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Employees relocating to a new market for a job know very well which features and amenities they want most in their next home, and have firm ideas about its location. Their next home needs to be larger than their previous house, with an upgraded kitchen, and be located in a good school district, yet not too far from work, according to a Cartus Corporation survey taken last week.
Cartus, a leading provider of domestic and global relocation services, received responses from 267 of America’s top real estate brokers who specialize in working with transferees. The brokers, all members of the Cartus Broker Network, were asked, for example, “What specifics about a home are most important to transferees?” The following ranks the top five features transferees want in their next home (percent ranking either 1 or 2 on a 5-point scale):
• A larger home than former residence – 70%
• New construction – 64%
• Single story – 37%
• Multi-story – 26%
• Smaller home than former residence – 17%
“A job transfer is a major life change for employees and their families, and finding a home that fulfills their needs is important,” said Gerry Pearce, executive vice president, broker and affinity services for Cartus. “It enables the employee to transition to the new job efficiently and with little disruption to family lifestyles and routines. What we found most interesting was not only what is on their dream home wish lists, but also what isn’t.”
At the Heart of the Matter: An Upgraded Kitchen
For transferees, an upgraded kitchen is definitely considered the heart of their home, ranking highest on the list of desired amenities (percent ranking either 1 or 2 on a 5-point scale). However, amenities such as smart-home technology, media room/home theater, and fitness rooms didn’t crack the top three most-popular items.
• Upgraded kitchen – 91%
• Master bedroom on first floor – 60%
• Finished basement – 44%
• Pool/spa – 23%
• Outdoor kitchen – 11%
• Smart-home technology (i.e., control via phone/tablet for heat, electricity,
electronics, media, security, etc.) – 10%
• Media room/home theater – 7%
• Fitness room – 4%
Transferee Dream Home Location: School District and Proximity to Work Rank Highest
When it comes to dream home locations, transferees’ two top choices (percent ranking either 1 or 2 on a 4-point scale) revolve around family and the job: location within a specific school district (91%) and less than a 30-minute commute to work (84%) garnered the top two spots. Rounding out the top five are: in-town location, close to shopping, dining, etc. (18%), proximity to mass transit pick up/drop off (17%), and proximity/availability of parks and recreational facilities (10%). Real estate brokers surveyed appear to be moderately optimistic about whether their local market will benefit from greater numbers of employees being transferred: 55% believe employees being transferred into their market will increase in 2014 over last year, 42% believe their market will remain the same, and only 3% think there will be fewer transferees moving into their market. Additionally, the majority of brokers believe that transferees will take advantage of expected low interest rates throughout 2014 and will purchase their next home (86%)
versus rent (14%).