In a tenuous economy and an atmosphere of rising interest rates, purchasers – especially first time home buyers – are hedging their bets.
Over the past ten years, they witnessed their family, friends and associates lose their homes to foreclosure, or observed them having to sell these properties for less than their underlying mortgages. Today, millennial first time-buyers, who have been reluctant to become home owners, have finally crawled out of the woodwork and are ready to step up to the plate, but these buyers want to insure against a similar scenario at all costs.
As a result, these careful shoppers have figured out a way to limit the risks of home ownership. Consequently, the most sought-after single family homes are presently those with extra square footage in the form of a “connected but separate” extra unit ranging in size between 500 and 1000 square feet with a door connecting it to the main home, as well as a separate doorway to the exterior of the residence.
By having an indoor connection within the house, the so-called “annex” is available to be used as a home office, guest suite, or extra bedroom for the occasional “visiting child” from a former marriage. When not in use by family members, it can be sealed off and rented out either as a year-round rental or as an Airbnb type seasonal rental unit, generating a source of additional revenue.
The built-in flexibility of this unit, which in prior years was referred to as the “mother-in-law apartment”, can also accommodate elderly parents who are no longer able or no longer find it desirable to live in their own home. In some instances, the live-in parents are able to contribute financially to the running costs of the home. They often also provide built-in babysitting services and homework helpers, a very useful service especially when both parents are working full time.
Likewise, college graduate children who are casting about for their dream profession, but remain jobless, can also bunk in and use the space for what is hopefully a specific pre-determined period of time, until they become independent. It’s a win/win situation, since the unit can be locked off when not needed or rented, and the utilities shut off, further reducing maintenance costs.
Furthermore, a home of this type can adapt to the needs of the owner over decades, obviating the need to move as the needs of a family change.
Hey developers, when are you going to get the message and start creating this type of popular home! Forget the fancy amenities and play to the up-to-date requirements of your buyers!