Posturing for Progress

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the latest ORIGINATION Or ig i nat ion s e r v ic i ng Generation Y's Home Ideal Under Microscope The NAHB took a look at what the generation who grew up with Gordon Gecko and Madonna want most in their homes. The M Report | 37 se c on da r y m a r k e t To meet this need, builders are now constructing homes with Energy Star-rated appliances; windows, doors, and insulation that help control the home's climate; and other modern components such as tankless water heaters and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that help save energy costs. Gen Y also seems to favor media and game rooms more than any other kind of specialty room. New homes today not only contain those spaces, but they also are outfitted with modern, state-of-the-art electronic and wiring components that can accommodate high-definition televisions, full-house sound systems, hard-wired fire and security alarms, and more. Beyond those features, NAHB noted that new homes today actually cost less to maintain than older homes. A study done by the group found that homes built before 1960 have average maintenance costs of $564 per year, while a home built after 2008 averages $241. "The time has never been better for young people to become homeowners, whether it be a new home or existing," Judson said. "There are outstanding opportunities in the current market, with near record low interest rates, competitive prices, and new homes being built that include open layouts, energy-efficient components, and other features that cater to young buyers." a na ly t ic s I n tandem with National Homeownership Month, in June, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) examined the features today's young homebuyers want most and how builders are adapting to those needs. "As the economy recovers and young people who had to live at home with their parents move forward with their lives and achieve their dreams of homeownership, homebuilders are delivering homes that cater to the floor plans, features, and affordability that this generation desires," said NAHB chairman Rick Judson, a homebuilder and developer from Charlotte, North Carolina. According to the association's 2012 consumer preference survey, more than 80 percent of Generation Y homebuyers (people born in 1977 or later) prefer a highly energy-efficient home over a lower-priced home without energy-efficient features, preferring to save instead on utility costs.

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