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Home Builders Creating Space for Nontraditional Households

At a building industry trade show held last week, the new trend was for houses constructed with extra space for renters or extended family. In other words, depreciation comes standard.
January 26, 2016, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Laura Kusisto provides a dispatch from the International Builders' Show held last week in Las Vegas. In a bit of trendspotting, Kusisto identifies an unexpected design concept that emerged during the show: roommates.

Kusisto focuses on the example of the concept for the New American Home, "that included nontraditional living arrangements to help ease families’ financial burdens." The New American Home is a staple of the show—this one was built by Las Vegas-based developer Element Design Build.

The 5,200-square foot home, perched on a hill overlooking the Vegas skyline, includes a second-floor unit that can house aging parents or recent college grads with shaky employment prospects. If necessary, the home, constructed by local developer Element Design Build, could even accommodate two families pooling their resources.

Another way of looking at the attention paid to configurations that would allow households to double up or even rent extra space: the industry is exhibiting concern for the affordability of houses on the market. Kusisto cites a lot of data about rising prices and additional data and case studies provided by other developers and home builders about the demand for such units in the market.

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Published on Friday, January 22, 2016 in The Wall Street Journal
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