July 31st, 2013

Trends In The Custom Home Biz

Categories: Custom Builder News, Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , , ,

As years go by things change, and the custom home building business is no exception to that rule. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has recently published an article on the subject, laying out what new trends they’ve noticed with custom builders.

The nation has become increasingly concerned with the environment and the utility costs that come with not going green. To keep up with client preferences, builders are using green building techniques, including renewable or recycled materials. Homebuilders are also installing energy efficient appliances, water-saving plumbing, solar panels, double pane windows, insulation to cut heating costs, and more. Since these houses are, by nature, custom, clients are satisfied thanks to the multitude of eco-friendly options they can select to make their home one-of-a-kind.

Another trend in the custom housing market is the multitude of unique amenities we’re seeing in custom designs. Customers seeking a custom-built home want something that sets their home apart from the rest. Today’s homeowners are especially fond of health-conscious features, like yoga studios, weight-lifting rooms, saunas, resistance pools, and more. Besides healthy home features, clients are also looking for ways to entertain guests and relax. Bowling alleys, in-home theaters, game rooms, billiards, etc. are all on the top of the list for many buyers. Lastly, homebuyers are seeking comfy retreats in their custom home, like screened-in porches, greenhouses, or even warm hearths and outdoor living spaces.

It’s important to note that new additions are increasingly “techy,” in the age of cell phones and specialized apps. Customers love the idea of being able to control their lights, fireplace, garage door, home temperature, security system, and music all at the touch of a cell phone screen, so custom builders are tending to their needs by building houses that can integrate these apps.

Builders have also found themselves tailoring their projects to the needs of multigenerational households. Many families have a parent, relative, cousin, or even a friend live with them permanently, and they want their home to be compatible with their lifestyle. A 2011 study by the Pew Research Center reports that 39% of 18 to 34 year olds have had to move in with their parents in recent years.

Multigenerational families are often looking for a house including a traditional mother-in-law suite, a separate apartment, or a separate living space within the house. These apartments often include their own kitchenette, living area, and bathroom to help the family member retain their sense of independence.

A final trend the NAHB mentioned in their article was customers’ desire to build a house that is easily accessible to any visitor.  This means lower countertops, wider doorways, and fewer stairs for an aging baby-boomer generation. Building a custom place to suit the needs of a wide variety of people helps increase resale value and can make you, the builder, feel good to know that you’ve helped a person retain their independence longer than someone in a standard house with multiple flights of stairs or narrow doorways.

What trends have you noticed in the custom home building business? Leave a comment below!

May 1st, 2012

Market trends for custom homes

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , ,

As a custom home builder, you’re skilled at balancing market trends and popular requests with caring for the individual needs of your homeowner. We’ve seen an very important change in the homeowner market over the last few decades: women’s purchasing power. Women make a great deal of the homebuying decisions. And too note that single households are most likely to be headed by women.  Market research indicates that of our popular design trends, some are especially important and appreciated by women homeowners.

Drop Zones: These are areas near a garage or door that offer a place to store and organize important items. Coats, shoes, rain gear, mail, keyholders – all the things that become scatted throughout the home and make a disorganized mess. These drop zones are a great solution. As a custom home builder, what kind of drop zones can you create for your client? There are all sorts of aesthetic choices possible in finding just the right look for just the right spot!

Electronic Drop Zones: Between smart phones, tablets, ereaders, and music players, the modern family owns a plethora of electronic devices – and with them, a multitude of cords. As a custom home builder, consider offering a convenient, well-designed place that houses all of those cords for quick charging and storage. They hide the mess and protect against loss.

Convenient Laundry Rooms: The location of the laundry can save – or create – a lot of hassle. Having the laundry room built near the bedrooms is an increasingly popular trend. It’s a huge time saver, and far more convenient for washing and putting clothing away. What laundry room locations do you find popular for new custom homes?

Kitchen Storage: As a custom home builder, you know how important the right kitchen is to your client! Storage is often one of the top must-have for women buyers. This is especially true for kitchen cabinets. Pantries and cabinets that provide plenty of well-utilized storage space make the kitchen more usable and appealing. Important, too, is keeping them well-lit and easily accessible.

These are just a few popular trends in the custom homes market. Custom home builders create homes that are perfectly suited for the owner’s needs – and those of her family. What trends do you think are well worth watching?

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