A Shift in the Housing Market

A Washington, D.C.-area builder on what buyers are craving right now

August 17, 2015
The current mantra in designing homes is “tear down those walls!” Open floorplans are must-haves because they accentuate the casual living environment that consumers crave. They're also a real point of differentiation for new construction versus resales.

Additionally, we’re seeing a rise in demand for upgraded hardwood flooring on the main living level. Varied wood and stain options allow the personalization of the space and make homes feel larger. Area rugs and throw rugs allow a splash of color but also ensure flexibility in personalizing the space without tearing out the floors. 

Homebuyers are looking to expand living space by seamlessly integrating outdoor space into open floor plans. For example, here on the east coast, the screened-in porch is making a comeback because it enables the customer to have resort-style living in their primary residence. With backyards getting smaller, builders are focusing on how to integrate the outdoor space into the floorplan, enabling a homebuyer to imagine maximizing living space without sacrificing personal style. Of course outdoor space also provides a wonderful opportunity to sell some bigger ticket options. The kitchen, for example, is so much more than a food preparation area. From a design standpoint, it is the single most important room in the house: a common area where customers are willing to invest the most to make the space feel personalized.


Builders are seeing a rise in integrated home technology as manufacturers are incorporating technology into their products. While we’re in the very early stages of “The Internet of Things,” it’s important to intelligently discuss options in the buying process as the consumer is often ahead of builders in understanding technology and thirsting for technological innovations in their home.  

Doug Smith is president of Miller & Smith, a Washington, D.C. area homebuilder and Number 78 in Professional Builder's 2015 Housing Giants rankings. 



Doug Smith is president of Miller & Smith, a Washington, D.C. area homebuilder and Number 78 in Professional Builder's 2015 Housing Giants rankings. 


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