Open Floor Plans by Cobblestone Builders

Are you thinking of buying or selling a home this year? Unlike fads, which come and go quickly, trends are styles and influences that can last for ten years or more. These can affect the building and design industry as well as the tastes of home buyers. Here are five trends to pay attention to that make the most of your real estate transactions in 2018 and beyond.

What Home Buyers Want in 2018

Open Floor Plans

Open floor plans continue to be the most popular option requested by new home buyers. These plans offer flexibility and allow homeowners to use the space in a way that suits them, rather than fitting their lifestyle into individual rooms. If you plan to sell your home, consider knocking down a wall or two to make space feel more open. Check with a contractor or engineer first to be sure they are not structural or load-bearing walls. Today’s home buyers will find the house more attractive if they feel it’s been recently updated.


The first thing many home buyers look for in a new home is “smart home” technology. By using systems such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple Home, a homeowner can reduce energy consumption and increase security by using internet-controllable lights, thermostats, security cameras, and door locks. Young families – who are currently the largest segment of home buyers – are more attracted to homes with this capability. However, technology upgrades are only inviting if they’ve been made within the past five years. Technology becomes quickly outdated if installed too many years ago.

Artificial Intelligence

Another growing trend for 2018 (and related to smart home technology) is voice control systems and artificial intelligence in home design and home-building. These systems can be added to any home.  The controller can use Google, Apple Home, or Alexa and will be able to adjust lights, temperature, appliances, door locks, and more just by talking. This trend is highly sought-after by young buyers as well as seniors who may not be as able-bodied and need assistance in their homes.

Solar Energy

Like an open floor plan, this trend isn’t new, but solar energy is quickly gaining in popularity. As utility prices continue to increase, homes with solar power are very attractive to buyers. Although it can cost up to $25,000 to add solar panels, on average, most people find the investment well worth the price because of the decrease in their energy bills. Over time, solar panels pay for themselves.

Tiny House Movement

Many young, first time home buyers are looking to purchase tiny homes. This is a trend which can’t be ignored by the home building community. Living minimally and simply, these buyers would prefer to spend their money on experiences and travel, rather than on bricks and mortar. These tiny houses are anywhere from 150 to 600 square feet and can be built for $10,000 to $40,000.

Looking Ahead

By making a few changes to your current home, it’s possible to attract more buyers and create a faster sale. Some of the changes can be made quickly and easily; others may be a bit more costly and time-consuming. However, all of them will give a positive return on your investment. These trends will be receiving a lot of attention from both buyers and sellers in 2018. By keeping them in mind, your next home can be more up-to-date.

Cobblestone Builders features a television series called “Talkin’ Construction” which airs on the Milwaukee Home Builder Television Show, Builders Showcase.