It can be exciting to think about dream homes. When prospective homebuyers are looking for a new space, it is easy to get lost in imagining huge walk-in closets, custom patios, large fireplaces, and chef-sized eat-in kitchens.
However, it’s necessary to consider the practical side of living along with the “someday” dreams. Home features that buyers focus on should first and foremost meet their living needs. Once those are met, then they can move on to “wishes.”
Choosing Home Amenities to Meet a Buyer’s Needs
A homebuyer’s needs will change based on their age, lifestyle, family size, and location.
According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), housing preferences vary across generational lines. For instance, Millennials prefer more bedrooms and additional outdoor living space, while Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, and Seniors rank Energy Star-rated appliances at the very top of their most-wanted lists.
However, there are some common features that most buyers will look for in a home regardless of their age.
The Bathroom, Utilities, and Plumbing
In the bathroom, most buyers are looking for both a shower and a tub, according to NAHB. Separate tubs and showers are additional wants that many people covet but that are not deal-breakers when choosing a home. Another must-have is a linen closet in the master bath.
Additionally, Eye on Housing notes that, across the board, a main feature that buyers look for is a laundry room. In fact, 50% of respondents to the nationwide survey taken by the NAHB saw it as essential to their needs – not just something they wanted. This includes home buyers born after 1980 to seniors.
As kitchens continue to be the heart and the social center of most modern homes, there are multiple requirements in this space. Kitchen islands continue to be popular and serve a variety of roles, from food prep to homework area to eating spot. According to research, most people want a double sink, a walk-in pantry, and room for a table or a place to sit and eat.
Energy Star appliances are an additional common item on homeowners’ must-have lists, as these help keep energy costs down. Stainless steel finishes endure as a kitchen must-have although specialty colors crop up on wish lists.
The dining room, living room, and bedrooms each have their own checklist for most buyers. In general, people look for access to the outdoors, especially if this means a room leads out onto a private balcony, deck, or patio.
Many buyers like to have their dining room attached to the kitchen, or have both combined in an open-concept space.
In bedrooms, especially the master suite, buyers look for walk-in closets, a separate sitting area, an attached bath with updated fixtures, and plenty of square footage.
Consider Needs First, Wants Second
In general, buyers looking for their new home should consider their needs and their wants, but only in that order. According to HGTV, needs are practical, but wants are indulgences. They recommend that buyers think about what they like about their current home, and, perhaps more importantly, what they don’t.
Using this strategy, buyers should be able to find a home that suits them to a T.