Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Historic Meriden Home

This lovely antique home was once a Spoon Factory (Erwin Curtis Circa 1837). It was converted to an amazing home w/spacious rooms throughout, hardwood floors, grand entry foyer, built-ins, French doors, wine cellar, FP & woodstove. Add'l 440 sf in LL.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Boomers Look Ahead to 2016

Me being the mature, techno-geeky, forever young Baby Boomer that I am, I found the following bit of statistical info rather interesting:

A recent study by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) has concluded that baby boomers (or Zoomers, as the Canadians like to call them), those of us born between 1946 and 1964, will have certain behavior patterns as they approach 70 years old. According to NMI, 74% of boomers will be describing themselves as "not old"; 86% will be more pragmatic and and practical in their purchases, and much less concerned about being trendy and indulgent; 76% will still be using technology to stay connected with family and friends (at EONS, perhaps?); 93% will have more time to do things like travel, eat out and pursue hobbies; but only 63% see themselves as making some kind of move to a new abode, and just a paltry 9% of us old farts imagine themselves to be still in search of their dream home.

Nine percent.

Hopefully, that's due to the fact that the other 91% have already found their palace, their Shangri-La, their Walden, if you will. At $28.12, Thoreau certainly got a deal. But hold on. Today's Americans over 50 aren't moving to the woods of Massachusetts to live out their lives. Oh no.

According to an AARP survey, the majority of boomers say they want to "age in place", keeping the familiar bonds of personal and professional relationships close to their own back yard. Wanting to steer clear of retirement communities and nursing homes, the so-called "Boomer Consumer" will ensconce themselves in new communities built with an eye towards convenience, leisure, comfort and quality. Amenities such as more open space, but not wasted space, Jacuzzi tubs and fewer stairs, pools and exercise facilities are becoming more ubiquitous in these active adult communities, and today's boomer, being the pragmatic and practical people they are, wouldn't have it any other way.

At any rate, we members of the original Pepsi Generation don't have to worry about all this until at least 2016, when the oldest of us hits the big 7-0. For me, it's 2025. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to see if I can scrape up $28.12. There's a cabin in the woods somewhere that's calling my name.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Backyard Retreat in Meriden

This warm & inviting Dutch Colonial has beautiful gardens and fish pond in the backyard. Located across from Washington Park, this home has hardwood floors throughout, beautiful woodworking, a fireplace, French Doors, Sunroom, Formal DR, new windows and roof, and a walk-up attic. A den/office completes the finished lower level.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What The Real Estate Consumer Wants From Your Blog

For some time now, there has been, let's say, a...disagreement between many prominent bloggers regarding what the typical real estate consumer wants when they come to your blog.

On the one hand, there is a faction that believes that the consummate real estate blog should be chock full of juicy morsels of information concerning...real estate. Listings, prices, mortgage rates, open houses, foreclosures, short sales, how the local market is doing, etc. Everything a person needs to know about real estate, all wrapped up nice and neat. The torchbearers of this camp, including such illustrious names as Mary McKnight, Bryant Tutas, and Laurie Manny believe that, in order to give your clients want they want, you should feed them a majority of real estate-related info, all the time. Doing this, they argue, ensures that you will place high in the search engines for your keywords, ensuring that potential clients can find you and ask for your services. And after all, isn't that what you're in business for?

The other camp, helmed by the esteemed Jim Cronin, James Kimmons and Todd Carpenter, espouses the view that you should provide your readers with as much community information as they can stand. The reason for this, they say, is to establish yourself as the community expert by writing on subjects such as community events, reviews of local businesses (such as restaurants, dry cleaners, banks, etc.), local government as it pertains to home ownership, and local history. Now, this also appears to be a worthy goal for any realtor wanting to corner their market, dontcha think? Yeah, I thought so too.

A third, but somewhat less well represented, group has taken the stand that, hey, maybe if you kinda strike an even balance between real estate and community info, I might just stick around for a while and maybe, just maybe, I'll contact you when it's time for me to buy/sell/rent/invest.
Blogger Sean Purcell had an eloquent take on this position over at BloodhoundBlog. Me being the diplomatic, middle-of-the-road kind of guy that I am, I tend to pitch my tent in this camp, or at least try to. This way, I'm hopefully giving my present and future clients equal measures of what they want and want they don't know they need.

Having said all this, I don't see a whole lot of information about someone actually asking Mr. and Mrs. Public exactly what it is they want when they read a real estate blog. So I asked.

There's a pretty engaging web site called BuzzDash where you can take little mini-opinion polls covering a multiude of subjects, including real estate. You create your own little poll and if the honchos at BuzzDash deem your question worthy of asking, they post it to their site. And being the generous guys they are, they let you post it to yours, too. Just take a look at the sidebar to the left and you'll see my personal mini-poll as it appears on BuzzDash with up-to-the-minute stats on what the people want. Cool, huh? Not very scientific, perhaps, but cool nonetheless. It's going to run for 30 days after I posted it, or until May 9th. If you'd like to keep track of the results, just come visit my blog anytime, the poll will remain up until it expires. Or, if I can get it extended, maybe forever.

Just remember, take the results with a grain of salt. The consumer doesn't really know what they want anyway.