At the height of the most recent boom in the real estate market (about five years ago), three words sold a home: big, granite, stainless steel. All are desirable attributes, without a doubt, but buyers became blinded by the “big three” to the detriment of quality, and even livability, in some instances.
When designing and building your custom dream home, trends should be the last thing on your mind. The end result needs to be a home that fits your lifestyle and taste. However, it’s a good idea to keep an eye toward the trends for resale value and frankly, for costs. Some trends drive price up, while others drive price down.
The biggest trend in 2011 has been smaller homes. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, the average square footage has been dropping from the 2007 peak of 2,277 square feet.
A very positive trend is the increasing adoption of, and adherence to, green building practices. Certain green building practices and materials drive up initial costs, but the fiscal and environmental benefits are paid back over time. Read about the many facets of green building at the Black Canyon Builders’ website.
MSN.com notes that today’s homeowners are downsizing the kitchen and baths from the massive sizes of a few years ago. MSN attributes this trend to making these important rooms more livable and workable. A contemporary showstopper of a bathroom isn’t as practical, for instance, as having a decently sized linen closet in the bathroom.
Hardly a trend, but the importance of low maintenance landscaping is on the collective radar. An afterthought for many homeowners, landscaping is a significant investment. Perhaps this is due to the increasing prevalence of decks and patios, which were one of the top remodeling trends of 2011.
Along with patios and decks, the front porch trend is expected to continue through 2012. After a few years of living large, the notion is that people are once again seeking a sense of community.
Most trend spotters end their articles with a similar summary: small, green, less ostentatious and outdoor-inspired living. I’m on board for nearly any design feature that a homeowner dreams up. Whether your ideal home fits the trend or not, the end result will be beautiful if it meets your needs and lifestyle.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!