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Home Improvement

Home features that are disappearing

10/4/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Tall ceilings in family rooms are being eschewed in favor of smaller, more intimate spaces.
Photo courtesy of MetroCreativeConnection
There is no denying the profound impact that the recession has had on the real estate industry. For the last several years, the real estate market went from booming to one characterized by homes sitting on the market for months on end. New home sales also have been conservative, and builders are cutting back on some offerings that were once commonplace.

According to the National Association for Realtors, despite floundering sales, there are fewer foreclosed homes available now than in recent years. Distressed homes — foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts — accounted for 25 percent of home sales in May 2012. That figure is down from 28 percent in April and 31 percent in May 2011.

While home sales have increased, money is still tight in the building industry and among homebuyers. As such, instead of over-the-top features in homes that were once becoming the norm, builders are now focusing on more value-conscious designs and offerings. The list of add-ons also has been reduced.

So what can buyers expect to live without when buying a newly constructed home? Here are a few of the common features that are falling by the wayside.

• Sunrooms: Although the “bring-the-outside-in” movement was once strong, builders are now focusing on home features that immediately add value and attract the eye of buyers. Therefore, they’re putting their resources into linen closets and laundry rooms while de-emphasizing sunrooms.

• Extended ceiling heights: It can take a lot of energy to heat rooms with 15-foot ceilings. As a result, grandiose family rooms and two-story foyers are less attractive to buyers focused on saving money. Homeowners want spaces that are easier to heat and cool.

• Luxury bathrooms: Many private residence luxury bathrooms rival those found at popular four-star hotels. But luxury bathrooms are being phased out in favor of less expensive, more practical options.

• Outdoor kitchens: Although entertaining at home is one way to keep budgets in check, some homeowners have realized they don’t need a complete backyard kitchen with a pizza oven and brick fireplace in order to host guests. According to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders, outdoor kitchens are the second least-likely feature to be included in homes built in 2012.

• Media rooms: Individuals certainly love their gadgets, but many of these gadgets have become smaller and more portable. That reduces the need for giant home theaters and gaming spaces.

While certain features are disappearing, there are others that are growing more popular. Dual sinks in kitchens, walk-in closets, extra storage areas and hidden charging stations for devices are likely to show up more in new home designs.

 

This information was provided by MetroCreativeConnection.

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