It used to be easy to predict home buying patterns. Young couples bought starter homes and later moved up to a larger house, while our parents bought a house and stayed. Today there is no way to pigeon hole a buyer. With the first of the baby boom generation turning 50 years old, there should be an onslaught of empty nesters retiring earlier, wanting to travel more, and looking for less upkeep. “The market has spread out in terms of who buyers are,” said John Hawkins, president of Curt Welwood Homes. “We are building for a lot of empty nesters moving down in price. They are selling homes for $450,000 or $500,000 with a pool, and buying a 8350,000 home from us.”
Curt Welwood Homes specializes in the development of houses $300,000 and higher in some of the area’s “hottest” areas- Park Cities, Preston Hollow, Villages of Willow Bend and Lakeside on Preston. The company is also developing Cambridge Place at Preston Trail.
Popular housing areas are located close to the expanding North Dallas Tollway. Piano’s high caliber school district and Preston Hollow’s large lots also contribute to the appeal of these markets.
With a reasonable balance of homes bought, versus supply, it is neither a buyer s nor a seller’s market, said Hawkins. And while there is always demand for new construction and older homes with charm, the stronger the economy, the more new homes are sold “Interest rates, job changes or relocations affect buying, but more important in our price range it is consumer confidence,” said Hawkins. “If interest rates went from 16 percent to 13 percent everybody would buy. Interest rates went from 7 to 9 percent and that slowed everything down. Consumer confidence is the biggest factor.”
Buyers are looking for strong drive-up appeal, large yards, impressive entry ways and big kitchens and master baths. Location is key, but a good buying decision, where you understand the market around you, should also play a role.
“I think the prospects for Dallas real estate are very good,” said Hawkins. “Job growth was strong “in 1994 and we don’t see that letting up in ’95. Job growth is the key determinant in residential construction.”