One benefit of the housing bust is that homebuyers have turned away from “bigger is always better”. I can’t wait to see this trend on house hunters.
This article from Lew Sichelman analyzes a recent homebuyer survey by Avid Ratings of over 22,000 respondents. It is useful to builders and architects as they plan for new developments
Of note is that lightly used rooms are not requirements. This includes formal living and dining rooms, media rooms and a fifth bedroom.
This doesn’t mean that people are ready to join Little House in the Valley in a container or grain silo home. The emphasis is on space not rooms. Get rid of dead space and tuck away stairways and have decent-sized secondary bedrooms.
I was heartened by the fact that people want more energy efficient homes and “green” features. These include less expansive windows, efficient appliances and insulation.
The green bent hasn’t extended to the group wanting recycled or sustainable building materials. As Sichelman notes, this part of being green is not obvious to most people.
What are the big musts of homebuyers? A ground floor master bedroom, large kitchen (with island), a den and a two-car garage. Hmm, I don’t have any of these and am pretty happy with my home. However, we do use one of the bedrooms as a home office.
The extras aren’t a priority anymore. People didn’t need clubhouses, swimming pools, dog parks, jacuzzi tubs and 24 hour security. The best part is that homebuyers indicated they would be “more practical” the next time they buy.