Since 2007, I’ve been covering Louisville’s new construction showcase, Homearama, and before that, my wife and I went… just for fun! In this piece, I’ll share my thoughts on the homes that were part of this year’s Homearama 2014 at Shake’s Run, as well as, highlight some of the trends I see as new construction changes and evolves.
Let’s begin by identifying why a builder would participate in Homearama because there are two very different motivations.
- Some builders use the annual event to make a statement and promote themselves. In years gone by, this appeared to be the most common reason as builders and designers worked hard to outdo one another with incredible designs, grand features, and over-the-top staging. Does anyone else remember the motorcycle in a glass case?
- Other builders use Homearama to sign-up new clients. This means homes aren’t built to “Wow!” as much as they are to present an attractive, Louisville new construction option, at a price more in line with today’s financial realm.
More builders this year chose this Option #2 this year. Sadly, flash is dead. Long live flash!
Louisville New Construction Showcase in 2014
As I walk through the homes, I heard several visitors share a similar theme.
“If we get a lot of money, we could just move.”
Tell me about it. There’s a lot to love about Louisville new construction and for many, it appears finances are what is holding people back.
Homearama 2014: Full Featured Homes
Joe and Rocky Pusateri are no strangers to Louisville new construction with not one, but two Extreme Home Makeover houses (Lampe Family and Hughes Family). Not always part of the Homearama event, but they did well this time out.
I thought the design was extremely tasteful, not over-the-top. It speaks to their gaining some new clients with this event. At least the built-in fish tank brought some whimsy you don’t see every day.
Certain homes are more memorable than others. That was certainly the case with this home by Landmark Custom Homes that combined a great deal of refined space on multiple levels all on a superior lot.
Homearama 2014: Memorable Basements
In my opinion, the star of this year’s Homearama was the basement in House #2. Designers joined forces with the builder to produce two incredible spaces designed for two totally different groups—adults and children.
Instead of simply putting a standard door into the kids’ playroom, they built a smaller house in the basement complete with a roof line, a small window, and a doorbell. The kid’s loved it!
Even though people clamor for open-concept floorplans, it remains important for each space to have a dedicated purpose. Look at this cozy seating area nestled by a warm fireplace yet isn’t dark with so many windows bringing in the natural light.
Basements still play a large role in today’s new construction in Louisville, especially with the trend toward Ranch floorplans. With no second story, it’s important that basements “pick up the slack” and provide space for entertaining, working out, and often a mother-in-law suite.
Homearama 2014: Ranches Rule
With the aging population looking to downsize, Louisville new construction is making a concerted effort to build attractive options for this demographic. Six of the eight homes in this year’s Homearama event were Ranch floorplans with basements to limit the number of stairs.
When you come inside on a Ranch home, you have the opportunity to vault the ceilings. This home really takes advantage of that opportunity with extra tall ceilings and tons of windows looking out over a nicely wooded lot.
Front porches are not always present but there are still many home buyers that appreciate them.
Homearama House #8 is a large, Ranch home with plenty of windows and modern finishes really stand out in Louisville, where Traditional homes rule the roost.
Homearama 2014: Finishing Touches
The location, lot, and floorplan are always very important when designing a new home. But now more than ever, people are looking for finishing touches that speak to them. Below are some highlights from this year’s event.
Extra large, walk-in showers are grabbing the limelight with bathtubs taking the back seat. This beautiful shower looks so nice you may not want to use it and get it dirty.
Maybe you’d like to combine your bath and shower activities?
Both the planning and execution of this paver patio were very well done. It doesn’t hurt that we were able to see it on a bright, sunny day.
Homearama 2014: Modern Styles
Modern has always been the minority here in Louisville. But perhaps it’s gaining ground?
Like most homes, the great room is open to the kitchen and eating areas but this floorplan squeezed as many windows on the rear wall as possible. Combining the modern kitchen cabinets, hardware, and light oak flooring makes quite a modern statement.
Modern finishes aren’t the norm in Louisville new construction so real estate professionals like myself love to see something new hit the market.
Trends in Louisville New Construction
To sum up, here’s what I see that stood out in this year’s Homearama.
- Fewer vaulted ceilings, but still many tall ceilings.
- Newfound priority is given to the mud room. Whether as a part of the laundry or not, providing usable space for coats, backpacks, shoes, etc. is now part of today’s new construction model.
- More Ranch floorplans, even though overall square footage hasn’t dropped a great deal, with almost all basement square footage being finished.
- Despite the desire to be more energy-efficient, builders are putting in as many windows as possible.
- Exercise rooms are perhaps not mainstream to all Louisville new construction but definitely in these Homearama homes where almost all had a dedicated workout room.
- Louisville watches HGTV and more modern and craftsman styles are starting to make inroads into homeowner’s minds.
After visiting all these great new construction homes, one visitor summed it up like this:
“Well, I just have to win the Mega Millions Powerball.”
Until next year!