Real estate tastes shift from Mediterranean styles to something more open and contemporary. Longboat Key Realtors say sellers should pay attention.
Today’s real estate buyers may fall in love with the unique lifestyle and offerings of Longboat Key, but they still want something fresh, according to local Realtors.
For about 15 years, buyers sought Mediterranean-style homes with smaller rooms and other features that Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Realtor Roger Pettingell said was more aligned with “mega” mansions.
This style, based on a look taken from the Tuscan region, featured rounded arches, darker finishes and dramatic, smaller spaces.
Pettingell now sees that buyers are looking for features such as open floor plans, 24-by-24-inch tile, hurricane windows, accommodations for such high-end electronics as large-screen TVs, and higher ceilings.
Ryan Ackerman, of the Ackerman Group, agreed: People are looking for a style that’s more contemporary.
This design includes more open space, lighter floors and cabinets and sleek, modern finishes.
Pettingell said this coastal contemporary look fits in with Longboat’s outdoor attributes. Part of the coastal contemporary aesthetic seeks to bring the outside environment inside, through large windows and bright settings.
Gathering spaces are gaining traction with house shoppers, too. Big kitchens with islands people can gather around and open porches that connect to the family room are some of the trends Pettingell has noticed becoming more popular.
Over the summer, Pettingell watched as a Grand Bay condominium was taken down to the studs and remodeled into a property featuring a more-open living area.
“It’s getting away from separate dining rooms, movie theaters, bars — none of that is important anymore in the most general sense,” Pettingell said.
Ackerman has seen the same in individual condominiums and in condominium associations.
Beaches of Longboat Key just finished renovating its common area, and Promenade condominiums is beginning the process, he said.
“I think that while they’re older buildings, it makes them competitive with the newest construction,” Ackerman said.
With little land for new development on Longboat Key, both Ackerman and Pettingell have noticed an upward tick in people demolishing and rebuilding homes in the Country Club Shores neighborhood.
In terms of condominiums, most are 20 to 25 years old now, and while they can be newer than some, they still can be renovated to meet people’s desires.
Pettingell looks to California to see what trends are developing because they usually head this way, he said, though he knows Longboat’s market isn’t like California’s. In fact, he said this market has a lot of Midwestern influence.
That could be because most buyers on Longboat aren’t looking for their primary home.
“For most of the people, it’s their secondary home, their vacation home, and they don’t want to go through the construction process,” Ackerman said. “If it’s done at its core and it’s nice, people will purchase something with the idea that they need to update a bathroom or two. But if it requires more than that, the sellers need to pay attention to the market.”
Ackerman has found that it’s tough getting sellers to agree to renovate their homes before putting them on the market.
“A lot of them will do paint,” he said. “It’s inexpensive, but sometimes they’ll change out the hardware to the faucet. It’s very important to help the process in terms of selling quicker and getting sellers a higher number for their property.”
Pettingell has worked with clients to get them to open up their kitchens. He said it’s inexpensive because it usually only requires removing drywall, rather than altering the structure of the home.
The renovations affect how much time a home could spend on the market.
Although the time a home spends on the market changes with conditions, Ackerman says that homes that are priced at $1.5 million stay on the market for anywhere between 15 and 45 days. Homes priced more than that tend to stay on the market for an additional 30 to 60 days.
“It all depends on location,” Ackerman said. “It depends on its current condition, and it depends on price point.”
For Pettingell, luxury market homes could stay on the market longer — nearly four months — although he just sold two homes in two and three weeks, respectfully.
“We’re still not in that kind of market where we’re going to get multiple offers on a property,” he said. “We have a value-orientated buyer that looks to comparable sales to understand pricing ... We’re selling a dream.”