There is a veritable geyser of data tracking housing today. From existing-home sales, to house prices, to new-home permits, to starts—housing metrics abound.
Anatomy of a best-selling plan
Layout flexibility, economical footprints, and killer curb appeal are among the common traits of the five best-selling house plans presented by the House Review team.
Attempting to discover the essence of a best-selling plan is much more challenging than simply analyzing the home’s layout and exterior features. Of course, we all realize that curb appeal is absolutely critical; if the exterior design doesn’t capture the buyer’s interest, the interior layout becomes irrelevant.
Plans that combine functionality along with finishes and details that are aesthetically pleasing always draw attention. However, if there is one essential component in the DNA of all successful new designs, it has to be flexibility. In order to enjoy widespread appeal in our dramatically diverse market, a home must easily adapt to each buyer’s unique lifestyle.
The following best-selling plans vary in size from 1,700 to more than 4,300 square feet. Although this is a drastic range, each of the designs shares the common DNA of layout flexibility. Additionally, each home possesses a very economical footprint that addresses the current market’s demand for exceptional value in houses of any size.
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Total living area: 1,700 sf
Width: 49 feet, 10 inches
Depth: 63 feet, 8 inches
For a plan to be a “best seller” it must appeal to a variety of market segments. In other words, the design must have some flexible features. The relatively small square footage of this design makes it appealing to both young families with children and empty nesters looking to “re-size.”
Open to both the kitchen and family room, a single dining area is perfect for both family dinners and formal entertaining. The flex room doubles as a great place for the kids to play or a wonderful light-filled sunroom. Bedroom number three can easily be converted to a study or home office with optional French doors that open to the family room.
The narrow footprint is relatively economical, with offsets on the front and side to create an inviting exterior design.
A. A secluded master suite provides privacy that is appealing to virtually all home buyers. Note the oversized shower in lieu of a small shower and tub combo.
B. A “resource center” becomes the command center of the home with file drawers, a desk, and computer space, along with plenty of storage for craft supplies. There is also a “drop zone” to keep the mail, cell phones, keys, and everything else that’s usually “dropped” on the kitchen counter in place.
C. Plenty of useable kitchen storage appeals to all clients. Creative use of floor-to-ceiling cabinets and drawers offers an impressive amount of storage.
D. This flex room would have typically been the location for a large covered porch. From a cost of construction standpoint, adding this living space was quite economical. For a household with young children, this space becomes a great playroom where the toys and games are out of the family room; yet, while the kids are playing, they’re still in view from the kitchen. Note the folding doors above the half wall between the dining area that can be closed for even more seclusion.
E. One dining area seems to appeal to many segments of the market. However, it must be large enough to accommodate the entire family and guests.
F. While a fireplace could easily be added to the family room, many clients are opting for a media center as the focal point.
G. The optional study or extra bedroom appeals to those who are trying to maximize the functionality of a home.
H. Note the small amount of area devoted to hallways. However, logical traffic flow and privacy are still maintained throughout the home.