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What sets best-selling floor plans apart?

By Berit Griffin December 18, 2013

What makes a best-selling floor plan more popular than the rest?

Hanley Wood, parent company to several floor plan companies, observed its best-sellers in 2013 and found several clear-cut trends that indicate unexpected changes in the marketplace. For instance, did you think the formal dining room was dying? Not so fast.

A recent round-up on BUILDER included the eight features present in Hanley Wood’s top-selling floor plans. Among them:

The winners get pinned. O.K., it’s not an actual home feature, but the way a floor plan is marketed in the digital space can have a huge impact on its overall sales performance. According to BUILDER, “The best-selling plans get pinned a lot. Pinterest is a virtual scrapbook that many potential buyers are using. If your company doesn’t have a Pinterest page, start a pinboard to showcase your homes’ special features.”

Homework. With more Americans telecommuting, home offices and studies are on the rise. According to BUILDER, “Six out of 10 of the most popular plans have an office or a study, while others have living rooms that could easily serve that function.”

Formal (not formerly) dining rooms. It may only get used a handful of times per year, but apparently that’s enough for homeowners. According to BUILDER, “The majority of the top-selling home plans—six out of 10—have a dining room that is separate from the breakfast nook. Will the space get used much? Maybe not, but buyers still want it.”

Climb-free master bedroom. According to BUILDER, 90% of its best-selling floor plans have a master suite on the first floor. This has several advantages: Privacy for parents, convenience for empty nesters and accessibility for aging homeowners.

Shrinking? Think again. Best-sellers are bigger. According to BUILDER, “The top-selling plans average 3,179 square feet, bigger than last year’s average of 2,646 square feet. But when all plan sales are considered, the average drops to 2,443 square feet.” So, while a more modest home remains an option, Americans still love spaciousness.