It seems like technology is constantly evolving around us, changing the way we do just about everything, from how we talk to each other, to how we work, and even how we live. In light of this, last week we asked our home network experts to peer into the future and tells us what trends they see already developing in the housing industry, and describe what the homes of the future might look like. They came back with a lot of fascinating insight into the demographics of future homeowners, and how that will affect housing trends. Here are just a few things that are going to become more popular in the housing industry in the next ten to twenty years, according to our experts.

1. Universal Design

One concept that came up over and over again in our experts’ answers was the idea of universal design, which is when a house is built with accessibility in mind. People are increasingly aware of the need to make their homes accessible for people with disabilities, especially with the large, aging baby boomer population. This has resulted in many homeowners designing their remodels to include wide hallways and doorways, lower counters, and alternatives to stairs, such as single-floor layouts or ramps, or even elevators. This increasing consciousness is only going to become more prevalent as more of the population ages, so the home of the future will definitely include these disability-friendly elements.

2. Walkability

The other major population with a stake in the home industry right now is young, first-time homeowners, and their preferences are also affecting industry trends. Young homeowners tend to prefer smaller houses in neighborhoods with easy access to public transportation and entertainment, which doesn’t require cars to access. This more economically-focused mentality is going to lead to a rise in the demand for accessible cities as much as homes, which will also mean smaller, more community-friendly home designs.

3. Going Green

Also on the minds of young homeowners is the question of environmentally friendly home design. Green technology has been under development for decades, but never before have there been so many different options. No matter what kind of house you want, there are green options to fit your lifestyle, and this is only going to become more true as time moves forward. Solar power, renewable materials, recycled elements and home designs that focus on taking advantage of natural lighting and local resources are going to become more popular than ever. Going green isn’t just trendy–it’s the future of the home industry.

4. Integration of Technology

Personal technology is almost universal now, with people relying more and more on smartphones and computers to do their jobs and engage with their personal lives. So far, we’ve been adapting new technologies to old-style living, but the future home is going to include technological advances from the ground up. This means things as complicated as lights and security systems controlled by phone, or something as simple as a dresser with an in-drawer charging station so you don’t have to worry about tangled charge cords everywhere. Slowly but surely, technology is making its way into every corner of our lives, and the home of the future will reflect that.

Ultimately, a focus on reusing old materials and making homes more accessible are going to be the biggest determining factors in future home designs. One thing will always be true, no matter what else changes: the home improvement industry always evolves to meet the demand of its clients!

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