Trends are an excellent way to predict things like homebuyer behavior over the coming months or years. Unlike a fad, which ends quickly, a trend is something that may continue on for 10 or more years.
Each year, Fixr conducts a survey of influencers within the building and design industry—those professionals who are helping to shape the trends that impact homeowners and homebuyers alike. RISMedia featured the top trends that showed some surprising (and not so surprising) features that are useful to help sell homes more quickly and influence homebuyer behavior.
Smart Home Technology. Adding smart home features to a home makes it much more attractive to younger homebuyers who currently make up the largest population of buyers. Especially so with the introduction of systems like Apple Home and Amazon’s Alexa. The most sought-after items include smart lights and thermostats—which can reduce energy consumption—and security features like locks and cameras. This can increase the value of a home by about 5 percent. Keep in mind that this is only true if the upgrades were made in the last five years; after that, the technology becomes outdated. So hold off on these updates if selling is a little ways down the road
The Open Floor Plan. Open floor plans continue to be one of the most requested options among homebuyers. An open floor plan gives you flexibility and allows you to configure the space in ways that work for you, rather than working around what’s already there. As long as you aren’t removing load-bearing walls in the structure, opening up rooms and removing walls can bring up to 60 percent ROI at time of resale, while also making the home much more attractive to today’s buyers.
Tiny Houses. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, minimalist, or baby boomer seeking to simplify – there's a romantic draw to the tiny home. Featured on HGTV, documentaries, and even in our local news, there's considerable interest in the tiny house movement. More than half of the influencers surveyed believe that the tiny house trend is growing. Tiny houses can be built for anywhere between $10,000 and $40,000, which makes purchasing land and building a more attractive option than finding one already for sale. What could be better than a tiny cottage by the beach?
Voice Control Systems. Expanding on smart home technology and creating ease of use, artificial intelligence (AI) and voice control systems round out the top growing trends in the home-building and design industry. Nearly all influencers agree that smart home systems that are controlled via AI or voice will be one of the biggest trends of 2018. Capable of controlling various home systems (lights, thermostat, door locks and appliances) they can all be added to the home and ready to use in a timely manner, making the property very attractive to new homebuyers.
As seen from these survey results, homebuyers are putting an increasing value on smart home features, open floor plans, and smaller spaces. We're always here to bring these and other emerging trends to your attention and help you make savvy decisions with home buying and selling. Give us a call!