Trends In Real Estate Delaware Families Are Now Down Sizing

Trends In Real Estate Delaware Families Are Now Down Sizing

Here is a future trend that is starting in Delaware about the size of a home.  I know that we are thinking about it, if you need anything about real estate needs in the Delaware or Pennsylvania areas, give me a call.


Peter Meyer

302-218-2790

Lewes architect John Lester says the mega-home trend in recent years is coming to an end.

"I feel the big-house boom is in the past," he said. "My clients are now opting for more economy in their choices."

The trend is being fueled by residents looking to downsize and stepping away from massive homes that require extensive upkeep, real estate agents said.

"I think more and more people are getting wise, asking what do we use and how much [space] do we really need?" said Laurie Bronstein, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway/Gallo Realty, a firm that sells real estate along the southern Delaware coast.

The motivation to downsize after a succession of coastal homes in excess of 3,000 square feet was what motivated George Thomasson and Michael Sprouse's decision to build a 900-square-foot home in the heart of Lewes.

The partners bought a vacant lot and worked with Milton builder Kenny Morris to design a two-bedroom, two-bath home and a separate building for Sprouse's art studio a few steps from the main house. They moved in a little more than a year and a half ago.

The home has 9-foot ceilings. "Because of that, it doesn't feel small but, actually, it is tiny," Thomasson said. "The ceiling height does make a big difference."

Though they sacrificed storage space, the couple has done a lot of entertaining and, particularly in warmer weather, the home and patio area can accommodate plenty of guests. That, and utility costs for the small, energy-efficient residence are a fraction of what they were in their previous, 3,500-square-foot home.

DELAWAREONLINE

Chateau Country development house with estate-style privacy

Many of the existing smaller homes in the region date to a time when summertime beach properties did not need to be that large — as long as the location was ideal.

Typical was a 1,000-square-foot summer home in Bethany Beach two blocks from the ocean that entertained several generations of the Giddings family from Beltsville, Maryland. Though it is now dwarfed by many of the other homes in the neighborhood, the family that has owned the property since 1982 has fond memories. Margie Giddings, the late matriarch, "always appreciated the older, smaller cottage-style beach homes," recalled John Sheehan, her son-in-law. "It was a place where you could sit outside on the porch and enjoy nature."

Realtor Nicholas Fiels of Long & Foster has a 1,000-square-foot home on Fenwick Island listed for sale or rent. Though some potential buyers might be tempted to tear down or extensively renovate, Fiels said he considered the house "charming, not a cookie cutter or McMansion-style home, and it may appeal to a special kind of buyer."

Janice Tirpack owns a home in Lewes that has to be one of the region's smallest residences. It's estimated the summer home, with one bedroom, one bath, a small kitchen and living room, is probably under 700 square feet.

Tirpack, a New Jersey resident, bought the home in 2006 for family use and rental income. She said she was "sold on the town of Lewes and all of its charm."

Nicknamed "the barge," the house is "super small and quaint, but it really hugs you," Tirpack said.

Not surprisingly, the tiny place within walking distance of downtown Lewes, is a popular seasonal rental, according to Adriane Gallagher, agent for Berkshire Hathaway/Gallo Realty.

"What draws seasonal renters to a small place? If they are searching online, it is probably the price. If you look at the photo, you are no doubt drawn to its charm," Tirpack said.

Though the region is still dominated by larger homes – seasonal or full-time – real estate experts say the small-house trend is catching on.

"People are starting to realize, if you look at what you use and what you need, you might get a better quality of life with a smaller place," Bronstein said.



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Phone: 302-218-2790
Dated: April 3rd 2015
Views: 370
About Peter: Licensed Broker / Owner specializing in residential and commercial properties. I started my career ...

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