All over the country, the dollar isn’t going as far as it did a year ago and people are feeling the strain. The cost of everything is rising and it doesn’t seem like the inflation problem is going to go away any time soon. People are doing what they can to keep their heads above water, even if that means selling property with the hopes of relocating to a more affordable area.
HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Summer 2022 highlights some of the ways inflation is impacting Americans’ decision to move. You might be surprised at how people are coping with higher prices!
Longtime Renters Worry about Buying Amid Rising Interest Rates
Interest rates are on the rise and longtime renters are torn between continuing to rent or if they should bite the bullet and buy before rates go even higher. On the surface, buying property is a better financial move, especially considering rent has risen by at least 25% across the country. However, since inflation is increasing the prices so much, a renter turned homeowner may not be able to afford the costs associated with owning. It’s a tough call, indeed.
Property Taxes Suck Retiree’s Savings Dry
It’s not uncommon for seniors to own their homes outright. Why it may have been part of their retirement plan is because it’s one less expense to chip away at their meager retirement savings. Despite owning their homes outright, property taxes have skyrocketed because house prices have risen so much, that their budgets can’t cover it.
Buyers Desire Energy-Efficient Homes
It doesn’t matter how well we can stick to a budget, we can’t control the environment and as the temperatures increase due to climate change, so will energy bills. 48% of real estate agents reported they’re seeing buyers prioritize energy-efficient homes over any other options. People are willing to pay 25% more for an energy-efficient house.
Solar Power and Green Materials are Big Selling Points
In an effort to find energy-efficient homes for their clients, 41% of real estate agents say listings that feature Energy-Star certifications and solar panels gain more attention than listings that do not. For sellers, this is a good thing to know because they could recoup 45% of the cost of installation or $6,000 to $12,000 on average.
Low Maintenance landscaping is more Desirable Among Buyers
Curb appeal is a huge factor in making great first impressions and attracting buyers. However, instead of spending thousands on fancy landscaping that requires a lot of time and money to maintain, buyers want low-maintenance landscaping. Instead of ornate gardens with exotic fauna, they’re opting for native plants, flowers, and trees. They’re focusing on adding more hardscaping (rocks, stones, brick, and concrete) to jazz up the yard, too.
Astroturf could Replace ornate Lawns in Some Areas
Along with low-maintenance landscaping, homeowners are using astroturf to make their yards green instead of paying for a high-maintenance lawn care regimen. Unfortunately, astroturf is going to appeal to a very small group of buyers, which could make selling the property more difficult.
People entering today’s real estate market have a lot to think about because of inflation. A year ago, it would have been a good time to buy because rates were at historic lows, but now? That’s not the case and if the Federal Reserve’s most recent rate increase of 0.75% in one day is any indication of the future, it may be a better idea to stay where you are if you’re able.