Thinking of Building a New Home?
Here are the trends in Johnson County for 2012
- New homes are more compact. While the occasional Mcmansion is still being built, the majority of new homes in Johnson County are between 2,500 and 3,500 square feet. Replacing hearth rooms and separate living rooms is a single great room that opens to the kitchen. The trend towards even greater informality at home is making the living room, often used only when company comes, obsolete.
- Maximizing space. Want to work in the closet? There are now new homes that have built in desks located in the pantry. For today’s multi-tasking families, you can grab ingredients for dinner while simultaneously paying the monthly bills. Or, it’s a good spot to put your student while you are making dinner. In all seriousness, there is a movement away from dedicating an entire room for the home office and instead implementing more space-friendly work stations.
- Open floor plans. This decade-long trend of open spaces providing for interaction from most areas of the first floor continues.
- Outdoor living areas. Perhaps in a bid to make up for less interior space, builders have created outdoor living rooms that are far removed from the concrete slabs we grew up with. Positioned off the kitchen/great room, these outdoor spaces are covered or screened in porches complete with fire pits and ceiling fans. Through fate or luck, the timing couldn’t be better as midwesterners are rediscovering usable outdoor space during a mild winter.
- Laundry rooms are the new “must have” item off the master bedroom. Remember when the size of the master closet signaled luxury in a new home? Closets remain large but are accompanied by deluxe laundry rooms that eliminate the dreaded transport of clothing. Many new builds boast two laundry rooms if the master is on a different floor from the remaining bedrooms.
- Lot prices continue to increase. Despite the crash of the new home market and its slow recovery, lot prices have increased significantly since the peak of the housing market. What you may be saving in costs associated with the actual house structure, you are more than making up for in lot cost. The increase might be understandable if lot sizes were increasing and treed lots were the norm. In reality, you will get the same barren, small lot that you could have had for half the price six or seven years ago.
- Financing diversification. It used to be common practice for the builder to have an on-site lender to finance your new home. In this new era of tight lending regulations, many builders are foregoing lender service and leaving it to the buyer to secure outside financing. This creates a great opportunity to shop around and get the best terms available to you.
Builders used to dictate the terms of new home deals. There is a remarkable shift from that model as the market continues to recover. Many terms are now negotiable, from price, to down payment, to time for construction, to design choices. Make sure to utilize your own realtor in the process so that you are represented. Remember, the agent on site represents the builder’s interests!
Michael Russell is a REALTOR with The Russell Home Team at Keller Williams Realty. Michael specializes in Johnson County Kansas Homes and Real Estate for sale. Michael is a tech savvy realtor with over 13 years experience. Did you enjoy Michael's Blog? Feel free to subscribe or join Michael on his Social Network to stay up to date on Overland Park, Olathe, Leawood, Lenexa, Shawnee and all of Johnson Counties real estate news and more...