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Design Tips and Tricks to Optimize a Buyer’s Budget

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Design Best Practices

Design Tips and Tricks to Optimize a Buyer’s Budget

As housing costs rise nationwide, these building and design solutions from Housing Design Matters can satisfy buyers’ demands at an affordable price


March 9, 2022
Home on small lot
Image: Stock.adobe.com

Housing costs are hitting new highs as supply chain disruptions, labor and materials shortages, and elevated inflation rates expand construction budgets, forcing builders to seek out innovative solutions to meet buyers’ demands at an affordable price. Housing Design Matters suggests strategies like “the density trick,” which maximizes property space on smaller lots through smaller side yard setbacks and, in some cases, zero lot lines.

Cost balancing can help builders and homeowners distinguish between essential design features and upgrades that can be added down the road to save time and money during the initial building process. When optimizing a client’s budget, some tradeoffs are inevitable, and small design sacrifices like minimal trim and unfinished drywall on garage walls can amount to big savings. 

Of course, with the predicted rise in interest rates, this minimal increase could jump up to price some buyers out of the market. I suggest considering potential tradeoffs throughout the home that could help offset the higher ceilings. This includes the following:

  • Paint the walls and ceilings the same color (Think painter spraying the entire interior)
  • Knee walls vs rail and pickets at stairs
  • No corner cabinets in the kitchen (Avoids seaming the countertop & costly corner cabinet)
  • Minimal interior trim (buyers can add trim later)
  • Unfinished drywall in the garage – even no drywall on exterior garage walls
  • And much, much more.

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