Buyers of new-construction homes are coming back, but they don’t want the same old McMansion. They want a house they can use.
That means a great room where everyone can gather — and a spa-like bathroom to escape from the crowd.
Usefulness also extends to lots of storage space for big-box buys. It means drop-off zones for recharging smartphones and pet-friendly “puppy showers.” It means a home office designed for work and media centers made for play. It means big closets and little nooks.
These new homes combine practicality with the way we want to live now, builders say.
People want to feel connected to their family as well as to their media. They also want to feel connected to the great outdoors, with windows everywhere and patio rooms that look like their indoor counterparts.
According to experts, home buyers are much more budget-conscious, a natural consequence of the recession.They demand more value per square foot. They’re not interested in rooms, such as a formal dining room, that they will rarely use. Most of all, home buyers want a house that “works”for them.
New homes have the space for everything, but it’s a matter of how to use that space.
In 40 years, new homes have grown substantially nationwide. The average new home in 1973 measured 1,660 square feet. In 2007, the national average hit 2,521.
Although construction came to a virtual standstill during the recession, home size slipped only slightly. The average new house measures 2,480 square feet.
A midsize home is considered from 2,500 to 3,000 square feet. According to census statistics, about 20 percent of new homes fall in that category. Almost 20 percent fit the 3,000- to 4,000-square-foot range. An additional 7 percent top 4,000 square feet.
The most popular new-home size — 1,800 to 2,400 square feet — accounts for 27 percent of new homes, but that also includes townhouses and other attached dwellings, as well as single-family homes.
Great rooms are the No. 1 requested feature among current new-home buyers, real estate experts say.
One kitchen/great room combination had a layout that could double as a small restaurant. The L-shaped area had space for three dining sets — one adjacent to the kitchen, another for more formal gatherings in the living area and another near a media wall that could double as a game table. A 14-foot island separating the kitchen from the great room served as a buffet and breakfast bar. Every eating area afforded views of the media wall, anchored by a 70-inch flat-screen TV.
This great room, meant for entertaining, can hold a crowd. At a recent community event, 75 people gathered in this space.
Besides the great room, the women pointed to other thoughtful touches, such as mudrooms and drop zones, located near the entrance doors and designed to encourage organization.
Other thoughtful highlights: a home office near the front door (convenient for deliveries) and state-of-the-art smart technology to keep the home running as efficiently as possible.