Home Builders Find Bigger Still Better
Downsizing has its fans, for sure, but new home construction and sales of existing homes in Mecklenburg County say that the big house hasn’t lost favor.
While condominiums and apartments are booming in some areas of Charlotte, particularly neighborhoods popular with young adults, builders are putting up larger houses in areas from Plaza-Midwood to Ballantyne.
New-construction homes in Mecklenburg County are getting larger, according to a new study from UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute.
The percentage of total housing stock with four or more bedrooms increased between 2000 and 2013, and the percentage of one-bedroom homes decreased, according to the American Community Survey one-year estimates released last month.
The report also showed that in neighboring Union County, the percentage of homes with four or more bedrooms almost doubled.
And five-bedroom Mecklenburg County homes increased from 8,867 to 20,789, or from 3 percent to 5.10 percent of total occupied units.
Charlotte-area real estate agents are finding buyers of new and existing homes want more.
Lexie Longstreet, of Savvy & Co. Real Estate says the demands have grown.
“People want more room,” she says, “and they want more rooms.”
In the past, a family might have been satisfied with three bedrooms and one and a half or two bathrooms. Now, everyone needs a room, maybe his or her own bath, a home office and a bonus room, she says.
So, across the city and county, newer homes are larger, and in neighborhoods with older, smaller homes, many people buy for the lot and tear the house down. The replacement will almost always be larger.
Longstreet says she sees the most popular size range being about 2,800-3,500 square feet.
Even on a smaller lot size, people will give up yard space for the larger home. “When those two wants bump into each other,” she says, “they’ll take the larger home, even if it doesn’t leave much lot around it.”
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