At the youthful age of 25, I know I'm no developer. But that doesn't mean I don't have wants and needs for a new home or renovation I'll potentially buy in the future. This all came about this morning when I walked through a listing with a developer/client and listening to what his plans for the home were.
The one thing I do know, is all non-renovated or new construction in the area is functionally obsolete. What do I mean by that? We have different needs now than we did in the early 1900's when a lot of these homes were built.
For example, the formal dining room really isn't required for younger families. Sure I love going to Grandma's and sitting at the table with relatives but I don't need a separate room to serve food on high priced china I may use once in my lifetime. I want the open concept, eat in kitchen and entertainment space. I'll take the additional space over two areas that can serve the same function any day. I've heard stories of children growing up in homes where the dining room was completely off limits 364 days a year.
For entertainment purposes, I don't need a family room/great room and a formal living room. I've been in several homes with additions where the TV is located and the owners keep a formal sitting area. In new construction this is not needed and not what I have seen. New construction provides us with a gas fireplace and outlets above for flat panel TVs. The rooms are consolidated and very efficient when it comes to saving space.
Now, developers know all this of course and this is largely what I've seen myself. Large, open, floor plans and great use of the space. But here is something I want to start seeing in new homes, and that's wiring us for the future.
I already know I won't have a house phone. I will use my cell phone. People are already canceling their plans. But when I have an electrical outlet, I want to see slots for the typical 12 volt plugs, Ethernet Cable, Co-Ax cable, and USB cable. Why? Because we really don't know what the future holds. Wiring will be centered in a basement cabinet where outside lines enter the house. This isn't uncommon to see now either but it would be nice to see it already built into newly constructed homes instead of added later. The cabinet would essentially include a location for your internet and phone system, wireless router, server if you require one, cable access, etc.
As computers become smaller, more powerful, and more portable, it wouldn't surprise me to see the home office dwindle in size as well. While I think its still important to have a home base that features a printer/fax and scanner (hopefully an all in one), I would expect to see a lap top base in the kitchen area, and computer access to be done wirelessly at the living room coffee table.
Lastly, I would love to see the home prepared for solar panels. In my personal opinion the technology is not cost effective yet, but I expect that to change pretty quickly moving forward. Saving money and helping the environment will go hand in hand if the house and sunlight allows it.
Of course, this is all my opinion and everyone will have different needs. So I'm curious to see what everyone else requires and wants in their home. Let the discussion begin!