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Top 10 Features Buyers Look For

Top 10 Features Buyers Look For

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Published by laurelbard
Quick and easy guide to updating your home before selling in this tough market.
Quick and easy guide to updating your home before selling in this tough market.

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Published by: laurelbard on May 20, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/06/2010

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Spring is a season or resh starts. A time to take a deep breath and ponder newpossibilities. For many consumers, spring has also traditionally been a time tomove orward on plans to purchase a rst home, or upgrade to a larger space.Even as people around the country eagerly anticipate warmer and sunnier days,it’s clear that this spring’s real estate market will continue to be tempered byeconomic uncertainties. Concerns about job security may be preventing manyconsumers rom pulling the housing trigger, but it certainly hasn’t stopped themrom
dreaming 
about a uture home.Those dreams are closely examined by builders, architects and designers ohome spaces. To survive the current economic downturn, these proessionalsmust be highly attuned to which home eatures and preerences will promptconsumers to open their wallets. More than ever, staying in business requiresappealing, economical housing solutions.Buyer’s representatives, on the other hand, must listen to buyer-clients one at atime—understanding individual preerences and helping buyers nd the homeo their dreams. That said, it’s also helpul to share your knowledge o largerconsumer trends with your clients. Ater all, most buyers want to make sure thatthe home they purchase now will hold strong appeal to a uture buyer once it’stime to sell.With this in mind,
Today’s Buyer’s Rep 
is examining the latest research andopinions on housing trends. Look inside to learn more about how today’seconomy and other key actors are shaping what buyers want in their next home.
Consumers’ MostSought-after Features
TODAY’S
B
UYER’S
R
EP
A blication o the Real Estate Ber’s Aent Concil, Inc.A wholl-owned sbsidiar o the National Association o REALTORS
®
LOOK INSIDE...
10 Most Liely Featuresthat Builders Will Includein 2010Buying Green Homes:Insulation
Vole XIXNber 4
April 2010
Continued on page 3 
 Home Trends 2010:
 
 
TBR • April 2010
3
Continued from page 1Continued on page 4 
Home Trends 2010...
Source: January 2010 National Association of Home Builders survey of builders 
FEWER, SMALLER, LESS ExPENSIvE
To understand today’s housing trends,it’s helpul to rst review some recentacts about the residential constructionindustry. Housing starts began declining
in 2006 and have yet to show any
signicant rebound.Among the new homes that have beenbuilt, at least through the rst hal o
2009, the U.S. Census Bureau conrms
that no matter how you look at the data,new homes are denitely smaller:
F
 
Averae size o sinle-ail hoes:
 
at in 2008 and down in 2009.
F
 
Hoes with at least three bedroos:
 
down in 2009, for the rst timesince 1992.
F
 
Hoes with or or ore bedroos:
 
falling since 2007.
F
 
Hoes with two or ore stories:
 
peaked in 2006, then began
downward trend.The average price o new homes also
declined from $293,000 in 2008 to$267,000 over the rst 11 months of2009. While the percentage of newsingle-family homes in the $200,000-$299,999 price range held steady from2008 to 2009, the market share for allhigher priced homes fell in 2009.
IMPLICATIONS FOR HOME DESIGN
Even though today’s homes are smaller,builders, architects and designers insistthat they don’t necessarily have toeel smaller. Indeed, some consumersactually preer a smaller home,complaining that some houses had grownto excessive proportions.Susan Slotkis, a New York City-basedinterior designer and educator says shehas witnessed a backlash against theMcMansion craze. “Just as driving aHummer carries a negative connotationin some circles, living in a space-wasting,energy-guzzling home is not desirable,”explains Slotkis. “Homeowners are stillinterested in the ‘wow’ actor, but thereare other ways to achieve it.”
 1.
WALK-IN CLOSETin aster bedroo
10 MOST
LIkELY FEATURES
 
that bilders will incldein 2010:
2.
LAuNDRy ROOm
3.
INSuLATED ront door
4.
gREAT ROOm
5.
LOW-e WINDOWS
6.
LINEN CLOSET
7.
pROgRAmmABLEtherostat
8.
ENERgy EICIENTaliances and lihtin
9.
SEpARATE SHOWER & TuB
 in aster bedroo
 10.
9-OOT CEILINgSor hiher on 1st foor
 
Continued from page 3 
Home Trends 2010...
4
 
TBR • April 2010
That point was evident when the NationalAssociation o Home Builders (NAHB)surveyed builders earlier this year and
learned that 9-foot ceilings on the
rst foor were one o builders’ top ten
priorities in 2010.
“In today’s environment, builders are veryocused on giving homebuyers more bangor their buck,” says Stephen Melman,NAHB Director o Economic Services.“There’s a prime emphasis on gooddesign that helps homes eel larger byraising overall ceiling height, adding morelight through windows, and using spacemore eciently.”
WHOLE-HOUSE EFFICIENCY
NAHB research nds that “eciency”has become a buzzword or virtuallyevery aspect o new homes. It has meantthe death o the two-story amily roomatrium, or example, which Melmanconcedes “may have gotten too large andcould easily eel a little noisy and lackingin privacy.” Instead, the trend is nowtowards one-story multi-unctional space.Open foor plans are still desirable, butwith a scaled-back approach.Kitchens, eating areas and amily roomsare open and connected, catering tobusy amilies that want optimal useableliving space rom their home. Food prep,entertaining, homework and relaxingcan all be accommodated in a cohesivelayout that relies on strategically-placedarchitectural details or area rugs to denewhere one area begins and another ends.Storage elements, including laundryspaces and mini mud rooms help bringmuch-desired order to lie at home.And the quest or ecient homesdoesn’t stop with foor plans. Curbingenergy consumption is also a high priorityamong builders, with an insulated rontdoor, low-e windows, programmablethermostats, and energy-ecientappliances and lighting all making theirtop-ten list.
STILL IN DEMAND:MASTER BEDROOM SUITES
Consumers arereluctant to give upull-eatured masterbedrooms. Buildershave signaled theirintentions to continuemeeting this demandby including walk-inclosets and a separateshower and tub innew master bedroomsuites.“You probably won’tsee multiple showerheads,” says Melman.“But most consumersstill want the masterbath to eel like asmall oasis, providing eatures that are asignicant step above other bathrooms inthe home.”Also count on walk-in closets to remain.In act, they are the number one eaturecited by homebuilders or inclusion innew construction this year.
WHAT’S NOT ON THE LIST?
I new homes will be built with an eyetowards aordability and eciency,which home eatures will not be included?Builders say that an outdoor kitchen isrst to go. Other eatures that they cite
as being least likely to include in 2010
are an outdoor replace, a sunroom, abutler’s pantry, and a media room.
AGING IN PLACE
Perhaps the most interesting area onew home trends centers on theover-55 market. Aging Baby Boomerscertainly hold signicant consumerbuying power. And while builders are veryinterested in catering to Boomers, to alarge extent, this segment remains under-served. The reasons are complex.Slotkis, who also works with over-55clients residing in active communities inFlorida, believes that builders still havea long way to go. “It’s so much moreeconomical to include aging-in-placeeatures during construction, but it seemsthat many builders are concerned that

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