Recently a friend called my walk in pantry my Costco closet. Then the other day I had a buyer mention that they needed shelving in the garage or a walk in pantry to use as their Costco Closet. How true!
This isn’t the first time a new “need” is uncovered as builders begin to catch up to it. Remember washer and dryers in closets? Now everyone wants huge laundry rooms with folding tables, hanging rods to drip dry, and cabinets for washing and drying products. The other thing that dawned on me was how uniquely American and probably middle to upper class this “need” is.
Years ago a friend from Bulgaria was at my home and laughed at the size of the shampoo containers I had in the guest room, along with a cabinet stocked with toilet paper. She explained that they only made enough money to buy what they need for the week and their homes were too small to store large quantities.
Then recently a friend from Singapore was staying with me and she was lamenting about missing the “Big Box” stores. She said when she moved to Singapore she had to take 2 years supply of paper towels as she was warned that they weren’t the same over there.
I know I can live differently and have when I was remodeling and basically liveing in a two bedroom apartment. I sometimes think things were easier with less then. As it seems something needs maintained everyday as a homeowner. But for now my pantry will be filled with huge boxes of Costco items for snacks etc.
Interestingly enough, you would think I’d face different requests with “empty nesters” as the term applies. You’d think they’d have less stuff – NEVER! They actually have decades of stuff they don’t want to get rid of. Thus they need to have a master bedroom on the main, and huge basements to store the stuff. They aren’t willing to get rid of their huge dining room furniture as they hope the family will come back at least once a year for the big dinner and they need the room for that one day! They don’t want a tiny dining room, because if they are going to use it, it needs to fit EVERYONE!
I think the 1960’s ranch plan is what is still desired by many. I realize the larger foundation is more costly, but empty nesters want everything on the main and are only willing to stick about 2 bedrooms ups.
A lot of current buyers think that floor plans that builders built in 2005 aren’t really working today, forget the Jack and Jill baths, every kid needs his/her own bath! I grew up sharing one bath with three brothers, but today heaven forbid a boy and girl share a bath.
Perhaps builders need to pick a specific demographic and design for that. There isn’t a one size fits all anymore. I always tell sellers that there is a buyer out there just like them and that’s the person that will buy their house – so true. Sometimes that pool of people is narrow and sometimes it’s wide. You’ll get a better price and sell quicker if the pool of people is wide, but you’ll always be able to sell at some price.