Storage: The Overlooked Amenity in Modest-Size New Homes

Storage: The Overlooked Amenity in Modest-Size New Homes

With construction costs approaching all-time highs and buyers facing more volatile mortgage interest rates, new home affordability was a recurring theme at the 2019 NAHB International Builders’ Show. At Design Basics’ booth, homes 40-44 feet wide were the most popular (reflecting higher lot costs), and value-engineered plans with straightforward, cost-effective foundations in demand.

Just as companies’ advertising is typically the first thing to be trimmed to meet budget, storage is often the first area in a home to be cut when designing smaller homes. Home buyers may not recognize lack of storage during an initial model home visit, but according to Realtor Magazine, not having enough storage space leads to buyer’s remorse for 80 percent of home buyers. Buyer remorse is the surest way to shut down referrals, which should account for at least one-third of your new home sales.

Rather than minimizing, or having to apologize for lack of storage, making storage a priority in design renders your homes more marketable. In fact, it’s easy to sell against other builders’ similar-size homes that skimp on storage!  Design Basics’ new Natalie Park (plan #42416) proves that storage need not be sacrificed in modest-sized homes. Whether walking in the front door, or entering from the garage, there are coat closets to greet you. Speaking of the garage, there’s a 7-foot by 6-foot storage area at the back, ideal for a lawn mower and/or a snow blower. At 24-feet deep, there’s also room for shelves in front of the laundry area.

The rear foyer’s drop zone is the perfect repository to keep clutter out of the kitchen. Kitchen storage (and organization) is a priority in any size home, but particularly important in smaller square footages. There’s abundant cabinetry in the kitchen, a corner pantry, and importantly, with no cook top or sink in the island, there’s welcome storage there, too. Storage atop the washer and dryer testifies to the concern for this laundry room essential.

Rather than becoming “wasted space,” a recessed area behind the door into the owner’s bedroom showcases built-in shelves. The walk-in closet is nice-sized, and there’s a hall linen closet for extra sheets, blankets, and towels. Secondary bedroom closets were made as large as possible, and assuring you never run out of storage space in the Natalie Park, there’s over 300 square feet of storage available over the garage!

They may have stone counter tops and high-tech connectivity, but new homes lacking storage, especially smaller square footage homes, can turn buyers’ dreams into nightmares.

Creativity in Flex Spaces

Creativity in Flex Spaces

Change is all around us, having become the norm in American society. And as our lives change, we begin to appreciate homes that were designed to adapt to our changing situations. It’s called flexible design.

Flexibility in Design

With a flex space, you are in charge. No longer need that guest room? No problem. Designed to work for any function, Flex Spaces are easy to transition with your changing needs.

We live in the digital age and virtually anything can be done online, including many of our jobs. Did you recently transition to a work-from-home career but don’t have a home office? A Flex Space offers the perfect solution. Whether it be a full-sized room, such as a guest room, converted to a home office or a Pocket Office™, a smaller space that can be closed off when not in use, the choice is yours.

Take for instance the Sinclair (plan #1748) with two Flex Spaces that can easily work as a formal dining room, home office, den, or guest room. Or, the Woman-Centric Sinclair II (plan #42159) that presents the Flex Spaces in a different layout, incorporating the Pocket Office™ design concept rather than a full office. These spaces can change in functionality as your needs evolve.

With our Livability at a Glance™ colorized floor plans you can easily see flexible living areas of the home. Learn more by clicking here.

Why You Need Better Home Designs – Part 2

Why You Need Better Home Designs – Part 2

It’s uncanny how prospective home buyers equate better design with better homes, and buyers want to buy the best!

Of course, how would-be buyers experience your home needs to be better, too. We use the term ‘Hidden Assets’ to describe amenities that may be over-looked or under-appreciated. Soft-close cabinet hardware is a big advantage – if buyers know about it. Quiet bathroom exhaust fans are hidden assets unless people turn them on. A doorless walk-in shower may be impressive, but explaining there’s no door to clean elevates the desirability of this amenity.

Nothing tops well-trained salespeople who are as eager to listen to the customers as they are to demonstrate the home. Akin to a pull-out kitchen wastebasket drawer, pull-out recycling bins will be appreciated; but explaining to buyers that the location of those recycling bins, next to the kitchen sink, is ultra-convenient because most recyclables need to be rinsed out first is better than a recycling bin in the garage. This location also eliminates water spots that would otherwise show en route to a recycling bin elsewhere in the home.

A large glass block window over a soaking tub is aesthetically pleasing, but calling attention to glass block’s inherent privacy, eliminating the need to add window coverings and the associated hassles of reaching over the tub to close the blinds, makes you ‘the builder who really understands how people actually live in their homes’.

Great Designs + Great Customer Experiences = More Referrals

According to sales strategist and author Tom Hopkins, “Referred leads are six times more likely to buy from you than non-qualified leads!”

One way to address bringing attention to the hidden assets is by using tasteful signage; especially if your home will be shown by agents who are not familiar with the home. Builders that are members of Design Basics’ Woman-Centric Matters!® or Builder-Centric℠ GOLD program have access to hundreds of different Hidden Asset Circles to effectively point out and communicate such amenities. Find out more about these two proven programs by clicking on the links above.

 

Why You Need ‘Better’ Home Designs

Why You Need ‘Better’ Home Designs

It’s uncanny how prospective home buyers marry better design with better homes. And, other things being relatively equal, buyers almost always choose better. Now, there is no single definition for better design – it’s personal, decided by one buyer at a time. Still, we can influence buyers to identify and appreciate our definitions of better design and sell more homes.

That’s the foundation for Design Basics’ focus on a home’s “livability.” Aesthetic aspects of design (i.e., views inside and out) are important, and people can fall in love with those. But how the home lives is even more important to closing a sale. Traffic patterns can be ruined by door conflicts. Well-thought-out storage and organization amenities are located right where they’re needed. Rear foyer drop zones and master bath make-up ledges can eliminate cluttered countertops.

Delightful amenities prospective buyers discover in your home solidify the idea they’re getting a better home. Pocket offices…dual owner’s suites…work-in pantries…pass-through laundry rooms…Chill-N-Grill™ stations…travel centers…coffee bars…when your innovations “connect” with buyers, you’re likely to hear “You’ve thought of everything!” and “Why don’t all builders offer _______?”

DBLLC Plan #42027Livability at a Glance™

This understanding was also the genesis for Design Basics’ Livability at a Glance™ (LAAG), including the color-coded floorplans that highlight areas for entertaining, de-stressing, storing, and flexible living. Consumer response has been overwhelmingly positive, as LAAG helps prospective home buyers better appreciate the home’s design and makes it easier for them to imagine living in the home. Plus, the colorized floorplans stand apart from the competition.

Buyers want to buy the best, from the best. And it all starts with offering the best home plans!

NOTE: Builders that are members of Design Basics’ Woman-Centric Matters!® or Builder-Centric℠ GOLD programs have the right to feature LAAG colorized floorplans in their marketing. Find out more about these two proven programs by clicking on the links above.

(Cover image: plan 9267 Menlo Park)

Home Plan Online Bookstore

Home Plan Online Bookstore

Did you know we have a library of home plan books – print and digital – to aid in your plan selection? Below is a sampling of our most popular home plan books.

Digital Plan Books

Design Basics Premier Home PlansOur digital edition of PREMIER HOME PLANS was recently released and contains over 60 trendsetting HER HOME VELUX Coverhome plans presented photographically and/or full-color artist’s elevation renderings! It also includes a special section on dual owner’s suites and three builder feature stories.

HER HOME™ Home Plans featuring VELUX® Skylights is a collection of home plans with skylights incorporated into the design.

(View these plan books by clicking on the image.)

Print Plan Books

Design Basics Premier CoverOur PREMIER HOME PLANS book is available for purchase and features hundreds of plans; includes Design Basics LAAG coversour special Home Design issue of HER HOME™ magazine.

Home plans for the way you live: Set of four plan books featuring over 200 plans categorized using our signature Livability at a Glance™ floor plan color-coding.

(View these plan books by clicking on the image.)

Check out our entire library of home plan books in our online bookstore.
Contact us to order: 800.947.7526.

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