Selling your Home - Entice Single Buyers Too

By: Robert Nachman

For the first time ever - yes ever - single heads of households outnumbered married's. That is difficult to believe but that is what the 2006 statistics tell us.

What does this mean for the property market? Well, if you couple it up with the other end of the market - the baby boomers who also want to down-size- it may mean that smaller homes are the way to go.

So? Why do you want to know this? You are not a builder, are you? But are you a home owner who may want to sell this year?

If you have to put your home on the market and it is a big home, consider these figures with regard to the sale of your home. One of the reasons that there is a glut of new homes on the realty market this year is because builders have been pandering to the public whim.

Home owners wanted bigger and bigger homes, so builders built them. Since the 1950s, when the average home was 1,000 square feet, the square footage in an average home has more than doubled.

Suddenly the builders were caught out as this year the number of singles buying a home exceeded the number who were married with families. Unpredictably, buyers were looking for smaller and more compact homes.

Perhaps your home would sell better if you halved it? By this I mean, you will still sell it as one home, but perhaps the lower floors or one section of it, could be made into a separate suite. This way, it would interest the lone home buyer as their part of the home would be self contained, yet they would also get an income from their property.

There are many tasteful ways of dividing your home so that it still looks like a single family dwelling. Two of the biggest give away's when there is rental suite involved are parking (too many vehicles outside one house) and two front doors.

The front door problem can be fairly easily solved by tucking one in at the side of the home. A small porch and a large bushy pot plant on the side of it will almost exclude it from the street.

As for the parking, this is easily solved if you have a large wide driveway. Build the suite it's own patio in the back garden and section it off using trellis screening. The renter's car will be parked behind part of this trellis. In order for this to happen, enough driveway or ornamental cobbled tile pathway must be laid for the car to have access and to maneuver.

So the house exterior will have been transformed for a renter to live in it without it looking too different. Inside the house you will need to spend a little more money if you do not have a spare bathroom and therefore you are forced to 'convert' part of your home to a suite from scratch.

Three items will be imperative for you to install, before you can develop this optional suite idea. First: a lockable door, door frame and possibly a small wall section must be built which will divide your premises from the rental premises.

Second: a bathroom which houses a shower, if not a bath tub, as well as toilet and wash basin.

Third: A kitchen, however small, but it must include a sink and work top, fridge, microwave/convector oven and a hob. For a studio apartment, you can consider not adding the hob, many people nowadays only use a microwave.

If you are now trying to attract single buyers as well as families, then your single buyer will probably not want children in the home. Therefore your rental suite can be a one bedroom, possibly with a small study and living room - kitchen combined.

If you do sell your home to a family, they will need only to tear down the wall and doorway to return the house to a single family dwelling. Chances are they have a teenager who would like it, or may consider the possibility of trying to rent and make some spare cash, so the idea of a rental suite may even entice a family to buy your home.

By making these slight alterations to your home, you will be encouraging a whole new sector of the realty investors out there to view your home. This translates into more opportunities to sell your home.

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