Home style trends are constantly changing and evolving. What is popular and desirable now in the 2020s could be completely different in 10 years, let alone 100 years. It’s hard to know exactly what homes of the future will look like. But given the changes we’re seeing now, future houses could look nothing like they do today.
Innovations Over the Last 100 Years
In the 1920s, the popular home styles included Dutch Colonial, Western Bungalow, Colonial, Gothic, Italian, Spanish, and Modern English. Popular trends during this time were to have dedicated, closed-off rooms for every need. You wouldn’t see an open floor plan with your living room, kitchen, and dining room together like you do today.
These older homes usually only had one bathroom for the whole house, multiple fireplaces to pre-date central heating, and more ornate features than homes of today. Homes were typically built to be cozy and beautiful with bare minimum functionality. 1920s homes would have running water, but it was usually cold and needed to be heated on the stove. Laundry was still often done outside with washbasins and clotheslines and by 1929, only 68% of American homes had electricity.
As we moved forward toward the 1950s and ‘60s, the “House of Tomorrow” became a popular concept. People were imagining push-button and voice-activated technology, indoor/outdoor living, home intercom systems, and more “modern” conveniences thanks to technology.
Home technology slowly advanced through the ‘70s, ‘80s, and early ‘90s before advancing more in the late ‘90s/early 2000s. Now, in the 2020s, most homes can automate a variety of features through smartphone apps. We can control our lights, temperature, locks, appliances, sprinkler systems, and more from one single device that we hold in our hands. We pride ourselves on open-concept homes, innovative design styles, and larger homes that have numerous modern conveniences. The House of Tomorrow from the ‘50s could not have dreamed how far our homes would actually come.
Real Estate and Home Style Trends Today
Buying a home has always been seen as a sign of prestige. However, the real estate market has fluctuated. 100 years ago, it was hard to buy a home simply due to finances. But toward the middle of the century, there were more homes available and it was easier to buy the “perfect” starter home. Single-family homes with large yards were the gold standard.
Today, prospective homebuyers face more obstacles than ever, including credit score requirements, limited home supply, astronomical home prices, condo/high-rise living, and a social media generation that is trying to have the biggest, nicest home to gain approval of their online community. Hopefully, this is not still a real estate trend in the next 100 years.
In the 2020s, the most popular home style trends include:
- Cape Cod
- French Country
- Greek Revival
- Contemporary Craftsman
Smart Home Technology
Smart home technology is constantly evolving and improving. Today, we can easily control numerous things in our homes through our cell phones or voice-activated devices like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Current smart home technologies include:
- Lighting solutions
- Entertainment devices
- Home appliances
- Window coverings
- Home surveillance
- Door locks
- Garage door openers
- Home sensors
- Voice-recognition and voice-activated devices
- Eco-friendly products
- Remote controls
- Smartphone apps
Who knows what types of new technology we’ll have in homes of the future. No matter what we have, we can bet that smart technology will continue to streamline our lives and keep us more connected to our homes.
Houses of old were not energy efficient, and most people didn’t care if they were. Nowadays, the more energy-efficient the home, the better. We look for energy-efficient light bulbs that last longer and use less energy, appliances that use less water and power, and devices that help us conserve energy, water, and power. Additionally, many homes today operate with solar power, which is likely to still be a common practice in future homes.
Will Homes Become Smaller?
There is a decent chance that future homes, even as soon as 2050, will be smaller than the homes we know today. Even now, as much as we all want a decent-sized home with a big yard, many buyers are facing the reality of community living. Instead of single-family, detached homes, many areas are building condensed, attached homes in planned communities.
These condensed homes leave little room to grow within the home, meaning people are more likely to move sooner if their family outgrows it. Condensed homes include condos, townhouses, and high-rise apartments. As more people try to live closer to large cities for job opportunities, these types of homes are popping up more often. Additionally, families are getting smaller, with adults only having one or two children or even choosing to not become parents and have pets instead. Smaller family units could mean that we’re building smaller homes in the future.
Will Remote Work Change Where We Live?
Usually, people need to live close to main cities to get higher-paying jobs. However, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and advancing technology, it has become easier than ever to work remotely. This means that younger generations are finding they can move where they please instead of being confined to certain places.
Remote work could potentially change the real estate market as well. Since we are finding ways to work wherever we want, many people have taken to traveling the world as they maintain their job. With all the traveling, many younger people are choosing to forego traditional homeownership in favor of short-term rentals, RVs, and van living.
With new advancing technology, students of all ages have been able to participate in virtual school. This option also gives people the freedom to live in different areas and move around more. This option may be harder for families with young children since traditional schools require students to live within the school boundaries. But with virtual classrooms and online learning resources becoming more prevalent, many parents are turning to homeschool to give themselves more options for where they live.
The Future of Homes in Cities
Current cities are facing growing problems of too many people, not enough homes, and poor infrastructure to support the population. While many people won’t feel the need to live right in the heart of the city thanks to remote work, there are others still who want to be right in the middle of all the action.
The future of homes in cities will likely change from owning to renting, and we’ll continue to see more condensed housing options, better citywide transportation options, and more energy-efficient, technologically advanced places to live.
The Future of Homes in Rural Areas
With technology advancing, we will likely see more people move out of main city centers and into more rural areas. A large barrier to current rural living is difficulty accessing newer, faster technology options. But as that changes, many people may find they enjoy the space and flexibility they have when living in less populated areas.
While homes of the future in cities may become rent-only options, most rural areas will still boast good homeownership numbers.
Are We Ready for Homes of the Future?
Homes, homeownership, technology, and where and how we live are constantly changing. The homes we loved 100 years ago likely won’t exist in another 100 years, and the technology and smart features we enjoy today could be outdated in just a few years. The future of homes is largely speculative at this point, but you should prepare to see more advanced, energy-efficient, and technologically run homes moving forward. Even the way we build homes could change, with 3D-printed furniture, removable walls, and new building styles making appearances in the future.
If you are looking to buy a home now that helps you move forward with your future, the real estate advisors at Amherst Madison are here to help. Contact us today to start finding your dream home of the future.
You can also learn more about buying, selling, updating your home, places to live, and more on the Amherst Madison blog.