What I suspected: new homes might be slightly smaller but buyers want more amenities

Here is a little evidence from the Hartford Courant of something I suspected might happen: people might buy smaller homes but this doesn’t necessarily mean they will be cheaper or have fewer amenities.

While “downsizing” may be the housing buzzword of recent years, not everybody’s doing it. And even those who are buying smaller homes are spending big on upgrades like granite countertops and hardwood floors, area builders say…

The houses may be slightly smaller than the 6,000-square-foot-plus “McMansions” of the past, but “people still want size,” according to Greg Kamedulski, president of the New England division of national builder Toll Brothers, which is building Weatherstone…

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be huge, the house,” said George Santos, sales and marketing director at Plainville-based By Carrier Inc. “A lot of people want new construction because they want to be able to customize the home the way they want it to be.”

“There has definitely been a shift in … the popularity of those very large houses in exchange for those relatively smaller homes but with the same amenities,” said Bill Ferrigno, president of Sunlight Construction, which recently completed Knoll Lane in Avon. Houses on Knoll Lane range from 2,700 to 3,700 square feet…

“People are very concerned with interior appointments — trims, a more sophisticated decorating package, numerous wall colors,” he said. “All these things cost more money, of course.”

So people know that having a home of a certain size is either unnecessary or is frowned upon (it may even be morally wrong) but having the nice interior features is still desirable. Perhaps this is because these interior appointments are not immediately apparent from the outside? Perhaps people now value their own experience of their home and what they want versus what they think people want to see on the outside?

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