Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What do we want in our home?

Typical Argentine " Parrilla" . Image from
This is a cultural question. Then, it´s a personal question. First of all, we must have a home, a shelter. And the necessities will be according to the socio-economical context. For example, any shelter would be the desire of Haitians after the earthquake; secondly they could think of a bathroom and a kitchen, a Haitian luxury, as far as I know.
South and Central Americans would love a garden, and a barbecue outside, a big kitchen to gather the family. Big sizes of bedrooms are not so important, while you have a bedroom. Brother and sister sharing a bedroom is a common practice, so a two bedrooms for a family of four is not bad. It would be terribly bad for an American.
24 hour security is really important when you don´t have the Los Angeles Police and their helicopters.
There has been a recent study of more than 22,000 owners who bought their homes in USA within the last nine years. It sheds light on where buyers were willing to put their money and may provide important clues for builders, architects and current buyers. 
The survey, carried out by Avid Ratings of Madison, Wisconsin, shows the latest homeowners desires.
For example, a community clubhouse is "not a big deal anymore; health clubs that people end up using "maybe five times a year" can be eliminated, as can dog parks and golf courses -- even 24-hour security; a swimming pool is a must, either. But children's playground, however, is essential, as are walking paths; large kitchens are still a must-have, but formal dining rooms are not. Upstairs laundry rooms and home theaters aren't necessities either.
Analysts say that ¨People are willing to live in less square footage, but it has to be livable.¨ Avid's survey also found that there has been a "huge transition" toward such "green" features as high-efficiency appliances, insulation and windows that are not large expanses of glass.
In my opinion, what is not considered yet is domestic solar panels. Though many cities have discounts in taxes as a premium, the cost of the installation and materials is too high. A client of mine told me he would need more than 20 years to amortize the investment in solar panels. So, he prefers to select the traditional systems.

Read about the survey in LA Times,0,2602030.story

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