Photos: Eric Figge Productions

IRVINE REDESIGN: Like many other developers and builders, the Irvine Co. commissioned new, smaller home plans to appeal to buyers at Irvine Ranch. These Bassenian Lagoni-designed homes have been selling well in Irvine’s Woodbury community.


The emerging post-recession home building world is as different from the old ways as Main Street Disney is from Chicago’s South Side.

Many homes that sold well before the market crash won’t sell now because they’re too expensive, designed for how we used to live versus how we really live today, or so nondescript in design that they fail to inspire buyers enough to overcome their lack of confidence in the market.

So builders are replacing them with new, smaller, more affordable products that they hope buyers can and want to buy.

Some companies are taking shortcuts with their new designs, shrinking old floor plans without rethinking them, and cutting out any details that cost more. Among those details, however, may be the one thing that gives a buyer that spark of delight it takes to overcome market wariness.

But adversity is inspiring others to rethink everything about their homes, from how they build them, to how buyers will really live in them, and what they really want in a new home. And many times it works.

We searched the country to find three strong examples of homes redesigned for the new market that are pulling the buyers in. Perhaps they will inspire you to find new ways to respond to the challenges of today’s market and today’s buyer.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA, Las Vegas, NV.