> At Home Around the Chesapeake Bay

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy Fourth of July 2020

Happy Fourth of July!

Though the year has challenged our nation with a variety of upheaval and chaos, I hold the belief that each of us has inherent good and the power to overcome when we tap into that good, remember our collective humanity and our purpose here in life: to learn, grow and contribute.

Americans have been tried in the past, pushed through and overcome many challenges. It is because we are a land of diverse and unique individuals who hail from all cultures, backgrounds, nations, religions, colors, beliefs, and lifestyles. One would expect that such differences would divide us but instead, this is the reason that we have grown into a nation of thinkers, creators, doers, collaborators, problem-solvers and helpers. Each of us brings our unique talents to task when needed. When we unite and focus on a goal for humanity, we all win. 

As we celebrate today knowing that each one of us came from another land to form a free, open society that embraces our differences—whether arriving on ships of the original explorers looking for treasures in foreign lands, as indentured, as enslaved, seeking asylum from persecution or more recent arrivals—we all arrived here seeking a better life and the freedoms to be who we are without judgement, without interference, without persecution, without intolerance. America was formed to accept and embrace all as a sanctuary among nations who do not value these ideals. The Statute of Liberty reminds us of this with each new arrival who passed through her harbor and her broken shackles serve an encouragement and reinforcement in what we stand united.

Just as a great leader serves by example to inspire, motivate and empower others towards their greatness, let each of us do our part to serve as positive examples of humanity, inspire others to be their best, and grow with open hearts.

I celebrate this Independence Day holiday embracing the belief that we are independent and united in living peacefully in a free society of many differences. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve so many people of varying beliefs, colors and backgrounds. It enriches my life, teaches me and pushes me closer to the goal of true enlightenment. 

I celebrate, value and honor each of you.  

💜 Kimberly

Friday, July 3, 2020

Is the Health Crisis Driving Buyers Out of Urban Areas?

Is the Health Crisis Driving Buyers Out of Urban Areas?

The pandemic has caused consumers to re-examine the components that make up the “perfect home.” Many families are no longer comfortable with the locations and layouts of their existing homes. The allure of city life (more congested) seems to be giving way to either suburban or rural life (less congested). The fascination with an open floor plan seems to be fading as people are finding a need for more privacy while working from home.

Recently, news.com released a report that revealed how buyers’ views of listings are leaning heavily to more suburban and rural properties. Here are the year-over-year percentage increases in views per property type:

  • Urban – 7%
  • Suburban – 13%
  • Rural – 16%

In the report, Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research for realtor.com, gives these numbers some context:

“This migration to the suburbs is not a new trend, but it has become more pronounced. After several months of shelter-in-place orders, the desire to have more space and the potential for more people to work remotely are likely two of the factors contributing to the popularity of the burbs.”

Realtor Magazine also just reported that the desire to move is strongest in our city markets:

“Nearly 30% of respondents living in a high-density urban area say that the pandemic is prompting them to want to move by the end of the year...This is more than double the rate of those living in rural parts of the country, where residents are much more likely to stay put rather than to relocate.”

New Construction Also Seeing a Surge in Views

Since the pandemic has altered how consumers think about floor plans, builders are anticipating how future homes will change. In a recent press release by Zillow, it was explained that:

  • Builders believe as people spend more time at home during the pandemic, buyers are realizing which features of their homes are working and not working.
  • Homebuilders predict open-concept floor plans will be a thing of the past, as people now value more walls, doors, and overall privacy.
  • New construction, which offers the chance to personalize home features, saw its listing page views grow by 73% over last May.

The Virus is Even Impacting the Luxury Second-Home Market 

It appears that COVID-19 is impacting the luxury market too. In an article released last week titled, Luxury Buyers Return to Market in Force, Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.comreported:

“Stay at home orders and social distancing have put a new value on the extra space. We're seeing this in the luxury market as well, which could mean there is renewed interest from high-end buyers to find a second-home that is within driving distance from their primary residence.

Much like the suburbs are gaining favor with home shoppers, second home markets are seeing increased interest from luxury buyers…Views of luxury properties accelerated 56% in The Hamptons, 28% in Palm Springs and 24% in Greenwich compared to January trends."

Bottom Line

It appears that a percentage of people are preparing to leave many American cities. Some of these moves will be permanent, while others will be temporary (such as a getaway to a second home). In either case, many consumers are on the move. Real estate professionals are ready and willing to help in any way they can.