Lennar’s most popular home model, the Next Gen, celebrates 10 years with increasingly rapid growth, making 2021 its best sales year ever.
The nation’s largest homebuilder pioneered the Next Gen model in Phoenix, Arizona in 2011. Next Gen is best described as a home within a home, offering a private suite providing all the essentials multigenerational families need to work, learn, live and have a sense of independence. Today, Next Gen suites are used for a multitude of different options, from home offices to classrooms, to living spaces for family members and even an indoor wrestling ring.
Next Gen debuted with one model, Evolution, in Gilbert’s Layton Lakes that is still built today. In 2011, the Evolution was priced at $289,900 for 2800 sq ft. Today, Lennar sells 8 different versions of their best-selling model, ranging from 1,929 sq. ft in the low $400,000s to 3,520 sq ft starting in the high $600,000s.
Alan Jones, Arizona Division President of Lennar, introduced the Next Gen model to the Valley of the Sun. “Ten years ago, when we held the grand opening for our first Next Gen home, customers had never heard of it before and it required a lot of explanation,” said Jones. “Today, Next Gen seems to be a household name. It doesn’t need any explanation, customers come out specifically looking for it!”
“Next Gen is the housing solution for many families,” added Mike Dowell, Senior VP of Lennar. “The Next Gen home allows people to live together, but separately. It allows for aging relatives, boomerang kids, families who need home offices and home schooling a dedicated, separate space for a family’s individual needs.”
In addition to the new floor plans, the homes have evolved based on the changing needs of families. The homes have become both smaller and larger since that first model in 2011. The smallest model starts out at 1929 sq ft and runs up to 3522 sq ft. The width of the home has also evolved, with plans ranging from 35 feet wide to 65 feet in width. Perhaps the greatest difference of all is that, due to its’ popularity, the Next Gen option is available in almost all of Lennar’s communities across the state.
In 2021, Lennar debuted a first ever Next Gen model, unlike any home anywhere in the country. Phoenix is once again ground zero for the multigenerational home concept, now complete with RV garage, a project hastened by the realities of Covid-19. This reality, combined with the fact that RV use has skyrocketed during the pandemic, led to this latest innovation.
Next Gen models are exploding in popularity. Lennar sold more Next Gen homes in 2020 than in any other year since the model was conceived. A little more than 500 Next Gen homes were sold last year in the Phoenix market and 2021 is on track to beat those numbers. Lennar expects to sell approximately 540 Next Gen homes in 2021, accounting for 20% of all sales.
Lennar is selling the homes nationwide with total sales reaching 15,000+. In Arizona, the birthplace of the Next Gen home, 3000+ Next Gen models have been sold, accounting for 20% of all the Next Gen homes sold nationwide.
And while the homes have evolved, the reasons why people buy the Next Gen model have remained the same. The primary use is for aging relatives, followed by a guest quarter for a child returning home or vacation guests. Home offices and now home-schooling account for the third biggest use, with others just looking for extra space and using the area as an above ground basement complete with a pool table, gym equipment and video games. Cosmetologists and real estate agents are running businesses out of the Next Gen. Yet there have been some non-traditional or even unusual uses for the space as well, including a wrestling ring and laboratory. Lennar has even had several spouses buy the home yet live separately under one roof.
Jessica Dettman and Kristi McConkey sold the first Next Gen model and are still selling them today.
“In 10 years, I have not had one customer who had purchased a Next Gen come back and tell me they regretted it,” added Dettman.
“The idea of Next Gen has evolved into a name brand like Pepsi or Coke,” said McConkey. “People literally walk in and ask if we have any Next Gens? This floorplan is truly a need for many and people with all different scenarios come to see it and hope to make their dream a reality.”
Robert & Kathy Miller bought one of the first Next Gen models in Layton Lakes in 2012, upgraded to a new Next Gen in 2016 that they still live in today.
“My husband saw the initial article about the Next Gen home and cut it out for me,” said Kathy Miller. “Since we’ve been caring for my mom for many years, the Next Gen was our answer. It’s just been a godsend for us still today.”
Nick Dodson was Lennar’s VP of Construction in 2011 and built the Next Gen model from the ground up. He was so impressed, he bought the home a few months later.
What’s on the horizon for the Next Gen home of the future? How will these homes change in the next 10 years? Lennar will continue to grow and evolve the homes based a family’s needs. From boomerang kids to aging relatives to a home office, the Next Gen evolves with the changing needs of your family.
“Most people move because their homes no longer fit their needs,” added Jones. “That doesn’t happen in a Next Gen model. This truly is the next generation of living. Next Gen homes will continue to be a significant part of homebuilding well into the future.”