Small is the New Big – Part I

The American dream is shrinking and the trend in new homes is changing to smaller homes.  A recent study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that while consumer hesitation on home buying is decreasing, the recent housing downturn has changed what buyers are looking for in their next home.

Builders surveyed expect homes to average 2,152 square feet in 2015, 10 percent smaller than the average size of single family homes started in the first three quarters of 2010.

Good-bye living room.  The only area of new homes expected to be enlarged is the family room or great room.  The great room or family room will replace the living room and will encompass kitchen and dining room. Buyers are rethinking how much space they really need. With more of the population working from home, the home office is still a necessity and can easily be converted into a multi-purpose room.

The homes of tomorrow will be easy to move around in, taking into consideration the physical limitations experienced with aging. Special features such as wide hallways and other Aging in Place requirements will be designed to blend seamlessly into the design of smaller homes.

Even high-end buyers are showing more interest in smaller, better crafted and well appointed homes. The interest in over-sized master baths has waned with the decline in home values. Spiral staircases are no longer the main focal point of the home. With the downturn in the economy, the focus is more on what buyers really need than the status of owning a large, opulent home.

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