As builders draw up blueprints for the house of the post-recession future, builders are struggling to distinguish among what home buyers need, what they want and what they can live without!
Most builders say the post-crash buyers of new homes want smaller and simpler. I'm seeing they are attracted to quality not quantity. Some of the things the home buyer appears not willing to give up is 4 bedrooms, a powder room down, at least a 2 car garage, a master bedroom with its own bath (with separate shower and tub) and granite countertops!
For the first time in almost four decades in the luxury-home market executives of many builders are thinking the unthinkable: Maybe houses don't need 4,700 square feet of living area, or fireplaces or private theaters with 100-inch screens or supersized foyers!
The American housing market continues to drag, with the Mortgage Bankers Association reporting last week that applications for home-purchase loans have hit a nine-year low. U.S. home sales of newly built homes have fallen sharply as well, from 1.3 million in 2005 to 485,000 in 2008. But, people will always need to move...some to new jobs across the country, some into smaller homes now that the kids are off to college and some to larger homes with expanding family.
The main ingredient changed in the buying decision is the "impression factor". We had an ego-driven market where "bigger" was considered better and now "conservative" translates to "smarter". Resale has just become the "key" in home sales. Sometimes less is more.
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As quoted in the New York Times "A Little-Known Loan Program", and in the Hartford Courant "Moving In:Couple Combining Households Buys In Newington" and "Moving In... New Britain"