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“It’s wireless everything!” Stuckey said. “Wireless lighting and security controls enable a homeowner to activate a security system, lock doors and turn specific fixtures on and off. New electrical outlets provide USB connections for sound and video equipment that can be controlled remotely as well.”

Pallotta agrees. “With the speed in which we as individuals are becoming technically savvy, it is important that we educate our clients on how to integrate that technology into their homes.”

All about Amenities
For his clients, Stuckey said, a four-to six-burner gas range is a must-have item. Well-equipped kitchens can help sell a home,” he added. “The kitchen is always an area of interest.”

His clients also want large master bathrooms with a specialty tub, Stuckey said, adding that “An over-sized tub seems to be a necessity even if it’s a non-jetted tub that is used only occasionally.”

In addition to elevators in three-story homes or townhouses, McVaugh said clients also want energy efficiency. “Products such as solar, spray or hybrid insulation and high-efficiency A/C units, as well as home automation are here to stay.”

Intergenerational living is another frequent request, McVaugh said. “Whether returning college students or aging parents, the dual master bedroom suites offer luxury for owners and their guests.”

Stuckey said the industry is trending toward more efficiently sized houses – but that Texans are still looking for big.

“The more efficiently sized house for empty nesters is still in the future,” he said. “The demand for a 3,500- to 5,000-square-foot home for an empty-nester couple is still strong here.”

McVaugh also receives requests for smaller homes, but still full of custom touches. “These smaller homes offer total luxury — from appliances to high-end details,” he said. “There are full coffee bars and wine closets, as well as unique finishes like porcelain tiles that mirror the warmth of wood with the functional benefits of tiles.”

Groups like the Custom Builders Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association can be great resources for homeowners. The Council has a list of professionals who not only know the latest trends but also can offer guidance for a custom home that suits the most discerning tastes.

For information visit www.ghba.org/consumers.

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