Long-shrinking homes begin to grow again

Long-shrinking homes begin to grow again

Even as the U.S. economy struggles to rebound from the worst recession since the Great Depression, Americans are living larger.

Larger, as in larger homes: two-story foyers, twin front staircases, children’s wings, dedicated man caves, coffee bars, four-car garages and bedroom closets large enough for a fifth vehicle.

The percentage of new single-family homes greater than 3,000 square feet has grown by one-third in the last decade, according to data released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau. Slightly more than 1 in 4 new homes built last year were larger than 3,000 square feet, the highest percentage since 2007.

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Built-ins make cozy comeback

Built-ins make cozy comeback

Built-in furniture and cabinets have cycled in and out of favor for centuries. Now they’re making a comeback, inspired by the better-not-bigger trend in residential design.

“Built-in storage seems to be more on people’s radar,”said Jean Rehkamp Larson of Rehkamp Larson Architects. “There’s also a thoughtfulness about making them part of a home’s architecture.”

Today’s built-ins house everything from flat-screen TVs to kids’ sports equipment, but their smart, space-saving utility is timeless — and adds to a home’s appeal.

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Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better

Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better

From young, qualified first-time home buyers to 50-and-olders, moving, up, over or down, a new breed of buyer is descending upon the Silicon Valley Housing market. 

They’ve worked hard to save, they have solid jobs and they are qualified to buy big.

But offer them what they can really afford and they’ll give you the thumbs down.

They are the new financial conservatives.

They’d rather not be house poor.

They can afford much more, but they want less — less square footage, a smaller energy bill, fewer cleaning and maintenance headaches, but most importantly, less to pay out on the monthly mortgage.

They want a simpler, smaller American Dream.

It’s all about the “more” that comes with the “less.”

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The Changing Landscape of Single-Family Homes

The Changing Landscape of Single-Family Homes

As household spending and income adapt to meet the needs of today’s economic conditions, new single-family home have followed suite. In a surprise divergence from recent trends, homes seem to be on a growth spurt again.

According to the latest Census Bureau data homes for the first half of 2011 new home being built were following this surprising trend. Data found that in comparison to 2010 the average size of homes grew along with the number of four+ bedroom homes.

This data is surprising considering that many potential homebuyers have been sidelined by high unemployment and weak economic growth…

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Home-automation trend picking up speed

Home-automation trend picking up speed

“Call it the next frontier of personalized technology. The explosion of high-speed Internet and app-centric smartphones have made home technology — from securing your front door to turning off the lights to blasting your music — far more Jetson-like.

And while some technologies have been around for years, analysts who follow this market say adaptation rates are picking up speed.”

Read Full Story on The Seattle Times…