Today's housing market is notoriously tight, and limited inventory is making it difficult for buyers to snag homes that meet their needs and fit within their budgets. But that doesn't mean buyers aren't making wish lists. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders recently conducted a survey to find out what features homebuyers want the most. Here's what it found.
1. A laundry room
For 47% of buyers, a defined laundry room is a must-have. For 40%, it's a desirable home feature. Families with kids may be especially drawn to laundry rooms, given the amount of washing they need to do.
2. Exterior lighting
A good 42% of buyers say they must have exterior lighting in a home they purchase, while 45% say this feature is desirable. Exterior lighting can make a home safer -- and it may, in some cases, lead to lower homeowners insurance costs.
3. Ceiling fans
During the summer, ceiling fans, along with a well-equipped air conditioning system, can be a lifeline for homeowners. That could explain why 49% of buyers say they must have ceiling fans in their homes, while 34% say fans are desirable.
4. ENERGY STAR-rated windows
Energy-efficient windows don't just make interiors more comfortable. They can also lead to much lower heating and cooling costs. For 39% of buyers, these windows are a must-have, while 44% find them desirable.
5. A patio
Having a patio can make it easier to enjoy a home's outdoor space. For 33% of buyers, a patio is a must, while 49% say patios are a desirable home feature to look for.
6. Side-by-side kitchen sinks
Doing dishes is something everyone gets stuck with once in a while, and having a double, side-by-side sink can make that task easier to manage. It's not surprising, then, that 42% of buyers must have this setup in their kitchens, while 39% find it desirable.
7. A walk-in pantry
Many people got used to stocking up on food and supplies during the pandemic. As such, 34% of buyers consider a walk-in pantry a must-have, while 47% say it's desirable.
8. A front porch
After spending the past year cooped up at home, many people are craving social interaction -- and a front porch lends to that. A good 34% of buyers say they must have a front porch, while 47% say a front porch is desirable.
9. ENERGY STAR-rated appliances
Energy-efficient appliances can reduce utility bills, leading to major long-term savings. A good
33% of homebuyers consider these appliances a must-have, while 48% say they're desirable.
10. Hardwood flooring
Hardwood flooring is both aesthetically pleasing and easy to clean. As such, 32% of buyers say it's a must-have for a main level living area, while 49% say it's desirable.
11. A full bathroom on the main level
It's common for a home's main level to only feature a half-bathroom, but for 42% of buyers, that's a deal breaker, as they consider a full bathroom on the main floor a must-have. For 38%, that main floor full bath is desirable but not an absolute necessity.
12. Energy-efficient lighting
Constantly having to change overhead lighting can be a hassle. As such, 31% of homebuyers say they must have energy-efficient lighting, while 49% say it's desirable.
House flippers, take note
If you're in the business of flipping houses for a living, it pays to focus on the features today's buyers are looking for. Similarly, if you're aiming to list your own home in the near term, it could pay to make some of these upgrades. Doing so could help you command top dollar for your property, and while it may be a seller's market, the right investments could still help you come away a lot richer.