Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. And sometimes you don’t know what you're missing because you don’t have it. While you don’t need to keep up with your neighbors, it is nice to know the features they have and enjoy in their homes. Some of the features may be of interest to you and your family, and others you might leave at the wayside.
When shopping for homes, it’s a good idea to assemble a checklist of needs vs. wants. A comprehensive list will help you avoid emotional decisions, allow for compromise, and act quickly when the perfect home hits the market. Here are some top home features for buyers that may be of interest to you as you assemble your list of needs vs. wants.
Open Floor Plan: The best way to make the common areas feel larger and encourage social interaction is with an open floor plan. We see many renovation projects where non-load-bearing walls are taken down to create a more open floor plan. Many modern and newly built homes are designed with an open floor plan.
Energy Efficient HVAC and Appliances: The average household in America spends more than $2,200 on energy bills annually. Look for homes that feature Energy Star rated dishwashers, refrigerators, washers, dryers, and HVAC systems. According to the federal government, you can save up to 20% on your utility bill with Energy Star home improvements.
Green Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright is credited with pioneering green sustainable architecture which he called “organic architecture” in August of 1914. The philosophy developed further in the 1970s with the advent of rising oil prices. Green architecture considers building with respect to the conservation of energy and the reuse and safety of building materials as well as its overall impact on the environment. You will save a considerable amount of money with intelligent features of green architecture design (such as strategic placement of windows, walls, and roofs to provide shade in the summer and solar gain in the winter).
Outdoor Amenities: An outdoor kitchen complete with a built in grill-island, pizza oven, sinks, bar, cabinets, and kitchen appliances is a great way to cook and feed your guests for a fresh-air social gathering. A fire pit is an understated outdoor amenity, but an equally popular item to consider while assembling your list.
Backyard Deck: Decks and patios have long been enjoyed by homeowners. The backyard decks have gained even more popularity during the pandemic, as families have relied on them for entertaining friends and guests in the comfort of the open air. A covered backyard deck or patio is a great feature. It will provide protection from the sun and rain while you enjoy your morning coffee or evening bbq.
Exterior Lighting: Outdoor lighting will enhance the use of your backyard deck, patio, and outdoor kitchen. It will light the way and provide additional safety.
Game Room: Entertainment and game rooms are great places for your children and their friends to gather. If your children have grown and moved out on their own, it’s a great place for the pool table, weekly poker game, or your collection of vintage pinball machines.
Laundry Room: Buyers are attracted to homes with a dedicated room for doing laundry. Laundry rooms with freshly painted walls, shelving, a built-in ironing board, and a stackable Energy Star rated washer and dryer were highly desired by buyers in a recent survey.
Storage: Having plenty of storage might be the number one feature to consider. We have included it at the end to keep it fresh in your mind. An increase of non-romantic co-buyers (parents and their adult children, siblings, and friends) has driven the need for more storage in homes during the pandemic. Kitchen cabinets, walk-in pantries, built-in wall shelving, large and intelligent closet solutions, bathroom cabinets, and storage in the garage and outdoor areas are all items to keep your eye on.