If you’ve been searching for a new home in Florida but you have not found what you’re looking for, consider building your own home. Renovating often ends up being costlier than building a new home which has everything you are looking for. Prospective homebuyers should discuss what they want with an established Florida homebuilder. In just the past decade, a number of changes have emerged in the way that new homes – particularly new homes in Florida – are designed and constructed. The latest change has been the trend towards energy efficient, sustainable, and healthier homes.

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Avocado kitchens and sponge-painted walls have – thankfully – fallen into disfavor. The emerging trends include new pastel Pantone colors and all kinds of smart appliances. A healthy, sustainable, and technologically smart home environment is increasingly important to today’s homebuyers. Of course, green living is not a new idea, but it is rapidly growing in popularity with homebuyers, homebuilders, and others connected to the buying and building of new homes. Discussed here are ten of the contemporary trends that savvy homebuyers are thinking about when they go looking for a new home in the last half of 2016.

1. NEW FINISHES

In 2016 and beyond, matte finishes will slowly begin to replace stainless steel. Matte finishes usually blend in well with existing appliances. They also hide fingerprints, smudges, and dirt, and they are easier to clean than typical stainless steel finishes. A warm matte texture matches every style. Appliances featuring matte finishes were prominent this year at the 2016 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas.

2. CIRCADIAN LIGHTING

This year, GE is releasing its new smart LED bulb that can change the color of the light to sync with your body’s own circadian rhythm. “C by GE” is designed to sync with your natural sleep cycle. You’ll be able to set it to change from energizing white light during the day to a warmer, more relaxing blue or orange glow in the evening.

3. CUSHIONED FLOORING

The popularity of cement flooring is over. It’s cold, and it’s hard on the feet. However, in 2016, cork flooring has returned, and it’s better than ever. Cork flooring is easier on the feet and much more comfortable to walk on than traditional wood flooring or ceramic tile. Today, cork flooring comes in a wide variety of colors, and the price is right too.

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4. SIMPLICITY COMBINED WITH TECHNOLOGY

Buyers are looking for well-designed homes with more space in central living areas and plenty of clever built-in storage. Most homebuyers in 2016 – particularly the tech-savvy “millennials” – are no longer looking for the massive 3000-square-foot properties. Instead, they are looking for smaller, smarter homes with family-friendly layouts, open floorplans, and homes that express respect for the environment and conserve energy with built-in smart home technology.

5. HIGH-QUALITY WATER

Built-in smart home technology includes technology that improves the quality of the water. The National Association of Homebuilders’ 2016 “New American Home” features a whole-house water filtration technology that is emerging as a major new home trend. It’s popular enough that the owners of existing homes will be adding whole-house water filtration technology to their home renovation budgets.

6. LOWER PILE RUGS

Thinner and more colorful patterned carpets are beginning to replace the standard plush style that has been popular for years. “Cut and loop” carpeting will be huge in 2016 and in the years ahead. Pleasing patterns and textures increase the perception of quality and value in carpeting and can contrast well with the smooth surfaces of walls, counters, and furniture items.

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7. FEWER GROUT SURFACES AND A CLEANER SENSIBILITY

Another emerging trend in flooring is luxury vinyl flooring and larger tiles – as large as 36-by-36 inches. You may also start seeing more 5-by-10 foot tiles in shower surrounds and walls in bathrooms. Larger smooth surfaces have a simple design and use less grout, which is tough to keep clean and vulnerable to mold and mildew. Simplicity and cleanliness are the keys.

8. LUXURIOUS AMENITIES

The luxury homebuying market will include new, high-end amenities such as outdoor showers, outdoor kitchens, spa-style bathrooms, exercise rooms, dressing rooms, and game and theater rooms. Some luxury homebuyers are sometimes even buying the house next door for extra storage space and guest bedrooms.

9. HEALTHY HOME DESIGNS

Your home is your personal environment – your own, ongoing ecosystem. With so many healthy home products now available, new homebuyers are looking to live in homes that are beautiful, durable, energy efficient, healthy, safe, and that do not generate any unpleasant aromas or unhealthy gasses. Fabrics that do not hold dust and Quartz stone countertops with antibacterial properties are also rapidly growing in popularity.

More homebuyers today are insisting on healthier indoor environments that include non-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paints, low-flow toilets, faucets, and showerheads, smart and energy efficient appliances and lighting, and attractively-tinted windows that provide considerable energy savings, particularly if most of the windows in the home face east and west.

Cooler roofs are also in high demand – for good reasons – by today’s homebuyers. Cool roofs are light in color, and they substantially save on energy by reflecting rather than absorbing light and heat. Study after study has shown that energy can be saved simply from making a roof a lighter color. A black asphalt roof can hit 150 degrees on a summer day, making rooms hotter and making air conditioners work harder. A cool roof can actually reduce that temperature by about 50 degrees.

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10. OUTSIDE-THE-BOX THINKING

Millennials and Generation-Xers constitute the largest percentage of homebuyers today, and they are looking for sustainability, smart technology, and healthy environments. Bold new ideas – in-home observatories, pet-friendly houses, luxury spa rooms, and built-in offices and workshops – are among the types of creative innovations that today’s homebuyers are seeking.

If you are buying a home in Florida, your personal version of luxury and style may be entirely your own – we all have our own tastes and styles – but however you define luxury and taste, it is easier now than ever to find in a new home with so many new amenities, technologies, and comforts available at affordable prices. Talk right away with an established Florida homebuilder – who is also a Florida Green Building Coalition member – about your needs, tastes, desires, and dreams. The right home construction firm can help you choose the right home design and help you make your dreams for your home come true.