Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Kiss These 10 Once-Popular Home Features Goodbye - I disagree with the Market Watch List

Kiss These 10 Once-Popular Home Features Goodbye - I disagree with the Market Watch List

I saw this article from Market Watch over the weekend, and I was just dumbfounded by it. In today's market, I don't see how something so market specific and so general could be published to say it's a national trend.

kiss home features good bye - market watchThis Market Watch article is called "Kiss These 10 Once-Popular Home Features Goodbye". I had to laugh when reading this list.

  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • Outdoor Fireplaces
  • Sunrooms
  • 2-story Family rooms
  • Media Rooms
  • 2-story foyer
  • Master Planned developments
  • Luxury Master Bathrooms
  • Formal Living Rooms
  • Whirlpool Tubs

If you're in the Austin TX market, or Dallas or Houston or San Antonio or other popular Texas towns, you probably agree with me that this list is completely wrong.  Do I agree with anything on the list? Yes, there are two things I agree with. I agree that people don't care for Formal Living rooms anymore. They're a waste of space and are being switched out for a downstairs, enclosed study. I also agree that Whirlpool tubs are not as popular anymore. With the added maintenance for them, and people's busy lifestyles, they don't take as many baths anymore, and who has time to sit in there for that long to enjoy bubbles?

However, everything else on the list is extremely popular for buyers, and especially relocating buyers. When buyers are relocating, they're coming here from other markets, so how are these things not popular in other markets to where they have to have them here?

In many floorplans, not all, in order to make room for a Gameroom or Media room upstairs, the 2-story family room ceiling is lowered and the Gameroom or Media Room is above it. If Media Rooms were going away, the 2-story ceiling would come back even more. Again, this might be market specific, but for the most part, the exterior facades of houses have gotten taller with taller roof lines and pitches. To keep the look that people like, you aren't going to build a lower ceiling and put in a 10 foot attic. That's wasted space, and we like to use every inch of space around here.

Does your market agree with this list?  Where are you?

**Are You Packed Yet?**

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, CedarPark, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

For real time Austin TX listings,click here.

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Kiss These 10 Once-Popular Home Features Goodbye - I disagree with the Market Watch List * was first published on


Comment balloon 71 commentsDonna Harris • February 20 2012 03:28PM


I have to wonder about their sources.  I agree with the last 2 as you do.  We don't typically have "sunrooms" in Colorado, so I can't really comment on that feature.  I would say that outdoor living spaces are still very popular, as are media rooms.  Interesting article.

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Agent (HomeSmart Realty Group) about 7 years ago

Hi Donna - I agree with you, but the two that I would say are on point in the article are the formal living room and the sunroom.  We live an informal lifestyle in Califonria and we like an open floor plan rather than separate closed off living spaces.

Because we live outdoors so much in our area, a sunroom that was so popular about 10-15 years ago (the kind that is not really a real room but more of a glassed in patio stuck on the back of a house) is really unnecessary.  Also, since so many of them are now old and tending toward shabby, my buyers always want to tear them down.  I still hear oohs and aahs at nicely done whirlpool tubs.  So I guess the list should be qualified to say that what is hot and cold depends on the area of the country.

Posted by Susan Neal, Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker (RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks) about 7 years ago

Donna ~ When I come across these "Trends" I often think to myself, "yeah, maybe where they're at". It's like the housing market itself, each area grows, changes or fluctuates in that local market... The outdoor Fireplaces are actually still desired in Pagosa. On the other hand, our outdoor kitchen(s) up here in the Mountains are referred to as Barbeque Grills. ;) LOL

Posted by Jon Eliason (EXIT Realty Advantage Pagosa, Pagosa Springs, Colorado) about 7 years ago

Interesting forecast but that does seem off the mark as newly constructed homes in my market have some of these features.  Are we out of style and don't even know it?

Posted by Francine Viola, REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs (Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA) about 7 years ago

You're right - features such as these are very much area specific.  We still see buyers who like sunrooms, but media rooms and 2-story foyers are not popular.

Posted by Chris Lewis, I want to SELL your home, not LIST it! (Gracious Living Realty) about 7 years ago

I don't agree with the list either... but I am in the Friendswood area just 3 hours from much can the market change in three hours?

Posted by Sussie Sutton, UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers. (UTR Texas Realtors) about 7 years ago

Donna - I'll agree with your two items (whirlpool tub & formal living room) and one of my own.  The 2 story foyer will not go away, mainly because our Floor Area Ratio calculations), but I've been seeing fewer of them with new construction in the past year or so.

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) about 7 years ago

Well one on the list, the formal living room I do see in decline, but I agree most on the list will stay for quite some time Donna. In Dallas as you know, Master Planned Developments is all they ever seem to do around here. Even on the small scale.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 7 years ago

I see fewer formal living rooms and more "great" rooms, but the outdoor kitchen and fireplace? No way

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) about 7 years ago

I thought the list was strange when I saw it.  I have people saying how much they love the open feel you get from 2 story foyers and/or family rooms.  

Posted by Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh, A doctor who makes house calls. (Century 21 New Millennium) about 7 years ago

Donna- I do wonder where they get their information.  I can see people not wanting formal dining rooms or whirlpool tubs but I think people still want to enjoy their homes with outdoor kitchens and fireplaces.  Not sure about the media rooms. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 7 years ago

Well, Donna, my husband actual designs master planned communities, so I HOPE those aren't going away... although right now, he is busier than he has time for, so I don't think they will be!  2 story foyers I think will probably stay put.  As for formal living rooms, among my buyers, it's split about 50/50 for and against.  

Who comes up with these lists anyway? ;)

Posted by Jennifer Prestwich, Madison & Co Properties (Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster) about 7 years ago

The two-story foyer has never been popular here.  I do agree that all the rest seem to still be great sellling points.  I know that each area have their own likes and dislikes.

Posted by Kay Van Kampen, Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate (RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX) about 7 years ago

Very interesting Donna...sunrooms are very popular in the Northeast...the rest will vary..formal living rooms have been greatly downsized and the great room off the kitchen or partially integrated with it are big.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 7 years ago

I think it's interesting how floor plans and home amenities have changed and evolved as lifestyles and cultures change.  Changes in American family life are reflected in the evolution of floorplan preferences.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) about 7 years ago

Wow, Donna, I remember reading a newspaper article 6-7 years ago and they said that 'stainless steel appliances are out of style.' In our market, people like living rooms if they can make them a study - otherwise, no. But people who haven't had a whirlpool tub still want one. A Sun Room - Florida Room - I personally don't like them, but many buyers do. One of the hottest houses we have had on the market in the last year has both a summer kitchen and outdoor fireplace and buyes LOVE it! This listmaker is out of touch, methinks.


Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) about 7 years ago

The price of heating and cooling in the mid-atlantic make the two story family rooms less attractive, but everyone still thinks they are pretty.   All you have to do to see what is hot and what is not is look at the reputable new home builders.

Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 7 years ago


I wonder what price range they are talking about. Certainly, those are sought after features in luxury homes.


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) about 7 years ago

who  wants a outside anything am I being punked, an outside fireplace, outside kitchen what about an  outhouse

Posted by Charles Stallions, 800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services ) about 7 years ago

Gosh everyone loves 2 story family rooms, it makes a house so open. Here in Illinois buyers are still not ready to give up the formal living rooms. What they want more and more is more bathrooms. Sunrooms  are not important, especially with our winter weather. Just goes to show it is different in each area.

Posted by Corinne Guest, Barrington Lifestyles (Barrington Realty Company) about 7 years ago

With energy costs sky high in the north east things like two story family rooms are definitely not in style. Heat travels upwards - and with some people having heating bills for fairly modest homes running $800 a month, that's a high price to pay for an "open feeling".   Outdoor space is also less coveted around here.  But I could well imagine in Texas that these arguments would be turned on their heads. 

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) about 7 years ago

I totally agree with you about what is in and what's not. In fact, I think media rooms are just getting to be almost common place, while I barely saw them five years ago. Same with two story family rooms and entries. No one seems to be building without those.


Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) about 7 years ago

In suburban Maryland, the formal living room has been "out" for a long time, and Whirlpool tubs never really "arrived" - I don't see the demise of anything else on that list any time soon, although I think the outdoor kitchen and fireplace are more common in areas with a longer outdoor living season than we usually have here. 

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 7 years ago

In Maryland an outside kitchen would be a tough sell- not sure it was ever a hot item. Formal living rooms become play rooms.

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) about 7 years ago


Each market and niche will adjust individually.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig 

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) about 7 years ago
I knew whirlpools were out...they use too much water and heat :). Most clients I have had are using living rooms for offices so they can take them or leave them...I guess it's the same for all features, but I don't see them as being on their way out yet
Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) about 7 years ago

I think just about everyone the living room is gone.. but some of the other items have to do with what part of the country you live in.  Looks like stainless may be on the way out too!

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 7 years ago

Formal living rooms,  that was my thought exactly.  Everyone wants the open floor plans and for the space to be transitional and malfunctional.

Posted by Greg Gillespie, CRS / Broker Owner (GumTree Realty / Genesis Realty Services,Inc) about 7 years ago

Congrats on the feature! I would have to say whirlpool tubs and more functionality with more open floor plans.  But really, what is Market Watch Thanks for sharing and have a great week.

Posted by Laurie Clark CRB Angel Realty LLC Your Monument Realtor 719-502-6572, Angel Realty, LLC (CRB-CCSS-ASD-HBS-RSD-Denver Short Sale Agents) about 7 years ago


It is an interest comment on our lives that these once necessary rooms are no longer necessary.  In my city, with its many Victorian and Craftsmen homes which had formal living and dining rooms, these rooms are being changed.  Some still adhere to the original floor plan, though.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) about 7 years ago

Donna, I think they just want to confuse the buyers and dishearten sellers who have these features in their

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) about 7 years ago

Well excccuussee mee!

That list does not apply here, all the ladies and I do need the Jacuzzi!

Posted by Pete Xavier, Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide (Investments to Luxury) about 7 years ago


Well I certainly have to agree, and many buyers and sellers I know would too, at least here in Southern California. Outdoor living is what it is all about. I can see the 2-story family rooms leaving, in fact you don't see them in any of the new home construction, and quite frankly you don't see them all that much at all out here to begin with.

Formal livings have definitely become less important and more people want that large combo kitchen and family. And even formal dining rooms seem less important in some new homes.

You have to wonder who came up with this stuff and on what basis? And they are treating it as a national trend.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 7 years ago

Here in Northern Nevada the sunrooms are not popular at all. I can't say I have not seen many outdoor fireplaces but fire pits are semi popular. There are very few outdoor kitchens. With houses going smaller  again and more energy efficient I can see many of the other items not being included in peoples wants for a home.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) about 7 years ago

The only thing I agree with is the formal living room -- all of the others are a big surprise!

Posted by Kerry Lucasse, Your Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant (eXp Realty - Nest Atlanta Team) about 7 years ago

I agree on formal living rooms. Buyers are not concerned with them, some say they are wasted space. We don't really have sunrooms in California. All we have to do is walk outside and there's the sun. LOL -- Media rooms are still popular, and nice use of backyard space such as outdoor kitchens and fireplaces or firepits are seen as good features.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) about 7 years ago

I agree, really irresponsible article! The open floor plans are defenitely nation wide, but not much else. A sunroom here in Maine is desirable, but when I lived in California that made no sense. Also I love jacuzzi tubs and you can get them in any style, so that was dumb too!


Posted by Vanessa Helmick, Interior Designer (Fiore Interiors) about 7 years ago

Donna, thanks for voicing your opinion.  I was worried for a minute, because personally, I like most of what was on that list. :o)

Posted by Ron Cooks, Texas Real Estate, Ft Hood/Killeen Homes for Sale (The Real Estate Marketplace) about 7 years ago

Hi Donna,

I didn't see this article, but it's pretty far off for buyers I service in metro Atlanta.  I have just contracted on a new construction home where the buyers will have most of these items in their home - no outdoor kitchen, no outdoor fireplace, and no whirlpool tub.  Around the corner from this property, Lennar is building homes with all of these items except outdoor kitchens.

And I agree with Ron - I like most of the items on the list personally.  Best of success to you this year!

Posted by Jordon Wheeler, J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service (The Jordon Wheeler Group) about 7 years ago

Builders will be making smaller and more efficient homes here in Arizona to adjust to the market at this time until things get better.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) about 7 years ago

Hi Donna--what an interesting article.  They must have picked a random feature from each area of the country.  The funny thing is almost none of those items were ever popular here, except for Master Planned Developments. 

Posted by Janet Jones, Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii (Just Your Style Interiors, LLC) about 7 years ago

I'm from NY and overall tend to agree w/ you esp since this will vary by geography.  The last 2 for sure are out here and given the cold weather, I don't think outdoor kitchens or fireplaces were ever big here and they are not popular (movable grills that can come in for the winter are).  Now, given the high cost of heating, 2 story areas are trending down a bit.  But, it does seem that nonetheless, people still like that look for the entryway and are usually willing to make that trade off.

All of this aside, this article is prob. looking at new construction and additions which often yields somewhat different results from those looking to buy an already pre existing home. 

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 7 years ago

That's interesting, Donna.  Some of those items are just becoming common in this area.  Did we miss the boat?  8-)

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) about 7 years ago

Hi Donna,

Depends on price range and area.

But it is possible to highlight trends in design over a wide area


Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) about 7 years ago

I agree!  Even in rural East Texas folks love luxury bathrooms, outdoor kitchens, etc! Formal living rooms are almost always used for something else and they can live with or without a whirlpool bath.

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) about 7 years ago

We do not have many if any outdoor kitchens here in NH but sunrooms are still popular, so are outdoor fireplaces. Communities and builders still use the Master Planned developemt to cluster houses and save open space or wooded areas. Whirlpool tubs are tsill at a high request just as a master suite with bath and walk in closets is popular. I think their list is far from national. Thanks for the great discussion.

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) about 7 years ago
Haven't seen most of those around here either. What's that saying about everything is bigger in Texas? :)
Posted by Mark Delgado, Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h (houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove) about 7 years ago

I am also in Austin and outdoor fireplace/kitchen, media rooms and master planned communities are all the rage. That list seems really off the mark. I think it would be difficult to make a list like this that applies all over the country.

Posted by Chris Twing (Twing Staging & Redesign) about 7 years ago

Hi Donna,  I agree with you wholeheartedly.  What's right for one area may be totally different in our area.

Posted by Ricki Eichler McCallum, Broker,GRI,ABR, - Your Coastal Bend Home Source (CastNet Realty) about 7 years ago

Thank you for all the comments. Many people said "my market" without stating where your market is, but it looks like this list isn't nearly as true across the country as Market Watch would like it to be. I understand that some features are market specific like who wants an outdoor kitchen if it snows 6 months of the year, but something like that wouldn't show a downward trend, just no trend at all in that area.

And yes, things are bigger in Texas, and when I read National information that people are buying smaller, they haven't met the people in Texas or the ones relocating here because it's all about bigger and bigger with gamerooms AND media rooms, and we DON'T have basements to put rooms in!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 7 years ago

I think for the most part in newer homes if there is a formal living room they are smaller and the emphasis is put on the great room.  Many upper priced homes have media rooms, but homes that are in the lower price ranges do not.  They are building a lot of smaller homes on smaller lots designed for anyone except the older generations with 3 floors and small square footages on each floor.  Okay for younger people not so much for baby boomers or even a little younger.  We have a lot of older homes (20's, 30's, 40's) with sun porches but what I have seen is not a lot of the newer homes with them.  It is a diverse market with actually something for everyone if you look hard enough.  No one said it would be easy did they.

Posted by Mary Stewart, Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas (HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone) about 7 years ago

Sometimes I wonder where the "pull" their data from.  Most of time it leaves me scratching my head.  Most of those features are still pretty popular around the DC metro area.

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) about 7 years ago

The names of rooms don't really matter here. You can call it a media room, den, office, nursery, library, dining room, etc. it's still the same room and same floor plan. To many buyers here the older the better. Many older buildings call the bedrooms chambers in the floor plan. They're just different names for the same rooms. Some buyers prefer pre-war details and charm with high ceilings, formal dining rooms, entry foyers and gallery's, maids and servants rooms and others like cookie cutter modern with sleek new finishes.

Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (The Corcoran Group) about 7 years ago

I don't sell houses so I wouldn't know anything about what buyers want, but I suspect that given the right location, they will compromise on some desireable features. A mansion in the wrong location is still a dump.

Posted by Jaime Herrera (LION) about 7 years ago

It's interesting to see how geographically each feature will in and out of style.  Here in Manhattan something like a 2-story foyer would be amazing to see in a property, that would be a sure sign of walking into an amazing apartment.  But I can see that in a home it might be a little bit of wasted space. 

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 7 years ago

My eyebrows went up as soon as I saw this list last week. Whirlpool tubs? Yes. Agree. Living rooms? Yes. Agree. Most of the others are still things on buyers criteria lists quite often, depending on area. Outdoor kitchen areas and fireplaces I believe will actually increase in popularity for a few years, especially if gas proces continue upward. People will be planning more fun at home and eating at home more often.

Posted by Dee Nofziger, Maumee Real Estate, Toledo Homes, Key Realty (|Key Realty | Maumee Toledo Real Estate Blog) about 7 years ago

Outdoor kitchens are HUGE here. Have been for years, and will be for years.

Real estate is local and the media is not.

Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) about 7 years ago

LOL This article probably made a few people sad who just bought those things, but they are not going out of style yet. Formal livingrooms, 100 percent yes, but those can always be a music room, study, library...funny stuff.

Posted by Dawn Maloney, 330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio (RE/MAX Trinity Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist) about 7 years ago

I agree with you on the two but I am surprised that Sunrooms even made the list.  How often do you even see a sunroom?  

When advising clients, I always tell them buy what appeals to you.  Nothing is ageless.  Everything is a fad and will change probably within the next 10 years.   Remember Corian?  It was the latest and greatest and most people don't even know what it is.  Granite will be the next fad that goes away.  Soon?  Maybe not but I will bet you in 10 years the buyers will be going "oh, granite, that is so dated."

Posted by Faye Y. Taylor, Homes for Sale Floresville, La Vernia & San Antoni (StepStone Realty, LLC ) about 7 years ago

With very mild temps in Franklin TN, outdoor spaces are at a premium. So I would agree with just about everything you say here. They however have got it all wrong.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 7 years ago

The outdoor kitchen/fireplace trend is just starting here, not ending.

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) about 7 years ago

Donna - I agree with the formal living rooms.  Most people want great rooms and open floorplans.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 7 years ago

Very true- I think it is market specific for some of these things. My sister, who lives in Tx. just took her attic space and converted it into an amazing media room!

Posted by Kristi DeFazio, Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468 (RE/MAX Advantage) about 7 years ago

Donna - I was a little perplexed by that list too!  The only item on the list that I have predominantly noticed as going down in importance is the "Formal Living Room."  I'm seeing more buyers interested in the Great Room concept instead.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 7 years ago

I think most of these magazine article are written by renters of a 350 square foot studio with a hot plate and shared bathroom. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) about 7 years ago

What about formal dining rooms? Are builders still building homes with formal dining rooms? If it's true, formal living rooms are going away, what is replacing them, home offices? Thanks for the post!

Posted by Kevin A. Guttman-Author, Reverse Mortgage Advisor, 877-251-9709 (NMLS#384936) about 7 years ago

Donna - I wouldn't give that article much credence. Agreed that the formal LR has been on its way out for years being replaced by a great room or even a library/study.  In CT outdoor fireplaces and kitchens are not high a on a buyer's list but all the rest are definitely still one.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) about 7 years ago

Hi Donna, I saw this the other day, but didn't get a chance to comment. I can agree with many of those items on your list. But Outdoor Fireplaces, Luxury Master Baths, Media Rooms, and Master Planned communities are still very popular here in San Antonio.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, about 7 years ago

I think Formal Dining rooms will continue to be built as many people have family gatherings multiple times a year. However, for those who don't "use" the formal dining, they are used as playrooms, like mine or the chandelier is raised/removed and repurposed for another function.

In my area, if there is at least 2500 sqft, buyers are demanding downstairs studies/offices with doors that can close off the space.  Granted, lower price points and smaller homes won't have all these features, but that's not your "average" buyer anymore.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 7 years ago

Well, I guess each of those favorites is by region right? Not much use for an outdoor kitchen when it's 30 degs & raining in the Chicago suburbs? You know, I've been hearing the stupid 'Livingroom is dead' stuff for 30 years now & it still hasn't gone away in new homes.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 7 years ago

Hi Donna,

I completely agree with your assessment. It's the same here in Southern California. Formal living rooms are not as popular, and builders are using that space for larger family rooms and/or slightly larger formal dining rooms. We've also got a HUGE market for outdoor living space & kitchens, especially where I live (in Yorba Linda-north Orange County area). We don't get a lot of rain or cold weather, and we use our outdoor fireplace and kitchen year round. Two story foyers and family rooms are also very popular and I don't see that as a "trend". It seems as though those are items that are "classics", and will never go out of style, since they make the space feel larger.

You're SO right! This list is very area specific & they shouldn't have indicated that these are nationwide sentiments.

Great post & very interesting! All the best to you & congratulations on the featured article!

Gina Lemos

Posted by Momentum Realty, Orange County CA Real Estate Agent (North Orange County CA Real Estate Specialists) about 7 years ago