Homes

Millennials and boomers drive design in Parade of Homes

Information provided by the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City

Gary Kerns of Gary Kerns Homebuilders says millennials are discerning buyers and willing to pay for what they want. This split-level Parade of Homes entry located at 17175 NW 132nd Circle in Platte City's Copper Ridge subdivision is priced in the mid $200s.
Gary Kerns of Gary Kerns Homebuilders says millennials are discerning buyers and willing to pay for what they want. This split-level Parade of Homes entry located at 17175 NW 132nd Circle in Platte City's Copper Ridge subdivision is priced in the mid $200s.

Spring has sprung and both homebuilders and prospective buyers are raving about this year’s Spring Parade of Homes, which began April 23 and runs until May 8. Presented by the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City, the Parade features 347 homes located throughout the metro area on both sides of the State Line.

This year’s design trends are influenced by two strong demographics, according to metro area homebuilders—younger millennials in their 20’s and early 30’s who’ve been saving up and are finally ready for home ownership, as well as baby boomers who are ready to right-size and enjoy their grandkids in a low-maintenance setting.

Gary Kerns of Gary Kerns Homebuilders in Platte City is currently building two custom homes for millennials, and says the younger generation is waiting to buy their first home so they can afford to get exactly what they want.

“They are designing their homes with the thought of how to get the most out of it. They use every space possible. (Millennials) look for ways to utilize their patios and decks for extending living space, and they design the space with not only everyday living and entertainment in mind, but also longevity,” Kerns said.

Millennials are shrewd negotiators and more financially savvy than you might expect, Kerns said. However, they are willing to pay extra for things they consider important, such as a bar for entertaining, as well as natural materials and accents like premium stone, quartz surfaces and barn wood.

“They know exactly what they want and they will figure a way to get it. Before they make financial decisions they are pushing the numbers and making sure they are getting the most for their money,” Kerns added.

Greg Prieb II, president of Prieb Homes, said growth in the Millennial homebuyer market has changed the game when it comes to standard features, which now include covered patios, exterior gas lines for grills, fire pits, heaters and fireplaces, and additional access to technology, such as USB ports built into outlets.

“It is fun and challenging to figure out a way to build a buyer’s concept, but in a completely different context or application in a way it flows well,” Prieb said. “Trim packages with box beams and paneled siding have also been an attraction Millennials have been gravitating towards.”

Prieb, who has 13 homes listed in the Spring Parade, noted that dining rooms, jetted tubs and large fireplaces are just a few items the Millennial generation seems to not desire as heavily as in years past, although those features hold value for many boomer buyers.

While the millennial market is grabbing headlines, baby boomers are creating a growing market of their own. With grandkids in mind, boomers are rightsizing from their family homes into well-appointed and maintenance-provided patio homes, cottages and even townhomes.

John Jamison, president of Spring Hill, Kan.-based First Choice Custom Homes, is presenting two reverse 1-1/2-story, four-bedroom homes in the 2016 Spring Parade of Homes--one in Stone Bridge Park in Olathe and the other in Northridge at Piper Estates in Kansas City, Kan.

“Features that we’re seeing from boomers include severe weather rooms and concrete storage rooms built beneath front porches for storage and hardened security,” Jamison said. “On the design side, older homebuyers are sticking with warm, earth tones, dark wooden accents and exposed beams.”

Although millennials tend to prefer white and gray walls, while boomers favor warm woods and color schemes, there are some interior design trends that appear to carry across the generations.

Unmatched elements, such as white cabinets complemented by a dark kitchen island, is one example of the concept, which is really about asymmetrical balance.

Buyers will find the unmatched trend in everything from contrasting patterns and colors in printed and patterned fabrics for items like sofas, chair cushions, draperies, throw pillows and bedding.

When it comes to lighting, this contrasted balance is reflected in the choice of classic metal lamps, which may share the same living space with painted lamps with fabric shades. Commingling formal and casual furniture is another popular look.

Prospective buyers of all ages can check out the latest design and lifestyle trends at the 2016 Parade of Homes, which runs through May 8.

Spring Parade of Homes

Presented by the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City

When: Now through May 8

Admission: Free

Hours: Open daily 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Information: Pick up your Parade Guide at the Home Builders Association (I-435 and Holmes Rd.) or at any of the 347 Parade homes in the metro area.

Web: Search online at kcparadeofhomes.com

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