Build to Rent – The Advantages of Build-to-Rent for Home Builders

Build to Rent – The Advantages of Build-to-Rent for Home Builders

Built-to-Rent (BTR) single-family homes are attractive to home builders and developers for multiple reasons. With strong, growing consumer preference from quality tenants, BTR homes are a proven type of investment, offering steady, predictable income. It can be a diversification strategy to offset the ups and downs new construction market. Homes Built-to-Rent, as opposed to sell, can offer significant construction savings. And BTR offers numerous options when it comes time to sell.

Consumer Demand

PEW Research reported that 65% of households headed by people younger than 35 were renting, as were 41% of households headed by someone ages 35-44. Looking at the U.S. population, the greatest growth in the next several years will be people currently in their 20s and 30s (highlighted below.)

Build to Rent List 1

Over the next several years, as people now 20 – 40 years old age and have children, the single-family housing option will increasingly be in demand.

Exiting the Great Recession, many builders turned to building larger, more expensive homes due to increased costs for everything, leaving even fewer “affordable” new home options. BTR is one way of addressing the demand for new single-family homes at a monthly payment more households qualify for.

The added space found in three- and four-bedroom single-family houses, rare in the multifamily arena, better suits the needs of growing households. At the same time, as their careers and incomes blossom, these renters are becoming more financially stable and reliable tenants. As compared to multifamily, there’s also less turnover in single-family rentals.

A Solid Investment

Build to Rent List 1

Like single-family home buyers, renters are willing to pay a premium for new construction, especially homes with today’s in-demand design and amenities. Since brand-new homes will have minimal maintenance and repair issues for several years (outside of what would be typically covered under the new home first-year warranty), such expenses will be low. And those BTR first-year warranty costs will likely be less, as compared to the warranty expectations of home buyers. 

A scant decade ago, home builders who survived the housing market downturn were just starting to see would-be buyers again. A BTR portfolio of homes may provide the regular income stream needed to help weather the next new home construction downturn. Such a diversification strategy, moving into an adjacent market space as opposed to something entirely different, allows the BTR home builder to capitalize on existing systems, resources, personnel, and know-how.

Single-family BTR homes can start producing income as each home is completed, as compared to multifamily’s longer construction timeframes before realizing revenues. Another strategy, kicking off a brand-new community by selling and then constructing BTR homes to an investor, can generate the needed capital for further development.

Cost Advantages

Build to Rent List 2

Build-to-Rent can offer numerous, significant savings over for-sale homes.  Home design costs can be spread among a greater number of homes. Value-engineering can maximize efficiency, while repetitive builds minimize the added costs and potential construction delays for products such as roof trusses. Timely product selections based upon ready availability can eliminate costly setbacks, while buying larger quantities of materials may result in added savings.

Not dealing directly with custom home buyers can shorten building timeframes and allow builders to focus on construction, without interruption. Expensive change orders are mostly eliminated, as is the manpower consumed in pricing the changes. Though at the time this is being written the new home market is red-hot, a return to more typical market conditions brings the financial risks associated with speculative construction.

Future Flexibility

Build to Rent List 3

While contracting upfront to Build-to-Rent for investors is one approach, holding a BTR home portfolio produces recurring revenues. Then, when the time is right, the homes can be sold.  Perhaps the existing renter would be interested in purchasing that home. Small investors might want to add a modest number of homes in one community to their rental holdings. Larger investors might be interested in acquiring the entire neighborhood. Regardless of their size, most investors favor newer homes requiring less upkeep, than older homes that may need to be renovated.

Build-to-Rent has become a part of the new construction landscape. The growing preference for renting rather than buying and the opportunity to live in a new single-family home are driving demand. Construction efficiencies coupled with reduced headaches streamline production. Recurring revenues with minimal unexpected expenses create an attractive income stream, and an appreciating asset attractive to numerous buyers makes for a wise investment. Still, the math has to work, beginning with the product to be built. And that starts with homes people aspire to live in. We conclude this series looking at:

Anatomy of a Successful BTR Home Design

As described previously, the sweet spot for single-family BTR houses tends to be three- and four-bedroom homes that are 45-feet-wide or narrower, around 2,000 square feet or less. Here we’ll examine one such design, plan 29318 the Herndon.

Attractive and value-engineered, the Herndon can be built with three bedrooms (1,840 square feet) or four bedrooms at 2,055 square feet, meeting two sets of buyers with one plan. The slab foundation is standard, while both crawl space and basement foundations are optional.  The home’s 36-foot overall width and 46-foot depth fit well on more modest homesites, while the simple foundation saves money.

8538 Comp Rendering
8538 Comp Rendering

With minimal roofline changes, this home can be built with a fourth bedroom.

Make no mistake, home buyers equate 8-foot main level ceiling heights with older homes. Under a 9-foot ceiling, this design’s openness further contributes to a sense of spaciousness on the main floor. The extra-deep kitchen pantry draws applause, and carrying groceries in is quick and direct. Note that you don’t walk through the laundry carrying in those groceries (another “dated” design element.) Rather, there’s the drop zone seat and coat closet in this rear foyer. The powder bath location provides privacy.  And the flex room checks off the box for working from home.

Second-floor accommodations of this design are equally enticing to renters.  Secondary bedrooms are served by a compartmented bathroom which can de-stress the morning rush of trying to get everyone out the door on time. Having the laundry room upstairs eliminates long treks up and down the stairs with an overstuffed laundry basket. A cathedral ceiling in the Owner’s Suite is an unexpected WOW factor, as is the large walk-in closet. The appreciation for the importance of storage is also evident in the bathroom’s 5-foot linen closet. Yes, that linen closet could be omitted in favor of a bathtub. Building the fourth bedroom adds the potential of a second walk-in closet for the Suite, or a private Sanctuary Space/Peloton area.

Herndon First Floor
Herndon Second Floor

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How Modernism is Embracing Biophilic Design in Home Décor

How Modernism is Embracing Biophilic Design in Home Décor

You don’t have to leave your house to get back to nature. Try bringing the outside indoors.

Throughout history, people have lived in response to the natural world. Nature was all around us, and we were part of the environment. There were no clear-cut lines. But that changed with the industrial revolution.

Today, 90% of our habitat is the constructed environment. While we want a clean house, it’s the little things that make a house a home. Biophilia refers to our innate tendency to seek a connection with nature. Biophilic design seeks to restore this connection without turning back the clock. It does so by bringing more of the outdoors into our homes and our lives.

Proponents of biophilic design, like the late Stephen Kellert, said the approach allows you to design a habitat and not just a home. The Yale University ecologist earned kudos as one of the country’s all-time environmental leaders. Kellert aimed to improve home design as well as health and well-being, productivity, and our social connection.

Better Traffic Flow

Beauty alone can justify this increasingly popular design style. Consider the elements: increased natural light, prominent vegetation, the use of natural materials and natural shapes, and an emphasis on the easy traffic flow of space within your home and between the indoors and out.

The approach is a near-perfect match to modernist design principles and also offers a sumptuous counterpoint of the clean lines of modern homes. But you don’t have to own or build a textbook-worthy modernist gem to bring more of nature into your daily life. Here are a few pointers:

Light and Air


Skylights, large sunny windows, and glass doors are no-brainers when it comes to creating a more natural home. Doors and windows are also a trending home improvement in 2021, but placement can mean a lot.

Openings that allow shifting light to play across your rooms add interest and more perfectly echo the experience of being outside. Vistas bring the outside in by deliberately framing whatever natural features your property offers — from dramatic views to intimate slices of a garden that is just a step away. 

Breezes, one of the joys of being outside, don’t have to stay beyond your walls. Windows that open and provide cross ventilation are good bets ecologically and also bring your inside life a bit closer to nature.

Promoting more natural light in your home is all about apertures. It can be as easy as eliminating drapes in some rooms or replacing heavy fabrics with light or translucent natural fibers.

In darker rooms, install lighting that can simulate natural light. This can be as simple as choosing broad-spectrum lights or as innovative as a lighting scheme that would mimic the varied forms of light and shadow in natural space.



Your windows and doors let you see the green world outside — more so if you plant with views in mind. But house plants are also critical to biophilic design.

The ultimate feature is a green wall or vertical garden. These can work anywhere — from bathroom to living room to hall. Green walls also harmonized beautifully with the natural building materials such as wood and stone favored by the biophilic aesthetic.

Potted plants can serve a variety of purposes. An array of fresh herbs on the kitchen window greens up both your décor and your menus.

A light-loving plant in a window without a beautiful vista can block out a less-than-stellar view. And few design elements can match the impact of a gorgeous tropical plant, such as the money tree plant with its braided trunk, broad showing leaves, and promise of good luck.

Common house plants such as peace lily, English ivy, and snake plant do double duty by improving your indoor air quality as they beautify. They replace pollutants in addition to carbon dioxide and, like all plants, keep up moisture and oxygen levels. This helps your indoor surroundings feel as fresh and clean as the outdoors they are designed to emulate. 

Materials, Shape and Colors


Light, air, and plants constitute direct experiences of nature. The use of natural materials, shapes, and colors creates an indirect experience.

Natural wood is the much-preferred building materials, with natural stone considered another good option, particularly for bathrooms and kitchens. Man-made materials such as old bricks or antiques that show tarnish over time are also favored because they show the evidence of time.

Nature, of course, does not grow in straight lines. Curved architecture can be expensive. Curved accessories and appointments don’t have to be costly and can go a long way in softening the built environment with an organic feel. So can natural designs on wallpaper and upholstery — or images of nature in a picture on the wall.

When it comes to color, complement whatever natural materials you are able to use with soothing, neutral palettes inspired by sky, sea, plants, and earth. No matter their color, fabrics, and fibers should be natural. Opt for cotton, silk, bamboo, wool, and down. This is particularly important for fabrics that go next to your skin, such as towels and bedding Space.

Blend the Indoors and Outdoors

As great as light, air, plants, and natural materials can be in any home, their presence alone does not constitute a biophilic design. The deciding factor is continuity and integration.

Biophilic design creates a repeated and sustained experience of nature as you move from room to room and between indoors and out. Spaces that flow are preferred to discrete, cut-off rooms.

Elements such as outdoor showers and living rooms that melt into terraces reinforce the message that our modern, busy lives are part and parcel of the ongoing, natural world.

At its best, biophilic design heightens our emotional connection to our home by satisfying our inherent need to affiliate with nature. By creating beautiful spaces that are as soothing as they are energizing, biophilic design also fosters our ability to connect with one another and to take pleasure in that connection.

Put simply: Biophilic spaces are good spaces to be. May the forest be with you.


Cindy Mitchell is a home stager and lifestyle and landscape and home design writer. She is a social butterfly and loves to entertain guests at home with beautifully decorated spaces for any occasion.

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High-Performance Homes – Water and Energy Efficiency

High-Performance Homes – Water and Energy Efficiency

The Future of American Housing

…is high-performance home building! Homes that are better for us, for our children and grandchildren, and our country. New home buyers want, even expect, a high-performance home. But just as with the word “quality”, the term “high-performance” has been used so many ways in home building that it has become vague and confusing. To provide clarity and a baseline, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) published their criteria for constructing a high-performance home around three benefits: comfort, wellness, and efficiency – the subject of this post. 

In looking at a new home, as home buyers, we tend to focus on individual decisions in isolation. A co-worker’s new home was insulated with expanding foam, they love it, and you want your new home built that way, too. Home builders on the other hand understand that a new home is a system, comprised of inter-related decisions. That super-insulated home will call for downsizing the home’s HVAC system and ductwork. Failing to do so would mean wasting money on larger HVAC system components which would cycle on and off quickly, thereby costing you more for utilities, too. And having larger ductwork is like trying to blow through a big, round tube vs. blowing through a straw. It won’t seem like much of the conditioned air is coming out of those oversized ducts.

Fortunately, many of the same decisions which contribute to your comfort and wellness are solutions to achieving an energy-efficient home with lower utility bills. Air sealing measures such as a housewrap, plus close attention to caulking voids and seams, reduce uncomfortable drafts and contribute to the effectiveness of your home’s insulation.


Building with Structurally Insulated Panel (SIPs), or Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) provides superior insulation and air-sealing, drastically reducing energy use. Choosing one of those advanced construction techniques can also affect the design. We’ll use Design Basics’ Cavanaugh plan to illustrate:


Plan 8540BL as originally designed with 2x4” exterior walls – 1,699 sq. ft. (without optional 2nd floor expansion.)


As originally designed, with 9’-high main level walls and 10’-high ceiling in MBR.


Optional expansion/storage adds 165 sq. ft.


Plan 8540FOX adapted for 11.25” thick ICF exterior walls – 1,877 sq. ft. (without optional 2nd floor expansion.)

8540 ECO_1

The width and depth of the home grew because of the thicker ICF walls, some room sizes changed slightly.

8540 ECO_2

Note: due to their weight, ICFs are used for 2nd-floor walls only when they stack directly over main floor ICFs.


Plan 8540SUL adapted for SIP construction. Note SIP rooflines change slightly. Second-floor loft adds 201 sq. ft. for a total of 1,900.


The SIP roof means dramatic ceilings sloping upward from the back of the MBR, Family Room and eating area.


Sloping SIP rooflines create a loft overlooking the 1st-floor; BR3’s ceiling slopes up from the front; BR2 has a cathedral ceiling. Also, a play loft can be built above the bathroom and walk-in closet, accessed by a ladder from BR3.


Tight, well-insulated homes can be heated and cooled with less expensive, smaller furnaces and air conditioners. Optimal efficiency and comfort can be achieved when you pair your HVAC equipment with a smart thermostat that “learns” your preferences, continually monitors indoor conditions and operates your system accordingly without your need to adjust it.

ENERGY STAR-rated lighting and appliances complete an energy-efficient home.  LED lighting prices and selection have become so attractive that choosing LED bulbs and fixtures a no-brainer. ENERGY STAR ratings for kitchen and laundry appliances make it easy to take energy consumption into account when selecting your new appliances.  As reported on, “Water heaters account for 12 percent of residential energy consumption.” Several ENERGY STAR-rated water heaters are available, and you can easily recoup the added cost in utility savings.

he question sometimes arises in conjunction with water heaters: which uses more water, tankless, or tank-type water heaters? If you’ve lived in a 2-story home with your water heater in the basement, you know how much water is wasted before hot water reaches your showerhead! But assuming the same location for your water heater – regardless of the type – there’s likely very little if any difference. You have the same amount of cool water to push out of the way before the hot water reaches your shower. This brings up another factor, the length of the water pipe runs. Notice that the Cavanaugh plan’s Owner’s Bathroom, laundry room, and half-bath are in close proximity, and the second-floor bathroom is above the laundry room?

Originally designed on a basement foundation, the Cavanaugh plan’s suggested water heater location is directly beneath the Owner’s Suite walk-in closet, keeping water pipe runs efficiently short.

8540 Basement Highlight

Choosing water-saving dishwashers and clothes washers can cut water consumption in half compared to older models. Further, the US EPA has a program identifying water-saving products for the home, WaterSense. Toilets, faucets, and showerheads bearing the WaterSense label have been certified to meet the EPA’s specifications for water efficiency.

As posted by the EPA, “Nationwide, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water use.” And, as much as 50% of that water is wasted, due in large part to inefficient irrigation methods systems! WaterSense labeled products also include both weather-based and/or soil moisture-based sprinkler system controllers which can keep you from overwatering. Finally, selecting grass types and landscape plantings that need less water will further reduce the amount of water used.

Our previous post “It’s Raining In The Basement!” chronicled the woes of a catastrophic water leak in a brand-new home. Following remediation, the new home owners purchased a whole-house water leak detection system. Small wireless remote sensors were placed where leaks if any, would likely occur. Then, should a leak happen, the home’s water supply would automatically be shut off, stopping the leak.

As a nation, we can build better homes, and following the NAHB’s high-performance home guidelines is a fast track to “better”!

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High-Performance Homes – Wellness Part 2

High-Performance Homes – Wellness Part 2

“It’s Raining In The Basement!”

True story. Eight days after moving into their newly-built home, while Mom and Dad were away, one of their children was interrupted and left the water running in the laundry room sink. A few minutes later another one of their kids who was playing video games starts yelling “It’s raining in the basement!” Making matters worse, this was a 2-story home with a second-floor laundry room! By the time Mom and Dad got home, their drywall ceiling was little more than white mush soaking into their brand-new wood kitchen floors. At least the basement wasn’t finished! A few days later they had a water leak detection system with wireless sensors which, if they got wet, would shut the water off to the entire house. At worst they would have a small puddle to wipe up. Lesson learned – the hard way.

Further complicating the situation, all four of the kids and that Mom suffered from asthma. They had prioritized wellness and spent extra money on low-VOC materials and a high-performance air purification system. After having baseboards torn off, drywall cut out, and running huge fans to dry things out, the owners’ concerns turned to mold. Fortunately,  this was a one-time event and things dried out properly. Mold tends to thrive in high humidity and areas which repeatedly get wet, such as bathrooms.

While most people’s thoughts turn to the conservation of natural resources when hearing “high-performance home”, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recognized “wellness” as an essential element of building such a home.  Our last post looked primarily at indoor air quality and your wellness. The NAHB further identified mold prevention and natural light levels as essential aspects of wellness.

High Performance Homes - Wellness Pt 2

Remove excess humidity in the home

Bathing and showering release lots of water into the air, just look at your steamed-over mirrors! For your family’s wellness as well as to prevent damage to your home, that excess humidity needs to be removed. Opening a bathroom window can do the trick, but a year-round solution is having a properly-sized bathroom exhaust fan vented directly to the outside (not just up into the attic where the moisture can accumulate and cause problems undetected.) Bathroom ventilation fans are rated in cubic feet of air moved per minute (CFM), so to choose the right size fan, first figure your bathroom’s size by multiplying your bathroom’s length x width x height. Divide that number by 60 minutes, and then finally multiply by 8, the suggested number of air changes per hour for a bathroom.

If you were sizing a fan for the Bonham plan 42239V Suite’s bathroom:

  • 15’-5”L x 9’-8”W x 9’H = 1342 cubic feet
  • 1342 ÷ 60 = 22.4
  • 4 x 8 = 179

Therefore, you would look for a bathroom fan rated for at least 179 CFM. Also, consider the fan’s sound rating. While some fans are so quiet you won’t hear them running, others are annoyingly loud. You’ll recall, quiet, addressed in the first post in this series, is another aspect of a high-performance home.

As with a bathroom vent fan that merely ducts the humidity into an attic, water regularly accumulating somewhere you’re not likely to see is a recipe for mold problems. That’s why homes should be built with a moisture barrier such as housewrap products on the outside of the home, helping prevent water from seeping through the siding materials. Similarly, the roof felt under your shingles helps keep water from leaking into your attic, repeatedly wetting the wood framing members and creating an environment for mold growth.

42239V_Bonham 1clKO

Did you know air conditioning’s original purpose was dehumidification – not cooling? Your home’s HVAC system plays an important role in establishing healthy overall levels of humidity in your home. Your AC helps remove humidity from warm, moist summertime air, as the air coming out of your air conditioner is much drier. You may also have a humidifier integrated into your furnace system to add humidity to cold, dry, wintertime air, helping you avoid dry, scratchy throats and similar discomforts.

Ecobee’s smart thermostats make it easy to control your home’s humidity levels as well as temperatures in your home.


Ecobee Smart Thermostat

Increase daylight

Our former blog post, Designing With Natural Light, looked at the wonderful aesthetic opportunities afforded by daylight in your home. As seen in the sidebar, there is also an increasing understanding of health-related issues associated with sunlight.

The Bonham design’s eating area and Suite bedroom illustrate a desirable amenity – windows on two sides of the room for increased levels of natural light from two directions. A high transom window helps illuminate the bathroom, reducing eyestrain and the frustration associated with how different light bulbs render makeup colors differently. Also, there’s a window in the walk-in closet which provides a parallel benefit, making it easier to discern navy blue from black.

Single-wide windows in bedrooms 2 and 3 of the Bonham design meet building code requirements for egress, but the double-wide windows provide twice as much sunlight. The number of windows, their size, and placement, along with your home’s orientation to the sun, are key factors to consider. Of course, energy efficiency is a prime consideration when looking at high-performance windows. Opposite of insulation R-values in which higher numbers mean better insulating properties, window performance is measured in U-factors, in which lower numbers indicate better insulation.


Covered porches are very popular as they provide cool shade as well as shelter from the rain, but they also cut down the amount of sunlight making its way into the Great Room. Skylights to the rescue! Denoted by the dashed red lines, sunlight streams through three skylights in the Bonham’s Great Room filling your open entertaining area with natural light, creating a delightful, sunny place in this home for everyone to enjoy. A skylight is also suggested in the home’s interior laundry room where no window is possible, easing the frustration of poor lighting common with windowless areas in the home.

First, we examined high-performance homes in terms of comfort. Then how they can contribute to your overall wellness. Join us next time as we turn to the NAHB’s other aspects of high-performance home building – efficient use of water and energy.

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Does Your Home Bring You Happiness or Joy?

Does Your Home Bring You Happiness or Joy?

We can be happy about many things: it’s going to be sunny today; your favorite team won the game; the item you’ve been eyeing went on sale. Joy is different. Joy is about deep relational connection, that according to clinical psychologist Dr. Jim Wilder, comes from being with people who are glad to be with you. We yearn for this joy, as we came to realize during Covid-19’s forced isolation. Gathering together is life-giving, and a fundamental consideration of residential design. How our homes accommodate or frustrate, how we like to socialize will have a profound impact on our happiness. 

Most floor plans from Design Basics are color-coded, with yellow denoting areas at a glance commonly thought of for entertaining. Just 45’-wide (a concession to today’s narrower homesites) in the new Myles Estate plan #9303 shown, most get-togethers will take place towards the back of this plan. The octagonal Family Room with trayed ceiling is open to the kitchen and eating areas. The large kitchen is also shaded yellow, as it is thought of just as much as an entertaining space as for its functional aspects. Under its octagonal ceiling, the casual eating area enjoys a high level of natural light, and people tend to gather in sunny spaces. Just beyond, the rear porch invites the party outside while providing shade as well as shelter from the rain for your outdoor kitchen.

Myles Estate 9303

Though shaded blue (de-stressing), this design’s front courtyard may also serve as an outdoor entertaining space, extending onto the arched front porch. Front and/or back, sheltering in place due to the pandemic taught us all a new appreciation for outdoor living spaces. There’s also a formal dining room to the front with double doors to that porch, bringing the outside in. That space was shaded green, signifying its flexibility. This house plan includes the option of re-purposing that dining room as a study/home office.

A green highlight was also used to identify the flexible nature of the upstairs game room, as the design includes the option for making that space yet another bedroom. Having a second entertaining area on another floor of your home solves the issue of where the kids can hang out as well as helping minimize noise, minimizing interruption of your get-together.

Myles Estate 9303 Floorplan

Decades ago, residential design emphasized the separation of formal and informal entertaining spaces. Formal entertaining bordered on being an event, involving lots of preparation. As a nation, we’ve become more casual in terms of having others into our homes. Many home buyers, particularly millennials, eschew the notion of a formal dinner party, in favor of simpler meals which may be pot-lucks with everyone bringing a dish. Can’t seat everyone around a single table? Not an issue, we can eat in the living room too. Popular with first-time new home buyers is plan #35112, Kendra Springs, with its open floor plan layout fostering connection, allowing everyone to be a part of the action.

Taller ceilings in an entertaining area add interest and intrigue as well as providing room definition in an open floor plan. Notice the gap between the vaulted ceiling area (dashed line) and the kitchen island. That space means island seating need not infringe on the Family Room. And having used the extra time at home due to Covid to hone their cooking skills, a Hunter Report shows homeowners more confident and creative in the kitchen, with 71% of respondents intending to cook more at home after the pandemic ends.

Budget-conscious home buyers prize outdoor entertaining too. At 8’-4” deep, the Kendra Springs covered front porch is a wonderful place for impromptu time spent with neighbors. Off the dining area, there is a suggested 12’ wide by 10’ deep patio or deck. Bridging indoor and outdoor socializing, this house plan also includes the option of a 15’ by 12’ Sunroom behind the Family Room.

Open floor plan layouts are conducive to spending time together. And when you desire solitude, the bathrooms and closets in this design are arranged for bedroom privacy. 

35112 Optional Sunroom
35112 Floorplan

The pandemic accelerated the existing trend towards technology connections, as digital media, game streaming, and ZOOM calls brought us together, even if it was virtually. Media-based entertaining has long been a reason for getting together, now just more so. Though we can again gather in person, friends and visitors in our homes expect high-speed internet access.

Senior home buyers rank socializing as highly as millennials but have different priorities. Aging-in-place amenities such as no-step entries, plus wider doors and halls make it possible to enjoy friends’ company regardless of their mobility. A parallel consideration is barrier-free access to a rear deck or patio, removing any obstacle someone using a wheelchair or walker might encounter when transitioning to the outside. Open floor plans make getting around in the home easier. And since less light gets through their eyes’ lenses due to the aging process, senior-oriented entertaining areas should be light, bright, and airy.

Here on the other side of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve got a keener appreciation for the joys of being together. While people’s entertaining styles and preferences vary, space in the home designed to bring us together is so important! Exclusively at, you can search home designs that prioritize entertaining. After clicking the Plan Search tab at the top of the home page, scroll down the left side of the search page to Search By Livability. Clicking on one of the buttons towards “Most” for Entertaining, along with your other search criteria such as square footage and the number of bedrooms, will show plans with the strongest entertaining amenities first! We invite you to give it a try!

Livability at a Glance Search

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