“Top 10” Trends

Fresh off the Fall 2012 Parade of Homes — I showed clients eight new homes in and near Edina today — here are the “Top 10” trends in new, upper bracket Twin Cities homes (at least in the eyes of yours truly).

A majority of the trends are already well-established in the marketplace, and will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog (#5. stainless steel appliances, #7. Great Room floor plans). 

Others reflect an intensifying of a “carryover” trend, e.g., the space alloted to #8. Mud Rooms seems to be growing while formal Dining Rooms contract.

Finally, a few observed trends (#1. Tray ceilings in Master Bedrooms, #2. Drain tile & sump pump systems) genuinely seem to have become ubiquitous, overnight, in new, upper bracket Twin Cities homes.  

Without further adieu, here’s this year’s list:

10.  Very nicely finished basements with high ceilings (some as high as 10′); multiple egress windows with positively huge window wells (they admit more light); and deluxe entertainment centers.

9.  Second floor Laundry Rooms.

8. Ever-more deluxe Mud Rooms, with customized storage (and lots of it!).

7. “Great Kitchen” floor plans, which merge the Kitchen and the Family Room.

6. BIG garages.  Monster cars like Humvee’s may be out of fashion, but big garages with lots of storage are still very much in.

5.  Stainless steel appliances.  The answer to, “what comes after stainless?” is . . . stainlessSee, “After Stainless, Now What?”; The Wall Street Journal (9/5/2012).

4. First-floor offices, typically tucked away from busier parts of the home near the front door — and often absorbing some of the space formerly taken up by formal Dining Rooms.  (Isn’t the front door a busy part of the home?  Nope — the entry into the Mud Room from the Garage is). 

3. “Anything but oak” hardwood floors –including hickory, walnut, and red oak stained to look like walnut.

2.  Basements with sump pumps and drain tile — even in homes perched on hilltops!

1.  Tray ceilings in Master Bedrooms.  Literally 8 out of 8 homes had these.

P.S.:  I doubt it’s going to catch on, but I did encounter one new (at least to me) acronym:  ‘F.R.O.G.’

According to the listing agent, it stands for “Finished Room Over Garage.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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