The recent housing boom was full of McMansion construction focusing on BIG homes. Today, this isn’t the case–buyers are demanding smaller homes and “move-down” houses. Just take a look at what kind of homes are for sale in Boise and you’ll see that the trends are moving to smaller floor plans. When you think about it, the real estate boom focused on large homes, not location…bad idea!
Across the nation, people are building smaller homes. In Ada County, the average size new construction home for sale is getting smaller. In 2005 the average size new construction home was 2180 Sq/Ft compared to its peak in 2007 at 2436 Sq/Ft. The average size of homes in Boise has continued to fall through the end of 2009 by 14% where the new average is around 2100 Square Feet.
First Time Home Buyers
Driven by the tax credit, first time home buyers are the cause of some of this drift in real estate demand. Focusing on financing and loan approval, first time home buyers lack the larger budgets of move-up buyers who often have larger down payments and family size.
Baby-boomers and Down-sizers
With everyone away at college a big house is lonely and a lot of work. Millions are sizing down and focusing on quality real estate rather than size. Most buyers 55 and over forgo the two-story homes and stick to single level which are generally smaller altogether.
Cost and Value Driven
It seems today that more people are interested in looking frugal rather than wasteful. Getting good deals are more trendy, but some cost savings come at an up front price. Take Energy Star for example. Getting a home certified would require an upgrade in components that aren’t necessarily cheap: Furnace, insulation, windows and taped duct work, but they provide a significant monthly savings on utility bills. Many of the homes for sale in Boise are Energy Star or Energy Star Certified.
Among many buyers, value is beginning to come from other areas besides size: Proximity to work, energy efficiency, different counter-top materials besides granite. The real value is in owning the real estate, not the improvements!
Looking for a good location?
At the top of the list with some people is location, and why shouldn’t it be? Sacrificing finishes, floor plans and other amenities is a great idea if the location is right! A good location will provide lasting value once the novelty of trendy finishes wear off.
If you’re looking for a good location let me know, I have a few great ideas that would make a really good purchase, or, take a swing at my Boise home searching tool! Its free to use and doesn’t require sign-up!
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