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After housing crash, people want new styles of new houses

As the real estate market starts to recover from its epic crash, home builders, especially those in hard-hit California, are betting that many buyers will want new houses that are different from the big suburban tract homes that proliferated during the boom.

They’re building new houses intended to use no more electricity than they produce, new houses with separate quarters for aging parents, and new houses that are more compact and closer to jobs, shopping and restaurants.

These models target first-time buyers, growing families and downsizing baby boomers — all expected to be among the next wave of homebuyers.

“Coming out of this downturn, people don’t want more of the same,” said Gordon Jones, Northern California president of home building giant Lennar Corp. “They’re saying, ‘We’re not going to make the same mistake again.’ ”

For Miami-based Lennar, that means multi-generational housing. The company’s NextGen model has an attached apartment — with kitchen, laundry, garage and outdoor courtyard — for older parents, adult children who need to move back home, or extended-stay guests.

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