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New Homes
Homes of the Future

Home of the Future?
Given the rapid evolution of design, configuration and products in new homes, even a professional futurist might be hard-pressed to determine what the next five decades will hold for housing. But a recent study by the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Economics Group provides a telling look at the homes that buyers can expect to buy in the nearer future—2015.

“The Home of the Future” study, introduced at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando earlier this year, was based on polls of architects, designers, marketers and manufacturers, each of whom provided a detailed view of what they think buyers can expect to find in an “average” home and an “upscale” home in 2015.

Trends and Upgrades
According to the experts, the pace of change will be much faster during the next 10 years than in recent years, and buyers can expect that all homes will be significantly “greener” and more resource efficient than today. There will also be increasing emphasis on universal design that allows handicap access.

Perhaps most surprising: The average home size has increased significantly in the past decade but isn’t likely to increase in the next decade. In fact, the average home size in 2015 is likely to stay in the range of today’s 2,400 square feet, and homes are increasingly likely to be two story rather than one story.

Like today, kitchens and bathrooms will continue to be among the most important factors affecting consumer choices and will continue to feature upgraded materials and appliances. The focus on garages will also increase, with more consumers preferring three-car garages. Moreover, the door openings on garages will be larger to accommodate larger vehicles.

Average Home in 2015

  • 2,330-square-foot, two-story home with two to three bathrooms and four bedrooms
  • One-story entry foyer
  • One-story family room (no loft or volume ceilings, etc.)
  • Living room will vanish or become parlor/retreat/library
  • Nine-foot ceilings on first floor; eight- to nine-foot ceilings on second floor
  • Exterior walls of vinyl or fiber cement siding or brick
  • Staircase located in foyer
  • Front porch and patio
  • Fiber-optic network, programmable thermostat, structured wiring system, multiline phone system
  • Both shower stall and tub in master bathroom; master bath toilet will have separate enclosure

Upscale Home in 2015

  • 4,000-plus-square-foot, two-story home with three to four bathrooms, four or more bedrooms (two master suites)
  • Two-story entry foyer
  • One- or two-story family room
  • Formal living room or parlor/retreat/ library
  • Nine-foot ceilings on first floor; nine- to 10-foot ceilings on second floor
  • Stone, brick, stucco or fiber cement siding exterior
  • Staircase located in the back or side of the house
  • Front porch, rear porch, patio and deck
  • Outdoor kitchen, fireplace, pool/spa, audio/TV equipment
  • Programmable thermostat, structured wiring, multiline phone system, multizone HVAC, remote control fireplaces, instant hot water, lighting control system, monitored burglar/fire/toxic gas alarm system

Tools of the Trade
Landlords Find "Home" Online

Landlords are busy. Some 68 percent of landlords surveyed have full-time jobs in addition to their landlording activities, according to a recent survey from www.CompleteLandlord.com.
 
This statistic dispels the notion that landlords are passive investors who simply sit back and collect rent checks.

More than 75 percent of the 1,096 landlords surveyed don’t use property managers and are constantly seeking help to manage their properties more productively and profitably.  For example, 71 percent of landlords surveyed want access to jurisdictionally specific real estate forms so they can comply with state and local housing ordinances and 66 percent need access to eviction services in their local area to deal with problem tenants.

“As a residential landlord, I know how much work is involved,” says Scott Brueggeman, publisher of CompleteLandlord.com. “Many residential landlords have other full-time jobs, so it’s important to find ways to save time and money by doing things ourselves.”

Completelandlord.com provides free educational content, advice from other landlords, the ability to tap into a panel of real estate experts, and a wealth of how-to information and tools.

Survey Says
Here's a closer look at the 1,096 landlords surveyed:

  • 59% are male, 41% are female
  • 67% are over age 45
  • 37% have less than five years’ experience, and 54% have less than 10 years’ experience
  • 43% own houses, followed by 28% apartments and 9% condos
  • 59% own fewer than 10 units, and 45% own fewer than five units
Survey Says
A Growing "Graying" Niche

Looking for a future market specialization? Here’s something to consider: 40 percent of all households will be headed by someone 55 or older by 2012, according to a National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) 50+ Housing Council report.

The 55-plus population is expected to reach 85 million by 2014, while the number of households in the 65-74 age bracket will grow by 4.5 million between 2005 and 2014, an increase of more than 38 percent in only a decade.

Some of the report’s highlights:
 
  • In 2005, the 55-plus households accounted for 36.8 percent of all U.S. households.
  • More than 45 percent of 55-plus households are married couples without children.
  • More than 25 percent consist of one-person female households.
  • Currently—and this is changing—most 55-plus households (80 percent) are non-Hispanic whites.