Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The New Trend

I read today on the web that there are several new trends out there in home-buying. The buyers tend to be either empty-nesters who are down-sizing, or first-time homebuyers, generally younger. In both cases they are looking for the same things: smaller homes that are within walkable distance of services and towns.

It all makes sense. The suburbs are not the residences of young professionals or retired couples or singles as much as they are the neighborhoods of families. The two groups cited want to be able to walk their dogs, walk into town (or village) easily to a dinner with friends, go shopping on weekends without piling into cars. Exercise is not found at the gym as much as on the streets of their village, in company with other like-minded individuals.

All you need to do to check out these theories is walk around Skaneateles on a sunny fall day. There they are - the people with their dogs, the older couples entertaining their visiting grown children, the lines at Doug's and the waiting time at Bluewater. The shops are busier than ever, and not just with tourists. (We all know to buy now - Dickens is coming and there will be a lot more people in the village!) Then there are the committed walkers who are able to conduct business on their cells while trudging up State Street.

I thought it would be interesting to see which houses meet the criteria of the article. I looked for village homes between 1700 and 2100 square feet, their limits. Five existed, all represented by different agencies. Prices ranged from a low of $279,000 to a high of $405,000 - not that wide a range, and dependent on the condition of the homes for its variability. Two are listed as four-bedroom homes; two have only one-car garages. But all are easy walks to the village and the lakeside shops and restaurants.

The article also stated that people want fewer bathrooms because they "don't use them all." As anyone knows who has searched for homes in Skaneateles, enough bathrooms are hard to find. Two of these homes have only one - all have half-baths though.

I wish there were more homes in Skaneateles that met this criteria. Going slightly higher to 2300 sf nets two more homes, and between 1500 and 1700 sf brings in four more. Using these calculations, there are 11 homes that basically meet the criteria of this article....not such a bad thing for a beautiful village that is highly walkable, liveable, affordable and has a magnificent lake as its backdrop. Nice to know that we are part of a trend!