There's no doubt that in the U.S. McMansions are still hot properties, but the housing market is starting to shift. For the last few years, the demand for smaller and more affordable homes has been rising, and housing experts predict it will snowball over the next decade. However, the tiny abodes we may be living in down the road won't just be smaller than today’s traditional houses. They will also be more functional and way easier on your wallet and the planet. How so, you ask? We found three trends that will shape the small home of the not-too-distant future.
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Small and Affordable Prefab Homes will be Hot Properties
Why? Prefabricated homes are typically cheaper and quicker to build than their traditional counterparts. You can learn more here.
What’s happening now? Premium prefab builders are disrupting the traditional home building industry by offering consumers affordable architect-designed homes that are energy efficient and resilient to . Blu Homes, a leader in precision built prefabricated abodes is an example. New building technologies have allowed them to drop their home prices for 2015 by up to $140,000 without skimping on features that boost energy savings and durability. You can learn more here.
How will this impact the small home of the not-so-distant future? Skyrocketing utility bills and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events will make super-sized homes and many older abodes unattractive to prospective buyers since they'll be too expensive to maintain or retrofit. This may boost the demand for small premium prefabs since they'll be cheaper, more resilient to extreme weather and less expensive to heat and cool.
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Small Apartments Will Feel Like Spacious Houses
How? Using moving walls, transforming furniture and pulley systems typically reserved for theatrical use (keep reading for more details.)
What’s happening now? Since real estate is at a premium in major cities, consumers are looking to get the most out of their small spaces with double-duty furniture.
How will this impact the small home of the not-so-distant future? Condos and apartments will include space maximizing built-ins so a single room can transform into a living room, dining room, bedroom or kitchen. Yo! Home is an example. The prototype dwelling was exhibited two years ago. It incorporated mechanics typically used in high-end theatrical productions to reveal entire rooms hidden in the floor and ceiling. The photo on the left shows how this single room apartment transforms from a living room to a bedroom. The first Yo! Home apartment complex will be built across the pond. You can learn more here.
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Appliances Will Have Surprising Space Saving Features
Why? Household appliances make our lives more convenient, but they're also bulky space hogs.
What’s happening now? The Internet of Things is changing how we live at home. Sixty-nine percent of consumers plan to purchase a smart home device or appliance within the next five years according to a recent survey.
How will this impact the small home of the not-so-distant future? Household appliances will continue to evolve according to General Electric. The company recently released their vision of the future titled, Home of 2025. The appliances giant predicts that appliances will not only be more compact, they will also have double duty features that free up space. An example, kitchen sinks will double as dishwashers. My favorite GE prediction? Clothes washers will double as closets. After they clean and dry clothing they'll compress them into pellets and dispense when needed. You can learn more here.