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Despite Economy Most Homeowners Not Downsizing

"Baby boomers are a diverse group and have a lot of desires for the home," said Meyer.  "We're hearing this group say they want functionality and smartly-designed homes without wasted space.  This doesn't necessarily translate into smaller homes.  That's why you'll see a variety of floor plans in our Del Webb communities from under 1,000 square feet to more than 3,000 square feet."

Forget Formality, Homeowners Want More Space    According to the survey, 21 percent of homeowners ages 18-59 rarely use their formal dining room while 17 percent said they rarely use their formal living room.  When asked to rank the most important feature in their next home, nearly half (48 percent) of respondents want larger, open spaces, including master bedrooms, larger rooms and open floor concepts.

When asked to rank their top five "must haves" in their next home, respondents indicated they want:

  • Larger rooms
  • Master bedrooms suites
  • More storage space
  • Patio/outdoor living space
  • Energy efficiency

While men and women ages 18-59 agree on having a master bedroom suite, 62 percent of women said they also would like to have more storage space while 45 percent of men want more technology in the home.  And, as older men (55-59) embark upon retirement, they rank having a study/den in their top five must-have features.

"Many homeowners say they can do without a formal dining and living room, and we've seen this trend for a while," Meyer said.  "House designs today are much more open and flowing as opposed to 'fixed and formal.'  While homeowners are moving away from these formal areas, they want better use of space to create more flex and practical spaces such as, large informal kitchen and dining areas, expanded laundry rooms, and planning centers."

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