It’s a little like fashion and men’s ties; the same really wide or narrow ones that you’re laughing at today, you can count on will be back in style tomorrow. Changes happen – all of the time – and believe it or not, an analogy can be made between men’s ties and the Lake Geneva real estate market.
The Lake Geneva Real Estate Market and the Special Function Room
Talk about changes. After the financial crisis of 2007, the size of the average home in American began to shrink. A major casualty was the specialty room, or what could be considered ‘special function rooms’.
What is a Special Function Room?
Wormy Maple Mud Room by www.BriceFurniture.com at Houzz.com
A special function room is a room that is used for non-traditional purposes. In Lake Geneva real estate listings, you see them listed as gyms, saunas, home offices, laundry rooms, home theaters, au-pair suites, ‘man-caves’, and outdoor living rooms, to name a few.
They’re considered ‘extra’ rooms; desirable – but not necessary – rooms.
Special Function Rooms and a Healthy Real Estate Market
Once we began seeing a reduction in square footage, we started to notice that buyers were willing to do without the additional living space that these rooms can bring.
But today – as the real estate market begins to recover and purse strings begin to loosen – home size once again is on the rise.
New home builders report seeing an increase in the demand for more square footage – year-over-year – from 10 to 13 percent, and listings are also indicating an increase in a demand for specialty rooms.
Mud Rooms are Making a Comeback
The most recent American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends survey indicates that mud rooms and outdoor living areas are making a comeback, too, with 45 percent of all residential architects surveyed noting an increased interest in homes with a traditional mud room (and only 1 percent noting a decline in interest).
More Au Pair and In-Law Suites
Another interesting trend we’re seeing in Lake Geneva listings is homes that have au-pair rooms and/or in-law suites. This increase is most-likely due to the fact that many aging relatives are now living with family members, and many dual-income families often want live-in child care or elder care services.
A Decline in Home Offices
Darryl Carter, Decorator; elleDecor.com
Years prior, the AIA (American Institute of Architects) rated the home office as the number one, most requested special function room. However recently, home offices have become less desirable, ranking third in priority and taking a backseat to other special function rooms.
According to this survey, today we are seeing a small 22 percent of all home buyers interested in having a specialty room as a dedicated home office.
Whether this change is reflected in Lake Geneva listings or not remains to be seen, but if this is the case, I suspect that the trend is due to improved technology and the portability of laptops and tablets that simply no longer require a dedicated room to carry on business within a home.
A Higher Demand for Special Function Rooms in Lake Geneva
Luxury Home Gyms by Crown Pavilions
With the economy showing strength and house prices expected to rise again this year, we’re probably just beginning to see a resurgence of listings in Lake Geneva that feature additional specialty rooms.
Whether modern or traditional, specialty rooms can provide today’s Lake Geneva homeowner with the convenience and functionality they need to make living lakeside just a little more luxurious and productive, too. – Michalene