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How to Build the Single Family Home Everyone Wants to Buy


At some point or other, almost everyone who can afford it ends up buying a house. Some even do it more than once! Why? Because we’re told it’s a great investment (although some will disagree), and because there’s nothing quite like having a place to call your own. The best place to start? The single family home.

Why Build a Single Family Home (Or Two, or 200)?

The answer to this is simple: popularity. According to real estate database company Zillow, the single family home is overwhelmingly preferred by home buyers; 84% of them, to be exact. This statistic holds true across all generations.

Moreover, 52% of buyers consider new construction homes, mostly because they tend to be in desirable locations and because everything is new. Even more importantly, higher-income buyers are more likely to purchase newly built homes: 65% of buyers who earn $100,000 or more annually.

The Key to Profit in the Single Family Home Design Build Space

With any business, a crucial key to profitability is repeatability and predictability. Call it a template, if you will.

In fact, you’ll probably want to set up your next product specification template with regard to these popular single family home features.

7 Features Most Buyers Want in a Single Family Home

Price tag: $200,000

According to Shawn McCadden, a leading remodeling specialist, the best way to speed up your sales and set your business apart from the rest is this: Settle on a fixed budget, and then design to that budget. According to most homebuyers, that budget is $200,000.

This method is incredibly efficient whether you design and build custom homes specific to clients, flip houses, or a developer who starts from scratch to sell at the end of construction. By deciding on a budget first, you don’t unnecessarily waste time and effort redesigning and re-speccing in case you’re over budget.

3 bedrooms

The 3-bedroom is the gold standard for a single family home. It doesn’t matter what generation, income level, or location — according to Zillow, this is the most popular number.

How to Build the Single Family Home Everyone Wants to Buy | Fohlio | Bedroom
Image: West Elm

Realtor.com supports this finding, with over half of buyers looking for a 3-bedroom home. The next most popular number of bedrooms? Four, which is the preference of 22% of buyers.

2.5 bathrooms

Zillow and Realtor also both report that the most desired number of bathrooms is an ample but modest two and a half. Again, it makes sense for a single family home: One bathroom for the parents, one for the kids, and another space for the occasional guest.

How to Build the Single Family Home Everyone Wants to Buy | Fohlio | Bathroom | Allison Wilson
Image: Allison Wilson, via House and Home

Any more than that just means too much cleaning.

1,800 square feet

While bedroom and bathroom number preferences are the same across incomes and generations, size varies a bit more. Generation X buyers purchase a median square footage of 2,000 while Silent Generation buyers choose 1,450 square feet.

The most popular is 1,800 square feet, preferred by both Millennials and Baby Boomers.

Flexible space; more specifically, a big, eat-in kitchen and open floor plan

The kitchen sells the home, or so the conventional wisdom goes. Across decades and generations, the kitchen has always been one of the most important spaces in the house.

For most current buyers, though, it’s also important for the kitchen to be a flexible, multifunctional space. According to Karl Champley, the large kitchen island is the hub around which daily life circulates. They also double as an eating space, workspace, and entertainment center.

How to Build the Single Family Home Everyone Wants to Buy | Fohlio | Kitchen

For this reason, space is even more crucial than before. An open-floor plan design for a single family home makes the most sense: It increases perceived space, requires less material, and encourages togetherness.

Low maintenance

Most buyers ask for a home that’s ready to move in, with very minimal or no adjustments. This desire for un-fussy-ness extends to a home’s maintenance, which is why hardwood floors and granite countertops are popular features.

Hardwood floors look cleaner, are easier to actually keep clean, and more durable than carpet. Wood can last a lifetime with care and the occasional refinishing, while carpets need replacing every 8-10 years.

How to Build the Single Family Home Everyone Wants to Buy | Fohlio | Hardwood Floors
Image: Jane Riley

Granite can be very stain- and liquid-resistant when it is properly sealed. It also has a timeless, elegant beauty if you’re careful to pick a color and pattern that doesn’t look too busy.

Energy efficiency

Buying a single family home is a big expense — at this point, buyers are pretty sensitive to other costs. Couple this with the easy availability of technology that makes this feature possible, and most buyers are putting it at the top of their lists.

Using and highlighting materials like Energy Star-qualified windows and appliances, and even solar panels, will make the home very attractive to buyers.

How to Build the Single Family Home Everyone Wants to Buy | Fohlio | Solar Panels
Image: Heliotrope by Ralph Disch, via Inhabitat

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Published Jul 2, 2018