Bigger and Livable: What 2016 has Shown us so Far for Houses

backyard cozy patio area with wicker furniture setThe busiest part of the real estate calendar is winding down. If you want to sell your home soon, but skipped listing your home this summer, you can still leverage lessons from recent months to ensure a higher return when you do put your home on the market.

It’s never too early to reflect on the trends that emerged over the last few months, and consider how you can apply them to your own home. If there’s one constant when it comes to selling homes, it’s that owners love to work up to the last minute to ensure they get a good return. By incorporating popular design elements, sellers can boost that return substantially. The American Institute of Architects sought to determine what some of those trends were in early 2016. Over 500 architecture firms came together in this effort to identify what has been popular this year. Here’s what they concluded:

  1. Open Layouts
    Today’s home buyers desire a floor plan that flows seamlessly from one room to another. Home buyers are looking for open layouts, where the kitchen opens up to the dining area and living room. The kitchen is where many buyers not only want to cook but also entertain. An open concept floor plan is also very popular home feature with families with young children as it allows the parents the ability to watch their children even if they are not in the same room or area of the home.
  2. Practical, livable outdoor spaces
    Gone are the days of aesthetically pleasing landscaping without practical purpose. Buyers are looking for outdoor spaces that they can use in ways similar to indoor rooms. Of the respondents to the AIA survey, 69 percent said they’d seen increased outdoor living space activity and 61 percent noted blended outdoor and indoor areas were growing more popular. Be sure to consider livability and practical uses when landscaping your property.
  3. Houses are getting bigger
    By a number of metrics, homes are growing larger, architects noted. Houses grew in terms of lot size, volume and square footage in early 2016. One reason for the rising demand in bigger homes is a trend toward multi-generational housing. With many baby boomers retiring, and millennials moving back in with their parents after college, it’s growing more common to see one or two generations of a family under a single roof.

Big, spacious and practical – those are the adjectives that describe the sort of homes most buyers are looking for in 2016. These are qualities that sellers and their agents should be sure to emphasize, both in their listings and through home staging. By appealing to buyers searching for these features, sellers can maximize the amount they ultimately receive for their homes. If the descriptions above sound like your home, you’re well-positioned to sell quickly at a great price.

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