At last month’s CandysDirt.com Staff Party, we gabbed with the noted architect about a mind-boggling virtual reality tour of Bentley Place (seriously, mind-boggling!) and discussed some of the trends in new downsizing properties. Ross, principal of Waal Architecture, is an accomplished creator with four decades of experience in the design, development, and construction of award-winning projects for private sector clients throughout the United States, Canada, Caribbean, North Africa, and the UAE.
We tapped into that brilliant mind of his to share the most sought-after features that downsizing homeowners are looking for in a smaller home:
1. Lock-and-Leave Living
Ross says part of the whole appeal of downsizing is maintenance-free, lock-and-leave living, where you can spend your summers up north and your winters in Texas without worrying about the home you’re leaving behind for weeks at a time. So, when you’re evaluating a new home for your empty nest years, think about services or amenities that come with a residence, such as maintenance-free exteriors and landscaping. You don’t want to have to worry about a yard back home when you’re miles and miles away.
2. Large Principal Rooms
Estate homes come with estate-sized furniture, so look for a home that has large, spacious living and dining areas. That’s something downsizers often overlook until they realize their grand dining table doesn’t fit their new space. Ross says he’s worked with several home buyers who were sold on Bentley Place for its spacious entertaining spaces, both indoors and outdoors, and dining rooms that are big enough to fit their dining room table.
3. Ample Secondary Bedrooms and Living Space
Just because a home is smaller doesn’t mean you should have to skimp on bedrooms. Ross says home buyers need ample secondary bedroom space to house family and guests who are sure to want to visit your new home. That means plenty of room for visiting adult children, grandkids, and frequent house guests who’ll appreciate the breathing room that secondary living rooms offer.
4. Quality Finishes and Fixtures
Ross says downsizing homeowners look for high-end, quality finishes and fixtures in their new homes, similar to the bespoke quality they’re accustomed to. That means no skimping on basic quality fixtures, countertops, showers, and cabinetry. And I’m sorry, I gotta say it. If I’m forking over a million for a downsize home, I’m not going to accept American Standard toilets in the bathroom.