Priscilla Toomey: New Construction Trends in Real Estate Provide Insight for Renovators Print

Oct. 9, 2013:  Some of today’s buyers insist on new construction. What is it that builders are providing that attracts these buyers and what can you glean from those features if you’re considering a renovation?

Open plan: This term refers to a layout where the kitchen and family room are open to, and flow into, one another. If a parent is cooking and the children are doing homework, or other family members are relaxing or doing other activities in the family room, they can easily talk with one another. It’s a very family-friendly layout.

Rooms that serve multiple purposes: This could be an office nook in the kitchen or a mud room/laundry area just inside the back door.

More storage: With the advent of box stores, it helps to have room to store cases of beverages, paper towels, or whatever is on sale. More closets are also a desired featured as we all seem to have more to put in them these days.

More bathrooms: The days of several family members enjoying a shared bathroom are behind us. They might have to, but they don’t want to. A powder room on the first floor is another desired feature and in many cases perceived as a necessity.

Energy efficiency: Houses that can save, or generate, as much energy as they use are attractive to today’s buyers. The flip-side houses, energy guzzlers, whether through the old, single-paned windows or an outdated heating system, present a stumbling block.

A layout designed or adaptable to accommodate more than one generation: This is a plus, whether it's to provide living space for adult children returning home or parents moving in.

While location remains the most important factor, condition has gained increasing importance as we see more two-career couples looking for a home they see as one they won't need to renovate. This last sentence is carefully worded--most sellers have been comfortable in their home and have a harder time seeing the need for renovations than do buyers. However, what today’s buyers are looking for is important to take into account, whether or not you decide to act on it.

Editor's Note: Priscilla Toomey can be reached by cell at 914-559-8084 or by email at CLOAKING .