By Paige Tepping
For today’s buyers, finding that perfect home goes way beyond locating the ideal neighborhood that’s a stone’s throw from the office. With must-have lists that can range anywhere from a few items to those that are more than a mile long, real estate professionals certainly have their work cut out for them when it comes to finding buyers the home that’s just right.
While every buyer has their heart set on specific things they absolutely can’t live without, here are just a few of the features today’s buyers seek when looking for a place to call home.
Open Floor Plan. Design wise, homes with an open floor plan are all the rage these days as buyers envision themselves spending quality time with family and friends without having to tear themselves away from the fun when it’s time to cook dinner or check on the children. A great way to ensure everyone’s involved in the same activity, open floor plans minimize the use of small spaces, creating a flow that extends throughout, a top priority for today’s buyers, according to Kathleen Daniels, a broker-owner in San Jose, Calif.
Ample Storage. “People tend to have a lot of ‘stuff’ they don’t want to part ways with,” says Daniels, who notes that storage space both inside and in the garage is crucial when it comes to keeping the home organized. From clothing to extra bedding and towels—and everything in between—sufficient storage is a must-have.
Flexible Living Spaces. Buying a new home to fit your current lifestyle every few years is not practical, but with flexible living spaces, homeowners can adapt their current digs to meet their changing lifestyle and needs. While a majority of today’s buyers may look at the dining room as wasted space, the addition of French doors can turn the area into a play room for the kids or even an office or extra bedroom for overnight guests. The possibilities are endless when it comes to reconfiguring your space so that it complements your lifestyle.
A Central Hub with Upgraded Features. As the heart of the home, the kitchen is one area that can’t be overlooked. As a central gathering spot for friends and family alike, today’s buyers are looking for top-notch kitchens that incorporate upgraded features and cabinetry, plenty of counter space and storage as well as a design in which every item is strategically placed. Even more appealing are large, open kitchens that incorporate granite countertops and energy efficient appliances, says Daniels.
Outdoor Living Space. A continuation of your indoor living space, buyers are all about the outdoor living space—whether it’s for entertaining or relaxing with a cup of coffee in the morning (or a glass of wine in the evening).
Energy Efficiency/Green Features. If there’s one thing today’s buyers are passionate about, it’s green living. From low-flow toilets and shower heads to programmable thermostats, Energy Star appliances and solar panels, green features aren’t going away anytime soon.
Technology Capabilities. As the industry trends toward smart homes that are equipped with lighting, heating and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely via phone or computer, it’s no surprise that technology integration is at the top of any must-have list.