So today I am interviewing my favorite Williamson County real estate broker, Cindy Harding. For me, what is fascinating is what she sees people wanting out of their houses. People tell her a lot more of the good, the bad, and the ugly, than they tell me. Maybe cause once they contact me, they’ve already gotten over the hurdle of weeding out the really hard stuff. Needless to say, a good realtor like Cindy comes in handy for that.
Marcelle: What trends do you see out there? What are people asking for?
Cindy: A house that can be flexible, capable of expansion and contraction.
For example: A downstairs master bedroom, with children’s rooms upstairs; when the children are grown, they can “scale down” but still have that upstairs space when they need it. Also great bathrooms and kitchens.
Marcelle: What will people pay for the most?
Cindy: Spectacular master baths or kitchens. Garages – believe it or not. Closets – definitely closets.
Marcelle: Okay, what makes a great master bath to your clients?
Cindy: Granites, dual sinks, separate shower and tub. Light.
Marcelle: What makes a great kitchen?
Cindy: Being able to entertain – a bar, seating area, or a couch.
Marcelle: Add a pool to that, too. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. What about garages?
Cindy: Garages with storage space in it trumps a pull-down-stair to the attic any day of the week.
Marcelle: And closets?
Cindy: They want built-in floor-to-ceiling storage. Gone are the days when the shoes were on the floor, and the vacuum was in there as well. They’re putting wardrobes in there. They’re putting chests of drawers in there. They’re getting out of the bedroom or living room as much of what’s not needed as possible, and putting them in closets.
Marcelle: That’s often where I first come in. The client calls, and says, “I need you to help me get the Grandma out of my house.” And when I come over there, the first thing we agree to do is pare the room down to its essentials. Then to do that, we often need to revisit their storage needs.
Cindy: Yeah, that’s right. That’s what we’re all doing these days.
Marcelle: When should someone fix up their current house, and when should they move?
Cindy: I use the 5 to 7 year rule. If it’s been more than 5 to 7 years since you’ve last fixed up, you may need an upgrade. That can be as simple as changing the draperies, or it could be a major overhaul. If it’s been less than 5 to 7 years, now may be a good time to move house, to take advantage of the market rates. In that case, you can just rearrange some furniture, “stage” it, and so on.
Marcelle: Thanks so much, Cindy, for this very fun and informative talk!
For more information on Cindy Harding, check out her website, at www.cindyharding.com. In case you can’t tell from the interview, Cindy is a really great, down to earth person, who will watch your back and tell it to you straight. She is also very knowledgeable about houses and the market, and passionate about helping you get into the right house for you.
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