Wenatchee Valley Business World




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Editor’s Note | Dream homes become reality

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Cover | Making a home your own: Tight housing market doesn't deter buyers from making their wish lists

Cover | Making a home your own: Tight housing market doesn’t deter buyers from making their wish lists

Big demands, small market: Home buyers have specific needs but with few homes for sale, they're often tough to meet

Home improvement shows on TV have left many home remodelers and builders scrambling to meet ever-changing demands and desires.

When wood flooring became mandatory on those shows, up came the laminate or carpeting. When “great rooms” became must-haves, down came the walls.

Of course, fads have always been with us. All many of us need to do is recall the homes we grew up in. Shag carpeting? Brightly colored wallpaper. Yep, we had ‘em.

What were they thinking?

In this edition of Business World we look at the home demands of today. And those popular TV shows are helping drive those demands.

In reporting on the local preferences, however, we ran straight into a new reality: There aren’t many homes available to purchase in the Wenatchee Valley.

This stark fact makes it difficult, if not impossible, for home buyers to get everything they want in a home. But still, they want. And real estate agents say they do whatever they can to find it for them.

Home builders, on the other hand, know they need to stay up on the latest trends. I don’t know if any of them actually watch those TV shows, but what they do can certainly be driven by what other people see there.

As part of our reporting, we took a fun look back at the trends of previous decades. Though some of those trends, like popcorn ceilings, and enclosed kitchens may induce groans now, that’s what people wanted.

Yes, the kitchen was a place to prepare food out of the sight of family and visitors. Often, they weren’t just a separate room, but also a room you needed to go through a door to get into.

Now, the kitchen has become part of the entertaining experience. The cook socializes with guests as the food is prepared.

Hallways also seem to be in short supply these days, unlike the past, when they were long and everywhere.

Bathrooms also have evolved over the decades. Where once functionality was its sole purpose, it now has status as the “master bath,” with its own fancy countertops, multiple sinks, huge tubs, separate toilet rooms and glass-enclosed showers.

And we haven’t even discussed closets yet. You better be able to walk into it, see clothing on both sides, shoe racks and much more. In many homes they rival in size the guest bedrooms.

Finding a home with everything you want is a challenge in any housing market. And even if you do, price and location still can trump any dream desires in home-buying decisions.

As more homes are built in the region to address our shortages, we likely will see more of the latest trends becoming reality. And in a decade or two, maybe we’ll look back and say “what were they thinking?”