What Do Buyers Really Want in a Home?


What sets one home apart from another as buyers are touring homes?

What features do buyers truly need, and which amenities would they merely view as a bonus? The National Association of Realtors has tried to answer those questions (and more) with the recently released 2014 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences. The survey was completed by buyers who purchased a home between 2011 and 2013.

According to the study:

The typical buyer bought a home with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. About half of homes purchased were on a single level, while two-fifths were on two levels. Garages were more popular among buyers of new homes, homes in the Midwest, and homes in the suburbs. Fireplaces were most common in higher priced homes, homes in resort or recreation areas, and in detached single-family homes. Forty-one percent of homes had basements, which could be finished, partially finished or unfinished. Finished basements were more popular among single males, younger home buyers, and buyers in the Northeast and Midwest.

For sellers who are looking at remodeling, and want to make sure their renovation dollars are well spent, this could be a road map of what to update or add to their homes.

  • 78% of buyers chose a home with a garage
  • 58% purchased a home with a fireplace
  • New kitchen appliances were more important to buyers than granite countertops
  • 69% of buyers who didn’t buy a home with new appliances would have been willing to pay more for a home that had them
  • Among buyers 55 and older, 42% rated a single level home style very important, compared to only 11% of buyers under 35
  • Buyers were willing to pay a higher dollar value for an in-law suite and a basement than other extra room types.
  • The feature that had the highest dollar value buyers were willing to pay extra for? Waterfront location.
  • 53% of buyers started a home improvement project within 3 months of buying, typically in the kitchen.
  • The majority of buyers wanted more or larger closets and more storage.

Some other highlights:

1. THE MAN CAVE – Many couples I have worked with searching for the ideal home would love to have an equipped basement. What does that mean? Ideally a finished basement, large enough to have a large flat-screen TV, a couch to watch sports on and enough room to have the guys over.

2. THE HOME OFFICE – Whether it’s an extra bedroom on the main bedroom level,an extra bedroom in the basement or even a little nook big enough for a little desk, scoring extra room for a home office is always beneficial. It’s often a criteria for Buyers upgrading from a condo to a house.

3. GREEN SPACE – Although a huge backyard is not always a priority, green space or outdoor space is important to many Buyers. Today, you can make wonders even with a tiny outdoor space.

4. SMART HOMES – Smart homes are all the rage right now. What are they? They are homes that are digitally hooked up to a command center that you can control from your Smartphone or iPad, or computer. You can potentially control the climate, the lights, the garage door, the alarm…

5. WALK-IN CLOSETS – The ladies will know what I’m talking about here. Best example1-29 is Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw. She bought a new condo with Mr. Big in NYC and was hugely disappointed with the closet space. He surprised her by transforming unused space into a dream closet. A girl can dream, can’t she?

Keep an open mind when visiting potential houses. What seems like a mess or unappealing can be transformed into something you love. Look at the space and the use for it. You can decorate, renovate and update to your taste!

Good luck!

The great news is that 97% were satisfied with their home purchase.  If you are like me, and enjoy following along with data and trends, you can ‘like’ the. https://www.facebook.com/RawskiRealEstate



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