The end of the McMansion era has left us with many empty remnants of the style that is now seen in many quarters as a stark illustration of the frivolity of the housing bubble. Unfortunately, for those left holding the deeds of these over sized architectural Frankensteins in the resulting housing crash, home buyers tastes have shifted away mega-sized abodes to buying reasonably sized, quality homes.
The years of lenders setting up home buyers with sub prime adjustable rate mortgages resulted in many people buying or building homes far beyond their means that they could make payments on in the beginning but once their mortgage rates started to slide upwards they could no longer afford to pay their mortgage payments and homes starting piling up on the foreclosure and short sale market. For many of these people, the new trend of massive homes with a plethora of specialty rooms that used up as much of the lots that they were built on was an appealing choice.
Fast forward to the present, and for many people buying homes currently, the large, bland, over sized homes that exemplified the housing boom so well — the uninspired architecture of the McMansion — are the antithesis of what they now are looking for in a home. We have hopefully realized that “more” isn’t necessarily better; in fact, many home buyers are on the lookout now for a more reasonable amount of house that still fulfills their needs.
The benefit of buying a better house for your money instead of just more house is that your home will retain its value longer if it’s built with quality construction and finishing. Due to the current trend to buying and building homes that have a more direct correlation to the amount of space that a family actually requires compared to how much space the home has, desirable homes have become somewhat smaller in general as well.
Smaller homes with a lower price tag are an asset for the market currently, because while it used to be possible to buy a home with no money or very little money as a down payment, this is no longer the case. In many areas, lenders are requiring 25% of the cost of a home as a down payment. Consequently, the price of a home that buyers can afford to purchase is diminished.
Across the country the home size trend does have a great deal of variation either for smaller or larger footprints; some areas haven’t suffered nearly as much of a decrease in home values and therefore owners haven’t lost as much equity in their homes. However, regardless of the sizes and prices, quality construction and finishing seems to be king for the time being, and rightly so; quality homes hold their value over time.
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