5 home trends we never saw coming

Some unusual items that more and more home buyers have on their wish lists. Plus: What's out.

By Les Christie, CNNMoney.com

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Some of the latest trends in homebuilding and remodeling were not too hard to spot. Is anyone surprised that Americans, already living in monster homes, want even bigger ones?

But there were some developments we never saw coming.

Heated patios are a hot trend.

Here's a few that Mark Nash, author of Real Estate A-Z for Buying and Selling a Home, has gleaned from a survey he conducted questioning 923 real estate agents, brokers and industry executives.

Upscale garages: Who knew that those smelly, greasy spaces overstuffed with junk and empty boxes would morph into showplaces for Home Improvement types?

"Today's owners want [garages] decked out with cabinet and storage systems, matching refrigerators, air conditioning and residential looking flooring," says Nash.

The Web site contractor.com reports a garage remodeling starts at around $7,500 and goes up, sometimes steeply, from there depending on size and just how nice you want it.

Nash, a real estate broker himself, says he has had home sellers so infatuated with their upscale car storage unit that they become livid when house hunters get a bit of dirt on the floor.

Caving: People want more personal space - for both mom and pop. Apparently, married people often like time alone. Who knew?

So, an amenity of choice these days is "personal, dedicated space for one person in a household to go and work on projects or simply 'chill,'" says Nash.

Rejuvenation rooms: No, This is not simply to work out in. These are one-stop sites for exercising, meditating, yoga, sauna and fancy steam showers.

"This is kind of a new age, serenity room where you do these quiet exercise things and then jump in the spa," says Nash.

First you get your head together, then your body and then you steam off the sweat you expended doing it.

Heated patios: (See outdoor living rooms) Northerners want to reduce their winter workouts shoveling snow, according to Nash, so they're installing heated patios, walkways and driveways.

Plus they want to "add a couple of weeks of outdoor enjoyment in spring and fall," he says, and the warmth radiating off these outdoor surfaces makes the diffrences between just comfortable and "Let's go inside."

Snoring rooms: Husband (never wives) have often been banished for excessive snoring but it must be a lonely feeling to trudge out of the master bedroom suite and down to the living room couch. Now they don't have to

The huge master suites being installed in upscale housing typically come with large sleeping areas, a big walk-in closet and a gigantic bath. More and more now, they'll be equipped with another room entirely, a 12' by 12' or so space with a double bed and chair that will spare the innocent sleeper from the worst ravages of the noisy snorer.

It's not just for dad, according to Nash. "The first person to start snoring has to make the exit," he says.

On the way out

In addition to up-and-coming trends, Nash also identified a few destined for the trash heap of home-design history. These include:

Spiral staircases, which were once the rage, are now death to the home seller. Aging boomers don't care to climb them and they're tough on pets and small children. Nash advises sellers to remove and replace them before putting a home on the market.

Bamboo floors are also out. The early reviews are in and owners have found them to be easily scratched and prone to warping.

Hardwood laminate flooring is also a no-go. "They don't stand up to multiple sandings to change color or remove stains," says Nash.

Lastly, he advises sellers to never smoke in the house. Buyers hate the stale smoke odors.

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