What are home buyers looking for?
Nov 19, 2011 / 5:00 am
Apart from a gorgeous place on a great street, here is what’s getting the attention from potential buyers these days.
1. Energy efficiency features – With fossil fuel prices headed skyward, buyers now want homes that will save them money on energy bills every day. Think beyond programmable thermostats and Energy Star appliances: buyers are getting excited about unsexy features like heat recovery, ventilators, ground source heat pumps, tankless water heaters,
solar panels, and low emissivity, argon-filled windows.
2. Luxurious Bathrooms – Coveted bathroom features include: whirlpool tubs, separate shower enclosures, multiple showerheads, generous linen closets, dressing areas, and double sinks. Buyers also expect multiple bathrooms, and Jack & Jill bathrooms are popular with families.
3. Built-in closet organization systems – Whether your closets are massive or minute, make the most of them with built-in organization systems. Several companies offer many different closet systems, allowing you to customize your closets. For maximum return on investment, plan flexibility into the design. Buyers will want to configure their own storage areas.
4. Specialty rooms – The living room is practically passé, but mention a well-outfitted media room/home theatre and buyers’ wallets start to pop open. Exercise rooms are also a trendy feature. And in certain neighbourhoods, a dedicated yoga/meditation space could seal the deal.
5. Environmentally friendly finishes and materials – Hardwood floors are perennially popular, but some buyers prefer eco-friendly alternatives to traditional hardwoods. Bamboo is one of the trendiest new flooring options, because it’s considered a renewable and sustainable resource. Cork and natural linoleum are also appealing; heritage hardwood
reclaimed from old buildings offers both patina and eco-panache.
Likewise, concerns about both health and the environment are leading lots of buyers to look for homes decorated with natural, environmentally responsible materials and finishes. Paints that are low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are a healthier alternative to conventional paints, which release toxic emissions for years. Window coverings made of
cotton, hemp, linen, wood or other natural materials are preferable to petrochemical products. Avoid installing anything made of particleboard.
6. Wired home – Each year, there are more techno-gadgets and appliances we just can’t live without. Buyers expect a house to have plenty of well-located phone jacks, electrical outlets, and cable/internet connections. We want flexibility and portability, so a house that’s wired for maximum connectivity is a hot property.
Other items to consider are luxurious touches around the home, spacious and stylish utility rooms, and high-end finishes for appliances.
Read more Home Finance articles
- House hunting: finding the right fit Jun 15
- Designing a water efficient garden Jun 1
- Tips for a stress-free summer move May 18
- Selecting the right mortgage planner May 4
- Establishing credit history Apr 20
- Is home ownership right for you? Apr 6
- How to save with the way you pay Mar 9
- Lifetime approach to better fiscal fitness Feb 23
(Click for RSS instructions.)