What Buyers Want

Most homebuyers prefer newer homes with extra space, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS’® (NAR) 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences. The survey, which examined buyers who purchased a home between 2010 and 2012, finds that the typical recently-purchased home was built in 1996 and had 1,860 square feet. The typical buyer purchased a home with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Repeat buyers, buyers of new homes, married couples, and families with children tend to purchase larger homes, while first-time buyers and single women were more likely to buy older homes.

Nearly two-thirds of buyers said central air conditioning was the most important home feature, followed by a master walk-in closet, desired by 39 percent of buyers. Some home features are so sought-after that buyers were willing to spend more money to have them. More than two-thirds of buyers (69 percent) who did not purchase a home with central air conditioning said they were willing to pay $2,520 more for a home with this feature, and the same percentage of buyers said they would be willing to pay $1,840 more for a home with new kitchen appliances.

Buyers placed the highest dollar value on waterfront properties and homes that were less than five years old. They were willing to spend the most money for a basement ($3,200) and an in-law suite ($2,920), while the highest percentages of buyers were willing to spend more for a laundry room (63 percent) and a home office or den (44 percent).

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