The “Great Recession” has brought a wave of practicality to home buying. Smaller homes and “Green” homes are hugely popular. As the cost of living seems to be soaring, buyers are looking for affordability and want lower mortgage payments, lower utility bills, and less maintenance/upkeep.
Functionality is still key as buyers adapt to smaller homes. And outdoor living/entertaining spaces are more popular than ever.
Here is a sampling of what will be popular with homebuyers in the coming year:
> Spaces, Not Rooms: Buyers still love open floor plans and spaces that can serve multiple purposes, especially since smaller houses are “in” right now. It all boils down to being able to optimize the use of each and every space.
> Walk-in Closets, Linen Closets, and Pantries: This is becoming increasingly important to buyers and walk-in storage areas are a must-have for many. Considering the popularity of warehouse stores and how large quantities = great savings, it should come as no surprise that consumers need areas to store the bulk items they bring home.
> Home Office/Technology Areas: More and more people are working from home and spending countless hours in front of a computer and on the internet. Great home office areas will appeal to most buyers, especially those that are well designed for more than one person, wired for technology and well designed to accommodate charging stations and scanners/printer/fax machines.
> Large Kitchens with Big, Quiet, Energy-Efficient Appliances: The kitchen always has and continues to be the heart of the home. As people eat in and entertain at home, everything these days revolves around the kitchen. Large islands for preparing food, doing homework, and casual dining are immensely popular.
Buyers are also realizing the savings of energy efficient appliances but they want the professional grade 6-burner stoves, ultra quiet exhaust hoods and dishwashers, large built-in refrigerators (again for warehouse size purchases), built-in ice makers and wine chillers.
> Overall Energy Efficiency: This includes higher SEER HVAC units, higher R-value insulation in the attic and walls, and energy efficient windows and doors. Reviled by interior decorators of the last decade, ceiling fans are making a comeback as they help to circulate the air and improve energy efficiency.
Plus any home utilizing “green” features such as solar energy, geothermal heating, or tank less hot water heaters would strongly appeal to a homebuyer in today’s market.
> Air Quality: Whole house filters, humidifiers, low VOC paint and flooring, and the absence of visible mold/moisture are pretty important to homebuyers as more families suffer from asthma and allergies.
> 2+ Car Attached Garages: Despite the movement to smaller homes, garage space is becoming increasingly important to homebuyers. A large garage offers additional storage, personal protection, safety, and ease of getting in and out in bad weather. Plus as homeowners hold on to their cars longer, garages offer a place to shelter cars from the elements.
> Updated Bathrooms with Trendy Features: Of course every homebuyer loves updated bathrooms, but there are a few design features that buyers find particularly appealing these days: vessel sinks mounted into antique cabinets, wall mounted faucets with dual handles, dual shower heads, hand-held sprayers for ease of cleaning tubs and showers, and lots of glass, stone and brushed nickel. Any departure from “builder” grade fixtures is hugely popular.
> Laminate Cabinets: Nearly 8 out of 10 homebuyers prefer solid wood cabinets particularly with some glass panel doors mixed in.
> Formica or Tile Countertops: Formica has no “wow” factor and tile (namely the grout) is too hard to keep clean. Three out of four homebuyers prefer granite, stone, or poured cement countertops.
> Vinyl Siding: Buyers are trending toward other low-maintenance products that add more character and curb appeal such as manufactured stone, natural stone, and fiber-cement siding.
> Wallpaper and Wallpaper Borders: Too many people have gone through the aggravation of removing wallpaper. It is now a huge turnoff to buyers everywhere.
> Wall to Wall Carpeting: Homebuyers love the cleaner, sleeker look of hardwood and tile floors. Plus they don’t want carpeting that will trap dust mites, pet dander, and such. Bamboo, cork, Brazilian cherry and travertine tile are popular choices.
Feel free to comment below and tell us what would be important to you if you were looking to buy a new home.
Contact Scott Loper, Associate Broker, Realtor®, RE/MAX Realty Group at 215-513-1333 for help buying or selling a home in Lansdale, Harleysville, Hatfield, Souderton, Skippack, Collegeville, North Wales and the surrounding areas of Montgomery County of Pennsylvania. To Search for Homes For Sale in Montgomery County Click Here.
What’s Hot/What’s Not for Homebuyers in 2012 - Copyright © 2012, The Scott Loper Team, All rights reserved.