The National Association of Realtors has published some of the results of a study on what buyers really want in a home or Home Feature Preferences. The article explains which things are most important to people, and how much they would be willing to pay for features like walk-in closets and extended garages. The title is “Despite Rising Gas Prices, Home Buyers Want Oversized Garages” and I feel that the title is a little misleading. In my experience, the reason people want extended garages is not for more vehicles, which would make the gas reference understandable, but for extra storage! Garages are becoming the “Man Room” that rec rooms and basements used to be. With 2 large trash cans, a workbench, lawnmowers, adult bikes, kids toys and bike, tools, paint cans, ladders, big bags of charcoal, and maybe a few boxes of junk saved for the next garage sale… a normal 2 car attached garage is no longer enough, and it’s no wonder!
Other items that rank high on Buyers’ priority list include air conditioning (I couldn’t imagine living without this!), a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, hardwood floors and granite countertops.
“REALTORS® see hundreds, if not thousands, of houses with their buyer clients every year and know exactly what buyers are looking for in a home,” said NAR President Pat V. Combs, of Grand Rapids, MI., and vice president of Coldwell Banker-AJS-Schmidt. “This insight is one more way REALTORS® add value to the real estate transaction and why nearly eight out of 10 recent buyers used a real estate professional when buying their home.”
The article goes on to report that buyers are more often beginning remoldeling projects right after buying, and tend to want to make over the kitchen and bathrooms first. In addition, homes are growing in size, while the average number of bedrooms is going down… I think this is so that families can spread out and have room to play and enjoy their homes. The notion of having a spare bedroom or “guest room” which is usually unused seems outdated, and living in the rooms you have is more how people want to live today.