Today’s Homebuilders are Building Smaller, Responsible Homes with Eco-Friendly and Smart Home Technology Features”
Homebuilders always are trying to find the right mix of features and design elements to draw in new home buyers, and this can be seen in some of the interesting home building trends that are becoming popular. Probably the biggest factor affecting home design trends and residential construction is that the home building industry actually is starting to reignite. What this ultimately means is that many of the “cutting edge” ideas that were hailed as trends a few years ago in the industry press are becoming reality – at almost all price levels – now that homebuilding is heating up.
Trends in Home Design & Technology
One home building trend is that it seems that the days of the “McMansion” may be coming to an end. Sure, there still will be people who want bigger and bigger homes, but many savvy new home buyers are scaling down their living spaces in order to make more efficient use of their space.
Homebuyers are finding that they like living in better designed spaces that are more manageable and cost effective. Some believe that part of this trend is because there are more multi-generational families living under the same roof than ever before, making both design and budget very important for the homeowner. Others believe that baby boomer homebuyers simply are scaling down their lives. Market information has shown a slight shift toward larger new homes that likely applies to higher-end custom homes, but many national and regional home builders have been following the trend toward smaller homes than what they built prior to the downturn.
Although more people are working from home and working virtually, there has been a decline in home offices. Consumers are ditching desktop PCs in favor of more mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This abundance of mobile technology is eliminating the need for large, separate home offices. More common are “pocket offices” or small areas designed to fit a laptop, and maybe some other small office supplies.
Green building continues to grow, and it is safe to say that green homes and green building techniques and materials are here to stay. With advances in technology and a more mainstream adoption of the Green Homes Movement, consumers are using more of their living space to be as efficient as possible. Homeowners at all price levels are realizing that today’s green technology can give you a return on your investment sooner than in the past, causing the fear of additional upfront costs to be overshadowed by the long-term cost savings from efficiency. It has been seen that green homes and communities tend to reflect better quality construction practices and often hold their values better, while at the same time making homeowners feel good about decreasing their impact on the environment.
Another growing trend seems to be adding “Smart Home” appliances and technology to homes, whether new or existing construction. Different heating, cooling, sound, kitchen and lighting systems are being installed that are controlled by remotes, computers and smartphones. This technology once was available only for the most luxurious homes and required specialized expertise to install, program and set up, but now the technology can be found in all levels of homes and some components even can be installed by homeowners with parts bought online or from their local hardware and electronics stores.
“Made in the USA” seems to be more of a consideration for buyers. With the economy having been on a slower than anticipated rise, companies are touting the fact that many of the products used to build homes are now being made right here in America, helping to keep American dollars here at home instead of overseas. This has been seen in “shop local” campaigns which have brought business to small, family-owned businesses instead of local corporations. There has also been an increase in “free trade” and “responsible” building, using wood and materials that are responsibly taken from countries and areas with efforts to preserve nature and support conscientious buying from foreign countries.
These trends focus on building homes that fit the owner’s needs, while being responsibly designed and efficiently operated. While the technology and eco-friendly aspects of these homes are often more expensive than conventional options, the simpler designs and non-extravagant accessories have countered those costs along with the more comfortable time frame for getting a return on your investment.
What was Cutting Edge is Becoming Mainstream
And underlying all of these trends is that many of them previously were considered “cutting edge” homebuilding trends for years, but now they no longer are just being seen in high-end design and architecture publications, or only offered by the most expensive custom homebuilders. Instead, these features are a part of what today’s home builders are selling to the mainstream homebuyer in this now growing new home sales market.
Just look at some of the offerings of well-known national homebuilders and you’ll see that efficiency and green design are big selling points for builders, like Lennar’s “Everything Included” home and the green homes offered by Toll Brothers. These green building concepts are being put to work for homebuyer customers at all price levels, and are helping to add to the builders’ profits.
Today’s homebuilders are building smaller, responsible homes with eco-friendly and Smart Home technology features. So when choosing a builder for your new home, be a smart consumer and do your research about today’s home building and design trends. Then find out how many of these new design and home technology features your potential builders will incorporate in a new home for you.
What other home building and design trends are you seeing? Let us know in the comments.