Today’s homebuyers are more discerning than ever. Environmentally-conscious millennials, GenXers who need flexible space with room for multiple generations, and Baby Boomers tired of clutter all have specific needs in mind when house-hunting.
Whether you are investing in ground-up construction or looking for your next fix and flip win, remember these building and reno tips to foster a quick sale.
1. Green Construction Helps Keep the Planet Healthy
Green construction takes many forms. You might consider using reclaimed wood to reno an old Victorian home, while maintaining as materials as you can from the original building.
Adding large, south-facing windows to harvest natural sunlight in new construction can contribute to a greener home. If you’re replacing windows and doors, look for EnergyStar rated models with Low-E coating.
In higher-end homes, products like smart thermostats and LED lighting add appeal and sustainability.
2. Healthy Home Design Does the Same for Residents
Fortunately, many of the steps you take to make a home eco-friendly can also contribute to keeping a home’s inhabitants healthy. Use low-VOC or no-VOC paints and carpets, and avoid plastics and laminates known to release less-than-healthy fumes in a process called “out-gassing.”
Also, consider healthier insulation. Italian architect Renzo Piano used recycled denim for insulation in the California Academy of Sciences building in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. You don’t have to go that far, but look for formaldehyde-free fiberglass solutions.
3. Open Floor Plans Offer Flexibility for Growing Families
If you look at homes from the 18th and 19th century, you’ll notice small rooms and narrow hallways. Each space is separate from the ones around it. If you’re buying older construction to fix and flip, consider tearing down several walls. Space should flow from the kitchen to the dining room and even the family room or formal living room.
Consider adding a bonus room separated by a sliding door or pocket door that can be opened as part of the main living area or closed for privacy–perhaps to become a playroom or a bedroom for an aging grandparent. It is easier for homeowners to add partitions as needed than to break down walls for the open feel today’s homebuyers crave.
4. Handicap Accessible Features Make a Property Appealing to a Broader Demographic
Embracing what architects call “universal” design features can lead to a faster sale. Wide hallways with no doorway saddles allow people with walkers or wheelchairs, as well as those who aren’t steady on their feet, to navigate through the home easily. Banisters on staircases and easily accessible cabinets make a home more family friendly.
5. Creative Storage Entices Today’s Buyers
Built-in cabinets, even in rooms other than the kitchen, large walk-in closets, and entryway storage makes a home feel welcoming and uncluttered. While some homebuyers embrace the trend of minimalism, others just want the appearance of minimalism, with plenty of inconspicuous spaces to stow their stuff.
More Than Mere Trends
Building “trends” often indicate passing phases. But adopting these proven elements in a fix and flip project or recommending them in a ground-up construction project of single-family rentals can help ensure the homes have appeal for years. They will be more likely to hold their value even in a market downturn, making them a smart risk for buyers and a safe, profitable investment for you.
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