant maintenance and performing renovation projects can be extremely stressful. And if you don’t have the skills or knowledge necessary to successfully accomplish many of these household projects, you might actually make things worse and end up having to spend even more money to fix your mistakes. With luxury houses, however, you won’t have to worry about maintenance at all.

Roughly 34% of recent homebuyers who punched new homes were looking to avoid performing these kinds of complicated renovations like plumbing or electricity issues. So it’s much better to not have to worry about them at all and just enjoy your luxury place of residence.

Peace of mind knowing full security is granted

Luxury apartment complexes provide external security features that help ensure you and your family are protected at all times. There might be cameras throughout the area, security guards, and additional aspects of security in order to maintain the safety of the neighborhood and your family.

Wonderful environment and clean neighborhood

In a recent survey by the Urban Land Institute, about 50% of respondents said that “walkability” is either the top or a high priority in where they would choose to live. About 56% of millennials would much rather prefer to live in a more walkable neighborhood, as well. These rented luxury real estates provide a clean environment that is safe and enjoyable to walk around at any time.

If you want to learn more about living in these communities or want to checkout luxury houses for sale or rent, contact West End Walk today.

Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Agent During Your Next Housing Search

real estateWhen looking for new homes, most homebuyers have their hearts set on the luxury houses in high-end neighborhoods. And why not? They’re typically in a great location with an excellent school district and are usually more up to date than other houses. However, when you’re new to the house hunting game, you’ll soon learn that actually acquiring one of these luxury homes can be difficult.

Fortunately, real estate agents can help you find the right home for you in the right neighborhood. If you’re having trouble finding a house you love, then hiring a real estate agent to assist you in your search may be a great option.

Why should I hire a real estate agent?

Sure, searching for new houses online can be done by anyone, but only a real estate agent has easy access to other agents’ property listings. So while looking on your own may have you clicking through advertisements for homes and going through endless real estate websites, a real real estate agent can find you new homes with most if not all of the features you want in a house.

Additionally, hiring a real estate agent is like hiring a lawyer. It can be difficult to handle the market on your own if you don’t know what you’re doing, which is what a real estate agent is there for. They make calls to home owners, answer both your questions and the questions of the sellers, and make appointments on your behalf with your schedule in mind. With a real estate agent on your side, you’ll be able to keep up with the speed of the market and will be able to catch your dream home before it can be lost and given to someone else interested in the property.

Potential homebuyers don’t often have experience in negotiating with sellers either. A real estate agent can assist you in this area by looking out for your interests. During the negotiating process, they may be able to work as a messenger between you and the seller’s agent as a means of getting a deal on the home. They’re also able to keep professional in the face of difficulty, which you may not be able to do should a negotiating process become heated and emotional.

The next time you decide to check out the market for new homes, consider hiring a real estate agent to assist you in your search. A majority of millennials (56% to be exact) and 46% of baby boomers prefer neighborhoods that are more walkable; a real estate agent would be able to give you options in walkable neighborhoods you may not have been aware of. Therefore, to find the best home for you at the most reasonable price, consult a real estate agent on your next house hunt.