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Greenville Business Magazine

What’s Trending in High-end Home Construction and Design

By Chris Calloway

With the Greenville Area Development Corporation recently announcing 2019 as “one of Greenville County’s strongest and most rewarding years ever in terms of economic development,” it’s no secret that Greenville and the Upstate region are in high demand among prospective homebuyers. And while many of the central neighborhoods are booming, the influx of newcomers to the region and growth of surrounding areas has prospects considering new options. From the mountains to the lakes, there are plenty of opportunities to consider a new build, especially as builders seek to offer a range of new options to meet consumer needs. Here are three trends prospective buyers are seeking as we move into 2020. 

Customizing offerings for various demographic groups.

As far as the high-end second home market is concerned, Baby Boomers are driving the most sales, but they’re looking for different options than previous generations. They want to be close to amenities that allow them to stay active and engaged with neighbors. Some are looking for custom forever homes that will one day be passed down, and others are looking for second homes that are more lock-and-leave type products. Offering high-end home models that are move-in ready is meeting the needs of the growing lock-and-leave market. 

On the other end of the spectrum, builders are paying more attention to millennials as they continue to earn more. They tend to be interested in smaller footprints and focused on the indoor/outdoor experience of the home, as well as proximity to amenities that support their lifestyle. In many cases, builders are clustering homes around more modern amenities to attract this demographic – clubhouses with cleaner lines; small, contemporary amphitheaters; and even smaller amenities such as pavilions with firepits for social gatherings. For millennials, the home needs to become a true extension of the surrounding amenities and supportive of their ideal lifestyle.

Modern Design – Letting the home be a canvas for the prospective buyer.

Matching a new home to its buyer has become more critical than ever. In our business, we’re still seeing some of the more traditional mountain homes with heavy accents and dark color palettes. But more and more, new buyers are wanting a modern look – interiors are lighter and brighter with more windows and a central focus on accessing outdoor living as well as a good mix of traditional exteriors accompanied by more transitional elevations. The kitchen continues to be the focal point of the main level, typically flowing into an open concept living area and outdoor patio. Thinking of the home as a blank canvas is the driving factor in many new builds, allowing for increased customization by the buyer.

Delivering a new lifestyle clustered around amenities. 

Regardless of the demographic, design preference or type of home, many buyers are interested in the social aspects their new neighborhood can provide. Clustered communities around centralized amenities are more popular than ever before with amenity activation taking on many different meanings. This can range from a group of homes near a new state-of-the-art clubhouse to homes built around a putting green or a common park area. Regardless of the level of amenities, homeowners want to be able to come out of their home, be social and active, put on events, and build community with their neighbors.

It’s become evident that the days of selling “just a home” are over. The need for a range of options, some degree of customization, and proximity to amenities have all made the home buying process more personal, yet complex. Finding a builder who is willing to deliver on these trends is critical not only to the close of the sale, but to long-term happiness of the prospective buyer.

Chris Calloway serves as Vice President of Operations for The Cliffs, where he oversees development and operations across all seven communities. He and his team recently launched Cliffs Builders, an internal homebuilding program modeled after successful homebuilding programs at Kiawah Island.