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  • Cute from the Curb, CRAP from the Back

    Aaron D. Murphy

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    Cute from the curb, crap from the back. That's the spec home you probably live in. My name's Aaron Murphy. I'm the owner of Forever Home. I'm a licensed architect and certified aging in place specialist. Today I wanna talk about the garbage that most of us live in called a spec home when it comes to aging in place. I'm gonna do a quick screen share for you able to talk about this with an image. OK, there we have it. Curb appeal. All the cute detailing up at the corners. We've got the shingled look. We've got nice trim, craftsman looking. We've got a beautiful garage door with some hardware. We've got adorable lights on the front porch and a black door. And transom light above the door and a side light all the sex appeal right. Here's the back of that house. Absolutely thoughtless. Zero attractive, nothing detailed, just thoughtlessness. Look at the back porch. No deck, no cover over the door. This is what we're buying when we're buying spec homes. And I want to show you when we think about it from the perspective of the spec builder, why they're doing that. If you do a Google search on why do spec builders build curb appeal only from the front, here are the answers, there's six of them. First impressions matter. The potential buyer is the viewing side of the street from the curb, from the driveway. Marketing and listing. The main house image is typically the front. Cost effectiveness. The budget of the builder is spent on what you see from the street. Neighborhood consistency. You've all driven in neighborhoods where you don't even know which house it is because of the paint color and maybe which side of the tree or which side the tree is on the driveway. They flip them. They mirror them. It's monotony. Maximizing budgets back to the spreadsheet of the builder. They can allocate their resources to the front of the home and cut corners in the back. Psychological impact, attractive front facade and finishes in the kitchen and the master bathroom on the inside is about all the further they go before they start doing everything as cheap as possible to save the next. Why do I bring this up? I bring it up because 95% of our housing stock is spec built. We need to change what we're asking for. The spec builder builds first time home buyer homes and first move up homes, the larger ones when you start a family. That's it. Did anything I said in those six items think about you, especially think about you after 50. Nope, not a chance. That's why we need to change the discussion. That's what we need to do as consumers. There is more 65 year olds starting today in 2024 than there are 18 and under. 65 and over is higher than 18 and under. First time in the history of the world for the United States and other countries too. What are we doing? How are we sending a message to our builder that we need flex space? We need homes that are future flexible. We need to design for our future because many of us, when asked, close to 90% of AARP people say we want an age in place. We want to stay home. Nothing the builder's doing is thinking about that. So we need you to. We need to change the face of housing for the next 30 years. It's gonna matter to the boomer consumer right now. When they're shopping for their next home or their last home, if they're moving at all. And then it's gonna matter to my generation, Gen X. So for the rest of your career, if your career is 30 years or less, This is what matters. If you don't know what aging in place is, or you don't know why a spec builder, spec house is failing you, get in touch with us. Go to our website at and schedule a meeting, ask for an appointment, join our newsletter, get plugged into the future of housing if you want it to succeed for your future. If you have any questions, easy to get ahold of me. Again, just go to our website, We'll chat there. Thanks. Take care.

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