Lifestyles, Micro-housing and Other Trends

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I have always been a lifestyle person thanks to my parents. I grew up in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles and we had a nice garden with a swimming pool; I spent a lot of time climbing and swinging from a lovely sycamore tree and even watching birds and wildlife out the windows of our mid-century modern. I not only learned to swim before I could walk, I learned to ski so early I can’t remember my first time! My first major was in landscape design and as I was living in San Luis Obispo attending Cal Poly it was all about pools, decks, fruit trees and framing views.

So it was much to my surprise that I attended a discussion that housing is not only getting smaller but oriented towards more outdoor living. Here in the northwest. outdoor living spaces include large fireplaces and other heating elements for warmth. I saw a home which fits this description near Indianola recently – it is located on the water and made out of large blocks of stone. It’s outdoor patio has a fireplace large enough to border one side and a roof to shelter from the rain.

On the small side the conversation moved to pods – Seattle is catching up to Hong Kong, Europe and some American cities in bringing these in. While it seems to be negatively impacting neighborhoods such as Eastlake and Capital Hill, they seem to be well received over all and a much needed housing solution for the influx we are having thanks to many of the high tech companies. Demand analysis will tell us more.

A final trend which picked up speed last year is remodeling – four homes are being completely remodeled right around my house. These homes aren’t necessarily being flipped but are having a full facelift.

Inventory is so low right now that one home on Capital Hill had over thirty offers and escalated over one hundred thousand – it will be interesting to see how these trends play out in 2014!