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How Designing Build-to-Rent Homes Differs From For-Sale Product

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Build to Rent

How Designing Build-to-Rent Homes Differs From For-Sale Product

Design tenets that differentiate BTR from for-sale homes

February 14, 2023
Like apples to oranges, build-to-rent design differs from single-family home design
Image: Simone Capozzi / stock.adobe.com

Just as good design should be a goal in designing single-family for-sale homes, good design matters in build-to-rent (BTR) product as well. But, as John Burns Real Estate Consulting’s New Home Trends Institute notes, there are some notable differences, too. The Trends Institute has gathered six design strategies that differentiate build-to-rent from for-sale homes, regardless of the particular BTR target demographic. They include:

  1. Amenities matter, but the kind varies by home type. In a community of detached houses, the garage and yard are considered amenities. In single-story residential communities, a heavy amenity package helps compete with Class A multifamily. Being located within a master plan helps as well.
  2. Make it easy to move in and out of. Widen the doorways and stairs. This makes it easier for people to move furniture in or out of the house and cuts down on scuffs on the walls. A well-defined TV wall is another one here. Otherwise, you have people punching holes in the wall every time they move in/out.


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