By Dan Green, Principal of Brookfield Communities
March 3, 2015
Since our origins of providing market research to builders of active-adult homes, Brookfield Communities has over 40 years experience in tracking home design and build preferences of buyers. Today’s homebuyers want value, functionality, ease of maintenance, and a “Lock-and-Leave” lifestyle – that is, one that minimizes the amount of time they must spend maintaining their new home, and maximizes the amount of free time they can use to undertake activities they find interesting.
Among the most desired changes over the past decade include the following:
• AN OPEN FLOOR PLAN – The modern home floor plan trend of an open/airy kitchen together with an open gathering room is a strong preference. This continues the trend toward more informal, highly functional living.
• THE KITCHEN HAS BECOME THE SOCIAL CENTER OF THE HOME – When people gather in the home they most often will gravitate toward the kitchen to socialize and share with one another.
• THE TRADITIONAL LIVING ROOM IS RAPIDLY VANISHING – (in homes under 3,000 square feet) and the dining room is being replaced with a more “flex room” design (that may be a dining room but may also be a den or library).
• MORE INDOOR-OUTDOOR LIVING – As more glass is introduced into the gathering room the line between the indoor space and outdoor space is becoming less pronounced. The outdoor space should be designed with the same attention as the interior rooms of the home.
• FUNCTIONALITY AND VALUE ARE CRITICAL – Today’s homebuyers do not to pay for space they will seldom use. This explains the decline of the traditional living room and declining requirement for a formal dining room. There is increased demand for “specialty rooms” (such as workout rooms, hobby rooms, home offices, and media rooms).
• KITCHEN DESIGNS ARE LARGER, MORE SOPHISTICATED – The kitchen is the most expensive and most important room in the home. The kitchen is becoming the centerpiece of the both the workspace and social center of home. The rise of seating areas and larger functional kitchen islands are examples of this trend.
• THE RISE OF BUFFET-TYPE DINING PRESENTATIONS – The highly traditional formal sit-down dinner with white table cloths is giving way to more informal buffet-type service.
• THE NEED FOR PRIVATE SPACE WITHIN THE HOME – Regardless of the size of the home it is critical that each household member have his/her own space to relax, recharge, learn, and feel secure in the warmth of their own home. This explains the growth of some home specialties such as home libraries, spa-like master baths, reading nooks, home offices, or separate television viewing areas where different viewing preferences may be enjoyed.
• ENERGY EFFICIENCY – Very importantly, homebuyers want a highly efficient home that will minimize the monthly cost of utilities and the periodic time requirements to maintain the property. To many, being good stewards of the earth and minimizing their carbon footprint, while saving monthly expenditures, are critical.
The modern homebuyer is sophisticated, knowledgeable, and aware of his/her options. In many cases, their choice of a new home is a function of the location, design, and degree of happiness this particular new home will provide them.
We invite you to see how Brookfield Communities meets these needs in our photo gallery, or we welcome you to visit one of our communities, Fox Creek in Bullhead City, AZ or Verde Santa Fe near Cottonwood, AZ to tour our homes and communities.