As the housing market heats up again around the country, builders are scrambling to offer the latest and greatest product ideas to help stay ahead of the pack. Sometimes the ideas are major changes to the way floorplans are designed. Other times they are small features that may or may not add significant value, but they definitely stick in the mind of buyers (i.e. “remember the house with the great ___?”). We recently visited a number of new home projects in northern San Diego County that offered both. Here are some examples:
- Blurring the Lines: Is it indoor space or outdoor space? ColRich is a builder that causes buyers to ponder that question at their Sandalwood project in Carlsbad. Two of the walls in one of its floorplans collapse to create an expanded great room/outdoor living room. Ryland also introduced their Bella Vista project in San Marcos, which pulls the outdoors into the middle of the house by offering an interior courtyard with collapsible walls that blends into their great room and ultimately into the back yard. When all the windows are open, both create a unique environment that works well during great weather.
- Wok Kitchen: This option is popular in markets with a predominantly Asian buyer profile, and functions as both a structural design idea and a memory point. At 4S Ranch in northern San Diego County, California West’s Mission Ranch Estates project offers this “Expanded Prep Kitchen” option in their Residence Two floor plan as an extension off of the main kitchen.
- Unique Sales Office: Is it a café in the French countryside? No! The sales process couldn’t be more inviting at Arista at The Crosby by Davidson Communities in Rancho Santa Fe. Buyers can easily transition through the office and into the models, all in a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere.
- Pet Focus: One of our recent Building Market Intelligence reports commented on pet-friendly amenities being offered in rental apartment communities. Brookfield Homes now offers an optional “doggie door” in the laundry room in their Garden House at Colony Park project in Orange County, underscoring the importance of these “extended family members”.
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