Vol 8 No. 19 - January 30, 2008

What’s in for 2008 in real estate

By Louise Bolger
sun staff writer

In December I came across what’s in and what’s out lists for 2008 in a real estate publication. The list was put together by Mark Nash, a noted author of real estate how-to books, and reflects the serious nature of the national real estate market, global warming and just some fun stuff. This week we’re doing what’s in, hopefully you’ll be informed and entertained as I was.

Home buyers are so in. Remember when home sellers were in? Well, the table has turned and buyers now rule. 2008 buyers are into value, and they want everything from updated and pristine to bargain basement prices. They won’t make a deal until they can see the sellers cry.

On Anna Maria we’re all familiar with destination weddings, but what about destination bathrooms? It appears the 2008 master bath has evolved into a getaway. Throne bathtubs, soaking rooms, flat screen TVs, wireless Internet, bars, espresso machines, washers and dryers, and creeping up on the horizon, home hair salons.

Unfortunatel,y short sales are also in this year. Getting your lender to accept a sale less than your outstanding mortgage in order to avoid a foreclosure and carrying expenses for the lender is fast becoming an accepted trend.

In 2008, no self-respecting pet owner would allow his beloved pet to bathe in anything other than its own accommodations. Pet showers are all the rage and a pretty nifty idea.

In Florida, these aren’t revolutionary ideas, but evidently other areas of the country are just catching up with it in home elevators and outdoor living spaces that look like interior space.

If you’re planning on purchasing a home this year you can forget about exotic financing schemes and stick with the basics. Lenders are looking for substance from potential home buyers, including savings accounts and high credit scores.

Carbon footprints and green construction are on the top of some buyer’s new home construction lists, and even re-sales are being scrutinized for energy-saving features. Also in are off-grid homes that use solar panels, windmills and inverters to provide power. It’s all about saving the planet one house at a time.

The latest technology utilizes hand-held devices to turn the heat and air on or off, open or close the blinds, control the lights or let the dog out the electronic pet door. How many remotes do we need in our lives?

Floating homes may not be such a big deal in Florida, since so many of us live on or near the water and own boats, but in coastline cities around the country it’s becoming more and more popular.

Remember the cabinet panels you installed over your appliances in an attempt to make it look like there really were no appliances in your kitchen? Well the latest trend is to visually integrate the appliances through the use of hinged and pocket doors to make the kitchen look even less functional.

If you smoke, watch for non-smoking homeowners’ associations that are attempting to dictate what you can do within your own four walls, probably a good time to give it up.

Just like fashion ins and outs, you have to find the right fit for you’re lifestyle and pocketbook. It’s always nice to be on the cutting edge and in with the in crowd, but it only lasts till next New Year’s Eve. Coming soon, what’s out for 2008.


AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper