2018 home buying trends can easily be narrowed down to one phrase: “Go Big or Go Home!”
Following the recession, downsizing became a necessity among many homeowners. After a few years of improved economic conditions, prospective buyers, feeling more comfortable about home ownership, are once again thinking big. The novelty of tiny homes that boast 200 square feet (or less) is quickly becoming a thing of the past. According to a study conducted by Zillow, “More homeowners are opting for a bigger home and larger price tag, skipping the traditional starter home altogether.” In addition, the average home size is rapidly increasing as new census data shows “the median square footage of new homes is up 20 percent since 2000, from about 2,000 square feet to about 2,500 square feet.”
Upsizing isn’t a new concept as pre-recession home buyers were all about going big. How is the upsizing home trend of 2018 different? The sizable homes that buyers are seeking in 2018 shouldn’t be confused for the McMansion, which Business Insider loosely defines as “a cookie-cutter suburban home of between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet. Considered the ultimate sign of affluence in the late 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, before the crash of the housing market in 2008.”
In contrast, buyers today want homes that are big enough to allow for a growing family, but within reason. That means energy efficient homes featuring eco-conscious materials. Open concept floor plans with lots of natural light continue to be a big priority for buyers who enjoy entertaining and being together with family. Other high priority items include spacious eat-in kitchens with energy efficient appliances, large master bedrooms, spa-like bathrooms, and plenty of storage throughout the entire home. On the wants list, buyers tend to be less interested in a finished basement, home office, or formal dining room.
Currently, buying a starter home – a rite of passage that made sense for many in the past – doesn’t necessary apply to the first time homebuyers entering the market. Unless buyers are willing to stay put in a starter home for at least five to seven years, it may not make financial sense. In addition, some are less than enthusiastic about the idea of moving twice in a relatively short period of time.
While it should come as no surprise that the Baby Boomers are still downsizing in droves, prospective buyers as a whole are truly embracing homes with room to grow. The added living, storage, and yard space that comes with upsized homes allows homeowners to fulfill their modern lifestyle with plenty of room for entertaining friends and family. With mortgage interest rates still looking good, this might be the right time for certain buyers to invest in their “forever” or at least “for now” home.