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What is most important to know about a new home

March 16, 2017

Tagged as: Home Buying Info

Categories: The Guide  

If you’re like most home buyers today, you’re looking for a single family home that has more than 2,000 square feet, an open plan living area, a separate laundry room, three bedrooms, and at least two and a half bathrooms with one containing a shower and a tub. As you search for your new construction home, you’ll find more homes which fit this description. To help you comprehend what is driving the market today, we’ve delved into lots of statistics and we’re laying it all out for you so you comprehend what’s driving the market and why homebuilders are constructing the types of homes you’re going to find in your search.

Nowadays, very few people choose a home with separate kitchen, dining and living spaces. That’s quite a change — just a couple of generations ago, buyers desired separate or semi-separate areas for cooking, dining and family living. [Read our post on what Lowcountry home buyers want.]

When it comes to housing density, buyers prefer communities where housing density is lower, meaning — larger lots and fewer homes per acre. The average new home neighborhood is comprised of 25 acres and may contain about 50 homes.

Home buyer preferences by generation

From Millennials to Boomers, the majority of buyers desire single family homes. In 2016 the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) conducted a survey of recent and prospective homebuyers. They learned:

  • The majority of buyers (65%) would like to buy a single-family detached home. A majority of buyers in all generations have the same preference: Millennials (68%), Gen X (72%), Boomers (63%), and Seniors (55%).
  • Buyers expect to pay about $220,000 for their next home. Of the four generations, Gen X’ers expect to pay the most: $231,600.
  • A traditional forward mortgage is how most buyers across generations (67%) would choose to pay for a home.
  • Buyers want a home with a median 2,020 square feet of finished area, about 9 percent larger than they have now. Millennials and Gen X’ers want over 2,300 square feet; Boomers and Seniors less than 1,900 square feet.


What types of floor plans do buyers prefer?

How do your interior space requirements and room needs stack up against the majority of buyers? Based on data analysis of a number of surveys, The NAHB observes, “the vast majority of home buyers want a completely or partially open floor plan, and this is how the vast majority of home builders are designing their new single-family homes.”

Paul Emrath, Ph.D., in the study Economics and Housing Policy writes, “Home buyers strongly favor designs that are completely open (essentially combining two areas into the same room) or partially open (where the areas are separated by a partial wall, counter, arch, or something else less than a full wall). A full 70 percent of buyers want either a completely or partially open kitchen-family room arrangement (32 percent want it completely open).”

Breaking preferences down by specifics, the NAHB tells us:

  • 51 percent of home buyers want homes with more than 2,000 square feet of living space
  • 44 percent of buyers want homes with more than two bathrooms
  • 32 percent of buyers want a home with a completely open kitchen-family room arrangement
  • 45 percent of buyers want a completely open kitchen-dining area

Across the US, home builders are meeting buyer requirements. Currently, 70 percent of new homes have 2,000 square feet of space or more, and 49 percent have 2,500-plus square feet. Click to use Charleston New Homes Guide to search for your home.

Desired special features in new homes

Special areas and features which are desired by buyers are summarized in this graph from NAHB

Most wanted new home features

Looking at what each generation prefers we can see there is some disparity in what each generation wants. Millennials, for example, want lots of outdoor living spaces — a front porch, patio and a deck, whereas Boomers only want a patio. How do your preferences match up against this list?

Features most wanted by Generation

Generational differences in homebuyer needs have brought about the rise of active adult communities which offer Boomers and Seniors their most desired features. These developments, often called 55+ communities are growing quickly in the Lowcountry. Click to search for a home in a 55+ community.

Millennials and Gen Xers will find an abundance of new homes in the Lowcountry. In 2016, according to The Charleston Trident Association Of Realtors®, (CTAR) “new construction was up 17,249 units compared to 16,314 units in 2015.” Areas with the greatest share of market for new construction homes are shown in the table below from CTAR.

Charleston 2016 Top New Construction Area List

No matter where you desire to live in the greater Charleston area, you’ll find homes being built by local, regional and national builders. They are building what you want. Now your most difficult task is knowing what you want.


Thank you for reading and sharing our articles from The Greater Charleston New Homes Guide. Our business is to know Charleston, SC's new home construction, home builders, neighborhoods and homes so we may assist you as you take your new construction home journey. Our online resources are a complement to our magazine which is distributed FREE throughout the Lowcountry. Please take the time to explore our library of helpful tips, guides and insights. The Greater Charleston New Homes Guide is considered the most comprehensive and reliable resource to new home construction, builders, neighborhoods and homes throughout the Lowcountry.

Tagged as: Home Buying Info

Categories: The Guide  

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