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Today’s home buyer is not looking for the same type of features or style that their parents were looking for in a home. Past generations were focused on building wealth and assets. The home was purchased as an investment for the future. Today’s home buyers are buying a home so that they can begin collecting experiences and memories for themselves and their families.
This new generation of buyers and the marketplace transformation they are in uencing has been dubbed “The Experience Economy.” The new generation wants to be participants rather than consumers.
DESIGNING HOMES FOR THE NEW GENERATION
Architects who design custom homes for this new generation of buyer must be able to give “The Experience Economy” generation what they are looking for. Homes today are no longer adequate simply to have enough bathrooms for every bedroom.
The Experience Buyer is looking for ways to have their home be a complete part of their lives. The home is not just a base to return to at the end of the work day, but the place where life actually happens. Going out to a movie theater is less fun and memory-making than hosting a movie-watching party for their children, friends and neighbors in their home theater. Same for game rooms, exercise rooms, outdoor living areas, wine cellars, basketball courts, yoga rooms, home spas and bar rooms.
WHAT DOES TODAY’S HOME BUYER WANT?
Today’s home buyer wants quality and function. They are less interested in the size of the laundry room,
for instance, than the fact that it has state-of-the-art appliances and is quiet and convenient. The laundry room shouldn’t just be a shell to hold the washer and dryer, but also have storage cabinets, countertops for folding clothes, space for hanging clothes, a sink and faucet, and space for laundry baskets to be stored out of the way. It’s not enough any longer just to have space for things—the space must be designed for its purpose.
Today’s home buyer wants every possible technological advantage and comfort at their fingertips, so they can enjoy staying at home for their leisure and entertainment. The pleasure they get from being at home and interacting with their home is more valuable to them than having to leave their home to enjoy themselves.
SAFETY AND COMFORT
Designing safety and comfort into a home is an important job of the architect designing for today’s home buyer. The home is space for entertaining and the respite after a long work day, yes. But primarily, the home is shelter. Psychologically speaking, even if the home buyers don’t consciously think of it in these terms, a home is shelter. It answers one of the two most basic need of humans, which is to have food and be sheltered from the elements.
At the most basic level, the desire for a home is answering the need to feel comfortable. They are investing in a home in order to feel sheltered, comfortable and safe. Their enjoyment of their investment is based on these feelings.
At the root of a comfortable, safe home is the feeling that it is healthy. The buyers want to feel confident that their home is a healthy place where they will be spending the majority of their time. That means avoiding sources of pollutants (paints, flooring finishes), allergens, mold and mildew and unhealthy air. Many home buyers looking at new construction are uncomfortably aware of how unhealthy the traditional way we build is. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that indoor air is two to ten times more polluted than outdoor air.
According to the United States Green Building Council, it is estimated that by 2018 the green, single-family housing market will represent about 40 percent of the market, and 84 percent of all residential construction will have sustainable features.
Today’s home buyers are not willing to trade a healthy home for an affordable home. Architects have a dramatic impact on this desire for healthy home environments when they are willing to rethink how they design their homes. The building systems and the products architects specify is paramount to achieving these goals.
DESIGNING A HIGH-PERFORMING HIGH-END HOME
A high-end home can (and should!) be high-performing as well. Green certi cation such as those offered by the U.S.Green Building Council and LEED offer strong guidance for the architect who wants to build a high-performing home.
Green building programs stress speci c things that architects have control over—materials, systems and techniques. Using certi ed wood earns points. So does framing with a material-efficient framing system. Under the system, as just one example, the sections related to energy and materials are the most lengthy, because they are the most important. Annual energy use receives a high number of points toward LEED certi cation (29) out of a possible 66 in the Energy and Atmosphere category.
Wall or envelope insulation is the biggest part of this. The energy lost through a building’s walls, roofs and windows is the largest single waste of energy in most buildings. Building projects, particularly those built for the residential high-end homes market, are paying close attention to how tight they can make their envelope in order to drive down energy usage and costs.
Most of today’s home buyers are willing to put more cost onto their home up front in return for the knowledge that their overall expenses over the life of the home will be lower.
PLEASING MILLENNIAL HOME BUYERS
According to 2016 data from the National Association of Realtors, the generation born between 1980 and 2000 comprises the largest segment of the buyer market (35%), ahead of Generation X (26%), which covers those born between 1965 and 1979. Millennials are young professionals who want a home that is ready to live in the way that they want to live in it. Versatile spaces and custom spaces allow these home buyers to put their stamp on their home.
Open floor plans that seamlessly move from kitchen to family room is what young buyers want.
Energy efficiency is high on the list for younger buyers.Ease of maintenance and durability are high. Young home buyers don’t want to have to clean gutters and spend their weekends mowing the lawn and touching up paint like their parents did.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MATERIALS AND SYSTEMS
Today’s home building has a richer focus on materials. The impact of materials on human health and the environment is considered in all choices regarding what is used in, on and outside the home.
Walls provide thermal insulation, and a barrier from water and noise. To effectively separate the house’s interior from the outdoors, they must block the weather with systems that insulate, shed water, and repel moisture and air in ltration.
Bautex is an example of a different type of wall that keeps a home more comfortable and saves the home buyers money. Wood-frame walls have long been the predominant choice for houses in the United States. Buttoday’s alternative systems are more energy ef cient and have lesser negative environmental effects.
With the Bautex Wall System, architects can specify a single integrated solution that can be installed by a single contractor, saving time, effort and cost. The materials that you specify truly can make a difference regarding the performance of the home. This, in turn, has a great effect on the home buyer’s satisfaction as they live in their home year after year.
Framing accounts for 25 percent of a building’s wall surface and, when left uninsulated, contributes significantly to energy loss. Bautex contains durable,lightweight, insulating, rot- and rust-proof expanded polystyrene foam. Research has shown that rigid foam minimizes heat transfer. Rigid foam also increases energy efficiency, prevents moisture intrusion and reduces air in ltration, which accounts for 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating and cooling a typical home.
As an architect designing for today’s home buyers, you have many choices. Today’s homeowners are constantly looking online at sources such as Instagram and Pinterest. There they see what their home could look like, and how they could feel in it. Your thoughtful, well- executed home design adds convenience to their lives and gives these buyers the experiences they’re looking for—relaxing in their spa-like bath, entertaining and connecting with friends, enjoying the moments with their children. Thoughtful design is all about the details.
The Bautex Wall System fits neatly into both sides of theequation: your desire to build a high-performing home for today’s market, and the buyer’s desire to have a unique,energy-ef cient, easy to maintain and long-lasting home they can enjoy for years to come. Learn more now.