Table of Contents
- What Do Today’s Home Buyers Want Most in A Home?
- Home Buyers Top Ten Wish List 2022
- 🍽️Kitchens and Baths Sell Homes🛀🏾
- 🤔Today’s Home Expectations Have Changed
- 🛍Must Have: Storage
- 🏞 Outdoor Living Spaces Add Value
- 💡Home Energy Efficiency
- 🧰Updated Fixtures Make a Big Impact
- Recommended Reading:
- 🧹A Clean and Bright House
- Where to Spend Your Home Improvement Budget
- Recommended Reading:
- Recommended Reading:
What Do Today’s Home Buyers Want Most in A Home?
After being Frederick Md Real Estate agents for over 30 years, we’ve worked with hundreds of home buyers and home sellers. During the pandemic, homeowners demanded a lot from their homes. The list of “must-haves” for home buyers has grown tremendously as well.
While home buyers are looking for “move-in ready” homes overall, there are several features that home buyers think are important to have in a home these days. Here’s my home buyers top 10 wish list for 2022:
Home Buyers Top Ten Wish List 2022
🍽️Kitchens and Baths Sell Homes🛀🏾
1. Today’s home buyers are looking for an Updated Kitchen. The kitchen has changed tremendously over the last few decades. Whereas it used to be separated from the living spaces, in today’s home it is the center of living. As open floor plans have become common in all types of home styles, the kitchen is usually connected to most of the living spaces. It is often where family and friends gather for eating and socializing.
The best investment a home seller can make is to update the kitchen. The cost of updating a kitchen for a buyer is often a daunting expense and one they’d rather not deal with. If they see a kitchen with too much work involved to update it, unless there is some other compelling reason why they are in love with the home, they’ll usually move on.
How much is “too much work”? That’s a good question, and it can only be answered by taking stock of what the comparable kitchens in your area and price range entail. Consulting a local real estate professional is a good first step, as they are in the market every day, seeing what homes in your market look like. Do some research on kitchen trends in your market.
It us always preferable for homeowners to make updates and maintain and repair their home throughout the time they own it. Waiting to make updates until you decide to sell the home can be a drain on your wallet. Similarly, deferred maintenance often leads to chronic problems that are more expensive to fix in the end.
2. The next item on a home buyers wish list is the bathroom. This is usually the second most expensive room in the house to update, and the same reasoning applies in the mind of the buyer when it comes to willingness to do updates. A master bath that evokes a modern spa retreat is a sought-after feature. (After the pandemic, many people are rethinking their private spaces, looking for more Zen at home.)
Although you can’t hide major imperfections in a bathroom, minor repairs and some strategic staging can do wonders in this area. Painting the bathroom in a serene color, adding plush towels and a stylish decorator soap dispenser set can change the entire feel of a bathroom. There are also some clever inexpensive ways you can update a bathroom, like updating the lighting or fixtures.
3. Number of bedrooms.
Today’s homeowners have higher expectations than previous generations did. Today’s families typically require that every child have their own bedroom, and many times, their own bathroom. If you have rooms that you have repurposed for other uses, make sure you convert them back to bedrooms before you put your home on the market.
Most of the time people are looking for standard bedrooms, not special purpose rooms, or bonus rooms like hobby or craft rooms. Those bonus spaces are great and add extra value, as long as don’t come at the cost of a bedroom.
A few years ago I toured a large (5000+ square foot home) on 2 acres in an estate neighborhood. The home had only 3 bedrooms in a neighborhood where the comparable homes have 4 or 5 bedrooms. This what we call a “Fatal Flaw“. The original homeowners designed and built the home according to their needs and wants, not thinking of the resale. The home had been on the market for over 2 years. The only remedy is price in that instance.
4. Climbing in importance to the top of the wish list is a dedicated home office. With the Pandemic, working at home has become a priority for many people. Many studies are showing that a larger percentage of the work force is not going back. Workers and companies found that in many cases, productivity is up when people work at home. (Businesses are also finding that the need for less office space is saving money on their bottom line!)
Local builders are seeing the increase in demand for floor plans that have a home office included. Technology has made it possible, if not seamless for many to work from a home office.
If your home doesn’t have a dedicated office space, it really adds to the appeal just to carve out office space in a kitchen or family room. Without sacrificing storage, you may be able to convert a closet into an office. Extra space in a basement or attic room is also a great option for a home office.
One thing to be careful about is NOT to sacrifice bedrooms for a home office if it means you have fewer bedrooms than comparable homes in the same price range and area.
🛍Must Have: Storage
5. Storage. People have stuff. Stuff needs space. Most buyers tour a home looking at the overall storage possibilities.
In most homes, storage space is something that cannot be changed easily…if you don’t have a linen closet, it might be difficult or even impossible to carve one out. It is often necessary to come up with clever storage solutions with what you have.
If you don’t have a huge amount of storage in your home, make sure you make the most of what you have. Pay attention to your storage spaces and rooms in your staging. Cull the closets to show as much room available as possible.
If your bedrooms are smallish, make sure you maximize the space. De-clutter and minimize furniture.
Try to use furniture that is scaled correctly for the space. Oversized seating is often comfy, but it is not the best for accentuating spaciousness of a room.
This is just one reason why staging is important. It shows your home in the best possible way. Look at it this way, you’re going to be moving soon anyway…why not pack up a good amount of your stuff now?
6. An Organized Garage. One item that is a moving up the home buyers top 10 wish list is a functional garage. Today’s families appreciate a space large enough to fit 2 vehicles and offer storage space for their many activities. Having an organized storage system in the garage is a big plus for a home seller, especially if your garage is not large.
Organizing systems for the garage have become popular, and you can find them in all the big home improvement stores, as well as online. They are not that expensive, as most garages are fairly uniform in size and construction. The added benefit of organizing is the opportunity to declutter and clean.
Here are some great ideas for organizing and primping up the garage from Realtor.com.
🏞 Outdoor Living Spaces Add Value
7. Outdoor Living Spaces have become an important part today’s home life. The pandemic spurred a lot of home improvement, including the outdoor spaces.
Today’s homeowners want to have all the functionality they can get outside of the home. Living spaces, cooking spaces, play spaces, outdoor theaters…there are many ways to add to the livability of the back yard. No matter the size of the home or yard, outdoor living spaces add value.
Outdoor living rooms can be found in a deck or patio, or even in a side-yard. Creativity and some good old-fashioned labor can produce attractive outdoor spaces that add to the livability of any home. Add some inviting staging touches and you can add a lot of charm and appeal.
Well designed landscaping can do a lot to improve the outside livability of your home, as well as the visual appeal. If you add landscaping, including hardscaping, make sure it is in keeping with your home’s style and size. We’ve seen many homeowners overdo it and end up not getting a good return on their investment.
💡Home Energy Efficiency
8. Energy efficiency is high on a home buyers’ wish list in 2022. The rising cost of energy has many homeowners looking for more efficiency in their homes. Buyers are more aware of and interested in green innovations, both for the environment and for cost saving. The top of the list of green features are energy-efficient appliances and high-efficiency insulation and windows.
There are many ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home, from simple additions like a programmable thermostat, or replacing your lighting with energy saving LED lighting fixtures.
The list of smart home products that are designed to save energy is growing rapidly. Smart outlets can reduce waste, by allowing a plugged-in device to use electricity only when it needs it.
Wi-Fi-enabled ceiling fans can reduce your heating and cooling costs. They link up to smart thermostats and automatically adjust their speed and direction based on the ambient temperature of the room.
Wi-fi enabled light fixtures and are a great way to save energy when you aren’t even home.
🧰Updated Fixtures Make a Big Impact
9. Upgraded Lighting Fixtures and Ceiling Fans. Sometimes the most obvious things can get overlooked. Lighting and ceiling fans are so easy to replace with modern, design-friendly fixtures, for a very reasonable cost.
Trends change. Today’s brass has a brushed gold finish. Stainless steel is here to stay, but today’s stainless steel has more matte finish than the shine of the last decade.
The last thing you want is outdated 90’s brass fixtures and trims. Outdated fixtures suggest to buyers that the rest of your home is outdated and not functioning as well as it should. These kinds of improvements are not expensive, and can be easily changed out with a trip to the hardware store.
We’ve seen over the years that all investments in a home are not equal. Bill Gassett, Metrowest MA real estate pro, has some great advice for home sellers on repairs that give a high return on investment. When considering kitchen renovations, he advises sellers to be strategic.
The kitchen remodel is the one place where you can get your money back when you sell…if you do so wisely. The kitchen can be the most expensive room to renovate. But with some smart choices, like brightening up dark colors, replacing basic hardware, and installing granite counters.
🧹A Clean and Bright House
10. A Clean House is a well-cared for house. You can overcome many flaws in your home by keeping it clean, uncluttered, bright and comfortable. Cleaning a home is the best return on investment because elbow grease is generally free!
Home buyers often cannot see clearly when they are making their way through dirty, cluttered spaces. They cannot “see” their belongings in spaces that are dirty, dingy and not well-lit.
Get rid of heavy drapes in favor of light window treatments. Let the natural light in as much as you can. Of course, that means you’ll have to have a clean home. Don’t forget the smells…many homebuyers are turned off to an off-putting smell.
Even if you don’t need to replace them, make sure you use the brightest bulbs possible. Lighting makes a huge difference and is one of those details that gives you the most bang for your buck.
Where to Spend Your Home Improvement Budget
If you decide your home needs some updating to add a few more features that are on today’s home buyers wish lists, you’ll want to make sure you spend your budget on things that will give you the most return for your investment.
You’ll want to invest in your kitchen and bathrooms, of course. But knowing what and how much is key. According to Angi (formerly Angie’s list) the average cost of home improvement and home repairs rose by 25% year over year in 2021.
Because of supply chain woes, inflation, and the costs of shipping going up, the cost of home renovation has increased. But, fortunately for homeowners, the values of their homes have also increased…by nearly 20%!
The pandemic has certainly affected the supply chain, with shortages in almost every sector of the economy. Vicki Moore, Pacifica, CA real estate pro, has some helpful information on the effects that supply shortages are having on the home improvement industry. She shares tips about how to find alternatives and how to stay on track with your renovation.
If a home repair or renovation is in your future, start planning and budgeting now. First tackle maintenance issues. Taking care of your home is an investment that will pay off.
If you are planning on doing some home renovation, there are often projects that are better left to the professionals. Michelle Gibson, real estate pro in Wellington, FL, gives ten valuable tips for hiring a home contractor. Probably one of the best tips is to have a clearly written contract, which should include an estimated start and completion date, as well as clear descriptions of the projects and their costs. Be sure the contractor guarantees his work!
In my article 15 Staging Rules, learn the principals behind the steps you can take to stage your home for a quicker sale.
Easy Ways to Increase Your Home’s Appeal, don’t forget the aesthetics of your home, the “feels” that speak to potential buyers.
Decorating Trends for Homeowners 2021 because it’s always a good idea to have a fresh look. Outdated looks can suggest that the home itself is outdated.
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