Beazer Homes USA Inc., one of the nation’s top 10 home builders, has announced a national sales event Feb. 6 through 8 that offers qualified buyers special incentives on new homes and additional money-saving, eco-friendly features aimed at reducing the cost of monthly energy bills.
During its SMARTDESIGN Eco Sales Event, the national home builder is offering values in all its neighborhoods across the country. As an added bonus, for every $10,000 spent on a new home, the buyer will receive an additional $100 to use on eco-friendly and other optional features available through Beazer’s design studio, according to Kathi James, senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
Home buyers are taking a closer look at the features that impact a home’s operating cost, she said.
“With interest rates at their lowest point in decades and great deals to be had just about everywhere, home buyers are putting more focus on keeping their home energy and maintenance costs at bay,” James said. “Next to the mortgage, the power bill can be the second most expensive cost in owning a home. Energy-saving benefits, like improved heating and cooling systems and better insulation techniques in new construction offer greater efficiency than what is found in many older homes.”
As part of Beazer’s SMARTDESIGN initiative, the builder includes up to 10 eco-friendly features in every home it builds, including CFL bulbs, programmable thermostats and EnergyStar dishwashers. Other standard features include water-saving faucets and showerheads that cut back on water usage, as well as air filters and low-VOC paints and carpet that contribute to healthier indoor air quality, according to James.
Beazer Homes is one of the country’s largest single-family home builders with operations in 17 states. For more information on incentives available by market, visit Beazer.com.Private retreats, smart storage and energy efficiency are in, along with smaller homes, an affordable price tag and healthy green living spaces.
These are some of the trends in new home construction for 2009 from builders who say the financial climate, a growing eco-consciousness and the tendency toward cocooning has led to a rethinking of home design, with more attention to size, economy and ecology.
“Buyers right now are focused on an affordable monthly mortgage payment, low utility bills and a home that fits their lifestyle while maximizing every square foot,” said Kent Goff, vice president of planning and design for Beazer Homes. “They want all the rooms and every bit of space in the home to work for them — and without sacrificing luxury.”
The “less is more” idea has some builders scaling down the size of their homes. Beazer, for instance, found that by eliminating walls and underused hallways, it is able to use every square foot in the home more efficiently and “design homes that may be smaller, but feel just as big,” Goff said.
Many think 2009 will go down as the year green goes mainstream and homebuyers become much more savvy about the need for eco-friendly options. A recent study of 2,300 homeowners by the National Association of Home Builders found that more than 50 percent of those surveyed said they would pay $5,000 to $11,000 more upfront for a new house if they could save on their utility bills.
Beazer includes energy- and water-savings features as standard in every new home. Programmable thermostats, energy-saving appliances, compact fluorescent light bulbs, better insulation and advanced HVAC systems help keep utility bills down — with estimated savings of at least $500 annually — and are part of Beazer’s ongoing commitment to move toward more sustainable building practices, Goff said.
Other trends include:
Making every inch count translates to more room for smarter storage, which is fast becoming a necessity in nearly every room in the house. Must-haves include closet organization systems, home entertainment centers and laundry rooms with built-in storage that keep soaps, detergent and other cleaning supplies behind closed doors.
Mothers with small children increasingly are more concerned with air quality. Builders are using paint that is low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as improved air filters that trap harmful allergens.
As baby boomers age, manufacturers are developing new products and are rethinking others to help people better navigate their home life. Shelves that slide out for easy reach and dishwashers that can be loaded from a wheelchair help make life simpler without skimping on style.
A hard-working and great looking kitchen remains the most important area of the home. An abundance of rich cabinetry, spacious center islands and sleek appliances that look built-in ensure the busiest room in the home efficiently accommodates a bevy of activity.
TV programs for foodies have elevated the kitchen to chef status and now animal-subject channels are doing the same for pet owners. Enter the pet care center where you can wash and pamper your pooch in the privacy of your own home — without making a mess of the bath.
Shades of gray
The search for a comfortable and tranquil home environment and a resurgence of softer pastels from the mid-century modern era of the ‘50s and ‘60s is leading a trend toward multiple shades of gray on walls and soft pink — everywhere. Also, look for vibrant dabs of color on kitchen backsplashes and baths.
The trend toward living outdoors continues to flourish. Outdoor kitchens with everything from elaborate grills, refrigerators, televisions and wine coolers are sought-after items for both single-family homebuyers and those who prefer a condo or town house.