Now that people are buying and building houses again, the National Association of Home Builders conducted a survey of people both building and remodeling/renovating to find out what they really want. They learned that consumers are more cautious and price sensitive than before... and that they are doing remodeling projects to enjoy themselves, while also keeping resale in mind.
At the top of the list of wants was energy efficiency. They want features that permanently lower utility costs... but while they are willing to pay a little more for them, they are not willing to pay a premium for them.
Today's home buyers want high end amenities, and they are willing to live in a smaller space to have them. They want organizing and storage space... including a laundry room, bathroom linen closet, garage storage and walk-in kitchen pantry. They also want table space to eat in the kitchen.
Golf course, gated, high density and mixed use communities were high on the most unwanted list. In keeping with their desire for energy efficiency, two-story rooms such as towering entries and family rooms were on their 'do not want' lists.
In keeping with their desire for high end amenities, laminate and ceramic tile countertops were on the unwanted list, as were wine coolers and glass front cabinets.
The new trend is away from McMansions... towards living smaller but not necessarily cheaper. Home buyers are reallocating money previously spent on space to energy efficiency, home technology and upscale amenities.