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Are young buyers spoiled?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis October 9, 2012 09:40 AM

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I blogged a couple days ago about a 1950s cape in Woburn that "fishwood," a regular on the comment board of this blog, is looking to sell.

In theory, it could be a nice opportunity for a first-time buyer or young couple looking to start a family.

It needs work, but the renovations are manageable and the price is right - fishwood is looking at selling his roughly 1,400 square foot cape for $275,000 and letting the next owner polish it up.

But are the Gen Y'ers out there simply too demanding? Even just plain spoiled? Can today's buyers get over the fact that fishwood's cape probably lacks granite countertops and stainless steel appliances to see the potential of a diamond in the rough?

Here's what "rebadad" had to say:

I am a South of Boston agent and about half of my buyers are young (under 35). Believe me when I say, they are wonderful customers, but they totally lack any imagination. They cannot see potential. They want it all, and they want it now. If I was the owner of this property, I would definitely do the upgrades (stainless, solid countertops, etc.). It will sell the house!

MookBC had this to say:

The instant gratification crowd that wants their Ipads, Lulu outfits and renovated high end homes/condos on their $60-80K salaries...but they don't want their savings or 20% downpayments.

Finally, fishwood points out that the former owner of the cape he is now getting ready to sell raised seven children there. Not untypical for big post-war families, but likely considered third world today by many buyers.

Note to the young families who I hope are going to pay me top dollar: The former owner raised 7 kids in the house, as did many families in very similar post-war capes in the post-war era. (Lots of bunk beds, and not much else, in the girls' room and the boys' room.) We managed not to outgrow it through 3 teenagers each with his or her own room, but that left us eating in the euphemistically-called EIK in order not to have the big table in the room with the fireplace all year long. If I were better at those logistics I might have gotten around to getting all the storage out of the "finished" side of the basement (it had wood paneling over studs, and adhesive tiles) so we could have furnished it to be a den/family/rumpus room. Those needing fewer bedrooms would use one or both first-floor bedrooms for that to gain a dining room or a den.(Seriously, young families would not suffer greatly to live in a home that size whether they buy mine or not.)

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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