Home buyers, give yourselves a pat on the back. Purchasing a home, big or small, your first or your third, is not an easy task. It’s a calculated decision based on many factors – cost, location, functionality, size. The trends in the forecast for future home builds are thanks to home buyers who are educating themselves on what they want and need in a new home, thus influencing the market.
Why is the market changing?
The Internet, model homes and television programs have become sources of information that are readily accessible and contain a wealth of information and advice, information which is informing the general public about what they want in a new home – whether it’s a custom build or a resale. Not only that, but today’s home buyer is more educated about the process than ever before. Thanks to computer programs, homeowners can learn to read floor plans and fine-tune the design, furniture layout and finishes of a new home before even signing on the dotted line.
Here are the top considerations in the design of a new home thanks to these influences:
The home building industry is listening
The industry adapts quickly to the needs and preferences of current home buyers. Many of the trends in new home design begin in custom homes and eventually filter into the production home industry either as upgrades or as a standard component.
Some trends are born out of new home buyer preferences and requirements but others evolve because of other factors such as lot size. In keeping with provincial and municipal mandates for densification and in an effort to keep new homes affordable, lot sizes have decreased overtime, yet the trend seems to be leaning toward larger homes. Where 50-foot lots used to be the norm, now 40-foot lots are more prevalent. This phenomenon has allowed builders to be innovative with design to build custom homes to fit the smaller lots.
Here’s what else home buyers can expect from new homes on the market:
No matter if it’s an entry-level or custom home, the trend of increasing the size and functionality of great rooms and kitchens is hugely popular. Home cooking has become more of an interest due to the proliferation of cooking shows and kitchens are quite often large enough to accommodate multiple chefs with double sinks and ovens, walk-in pantries and large counters for preparation.
The kitchen has always been the heart of the home, but today, they are less likely to be U-shaped. The preference is an L-shape with large islands. The preference is for the eating area to be less formal with larger islands that become the center of activity in many homes — a spot for family meals, a snack bar, a socializing center or a place to do homework. Though many meals are eaten at the island, a traditional dining area should still be incorporated, whether it’s a table in the great room or a more formal separate room.
Many curious homeowners are taking to community-driven question and answer websites to find out what flex rooms are. Gaining in popularity, these rooms can be on the main floor or second floor and often start out as a den or home office, but can easily be converted into a bedroom, caretaker’s room, playroom or exercise room. In the past, a centralized area for technology was needed, but wireless tablets and portable devices have negated this requirement in many households.
Other popular trends include the following:
- Higher ceilings
- Functional mudrooms
- Spa-style ensuite bathrooms
- Main or second floor laundry rooms
Modern technology and today’s knowledgeable home buyers have made it possible for home builders to partner with their clients to build homes that meet the unique and individual needs of each family.
Are you interested in building a new home? Take a look at our directory of custom home builders. They’ll work with you to build the home of your dreams. Don’t want to move? We have a database of general contractors who can renovate your space to accommodate your changing needs.
About the Author: Ted Melchers is vice-president at Melchers Developments Inc., and currently president of the London Home Builders Association.