The most important factors that homebuyers consider include location, price, neighborhood, lot size, commute to work, and (for buyers with children) school district.
As those items are satisfied, they then look at interior features. Based on studies conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 70 percent of buyers put an updated kitchen, central air, layout and square footage, wood floors and a walk-in closet in the master bedroom at the top of their list.
Many features that home buyers want are related to the kitchen. Kitchen buzzwords include: beautiful, spacious, eat-in, breakfast nook, light, bright, window, view, stainless steel appliances, and kitchen island.
From that study, here are the 10 most desirable interior home features:
- Eat-in kitchen – Very important to buyers in all age ranges. Many people also favor kitchens that look into great rooms or family rooms.
- Homes less than five years old – Generally, buyers want newer homes or homes that have been updated, so that maintenance costs are much less.
- Stainless steel appliances – People like stainless steel appliances because they look more attractive and convey feelings of new, modern and upscale.
- Kitchen island (and wrap-around open counters) – Very handy for those raising families or for entertaining – and provides room to put out food and make the kitchen more organized.
- Master bedroom suite – This has become more important in the past 10 years. It has to do with making the master bedroom more appealing. These days, two sinks are an absolute must for couples.
- Hardwood floors – Previous generations favored carpeted floors. Today, many homeowners feel that hardwood floors are more durable, more attractive, require less maintenance, and are just healthier (less allergens to deal with).
- Granite countertops – This goes back to the beautiful kitchen, and granite counters are very stylish.
- Walk-in closet in master bedroom – This is a big deal, and it is desired for space and status. It lets people get more clothes and be more organized at the same time. Having a huge walk-in closet is also a status symbol.
- New kitchen appliances – While most people want new or newer, they don’t want the stress of dealing with broken kitchen appliances.
- Central air-conditioning – Here in the Lowcountry (and in many other geographic areas) HVAC with an emphasis on air-conditioning is No. 1.
Larry Stoller is a real estate consultant and advertising executive who loves living in Bluffton, helping real estate agents and sellers get homes sold.