Volume XIV Issue 1                                                                          1st Quarter 2006

 

Baby Boomer’s Real Estate Trends

Real estate has gone through some tremendous changes in the last 40 years. House & Garden magazine surveyed and researched some eye-opening facts that mirror our changing lifestyles.

The research showed that eight areas have seen significant changes over the years:

1) Size: Our homes are much larger than our parents’ homes. “...The average single-family home grew from 1,695 square feet to 2,349”, states House & Garden. Especially interesting is that even though our families are smaller in size (dropping from 3.1 people to 2.6), a “quarter of homes built in 1974 had four or more bedrooms; more than a third do today”.

Flex Space: Our homes today, “include a first-level room that can be used variously as an in-law’s suite, a crafts room, or a media room. Increasingly, these flex rooms do double duty...On the second level, flex space gets a luxury spin. Usually connected to the master suite, the rooms provide a place for a home massage, a manicure, or hairstyling.

Kitchen: Even though our homes have gotten larger, the kitchen floor space percentage hasn’t increased markedly. “...a kitchen of the early 1970s took up about 150 square fee-10 percent of the house-today’s kitchen, at 280, is nearly double the size but still only 12 percent of the house.” Appliance sizes, though, has increased.

Technology: “Forty-three percent of starter homes built this year will contain high-speed wiring that allows homeowners to network their home computers, play movies in multiple rooms, and have sophisticated phone systems”. Flat screen and high-definition TVs will be the centerpiece of the “media rooms”, surround-sound audio, TiVo and even room-darkening window treatments to match!

Ceilings: The average ceiling height in the 1970s was 7 feet 9 feet inches. Today a standard ceiling on the first floor is 9 feet and 8 feet on the second level.

Living and Dining: This is where the biggest changes have occurred. “Occupying 9 percent of the house, the living room is rapidly diminishing, often disappearing altogether. In 2004, more than a third of buyers of single-family homes said they would forego a proper living room. The great room trend continues to increase. The dining room has shrunken as well, “to a barely functional 10 by 12 feet today”.

Bedrooms: Bedrooms have gotten a great deal larger over the years. “From the 1930s to the ’60s, homes traditionally had 9-by-10 foot bedrooms. By the ‘70s and ’80s, people had begun spending more time in their bedrooms, doing homework, watching TV, talking on the phone, having friends sleep over. Today a bedroom smaller that 11 by 11 feet is rare, and 12 by 12 feet has become standard.” Along with the larger bedrooms came the larger bed!

Bathrooms: “Only in the late ’70s did the average master bath gain a full tub. A mere 20 percent of homes built then had two and a half bathrooms. Today that figure is up to 57 percent, and of those homes, one-quarter have at least three full baths.

Source: Home & Garden Magazine

 

                                    

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