John Wieland Homes - Dunes West
Across the United States, new home buyers demand new construction homes with an array of required features. On the highly desirable list are:
- Ample storage
- Open layouts
- Well-integrated outdoor living spaces with easy access from indoors to outdoors
- Enough bathrooms
- A home which accommodates several generations
- Expansive master bathrooms with showers and soaking tubs
- Flexible living space that can be either a home office, a playroom or homework study space
- Laundry room
- Hardwood floors
- Easy to care for exteriors
- Low maintenance landscaping
But which of these nationally in-demand items also are highly desirable in Lowcountry homes? We’ve narrowed down the best-of-the-best to give you the top ten features buyers want in their Charleston homes.
Ashton Woods - Carnes Crossroads - Open Living Space
The mudroom is an updated, open coat closet
The Lowcountry with our long summers and mild winters with little snow to melt into mud, can do without traditional mudrooms. Though if you live near the ocean or lake, a sandroom might be more advantageous. If you want space for coats, shoes, and backpacks, a mudroom off the garage is a highly desirable feature. Lennar at Stonoview and Sabal Homes at Johnston Pointe at Whitney Lake includes mudrooms in many of their plans.
Lennar Stonoview - Mudroom
Family space and dining
When it comes to space, Charleston home buyers want expansive, open layouts where the kitchen and family space are integrated and include dining areas. Most builders in the market include a breakfast bar at either a kitchen island or counter. This becomes the perfect space for kids to do homework or owners to spread out for work while enjoying a cup of coffee. Larger homes in the market include areas solely dedicated to dining, while being connected to the main family area.
David Weekley Homes - Carolina Park - Open Living Space
We work from home and need home offices
And speaking of work, home offices are highly desired. With more and more people working from home, having dedicated space where you can have a quick Skype conference call is important to anyone who works from home or even just pays their bills and manages home finances. Ashton Woods includes a study in their Strawberry Station model and other local builders also include separate home offices or flexible spaces which can serve many purposes.
Ashton Woods - Study
Bathroom to bedroom ratio is high for new homes
A feature which everyone will agree is of greatest need is an adequate number of bathrooms. These days, most new homes on the market have a minimum of two and a half baths. Homes with four bedrooms frequently have a minimum of three baths. While there is no fixed ratio of bathrooms to bedrooms, these days it seems that a master bath is required by Charleston buyers and at least a bathroom for every two additional bedrooms. Homes with large family living spaces often include a half or guest bath.
Lennar - Stonoview - Secondary Bedroom
Owner’s suite retreat
Large owner’s suites are still a major requirement for new homes in the Lowcountry. Composed of a master bedroom and bathroom, an owner’s retreat is a place for renewal. Influenced by home design television shows, owners want personal spaces that reflect their tastes. Integrated into the master space, a walk-in closet with ample storage for both partners is a must.
Sabal Homes - Owners Suite Retreat
The spa influence is at work when it comes to the owner’s bathroom. Master bathrooms with both a soaking tub and a separate shower are also in demand. Working heads-of-households want a quiet retreat at the end of the day where they can soak away cares or enjoy some alone time. At Carnes Crossroads, Eastwood Homes offers the Elizabeth A which has a first floor master suite with trey ceiling; master bath with walk-in shower and frameless shower door and tile surround, linen closet and dual raised vanity.
Sabal Homes - Owners Suite Retreat Bathroom
Closets for every room must be large
Teens, small kids, and mother’s in law all need large closets in their bedrooms. Lowcountry new home builders have included ample closets in the homes they are building. These may include multiple height hanging areas and even built in drawers and storage shelves.
Outdoor living space
An outdoor patio, covered front porch, or screened porch are all much sought-after amenities here. With mild weather most of the year, enjoying the evening from a rocking-chair front porch or watching the kids play with their friends is a wonderful way to enjoy leisure at home. In neighborhoods like Carnes Crossroads, Dunes West, The Ponds, Nexton and Carolina Park, most homes include spacious front porches. Screened porches are a favorite amenity. With ceiling fans and seating areas, these serve as outdoor living rooms where a fierce game of Monopoly can take place or where you can curl up and read a book. You’ll find screen porches are highly desirable in the lowcountry whether on the front, side or back of the home most if not all homebuilders provide screened porches.
John Wieland Homes - Screen Porches
Ashton Woods - Outdoor Living
While carpet is nice in bedrooms, the majority of buyers want hardwoods in their living and family areas. Because of their ease of care, hardwoods are on every buyer’s list. Builders are providing engineered hardwood floors and plank hardwoods per plans and included features. CalAtlantic Homes offers hardwoods in their homes at Brickhope Plantation as does Centex in their homes in Rice Field at Carolina Bay. Hardwood floors are standard on many of Kolter Homes plans at The Ponds.
Easy to care for exteriors
Hot summer sun beats down on the Lowcountry from May - September. Home exteriors must be designed to withstand this brutal exposure. HardiPlank siding is used in many Lowcountry homes like those FrontDoor Communities is building. This cementitious siding can endure hurricanes and high temperatures. Another low-maintenance exterior is vinyl siding. With advances in design, vinyl frequently emulates wood clapboards and even shingles. A good example of vinyl siding in its multiple formats are TrueHomes at Steeplechase.
TrueHomes - Steeplechase - Exteriors
Separate laundry rooms keep the wash and fold out of sight
According to the Cleaning Institute, the average family does 50 pounds of laundry per week. That’s a lot of washing and folding. Having a dedicated space where sorting, ironing and soaking or pre-treating can easily take place is very important to many buyers.
Lennar - Stonoview - Laundry Room
While this is our top ten list of lowcountry home must haves, you may have your own list. We invite you to share and comment, letting us know what your preferences are.
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