Smaller More Flexible Homes

Dated: 08/31/2012

Views: 4070

Americans Want Smaller, More Flexible Homes. The size of the American dream shrinks, while value reigns.

Despite continuing economic uncertainty, eight out of 10 consumers think home ownership is still a good investment and an important part of the American dream, according to the Better Homes and Gardens annual Next Home consumer survey.

The size of that dream did shrink a bit — consumers wished for a median square footage of 1,791 square feet, down from 1,846 square feet last year.

“There’s more attention given towards the aesthetics and function of a space, rather than the amount of space,” says Jill Waage, editorial director for Home Content for Better Homes and Gardens. They’re not as willing to invest in the bigger, but instead investing in what’s better. Affordability and efficiency — both in space and energy — ranks topmost.”

Among the survey’s key findings:

Consumers are taking more time to plan for home improvement projects (39% in 2011, compared to 33% in 2010) and are shopping around for more deals and bargains before committing to home improvement plans (42% in 2011, compared to 40% in 2010).

Consumers find it more important than ever to get the most value out of every dollar (61% in 2011, up from 56% in 2010), and will spend more time looking for bargains and deals in order to get the most value for their money (up to 54% in 2011, from 52% in 2010).

Consumers are more willing to get rid of excess “stuff” and not willing to take out a mortgage for more storage space.

Multi-purpose rooms are a necessity in the home. Consumers aren’t interested in “bonus rooms” or “media rooms” unless they have a multi-functional purpose.

Style upgrades are more important than ever in consumers’ upcoming home improvement plans, followed by storage. For future projects, style upgrades on countertops, flooring, faucets, and fixtures is up to 55% in 2011 from 50% in 2010. Expanded/improved storage space stayed flat at 39% in 2011, the same as in 2010.

Baths are outpacing kitchens in terms of remodeling priorities. Bathroom remodeling stayed constant in 2011 and 2010 (31%) and kitchen remodeling was stable at 25% in 2011, compared with 24% in 2010.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens


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Jim Mazzerina

ABR, CRS, E-Pro, RSPS, SFR, SRES Jim is a “Jersey boy” originally from north Jersey in the Totowa, Little Falls area. He made the move to Stafford about 30 years ago, after finding the perfect....

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