From hardwood floors to energy-efficient appliances, certain features in a home have the power to win over potential home buyers. The National Association of Home Builders surveyed nearly 4,000 home buyers, those who have recently purchased a home or plan to purchase a home within the next three years, ranking 175 features based on how essential they are to a home-purchasing decision. Here are some of the top home features buyers must have and the ones they could do without.
Laundry rooms have become a game changer in home buying, topping the list of must-have amenities. Whether the room is near a bedroom or the kitchen, the key is having a laundry room in a conveniently located space on the first floor that makes laundry day less labor intensive.
“Laundry rooms have become so popular because most people no longer want to see or step over messy lumps of dirty clothes in the hall or in the kitchen," says Rose Quint, who oversees survey research at NAHB. “Buyers want all that behind a door they can close and get to when they have time.”
Home buyers give high marks to energy-saving features like Energy Star-rated appliances, low-E windows, ceiling fans and programmable thermostats to save energy and improve the comfort of their home.
An open-concept kitchen and dining room layout is also at the top of buyers’ wish lists. Top finishes include stainless steel appliances, granite or natural stone kitchen countertops and white kitchen cabinetry.
Most buyers are looking for extra storage space to organize and declutter their homes. Garage storage solutions and walk-in pantries rank high for organizing and concealing items.
Buyers also have a strong preference for hardwood flooring, double kitchen sinks, a center island in the kitchen, water-conserving toilets, a patio and exterior lighting, a 9-foot ceiling on the first floor, two or two-and-a-half bathrooms, three bedrooms and a two-car garage.
Smart-home features that provide energy efficiency or some peace of mind are valued by buyers. The top five technology features buyers would like to have are security cameras, video doorbells, programmable thermostats, a wireless home security system and lighting control system.
Other emerging trends include engineered quartz countertops for color flexibility; vinyl and resilient flooring, especially for aging in place; wireless controls; and higher-end fixture installations in the bathroom such as wall-mounted sinks, faucets and toilets.
Among the features that turn off many would-be buyers are an elevator, wine cellar, plant-covered roof, pet washing station, dual toilets in the master bathroom, cork flooring, laminate kitchen countertops and a two-story family room.
The majority of buyers (65%) want a single-story home, while 29% prefer a two-story home. Living in an environmentally friendly home is important to 68% of buyers surveyed as long as they do not have to pay more for it.