3 things buyers want that might not be obvious

  • To accommodate the tech demand, more and more communities are partnering with cable and Internet providers to offer 1-gigabit high-speed Internet.
  • Research indicates that many homebuyers are considering an in-law suite to accommodate either adult children moving back in or aging parents.
  • To homebuyers, the location has everything to do with their living experience when they are home.

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With new home sales back in full force, smart homebuilders are finding ways to differentiate themselves to stand out in the crowd. From amenities to style features, homebuyers are attracted to communities with unique qualities that match the lifestyle they want.

We have identified three unique features that many buyers across all age groups are looking for:

1. Next-level high-speed Internet

The average household has four connected devices, which can easily bog down standard Internet speeds of 10-30 megabits per second.

With the ever-growing popularity of Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and other streaming TV options, new home communities have to prepare for this technology wave or be left in the dust.

To accommodate this demand, more and more communities are partnering with cable and Internet providers to offer 1-gigabit high-speed Internet.

Installed in the ground through a fiber connection (the size of a strand of hair), 1-gigabit Internet speeds allow users to download 100 times faster than traditional speeds. For example, 100 photos can be downloaded in three seconds — or a large movie file in less than six seconds.

Similar to Google Fiber, which is only available in certain cities, 1-gigabit Internet also opens up new opportunities for residents who work from their home office.

In the Orlando area, there are several such services being installed in new communities. For example, CenturyLink offers 1-gigabit Internet service in the community of Oakland Park.

2. A truly separate in-law suite

Demand is rising for homes that support multigenerational families, as recently mentioned in The Washington Post.

Research indicates that many homebuyers are considering an in-law suite to accommodate either adult children moving back in or aging parents. Others like the suite’s convenience for guests or having an additional room for their hobbies.

One of the latest designs of in-law suites is on the ground floor, detached from the house with a courtyard in between for added independence, privacy and space.

Also called guest suites, in-law suites are typically 300 to 750 square feet and one or two rooms with a small kitchen, sleeping area and bathroom.

One challenge of keeping in-law suites on the main floor is the lot width — anything less than 70 feet wide makes it difficult to build.

3. Recreation for adults

Location remains one of the most important — if not the most important — factors when buying a home. With that said, location means much more than just proximity to someone’s work.

To homebuyers, it has everything to do with their living experience when they are home: How close is the grocery store? Where is the dry cleaner? What type of restaurants are nearby? Where can they walk their dog, run or ride a bike?

In a crowded submarket, recreational amenities can be the differentiator, and passive amenities — outdoor walking and running trails — are resonating with current homebuyers.

In recent sales at our Oakland Park community, more and more buyers are indicating that their choice of our community was based on proximity to the nearby West Orange Trail, which offers a convenient workout and a way to bike, rollerblade, walk or run to all the other things they like to do around town.

These are some of the most popular trends we have seen in our market.

What are you seeing in yours? Please share in the comments section below.

Thom Cunningham is vice president of Crescent Communities. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Email Thom Cunningham.