Homebuyers Willing to Sacrifice Home Square Footage to Gain Outdoor Space

Aug. 21, 2017

Fifty-six percent of homebuyers surveyed would be willing to sacrifice a larger house to gain a larger yard.

Outdoor living is becoming just as important as the indoors.

According to a consumer survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Taylor Morrison, a leading national homebuilder and developer, recent and prospective homebuyers are craving green space. More than half (56 percent) of homebuyers surveyed would be willing to sacrifice a larger house to obtain a bigger yard. 

Taylor Morrison Lighthouse and Echo communities in Orange County, Calif., incorporate outdoor living areas, multiple balconies and views from roof decks, when the home square footage is already maximized, providing valuable outdoor living space and bringing ocean views to customers in an affordable way.

The survey also found the most important exterior feature of a home is distance from neighboring homes. Both millennials (48 percent) and non-millennials (53 percent) believe this breathing room is key, beating other curb appeal elements such as siding, driveway styles, exterior paint color and roofing finishes.

"Demand for more elaborate exterior space continues to rise and blending indoor-outdoor living to address customer preferences is critical to our success," said Sheryl Palmer, Taylor Morrison chairman, president and chief executive officer. "At a time when land prices are escalating and local approvals can force smaller lot sizes, Taylor Morrison creatively maximizes limited areas—especially in urban locations—making the entire living experience that much more enjoyable."

Features such as outdoor living rooms, floor-to-ceiling retractable glass walls that open to the backyard, and matching tile flooring that extends from a home's interior to its exterior are helping to create a seamless flow in today's outdoor-oriented homes.   

Interest in more outdoor space is stronger among women than it is men, with roughly two in three women (62 percent) preferring less home square footage and larger yards, compared to a little more than half (51 percent) of men. Survey results suggest more yard is a consistent desire across parents and non-parents alike, as well as across generations.

Taylor Morrison shopper surveys also reveal an increasing desire for enjoying the backyard. When asked what home shoppers would spend an extra $10,000 to $15,000 on in their new homes, outdoor living items topped the list over features such as upgraded cabinets and kitchen islands.

Urban side setbacks (the space between buildings) are traditionally forgotten about, but at Taylor Morrison Treo community in Scottsdale, Ariz., this space is an efficient side-yard for entertaining and pets.

"Outdoor living is no longer an afterthought to a home's construction," said Charlie Enochs, Taylor Morrison area president for the central region. "In some of our largest markets such as Austin, Dallas andHouston, we just introduced nine new floor plan series, all of which have blurred the hard line between the inside and out to meet the blended indoor-outdoor living trend head-on."

In more urban communities like Scottsdale, Ariz., Taylor Morrison homes and condominiums maximize courtyard areas and side patios to create valuable outdoor living spaces. And, in Orange County, Calif., Taylor Morrison customers are responding well to homes with balconies and rooftop decks as a way to affordably enjoy ocean views in a perfect climate. 

The 2017 Taylor Morrison Consumer Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Taylor Morrison earlier this year. Wakefield Research surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults who have purchased a home in the last three years, or who are likely to purchase a new home in the next three years.


Topics: Building Green, Exteriors, Gardening & Landscaping, Home Design & Plans, Interior Design, Remodeling, Sustainable Communities


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