A home is more than just a structure where people take up residency. Owning a home means freedom, financial independence, and security. For many, owning a home brings a feeling of success, knowledge that they've obtained their own bit of the American dream. And, as for a home — according to Dorothy as well as millions of homeowners — well, there's no place quite like it.
The advantages of today's new homes are without parallel. Breakthrough technology has brought safety and energy efficiency in homes to a new level, and for conveniences and amenities, it's hard to beat a new home.
Technology Brings Safety to the Forefront
Today's homes are safer, because new homes take advantage of breakthroughs in building science. For example, hardwired and interconnected smoke alarms bring a new level of fire safety to new homes. If one alarm goes off in the garage, they will all go off, giving your family ample time to get to safety. New fire-resistant construction materials such as better electrical wiring mean less chance of a dangerous electrical fire. Tempered glass, now found in many patio doors and windows, means less chance of an injury should one break.
New Homes: More Energy-Efficient Than Ever
It is easier than ever for home shoppers looking at a new home to get access to energy-efficient construction. Builders nationwide are embracing new green building techniques designed to help protect our environment while saving you money. They also have an ever-expanding array of products and materials to choose from that enables them to make a house more resource-efficient and water-thrifty. Many participate in programs like ENERGY STAR, promoting energy-efficient appliances, and WaterSense, promoting water efficiency. ENERGY STAR-rated windows keep heat in during the winter and out during hot summer months, saving you money on heating and cooling costs. High-tech insulation ensures consistent temperatures throughout a new home while using less energy.
As more and more consumers demand a "leaner" home, builders are responding by returning to age-old practices, like siting a home to take the best advantage of sunlight and shade. Recent innovations like solar shingles (not just solar roof panels), light-conserving windows, and insulation made from recycled materials are also changing the market.
New Homes Offer Home Buyers Their Choice of Lifestyles
Today's new homes offer more of what buyers want. Because of increased demands for larger socializing spaces in the home, larger kitchens are becoming more common. New homes also feature more bathrooms and more storage space. Consumers are seeking greater ceiling heights, walk-in showers with multiple heads, three-car garages, and outdoor entertainment spaces with fireplaces and grills. And builders are responding with new homes that provide these features.
So why do Americans like new homes? The answer lies in choice. People want to be able to personalize their home with their own tile, flooring, and appliance choices. In a new home, the consumer can select virtually everything down to the knobs on their kitchen cabinets. It's all part of the American dream. ■
Keith Grant is president of the Memphis Area Home Builders Association.