Are you among the roughly 40 million Americans moving each year? If so, you're probably making a checklist of your desired home amenities. After all, when you go to the trouble of packing up your life, you want to land in a home that meets your needs.
Whether you're buying or selling, it's wise to be current on what people want. Keep reading to learn about the top 7 home features today's buyers want most!
1. Hardwood Floors
Today's home buyers value quality materials, and you'd be hard-pressed to find someone opposed to hardwood floors. While beige wall-to-wall carpeting ruled the 90s, a preference for contrast has returned! Hardwood floors scream elegance and charm the minute someone sees them.
Hardwoods show off the beautiful woodgrain of their source species. From maple to cherry, home buyers love the subtle swirls and textures of natural wood. A versatile choice, hardwoods come in a variety of stains and plank widths to suit any space.
On top of their aesthetic appeal, hardwoods offer the convenience of easy maintenance. You can sweep them every day and polish them every few months with a lemon-scented product.
They represent a sturdy flooring choice that can handle pets and kids. And unlike carpets, which need to be replaced about every decade, hardwoods simply can be refinished every decade instead.
2. Updated Kitchens
Dated kitchens are a big turnoff for anyone in the market for a new home. If you're thinking of listing soon, put some money into even subtle updates to your cooking space. You'll reap the return on your investment.
Redoing Formica countertops and painting old oak cabinets are good starting points. Similarly, swapping out linoleum floors for vinyl planks or wood can dress up a kitchen quickly, too.
Buyers also love to see kitchens with built-in eating nooks. This could take the form of an island with bar stools or a space for a small table. This setup makes grabbing that morning bagel or sharing conversation during dinner prep far more convenient.
And kitchens with central islands offer even more appeal for home buyers. After all, anyone would want ample prep space for a holiday dinner or cocktail party. Islands are a functional feature that can be the perfect place to display a charcuterie spread or taco station.
Double sinks, granite countertops, and stainless-steel appliances round out the must-have home amenities in a kitchen. Stained concrete floors can provide a modern flair while tile floors are a classic choice that looks reliably good. And if a kitchen has a walk-in pantry, it will make any home buyer eager to make an offer.
But even in smaller kitchens, upgrades can make a difference. Clean white cabinets, bold backsplash tiles, and some contemporary lighting fixtures can make the most of a space. New hardware in brushed metals, high-quality cabinetry, and pull-down faucets also can enhance any size kitchen.
3. Laundry Rooms
If you've ever had to haul a basket of laundry up several flights of stairs, you know how annoying it can be. That's why one of the best home features you can find is a first-floor or second-floor laundry room. Your knees will thank you if you buy a home with one!
Especially if you have kids, laundry is a daily staple. So, doing this common chore should be a little more enjoyable. Heading to a grim and dingy unfinished basement doesn't cut it.
A house will generate more interest if it has even a small laundry room. A designated laundry room can contain bulky appliances, like a washer and dryer. Plus you can stash essential supplies there, such as Band-Aids or medications.
A laundry room helps your family avoid having heaps of laundry or drying racks scattered throughout the home. Add some cabinets and a table for a perfect place to fold fresh clothes.
Positioning a laundry room near bedrooms or a kitchen is ideal in new construction homes. This location offers the most convenience to anyone tasked with doing laundry!
4. Open Floorplans
Houses with choppy floorplans don't capture the hearts of today's buyers. Open floorplans where transitions from one room to the next are seamless will catch someone's attention!
Open floorplans make activities like hosting parties or watching the kids much easier. Plus, these floorplans can make even the most modest home seem bigger.
Renovating a home to eliminate walls between the kitchen and living or dining room can offer a big reward. Widening entryways to rooms can help, too. And introducing bigger windows can maximize the openness of a home's floorplan.
Are you moving to a new city or state? If you can't check out a home in-person, use 3D virtual tours to get the lay of the land. You'll be able to navigate your way through a home to sense the flow of the floorplan and see the finishes.
5. A Two-Car Garage
You might be able to score a faster sale on your home if it has a coveted two-car garage. The beauty of this garage size is that you can fit a car and your snowblower, lawnmower, or camping supplies! A one-car garage is a tight squeeze and won't pack the same storage capacity.
Bigger garages have room for built-in storage racks for bins of toys or power tools. Bigger garages also permit space for a second fridge or chest freezer. And in some instances, these garages can double as workshops with a little bit of pegboard and a workbench.
While new construction homes are likelier to have two-car or even three-car garages, older homes are less so. If your home is riding on its vintage 1920s charm, don't overlook the value you can add by enlarging your garage — or simply adding one. Creative contractors can help you figure out the best way to do this.
For an upgrade that provides a solid return on the investment, update the garage door, too. While it's easy to focus on the inside space, a flaking wood or composite door will detract from the garage's appeal. Go with steel or aluminum for a durable and attractive replacement.
6. Energy-Efficient Homes
A home lit up with incandescent bulbs won't win prizes for being energy efficient. And thermostats and appliances that look like they've been around for 30 years won't help, either. Upgrading to energy-efficient and smart home features will make any house more attractive.
Change your lighting to LED bulbs for a more efficient way to illuminate your home. And even though fluorescent lights have incandescent bulbs beat, they look dated.
Make sure you're you've swapped out dated lights before you put your home on the market. You don't want a potential buyer to look up and feel like they're at the office.
Better windows can help keep the cold air out and ultimately help with utility bills. New insulation in an attic and an upgraded HVAC system all contribute to lower bills, as well.
Smart home features enhance the appeal even more. Homeowners can regulate temperatures and light from the comfort of their phones.
Finally, make sure you find a real estate agent who can identify all of the energy-efficient features in a home. You want to know what kinds of cost savings you can expect!
7. Outdoor Patio Space
On perfect summer evenings, nothing beats a staycation on your private back patio. Home buyers today want personal retreats where they can relax after a long day of work. So, make sure you have a refreshed patio if you're planning on selling soon
If not a patio, a deck or front porch also offers a desirable outdoor space for lounging. A trellis or privacy shade can add some ambiance and visual interest no matter what side of the house the space is on.
A standard concrete patio offers value and durability. With some splashes of color through throw rugs and pillows, plus some ornate vegetation, you'll have a desirable sanctuary. Even better, homeowners will love being able to access the back patio through a sliding door.
Stamped concrete and brick offer nice aesthetic upgrades to the traditional patio. And, to step things up, attractive outdoor lighting can make patio space a more versatile, 24-hour hot spot. Spotlight a peach tree or walkway, and introduce some floodlights around the property to illuminate your home at night.
Get the Right Home Features
When you find the best mix of home features, you'll never want to move again! Today's buyers want good outdoor spaces, open floorplans, and sprawling kitchens to make socializing easier. But they also want more storage space in the form of laundry rooms and bigger garages.
For more ways to find the right home for your needs, contact us so we can help!