According to the National Association of REALTORS® latest profile of homebuyers and sellers, buyers plan to occupy their homes for the next 10 years. They want homes that offer the room, flexibility and comfort they anticipate they will need for a long time. Over three out of four buyers chose a detached home, while attached homes - condos and townhomes - were favored by single homebuyers and buyers without children.
The median-sized existing home purchased in 2010 was built in 1990, with 1,780 square feet, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Size mattered most, while the home's condition came in a close second. Buyers in multiple surveys expressed concerns over operating costs. They want energy-efficient appliances, windows, water and operating systems. They're also carefully considered commuting costs to jobs, schools and other destinations. Overall, they’re buying smaller homes closer to the inner city.
A study by The National Association of Home Builders found that buyers are interested in saving on square footage, but they want a gracious, but casual ambiance. It's likely that new homes by 2015 will reflect buyers' preferences for maximizing square footage with smaller entries, dining rooms and living rooms, and awarding that square footage to a greater-sized family room and eat-in kitchen.
Must Have Features
• A walk-in closet in the master bedroom
• Separate tub and shower in the master bath
• A separate laundry room • Ceiling fans
• First-floor master
• Two-car garage
• Insulated front door
• 9-foot ceilings on first level
Buyers want homes that are sustainable and affordable, more than homes that are impressive to others. For that reason, builders predict that homes of the future will continue to be smaller and more energy efficient, with far better space-planning, storage and utility than existing homes have today.