New home buyers are coming back, but they don’t want the same old McMansion. They want a house they can use.
That means a “great room” where everyone can gather – and a spalike bathroom to escape from the crowd.
But usefulness also extends to lots of storage space for big-box buys. It means “drop-off zones” for recharging smartphones and pet-friendly “puppy showers.” It means a home office actually designed for work and media centers made for play. It means big closets and little nooks…
According to experts, today’s home buyers are much more budget conscious, a natural consequence of the recession. They demand more value per square foot. They’re not interested in rooms they will rarely use such as a formal dining room. Most of all, home buyers want a house that “works” for them.
“McMansions put a huge percentage (of square footage) into hallways and formal spaces that are used infrequently,” Lake said. “It adds up to a lot of square footage. We’re building homes with 1,000 less square feet but every room feels bigger because the house isn’t so cut up.”
As the article notes toward the end, these are not necessarily smaller homes. In fact, my interpretation here is that these are McMansions with different features. What counts for luxury today versus twenty years ago has changed: buyers want to see how to use their space rather than simply have large spaces, they want luxurious bathrooms, and they want exciting kitchens and great rooms. I’m guessing builders don’t mind these changes too much – they can work against the McMansion image (customize the luxury items!) and still sell expensive homes at high prices.
The question in the long run is whether these interior design changes are enough to stop these homes from acquiring the McMansion label.