Park City, Utah has its fair share of luxury vacation homes. Being so close to more than ten ski resorts has seen to that. But something is changing in the local vacation home market. And the change isn’t just occurring in Park City. Vacation home destinations in other popular regions are seeing the same trends.
A recent article on the Microsoft News website encapsulates the trend perfectly. The title says it all: “Millennial’s don’t want their vacation homes to be McMansions“.
You remember the McMansion trend, don’t you? From the mid-nineties to the early 2000’s, entire towns were built around subdivisions featuring one huge family home after another. Worse yet, they were cookie-cutter homes. The McMansion trend was an easy way to build what used to be considered luxury at bargain-hunting prices.
Today’s vacation home buyers, particularly millennials, do not want McMansions. They want smaller homes. They also want custom-designed homes rather than cookie-cutter houses. They want their vacation properties to be as unique as they are.
Too Much Indoor Space
Sparano + Mooney is a Park City architectural firm that specializes in contemporary design and mountain modern architecture. While they design larger homes for those who want them, they say the trend among millennials is to avoid too much indoor space.
Indoor space is fine, but not at the expense of outdoor space. Buyers looking for new Park City vacation homes tend to choose the locale because they want to enjoy Utah’s great outdoors. There is no point in having a large volume of indoor space if you will be spending most of your vacation outdoors.
As such, land is valuable. Vacation home buyers want larger lots with extra green space. And with the coronavirus crisis keeping us more socially distant than ever before, there is no reason to expect the demand for green space to diminish anytime soon.
More Custom Designs
The revolt against McMansions isn’t just a resistance to large homes. It is also resistance to one-size-fits-all design. People planning to spend hundreds of thousands on a vacation home want something that has been custom-built for them. They do not want a home just like every other one in the neighborhood.
Firms like Sparano + Mooney are more than happy to accommodate. Designing custom homes around the needs of each individual client is really what it is all about. By contrast, a single architect working on a single set of plans can ultimately be responsible for an entire McMansion neighborhood.
The Work-At-Home Trend
It’s hard to talk about changing vacation home preferences without discussing the emerging work-at-home trend. Thanks to coronavirus, there are some vacation home buyers who haven’t been to the office in a year. They have no plans to return, either.
It should be no surprise that architects are now being asked to incorporate more work-from-home space into their new designs. Being able to work remotely affords owners the opportunity to head to the vacation home at just about any time. Owners do not have to limit themselves to two or three weeks during the summer.
Assuming working from home becomes a long-term trend among office workers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some vacation homeowners turn their second homes into their primary residences. They could then sell their first homes or rent them out. Then again, doing so would mean that a vacation home is no longer that at all. Would the homeowner need a third home to get away from it all?
Vacation home trends are changing. Few are surprised by that. Some 20 years from now, we will be talking about another transitional change. It is how things go.