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To sell in the new century, learn how people will live.

This story appears in the July 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If is where the heart is, then the heart may be in for a change. The dwellings of the 20th century are already evolving to accomodate . And whether you're a carpenter, an interior designer, or a landscaper, features of new homes are sure to affect your bottom line:

  • Size: With empty-nest boomers leading the way in home-buying, the elaborate, multileveled pseudo-mansions of choice in the '80s have shifted to smaller, more manageable abodes. At a modest 900 square feet, the new dream home is charmingly equipped with such features as built-in cabinets, window seats, breakfast nooks, porches and flat ceilings-all designed to please home buyers wanting less grandeur and more functionality. What's out? Elaborate and decadent like huge staircases, vaulted ceilings and formal living and dining rooms.
  • Rooms: These newly shrunken homes also disregard "fixed room" layouts. Kids' playrooms are no longer relegated to the back of the house, says home-builder David Weekley of David Weekley Homes in Houston. Such retreats will be more open to all family members. And future houses will have built-in home offices to accommodate the 60 million (and growing) U.S. home businesses.

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