Building a custom home in the Hill Country opens up a whole world of possibilities. The size of the home, the design of the floorplan, and all the features chosen are up to you. But if you want to create a home that balances personal needs/style and current trends, it’s important to know what today’s homebuyers are looking for. These three 2016 real estate trends are a good start.
Comfortable family spaces
The open floorplan trend has dominated for several years and shows no sign of slowing. Large, highly amenitized kitchens that open into living rooms and/or dining rooms continue to rule when it comes to the most wanted features in custom homes. The ability to design your Texas floorplan to your exact specifications with the open flow you want and ample space for family gatherings and entertaining is enticing to custom homebuyers in the Hill Country.
Kitchens continue to evolve to better accommodate the needs of their residents. Beyond gleaming countertops and traditional stainless steel appliances including a range/oven, dishwasher, and refrigerator, Texas kitchen trends include “niche appliances” such as steam ovens and induction cooktops that allow them “to do double, triple, and sometimes quadruple duty for busy families and help the space become more efficient,” said Houzz.
Sustainable and eco-friendly
Energy-efficient homes and features continue to grow in importance for homebuyers and builders. Everything from selecting Energy Star appliances to including solar panels can help a home be more eco-friendly.
Eco-friendly roofs are another trend in custom homebuilding. Energy-efficient metal roofs are “lightweight, strong, durable, and fire resistant,” said GreenHome, while Houzz called them “extremely durable, long lasting, light reflective and fully recyclable…a great investment for anyone.”
HGTV’s top recommendations for green features include:
- Composite Decking—“Because it is made from a combination of a wood waste and recycled plastic, composite decking yields superior strength, longevity and dimensional stability. It won’t warp, crack, splinter or rot like wood,” they said.
- Rubber Mulch—“Made from 100-percent recycled tires, rubber mulch is suitable to use on most landscapes. It has several benefits: a safe play surface for children, prevents weeds, does not attract insects and water and air can easily flow through it.”
- Lumber From Sustainable Forests—No need to stay away from traditional hardwood floors or the use of wood in other areas of your home. Just make sire it’s Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. This international organization “sets standards for responsible management of the world’s forests.” Or, you can use cork or bamboo flooring, which are both fast growing and easily regenerated, unlike other wood flooring products.
Connected homes only continue to get more so as technology advances and new products offer increased convenience for custom homebuyers. Smart products make it possible to increase safety, convenience, and energy efficiency in your home from anywhere, just by accessing your phone.
“The number of smart home products—devices that let you control your lighting, thermostat, or even your crock pot from your smartphone—is rapidly growing,” said Tom’s Guide. “From GE to Belkin to Home Depot, tons of products and whole ecosystems want to help you control your home via a single iOS or Android app. You can pick and choose your favorite gadgets to assemble an affordable intelligent abode on your own terms, or opt for an entire smart home system that does all the work for you.”
Some of our favorite products are:
- The Nest Thermostat, a smart product designed to make your HVAC system more efficient
- Chamberlain's garage door opener, which “lets you tap your device's screen to open or close your garage from anywhere,” said Tom’s Guide. “Soon, the company also plans to add geofencing capabilities so it can sense when you're near your driveway to automatically open and, when your car is safely ensconced inside, close your existing garage door.”
- The Kwikset Premis Lock, which replaces the traditional lock-and-key system deal with a weatherproof touchpad that’s uses voice commands and works in conjunction with other smart home items
- The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator, a touchscreen smart fridge that connects with other Samsung smart appliances, and has “a bank of cameras inside that snaps pictures of your food and beams them to your smartphone,” said cnet.