10 Top Features Home Buyers Want for 2019

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors


The National Association of Home Builders has released its Home Buyers Survey, indicating the top features home buyers want most in 2019. Although extremely helpful for new home builders, homeowners who are thinking about selling might also pay attention. 

The survey identifies 175 items that are rated “essential”, “desirable”, “indifferent” and (just as important) “do NOT want”. An interesting note is that, while baby boomers trended along with general home buyers in desirables, they have stronger opinions about what they do and do not want.

2019 Survey Reveals What Home Buyers Really Want – With Some Surprises

Some features are not surprises – energy efficiency shows up (explicitly or implied) as four of the top 10 items. Surprisingly, laundry rooms are at the top of the essential features buyers want. Although, this factors in with the other items baby boomers desire – smaller homes with single-level living and open floor plans. Having a laundry room keeps clutter out of view and helps keep smaller homes organized. Ceiling fans are also big – consistent with the energy efficiency theme. 




The Full Survey Identified 175 Features – Here Are The Top 10



It’s Also Helpful To Know What is Undesirable

Also consistent with baby boomers’ desire for one-level living, elevators were rated the least desirable feature in a home – one that would cause them not to buy it. Although this was not as much of a deal breaker for buyers from other age groups.  These undesirable items are certainly subjective, but nonetheless informative.

Percentages of those who said “No” to these features:

Elevator – 74%
Wine Cellar – 69%
Second-story Family Room – 59%
Dual Toilets in Master Bath – 57%

While this survey can guide new home construction, it also can help sellers of existing homes. For example, adding a laundry room is not on the list of the best returns for home improvement projects. However, there may be other areas in the home that can be converted easily – like a closet in a bathroom with room for a stackable. Or, even the garage might be an option. Access to utilities will determine the ease and expense of such an addition.


More to consider...

Here's an additional note based on our experience with clients. There is another segment of baby boomers who downsized, and are now choosing to upsize. The main reason given is needed room for visiting children and grandchildren. They are also requesting enough land to garden and find serene views highly desirable. 


If you are thinking about selling your home and want to learn more about what buyers really want, give us a call. We'll help you sort out the best way to present and market your home. 

Posted by

Debb Janes  Bernie Stea
Call or Text 360-608-4900

We help buyers and sellers in Camas, Washougal, Brush Prairie/Hockinson, Salmon Creek, Felida, and other Vancouver, Washington Areas. 

We bring our passion for nature and beautiful environments to Real Estate. Multigenerational and family estates, country land and homes, and small farmsteads are our speciality.

We agree with our clients, "The true luxury of rural living is having elbowroom for the soul.


Comments (30)

Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon Debb and Bernie -  the laundry room surprises me.  I never liked ceiling fans in New York because I have a colonial house but I have them in all the rooms in Florida.

Apr 08, 2019 10:42 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Like Michael Jacobs I find these lists fascinating as well, especially when they defy logic. You wonder are people making things up or answering questions the way they think the person who submitted the question wants to hear. Because making a laundry room the #1 thing a buyer wants in a new home sounds ridiculous.

Nobody else will say it, so I will.

Apr 08, 2019 12:52 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Grant Schneider  Me too, but then if one doesn't have a laundry room, it would be pretty inconvenient.  Who wants to go to out to do laundry? 

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%  - I'm guessing it might be how the question is asked. I wouldn't want to go to a coin operated spot to do my laundry. If that was my only choice, a laundry room would become quite essential and rank pretty high. 

Apr 08, 2019 12:57 PM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker

That's true. Although, just about every house has a laundry area somewhere if not in the garage.

Apr 08, 2019 03:01 PM
marti garaughty
garaughty.com - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...


marti garaughty, composer, pianist, soundscape, abstract art


Apr 08, 2019 01:42 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Thanks Marti!  

Apr 08, 2019 04:12 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Debb and Bernie- I too am a lover of these lists but I too have to wonder how the questions are worded. I've moved a lot and lived in many homes and for the most part have had a laundry room. It is surprising how high it ranks on the "Want" lists, though. 

My largest complaint about homes built for us baby boomers is that they tend to shrink the whole house. Larry and I had planned on a one story home that was smaller however everything we saw that was one story had very little storage and the ceilings were too low. We love the openness of a high ceiling.


Apr 08, 2019 07:57 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

Kathy Streib I'm with you on the one-levels. We are so frustated with the lack of inventory for single levels with  nice open floor plans and storage space. Right now, we're working with a couple who will be listing their two level with us at the beginning of May, they are hoping to find a home like you describe. It's not an easy task. D 

Apr 09, 2019 07:14 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I am not one for the dual toilets either. I have been out viewing new construction and am puzzled by some builders who chose to save on this and waste on that. Shrinking the house does not work for me either

Apr 09, 2019 06:09 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

Scott Godzyk - dual or dueling toilets. Lol. That's what I keep thinking. 

Apr 09, 2019 07:14 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Now I see what all of the pondering was about from Michael Jacobs and of the items on the list, it does make sense that having a laundry room is desirable.  In my area, many older homes will have the laundry hook ups in the garage, so I can see where having an actual laundry room would be much more desirable.

Apr 09, 2019 07:03 AM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Good morning Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, interesting, I'm surprised to see laundry room on the top of the list. In NY, older apartment buildings do not have laundry rooms but in FL, most do. I would love to know where do these buyers live and how the questions were worded.
  In FL, most buyers do want ceiling fans but that's easy to fix so not a deal breaker for sure.

Apr 09, 2019 07:06 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Yes, Brian England - at our multi gen home, we have a laundry room in our home, Cheri and Bob ( my sis and her hubby) put in a laundry space in the large garage. Admitedly, I prefer doing my laundry inside and not in a garage - they don't seem to mind, but I'm sure it would be better if they had a laundry room downstairs too.  

Apr 09, 2019 07:16 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Beth Atalay - yes, it is a bit curious.  Bernie says the data came from buyers all around the country.  They had either planned to purchase, or recently purchased, a new construction home. 

Apr 09, 2019 07:19 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is an excellent list to share with prospective home buyers.

One of the issues we have seen while looking at new homes is the lack of closet space including linen closets. 

Apr 09, 2019 07:47 AM
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Debb and Bernie, I find lists like these fascinating and enjoy reading them. I echo what many others have noted, a laundry room is really nice to have IMHO. Elevator surprised me too but, likely because my parents bought a home with one when they retired so that when the stairs become too hard they can stay in the home longer. It currently gets used for their dog because he's an old man and no longer capable of doing stairs. Dual toilets in the master bath would be a no for me, I laughed at your comment with dueling to Scott. That's exactly what I thought of haha. 

Apr 10, 2019 04:32 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign


                                        Thank you Debb and Bernie. 

Apr 13, 2019 06:52 PM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Debb. I am surprised by many of the things on your list but oh well......

Apr 14, 2019 04:26 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Very interesting list. I had a washer and dryer in the apartment I had in Tennessee.  It was nice not to have to drag it to the laundromat.  Now  I always find campgrounds with them. 

Apr 14, 2019 05:51 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD ,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "AH-Ha" moments for the week. I'm very surprised this post didn't earn a gold star. I was surprised by some items the list but then again this was from across the US and I do feel there are regional differences. Everyone loves the farmer sinks here..when cooking it's great to have big sinks for those pots and many of our cultures use big posts when cooking! Our laundry rooms are important and have morphed into laundry room/mud room. Places to hang backpacks etc.

Apr 14, 2019 06:00 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - This is an essential list to help us understand our buyer and seller needs.  Most of my homes I sell have laundry rooms so it does not usually come up.  I did not know!

Apr 14, 2019 07:54 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I can see why Kathy chose to highlight your post this week!  Great job!

Apr 15, 2019 06:28 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Wow...duel toilets in master bath? That is a new one to me. That one made me laugh.

Apr 15, 2019 12:44 PM