When it comes to new home design, are current floorplans and features meeting or anticipating buyers' needs? A recent survey of future homebuyers - those who intend to purchase within 10 years - from Florida, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia builder Ashton Woods produced some interesting responses that could influence how new home builders approach home design and how buyers respond to them.
While we can review the survey results with a liberal grain of salt, knowing that different buyer segments in different areas may have varying wants and needs - and also knowing that what people say they want prior to buying, and what they end up choosing when factors including budget and practicality are woven in at the time of purchase - the Ashton Woods survey is still useful in examining what may be shifting buyer preferences.
Here are some of the, perhaps surprising, results of the survey.
Buyers are over white kitchens. Or, at least, they don't top their must-have list. "All-white kitchens are now second choice," said the Washington Post. "The survey found an overwhelming majority of buyers prefer natural wood cabinets for their kitchen, pushing white cabinets to second place followed by distressed wood cabinets."
Buyers would trade bedroom space for more living space. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed had this preference!
Bye bye, bonus rooms. Buyers still want bonus space, but they want it to match their lifestyle pursuits, and they're willing to pay for it. Think hobby rooms personalized for yoga, crafting, or wine tasting. "76 percent of the homeowners surveyed said they would spend extra to incorporate a hobby room in their next house," said the Washington Post.
Home offices remain a priority across all age groups. Almost 70 percent of those surveyed want a designated space, not just wireless capabilities that allow them to work on the couch or at the kitchen table.
Additionally, "Personalization is a priority. When choosing a builder, 75 percent of those surveyed said they are more likely to select a builder that offers design options, and 67 percent said they are willing to pay more for those options," said Professional Builder.