Dollars and Sense: 11 Home Features Today’s Buyers Want Most

Douglas Sedam

Thinking about selling your house? Here are home features potential buyers are coveting.

#1 Laundry room. Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 91%. More than anything else, homeowners want a room other than the guest bedroom to stack all the clean laundry in until it finally gets put away. A separate laundry room tops the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) list of most-wanted home features by buyers.

#2 Energy efficiencies (appliances and windows). Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 89%. Would-be buyers looking to limit utility bills will be drawn to properties with Energy Star-qualified windows and appliances. Gone are the days when these types of features were an anomaly. Today’s home buyers expect energy efficiencies! Energy-efficient windows can trim heating and cooling costs by 12%, while individual appliances, such as an Energy Star-certified washing machine can save as much as $250 over a lifetime!

#3 Patio. Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 87%. When most buyers see a house with a really nice backyard, they start to envision themselves sitting outdoors with friends having drinks. Also, outdoor areas offer more living space without the cost of a large-scale home addition. Nowadays, home buyers envision everything from an outdoor fire pit area with seating to a backyard wet bar.

#4 Ceiling fan. Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 85%.In addition to improving a home’s aesthetic, energy-efficient ceiling fans (ranging in price from $76 to $1,858 at Lowe’s) can also help lower cooling costs when used in conjunction with an air conditioner during the warmer months. Ceiling fans create a wind-chill effect that helps cool the people sitting in the room. Homeowners should be able to raise the thermostat level by four degrees without a reduction in comfort while the fan is in use, according to

#5 Garage storage space. Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 85%. Buyers often need lots of storage space. Unlike an attic or a backyard shed, the garage is accessible—generally, just a few steps away from the rest of the house—making it easier to transport items such as tools, patio chairs, or boxes to and from other parts of the house.

#6 Exterior lighting. Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 85%. Illuminating a well-manicured lawn with exterior lighting can help grab potential buyers’ attention before they even set foot in the front door. In fact, exterior lighting is the second most-wanted outdoor feature (patio was first), according to the NAHB report. Options include spotlights, walkway lights, and pendant lights.

#7 Walk-in pantry. Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 83%. A walk-in pantry is the most-coveted kitchen feature among buyers polled in the NAHB’s report. Why? Home buyers know that the kitchen can quickly become overcrowded when there’s not enough space to store the essentials. And those who shop in bulk at warehouse clubs or big box retailers to avoid having to make frequent trips and face in-store crowds will need extra space in the kitchen area to store their goods.

#8 Hardwood floors. Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 83%. Hardwood flooring offers a cleaner look, is easier to maintain, and is more durable than carpet, which needs to be replaced every eight to 10 years. Hardwood can be refinished periodically and lasts a lifetime.

#9 Walk-in closet (master bedroom). While walk-in closets are not among the top demands of all home buyers, they are highly sought after among first- and second-time homebuyers, according to the NAHB. A walk-in closet in the master bedroom ranked among their top five features.

#10 Eat-in kitchen. Eat-in kitchens are a must-have for second-time home buyers who were polled by the NAHB. They are especially attractive to families with children. It is a space where they can congregate in the morning for breakfast or in the evening for dinner so everyone can share highlights from their day.

#11 Dining room. In recent years, formal dining rooms (and closed floor plans) have taken a backseat to open floor concepts in today’s home models. While these layouts help maximize space, there are still home buyers who desire the charm and unique features that come with older homes. This includes a separate dining area distinct from the kitchen. In fact, a separate dining room is among the top 10 essentials for first- and second-time home buyers, the NAHB reports.

Douglas Sedam is the Owner/Broker of SBRanchRealty and can be reached at 5208295219.