Jun 22, 2010

New Home Construction Catering to Women!?

Interesting article by Alyssa Abkowitz in the May 2010 issue of SmartMoney, called "Wanted: Single Women Home Buyers." Abkowitz discusses what new-home builders are doing these days to attract customers their way -- specifically female customers, who are often either the "deciders," or, increasingly, are buying solo.

Okay, so if you've got double X chromosomes, now's a good time to stop and test yourself: What are the most important home features to you? And what cool features do you wish homes had, but rarely seem to encounter?

Actually, some of the items that today's builders are rolling out "just for you" seem fairly predictable, like giant walk-in closets, enhanced home safety and security features, and attention to aesthetic details.

Some, as Abkowitz points out, seem like things that any reasonable person would want, such as kitchens that open into the family room, walk-in pantries, and drop-zones for groceries. (Yay for drop zones! In my house, they're called "chairs.")

And then there are the really granular, sometimes oddball features: wall-mounted gift-wrapping stations with retractable shelves; "serenity packages" that features walls padded with noise-muffling material and bathrooms with hidden storage right in the walls for reading materials and feminine hygiene products; and a special hairdryer-ready drawer with the plug included. Wow, things I never knew I wanted!

Come to think of it, having read too many Victorian novels as a kid, those hidden drawers sound really appealing. Some hidden bookshelves and passageways would be nice, too. And how about a dumbwaiter?