LOTRO players love being able to interact as a community and taking advantage of special rewards. Kill 10 Rats and Raids are all well and good, but us LOTROers do want a rich experience. Flexible house decorating is one obvious and crucial change. Greater ability to modify houses (more rooms) would be awesome. Simple additions like training dummies would liven things up. A minigame in each area would also be a nice diversion. And there should be more housing locations.
I think the limited placement of housing (starter areas) is a sign of how long housing has been neglected. I enjoy my current home next to the waterfall in the Shire (which is sadly too small, but I stay because I like the location). But I would very well move if I could live on a snowy, silent plain in Forochel - totally not convenient, but beautiful. Throw in weather events and creature mobs and it would be wonderful.
Here is a nice fantasy: I go to the Forochel housing area where there are empty plots of land for sale. After choosing my plot, I then can choose from a menu of houses (a variety of Forochel Huts, with other area-specific options purchasable through LOTRO store - eg snowy hobbit home, snowy elf home, snowy man home, snowy dwarf home). I imagine a dialogue similar to that of stable masters with alternate home styles having an unlock button linked to the cash store. After choosing the design style, I am able to choose the size - small, medium, large, kin (as a function of decorating, not separate annoying purchases) - which can be later upgraded if one desires by paying silver.
Maybe it would not be wise (for the amount of work involved) to have a housing area for every region, but I think Forochel and Lothlorien housing would garner excitement. LOTRO Store race-specific Lothlorien style houses would be pretty. With so much migration and turmoil in Middle Earth, I don't think it is lore-breaking to have other race houses in different areas. Perhaps Thorin's would not be amenable to other styled houses, but I think a little extra creativity in housing areas is allowable.
There are potential drawbacks and concerns (and proposed solutions/mitigations):
1. Lots of work - creating so many new housing exteriors, coding when there is currently little interest in housing, etc.
---If you build it, they will come! I think of the SWG housing where so many proudly display their prizes. There is great untapped potential for cash store sales of exclusive house items with no effect on game balance---
2. Low level kin members transporting to high level places.
---When attempting to leave housing area, display stable master window, allowing transport to Thorins, Bree, Michel Delving, and a minimum level requirement to enter the wilds of [Forochel]. There is an added bonus of creating player excitement to play these areas later on.---
3. Current unglamorous technical housing issues need to be fixed.
---I hope those issues could be dealt with as part of a total overhaul. And there really needs to be an overhaul.---