Arizona-based Maracay Homes recently spent $4 million to design new floor plans based on consumer requests in a post recession economy. Those new floor plans — the New Arizona Living Collection — include secondary living rooms that can be used as playrooms, laundry rooms by master bedrooms and expanded outdoor spaces, said Maracay President and CEO Andy Warren.

“I think the thing I was most excited about is just that it’s new. We made a significant investment over the past couple of years to make sure all our developments have brand new products,” Warren said.

There are 46 new home designs in the collection. A second open space — an option in many plans - was requested by busy families.

“The secondary space in the home can be for a TV or homework, so you can have different activities going on simultaneously in the house,” Warren said.

That flexibility appears to be a growing movement in home building now, Mark Stapp, the Fred E. Taylor professor in real estate and director of the Master of Real Estate Development program at Arizona State’s W.P. Carey School of Business, said in March.

“I think the trend at the moment is to create flexibility in homes. The composition of the homeowner, the family composition, is changing,” Stapp said.

The designs have already received accolades. Last week, Maracay was honored during the Gold Nugget Awards at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference.

Warren said the new home designs include changes to the outside, as well.

“Any East Valley home shopper that walks into any Maracay Community knows for sure the architecture we are offering is brand new. There’s no product from early 2000. They’re all new designs,” Warren said. “We see a real diverse mix (of buyers) in all our neighborhoods. Even here as the market improves, there isn’t one specific group that dominates. Most of our neighborhoods are selling simultaneously to new families, empty nesters, professional couples with kids, some without. It’s a wide range of the family profile.”

Home buyers can make changes to floor plans, too, Warren said, through Maracay’s “flex design” option. Generations suites can be built for in-laws or younger adult family members who return home.

“We have a lot of flexibility with our home designs. It fits with what we’re experiencing, which is diversity,” he said.

Maracay Homes developed the Arizona Living Collection in partnership with two award-winning, national architecture firms, BSB Design and D33 Design.

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