Good Design Adds Value to Your House

Good Design Adds Value to Your House

This house is one created by the HOME ARCHITECTS ®  several years ago and now is on the market for just under $5 million.  This architectural design company also designs many houses in the $180k and up market as well.

good design adds value to your house
Designed by HOME ARCHITECTS, Rand Soellner, AIA, Project Architect. (C) Copyright 2007-2012 Home Architect,PLLC, All Rights Reserved Worldwide. "Highlands Timber Frame" project.

Professional Builder magazine had an interesting article in its July, 2012 issue: “Is Design More Important Than Price or Location?”  In the final analysis, it turned out that DESIGN IS EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT AS LOCATION for the top 2 main determinants of housing appeal, even more important than price.

20,037 recent house shoppers provided the input for this study, which was conducted by Mollie Carmichael , a principal with the firm of John Burns Real Estate Consulting, LLC.  Ms. Carmichael reported that this result has occurred for the 2nd year in a row, placing Design above Price in the minds of the house-buying public.  Merry Soellner is one of the main real estate brokers in the Cashiers, North Carolina market, winner of multiple top sale awards from her associate Keller-Williams office, and is a Director on the Cashiers-Highlands Real Estate Board.  She agrees with this assessment, having seen several houses designed by her husband, Rand Soellner, sell for substantially more than larger houses with less architectural appeal and less functional floor plans than his designs.

good design adds value to your house
Designed by HOME ARCHITECTS. Highlands Timber Frame; project architect: Rand Soellner, AIA. (C) Copyright 2007-2012, Home Architect, PLLC, All Rights Reserved Worldwide. This dramatic interior view from the 2nd floor loft illustrates how open planning can help expand the space in a house and connect to the outside living areas.

“Good design has greater appeal, particularly in upscale markets,” said Merry.  “If people want to start regarding their houses as a solid investment again, they should start giving more consideration to having their residences created by a licensed architect.  I’ve seen houses designed by Rand Soellner, for instance, fetching twice some of the other offerings locally, for houses that are larger, but not as well designed.”

The John Burns Study indicated the following results, in answer to the question: WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTICS WHEN PURCHASING YOUR NEXT HOME?

58%   Location
57%  Safety
55%  Price
33%  Community Design
30%  Accessibility
13%  Prestige

good design adds value to your house
(C) Copright 2007-2012, Home Architect, PLLC, All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Highlands Timber Frame project by HOME ARCHITECTS, project architect: Rand Soellner, AIA. An example of a nice open plan kitchen shows the power & quality of well-planned spaces.

For the 2nd year in a row, this study, involving the opinions of tens of thousands of house shoppers, has ranked HOME DESIGN above Price, and even above Safety! And equal to Location. Design quality is of Major Importance in creating a house these days.  Especially if buyers of houses want to see a solid return (rather than a likely loss) on their purchase.

Gone are the days when your residence automatically accrued a reasonable 6% increase in value every year, like some 1980’s bank savings account.  No: the real estate bust of 2008-2010 illustrated in stark colors just how that equation had drastically changed.  These days, more people are “upside-down” in their house investment than are people who have had their investment add value.  Upside-down in real estate terms = having more in your house than it is worth, or having a higher yet-to-be-paid mortgage amount than what the house is presently worth.

Architects are the answer.  They are the ones, through education, training and licensing are the registered professionals that have the skills to properly design a house to appreciate in value.  No one can say for sure that any particular single residence will gain in value while another will not, however, the empirical evidence seems to suggest that architect-designed houses appreciate more in value than other residences.  Especially when the architect is skilled in designing residences as his or her main specialty.

Some of the features new house buyers favored in the above study were:
1.   Quality design starts from the inside, then proceeds out.  In other words, form follows function.
2.  Great residential design does not necessarily have to cost more.
3.  Open space planning (“Great Rooms”) is preferred over more compartmentalized approaches.
4.  Outdoor living space.
5.  Indoor-Outdoor spacial connections.
6.  Casual look as opposed to overly formal.
7.  Simplicity in interior decorating.
8.  Suburban or country living (only 4% of people said they wanted to live within downtown urban areas).
9.  The ability to personalize a custom designed house, as opposed to buying someone else’s used residence.

A licensed, real architect can design a house like this for you.

To get started, send an e-mail:

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