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Does "Home Sweet Home" still Apply?

Now that you’ve had weeks of “quality time” with your home, how are you and your house getting along? Does “home sweet home” still apply? Or have you discovered flaws that you just don’t want to live with anymore?

Sheltering at home has enlightened quite a few homeowners and their families. There are certain features lacking in homes that are prompting them to rethink their current abode. On Google, the search phrase “Should I buy a house?” has reached its highest rate since 2004. Some buyers have continued their search during the pandemic’s shutdown, using virtual tours and appointments to narrow down their choices. Then they schedule a private appointment, respecting social distance while walking through the home that interests them. Other buyers follow the path to homeownership all the way to (or through) closing entirely online.

From what we’ve seen at Kettler Forlines Homes over the past month, homebuyers have expanded—or perhaps re-prioritized—their new home wish list of the features that matter most.

What do you want in your next home?

First and foremost, flexible design is a critical element in new homes. Flex rooms and bonus spaces have grown in value as people shifted to working from home, but without a suitable home office. Using the dining room table as a home office and home school just isn’t cutting it with families. While one flex room might have been enough to satisfy homebuyers a few months ago, that acceptance has changed. The den or study now becomes a home office, a place where all non-work people and items are excluded. Some of our floor plans include two flex rooms, allowing for two offices or one office and a homework station.

With the high risk that the coronavirus posed, particularly to the elderly, we’re seeing homeowners look for two owner’s suites in their next home. The first-floor owner's suite is given to the grandparents, while the homeowners utilize a suite on the second floor. 

An option we’ve added is a first-floor multi-gen suite that’s added to the floor plan’s main level. This multi-gen family suite features a private entrance, a bedroom, living room, kitchenette, full bath, and a laundry closet. 

Where do the kids do their homework? And with all this closeness, where do you find privacy from the daily noise? A finished basement makes sense because it can become a homework zone, rec room, fitness studio, or a man cave/she space. 

That finished basement could also be converted to a suite. If you have college students —who would rather be back on campus—and/or teenagers who want to feel more independent, this basement suite presents a great solution.

The next item on the new home wish list is a better kitchen—whether that means larger or better equipped is up to you. A walk-in pantry is a must now. Those massive packages of toilet paper and paper towels just aren’t sized to fit in an average pantry. Then you add in all the non-perishables you’ve stocked up on and you need more storage space!

A kitchen island has become a must. The extra workspace for food preparation, combined with the ability to enjoy casual meals and snacks there, has elevated the importance of the center island.

Speaking of storage, homebuyers are also adding priority to having a second refrigerator or freezer, either in the garage or perhaps an expanded utility room. A floor plan that offers this flexibility shows buyers that the home was thoughtfully designed.

The next item on the new home checklist is smart home automation. There are so many conveniences available—like a smart thermostat, video doorbell, security system, garage door opener, lights, and appliances. Wouldn’t it be great to move into a home that makes it easy to hook up your smart home technology? Kettler Forlines Homes includes Smart Home Plus with our new homes. Two Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, a Wi-Fi-enabled garage door opener, a Wi-Fi-enabled front door lock, and a video doorbell give you a head start on boosting your home’s “IQ”.

Having, using, and adding smart technology, however, sparks another need for homeowners. Living with several people who are using multiple devices puts an enormous strain on your home’s bandwidth. With streaming, gaming, and all the daily messaging, surfing, and communication that happens online, you’re probably seeing your network speed slow to a crawl. If you’ve also added smart home automation, you’re expecting far too much from your outdated network infrastructure.

We’ve added structured wiring to our new Kettler Forlines homes. These residences are pre-wired to accommodate more technology and the added bandwidth that comes with it. The package includes hard-wired ports, which enable a faster, more consistent signal. Working with our New Home Technology Specialist, homebuyers have every room of their home configured to their needs—with outlets where they need them.

If all of this time at home has you climbing the walls and ready to change, please look at The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing in Poolesville, MD, a sought after location. Choose one of the remaining homesites and the floor plan that fits your lifestyle—sized from 2,493 to more than 7,000 square feet. Use the interactive floor plan feature with each home design on our website so you can start envisioning your new home. Then talk to George Neill, our Community Sales Manager, to take the next step toward a home you’ll love for a long time.