What do buyers want in their next home?

It is not an easy question to answer and the answer can vary greatly from one buyer to another. While personal circumstances and individual preferences will often dictate the answer to this question, this article seeks to identify which features are generally most important to buyers when considering a home purchase.

I spend most of my time with two very different types of homebuyers. The first group are first time buyers, which is self explanatory. The second group is what I like to call “first-time improvers,” who are those buyers looking to move into a home that addresses the shortcomings of their current home. They aren’t necessarily second-time buyers, but they are often people who have outgrown their current home.

Storage space

I always tell my clients that you can never have too much storage space. A little cliche to be sure, but don’t let that diminish the truth of the statement. Believe it or not, a big consideration when it comes to “storage space” is the garage. More and more buyers are insisting on a double garage. Very few people use the garage for its intended purpose (to store cars), but it sure is a great place to stack a lot of other things. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it usually includes access to a laundry/mud room on the main floor…yet another place where people keep their stuff!

First time buyers: This is rarely a concern, as many of them don’t have enough “stuff” to fill the main rooms of the house they’re considering, let alone additional things to fill the storage space. The double garage is still highly sought after!

Students moving up a grade for the first time: These people could teach newbies something or too. These are the buyers counting kitchen cabinets, opening closet doors, and looking under basement stairs, all in an effort to determine if there is more storage space than in their previous home. The double garage is really a must!

Other storage space considerations that are high on most buyers’ lists are the walk-in closets (especially in the master bedroom), the basement cold storage room (or as my friends in Woodbridge like to say ‘la cantina’) and a large pantry in the kitchen.


There is a major ongoing trend in new home construction in regards to ceiling heights that have been increasing over the last 10 years. By 2005, 9-foot ceilings surpassed 8-foot ceilings as standard in new single-family homes. Many luxury homes now come standard with 10-foot or higher ceilings on the main floor and 9-foot ceilings on the second story and in the basement. Ceiling height helps houses appear significantly larger and adds to the overall aesthetic of the house.

Both first-time buyers and first-time upgraders find this one of their most sought-after features.

tech ready

It should come as no surprise that cable/satellite readiness and high-speed Internet access are among the most important features for buyers. By extension, buyers value technology-enabled homes more, especially when it comes to new construction. Many buyers express interest in homes that have been pre-wired for surround sound, in-wall speakers, high-speed Internet over Cat-5 Ethernet cables, and HD digital satellite or cable over RG-6 cables. After all, what good is the latest 60” HD plasma TV if it doesn’t have an HD broadcast?

Both first-time buyers and first-time upgraders find this one of their most sought-after features.

room sizes

The size of the rooms has been gradually increasing for several years. Buyers tend to give more importance to the 3 key rooms which include the kitchen, family room, and master bedroom. You can expect to see these 3 rooms continue to increase in size over the next 10 years, while rooms like the living room and dining room are likely to shrink or disappear altogether. Many new homes ditch the living room and instead incorporate that space into the family room, also known as the ‘Great’ room.

Students moving up a grade for the first time: The size of the rooms is especially important since they have already experienced a deficiency based on the size of the rooms in their previous home.

Other notables

Some other notable features that homebuyers find very important when purchasing a home include central air conditioning, recessed lighting, hardwood floors, energy efficiency, and the potential for profit if they decide to sell that home in the near future.

You might be wondering why it’s important to know what other homebuyers want in a home. Of course you, as a home buyer, will have your own priorities when it comes to what features are most important to you; however, keep in mind one important fact: Knowing which features have the most general market appeal to the largest number of buyers will certainly help when needed. it’s time to sell that same house in the future.


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