Every week in the Toronto Star, I get ideas regarding my profession -- Real Estate. I always give credit to these writers who start the process of reminding everyone of what is going on in this field. Because it changes every day, it keeps us alert and we get to pass on important information. There are times when I give the same opinion to the few great clients that I have, and then I like to share and enhance these ideas.
Many of you may have read the same article so here goes --
The homes of tomorrow will be "smart", smaller and more space and energy-efficient. They will be wireless and run by computers. They will come equipped with kitchens with top-of-the line amenities for those of us who like to cocoon. Our get-togethers with friends and family tend to be pot luck dinners, movie nights at home (most of us have a decent television and sound system) -- these have become very popular. We also tend to invest in our homes and finish the basements, not only to increase the value of our investment but it also adds living space. Our children tend to congregate at one home or another.
The big issues for buyers, and it is starting already, is location,location,location -- where the home is located in relation to public transit and how energy-efficient it is. Homes may be hard-wired to computers that will run everything from the lights to the appliances. Also, instead of wires, it will be wireless systems which we are starting to experience already.
Homes of the future will have a spare, modern feel. The prediction is that - gone will be the Mediterranean or California feel two-story, and multi-roofline French Chateau look. Homes will also be smaller but because of their efficient design, will work like much larger spaces. Take for example homes now - if you view new homes that have at least a 9 foot ceiling and then walk into an older home with a regular 8 foot ceiling, all of a sudden you feel that the space is cramped. the home with at least the 9 foot ceiling may also be smaller in square feet, whereas the older home may be bigger but seem smaler. The older home will also have more walls making it seem smaller than a new open concept home. The homes of the future, being smaller, may also be more affordable.
Certain finishes in homes are timeless and it is predicted that they will remain so -- hardwood floors and granite. Stainless Steel appliances are very popular now but it remains to be seen how well their popularity will hold up. This will depend on prices for these appliances. Refrigerators also come with finishes the same color as the cabinets and then you try to match the rest of the appliances to the the cabinets.
It used to be a very expensive upgrade to have patio doors put in -- the ones that are floor to ceiling. Well, it no longer in considered an upgrade. The doors look great, by the way. The same way that these doors were expensive upgrades, so were granite, stainless steel apliances and 9 foot ceilings, but no longer.
The days of being able to offer just the basics in a home are over. The buyers want all the bells and whistles - be it a new home from the builder or a resale home. Buyers want all these upgrades without having to pay for it.
Just consider countertops - first-time buyers are asking for granite, soapstone and Corian. These buyers have not yet learned that you do not need life-time countertops such as these. When you buy a home, you will want to update the kitchen and the simplest way to do this is to replace the countertop. There is a product made in Caesar stone. This is a material that is manufactured from concrete and stone pieces. It is seamless, smooth and sanitary. It is also less intrusive to the environment because you don't have to mine it.
Flooring -- engineered hardwood, which is a solid wood veneer over composite, is steadily gaining in popularity. It is being used more often now because it is environmentally friendly and less expensive. Cork and bamboo flooring are also makng an appearance because the natural materials are gast growing and readily available.
There is so much information out there regarding design and materials. Buyers are very in tune with what they want. When you're looking to spend around $500,000 and up for a home in an area that you truly love, you are looking to make sure the house feels like a home. After all, it is one of the biggest investments that you will make.
Some buyers are looking for buil-in appliances and updated kitchen cabinets that can be easily refaced or repainted a few years down the road. they are looking for finishes that are easily changeable for improvement. We are looking for materials that will not be going into landfills.
There is so much information. We are becoming more and more environmentally friendly. There is a lot of testing done regarding outside materials. Brick will always be popular but more materials are being tested to see how they withstand the different seasons. With these pilot projects, more materials will be available to the builders and renovators.
Finding all this information is readily available. We are becoming a technical society. I would like to credit some of the opinions of this article to Gail Swanson, Patrick O'Hanlon, and Christene DeGasperis.
Contact Betty Bartusevicius for your own private viewing of any property of interest or to discuss the sale of your existing house at 905.828.3434 or directly at 416.427.1875.
Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
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